Five years ago pretty much to the day, I went on a women’s retreat and it’s days like today that I realise how much it has shaped my life as a woman, as a mother, as a doula, as a hypnotherapist, as a businesswoman, as a whoever and whatever I will become next.
It was a pretty intense experience.
It involved camping – I had never camped in my life.
It involved not showering for 3 days – I had never gone more than 36 hours without showering, and that’s because I was very ill with the flu.
It involved total silence for 3 of the 3.5 days – I had never shut up for more than 12 hours, and that’s because I was sleeping.
It involved staring into other women’s eyes, crying, shouting, acting, getting stuff out of our bodies, minds, hearts and souls.
It involved eating the most delicious vegetarian food in silence.
It involved getting naked and sharing music, songs and hushed words in a sweat lodge – a magnificent yurt that held us together, that cleansed us, that healed us.
Then on the last day, in the last hour, it was time to all introduce ourselves, having broken our silence just a couple of hours before.
And I heard a word I had never heard before but had read 2 years prior to the retreat and had never seen anywhere again since: ‘doula’.
And I just knew. This word went straight into my heart, like an arrow in flames, and it fired me up.
As soon as I could, I went to talk to the lady who had uttered this magic word. We chatted for about an hour. That’s all we had before the end of the retreat. And I was truly enchanted – under a spell. And again I just knew. I just knew I had to look into doulaing further.
The next day, I was booked onto the June Paramana Doula course, created by Michel Odent and Liliana Lammers, and although my main motivation was to help women postnatally (because having received no help myself, I knew how badly postnatal doulas were needed), in June 2011 I embarked on my birth doula journey as well, and it changed everything in my life, including my business. The most magical thing is that it inspired me to have another baby, when I was so adamant I didn’t want another one (at least partly a result of having received no help in the postnatal period).
We were warned that first morning in June that women who came to doula training got pregnant quite quickly afterwards, and I heard a little voice in my head say ‘I bet that will be me’ – and it was! Two miscarriages later, all in all 7 months later, I was pregnant with my second daughter and we were delighted 🙂
Many times since that retreat, I have thought that it didn’t do much, it didn’t change my life. Today I wonder how I could have had such thoughts!
Of course it did! It changed it completely!
It’s the reason I’m not an editor and proofreader any more (after a 12-year career in publishing)!
It’s the reason I have two children rather than just one.
It’s the reason I became a doula and learnt SO MUCH about pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period.
It’s also the reason I became a hypnobirthing practitioner and learned EVEN MORE, and still do, pretty much every day, and the reason why my passion for pregnancy, birth and mother will never die.
It’s the reason I then became a HypnoMothering practitioner, an IEMT practitioner, and finally a hypnotherapist and an NLP and EFT practitioner!
And it’s the reason I joined a Mastermind and business coaching course in February this year and created my signature programme Freedom from Food for Mums (based on two years’ experience with all my clients who suffered from emotional eating).
If you would like to find out more about my Freedom from Food for Mums programme and how it could help you, do book a free 30-minute call. I will be more than happy to answer all your questions.