Life, Relationships, self love

Mel Wells’ Self Love Summit (aka. A dream day)

Hi! This is a long post for me, you might want to get comfy to read this and make sure you have 10 mins or so.

I am starting this blog with a little spoiler alert. One big thing that changed my life for the better was a book called The Goddess Revolution by Mel Wells. For reasons that I will explain in a future blog, this book resonated with me so much that I joined the Academy.

In my own words, the Academy is a programme that helps women to transform their relationships with themselves and their food. For more information, check out Mel’s website.

When I joined the Academy, I got 2 free tickets to the Self Love Summit and immediately invited my eldest sister to come with me. Partly to show her how I have come so far, partly for her to get some more self-love in her own life and, I am not going to lie, partly for comfort.

During the Academy live round, I joined a WhatsApp group with a bunch of women who I didn’t know so that we could lend support and hopefully make friends. I didn’t expect a lot from it but can honestly say that there has barely been a quiet hour in the group – never mind day! These beautiful, amazing, funny, soulful women very soon learned more about me than I have ever shared and became my tribe so quickly. Of course, we made arrangements to attend the Summit together.

On the weekend of the Summit, I travelled down with two Goddesses from Newcastle who I have met a couple of times before. I had fears that the journey would be awkward but it was so natural to be with them. I met my sister off the coach from Wales at Victoria and we travelled to Greenwich (where our hotel was) and had dinner with a few of the Tribe. Again, so natural, so fun and sooooo not awkward at all.

The next morning, we got up at 6 (bright and early for me on a Saturday) and got ready to go and meet the rest of the tribe (sadly, minus 2 who could not make it) and one of my favourite girls that I’ve known for a few years outside of the Academy (and in the Academy).

We arrived at the Canary Wharf location at around 8:30 and the queue of Goddesses was UNREAL. Massive well done to Sarah Little and the gang for signing us all in on time!

We took our seats, which had a scarily accurate card from Rebecca Campbells new deck on (Some people had Shannon Kaiser’s cards)

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My card from Rebecca Campbells deck

Mel arrived in style by doing an amazing dance with Zoe McNulty. Talk about powerful, sexy women!

Mel spoke first and immediately got us thinking about who we are and what we bring to the world. She spoke about how ‘you love yourself’ is said as an insult but shouldn’t be. We should all love ourselves! It’s not self-indulgent, it’s not being a big head. It is necessary.

She got us shouting about who we are. “I am Becky. I am brave. I am energetic. I am funny.” and dancing around the place. She got us giving Goddess hugs.

Goddess Hug. Verb. Like a hug but lasts much longer and the emotions go a lot deeper.

I was buzzing! Almost literally, the energy in the room was so electric that the blood was almost vibrating through my veins. If I could bottle that feeling, I would. And I would release a little of it every day.

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Mel, rocking it

Shannon Kaiser was up next. What an incredible woman! She spoke about self-love and gave 5 steps on how to do this. She said a lot of things that resonated with me. Including the following.

“How can you be happy if you don’t love yourself?”

“Be your own best friend”

“You can’t love yourself if you’re not being yourself”

“Don’t waste time with negative thoughts”

She also talked about theme songs and getting one for yourself. Picking one that spurs you on and encourages you to embrace yourself. She then played hers (Rachel Platton – stand by you) which we all sang and danced to. I chose True Colours sang by Kesha as my own.

A group of us got up on stage with Shannon and Mel, where I got to give Shannon a hug and tell her she is amazing. I also got a goddess hug from Mel and was able to thank her in person for the dream day she created and everything she has done for me. And let me tell you, that hug was the ultimate goddess hug. This woman has the ability to look right into someones eyes and make it feel like she can see your soul. The type of person I aspire to be like.

Rebecca Campbell was next on stage. She immediately commented on the energy in the room, which by this point was so powerful that I felt high! She spoke to us about the room being a group soul at that moment in time and I really felt it.

She spoke about constantly growing as souls and about intuition being the voice of the soul.

She told us to “harness the mysterious force of life” and “surrender to the feminine”.

Next, she got a group of us on stage and we did an incredible chant “Heaven. Heart. Earth. Heart.” to the sound of Warrior – Jeremy Wheatly mix by Aurora. It was one of the most mesmerizing experiences that I have ever had.

Before the next introduction, Mel spoke to us more and quoted Tony Robbins “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”, this stuck with me.

She reminded us to turn our lights back on!

