Hello! I’m Dr. Loi, a licensed psychologist and part of the New Earth Birth & Dying Faculty. If you haven’t heard of the Birth & Dying (B & D) Faculty yet, you are in for a treat. We at B & D are excited to be creating a new paradigm as we work towards a world that honors and protects the souls coming in and leaving this earth in a loving, respectful way. We promote conception, pregnancy, birth and dying as conscious arts and disseminate information so that these processes are held as sacred.
It is vitally important that people are educated about critical periods of development and although science is just beginning to realize the importance of the conception/pregnancy time, we know that the work begins even before this. In order to optimize the well-being of our future, we must focus on clearing the way so these new souls can come in and remain whole. We strive to bring back the sense of aliveness and wonder that naturally springs from growing and living in an environment of resonance, connection and trust rather than fear, shame or disconnection.
Part of this process must address the parents-to-be’s traumas and fears, to look at whatever negative behavioral patterns and shadows they may be holding onto (even unconsciously) and work towards ease and integration. In doing this, we can interrupt the intergenerational transmission of trauma that is prevalent in our current culture and this individual shift will ripple out to affect the whole.
Science (and specifically the science of Epigenetics) shows us that although we are born with a specific genetic sequence, whether those genes are turned on or off is a result of our environmental influences (including hormones from the mother, physiological influences; nutrition, toxins, air, water, the way the mother/child is treated, what s/he sees (modeling), and countless other interactions that occur before birth and beyond). What this means is that we have much more responsibility than previously thought, but also much more possibility for change! We can break the fear paradigm and ease us into a more joyful, resonant state.
In light of these factors, we are creating the first Sunrise Center, a prenatal paradise for healing and transformation that is located in a lush rainforest on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. This center is dedicated to the optimal wellbeing of pregnant mothers and therefore will focus on addressing the needs of pregnant (and pre-conception) mothers and their partners. This blissful place will offer pregnant mothers facilities for education, nurturing and therapeutic activities such as singing, dancing, storytelling, reading and writing, labyrinth walking, meditating, painting, yoga, and various crafts, as well as star gazing and sunrise contemplation. They will have the opportunity to learn new skills and have therapy sessions for clearing, enjoy quiet moment of reflection, have nourishing meals and sleeping quarters if desired. There will also be a space for partner therapies and group sessions. Our plan is for this center to be prototype for other centers in various communities, NE and beyond.
I have been engaged with this faculty for almost a year and at first I wondered why I should be a part of this – my practice was not specifically focused on birth nor death; instead I was working with adults who were dealing with anger or anxiety issues (self-soothing, affect regulation) after a postdoctoral position in neuropsychology, treating those who’d been victims of traumatic brain injuries or strokes. I was reassured that my skills made me an important part of the faculty (I have done a lot of organizing and managing, too) yet still I wondered, so I began to examine what I was doing and what made my director so confident in her choice. I looked back and remembered….
My training began through my mother (Jeannine Parvati) who was an international birth educator, author and champion for what she called “Healing the earth through healing birth.” My father was a counselor, is an educator, emergency room physician and director at hospitals, jails and clinics. The life’s work of my parents inspired me to follow a path of nurturing, educating and helping others heal themselves. I received a BA in Communications and Psychology and then traveled Europe, Africa and the United States.
After I experienced birthing my daughter without assistance, I felt empowered to share this experience and assist others in having as satisfying births as possible. I also realized a deep empathic caring I had only read about previously – one that encompassed the earth and all its inhabitants, I began a non-profit for single parents (SPRN), hosted a talk radio show – The Radical Mother’s Voice, co-produced a coalition newspaper and was an activist for environmental sustainability and social causes.
After I suffered from a near death experience, I went back to my hometown to affect greater change by returning to graduate school in psychology. While there, I worked with various populations from pre-school aged victims of trauma, in clinics for long-term in-depth treatment, with the college population, parents, mothers and with those mandated to attend domestic violence perpetrator groups.
My dissertation was titled, “The Role of Empathy in the Domestic Violence Treatment of Male Batterers” and I have found my research on empathy and aggression to be invaluable – especially the role that early trauma (and neglect) play in damaging the developing brain and how we develop the capacity for empathy. My later training in neuropsychology further increased my passion in brain development and in the exciting field of neuroplasticity. I bring this passion into my work and am inspired to share the depth of knowledge I have about self-soothing strategies, healing traumas and clearing dysfunctional patterns.
The process of getting my doctorate was an arduous and extremely long one and I had many obstacles along the way; my physical health was at times very challenged, my mother died and my daughter suffered traumas that impacted her (and I as her sole parent) for many years. We finally made it through and I was getting settled into private practice when I was struck with a variety of ailments that knocked me down completely for months. During this time, I learned to practice what I preached about self-care and had to withdraw from any activity that wasn’t absolutely necessary. I also began to feel somewhat stuck in my sessions and I daydreamed of affecting yet even greater change. It was during this time of deep contemplation that something finally clicked for me – the skills I had been learning all my life (first from my mother and then through my clinical training and life experiences) could be used to break those patterns of trauma and help the new babies coming in! I finally got the connection and saw perhaps what my director had known all along when I realized how the world might look if parents to be (whether pre-conception, pregnancy or after – “the fourth trimester”) were educated and assisted to heal so these new souls could come into a safer, more welcoming world.
In this process of being involved with the Birth & Dying Faculty, I have realized my own path for greatest potential and so I have begun a shift to focus my therapy practice on healing and transformation for mothers and their partners. In bringing together spiritual and heart-based practices with my clinical training in brain, body and energy psychology, I feel I am truly honoring my father, my mother and our mother earth.
I would like to invite you to join with the New Earth Birth & Dying Faculty to “explore, develop and foster best practices…that ensure care, nurturance and respect to each human being” (B&D White Paper, 2015) during these seminal gateways, to rejoice in our evolution, to honor the gifts we receive, and to ensure our species not just survives but also thrives.
Originally posted @ New Earth Institute – Birth & Dying Faculty