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Unclassified Woman

Unclassified Woman offers an inspiring stream of conversation with women around the globe, who are building lives beyond society’s expectations. Part myth busting, part inspirational story sharing, Michelle Marie McGrath interviews amazing childless or childfree women, including authors, film-makers, activists, entrepreneurs, priestesses, leaders, speakers and creative mavens, who share their experiences and insights, while questioning the expectations of women everywhere. Michelle shares interviews with women all around the globe who are childless or childfree for a multitude of reasons. With almost 25% of women over 40 child-free by choice or childless through circumstance, it seems absurd that women still have to justify their decisions or endure pity about why they’re not mothers. Motherhood is not a mandate and yet so many women are made to feel ‘less than’ or viewed suspiciously or disparagingly, if they are creating a life of meaning beyond biological mothering. All of these outdated stereotypes lead to one dangerous assumption: what’s your value beyond being a mother? As mainstream society still tends to over-celebrate mothers juggling ‘it all’, and under-celebrate women who, whilst not mothers, have created lives of purpose and service. Unclassified Woman is the perfect antidote to limiting female narratives. In the second season, Michelle and her guests expanded on the creative power of ALL women. We explored the power of awakening womb consciousness. The womb or hara is the sacred creation portal from where we birth everything in our lives and yet the unlimited power within is as yet untapped by most women (and men) today. This includes working with the cycles of the moon, reconnecting deeply with the cycles of nature, aligning with the elements, harnessing the magic of the menstrual cycle and reclaiming the power of the divine feminine within. So if you’re interested in a stronger connection to Mother earth, increased intuition, more soulful sex, more creativity, feeling better in your own skin and joyously walking your own path – tune in! In order to ascend, we need to descend so let’s dive in together! Season 3 commenced was released in April 2018 and Season 4 will be released mid-2019. Each woman’s path in life is equally valid and sacred. Michelle is a Self-love Mentor for women birthing their soul gifts into the world. She offers one-on-one Womb Awakening Sessions, in person events, Intuitive Guidance/Distance Healing and the Sacred Self range of vibrational aromatherapy. www.michellemariemcgrath.com
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Now displaying: August, 2015
Aug 31, 2015

Today, I'm delighted to share this episode with a friend and an amazing woman in my life. I'm so inspired by Amanda and the valuable work she is doing.

 

Amanda Rootsey is an Eco-Model, Gentle Living Coach and a passionate educator. She spent many years as a fashion model working in Australia and Europe for labels such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Myer, Alex Perry and Cartier, to name but a few. After a 2-year battle with cancer, she decided to settle on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Australia.

 

Being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma certainly changed her perspective on life and inspired her to go vegan, start meditating, enjoy each moment and encourage others to find their balance and joy in life. She blogs about simple living, natural beauty, wellness, eco-fashion and more. Amanda presents a fresh and inspiring take on personal development training in her business, Shine from Within. With a strong focus on self-love, compassion for others and healthy living, her zest for life and positive but yet calming attitude is infectious. Nothing gives her greater pleasures than to see her students shine bright and realise their full potential. Still modelling, she now works exclusively with eco-friendly and ethical brands who share her values often with more than an ambassadorship focus. You can find her at http://www.amandarootsey.com.au/ or http://shinefromwithin.com.au/

 

Please share a little bit about your personal background and whether you’ve not had a child due to personal choice or circumstance. 

 

Amanda was diagnosed with cancer when she was 24 and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments, as well as natural therapies. Due to the harshness of the chemotherapy treatment she was informed that there’s an 85% chance that she’ll never be able to have children naturally.

 

Did you have a driving desire to have a child?

 

Amanda has gone within to explore the answer to this question in the last year or so. The doctors haven’t given her any definitive answers. They’re not sure if she is also going through early menopause. Each person's body is so different and individual, so it’s hard to generalise.

 

Is early menopause the result of the treatment? 

 

Amanda believes that is the case. However, every so often she does still receive her period. The body is amazing in trying to heal itself. Her periods had stopped but due to her healthy regimen of eating healthily and meditation they have returned.

