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

Friday, 9 April 2010

Anyone Seen My Friend Arbutt...?

... his name may not be familiar, but he's everywhere. You'll find him at your place of work. You'll likely notice him at home. He'll lurk quietly among your friends and family, suddenly appearing when you're least expecting it. He's quite the celebrity you know, and once you recognise him, you'll see him on TV and in the newspapers, and you'll hear him on the radio. You won't be able to escape him - he'll be everywhere!

He's a pain in the butt, a killjoy, a potentially lethal threat to dreams and ambitions. And yet he sneaks around unnoticed, under the clever guise of  "the voice of reason". Or "the level headed sensible one warning about potential danger". Yet to those who encounter him - those who have the big ideas, others who may already have had to dig really deep to find the courage to voice their opinion in the first place - to these people he's the demolition man. His huge steel wrecking-ball destroying hopes and splintering frameworks of possibilities that were beginning to form a structure. One mighty swoop. Straight hit. Annihilation. Devastation. And all in less time than it takes to  pour a cup of coffee.

Can you recognise him yet? He can be tricky to spot at first - for he can take form as a male or female. He has no body, no real identity of his own. He choses instead to latch on to anyone who will give him just the slightest opportunity. That's how he survives. And until you can spot him, he'll return time and time and time again, like an unwelcome visitor. The thing is though, until you can identify him, you won't even know he's visited you! You may not even notice if he's visited your friends or colleagues!

You may not... but somebody will. Because every time Arbutt turns up, at least one person is left less confident than they were before he arrived. While that person may not have noticed how it happened, they will be left reeling from the after effects. And if you look carefully, you'll be able to spot just who has been affected. It will be the person who's face has suddenly lost its smile. Who's shoulders have slumped a little. Who's suddenly gone quiet. The person who's dropped their gaze and perhaps stepped back from the group. That is the person who's been hit by Arbutt's wrecking ball. And the damage has been done.

And until more of us become aware of him, and become more vigilant about policing his activities, more people are going to end up with broken dreams and a shattered confidence. Which is why I am asking whether you've seen him? Whether you'd even be able to spot him if he turned up among your group of colleagues or friends?

If you're still confused and scratching your head, perhaps it will help you if I gave you his full name. He's been around since god was a boy so has a long lineage and a grand double barrelled name. Once you hear it I know you'll recognise him. And all at once you'll be able to identify his familiar all too familiar calling card. Are you ready?

His full name is Arbutt The-Prollem.

When he appears he usually causes people to fold their arms and shake their heads. Some will even waggle a finger as well. It will often be in a lively discussion that he'll suddenly turn up, just as some of the best ideas and most encouraging solutions are beginning to form. For that's when he loves to strike, and suck up all of that positive energy for himself. All of a sudden somebody will suck in a deep breath, lean backwards, fold their arms, shake their head... and then it happens. That same person will open their mouth and say the words "Ah, but the problem is...." and there he is. Slap bang in the middle of the group, and nobody even noticed him sneak in!

I'll bet you can now think back over countless situations when Arbutt has been in your presence. Do you remember the effect he had on the conversation or business meeting? He may even have snuck in and persuaded you to host his arrival on some occasions. So let's take a fresh look at the powerful effect he can have. Let's acknowledge the original intention of the person who says "Ah, but the problem is..." as well as the reactions from those who hear those words.

Let's start with the speaker. Their intention is usually positive. Caution always has a valuable part to play in any discussion, as does the calm voice of reason. So the intention is absolutely to be commended. When hijacked by Arbutt, that positive intention cannot be fulfilled. For just by mentioning his name (or that of his brother, Yesbutt) all previously aired ideas are automatically erased or dismissed. Instantly. Deadly to the flow of conversation. Think about it. Imagine you've just put forward an idea or opinion - you've usually ended the sentence with "Isn't it?" or something similar, and are likely smiling and nodding your head. The person you are talking with has another opinion to put forward and starts the sentence with"Yes.. but...." and continues with his view. The very second that Arbutt or Yesbutt are introduced, you automatically stop smiling and nodding. You do something else. You might furrow your brow. You might start to feel a bit niggled. You may even feel angry. Or you might just close down and decide not to say anymore.

Whatever happens, the flow of conversation and group thought has just been disrupted. It's now become disjointed. And much more energy is required to get it back on track.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with that person having a different opinion from yours! That is to be expected and accepted in any discussion. It has everything to do with how that opinion is introduced.

"OK then, so what would you suggest?" I hear you ask.

Well, luckily all of Arbutt, Yesbutt, Wellbutt, Nobutt and indeed all the little butts have an arch enemy in who's presence they simply cannot survive. Familiar to all of us, few people acknowledge her power. Her name is Yezzand. A mightier force is harder to find in the art of communication and negotiation. For with Yezzand in your toolbox, you're equipped for just about any eventuality!

Shall we have a go?

Let's go back to that original scenario - the one where you had just presented an idea or offered an opinion. You've just finished and are smiling and nodding, waiting for a response. Let's suppose that the other person, in PLACE of the"Yes...but..." we've already explored (which automatically accompanied with a shake of the head and often a folding of arms) instead nods and smiles and says "Yes.... and.." and then goes on to explain their opinion as well? Think about it... what would you be doing? You may agree or you may disagree with what is being said. Either way, you will be taking on the other person's perspective, expanding your understanding and still feel in the mood to continue with the discussion.

It seems so simple - and it is. Yes, it takes some getting used to, and once you're fluent you'll be amazed at the difference it can have in conversation, even if the people involved have totally opposite opinions! This is a true-life example of a conversation I witnessed between two people in a newly decorated pub:

First person, smiling: "The landlord's choice of wallpaper is rubbish. I have never liked brown as a colour!"

Second person, nodding: "Hmmm... yes... and.... to me it looks more of a rose colour, in fact I don't see any brown in it at all!"

First person, nodding: "Hmmm... I suppose so..."

Imagine what could have happened had any of those Butts turned up?

First person, smiling: "The landlord's choice of wallpaper is rubbish. I have never liked brown as a colour!"

Second person, leaning back with arms folded: "Yes.... but it's not brown. It's rose! There's no brown in it!"

First person, frowning, putting drink down: "What? Are you blind? It's brown!" You can imagine how it could continue

So, my invitation to you right here and right now, is to be vigilant. Stay aware and keep Arbutt, Yesbutt and all the other members of the family out of your conversation. Instead, invite Yezzand to take her well deserved place of power, and notice how much smoother discussions can be - yes, even when you don't necessarily agree with what's been saying!

Three word slogans have a history of being strong and powerful "Just say no!" "Frankie says relax!" "Just do it!" so here's one to help us fight against the on-going threat from Arbutt and his invisible family:


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