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I had very little support going into my third, even though I thought that at that point that I was a pro mom. So I think that I was kind of experiencing some kind of postpartum depression and I was feeling really numb to all of my feelings at the time. And once I started to create presence and contact with my womb and with my yoni and with my heart space, all of these emotions started to surface and it was just like the floodgates released and I started to cry and cry but in a really, really good and empowering release.
This is a Soulfire production.
Welcome back to another episode of The Uncensored Empath Podcast. It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Emily Felton today. She is a friend, an Illuminated student, and an all-around amazing, amazing woman. Emily offers full-spectrum, holistic support through the sacred transitions of motherhood, which is something that I have obviously been navigating myself over this past year plus now. She is also a certified birth and postpartum doula. She provides trauma-informed healing and education through Reiki, breathwork, EFT, and is also a Birthfit leader. She was one of our 2021 Illuminated graduates and you’ll hear us talk a little bit more about that program as well as Emily’s vast extent of knowledge today.
She’s been supporting women through the motherhood transition for nearly a decade now. She is a mama herself. She guides them through movement and now through holistic healing and support. She’s added so many tools to her toolbox and she truly finds so much passion and purpose in guiding women to trust their innate wisdom, to tune into their bodies and their cycles as guides to help people heal from past trauma, and to continue to honor our needs, our passions and pleasure as our identities shift and we are reborn in this sacred transition of motherhood. I cannot wait for you to meet Emily today so here she is.
Sarah: Welcome to the show, Emily. I am super, super excited to have you here.
Emily: Thank you for having me.
Sarah: So I would love to begin by talking a little bit about what has brought you, what has led you to today as your business stands, as you feel like your mission stands on this planet? What brought you to this point and got you inspired to be in this healing spirituality coaching industry?
Emily: Yes, well, my mission is really working with women through the motherhood transition and supporting and empowering them and just giving them the education and the tools and the resources that they need to feel really empowered and to help them to heal. And I was brought to this mission through the birth of my first son and that was about seven and a half years ago now. And through his birth, his birth was it did not go as planned and his birth ended up being kind of traumatic for me. And through that, his birth and through the postpartum period, which I really was not prepared for and did not realize all the support that I was going to need through breastfeeding and just through raising a baby who…he was a baby that tended to cry a lot unless he was nursing or sleeping, and through all that I went through, that really opened up my eyes to see the support that women need and the education that they need going into conception and going into pregnancy and through birth and through postpartum. And it kind of lit a fire in me after all of that, to start pursuing some kind of career in women’s health.
Sarah: Mm-hmm. I can now speak to the parts of this journey; preconception, conception, pregnancy, birth, and now postpartum motherhood that I’ve been through so far. And as I navigated that myself, I realized where some of those gaps are, where some of the holes are in this industry, in this process. And on a recent podcast, one of my guests talked about how the village as we used to know it is gone. It’s dead. And so, we get to revillage and create new, more modern support systems because the old support system just isn’t like it used to be. And I’d love to know from your perspective and all of your kiddos where you feel like some of those gaps are. Where are we lacking? How can we support mothers better and how do you hope to support mothers better through your work?
Emily: Well, first of all, going into my first pregnancy, I didn’t realize that I needed to prepare at all. And I was coaching fitness classes at the time, I was really fit, and I thought that that was going to be enough to take me into a natural birth. And I honestly signed up for a two-day class at a hospital for childbirth education and I went to the first day. The second day was about having a C-section or any kind of interventions and I honestly thought that I don’t even need that because I’m not going to have a C-section. It’s just going to go as planned. I was planning for a natural water birth with midwives in a hospital. And so I literally went through one day of education and then when I got into my birth, I pretty much had all of the interventions that I wasn’t planning on. It ended up in a C-section.
And looking back on it, and then going into my second pregnancy, I realized that we need to be more educated on the fact that we even need any kind of pregnancy education, any sort of, especially if you are thinking about a natural birth, that we need to understand any sort of pain management. And so, that was really eye-opening for me and that was something that I changed going into my second birth. I started doing Hypnobabies for that one. And then going into postpartum with my first baby, I mentioned that he was really what you would consider colicky so he cried all the time and he also had a really hard time. We had a hard time breastfeeding so they mentioned in the hospital that he might have a tongue tie and a lip tie, which I had never heard of before.
