Welcome to The Manifestation Q&A. I am Jennifer Pastiloff and this series is designed to introduce the world to someone I find incredible. Someone who is manifesting their dreams on a daily basis.
She has grace and kindness like no one else I know.
Her dedication to seva, to giving back, and to her family, continues to inspire me on a daily basis. I wanted to share her with you not just because she is a yogi, but because of the incredible work she is doing. She has created a foundation called Every Mother Counts. EMC is a five-year outreach campaign she founded in 2010 that is dedicated to improving maternal health and reducing maternal mortality around the world by engaging the public, raising awareness and driving action.
Recently, Christy completed a documentary film titled “No Woman, No Cry”. From her Every Mother Counts website she says, “I hope that by bringing people together through the universal experience of birth, we can help create a mainstream maternal health movement that ensures the lives and well-being of mothers worldwide, for generations to come.”
I surround myself with people who live a life I admire and who lead by example. Enter Christy Turlington.
She is a divine source of inspiration and love for me and I hope that you will perhaps get to know her in a new light as well as learning about Every Mother Counts.
Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you the most proud to have Manifested in your life?
Christy Turlington: My family.
Jennifer Pastiloff: What was the most challenging aspect of making your inspiring short film ” No Woman, No Cry?” The most inspiring? Where can we see the film?
Christy Turlington: “No Woman, No Cry” is a feature length film. I decided to make this film after visiting an inspiring maternal health partnership in Peru in 2007 where they brought down maternal death in half in five years using really low cost solutions in low resource settings. Oce I saw how they were able to do this, I knew it was possible to make a bigger impact in other parts of the world. My film is the result of a personal journey which started after I delivered my daughter Grace and experienced a childbirth related complication that often leads to death. The movie premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010 and made its television debut on the Oprah Winfrey Network last Mother’s Day. It is now available on dvd too, as of last week, on everymothercounts.org.
Jennifer Pastiloff: I am fascinated by your commitment to maternal health. How was Every Mother Counts manifested into being? What was it that said to you ” This is what I must do. This is my calling.” How was EMC born?
Christy Turlington: As we were finalizing the documentary it became clear that we needed a place to direct audiences who felt inspired to want to engage on this issue. Every Mother Counts is a global advocacy and mobilization campaign to educate and support maternal mortality reduction. We wanted to build a community and provide resources to people who wanted to take action on behalf of moms around the world.
Jennifer Pastiloff: What is the greatest lesson you have learned from your children?
Christy Turlington: My children are my greatest teachers. I learn from them daily. My daughter often reminds me that I only HAVE to do something when I really WANT to.
Jennifer Pastiloff: We all know that you are a yogi. What I love most about you is that you are not simply ‘doing’ yoga on the mat but you are a LIVING example of what yoga is. Of seva, of giving back. You are Being yoga rather than doing yoga. I know that you truly live your yoga daily, but do you still practice yoga regularly on the mat?
Christy Turlington: I practice asanas a few times a week these days. But I practice seva every day.
Jennifer Pastiloff: My father died when I was 8 and he was 38. He smoked 4 packs of cigarettes a day. It devastated me. I was very moved by your passion to hep the cessation of smoking after your father’s death and by your obvious closeness to him. If he was sitting here with us now, what would say to him?
Christy Turlington: I lost my dad almost 15 years ago now. He never met my husband or my children so I’d probably start with an introduction. There is so much I’d want to share with my dad, though I do share everything with him always.
Jennifer Pastiloff: My nephew has a rare genetic disorder called Prader Willi Syndrome, which I am doing my very best to raise awareness and funds for research for. I know the more successful I get, the easier it will be for me to spread my message and to give back. I was able to get a sound bite about Prader Willi Syndrome in The Good Morning America segment I just filmed which thrilled me to no end (airing 12/26). It seems that you use your celebrity in such a profoundly positive way. You get messages out there that wouldn’t normally get out there. If there was one message you could convey to the world right now, what would it be?
Christy Turlington: The trouble is there are just so many issues and messages. The world is a very crowded place, figuratively AND literally. I wish there was a way for every cause to get equal attention but that doesn’t seem likely. All I know is that sharing an experience can be a powerful way to connect with other human beings and by practicing mindfulness and compassion we can make this world a place we’d choose to live in again.
Jennifer Pastiloff: I have a list of rules. A few of them are ” you must sing. out loud. even if badly.” ” do yoga.” ” have a sense of humor especially when it comes to yourself.” ” Forgive yourself for not being perfect, no such thing.” ” find things to be in awe of” What would one of Christy’s “rules” be?
Jennifer Pastiloff: Who are you most inspired by?
Christy Turlington: I am endlessly inspired by all of the women I meet when I travel around the world for my advocacy work.
Jennifer Pastiloff: I make a practice out of being endlessly grateful. In fact, many of my yoga classes are taught to this theme. Who would you like to say thank you to right now?
Christy Turlington: Thank you, Jennifer for shining your light on mine.
Jennifer Pastiloff: What can we do to get involved with Every Mother Counts?
Christy Turlington: Visit everymothercounts.org and share it with your loved ones. If you have a voice you must use it because millions of girls and women around the world do not have that power. You and I do.
Please support Every Mother Counts as they work to build a clinic for mothers in need in Indonesia this holiday season! Thanks to Mozilla Firefox and CrowdRise, they are entering a competition and If their charity raises the most, Mozilla Firefox will contribute $25,000!
Just a month ago Christy was invited to travel to Indonesia to visit with an incredible midwife, Robin Lim. Robin had been nominated for a CNN Hero award and so CNN wanted to see her in action. Along with a small camera crew she was there a couple of days shadowing Robin, seeing her work and her very humane and loving approach to serving her community. At Robin’s Bumi Sehat clinics in Indonesia, one of the hardest hit countries in terms of maternal death, they provide free prenatal, birthing services and medical aid for all women.
Please feel free to share this and spread the love that Christy is. You can visit https://donationpay.org/everymothercounts/ to make a donation to Every Mother Counts.
Thank you to Christy and mothers everywhere. I bow to you.