As you may already know, I’m a World Childless Week ‘Champion’ which means I support the campaign and do I all can behind the scenes to make it a success. And it’s that time of year again (no, not that time of the year!) – the 3rd World Childless Week is next week and there are so many wonderful free events happening on/offline around the world for you to take part in. If some of the links to things on the Gateway Women website are slow to be open, please be patient, they will open – we’re upgrading our server currently!
World Childless Week: September 16th-22nd 2019
World Childless Week is divided into 7 themes, one for each day of the week, with different things happening on each day. You can take an active part or just explore the contributions of others – whatever feels best for you at this stage of your childlessness recovery journey. The image below shows the themes. Below that, I’ve listed some of the events and highlights for each day and the opportunities you’ll have to interact with me personally if you wish.
Monday 16 September: “Our Stories”
- See the events/webinars planned for this day here – all individual contributions by childless men and woman from around the world on Monday’s theme will be published at the same link on 16th September.
- Highlight – a free webinar with authors Lorna Gibb and Kate Kaufmann on “The Importance of Sharing Stories” 8pm-9pm UK time
Sharing stories about childlessness can be an important step in the healing process, opening the way to an honest exploration of a fulfilled existence without the children once hoped for. In this webinar, a collaboration between More to Life and World Childless Week, two authors will share unique perspectives that they have gained through writing about their own, and others, childless lives. Both will give a brief presentation before a short question and answer session. For full details and to register for this webinar please click here
Tuesday 17 September: “Letters from our Hearts”
- See the event/webinars planned for this day here – all individual contributions on Tuesday’s theme will be published at the same link on 17th September.
- Highlight: my webinar: The Self Compassionate Heart, Tues 17 Sep: 6pm-7pm UK time
A 1-hour webinar with Jody Day (me!): psychotherapist, author of Living the Life Unexpected and founder of Gateway Women on the topic of self-compassion. Often misunderstood as something that will make us ‘soft’, self compassion is actually a powerful tool that can improve our relationship with ourselves (and others) and help us forgive ourselves for certain aspects of our childless ‘story’. Click here for more information and to register.
Wednesday 18 September: “Childlessness and the Arts”
- See the event/webinar listings for the day here – all individual contributions on Wednesday’s theme will be published at the same link on 18th September.
- Highlight: Free Webinar: “Art, Healing & Moving Forward with Helen Segal”, Wed 18 Sep: 5pm-6pm UK time. NO CREATIVE EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
Earlier in the year Stephanie Phillips (founder, World Childless Week) watched Helen Segal of Grieve with Love and Kindness in a webinar where participation was encouraged: As she writes: “I was a little apprehensive of what delight or disaster I would create but I thoroughly enjoyed the process and was quietly happy with what I created.” To find out more and to register for this webinar click here
- See the event listing for this day here – all individual contributions on Thursday’s theme will be published and viewable at the same link from 19th September onwards.
- Highlight: There is no webinar planned for this day, but I know that Michael Hughes, World Childless Week Champion, will be sharing a very personal video interview on the topic that is not to be missed. (Find out more about Michael and the other WCW Champions here)
- Gateway Women World Childless Week Meetup: UK: Bristol, 7pm (This link will only open if you are a member of the free Gateway Women UK & Ireland Meetup group. If not, you will be prompted to join. As all memberships are manually checked before approval, this can take 24-72 hours so please don’t leave it to the last minute!)
- See all the event/webinar listings for this day here. All individual contributions on Friday’s theme will be published at the same link on Friday 20th September.
- Highlight: Free webinar with Jackie and Bill Hollis – ‘Transforming Comments that Hurt’, Friday 20 Sep: 7pm-8pm UK time
In this webinar, Jackie Shannon Hollis, author of This Particular Happiness: a Childless Love Story (for which I wrote the foreword!) and her husband Bill will share their story and some of the hurtful comments they have encountered and dealt with from each other, strangers, family and friends. They will explore how we can respond with strength and curiosity as we exercise our own empathy. There will also be the opportunity, after their presentation, to anonymously ask questions. To register for this webinar click here
- Gateway Women World Childless Week Meetup:
Friday 20th September: ISRAEL: Tel Aviv, 12pm
(This link will only open if you are a member of the free Gateway Women Israel Meetup Group. If you are not, the link will prompt you to join). Along with the new Gateway Women Israel closed Facebook group, these are the first resources for childless not by choice women in Israel and both are led by World Childless Week Champion, Ruth Levy-Abramson.
- See the event/webinar listings for Saturday here. All individual contributions on Saturday’s theme will be published at the same link on Sat 21st September.
