Imagine each of our lives was a flower. Now, imagine each petal that unfolds when the flower blooms represent the choices we make in our hearts along the path of life. The thoughts we choose to think. The emotions we allow and release. The actions we take, or the stillness we embrace. Life itself is exponential growth. From cell division to the reproduction of plants and animals, we are destined to expand in every way.
Our lives are the blossoming of a flower with trillions of petals. The intention we put into one petal informs the next. Opening us up to greater and greater capacities for love, light and healing. Or, alternatively exposing us towards escalating hell realm possibilities. This is true of our lives as individuals and this is true of our experience as a collective in the way that we affect each other. Humanity is like it’s own version of a field of wildflowers. Our individual capacity to open effects those around us. This is the reason why every choice we make matters.
This concept is otherwise known as The Butterfly Effect. Coined in 1972 by meteorologist Edward Lorenz. He tied this idea to chaos theory and was pointing to the relationship of all things great and small. Such that something as small as a butterfly flapping its wings on one side of the globe could lead to a hurricane on the other. This is the reason why everything we do or don’t do matters. Even the innermost shift that no one from the outside can see, can have a tremendous impact on our world. If each of us could really grasp this and take it to heart, we would understand the immensity of our own power. When we collectively wake up to this truth and claim it as our birthright, we will heal the planet and humanity will step into it’s divinity.
The following is a skimming of the surface of the very complex story that has been the last twenty years of my life. Some of the events and choices that opened each petal in their perfection were of the light. Some unfolded greater traumas. This is the life path that led me to wake up to my own personal power as I receive it with gratitude from the Source of All.
When I was just beginning my adult life in this world, I was blessed with a beautiful and fiery red-headed baby boy who was born in the school bus I was living in at the time. I named him Mountain. Obtaining an education as a single mother is something I never could have prepared myself for. Nevertheless, my tenacious nature carried me through. My journey has come full circle from 2002 to 2020.
Evergreen State College was my introduction to the world of higher education. The two short years I attended back in 2002 had a lasting effect on not only my own life but the people whose lives I have touched along my path. I took a class called, “The Politics of Prison” and applied the knowledge gained in the class to my strong interest in women's rights in childbirth.
I created a non-profit organization called, “The Birth Attendants” which served incarcerated pregnant women at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Gig Harbor. First, I created a pregnancy support group within the prison walls. Then established a doula program in which we attended and supported these women during their hospital births. These laboring mothers were mistreated and often even chained to the bed. ( You can watch a short animation film which was created later all about, “The Birth Attendants” project here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1Ngtl_x0go ).
I left Evergreen while The Birth Attendants was still young to follow my interest in birth. It was then that I attended a midwifery school in Portland, Oregon. The Birth Attendants program is still serving incarcerated pregnant women today.
After four more years of education at Birthingway College of Midwifery, and completing an internship, I earned my Bachelor of Science in Midwifery Degree and became a licensed midwife. I traveled to a remote town in the mountains near Cuernavaca, Mexico and studied with a traditional medicine woman and midwife. After that, I worked for eight years at a birth center in Portland, Oregon.
Behind closed doors, much of my love life and private life was traumatizing. In the midst of my schooling and training, I had many destructive romantic relationships in an attempt to fill the void of masculine love in my life. Finally, I met someone I wanted to create a life with and I had another beautiful baby boy. He was born at home in water in Portland, Oregon in 2011 on a bluff overlooking the Willamette River.
I ran my own private midwifery practice, “Blossom Midwifery”, out of an office in our home. I was the breadwinner, the mother, the book keeper, and the midwife. I worked hard every day and all through the night many times over. While some elements between my new partner and I were in alignment, our alchemy was short lived. Realizing our incompatibility, we dissolved the relationship between us, two and a half years after the birth of our son. I am proud to say that we maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship to this day.
In total, I have attended close to four hundred natural births, most of which were water births. To witness and guide at the pivotal moment of birth and see a woman’s transformation into motherhood has been a spiritual gift beyond measure. I have resuscitated babies who struggled to enter this world safely. I have wept countless tears for the ones I couldn’t save. I have been steeped in the gnarly political climate of women-rights in childbirth and have experienced first hand the modern-day witch hunts which silently wreak havoc on personal freedom and the right to a non-violent birth experience.
