Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Fisher.
Rachel, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have a tendency to wander off the beaten path, which led me to Thailand after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. Inside a temple in Phrao, the small mountain town where I was volunteering, I met a Buddhist nun who introduced me to meditation and invited me to sit in practice with the community. A strong spiritual seed took root. My life moved on, but after a few years working for a startup in Tel Aviv, I was drawn back to Southeast Asia to deepen my spiritual journey. I was in search of tools to cultivate a personal practice, fueled by a mission to catalyze healing and spiritual connection for others.
I was studying energy healing, meditation, and yoga when I visited a birthing center in a village in Indonesia. The center was run by world-renowned midwife Robin Lim, who gave me a tour of her remarkable facility, Bumi Sehat. She spoke about her goal of providing holistic healthcare, by uplifting natural childbirth, as a way to lower Indonesia’s infant and maternal mortality rates. I learned about the indispensable role of a birth doula. Robin explained that a birth doula offers emotional, physical, and informative support to pregnant and birthing parents. (This is in addition to the medical services provided by midwives and doctors.) Studies have shown that doula support results in better medical outcomes and more positive birth experiences.
The importance of the doula’s role stayed with me as I entered graduate school at Columbia University’s Spirituality, Mind, Body Institute, choosing a focus in Maternal and Reproductive Well-Being. I’m currently completing a master’s degree while launching my birth-doula business, offering in-person pregnancy and birth support in both Miami and New York City, as well as virtually. Through birth-work, I have found a career path that applies mindfulness and healing tools to benefit both parents and newborns. Birth is a transformational event, and I believe with the right support, every mother can connect to her own inner-strength and intuitive wisdom and carry that power with her into parenthood.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I navigate life with a strong connection to my intuitive GPS. Because of this, I tend to feel confident in my decisions, so in a sense, it’s felt like a smooth ride. But I’ve also run into challenges. It has been difficult to speak publicly about my spiritual journey and my passion for the mystical and energetic. I come from a pretty traditional, tight-knit Jewish community, so I’ve always feared judgment for coming off as too ungrounded— too “woo woo.” That fear has kept me from showing up and sharing parts of myself. But, in the spirit of self-compassion, I’ll give myself credit for how far I’ve come in opening up and sharing more about my path on social media. I’m a strong believer in normalizing vulnerability (@BlessedUpThreads), so we can connect as humans on a deeper level. I try to practice what I preach and challenge myself to show up as authentically as I can.
What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I must have seemed like a quiet kid to most, but to those who knew me best, I was a singing, dancing, smart aleck. My shyness later manifested as a major fear of public speaking, with uncontrollable hand and head shaking and all. To be able to say I’ve hosted dozens of workshops for hundreds of participants is a huge personal achievement! It goes to show you that when you’re passionate about something, you can push past your fears in order to share yourself with others.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
Before incorporating birth-doula services into my business, I was creating and hosting mindfulness and meditation workshops, as well as offering 1:1 energy healing sessions. I’ve been invited to teach stress-management techniques and speak on the benefits of meditation in community and corporate spaces. My goal is to plant seeds of positivity and hope during these unsettling times. I know that we can emerge better able to confront difficulties, more centered and connected to one another—during COVID and afterward.
Bringing birth-work into the mix, I am creating a holistic space to apply the skills I’ve gathered to benefit pregnant people (their partners and babies). I hold a calm and reassuring presence for my clients during the most challenging and transformational time of their lives. My approach to doula-work is unique, returning a sense of sacredness into the birth space. I work to instill confidence and reduce fear through careful preparation and encourage a relaxed state of body, mind and spirit, so my clients can manifest their heart’s desires for their birth and baby.
The common theme connecting my workshops and doula-work is personal empowerment. My intention is to help others find clarity in their inner-wisdom and self-knowledge. Through this intuitive connection, we can embody a sense of trust, equanimity, and tranquility under any circumstance. This sense of stability is beneficial for everyone, especially during uncertain times, and even more so for parents navigating the challenge of childbirth. By releasing self-doubt and fear, we can get out of our own way and make the most of the present moment. My hope for all of my clients is to connect to a place of inner-peace and relax into the process of both life and labor.