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My 9th Childless Christmas & 3 Gifts for You

This is my ninth childless Christmas. Well, nine years since that first awful year when I came out of denial that my childlessness was a permanent ‘thing’, not just some inconvenient stopover on my path to motherhood. I can’t really remember that first Christmas because, although I’d ‘accepted’ in my head that I wasn’t going to be a mother, ever, in my heart and body there raged such a fire of confusion that I thought it was going to burn me alive. I didn’t yet know that what I was experiencing was grief; I didn’t find that out until almost two years later, and I truly believe that learning that might have saved my life, and I don’t mean that metaphorically… they were dark, dark days… So if this is where you are today, I hear you. And I recognize how hard it is to have those feelings when so many around us are expecting us to be ‘jolly’… (And if you are having suicidal thoughts this holiday season, please watch this amazing short video by Karla McLaren and reach out for support from a hotline – that’s what they’re there for and your pain and grief matter too).

The photo above is my Christmas tree in Ibiza this year. You’ll see that on it is a wonderful pewter Bee, given to me by one of my workshop participants to represent her ‘Plan Bee’ identity. I love it because it reminds me of her, and of the powerful connections and transformations that I’ve experienced myself and have been privileged to support other women through.

Life after childlessness – a fulfilling, happy, meaningful life IS possible. It’s not easy, it doesn’t just arrive, it’s rarely what we expect and it certainly isn’t what we ordered! Embracing it takes huge courage. But it IS possible.

Well, it’s alright for YOU I hear you say. Maybe YOU can change your life. But I can’t!

I know that’s how it feels some days, but I promise that there are things you can do to make your Plan B come to life. I can’t wave a magic wand, but what I know for sure is what’s worked for me, and for many of the thousands of women I’ve worked with, interacted with, wept with, laughed with and connected with over the years:

  • Understand that you are grieving. Learn about your grief. Embrace it and work with it rather than against it. It’s trying to help you heal – really! (Read Chapter 4 of my book and watch this recording of my webinar on childless grief that I led for More to Life earlier this year.
  • Seek out the empathic company of other childless women actively walking the path of healing from this loss. Meet them online in the private Gateway Women online community, at one of our life-changing Reignite Weekends or at a local Gateway Women Meetup.
  • Become a self compassion ninja. You can read more about my own discovery of self compassion in Chapter 9 of my book, where I’ll introduce you to your very own Inner Bitch and teach you how to house-train her! My go-to guru on this is Kristin Neff and you’ll find some wonderful free downloadable resources on her website.

My gift to you – join me for a free post-Christmas “Reflect & Renew” webinar.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve often found that the space between Christmas and New Year is hard too. It’s like everyone collectively breathes a sigh of relief on the 26th December and then POOF! they all disappear. The world goes quiet and, as many of us know all too well, when the world goes quiet this is often the cue for grief to make itself known and ask for some attention. If you’re single as well during this time, it can also seem like all the couples you know hunker-down into their units and no-one’s available for anything. All those ‘fun’ projects that you’d saved for this time feel hollow and you don’t have the energy for the grown-up ones, like doing your taxes or decluttering the house.
So if you’re at a loose end and would like to connect with me and other Gateway Women, do sign up for my free online webinar on Saturday 29th December at 4pm GMT (UK time). You don’t need to have your video on and can remain as private as you wish. I’ll be sharing my reflections on what this quiet time in our busy lives can teach us, and sharing what’s got me through difficult times. The 1-hr call will also be available to watch afterwards, if you can’t make it. Please click the image or this link to register for the free call.

Your gift to yourself – attending a Gateway Women Reignite Weekend in 2019

 

We have Reignite Weekends happening in London and Scotland scheduled for 2019, including a very special one in February just for those of you who are both single and childless – the Solo Reignite Weekend. The Reignite Weekend has changed thousands of lives for the better over the last 6 years and the only regret I’ve heard from participants is that they wished they’d done one sooner!

Click through to read some of the testimonials – you don’t need to take my word for it.


Your gift to each other – connecting in person at a Gateway Women meetup


Don’t forget that Gateway Women has a network of 100+ free social meetups in towns and cities around the world in the UK, Ireland, Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India. There are plenty of meetups happening over the holiday period so do join in!
Some meetups are just coffee (or something stronger) and a chat. Others that have been going for a while can be anything from crafting and music get-togethers, book groups, theatre trips, walks, Christmas lunches…
And if once you’ve checked the list there isn’t a Gateway Women meetup near you, we can help you set one up. Find out all the locations and download a sheet on how to start one here.

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