I have experienced the way a group of persecuted people often turns against each other, believing their ability to stay safe lays in finding fault and placing blame among themselves. Modern-day witch hunts are akin to modern-day slavery. The way in which the prison-industrial complex targets people of color and socio-economically challenged demographics is merely one grotesque tendril of a very large web of hidden fascism.
It was during my education at Evergreen in my Politics of Prison class that I first began to understand the way in which these oppressions covertly underpin our society. The time I spent as a midwife gave me first-hand experience of this phenomenon. I have had to face the personal trauma of these experiences and learn how to transmute them into the strong character which I have become.
I have lived through years of sleep deprivation and devotion to protecting a mother’s right to give birth any way she chooses. A guardian ever in awe, I stood in the wake of the power and wisdom their bodies wielded. Quietly, I greeted new life into this world with the tenderness of the one who mothers the mother.
However, after this outpouring of loving service, I came to an impasse. The politics of midwifery became too great a burden upon my psyche, my family, and my health. The need for tending to my own personal healing finally became loud enough that I had no choice but to answer the call. I walked away from midwifery having made a lasting impact on the many families I have served. And with a heavy heart to heal.
In 2016, I relinquished my worldly possessions and bought a sailboat. In search of peace and healing, with the help of a skilled skipper, I took her across the Columbia River Bar. We went offshore through the Straight of Juan de Fuca and arrived at my home town destination of Orcas Island, Washington. There, I lived on my boat for two years with my second son who was five years old at the time. As it would turn out, living on a boat with a small child alone in the dead of winter was not creating the life of peace that I had been looking for. This time I had to take up my sword against the elements. I experienced increasing stress every day as we faced challenges of power outages and frigid conditions.
I worked at a local restaurant as a waitress. I was in a state of humility as I felt these witch hunts had squelched my spirit and that my hard-earned education lay in waste at the bottom of the ocean I had crossed. During this time, I felt completely defeated in life. All of my education, my service of women, my service as a mother, all of my striving had left me alone, broke and cold. But as Rocky Balboa says, “Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give. It’s about how many you can take and still keep moving forward.”
In December of 2018, we moved in with my current partner on the dry and healing land of Orcas. In January of 2019, I sold my sailboat. Once a symbol of hope, freedom and a fresh start was now an albatross removed from my neck.
While the move was grounding and a step towards the direction of setting down roots for the first time in my life, I faced some very personal and painful traumas this year. I also watched my stepfather who had been both my beloved hero and the greatest villain in the story of my life, die before my eyes.
In an instant, the life and love I had been seeking relentlessly for the entirety of my years on this planet shattered across the landscape of my heart. The shock of disillusionment was excruciating. But like the aftermath of a forest burned to the ground, new life emerged in me. In my darkest hour, I was sent the most compassionate spirit teacher and many angels living in human form and in nature. The light was shone upon the path back to myself. My true Self. The Self that I had misplaced around the age of five.
I began to heal my relationship with my mother. I quit using alcohol to numb the pain in my heart and made a choice to turn and face the hurt that simmered deep within me. Making the decision to walk through the fire of the emotions in me, was the thing my inner child had been waiting for me to do all along. She no longer has to be alone with the shock of waking up in this world of dichotomies. She has me now.
I started a new entrepreneurial business, (www.joyjech.com) and began to heal through my art and creativity. Art has been a fundamental therapy for my integration.
I was born a healer. Without regret, this healing energy has moved through me and into others countess times in this lifetime. However, something changed in 2019. I learned to pour this healing power into my own self. A new awareness has arrived, showing me that the more I do this for myself, the stronger my ability to heal others grows. I have always known this intellectually but now I have come to a deep understanding that it is the inner work in each one of our psyche's that effects the most change on the outside.
There is a new calling in me to pursue an education focused on psychology so that I can take this understanding to the next level. It is now that I will pursue through Evergreen, a second bachelor’s degree, to put me on the track of my new goal of obtaining a Ph.D. in psychology.
2020 is my diving board. I am so ready to dive into the warm waters of self-exploration, expansion, creativity, connection, and increasing neuroplasticity! The flower of my life, my heart, and my soul is ready to bloom unabashedly. I have become my own midwife, providing the space I need to feel safe to open to this life.
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