Thursday, November 29, 2012

Building Your Birth Business From Your Heart

Imagine...

What if we

grew our 

businesses

from our 

hearts?

Yes,

we need 

BALANCE

of head and heart

but 

TODAY

our culture's

hypnotic 

state 

of 

BUSY

has us so

DEEPly 

in our

heads

that 

the call

must 

be 

to 

consciously  engage

our hearts.

Value

Worth

Thriving Business.

It's all possible.

Listen in to these

birth visionaries

insights.

It's from this

heart-centered

place

that we

DOVE 

DEEP

into 

mapping 

their 

Full Bodied YUM

birth businesses.

Imagine 

that.







Birth Business Heart Words: Day 2

Amelia: Highway to the light
Gretchen: Warm heart...Wild Child
Stephanie: Effulgent...emanating joy or goodness
Karen: Beauty...circle of beauty
Rachel: Merge, Purge, Emerge
Valerie: Challenge, Mary Magdelene
Eldyka: Fierce...light.


How do you plan to make your birth business a full bodied YUM in 2013? Share your comments and inspire other birth visionaries!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I’ve learned more about birth from birthing women than medical text books

-->

People ask me all the time

if my birth story is in the play Birth.

It’s not.

But there is a scene

just before Jillian’s third birth

where she meets a doctor

in South Texas,

a place where finding a

mother-friendly obstetrician

was a long shot,

but Jillian found one.

Well, that obstetrician

in the play

was MY backup obstetrician.

Yes, I was having a

homebirth.

Every home birth midwife knows that

a champion backup OB is

priceless.

One that TRUSTS

midwives.

In Arkansas the odds of meeting that

Champion OB

wasn’t something I’d bet

our life savings on.


Well, I should have.


I remember the first time I met

Dr. Baldwin

his office piled with books,

a British accent,

black hair swung to the side

to cover his receding hairline.

A tea cup.

Yes, he offered me tea.

We spoke of women’s  glorious bodies,

the power of pregnancy,

how ‘midwives are the people who should do normal birth’,

and then at the end he told me:

“In my 30 years of medicine

I’ve learned more from birthing women

than I ever did from medical text books.”

It was at that moment

that I fell in love with

Dr. Baldwin.

I’d found an

Obstetric Birth champion.

When I wrote my play

YES I heard story after story of

the BAD obstetrician.

But sprinkled in there

I also heard

Dr. Baldwin stories.

Birth champions

boldly

listening to pregnant women

planting the seeds of empowerment

through their

words,

actions,

trust,

presence.

Today I give thanks,

celebrate,

honor

every obstetrician who has ever

believed

pregnant women’s bodies ROCK.

I’m grateful that people like

YOU

and many others

keeping the light on

for pregnant women

to shine.

Can I hear an Amen?


If you know an obstetrician who’s a birth champion please tell us their name and share something about them to give thanks for their bold service to the world.

Final note...10 years after I gave birth my play Birth was performed where I gave birth in Little Rock, Arkansas. The night I got into Little Rock my midwives had arranged a late night dinner at a local Asian restaurant with a bunch of midwives and doulas. After dinner we look over and sitting in the corner of the restaurant having a quiet meal is Dr. Baldwin and his wife! The photo above was taken that night. Thank you, Dr. Baldwin. :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Investing in The New Paradigm for Birth




“The BOLD Method tools awaken our ever-expanding creativity and potential so that we are not only a part of changing the culture of birth, we are a part of changing the world.”


I knew Karen Brody as the lady who took a nap and birthed a play.  I’d read an article a couple years previous about how through the practice of yoga nidra, Karen, who’d never written a play, became playwright of BIRTH and later founder of BOLD, advocating for mother-friendly maternity care.  Her story affected me on many levels.  First and most obvious was my love of the work, tying childbirth to female empowerment.  My own experience had taught me that birth was a time to wake up, turn up the volume on my feminine capacities and bring forth my creative power.  So I was all about supporting women in discovering their innate wisdoms and creating empowered births.

Karen’s story also spoke to my heart’s desire to continue to live with the feminine on full blast.  I was developing a deep trust in the unknown and hearing how Karen unexpectedly birthed a play served to deepen my trust in the process.  Had I not been exposed to her story, I probably would not have logged on to her website two years later when I saw an ad for The BOLD Method Birth Facilitator training.  But because I knew that this method was developed by a woman who embodied the very principles that I knew could change everything, I immediately typed in the URL.  Excited as I was though, I still had doubts: Was this really for me?  Was I going to invest this much time and money into myself and into my work? 

