I am very grateful to have studied with a great teacher, David Nassim in the last year. David’s website Health Instinct has a wealth of articles that he has written, a shop where you can buy his books and also a list of links to some very interesting sites across the globe.
David has given me insight into an ancient Chinese shamanic horoscope which based on your year of birth determines your natural core energy. The system is described in the book “The Ki” by Takashi Yoshikawa, but David’s views differ in that he feels each person should embrace their energy’s characteristics and not look to change or alter those descriptions that might seem negative. We are what we are and it is better to accept this than live a life fighting and criticising ourselves.
Apart from each person having a core energy based on what year they are born, each person also has a number based on their birth month and from these two numbers, a third number is generated. So each person has three numbers, which gives them a core energy, a secondary energy and a third energy. In total, there are 81 number combinations and each of these combinations will present a certain number of characteristics, strengths and profiles.
As I look around the doula world, I often see misunderstandings, disagreements and very strong opinions of what a doula should be and should be doing. My last blog post, which talked about my personal choice not to be present at a free birth, evoked some very strong feelings and I had many private message of support but also some very strong message of disapproval. One doula told me in a private massage that my blog was “disrespectful and inflammatory” and she also said that I should “consider what kind of doulas are being born through your words”. I had to read my blog again to see what I had actually said as I felt I had been quite clear that I respect women’s choices and that this was my own personal choice, not a call for all doulas to stop being present at unassisted births.
So, I asked myself, why am I getting such contrasting messages? I started thinking about the core energies and somehow I felt it had something to do with this. A theory slowly started to emerge and I would like to share this with you.
Each of the nine different core energies are either yin or yang i.e. female or male energies. This is how Yin and Yang are explained on the web:
“Yin is traditionally the black half of the symbol. The literal meaning is "north side of the hill," the direction facing away from the sun and toward the shadows. It thus represents darkness, passivity, and reception rather than delivery. The moon is closely associated with yin energy, as are even numbers and activities undertaken at night (such as sleeping). It's also considered feminine energy, marked by intuition, sensitivity and a readiness to receive. Yin is a very quiet symbol, linked to thoughtfulness, resting and (in its darkest aspects) death. It holds sway over the end of the year--autumn and winter, when trees shed their leaves and prepare for a snow-bound sleep.
Yang constitutes the white half of the symbol; the term translates as "south side of the hill," facing the sun and the light. It is thus everything yin isn't: active, creative and extroverted. It holds positive energy bursting from all directions in potential rather than actual manifestation. It is associated with the sun and warmth, with odd numbers linked to its particular energies. Daytime activities fall into its purveyance: work, creation and engagement with the world. While yin is soft and passive, yang is hard and assertive, being associated with male energy. It holds sway over the beginning of the year, as new growth starts in the spring and flourishes during the warm summer months.
When taken apart, both yin and yang are unbalanced, incapable of standing upright and unable to flourish alone. When placed together, however, they attain balance and harmony. As one symbol diminishes, the other rises in prominence, only to give way to its counterpart in the fullness of time. The circle stresses the never-ending nature of this cycle, as well as the interdependence of two seemingly irreconcilable elements. Each must rely on the other to flourish, and each must accept the constant cycle of change that shifts their prominence back and forth. Thus, the yin/yang symbol constitutes the whole of creation. Strictly speaking, it's actually a sphere rather than a circle, encompassing all three dimensions and representing both the globe we live on and the greater universe which exists beyond”.
As doulas we all have a core energy that is either yin or yang which makes us either the female “healer” energy or the male “protector” energy and this emanates into how or what we believe our roles are as doulas. Neither of these perceived roles is right or wrong and they are both needed – just like the description above of the yin and yang symbol, we much rely on each other to flourish and we must accept and respect each doula’s interpretation of what her role is.
When I look around amongst my doula sisters, I see these different characteristics and I also see that each of us are enough as we are. Some women will need the healer doula whilst others will need the protector doula. Based on who we are, we will interpret what we read differently and what we hear doulas talk about and discuss. I’m hoping that we can all be open and understanding of our differences and just like we respect and support the choices women make that we doula for, we can respect and support each other and the choices doulas make too.
Kicki Hansard is a member of Doula UK, however any opinions expressed on this blog are personal views and not necessarily the view of Doula UK.