Lazy Lady Living 2013 Permaculture Design Certification Class

Lazy Lady Living Permaculture Design Course

Krista Joy Arias, owner of Tierra Soul and teacher of the MamaMuse (un)Midwifery Mentorship program, has chosen a select few to be Village Builders and help spread the word about her new class, the 2013 Lazy Lady (and Lad) Living Permaculture Design Certification Program. I was one of the selected Village Builders and am posting here because I think some of my readers and followers may be interested. I took the last class and it’s wonderful! Lots of wonderful information and Krista and her husband are great people.

Come join the Lazy Lady Living community and be a part of something different. This course is about sustainable sustainability, and getting the most bang for your lazy buck. Interested in Permaculture, Traditional Nutrition, and Urban Farming? This is the class for you! It’s an 8-week 100% virtual course with the option to complete extra work (additional assignments and a Permaculture Design project) to receive a Permaculture Design Certificate.

The 16 Topics in Lazy-Lady Living:
1. Permaculture Philosophy & Ethics
2. Weston A. Price & Nutrient Density, Value added farming
3. Anthroposophy & Biodynamic Agriculture
4. Trauma, Initiation & Myth Mending
5. Patterns & Design Elements
6. Cultivated Ecology & Wildlife
7. Urban Ambrosia, Backyard Milk, Meat, Eggs and Honey
8. Urban Apothecary, Lazy-lady soap, salve, tincture and tonic
9. Sacred Slaughter & the Vegetarian Myth
10. Soil & Trees
11. Water & Aquaculture, ponds, dams & bridges, Water catchment, Grey water & composting toilets
12. Recycling, waste streams & DIY pitfalls, Diverse climate solutions
13. Earth Rhythms & Seasonal Celebrations, Advanced Simplicity
14. Undisturbed Birth & Home-Funerals, Sacred Union & Family Harmony
15. Ethical Business & Investing, Licensure vs. Free Marketplace, Personal Abundance & Giving Back
16. Energy, Climate & Catastrophe

Enrollment begins on May 15th and runs for 2 weeks only closing on May 31st. As a Village Builder, I get a commission for every person whom I get to enroll in the class.

**What will my commissions be going towards? My self-sustainability fund to get off-grid and have a place for people to come and do “farm stays”, learn about sustainability and permaculture, and also as a place for women and mothers to come experience with-women care and support throughout the childbearing cycles. I am also wanting to have a birthing hut built on the property for families to come have their children if they like, and also a Moon Lodge.

For those who sign up through me I will be helping and mentoring as I can if any questions or needs arise during the class and will be here as a collaboration partner. Follow the link below to sign up with your e-mail to receive information as Krista sends it out. She will also be making some videos that will be sent out to everyone on the mailing list as well between now and the start of class.

The cost of the course is $897 and there is a payment plan of $350/month for 3 months. Krista is also offering scholarships and the application will be announced on the 15th(ish) as well.

Here is my affiliate link so that I get the commission when you sign up, but remember enrollment doesn’t start until May 15! Be sure to sign up soon so that you don’t miss any information::


Shifting the Paradigm: Thinking Outside the Box

As I continue along my journey in the birth field, I have evolved time and again. New information is found, new opinions formed, new facets of spirituality discovered. I’ve noticed a shift in my “birth consciousness” that was once all for an off-the-wall seemingly radical idea such as that spouted from the mouths of natural birth advocates, such as “Avoid doctors and Cesareans at all cost!”, “You have to have a midwife at a homebirth”, “Trust Birth”, “Birth is Safer than Not”, or Unassisted Birthers and their stand (I had even considered a UC). Now, I have again shifted my personal paradigm on birth to something seemingly even more radical.


I have read articles about UC women losing babies, of people who once advocated UC turning against it, fearing it. I have read over and over again the claims that birth is “inherently safe” and we’ve been doing it “by ourselves” forever. I have compared the “babies lost to UC” to “babies lost under midwifery supervision” to those lost under “OBGYN supervision”. There are varying numbers, but in all cases there are deaths. And in a recent essay I wrote, I talked on the connection between birth and death, and especially that of the role death plays in midwifery.


