Presenter Suzanne Arms

SuzanneArms_pic_575x575.jpgSuzanne Arms
Photojournalist, Author, Founder-Director of Birthing The Future®
www.birthingthefuture.org

I am a frequently inspired, sometimes vibrant, often courageous pioneer, visionary, teacher, spokesperson and activist who inspires, challenges and frequently instills confidence in others, in part because I share myself and my vulnerability deeply with others and listen deeply to them and their pain and yearning, and see the potential wholeness and greatness they carry. I am a 73-year- old woman of Irish Celtic and Russian Jewish origins who feels both.

I value and want to see the sacred feminine in all of life – including men – rise up and become the center of all societies. Yet I also have a very strong masculine side. I wasn’t going to say any of this, but it’s a deep part of who I am and will inform my presence at this amazing opportunity, this November retreat in Hawaii.

I envision a very different world from what we live in today – politically, socially, economically, spiritually. I am driven by a yearning to be part of genuine community, to have authentically heartful and compassionate relationships and for that reason I love to co-create and immerse myself in retreats for people like yourself who want to make a difference in the world and have been drawn to the mother-baby, to the start of families, and to the precious postpartum time and what I consider to be the sacred work of a post-partum doula. I believe I have a deep and ever-deepening understanding of childbearing and postpartum women, babies – starting before conception – and men, and the challenges folks face as parents in the increasingly isolating, speedy and lonely modern world.

What I will offer at this retreat:
I will offer a number of things, notably sharing my full self and being truly ‘present’ with you. I will lead a sacred circle. I’ll listen to your fears and self-doubts. I’ll teach you about the “primal period of human development”, the developing brain, the consciousness and vulnerability of babies and the mother-baby – as one biological system – and about attachment.

I will help you explore early trauma and trauma healing, the dynamics of the postpartum family in the context of modern medicalized birth and the highly-stressed, disconnecting and often lonely lives most post-partum parents live. I will address both what is possible and what is practical in terms of being a superb postpartum doula, someone who finds joy and fulfillment in your work and is grateful for what it teaches you. I will make myself available to you to help you along your healing journey, from any wounds and traumas that may have been a feature in your life, starting with your conception, as this has been my amazing journey.

I will do my best to take you into a journey of self-discovery and self-healing during our time together. I will be available for one-on-one conversations. I will lead some guided meditations and I will teach you some wonderful songs and chants that come from the start of the home birth and midwifery movement of the late 60s and early 1970s, of which I was a part – an author and photojournalist (and I hope to learn some others from you). And I will help you “see” your particular gifts, which often lie right alongside the fears and wounds you carry and may not yet have faced or fully addressed.

My latest project, called The Human Attachment Project, is a 6-part Master Class series on DVD, filmed with a live audience. If you want to get a taste of me on film, go to: www.birthingthefuture.org.

Beyond all my seriousness, I love to play, to dance, to sing. And I will endeavor to give you a sense of the Big Picture, and how birth and parenting directly connects to the critical issues we face today – from climate chaos, to overpopulation, from poverty to hunger, from white male supremacy to fundamentalist extremism and violence…and I’ll share my perspective on what gives me hope for the future of our species and this planet.

Professionally, I’m a photojournalist, author, co-founder of one of the first out-of-hospital birthing centers in the U.S. and of the 1st Resource Center for Pregnancy, Birth and New Parenting. I’m co-founder of aTLC (the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children – talc.org). Do read our manifesto and other papers), a founding member of The Coalition for Improving Maternity Practices (motherfriendly.org) and a member of APPPAH (The Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health – birthpsychology.com) a former nursery school and head start teacher, a mother and grandmother. I direct a nonprofit I founded in 2003 called Birthing The Future (BirthingTheFuture.org). I make films and have given talks, workshops and retreats on 5 continents.

I hope you’ll join with us, because it sure won’t be anything without you.

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