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, 31 October 2010

White Heat And The Stranger Within

Today I've woken up to find I'm a stranger to myself. I have the same body - the same arms, the same legs, the same face - but I'm a stranger inside. I'm a different person from the Mel I knew yesterday - today I simply don't know who I am, but that's no bad thing. You see, it's been another of those life-changing weeks... well, actually, the past few weeks have all had something pretty big happening to be fair. This one, though, well it heralds the end of another chapter and the beginning of a new route. Two major events have prompted me to reconsider where I'm at and where I'm going.

The first was earlier on in the week in Scotland. Because I saw him. Yes, him, my estranged husband. The person who prompted me to start this blog in the first place. He didn't see me, but I saw him. From a distance, but it was him. The last time I saw him was in April last year when I dropped him off at the airport. At that time I had no idea what I was dealing with, and we had parted with an embrace, a wave and a "See you at the end of the week!" Just three days later I discovered the truth, and I have neither seen or spoken with him since.

So, whilst in the town where he is still living, I was a tad nervous about bumping in to him. But I had no need to worry. Chance had decided that our paths wouldn't cross - and so I plucked up the courage to make my own luck and seek him out for myself. I knew it was just something I had to do. Something that would help to heal one more part of the pain. I had no idea how I might feel, or what reaction I might have to seeing him - so I made certain to keep my distance from the place I knew I'd find him. And there he was. I saw him.

The intensity of my response took me quite by surprise. The white flame of passion roared loudly as it coursed through my body. Starting at my solar plexus, and shooting skyward with such an extreme force it nearly knocked me off my feet. So what was this passion that so quickly overtook me from nowhere? Love? Pain? Fear? No. It was something I've never quite felt on that level before. It was fury - pure, white fury that burned right through me with the intensity and speed of a magnesium flame. The shock of it made me stand up straight and tall, catching my breath as the heat of it burned away more of the old scars that I've been holding on to. I was both rooted to the spot and also shooting up to the sky. Quite extraordinary. And that was it. That was all I had needed to do. Nothing more, nothing less. So I walked away. And, as with many other deeply emotional experiences this year, Simon was right by my side.

Which leads me nicely on to the second major event of the week - much more recent, and much more raw, this one also came from nowhere and has rocked my world with more intensity than I had expected.

Simon and I have broken off our relationship and returned to being friends - deeply connected friends, but just friends. We knew from the start that our relationship was based on a long-term friendship, and have always only committed to total honesty with each other - nothing more, nothing less. And through this honest and loving relationship, we have both grown. But the realisation came that we were not ready to continue the way we have been heading - a case of too much too soon, with far too much healing still needed. A good thing. A wise decision. The best way forward. So that, in itself, is no surprise - not really.

No, the surprise this time is the roar of conscious awakening that is coursing through my soul. It's ferocity is really quite overwhelming - and once again I can feel myself being released from yet another burden. And yet I'm sad. Very sad. But the tears I'm crying are not for the breakup of a relationship. No, they're to do with something much deeper than that - although I can't quite put my finger on it. Then again, it doesn't matter. I've learned this lesson over the past 18 months or so. Emotions are not logical - and it rarely makes any difference to trace back to their origin. In fact often that approach can be damaging. So instead I'm just letting them come and I'm breathing through them, knowing this is just another stepping stone along the pathway of my wonderfully colourful life.

I have learned this week about keeping my boundaries. About standing up for myself. About speaking up when something isn't right. And I've also learned that, despite myself, I have been pretty lax about keeping my boundaries clear. Too focused on healing the world rather than looking after myself. Too swift to brush aside small things that have upset me, rather than stand strong and face them. Too willing to believe I'm strong enough to take on the world. Because you see I'm not - and why on earth should I be? Who said I had to be super-human? Nobody else but me. And today I've realised that I don't need to be super-human, and nor do I want to be any more.

No. I am little old me. Mel Carnegie. A 45 year old mother who's already experienced a pretty extraordinary life, and who intends to continue living with passion and authenticity - whatever happens. And so that's why today I am a stranger. I'm waking up to a new identity. Reaching within myself with honesty and kindness to discover a wealth of quiet areas I can explore. Being gentle on myself, and looking after myself - because if I don't, then how in the world can I expect anybody else to do the same?

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Mel's World - Out Of The Wilderness

Flatiron from Brown's Peak Saddle - Four Peaks...
These days I'm finding it practically impossible to call back the darkness of the past 18 months. Yes, I can remember the horrors, I can recall the pain, I can bring to mind the endless sense of wading through treacle in my efforts to overcome the countless hurdles that rose up in front of me. But I can no longer make any true association with those times. I can no longer feel the experience as being anything to do with 'me'... because I've moved on so far, so deeply, so sincerely, and so completely, that those experiences are now nothing but a memory.

And although I no longer have a full sense of it - thank goodness - through it all I've certainly grown. And this time I've grown and learned properly. Once and for all. Those experiences have probably taught me more over 18 relatively short months than I've learned during my entire 45 years on this planet. And as you know, I've hardly been short of, shall we say, 'learning opportunities' along the way!

It was a few short weeks ago that I was enjoying an evening dinner filled with fun and laughter with my friends that the term "Mel's World" was coined. Peter had said, in his typically ebullient manner "Mel's World - I love it. What a great place that must be!" And you know what? He's right. Because my world now is full of love. Full of fun. Full of opportunities. And at the same time it's calm, peaceful, safe and satisfying. In more ways than I could have possibly imagined just a short time ago.

