A few of my recent posts have talked about what I call God moments – you may call them fate, destiny, kismet, serendipity – whatever your preferred appellation, today’s post is brought to you courtesy of another such moment.
When I look back at past events and decisions, large and small, that I question – why was I there then? why didn’t I get that opportunity – I can usually find the answer in the people that it led me to. I’ve had a lot of let downs or chosen some paths that now I wish would’ve gone another way, but when I look at what those situations afforded me, it is usually the people that they put in my path that justifies them for me.
I don’t at all regret any of the decisions that put the lovely Ivy Joeva in my path, but I’m certain that she is a large reason for that path. I’ve mentioned in past posts, including Indie…Toward a Definition, that I’ve been struggling for almost a decade with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and in recent years have been exploring natural/alternative/homeopathic treatments for this disease. In some ways, this post is part of an evolution of that previous post, because my fortuitous meeting with that Whole Foods clerk led me to Flo Living, which in turn, led me to Ivy. Flo Living is an amazing program started by Alisa Vitti, which helps women with all sorts of endocrine problems – including PCOS – learn to heal their bodies through changes to lifestyle and diet. I began their program about 2 years ago and am still learning and growing and figuring out my own path to healing. This program, in addition to information, provided me with access to an amazing community of talented and supportive women that were at different stages of similar journeys, including Ivy.
Through the wonders of Facebook, I knew that Ivy had a website with great vlog posts about health and love and lifestyle. (If you’re less technologically adept, a “vlog” is a video blog – video + blog = vlog) At a particularly low point in my journey, I had been following a lot of these vlogs and getting a lot of really helpful encouragement and support. For reasons that I still can’t pinpoint, I felt that Ivy might be needing to hear just how much her work meant to me. So, despite the point that I don’t think we had had any individual communication (as opposed to group emails between the Flo community) at that point, I sent her a message to let her know that I thought she was doing something valuable and that I appreciated it and that if she kept on, I was sure, there were more people out there somewhere that needed this too. It turned out, Ivy was also at a bit of a low point and needed to hear that what she was doing had value to someone, just as I felt I needed to tell her. How’s that for God/fate/kismet ?
Ivy was a large part of the impetus behind this blog…she was one of the really talented women I knew that I felt was worth more than the exposure she was getting. I think Ivy’s vlogs especially, are the kind of thing that make our modern technology so great – we don’t need to be an island, we don’t need to know everything, we don’t need to do it alone. I try to keep up on Ivy’s vlogs on a regular basis, but I also visit them when I’m feeling low or lost – when I need a little light, love, and encouragement. I hope that you will do the same, and I know that you will love her as much as I do
Dear readers, meet my dear friend, Ivy
In a society that is definitely preoccupied with “what do you do,” do you have trouble defining what exactly you do, since you do so many things? Do you even attempt to define or describe it?
I’m more interested in who I’m becoming—-what I feel my purpose is on this planet and the
state of being that generates from within—-than what I happen to be doing in any given chapter
of life. There are countless ways to be the change we want to see in the world. We don’t
necessarily get to control, in an immediate sense, what we’re doing to put bread on the table or
what opportunities we have at our disposal. But we can always choose who we are being and
who we wish to become. That’s what I’m most passionate about; cultivating that awareness and
hopefully inspiring it in others.
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey to the work you’re doing now?
Several years ago, I became a birth doula. I couldn’t put my finger on why I was drawn to
it at the time; it was just this undeniable need to be immersed in the world of childbirth. The
injustices I witnessed in the birth room and the beauty I experienced from women transcending
those circumstances inspired me to use the media to raise awareness around these issues.
That reignited my passion for raising consciousness around all types of crucial issues facing our
What are you most proud of about the work you do and why?
I’m most proud of the fact that despite times of little external validation or material reward, I
continue to share what I have to share and hold space for my viewers. If I touch just one person
in this lifetime and they experience their life as richer for it, the process is worthwhile to me.
What is the best part about being indie? The most difficult?
The best part of being indie is I don’t have to answer to anyone! (duh My work is my own
creation and I get to share the raw, unfiltered version of my truth with my audience. The most
challenging is having the resources (including time) to produce the level of quality I envision.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started?
I can’t really say, “I wish I’d known.” Everything is a process. How can you know before the
experience? There’s only so much we can know ahead of time….I’m learning to surrender to
the process, iron out the kinks each step of the way.
That said….when I was hired as an anchor for Channel One News over a decade ago, I wish I’d
known what an incredible opportunity that was. I wish I’d known how special and rare that type
of opportunity is in life. Being so young (I was 17 at the time), I had the idea that the rest of my
life was going to flow just as smoothly….. I think if I’d had that awareness, I would have done a
better job of building on that experience.
Tell us something about yourself or your work that people may not know or expect.
You might not have guessed that I question myself constantly. In my videos I may come
across as “holier than thou” sometimes. But I’m definitely not Moses coming down the mountain
on anything. I share from my heart what’s arising for me in my own life, and the tools that I find
helpful in bridging the gap between what we know to be true and how we are living. Whenever
I get a glimpse of freedom or power over a perceived challenge….those are my moments of
inspiration I’m passionate about sharing with my viewers.