And going into my pediatrician at the time, he told me that that didn’t exist. And so, they immediately told me that I should just put him on formula because we were three or four days out at the time from having a C-section. My milk hadn’t come in yet, which is actually not uncommon when you’ve gone through a really long labor and gone through a C-section, but I didn’t know as a first-time mom, anything about what I was supposed to be doing. I was super determined though, to continue breastfeeding. And I happened to see my midwife right after I saw him and she was just really helpful in supporting me and giving me the resources that I needed and sending me to the person that I needed to see to really assess the tongue tie and the lip tie and verify that that is what he actually had.
And we were a month in before we got that addressed. And at that point, nursing was so, so painful. I don’t know how I could have gone one more day doing that. Luckily he was a really, really good nurser so he was still gaining weight. But I feel like so often I hear women go through this exact same journey and they don’t have those resources and they don’t have somebody there just affirming what they’re going through that they aren’t able to end up continuing that breastfeeding journey. So that’s something else that I’m really passionate about.
Sarah: Mm-hmm. I deeply relate. And I was recently asked what the most challenging part of motherhood has been for me so far and I said breastfeeding. Also was extremely determined to continue that relationship, even when my lactation consultant was sitting next to me on my couch back in Colorado and we were crying together because she was just like, I am so sorry. You are trying so hard and I’m so sorry it’s not working. And ultimately we were able to continue really through miraculous ways because I thought I was going to have to end that relationship short. And it wasn’t so much even about the nutritional benefits for Emmersyn at that point. It was like I wasn’t ready. I was going to grieve the crap out of it if I had to stop at that point. And yes, I can’t even really explain why we’ve been able to continue because it just sort of ended up working out in this miraculous way, but it was extremely challenging and so emotional…so, so emotional because it’s such a way to bond obviously with your baby, your child, and also just extremely time-consuming and so much pressure on mothers as well.
It’s like even that alone, that’s one component of this entire journey, and that in itself, it has so many complexities and layers, and for me, challenges. This came up in Illuminated and with some of the other mamas in the group around if we have had trauma around birth, how we can start to close that birthing cycle and resolve that trauma so that number one; we can just be well with ourselves, but also if we are considering preparing or to conceive again or have another baby. I’d love for you to speak about or maybe even provide some options or tips for people who have had some sort of trauma related to that birthing day of one or multiple of their children and what can we do about that? Because I think that oftentimes people kind of just leave it and they’re like, it is what it is when a lot of things actually can be addressed, even though it happened in the past.
Emily: Yes, absolutely. So going into my second birth, my first birth being a C-section; going into my second, going back into that hospital atmosphere for me was it just felt like it was going to be really traumatic. And so, there were a lot of things that I switched with that. The first thing was that I started going to therapy leading into it and just it was traditional talk therapy and that was really helpful. I also switched to a home birth with a midwife and that in and of itself, all of the resources that she provided and just switching the atmosphere for me was huge and really empowering to be able to have a baby at home when I felt like I was being told that I couldn’t have a baby vaginally at that point.
And since then, and coming into the energy healing aspect of it, I have started working with somebody who does womb healing, and just creating presence with my body and through that presence, creating safety in my body. And a lot of times, especially for ones who had C-sections, but also any woman who has a birth or a birth that had any sort of trauma and it just… Touching for me, touching my C-section scar, it took a really long time to be able to even just touch it. And then a lot of times now, it’s a really common space for us to store emotions there. And so, just from creating contact with that, a lot of times it’ll start to bring up emotions for me, as well as also just creating presence with our yoni, with our pelvic floor and creating contact with the area and massaging that area, even if it’s just energetically at first or breathing into that area, which is a really great way for moms to start healing early postpartum just through breath and through that breath, just getting that blood flowing and creating energy. Through that, a lot of emotions, you might notice, start to surface and they’re there so you can start to heal them.
So through creating presence with my womb space and with my yoni and with my heart space, I have started to heal a lot of the birth trauma that I went through. And it was actually in one of my very first sessions with the person that I was working with that I was working through just any sort of womb and yoni healing. And as I was going through that, I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was thinking it was going to be something that was really pleasurable. And I had a flashback to this; my first birth, and I didn’t realize all of the emotions that I was still carrying from it because I’ve done so much work. And prior to this time, for the past six months to a year, I wasn’t able to cry. I felt really, really numb and I wasn’t having any sort of highs, any sort of lows.
I think it was actually kind of a postpartum depression after my third birth because my third birth actually was in March of 2020 so it was right at the beginning of everything going into lockdown. And my third birth, my daughter didn’t even meet her grandparents for two months because we didn’t know what was going on at the time. And so, I had very little support going into my third, even though I thought that at that point that I was a pro mom. So I think that I was kind of experiencing some kind of postpartum depression and I was feeling really numb to all of my feelings at the time. And once I started to create presence and contact with my womb and with my yoni and with my heart space, all of these emotions started to surface and it was just like the floodgates released and I started to cry and cry, but in a really, really good and empowering release kind of way. And for me in the past, crying has been something that didn’t feel safe and it also felt like a weakness. And I always thought it was really strong just to hide those emotions and so this was a huge growth period for me.
