Inclusivity and Authenticity

I've been on an intense spiritual journey this year and I've been blessed with a tribe of women and a family who have supported and guided me through an amazing time of awakening and growth. It's a journey that I would bless upon all humans in their own way, though I know not all are interested.

It is a journey that has empowered me to birth Sacred Rhythms enabling me to fulfill my dharma in the world of birth: as a birth doula, a prenatal yoga and postpartum yoga teacher, and to provide all of the other variety of services that speak to me and my tribe.

The journey took me from the arms of one angel (Audrey Stephens) to another (Sandra Nishihata). From Sacred Space, to the wide open world!

On the way, I've learned a few things, as you would hope.

Exclusivity is isolating and lonely

I understand that my way of seeing the world is completely unique. As I've said before, I belong to a tribe, a community, a circle who share many of my experiences and belief systems. It is a community of women who birth without drugs, with trust and in their own homes. It is a community of women who believe birth is sacred, spiritual and yet natural and normal. In this community I can truly be myself and be vulnerable enough to express my deepest fears, ideas and experiences. This exclusive space is vital for my own growth.

But when it's time to do the work, the healing, facilitating and general consciousness-shifting, one has to leave that cozy womb and face the bright light of the world.

It is possible to be inclusive of all choices and belief-systems in birth work, and to support all choices of birthing, being and mothering. Exclusivity is isolating from potential friends and clients, from other mothers and other ways of thinking. Spiritual high-mindedness is no better than holier-than-thou religiosity.

Inclusivity and authenticity will draw us closer together

Just as being in Sacred Space with community allows us to grow, allowing each individual to express their sacred OR mundane needs, desires and fears, without judgement will allow women to choose best for themselves. This is what it means to be a birth doula: to create a space where a birthing woman can be free of judgement and allowed to do and be exactly as she needs in the time of labor and birth. Practice always helps because we often need help just being comfortable with ourselves. We need practice seeing ourselves. We need practice trusting. Even when we choose different experiences or hold different belief systems, when we share moments of intensity, change or birth, we draw closer together. When we ARE together (as in, just being in one another's lives) we more easily come together.

Opening to the Wider World

Collaboration is one of the major themes of this new century. We share ideas, we share talents, we share the work and we share the abundance. Collaboration requires that are strike a balance between exclusivity and inclusivity, finding that perfect fit. That perfect fit of collaborators is like the tide that raises all boats. Our work together allows us to share the load and benefit from eachother's work.

My new collaboration is with Sandra Nishihata and the GreensboroDoula agency. Starting November 1, I will be leading Prenatal Yoga, Postpartum Yoga, and Mindful Pregnancy Meditation classes 5 days per week! Together with the other doulas, childbirth educators and instructors, we are a one-stop-shop for all prenatal and postpartum needs. The beauty of this relationship is that I can offer these services to you as Dawn Leonard, prenatal yoga instructor and doula, whether I represent Sacred Rhythms or GreensboroDoula. This is a space free of judgement and supportive of your journey to birth and motherhood.

Be sure to check out my list of classes and my weekly class schedule, and check Facebook for cancellations or changes.

My goal is still to create a community of women and mothers who are educated about birth, feel comfortable and confident in their bodies, and have a beautiful diversity of experiences to share with one another. Maybe you will find your tribe right here.

Dawn Leonard

Dawn Leonard Design, Greensboro, NC, USA