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, 26 September 2010

Perspectives - Thoughts Or Senses?

This is a subject that's fascinated me for more years than I care to remember. It's to do with the perspective from which we choose to experience living. It's also, I believe, to do with the way in which we've learned how to think about things. And I'm surely and certainly coming to the conclusion that many of the ways in which we have been guided about how to do things - how to focus, how to achieve our goals, how to create the lifestyle we'd like to have, have actually been misguided. I'll do my best to explain. 

One of my particular areas of interest, as those who have experienced any kind of coaching with me will alread
y know, is the use we make of language. How the words we habitually use to describe ourselves, or our situation, can provide the keys to what is really happening for us. Many of my clients, for example, will come to me looking for solutions to a situation they describe as something they "should" do, or "need" to change, or "have to" do something about. The fact that these restrictive, or punishing words are being used, tells me instantly that there is an internal conflict going on for that person. It's like there's a part of them that's quite literally scolding another part of them - although we're rarely actually taught about the impact of such language on ourselves and on others. When I'm working with someone, or a team, their language can quickly tell me where there's a gap - a void. How, unconsciously, they're continuing to repeat the very pattern that is bringing them the results they say they don't want. 

So I'll invite them to find other words to describe the same situation, and at the same time bring a sense of connection and power - so that they can stop the battle about what they "should" or "must" be doing, and instead move through that to find the key that can actually create the changes that have been so difficult to resolve. Because once that internal battle is dissolved, then they are free to work on whatreally counts. Until that is done, they'll continue going round in circles - and as a result will experience frustration and self beat up because they can't make any progress. It's not rocket science - it's actually very simple. And the simplicity is what, sometimes, means it's difficult for people to believe.... until they actually experience the changes when they choose a different description to explain the same situation. The situation itself doesn't change, but the way they feel about it changes completely. And this is what I mean about perspectives.

Another example - and one of my particular bugbears - is the way in which numerous positive thinking books, and motivational teachers, will encourage us to focus on what it is we want from life."Get absolutely clear on what it is you want, and just how much you want to achieve it!" they'll enthuse "Make that vision real, so you believe what it is you want!" Now, all very well meaning, and I'm certainly not dismissing the good intention here. Far from it. What I'm questioning is, from my experiences, the continued inappropriate use of words. Because surely, if we state and re-state how much we want something, well then we're never going to have it - not now, not ever. Because all we're actually focusing on is the want... the lack.... the non-havingness that we're currently experiencing. It's like those well-meaning people who say with absolute certainty "I WILL do that thing" whatever it happens to be - go to the gym, stop smoking, find the right relationship. But no matter how much energy and passion we put in to the word will, that's exactly what it remains. WILL and not IS.... because no matter how fast we may choose to run towards that goal, each time we re-confirm that we WILL have it, well that's all we can experience. The sense that some time in the future we will do or have that thing we so desire.

So how do we fall so easily in to these traps? Why doesn't something stop us - or at least raise a warning flag to alert us that, perhaps, we've taken a wrong turn? Why do we continue blindly following the"shoulds" the "wills" and the "wants" - is it purely because we've been taught that this is the correct way to achieve our goals? Or is it something else? This, for me, is the crux of the matter.

I believe that, too many times, we are taught to assess the world purely through our cognitive, thinking ability rather than through our senses. The feelings, the instincts, the soul if you like, that exists within each and every one of us. Our thoughts, it is said, create our reality. And I absolutely believe that to be true. The thing is, though, if we don't check our thoughts through our internal feeling process, then how will we know whether the thoughts we are choosing are actually achieving what it is we say we'd like to have more of or less of in our lives? How on earth can we know whether, even with all the right intentions, we're inadvertently heading down the wrong track?

I remember attending an Anthony Robbins 3-day seminar some years ago. It was an amazing experience, and one I would recommend wholeheartedly. But there was an incident on the second day when I just couldn't help chuckling to myself. He was encouraging the audience of thousands to take control of their life. To feel good about themselves. To BE who they choose to BE - and not settle for anything less. And he had everyone following a chant to remind them - The Winners Creed. This, more or less, was how it went. Mr Robbins would lead with a phrase, and the entire audience would follow it with passion. So imagine, if you will, the pumping music, the hyped up audience, and the highly effective speaker leading the chant:

"Now I am the voice!" (now I am the voice!)
"I will LEAD not follow!" (I will LEAD not follow!)

