It's been fun getting to know ACE through networking in our local birth community. She brings creativity and enthusiasm to her work as a birth doula. Our local families will be lucky to have her support! I hope you'll take the time to read her interview. I'm so grateful that she agreed to participate in the Practicing Together Project!
How would you answer these questions? If you've given birth, did you have a birth doula? Leave a comment and let us know!
What are some things that were important to you as a small child that you can still see echoes or threads of in your life today?
A familiar value I hold with early recollection is inclusivity. While inclusivity in current discourse often relates to society and humanity at large, it often shows up most poignantly for me around specific individuals in group settings. My empathy toward outcasts and underdogs (if you will) impels my most compassionate thoughts and action. Each living being is precious and laden with value, deserving of unconditional recognition, even when it feels egoically threatening to bestow it. To see myself in the other and the other in myself allows me to more deeply feel into the love that pervades existence.
What are some things you have done in your life that you are truly proud of?
This is not quite a thing in my life I’ve done, as much as it is a thing I do (or a way I am, if you will). This is my persistent tendency to see the best in others. I am a naturally trusting person who is strongly inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt. The wonderful way that this shows up is that it’s so easy for me to feel deep, visceral love for others, even those I don’t know personally. Forgiveness has never been a struggle for me and excellent customer service can choke me up! The downside of this (other than a few incidents where folks have taken advantage of it) is the affect it has had on my self-esteem. My emphasis on the positive traits in others, coupled with a de-emphasis of my own, can result in psychological imbalances. Still, I wouldn’t trade the love this allows me to feel toward others for anything.
What are a few of your favorite questions to ask people you are getting to know? Why do you like these questions?
I learned of a game called Three Questions that I love using to get to know people better, particularly during hiking trips. You ask of them the following:
1) Their favorite color and three deep reasons why.
2) Their favorite animal and three deep reasons why.
3) Their favorite form or body of water and three deep reasons why. (IE ranging from rain, ice, the ocean, the Columbia River, or a bath tub)
Prompt them to introspect, paying attention to their responses and how they say them. The secret is that every answer they give is really about something else. Their favorite color represents the truth about how they see themselves; how they view their own personality. Their favorite animal is the truth about what they want in an ideal life partner. And their favorite form or body of water is the truth about their view of their own sexuality and their attitude towards sex (and some might even argue, towards life itself)
What is your relationship to or experience with your own emotions? Was emotional presence modeled for you when you were a child?
When in the grip of them, I typically struggle to put a finger on my emotions, yet I expect myself to be able to point at one on a feelings chart. I must say, I don’t know if I have ever actually felt any form of sadness, happiness, joy, or disgust in total isolation of one another. As I write this I realize my feelings are much more like a kaleidoscope—a dynamic menagerie of shifting shapes and colliding color. I wish our culture allowed us more grace and space to adequately acknowledge our feelings in real time. Or perhaps I should say, I wish I allowed this of myself. But writing prompts such as these are certainly a start; my participation a ripple toward greater understanding of the mysteries of the heart.
How does curiosity show up in your life?
The utter bombardment of everyday life can at times sap me of my curiosity for knowledge, new experiences, or connection. But one incredibly steadfast form of curiosity I have is the desire to deeply understand others. This often comes up during conversations where I’ll find myself probing to clarify what is being communicated, both verbally and non-verbally. I’ve heard that curiosity is actually more a function of the heart than the mind and this feels true for me—the more open my heart feels, the braver and more equipped I feel to explore reality.
Alexandra “ACE” Eberle (she/her) is an artist, birth doula, and mediator. She enjoys relieving suffering in others, navigating them toward joy and fulfillment. Ace lives in Seattle with her partner and two cats, Jacket and Jughead. Ace loves to snowboard, ride her motorcycle, and to play tennis and the drums. Ace agreed to take part in the Practicing Together project because I want to network within the doula community. Her favorite way to get creative is through sculpting and painting, both within the oil medium. You can connect with Ace and learn more about her work at www. alexandraceberle.com or on Instagram @alexandraceberle
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It's me, Crystal. I need a place to put all my extra words.