One of my sons once told me that Football is Life. I rolled my eyes as this was a kid who ate, drank, slept and dreamed football. I expected nothing less from a fanatic. BUT...then he set out to demonstrate to me exactly what he meant and by the end of our conversation, he had me convinced. Football was about physics. It was about math and science and team work and sportmanship and fitnnes and economics and gratitude and humility and celebration and victory and defeat. OK. OK. I got it. I was at least willing to concede that Football indeed is a good metaphor for Life.
And this got me thinking about how I live out, in my profession, another metaphor for life. Doula work. Doula work encompasses all the things that my son claims football is about. It really does. And even more. When my friend was looking for a service where someone will walk her through the process of finding and purchasing a new car, I quipped that she was looking for a Car Finding Doula. Ahmm...yah.
When you are trying to buy or sell a house you hire a Real Estate Agent, AKA- house finding doula. When my daughter was trying to decide on which method of birth control would be good for her, she wanted me to not only be her Mom but to be her Contraception doula. There are endless examples of how doula work (which is rooted in SUPPORT) plays out in life. If you are ever called on to listen, help, support, guide, usher, sheppard, nurture and provide information/clarity/insight- you are being a doula. This is why when I heard the notion of Full Spectrum Doula work, it made total sense to me. Being a doula is not only about supporting the birth process as it is most often known. People need doulas where birth is not joyous. In those tragedies when a baby is born still, when a pregnancy is being terminated, when a loved one passes away (death doula), In all the transitions of life there are doulas; the folks who are cleaning up after the funeral, they are doulas. The ones who walk your kids to school when you have the flu. Doula. The friend who talks you through how you Dad's cancer treatment will play out. Doula. Wedding planners are doulas. And if there aren't any there should be Divorce Doulas.
Our humanity can be partially defined by how we treat each other, how we mark big transitions and change, how we help when life is moving through stress and trauma. Doula support plays an intrinsic role inside that definition; not just at the birthing bed, but at the death bed, abortion clinic, new home, graveside and anywhere there are people in need. Doula work isn't just about life. Doua work IS life.