What's happened over the past couple of years?

What's happened over the past couple of years?
Come and find out about my lifetime mission!
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've already worked 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 morewww.dnalightup.net

In continued love, recognition and gratitude

Mel xxx

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Fire And The Flames Of Truth

Just flames
What a weekend - quite extraordinary in fact! Who’d have imagined just how many riches could be unearthed in a remote old village school in rural north-east England over just a few short hours.

I qualified as a Firewalk Instructor in August 1998. That was the very course where I met and fell in love with my now estranged husband. So it makes sense that Firewalking and all that is associated with the practice - and my own experiences - has played a major role in the magical and often twisted theatre of my own existence to this point. The fire, with all its beauty and symbolism, has held a special place in my heart for as long as I can remember – not least, perhaps, because I was born under Sagittarius, one of the three fire signs of the zodiac.  I’m regularly reminded that I typify most of the traits: gregarious, optimistic, energetic, driven – as well as outspoken, sometimes brash, and regularly ridiculously clumsy.

Such is the importance of the fire to me that I even have a small tattoo at the base of my spine. It’s a red and orange heart with a flame just above it to symbolise heart fire. It’s very discreet, and only a few people have seen it – but to me it’s an important statement about the power of love and the passion of the fire. To me the fire is a living breathing thing that can both cleanse and empower the soul.

Saturday night was to be my first Firewalk since the start of my "real life" (the new space I’m creating for myself after discovering that my marriage was a sham) and so it was already weighted with an unspoken promise of transformation. But I didn't let that sway me - not too much in any case!

The location was a disused primary school in the process of being turned in to an outdoor centre. The building itself seemed to whisper echoes from the years of learning and growing that had taken place there many years previously. The laughter of children, the smell of school books and leather satchels, the wordly smiles of their teachers and the promise and wonder of their whole lives stretching ahead of them. As I walked around the place, most of it now either renovated or still in the process, I couldn't help but wonder what might have happened to the pupils who must have spent so much time here. How many of them had fulfilled their dreams? How many had achieved even more than they expected? And how many had fallen by the wayside?

I knew it was the perfect location for a Firewalk workshop. It's stones had surely experienced so many human transformations before we came along that I felt certain the building would be supporting us that evening. It may seem an odd thing to say, but to me it almost felt as though the old school had been waiting for us. And I felt entirely at home.

People started to arrive just after 5pm, and soon the main hall was filled with chatter and laughter - together with a sense of uncertainty that was without doubt stronger in some more than others! This particular workshop was to be led by Simon Treselyan, a master firewalk instructor, and one of only two people in the world certified by Peggy Dylan to train other instructors.

Simon and I have a long history stretching back twelve years to the time when we first met. We'd discussed working together at that point, but it wasn't to be because he didn't get on with Cam (perhaps another one of those many red-flag signs I failed to acknowledge at the time?) After more than a decade our time had come, and Simon was finally here in the UK from Australia so that we could run this workshop together. So it was bound to be a great experience.

My role on this particular event was to tend the fire and offer support to the first-time walkers - and it suited me perfectly. It gave me the opportunity to sit back from the event, to let someone else take control, and to allow myself to experience the evening without judgement or expectation.

The group consisted of a network built from friends and fellow Top Bananas, each person having arrived by different routes, and each with their individual personal goals - but every one of us tied by the common intention of growth and transformation. For me, for the first time since I'd first learned to Firewalk, I took the workshop as an opportunity to achieve something personal for me - yes, to be there to support others as usual of course, but also to consciously create something for me. For Mel the person, rather than Mel the Firewalk Instructor, Coach and Motivator. For me, this was personal now. So much of my life up until then had already been affected by my first firewalking experience, this was now my opportunity to move up still another level in my real life.

As is traditional, before the workshop even started we all stated our intention, or if you like our goal for the workshop. The fire - along with many other transformation tools - is a flexible, obedient, and directly reflecting medium that offers you whatever you ask for, and will deliver whatever you expect you can receive. So I thought carefully about what I wanted to achieve, and when it was my turn to speak I made my statement: "To find a new power in my life, by re-connecting with more of my own personal power, which is going to carry me and Top Banana through to greater things"

The workshop got underway and we all helped to transport the logs and build the fire - placing the logs with intention, and then lighting the fire from just one single flame. Then as the others went in to continue with discussions, activities, explorations and discoveries, I stayed by the fire and tended the flames.

This was the first time in eight years that I had been Fire Master for such an event. Normally I have been up there co-running the workshop. Building up the energy, introducing the exercises, and guiding people through the process. But eight years ago I was Fire Master. And eight years ago had been another time of massive transformation, when I found myself in a viper's pit as a result of Cam's behaviour. So, yes, Saturday evening was a huge event for me - on more levels than I can even begin to explain here. Suffice it to say it was big. Very big. And very important.

