Doorways Traveler
Doorways Traveler

Until it was finished.

Nearly three years after announcing The Doorways Project: Midwives in Mexico, and taking a journey to witness the work of both CASA and One Heart World-Wide, I am writing this post. There has been something intangible about this project that has forced it to rest and pause and cause discomfort for me, as it has lingered, unfinished, all this time. I have experienced waves of profound guilt, especially as I received generous backing to make the project happen and was anxious to come through with my promise of rewards. But seasons of my life stepped in, and I, for whatever reason, became blocked from the flow of completion.

Yes, over the past three years, big things happened in my life. I was challenged. I didn’t have the creative energy to give the work the time and effort it deserved to make the most impact. I had to gently put the project aside while I tended to my body, my family, and my spirit. But, there was more to it. While I did edit and deliver the images to both organizations for their use as promised, created a slideshow that was viewed at Direct Relief International and online, and posted the gallery of images to this website, I experienced profound blocks, both real and imagined, to completing the translations of the personal interviews I did, as well as to sending the Kickstarter rewards and handwriting the notes of gratitude to my backers. And, of course, the more time that passed, the more daunted and ashamed I felt, and the vicious cycle perpetuated itself within me.

I believe that there are things that we hold onto to prevent ourselves from moving forward. What I have learned from carrying this unfinished responsibility for the past three years, is what it really means to see something through. By holding this project incomplete, and thus not sitting to the task of completing what I had held myself accountable for, I have had to face a litany of internal dialogue, not very much of it nice. I held the standard so high for myself, and having believed that I had fallen short, I was rendered inert to continue. There was also, I believe now, a positive tether that I was hanging onto, as well. By keeping this project on my plate, I sustained a small and potent connection to the work and service in the world that I hold dear, during a period of my life that was mostly spent inward and at home. And now, in the lightness of being that I find myself in today, I am able to wrap it up with ease and grace, express my gratitude, and let it go.

My trip to Mexico taught me many things, but mostly the lesson was in the strength of women and the value of community. What I saw was resilience and a willingness to show up and learn new skills. I saw seventy year old midwives walk miles of steep terrain to learn new ways to save women in childbirth. I saw generations of women exchanging knowledge and working together. I saw a sixteen year old girl who had already herself managed an emergent delivery and saved the lives of a mother and her baby. I was challenged by the landscape and awed by the beauty of one of the most grand locations on the planet. But mostly, I was taught humility.

And, perhaps, it was this lesson in humility that has finally taken root and allowed me to write this post. I humbly bow down to the women I met along this journey. I humbly bow in gratitude to the backers who supported my way there, and, somehow, through the ripples that I have felt since. I apologize for not saying so sooner, but I forgive myself now, and feel, somehow, that it played out as it needed to. I hope you understand. This one had to sink in, in a way that I never anticipated. And the doorway to freedom that I am seeing ahead of me now is wide open with the possibility of so much more.

I will, most certainly, pay this one forward.

With sincere gratitude to Jen Swezey, Sas Petherick, Gillian Da Silva, Bella Cirovic, Karen, William Vasquez, Mari Mitchell, Jo Hanlon-Moores, Anna Bunting, Kirsten Michelle, Jenn Gibson, Kathy Field, Eileen Haber, Evan Thomas, Ash Petherick, Jennifer Lee, Michelle Madden-Smith, Alessandra Cave, Annie Price, Julie Hirschberg, Amy Williamson, Sara Blackthorne, Randi Buckley, Maya Stein, Vivienne McMaster, Liz Marley, Belinda Carson, Bea Thomes, Heather Blancho, Liz Elayne, Leslie Lindell, Erin Faith Allen, Esmee and Andre, Jeanne Gleason, Gabriella Klein, Pen McKinley-Rodgers, Marisa Anne, Jeanine Brandi, Irene Nam, Ghiribaldi, Heather Plett, Patricia Christakos, Anne Van de Water, Stacy de la Rosa, Denise McCorvie, Christina Rosalie, Melissa Piccola, DeAnn Wilson, Christine Mason-Miller, Esme Weijun Wang, Leonie Wise, Pixie Campbell, Emmanuel Lambert, Marla Phillips, Carrie Kappel, and Gail Mooney. Your Kickstarter rewards are in the post. I bow to and thank each and every one of you for believing in me. And for giving me the time it took to believe in myself again.

Categories: other


  • Michelle:

    I have two extra hands and ears and eyes, if you ever need them for any of this work. My time is what I am able to give and would be so grateful for the opportunity to help. Any time. . .

    lisa  replied:

    and what lovely hands they are. xx

  • Marla:

    Dear Lisa,
    The pictures are lovely, your quest even more so.
    You have benefited so many with your project and will continue to do so, how great is that?
    There is no time limit on joy or gratitude.
    Thanks for letting me be a part of your wonderful doorway.

    lisa  replied:

    so appreciate your support, marla. no limits, indeed.

  • Bella:

    Love. I met you for like 5 minutes before you jetted off to India! I’ve always believed in the work you do. Sometimes, the work calls us home and we must stay until we feel in our bones that we are ready. I admire you for taking that time to tend to yourself, your spirit, and your family. xo

    lisa  replied:

    the admiration is mutual, beautiful bella. xx

  • Alessandra Cave:

    First, you are so very welcome. I supported you and would do it again without ever asking for any prize or response in return. You traveled your path, and you met those women, gave yourself, and the returns are so big they are unimaginable. Well done! You work and your heart are gold. xo

    lisa  replied:

    thanks, alex. much love to you.

  • Annie:

    Thank you for being in touch and letting us in. I found comfort in these words that helped to create some softness around my own places of inertia. The images are stunningly rich in color and spirit. A gift indeed. xoxo

    lisa  replied:

    we all have them, glad mine could offer ease to yours.

  • Sas:

    One of the things that our friendship – this eternal deep real bond – has taught me, is that there really is no distance in time and space. There is just love.
    Its so simple and profound and it tastes like mungbeans and goji berries 😉
    These images are beautiful. Your lightness shines through honey!

  • Denise:

    Sweet soul sister,
    Our history spans lifetimes. This is by far the most courageous, profoundly brave and utterly beautiful release of what was, in favor of what is now. Rock on sister and stay true to this voice. My deepest love and respect for the work you have done and continue to do. xo

  • Swirly:

    My dear…I came home today to a beautiful surprise at my doorstep. You continue to inspire and delight me, to show me what it means to walk in grace, to teach me how to stay true to my own heart, mind, body and soul. I love you. THANK YOU.

  • Cordelia:

    Hi There,
    I have not been aware of any of this process of yours or the project, but thank you for sharing some of your struggle and process. And congrats for forgiving yourself, which is a feat in itself. It’s so great to come across truth here and there in this world of social media. It’s what gives others the courage to go ahead with their dreams and not worry about the way the journey looks. Sometimes the gifts aren’t so blatant.

  • leonie:

    theres no time limit on love. no expiry date, no distance, nor expectation.

  • Cat:

    this is EXACTLY what I needed to read today…on SO many levels
    thank you for sharing your heart
    I so appreciate your transparency in your words

    Love and Light

    lisa  replied:



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Doorways Traveler
Doorways Traveler