What I love to do:
I love to work with people in a deep, skillful, sometimes silly as well as profound way. I practice
getting out of the way so as to allow couples, individuals and students to be the main player in their own story. In group settings, I love to guide the work so that everyone learns about themselves, making each interaction personal and profound. In my work, I offer my skills in service of what each person desires rather than arriving full of my own agenda. I will happily make a fool of myself or put my comfort aside in service of something higher for your best self. In fact, I can be downright playful in one moment and thoughtfully serious the next, responding to the need of the moment and person with whom I am working. For me, one of my favorite things is making personal exploration accessible, fun and safe. Without a “one-size-fits-all” approach, I support a wide range of diverse thinking about birth, relationship, and parenting. I strive to support you to find out what the best way is for you. Mentoring is what I love and do best—guiding and nurturing you to grow and learn where you most desire.
My training and experience:
Before and beyond all the training that has come from outside organizations, the deepest teachers have been and continue to be my family. My husband Brent and I have used our relationship as an opportunity for deep personal growth and development as well as a form of spiritual practice for more than twenty-three years. Together, we have two teenage boys rapidly growing into lovely young men. The process of building and nurturing a loving family has been my most challenging, rewarding, and joyful path.
My primary training in birth has been with Pam England, creator and author of Birthing From Within®. Over the greater part of a decade, I received extensive training in group facilitation, archetypes, guided visualizations and therapeutic approaches such as solution-focused questioning. I have been mentoring childbirth education classes since February 2002 and have since guided hundreds of parents (maybe more at this point!) along their journey into birth whether they were going there for the first, second or third time. In 2005, I became the first Certified Birthing From Within Mentor in Southern California and shortly thereafter held the newly created position Mentor Program Director for Birthing From Within for over three years. As both a Mentor Advisor and Senior Birthing From Within Facilitator, I went on to lead workshops for Birthing From Within all over the U.S., as well as in Canada and South Africa training other women and men to mentor new parents. In 2009, I relinquished my leadership roles at Birthing From Within to allow more time with my family and to further pursue my education in complementary fields and in 2016, I ended my professional association and certification with BFW.
Now, I dedicate the bulk of my professional time to my own workshops. I bring my enthusiastic passion for this deep work into my childbirth preparation workshops while also weaving in my own experiences as a mother, wife, prenatal yoga instructor, mythologist and birth attendant.
In 2016, I was awarded "Educator of the Year" by the Southern California Doula Association (DASC).
I am honored to be a presenter as part of DONA International's virtual conference 2017. My session is titled: "Control and Certainty in Childbirth: How These Cultural Ideals Work Against Parents and what Doulas Can Do to Help." I am also honored to be a presenter at the MANA Midwives Conference 2017 in November in Long Beach, CA. My session at MANACAM17 is "Being Solution Focused in a Problem-Focused World: Communication Skills to Build Bridges Rather than Walls."
I am deeply passionate about helping women and couples navigate their most challenging and
stressful life situations, to which I also bring a deep understanding of the masculine and feminine dynamic.I have studied with Michaela Boehm, Sofia Diaz, and David Deida as well as several other powerful teachers of this modality. Relationship work is one of my favorite areas of focus and some of the most rewarding work. My relationship with my husband and the numerous workshops we have taken together (both hits and flops) have added much to my understanding of what works for couples. I have assimilated many fascinating tools and deep caring into a powerful approach for helping couples fine tune their relationship instruments so that they sing!
I have also trained in council circle facilitation at theOjai Foundation and facilitated Mysteries classes at New Roads High School for a few years before starting my family. Council is still a process alive in my life as wife, mother, friend and workshop facilitator.
Ritual, Ceremony, and Celebration:
The thread that connects the professional, as well as personal paths in my life, is my passion and deep connection to ritual, ceremony, and celebration. From an early age, I created and facilitated unique and powerful moments for friends and family even before I knew them to be ceremony or ritual. I have always been drawn to find new ways to bring greater meaning and value to the events of life. This desire for meaning can be followed through my yoga teaching, childbirth mentoring, couples work, and ceremony facilitation.
Mythology/Psychology and Graduate School:
Passion for myth, story and ritual led me to advanced studies in mythology. Following this passion, I earned a master's degree in 2011 and my doctorate in 2015, in Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute. My dissertation was entitled "Forceps and Candles: Cultural Myths in American Childbirth."
I LOVE sharing and exploring stories! For me, stories are windows into the soul, guides to living life well, and gifts, that when opened, awaken us to parts of ourselves previously sleeping. To deepen and enrich my grasp of story symbolism as well as of storytelling, I have attended a Women Who Run With the Wolves facilitator training with the author, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, PhD.
I am a Yoga Works trained instructor who has been practicing and studying with teachers in India and the U.S. for over twenty years. I was the general manager at Yoga Works in Santa Monica from 1994 to 1998, during a formative time in the history of yoga in the U.S. and which gave me the opportunity to study with some of the very best yoga teachers in the world--both those on staff and those who came through our doors to lead workshops. Yoga is a personal as well as a professional passion for me. Yoga is not simply exercise but a profoundly deep inner process of self-reflection and personal inquiry. The physical postures of Hatha yoga offer a lens through which to see more clearly into the truth of who we are. Yoga continues to be a huge part of my personal practice path, as it has been since my first introduction in Mysore, India with K. Pattahbi Jois in 1993.
You can practice with me during your pregnancy by watching Shiva Rea's Prenatal Yoga video which I filmed while I was pregnant with my firstborn--now in high school. In that video, I model the sequence for mothers in their second trimester (yes, when Shiva suggests those in their second trimester follow Britta, that's me! I was pregnant with my first baby who is now seventeen!).
310-738-7390 Childbirth Classes in Topanga * Santa Monica * South Pasadena Embodica © 2013-2016 | All Rights Reserved
~Sean C., 2016
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