 

How did you feel when you were told that you couldn’t have a child, especially when you were quite young? 

 

Amanda is only 30 years old. The thought of not being able to have a child was upsetting. The reality of having the choice taken away is difficult to deal with. 

 

Did this situation stir up many feelings? Did you then feel like you might have wanted a child?

 

Amanda confirmed it certainly did bring up those feelings. That’s pretty much a normal response. However, she is philosophical and always come back to “whatever is meant to be, will be” and having the faith that went with that. She believes in having the faith and trust that your life is unfolding the way it was meant to. Amanda has noticed that some women seem pre-destined to have a child and long for it. "We, as women shouldn’t fall for the stereotypes placed by our culture. Many women feel guilty for not wanting to have children. It’s still quite taboo and such a personal topic."

 

Did you feel any pressure from your family about having a child? 

 

Amanda's cancer treatment has inadvertently provided a reason to cut these conversations short. It's more clear cut to have as a reason rather than saying you possibly do not want to have children. It is easier and less confronting.

 

How did the work with "Shine From Within" come about? 

 

The transition from being a girl to a woman is such an important time in our lives. Amanda loves modelling and never thought that she would be teaching others. However, after going through her ordeal health-wise, she learned how important it is for us to take good care of our health and look after ourselves. "We’ve always been pushed to achieve and succeed in life." After going through that experience Amanda felt the need to share the message of taking care of our bodies and living healthy with young women.

 

Did you work as a model before you started teaching? Was modeling something that you focused on intentionally?

 

Amanda undertook a modelling training course and was also studying drama at school. She started to teach other young girls, whilst working as a model.

 

When you were diagnosed with cancer you were working as a model. When did you decide that you were only going to represent eco-conscious brands?

 

After her illness, Amanda didn’t think she continue modeling at all. She started meditating and a healthy lifestyle. Then she started to work with businesses who approached her who were eco-friendly and ethical. That’s where eco-modelling came about. “Life can change in an instant. We need to take care of ourselves and others around us.”

 

One of the myths in our society is that we are made to pro-create. The fact is that we are using up the earth’s resources extremely rapidly and having a huge impact. It’s easy to take it all for granted but we need to be aware of our carbon footprint. “The richest 20% in the world are producing 80% of the wastage and are responsible for most of the consumption.”

 

What are your thoughts around this topic? Should people consider how many children they are having?

 

There are plenty of children in the world who need love and care. Amanda feels that it’s beautiful when people provide that help for children who are already here. The environmental impact of people’s decisions to have children should enter their thoughts. However, that’s not the reality.

 

What would you love to leave the world as your legacy? 

Amanda feels that it all comes back to being gentle with yourself, others and the earth. 

 

What do you feel are the major benefits in not having children? 

  • Being able to sleep in (sometimes).
  • Being able to consciously carve out my day and concentrate on my projects.
  • Being able to focus on supporting the environment.
  • Having the freedom to plan recreation easily.

Amanda is a Gentle Living Coach for women who want to bring more peace and happiness into their lives. Amanda is also wonderful mentor to teenage girls and if you have a daughter, I wholeheartedly recommend you check out her workshops. You can find out more about Amanda and her work at http://www.amandarootsey.com.au/ or http://shinefromwithin.com.au/.

 

Aug 23, 2015

Lori Portka is a licensed artist whose mission is to spread love and happiness through the art she creates. Utilising bright and colourful imagery, her messages are about gratitude, being true to yourself, and extending kindness to others. She creates artwork by sitting quietly in front of a blank canvas giving thanks for sacred time to create.

Lori believes that artwork carries energy and feels she’s called to spread love and healing through her paintings. She illustrated Crazy Sexy Love Notes, an inspirational card deck, published by Hay House and was featured in a short documentary film called, “Gratitude Grows” about her hundredth painting Gratitude Project. She’s about to release a book titled Infinite Purpose. Lori’s greeting cards, prayer flags, and stationery gifts are carried in more than a hundred locations in the US, Canada, France, and Australia. See here.

