‘Shame dies when stories are told in safe places’... Former social worker's podcast aimed at supporting women
A BETTYSTOWN woman has told of how her background as a social worker and her journey as a teenage mum spurred her on to build a community aimed at supporting women.
Molly Smyth was inspired to create “Healing Gals” a podcast where each episode is a conversation about healing with women brave enough to share their stories. Molly has also started a “women's circle” to go hand in hand with the podcast where women attend group meetings and learn new skills as well as sharing their own journey in life.
“I worked in children's residential care for 12, years, I was a social care worker and climbed the way up to manager so I've worked with people who have experienced a lot of trauma,” said Molly.
“Personally I have experienced a lot in my own life and I have a passion for supporting people to heal because I have been on a real healing journey myself,” she added.
“I always say that shame dies when stories are told in safe places so I wanted Healing Gals to be a safe space.”
Molly says that although influencers and public figures often get hailed as role models, she is much more interested in learning about the strives and struggles of 'ordinary' women.
“My goal is to empower women in our community to come with me and learn new skills and hold circles with me to showcase their skills,” said the podcast creator.
“Celebrity culture is front and centre in our world but there are real women right beside us who have important things to say, lessons to pass on and healing to talk about and I want to facilitate those discussions,” she added.
The Bettystown mum of one says she always knew she wanted to work in an environment where she could support others but recently realised her calling in life was empowering other women.
“I just get that magic feeling when I'm around other women who are being vulnerable and showing you their strength, that really ignites something in me.
“I play for Mothers and Others in Colmcille's in Bettystown and I am surrounded my wonderful women there including yoga and meditation teachers who are going to come on board with me for the women's circle,” said Molly.
Molly hopes her honest approach to sharing her own struggles and experiences on the podcast will encourage others to open up.
“I speak a lot about shame and how we use it to punish ourselves,” she said. “So in the first episode I talk about how I used to shout at my daughter when she was small because I was so overwhelmed and stressed and I hated that I did it but I had no coping skills,” added the Bettystown woman.
“I started my degree when she was six weeks old so I was very stressed for the first four years of her life and trying to navigate going into adulthood and I spoke about the shame that I used to feel when I wasn't patient enough with her.”
Throughout the series of 'Healing Gals' Molly interviews an array of people including her mother's experience of growing up in a family of 18 children in Dublin's Finglas and the knock on affects of that on her life.
“I find that healing conversations can be very powerful when they are modelled so I did a podcast episode with my mam and spoke about things that are difficult for families to speak about,” said Molly.
“In other episodes I speak to a woman who has come through addiction and her path to recovery, she has set up a social enterprise where she is giving back to her community.
“I also spoke to a woman who has recently as an adult been diagnosed with ADHD and why it was so difficult to parent not knowing why she couldn't stay organised or why she was struggling so much.
“ I also have episodes with a local Reiki and dance teacher, women who have so much knowledge and wisdom to share.”