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

Monday, 9 April 2018

Calling out BOLLOCKS: "Women are perfectly capable of defending themselves, so why play victim to abuse?"


This, believe it or not, was the BOLLOCKS I faced during a lunchtime conversation this weekend. The comment (and more) came from an otherwise intelligent, kind and caring man in his fifties, married for thirty years to a wife who had been sexually abused as a child, and who himself had been adopted. 

Referring to a recent survey that reported over 80% of women have been sexually harassed or assaulted, he became more and more agitated and upset. Repeating time after time that "women are women, men are men, it's natural to have an attraction isn't it? Surely this is life!" he demonstrated his argument by lightly touching me on the shoulder and asking, "so now even a greeting among friends could be counted as assault?"

I truly believe that this man meant no harm in what he was saying, and that he was actually trying to understand. Emotions were running high - and a large quantity of wine had also been flowing freely in his direction. With intimate experience of the aftermath of sexual abuse, I was certain he would never belittle the damage it creates! So the way I chose to take his words, rightly or wrongly, was this: 

He knows for a fact that these horrors happen. 
Perhaps he couldn't bring himself to comprehend the enormity of the problem. 
And perhaps rather than go there, instead it was easier to assume that women (and men) are perfectly capable of defending themselves... and that therefore many of the abuse claims must be nonsense. 
Labelling the whole thing as another big brother government attempt at control and separation, and bewailing the growing fears that are being encouraged between men and women. 

Ignoring much of his less concrete and wine-fuelled arguments, I told him calmly that I had experienced abuse, without specifying any details. This came directly after his observation that he sees me as a strong, grounded, intelligent and independent women. The immediate silence was deafening, and we agreed to revisit the whole subject - including how my work helps women and men to overcome these kind of experiences - at another time.

Still, for me, even years after I have freed myself from my own prison, his words irritated me. From somewhere deep within I remembered again the helplessness and exasperation I felt at that time, trying to explain the inexplicable, even to trusted friends who loved and cared for me. Questions like "did he hit you? Did he threaten you?" and all kinds of other enquiries that stemmed from the well meaning innocence of ignorance, simply resulted in triggering my shame and self-doubt.

No, it wasn't easy to speak about what happened. It was soul-shattering to realise and accept that the strong person I believed myself to be had become a victim of systematic abuse. My own healing took years of hard work to overcome - and still to this day, as shown this weekend, even innocent words can sting. Today though, I know who I am and I understand what happened. So it was only a little prick (no pun intended). Nothing more. And my work today helps others to understand and free themselves so much more quickly than I did myself!  This is why my work has become my life's mission.

This is also why I am 100% in favour of the #metoo movement, and every other body that supports men, women and children to speak out, stand up and reclaim their peace. I am constantly horrified at the continued ignorance (at best) and refusal to accept ("it's not my business" an often quoted excuse) or (at worst) the deliberate ploys to belittle and silence those who've experienced abuse at any level. 

It doesn't matter whether we have physical scars or bruises to show for what happened. It doesn't matter that we may not be able to put into words exactly how we came to be in the situations we found ourselves - and frankly, why should it be deemed necessary to justify pain? Hurt is hurt. Bullying is bullying. Abuse is abuse. End of. And the more people who are speaking out, each with their own unique voice, the more others will finally be able to hear. Then more people can start to accept the facts, even without experiencing the horrors themselves. And then we can all do something to change it. 

Years ago, when I was doing my best to make sense of my own situation, I came to the conclusion that it is our kindness and compassion - coupled with the BOLLOCKS misguided teachings that encourage us to aways put others first, to put our feelings aside and understand the other person better, to walk a mile in their shoes before making judgement - that unwittingly allow manipulators to live, breathe and thrive among us. Here's an excerpt from the blog I wrote as a result, entitled "Pain, Shame and the Winning Game - a Shark's Tale", published in August 2010:

It's these very same attitudes of optimism, self-exploration and personal responsibility that made people perfect bait for the coldest most ruthless of sharks. Sharks who sneer at the pain of another and who thrive on confusion as they deliberately muddy the waters to disorientate their target even more. Pain and shame is what allows these sharks to win - and that's all they want to do. It's the only thing they know how to do. Anything else they pretend to be, is just that. Pretence. But for the rest of us, the 96% of the population who have a code of ethics, an emotional response, a conscience, we simply cannot comprehend that this kind of creature can exist among us. It simply will not sit in our frame of reference - even once pointed out. For even once the truth is laid bare, we will still struggle to come to terms with the fact that the person we thought of as being like this or like that is actually no more than a hollow shell. Automatically we will still revert back to our own feelings of guilt for some imaginary support we failed to provide. And that's what can make recovery such a slow and painful process.

Now is the time to listen to what's happening inside. It's time for us to go within, to reclaim our own light first - and then shine brightly so others can do the same. I believe we are rising. Men, women and children. I believe our collective cries of "what the f**k!" are gathering volume, pace and power. The times they are a-changing. Our voices may be small. For now we may be few. And yet, just like David and Goliath, the bullying giants are finally starting to fall. 

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Calling out BOLLOCKS

Oh my goodness me, and oh my goodness me again!!!! What a load of old nonsense there is 'out there'... what a crock of poppycock and twaddle we have been taught to believe... what a bag of balderdash... in short, BOLLOCKS!

Now, those of you who know me can vouch for the fact that I'm prone to be outspoken with my opinions - particularly when faced with by ridiculousness or injustice. I spent so many years trying to fit in, to be the good girl, to be what I thought people wanted me to be, just so I could be accepted. And in doing so, I darned nearly lost myself.