- Highlight: Australian Fireside chat (Webinar – all welcome). Saturday 21st September, 11am London, 8pm Sydney
An online ‘fireside chat’ meet and greet, hosted by Anne Barratt of Empowering Health – Childless Support, and Michael Hughes of The Full Stop Podcast. You’ll have a chance to meet other CNBC folk such as Suzanne Mills of Cinderalla Wears Pants, Liz Campbell of Redefining My Plan A, Sarah Roberts of The Empty Cradle, Suzy Muir of Beyond the Empty Womb Retreat, Jody Day from Gateway Women and more. For full details and to register for this webinar click here.
- Highlight: “Healing Loss: A Free Non-denominational Service” – Pasadena, USA
In collaboration with World Childless Week, this free non-denominational service is open to anyone who is childless by infertility, circumstances or difficult choices. It has been organised by Kelly Brandt who is a Gateway Women Facilitator and you are invited to “join your tribe in a safe place to honor your loss through poetry readings, music and ritual.” Having participated myself in something similar in the UK in 2012 organised by Saying Goodbye, I can really attest to the power of a ritual like this to help you grieve your losses and move forward, whether you ever experienced a pregnancy or not. For full details click here.
- Highlight: Diversity in Childlessness – a video panel discussion
Recorded specially for World Childless Week, this video features several World Childless Week Champions and guests to discuss and represent the subject of diversity in childlessness. Hosted by Jody Day and featuring Stella Duffy OBE, Meriel Whale, Michael Hughes, Rod Silvers, Ruth Levy-Abramson, Sophia Andeh, Nina Thair & Yvonne John. [Will be published on 21st September].
- Gateway Women ‘We Are Worthy’ Meetups: Sat 21st September
[Please note that the links below will only open if you are a member of the relevant Gateway Women Meetup Group. If you are not, the link will prompt you to join. All memberships are screened and can take up to 72 hours to be activated so please don’t wait till the last minute!]
Australia: Brisbane, 11am
Highlight: EIR/Ireland: Cork City, 3pm *(hosted by Jody Day)
EIR/Ireland: Dublin (Ireland), 7pm
UK: Brighton, 11am
UK: Bournemouth, 11am
UK: Chester, 11am
UK: Glasgow, 2pm
UK: Kendal, 12pm
UK: Kingston (SW London): 11am
UK: Central London, 5pm
UK: Newcastle, 11am
UK: Northants (Rushden): 11am
UK: Preston, 11am
UK: Salisbury, 10am *new meetup
USA: Philadelphia, 2pm
USA: Washington DC, 11am
Sunday 22 September: “Finding Acceptance & Moving Forward”
- See the event/webinar listings for Sunday here. All individual contributions on Sunday’s theme will be published at the same link on Sun 22nd September.
- Highlight: Deconstructing Silence and Finding Acceptance with Prof. Cristina Archetti (Video)
A pre-recorded video chat between two World Childless Week Champions: Professor Cristina Archetti and Jody Day, on the topic of Cristina’s forthcoming 2020 book with Routledge, “Childlessness in the Age of Communication: Deconstructing Silence”. We talk about our personal experience of speaking out about our childlessness and the extraordinary silence and/or trivialisation that surrounds childlessness considering the huge (and growing) number of people it impacts. For Cristina, writing this book was both a personal journey of acceptance as well as a political act in claiming the academic space for childlessness. [Video will be published on 22nd September].
- Highlight: World Childless Week Wine/d Down! (Webinar): Sunday 22nd September, 7pm UK time
Please join the wonderful bundle of World Childless Week Champions as we reflect on the last seven days, celebrate what we have all achieved as a community and talk about what the future holds. We’d also love to know how you feel and you’ll be welcome to post questions or share your own thoughts on what you have felt during this year’s World Childless Week. You can register for this webinar here
- Gateway Women ‘World Childless Week’ Meetup: Sunday 22nd September
USA: Colombia, 11am
[Please note that this link will only open if you are a member of the Gateway Women USA Meetup Group. If you are not, the link will prompt you to join. All memberships are screened and can take up to 72 hours to be activated so please don’t wait till the last minute!]
Ten years ago, when I was grieving and felt like the only childless women in the world (apart from Oprah and we’ve never really been that close) the internet had nothing to offer me. And now look how much we have to choose from?! I’m so happy for you and I’d encourage you to join in. There’s nothing like connecting with other conscious childless women looking to heal to give you the companionship and boost you need to keep moving forward with YOUR childless recovery journey.
I really hope to see you online or offline next week or in the near future.
Hugs & thanks,