The Reignite Weekend (UK: Midlands, Leamington Spa): Sat 21st & Sun 22nd October 2017

Reignite Leamingon SpaFACILITATED BY DEBBIE NORMAN

£225 Earlybird before 1st September
£250 after 1st September
Book with a £50 deposit
New 'reserve you spot' button

There is life after childlessness, despite what the media, your friends, your mother and your inner bitch would have you believe! A meaningful and fulfilling life that makes sense to you because you custom-made it for yourself.  

This Gateway Women Reignite Weekend is for you if you’re:

  • A woman who wanted to have children but it didn’t work out for any reason: infertility, didn’t meet partner, partner didn’t want (more) children, chronic illness, badly timed breakup, etc, etc… There are so many ways this can happen…
  • Struggling with relationships with friends and family as ‘the odd one out’
  • Wondering where your mojo went and where the hell to start looking for it!
  • Lonely and confused about your place in society when all you can see around you are mothers and families…
  • Knowing that you need to make some changes to your life but feeling too tired, sad & uninspired to know what to try next…
  • Worried about growing old without children…
  • Furious that you ‘did all the right things’ and have ‘ended up’ like this!

This Reignite Weekend is led by Debbie Norman, who has been trained personally by Jody Day, the Founder of Gateway Women.

Debbie Norman (Stockdale)Debbie is 50 and lives in Rugby Warwickshire with her second husband and two cats. Childless herself due to spending most of her fertile years recovering from the traumatic domestic abuse of her first marriage, Debbie found Gateway Women after reading about Jody’s work in a women’s magazine in June 2014. Wasting no time, she attended a Self Compassion workshop in July that year (and a Reignite Weekend a few years later) and since then has blossomed into an active and passionate member of the Gateway Women communities both on and offline, organising and attending local GW Meetups whilst continuing her path personal healing and growth. A hospital healthcare practitioner, Debbie sees the opportunity to lead others through the Reignite Weekend as a way to share with others the healing that childless women can offer each other as we support each other with kindness and compassion to heal our lives and create new futures.

As Debbie writes: Since finding Jody and Gateway Women my life has totally changed. I had no idea that what I was experiencing was grief, nor that there were other women going through it too. To meet those women, to find my tribe and to heal together – it has been a revelation and I’ve made some wonderful friends. I’m out the other side of my grief now and to be able to host this weekend and offer this healing to others is a great honour.

Over the course of the Reignite Weekend you will:

  • Unpick the assumptions that the culture has about motherhood (and non-motherhood) and let go of what doesn’t ‘fit’ you.
  • Look at where you are holding onto unhelpful ideas and shame 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; grief which our culture neither acknowledges, understands nor allows (and consequently neither do we, sometimes).
  • Reexamine 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’ might be for a meaningful and fulfilling future without children.
  • Meet your new tribe – the wonderful, powerful, wise and funny Nomos (not-mothers). There are more of us than you realise and we’re not the bunch of ‘weeping weirdoes’ you might fear! In fact, we’re a pretty amazing and courageous bunch of women…
This private garden room at the hotel is the elegant and peaceful venue for our weekend together
This private garden room at the Episode Hotel, Leamington Spa is the elegant and peaceful venue for our weekend together

After the workshop and into the future

The bonds that are made during the Reignite Weekend are very special and most women 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 the easy connection we once had with a large part of our peer group as our friends move to a country called ‘motherhood’ where we can’t follow and will never fully speak the language. Having new Nomo (not-mother) friends to plug the gap can make coping with our situation not only more tolerable, but actually fun again! It also makes it easier to keep our friendships going with our ‘mum friends’ because we’re not so bent out of shape with a combination of resentment, jealousy and boredom around them…
As your Reignite Weekend draws to a close, Debbie will facilitate ways to organise ongoing contact with each other, should you wish that.

The Episode Hotel, Leamington Spa
Our venue for the weekend – the Episode, an elegant boutique hotel in Leamington Spa

More details and to book

  • Facilitator: Debbie Norman
  • When: Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October, 2017
  • Times: 9.30am – 5pm
  • Cost: £225 Earlybird (by 1st September), £250 full price after. Places bookable with £50 deposit (which also reserves the Earlybird price, if received on or before 1st September). All balances due on/before 1st September. Once you have reserved your place, Debbie will be in touch to arrange your payment method – either PayPal or direct bank transfer. If you wish to contact Debbie about payment methods please email her directly at debbie@gateway-women.com Click here to book
  • Lunch & Breaks: On Saturday we take a one hour break for lunch and there are plenty of cafes, shops and restaurants nearby for you to choose from. On Sunday, if you wish, we can all have lunch together in the hotel, although you can opt of this if you wish. You are also welcome to bring a packed lunch if you prefer. We’ll also take a morning and afternoon break of 15 mins at which tea and coffee will be provided. Debbie will run through the lunch options with you once you’ve booked.
  • Where: Episode Hotel, 64 Upper Holly Walk, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, West Midlands,CV32 4JL. Tel: +44 (0)1926 883777 www.episodehotels.co.uk
  • Directions & Parking: The Episode Hotel is 1 mile from Leamington Railway Station and 2 miles from Junction 13 of the M40. For full directions and information, click here.
  • Accommodation: 
    If you are coming from outside the area, you can book a room in the Episode Hotel (where the workshop is taking place) at around £70-85 GBP per night www.episodehotels.co.uk/hotel-rooms.html
    Alternatively, there are plenty of AirBnB rooms and apartments in the area in the £35-75 GBP price range www.airbnb.co.uk
  • Disabled Access: Ramp access to garden room via side entrance & access to disabled toilet. Please let us know if you need a disabled parking space or any other assistance and we’ll do all we can to make it possible for you to attend.
  • How Many Women: In order to create an intimate and safe atmosphere, the workshop is restricted to 12 women only.
  • Who is the Reignite Weekend for? Women of any age, partnered or solo, 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 biological children, it’s for you.

Some feedback from women who’ve taken part in previous Reignite Weekends:

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.  (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. (Leila, 39)

The course was excellent; well structured, clear and relevant and which helped me to understand the trauma I’ve been struggling though after finding out that we can’t have children. 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 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 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. [The weekend] 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)

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)

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