I’m not sure the exact moment I decided to take the leap.  It may have been when, on the free introductory call, Karen invited us to put our hands on our hearts.  Or was it when she emailed me back right away with answers to my questions?  Either way, I was on board as soon as I got a strong sense for how this training did not exist within the old paradigm.  It wasn’t a hierarchy, it was a community.  It wasn’t based in linear thinking, it was open to intuitive, big-picture thinking. The very thinking our future calls for.  The NEW paradigm for birth. 

Now that I have completed the training, I can say with a big, BOLD heart that I am so grateful I did it and it was worth every bit of investment.  Had I chosen to play small and ignore the tug at my heart, I’d surely have been depriving the world of something vital.  I chose to stand in my value and in that seemingly small act, I change the culture of birth because I affirm that what I offer with these tools is worthy and indeed capable of moving birth to sacred ground. 

Through this body of work, I can offer a new path for pregnant women while at the same time continue on my personal journey.  Its fluidity meets my need to grow and evolve with and in my work.  The tools awaken our ever-expanding creativity and potential so that we are not only a part of changing the culture of birth, we are a part of changing the world.


Carrie Ferguson
Jacksonville, Florida
BOLD METHOD Certified Birth Facilitator


---

The BOLD Method for birth is celebrating our new name November 5-9th by opening up enrollment in our birth facilitator training this week ONLY and giving away free bonus ‘presents’ to anyone who enrolls. For more information on our bonuses go to: www.boldbirthmethod.com. To learn more about The BOLD Method and enroll to train with us go to: www.changethecultureofbirth.com.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

There has to be another way to teach childbirth education



"I was looking for a skill set that wasn’t afraid to challenge what is not working for women within the dominant paradigm of birth – a paradigm that has been built primarily on fear, and the management and medicalization of women’s bodies."

Years ago, I had an “a-ha” moment after finishing a year-long childbirth education program in NYC. I had felt well versed and knowledgeable about the evidence-based research when it came to birth and teaching childbirth education, but I had a  very clear feeling that “there has to be another way to teach this material.” Often, during our class discussions that year, there was a sense that we all felt the need to walk the fine line between offering comprehensive information to our clients and, on the other hand, being afraid to give so much information that we scared our clients away.

When Karen Brody’s program came out (originally as “FEAR to FREEDOM Birth”) my ears perked up and I was immediately reminded of that moment. This was my answer to finding a complement to a physiologically based childbirth course, and to introducing a new birthing paradigm. I didn’t hesitate to sign up for the three month pre-launch course. It proved to be an intense summer --  completing a program that’s normally completed in 6 months into 12 weeks -- but I was determined. And besides, I was completely engaged and drawn into the curriculum.  Since that time, Karen has renamed FEAR to FREEDOM and has come full circle with the new name --The BOLD METHOD for Birth.  As a birth activist, doula, doula trainer, and childbirth educator this new name really speaks to all sides of what BOLD is about.

In order for a shift to happen in childbirth, we as educators need to recognize where our own body of knowledge is coming from and how we share and teach this material. I realized that in connecting to the feminine, which is at the core of The BOLD METHOD for Birth, I was shifting -- not only in how I was thinking about childbirth but also in how I was teaching it to pregnant women and the families that I worked with.

How can we, as agents of change, truly make an impact if we’re not questioning where our own birth pedagogy originates? Do we feel as if only scientific evidence will legitimize our work, while undervaluing other kinds of evidence that we hold in our minds, our hearts, and in our bodies? While I value and stay up to date with birth research, I also recognize that pregnant women need more, and that as a childbirth educator and doula, I need more!  I need the power of the feminine to balance and ground my work.

I feel a deep desire to explore fear, the feminine, spirituality, energy, empowerment, and love with women. Intuitive wisdom is just as important to me as the latest research on breastfeeding or the impact that medications have on laboring women. I continue to want to go deeper and I want women in my class to have that opportunity for depth as well. I want pregnant moms to feel like they have the tools to do the work themselves before labor starts. As a doula, I know how important it is for pregnant women to take accountability for their birth experience.  I also know how vital holding sacred space is –  for myself and for everyone else in the room, especially the laboring mom.

When I found Karen’s training, I was looking for a skill set that wasn’t afraid to challenge what is not working for women within the dominant paradigm of birth – a paradigm that has been built primarily on fear, and the management and medicalization of women’s bodies. I love that The BOLD METHOD for Birth doesn’t make women feel they’ve failed if they don’t “get it right.” There is no right or wrong when we’re guiding women to discover their own truth. Owning that truth as a doula and educator has given me the strength to truly support women, without an agenda. True empowerment is an invitation to wake up to the truth of one’s self. That truth isn’t dependent on a birth outcome. Rather, it gives permission for everything that shows up at a birth to be a tool for deeper awakening.

