In the year since Doula Canada separated from the umbrella agency Healing Arts Learning Organization the organization has grown and grown. So on the anniversary of her becoming Director we sat Shaunacy down to answer some questions about just who she is and what she sees in the future for Doula Canada.
Who are you?
I am career doula mother of two, lover of concerts, and Director of Doula Canada. My journey into the doula world fell into place after a career as a graduate student student who felt the calling for supporting those in her community.
What do you love? How do you fill your days?
If I’m not answering the call to action from our passionate Doula Canada family you can find me sipping a cold cider by a camp fire, or playing baseball with my family in the backyard. I love 3 seasons of the outdoors (staring you down winter), and crave adventure – especially in tropical destinations with pacific sunsets.
What is your favourite movie:
Almost Famous “It’s alllll happening.”
What plays in your ear when you want to rock out? :
Anything loud and obnoxious (but most definitely NOT Nickleback).
Tell us about where you were before you became a Doula?:
12 fun years of University, from Canada to Scotland and back.
What drew you to birth work?
It can’t really be explained in words. I woke up one day and just thought “I want to do that.” So I did. There was a need in our community for doulas, and so I created the market. After the first couple of clients I was hooked, and have been working with between 36-60 clients a year since beginning. This year I am semi-retired and only taking 12 (ok, I have 14 booked).
What have you learned over the years in the business?
I have learned that collaboration is key, that you are only as successful as the sum of the parts that work with you. It can be difficult starting a business, operating a business, supporting a business, and staying passionate about your business all at the same time. Seek adventure and inspiration from those around you, those who make you want to be the best person you can be; for your community, and for yourself. There will also be others who seem more ahead or who seem to be copying everything you do. Sage advice I once received: “You can’t win a race if you are always looking behind you.”
Why Doula Canada?
Doula Canada is more than a training organization. It is a family. We are open to our students 24/7, in order to ensure they are feeling well supported and mentored in their journey. We understand what they are working towards, because we are living and breathing it every day. We are passionate about supporting our communities and recognize that this means developing doulas and programs that speak to the Canadian experience. Our team comes from a variety of educational, professional, and organizational backgrounds. We are a mosaic of learning, just like the depth and beauty of this great nation we call home.
What do you want students to walk away with from the organization?
I want our students to take away confidence. If we remove the term “doula” from the description of what we do, then what are we? Confident communicators. Our students leave our program feeling ready to meet, support, and herald the power of continuous support by highly trained professional support persons. In short, when you become a Doula Canada student you immediate learn the affirmation “I’m going to effing kickass at this doula thing!” Why can our students say that? Because we set them up to succeed in their respective communities.
What inspires you?
People. Our journeys are so complex and interwoven with vulnerability and wonder. When I see the joy a person has after they succeed it gives me inspiration to move forward. When I see the vulnerability that each person possesses it reminds me that we are all similar in so many ways, and it inspires me to stay true to my passion and my purpose. Life is full and every day is an inspiration is more ways than one.
What do you see for the future of Doula Canada?
Doula Canada has a bright future because of the hundreds of individuals who create its personality and its focus. We will be aiming to provide further learning opportunities, both within Canada and abroad. I am also currently working on some fun events for our current student body and alumni, so that we can come together as a strong and vibrant organization at least a few times a year. We have quadrupled in size this past year and this train is not about to stop moving down the tracks anytime soon.