For Lori, being childless was a combination of personal choice and circumstances.

What were the subjects that you explored during that process?  What were some of the questions that arose?

“A big question for me was that I wondered if there was something wrong with me. I went through a lot of years of ‘why am I not like how I thought all other women were?.’

Now I know it’s not true. There are lots of other women who feel the same as I do. I went through a phase of ‘what’s wrong with me?’ and ‘will I regret it?’ I remember having a period of fear around the possibility of future regret.

Did you feel any pressure from family or friends? 

"My mother felt like she lost a lot of her life in having kids and she would voice that from time to time. I know that I was a mistake and she was devastated because she felt like she was going to be free until she got pregnant with me. This was stuff I was aware of early on. I think my mom felt, ‘Go Lori! You’re free!’ Although she’s never said that directly to me, that’s the underlining feeling I have."  It’s true that the majority of pregnancies are unplanned.

What compelled you to stay quiet about the topic?

It brought up a lot of shame. Lori had the fear of what people would think. It forced her to face all her feelings. There was much grief involved, even though she felt clear that she didn’t want kids from the time she was young. She also had to grieve 'not wanting' and 'not having'.

Were you letting go of the possibility of that reality? 

"It was letting go of the need for life to be any different. Letting go of what society thinks a woman’s life should look like and also accepting myself for how I am and my life for the way it is."

Looking back on her life, Lori sees that it made perfect sense that she didn’t have children. She’s now remarried and her husband already had children. She’s now a step-parent and her relationship with her stepdaughter, Katie, is very strong. Although she identifies herself as a woman without children, she’s able to connect with Katie and build a close relationship and strong connection with her. Her stepdaughter is a huge gift in her life and feels that she wouldn’t be this close to her stepdaughter if she had her own biological children.

You didn’t completely immerse yourself into your artwork until you were in your 30s. How did that come about? 

Lori's divorce was a huge life-changing event and changed the direction of her life. She was teaching and counseling at the time but wasn’t feeling fulfilled and was starting to get burnt out. When everything was turned upside down, she was devastated and felt that she needed to take care of herself or she was going to fall into a pit. She knew that it would be beneficial to start being creative.

Shortly after her husband left, she went to the art store, bought supplies, and poured her feelings out on paper. She started creating art and she really loved it. This was how her art started. Very soon after she read the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. She felt she was a “shadow artist”, as her ex-husband was an artist and many great friends were artists, but she never created anything until after her divorce.

What advice would you give to women who want to explore their creative potential? 

Creativity is healing so go toward what you are drawn to.

Don’t be afraid to take that first step.

Do it for fun.

Was there anything that held you back from creating art? 

Lori loved creating when she was little (she made greeting cards) but believed that you couldn’t make money as an artist. She thought you needed a secure, stable job. She was intimidated by people who had art degrees and she doubted that she could ever make a career out of it.

What are the other ways that you nurture yourself?

An important way was to accept her feelings. Lori has a tendency to want to feel good all the time so she would push down the feelings that aren’t so good. “If I let myself feel the way I feel, stop all the craziness, and let the hard feelings come, then it would be a peaceful way to mentally be with myself. It’s loving myself through it. Giving myself permission to feel the feelings."

How did you decide to create the Gratitude Project?

“For me doing my artwork is all about spreading love and happiness. I believe that my purpose in the world is to hold a space of love.” Lori is very sensitive and open. She saw that as a negative thing for a long time. Now she see herself as a peacemaker in the world and she believes that’s part of her job. Artwork to her is spreading love and healing and happiness around and she knows a huge part of that is gratitude. She wants to live from a space of gratitude.

What else are the major benefits of not having children?

Lori believes a big benefit of not having children is having freedom and open space. She loves how convenient it is not worrying about school districts or making sure she provides a good place for them. Therefore, she’s able to focus on her husband and have quality time with him. Lori also enjoys the financial benefits and is extremely grateful for that too.

What would you like to leave the world as your legacy? 

"Being a person filled with love and spreading love."

Lori believes that her artwork is a part of her legacy.

