'Our Healing Voice' is for women like myself,
a safe space for childless women to discover the supportive power of their individual and combined voices.
Vocal projects within the community for social and self care, Somatic healing.
To ease and process all we carry
We are women who understand childless grief and it's many many forms and stages. We are the voices of our truths , from many roads to this place and the voices of so many women silenced before us.
Helen Louise Jones
*Currently we are being researched by Laura Curtis for the effects of singing in an Involuntarily Childless Community. This is for study participants only and will not
affect any other singer in the session.
Childless Voices singers
Learn to sing great songs in a social setting
Singers and starters welcome.
No experience required.
Private zoom with Helen before starting
1st and 3rd weeks of the month
Tuesdays 7.30pm - 9pm
Saturdays 3pm - 5pm
'Joining Childless Voices was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Through all my ups and downs, this singing group is my weekly little ray of sunshine'
... S. Yorkshire.
'Uplifting and life affirming' ... N. Essex
'Warm encouraging teacher and a great advocate for people who are childless not by choice' ... J. London
'I have never sung previously. Helen has been patient and inspiring in helping me to find my voice' ... S. London
'I started the childless voices singing lessons with Helen in February '20. It was something for myself, something to do for my joy and wellbeing. I hadn't sung before and Helen and the group welcomed me in. Helen takes her time with all of us and listens to the way our body and emotions function.
I have been having breathing issues and she acknowledges that and other chronic health issues within the group and allows us to feel comfortable with our body and voice. Her best quality is that she makes the lessons extremely fun and for a couple of hours on a Saturday, we are out of our childless grief and into a singer's world.' .... B Brighton.
The Chanting Circle
Affirmations set to music
In English (non religious practice)
Reset and balance with
your vibrational sound.
1st and 3rd weeks of the month
Sundays 7pm - 8.30pm
Wednesdays 12 -1.15pm
'I very much enjoy Helen’s weekly chanting circle. It’s fun and enriching that it’s so international; people from a variety of countries join the chanting every week. Since I’ve started, I’m more aware of my breathing and I’ve noticed that I’m singing a lot more at home. Without trying, it’s like my voice has started to develop itself, catching tunes that I wasn’t able to sing before.' ... Lydie . N.L.
'The chanting connects me with both the community of women and with my inner self. It feels great to be part of a healing sisterhood.
I feel relaxed and restored after each session and return to the chants in my head during the week for calmness and strength.
Thank you so much Helen' ... N Brighton.
'Helen’s mother’s day chanting circle exceeded my expectations. I felt like Helen and my chanting cnbc sisters were holding a special space for me to cross over and find the place of acceptance. I will never forget that amazing hour. It will be one that lasts with me for the rest of my life. It was like a rite of passage had been taken.'
Special Mothers day Chant
... from a sister in Australia
We are all born to sing.
Your voice is just waiting,
for you to wake it up,
so it can resonate openly
Right through your body
releasing and processing...
Giving pleasure and connection.
.....Helen Louise Jones
In online sessions, your sound has to be muted, because of technical reasons, its actually proved a positive ....
It means you can really let yourself go. Be with women who know what it means to live without children. You will learn to open your voice, sing and find support for yourself.
Surprisingly ! We're not all crying in our tea, often we're smiling and even laughing together.
However, in 'those' moments, we are there for each other We know, how hard it can be.
We all have our personal stories,
we have experienced that isolation ...
All self care practices support us and our healing and are important rituals in our lives.
Sing a song you love
Now how do you feel ?
Developing your voice is far more
than what you hear,
it's a somatic practice (inbody work)
When we chant and sing,
The natural vibrations from the sound stimulate the vagus nerve, triggering the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system. We feel calmer, our brain, immune system, heart and digestive function is enhanced.
Our breathing elongates, our emotions shift and we feel the flow of energy through our opened bodies
In freeing our voices, we create vibrational sound energy that flows through our bodies.
We embody our sound, connecting with ourselves.
Hi, I'm Helen Louise Jones,
I'm a singer and vocal coach from London.
I am also Childless, not by choice.
I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis at 18 after being rushed into surgery for a laparoscopy. (Gynaecological internal photography through the abdomen)
I will never forget it. The Doctor came for less than 5mins, silently reading my notes and looking away. I asked him the results. He mumbled vaguely "couldn't see' 'inconclusive'. I asked again, what did it mean ? He turned briefly and said 'It's highly unlikely you will ever conceive.'
Suddenly life stood still, until I felt my heart crash into the wall of my chest and my breathing stopped. I forced a
'What do you mean ? what happens now.....? '
'There's nothing to be done.' he replied. He signed my notes and left. I couldn't take it in. I prayed to be in a terrible nightmare, so that I could wake up.
' It happens to a lot of women' a nurse said matter of factly. 'Don't worry, you'll get used to it '
It couldn't be... I would never get used to it
Over the coming months , I descended into a kind of free fall, confusion, fear and panic , no one even noticed that I was
shocked and traumatised, I was alone, screaming inside my head, weak with silence to describe what I felt. How I could survive ? My life hadn't even begun and now it never would.
