5 x IVF cycles. 2 x miscarriages. I divorce. 1 antidepressant prescription. And that was just my 30s! I spent my 30s trying to conceive (with the wrong husband), and my 40s (married to the right husband) grieving for the loss of motherhood. I thought that because I didn’t have children, I was always going to be sad, that the identity of childlessness would be a permanent label to carry with me. I adopted (yes, I’m deliberately using that word) a phrase that a friend without children used to describe herself when asked if she had children (which as you know, is a fairly typical question when you meet someone new). The phrase was “no, and it’s a sadness that I carry with me every day”. At first it was a fabulous expression, as it politely conveyed the truth. After several years, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy (to keep carrying the sadness) that I couldn’t escape from. In my late 40s I knew I didn’t want to enter my 50s with this sadness, but didn’t know how to ‘move on’ (I really don’t like that phrase, but you can see where I’m coming from).
In Italy, while on holiday in 2018, I had the most incredible releasing/cleansing experience during a massage. I asked the therapist why I felt so different from a normal massage. He explained that he used energy therapy to work deeply with what my body needed releasing. It was literally a life-changing experience. I then started researching ‘energy therapy’ and came across EFT. I was also made redundant - I no longer had a (stressful) job but had found my vocation. I retrained as a holistic massage therapist and EFT practitioner to share this transformational therapy and release with others.
During my life I’ve experienced depression, fear of the future, wondering whether I even wanted to be here anymore – what was the point. My life was emptiness and nothingness without becoming a mum (and being married to the wrong man). I saw and read about women who had ‘recovered’ after not having children and were living a good life. I truly never thought that that was possible, that they mustn’t have really longed for a baby as much as I did, that their heart wasn’t truly ‘in it’. After marrying the right man, I thought I’d be one of those stories where I magically had a baby. It never happened. I had to live life without children. I’ve got a different life now to the one I had envisaged. If you’ve ever read Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, you’ll know that there are no wrong decisions in life, just different outcomes. My ‘outcome’ is a life where I can truly find myself, and indulge myself daily, whether that’s at rest, play or work. I never thought I could truly be content without motherhood, but my work and my personality allow me to nurture people in other ways. I am content.
What I love doing in my spare time is taking it easy and enjoying myself. For so many years I thought that being ‘busy’ was the answer to filling my life with contentment. Now I know that it’s the things I care about that bring me joy. That could be some baking or reading, or doing yoga. Looking after myself has become a priority, as I want to live a long and healthy life, having adventures or relaxing – whatever I choose to do. I have less of a ‘plan’ now, as life has shown me that having plans can mean changing them (and what about Covid changing our lives too?). I’m more about what I need and want right now (with a view to long-term health, rather than instant gratification). Having never gardened, I planted my first tulip bulb in the autumn of 2018 and watched it flowering in spring 2019. Having not had a baby, it was a huge revelation to watch something I’d planted take root and grow. I’m enjoying getting into the garden more, as a creative avenue that I’d not explored.
What I Offer
I empower women to release the burden of sadness, emptiness and grief that being Childless Not By Choice (CNBC) brings so that they can have a future to look forward to. If you have that sinking feeling in your chest, the churning in your stomach or the knot in your throat when faced with pregnancy news, bump and baby photos, and stories about happy family life as parents or grandparents, I can support you to be free of these physical reactions to emotional triggers for the rest of your life. My work enables you to continue with your daily life, calmly without being upset by those images and chats (and what they represent) anymore. Being able to life your life without being weighed down by the sadness of childlessness is such relief.
The therapy I use is EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), which is a talking/energy therapy that literally taps on various acupressure points on your hands, face and upper body (think acupuncture for the emotions but without the needles). It’s based on the ancient wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the energy meridians we have in our body. By focusing on where we feel the energy of our emotions, we can work with the subconscious (which is far more powerful than our conscious minds) to really explore what we’re feeling, why we’re feeling it, and how we can let go. I’m all for positivity, but first you need to remove the negativity, to create a calm, neutral space in your heart & mind, in order for positivity to blossom. EFT is so effective because it’s quick, effective and permanent. You can feel that shift in your energy and emotions in the first session.
I am Childless Not By Choice. I never thought that I could ever find any happiness in life without being a mum. Now I’m 52 and feeling fabulous, focusing on what I can do, rather than can’t. I love helping women emerge from the sadness that involuntary childlessness brings. We need to grieve, fully and truly (and that’s a whole other story). There also comes a time when you’re ready to ‘move on’ but not sure how. Lots of women are in supportive groups, eg Facebook, and are able to vent their anger, disappointment and even envy (all things I’ve experienced). Sometimes though, having found their ‘tribe’ also prevents them from finding what is that they, as individuals, want from life. It’s great having a safe space to go to. Sometimes, though, moving on from that feeling of being ‘stuck’ in childlessness is what you need, and that’s when my professional and personal experience helps you.
I help you explore your emotions – and even more importantly, safely release them forever – to discover a place where you can feel calm, grounded, ready to find what’s going to fill that brand new space. Watching other women become ‘free’ from sadness, to know that they can feel better, lighter, more positive, and feel their new-found energy, is life-affirming and a heartfelt joy for me as a therapist and fellow CNBCer.
Lana is a truly wonderful therapist. I felt so safe sharing my feelings and emotions with her, and so supported throughout the sessions. Her intuition to know exactly what I needed to deal with was remarkable and at no point did I feel overwhelmed, it was a very gentle and supportive experience and the result has been amazing. I feel so much better about everything, I can't recommend Lana highly enough.
I am a PhD researcher in neurology and sceptical of most alternative therapies, and put my mental health faith into tried and tested Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), so when I initially heard about EFT (tapping) I thought it was airy-fairy and bogus. Although, after I saw it being mentioned a few times I looked into the research base, and was surprised to see a number of randomised controlled trials which reported that EFT showed promise compared to CBT and tapping on sham body locations.
Lana is calming, perceptive, and empathic, she is truly a professional who has mastered her craft. She explained the whole process for a newbie with clarity and patience, and guided me through each session with advice on what I could try to help between sessions. I felt the whole spectrum of emotions during my sessions with Lana, I cried, laughed, felt physically drained, but always energised at the end. I am so grateful that Lana came into my life. Thank you!
Amanda, Sydney, Australia