This program supported me to take the journey from fear to freedom. Embracing The BOLD METHOD for Birth gave me that foundation. I have been using these methods for over a year now and experiencing the joy in extending this invitation of empowerment to the pregnant women I teach as well as to those I witness and support as their doula.

Aimee Brill CD, PD, (DTI), LCCE is a certified doula, Lamaze certified childbirth educator and a BOLD METHOD certified birth facilitator in Syracuse, New York. She is also a doula mentor and trainer with Doula Trainings International (DTI). www.villagebirth.com  www.doulatrainingsinternational.com
.
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The BOLD Method for birth is opening up enrollment in our birth facilitator training this week ONLY and giving away free bonus ‘presents’ to anyone who enrolls. For more information on our bonuses go to:www.boldbirthmethod.com. To learn more about The BOLD Method and enroll to train with us go to:www.changethecultureofbirth.com. 

Monday, November 05, 2012

most of our labor issues are above our shoulders




The BOLD Method for birth is rocking childbirth in Atlanta! We have had moms come to our class and begin the healing from their previous births. And we have had first time moms come and find their way to a gentle birth.



I had a mom who was pregnant with her first baby attend the weekend Women’s Birth Circle another certified BOLD Method Birth Facilitator Charlotte Scott and I team teach. She shared how every female on her maternal side had birthed by cesarean; her grandmother, her mother, her sister and her cousin. She left the weekend not believing that was her fate. She moved from not trusting her body to believing that her body indeed rocked.



I was her doula for her birth. She had a prodromal start to her labor, but woke from a nap to be in active labor. She birthed with ease and gentleness vaginally. She broke the family legacy and began a new one for her daughter. She believed she could do it and said she felt empowered by the tools she left class with that weekend.



I had another mom who left our BOLD Method birth class with a mantra that her birth would be painful but gentle. I thought that was an odd mantra. She labored irregularly at home. I offered up the suggestion that she get in the tub with her partner and lower her sounds to deeper and lower ones. She soon found a rhythm in her labor. Although originally fighting a bit with the early contractions, she found peacefulness as she melted into her lover in the tub.

She decided she was ready to move to the hospital that was only minutes away and got out of the tub. But the moment she put her feet on the bathroom floor, she knew she was not going anywhere. She knelt down on one knee and reached between her legs as she gently pushed her son into her hands almost effortlessly. She was amazed that her son had come so quickly. She indeed had lived her mantra- painful but gentle.

That same weekend we taught our BOLD Method weekend intensive and a mom had attended who was having her second child. Her first one had been a difficult labor with tons of interventions. Her mantra after the weekend was 'easy and fast!' She began laboring with her second child and within four hours had her son in her arms. She called to let me know it had happened just as she had believed it would.

I do believe that most of our labor issues are above our shoulders. These women had work to do before they could have the births they desired. They were willing to do the work. Not all labors will unfold just as we had dreamed, but as The BOLD Method teaches pregnant women if we do not allow ourselves to begin to dream, that dream has no chance of becoming reality.

Often women are afraid to believe that if they believe it can become true it will. They are afraid of being let down. They are afraid of being disappointed. But just as Audre Lorde wrote

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

We are afraid our dreams will not come true or be possible. But when we fail to dream, we are unable to dream. The BOLD Method teaches pregnant women that it is better to dream.

I have been teaching childbirth education for over 17 years. I was certified with CAPPA and had done two levels of training with Birthing from Within. But the methods I had been teaching were lacking a few things that I did not realize were lacking until I took The BOLD method. I knew women needed to understand the power within them but I lacked how to actually get them to connect with that power. The BOLD Method showed me how. The power centers I learned about in The BOLD Method are the trigger to finding their power for so many women. 

I also knew that women were not taking full responsibility for their labors and births. I would hear them talk about their first births and see them shift the responsibility to others rather than seeing they had given away their power. And until a woman understands she gives her power away, she cannot fully understand how to maintain that power. This is another teaching pregnant women learn from being taught The BOLD Method. This alone will change birth within our culture! The victim or bobble head Barbie concept will be demolished and women will take back their births!

I feel I am making more of an impact teaching The BOLD method and the powerful decision making tools that this method encompasses more than any method I have taught in my 17 years of teaching. Thanks Karen for this method and the power it has given me to help women find their own power!

Teresa Howard, CLD, CLE (CAPPA), BOLD Method certified birth facilitator

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The BOLD Method for birth is celebrating our new name November 5-9th by opening up enrollment in our birth facilitator training this week ONLY and giving away free bonus ‘presents’ to anyone who enrolls. For more information on our bonuses go to: www.boldbirthmethod.com. To learn more about The BOLD Method and enroll to train with us go to: www.changethecultureofbirth.com.




Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why The Next Generation Isn’t Being Taught About Childbirth


Can you smell it?

I sure couldn’t

when I showed up

last Friday

for a keynote speech

in front of

reproductive rights and women studies professors.

In fact, I swore they’d

ALL

be with me on this.

That women’s bodies ROCK

and by extension that their bodies ROCK

when they give birth.

This was a conference on

Mothering & Reproductive Rights

for BOLDness sake.

I started off getting the profs to stand up and chant

MY BODY ROCKS.

Just like Amanda in my play, I tell them.

Then I shared

that actually most women giving birth

do not think their bodies rock.

Amanda doubted it too.

But then she remembered the

strong female role models before her

and deep in her soul she knew

MY BODY ROCKS

MY BODY ROCKS.

What if we planted seeds like this

in every college student?

Young women believing their body rock when they give birth

and young men growing up

to stare into their wives’ eyes and believe

her body rocks,

that she had an innate power to give birth,

birth isn’t an illness,

an emergency,

a joke.

WHAT IF…

I wondered with the profs for 30 minutes.

And when it was over this is what they said:

Why didn’t you write a play on high-risk women

Because it’s SO common.

Well, I said

Actually there are high-risk pregnancies

but in our culture many low risk pregnancies

are deemed high risk  for

RIDICULOUS

reasons.

You’re 35 years old?

High risk.

You’re baby is big?

High risk.

Come ON,

I told them.

WAKE UP.

But then I could see this professor

This woman

MOTHER

Was shaking from her soul.

I wondered.

Another professor spoke up

telling me while she appreciated the

MY BODY ROCKS

message

she didn’t appreciate misleading young women.

Most pregnancies are not My Body Rocks pregnancies,

she stated

With her feet firmly

gripping the hotel carpet.

In fact,

she went on,

When I gave birth I walked in low risk

and suddenly became high risk.

In fact,

her heart now

bleeding ruby red,

I was treated horribly,

I had to process that birth,

write about it in my journal

FOR TWO YEARS.

And

in fact,

my next birth was no better.

You’re right,

I said.

This is EXACTLY what is happening in birth today

which is why the

MY BODY ROCKS

message

must be heard.

This prof

This woman

MOTHER

was now shaking.

That’s when I got it.

One reason

so many professors of women’s issues

do not teach their students

the MY BODY ROCKS message

is

that

they’ve got

Birth Baggage.

Two words.

How can a professor be expected to

teach about childbirth today,

the facts that

YES

low risk women

are walking into hospitals and

alarmingly

becoming high risk,

and also

teach

the possibility,

the ecstasy

of birth

if they are so

loaded down with their

birth baggage?

How do we heal

a culture injured from their births

so they can help grow

a new culture

filled with

TRUST in birth?

Flying out of Toronto,

a rigamortis growl

captured my mind.


I made a prayer.



May all women today  

get the support

to

walk through their birth baggage.

Once birth baggage is

released

MY BODY ROCKS

births

are

possible.

We need the

next generation

to lead this shift,

but it’s up to

our generation

to plant the seeds

for the shift to happen.

You

IN?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Doing the Business of Birth the “New” Fashion Way



There’s a scent in the air lately.

Can you feel it?

I’m calling it

Authenti-tude.

Authentically YOU.

Yep, the

Big Bad Business model

is sinking.

Non-profits are turning for profit

because

SURPRISE

business can

DO GOOD.

How?

It starts with AUTHENTICITY.

There’s

no need to hide anymore.

You can play BIG

and be YOU

and MAKE MONEY

AND change the world.

Latham Thomas of

Mama Glow

is a gorgeous example of this.

Business is such a dirty word

for so many birth workers.

YUCK.

We say:

I want to hold the space for normal birth.

I want to educate women about birth choices.

I want to SERVE.

Great. I get it. So do I.

But it’s not about how we serve.

We get a GOLD STAR

for that.

It’s about the model

and mindset

we’re slaving to

at the moment

that’s not

SERVING US.

We’re entering a

NEW MODEL

of doing social change.

Not just in birth

but in the entire world.

We don’t have to be

alone

anymore

spinning our business wheels

or ignoring

our business self

or being aggressive

to each other.

There is

ENOUGH.

Enough to go around.

That’s the

new mantra

emerging.

Imagine

ENOUGH.

You are enough.

Your business has enough

money coming in.

But wait.

This isn’t all woo-woo.

Waiting and praying

for ENOUGH

isn’t enough.