Before I continue, let me make it clear that I am not bashing, advocating, or any of the like any one “side” of the fence (because in my mind, there is no fence, it’s more like the lunch tables in the school cafeteria that are designated to each ‘clique’. Some people are at the hospitals and doctors are the only way table, some are at the pro-midwifery licensure table, some are at the anti-midwifery licensure table, some are at the “trust birth”, pro-UC table). I’ve found that I am at none of those tables, and seek to get people thinking. Let me explain.


I feel like saying slogans such as the aforementioned give women a false sense of security that sets them up for failure, or disappointment. But at the same time, I believe that it is possible, and biologically normal, for a woman to give birth on her own. However, I have a growing uneasiness in my gut about how this topic is being handled and gone about. The common scenario that I’ve come across is as follows: a woman is pregnant and decides that she wants to have a “natural” birth. She reviews her options. Attempting as “natural” a birth as possible in a hospital or birth center setting, having a midwife attended homebirth, or an “unassisted birth”. She is more inclined to a homebirth, and considers the options regarding that route. Midwife, or no midwife. Perhaps she can’t afford the midwife, lives in a state/area where there are no midwives/homebirth midwifery is illegal, etc. So she begins to look more at the UC route. Another scenario is that she, from the gate, heads straight for the UC route. Either way, she begins looking into it, trying to find out what she “needs to know”, and essentially begins to self-train herself as a midwife. And of course, there are those out there who do not believe in doing this, after all they “trust birth” as a “biological function” (which it is, I’m not arguing that point) and so they believe that they do not need to be educated in the ways of a midwife and that their bodies will handle everything accordingly. In the first instance, there is the woman who studies and crams as much knowledge as she can, hoping she hasn’t overlooked any vital piece or will forget something in the moment. This, to me, seems counterproductive to the seemingly common thought behind “natural” births as being able to let mom be free of worries and responsibilities and allowing her to be in her own headspace (and in my personal belief, her own spiritual place) while someone else is the one with the knowledge to utilize in the case of a possible emergency. And yes, a birth that is not intervened with, a mother who is allowed to move about as she pleases, eat and drink as she pleases, etc. is the best scenario for the best outcome—that of a smooth, complication-free birth. But it seems to me that a mother who plans a UC, and tries to become “knowledgeable enough” to undergo one, is in a sense a hypocrisy against the theory of “our bodies are capable on their own” and, also, takes the mother out of that worry-free, personal head/spiritual place in my personal opinion. And, it sets her up for potential trauma, disappointment, and failure if she were to happen to have a complication and she does not know how to respond, forgets how to respond, is incapable/incapacitated from being able to respond appropriately and her partner is not “trained” to handle the situation, and the result is a hospital transfer or even death of herself and/or the child. I have read story after story of UC-ers ending up with a hospital transfer, either due to just a “gut feeling” that something was wrong, or there was an actual complication during labor or delivery they couldn’t handle or weren’t prepared for, or even if they were, couldn’t make a difference. Then there are the deaths. And like I said earlier, death is inevitable, in any birthing situation, with any attendant (or none).


I think that instead of spouting slogans or teaching women that birth is safe and our bodies are capable at all times of giving birth without the need of assistance from an outside person (which not only gives women the assumption that they shouldn’t have a midwife, but also that they shouldn’t even have a doula, or in some circles even their partner, present at the birth)— that we should be talking about death. We should be teaching midwives and mothers about the death aspects of birth, the potential for death in birth, how to cope with and accept death, the rituals, chants, etc. (the spiritual side) around both birth and death. Not hiding from it, not trying to avoid it at all costs, even at the cost of quality of life, not setting up women for possible trauma, because that’s what’s being done.


