Thursday, January 31, 2008

Two Years in the Making!

Its official!!! I received a call from the certification doula with DONA, and I am officially certified!!! It has been two long years, and lots of worry that it may never happen, but today is the day! I can not express in words just how happy I am right now. I had four goals to complete within three years, and one is now down. I am a planner, and an organizer (in my head) so when I can complete any project I feel so accomplished. The last words she said to me was "you will receive all your certification materials in four to six weeks, but as of today, you can put CD(DONA) behind your name". Let me tell you...those little letters couldn't mean more!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Poet Rising

The anchor of my past holds me down,
as the sun inside me tries to break through the clouds.

My hope candle is lit, as I look for peaceful shores,
only to feel swept away by a current too strong.
I am my own strength, and I know the hole I’ve crawled out of,
yet at times I crawl back to the beach or the table.

Too strong to admit my pain,
but too weak to face my realities.
I settle on mediocre feelings, because I won't drown in the pain.
Fulfillment I find in every outward bound.
I know that my soul needs the truth,
but my heart is not sound.

The knight I seek will sever the wound,
and heal my faith once again.

The Process

I got upset with something that happened at school today. It had to do with a parent and an email I received...the parent was obviously attacking me in the email. I go through a process when something like this happens. First I reread the email to make sure that it says what I think it says. Then I try and analyze the words, and figure out the emotions behind it. I tend to get lost in these thoughts where I can't seem to concentrate on anything else. When I can't find the rationale, I cry, write, and then work out. As you can guess, I am in the writing portion of the process.

I do not know why I take people's harshness so personal. I sometimes wonder if it is because of my perfectionist nature. I am already so hard on myself, that when anyone else is hard on me, it feels so overwhelming. Or maybe it is just because I am too sensitive, and I need to toughen up, and grow a thicker skin. I just try so hard to do my best at anything I do, and when someone feels I am lacking in an area, I take it to heart. I was so hurt by this parent, that I didn't want to respond right away. I really need to get the emotions part out so that I can think more clearly. I already thought I had responded appropriately, but it wasn't good enough.

I do what I am told when it comes to work, and now I feel like I am paying the piper. I am being ostracized because I did what was asked of me. The parent can't know all this, nor would they understand it...these are the things that go behind the scenes in a school.

Anyway, now that I have the writing portion of my process complete, I am going to work the hell out of my emotions.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Male Doula"

I received an email through my Richmond Doula network about a new movie that is being made starring Vince Vaughn. He is a comedy genius in my opinion, and I have liked pretty much every movie he has ever starred in. Well, evidently, if the rumor mill is true, Vince came up with the idea to star as a male doula in a comedy film! Can you believe it? The concept of a doula going so mainstream, and promoted by a male at that, is really surreal to me. I am so used to saying I am a doula, and then people saying..."a what?" I doubt that would be the case anymore if this movie is actually released nationwide.

I have no problems with a comedy that pokes fun at one of my passions. I just hope that this is done in a tasteful way. I think its great that doulas could get more press, but I would like for them to be represented well overall. Any thoughts???

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Chemistry of Anger

I am generally a very submissive person. I encompass a range of emotions, but one rarely ever surfaces, and that one is anger. Throughout my childhood, I had a father who could be very explosive. Sometimes you could predict when he would lose his temper, while other times it seemed to come out of the blue for very insignificant reasons. I spent many years walking on eggshells trying not to unleash the firestorm. As I got older, I gained a lot of experience dealing with other people's anger. Through the restaurant business, customer service at Kohls, and while teaching, one learns how to manage and diffuse situations. None of these situations really muddled my heart like those years with my father. He is a different man now, and does not have the same temper he once had. It could be attributed to him getting older, or the fact that I have been out of the house. :)

There was one point in my life when I felt like I was turning into him. I would anger very easily, and say things that I didn't mean. Once I recognized where I was heading, I did a 180, and headed in the other direction. I am now probably too submissive, and not assertive. Although I would like to have some of those characteristics, I would never want to be unable to control my temper. As many things in ones past influences the future, my attitude towards someone having a temper is no different, especially when they are close to me. I find myself backing off, and freezing up when confronted in a hostile manner. Most of the time it really isn't a big deal, but because of my past I just don't handle it well. As I approach people with patience I truly expect the same in return...even though all people are different. I am not the type of person that would ever do anything intentionally to hurt another person, and I would think that anyone that knows me would take that to heart under all circumstances.

I am who I am, and that goes for others as well. We all deal with situations in different ways, and I would never fault someone for dealing with something in a different way. I just know that my sensitive, yet strong heart, needs to be handled delicately.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

About it all...

