Today is Thursday 23rd April 2013. I am relaxing with a cup of coffee at Limoges airport in France, sipping a café crème while I wait for my plane to arrive. I'm feeling excited about the coming two weeks in the UK, and am also taking this opportunity to give myself a big smile and a massive pat on the back. It’s only now, looking back with clear vision, that I can begin to fully comprehend exactly what I’ve achieved over the past few years – and I am filled with pride and love for myself. Does that sound boastful? Well, perhaps taken as a stand-alone statement I suppose it could indeed appear a little as though I’m blowing my own trumpet – although I still maintain there’s actually nothing wrong in that… but I digress. The recognition of exactly who I am and where I am, for me, feels like a huge release. A sense of lightness. Of freedom. And of peace. Because not so long ago it was a very different story…
Four years ago to this day I was also at an airport. It was Angouleme airport, and I was there with my son. It was the day after the evening when I had uncovered all the sordid, sickening details of the life my husband had been leading behind my back. The night before I had finally fallen in to bed, exhausted, sobbed out and totally empty (apart from the good few slugs of brandy I had downed). The next morning, four years ago today, I faced the toughest challenge that has ever been put in front of me. Because I knew I had to tell my son Dylan what had happened. That everything we knew had suddenly changed beyond comprehension... and I knew it would break his heart. It was beyond excruciating, because I already knew the pain that my words were about to cause the most precious person in my life. To this day I remember his innocent little face crumpling in agony as the dreadful truth sank in… heaven forbid that I ever have to witness anything like that ever again.
Four years ago, we were clinging to each other at the airport, broken hearted and numb with shock, glad to be flying to be with people who love us (Dylan was going to stay with his father, and me with my sister) and at the same time facing a terrifyingly uncertain future.
To be honest, looking back over those early days and weeks, I really don’t know how I got through – well actually, yes, of course I do… but I sometimes wonder, had I known in the early days just how long the war was going to be, and how much tougher the battles would become as time marched on, well... perhaps I might not have continued with quite such determined force. But I didn't know, and I did battle on - and thank goodness for that. Because now life couldn't be more different...
Now… Aaahhhh.... NOW…. Well, I can honestly look back over it all and feel glad and proud. Glad that it’s over, and proud at what I’ve achieved in a remarkably short period of time. Because today I am sitting here full of wonderment and excitement – about today and about the future. Today I am prepared for a two-week trip to the UK that promises to produce yet more opportunities and adventures – and Dylan is at university in Bordeaux successfully finishing his end of first year exams. Incredible! We spoke on the phone last night, both of us remembering the road we'd travelled - how far we'd journeyed and where we'd got to....
Things have of course become steadily better... and since the end of last year, my life has taken extraordinary leaps forward, in just about every way conceivable - and the hits keep on coming! I have published my first book; I am surrounded by an amazing team of people - both personally and professionally; I am contracted to appear in a movie along side such self-development luminaries as Brian Tracy and Don Miguel Ruiz; oh, and I am also just about to launch an ‘inside-out’ training programme that is destined to have a major impact in the way we do things, both in the corporate world and in ‘Life plc’… Talk about feeling fizzly - this is more of a full-blown supernova! (Wikipedia's description: "a star that suddenly increases greatly in brightness because of a catastrophic explosion that ejects most of its mass" - ha, well I couldn't have put it better myself, perhaps apart from changing 'mass' to 'mess'!)
So how have all these shifts come about? Well, even while I was still fighting my battles and claiming my victories, even while I was still exhausted and wondering where I'd find my next burst of energy, I heard it said by a few people that “you are so strong, you always pick yourself up, it’s just who you are …” and on many occasions I felt somewhat peeved. Didn’t people realize just how bloody hard I’d worked to get through challenge after challenge - not just now but in my early years? Couldn’t they see that it’s not simply a question of “it’s alright for you…” it's so much more than that? Couldn't they jolly well see that I've been in training over many years to be able to get through this particular nightmare for goodness sake? And then all of a sudden it dawned on me that perhaps they couldn't see that at all... and I went quiet.
And then I got to thinking. … Hmmmm…. OK, yes, I am strong and yes I always pick myself up - but was that nature, nurture or something else? Round and round the questions went while I explored reasons and theories (as many of my closest friends will witness!) until I became absolutely certain beyond any doubt that in actual fact there is nothing ‘special’ about me at all…. By which I mean no more ‘special’ than anyone else here on this planet.
Because I came to understand that in actual fact, over the years I had been learning, checking and fine-tuning a set of skills that got me through the shifting sands of my experiences - so yes, it was indeed "just who I was" but I had become that way through a set of testing situations. I had learned how to be flexible. I had learned about responsibility. I had learned to ask the questions and not take 'no' for an answer. And above all, I learned about courage. I honestly believe looking back, that it was only once I'd successfully fought (and won) so many battles, that I knew I finally had the courage to go within and do the real work. To find out and connect with who I really am - because it was then that I finally 'got it'...
I remember when it happened, because I wrote about it here in this blog. It was June 2010 and I remember feeling terrified as I came to understand that this sense of 'no way back' was upon me...! I also remember that once I actually 'got there' and found myself - well, there was really nothing at all to be frightened of - quite the opposite in actual fact. Because from there, things really started shifting and getting better. And as I got to understand what had happened on a 'soul' level, I began to realise that being so previously 'disconnected' with myself had caused me no end of difficulties.
As I began to truly grasp the meaning of this, I started to understand that this is something that we all do in some way shape or form. And I became fascinated with the idea that perhaps I could find a way to guide others to do what I had done and clear whatever obstacles or challenges they were facing... eventually I succeeded, and it worked. Each time I felt the compulsion to 'go for it' in coaching sessions, I just seemed to be able to hit the spot - no matter the person or the situation. People would call what I did 'Mel magic' and I really did begin to wonder (and worry!) whether it was something that perhaps only I could do because of the trials I'd faced and overcome?
To my absolute delight, in recent weeks I have come to absolutely know beyond any question, that the technique I have developed can be trained and repeated by other people. Simply put, it is a process that guides people to 'light up' from within, and by doing so create the life of their dreams. This methodology has recently become a brand. And this brand has become a product that (together with the fabulous people who have gathered together to create the key team) I'm now ready and able to launch to the corporate market as well as to "Life plc".
Very soon there will be a website and more to explain exactly what this programme is and how it is going to work. Until then, just ponder this... if I can deal with all the stuff life has dealt, and successfully turn my life around in the way I have... and if the techniques I used are now transferable through a specific training methodology... and if the approach for this training methodology can also be adapted to fit not just the corporate world, but also schools, parents, teachers, groups - people just like you and me - just begin to imagine now what this could bring to others... and ultimately to the world we live in... Are you feeling fizzly yet...?
What a difference four years makes eh? Thank you :-)