Sarah: Yes. Oh, I’m just witnessing you in all of that and that full, full expression of all the emotions that had probably been so buried or just frozen within you for so long and the courage that it takes to finally feel all of that and to connect to a part of your body where there has been trauma and at the same time there’s been this beauty as far as literally bringing life into the world and even the duality and the complexity of that duality in that area of your body and your yoni and your womb. I’m curious, because we have been together now for almost a year inside of the Illuminated container, how you are or plan to integrate some of the components of Illuminated into serving mothers in all stages of this process.
Emily: Yes. So what is really interesting is I feel like over the past nine months since I’ve been in Illuminated, I have been trying to figure out what is my niche? How do I fit in? How do I fit this doula version of me and this energy healer? And when you announced Illuminated at the time and I was coming out of a fitness coaching role, I had taken a course with you, I don’t know, maybe two years before then. And when you announced it, I just knew. I don’t know why, but my gut knows that I have to be here. I have to do Illuminated. And breathwork in particular was the really big thing for me that I was super excited about. And so, this entire past nine months, I’ve been trying to really figure out how does this all fit together?
And literally last night, before our podcast, I’ve been catching up on these Birthfit modules. And as I was going through that, it was like, this is it. I understand and I feel like the dream is even bigger than I can explain. But working with women in this motherhood transition and helping them through preconception to start to create awareness of their menstrual cycle and to start to become aware of when they’re ovulating and when they’re menstruating and just becoming more aware of the everyday things that they’re doing during that time and as well as creating this awareness in their womb and yoni and working through any sort of preconceived ideas and traumas that they might have coming into it, which starts to incorporate the things that we talked about in Illuminated from any sort of mindset work and through things like breathwork and energy work and then past the preconception as they’re pregnant and whether this is their first one or their second one, starting to then work through any sort of, again, any sort of trauma and starting to educate them and prepare them for birth.
And then going into birth as the doula role and then going past that through postpartum, I see myself creating these women’s circles and supporting moms. Before I entered into Illuminated, my dream was I was Reiki-certified and I was a doula and I’m going to do one-on-one Reiki sessions forever. And then I started to work with you and I think maybe you mentioned group work or whatever and I was like, I can’t see myself ever doing that. I don’t think that I could lead a group. And since then I have started leading these women’s circles, these women’s Reiki healing circles. I am going to be doing a Reiki and breathwork circle coming up and I’ve started to do some one-on-one breathwork and Reiki sessions. And through these circles and through incorporating things from Illuminated, I have taken women through these womb-healing experiences through things like focusing on the root in the sacral chakra and some of the chakra work and the crystal work and some of the things with the essential oils.
And I, even within my group work, have had these incredible birth-healing experiences where women are healing their own births from when they were born. One of the moms had a little boy who’s adopted and she was helping to heal his birth as well. And I just think from going through Illuminated, one of the huge things for me too has just been this understanding more of who I am and taking all these healing modalities and first helping to heal myself. And then I’ve been bringing that into my one-on-one client spaces. And I couldn’t see myself before, coaching anybody, and now I’ve worked through coaching with one-on-one clients and I’ve taken that into my group spaces as well. And it has just completely expanded my view of what I’m able to do, like be on a podcast, which is something that I said I can never ever see myself doing and…
Sarah: Here we are.
Emily: Here we are.
Sarah: I love this, Emily. It’s been so beautiful to watch you unfold all the layers that is you and then be able to create or be inspired from that place to create and to bring this to the world. And I just feel like you are the whole package in that you have so much to offer at all those different stages for a woman, for a mama. And you mentioned that some of this has been even just what you learned about yourself. Because obviously there’s a million different teachings and lessons inside of the Illuminated curriculum, but I would also love to know what have you unveiled about yourself or realized about yourself that has helped you to make that movement forward to evolve into where you are today?
Emily: Yes. So a huge part of that has been creating trust in myself and safety in my body. And part of that has been entering into Illuminated with this group of women. And I remember initially, I think it was our first day, and you said something about the group of women and how we’re going to get to really intimately know each other over the next nine months. And for me, as somebody who tends to be more introverted, I was like, ooh, this is kind of scary and I don’t know how I feel about sharing all of me with these women. And through the way that you lead and create this container, that feels super safe and super supportive. And I truly believe and understand now how you mentioned also that the women that were placed in the group were, I don’t remember how you said it but I’m going to say divinely placed there and they were the ones that were supposed to be there. And I wouldn’t have believed it nine months ago, but the women that are in there now, I feel are some of my soul sisters.
