Rockin’ Women Wednesdays – Lael Stone
This beautiful gift from spirit disguised as a young woman entered my life in the mid nineties. Lael joined our team of 25 staff at Gowings Grace Darling Hotel where she would carry plates, pull beers by day and night, then in between shifts examine our auras! Can you imagine that?! Long before we had a wellness industry and spirituality was cool, Lael was engaging us around the bar at knock off drinks with stories from spirit and tales about the ‘other side’. So intrigued was my best friend Nigel, he befriended Lael instantly and they shacked up in a Fitzroy share house for months to follow. To this day their rich friendship flourishes, inclusive of a revered godparent role to Lael and Mike’s eldest son. Just as importantly, Lael’s mother Barb, is a guiding light and gifted intuitive who founded the Jamieson Sanctuary in Victoria.
I just love it when my worlds collide and if there’s one thing you must do today, it is to watch the technological magic that is About Birth here – then read all about Lael below. About Birth is a video-based prenatal learning program that provides a comprehensive curriculum of essential knowledge for expectant mothers and their partners. See that’s the thing about the hospitality industry – when you’re lucky enough to have been around for a while friends come back into your life in so many different facets. Today Lael is a beacon of hope and knowledge for new mothers – and all who are curious about having babies. Much like my darling friend Dr. Nat Kringoudis, Lael Stone is a visionary and passionate keeper of women’s wellness traditions.
Lael is a proud mother of three children who has worked as a Birth Attendant/Doula, Childbirth Educator and certified Calmbirth Instructor since 2004. From a background in wellbeing, counselling and research, Lael was compelled into the field of childbirth education by her own birth experiences. It has been her privilege over the years to witness and partner many couples, helping them to achieve satisfying births. Lael has interviewed and collected birth experience data from hundreds of Australian women throughout her career.
This data provided insight and motivation to develop the About Birth Online Education Program, a pioneering way to learn about birth and early parenting. Lael has spent the last few years working one on one with women around negative birth experiences as well as working with families to develop more connection with the Aware Parenting model. She is a certified Aware Parenting Instructor and runs regular groups for mothers as well as workshops and private sessions. Her passion is to create wellness in families through connection, communication and education. www.aboutbirth.com.au
My journey into women’s wellness
I was incredibly privileged to grow up in a family that fully embraced alternative medicine and spirituality. I remember at a young age being shipped off to the strange Indian lady for homeopathics and acupuncture whenever we were unwell. My mother was a guiding force in my life who taught me to always ask the question ” what is this teaching me, what is this showing me about myself ” So from very early on I was always curious about emotional wellbeing. My imprint was that if there is disharmony in your emotional state then it can show up in your body. My mother has travelled the world teaching about metaphysics, her twin sister was instrumental in bringing Bowen technique to Australia and now imports health products from all over the world. My cousin is an Osteopath and her brother is a Chinese Medical practitioner and for a long time my younger brother ran Meditation Events. So, if you are feeling unwell at one of our family gatherings, you can take your pick on what help you would like to get you back on track.
I moved into Birthwork after the birth of my second child. I had a very traumatic birth experience with my son 14 years ago that left me in a state of shock and made my transition into mothering a challenging one. When I was pregnant second time around I made different choices, became educated and had an incredible water birth at home with my daughter that changed my life. I realised that birth could be a positive experience and became so intoxicated with birth that I closed the business I was running and threw myself into learning more. I studied to become a doula, interviewed hundreds of women on their birth stories and became incredibly passionate about helping women find their best birth – whatever that looked like for them.
I was blessed to connect with an amazing woman, Jules Brooks, who was also on a similar path and together we created About Birth and started running workshops. We became Calmbirth Practitioners and have taught over 500 couples the art of breathing and working with their bodies to achieve a positive birth experience. This inspired our new online program that explores all elements of birth and strives to help couples learn in their own time, at their own pace and help them find their best birth. The birth of my third child – which ended in an emergency caesarean section as my daughter became critically ill at birth – propelled me into working with trauma and healing. Through my own experiences I discovered Aware Parenting and began to work with mothers and babies that had also experienced trauma in birth. This opened up a whole other chapter for me around wellness and helping mothers thrive instead of just surviving.
1. What’s your survival food when you’re on tour or working late in your business?
– The last 6 months has seen my husband and I staying up very late to complete our latest online program so I survived on cups of tea, Pana chocolate and my homemade goji balls.
2. What’s your healthy go-to comfort food – either at home or in a restaurant?
– My go to would be avocado on toast, with lemon and salt on good wholegrain bread. I must admit I like simple foods, as I would be happy just living off cut up vegetables, dips and crackers. However being a mum and having teenagers in the house, means I have to cook a lot, so when I am on my own I keep it really simple.
3. Do you have a secret remedy that keeps either your voice / mind / body in shape?
– I can’t go past my warm lemon and ginger water in the morning. Best way to start the day. I also drink a lot of water and my secret remedy for health is Osteopathy, Acupuncture and expressing your emotions. I am such a believer in helping my kids express what is going on for them so they don’t have to hold anything in their bodies. They also have Cranial Osteopathy if they are a bit out of whack. I took my son to the Doctor this year for the first time in his life. He is 14! I think that’s pretty good going as far as health is concerned. Mind you I have been at the hospital quite a few times for broken bones!
A recipe from Lael – Goji Balls
1 cup pitted soft dates
1 cup finely chopped nuts – I use almonds and walnuts
1⁄4 cup dried goji berries
1⁄4 cup raw cacao powder – sometimes I also throw in some cacao nibs
1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄2 cup organic desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- Combine everything together and pop in a food processor and pulse until combined
- Roll the mixture into little balls and roll on a plate of desiccated coconut to coat them
- Store them in the fridge