Here is something to ponder on. I became pregnant with my first child at the age of 16, and subsequently went into preterm labor and delivered a 29 week baby. He was whisked away, unseen, not held to my chest, for almost three days. He was kept in a great NICU facility in a town an hour and a half away, had his ups and downs, and on one of his downs was transferred even farther away to a supposedly “better” hospital, which in my eyes seemed no better than a local hospital, and was a downgrade from the first. Throughout his three weeks of life, he was given intervention after intervention, was denied my breast, was denied my holding of him time and again. I held him, and not even how he should have been held (for hours, skin to skin) maybe a hand full of times in those three short weeks. And regardless of their technology and their efforts, he died. Actually, partially due to their technology, he died. And thinking back on it, with where I’m at right now in my beliefs, I would have done it differently. I would have asked to hold him immediately after birth. I would have made them let me keep him, would have held him naked to my bare chest and stuck my nipple in his mouth, whether he would be able to eat or not. I would have held him for every waking 

moment, and probably the sleeping ones as well. And maybe he would have died anyway, maybe he would have lived. Maybe he would have thrived. (Kangaroo Care saves as much if not more infants, with a better quality of life, than our “technology” which studies have shown over and over). But regardless of the outcome, I would have at least have had those moments, I would have been with him for every second. He wouldn’t have died alone, three hours away from his parents. He may have died, but not alone. And I think that maybe I would have been able to cope with that trauma and be able to better overcome it in that alternative scenario. Maybe not, but I like to think that it would be better. And so many women don’t think about that, or maybe they do but they lock those thoughts and gut-feelings down inside because the “doctors know best”, and I think that needs to change.

I also believe wholeheartedly that we should stop shunning c-section mothers, stop snubbing them—those who chose a Cesarean and those who received emergency surgeries. We should instead be meeting women where they are, accepting them, being present for them, helping them to heal from that trauma (if healing is needed/it was traumatic, because it is possible it was not), and helping to guide them out of that place of ostracized outcast that they most often find themselves in the natural birth community. Help with trauma mending, help with information sharing on VBACs and even being present for them for a repeat c-section and helping them to be able to come to terms with it and make it a more “interactive” experience instead of one where they have no say from start to finish. This is something that I see quite frequently and that the attitude and treatment of needs severe 180 degree turn around on.



We should be teaching midwives to be able to be as hands-off as mothers want them to be, but to be able to step in in the case of a complication with quiet gentle guidance and quick skill. I wonder how many hospital transports for unassisted births (which include not just the transport and possible fetal/maternal hospitalization, but maternal/fetal separation, delayed nursing, etc.—all of the things that were set out to be avoided in the first place) could have been dealt with at home with someone who has the training, who could have been the quiet presence in the corner, allowing the mother to have her space and her freedom from the weight-bearing of “Will I remember what I learned?” and the like. They could have been dealt with, at home, and there would have been little to no negative side effects such as the aforementioned (of course, unless a dire emergency was indicated and transfer was needed). This is just one of my many personal and evolving views.


And, again personally, I believe we did not give birth “alone” in the past. Maybe, when we were Homo erectus in the plains of Africa, we did what mammals do—found a quiet, secluded place safe from predators and were left to our own devices to either come back with a baby, or not. But, looking historically, at least since recorded history, there are records across cultures of women being attended by women. And this was not necessarily just “medical” supervision, but just women-to-women, mother to daughter, grandmother to granddaughter, aunts and cousins and other female tribe members supporting, and being present, for the birthing mother. They were her chair, they were her arms, they were her spiritual support also, and probably most importantly. There may, or may not have been a midwife, but there were women who had birthed before there who knew some ways of birth, and if there wasn’t, or something was wrong, the midwife was called. But regardless, the mother was allowed to “be”, and whatever the outcome was, it was also allowed to “be”. This is my evidence for my argument against UC-ers who preach “birthing alone”, etc. in order to be a “true” UC-er. Yes, women are mammals and the actions behind mammalian birth is the same (quiet, safe, dark places, etc.) but this can be accomplished with a woman still being supported, cared for, adored and pampered, and spiritually supported.


