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

Monday, 29 November 2010

All Change - Or Is It?

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 08:  Members of the Qu...
Call me a victim of media manipulation, a saddo, one of those weak willed women enticed in to Cowell's Coven, but I love so many things about the X-Factor that I refuse to boycott it - even though, yes, it's become a farce in so many ways. And one of the reasons why I love it is hammered home to me as I watch and re-watch Matt Cardle's haunting rendition of Roberta Flack's classic song "The First Time". This, remember, is a song written for a woman. The pitch is specifically chosen to suit a female voice. The words are crafted to describe the singer's feelings in relation to a man. So, to all intents and purposes, it would appear that this classic song occupied a very special and very unmovable place in music. Until now. Until talented male contestant Matt Cardle came along and showed the 13 million-plus viewing audience that, actually, there was another way. That the song could be a different shape and occupy a very different place. That it had the power to reach and move a wider audience than the original composer could ever possibly have imagined. This is the kind of thing that gives me goosebumps! This, surely, is what life's about! Because this is growth. This is expansion. This is the very thing that many people often refer to as 'change'....

Change, though, is a word that I now choose to avoid as much as possible. Because for me, I'd prefer to give a different sense to this very natural process of life. I now consciously refer to change as an opportunity to explore more of what already is. An invitation to push through imagined limitations. To seek new grounds. And to find the courage to embrace and accept all of it in its entirety.

Change, you see, is a word that frightens so many people. No matter which way you look at it, the word implies failure, because it means that something is wrong, was wrong or is going to be wrong. Think about it. Why else would anyone be asking us to change anything? Because something isn't right! Is it any wonder, therefore, that people shy away when invited to make a change?

How many times have I heard board directors boast about "a new change initiative! Something that's really going to make things different around here!" And then they wonder why people back away from it at the first opportunity, instead of jumping up and embracing it with both hands - eager to make the changes happen for themselves? People don't like change - and for those of us who have been through any period of personal change, we know that it's painful. Yes, even though we might feel stronger or wiser as a result, the process can be quite simply horrid. So when bosses tell their teams that things are going to change, there's the potential of a double-whammy negative response from the very people they'd hoped to inspire! There's the sense that, by definition, they're currently doing something wrong; and for those who've experienced any personal change, there's the absolute certainty that this is going to hurt!

Imagine the different response leaders could probably expect from their teams if, when they have ideas about how things can improve, rather than announcing these ideas as "a new initiative" or"new ideas for change" they instead chose to refer to them as "exploring the power we already have within us as a team!"  The chance to "shine" and to "do more of the good stuff" to "nurture what we're already doing well, find any cobwebs that might be clogging the system, and define how we're going to move forward from here?"

In my experience, people respond much better to praise and encouragement than to any expectation of change. I can be a funny creature when it comes to language, as those who know me will testify. For it's the everyday words people use that give me an insight as to where they're at in terms of living the life they say they choose - and the progress that can be made just through shifting a couple of specific words can be astounding!

So I know the effect that well thought through phrases can have in the workplace. I've seen a coaching client finally find the strength to voice his opinions about a project that was going disastrously wrong - simply by changing his every-day language from third person to first person. He had been continually referring to himself as "you" and, therefore, giving away his power. By helping this man to shift his language, he re-connected with his self-belief, and found the courage to speak out. As a result of his actions, the company reversed some bad business decisions and brought the project back on track. The result? Massive cost savings, and respect and recognition for my client.

People don't like change. People do like growth and encouragement. They do like the idea they can do something to become more or do more with their life. And, in the main, people also like watching other people develop - hence the clever concept behind X-Factor and so many other real-life TV competitions. How many times have we heard comments on these programmes: "he's really developed" "she's come out of herself over the past two weeks" "I was feeling frightened at first, now I'm much more confident!" These are all observations that prove a change has happened - where people have achieved and become more than they might previously have thought possible. And these people go through this process in front of millions of viewers. Viewers who, on the whole, feel equally inspired, connected and delighted by the progress of a contestant who was, after all, just an ordinary person before the show. So... change can happen in front of our eyes, and we can feel lifted by the feel-good factor during the process.

If the original headline invitation, however, was to apply for a programme that required you to make changes, would they have attracted the huge numbers of applicants needed for the show? I think not. So, please let's stop parading 'change' as a good thing, or something to which we should aspire. Change is merely a vehicle - it's certainly not a destination, and it's far from being a motivator! It's all about re-adjusting perspectives, that's all...

Speaking of which, I heard a wonderful story the other day. It concerns a little girl in an art class at school. The teacher came over to her and asked her what she was painting. "I'm painting a picture of God!" replied the child. The teacher looked surprised "But nobody knows what God looks like!"she exclaimed. The little girl carried on painting, and simply smiled "Well, they will once I've finished my picture!"
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