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October 2008 Newsletter
In this issue:
1) Amber’s interview on Orgasmic Birth on 20/20 this Friday.
2) Anniversary sale.
3) Call for links.
4) Beautiful poem
5) Tip of the month: Postpartum Sexuality.
6) Apprenticeship training update.
7) My schedule update.
8) My trip to Europe.
9) International version update.
10) Election sentiment
Hello Beautiful People!
Orgasmic Birth on 20/20 this Friday!
Well, it looks like we will have the program aired finally, but it’s on Halloween night! Hmm… So, if you would like to see the program which features Dr. Christiane Northrup, Ina May Gaskin, Amber and others talking about orgasmic birth, here is your call for action – set up the recording device.
It is an interesting coincidence about this timing. I came to America from Russia, to Los Angeles, in 1989 on Halloween night. So it will be my 19th anniversary. :) I was driven from the airport to the place that was hosting me on the corner of Ocean Blvd and Main in Santa Monica, which was the Halloween Central on that night. At that time I had no concept of Halloween, never heard of it, coming from Soviet Russia, from behind the Iron Curtain, so I pretty much went into shock- staring from the window of the passenger seat with my ‘square’ eyes on the crowds of witches, bloody extremities laying on sidewalks, people, dressed as penises and kitchen appliances, with blood dripping down their fangs… I guess, I fully recapitulated my birth trauma… I didn’t speak enough English to ask my burning question… well, enough to comprehend the answer.And I didn’t know how to drive a car to run away from it all. I really had to dig deep to assure my survival in this “Evil Empire.” For the first time in my life a thought crossed my mind that Russian media might have been telling the truth all these years about the US or about anything. Well, I settled with an explanation that I fell asleep on the plane and accidentally woke up in the wrong reality. So, I knew that I just needed to get really- really quiet and go back to sleep and find the right reality to wake up into. And I did, and in the morning everything was normal! So, I thought to myself: “Yep! I did it again! Landed on my feet! I am just magical that way!” And I loved myself even more. :)
So! I came a full circle! Only 19 years later. WOW! Happy anniversary!
For a week of Sunday through Sunday, October 26th – November 2, all DVDs are 40% off!!! Wholesale orders of 10 or more are 50% off. Stock up now; next sale will be next July.
3) I am a novice in the computer world. To begin with, I never even saw a computer until 10 years ago, never mind working with one. So many things are still a discovery to me, i.e.- I had a lesson in marketing and promotion the other day and got a notion that the more links we have, the better we can be recognized by the search engines. So this is a call for a links exchange! Let’s do it, people!
IMAGINE A WOMAN…
Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is a woman. A woman who honours her experience and tells her stories.Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.
Imagine a woman who believes she is good. A woman who trusts and respects herself. Who listens to her needs and desires, and meets them with tenderness and grace.
Imagine a woman who has acknowledged the past's influence on the present. A woman who has walked through her past. Who has healed into the present.
Imagine a woman who authors her own life. A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf. Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and to her wisest voice.
Imagine a woman who names her own gods. A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness. Who designs her own spirituality and allows it to inform her daily life.
Imagine a woman in love with her own body. A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is. Who celebrates her body and its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.
Imagine a woman who honours the face of the goddess in her changing face. A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom. Who refuses to use precious energy disguising the changes in her body and life.
Imagine a woman who values the women in her life. A woman who sits in circles of women. Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.
IMAGINE YOURSELF AS THIS WOMAN.
Taken from Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself, by Patricia Lynn Reilly, M. Div., (c) 1995
Tip of the month...
I, actually, have a few of them this time. First, here is a reader’s response to my previous ‘tip’:
In your last newsletter, your point number 10 (titled "Tip of the month") was a question about someone at risk for retinal detachment desiring an un-medicated and hopefully water birth. Please let her know that there is someone out there who has done it three times, once in water. I am at high risk for glaucoma and at least slight risk for retinal detachment. I have given birth thrice and my vision or eye function has not been effected. Giving birth has had no ill-effect. My retinas are fine, my eye pressure is fine. If you can, please let her know that it is possible and that a medicated birth or c/section do not need to occur. All you need is to feel safe and secure and powerful and to trust your body and your baby and everything will be just fine!
And here is another reader’s comment:
“We are offended that this newsletter has asked us to put our name on a document that would promote emergency contraception. This is indeed abortion and for a company to promote it, especially one called Birth into Being, saddens us deeply. The only way we come into our being are from those earliest moments of conception-please remove us from your mailing list.
The Gonnella Family”
And here is my response:
I am very sorry that my letter offended you! I'll remove your name from my list immediately. The reason I support this notion is the fact that out of 10,000 investigated most violent criminals, that are now serving life sentences in jail- 100% of them were unwanted babies. Dr. Stan Grof published his research in the 80's, there is an enormous body of evidence that when a baby was conceived and gestated in a hostile situation and a mother resents that baby throughout her pregnancy, that baby will, most likely, grow into an aggressive adult. Multiplying misery is not a very spiritual thing to do. Is it really that much better to send them to death row, after a long, meaningless, torturous life?
