Happy Friday, readers! Let’s kick this day off with another Virus Series interview with The Chic Void’s very special friend, Jules Spitzer. From yoga, global adventures, cooking, to becoming a Doula, Jules brings peace and encouragement wherever she goes.
TCV: Where are you living, and who are you living with?
JS: I am living with my partner Travis in Manoa, a valley outside of Honolulu, Hawaii.
TCV: What do you do for work?
JS: I am an entrepreneur with a background in the wellness industry combining small to large scale events (festivals/retreats/intimate gatherings), yoga (vinyasa, yin, aerial silks, and thai massage), and most recently, getting to support women and families as a birth doula.
TCV: How has Covid-19 changed your day-to-day?
JS: Living on an island makes everything feel sensitive, as resources feel more limited. I rarely leave my home, and work from home has me focusing on the planning side vs. on the action side of my business at the moment. Sometimes I feel like it leaves me walking in circles in my home – staring out the window. It’s hard to move this slow! It’s my hope to use this time to get a clearer vision on the way I can support the community, especially women. Working in the birth world at this moment is tricky – how to make that a safe experience, and how/when can that be done virtually. We still don’t know if pregnant women can transmit the virus to their babies. To date, the coronavirus has not been found in breast milk or in amniotic fluid, which is good news.
At the moment, many hospitals are limiting births to only one visitor in the room which leaves a lot of women left choosing between their partner and their doula. There are even some states that are not allowing anyone else in the room with the woman during labor, and while I understand the precaution, that feels unacceptable and reminiscent of a darker time. We’re seeing a lot of activism rise up surrounding a woman’s right to have support with her – as well as a higher demand for at home births with midwives. It’s not necessarily a demand that’s ready to be met. It’s all a larger conversation – so staying abreast of these changes is becoming a part of my day-to-day. I’m learning how to support virtually. Birth plans done remotely have been a new idea to me and others, and where it was once a novel idea, it is now the new reality.
I’m also beginning training to volunteer with Crisis Text Line, which is a free, 24/7 text line for people in crisis in the United States – anyone with a phone can just text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor. I think that’s an important resource to know about – especially right now.
TCV: What is your biggest fear in this moment?
JS: Hmmm, my biggest fear. I think about the people in my life that are more susceptible to the virus as I understand it. However, I’m trying to pause fear. I am trying to dilute fear and stay patient because we don’t know what this looks like moving forward. I don’t think I’m as afraid as I am anxious about how to be a part of a community anymore. What will it look like? I am also nervous when I think about those dealing with mental health struggles, the homeless, and others who are less fortunate than my immediate community.
TCV: During this global crisis, there have been a lot of religious or spiritual people talking about End of Times and other prophetic messaging. How do you feel about that?
JS: I feel like it’s to be expected. I also feel that if I were to take a spiritual message from all of this I would think Mother Nature as an entity is finally getting what she needs, which is a rest from human interaction in terms of how we trample and pollute her. I do believe that there is a ‘reset button’ happening right now. And based on this, I believe its a good thing that we have to be more intentional during this time and moving forward as we build these habits and skills.
TCV: Has Covid-19 made you think differently about certain aspects of your life?
JS: It has. It has made me think about what it means to be prepared, as well as how to feel prepared and present at the same time. For example, we had a Tsunami warning a few days ago that compounded all that is happening with the virus, and escalated our outlook to a survival level. This makes me think about survival as it relates to having a roof or tent over my head, supplies, and rationing food and water. It also makes me think about the process of ‘stop, drop, and leaving your home’ if you needed to.
TCV: What are you doing to connect with yourself in this moment?
JS: I am tapping hardcore into my meditation practice, yoga practice and cooking. When anxiety or sadness spikes, I use a mantra to bring me back. I like to use: One Moment At A Time and Step Outside, Nature Is Always There For You. I have been stepping outside a lot. These are all basic reminders to bring me back down to ‘mental earth’. I’m also trying to sweat every other day in order to move angsty energy out.
TCV: What are you thankful for in this moment?
JS: I’m thankful for technology that connects me to friends and family. I am thankful for all that I have and what it means to have a safe place to be. Home, food, and other basic needs have me recognizing that I have what I need and that they are in abundance, which makes me so thankful because not everyone has them. Plus, I am in Hawaii where I can step outside and see plants that make my sense of wonder respond in a second – there’s a mango tree in my backyard!
TCV: If you could hug one person right now, who would it be?
JS: I think my Mom-mom (Grandmother on Father’s side). She has a lot of animals she cares for and that care for her, but she is self-isolated, so it would be great to see her and hug her.
TCV: If you could give one piece of advice to others during this time, what would it be?
JS: Hmm, that’s hard. I want to say lots of things depending on the person, but one overarching thing would be having the opportunity to ask yourself questions during this time like, “Where is the good and what good can I bring today?” There is so much time to take right now to find joy in your most true/you form. And maybe, limit tv time and step up the nature time!
TCV: What is one positive you see for society coming out of these times?
JS: Intention. I think our use of time, resources, and how we understand community is all going to be more intentional. I think we are all understanding who we are as a whole right now and how our actions impact everything. That understating can turn into a really beautiful thing.
TCV: When all of this is over, what is the first thing you’ll do?
JS: Find myself in a group hug?! When is too soon?! Book a flight for travel to the east coast, finally get to throw a murder mystery party we’ve been planning, and line up the next time I can be a doula in-person at a birth!