Weekly Singing sessions and Chanting Circle
For women Childless not by choice cnbc / Involuntarily childfree
'These women brave my sisters be'
Childless Voices Singing and Choir
For everyone. no audition
Sessions are at Uk times
Saturdays.1 0.45am to 12.15pm
Tuesdays. 7.30pm to 9pm
'Uplifting and life affirming'
'Warm encouraging teacher & a great advocate for people who are childless not by choice'
'I have never sung previously. Helen has been patient and inspiring in helping me to find my voice'
'Joining Childless Voices was the best decision I’ve made in a long time'
Can you sing ? Yes you can
We can all sing,(no matter what we may think)and develop our voices.
Online, your sound is muted, so you can really let go.
With women who know what it means to be childless, you will open your voice, sing and find support like no other.
We're not all crying in our tea, actually often we're laughing. But if that happens, we'll be there, we understand, how hard it can be.
We all have our personal stories and all reached the same destination, much of it in isolation.
So come and sing a song you love with us and see how you feel. Helen x
*We have been chosen for a study looking at the effects of singing within the Childless Community, commencing in September 2021.
If you join before Summer, you will have an opportunity to participate, should you wish.
The Chanting Circle
'I'm a sister too'
Every Sunday 7pm- 8.15pm
'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.'
When we chant or gently sing, natural vibrations of the voice stimulate the vagus nerve, triggering the parasympathetic nervous (rest and digest) system. We become calmer, while our immune system and heart and digestive function is enhanced. Breathing develops, our emotions process and we feel space and flow in our body and mind. Self care supports our healing and is important ritual in all our lives.
In freeing our voices, we stimulate and create energy, embodying our sound,
Re connecting us with ourselves and each other.
Hi, I'm Helen Louise Jones, a singer and vocal coach from London.
I am also Childless, not by choice.
'Our Healing Voice' is for women like myself, a safe space for childless women to develop and discover the healing support of their individual and combined voices.
We are women who understand childlessness and it's many stages. We are the voices of our truths , from many roads to this place .... and the voices of so many silenced women before us.
The vocal projects are designed to support our self care, ongoing healing and help to gently lift us up from the weight of all we carry.
My Childless Story
" 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 he read my notes without looking at me ... so I asked him the result ...he mumbled vaguely "couldn't see' 'inconclusive' I asked again, what he meant ?....He turned to me and said 'It's highly unlikely you will ever conceive.'
I felt my heart crash against my chest and my breath just stopped, I knew I had to speak, he might leave, 'What do you mean ? what happens now.....? '
'There's nothing to be done.' he replied. He signed my notes and left. In that moment, I remember praying to be in a nightmare, so that I would wake up.
' It happens to a lot of women' a nurse said matter of factly. 'Don't worry, you'll get used to it '
Get used to it ? ! I would never get used to it.
Over the coming months , I descended into free fall, confusion, fear and panic , no one even noticed.
Shocked and traumatised I was alone, screaming inside, with no words to describe what I felt or answers to explain . How I could survive ? My life hadn't even begun and it never would.
Medically, there was no follow up and no support. In the 1980's, unmarried women didn't qualify for fertility treatments or even consultations. I had no one but myself to rely on, so after months of nearly 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, single tests six months apart to determine, well. .... anything . A woman at work had undergone a hysterectomy at only 25, she took me under her wing. I was to demand investigative surgery. I insisted, it took time, finally at 24 they agreed.
A very nice surgeon spent 7 hours unsticking and freeing my organs, removing a great deal of scar tissue and doing all he could to clean me up. But my diagnosis remained. I took a deep breath and convinced myself that somehow, I would have a child. It would happen. The alternative was unthinkable."
" Dealing with my infertility and endometriosis was an exhausting life. Emotionally, mentally, physically and socially.
It dominated practically every day, the pain was relentless and I remember feeling mildly euphoric and relieved by any physically pain free days, ten a month, if I was lucky. I could forget that I may not have children As long as no one randomly asked me "do you have any kids yet?' at which my day would be ruined ,again.
By the mid 90's in my late twenties, I was attempting to leave an unhealthy six year marriage. More had happened including being refused IVF by the NHS, because I already had a step child ...and being prescribed a fertility drug for three years instead of the now regulated six months.
My mental health was really on the edge and I kept going til I broke, ultimately I did leave. I gave myself solace and time to rest, reflecting on my situation and life, a life that seemed to bear no resemblance to anyone else's"
Only my closest friend knew my true heartbreak, she loved karaoke, we had some great nights singing in to the early hours, she suggested I took singing lessons. 'Just do something for yourself Helen ' she said.
I needed a distraction.
I began weekly lessons with a local grand dame of Opera and cabaret. She was so kind to me and she really believed in me. She would say 'Helene you 'ave a voice for jazz.' She had some amazing stories and helped me see that I could change my life if I really wanted to. I kept going and my confidence grew.
In three years, I was singing in a band, studying vocal Jazz and Gospel at Goldsmiths in London.
I had a great teacher there too and the whole singing experience completely reconnected me with 'the me that I was'. I felt empowered for the 1st time in years. "
"I realised how 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 alone and unlike my choice to have a child, no one could take it from me. When I sang, I was free and at peace. I became physically and mentally stronger and despite my illness, better able to function. I was 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 did still hope and still had sad times and moments.
However my voice with its resonance and power, opened me to feel alive.
Helen Louise Jones x
'Gentle our minds. Gentle our hearts'
The Fear of Remaining and Realising our childlessness
Often shakes us to the core of identity.
We are one in five adults over the age of 40.
Wider society is 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.
In the last decade, the 20% of adults affected have bravely begun to speak out about the experiences of living with this 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