An article that appeared in everymum.ie:
Within five days of each other, I lost a close family relative that we nursed through a long illness and my relationship with my daughter’s Dad broke down. The break up was amicable and the best anyone could ever hope for in that situation. However, I buried them both deep, deep down and went on with life. Everything was ‘grand’ as I kept telling everyone…until a year later. The floodgates opened.
There is a very apt quote from a book called ‘The Little Paris Bookshop’ that says “If I didn’t cry, I’d drown”, and I did for a while. There are a lot of emotions that can come with the break up of a family relationship, guilt, fear, loneliness, hurt, anger and resentment. It was fear that took me over and I was overwhelmed by my new life situation. I have a really great co-parent but the enormity of being by myself (most of the time) with a three and a half year old was a lot for me at the time.
Now, I’ve always thought that there is a bigger plan for us all, one that we can’t see, and luckily, there was one to help me through this. At the time, I was just starting my coaching and NLP Master Practitioner course. This course was to be my savior. Not in the sense that all of my fear magically disappeared and I rode off into the sunset on a glitter fuelled unicorn. More along the lines of, it gave me the tools to manage the crippling anxiety and the foresight to distinguish that my thoughts were just the stories I was telling myself. It was up to me to choose whether to believe them or not.
There are so many varying definitions for NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming to be found, but for me personally, it has helped me to become self aware and has given me the tools to retrain my over anxious and hyper vigilant mind. It has given me understanding that everyone has a different map of the world, the ability to respond rather than react to what pushes my buttons and helped me become aware of the way I speak to myself. The comedian P.J Gallagher once quite rightly said “If anyone spoke to me like I speak to myself, there’d be a fight.” It’s the knack of quieting that constant self chatter or at the very least, pointing it in a more positive direction.
You can have all the support in the world from people around you but the very best thing that you can do is to support yourself. Giving yourself the tools and knowledge to help yourself during tough and trying times is a true gift, it’s true self care.
So, on Sunday 12th May at The Hive in Herbert Park, I’m holding a Self Care Workshop for single parents, separated, divorced and co-parents. It can be extremely tough juggling work, home and emotions as a parent but especially if you are doing it on your own. That’s why; I want to arm parents with the tools to help them support themselves. The workshop will be a positive afternoon of guided meditation and relaxation, learning what we can do to help ourselves through everyday life with some simple NLP and tapping exercises and acknowledging through gratitude how strong and capable we are. Sometimes in order to move on, we need to look at how far we have come and celebrate the heck out of that.
This afternoon will be about positive change, building confidence and empowerment. It will also be a chance to chat and connect with people who are in similar situations over coffee and cake.
I am also delighted to have journalist and mother of one, Liadan Hynes who writes a column for Image.ie, Things Fall Apart, on putting life back together after separation speak about what helped her cope with becoming a single parent.
So, if you feel like this workshop could be of benefit to you, please feel free to email for more info or purchase tickets on myhighershelf.com
Dawn Nolan is a life coach and NLP practitioner who runs online wellbeing store My Higher Shelf. Her passions are wellness, books (yay) creativity and helping kids and their grown ups be the best version of themselves that they can be. She also runs guided meditations workshops and classes.
Image by S&B Vonlathan at Unsplash
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