Writing a Book
I have always enjoyed writing , I was pretty good at creative writing in school, I kept diaries as a teenager and in more recent years I began to use recording my dreams and journaling as a daily practice. But writing a book was not something I had ever seriously considered. Mostly because I didn't think I had anything in particular to share, who would be interested in what I have to say, other people more educated than me write books. I'm sure you recognise those voices we hear in our heads or feel in our bones. Self-doubt, not being good enough.
The truth is though, we all have a story to tell and there will always be other people who want to hear it because it will resonate with them.
So, how did I shift from not really thinking about writing a book or feeling good enough to do so?
Well, for me it was the menopause.
When I crossed the threshold into my menopause years, writing became an act of self- care and love. Journaling my thoughts, expressing the challenges and insights of my transformation was deeply healing. And as I unravelled throughout those years, I was actually making space for my rebirth and knowing anything is possible.
At the depths of my disintegration I went to see a wise woman. On our first meeting she told me almost immediately 'There's a book in you wanting to come out'. That was in 2012. I spent the following six years re-wilding myself, re-claiming the true nature of who I am. I surrendered to the void and followed pathways to healing. One of those healing pathways turned out to be writing a book.
I wrote ‘Take off Your Armour and Have a Cup of Tea’, published by The Unbound Press in 2019. At that time I was known as Angie Northwood (my birth first name and my married surname). In this book I write about my lived experience and perspective of being a mother of a ‘disabled child’. I share with the reader how learning about the Social and Medical Models of Disability within a caring, supportive and empowered group of women ‘Inclusion Warriors’ changed everything for me. I was enabled to re-connect to my instinctive, intuitive wild woman and become again the mother I wanted and needed to be for my daughter. I understood that it was not she who needed to change, in order to fit into a narrow view of what we should all be in the world. Rather it was society that needed
re-educating, to understand that difference is beautiful, that we are all worthy, are all of value and all have the right to be included; in whatever way is comfortable for and desired by the individual. By this I mean, it is society that has a responsibility to adapt and make changes in attitude, behaviour and action for the inclusion and wellbeing of all.
My daughter shows up differently in the world, this is the gift she brings to our lives. She is a teacher; she challenges people’s perceptions and behaviours. She shows us how we can communicate other than through words. She is unbound from the distorted, false beliefs most of us have had inflicted upon us within a patriarchal, capitalist society.
The story of the battles I fought for my daughter’s right to be included, the celebrations and joy we experienced as a family as our lives opened out in response to learning unbound ways of being, are woven into my menopausal journey. I share the practices and healing I chose to seek and embrace and how I learnt to cherish the alchemy of menopause, experiencing the transformation as a potent and powerful initiation into the death and rebirth phase of my life.
I didn’t realise at the time of writing ‘Take off Your Armour and Have a Cup of Tea’, that this was the seed of my second book ‘Menopause Wisdoms - Re-Claim the True Nature of Who You Are'. This book shares the lived experience of 11 menopausal women. Each woman in conversation shares her story, her challenges, struggles, celebrations, awakenings, healing and journey to becoming crone.
The second part of the book is a journey of wellbeing ideas and practices to guide and support women through her menopause years as an alchemical process. There are lessons, prompts and actions to activate your creativity and unique experience as you journey toward becoming crone, a wild wise woman.
I am delighted to now be in the editing phase of this book having just signed a publishing contract with The Unbound Press.
Re-Claim the true nature
of who you are
In 'Take off Your Armour and Have a Cup of Tea', Angie shares her experiences with honesty and authenticity. She challenges us to look at our learnt attitudes, beliefs, behaviours and perceptions in relation to Disability and the Menopause. She invites us to 'think outside the box' providing us with tools to create inclusive practice, whilst also encouraging us to inhabit well-being as we step outside of our comfort zones and 'stir the cauldron of change'.
"With clarity, passion and courage, Angie Northwood punches outside the box!"
Carmen Friedman - Artist and Sculpter
"Reading this book is like sitting across the kitchen table from Angie and receiving the deep wisdom of her lived experience. This is a beautiful and heart-felt book. This book speaks to all women and anyone who desires a freer, more inclusive world to live in".
Nicoal Humber - Author of Heal your Inner Good Girl and Unbound
"This beautifully written and articulate book has much wisdom, compassion and practical help to offer, not just for parents of children with disabilities, but for all women and all parents".
Kiara Dixey - Artist and Writer