Yes, mindset matters.

But you’ve got to learn tools

to jump into the

new paradigm of business.

If your business

or nonprofit

isn’t thriving

you’ve got to

change your strategy.

Replacing all the parts

won’t work if the

overall structure

isn’t solid.

I tried that

with BOLD.

Can you say spinning wheels?

It’s time

to

STOP

spinning our wheels

Birth Sisters.

It’s time to collaborate

with each other.

Not just with ONE.

I’m one.

There are MANY.

VALUE starts with each

birth worker

valuing themselves.

Then their business.

Then connecting with others

through this

prism of Authenti-tude.

You see,

when you know yourself

business and personal-wise

everything else flows.

Branding’s a no brainer.

Doors open.

Hearts open too.

Your heart

and the people you work with.

The Old Paradigm

is DYING.



It all starts next Weds.

Stephanie Dawn and I

are giving you

everything we got

Birth Goddesses.

We want you to

succeed.

We want you

to keep going out there and

changing the culture of birth.

We know

that's how you roll.

No, we’re not going to

do it for you.

We’re going to INSPIRE

you to

DO IT

for YOU.

That's right.

Authenti-tude.

I can smell it.


---

Leave a message and share with me and others how you're authenti-cating UP in your birth business (wow, a new word: authenti-cating!).

Want to join us for our Rock Your Birth Business course? Read all about it here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I'm the most successful poor person you know



Today I’m going to tell you a story.

A Writer,

Rave reviews,

50 emails per week

before everybody

had email addresses.

People

were hungry to do her play.

A play

from the mothers

to the people

asking them to

all rise for change.

PAY ATTENTION.

Mamas and Babies

need you.

Communities got BOLD,

changed laws,

said NO to consent

without their consent.

The Writer spent

hours and hours and hours

supporting the movement,

telling her kids “not now”

and her husband "later"

all for these people.

The Cause.

The Calling.

Her heart over-flowed with love

for the People.

Brown soiled love.

Muddy love.

I’m the most successful poor person

you know

she’d tell everyone.

She’d smile proudly.

They laughed.

Then one day the money was

truly gone.

I’m the most successful poor person

you know

The Writer would say

now followed by 

a nervous laugh.

I’m more about social change than money,

she told everyone.

I’m more about following my Calling

than money,

I’m more about

ANYTHING

than money.

I’m about

changing the culture of birth.

Soon after this

DECLARATION

as she repeated to a birth colleague

one day that

I’m the most successful poor person you know

three things happened:

she started to cry,

she had a major

PITY PARTY,

and then she looked in the help wanted ads.

Mission over.

Dream over.

Calling over.

And then what?

A mentor woke her

UP

while they ate an

omelet

on a sunny day.

The Writer left thinking,

I deserve money.

I CAN follow my Calling.

The mentor helped the Writer

Learn BUSINESS.

Think BUSINESS.

Be BUSINESS.

Hey - but isn’t BUSINESS soul-less?

the Writer asked

day after

freaking day.

The mentor showed her

business with heart.

LIGHT BULB.

The Writer

INVESTED

in a

BUSINESS course.

And survived.

She

begged and borrowed

To INVEST

in defining her core message

from an authentic place

with a woman

who understood

the Heroine’s Journey.

She

INVESTED

in working with a business coach

who happened to be

a super creative

Visionary

like herself.

She

INVESTED

more and more.

Time and money.

She applied what she learned.

Yes,

SHE WAS SCARED.

But pretty soon

she

changed her mantra.

I am a successful business woman

changing the world.

She began to follow her

CALLING

and make money.

Imagine that.

Harmony lit up her home,

her bounce returned,

and

one day

she realized

receiving business skills

STRENGTHENED

her mission.

Today she wants to

GIVE BACK.

Who is she?

She’s….

ME.

A Writer

A Teacher

A Visionary

Who wants to

GIVE BACK

the skills I learned

to pull me out of

‘poor birthworker

mode.’

I want

YOU

to get these skills

before

you sink into

deeper debt

over a Calling

you love like

Whipped Cream

on a sundae.

I want to help

YOU,

your Business,

watch you

make a plan

to live your Calling

and earn money

doing it.

I want you to join me in

in activating your

Full-Body-YUM

Mode

and lay the

poor birth worker

to rest.

Ready?

Next Wednesday September 19th

at 10am PST/1pm EST

Join me

and Stephanie Dawn

for a


to talk about this

taboo topic.

Let’s get naked together,

step into entrepreneurship

and birth work

without all the kicking

and screaming.

Let’s do this.

You can

for the call.

And tell others too.

Don't keep this a secret

anymore.

See you soon,

Right?