Hello there. I am Sherry….
~ nutritionist for nutritionists and femme-preneurs, champion of mothers, author, and midwife of dream design.
What I do
I am committed to the exquisite care of mothers so that more of us may become fabulous, self-satisfied nurturers of our bodies, our desires, our families and our communities. In that order.
Through workshops, online courses, books and on-on-one coaching, I support women in acquiring the practical knowledge and understanding they need to:
• nourish themselves body & soul
• harmonize innate feminine energies and rhythms like our great-great-great grandmothers did
• feel empowered and nurtured through pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum~ as a mother (or nurtured on your path to building a childbearing years nutrition practice).
• mother healthfully (and guiltlessly – because there’s no such thing as perfect)
• live with a greater sense of individual purpose – and turn that passion into a path of meaningful lifework that abundantly allows you the space and freedom to choose how you want to live, to experience more pleasure (day to day) and to generously give back.
What I believe
I believe that anything is possible. I believe that people can heal. I believe that disease is a catalyst for life transformation and that transformation is required if we are to fully heal. I believe in the long view and in creating solutions from a systems perspective, taking into account the whole. I believe in treating the root cause, not just the symptoms. I believe it is possible to hold two equal and opposing views and for them both to be right in their own context. I believe in synchronicity. I believe in the beauty and essential nature of imperfection. I believe in a higher power. I believe that people are intrinsically good. I believe that childbirth is a woman’s visionquest and that motherhood is a spiritual practice.
I believe that our desires as women and mothers are powerful and transformative and necessary – not just in our own lives but in the world. I believe that before we can be effective beyond ourselves, we must first master self-care and self-nourishment. Our culture often tells us this is selfish but, in truth, it is a tremendous act of generosity to fill yourself up for the benefit of others.
The journey I took on the path to becoming a holistic mamapreneur coach
I wouldn’t have expected Shirley Maclean to change my life, but she did. I happened to pick up Out on a Limb, a book in which she describes her relationship to her daughter and a very different style of parenting than I’d been exposed to in a way that was new and exciting to me. Shirley saw her daughter as a completely unique and fascinating individual, separate and lovingly detached – someone she wanted to discover, not someone she wanted to shape. It was this idea that made me want to be a mother.
As I pictured it, I could be a wise and perfect steward of a soul and this new addition to our family would contentedly play alongside me while I went about the business of fulfilling my own dreams of, in addition to becoming a mother, building a naturopathic practice and launching a career as a singer-songwriter. But it didn’t exactly work out that way.
I couldn’t have predicted that I would become an “attachment parent” and I didn’t know that children don’t just play contently while moms work. I didn’t know how deeply connected I would feel to my baby or that he would not want to be put down for a good year and a half…. or that my second child would have severe colic.
I didn’t know that I would be sooo affected by a feeling that something was missing in my first experience of pregnancy and that something I couldn’t name had gone wrong in my first birth that I would set about learning all that I could to discover the truth (and reclaim my trust in birth and my body). The more I learned about childbirth, the more passionate I felt about “removing the rocks in the road” for other moms-to-be.
I set aside my interest in alternative medicine for nearly seven years to study childbirth travelling from coast to coast and as far as Hawaii to learn the wisdom of instinctive birthing from traditional midwives in the US and Canada. I wanted nothing more than to serve women in childbirth as a midwife in the undisturbed paradigm, but after many years of serving as a Doula and giving birth to my daughter unassisted, I felt wildly empowered to serve women in a different way and to leave behind the calling of midwifery due to value conflicts that I just couldn’t put aside (stuff like protocols that the kind of women I served in birth didn’t want anyway!). I released any attachment I had to becoming a Midwife and chose to just be “with women” as a sister and friend… whether that means holding the space for birth, bringing a meal afterwards to postpartum nurturing care – whatever is needed – just as our own grandmother and aunty ancestors have always done.
Once I gave up my desire to be a midwife, my old love of nutrition found me again, pushing naturopathy aside once more. I love to be in a circle of women, in my kitchen, chatting in a coffee shop. I couldn’t see myself behind a desk. This understanding is part of what led to my most fulfilling and successful work (and why I am so passionate about helping mothers write their own lifework success stories as the ultimate expression of health, harmony, self-connection and service).
Despite my commitment to peaceful childbirth and holistic family nutrition, life as a mother has not been without challenge. I stand before you wholly imperfect. Pregnancy, birth, postpartum and mothering up until age two were reasonably easy for me, but from ages three to seven, I had to fight with myself not to disengage. My son’s Waldorf teacher once asked with a well-meaning (but worrying) mix of curiosity and concern why my son was so uncomfortable receiving affection, and my daughter, seeking reassurance, has been known to ask heartbreaking questions like, “Mama,do you love the cats more than me?”
And despite what I thought was the perfect diet, our health hasn’t been perfect either. After what I thought of as an impeccably healthy pregnancy – regular chiropractic treatments, the best vitamins, not a drop of coffee – and after a natural homebirth and no vaccinations, my son had to be hospitalized for four hours under full anesthesia to correct an inguinal hernia at four months….I painfully lived in anguish worrying that he might die up until that very day.
He ended up getting an infection from the surgery and had to take antibiotics which resulted in thrush followed by food sensitivities and eczema. I was tormented by the feeling that our whole foods vegetarian diet and natural lifestyle of the time hadn’t prevented our child’s suffering… I was at a loss for what more I could do. After visits to many practitioners looking for the “right” supplement or cream, I finally followed my instincts. I did the leaky gut diet with him (something I now support clients with) and he recovered from eczema in a matter of weeks. I still had so much more to learn about digestive health and nutrition at that point… if only I had learned more quickly I could have spared my sweet baby daughter so much distress through our time with colic.
It’s the missteps I have made (and continue to make) as a mother that lead me to seek new knowledge and learning and that help me understand with greater depth the power and responsibility and potential of motherhood. I feel that I was gifted with the experience of motherhood so that I could to serve that purpose and less because I’d be the world’s best mom year in and year out. (I plan to make a comeback in the teen years though! If you’re feeling like you’re slipping at motherhood right now you might be as comforted as I was to hear from Chloe Maddanes that it is actually universal that some parents are good with young children and others are good with young adults and teens. No one is good at the whole thing!)
Today, wonderfully flawed and still-learning as I am, I see my Great Work as this: founding the university of motherhood (a learning community of self actualizing mothers searching deep within to find their own answers and writing their own curriculum). I don’t have all the answers, of course, and you’re likelier to find me in handmade layered tunics and dresses from my favourite Etsy designers than sporting tweed and professorial specs, but I do know how to create sacred space for learning, how to craft holistic curriculum, and how to hold open doors for other women. My work is to invite other women to learn and teach together in a classroom unlike any other, heartfully committed to the blessed art and damned hard work of motherhood, dream-fulfillment and service (and, yes, I’m still pursuing a singing career – jazz, if you please – while I do the rest). Join me?