Room To Dream: Sunni Hart
Our new collection, Room To Dream, is a celebration. It’s an homage to feminine power, and a tribute to the inner boldness, and perseverance that we see in the women we admire. The name for our collection is inspired by the power of having a place within yourself where you allow yourself to dream of what you want to be and have a vision of where you want to go. We know some incredibly inspiring women who are constantly dreaming and achieving, including our collection’s muse Sunni Hart. She is a woman who embodies everything that we wanted to encapsulate in our collection. She is ever-dreaming, ever-creating, and is on a continuous journey of growth. We sat down with her to talk about where her journey is heading now and what inspires her most, as a woman and a mother.
It’s really exciting to be able to speak to you now at this incredible transition point in your life. Tell us about what made you decide to become a doula.
Oh thank you for acknowledging it! I really do feel like I am at such a transition in my life. Since my first birth with Fox I have been obsessed with childbirth. I had a really amazing time bringing my favourite person into the world through my body surrounded in water in my home. I also got to witness my best friend Amy birth her daughter at her home which was truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed.
I signed up for my doula course through Carraigehouse Birth in Brooklyn not long after Fox was born but kept putting it off and making excuses. In retrospect I can see now that I had a lot to learn, accept and see as a mother in the world. I doubted myself and my investment in mothers. I was unwittingly influenced by the patriarchal view that has forever derogated the role of the mother. I tried to escape the label of “just a Mum” and fill my life up with other more socially appealing roles like starting a young, hip modelling agency, DJing and trying to keep up appearances within a social aspect. I burnt out, felt utterly disconnected and depressed. Something had to shift, I started really investing in my doula course and everything started to make sense again. I still enjoy selecting music and going out of course but now I do it just for me.
My need to get pregnant again has been prevalent for a few years but the more I read about babies, the more I felt desperate to be pregnant again. I hounded my partner Pete to have another baby and eventually he came around to it. It feels like my humanity has come home and is here to stay! Pregnancy really puts things in perspective and illuminates what is important and what isn't. I have fallen in LOVE with mothers and process of transformation that happens to a woman about to earn this rite. I am no longer in denial or hiding from my truth and I want to make sure other women don't feel they have to either. I feel electric, transformed and focused. I am so excited to support women through their own transitions into motherhood because birth isn't only about making babies, it's about making mothers and supported, empowered birth makes mothers that are strong, competent and capable and who trust themselves and know their inner strength, power and value in the world.
Being a doula would really connect you with other mothers and their journey through pregnancy and childbirth, what do you think you would most want to instill for these women?
I want to work with birthing people to dispel fearful and disempowered birth. I want people to own their journey and know that they have so many choices. I want to ask that they don't just hand their bodies and their birth over to medical institutions without being educated, aware and prepared. I want them to feel excited and in love with the idea of birthing their child and to trust themselves. I want to break down the fear of pain in childbirth and illuminate all the magic it has to offer. I want them to know that however their baby arrives, it was all theirs and the process is not stolen from them.
What’s your favourite book about motherhood?
I love a book called Mother Nature by renowned anthropologist (and mother) Sarah Blaffer Hrdy. She shares a radical new vision of motherhood and its crucial role in human evolution. It's provocative and groundbreaking and strips away stereotypes and gender-biased myths to demonstrate that traditional views of maternal behavior are essentially wishful thinking codified as objective observation.
Body Full of Stars: Female Rage and My Passage into Motherhood by Molly Caro May. May grapples with how to deal with the fiercest love for your child and the deepest wells of grief coexisting in the same moment. She looks at how has society neglected honest conversation around the significant physical changes new mothers experience and whether real healing can occur if generations of women were fluent in the language of their bodies. She identifies the root of her struggle as premenstrual dysphoric disorder and so begins her exploration of what she calls female rage. The process leads May to an overdue conversation with her body in an attempt to balance the physical changes she experiences with the emotional landscape opening up before her.
How do you feel your spirituality and connection to the earth ties into your role as a mother?
Birth is a true everyday, ordinary miracle focused on creation. It is truly of nature and when left to progress naturally it works in rhythms just the way nature does. When mothers get to experience birth without any medical interventions they tap into this power and become one with the earth. Birth as a rite of passage into motherhood must be respected so that this connection can flourish. As Rachel Carson says, “Our origins are of the earth. And so there is in us a deeply seated response to the natural universe, which is part of our humanity.”
It is of the utmost importance that we reclaim our sense of the miraculous in this mechanical world otherwise we are alienated and we lose touch with humanity. The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction and better people and mothers we will be.
How do you think women can connect with their feminine energy in their everyday lives?
By breathing, laughing, crying and feeling. By trusting yourself and your intuition. By being compassionate and knowing that you deserve to always be heard and never be silenced or made to to feel helpless or powerless.
What have you been listening to at the moment when you want to re-centre and unwind?
Krista Tippet's podcast On Being always centres me. My partner Pete also made us a 15 hour labour playlist when Fox was born which I've been revisiting lately and it really transports me. Here's a link for anyone that is interested! https://open.
What’s your daily mantra?
If you could wake up anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you be
Kauai with my little fam please!
Photographed by Jesper Hede
Styling/Art Direction by Nye De Marchi
Shop Room to Dream collection here