Medically, there was no follow up and no support. In the 1980's, unmarried women didn't qualify for fertility treatment or even a consultation. I only had myself to rely on, so after months of losing my mind, I made a plan. To get myself together, stop crying and tell them I was engaged. At 19, I confronted doctors to begin a painful slow fight in the dark. I underwent single solitary tests, six months apart, to determine .... anything.
A woman at work who had a hysterectomy at 25, took me under her wing. I was to demand investigative surgery. I insisted and insisted, it took years. I was married by 24 and they agreed.
A very nice surgeon spent 7 hours unsticking my organs, removing a great deal of scar tissue and cleaning me up. But diagnosis remained. The follicles at the ends of my tubes were too damaged. I took a deeper breath and convinced myself that I would have a child. It would happen. The alternative was unthinkable."
" Dealing with infertility and painful endometriosis is an exhausting life.
Emotionally, mentally, physically and socially.
My body dominated, the pain was often relentless and I remember feeling mildly euphoric and relieved on physically pain free days, ten a month, if I was lucky.
On those days I could forget that I may not have children, I really needed the breaks from it. As long as no one randomly asked me 'do you have kids yet ?' at which point my day would be ruined, again. Holding onto my sanity and those pain free days meant that I cultivated denial, it played a big part in my survival.
I had no support, no leveller. I would totally zone out to escape .... and from everything else too. I was vague, non responsive, late, forgetful, non committal, disinterested. Nothing else mattered.
By the mid 90's I was in my late twenties, attempting to leave a very unhealthy six year marriage. I was panicking, I couldnt waste my life. He wasn't supportive but he was controlling, it was a stressful situation.
More had happened including being refused IVF by the NHS, because my husband already had a child, I also took a prescribed a fertility drug for three years instead of the now regulated, six months.
My mental and physical health was falling off on the edge I left the marriage at 30 and gave myself solace and rest, reflecting on my situation and life, a life that seemed to bear no resemblance to anyones.
Only my closest friend had known my true heartbreak, we told each other everything and we'd go to karaoke...she loved it and it got me out of my mindset.I was OK, above average, nothing great....But she suggested I took singing lessons.
'Do something for you Helen'
I needed the distraction. So a bit uncomfortably, I did.
I began weekly lessons with a French ex grand dame of Opera and cabaret. She lived locally and was always kind, she believed in me, or it felt like it. She would say 'Helene you 'ave a voice for jazz.' She'd recite her amazing stories and helped me see that I could change my life if I chose to.
I kept singing and my confidence grew.
In three years, I was singing lead in a band and studying
Jazz and Gospel Vocal at Goldsmiths in London.
I had a fantastic teacher there too and the whole singing experience began to reconnect me with ' me that was me '.
it was liberating. I realised how just much I needed my voice. A strong link to my inner world, it help me to process emotions and own my identity.
My voice was mine and mine alone
and unlike my choice to have a child,
no one would take it away from me.
When I sang, I was free, at peace. I became physically and mentally stronger and despite my illness, better able to function. I felt resilient, confident and active....Music and creative vocal expression became my world, my passion, refuge and expression for life.
While my childless state remained, my singing life grew both privately and professionally. It took me abroad to live and work in Asia, I was expanding and evolving. I had times of feeling joyous and adventurous, feelings I thought I would never experience.
Of course, there was still no 'fix', I still hoped and still had sad times and moments. But it wasn't like before. My voice with its resonance and power, opened me... I felt alive.
Thanks for reading. Helen Louise Jones
'Gentle our minds. Gentle our hearts'
Fears of realising our childlessness can take years.
Shaking us to the core of our identities....
We are one in five adults over the age of 40.
Wider society is still not yet aware of the complexities of this major life issue, and neither are those closest to us, families, social circles or colleagues in the workplace.
As well as the heartbreak millions suffer,
shame and invalidation are a major part of our experiences. The fears of talking about childlessness is societally greater than most other subjects and when the childless do speak out , they are often responded to with invalidation, marginalisation, dismissal or suggestions of a 'fix'. This leads to suppressing of painful emotions and with it, often a kind of closing down of ourselves, mainly as self protection
The often unbearable loneliness and pain of childlessness, together with self protection toward Societal ignorance, blocks the ability for self expression.
Only in the last decade, a few of the 20% of adults affected have bravely begun to speak out about the experiences of living with this loss.
Childless Grief . A Living Loss
Psychotherapist and Gateway Women founder Jody Day identified Childless grief in 2011. Her work is included in 'Grief: A Study of Human Emotional Experience' by The University of York) and has given narrative and
support to 1000's of women through her
organisation Gateway Women
Change for the Childless
The Childless community is growing. We are working together to educate and bring change in Society. To create a firm foundation for the generations to come.
We know how it feels to be isolated, to find courage to reach out. To find support to help process and honour this complex set of emotions and experiences.
Together our voices and stories create a global community of knowledge and compassion