Meet Ali Moore! One of the most inspiring women I know. Ali is inspiring on so many levels –
what’s she’s achieved in her life to date personally and for her business. How many plates she spins and doesn’t manage to drop a single one! She’s an empathetic and engaging public speaker, as well as a published author of Reconnect Your Life.
She’s passionate about clothes and her signature style. Ali also describes herself as a compulsive shopper who doesn’t want to be cured! But that’s enough from me, let’s hear Ali’s story.
Ali – Please introduce yourself
Hi – I am Ali Moore, founder of Bemoore which is a private therapy and coaching practice; specialising in the science of self- esteem. Working with women to restore that self- esteem platform and feel fabulous about being them.
I am a community Celebrant and author of Reconnect Your Life – more about those later!
I am married to my Alfie and between us we have 5 children. My girls are 22 and 19 my step children 13 and 11. We also have our joint venture who is 4.5 years old!
Tell us about your childhood and your teenage years
My early years were really quite normal – a good middle-class family. Just before my teenage years however I experienced an awful period of bullying which led not only to me being home schooled for a while but also developing social anxiety and controlling my eating. It wasn’t a great time, but the homeschooling actually was a real blessing and I am forever in debt to the teacher I had and the introduction to topics such as mindfulness and yoga.
You met your first husband at just 15 and soon had two amazing girls while juggling a corporate career. How did you manage to keep all the plates spinning?
I was fortunate that both sets of grandparents were fully involved.
I had to go back to work financially. We owned our first home by the time I was 18, I was young when I had the girls, so in those early days there wasn’t an option to be a stay at home mum.
I think like many women you just get on with it and make it work. You get organised and I did actually love working alongside being a mum. I think the girls gained from it in different ways.
Sadly, your first marriage ended after 21 years, what was the catalyst for this?
We got together, as you said, at a very young age, we had grown up and become different people.
Our son was still born in 2007 having diagnosed with a life preventing condition and I strongly believe that there is no relationship which cannot be impacted by this loss.
We grieved very differently, and I was forever changed as a person. I made a decision about 18 months after that it was best all round we separated. He has remained very close to the girls and very involved in their lives.
What was your coping mechanism after losing your baby?
Initially my coping mechanism was work. I went back to work 2 weeks after the funeral. There was no support really offered.
The GP never visited or checked in. A midwife did come and visit in the first few days – but she was very newly qualified and out of her depth. I made her a cup of tea if I remember rightly!
I didn’t know about any type of therapy or counselling and it seemed as though we were expected to just ‘move on’ with life! After a while I was prescribed anti -depressants but overall, I just got on with it. It was later that I realized I hadn’t dealt with it at all.
When your first marriage ended, how did you build the next stage of your life?
I had never been on my own. I didn’t really even know who I was outside of the marriage and relationship.
But I will be honest and say I threw myself into this next phase. Learning to manage bank accounts and the house things which I had never done.
I persuaded my boss to give me a project in a new role in a brand-new location . I wanted a fresh start. To not be ‘the women whose life was a car crash’.
I totally changed myself as well, joining a gym and changing my hair. I qualified as a Life and Business Coach. It was full on in those early years.
I needed to be financially stable to keep the family home for the girls – that was my driver.
arrival of the chimp
I am very comfortable now with telling this. It’s part of who I am and there is no shame in mental health challenges.
Firstly I was very happy at this stage of my life. Most of the drama was all done. I went out to feed the cats one morning and had a panic attack. Firmly believing that a chimp had escaped from the nearby safari park ! Convinced this chimp would be in the area and would attack the girls on the way to school.
I knew this was crazy talk, but I also couldn’t step away from the panic. This wasn’t an isolated incident – it kept happening. I would have to pull over to check the boot of the car, look under beds in hotel rooms.
We talk about ‘the chimp’ in people’s heads the chattering monkey. But for me there was a real chimp out there and he meant business. It was my (now) second husband that helped to persuade me I needed to get some help.
BTW I do know how crazy this sounds but that was the point really wasn’t it! :0)
What steps did your recovery take?
I contacted a local hypnotherapist who had advertised I the local paper for a number of years. I thought she could hypnotise it away! But she didn’t, instead she made me talk about it.
My interest in therapy was starting to take shape. I had explored counselling. I was a trained mediator and of course coaching was now in my life. But talking therapy and cognitive therapy was pivotal for me.
My next journey started as I decided I would look to train as a therapist. That initial therapy helped me put the chimp away. But I have continued to explore therapy in different forms. I continue now to work on my sense of self.
2013 was a major year why?
It was a busy year! The start of another new journey in my life.
My partner asked me to have a hand-fasting (pagan wedding) – I said yes. A couple of months later we made a big decision. We wanted a baby of our own. Interestingly we’d not mentioned living together neither were we planning our wedding. But curiously I felt very secure and it wasn’t even on my mind.
To have another baby was huge… to be able to trust someone that much, to risk allowing myself to be that vulnerable again.
