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

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Orphans Make The Best Recruits

Last night I went to see (and thoroughly enjoyed) the new James Bond film, "Skyfall". Without giving away any of the plot, "orphans make the best recruits" is a line directed at Daniel Craig's 007. Delivered by the wonderful Judi Dench as M, the words struck me with such surprising force that I gasped out loud, instinctively clasping my hands to my mouth to muffle the sound. I had gone on my own, and I can tell you I felt more than a little embarrassed when people started looking my way to see what had caused the slapping sound!

I missed the next couple of minutes while I tried to make sense of what had just happened. Where did that response come from? How had those words, out of the blue, had such an impact? What did it all mean? M's statement and my questions swam round and round my brain, slowly but surely connecting with and awakening something from deep within...

Yes, as those who know me and my writing are already aware, my parents were both dead well before I reached seventeen - not still a child but not yet an adult. So it is easy to understand the immediate connection with the word 'orphan'. But it was more than that. Because suddenly, out of nowhere, I could identify with Bond's approach to his world. Now hold on a moment, I'm not saying that I'm some kind of secret agent, nor that I possess any special skills or super powers that could in any way liken me to 007. No, it's not that at all.

What it is, though, is the realisation that being an orphan has, perhaps, made me much more prepared to take on battles - for others as well as for myself. With that comes a better understanding why others, perhaps, are less willing to push as much or as far as I do. It's fair to say that I am driven - some friends might even call me obsessive. That's why I'll consistently stand up for what I believe to be right. That's why I will not stay quiet when something needs saying. That's why I strive to help others tap in to their own inner strength. Last night, though, I realised with startling clarity that up until now I had felt more shameful of my early label than I had previously acknowledged. With that came the shocking realisation that despite all my efforts, I have been holding on to that shame in some way.

I'll always remember 'the handbag scene' (as I call it) from the play "The Importance Of Being Earnest" when Lady Bracknell scathingly rebukes the title character on discovering he has no parents "To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness!"  For my sins, I of course had been far worse than just careless; not only did I lose both parents, but I was also effectively disowned by the rest of my family as a result of my determination to fight for my sister. Goodness only knows what Lady Bracknell would have made of that...!

When M's words shot out and grabbed inside me, shaking me by the scruff of the neck, I knew it was an important message. Thoughts and feelings tumbling over one another, I suddenly saw with cinematic clarity how it is that I refuse to give up. What it is that drives me to be the best I can, and to make the best of everything that comes my way. Why it is that I will fight to the death for something that I believe in.

Until last night, though, I'm pretty sure there that somewhere deep down I had been somehow trying to 'make up' for being not quite complete. Striving to create a proper family, a nurturing home, authentic relationships and loving friendships to mirror the ones I knew in my early childhood. Don't get me wrong, I am still keen to enjoy all of those things in my life - but something has changed. The past few weeks have taken their toll on me for various reasons, and I have often found myself in a pretty dark space. I always say that the darkest hour is the one before dawn, and I am fully aware that recently I have been a pretty complex and sometimes difficult companion. Tears flow easily, and I am no stranger to staring face first in to the pit of despair. It doesn't scare me - I just thought that the answers might lie somewhere in the murky depths. But I think... hmmm.... nope, I know... that I have had an unexpected epiphany thanks to a line from a Hollywood movie. Funny, eh, how these things can just sneak up on people like that?

I am no longer ashamed of my past. And, more to the point, I am actually proud of who I am and of what those experiences helped me become. Things happened, I can't change them... and now I see them as a blessing not a curse. I'm lucky to have the additional 'armour' that makes me a force to be reckoned with - it's who I am. Not who I was, or what I should or could have been... It's who I am right now.

I don't need to search out the perfect family. I don't need to prove myself. I don't have to push myself to the limits just to prove that I'm good enough. There's no going back. It's frankly no good me looking to recreate the same love and safety I felt as a child. It's a futile search and I shall never find it - those days are long gone, and I am finally ready to let them go and accept a new reality of my own making. No comparisons. No measures. No attempts to recreate. Because things are different now.

I am me. And yes, like James Bond, I had to grow up pretty darned quickly. Heck, those same experiences eventually made his character an international hero for goodness sakes! But you know what? I can't change my past, and I can't reclaim any perceived loss of childhood or innocence - and  neither should I even think about wanting to do so. Because the fact is, I am who I am, and I believe that I'm blessed with the strength and determination that is a direct result of what happened. It means that I carry on regardless, knowing that I survived the worst. Each additional shockwave has only helped me to grow. That's why I'm one of the best recruits for this life...

The difference, since yesterday, is that I am going forward as me and for me. It's ironic how regularly I encourage my clients to look ahead, to grasp the future with both hands. I have a sneaky feeling that perhaps I've been ever so slightly holding myself back and holding on to the past... Doh! Well no more. What's done is done, and I'm proud of who I am and the life I have lived until now. The past is indeed the past. It is buried and I am whole. And I am finally ready to step in to the new world.

Mel Carnegie reporting for service - bring it on!


  1. This is brilliant! Thank you! I had the same experience: missed the next few minutes as I racked my brain around that line by M. Being an orphan of sorts myself, after the movie I entered M's words as a google search and lo and behold, here are expressed many of the same feelings I have.

  2. Dear Michael - thank you very much for your comment. Great to 'meet' someone who had the same reaction! It's funny, so often these 'boom' moments happen out of the blue and in the most unexpected places. I'm very glad that my words resonated with your experiences. Thank you for letting me know, much appreciated :-)

  3. This is a very remarkable review for the best scene in "Skyfall". These dialogue also made me interested because Orphans are tend to cling something for example Bond was dedicated himself to his mission, task.

    Maybe it was all about the way of Judi Dench's saying.

  4. Frank views and expressed with dignity. When I watched the movie.I too had similar feelings (having grown up as an Orphan) and did an introspection. The introspection helped me to strenghten my belief about my strengths. - Jude Peter, India

  5. Thank you Jude Peter - I'm glad you're believing in your strengths :-)

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  7. While watching the movie Skyfall, that line ”Orphans often make the best recruits” really resonated in me.
    I think this line really expresses what orphans have to face to overcome life’s difficulties through an incredible resilience: that extra determination, that extra strength, that extra armor, that extra courage, that extra will to push hard and go over the top, that extra will to never give up and all these give us a special skill or super power that makes us so special and different from other people.
    Thomas, France