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

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 :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wp1PKuqwPk 


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