Goodness gracious me it’s been a bit busy around here! There’s an old saying that says ‘be careful what you wish for’ and one of my dreams has been that the work of Gateway Women and the subject of involuntary childlessness is something that would begin to get more mainstream, serious recognition… and these last few weeks I’ve been working my socks off on a couple of really important projects that totally fit this.
The first one was to create a video training series for COSRT (The UK College of Sex and Relationship Therapists) on ‘The Impact of Involuntary Childlessness on Sexual Intimacy’, and the second was to deliver a lecture as part of York University’s 4-year study on ‘Grief: A Human Emotional Experience’ called ‘The Disenfranchised Grief of Involuntary Childlessness: A Living Loss that Society Dismisses’ (you can watch the recording here if you like). It’s been deeply rewarding and utterly exhausting to cram these projects in amongst all the many other things that are going on with Gateway Women…
The COSRT training module is, as far as we are aware, the very first CPD training for therapists around the topic of childlessness and it launches during their conference this month, and will only be viewable by their members. However, if this is something that interests you, don’t worry as I’ll be hosting a free GW Masterclass on exactly this topic on Saturday 22nd May at 5pm UK time (live and recorded) with Sue Newsome, a childless British sex & relationship therapist, Katy deJong, aka the childless ‘Pleasure Anarchist‘, Stella Duffy OBE, the Kiwi/British novelist and activist, and hopefully one other guest yet to be confirmed! Click here to register for that. (And please be reassured that your face, voice & name are all invisible on the webinar).
Support for UK Mother's Day this March
In the UK, Mother’s Day is called ‘Mothering Sunday’ and falls this year on Sunday 14th March. There have been some really encouraging signs that in 2021, more than at any time before, a growing number of marketing departments have been sending ‘opt out’ emails ahead of Mother’s Day campaigns and there’s been a lot of support for this (and plenty of calling out of those organisations who still aren’t getting it!) on Twitter. (You can follow me there @gatewaywomen but be warned, it is where I can get a bit polemical!)
After the Christmas holiday period (basically the whole of December!) the time around UK Mother’s Day in March and International Mother’s Day in May are the busiest times for the Gateway Women website and for new members looking for support in our online community. So, as we do each year, we’ve created some events and resources to support you.
Free Gateway Women Masterclass webinar on 'Coping with Mother's Day' on Saturday 13th March at 5pm UK time (and recorded).
For this ‘Coping with Mother’s Day’ webinar, I’m joined by four wonderful members of Team Gateway: Karin Enfield de Vries, Yvonne John, Melanie Dagg and Sarah Lawrence. Each of us has deep professional and personal experience of supporting childless women to heal their childless hearts and find new dreams for their life other than motherhood. We really hope that together we can support and empower you to make Mother’s Day just a little bit easier this year.
It will be filmed live on Saturday 13th March 2021 at 9am PST, 11am CST, 12-noon EST, 5pm GMT, 6pm CET and also live-streamed to the Gateway Women Facebook Page as well as recorded for you to watch later. There will be a live anonymous Q&A for the last 15 minutes. Click here for more information and to register.
UK Mother's Day Live Support Chat - Sun 14 March - 7am - midnight GMT UK time
As well as the webinar on Saturday, on Sunday 14th we are running a live, moderated all-day support chat in the Gateway Women Private Membership Community on MightyNetworks (and will be doing so again on International Mother’s Day on 9th May).
It’s not on Zoom – it’s a rolling text-based chat (a bit like a WhatsApp chat, but taking place within the safe and moderated space of our private community), with each hour from 7am to Midnight UK time womanned by a different pair of volunteers from around the world. You don’t have to be experiencing Mothers Day in your country to join us, and you don’t have to talk about Mother’s Day during the chat – come as you are and get support, validation and encouragement for whatever you’re dealing with right now – and we’re ALL dealing with a lot! It’s a very friendly and supportive experience and a great way to get to know other members in an informal and safe way.
If you’re already a member, just clicking on this link will take you directly to the event and if you’re not yet a member, it will ask you to join. As all new members are manually ID-checked, it can take 24-48 hours for your membership to be approved so please don’t leave it till the last minute to join us. The first month is free and membership after that is a modest monthly fee or by donation. More information about joining, and what your membership fee contributes towards, here.