Of course, it doesn’t mean that every unwanted baby would become a criminal. I was an unwanted child, for example, and I didn’t become a serial killer. But the fact still remains: out of those who did become criminals, all of them were not wanted. When a mother resents her child, she can not provide quality parenting.”
Any more bright ideas?
And now – the proverbial ‘tip’.
I took one of your workshops with my partner. Months after, we had an amazing birth experience. Well, now we are at it again only 20 months later, we have another baby on the way. We've been thinking about you and your workshop and how we much we enjoyed it. That brings me to something I wanted to discuss with you.
I am a little concerned with the way things have been going this time around with the pregnancy. My wife seems to be a lot more sensitive these days, her emotions get triggered easily. I am very concerned how much I irritate her. Now we are getting very close to the birth and it is happening more often. If I attempt to inquire kindly about what she's feeling she shuts me out completely. So I just have been giving her plenty of space but lately when I do give her some space it seems she gets upset about that. How I can be most supportive in this situation? Thank you! LOVE and BLESSINGS, Anonymous”
Yes, that happens... she is simply exhausted - her body, her nervous system... might simply not be ready for a new baby and she is frustrated with herself - she knows she should be happy about this new one, but her body is freaking out...
So in terms of help, what she needs from you the most is not so much of emotional support, but actual physical help with the baby, with house tasks, to help her get enough of guilt-free sleep and time off - go for a walk or meditate or simply linger and do nothing. I am sure I don't need to go over nutrition with you - right? Is she getting enough supplements - vitamins and minerals? Her body is depleted.
Having a child is really a huge task. One of the reasons she pushes away your emotional support is because you are simply not equipped to understand what it feels like to have given birth. With all of the beautiful aspects of it, there is a flip side - the body also experiences the new baby as a pure boundary violation, as an intruder, an alien that came to take over the world. Most of the women go through a complete loss of identity when becoming a mother, never claiming again their own creative life force and living their dreams through their children. It happens when healthy boundaries were not established in childhood and how many people do we know who had an appropriate role model to have a confident sense of self and were taught the skill of maintaining self-respect?
With the first child, the end of the world as she knew it, was not so final for a woman,- she can bounce right back quite easily with enough support, as she stops nursing and gains her own boundaries again. When the second child arrives before she is ready to really desire it, she goes through a deep grieving, mostly unconsciously, because there is no socially-acceptable permission to know that it's OK to not be just happy, but acknowledge the complexity of that dynamic. She feels completely alone in that experience and doesn't know how to get unstuck in her resentment.
Dear man, when a woman is stuck in that mode of frustration and eternal loneliness, anything you do or say can and will be held against you. Unfortunately. That's why most of the couples don't go back to 'happy ever after' after having a child or two. Their sex life is over. She is not interested. Period. All she and the baby need is being supported and provided for, until she recovers completely. Her hormones are running in the maternal mode to produce milk. The sex-appeal chemistry in a woman's body does not co-exist with maternal chemistry, unless there is an established Tantric practice and love-making is taking a form of art. It's either one mode or the other. They take turns. And it's extremely annoying to a woman that her male partner is still full of sexual desires, that she is responsible for meeting his needs.
The good news is that you, guys, are not 'most of the couples'. Some women have enough spirit in them to recover sooner then the average and some couples have enough solid base of deep friendship, love, respect and sexual connection that only grows during this challenging time.
Bless your heart, you need to find the levels of patience you never knew you had. Well, both of you...
My warmest embrace,
To summarize this topic: preparing for postpartum sexual and emotional changes in the relationships is one of the most important aspects of preparation for birth. Otherwise, this beautifully born baby will be raised by two very frustrated parents who are not able to meet each other’s emotional needs.
Those needs will be very different: a woman will need safety and intimacy to feel loved, a man will still need sex to feel loved. She is constantly tired and needs lots of help, he can’t possibly relate to what’s going on in her body and still has all of his desires. A few couples have a strong enough foundation to survive with flying colors through this postpartum period without establishing some ill dynamics from which their marital life never recovers. And very few talk about it. Each couple struggles silently, thinking that they are the only ones with this problem. In my estimation 95% of couples have it and never return to passionate sex again.
Talk about it! Discuss ‘Plan B’.
Soon I will post on my site Amber’s interview on this topic. I recorded it last week, when she came to visit me. Also, on my DVD I talk about it quite a bit in the ‘director’s commentary” in ‘bonus features’.
And one more piece of FAQ:
I am getting ready to birth my baby. I would like to do this in Hawaii, in the ocean if that is a good place? Could you, please, offer me contacts for making this dream come true.
We already have flights for 3 months to Hawaii leaving on Thanksgiving day.
I understand you, it sounds so very tempting and romantic - to give birth with dolphins, but there is no place in Hawaii where I could recommend doing it. The only Hawaiian birth you see in my film is Amber's, she had it in a hot tub in her back yard. That was the only safe way for a waterbirth on the island. The ocean is too cold and rough, - for birth you need a very warm, clean, very private, safe place.