“So many women feel that they’re on their own and isolated and you realise that they’re not. It’s just that so many people don’t talk about this openly.”  

Find out more about Lori's work here and order a copy of her upcoming book "Infinite Purpose" here.

 

 

Aug 17, 2015

Sas Petherick is a big-hearted, cognitive coach for real women. She shows women how to experience a life of love, meaning, and joy by thinking on purpose. Sas is an in-demand certified coach, the creator of Rethink Group Coaching programs, and co-host of “The Heart and Hearth Circle.” Sas’ energy, smarts, humour and intuition guide every transformational coaching session and sold out retreat. Find out how to amplify your life with curiosity and kindness here.

Sas believes that being childfree was a conscious, personal choice. It’s mostly because she felt ambivalent and never had that ‘pull’ to have a child.  It has taken a number of years to come to a conclusive place with the decision. She is very happy to be childless although it’s taken time to get to that place.

Sas got divorced at 32 and felt like that part of her life was over. Many people said to her that once she met the right person then she wouldn’t hesitate. She later met Ash, her husband when she was 35, and they had an intimate conversation on their second date about having children. She informed him that it wasn’t something she had in mind and asked him if he was okay with that. It was a very important conversation to have and was their first personal discussion. They then got married and discussed the concept of having children for many years. They’ve been together for more than 7 years and still wonder from time to time if they’ve made the right decision. Fortunately, Sas and her husband continue to believe they have made the right choice. She came to the conclusion that once you meet the right person, you’ll make the right choice (whatever that may be).

When you are not 100% certain of your own position and are still deciding, for someone to then question what you’re not certain about, can make you feel vulnerable and exposed. That can be a challenging place to be in. It can be uncomfortable when we feel we have to defend ourselves. It’s important to realise that it’s okay to be in the uncertainty…live the life that you want to live.

Did you feel influence from your family or friends that made that made it more difficult? Or were they understanding about your decision? In the past, most of the friendships that Sas developed were through work or travel. She found that she needed to be mindful of who she chose to reveal that vulnerability to. It’s about being respectful of the people we talk to about this. Her mother passed away about a decade ago. She was a psychiatric nurse who worked with women who suffered from post-natal depression. She was a brilliant example to Sas of a woman who was nurturing and mothering. Sas believes that more and more women are deciding that motherhood is not the right choice for them and because of that, can be easier to find people who share your same views and position.

What are your thoughts about the question, “Who’s going to look after you when you’re older?” 

“My standard comeback is about the beautiful Spanish male nurse that I hire.” (Me too please!) Sas says that she has a pact with a few of her close friends that they’ll pitch in and buy a house together and hire some hot Spanish nurses. As we are an increasingly ageing population, it will be more of a reality of friends getting together and living with each other when they’re older.

The exciting thing for women who are not going to have children is that you’ve got thirty or forty years ahead of you where you could whole-heartedly focus on something meaningful and fulfilling. One of the key reasons for making the choice to be childless was:

The immense freedom with opportunities and possibilities in her future.

A common question is:  “What does your life mean if you don’t have children?” It can be confronting but you can reveal to yourself a lot of interesting, exciting, and not of the “norm” answers for yourself. For Sas, it was about trusting her intuition and trusting her inner voice. That possibility and freedom feels very exciting to her.

Do you have advice for somebody who is struggling with how to respond to people questioning them about being childless?  Sas believes that if you are in a place of not knowing what the answer is and people are questioning you, saying, “I don’t know yet” is perfect. “Thank you for your interest, I really don’t know yet” is also a reasonable response. It’s really about letting other peoples’ voices wash over you. This is true for anyone else’s opinion about anything in your life.

What would you like to leave as your legacy or message of the values that are important to you? A statement that Sas read a while ago that really stuck out to her was, “A hundred years after you die, no one will speak of your name.” That idea filled her with such relief that she can just live the life she wants to live without anyone having to judge her about it. Sas says don’t live your life worrying about what other people will think of you.

Freedom is a huge benefit that you experience without having children. For Sas, it gives her intellectual freedom, financial freedom, and spiritual freedom. Without children, she doesn’t have anyone dependent on her, which gives her the space and freedom to play, create, and do what she wants to do.

