Here at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, we share voices from many perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the sacred weeks post birth, and the experience of humanity is experienced in countless ways. We learn by listening to one another and honoring our stories. The views and opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the mission, viewpoints or opinions of the Center for Sacred Window Studies.
Mother + Pearl is a mother/daughter owned business that has grown out of their passion for potion making and herbal wisdom.
As an Ayurvedic practitioner for over 15 years, and a postpartum doula trained in both Ayurvedic and Moroccan traditional wisdom, Laura brings her expertise to the crafting of these potions. Laura and her daughter Pearl, create Ayurvedic inspired potions for ritual and pleasure and to assist in finding healing and balance to celebrate the beauty within!
All potions are organically sourced and caringly handcrafted, made in small batches + inspired by the rhythms of nature.
I have been creating and exploring herbal potions since the early 1970’s when I first discovered ‘health food’ stores and the bulk herb section! My studies began by reading everything I could find and most importantly, trying out herbs one by one to taste and feel their effects. I was enchanted by the devas taught by Findhorn and extended my fascination by growing herbs myself. I have been influenced by countless herbalists both western and Ayurvedic. I believe the plant world has a treasure of wisdom and healing for those that take the time to pause and listen.
We believe in beauty. Pearl and I were making gifts one year and found the joy and creative flow in creating more ‘potions’ together.
Knowing that everything we made was edible and not fraught with ingredients that were unpronounceable-and trusting in the purity, transformed the work of self-care to the luxurious ritual of self-care. I believe that when we can apply this alchemy to one aspect of our lives, it begins to infuse every moment as a possibility to turn the habitual into ritual.
CSWS: Where do you live? Where did you grow up?
Laura: I live in Lawrence, Kansas. I grew up in Kansas City and Topeka. I have lived in Kansas most of my life but was born in Texas.
I am not a fan of the cold and I really hope to one day live in a place that is much warmer. One thing I do love about Kansas is that we have a very subtle beauty. You can find the mountains and oceans in the incredible skyscapes; sunrises and sunsets. Driving by the fields of wheat, you can witness the waves as the wind is blowing through. There is an abundance of prana in the Prairie.
CSWS: Tell us about your learning journey. Who are your teachers?
Laura: That has to start with spiritual awareness, and I would say my first teacher was Ram Dass. I first experienced listening to his lectures on a cassette tape that was barely audible in a small room at a drop-in center in Topeka Kansas.
In the early ’70s when I was 13 or 14, Ram Dass came to talk in Lawrence. He would come to KU [Kansas University] once a year for maybe two or three years in a row and my father would drive me to Lawrence to attend his talks. From there, I began to seek out more resources about Eastern philosophy.
In terms of Ayurveda, I was headed out the door on my way to my first trip to India, and I last minute grabbed this book, The Path of Practice. I found myself in Kerala, reading this book and smelling the scents, hearing the sounds, and with my feet in the soil of where it all originated.. When I came back to the states, I made a phone call and began my studies with Maya Tiwari at the Wise Earth School. I studied with her for over a decade and then I took a course with Dr. David Frawley. I returned to India a few times to an Ayurvedic conference in Rishikesh and kept continuing and absorbing as much as I could while also practicing.
I found that due to my Vata dominant nature and the fact that I had been studying the incredibly feminine model of learning that Maya teaches, I really needed to somehow organize it all, so I attended the California College of Ayurveda for its full practitioner program. I found it to be more of a linear masculine way of teaching. It really helped me be able to balance both the masculine and feminine; the Shiva and Shakti. I feel this has translated well into my practice.
I also kept flirting with Ysha Oakes’ program over the years. She passed before I was ready to attend. [This was prior to the Center for Sacred Window Studies School starting] I attended Ayurved Sadhana Ayurvedic Doula program with Dr. Vaidya. During that time I was lucky to be offered a spot in the first cohort of the new iteration of the Center for Sacred Window Studies Program.
In addition, I studied with Layla B in Morocco. Layla wanted to make sure people were still honoring these old traditions with the midwives still practicing there. I am so interested and so enamored with traditions of postpartum care because we have distanced ourselves ( in the US at least) from these bodies of wisdom for so long. I certainly had no care with any of my babies postpartum and I just know what a difference it would have made had I had a fraction of the support that Ayurvedic postpartum care provides.
CSWS: What inspired you to start making your beautiful products?
Laura: I’ve always been making potions. I started as an adolescent, making tea blends and then with my first pregnancy, I lived by the Hygieia: A Woman’s Herbal book and I’d make oils for perineum, teas, oil for stretch marks, etc.
My daughter and I made some potions together and then we started making more and gifting them to friends. We thought it would be a fun creative project to work together and turn IT into a business. My daughter’s name is Pearl, hence the name Mother + Pearl Potions. We started officially about three-four years ago. What I really wanted to do was to not simply choose herbs that were appropriate for particular doshas, but to make sure the body-mind-spirit was addressed. Adding to Ayurvedic herbalism we also use bhasmas and gemstones. I’m very drawn to them. I just love the rasa they create; the beauty of it all. Anything that adds more beauty will increase the ojas~, that juiciness within. . We infused the oil with rubies for Vata in our Prairie Gold Ritual Oil for the heating quality and infused Rose Quartz in the oils for Pitta cooling in our Rose Moon Ritual Oil and a stimulating Selenite infusion for Kapha in our Desert Star Ritual Oil. The oils are nourishing on so many levels.
CSWS: What’s the key ingredient in your creative process?
Laura: My creative process always comes from movement.
It’s always a dance, literally. Dance is my meditation. Dance is my practice. So pretty much everything creative comes from that space. I have been a 5Rhythms Movement Meditation teacher for over 20 years.
CSWS: What is your vision for the future of postpartum care?
Laura: I would really love to see it be the norm. The expected. The old saying, it takes a village to raise a child I think can be expanded to it takes a village (of sisters) to raise a Mama. In other countries where the traditions remain or are being restored, families and neighbors and friends participate.
After birth in those first 42 days, that Sacred Window is a gathering of sisters time, the new mama is taken care of. Can you imagine if that was our normal? The mother is cared for in this length of time. It is more than just one person can hold. I wish that every new mama could have a circle of support. Whether it’s a live birth or not, those that don’t get that live birth are often on their own and they also deserve to be held.