Initially I wasn’t sure I could go through that again. Or put my family through it again. But when you trust someone and you are able to be really honest with them it is a wonderful feeling.
So, in 2013 I fell pregnant with our son who was born in the following May.
I also agreed to move my family into one house, sell my house that I’d fought so hard to keep. I also accepted the change to my whole financial situation, by becoming a parent again after 16 years!
How did it feel to lose your financial independence?
It was the biggest block for me. It was the main reason I hesitated and didn’t launch my business initially. I even took another employed role even after I had set everything up.
I need to be able to contribute. It was also about feeling secure enough that I could trust this would work.
Previously I had been in a position to take on all the financial burden. If this relationship didn’t work out, then I would not be in the same place.
I like my independence and my own money. I will not ever have a joint bank account again.
This actually started from a selfish point of view.
I had run a very early version of my FindYourRoar workshop, and the women mentioned about feeling like they wanted to stay together.
It got me thinking that I was really missing that community I had in my corporate life. I wasn’t a coffee morning mum type of person, I loved networking but that was business. I wanted someone where to meet new women and to have good conversation.
So, my women’s group open to women from all backgrounds started. It has been slow process to get set up. This is probably because there is nothing else really out there like it in the evenings.
We pick a self-development topic every month. We chat, discuss, share book reviews and importantly make new connections. I now have an established group in Bedford and Milton Keynes and am considering the next steps to expand this community.
DESPITE A very BUSY LIFE, yOU STARTED A DEGREE in 2017!
I am always learning. I always have a course going on! But going to University was a real dream for me. I really wanted to have a Uni Campus experience. It would be very 1960’s Cambridge in my head – but I didn’t have that option!
There was also the fact that I didn’t have A levels and was refused by a certain University! Even though I had numerous higher diplomas and was running my own business.
So, I contacted the Open University and they were happy to support me so I’m now studying Clinical Psychology. I want to do a massive shout out here for those that are learning in this way.
There is nothing easy about an Open University degree course. You are basically self-teaching, self-motivated and self-reliant. I do feel stressed as the schedule is tough. But I am committed and I loving it! The other major benefit is being able to help my clients through the additional learning.
This has been another life changer actually. I have always had an interest in faith. While I’m a Pagan I’m hugely interested in other faiths and in the new form of spirituality that’s emerging.
I had attended a very dear friends funeral a couple of years ago and a Celebrant had conducted the service. It felt really personal, but I was surprised that it contained religious pieces. I thought it had to be Humanist and this would not be right for me. But I discovered you can be a multi-faith celebrant. The primary benefit is to give your community a wonderful option of how to conduct those important life transitions.
I am now building up my business and my community, in which to practice. Once agin I’m connecting with some new and amazing individuals.
Reconnect your life
In December 2018 I became a published author as part of an amazing collaborative project.
Writing is something I love to do, so after being involved in a collaborative project, I decided to write my own book; Reconnect Your Life, which has just been published.
I was discovering so many stories and bringing together some great material as I built out my Reconnection Programme it seemed like a wonderful way to share with a wider audience.
Determined not to write a book which just focused on my challenges, but to focus on something that really gave something back in a useful way.
Reconnect Your Life isn’t meant to be aimed at an academic audience but at real people. It is not designed to replace true therapy support, but it does give a great start to some of the cognitive practices people can do to improve their sense of self.
Running A business Networking Group
Running two reconnection groups with everything else on your plate would be enough for most women, but you’ve also found time to take on running a business networking group too! What is this about and what motivated you to get involved with this project?
I seem to just keep adding to my plate, but actually I see this a lot with business women. We are used to juggling and we like to have lots of diversity in our days.
I was keen to take the word about my business further towards London. I love the Busy Women Networking groups I attended and love collaborating with the owner Aruna Rao. So rather than join another new group it suited us both for me to open a St Albans based branch.
How do you maintain any level of self-care?
It’s a hectic life! But I thrive on this, ensuring I get time to myself during the day. Clearing my diary if needed and recognising the signs that mean I am feeling overwhelmed. I eat healthily and practise yoga most mornings.
I surround myself with people who are of a positive nature.
Plus, my husband is super supportive. He enjoys cooking and I love eating so that’ s a winning partnership! We share the home responsibilities … and sometimes nothing is better than a glass of bubbly in the bath!
If you had the opportunity to advise your 15-year-old self what would that be?
Gosh that is a big question! I would say … life is going to be an adventure- there will be wonderful moments and there are going to be times you feel you are drinking the bitterest of lemon juice … but you will rise, and you will shine … stay strong!
My overall dream for the business is to establish the Bemoore Foundation. A place for women of all ages and backgrounds to feel comfortable coming to, for support. With teenage programmes and funding available alongside the private practice.
We are just launching our first Roaring4Life teenage programme in a local Milton Keynes school, so the future is already starting to emerge.
reconnect your life and connect with ali
As I said at the beginning Ali is one of the most inspiring women I know. If you’d like to find our more about Ali’s work then follow her at the BeMoore foundation