... and instantly my impish giggle started, and wouldn't stop. Here were all these people following along to exactly what was being fed to them! Now, I'm not saying that this was done on purpose, but I couldn't help but titter at the irony...!

We're taught to "go for it" to "reach out" to "seek and we shall find".... but instead of searching for something "out there" how often are we encouraged to go within ourselves instead? I was talking with a dear friend on Friday about this. He was telling me how he's got to make changes, how he's got do do certain things in order to achieve some major shifts in his life. I invited him to consider, then, what he was actually creating through those thoughts. I showed him how to go within himself and check in with his feelings - and the result was astonishing. Because it helped him to realise that all the time he thought he had to find something "out there" he was re-confirming the "fact" that his life right now was far from ideal. And all the time he's doing that... well... guess what... his life would remain exactly as it is. I reminded him of the countless stories about prisoners of war, who, regardless of their grim situations, continued to imagine themselves in a place of peace and beauty.

There's an account about one such prisoner who was a keen golfer. He used his time in solitary confinement to imagine he was on the fairway, practicing his golf swing. When he was finally released - yup, you guessed it - his ability on the golf course had increased ten-fold. The point here is, he wasn't imagining he would be on the golf course when he got out. He was imagining he was already on the golf course. He'd found the key that seems so elusive to so many of us - including those of us who avidly follow self-development and improvement teachings.

So my point is, the perspective we choose will always have a huge impact on the results we experience. As a perfect example, consider the picture above (Aude Oliver, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) which depicts two very different people. Close up, most people will see Albert Einstein. But move away from the screen, and Marilyn Monroe will take his place. Brains or beauty? Thoughts or Senses? We all have choices.... 

I, for one, believe that the most powerful choice remains in noticing the feelings that are inside us. In accepting those feelings, and nurturing the sense we would have if our lives were exactly as we would choose it to be. Because once we can achieve that, well then the rest follows. Yes, I believe our thoughts do create our reality - I have plenty proof of that from my own experiences. I also believe, from my own life experiences and from testimonials from my coaching clients, that the real trick is in acceptance of the good stuff rather than chasing things that we think are outside of us.

Have a go - it's easier than you may think!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

"Follow Your Heart" - Childhood Inspiration

Cover of the first edition of The Tale of the ...
I've just had another of those "ah-ha" moments and felt compelled to write. You see, tonight I've found an audio file of a record I used to listen to when I was a child. I've been looking for many years for this particular recording to no avail. For some reason (you know how it is!) I just managed to find it tonight, with very little effort. It's a recording of an old 45rpm record I used to have when I was a small child, Beatrix Potter's "The Tale Of The Flopsy Bunnies" read by Vivien Leigh - the link is at the end of this post for anyone who's interested.

It starts off with the Flopsy Bunnies cheerfully singing along together "We don't care, we don't care, we don't care a fig, there's a lettuce in the pantry but it isn't very big. It won't last tomorrow, I'm sorry to say, but tomorrow is another day..." and goes on to tell the tale of how the little rabbits went over to Peter Rabbit's place to ask for some cabbages, how they got in to some trouble along the way, but how they eventually escaped and got home safely to their family with plenty to eat. Many of us, I'm sure, grew up with these wonderfully innocent tales from Beatrix Potter - but it wasn't until this evening when I heard the entire track again for the first time in 35 or 40 years (!) that I realised the relevance and importance of this particular audio track.

There is one particular song that has stayed with me throughout my entire life, and I must say I have often wondered at the significance. But now I've just heard it again in sequence with the rest of the story and the accompanying songs, everything is falling in to place - and old memories have been triggered. For me, the story tells of a bunch of cheerful rabbits (children) with a bright outlook and a remarkably positive attitude to life. The crisp British accents, and the innocence of the jolly songs is, perhaps, just a quaint peep back at yesteryear... but it's something that I now know for certain put me in good stead to deal with the challenges I've faced and overcome since my own childhood. And it serves to remind me just how important it is that we teach our children well. How important early influences can be and how, if they're the right ones, they can carry us through for many many years to come.