We should also be looking more at the biology around labor, on a cultural level as well as a personal, woman by woman basis. If you want to claim birth is “biological” then act like it matters. Look at how we have changed biologically, physiologically, over the last few hundred years. How does that affect how we birth? Yes, women have “known” how to give birth since we evolved. But, how have we changed, physically (and mentally) that could hinder this natural, biological process? A major one: pelvic shapes. The major contributor? Diet. Diet has been probably the most drastic change humans have undergone in the shortest time, and even though birth is natural and we were capable of birthing, supposedly without midwives or other more-knowledgeable attendees, we are different now than when we were then. Even just compared to a few hundred years ago, or even less than a century ago. We should be looking at, and again training midwives and teaching mothers, and potential mothers, about how things in our lives could affect our capacity to birth, naturally. Diet I, and many others, believe is the main contributor, but also environmental factors such as chemical exposure, mental health, past traumas (whether birth related or not), etc. We should be trying to change these kinds of things, to help bring women back to the way it was before, when we could “birth naturally” instead of just saying “Oh, you can do it by yourself, no problem!” not even considering that even if that mother did everything “right” and still had a complication or her baby still died, no one thought to help her with a past trauma that re-surfaced during birth, or to talk to her about nutrition, before pregnancy or during. (Of course, even in antiquity, before the drastic lifestyle and diet changes of the mostly-Western world and those places that they have influenced, babies and mothers died. It was a part of life. And even if we can get back to a similar way of life or way of eating, death is inevitable at any time, for anyone, and takes me back to what I said earlier about the other key point that we are missing in regards to birth—death.)


And again, yes I believe that birth is a natural, biological function. I’ve even seen it mentioned a few times that if it didn’t “work” there wouldn’t be so many people. My radical thought on that? Doctors and technology is the reason for the outrageously high human population of this earth. Yes, birth “works” and more babies survive birth than they die during it, but with the increase in “life-saving” and “life-extending” technology, which is the field of doctors, more and more live (regardless of their potential quality of life). It has always been that babies die. Mothers die. And though populations steadily increased over time regardless, it was nothing compared to the last few hundred years with the advent of such “advanced” technology. And now, we have the ever-present looming fact, the elephant in the corner that everyone seems oblivious to, that our ecosystem (the Earth) has long-since reached its peak in population sustaining capabilities. In simple terms, the Earth cannot sustain us anymore at our current nor projected population growth rate.


And I understand, and am prepared for, how the aforementioned comments, personal beliefs, and theories will cause people to react. But, like those before me who went out on a limb and became “radicals” in their thinking, and their doing, so shall I take my turn, and perhaps, someone will read this and be able to think for themselves and possibly they will take their turn, and on it will go.

[And again, please take heed that I am NOT bashing or belittling anyone’s personal beliefs, or any one particular institute or organization’s beliefs or teachings. I am only stating my personal take, and hoping to get people thinking in a new light.]

Birth Rape and Trauma: What about Abortion Trauma?

I keep hearing stories about “birth rape” and “birth trauma”, and I believe that this is very real and very common and something that seriously needs to be addressed. But I think that many people are either ignoring or are not recognizing something similar that is going on- abortion trauma. From what I’ve been reading most “birth rape” instances occur when a mother says “No!” to a procedure and a doctor proceeds anyway. It is a violation of their person and their rights. But what about those women who elect for an abortion, they have consented to the procedure, and yet they come out of it feeling violated, disrespected, thrown away? It was not the fact that they had the procedure performed, that they “killed and unborn child”, it was HOW the procedure was performed, the energy of the physician and their assistants/those in the room, and how they were cared for (or NOT cared for) afterwards. It is the feeling of alone-ness that one feels post-abortion during recovery because there is not adequate support systems in place or information/counseling available. That is abortion trauma, if nothing else. And it is being ignored. I understand that abortion is a very tricky subject, a touchy one, that many don’t want to talk about. But it is a fact of life, and those who go through it need and deserve support just like those who undergo birth trauma need and deserve support.