Aug 10, 2015

Adele is a published and best selling digital author, owner of vegiehead.com and the Vegie Head Academy and she also writes the national magazines. She’s appeared on the cover of health magazines across the world and lives near the beach on the sunshine coast in Australia.

Adele is a recipe evolutionist for people who want to enjoy more plant-based recipes in their diet. She creates food with integrity and encourages others to live a powerful life with powerful plant-based food. Her site “Vegie Head” is a place where saucy, tempting, recipes live and Adele’s inspiring words touch hearts. Adele’s first published cookbook was released worldwide in March 2014 and has been reprinted three times and is now available in three languages. For more about Adele’s work including Vegie Head’s VIP Clubhouse see here.

Adele believes that not having a child was a combination of circumstance and a personal choice. In 2010, she had an ectopic pregnancy. She was 10-11 weeks into the pregnancy when it was discovered. It was a shock as she had not known that she was pregnant at the time. She went to the doctor several times and yet they couldn’t find anything wrong. Later, she was rushed to the hospital and went under emergency surgery. This was a scary experience for Adele and looking back she realised that she wasn’t listening to her body. She does not want to take the risk of experiencing another ectopic pregnancy or going through the process of having a child.

Adele has always been the type of person who was not particularly interested in having children of her own. She has a 3-year old niece that she absolutely adores. She says she’d rather be a cool auntie rather than a mother. The thing that bothered her most about the ectopic pregnancy was:

The pregnancy was unexpected.
The fact that she was undergoing such serious surgery that she had no control over.

Inspirational aunt: Adele’s aunt (now 60 years old) had her tubes tied at 18 because she also had an ectopic pregnancy and was not interested in having children. Adele has spoken to her about this multiple times and her aunt said that she’s only met a couple of people in her life who can whole-heartedly say that it’s a decision they made consciously. Adele says she was an awesome aunt and was always active in her life. Adele sees herself in more of a similar role.

Not every woman is a natural mother or should be a parent.  Many women don’t have a biological urge to have children, whereas some feel that drive very strongly. If you know that it’s not your path, then it’s important to listen to yourself and follow that. Also, to respect people who say that that’s not their choice. Adele experienced people questioning her and making her feel that she didn’t make the right decision. There has to be respect for women who make the conscious and unconscious decision not to have children. Adele has had that forced upon her, even coming from her husband’s family members asking, “So when are you and Paul going to have kids?” It’s not the right thing to ask, especially if they are going through a difficult time.

Were there any challenging situations, beliefs, or questions that came up? Did it send you to a period of self-inquiry?  Adele really felt like the whole ectopic experience was her fault. She was in agony and in the hospital had hot water bottles on her shoulders and an ice pack on her stomach for the inflammation. She turned to her husband Paul and cried in pain and fear. She felt like she manifested it and that it was her responsibility for what happened. She did a lot of self-inquiry and has taken her a long time to be able to talk about it freely. It’s about being honest with yourself, listening to your body, and to your instincts.

It’s one of those subjects where we don’t give ourselves enough credit and listen to ourselves. In Adele’s life, she doesn’t think that having biological children is for her. However, she and her husband are open to fostering and adopting. There are so many children out there that need homes and loving parents and Adele doesn’t believe that love or parenting has anything to do with biology.  You don’t need to give birth to someone to be their mother or that you don’t necessarily have to be a biological mother to give them the motherly love that they want.

We are extending that feminine, mothering, caring, loving energy in so many ways in different parts of our lives. It’s up to each individual to see which way is most fulfilling and rewarding for them. Adele shares that kind of relationship with her pets. It’s an example of having a loving bond and in return they give us that unconditional love. Adele calls her dogs her babies and treats them like humans. She’s grateful that she can experience that and have that bond like how she would with her own children. They need that same love, care, and stimulation that a child would need. She compares taking care of her dogs to parents taking care of their children. Having a dog is great if you are practicing to be a parent and do require a lot of hard work. This is one way that Adele shows her nurturing, caring nature.