The Flopsy Bunnies, you see, worked together and looked after each other. Together they faced and overcame the dangers of becoming made in to rabbit pie, outwitting the gardener who was intent on capturing them for his tea. All the time they kept a jolly smile on their faces, and nurtured a certainty that all would work out in the end. They'd been taught by their parents, you see, that all they needed to find food (nourishment and safety) was "a nose and a little faith" lessons they had learned by means of a song, Follow Your Heart.

When I was a little girl, it was simply the fact that I liked the tune - and, fancying myself as a bit of an actress, I'd spend hours singing the song and acting out the story to my 'audience' of dolls and teddies - and sometimes my baby sister if I could get her to sit still long enough! As an adult, the song has come to mean so much more to me. For it is something I have regularly referred back to during times of trouble. Just remembering the crisp clear voice of the singer, and the gentle tinkling music in the background, has transported me back to those times of innocence and magic, and helped me to remember that things are OK and that somehow there is always a way through - no matter what. It has reminded me that I can get through anything, that the most important thing is to believe and to listen to myself - that I am OK, that I can find a better way and that I will survive.

I can remember first listening to that record snuggled up in the arms of my Daddy - breathing in the smells of tobacco on his thick woolen jumper, and listening to the deep tones of his voice resonating through his chest as he hummed along to the tunes. As of this evening, I can now also remember singing the song to myself quietly in bed, tears streaming silently down my face after he had died. I remember singing it in my head to help create an attitude of defiance whenever the tears threatened to fall again when I went back to school. I also remember writing the lyrics in my orange covered school rough book when mum was taken ill, and again many more times after she had died. Last year, when I discovered my husband's betrayals, I would hum the tune and try to sing the words through the sobs and my desperate feelings of abandonment. And you know what? It worked.

It worked not only because each time it took me back to that sense of safety and warmth with my father, but also because the simple words actually tell a story. It worked because despite everything that happened, I have been able to keep myself open, to do exactly as the words advised all those years ago. To follow my heart, just as the song invites, and to find love and peace in a world that had on many occasions threatened to engulf me. 

Tonight, as I heard the song for the first time in decades, the tears rolled freely down my cheeks - but this time the tears were of joy and gratitude. Gratitude that I am who I am and that I am whereI am. As parents we're encouraged to teach our children well? Well, I was taught very well indeed, by very wise parents whose love still carries me to this day. And I am grateful. I just hope that I can give as much to my own son.

Follow your heart 
Just where it takes you 
And it will take you anywhere you want to go 
And if you should ever be in doubt 
Your heart will always find a simple way out 
Follow your heart 
Follow it blindly 
And it will take you on a journey to a star 
A million million miles need not be very far 
Just follow your heart 
And there you are!

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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Carpe Diem

"Seize the day" (Horace, Odes) Franç...
...which is part of the longer phrase from Horace: Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero – "Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future."  For me, this means to make the most of every opportunity that is presented. To live like there is no tomorrow. To exist in the flow of now. To be grateful for the gifts that are around us - right here, right now. Or, to quote another famous saying "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die!"

This was been brought home to me with a resounding thud this weekend, and made even stronger through a conversation I had this morning with my beautiful friend Vera. I learned at the weekend that one of her friends had been killed in a freak motorcycle accident. Less than 40 years old, married with two young children, this young man had set off on his own to ride a cross-country route he knew very well. As usual, his wife was waiting for him at the normal finish point, expecting to take him home and enjoy their customary family evening meal together. But he never returned. Concerned that time was passing, she called his friends who went out to look for him. They found him some five hours after the accident had happened - he'd fallen off and hit some rocks - and of course by then it was too late.

This morning Vera told me how yesterday she had gone to the undertakers, to find her grieving friend still sitting with the body of her husband. She was lying against his cold and lifeless shoulder - and as she saw Vera enter, she pulled herself up to greet her, but she wouldn't (couldn't?) let go of her husband, so she stayed there just rocking back and forth, and moaning with the agony of it all. The way it was described to me it seems like the most shocking and heart-breaking scene of human suffering - one which nobody should have to endure. And I know that this is just the start of it - for now this young woman will have to find a way to get on with her life, for herself and for the sake of their two young children. Although I don't know them personally, my heart bleeds for them.

