I look around the circle of woman sitting on the floor. A bakery owner, a young woman who will become a midwife, a mother of four, a nurse, a grandmother, a feminist, a massage therapist, a non-mom, every woman is different yet they’re all here for the same reason.
The stone has been passed to me and it’s my turn to share. “What will I take from this workshop?” I look down at my hands. The small stone is still warm from being held by the woman next to me, I play with it in my fingers. As the trainer’s assistant I have sat in this circle so many times in the last few years. Why do I keep coming back, what do I get out of this? I take a deep breath and close my eyes for a moment. I daydream and imagine the stone falling from my hand, the vision only lasted a second and I knew I had my answer.
“I took my doula training almost 7 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday, I sat in a circle like this and was filled with so many emotions: excitement, hope and determination.” I look around the circle and connect eyes with a few of the newly trained doulas. “I have attended a bunch of births and gotten to witness the amazing rite of passage, the beautiful transformation of a woman into a mother. I have gotten to see babies born into the arms of strong, confident mothers. I love it, I love everything about it.”
“It’s like taking a stone,” as I hold up the rose quartz in my hand, “and tossing it into water.” gently motioning as if to toss the stone to the middle of the circle. “You watch as the ripples move outward, reaching further and further.“ My hands move out imitating the movement of the water. “That’s what you’re all doing here, starting ripples.” Deep breath, don’t cry, don’t cry, “Maybe you’ll go home and start by telling your sisters or best friends about this training, about the amazing things you have learned about women.” I smile to myself because that‘s exactly what I had done years ago, “Eventually you will go to births and forever change the lives of the families you serve.” My thoughts flash to some of my favorite clients, the doulas that attended my births, my children, “Those of you who have children will raise them to not fear but honor this awesome process. Maybe some of your doula mamas will be inspired to someday take a training like this. Your ripples will grow and reach further than you ever imagined.” A few tears line my checks but I don’t wipe them away, I wear my stripes with pride.
“That’s what I’m taking from this workshop, that’s why I come year after year to help.” I shoot a smile to the trainer. “As a doula you get to help and witness woman become mothers, you get to watch babies being born, which is awesome and all but… I get to watch as you women, beautiful woman and mothers and grandmothers… I get to help and witness you become doulas. I watched this weekend as doulas were born.”