Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Coming Up For Air

I've been swimming lately. I try to get to the pool at least twice a week for laps. It feels good. I'm even considering doing a triathlon sometime in the next year. Do you know that feeling when your lungs are aching and you just barely break the surface in time to gulp in some oxygen before heading under again? That's my life right now. Hence the sparce posting these days.
This moment, sitting here now to get some words out, is one little gasp of air for me in what feels like a marathon swim.
Since I returned from DC I've begun work on a national campaign to raise awareness and promote advocacy for the Democratic Republic of Congo. It's just me and my friend in Portland. It feels like a massive undertaking that some days I'm not sure I'm capable of while I sit between piles of papers in front of my computer at my little desk in my bedroom. But most days I just feel a sense of compelling passion... a fire in my belly.
Speaking of belly. During this time of birthing in my life, I've also decided to pursue a doula practice. In my Pilates work I have developed a specialty for pre/post-natal work, so it is a nice combo of skills to be able to offer my clientele. Plus I am hoping that I can teach less and have more hours to work on the campaign, but still have a source of income that requires less regular time.
Since my return from Africa last year, I had been searching for a healing art to practice that could be more transferable to a variety of places in the world. Although in my Pilates work I do get the opportunity to be a healing presence, it is not a very transferable practice in poorer places. As a doula, perhaps I will have the opportunity to support women through childbirth throughout the world... or at least learn from other cultures birthing practices. At any rate it seems to fit my path in life... caring for women, being part of an ancient sisterhood of healers. It speaks to the part of me that needs that compassionate one-on-one human connection, especially while the rest of my time is spent working on wide-scale social change at an idealogical and political level.
Aside from this I'm still doing a lot of mentoring for the International Rescue Committee and Children of Promise, along with serving on the Women's Human Rights Action Team for Amnesty International. I have also taken on the role of Social Justice Coordinator at my church. Somehow in the midst of everything I am still managing to care for myself... I sense it is an imperative for what lies ahead. So I've set up a Rolfing (deep tissue work) appointment once a month, I have my first dental appointment in years, I'm starting to see a Naturopath for general care, and I just had my eyes examined. I've committed to maintaining a real work-free "Sabbath" practice one day a week. Another chance to come up for air.
So, if my posts are few and far between for awhile, you'll know why. I'll try to keep you posted on the development of the campaign. We are desperately seeking a professional web designer to help us develop our site (preferably donated), and we need help getting a database set up, too, if anybody knows somebody out there. I am looking into options for donated office space now. I will probably be heading to the Congo in the fall.
OK, that's it for now. Going back under....


Blogger Heidi Renee said...

whew! i got tired just reading everything, i can't imagine trying to keep up with it all! good on ya!

we'd love to hear how it's going even if it's only in bits and bites - keep us posted!

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Shirley said...

i found your blog through 'global girl' ezine....i LOVE your passion and vision!!!!

Doula is a GREAT idea! I had a dear friend act as doula during our's SO powerful!!!

you inspire action.

6:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear Tanya,
I am a friend of dear Idelette. I am living in Phuket and loved your blog. My sister who is a glass blower lives in Seattle with her husband. Just thought I would try and connect you two artists!

8:39 AM  
Blogger Hope said...

I would have benefited so much from having a doula when I was in those years. God bless you for being one.

10:01 PM  

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