Kimberly Johnson has many titles — yogini, nomad, bodyworker, doula, postpartum women’s health specialist and single mom. She is also the creator of the website Magamama: a community and resource hub for new moms who want natural empowering solutions to the physical pain and the emotional madness that can accompany childbirth.
Kimberly’s experience with her daughter’s birth — and with the accompanying postpartum experience — led her to the creation of Magamama. When Googling all her symptoms, including tearing in her pelvic floor, constant low back scrap pain, hemorrhoids and searing pain during sex, the only answer that came back was depression. Wanting to understand what was really going on inside of her — naturally — she set out on a mission to educate and empower herself and others about the body changes and experiences women and mothers endure through pregnancy and age.
We caught up with the “Vaginapractor” to ask her to share the things that are most inspiring to her at the moment. This is what she said:
1 | Djavan’s album, Aria — I wrote my entire book while listening to this album on repeat for over a year, standing up to samba during the great parts. It has a great mix of ballads and upbeat MPB, Brazilian pop. Djavan is kind of like Brazil’s Stevie Wonder. In fact, they even played together in the early 80’s!
2 | NY architecture — I have been spending more time in NY lately and the reconstructions of the Museum of Modern Art and the World Trade Center are both spectacular. I could have stayed on the 5th floor of MOMA for the entire day and the light inside One WTC and the Oculus is absolutely stunning.
3 | My clients — The people who bravely step into their own power and claim the right to experience pleasure in their bodies inspire me everyday. Living with pain is challenging, but deciding to change something is also challenging. My clients trust me with their intimate stories and geography and I am deeply moved daily by human vulnerability and resilience.
4 | The Pacific Ocean — The ocean is an endless source of inspiration, is cleansing and is home base for me. The last thing I do before I travel is go in the water, the first thing I do when I get home is jump back in the ocean. Iemanja, the Brazilian goddess of the ocean and also the ruler of motherhood and all waters is my ruling deity.
5 | Chance the Rapper — I am a deep hip-hop lover. My daughter just turned 10 and Chance the Rapper is the first artist that she has turned me on to. (She’s usually like, “Mom, have you ever heard of a Tribe Called Quest?”) I have Blessings on repeat.
6 | Co-working spaces — This is one of our culture’s fast-growing attempts at reconnection. We’re finally figuring out that isolation and loneliness contribute to… isolation and loneliness. When I travel, I find different co-working spaces to try out. We’re mammals and we need to be around other mammals!
7 | My upcoming book — It took me four years to write it, and it has become the sum total of everything I have learned personally and professionally in the last ten years of motherhood and working with women. It’s the book I wish I had, and it is finally going to be able to help women and new moms prepare for the tremendous, unexpected change that is the postpartum period. Women need to know that postpartum is not shorthand for depression; postpartum is a sacred window in which we can heal from lifelong illnesses and become even more radiant when we have the right support and information. Hallelujah.