Last week was a big week for me.
I spent a week in France on an NLP course. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but I knew that I'd learn a lot.
NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is about how we communicate, how we interact with other people and how we react to our own internal dialogue. There's a line in P!nk's latest single that really hit home last week "Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead" - that's pretty much NLP right there!
Anyway, my main motivation for going was that... honestly, I had nothing better to do and I was being offered the place for free. Well, for the cost of a flight, anyway, which was as good as free. I knew that, in the long run, it wouldn't do me any harm from a professional perspective, either, so figured there was nothing to lose, really.
What I hadn't expected, though, was for just how emotional it was going to be. There were 6 of us on the course, and they were all strangers to me. I never expected to bond with them, and open up to them, the way I did.
On the second day of the course, we did an exercise that looked at, in short, what our vision is. In doing that, you also look at other aspects of your "world" (and understanding that everyone has their own world, and it's different to yours, mine, and everyone elses is important, too), including your surroundings, behaviours, capabilities, beliefs and who you are, to check that they're all congruent. We worked in pairs on the exercise, and tried to understand what was stopping us from reaching our goals or visions.
My vision, obviously, is to be a mother. To have a family and to care for them. I thought that everything else was congruent with this vision - it's what I've always wanted and what I've been trying to achieve for years, so how couldn't it be!?
I mentioned to my partner that I know I need to be losing weight in order for my chances of conception to be possible, and that I constantly seemed to sabotage myself and kept putting my weight back on.
She asked me why I thought that was, and I said that maybe, deep down, I wasn't ready to be a mum. I wasn't ready to stop being me and start being a mum.
Then she looked at me and said "Why do you have to stop being you when you have a baby? Can't you be you AND a mum?".
I felt like I'd been hit by a truck.
Up until that very moment, I had no idea that's how I felt about being a mum - that it would mean that I, Mrs B, would lose my identity.
When we talked about it some more, it became clear that, in fact, my belief is that to be a mum means giving up everything that makes me me.
This belief is so deeply routed in me, that I didn't even know it was there. But now I do know that it's there, I'm setting about changing it.