By Sam Sheppard, Nurturing Birth Facilitator
“Sophie, at each course, spoke about what we tell ourselves and what we can let go of. It gave much thought to all, including me.”
I’ve been thinking a lot recently … don’t panic, I didn’t hurt myself! Over the last few months I’ve been super lucky to have been co-facilitating the Distance Doula Course with Sophie and I’ve really enjoyed it. No, actually I’ve loved it. I’ve loved the new excited faces at the start of their journey. I’ve loved seeing women connect, connect in ways I wasn’t totally sure I’d witness to the extent that we did, over Zoom… I’ve loved seeing and feeling the excitement, passion, nerves – the overflowing emotional moments unfolding as the doulas bloomed and realised not only could they do it, but that they had been doing it over the week. They were doulas!
Now the beauty of these courses, like with the birthing women or people that we support, is that not only did they feel like they were learning and experiencing new things, but I did too. I learnt so much. Watching the invigorating conversations, the questioning, the beliefs and support they all organically flowed with, the highs and lows of the week as everyone became more comfortable and trusting of their companions … Wow! What a gift to behold. The strength of community, of that village, never ceases to amaze me. How it can raise and support, how it can nurture and challenge. All the while holding that sacred safe space. It’s truly inspiring and it’s given me so much joy I can’t quite describe it.
I’ve also loved the transitions. The transition from “Hmmmm can I even do the course” to “Ooh crikey I can actually do this“. There’s a gentle, sometimes rapid, unravelling of thoughts and long-held beliefs. It’s amazing what we can tell ourselves, and it’s also amazing how differently we can look to others. Sophie, at each course, spoke about what we tell ourselves and what we can let go of. It gave much thought to all, including me.
Now those that follow me know I’m pretty unapologetic about being me. They also know I’m not one to follow the crowd and seem quite confident in my being. But, I’ve held on to the belief that I can’t write and I can’t do podcasts … hmmm now I’m not about the “can’t”, so I’ve been looking at what this is about and where it came from, and have shifted into the “doing something about it” phase. So, here’s the first tick (yes, I’m smug – I even put my hand up to offer to write one of the weekly emails for Sophie over the holidays…I did panic a bit). The next tick is a podcast I’m guesting on this week. Don’t ask me what I’m talking about yet. Small steps, right?
The reason for my rambling is that we never stop learning, growing, reflecting or adapting. Life is always shifting – it has to. We never arrive. We never get there. Once we’re there another target comes to light, another feeling needs exploring, another trigger needs addressing, our bodies need more/less rest, a change in food, a challenge that takes action, something else needs reflection, or a change in perspective maybe. It’s all about the journey, right?
So what journey are you on and how’s it looking?
Sam is a Nurturing Birth facilitator and also a doula herself.