What is a business/product/artist/thinker that really inspires you and your work, and why?
Lisa Ling is inspirational to me. I got my start as a news reporter anchoring alongside her at
Channel One, a broadcast viewed in schools nationwide. Since then, she’s gone on to cover
crucial topics including modern polygamy, sex trafficking in America, and Chinese orphans. Her
on-camera presence is unparalleled in its warmth and sincerity, and I admire her courage in
shedding light on controversial issues.
(And does anyone not know and love Lisa Ling? )
Why vlogs? What do you see as the benefits and drawbacks of that medium?
I started vlogging as a way of taking matters into my own hands. I knew I wanted to connect
with viewers in an intimate way and have the freedom to address issues close to my heart.
The upside is that vlogging allows both of these, the downside is that building an audience in
this medium takes time and perseverance, whereas on TV for example, you’re given a level of
visibility that automatically generates more viewers from the start.
I love that you are part of what is generally dubbed an “alternative” birthing movement – despite its ancient roots. A lot of people aren’t familiar with the world and work of midwives and doulas, and I know we could talk about this forever, but would you mind sharing a little bit about what a doula does and how you became drawn to that work?
Doula is a Greek word that means, “woman who serves.” In the birth world we say a
doula “mothers the mother.” Traditionally, the doula was the birthing woman’s sister, mother,
aunt, female cousin, or friend. In today’s society where natural birth is unfamiliar territory to so
many of us, someone who is trained as a professional doula can take on this role that offers
physical, emotional, and informational support to the laboring woman.
People often ask me if I only do home births. Actually, so far all of the births I’ve attended
have been hospital births! Often if a woman is confident enough to deliver at home, she’s
comfortable having a friend or family member take on the doula role. Midwives also tend to
offer more support during the birthing process than a woman would receive in a typical hospital
I was drawn to the birth world when a couple of my girlfriends became pregnant at the same
time, and both were planning homebirths. Little did I know that was just the tip of the iceberg
for me. The deeper I got into the practice, the more I discovered that learning about and
experiencing the elements involved in pregnancy, labor, and birth were healing my own
relationship to womanhood.
So many of us have issues relating to our bodies as women, what it means to embody our
feminine power, and how to integrate that into our daily lives in this culture. Nowhere I feel is
a woman’s raw feminine strength more palpable than during labor. Experiencing this put me
directly in touch with this force. I became committed to being a stand for every woman’s ability
to experience the type of birth she chooses.
When I started Indie Maven, I had a few very brilliant, creative women in mind, and you were one of them. I hope that Indie Maven will attract the attention of more creative indie women, so what message would you share with those women – what encouragement or hope do you have for them?
Oh sister, and I am speaking to you Andrea, as well as every Indie woman reading this: we
need each other. We need to come together and support each other. The world needs your
voice, your unique experience, your unique essence, your unique message. There have been
so many moments (well, at times, weeks) where I’ve doubted the value of what I have to share,
wanted to take down everything I’ve put out there and just disappear.
Your encouragement has single-handedly made a world of difference for me. It’s like a doula
whispering in a woman’s ear: “good. big breath. beautiful. you’re doing it…..”
We each have unique gifts to birth in this world. We each have everything we need to birth
them into fruition. We have to trust that. And when we don’t feel like we can pull through…..we
have to remind each other and be a mirror for the strength and beauty we share.
What is coming soon for you?
I recently covered the Lightning in a Bottle music and art festival for One Beat, an online
channel devoted to electronic dance music culture. LIB brings together visual arts, healing
arts, movement arts, and music. It offers the best of all worlds: internationally renowned yoga
instructors, DJ’s, motivational speakers and workshops. I was able to interview Rev. Michael
Beckwith – a lifelong dream of mine. I’ve attended services at his spiritual center, Agape, for
15 years and it gave me chills to sit before a man who has been my spiritual leader for half my
life to date. I’m excited to bring an insider’s perspective on LIB to people who may not have
experienced it yet, as well as attendees desiring a deeper dialogue surrounding the festival.
I’m learning to ask spirit, source, my higher self, whatever you want to call it…. Each day, I’m
asking myself: “what will you have me do? Where will you have me go? What will you have
me say? And to whom?” I recently heard Marianne Williamson speak here in Los Angeles and
she shared that practice. It was so comforting to me to embrace the understanding that I am
actually not calling the shots. The move I get to choose is to ask….and listen for the answer.
We have an invisible boss, from an invisible realm. Everything that materializes here happens
when we align with that power. I’m learning to trust that.
There are plenty of things my ego envisions for my life: having a show on network TV, creating
meaningful documentaries, traveling the world exposing issues of importance. Maybe some of
them are in store for me. In the meantime, I’m trusting the process, and doing what’s in front of
Don’t you just love her? Check out Ivy on her website and on Facebook.
If you want Ivy to help you sort out your own stuff, find out more about her services here.
For more information on doulas – who they are, what they do, how to get one, how to be one, check out DONA, the international doula organization here.
For more information on the Lightning in a Bottle festival, check it out here.
I hope that you’ll share this with someone you think could use a reminder that the world is just waiting for them to share their gifts
Thanks for dropping by. Be good to each other