What's happened over the past couple of years?

What's happened over the past couple of years?
Come and find out about our life-changing work!
Update April 2018: It's been a while my friends - and such a lot has happened since I was last active here!

When it finally dawned on me that I had been systematically abused - and not just by one person - my whole world collapsed around me.

You see, I had always believed myself to be a strong person. Capable. Successful and somewhat sassy to boot. A fighter. Someone who could overcome any challenge, as I'd proven to myself since early childhood, time and time again. So the knockout thud of recognition that I had been a 'victim' hit me with the full force of a steam train, tsunami and earthquake rolled into one.

"How could that have happened to me? How did I let it happen? Why didn't I notice it? Why didn't I stop it, or at least speak out?"
...and then came an all engulfing darkness of shame. And then the deafening silence.

It took me years to come out of that place. Years of hard work, self reflection and excruciating pain.

Which was how, ultimately, Light Up was finally born.

Now this work is being experienced and shared by many - and is growing in numbers and momentum. And I am grateful.

Grateful not only for my own experiences, also for the fact that Light Up gives people the tools to escape from their shame and pain in far less time than it took me!

We are already working with trafficked women, abused children and traumatised adults, successfully guiding them back to completeness (without having to relive their horrors) in as little as two sessions.

People are waking up and finding their voices. I am a firm supporter of the #metoo movement, and every other group that sheds light on and offers a platform for people to speak out and seek a complete way of living.

Yes, there is darkness in this world. Yes, there is much that has been hidden away. And yes, now people are speaking out. Thank goodness for those voices! The quiet ones. The angry ones. The sad ones. The loud ones. All have their place. All have their unique message to share. All are warriors.

I am honoured to be in service, and to play my part in reigniting this beautiful world of ours. We are coming together now. We are gathering force. And I am glad.

Fellow warriors, I salute you. I commit to continuing to stand in this arena alongside all my brothers and sisters who know there is a better way and a brighter future.

Come and find out more www.dnalightup.net

In continued love, recognition and gratitude

Mel xxx

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Who's Calling?

Hmmm... ever get those days when a series of 'ah-ha' moments just seem to keep on coming? Not necessarily the earth-shattering OMG type experiences, just the small comforting whispers of confirmation...? Well, I just received an automated email (out of the blue) inviting me to re-examine old or raw relationships, and the old adage about forgiveness, with the guidance that I can become free:

"When you can acknowledge the relationship from the perspective of being 100% responsible for having created it, if even by just being able to locate exactly when, where and how you gave your power away"

Interestingly, yesterday and Friday afternoon were surprisingly tough for me. Old stuff kept coming up (along with new discoveries of his activities) and I allowed myself to feel hurt, tired, confused and all those other emotions that have been my regular house guests over the past few weeks. 

Saturday morning, an innocuous email gave me details of an online car club of which he is a member, where he'd described himself in his profile (beginning of January this year) as being, along with other things, single and solvent (neither of which were true). This reconfirmation of his duplicity for some reason sent me in to a bit of a tail spin - inviting the self-torture questions to resurface, cackling and circling like old crones "How could he do this to me - to us? What did I do to deserve this? Where did I go wrong? If he wanted out why couldn't he simply say so? Why has he been so cruel?" 

All of these, I know, are gremlins to the sane and focused mind, but I, like anyone else, can also be caught up in the wind tunnel of negativity - and the pull can be very strong indeed. Particularly, I've found, when I'm caught unawares. 

So there I was, fighting with witches and craning my head towards the light, pulling against the g-force strength of the whirling tunnel and the jaws of despair. 

Matt, my dearest friend and 'guru' reminded me gently that it's not about me, it's about him - and allowed me to shed my tears. This threw me a life-rope to catch my thoughts and lovingly bring me back up to the surface.

And I thought. And I thought. And I thought. 

I knew it wasn't 'about me', and at the same time I also on a soul level that in fact it was. So I pondered, and decided to leave my mind to work it through, as I got on with normal daily life. Trusting that an answer would come.

Then along came the automated email today. Like yesterday's email, it seemed innocuous. I read it through with only a small level of interest, and even read through the phrase I highlighted at the beginning of this post. And all of a sudden I felt just the tiniest of 'ah-has' that suddenly meant I could get clear - because I KNEW when it was I gave up my own power - I can even remember the place, the time, the setting and the conversation. 

It was right in the beginning of our relationship and I'd said to him that, if ever he found anyone better than me he was to go (genuinely thinking I was being strong, unconditionally loving and magnanimous - doh! There's hippy strong, and then there's hippy dippy - and that, in hindsight, was excruciatingly dippy). His response was a sneer, together with the words "Well, if you can say something like that, then you obviously don't love me as much as I love you". 

I felt a huge punch in the stomach at the time, like a huge hollow thud - but rather than take that as any message from my higher self that I didn't need to put myself down, I decided and committed there and then to convince him that I loved him more than anything in the world. And from that moment on I gave up my power.