Free webinar: Fireside Wisdom with the #NomoCrones this Equinox, 20th March
As part of my Conscious Childless Elderwomen project, I’m thrilled that the wonderful #NomoCrones will be gathering around the Zoom Fire again for an Equinox Gathering on Saturday 20th March at 1pm PDT, 3pm CDT, 8pm GMT, 9pm CET, 7am (21st) AEDT for an hour of wisdom, laughter and fireside tales. All ages welcome – register here (will also be recorded)
Our theme for his session will be ‘The Body & The Cycles of Life’ and if you’d like to know more about my Conscious Childless Elderwomen project, you can find out more here, where you can also watch the recordings of the past two gatherings of the #NomoCrones. You might also be interested to take a look at my new blog focused on my evolving journey as an #ApprenticeCrone here.
Get your free tickets to the Childless Collective Summit - March 18-21
Registration is officially open for the first-ever virtual Childless Collective Summit running from 18-21st March. I’m incredibly proud to be the keynote speaker and my presentation takes place on the final day, Sunday 21st March. All presentations are free to attend/watch during the summit so click here to reserve your spot.
Organized with love, dedication, and an absolute ton of hard-graft over the last several months by Katy from Chasing Creation, this event will feature many of the wonderful childless thinkers, writers, supporters and activists that I’ve met over the last decade, as well as some fantastic speakers that are new to me and whom I look forward to listening to and learning from. A lineup of 28 speakers in fact!
Presentations are free to attend/watch during the Summit so get your free ticket and learn more by clicking here. However, if you cannot manage to watch them all during the 4 days of the Summit (I’m certainly not going to manage it!) you can also purchase an extended access pass which also includes loads of bonus goodies from each of the 28 presenters.
This is going to be such a special, landmark event for our community – please attend and support it and, with enough support, Katy will be able to afford to put it on next year too!
Only 2 days left to support the campaign to launch 'Tutum Journal' - a magazine for the childless community
Jobi Tyson, the founder of Tutum Global (and one of the speakers at the Childless Collective Summit too) is on a mission to create a quarterly magazine for the childless community – Tutum Global. The crowdfunding campaign for it closes very soon and it needs a SERIOUS BOOST if it’s to reach its modest target. Every donation counts, so please help! Click here for info on how to contribute to the funding and/or how to submit your work and become part of this historic publication.
Join me for my very first Instagram Live (eek!) as a guest on Kimberley Wilson's 'Food and Pscyh' Bookclub - Tuesday 30th March, 8pm UK time
I’m thrilled that my book, ‘Living the Life Unexpected‘ is March’s BookClub pick for Kimberley Wilson’s bookclub; something she describes as, “part reading group, part Q&A, it’s the book club for people who like to think”, and as some previous picks are some of my own favourites including Susan Cain’s ‘Quiet’ and ‘Hunger’ by Roxane Gay, I’m feeling very flattered indeed!
Kimberley is a nutrition-trained Chartered Psychologist, author, and visiting lecturer working in private practice in central London. She is a Governor of the Tavistock & Portman NHS Mental Health Trust and the former Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Training Committee in Counselling Psychology. A former finalist on the Great British Bake Off, and an award-winning food producer with a degree in nutrition, her work looks at the role food and lifestyle plays in our mental health, including disordered eating, the gut-brain axis and our emotional relationship with food. She is the author of ‘How to Build a Healthy Brain’, the host of the Stronger Minds podcast and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4.
You can find out more about Kimberley’s book club on her website and find her on Instagram here. I hope you’ll join us for our Instagram Live chat on Tuesday 30th March at 8pm-9pm GMT (London, UK time.) All you need to join is to follow Kimberley’s Instagram account and log in at that time and you’ll see a notification that we’re ‘live’. Wish me luck as it’s my Instagram Live debut! And if you wanted to follow me on Instagram you’ll find me @gatewaywomen
Come to a Gateway Women Online Reignite Weekend in YOUR timezone!
Our Online Reignite Weekends, which began last October have continued to get an amazing reception (and wonderful results as you can tell from the testimonials.
We have Online Reignite Weekends scheduled for the rest of 2021 running at times suitable for women in the UK/EU, USA/Canada and Australia/NZ. You can find out the dates, full details and read some more testimonials here.
And if you have done a Reignite Weekend in the past and would like to share your thoughts on how it may have changed your life, I’d love to hear from you! Next month is Gateway Women’s 10th anniversary and I’d love to feature your stories (anonymously if you wish). And of course, if you were willing for your words to be turned into one of my ‘picture’ testimonials (I usually change the names unless you really want to use your own) that would be wonderful too.
Considering next month (April 2021) will be Gateway Women’s 10th Anniversary, I’m not sure it could be much more action-packed than this month!
As always, it’d be a pleasure to see you at one of our free events, chat to you in our private membership community or hear from you by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gateway Women has always been a ‘we’ not a ‘me’. And without you, none of this would be possible.
Hugs as always
PS: And if you’d like to donate to support our work or to learn more about what your donations would support, as well as other ways to get involved, click here