Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An audio program is born ...

The labor was relatively enjoyable and easy, with few contractions, even while gestation took longer than expected! Today I'm delighted to announce the delivery of my 15 minute program - Enough to Love - which is ready to find a taker on the airwaves! yipee hooray! You should be able to listen to it here: http://soundcloud.com/yoga4kids/enough-to-love

It has been almost a full year since I started to pour through hours of audio from recorded conversations with over 150 woman across the country who are not having of children of their own. My hope is that this narrative will find its way onto a radio program and ultimately provide inspiration and support for other women who find themselves on (or have chosen) this road less traveled. We are currently among a growing percentage: one out of five 40-44 year old women in the US have not had children (according to the Pew Research Center) - but for some of us it can still feel like a lonely path. Hearing from all these women so uplifted and inspired me and I can truly say I am now able to accept and even embrace the fact that I will never be a mother!

If anyone has ideas about who or where or how to get this in the ears of someone from This American Life or Radio Lab or Soundprints or Living on the Edge or ... let me know!

This Thanksgiving I send special appreciation out to JACK VAD, who donated a ton of time and his incredible expertise to the finer details of sound editing, mastering. layering, tightening things up ... etc, not to mention coaching and an abiding belief in me and this project. What a gift he has been to me! And so many blessings and thanks to all of you, whose voices and contributions are the blood and bones of the project. THANK YOU!

Friday, September 10, 2010

harvest time

Yes indeed. Do you feel the change in the air? the balancing of light?
Time for fruition ...

As I pluck the delicious apples off my tree out back, receive the last offering of pole beans, tomatoes and greens, I'm accepting how, Just like the ripening of fruit, this project is taking time to ripen.

Still though, I'm getting closer to having a final audio program and it is very exciting.

I've sifted through the 28 hours of audio, grabbed the juiciest quotes, whittled them down and down again and am finding the narration to weave them together into a story. I thought this would be a medley of your voices with very little of my own, but have learned that my story is needed to weave them together, and there is a craft to that which I am in process with.

My friend Jack Vad, the sound engineer and producer for the San Francisco Symphony has been fathering the project along with me. We meet Sunday to work on mastering the volume, do more subtle editing than my final cut express program allows, and bring it closer to a program that I can post and pitch and hopefully find a taker for to air on public radio.

This may well be only another phase of the project. I still have so many women I haven't spoken with and want to. There are so many other directions I would like to go in: While I don't want to suggest that I think women without children need nurture and give their love to the earth and its other sentient beings (or ones already here) I feel strongly that the earth needs more love (not more people) and I do want to hear from and focus in on women who are consciously not having children for environmental reasons (Lisa Hymas writes frequent articles on this subject on GRIST - check it out!). I also want to open this up to men, because it is definitely a parenting issue, as much as a mothering issue. And I'd love to speak with more older women about life 10, or 20 or even 30 years later. As well as my younger sisters who are really looking at this for the first time.

I see a much more interactive website in my future with discussion topics and an interactive blog, as well as more travel and circles. Mostly though I look forward to sharing my fist baby - this audio piece.

Stay tuned and thank you so, for your stories and voices. I'm ever grateful.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

where are you offering your love?

In the spirit of inquiry and discussion and the heart of this project, I really want to know where you are giving your love in this world that so needs it. Is your heart open? What makes that happen? the crack, or the expansion?

Lay it on me, my heart is open to you!


and from HAFIZ

Even after all this time
The Sun
Never says
To the Earth
"you owe me!"

Look what happens to a love like that,
it lights
the WHOLE sky

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

is love enough?

if so, how do you know?

and when?

and how much?

and who?

do you have to create a being to know?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

We are everywhere

I've spent my free time this first part of 2010 listening to hours of conversation with women in the Bay area, Louisville, KY, Woodland Hills, Ca and up in Seattle, captured on my H2 zoomer, this past fall. Over 20 hours of dialog covering a range of topics around the subject of not having children - from our own mother messages, to when and how we knew this wasn't going to be our path, to what we are doing with our innate desire and need to be creative and share our love. I've whittled the content down to just under 2 hours and will have to half that again if I'm going to produce an hour long program for radio. Ultimately I want women who might feel isolated or alone on this path to be inspired by the richness of insight, to taste the appreciation of freedom these women have, and be supported by the undeniable camaraderie which so naturally presents itself in these circles.