On top of it, it's a really bad idea to fly with the newborn back home. Airports are not suitable for babies. Plus, high altitude has high radiation from the sun that is harmful for newborns.
The best place to have your baby is right where you are, so there is no traveling involved afterwards.
The sea births in my film are in Russia. So far I did not find a good location in the US for dolphin births.
Sorry to disappoint you, but that is my best advice.
Apprenticeship training in January – 10 day intensive
It is coming up strong! At this point I have more requests then I can accept, but with all of those who actually confirmed, I still have 6 spaces available. So if you are considering, now will be the time. The group is gathering from all over the world, I am very excited. :) There is a lot of fun to be had.
7) Looking forward to my last birthshop in ’08 in San Rafael and then at the end of February off I go to New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and India.
8) Just returned from Europe, and it was a remarkable experience. I was deeply impressed with the Polish team.
Marek Kotas, kudos for organizing the whole trip! This man’s unprecedented commitment and deep understanding of the impact this work has on the environment, enabled him to accomplish a very difficult task of organizing a beautiful team of dedicated people. He saw my film a year ago and got inspired to organize in Warsaw a chain of events with my participation. For 16 days I had a marathon of presentations, meetings, interviews, screenings, classes… He volunteered a year of work to put it all together!
Anna Potkanska, my amazing hostess for 16 days! What a beautiful home I had in Poland! Thank you so much! She had her five children at home and about to have the 6th! The family made me feel like I was a part of it, more like one of the kids – I felt so cared for and included :)
Katarzyna Barschewska generously opened her architectural marvel of a house for 6 days of the workshop, elegantly hosting a large group of people. She also opened her heart wide to the new birthing paradigm and embraced her own soul’s renewal with amazing grace and power.
Preeti Agrawal, MD, organized a “Natural Woman” midwifery conference in Wroclaw (Oct. 25), where I had the honor of presenting. In an extremely medicalised environment of Poland she dared to voice her powerful opinion in favor of natural birth. She is now facing a trial by her medical community that wants to take away her medical license for this conference… I don’t believe for a second they will succeed.
She had brought natural birth advocates from many countries and together we had a strong case of presenting the pros and benefits. There were more than 500 people in attendance. And most of them had a very positive response. After my presentation, for a long time, I was surrounded by a thick ring of deeply touched crying with happy tears women.
My workshop in London was the most international group I’ve ever had! One couple flew from Spain, one woman came from France, one, from Ireland, one, from Netherlands… It was a melting pot. :) It was so easy to work with them, I didn’t even feel tired after the 2 day class, actually feel energized!
Anna Brunoro, the organizer of my London birthshop, also gracefully opened her heart and her home to me. Thank you so much, Anna!
London floored me… It’s unlike any other city! It’s so beautiful, so different, so majestic, so…..British! :) I had a few days before the class to be a tourist, took a boat tour on Themes, took a bus tour thru the city on top of a 2-story bus – did every corny touristy thing London had to offer! Gazed tirelessly at everything I learned in school about – Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Parliament, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace…
Then, after the workshop, Anouk, a home birth midwife and a gorgeous new mother of an 8 mo old girl, took me home for 4 days and showed me Greenwich where we stayed in the most amazing place of her family and the coastal town Brighton where she lives with her husband. I marveled at this woman’s beauty and strength, as I was absorbing England and English ways.
I have lots of pictures from this trip, you can view them as a slideshow by clicking here.
9) I was really hoping to return to California to see my international version ready to go to print, only to find out that my editor got side tracked and was not working on it at all… I was sooooooo disappointed! But, hopefully, now that he is back in business, it will go to print next week with English, of course, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, French and Italian.
I have also Romanian already translated but I could not find a Romanian woman to read the text. Hebrew translation was almost complete, but his computer crashed and he lost it all… A few Asian languages are still in works for a separate Asian edition. How exciting!!! I’ll keep you posted.
10) Please remember to vote, the hopes and stakes are high. I am voting for Obama of course, but with that in mind; if we are relying on change to come from the White House, we might not be able to recognize it when it comes. Our sense of well-being does not depend on what the government is doing— there will always be someone else to blame. If we want the change it would have to start with us. When people wake up, that's when change is possible. Hitler could have been a raving lunatic all he wants in a mental institution, but hundreds of thousands of German people supported him and that was his strength. Same here, Bush could have been war-crazy all he wants but it was millions of American people who obediently supported him, many sending their children to Iraq. Where I am from, I have seen it over and over again, where the best of the best were elected, only to be immediately corrupted by power. Living in Russia taught me to be self-reliant and not expect my problems to be solved by officials. We truly are the change we have been waiting for. It is ultimately up to us, no matter what the outcome of this election.
Well, here it is! Thank you for your time and attention! Till we meet again,
In Love and Service,
P.S.— For those of you have previously requiested to be removed from my mailing list, and are still receiving this message, I apologize profusely! My address book has a tricky memory and keeps the same addresses in many groups, so I did my best to remove you but it could have been hidden in some other place. So now you have your own button to unsubscribe, below...
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