And it made me think. It made me re-evaluate where I am. For yesterday, you see, was one of those not so good days for me. I'd allowed myself to become tired, and all the little niggles of everyday life had suddenly appeared much more threatening. I'd allowed myself to remember the battles that still lie ahead of me, and I found myself lured back in to the feeling of sinking in to the quicksand I'd fought so hard to escape. Those all too familiar feelings of hopelessness and fear suddenly seemed to be lurking once again, threatening to gain power and suck me in to their clutches... and I was struggling to shift them. So I decided to let them happen. To allow those unwelcome emotions to have their moment and to wash themselves through. But rather than be dragged through with them, I instead just did my best to observe them from a safe distance. I wasn't going to let them get the better of me, nor was I going to fight them. My choice was to just let them be. Give them their space, without fear or judgement, and know that they'd pass through in their own time. 

This, I believe, is what's called acceptance. Acceptance of what is, acceptance of who I am, and acceptance that some times are going to be less shiny than others. Because, surely, whatever I'm feeling (welcomed or not) this is all part of who I am. Since I'm only just finding out who I really am, well I believe this is all part of the process.

In bed, much later on, I decided to take a good look at where I've got to compared with where I was last year. So I had a read through the stories I've posted on this blog since I very first started. And I'm amazed. Amazed at the honesty with which I shared my feelings at the time. Amazed by the overwhelming pain and confusion that I endured and overcame. Heartened - and amused - by the determination of my quest for something else. My unwavering belief that things were always getting better. And also saddened in a way at how long I've fought, and how many battles I've faced. Through the stories I recognised a small yet determined girl, fiercely focused on staying strong even in the face of untold horrors and uncertainty. And I smiled.

As I've said many times in recent posts, now I'm finally finding out who I really am. Now I've finally discovered where to look for peace and contentment - and, more to the point, how to accept them. Along with the good stuff, I've learned to accept everything else that comes along with this wonderous thing called life. And OK, so yesterday wasn't one of my shiny days - but it still fulfilled life's constant promise to bring forth unexpected gifts. Because once again I grew a little bit more. I became even more of who I already am - and in turn I grew to like myself even more through the process.

So, you see, there really is no need to worry or feel down about anything anymore. Acceptance of even the 'bad' stuff is acceptance of all there is. And all there is, is everything there is. And if I were to die today, well I'd die knowing that I've lived life to the full, and to the very best of my abilities. I've grown through adversity, and I've learned to accept that there's always a way through - no matter how hard or how scary the future challenges might seem. For that is all they are - future challenges. And that's all.

Today, right here, right now, life is good. I am already living the life of my dreams - I live in a beautiful home, I have a wonderful family and the most amazing bunch of friends around me. I have food on the table, clothes on my back, and a warm place to lay my head each night. And yes, I have the biggest plans for the future - great goals to keep me inspired and on track.

But that's all those plans are - future plans. And you know what? The fact is that in a way they're already achieved. Because I ALREADY feel good - about myself and about what I'm doing.

Babatunde Olatunji, the Nigerian drummer, educator and social activist puts it this way: "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present"

So carpe diem seems an apt and fitting statement for where I am. Because NOW is the time to celebrate. NOW is the time to feel love. NOW is the time to know that life is good - and seize it with both hands, to jump in with ALL of myself. Honestly, openly, and with joy in my heart. 

You can check out this performance from Babatunde's album Drums of Passion - and FEEL the truth in his wisdom :-)


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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Sanctuary In Healing

Français : La fontaine Sainte-Geneviève entre ...
Hmmmm.... well, it's an interesting point don't you think? IS there sanctuary in healing? WHERE'S the sanctuary in healing? Sometimes this pathway to peace can be a rocky road. There are obstacles along the way - situations that arise to question even the strongest of pilgrims, together with well-meaning people who doubt the wisdom of the quest because it brings change. Those of us who choose to walk this pathway will naturally be met with resistance - and some things that used to be so real, so right, so important as a way of life suddenly become something completely different. And that's OK.

I remember one of my earliest teachers, Dr Patricia Crane, telling us how she had been surprised at the beginning of her personal journey to be urged by a famous speaker to "reconsider this pathway. Think carefully about the choices you are making. Because this is not an easy road to take - and once you've started there's no turning back". At the time I didn't fully understand the implications. But now, now that I feel I'm truly living in the way I'd always thought was possible, but didn't know how to find, I sense a deep resonance with what that wise teacher was saying. It certainly hasn't been easy to move through the multi-faceted layers of habitual emotional garbage I'd been unwittingly carrying and feeding for so many years. The challenges have been shocking, painful, and at times down right exhausting - but throughout it all I have never given up my faith that there IS a better way. I've soldiered on. Right from early childhood (as those who have followed my story will already know) I knew there was more to life than the confused and hurtful experiences that I was expected to believe were the reality of our human existence. And now I believe I've found that place - and, more importantly, how to get there. Because I also now know for a fact that for many years I'd been looking in the wrong places - so no wonder it had been so elusive! No wonder I had become so frustrated with what seemed like an on-going battle against mighty forces that appeared hell-bent on throwing obstacles in my way!

