Exploring both childlessness and the Solo experience, the Solo Reignite weekend offers a chance to unpack your thoughts and feelings amongst like-minded others who understand the unique challenges of what can sometimes feel like a ‘double whammy’. Solo women are welcome on all Reignite Weekends (which are usually a mixture of partnered and unpartnered women) but this one, is just for Solos.
The Solo Reignite Weekend is for you if you are:
- A woman who wanted to have children but it didn’t work out for you, for any reason
- Currently not in a relationship
- Sometimes confused about your place in society when all you can see around you are couples, mothers and families..
- Wondering where your mojo went and where the hell to start looking for it!
- Struggling with relationships with friends and family as ‘the odd one out’
- Dealing with the negative stereotypes that our society currently ascribes to childless women…
- Wanting to make some changes to your life but perhaps feeling too tired, sad & uninspired to know that to try next…
- Worried about growing old without children…
- Furious that you ‘did all the right things’ and have ‘ended up’ like this!
This Solo Reignite Weekend will be led by Jody Day, the Founder of Gateway Women and the Author of the Amazon bestseller Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Life Without Children (Bluebird/PanMacmillan 2016). The weekend is for solo women of any age who are reluctantly coming to terms with the fact that it is no longer possible for them to have a biological child. It has been designed to introduce you to a radically new and liberating way to view your childlessness, and to open you up to the possibility of a happy and fulfilling future without children. Jody has been divorced for 14 years and single for 6 years. She lives alone with her cat, who is also single.
Over the course of the weekend you will:
- Unpick the assumptions that the culture has about motherhood (and non-motherhood), and let go of what doesn’t ‘fit’ you, particularly some of the toxic shame around being both single and childless.
- Look at where you are holding onto unhelpful ideas and sadness about the the life choices you’ve made (and the non-choices too) which have led you to ‘ending up’ without the family you hoped for
- Explore and express unresolved grief about your childlessness which our culture neither acknowledges, understands or allows (and consequently neither do we, sometimes)
- Re-examine the dreams and goals you had for your life before you became convinced that having a baby was the only thing that mattered
- Reignite your passion for your life, and and start thinking what your ‘Plan B’ for a meaningful and fulfilling life without children might look like…
- Have a laugh as you meet and connect with your new tribe – there’s nothing like spending the weekend with other diverse solo, childless women to realise that you’re not a ‘weirdo’ but that rather you’re part of a wonderful new tribe of like-minded 21st century women!
Jody Day talks at the Women of the World Festival (Southbank, March 2013) on “Creating a Meaningful & Fulfilling Life Without Children”
After the workshop and into the future
The bonds that are made during the Solo Reignite Weekend are very special and most participants wish to take those friendships forward as they integrate the learning and healing from the weekend into their daily lives. As many of us have experienced, one of the unexpected and unsettling side effects of unchosen childlessness is that we may lose a large part of our friendship group as our friends move to a country called ‘motherhood’ where we can’t follow and will never fully speak the language. Having new single nomo (not-mother) friends to plug the gap can make coping with our situation not just more tolerable, but perhaps even fun again! It also makes it easier to keep our friendships going with our ‘mum friends’ because we’re not so bend out of shape with a combination of resentment, jealousy and boredom! Being both single & childless can lead to levels of social isolation that our coupled and sprogged-up friends simply can’t imagine and so building a new network is vital to help you towards your Plan B.
The Private Gateway Women Online Community is our own sane, friendly, safe, intelligent and frank corner of the internet where we can share the daily reality of being childless in a motherhood-mad world. It’s a great way to get to know women ahead of the workshop, and to stay in touch afterwards.
Click here to apply for membership.
The Practical Bit
- When: Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017
- Times: 10am – 5pm both days
- How Much: £350 for both days (£295 earlybird if deposit or full payment received before 11th January.) You can pay in full or secure a place with a £50 deposit & pay the balance later in one payment or in instalments. Instalments are by arrangement – book the deposit and then email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange what works best for you. Balances to be paid one month before the workshop date.
