Driving to my postpartum client, listening to the Dearest Doula podcast, a new doula mentioned having feelings of imposter syndrome in her new practice. Imposter syndrome is an inability to recognize one’s own strengths and accomplishments, seeing oneself as a fraud. Apparently, there is a coined term for just about anything these days. Within my new passion-aligned practice, I too find myself in self doubt. In both herbalism and working as a doula, I am excitedly moving into the practical realm from the theoretical realm, but still feel very new and sometimes inept. My curiosity, education, and intention are SO strong, but sometimes I let the doubt take over.

I find myself asking the question, why would anyone want to work with a new doula over an experienced doula. I step back and try to tell myself, that it is because of who you are as person, your essence. Your body of experiences have shaped you and shown you how to be there for others. In this line of work, intuition is pivotal. The flow of our work is ever changing. It is as much about you as a person as it is not about you at all. As doulas, we are support servants. We adapt to situations. We are oceans, forests, and gardens. We ride the waves, follow the light, sow seeds, and do some light weeding along the way. It is not our birth, our baby, or our body. We are there.

Our hearts send more signals to our brain than our brains send to our hearts. When our hearts are closed off, our knowing is stifled. As for herbs that open the heart, Sarah Holmes says that American Ginseng is for healing a sense of lacking. It helps us to feel worthy of love. By way of herb serendipity, I had been gifted an essence of American Ginseng right before my departure from the Herb Pharm to assist coming transitions. It doesn’t feel like a coincidence that these two gems of herbal knowledge align into being exactly what I need.

Birth is the biggest transition, I can wrap my head around and it makes sense that one would feel unworthy in its presence. I even asked my 4 year old friend how she feels about the coming birth of her new cousin. “Nervous and excited,” she said. Could it be more of a universal feeling that we are tapping into here? Within birth, there’s death. Within excitement, there’s nervousness. Within unknowing, there is knowing.

I have become newly entranced by the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. (Have I mentioned I listen to alot of podcasts?) They end every episode by blessing one of the characters and the archetype they embody. Birth work is sacred work. I offer a blessing to all of the new doulas out there who have given themselves over to theory and are moving into the realm of practice. You are worthy. Take advantage of all learning opportunities that present themselves. Seek comfort in communities of birth workers. Keep offering families your very best.

Photo credit: Maliya Rubio-mills by way of the San Francisco Birth Center

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