On the way home from work, one of my favorite songs came on the radio. I started contemplating all my "power songs". For those of you that may not know my definition, power songs are the songs that you listen to when you need to clean the house, exercise, or get psyched to go out. I thought that I would write a blog about my songs and where they came from...

Then I got distracted...

There was a knock on my door, and I usually do not answer, not because I live by myself (although that is usually my excuse) but because I am a total sucker. Whether it is the kid who is always selling crap to stay off drugs or the people who are constantly trying to upgrade my windows, I always get drawn in and can't say no. Well, because of the unusual type of knock, and the fact there was actually a car in the driveway, I thought it was someone I knew. Well, low and behold, it was a big black man selling meat. :) Anyway, I got suckered again...even though I was proud of myself that I talked them down to a third of what they were asking. I am still sure I got ripped off. So, I have a freezer full of meat that I am not sure I can ever eat...steaks anyone???

Then I checked my email...

I finally got an email from my lawyer, and the first sentence in her email said "you are up for divorce this Saturday". Really? This Saturday? I knew it was in January, but the date really snuck up on me. As relieved as I am, I had a slight moment of panic. Not because I don't want a divorce, because trust me, I have never looked back. But, soon I will officially have the label...DIVORCED. Seems so much worse than separated like its my "scarlet letter". I am thoroughly happy to embark on my new life, and leave the old one behind, but sometimes words can be so powerful.

I guess this blog is just a little about everything since I just couldn't decide what to write about...but, on a brighter note, I guess I can begin planning my divorce party...make lemonade out of lemons.

Side note: Happy Birthday Martin Luther King Jr! Thank you for all the gifts you brought to this world.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Unexpected rewards

There are many people that feel blessed every day just because they were able to see the sun rise. Unfortunately, I have never been one of those people. I tend to get caught up in life, and sometimes forget its pure simplicity, and the beauty it brings. I logged on to write a post that was sparked by a "Charmed" episode I just watched while working out. It dealt with selfishness (can you believe that M. C.) and the thin line between not losing oneself and actually being selfish. I planned on writing about my own feelings of selfishness, and my constant battle to be fair, but not sacrifice myself in the process.

I decided to check my email before writing the post, and I received one from the client I had in August. We had lost touch, and I had sent her an email to reconnect and check on her. Her birth was a hard one, and not one aspect of her birth went the way she had envisioned. Throughout my doula training, they always told us that we were "the keepers of the birth memories". I really took that to heart, and tried to write birth stories for each of my clients that reflected only the wonderful aspects of their labor and birth. I never really knew whether or not I had succeeded in that goal until I read this part of her email:
"Oh yeah, I did get the birth story and it was absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for capturing those moments because they were all a blurrr to me. "

I immediately started crying, even from those few words. I have always felt amazing attending births and supporting mothers and fathers in this way. That is rewarding in and of itself. But, just like connecting with the child that you have been trying to reach, this was the confirmation that my heart needed. So, for as selfish as I may feel at times, I do know that some of what I do is solely for the love of others, and for that I am blessed.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

To Be or Not To Be

I recently had a conversation about personality types. I know that many people, through at least half of our lives, try to find out who we are. Some turn to psychics (RIP Betty), some turn to astrology, while others seek meaning through friends and family. I had a get together at my house a couple years back, and conversation turned to the Meyers Briggs personality test. I had never taken one before, and being the usual skeptic that I am, I questioned its authenticity. Evidently pretty much everyone at the party had taken the test, and raved at the results. They spoke of how "dead on" the results were, and how beneficial they might be when getting to know someone or trying to understand the way someone is. So, I caved and took the test. The results showed that I am an INFJ. For those that do not know this personality type, I recommend a google search. I too was impressed by the results. It didn't give me new-found clarity, but it did put some aspects of my personality into words. It is rather difficult to describe your personality... sometimes a plethora of non-descriptive adjectives just doesn't cut it.

I do believe that people's personalities change over time, but some core values always remain the same. We are who we are, and as life takes those famous twists and turns, how we handle each situation depends on the type of personality we have. I do not put all my eggs into the Meyers Briggs basket, but it is an actual online test that is not as pointless as some (ex. true love quizzes). :) Some of us will constantly examine and reexamine who we are throughout our lives. We know ourselves best, even when the occasional denial sets in. I have found that the most important aspect of soul searching is to always be true to yourself, and what you want projected to the world. If you are not projecting the person you want to be, then be or not to be your best self.