- Lunch & Breaks: Lunch will roughly 1-2pm both days and is not provided but there are plenty of places nearby and you can also take a refreshing walk in Regents Park which is right outside the venue. We’ll also take a morning and afternoon break of 15 mins.
- Where:Park Crescent Conference Centre (part of International Students House), 229 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5PN (30 seconds from Great Portland Street tube station) Click here for map and transport details. This is in a safe and central part of London, close to bus, tube and mainline rail services.
- Accommodation: If you are travelling from outside London for this workshop, you can book a simple B&B room at International Students House (this is normally only possible for students, but if you tell them that you are coming to an event at the Conference Centre they will allow you to book). Call 020 7631 8397 or email email@example.com to book. Alternatively, The Penn Club is a Quaker-run B&B, very clean, quiet & simple, and about a 15-minute walk away and very reasonably priced for central London.
- How to book: click here
- How Many Women: Maximum of 16 women for an intimate and supportive atmosphere
- Who is the Solo Reignite Weekend for? Single women of any age who wanted to have children and for some reason, it didn’t work out. If you’re keen to move forward and create a meaningful and fulfilling life without children, it’s for you.
- Any other questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- One of these gorgeous first floor rooms is the venue for the Reignite Weekend Workshop
Some feedback from women (both single & partnered) who’ve taken part in the Reignite Weekend:
It was such a supportive and brilliant course – so great to meet and share time with other Gateway Women, and it allowed me to challenge myself and see my way forward to my Plan B. Jody brilliantly guided us with great sensitivity and provided a variety and depth of exercises both for helping us to learn to heal and practical for Plan B – Many many thanks (Tilly, 48)
I can’t describe the massively positive effect finding GW and attending a Reignite Weekend has had on my outlook, my life, my relationships, my ability to smile at babies and their mums again! (Kate, 43)
After getting to a very low point I thought I’d try the workshop. It was a great weekend. Just having the chance to think and explore my feelings with likeminded people was so helpful. Jody knew how to create a safe space and she opened my mind to the possibility of seeing my situation in a different light. (Leila, 39)
The course was excellent. Jody has created a well structured, clear and relevant course which helped me to understand the trauma I’ve been struggling though after finding out that we can’t have children. Jody is also a very gifted facilitator who managed to give us time to share and to reflect. I met some amazing women on the course whose stories of facing difficulties with so much dignity and courage will stay with me. Thank you to Jody and my fellow Gateway Women for giving me hope. (Janet, 47)I attended the Reignite Weekend and I wholeheartedly recommend it. If you are feeling unsure about whether to go, I would say definitely do it. You will be in safe hands and in a very safe environment, sharing with other Gateway Women really helps and the exercises that Jody goes through really get you thinking – in a good way. (Laura, 42)
I have been stuck in grief for a long time that hasn’t been shifting. Jody helped me to understand exactly what I was feeling and why. Home now – I feel lighter, more positive and more gentle inside than I have felt for ages (Becky, 52)
It was amazing to realise I wasn’t alone, other women shared the pain, anguish, fear that I did, each with their unique story and each wanting their life to move on, but not sure how or where. I took the plunge and signed up for the workshop not knowing what to expect, or if it “was my sort of thing” and it was the best thing I could have done. (Kristian, 42)
Jody has really tapped into something very much of our time in her own unique way. While she acknowledges the grief and sadness, she also provides hope and dignity with a fresh slightly “rock chick” twist . She’s amazing, and her vision to help women all over the world to live rich and rewarding lives beyond childlessness is inspirational. (Sydney, 47)
I attended this weekend with some ‘butterflies’ but it’s ended up being one of the best things I could have done. I’m more equipped than before I attended the event for moving on and getting to grips with my plan B. Best thing though was meeting the other Gateway Women and seeing I’m not alone… (Faye, 41)