I'm so grateful for the ways women (and some men) have already shown up for this project and the honesty and revealing and listening they have so generously shared. Over one hundred women have expressed interest in being interviewed and while I won't be able to speak with everyone, I do still want to hear from more women who are over 50 years old and were ambivalent about becoming a mother, or may have struggled with the outcome, (vs having always known she didn't want to have kids), and is now on the "other side" and content. I also may need a grant, or a grant writer, to help fund the final production which will likely require more technical skills than I have. I send great gratitude and appreciation to Kiz, who is teaching me about final cut express which enabled me to do the work I've been able to do so far.

I'm excited to pitch a 5-6 minute teaser of the program to This American Life sometime this spring and feel tremendous excitement and joy when I visualize sending this ripple out into the world. We are so lucky to be able to choose whether or not we want to procreate and it is so important to be conscious about that, either way.

Thank you everybody!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

circle time in seattle

The invitation to participate in this conversation keeps reaching farther out and in to women's hearts across the country. Right before Thanksgiving I sent an invitation to participate through Threshold Choir (thanks to Kate Munger) and heard back from about 40 women in response - from Ann Arbor, MI to British Columbia, Canada. I'm so encouraged by this phenomenon and my belief in the need for and benefits of this project grows with every contact and every circle. Speaking of which ...

Thank you Seattle AND many many thanks to you Melina for hosting!! I was immediately reminded of what a gift it is to give our full presence and listen to each other - this has been true everywhere, but especially so in Seattle. With a majority of the women in her 40s, we covered a span of almost 30 years (ages 36-62) and several countries of origin: S. Africa, Italy and Mexico, in addition to several different states in the US. One stand out for me in Seattle, was that these women had very clear ideas about how they are finding fulfillment in life and channeling their nurturing and love. Several work directly with women who are or want to be mothers; offering counsel and therapy to those who have lost babies, photographing women who are pregnant, coaching parents, or helping mothers reclaim their bodies and selves after giving birth and raising children by offering yoga retreats and personal practices. There was also a lot of interest in this topic from men, including partners of these women, and I was reminded again how this is as profound an inquiry and life determining decision for them too! It is a parenting issue as much as a mothering issue, and the generation just behind me, seems to be more open to the idea of not procreating and much less programed to think this is what we must do as women/people.

Upon listening to everyone's stories I began to see more connections between all the circles and the themes/chapters for the ultimate collection started to emerge. Now it is time for me to pour through the hours of content I've been gathering over the last few months and bring your voices together into an inviting, uplifting, and enriching audio program. I'll be spending January focused on this, in addition to my other work helping protect wetlands in the SF Bay Area, and will post progress reports as I go. Come February, I may need to augment what I've got in some follow up one-on-one interviews, and/or host another circle or two.

I'm excited and challenged by the work ahead, and look forward to the process of listening, learning, extracting and piecing this into a final product that is of benefit to many. May that ripple continue to extend out to all beings everywhere. May you find peace in the holidays ahead and creatively define what they mean to you and those you love.

with gratitude

Thursday, November 5, 2009

LA - or make that Woodland Hills - Ahhhhhh! thank you

OH my

Enough to Love (ETL) just gets better every time we gather. The circle on October 29 was INCREDIBLE! Thank you dear ones down south - you expanded the reach of dialog and fine tuned the inquiry. What amazing women you are - how inspiring and insightful and present and wise. I left beaming with affirmation and deeply touched by your authenticity, your confidence, your presence and your journeys. I love how you've prioritized the love you feel for your partners, how you've healed the wounds of your past and refused to perpetuate the cycle of pain, how you are raising consciousness in the lives of people you know and touch, and how you've boldly and uniquely moved in the direction of your dreams.

When I ask what it is you are doing with your love, if not giving it to a child you birth, you helped guide me in a more honest direction. Certainly I don't mean to imply that as women, we must give our love to something if not a child we bear. Yet, there is an energy we all have that longs to create and love ... to find meaning and use ... and it IS important to know what is happening to that, and to help give it expression. It isn't some obligation to be giving because we are women, but rather a necessity for our own fulfillment and satisfaction and well being. As a friend of mine said recently - "what do you need to believe to know that you are you." You all are leaders on the path of self acceptance and understanding. Because of you. I became more awake to the freshness of this opportunity, how new this choice, as a woman to procreate or not, and what a truly pioneering approach to being a woman on the planet it is.

I am so grateful to you and the ripple of support and empowerment you are sending out to and through me.


NEXT STOP: Seattle - December 13

the journey continues ... the garden is never finished

November 5, 2009