And I’m actually going to a sacred pregnancy retreat where I’m going to be leading Reiki there in Colorado in January. And because it’s in Colorado, I’m going to be meeting up with Rebecca and…
Sarah: Oh my gosh.
Emily: Unfortunately, you won’t be there now.
Sarah: I know. Shoot.
Emily: So part of it really is just being able to be witnessed and to start to feel comfortable to share within a group, which has been huge for me. And then the other part has been creating this trust in my body. And some of that has come through these womb practices and creating presence in my body and the other part has just been trusting my intuition. And for me, my intuition comes through my body through being super clairsentient. And what I had witnessed before, I don’t have very many prior to this. I didn’t know very many close friends who would have identified as being somebody who knew their clairs or identified in that sort of way. And so, I didn’t understand that there were a lot of different ways that you can experience your intuition. And looking around, I always felt like I don’t know if I belong here because I experience my intuition through my body, which really, really helps me in my Reiki practice and in working with women who are pregnant and who are postpartum. But it didn’t look like everybody else’s, I thought.
And through starting to understand, and part of that has just been working with you and the women in the group; starting to understand that that was not only okay but it was part of my medicine and how I’m able to help other people, that has been really huge for me. So…
Sarah: Mm. Yes.
Emily: That’s definitely like now that I trust myself, trust my intuition, it’s created trust in myself. And through that, I feel has helped me just to be really more confident so…
Sarah: Absolutely. And you mentioned sort of feeling like this more introverted person at the beginning of this journey. And it’s not that you have to be extroverted, right? And instead, it was just that your inner introvert was allowed to be fully herself and you could trust that it was a safe space to be that. Because I’m totally introvert as well, even though a lot of times people hear me say that and they’re like, you’re not an introvert. And I’m like, oh no, I am totally an introvert, but introverts can still have podcasts and they can still lead group programs and they can still be seen. It’s just that way that we recharge is a little bit different. And so, I think that some of the voices that we need to hear more on this planet are grabbing the microphone as the introverts and really hearing that voice.
And I’m so glad that you are doing just that and sharing your medicine and sharing it through your clairsentience right? Through the way that you do experience versus trying to alter that or change that to look like somebody else, and instead, really honoring your divine and unique, intuitive intelligence and having obviously a massive impact on women in that process. I’d love to wrap up with one more question and then I, of course, want you to share where people can get to know you. But what would you say to the individual who is considering joining us for the 2022 class inside of Illuminated?
Emily: Hmm. I would say absolutely do it and just to trust your intuition. And for me, like I said, when you announced it last year, I just knew that I was supposed to do it. And I didn’t even necessarily like… It didn’t completely make sense to me, but just trusting that intuition if you are feeling at all curious about it, and that this has been one of the singular most things that has created so much growth within me in the past nine months. And I kind of want to go back now to one of our first meetings just to see myself because I feel like I wouldn’t even recognize who I was then compared to who I am now.
Sarah: You should go do this because I had a student do this last time and I think she ended up posting about it on her Instagram story. But she went into our first welcome call or whatever it was and she videoed herself on the screen and she looked, sounded, just was experienced by the world in a completely different way. It’s so, so fucking cool. So I encourage you to do that if you’re feeling the call. And I mean, just the sheer amount of time that Illuminated is, this nine to 10-month journey together, it’s inevitable that we’re all going to evolve and change, but I think when you do so in such a safe, supportive container, so much expansion is available to you. And thank you for trusting your holy hell yes and for making that commitment to join us because that group wouldn’t have been the same if your energy hadn’t been present in it. And like you said, we were all divinely placed in that group and I truly believe that. Oh, okay, so Emily, how can people get to know you even more, even deeper, and or work with you coming up this year of 2022?
Emily: Yes. So you can reach out to me through Instagram. My handle is iamemilyfelton. And throughout the next year, we’ll see what happens. Right now, I am doing one-on-one sessions through Reiki and breathwork as well as a breathwork plus Reiki session. And next year, I plan on just hosting more women’s circles and I’m really looking forward to seeing what this sacred pregnancy retreat looks like. And I have a feeling after that, things are going to take off.
Sarah: Mm. Thank you so much for sharing all of you with all of us today. I so appreciate you. Thank you, Emily.
Emily: Thank you, Sarah.
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January 13, 2022