Now I've found the 'trick' to this quest, and I feel as though through the fire and brimstone I've finally found the holy grail of self-discovery. Now I accept all the good, the peace, the contentment, the joy, the love... everything I'd ever searched for... and I'm just giving myself time and space to settle in to this new way of being. And, as I settle, I am already finding that I'm more able than ever to point others in the right direction as well. Those who have asked for help over recent times, describe feeling 'calm' 'centred' 'peaceful' 'loved' and all manner of words to explain their experiences as they accept new ways of being who they really are. They look at me with surprise when I ask gently about whatever it was that was troubling them before they came to me - because the troubles have simply dissolved as a result of the work we've done together. And each time this happens, it re-confirms to me my own deep feeling of joy and completeness. Of safety, gratitude, and wonder at what life is REALLY all about.
So I'm now setting up my own sanctuary in healing right here in my home. Because that's what it already is. The natural positive energy here is abundant in every sense of the word - and it has certainly helped me to overcome my own challenges over the past 18 months. Together with my skills as a coach and healer, well, it's a natural choice isn't it?

And because I've put the intention out there, well so it is now becoming reality. Just a couple of days ago, during a phone call with my dear friend Kathy, she told me that she'd been talking about me to another friend of hers who already works in this field. They were considering alternative locations for their annual "me time" visits to places that offer peace and rejuvenation for the soul. Out of the blue Kathy had piped up "well, I have a feeling that Mel might be thinking of doing something like that" although I hadn't actually said anything to her!

In so many ways it's "already done" so now it's just up to me to accept whatever is happening to bring it in to reality. My own Sanctuary In Healing is coming in to being. Right here. Right now. Right time. Right place. And I'm ready.
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Thursday, 16 September 2010

Blip... Blip... Blip... That's Life!

The past few weeks have, as you'll know, been somewhat of a continuing revelation to me. And you know what? I'm realising that this is just the beginning. Rather than reaching completion, my true journey has just begun. For just as I think I've got it, just as I'm sure I understand, the very moment that everything makes sense to me - well, then all of a sudden "Wham!" and I'm jolted forward by another shock-wave of learning. The ride continues and I'm once again invited to accept an even greater expansion.

A relatively short while ago I may have been tempted to label these moments of growth a "bad" thing, because when they happen I find myself thrown off-balance and full of unanswerable questions. Well, OK, perhaps I wouldn't actually have described them as a "bad" thing, more perhaps as another "challenge" - by which I would mean something that's at the least annoying, in most cases scary, and in some situations terrifyingly threatening. Whatever the case, these moments of change certainly were not occasions I would look forward to - quite the opposite in fact!

But now things are different. Now I have learned to welcome their arrival. I've learned to gently move through the feelings that come with them, to accept the lessons they bring and to wait for the expanded understanding and deeper peace that always waits the other side for me. In fact I'm now so comfortable with them that I've even given them a nickname. These moments are now called "Blips", and they're helping me to expand in to the richness that is life. And boy is it happening quickly!

Blips of some sort or another are now happening regularly, at least every few days and sometimes more frequently. Sometimes they last a few moments, other times a good few hours. As I stand back from them I can imagine them as a rhythmic pulsing pattern - a throbbing heart-beat invitation from the life-force of the universe itself, pounding through me and urging me to live life to the full. Each one brings a new revelation - either a clearing of something from my past, or the forging of a new pathway that I hadn't known before. Each new revelation results in greater awareness, fuller acceptance, and deeper peace.