And through that realisation, today, I am indeed more free than ever before. And, as in my previous posts, I am indeed now calling in my spirit.

I gain a huge amount of strength from the knowledge that, even in the face of having given away so much of my power, over the past decade I have still been able to work with and help hundreds of people to improve their lives. And now, calling in my spirit and reclaiming my power, well, I'm inspired with the idea and potential of what I can now achieve through my work.

The automated email finishes with this phrase: "When it comes to creating more love in our lives, we stand ready, like Samuria Warriors, to release all that is not love from our hearts"

Well here I stand, in honour and in love, one strong, powerful and inspired Samurai Warrior - bring it on!

(The email, by the way, was generated by www.CallingInTheOne.com - check them out, they're the real deal!)

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Monday, 15 June 2009

David Chetlahe Paladin - Painting the Dream

This is the story that started it all off:

David was born in 1926, on a Navajo reservation in Arizona, a southwestern state in the U.S. Because the authorities wouldn't accept his clan name, Bitter Water, they gave him the name of the nearest landmark, the Paladin Mesa. His mother was a Navajo and his father a Caucasian Roman Catholic priest. At birth, he mother left him in the care of his extended family at the reservation and went off to become a nursing nun. Thus he was raised by tribal people who still talked to spirits and walked in their dreams.

In his early teens, he stole away on a merchant ship and was carried off to Australia. On the ship he met another young boy, a German named Ted with whom he became friends. At the outbreak of World War II, he was recruited by the OSS, Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner of the CIA. The Navajo language was a difficult one and the Americans used it to pass secret information behind enemy lines. The Germans did not know it was a language, they never cracked the code.

He was 15 years old when he was captured and sent to the Furstenburg Internment Center. He was tried and sentenced to death as a spy. On the platform to board a train destined for the death chambers, David felt a rifle butt behind his back to hurry him along. He turned to see Ted, the young boy he met on the merchant ship, now a German officer. Ted managed to get him rerouted to Dachau, and so David escaped death.

At Dachau, for helping a fellow prisoner, his feet were nailed to the floor for three days. The wound developed into gangrene. He was later to recount that as he drifted in and out of consciousness, a German soldier would come in to put maggots on his open sores and forced raw chicken entrails down his throat.

The Allies found him in a train car loaded with dead bodies in Dachau. He weighed 62 pounds. They shipped off to a Veteran's Hospital in the States where he stayed in a coma for 2 years. When he finally recovered consciousness, he had lost the use of his legs. He wallowed in his hate. Resigned to spend the rest of his life at the Veteran's Hospital, he decided to go back to the reservation one last time to say good-bye.

The elders at the reservation heard his story and held council. They told him, “you have given away your spirit to hate and without your spirit, you cannot heal.” They then tied a rope around his waist, took the braces off his legs, and threw him into the Little Colorado River at high flood. The moments he spent thrashing in the water for his life, he was to say later, were the hardest in his life – harder than being nailed to the floor. For it was there, fighting for breath, that all the hurtful images of his life came back to him. He had to release each one by forgiving it. The last image was that of the German soldier who put maggots on his flesh. This too he had to forgive. He realised that this was an act that actually saved his leg from further disease, and that the entails gave him the protein that helped keep him alive.

He retrieved his spirit.

He became a shaman, a healer, a teacher and an artist. He eventually regained use of both legs and was able to walk without crutches. He died in 1984 at 58 years old.
His story inspires not for the hardship of his childhood, and not even for the tortures he endured. It inspires for its rebirth, for a life rebuilt after the damage.
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One Small Whisper Created The Butterfly Effect

English: Siproeta epaphus, Butterfly World (Fl...
English: Siproeta epaphus, Butterfly World (Florida) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just 18 months ago,  I made myself a quiet vow to 'call my spirit back' - to live fully, honestly and joyfully. I was tired and fed up with the relentless drudgery of life as I knew it, and I knew it was within my power to change it. It seemed such a simple wish - one that could only bring good in to my life. Like the butterfly and chaos theory, now I know how a small but heartfelt intention can, literally, change the world as we know it. 

I was at home, for once, and had just read the story of a remarkable man called David Chetlahe Paladin (see post). His extraordinary experiences and powerful words had stirred something within me. His story explained the importance of calling back your power from experiences that drain the life-force from your body. 

"Call your spirit back! No one can live without his spirit. Your spirit is your power!" 

Ever had that experience when you're reading something, and it feels like the author is literally reaching out and talking to you - just you? Well, for me it was as strong as the booming voice from those National Lottery adverts "It's you!" - and I literally sat upright and looked around, thinking that there was someone else in the room with me.

It was the beginning of November 2007, I had been very ill (highly unusual for me!) after a business trip to Morocco, and I was contemplating life. I had no energy, I felt deflated and low (again, most unlike me) and literally as though the life-force was draining out of me and I could do nothing to stop it. So David's 'call to action' absolutely resonated with me - and I made a simple vow to myself that I was going to call back my spirit.

