By Valerie Albrecht Published by the author, 2019
To those who grieve:
On the other side of what we see may they have found beautiful surprises which made their hearts speechless. My fathers’ absence, though alive in me, has brought the beautiful surprise of this book. I wish for you, on the other side of grieving, a soft, fullness of heart.
You started to leave the stove on. Started a sentence. Started a thought. Started a word. Started to die faster. Started to go to your next place. I wail loudly curling up and inwards like a child whose world is disappearing down the black plug hole of the bathtub. What next after you? Who am I now? I have less labels and roles – no longer a daughter, carer, an advocate for you. What do I think now that I didn’t think before? Where are you?
Thirty Days moves through the intimate stab of mourning spilling out of control, to questioning and understanding the meaning of caring, grieving and healing, to unbreakable connection and soft, fullness of heart.
I invite you into Thirty Days. It is an intimate articulation of deep emotions around the passing of an elder in our lives – in this instance a father. The words have been lived and carefully chosen to share the experiences in the thirty days following this death. It offers the reader an opportunity to enter the grieving place of aloneness whilst at the same time engaging with the fundamental human mystery of belonging.
Valerie’s life work has been about truth-saying. The word has always been important to her through her work with indigenous healers, artists and writers. Her profession mirrors this passion – speech pathology – the giving of voice to those struggling to express themselves. The linking of word to body has also been a thread in Valerie’s work. Her yoga and her learning and interest in the link between body and soul has led her to far flung places where she has met wonderful healers in varied indigenous cultures.
May Thirty Days gently ease and comfort your grieving.
Roslyn Namgyal Counsellor
Conversations at 4Cs
Currie Crescent Community Centre Kingston
The Story Behind The Story
By Valerie Albrecht Austin McCauley Publishers U.K. 2017
Native American traditions are rich and enigmatic to many, with populations sadly dwindling and protectiveness over the culture that remains.
In this book, Valerie Albrecht Australian Biographer of Indigenous Peoples, writes the life, work and world views of Elroy Begay, Navajo Medicine Man who unexpectedly invited her to do so. The telling and scripting spread over four years of meetings, conversations, living within his family and community on Chinle Reservation Arizona, attending and assisting his ceremonies and researching.
Included is knowledge on the Navajo Creation story; time honoured traditional medicine and ceremonial practices which are permissible to be written; reservation family life and Elroy’s philosophical perspectives. As well, Albrecht shares her processing of what proved to be an intense paradigm shifting experience for both herself and Elroy.
Clearly interwoven through-out, is Elroys’ creed and core principle of acceptance: acceptance of your history, your culture, yourself and your uniqueness, and for the “hand” you have been dealt – Elroy is a paraplegic medicine man living, practising and being cared for between two ways of life and two sets of health conventions. He tells The Story Behind the Story to preserve it and to bring hope and pride for his people.
The Story Behind the Story reveals itself through the traditional Native American practices of storytelling, song, prayer and ceremony. Albrecht evocatively transports us into Elroys’ life and into her learnings as they tell and write together. The result is a truly extraordinary and frank biography that immerses the reader into Elroy Medicine Mans’ being, medicine, teachings and hopes for mankind and into Albrechts’ experience of the creation of this biography.
Search for Mother Journaling
By Valerie Albrecht Austin BalboaPress Publishers 2015
In her ﬁrst book, Search for Mother, author Valerie Albrecht related her natural therapy birthing work in Australia, India and North America. Through these, she unearthed profound questions about the idea of mother—her forms, her essences, her joy and her dualities.
Responding to the need to fathom “mother” and to puzzle out the persistent emergence of complexity and dichotomies in motherhood, Albrecht presents this companion volume. It offers a structure and writing process for the exploration of mother through organizing our experiences with our Mothers of Origin, the forms in which we encounter her in our lives, and with our Mothers of Power, the intrinsic natures and essences of her, which we may or may not have encountered. By reflecting on and journaling these mother connections it is Valerie’s heartfelt hope that we:
deepen our knowledge of motherhood embrace our mother experiences, both positive and negative
enhance and inspire our innate resources to mother ourselves and others
Valerie Albrecht holds a Bachelor of Speech Pathology and yoga teaching. massage, hypno-therapy and reiki qualifications. She created a Natural Therapies in Birthing program called Honored Birth which she has presented in maternity hospitals around Australia. Search for Mother Journaling is the companion to the course and is her second book.
Search for Mother
by Valerie Albrecht Inkwell Productions Arizona 2010
“It seems that I’ve always held a deep longing to connect with the who and why of mother: the mother we have, the mother we long for, the mother we become, and the mother we long to be. From this longing, and through the opportunities I’ve had to share yoga birthing with women around the world, I began to write “Search for Mother”.
Interestingly, it wrote itself into three trimesters, as in pregnancy, taking me to Portugal, the place of my maternal lineage -Trimester 1 and then to America to study hypnotherapy and it’s place in unraveling mother. Here I had the priveledge and blessing to meet and share knowledge and practice with intuitive medical practitioners. This body of work became Trimester 2, addressing the emotional and spiritual journey into motherhood, with contributions from birth workers in America, India and Australia. Also here, seven women tell of their search for connection to mother. In Trimester 3, the body talks of its’ experience of “mother searching” through yoga, dreams, de ja vu and meditations.
“Search for Mother” interweaves poetry, prose, storytelling, interview and yoga practice.
I discovered that the love – rejection, disconnection – connection dualities toward mother, worries the hearts of women everywhere, but more profoundly, that mother hearts keep loving often holding aching yearning for connection within experiences of disconnection.
Crucially, “Search for Mother” offers women ways to come to peace and acceptance toward their mother and toward becoming mother, while also offering birthing practitioners and health organizations ways to support and assist women in their emotional and spiritual metamorphis into mother.
I offer you my “Search for Mother”, and truly hope it finds a place in yours, so you may find her, move closer to her and live peacefully with her during birthing and beyond.
Search for Mother Workshop. Inkwell Authors Anne Coon, Sandi Daly, Valerie Albrecht at Launch Phoenix Arizona 2010
Collins Bookstore Grafton NSW 2011
Book Launch Mt Shasta California
Mind Body Spirit Expo Sydney NSW 2011