I was a pregnant mom who felt confident going into motherhood. I figured being a professional who was educated in infant mental health had to be decent preparation! Yet this time of my life had moments that took the wind out of my sails. I was over the moon excited and so joyful that this day had come. I was pregnant, we were going to have a baby! I was fortunate to have a smooth pregnancy, and a community I could ask questions to and feel support from. My partner and I prepared in how we knew to, talking and planning, taking the class our midwife provided, putting together our wishlist of baby items for the baby shower. Then the special day came that our sweet baby joined us and we got to cuddle together. In addition to figuring out the needs of a newborn, we were navigating our needs as parents of a newborn. A couple of months after our baby was born, my family had a quick transition as we moved out of state. I no longer had those dear friends close by who were mamas and who had supported me in ways I understood more once we were apart; and family was not nearby. There were difficult days and nights. How come the baby books and classes didn’t share the hard parts? The parts of how you could hold so much love and joy for your baby but feel so exhausted and depleted? How even though I had friends and family available there were days of feeling so lonely and afraid if I was doing enough for my baby, and was missing taking care of my needs?
Day by day I followed the ebb and flow as a more solid foundation was created. Yet it took until my 40s when I was introduced to energy practices, when I learned how to support myself on mind-body-spirit levels. I experienced a deep internal connectedness and began listening to my inner wisdom. By learning self-care tools I could then be there for my family so much more fully, while also being there for me. I experience being open to receive love and support, and recognize when I need to reach out to close supports or those in my community. Nowadays, riding the waves of life is manageable (not always easy or looking good, but manageable)! And I hold joy and pride in my heart as I reflect on one of my most deeply valued and honored roles in life, that of being a mother.
As the founder and practitioner of Ancient New Direction. I bring two decades of attachment specific training and experience working with women from pregnancy through postpartum.** My passion lies in supporting you to feel aligned and taken care of, so you can create healthy connections with your baby. Through the rich combination of qigong energy-body healing practices supporting overall health and well-being, combined with social-emotional attachment development knowledge; I provide holistic offerings that support you and your baby to have the best start together on this journey of life.
**While Debbie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Ancient New Direction is not therapy.
How Ancient New Direction was born
Ancient New Direction originated from my excitement and love for supporting ourselves as women and mothers to feel full and whole, and how we can welcome babies with open arms because we are being held ourselves through our own self-work and through the support of our community. We all deserve to have the gift of inner-connectedness and feeling held by a community of women during this transformational time of life.
The first time I fell in love with pregnancy was seeing this beautiful pregnant woman full of life and joy in a photo within my Our Bodies Ourselves textbook for my women’s study course as a freshman in college. I showed the picture to my roommate and said, “Isn’t she just glowing?!? How beautiful!!” From that moment I couldn’t wait to be pregnant! Years went by, and after earning my masters in social work I worked in community mental health where I lucked into trainings on infant mental health. My passion for pregnancy grew stronger, but this time it was from the angle of supporting relationships from a preventative standpoint to support healing of the parent and shifting trajectories to support healing from generations of trauma. The next leg of the journey was my formal introduction to the studies of Qigong. Here my passions grew stronger as I explored ways to bring these soulful and spiritual practices to women and families as they embark on this sacred time of life.
The story behind the name
I have been a long-time fan of John Gorka’s music, from listening to him on old mixed tapes, to getting to see him live in concert. His song Cypress Trees was written during the time when his wife was pregnant and they were preparing to become parents. There is a line in the song that resonated so deeply from the first time I heard it, ‘I feel lucky walking down this street in this ancient new direction.’ What a beautiful image! So true how this experience of pregnancy and preparing to be a parent is so new (whether the first or after multiple pregnancies) yet as ancient as anything can be. I knew I wanted Ancient New Direction to be the name for this amazing program, so I reached out to John Gorka’s agent who connected me with him to ask permission to use the phrase. To my delight, John agreed! It is wonderful to feel his support through his permission. Check out the link here of him singing this beautiful song, Cypress Trees