Updated: Oct 22, 2021
finding new beginnings in a festival of chaos and endings
greetings folks, and welcome to the hearth, a solace space that i'm creating as i slowly button up one phase of my life and move on to another. for the last decade, i've been engaged in birthwork--my time as a doula and as a certified professional midwife among the lakes of western maine and the mountains of northern new hampshire has taught me a great deal about what it means to be with people through the big transitions of life. it has also asked a great deal of me in terms of capacity, and i'm seeking some changes, including a (temporary?) move away from the constantly-on-call life and away from the adrenaline rush of primary midwifery. i need depth and solace and contemplation and connection and peace.
in a parallel professional vein, the school where i've essentially lived for the past decade, at first as a student and then as an instructor, administrator, and dean, has announced it's closure after 27 years of operation gathering and growing certified professional midwives. the full story of that ending is one for another day, but the essence of what i enjoy about teaching--witnessing (and hopefully facilitating) the evolution and growth of passionate humans--is not something i'm ready to give up, regardless of what happens to the institution that's employed me for an age.
for the past year and a half, in addition to my birth and teaching work, i've been enrolled at the chaplaincy institute of maine (chime) and have been training as an interfaith chaplain. as someone who is deeply spiritual but not at all religious, i'm drawn to interfaith chaplaincy because, although i lack a religious community or any compulsion to have one, i still crave spiritual development, reflection, and care. i also love being a grounded, contemplative presence for other people, especially when that presence is as a listener, not as a fixer, and i'm a firm believer in dialog across traditions. we are in the end, and despite of our dogmatic and practical differences, all just walking each other home.
“we are all just walking each other home.” ram dass
how to stay connected
if you would like to stay connected (please do!), you can create a profile at the top left of the menu bar and subscribe to the hearth chaplain blog. eventually there will be an email newsletter, courses, and other opportunities for community connection, but everything in its time, yes?
i'd also love to work with you one-on-one through chaplaincy services. if you're interested, be sure to check out my sliding scale services, and please reach out through the contact function with any questions that you have.
i'm taking June 2022-June 2023 off of primary midwifery, but if you're a hopeful or former/repeat midwifery client, never fear! i will still be offering doula services, with the exception of June-August 2022, and i'm also the assisting midwife for an amazing practice that i can refer you to. please don't hesitate to ask.
if you're a midwifery student or former advisee, i'm available to you as a chaplain, absolutely! i won't be advising academically or professionally, but i'm happy to listen to and hold space for your experiences precepting, difficult births, or path discernment. please don't hesitate to connect.
be well, keep growing, keep going.
abby hall luca
the hearth chaplain