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22 Apr 2013

Standing at the Threshold with Amy Wright Glenn

By The DTI team

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Last year, I decided to write about what matters most to me. I wrote about my son. I wrote about falling in love with my husband. I wrote about holding space for the dying as a hospital chaplain.

I wrote about my work as a doula.

Like you, I’m deeply drawn to the doula path. I love offering my time to women as they open their hearts, souls, and bodies in labor. Like you, I have stayed up for hours on end holding a laboring mom, loving a laboring mom, and making space for a laboring mom to find her strength.

I’ve been with people as they die. I’ve held their hands. I’ve grieved with families. I’ve also stood in awe as little ones enter our world. I’ve held new babies. I’ve celebrated with families. I marvel at these thresholds. I stand in humble awe at these doorways of life.

Doulas stand at thresholds.

We hold the hands of women as they open to life. We hold the hands of women as the next generation enters our world.

Doulas hold sacred space.

Even if we approach our work outside of any spiritual tradition, we stand at a threshold that is “sacred” in the sense that it is outside of our regular experience of time. We enter Laborland with our clients. We watch labor transform women and we emerge transformed.

Writing about my work as a doula transformed me. I made links between my work as a doula and my life as a mother. I saw connections between teaching yoga and life as a doula that inspired me. In writing about dying, I came to see more clearly what it means to live. In writing about being a doula, I could clearly and fully see how vital our work in this world is.

Truly.

Our work as doulas takes us to the depths of love, strength, and sacrifice.

I humbly offer my book “Birth, Breath, and Death: Meditations on Motherhood, Chaplaincy, and Life as a Doula” as a gift to you, my sister doulas.

Take the time to reflect upon the power of thresholds and the power of the path that has chosen you. May my insights inspire. May my stories offer you courage and clarity as you stand at the thresholds of life with your heart wide open.

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Amy Wright Glenn earned her MA in Religion and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She taught in The Religion and Philosophy Department at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey for over a decade. While at Lawrenceville, Amy was the recipient of the Dunbar Abston Jr. Chair for Teaching Excellence. She is a Kripalu Yoga teacher, a DONA certified birth doula, and a hospital chaplain. Her work has appeared in International Doula.

Birth, Breath, and Death: Meditations on Motherhood, Chaplaincy, and Life as a Doula is her first book.

 

 

 

 

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