Becoming a mother opened my heart
I am grateful that my journey as a mother and as a mindful mover brings me continuous learning and connection in community. I have witnessed profound benefits for myself and others with the gentle, engaged, and lively approaches of somatic therapy. I became a therapist out of my desire to make this holistic work available to mothers and little ones.
I watched my newborn daughter curl in and out, passionately replaying her birth, and sweated through our challenges of breastfeeding. I wondered at the capacities of infants and mothers to fulfill themselves in responsive, natural activity. My first teaching and curriculum was conceived along with my son. I taught my prenatal class while pregnant and began offering somatic bodywork to childbearing women, after I realized how much somatic awareness, movement, and release had helped me in these stages of mothering.
Join in joyful exertion
When I once again jumped out of the nest to offer a developmental playgroup for mothers and babies – MamaBebe was born.
In the playgroup, I witnessed the joyful exertion of the babies finding themselves in their surroundings and with each other, and I learned with women tending and befriending together. I began to wonder about how developmental movement forms a child’s emerging mind. With these questions about how natural development unfolds came questions about how to support children with delay, using the power of movement. Working with infants and young children as a therapist knit together the many strands of my training and experience. Early on, friends asked me to attend their births where I have joined the quest to help birth be safer and easier for women and babies.
The core of my practice is offering support to women, mothers, babies and young children. Each mother I meet teaches me how her steadfast devotion upholds and grounds her child. Each birth I attended informed my understanding of all the other children and mothers that come to me. Each child with learning challenges has shed light on the essential activities of development. I am grateful to offer these somatic body-mind practices that awaken awareness and connection. In these exchanges we are givers and receivers in life loving life.
Gratitude for my lineages
I am grateful to the lineages that formed me and awakened so much inner resource for birthing and mothering, both for my children and in my practice. I learned somatic movement from Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen and the many teachers trained in her lineage, from Hakomi psychotherapy principles, and many sources of yoga, qi gong, vocal movement, dance, improvisation, and movement release. The somatic approach to development, recognizing that early movement is intrinsic to shaping the mind, completely turned my understanding of body and mind upside down.
My training in mindfulness practices comes from the vast and freshly alive traditions of Vippasana, Tibetan and Zen dharma that recall my inquisitive mind to serve the heart.
I live in gratitude for my mother and father, sibs, and all our ancestors who carried forward devotion to each other, children, and in kinship with the whole human family. I work in gratitude to the committed caregivers, doulas, midwives, and teachers who have created a flourishing community of support for health, healing, and birth here.
My practice incorporates all I have learned from nature, dancing, swimming, biking and walking on our precious, beautiful earth, and from mothering my beloved children, Erin and Lee, and being the wife of my ever-patient husband and virtuoso percussionist, Bruce Wintervold. I have been blessed with many generous and insightful teachers.