Adele believes that if we have a loving relationship with food then we can eat it lovingly and feel good about it as oppose to having these confusing and disparaging relationships with food. When we are eating good food and fueling our bodies, we’re saying to our bodies that we love them and that we are mothering and nurturing our bodies in a way. For her, working with women, connecting with people and making sure that her cubby is full allows her to do it for other people as well. It’s mothering yourself and treating yourself how you would treat a child and showing kindness. Adele models that through her relationship with food. She is also writing and educating about that and is creating a book about recipes for dogs. This goes back to nurturing someone else other than ourselves but at the same time, she is nurturing herself because cooking for her dogs gives her love and happiness to do that for them.

It can be a difficult and challenging process to foster and adopt children. There are so many children who would benefit from a loving home and there are many people who would love to have a child but may not be physically able to. Adele mentions that it will be interesting to see how the processes become easier over the years, so that it’s more accessible for suitable parents. Adele has seen neglected kids everywhere with parents who aren’t good influences. She had a girlfriend who was trying to adopt and suddenly lost her job. She couldn’t get another job in that industry and so was unable to adopt a child. It isn’t right that the process is so complicated, when at the same time people can easily have children and neglect them. Hopefully the process can become easier so that suitable and responsible parents can give children the loving homes they need.

What do you feel is your most important message? What would you like to leave as your legacy? Adele asks herself, “What can I do to change the lives of the people around me or the animals around me?” For her, it would come down to working closely with dogs whether it be leaving people with books or educating people about it or raising a charity. If we:

Connect to what we feel passionately about and believe in;
Be ourselves;
Give ourselves permission to share openly.

It can only be of positive benefit to others and yourself, because you are living and speaking the truth. We have to respect each woman’s path and not judge women based on the actions they take.

Adele loves her own space and loves doing things for herself and says that if she can’t give to herself, she can’t give everything she’s giving out to the worldritual2-e1411623300440-681x1024

One of Adele’s wonderful projects is“Rituals”. I was delighted to contribute my personal experience of a molar pregnancy and also an aromatic bathing ritual.

This is about ‘celebrating and grieving the loss of a child. A collection of stories to help you grieve, release and heal’. There are some beautiful tools and resources in here and I highly recommend it for any woman who is looking for sacred rituals to assist in coming to terms with what has occurred. There are some very moving personal stories. You can find it here.

Find out more about Adele and her wonderful work atVegiehead where she shares a wealth of information, recipes, and courses.

 

Aug 2, 2015

Christine Erickson believes in reflective learning through connecting with nature and works with horses as teaching partners for executive education and individual development and healing. She is the founder of One Legacy Coaching, LLC and The Mother Within initiative. Christine has facilitated learning programs for incredibly diverse individuals, executive leadership teams and social businesses internationally.

As a coach and entrepreneur she enjoys working with clients who want to practice and embody intentional and creative living, self-leadership that inspires, and the heart space to serve others. It is her intention to connect with and serve other women through The Mother Within initiative in order to create an expressive and representative space for women without children and to breach cultural and social conversations that ultimately affect all women.

Christine considers that for her, not having a child was circumstantial. At a time when having a child may have been possible, she was  in an unhealthy marital relationship and didn’t feel it would be right to bring a child into that situation.

By the time she had healed and moved on, her next partner already had children and did not want more. By this time, she was in her 40′s and had come to terms with the fact that having a child was not going to happen. It was a gradual realisation for herself and her life. A time of acceptance came slowly and with deep awareness.

What helped Christine feel clearer about not having a child, was getting quiet and observing the pain and the process of going through it. This is the point in time when she wrote her book The Mother Within. imgres

She used many coaching tools and mindset work, but what really helped her heal was being quiet. She realised that she is a maternal Being. Owning and accepting this allowed her maternal sense to show itself in her relationships with others. She realises that this will be within her in various ways in different stages of her life.

In her relationships with family and friends, Christine didn’t feel particularly supported about this issue, mainly because she wasn’t completely open about it. Her experience was more about the silence around the issue of not having a child. Once she became more comfortable about responding to things it opened up a gateway for communication with others.