Suzy Ashworth spoke next. My word, what a woman!! I’d not really heard of Suzy before but she was so compelling. She made me laugh until my belly hurt, made me think, put tears in my eyes.

She spoke about love bombing yourself (ie. showering yourself with loving comments toes to head). She gave us the priceless tip of how to escape the tunnel of self-loathing (STOP. BREATHE) and to remember how we want to be in 12 months when we do need to just stop and breathe.

Julie Montagu was after Suzy. She reminded us to take at least 10 minutes out of the day for self care. Some things that I will be doing are; Yoga, Meditation, getting outside, breathing exercises and journalling.

She said “Self care is the foundation of which everything else can be built on”. WOW! It really is that important.

She got me thinking about my importance in the world, again, what I can bring to it.

She reminded us that “We have a 1 in 400 million chance at being born- do something with it.” A piece of advice that I have already shared.

She advised to keep a journal by the bed and to write 3 things that you are grateful for every day.

We then had lunch and got some gorgeous goodies from some stalls that were there. On my way into the ladies, I saw none other than the gorgeous unicorn Megan Jayne Crabbe

Let me tell you, I fan-girled embarrassingly hard. I shouted her full name in her face. She said hello and asked where my “beautiful dress” was from. I said her full name, again. She asked again where the dress was from. I asked for a photo. She obliged and asked again where the dress was from. I finally told her and then let her leave. She must have thought I was insane! Haha.

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Fangirling

 

After lunch, we got more acquainted with Zoe McNulty from the School of strut. She was so powerfully sexy. I literally went up to her and told her that she was the sexiest woman I’d ever seen in real life. I’d love to be half as potent.

She got us dancing and owning our own sexualities with it. There were a lot of laughs because she is a funny lady but also because I got way too into the dance and head butted the chair in front. Whoops!!

Then, Persia Lawson came on like an absolute rock star with her bare feet and a Ukele and sang Jason Mraz – I’m Yours with us all. She spoke about relationships, gravitating towards the familiar, even when it is sh*t and being afraid that things might go right.

She told us about how she connected and still connects with the love of her life with music. I was in hysterics by some of the ‘smut’ she came out with, it was so spot on and relatable.

She gave us the tips; sing and dance daily, get your own theme tune and read a sonnet every day.

She spoke to us about Shakespeare being a genius by writing his sonnets in iambic pentameter which is like the sound of a heart beat and read one with us- hands on heart.

She gave us a quote to live by.

“Surrender to the festival of life and let her take you wherever she wants to go.”

She and Mel then sang Let it Be by The Beatles and had us all join in. It was magical.

Between speakers, Mel was giving us talks, getting us dancing and thinking, and leaving us with words of wisdom.

She got us writing lists of gratitude, lists of key takeaways of the day, lists of possibilities and dreams.

Up last was Megan Crabbe (who I have already introduced). She spoke about our bodies knowing what is best for us, the failings of the diet industry and the history of the ‘perfect body’.

She reminded us that hating ourselves is a learned behaviour and “We cannot take on the world when we are hungry.”

In the wrap up, Mel spoke with us about self sabotage and how we do it to keep ourselves safe in our old stories.

She helped us to write our intentions and choose what we wanted to believe about ourselves.

My intention is to continue to write my blog and share my stories and experiences in the hope of inspiring at least one other person to choose to believe that they can love themselves.

I self sabotage because I am afraid to be seen and known as that may make people reject me. But, I choose to believe that I am loveable, no matter what.

Then, we got to all mingle and meet each other and the speakers. And I was lucky enough to, once again, thank Mel in person for the day.

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After the day was over, a very emotional tribe of goddesses (me and my tribe) made our way to Soho for dinner, cocktails and making memories that are once in a lifetime.

Thank you Mel Wells, Shannon Kaiser, Rebecca Campbell, Suzy Ashworth, Julie Montagu, Zoe McNulty, Persia Lawson, Megan Jayne Crabbe, My Tribe and every other Goddess in that room for the perfect day!

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Life, mental health, self love

Some sort of ‘love’ story…

So, we are still in Magaluf. The trip that changed my life completely, in many ways.

A few weeks after what happened in my last post, I was at work selling jelly shots as normal when I met a group of squaddies. They bought most of my tray so I stayed and had some banter with them. I went back and forth to their table a couple of times that night, they were good buyers and I thought one of them was quite cute, let’s call him “Squaddie” for obvious reasons. It turns out that he thought the same about me. We chatted and flirted for a little while that night and then I went off with an extra spring in my step but thought no more of it.

