Well, hello there.
This actually feels pretty strange as I haven’t written a blog post in a while now.
If you have followed me for some time then you will know two things; I have taken some time out to deal with depression and anxiety, and, last year I attended an event that kicked my arse in the best way! This post is about both of those things.
Even though I had the best time at last years Self Love Summit (you can read about that here), I still almost didn’t go this year. I have been struggling with depression and anxiety and, as a result, have been pushing people away. Yes, even my tribe! What actually got me there was one of my best friends who actually flew over from Munich.
She is one of the few people that I haven’t pushed away so I really didn’t want to miss the opportunity to hang out with her. Sorry for the rest of my tribe reading this, I love you and you are all so special to me, I just get more opportunities to see you…
Anyway, less of that… I travelled down on the Friday again, this time more prepared for the early start, and met with one of my Welshies at Victoria. We headed straight to Canary Wharf to meet a couple of our goddesses for lunch and giggles. I was already starting to feel so glad that I came. Then later we went to collect our favourite German Aussie from Heathrow before heading straight to bed.
The next morning was an early start but the journey from North Greenwich was pretty easy so we arrived before 8:30 again.
She then spoke to us about what self love is for her. My key take aways were;
- Self love is not letting ourselves off the hook all the time – sometimes it is actually tough love
- I am often creating my own overwhelm – busy is not a badge of honour to wear
- “What can I do just for me?”
Mel was the perfect host throughout the rest of the day and continued to have us chanting, singing, dancing, dreaming and giving Goddess Hugs.
Next up, Sarah Aluko graced the stage to read us the poem Many, Many Women from her book Firstborn. I can’t share the poem due to copyright but I will say that it was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever heard.
Please try to check it out.
Third on stage was one of my favourites from last year, the ONE AND ONLY Suzy Ashworth. Suzy got on stage and shared two dreams with us, to sing I am the one and only on stage with Chesney Hawkes himself and to strip down to her bikini. She is a firm believer in taking action. So much so that her tagline is “FAITH + ACTION = MIRACLES” so I wasn’t really surprised when she invited us to join her on stage to sing in our undies when she had finished her talk…
My key take aways from her were;
- The feelings I am afraid of feeling are never going to kill me
- When you are prepared to feel shame, rejection and failure to honour yourself, you can do ANYTHING
- I am willing to feel lost
True to her word, she then got some of us on stage in our undies singing I am the one and only… I even joined her!
Next to the stage was another returning favourite from last year, Persia Lawson.
Persia kind of stole the show this year for me. She spoke about getting engaged and the feelings (particularly of pressure) that come with it. This obviously spoke to me on a deep level, as someone who is planning a wedding while all her Bridesmaids and family live at least 300 miles away… She also said that we place more on how the wedding looks than how the Bride and Groom feel. Something to think about there.
She said a few things that made me take immediate action. I mean that literally, I actually sent a text to my manager as she was talking. I then sent a very long message to Graeme, my fiance, later in the day.
My key take aways from Persia were;
- Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired = HALT (don’t do anything when you feel like this, as in, don’t make big decisions)
- When we are in fear, we try to control everything
- We are so focussed on achieving that we are missing the point – the process should be enjoyable
- Sop forcing serious conversations
- Let life tickle you!!
Actually, I could probably quote her word for word so I will stop there and just tell you to check her out.
She ended her talk with a room wide sing along of Two become one – The Spice Girls. If this video exists on the internet then give it a watch if you want a giggle.
Shannon Kaiser. I fangirl over this woman so much, her energy, excitement and cuddles (yes, cuddle!🥰) are almost addictive because they are that full of just pure love (love of life, love of herself and love of others).
Shannon spoke of her ‘good news buddy’ – a person who shares daily good news with her and receives Shannons daily good news. She encouraged us to get one. I’ve got mine, have you got one? Can you get one?
She gave us 5 powerful ways to discover our true selves (the heroes within);
- Self love is a dedication not a destination
- Be who you needed to be when you were younger
- When you nuture the inside the outside will flourish
- To get what you want you have to let go of what you don’t want
She told us to ‘dedicate our lives to ourselves’ which sounds obvious but actually isn’t. How many of us actually do this?