There has been awkwardness around the issue. Some people in our society have been not been conditioned to accept the possibility of not having children. In the US, almost 50% of women of a childbearing age do not have children at all.  This number is much larger when you consider men who are also childfree.

One point that Christine discusses in her book: if you look at things systemically, taxation or different regulations in our society; they feed the need to have children or get married. This is a paradigm that needs to shift and consider what we are and who we are right now. We are a rapidly ageing population and increasingly more are without children.  There needs to be much more open conversation around this topic.

With her work with women and the horses, Christine has integrated the work of women as coaches and healing professionals. This allows people to move out of the verbal mind space and to get back into their bodies in the sensing and knowing/feeling space with horses. Some of the positives:

  • Horses are non-judgmental;

  • A horse’s energy is clean;

  • They are so present that it draws people into that presence;

  • There’s a harmonic exchange between the person and the horse;

  • Being around horses allows our minds to release energy in different ways;

  • Everyone has a horse story;

  • We don’t have to be perfect around a horse (it’s about being authentic);

  • Horses are very sensitive.

Many people have had a fearful experience with a horse. When someone has a lot of energy emanating, the response from the horse is basically trying to meet that energy. How to distill those fears, which is not necessarily negative, (it’s just information) can become a damaging experience. The facilitator needs to feel the honour of helping others come away with a positive experience. Acknowledging people’s fears is important. It’s better than trying to pretend that you’re fine, when you’re petrified inside. When you acknowledge your fears and accept them, the horse will be more relaxed around you.

Christine has been doing this work since 2009. She has had a coaching practice for many years before she started incorporating work with horses. Everyone is at a different space within their journey. This is a great way of leaving a legacy. The one thing she wanted people who are in her situation to be conscious of, “We don’t have to leave or create a profound legacy just because we do not have a genetic legacy.”

Her definition of legacy is more around people tapping into what is authentic for them, what they love to do, how they interact with and impact people or their own lives. If you can share that with others or serve other people, that’s a legacy. It can be creating a vibration of words every day intentionally that you send out to building a non-profit that serves girls and leadership. We’re all here to leave a legacy with or without children. Name it and do it consciously.

There are many myths about not having a child such as You can’t experience real love if you don’t have a child or can’t relate until you’ve experienced that type of love.” This is part of what drove Christine to write her book.

  1. Reclaim the real space – “Whatever our greatest experience of love is, IS our greatest experience of love.”

  2. Myths (proposed fact) are there to support social construct and not necessarily what’s real.

  3. Myths divide the notion of what real parenting is – it traps women in two different directions

  4. When the language is absolute, “There is no love in the world like…” “No one except your mother…” – reinforces all those social constructs.

  5. It forces competitiveness when there’s no right or wrong in this area of life.

The reality of parenthood is something you can’t imagine until you’re experiencing it. We should never claim or define someone else’s experience. We may be losing our womanhood to motherhood. Some women that Christine admires as mothers are so conscious and work really hard at being themselves, at the same time as being conscious mothers. They’re living in such a keen awareness. Christine believes that at times the social definitions of motherhood or women without children, keeps us in a space of judgment and separation and also takes our energy and contribution as women collectively.

In creating or producing meaning for your life – through the grief and acceptance of not having a child when you wanted one, this is the space we should re-acknowledge women and to be able to not only heal but compassionately witness each other and honour and celebrate each other. The Mother Within – what we are doing and who we are being is the expression. As for her greatest work, Christine feels that is “who are we being and what we are becoming in life”. She is working to continuously live a very conscientious life.

As for role models, Christine doesn’t look at someone or would name anyone based on whether they have a child or not, what she considers as someone she’s inspired by is Jody Day, of Gateway Women. It’s the people who are becoming visible to create a conversation for a more feasible, creative and spiritual life for those who are maternal Beings and acknowledgment for women as a whole. Be our best selves…no matter what it looks like.

Get Christine’s book here and find out more about The Mother Within here.

 

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