We had the good fortune of connecting with Eunique Deeann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eunique, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
Slowbirth Collective is founded on education, support, and healing. This vision was developed with the belief that when people are provided with these founding principles, they are enabled to find their own empowerment to self advocate, make informed decisions, and therefore, choose the external supports that they need to lead their own health, wellness, and healing. Slowbirth Collective provides communal care for all people, but is centered around a birthing person’s experience from pregnancy through postpartum. My vision is to grow a communal care system that is built, funded, and enabled by community, for the community. I believe that every person deserves loving, nurturing, empowering, and healing care – regardless of the details of their life’s journey or their financial means. This is why I have built this model based on a sliding scale platform and created the Slowbirth Scholarship fund. Donations provided by those in our community who have excess funds to redistribute allow those who might have compromised financial means to receive similar care, without the stress of being able to afford it. I believe that if people have the opportunity to learn, heal, and be supported through major life transitions like pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, then they will ultimately transfer this healing those around them, moving our world forward into a better way of existing, one person, one parent, one babe, one family, one community, one neighborhood or city at a time.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a unique mix of a little of everything. My existence is rooted in the breakdown of connection. Is founded on authenticity and integrity. Is lead by emotions, healing, passion, purpose, and intuitive belief. I am in one word a facilitator. A space to sink into for transformation of many sorts. I do this through poetry, photography, conversation, food, movement. I do this through helping guide others through breaking outside of their own limiting boundaries by growing a deeper connection to and with themselves so that they ultimately can connect deeper to the world outside of them in ways that bring them more fulfillment, purpose, passion, joy, and peace. We’ve been taught that things are black and white. But life is not. Being human is not. It’s all layered. And when we get over ourselves and the systems that we’ve been taught were the way, we really free ourselves to live more fully. When we live more fully, we let go, we heal, we believe, we create, we connect, we grow, we transform, and ultimately, we find passions that allow us to exist in ways that build our own lives, homes, communities, and world into better places. Over the last two years I’ve been unfolding a self study through writing, poetry, and self portraiture. Late last summer, I began expanding my work by inviting others to explore their connection and expression with their own human container through a project I’ve called BODIES. This is a combination of photography, exploration, self expression, emotional healing that translates into what I see as beautiful art and a representation of uniqueness and similarities of the human container in connection to the each other and mother earth. I do this not only with individuals, but also within maternity, family, circles, or even couples sessions. My work is a lifelong unfolding consisting of many layers. The details change based on the audience, but the foundation truly lies in the breakdown of human connection. How are we connecting to ourselves? How are we connecting to everything outside of us? It’s as complex and as simple as that.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend came to visit and see the sights I might take them to a few spots that I love like Ironsmith Coffee in Encinitas to start the day then a beach walk from D Street to Grandview and back depending on the tide. We’d head down to Barrio Logan for the afternoon for art and lunch. I’d stop by Sunset Cliffs to see the sunset. And I’d head back up to North County for a casual dinner at Fish 101 or Birdseye. I’m a journey of destination kind of person so really, with the right company, any place in San Diego could be an adventure. Given that they’d be here for a week, let’s throw in some hikes at Mission Trails, maybe head over for a day trip to Idyllwild or Joshua Tree or even down to Baja for a night of beach camping, tacos, or wine tasting. My favorite things to do in San Diego really vary by season but pretty much anywhere you go, there’s something beautiful to see, good food to eat, and enjoyable company to be found.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I credit every person in my life to building me into the person I’ve become and pushing me forward into the person I will be. There are so many names I could list of people who have held me in my lowest times or shined light on me when I didn’t realize the depth or power of my own existence. Lately, I’ve been reading, listening, observing, mirroring, learning, and leaning into perspectives that feel larger than my own. My father and step mother have played significant roles in my continual blossoming – even to this day. They’re people who have relentlessly continued to transform and grow and over time have shown me how to do this gracefully, with humility, and with gratitude. Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Marie Brown has transformed my desire for how I want to show up and be remembered within this world. It has given me clarity for the roots of my WHY that is tied to the work that my soul has called me to do. And it gives me hope that I am not alone in this vision that feels too big to achieve. HEAVY by Kiese Laymon was a breaking open of my humanness in a way that allowed me to return to my own self. I don’t know if I’ll ever see the world the same again after reading this book. Or myself. The women within Dinner Confidential have given me the confidence to explore vulnerability in ways I never felt safe enough to do before. And with this, have given me the ability to expand my gifts of holding space, facilitating, curating conversation, and leading others towards deeper self connection than I had before I became aligned with them. Brene Brown, Kimberly Johnson, Tracie Collins from The National Black Doula Association, Sabia Wade, The Black Doula, author Adrienne Marie Brown, activist Mali Drake Wood, facilitator Dee de Lara, Ram Dass, close friends, and brave artists, female and non-binary humans and many many others have really mirrored the courage, confidence, and dedication to deepening one’s life purpose with grace, but unapologetically. Within each person, book, podcast, story, or even observation, I believe I’ve been gifted the opportunity to settle deeper into my own path and purpose and I believe that’s the reasoning for why we human within communities.
Other: www.notwithoutdirt.com (art portfolio + other works)
All images are credited to Eunique Deeann