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

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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  1. I don't see the link -- do you still have it? I would love to find this, as I sing Follow Your Heart to my kids as a lullaby.

    1. Hi Melanie - thanks for your comment… and yes, you can find the whole story on Spotify. Just type in Tale of The Flopsy Bunnies and you'll find everything there :-) I hope it helps! With love Mel xxx

    2. Sums up beautifully the simple power of this song. The words of the last four lines always struck me as a child..... and remain moving now!

  2. Having found myself singing my childhood favourite 'tomorrow is another day', I was inspired to look for a recording. Thanks to you, Mel, I now have it and can introduce a new generation of young family members to it - though they won't have the memory of the red 45rpm record to go with it.

    1. Hi Liz - and a huge 'wooo hooo!' to a fellow Flopsy Bunnies fan :-) :-) m so glad this helped you find the link you were looking for... I literally whooped around the kitchen when I found it myself!! Such precious childhood memories to cherish and share. Thank you for your message Liz, made me grin from ear to ear ❤️❤️❤️

  3. I was taking down my Christmas cards and I stopped to look at one card from my dad which had the three wise men on it. The inscription on it was "follow the star". The tune you are talking about suddenly came into my head, with the lyrics changed from "heart" to "star", but enough of the other lyrics came along at the same time for me to do a google search on them and Voila! Here I am 5 years after you wrote this post. I remember a lot of other tunes from this album as well. "If I catch you you will die, then you'll be rabbit pie", "underneath the old puss cat", "A happy family, yes a happy family", "why do I do it, what is the cure". They've all come hopping around from their burrow after a long hibernation. Thanks for posting this. I hope things are going well for you and 2016 will be full of joy

  4. Thank you so much for your comment, made me smile :-) Goodness, has it really been five years? Wow... How my life has changed since then! Thank you, I'm absolutely full of joy in so many ways these days. This blog was my journey through from devastation, through survival and in to thriving. Seems so long ago, and yet so close at the same time?
    Wishing you equal joy and happiness for 2016 my friend and fellow-Flopsy-fan!
    If you're interested to know what I'm up to now, this is my life's purpose, found as a result of those times www.denalightup.com
    With love to you and yours
    Mel x ❤️