A few days later, I saw Squaddie again. He was alone at a table where I worked, waiting for me. He told me that he had been in every night since and had ditched his friends to find me as they were a little sick of hanging round the same bar every night. I told him that I couldn’t talk, I had to work, so he bought my whole tray of shots so I’d talk to him. He was treating me differently to the way most men would. I fast became his “little angel”.

After work that night, we went on a sort of date. He had waited in the bar for me while I sorted out my tray and cash, he was pacing when I got back, saying he thought I’d ditched him. We got a few drinks and went for splash in the sea, we talked and laughed. He told me that I was too good for the life I was living. It was all a bit much but it was all I wanted to hear. It had been a year since my mother had passed and so much had happened in that time with exes and friends that I just felt so alone.

I was crying out for love.

After Squaddie flew home to Newcastle the next day, he found me on Facebook and begged me to buy a new phone as mine had been stolen at the beach. I did and he would phone me daily, never talking to me for less than a couple of hours. I thought that this was a bit much but rationalised it as me not being used to men being nice to me. Besides, he was going to Afghanistan soon and wanted someone waiting for him. He asked me daily if I’d write to him, I agreed that I would.

Over the next few weeks until he went, he got more and more obsessive. He didn’t like me being a shot girl anymore- because people would treat me worse than I deserved. If I didn’t answer my phone- was I with someone else? That sort of thing.

We spoke about it a little and he said it was just nerves about going away and his friends had been teasing him about me. I didn’t really take that as a warning sign, I was just happy he cared enough to be jealous.

We weren’t in a relationship yet, but I knew we would be soon. I was over the moon as I felt like he might love me one day.

I was desperate to be loved.

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Life, mental health, self love

Chasing the summer dream

It didn’t take long to prepare to spend the summer in Magaluf. I planned it all out with one of my best friends (who was going to come with me), bought a one way ticket, gave notice at work and that was pretty much it.

I didn’t give any notice with the flat as I owed so much rent at that point that I doubt I would have been welcome there much longer. I did, however, offer my furniture back to D’s parents. They took me out for a goodbye/good luck dinner and told me that they didn’t want anything back and to sell what I could for a bit more financial security.

As the end of my notice period got closer, I got more and more excited to leave. My friend and I spent so much time talking about what we would do there and how fun it would be. She would be there first- on holiday – then I would join a couple of days before she was due to fly home. Solid plan. Or so we thought.

The day came to leave and all last minute plans were made. A friend of a friend (P) was doing the same so we had it all arranged to fly together. My brother in law (B) took us to Cardiff airport, my eldest sister took my keys to hand back to the council and that was it.

On the flight, we met someone who already worked out there so asked for (and accepted) loads of tips and advice. He shared a taxi from Palma with us when we got there and told us where to find him if we needed anything. I didn’t think we would need much, if anything, as I had my plans with my friend. When I got to her hotel things started to go wrong quite quickly.

There was no room for P, and my friend really didn’t look well. P and I found a room of our own in a hotel on the strip and set out to look for somewhere to live and a job the next day. Luckily enough, we had received tips on where to ask for a cheap room so getting a place to live wasn’t hard.

I managed to get a trial in a bar that night but it didn’t work out. All that time behind the bar at the rugby club didn’t help me- I am naturally a truly terrible barmaid!

I had a night out with my girls on my second night- right after moving in to the apartment and failing my first job trial. I decided that I’d look for a job the next day with my best friend when the rest of the girls had flown home.

It did not work out that way, not at all!

It turned out that my best friend had contracted swine flu and needed to go home. I was on my own!

I didn’t really know what to do in a different country with no real friends so I did what any 19 year old would do in Magaluf. I partied, I sunbathed, I worked (selling jelly shots) and partied some more. I made friends with my flat mates. There were 2 girls and a guy already living there when P and I first moved in. The guy started to try it on with me immediately but I put it down to him being a chancer with all the ladies and laughed it off.

I was having lots of fun blocking out all the pain I’d been feeling in Wales. Or I thought I was at least.

In reality, my self esteem was getting lower and lower and the risky situations I was getting myself into were unreal and this was my first job there (the quiet, family vibe, safe one). I was disrespecting myself and my body from the get go. I didn’t realise that I had a duty of care to myself.

I won’t berate my teenage self for this now as it’s not deserved. It’s easy to go off the rails when you feel so worthless and full of pain. And besides, even the stuff that comes next made me who I am so I can’t regret or want to change it.

I love who I am.