These days, it seems, I'm truly living 'in the flow' and I feel at one with the world - and with myself and also those around me. Opportunities keep presenting themselves. Key people keep appearing in my pathway - teachers, friends, business associates, and positive influencers. And I am able, with every opportunity, to make good use of what's in front of me - to the point now where my days are filled with openings, beginnings, possibilities and, most importantly, the chance to live my life as I'd always dreamed. I can live here in my beautiful French home, content in the knowledge that projects are continuing to show themselves, enabling me to use my skills and experiences for the bettering of myself and others. I can work to a timetable that suits me. I can allow myself time to relax, as well as time to focus and really get things done. I can work with people who inspire me, and in turn can work to inspire others on more levels than I'd previously been able to reach.

During my wilderness months, though, the picture couldn't have been more different. There may or may not have been more opportunities opening up for me during that time that I just didn't see - I don't know. But what I now know for certain that, whatever the case, I was in no state to receive them fully. For instead of finding the peace and calm I sought so desperately, I've come to understand that in fact I would regularly found myself flummoxed by my own repetitive self-sabotaging behaviour. Thoughts, words or deeds - all of them subconsciously ruining things despite my best conscious efforts to stay positive. This is tough to admit, and tough to write - but I am doing this for a good cause. To write honestly about what I'm learning - warts and all - in my intention to help others by sharing my own experiences.

I have been involved in many ridiculously toe-curling incidents over the past 18-months, which I can now admit to and accept. For example, I would often drink too much - and frequently end up in conflict or compromising situations that just made me feel worse about myself. I would push myself to the limits - emotionally and physically - telling myself to keep on going even when I was exhausted. I would experience moments when I was so enveloped with anger that I couldn't see a way forward. And as for the time when I snapped my cruciate ligament - well, that really was an accident just waiting to happen. I was lucky to escape with a relatively minor injury! Self-protection had gone out of the window as I stubbornly struggled to fight my demons, and to find the love I craved. But you know what made the difference? It's only now becoming clear. The one thing that made the difference was this...

After each ridiculous incident, I started learning to have greater patience with myself. I decided to imagine myself as a confused and hurt child, and reasoned that in my experience a child doesn't do "bad things"  deliberately - and neither was I. So there was no point in telling myself off any more. I reasoned that the better option would be to cast aside any judgement, and instead forgive myself for whatever misdemeanour had occurred. Unconditionally. It made sense on a logical level, but on an emotional level - boy was that a big ask! And yet... deep breaths and positive self-talk at the ready, slowly I stopped beating myself up for my ridiculous behaviour, and instead learned to love myselfthrough the event. Those "mornings after" for example, rather than berate myself for once again making a bad situation worse, I would reassure myself that "this too will pass" and slowly started to accept and live through the feelings of shame or embarrassment - without judgement or criticism. And as my acceptance grew, my self-sabotage behaviour decreased. And as I forgave myself on the inside - well, so the outside started to reflect my slowly growing sense of peace. To the point now, where regular self-sabotage is a distant memory from the past.

Because now my world and my experiences are supportive - and surprising. Not just sometimes, but constantly and consistently. Just last week, for example, I was lucky enough to find myself in the wonderful situation where I was a delegate on an inspirational training course. For the first time in years I was the one receiving the input! I was the one who was learning and being motivated! I was the one whose mind was being stretched with new ideas and new methodologies - and boy did that feel great! And you know what? That ground-breaking course came to me as if it was a gift. Out of the blue, totally unexpected, and totally right for me.

This post is for anyone who has known or who is still experiencing their own wilderness. My intention has been to explain, warts and all, that even as we may feel ourselves sinking in to despair and self-loathing, even if we find ourselves repeating the same old destructive patterns - despite our best intentions; even though we may feel we can never be good enough, whole enough or lovable enough... the journey starts from within. It is said that the darkest hour is the one before dawn.... so no matter how grim it may seem, the sun will always shine again. And as it is within, so it becomes without.

Wilderness times are not "bad times" - they're the times of growth and discovery. The opportunity to finally find out who we really are. The time to put an end to putting up or making do, and to start living life to the full. It's the invitation to love ourselves - fully and unconditionally... yes, even through those seemingly unforgivable behaviours. For these are the things that become our greatest teachers - and eventually, our best friends too. Because by taking a look at ourselves and dealing with these things honestly and without judgement, so we can free ourselves and claim the life that is truly ours to live. My wilderness has helped me to find who I am.... and I'm deeply grateful. Because, you know what? Mel's World is a blummin great place to be - and if I can come through these experiences feeling whole and complete, well then so can everyone. And I, for one, am standing right here for anyone who's going through any kind of wilderness-thinking. Keep going. Keep the faith. And one day all will suddenly make sense.

And to finish? As if by magic, here's another perfect example of the world I'm now experiencing. An automated email has just this moment come in that sums up exactly what I've just been writing. It's a regular note from Neale Donald Walsch's website, and this is what it says:

On this day of your life, Mel, I believe God wants you to know...
....that there will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That
will be the beginning.

Louis L'Amour said that, and he was right. We must let it go. All of it.  It will look as if your life is over, and that everything you have worked for has collapsed. 
Actually, its construction will have just begun.

It is so trite, I know, but I must say it anyway. I have to say it.

"For every door that closes, there is another that opens."

This is the door you have been looking for...but you could not hope to find it while you were locked behind the first one.

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