These days I spend my life sharing what I've learned from bitter experience, so that others can also be freed from the bollocks that keeps us small, or believing that we're not good enough. What a load of rubbish that is! We are all magnificent, limitless beings. So let's stop squashing ourselves in an attempt to fit into a reality that simply doesn't serve us.

One of the BOLLOCKS subjects that really gets my goat, is this misguided belief that in order to be a loving person, we are required to be gentle, sweet and nice all the time. A couple of days ago I felt compelled to join in a conversation that was discussing just that. And to my surprise, my comment has been shared across Facebook! Over the next few posts I'll be sharing more of my myth-busting soap-box worthy opinions on life. For right now though, here's my take on 'love and light' that seems to have struck a chord with others:

"True 'love and light' is far from the fluffy wafty bollocks that many believe it to be. On the contrary. It's laser sharp. Determined in its passion to grow and shine... and rights in ensuring pure true love in our life - nothing else cuts the mustard.

No excuses. No sugar coating. Love and light. Simples.

This is what causes the darkness to tremble. This is what causes it to pull grotesque faces, to postulate and to shout. It is afraid that we're waking up to its lies.

Because for too long we've been told that being loving means being passive and weak. Now we're seeing things in other ways, and recognising love as a powerful strength and truth that throws light into every corner and banishes darkness...

'When the sun's at its highest the shadows show most clear'... that seems to me a pretty true reflection of what's happening now. I believe our light is collectively rising. And I'm in. Bring it on"

Oh, and by the way - I loved the acronym that makes up the word BOLLOCKS so much that I applied to get it trademarked. To my utter astonishment it was accepted. Hilarious! So put that in your pipe and smoke it, I've started now ;-) 

Chicken Shit for the Soul - an Absurd Awakening

To give some background to this post, it is intended as the prologue to my next book, which will explain my full journey since "I'm Still Standing" was published back in December 2012. I've decided to share it here now as my first post in a long time, to set the scene for further insights, stories and discoveries that have happened since then. Rollercoaster? Oh yes, you could say that... and more! Worth it? Oh yes yes yes yes yes, with whistles bells and knobs on! So... without further ado... my first post in a long long time ;-) 

Lying in my darkened hospital bed, a flurry of night staff rustling and shuffling their way through the corridors, I remain wired up to machines that pump me full of post-surgery drugs, my shattered right shoulder now held together with an array of freshly inserted ironmongery. Out of nowhere I suddenly start giggling to myself. The giggles that are bubbling up from deep within quickly turn into snortles that threaten to become uncontrollable. 

This in itself is not unusual. I have a tendency to do that - to find the absurd in traumatic situations. It's a survival technique for me, fine-tuned over 45 years of practical and very personal experience. Whilst it's become second nature to me now, I've learned that these somewhat inappropriate outbursts can shock people around me, which is why I stifled the giggling as best I could. No point disturbing the silent healing of other patients occupying the other beds. And certainly no point in attracting the attention of the night nurse. How on earth would I be able to explain myself? So I stuffed down the spluttering giggles, and satisfied myself instead with a stupid grin.

It was the beginning of December 2017. I had dislocated and broken my shoulder a few days earlier in a ridiculous accident. Aren't they usually that way? Ridiculous I mean. 
Accidents. One split second of bad timing, misjudgment, over confidence. And bang! It's happened. Ridiculous. 
Mine has been particularly ridiculous.  Caused by creeping quietly back to the main house after a lovely evening of (relatively) well-behaved singing, chatting and tomfoolery in the summerhouse with my newly re-discovered childhood friend... I say relatively, because whilst it was already past midnight, we'd actually stopped drinking wine a short time earlier. Plenty of previous evenings had seen us carrying on in to the wee small hours and beyond, such was the excitement about rekindling our friendship and catching up on the four decades that had passed since we'd last seen each other! Anyway, so there we both were, stealthily tip-toeing back across the garden towards the main house so we wouldn't wake the rest of the family, when I slipped on the wet grass, lost my balance on the tiny incline around the house, and smashed straight in to the outside wall. My friend smashed straight on top of me. He's always had an uncanny knack of somehow finding soft landings, no matter what life threw at him. This time it was me.

I didn't hear the crunch. I didn't feel the pain. I didn't know what had hit me, or who had hit what as I was squashed awkwardly between the wall and my friend. I do vividly remember (ridiculously) that my main concern was to not make a fuss. Not to draw attention to myself. Not complaining. And certainly not causing a disturbance that could have woken the rest of the household! I can assure you that all of those misguided intentions shot straight out of the window once an ambulance was called and the shock kicked in - hollering like a banshee and crying like a baby, my pain and excruciating shame exaggerated by the inquisitive audience that had gathered. Body shivering and teeth chattering wildly as I wailed, largely incoherently, for "anything, anything to just make it all go away!"

So how come then, some ten days later, after major surgery and the grim prognosis that I would never again have full upper body mobility, was I now giggling like a toddler?

I'd been replaying the accident, and remembering the fact that my friend had chickens in his garden. Fat, plump, well-fed birds that produced the most deliciously tasty golden yellow eggs. Plump, oversized, contented birds... who therefore produced equally plump oversized waste deposits. Particularly near the house, where they would gather expectantly each morning, waiting for the daily offering of tasty morsels.

"Chicken shit!" the ridiculous thought had announced itself. "I bloody slipped on chicken shit! And thanks to the surgery, I've also been right royally screwed!"

Chuckling at the absurdity, I gently settled in to the calm certainty that this was the heralding for a deeper awakening of my ever curious soul...