My partner and I hosted our own New Moon Circle on Wednesday, shout out to you Pisces mermaids out there! One of the intentions that I set was to be more authentic and braver in my work as a doula. A silly but necessary part of that is the promotion (ahem Instagram and bloggin’), but really it is the words that I put into the world about my work, my beliefs, who I am and that is important. As much as I want to just post cute pictures of babies and yummy postpartum dishes (which I definitely still will post some ;)) This is not the whole picture, there is so much to be said and IT IS NOT EASY.
So here I go. It’s International Women’s day. Pause. As much as I just want to be YAY WOMXN! And post a photo of me with a bunch of my gal pals, I know and am continuing to learn that it is not that simple. I read these beautiful words by Northern Oak Design and 100%, yes this is what it means to be a woman. I also know that I hold within me implicit biases, assumptions, and judgements that are neither in line with these words nor where I want to be and how I want to show up for all women, for all BIPOC, for people of abilities, for LGBTIQA folks, and the list goes on and on.
Last night a group of women and I committed to working through Layla F Saad’s workbook – Me and White Supremacy in the circle way, as she requires not recommends. Together we will unpack our own privilege, biases, judgments, assumption, internalized racism, systems of oppression, and things that I cannot put into words yet. I don’t know how much I will be sharing of this process on here, but I do feel like it’s really important to call in folks, on a day like today where we’re all like “YAY Women!” or a bit better “YAY Womxn!” to do the WORK of unpacking what that really means. Last night was the first time I really heard with my heart that phrase calling in. As a white, queer, cis, class-privileged woman, I’m calling myself in to do this never-ending work of rewiring our bodies away from these systems of oppression and please let’s hold each other accountable. It’s not easy. It’s messy and unending.
And finally, we read this quote to close out our circle that I want to share with you. The words came to me via many people practicing the same authenticity and bravery that I am striving towards. They are written by Alta Star found via the zine Completely and Without Pause put together for the Roots of Labor Birth Collective and Black Women Birthing Justice and by Jennie Goldfarb and Jen Shear and . You can buy it for yourself here to support this important, necessary work. Reparations.
“ Liberation requires us to become aware of and dismantle the inevitable ways systems of domination live in us. Freedom, the ongoing state achieved through liberation, requires this even more profoundly. Through releasing old habitual contractions and building new embodied competencies, reclaim our bodies, inhabiting our lives ever more fully and intentionally. As our experience of life is heightened and nourished by increased awareness and capacity to choose, rather than only react, we become more able to coordinate skillfully with others from a ground of authenticity, trust, and accountability.
To be clear, by practicing freedom I mean two things: first practicing to live and lead from a place of personal awareness, choice, courage, and integrity that is generally not encouraged by our social norms, with love and rigor; and second, practicing creating collective spaces that recognize and honor our interdependence and everyone’s value and dignity, even in conflict. We practice for the sake of our present realities and also prefiguratively, in preparation for the world we are trying to create.” – Alta Star