This has been a very interesting year (aren’t they all?!). I have had to learn some tough lessons and I have done a lot of self work. It has also been a year of great discovery about myself and what I am capable of.
At the very beginning of 2022 I engaged the services of a “business guru” who promised the earth in terms of helping me to grow my business in order to reach more women suffering the effects of birth and other perinatal traumas. I paid them a lot of money. I used up a lot of my energy believing that the promises would be fulfilled. The results were going to be amazing – I would have a stream of great contacts who were all in need of my help.
I’m still waiting.. for the promised results, for the cows to come home, for a refund maybe? I’ve had to let it go. For a while there I couldn’t think about the experience, let alone talk about it without getting very angry, upset and my eyes leaking. I spoke to some of those close to me and the advice was to say “thank you for the lesson, I’ve learned the lesson.”
An unfortunate side-effect of this “investment” was that I took my eye off the ball with the birth trauma work for a while. I believed that someone else was handling all that needed to be done to keep getting the message out there.
I am very easily distracted by the shiny stuff! I sign up for groups and courses and frequently never open the first chapter or video intro. This year, while I was doing my accounts I made a list of all the courses that I signed up for that I haven’t completed. It would be funny if there weren’t quite so many!!
In February 2022, I joined a group called “My Healthy Tribe” and it has been a truly transformational experience. The first encounter with the tribe leader, Caroline Forez was on a weightloss bootcamp. I hummed and hahed – I’d done so many of these types of things before with limited and temporary results. But this promised more – this promised a mindset shift and I knew that this was what I needed. Working with women using the Rewind, I know how powerful our minds are for changing our moods, behaviours and ultimately our lives.
For the past 10 months I have been in the Tribe and its fabulous to have regular check ins and accountability. I’m still not perfect but I’m better and more conscious of my eating and way more active than I was – I even ran 10k. One of the big positives from 2022. You can find Caroline here.
In March I hosted the first of two retreats that I ran this year with my massively talented friend, Penni. We have a Facebook group where we advertise our “Light and Life Retreats”. We held both of this years retreats in Thorpeness in Suffolk and this year we’ll be back there again in November as well as in Spain in March 2023 and Derbyshire in June. All welcome!
June saw a trip to the Isle of Wight Festival as an Oxfam volunteer! It was very hot and the toilets were extra stinky and the water luke-warm (drinking and showers). It was a great experience though.
In July this year I was blessed with my first grandbaby. And a bit like having your own first child, no-one can prepare you for the waves of emotion, love and gratitude you feel for that tiny human and their parents. Each day brings new firsts, new expressions, new sounds, another milestone reached. It is also a challenge to find your feet again in a newly reconfigured wider family.
September took me to Sardinia sailing followed by a cheeky few days at the beginning of October in Rome. I had been learning Italian on Duolingo since about April but unfortunately had very little opportunity to practice. I particularly treasured visiting the places in Rome my late Mum had talked about visiting with my godmother as young women.
In November I took the new grandbaby and her parents, my dad and my other 2 children to Cyprus for a long weekend. The days were hot and short but the sea was pure bliss and the opportunity for lengthy cuddles with baby and time and chats with my family was very precious.
December saw the completion of accounts and the dreaded tax return. I’m not sure why it all fills me with so much dread. I think it gives me flashbacks from when I was an office manager many years ago and responsible for PAYE and VAT returns. I remember many late night visits to drop off returns with minutes to spare!
So since completing my dreaded tax return I have reflected on the reason why I keep signing up for shiny new courses (and the odd miracle face cream!). Ultimately the reason is that I want to help more people, serve more women, like me, who live(d) with the negative impact of birth trauma. The fact is, however, I have all the tools and experience I need to help multiple women every day. I am good at what I do and I consistently get results. Unfortunately self-doubt and imposter syndrome can sneak in there uninvited – more often than not aided and abetted by social media mostly.
How many hours have I wasted this year alone scrolling through instagram or Facebook? I dread to think. Think of all the courses I could have done instead – haha. I had to delete TikTok as that was even worse!
2023 looms large on the horizon. So will I be setting New Year’s Resolutions? No, I won’t.
Will I be aiming for less time on social media? yes. Will I be trying to stay fit and strong and healthy – yes. Will I be trying to “improve” myself intellectually – yes. Will I continue to seek to be more authentic, more me and better able to help and serve women and families who have been traumatised by the maternity services factory farm version of birth, pregnancy and postnatal care and support? Always.
Happy New Year to you, and those you love xxx