I think there comes a time in every person’s life when the age-old question starts to lurk in the back of their mind, ‘Who Am I?’ That nagging feeling that asks, now that I’m a parent, now that I have my dream job, now that I’m coming off of maternity leave, what defines me? Who am I becoming? Where am I going? IS THIS MY LIFE?
Some would call this a crisis of the soul. Some would call this an awakening. Some would call this just part of life’s journey. Well, this is where The WOMB is in its life – on a path that twists and turns and sees something beautiful around every corner. Sometimes that path is strewn with rocks and sometimes it is as smooth as baby’s bottom (I couldn’t resist). Either way, the journey has made us sit back and ponder, “Who is The WOMB?” and “Why WOMB?”. And here is what we came up with.
At its ROOTS, The WOMB grounds us. Its roots provide our foundation and nourish our vision and mission. They are our cause, our source and our origin of being. Today, these are our 5 core ROOTS:
1. LOVE & CONNECTION:
Love and connection are expressed in our relationships with our family, our team, our community, our earth and most importantly with ourselves. Love and connection nourishes, nurtures, and supports these relationships through compassion, communication, kindness, respect, inclusivity, synergy, faith and trust. As Brené Brown says in her book The Gifts of Imperfection, “Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.”
So find your connection at The WOMB, first with yourself through your yoga and meditation programs, counseling and healing services, then with your community in Emerging Mothers Groups, drop-in groups, fitness and workshops.
2. INSPIRATION, TRUTH & AUTHENTICITY:
Expressing and connecting to our individual nature and essence allows us to each grow, develop, learn and evolve into the people that INSPIRE our families, friends, community and especially our CHILDREN. With kindness and compassion, awareness, inclusivity, integrity and wisdom, we can inspire the next generations to be true to themselves too. This means being REAL. This means not only allowing ourselves to fail, but also accepting our failures as part of being human, and then evolving and learning from them. It means being courageous in times of transition (don’t we all know transition!), trying new things, being vulnerable and reaching out for support when needed. It means remembering that Facebook and Instagram are just “highlight reels” and that “sleeping through the night” often means different things to different people. It also means acknowledging that families come in different shapes, sizes and make ups, such as LGBTQ, surrogacy, adoption and mixed. So be courageous. Be your own kind of person, your own kind of parent, your own kind of beautiful. There’s lots of THEM but only one YOU. And what your family needs is YOU.
Connect to your own spirit in The WOMB’s yoga and meditation classes, understand your own individual expressions of being in Birthing from Within and HypnoBirthing® courses, gain wisdom in The WOMB Talks Pregnancy, Birth & Parenting workshops or just drop in for a tea. Oh! Maybe even a massage while The WOMB looks after your little one(s)!
3. GRATITUDE & GIVING BACK:
This one is big for us. The vision of The WOMB began with 2 women, but it has grown to encompass whole communities of love that have nourished us too! We are so grateful that you’ve not only given The WOMB your support, you have trusted us with the support of your families and referrals to your friends. You have also come together in times of need to support others in our community who are in of love and a helping hand. Because of your generosity and our desire to 'pay it forward', we’ve chosen to put together what we call our “Angel Fund”. It is a fund that sees the light in every darkness by supporting families with services that they couldn’t otherwise afford or access. It means being able to provide breastfeeding support to women in hospital ICUs, gathering resources for brave women in shelters who have left everything behind to escape an abusive situation, providing in-home counselling sessions through our Well-Mama Program with Counting Butterflies, and providing pelvic floor rehab to refugees without any means of payment. These are just a few examples of how The WOMB has helped in the past. But there is so much more we can do! Our founders are currently working with a group in Guatemala to open a home that would provide birth and postpartum support to women who have experienced rape and incest. Please contact us if you would like to support this WOMB initiative. More info is coming!
4. PRESERVING MOTHER EARTH:
Since I became a mother, it was as if a lion took over my psyche and changed the fire within me. I suddenly was protective with all my being. My children are my roots, my legacy, my life-giving aspect of nature and I was their sustainer of life. It’s marvelous to me that this is exactly how our earth must feel about us. She protects us by providing life-supporting air, nourishes us with water to hydrate and land upon which to sow our crops. Thus, at The WOMB we believe it is our sacred and divine duty to respect our mother earth, preserve her legacy, conserve her resources and keep it as clean as possible. We use hand towels at The WOMB, organic products whenever possible, cold water in our washing machines to save energy, recycle waste products and never forget to thank her loving and giving spirit. She in return provides us with health and nourishment!
5. LEARNING & EVOLVING:
This root very much ties into our deep belief that when you know more, you do better. We acknowledge that learning is a life long process. It means growing in awareness, taking the opportunities for education, developing intuition, living by our own core values, and listening to our inner wisdom. The opportunity to learn and evolve is everywhere. From moments of complete epic meltdowns in the arms of your doula, to laughter and hilarity in an Emerging Mothers Group. There may be moments of seeking your heart’s deepest questions in childbirth preparation classes or moments of pure evidence-based treatments with your health care practitioner. The WOMB believes in the evolution of the whole person, so find your learning opportunities in the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual support The WOMB lovingly provides to you and your family every day.
So WHY WOMB? Well because The WOMB believes in YOU and your full potential. The WOMB believes in your flaws and your strengths, and loves you for both. The WOMB believes that you can evolve, grow, develop and BE your own person – just as it continues to grow, develop, evolve and support its own roots. So I’ll see you soon, right? I’ll be the one with the tea in hand and the sign over our door that says, “Free Hugs”. Take me up on it. 😊
Angie Stenback is Co-Founder of The WOMB, a Birth and Postnatal Doula, Childbirth Educator, Pre- & Postnatal Fitness Trainer, mother to 4 amazing kids and wife. When not at The WOMB, she can be found most often in the hockey rinks, her "taxi" or the dance studio. She heeds her heart's call by practicing yoga, meditating, dancing or spending time amongst the trees on a hiking trek.