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.
Rebecca: I currently live in New Mexico but I grew up on the east coast of the United States, in New York and Connecticut.
CSWS: Do you have any daily self care practices that really serve you?
Rebecca: I have been doing at least 20 minutes of yoga daily, and it's been an incredible touchstone for inner listening and consistent movement in my life. I have never been able to create a daily movement practice until this year-- I always felt too overwhelmed which kept me from being in the present moment. Finally, I dropped all the high expectations and chose some free youtube videos and just made it to my mat everyday. Now it's something I really prioritize, and it's just not as hard as I thought it would be. It feeds me in so many ways; movement, detox, stillness, conscious breathing, and introspection. I also have a dinacharya practice of oral & nasal care and self massage with oil that gives me a sense of both clarity and protection.
CSWS: Who are some of your honored teachers along your learning journey of Ayurveda and postpartum care?
Rebecca: I must begin with my first doula mentor who I started working with in 2007, Sharon Laurie in Santa Fe, NM. She really opened the doors of intuitive postpartum caregiving to me. I have such gratitude for all of the wise, intuitive and sattvic teachers here at Center for Sacred Window, who have added such depth to my knowledge of postpartum care from the Ayurvedic lens. I've also had the honor to study at the Shakti School with Katie Silcox, Indu Arora, Mary Thompson, Tracee Stanley, Chrisandra Fox, Nidhi Pandya, and Myra Lewin, among many other amazing teachers! And finally, although I haven't had the opportunity to study in person with him, I have gained profound insight and understanding into Ayurveda through reading Dr. Vasant Lad's work.
CSWS: Can you tell us more about what inspired you to write this book?
Rebecca: I was inspired to write this book by the wisdom I have gained in my own journey as a two time NICU parent, doula, and postpartum and NICU nurse, I have experienced the world of navigating the NICU from many perspectives. While working as a NICU nurse, I was studying Ayurveda, learning about the sacred window, nervous system regulation, sustainable self care practices, and rituals to digest grief and center nourishment. It was clear to me that my next step was to try to transmit the knowledge I had gained to fellow NICU parents. When your baby is in the NICU, it's easy to go straight into survival mode, bypassing all self care, rejuvenative rest, and physical and emotional nourishment. I want to show parents there is another way-- you can still have a nourishing postpartum experience and begin to appropriately digest and learn from your grief in the midst of this experience.
CSWS: What can a new parent expect to find in this book that you think will be the most helpful postpartum?
Rebecca: This book begins with giving you a clear structure and layout of what you can expect in the NICU. I feel like understanding your environment and its parameters is critical to making your nervous system feel safe enough to begin to explore and digest intense emotions. I really go through the "need to know" aspects of the NICU environment and medical team before dropping into the vital emotional and physical self care that you can implement even in the NICU setting. It is my hope that the NICU specific suggestions for rest and nourishment shine through as the most helpful for postpartum parents.
CSWS: Is there advice from the book you resonate with the most or would be most helpful to a parent?
Rebecca: I think the advice I resonate with most from this book is that there is support available to you and that you are worthy, deserving, and entitled to this support! Being the parent of a hospitalized child is such an incredibly vulnerable position to be in. Now add in being freshly postpartum and it's quite like an open wound. And rather than tending to the utter vulnerability and sense of exposure, I think we tend to toughen up rather than soften in this position. It's understandable! I hope that in this book I offered many possibly unknown avenues for support that is built into the structure of the NICU. If you can meet that structure halfway by knowing that you are deserving, that it's not "too much to ask for" and that you're not "bothering anyone", there is a great deal of support available to you so that you may rest, process, and heal.
CSWS: Are you a mom? If so, how does being a mom impact you and the choices you make as an entrepreneur?
Rebecca: I am a mom; I have three kids. Being a mother, to me, involves a lot of mirroring. My kids reflect back to me the aspects of myself that I am proud of and ashamed of. These are the most raw and vulnerable relationships I have ever experienced. Because of this, I am very in tune with both my personal growth and how I am spending my energy. It makes me question what is sustainable for me as a working mom, and an entrepreneur. I can't just override my intuition or the feedback from my family, so it makes me examine where I am needed, how I show up, and that I must make that choice every day. These days I am choosing focus, clarity, ease and sustainability. It's a balancing act, but one I am so grateful to be in!