Shannon played us a song to finish (I Am Light – India Arie) and asked us to listen with our eyes closed and hands on our hearts. This was too powerful for me and I very loudly ‘ugly cried’, my body was heaving so much that two of my friends took me from the room to calm down. Sorry again, Shannon! And thank you again to the security staff at the venue that looked after me. I made a note to talk to my therapist about what came up for me during the song.
My key takeaways from Shannon were;
- Explore your self hate to find self love
- “Am I inspired by fear or by love?”
- Full surrender is the way to self love
- “We are all love and light. Everything else is an illusion.”
- “Is this joyful?”
I actually had the chance to cuddle and talk to Shannon later in the day. I apologised for crying (she said no need to be sorry), she remembered my blog from last year (which I adore as she must get so much from so many people to read) and we spoke about Newcastle. Shannon actually said she wants to visit and I nearly blurted out “come stay with me”, but didn’t at the risk of sounding like a weirdo. But, Shannon, if you read this, you are more then welcome to hit me up when you come to Newcastle. I would happily show you around.
Ben Bidwell (@thenakedprofessor) came on next. A total first having a male speaker at this predominantly female event (barring photographers, staff and one male attendee). I applaud him for taking this opportunity.
Ben started with an extremely uncomfortable minute or so of silence. Uncomfortable for everyone as we didn’t know if he had choked. There was nervous laughter and everything!
He then opened with “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” – you cannot choose what you feel as emotions are on a spectrum.
He spoke of the lost significance of the question “how are you?” and the general answers of “I am fine”. Then he tried again and answered with honesty and raw vulnerability. Wow.
He then got us all thinking of toxic masculinity and how we can help our emotionally less open men.
My key takeaways from Ben were;
- Our destiny starts with our thoughts
- Mind= Safety. Soul = Love. We need both for balance
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable!
They spoke of the pressures of living your life on social media, how to detach and what they think of Instagram removing the ‘likes’.
It was all really interesting and I am going to take on board to avoid social media on bad days and to always keep in mind that it’s a highlight reel for most people. I will continue to be true to my feelings on line.
After lunch, we danced with the sexy AF, Zoe McNulty. I took no pics as I was too busy dancing. I didn’t headbutt the chair this year, yay! But I did learn not to dance freestyle in small areas when I elbowed my friend in the back. My dancing is obviously too next level, haha!
Jessica Huie took the stage next and there were a few key takeaways from this gorgeous human so I will just list them;
- Be with your feelings
- Be your own best friend
- It is entirely possible to be a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time
- Self love is not always positive
- “Be disciplined enough to live the life you deserve”
- It’s not all down to me – allow the universe to help
Peta Kelly was after Jessica.
The key takeaways were;
- Self care is giving to yourself, self love is receiving it
- Self care is setting boundaries, self love is upholding them no matter who it ruffles
- Self care is cancelling plans, self love is not over justifying it
- Dogmatic self care rituals can keep you from self love
The last speaker was Koya Webb and what an incredible woman she is!
She guided us through a Chakra meditation, which guided us on the colours to wear/ envisage when we want to feel a certain way.
❤️ Red – Root Chakra – I am secure / grounding
🧡 Orange – Sacral Chakra – I am fierce / creativity and sexuality
💛 Yellow – Solar Plexus Chakra – I stand in my power / owning yourself
💚 Green – Heart Chakra – I am love and accepting of love
💙 Blue – Throat Chakra – I can speak my truth (side note; blue is also the colour of my aura. Coincidence? I think not)
💜 Purple – Third Eye Chakra – I can trust my intuition
💟 White – Crown Chakra – I trust my divine guidance
I realised that my intuition is actually telling me to start writing again.
Lastly was another influencer panel; Alice Liveing, Lydia Amoah, Zoe McNulty, Danielle Peazer and Lucy Mountain. They spoke about using media and the mental health effects of it/ being active while struggling.
Lucy Mountain spoke of the privilege of therapy and how it is a massive act of self love.
I can’t remember who said it, sorry!, but another thing that stuck with me is “There is no greater teacher than the one inside of you.” (Listen to your gut) How true and how beautiful??
Mel then ended the day by talking about dreams with us and encouraging us to achieve ours.
Once again, I ended the day with my goddess friends (old and new) by having dinner and giggles. Then had a very special Sunday with my bestie, Hannah, and my goddesses.
That, to me, is a weekend done right!