It was a cold and rainy morning in June when my husband dropped me at Sydney airport. And so, apart from leaving my family behind, I was looking forward to flying north for a month of Summer in the U.S.
First stop for a Becoming Us Seed Planting Workshop was in San Diego, with great thanks to Care Messer at the Birth Education Center. Care and I only connected very recently through our mutual friend Darren Mattock, but as soon as she heard about what I was bringing she was 100% on board. The doulas in Care’s care must be the best trained ones I have ever come across and it was a great pleasure to meet her dedicated team! Care generously opened up the training to others in the San Diego parenthood professional community and I was so grateful because my favourite workshops are ones where eveyone can meet up and cross-pollinate. It’s my experience that parents really benefit from supportive professional relationships in their community too.
My next stop, Los Angeles proved, surprisingly, to be more of a challenge (oh the irony, just like parenthood eh??). We were hosted in a beautiful space courtesy of Graceful Birth, but the logistics of travel times and distances in the city of Angels (and maybe that the busyillness is particularly bad there?) meant not many showed up for this one. Finally meeting the fabulous Kerry Tuschhoff, founder and CEO and Hypnobabies and her Hypnobabies Vice President Kimberly Gross along with a few other dedicated and passionate professionals who travelled great distance to be there more than made up for this disappointment. I am so grateful to you all!! It was also great to meet up with some very special friends there.
While in LA, I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in a new documentary being produced by Cristen Pascucci, founder of Birth Monopoly and meet with some of my other founder inspirations: Jen Kamel, founder of VBAC Facts and Dawn Thompson, founder of Improving Birth. We ended up spending more time together than we’d all bargained for as a stolen car ended up meaning a living room sleepover for a few of us!
My next stop, Denver, was memorable too. On the way to LAX I realised I hadn’t actually booked any accommodation for there, so was searching on Airbnb. I love historic homes (we don’t have a lot of those in Sydney), so I try to stay in one wherever possible and a Victorian house within walking distance from the zoo looked like a great option (I love walking as well). But here’s the thing: mice can walk too. And older homes tend to have more places to let them in. Now I realise why the bed was raised so high…
A huge thank you to Sarah Dominguez Murane from AlloTribe for hosting me and for all your support, despite not really knowing who I was or what I did. It was awesome to meet some members of your team and all the other brave professionals (who may or may not have known me/us either) but that were at least curious enough to make this event a success!
Chicago by comparison was pretty much SOLD OUT and a huge personal highlight for me. This was thanks to Nikki Lively and her team at The Family Institute at Northwestern University. Nikki and I had connected years before at the PSI conference in North Carolina in 2014 and was one of the first people who convinced me I needed to create a Becoming Us professional training. There will be more news coming from T.F.I. and Northwestern as they partner to conduct a feasibility study on our Becoming Us classes, so stay tuned for that!!!
Then it was on to my absolutest favouritest place in the world - NYC. Sadly I was only there for ONE. WHOLE. DAY, which was torturous for me. Because of the time crunch, I stayed on Roosevelt Island, an easy in and out from the airport and access to the Upper East Side where our NYC event was held with huge thanks to Paige Bellenbaum at the Motherhood Centre on Lexington Avenue (which is just down the road from one of my favouritest buildings in the world, the Chrysler building). I am so grateful to Paige and her partner Catherine Birndorf as we will be launching Becoming Us classes for NYC parents there soon. Soooo exciting!!!
Next it was on to Alpharetta, near Atlanta, Georgia for my very first international Keynote speech at the invitation of Jill Reiter, the new CEO of CAPPA, the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association. There I was fortunate to meet hundreds of professionals who are clearly passionate about their work and it was my absolute privilege to be able to support them with the becoming us information and how they can use it to make a big difference in the perinatal world. Oh, and did I mention I was their Keynote speaker !?!
Next on to Portland for a the Postpartum Support International conference where I was invited to do a 3 hour breakout session with the help of our awesome Becoming Us Mentor Barb Suarez. The PSI conferences feel like milestones to me. PSI North Carolina in 2014 was my first opportunity to present Becoming Us internationally and where seeds for our online training were planted when I started getting approached by professionals wanting to know more about this work.
What I love about the PSI conference is that it’s one of the few multidisciplinary conferences and the lineup tends to be a good mix of heady/research and heart based application. AND it’s a great way to catch up with so many of my lovely facebook friends :D.
Final stop, San Francisco. This city is becoming a favourite for me too. It’s walkable and on water. I’m looking forward to exploring more next time.
All in all, this trip was fabulous and I also learned some lessons. The biggest one was that I need to start marketing events sooner - I’ll be back in May/June/July next year - email me!!!
I also need to not rely on technology (I am SO sorry to anyone who couldn’t purchase tickets because of this!!!) and I need to pack a mask in my hand luggage so I don’t pick up a head cold on the way home, like I did from the guy in seat 48C behind me.
That aside, it was my first time flying with Qantas in a long time and gee, it was good. Reassuring safety record, good food and seats that recline just enough more. The pillows are PROPER pillows - great to shove in the angle between your back and the seat and enough to convince your body you’re actually lying down. Oh, and the blankets were proper too. Knitted ones. With blanket stitch on the edges. I appreciate details. Nice touch.
A huge THANK YOU to all the friends who hosted me along the way - I literally couldn’t have done it without you!! I especially appreciate my friend in Los Angeles, who helped me to “land” there before I embarked on a month of travelling.
THANK YOU also to every single professional who turned up at the Seed Planting Workshops. Now you know there is sanity, marriage/relationship - and sometimes even life-saving - work to be done. You also know how life-changing this Becoming Us work can be - AND how easy it is to do!
Your clients will thank you for attending too!!! Our next Seed Planting Workshops will be in Australia (YAY!), so please check here to save the date!