Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness
by Lesley Pyne
Can you share a bit about your back story with us.
I always assumed that one day I’d be a mother, it never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t. We started trying for children when I was 35 and, 6 unsuccessful rounds of IVF later, had to start coming to terms with our biggest dream not coming true. I was devastated, felt completely alone and didn’t know who I was in the world.
I know now that I was grieving, but I didn’t know then. I just assumed I was sad. I didn’t know how to feel, so on the outside I projected the Lesley who was ambivalent about children, the Lesley who was tough and strong.
I slowly started to get my life back together, although I still felt sad. Then my life fell apart again when my father in law died, followed a few months later by my mum. Now I knew I was grieving and did what I’d always done, which was to box it away. And there it stayed. I just carried on and sadness became my new norm.
Six years ago I trained in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) & the techniques I learned helped me a lot so I decided to set up a business helping midlife women. This business didn’t work, because I wasn’t being true to myself. In my heart I wanted to support childless women but I didn’t feel strong enough to do it. So I worked with a business coach who helped me to change my business.
In 2014 my dad died after a short illness. For a while I told myself that this was new and different grief and not linked to the past. I boxed that away as well. And there it stayed. Until it didn’t. Because (as I’ve learned the hard way), one way or another, grief will find its way out.
And, to cut a long story short, as I’ve written my book ‘Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness: Inspiring Stories to Guide You to a Fulfilling Life’ I’ve worked through my grief and come out the other side a different person.
How and when did you know that you wanted to write a book?
For a few years on my website I’ve been publishing what I call Inspirational Stories, true stores of childless women who are living a fulfilling life. I always had the idea that I’d publish them.
Then one day in a yoga class, I heard a really strong calling to write a book. I saw myself at the publication party surrounded by close friends and those who’ve helped me and the book become a reality. My body was flooded with wonderful feelings as I realised how much I wanted to:hold the book in my hand and show other women that they can have a fulfilling life and how to achieve it.
I started to write. Now that I’ve finished, I realise there was something else. I believe that vision was my soul calling. First it sent me a sprained ankle to slow me down, then came a voice in my head saying ‘you can’t do this’ and other such negativity. Luckily it also gave me permission to ask for help from the magical helpers it also sent my way. My soul was indeed calling me to do the work, to really grieve, to let go, to connect with my body, to write, to truly accept myself, to be grateful for everything and to find joy. And mostly it was calling me to fully show up in my life.
Tell us about your book.
To paraphrase the back cover, in Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness, I use my life experience as a childless woman, the experiences of other childless women from all over the world, and my skills as a coach and NLP Master Practitioner to gently guide readers through their pain, using practical advice and exercises, to help them reach the other side to find their joy.I believe that ‘if you can see it, you can do it’ which is why I’ve combined my story, those of others and a workbook so by the end readers will learn how to find fulfilment now and in the future.
The book also has a wider appeal because, let’s face it whose life turns out exactly as planned? If that’s you it will assist you in working through the associated grief processes and teach you how to find your joy.
What were the hardest things you faced whilst you were writing it?
I went through a very low point when the voices in my head were telling me stories like ‘you can’t do this, what you’re writing is no good’ etc, etc. I also felt very isolated and didn’t know whether what I was writing was connecting with my ideal reader.
I asked for help and a couple of Clean Language sessions with Sheryl Andrews later, those voices in my head had changed to be more positive. Sheryl also encouraged me to recruit a group of cheerleaders who would only give me positive feedback.
What were the best things you experienced during the process?
The best things came about as a result of the hardest things. Receiving the first feedback from my cheerleaders and realising that my book would make the difference I hoped was a HUGE moment.
At that low point my head was also telling me to have private yoga lessons and I realise now that this was part of the vision I describe in Question 2. These lessons have helped me with my grief process more than anything else and I know I wouldn’t be who I am now without them.
What’s next for you?
A lie down…. I feel weary, well I am at the end of an 18 month marathon!
It’s World Childless Week in September and the Fertility Show in November, both of which I’m looking forward to being involved with. Other than this, providing support in terms of blogs and selling the book, I’m not sure yet.
Can you share your top 3 #booktips.
1) Recruit cheerleaders to help you to know whether what you’re writing connects with your ideal readers.
2) Know yourself and work in a way that helps you. I know I need accountability and encouragement so I worked with Karen Williams and I also used a spreadsheet to monitor my word count. I found the idea of writing the whole book overwhelming so on my PC I broke it down to writing a chapter at a time.
3) Celebrate your achievements. I had a party at the end and I also bought myself a small piece of jewelry to mark the various milestones.
Lesley Pyne believes that it is possible to have a fulfilling life as a childless woman. She spent the first 50plus years of her life putting everything she didn’t want to feel in a box, including her grief following multiple failed fertility treatments and the loss of both parents. In the process of writing she dug deeply into the subjects she writes about including, grief, letting go, connecting you your body, self- acceptance and writing.
Lesley writes openly about her challenges and how she has emerged as a different person, able to say confidently ‘I absolutely love my life, the adventures I’m having and I’m excited about what will happen next.’ Readers can also Download chapter One when signing up to my email list HERE
Website – www.LesleyPyne.co.uk
Twitter – www.twitter.com/LesleyPyneCoach
Facebook – www.facebook.com/LesleyPyneCoach
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/LesleyPyneCoach/
LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/pub/lesley-pyne/52/311/732
‘The Author’s Spotlight is run in conjunction with Librotas, supporting authors to write and publish their best business building book’.
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