I have an extensive background, and an enormous passion, in the transitions of birth and death. Below, you can learn a little (or a lot) more about who I am.
Hi! My name is Kelli Barr-Lyles and I'm glad you've found your way to my website. Let me tell you a little more about myself and how I found my way to the work I do today.
I hold a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Upper Iowa University and a Master of Arts in Gerontology with two core concentrations in Aging and the Family and Geriatric Care Management from Nova Southeastern University.
I am a Certified Counselor with Washington State. I am certified with the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) as Childbirth Educator and Doula, Trainer for both, as well as a Postnatal Educator. I am also a certified Death Midwife, certified ARCH healer, and ordained officiant.
My education and training would mean nothing if it was not backed up with passion in my chosen fields.
Birth and death are the two things we will all experience. My particular passions for both were ignited by life events which led me down new paths several times over. If you were looking at a website created by me way back in 1998, you would have seen a list of my accounting related services. And then, later that year, my first son was born and opened up the world of childbirth and new parenting to me. That child changed the entire trajectory of my life path and immersed me in the world of childbirth and ignited my passion for supporting expecting and new parents through their own unique journeys. Additionally, I experienced a postpartum mood disorder which rocked my world, but from which I learned SO much about myself. I aim to make the childbearing year less scary and inspire families to find humor throughout pregnancy/labor/birth and postpartum even in the face of any difficulties. I also have a strong passion for making sure that fathers are included throughout the process of pregnancy, labor and childbirth as they so choose. I believe that society currently does a very poor job of caring for all expecting and new parents, but a terrible job of taking care of expecting and new dads.
Just as I never anticipated that I would be someone who worked in the birth world, I definitely never expected to be working in the world of death. However, in 2009, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died seven months later. Her death, once again, altered my life path and inspired my belief that everyone should have the opportunity to have a "good death" if at all possible. Hospice was my support and I knew I wanted to be able to assist and support other families through the process of dying and death. Additionally, my mom's death immersed me in grief and I learned that this would be a new lifelong path for me, I developed a passion for grief and found it to be inspiring and full of life lessons. I knew I wanted to assist others through their own grief process. As the years passed, I became a secondary caregiver to my father, who had Parkinson's, and ultimately had to walk a whole new, unique, death and grief story when he died in 2015. I have a strong belief in the need for more discussion about death and grief. They don't have to be taboo topics. I aspire to share as much information as possible in ways that are comfortable and perhaps even (gasp) humorous. I am a firm believer that laughter can make everything easier to handle.
I am passionate about my work, but also am passionate about balance in my life and my belief in spending quality time with my family which includes my husband, our three teenage boys and three cats. I enjoy spending some quiet time in meditation each day (sometimes it's just two minutes, but I'll take it!), practicing yoga, and hula hooping :). I delight in a good cup of coffee, especially when it's shared with friends. My happiest of places is anywhere along the Pacific Ocean (preferably Oregon and Washington coast).
I am an open book and am happy to answer any questions you may have about my personal or professional life. I love meeting new people, hearing life stories, and am honored every single time someone invites me into their life during transitional periods which is when every human being deserves extra loving support.