It was a small action, as insignificant as the flapping wings of a butterfly - I simply wrote in my notebook. But I'm certain it marked the beginning of the chaos and torturous upheavals that were to follow.

I can honestly say that over the next 18 months I have truly come to learn the meaning of endurance. The hits have been absolutely relentless - within the first 6 months we had to deal with court appearances to evict unruly tenants, house sale falling through and devaluing enormously in the process, financial crisis, complete re-structure and office move for our business, and at the same time keeping our heads together to win and deliver for new clients. It was like one of those nightmares where the monsters are always moving towards you - slowly, but you know they're going to get you. 

But through it all I kept on reminding myself to stay strong and to look for the gifts in the situation. I remembered to watch out for my self-talk, I kept focused on the positive, and somehow we came through. Together we made it - my adored and beloved husband and I had kept our heads and weathered the storm together.

Business was coming in, the house had sold, we were earning plenty to pay off the business debts, and I worked out that by the end of the year, 2008, we'd be debt-free as well as being happy!

But it soon turned out that I'd only experienced the first shock waves - there were plenty more to follow. My spirit, I think, must have been pretty hard of hearing at that stage - or just plain stubborn, because it was to take a barrage of even bigger, more unbearable experiences for it to hear me calling it back... and all because of those few simple words I promised to myself. 

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Saturday, 13 June 2009

Early Lessons

Saturday afternoon, sun is shining, roses outside my window and this is my first ever blog. As things go, I've had quite a lot of 'stuff' going on in my life recently, and I felt I'd like to share some of this as I make progress through the mire of challenges that face me.

I was born a natural optimist - I'm quite sure of that. Even as a small child I was always the one rousing the battle cry 'yes we can!' whenever a member of my village 'gang' expressed doubts. "Of course we can go and camp by the river!" I remember saying at a time when I was no more than 6, my friends 5 and 4 and my sister not long walking. So with a jolly whistle, and armed with the necessary provisions we snaffled from the kitchen (matches for lighting a fire, a blanket and a few snacks) off we went as a merry troop, ready for the adventure ahead.

We didn't need the matches, as it happens, since we found a nearly burned out campfire just down alongside the river. We decided this was our camping spot, and we set off to find food. I remember bashing around the long grass in that very important sort of a way that only a 6 year old can do properly, when my hunting was brought to an abrupt halt by a bloodcurdling scream from Shirley, the 4 year old. She'd apparently rushed back to the campsite with some fallen apples, and had been unable to stop before reaching the fire in her excitement - both her little feet and clean white socks had landed straight on to the burning embers. (Remember the link to burning embers... another one of life's lessons more than 25 years later!) 

It then suddenly dawned on me that we were in a pretty tricky situation. It probably would have been a good idea to tell the grown ups where we were going, before we set off. But they all seemed so busy chatting together in the garden, smoking their cigarettes, laughing and chinking the ice in their cool summer drinks. It seemed so unfair to disturb them.

Faced with this situation, what did we do? Did we let ourselves panic? Did we cry? Did we get scared? No we did not. We were the girl-gang of our village, and we were not going to behave like babies! Well, that was the gist of my speech, anyway. It seemed to do the trick. Shelley was intrigued as I helped her take off her socks and showed her how to wash them clean in the river - I reasoned that so long as the black marks were gone, her mother might not notice the holes. 

The other two, meantime, had set out the blanket - well, strictly speaking, my sister was more of an enthusiastic observer. But she was certainly joining in and right on side with the rest of us! Our snacks were shared out, the blanket was wrapped around our feet and legs, and we were happily singing nursery rhymes to help 'the younger ones' get to sleep. It was getting dark by then, so we thought they should get some rest.

I was absolutely confident we'd done the right things, and that we'd be praised for our courage and adult thinking under such stressful situation. So when, some time later, we heard my mother's Morris Minor screeching to a halt just a short distance away (I was of a mind to tell her she should really watch her speed limit!) I got up to meet her, beaming from ear to ear.

Her face was a little pinker than usual, and my friends' parents were with her as well. She slammed the car door and they all came rushing towards us. I was absolutely delighted that they were all coming to join in the fun "How lovely to see you!" I enthused. "Have you brought some more provisions?" 


Some hours later in my bed, nursing a bruised arm from being yanked off my feet and in to the car, and an even more bruised ego, I began to ponder whether grown ups really did know best. After all, we'd done everything properly and had looked out for the little ones - the holes in Shelley's socks could be mended and the burn cream was doing a great job on her feet - and we'd all learned that we could cope together under pressure.

Yes, it was true that grown ups often had a lot of good things to say about life, but they weren't always right. And somehow they'd lost their sense of fun and adventure. And for goodness sake, surely they knew I could be trusted, didn't they...?

From then on I decided I would learn my own lessons, and find my own way in life - and include anyone else who wants to come along for the ride.