Just before my 18th birthday I found out I was pregnant. Me and the father were not dating at the time and we decided to go through with a surgical abortion. Prior to going, I sat and went inside myself, I did visualizations. I talked to the baby and told it that this wasn’t a good time, we wouldn’t be able to give it everything it deserved, and to go to a family that could and that desperately wanted a child, or to come back later when it would be better for everyone involved. Afterwards, I felt empty. I didn’t “feel pregnant” anymore. I felt I could go through with it at this point. What I wasn’t expecting was how I would feel physically. We went just after my 18th birthday so that my parents wouldn’t have to take me. I was 8 weeks almost to the day. The waiting room was full of couples, women by themselves, and a couple women there with female friends for support. I talked with a woman next to me and we were there for each other in a way. The nurses seemed nice enough, but it was when I went in for the actual surgical procedure that my trauma began. They give you a medicine to put inside vaginally to help soften your cervix to make it easier to dilate. After about 45 minutes of waiting, they call you back. You are instructed to get undressed and put on a hospital gown. You are laid down on a bed, your feet suspended and your legs spread. There was a male doctor doing the procedure, an old man. I can already tell I do not like him. There is an older female nurse there who holds my hand. I think he tried making a bit of small talk with me at first, then as he begins he talks to the nurse, something about golf I believe. I am crying, it hurts. He numbs my cervix, that’s what I was afraid of hurting. I didn’t realize it would be the dilation that would hurt, that would be so traumatizing. The shot was a pinch, then my mouth feels funny. He begins inserting the rods to dilate me. It hurts so bad, I feel like I’m being torn open, I don’t want this. This pain. I don’t want this man between my legs who sees me as just another knocked up teenager coming across his table to get rid of an inconvenience. The nurse, I know she means well, but I can feel her anxiety as I’m crying into her hand and she continues talking to the doctor over the noise of the suction machine. That part of the procedure is painless and takes just a few seconds. He removes his tools and removes himself. The nurse helps me sit up, I’m shaking and crying. I feel broken. Violated. I get dressed and she takes me to the recovery room where other women who had gone before me are sitting with sunken, painful expressions on their faces. They don’t speak to one another like they had in the waiting room. We are isolated in a room full of broken women. We bleed together and mourn together, but we are alone. We are given heating pads for our abdomens, the cramps are painful. We are brought soda instead of water to help our blood sugar. We stay there for 30-45 minutes. If someone came with us for support, they are not allowed with us to comfort us. The nurse comes and checks our blood pressure. We are given a bag of drugs- painkillers and antibiotics with directions. We are dismissed. I wobble into the waiting room clutching my stomach. Tears are dried on my cheeks. I am broken inside, my womb has been forced open and emptied by a man who didn’t care. I was surrounded by women who feel how I do, and yet we knew not to comfort each other and are not comforted by anyone else. I am driven home and taken care of for a night and day before having to return to my parent’s house.


This is the first time admitting to myself how it made me feel, how I feel that I was raped, in a way. Raped in the sense of being opened by and being in the presence of someone that I felt did not care. I consented, but I was opened by someone who had no respect for my body, for my soul, for anything but getting his pay. At least, that was the energy that I picked up on. I was emptied by someone who can never know the pain, the loss. I feel very strongly that this is something that needs to be addressed. I believe that the way abortions are done and how women are “supported” pre-, during, and post- abortion needs to change and become more women-centered. Women should be encouraged to tell their stories just like those who have experienced birth trauma and rape are encouraged to, and something should be done. I know that it is not the same as “birth rape”, but it is similar and I do think that it  is something that should be addressed. It is something that a woman may  choose to go through, but it should be a woman-based procedure, it  shouldn’t be just “one more patient” because that’s no better than our  maternity care system that has the same mentality of “just one more  patient”. I think there should be more support, more information.  Especially at the clinics. That is the point of saying all this. It wasn’t the fact  the getting it done and “killing an unborn” that traumatized me, or many others. It’s the procedure itself, those who perform it, and the lack of support.

In antiquity, midwives, who were also the village healers-witch doctors, were gone to for abortions. Midwives knew the herbs, they knew the chants. They knew how to help women, and Be With women. That is a part of midwifery that I think is critical (and I will touch on midwifery and death in later posts) but is being swept under the rug.