So I walked around the fire, and looked after the flames for the next three hours. I talked to her (it had become a 'she' by this stage) and I could feel her listening and responding to me. I shared with her my fears. My frustrations. My battles. My hopes. My history. My questions. My confusion, and my understanding. And she listened. And she took them on board. And we danced together - the smoke curling around me as I guided another stray log back on to the fire, the colours of the flames changing from orange to red to blue as the temperature changed, the crackling turning to a roar and then back to a gentle rythmic breathing as the fire wove a dance of her own. And it was a magical experience.

Occasionally I would hear a roar from the school hall - sometimes laughter, other times determined shouts, but always an energy that was clearly building as the workshop progressed. And all the time, I stayed with my fire. We got to know each other. And I knew she was burning brightly so that others could let their potential shine brightly as they walked across her burning embers. 1,645 degrees of heat to be precise. She was living her entire life to the full over only a few short hours. And I felt honoured and privileged to be the one who would be there with her and accompany her from her birth through to her eventual death.

Eventually the time came for people to walk. They came out together, a new energy of determination showing through the faces and movements of each and every one of them. And as the first person walked (Ewan - you're a star. You said you would, you did, and I'm proud of you) the energy increased. Calm, clear, centered.... and every single person walked with conviction and power over the fire. Not just once, and not alone. People walked in pairs, in threes, they sauntered, they marched, they danced... and it was beautiful.

After a certain amount of time we did a final walk, and were invited to stand in the middle and state out loud, in one word, what we were going to bring to the world as a result of the workshop. Something that was important to each individual. There was peace. Love. Happiness. Power. Strength. Belief. Hope and so many other words that people chose to say out loud. For me, it was Truth. For that is where I am. Because for me there is no other way - no matter the consequence.

And as these final walks were happening, I felt the fire giving thanks for her part in helping these beautiful people with their own transformation. Their experience had given her life meaning. And I felt her begin to burn down and leave with grace and gratitude while the group of new-born Firewalkers made their way back in to the old school hall. I stayed and waited for a while, giving my own thanks to the fire, before joining the group for the final de-brief and wrap-up.

And do you know what I've actually truly discovered through this process? I've just this very minute broken away from writing and been outside in my courtyard here at home in France - the sunshine warm and comforting, and talking with my dear and very wise friend Beatrix. I was explaining to her that I'm writing about my experiences from Saturday, but that I hadn't yet finished. I'd hit a "break" point. At the same time I felt able to explain to her my surprise and sense of freedom about some of the words I now feel comfortable in writing. My personal expressions of emotion and experience that I'm happy to share. And as I was sharing this with her it hit me.

I felt a strange but familiar question bubbling up from deep inside of me. The feeling was in my tummy. Gurgling, rumbling, and working it's way up... urging me to give it a voice. But as soon as I understood the message, it became clear. I had no need to speak it out loud. Just to write it, and make sense of it that way. Explain and share my "ah-ha" moment as it's happening. So here goes - I hope it makes sense.

OK. I'm now almost taking it for granted that things are suddenly all going so well for me... hmmm... well alright, actually it's not exactly "sudden" because it's been a long time in the making, and lots of tough stuff to go through, but I can suddenly realise that things are consistently going well for me. No glitches, no dramas. I'm in synch, in the groove, tip top, tickety-boo - whatever positive words or phrases you can think of, they apply to me right now. But... you know what? It's scary! And, up until this point I hadn't recognised quite how scary it is! And here's why:

It seems natural to be happy and in synch, right? The good stuff is what we all want, right? A happy and fulfilled existence is what we're all searching for, right?

OK.... so get this... because as I realised just how in synch I was, how happy I am, the question I was about to ask Bea was this:

"Do you think this means that I'm about to die?"

What????? And at the same time.... Doh!!!! Because there it was. All of a sudden. Out in the open. The truth. The final frontier that has kept me "in my place" for so long. It suddenly came to light that somewhere deep in the recesses of my unconsciousness, I have had the belief, the knowing, that while there's a struggle, then I'm alive. For while I'm struggling then I'm learning and growing.

If things are good then there's no more need for struggle. And if there's no more need for struggle, then there's no more need to learn. And if there's no more need to learn - well.... then there's no more need for life. So, therefore, if I'm happy - then I die. Boom. Finito. Game over. But I don't want to die - I want to live. So in order to live, I therefore needed to struggle.

Wham bam and thank you ma'am. Gotcha you slippery little sucker!

Cos you know what? Catch myself unawares and the truth is that life, for me, is so much more satisfying now that it's finally unconditionally good and supportive. Added to that, in fact, it actually provides so many more opportunities for growth and exploration when things are going well!  Doh!!!

So that old cold belief, that old cold unconscious programme, that old cold and frozen way of being has now left me. The flame of truth has melted my unconscious chains, warmed my heart, and set me free. Thank you Bea for being my witness.

So NOW my life has begun in earnest.... and here I come with arms wide open! Yeeeeeee haaaaaaaa!!!!!

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