So what, exactly, am I talking about? I'll give you a couple of examples, perhaps it will help to explain.
The first one happened on Saturday, and lasted for quite a while. I'd just arrived in the UK, with much excitement and anticipation, as it was to be my first stay with Simon. Fairly soon though, the excitement turned in to something else much less inviting. We were sitting in his front room and I felt a wave of panic rising up through my body. My heart rate was faster, and my smile had disappeared. I knew it was a Blip happening, and on Simon's request I did my best to explain what was going on for me. Rather than being dismissive (as I had experienced from Cam and others so many times in my past) he seemed totally understanding of my peculiar description of "a bunch of atoms and wormy-things whirling about and escaping from the top of a tube!"  We left the house and went for a wander in to the town, while I continued wrestling with the curious sensation that the top of my head had been taken off, and magic popping dust particles sent whirring around my entire body. 

These are not "pleasant" sensations - they're off-putting to say the least! But as I said earlier, I've learned to accept them and look forward to the extended good feelings that always follow. A few hours later all had subsided. The wormy-things had all returned quietly to their tube, the popping dust had gone and my head was back in one piece. My heart felt bigger, my smile was coming from within, my eyes were sparkling, I felt at peace and full of joy. I'd reached an even greater level of acceptance and growth - and I felt amazing! The message? It's safe for me to accept all the good and all the good that's being offered to me - the clearing of an old childhood pattern that made me afraid to accept the good stuff, for fear it would be taken away.

Another occasion happened just last night. Very quick, very unexpected, and very profound. You may remember that I've been particularly upset at times by people not understanding where I have been in my journey? People who, as far as I was concerned, were showing indifference rather than understanding to my plight? Well, how's this for a Blip that puts all these concerns away for ever? It suddenly dawned on me that, rather than being unconcerned about my situation, there were some people who (consciously or otherwise) through their actions had been showing me "another way" rather than allowing me to totally become absorbed in to a false reality of negativity. Let me explain. 

There have been times when all I've wanted has been a cuddle or a shoulder to cry on - but on some of those occasions, people I expected would have offered those, have instead chosen to ignore my words, and in some cases go on to complain about the terrible problems they have been facing! In the past, I have sometimes chosen to take these rebuttals as a personal hurt - a swipe against me in my time of need. Last night's Blip showed me they were in fact quite the opposite. Let's see if I can explain what I think I've learned.

While we're trapped in the thought-patterns of worry and negativity, experiencing life as difficult and scary, we expect people to provide the succour we believe we need at that time. Yet by providing such support, the other person is, inadvertently, buying-in to the illusion that we are somehow suffering - and, therefore, compounding the energetic vibration behind the situation. Am I making sense so far?

On the other hand, the person who offers no such support but instead chooses to talk about unrelated things, or even decides to ask something of us instead of offering support,  is refusing to buy-in to that way of thinking. They're refusing to perceive us as down or beaten, and instead are seeing us still as the strong person who's usually there to laugh with or to help them in some way. Now then, it may be excruciatingly frustrating at the time when these things happen (I know, I've been there!) but as my Blip allowed me to realise (to see with real-eyes) last night, in fact these people are showing the way forward - if we could just understand it at the time. They're offering the opportunity to help us re-calibrate our thought forms, our 'self-talk' if you like, and inviting us to heal from the situation in which we find ourselves.

It doesn't mean, of course, that we don't still seek the normal levels of support that pull us through these times. It simply means that those annoying ones who don't seem to 'get it' are perhaps the ones who still see us as healthy, happy and whole no matter what our situation appears to be. So, for me, rather than berate those who I thought were deserting me, I can now love them and thank them for refusing to treat me as beaten. For forcing me instead to do something different.

I don't know whether I'm right or wrong with these revelations that are coming to me - and in truth, I don't really care. Because these Blips are providing me what I DO care about. And that is peace, joy and freedom from the chains that bound me for so long.

Blip Blip.... Blip Blip.... Blip Blip.... The heartbeat of the universe continues to pulse it's wisdom and love through my body, breathing life in to my finally freed soul, while I soak up the wonders of this glorious life that's longing to share it's bounty with each and every one of us. I choose life - and life, in turn, is choosing me.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

What A Journey - Or Perhaps A Pilgrimage?

English: Knight Templar

"The map is not the territory" is one of those phrases I've found to be very useful over the years - although I must confess to not totally understanding it at times! The map? Or the phrase? Well, both to be honest. For now, though, my personal take on it is this. You can trace a journey, you can plan a route - but it rarely turns out to be anything like the actual experience!

