I was delighted when I was asked last year if I would be happy to contribute to a book about childlessness that was being written by Lesley Pyne. Lesley’s website was the first place I ever released a piece of my own writing into the wild – when I felt compelled to tell my own story – one of the hardest, but most important things I’ve ever done.
I found Lesley’s site when I was at a dreadful low. But, having read some of the challenging yet inspiring stories she was inviting others to share – I knew that the only way forward for me was to let some of that grief out myself. And so that is what I did – under the pseudonym August (August being a very important month to me).
A year later (and having already taking the giant step of saying out loud in actual words how bloody hard that journey had been), a blog was born, and here were are.
Lesley’s book is published on Monday, and it is a very powerful and potent book indeed. A deeply honest, moving and challenging look at what it is like to try to have children, by every means possible and then, when that long fought for dream is extinguished for the final time, have to try and find a way to keep breathing through the heartache, and somehow create a new life, one that isn’t like the life you’d hoped and planned for at all.
If you, or anyone you know is touched by this, I cannot recommend Lesley’s book enough. It doesn’t pull any punches, I tells it like it is, because eventually, however hard that may be, it is the only way to take that step forward, into whatever the hell is next. Thankfully, Lesley, along with the other wonderful women who have contributed – have a good idea of what could be next, and better still, how you too might get there.
With a wealth of inspiration, some genuine pain, some absolute triumph, and a plethora of fantastic exercises and ideas to help create … yes maybe a different … but nevertheless every inch fantastic life beyond childlessness – this may just be the book required for you to find your own joy – beyond your wildest imagination.
Here is the lovely Lesley, along with a little of her own story ….
Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness
What do you think when you read the title of the book? You wouldn’t normally expect to read the words joy and childlessness in the same sentence.
My guess is you’re throwing your hands up in horror and a voice inside you is saying loudly, ‘oh no, I can’t do that.’
And to assure you that I’m not living in some sort of fantasy world, let me tell you three things;
- I’ve stood where you’re standing now, telling myself that I’ll never be happy;
- Despite 6 unsuccessful rounds of IVF and losing both parents, I can truly say that I am at peace with my past; I know who I am and I’m living a life I absolutely love;
- It’s not just me saying this, others have walked this path, and they are also showing up in the world as themselves and living a fulfilling life without the children they desperately wanted.
When we finished IVF there were far fewer resources than there are now. I’m not a big fan of forums, meeting face to face is what helps me best. I met some wonderful women through More To Life; however we were all at a similar stage in our healing journey so there was no one to look to as a mentor or guide. Sometimes we would play the ‘name the childless woman’ game and our answers would include women like Helen Mirren, Dolly Parton and the like. It was all very well to see famous women, but really, what do I have in common with them?
If you can see it, you can do it
I know from experience that achieving something in life is easier if you can follow a path laid down by someone else. So I started collecting what I call Inspirational Stories, stories of real childless women who have stood where you’re standing now, hiding themselves, but are now showing up happily in their life.
I’ve used these stories as a basis to write Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness; Inspiring Stories to Guide You to a Fulfilling Life. In the process of writing I’ve dug deep into those things the story tellers had in common; subjects such as grief, letting go, self-acceptance, connecting to my body, writing and gratitude.
I want to show readers that it is possible to have a fulfilling life, and, using these women as examples, how to make it happen. So I use my life experience, the experiences of other 19 childless women (including August), and my skills as a coach and NLP Master Practitioner to gently guide readers through their pain, using practical advice and exercises and help them to reach the other side and find their joy.
And only you can do it
I’ve come out the other side a completely different person; I am now closer to being the true, authentic Lesley. I am finally comfortable in my own skin and confident when I say that ‘I absolutely love my life, the adventures I’m having and I’m excited about what will happen next.’
It makes me so sad when I hear childless women say that they will never be happy.
I want you to know that it’s not true.
Coming to terms with a childless life changes you. The storytellers and I have made the most of these changes to become the most beautiful we can be. I hope you take the opportunity to do this too.
Copyright 2018 · Forty and Everything After