For the past few weeks, you see, I've had a grin on my face that matches the warmth I now feel in my heart, in my body and in my soul - through and through. Nourishing. Comforting. Safe, secure and happy in my own skin. That elusive 'something' I seem to have spent my whole lifetime searching for is finally mine. For keeps. No matter what happens any more.

Those who know me will vouch for the fact that I've long since dreamed of completing the Camino Trail Pilgrimage - through France and on to Spain - after being inspired years ago by Shirley Maclaine's book The Camino. Raw and honest, it charts her own pilgrimage on that very trail, and it's held a huge fascination for me ever since. The place I live in France is very close to the trail, and is filled with history, mystery and magic, for it's a place where the Templar Knights once had a strong hold. I hadn't realised this at the time we moved here, of course, but it does make some sense to me now in explaining the instant 'pull' I felt for the place that since that moment has been my home for over seven years!

Today I decided to look back over some of my earlier blogs, and it's blatantly obvious to me now that I've already completed my own personal Camino Trail right here - without even leaving my home. For the journey I've taken, the trials and challenges I've overcome along the way, have surely led me to this sense of peace that I now know was always my birthright - and I also believe to be the birthright of each and every one of us.

I used to believe that if I ever found true happiness then it was time to die - for what else could there be? Why else would we continue to live - to search, to journey - once we'd found the Holy Grail? But I was wrong. And to be fair, how on earth could I have known how it would be until I experienced it for myself? Yet in searching for it, I'm now certain I was also subconsciously holding myself back. The irony doesn't escape me.

Since that incredible Saturday afternoon at the festival, that moment when I received the gift of love, I have changed. And there's no going back. I've felt it in my soul - yes, I've chosen to fight the feeling on a few occasions since then, but no more. Peace is now my natural way of being - and it feels amazing! Since then, when I've spoken to people on the phone, or seen them face to face, my friends have all confirmed what I already knew to be true - that I've transformed. That I'm now calm. No more Tigger-like bouncing. No more manic enthusiasm. Just peace. Calm. And gentleness. Don't get me wrong, the enthusiasm has by no means diminished - no, far from it. My optimism and positivity have grown beyond my wildest dreams. It's just that now I've just somehow managed to let it all in properly - to finally be it. To accept it and allow it to nourish me - in the way that nature intended.

"You sound very different!" were some of the first words my wise friend Kathy said to me during a telephone conversation just last week. "Your voice has totally changed!" exclaimed Audrey, who normally expects me to greet her calls with bounce and energy. "You look different - kind of shiny!" was a comment from Gillian when I saw her a couple of weeks ago. And I know it to be true. I feel that I'm radiating peace and happiness now. I know that I'm finally in the place I've always wanted to be - but I don't 'want' any more - because now at last I 'have' it. Does that make sense?

The journey has been rough. I've been to the darkest recesses of my soul. I've faced my demons - emotional and physical. And yes, it's true, there have been times when I thought I'd never come through. Times when I feared I would succumb to insanity - or worse. But now I've reached this place of peace, I can look back over whatever got me here, hold my hand on my heart and give thanks to every single one of the challenges that I've met along the way. Thank each and every body-blow. Thank each time I've been knocked off my feet, winded, wounded and wailing from the pain. Because now I've found salvation. I don't wish to sound all evangelical here, but I truly do believe I've found the light. And now so many of the ancient texts make perfect sense to me - no longer just as a 'theory' or a 'story' but as an absolute truth. Because now I feel it for myself.

Now I feel cleansed. I know that nothing now can harm me. I am safe. I am secure. And I am absolutely determined to share my experiences with fellow travellers - and aid them along their own pathway in every way I possibly can. This is my life's purpose - it's taken over 45 years for me to find my own peace. Let's hope my experiences can help others to achieve their goal in a shorter time.

I've started now, and I'm absolutely poised. Ready, willing and able to do whatever is required of me - because something bigger than me now flows through my soul and is already radiating in my life. Relationships are reaching new depths - friends, family, and of course my connection with Stuart, my own Templar Knight. Brand new projects are coming my way - exciting and meaningful projects I would not have dreamed of being possible just a few short months ago. I feel very blessed. Very lucky. And everywhere I look I know I am very, very loved.

Bless you and thank you - to every single person who's accompanied me along my pilgrimage. You all know who you are, and you all have a very special place in my heart - for ever.

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