We have so much fear about opening up and allowing others to see our humanness, because we’ve been conditioned to believe that being vulnerable is a weakness, I wonder why ‘they’ would have us believe that our superpower (vulnerability), you know the thing that creates strong connections with other human beings is a weakness 😉…
Ok look I’m not here to go down the rabbit hole of the elite, and how they want to keep us disconnected from our natural state, and how they want us to see ‘them’ as our saviours so we give up all our power…
I’m here to talk to you about the lessons I’ve learnt over the last 12 months, and how I think they can benefit you if you relate my story to your life, and look at the crossovers between the words that are coming out of me and the thoughts and experiences that are part of you.
If we always remember that we have an invisible thread connecting us all this will help us to see the eternal ‘us’ instead of the separate me and you.
So just over 12 months ago I began a deep journey of reconnecting to myself.
I had spent the last few years holding on to an identity that I had become ashamed of and I had attached so much of that identity to Dan the PT.
I’d been a PT for years and originally my reasons for wanting to become a PT were;
⦁ I’d spent a few years just going from job to job just wishing my life away and lacking confidence, but most of all purpose, I knew there was more to life than just working 40+ hours in a shitty job to pay bills and get pissed at the weekend because I was bored.
⦁ I’d been going to the gym and had always been sporty and active my whole life and that is what made me feel the most alive.
⦁ Being a naturally slim lad all my life, and then building some muscle gave me so much more confidence, and I wanted to help other people experience the benefits that I too have experienced.
⦁ I knew that I still struggled with confidence, and the only way to grow was to step out of my comfort zone and do something I loved.
⦁ I had told one of the women I worked with that I was going to apply for an apprenticeship to become a personal trainer, to which she responded “you will never make any money being a pt and if you put the hours in here you can earn good money” btw that ‘good money’ was about £1600 a month! This gave me the kick up the arse to get out of that hell hole even faster.
⦁ I had a couple of people that doubted me and a couple of ‘mates’ that would laugh at me when I told them how much I earned, this again was more fuel to the ‘i’ll show you’ fire.
⦁ I loved the feeling I got when I would help people, even if that help was being a listening ear to someone, it gave me a feeling of purpose.
Now a lot of my reasons were to either prove to others I could ‘do it’, to build my self confidence, or to help people, and that is what enabled me to open a pt studio and grow my business in 6 months from £900 a month to £5000.
But the shit hit the fan as you’ve read in other blogs and that sent me on a downward spiral of drink, drugs and instant gratification seeking.
As I started to come out the other side of that low point in my life, I began (as I think we all do) demonising that old version of me, and instead of having a little self compassion, I began judging those behaviours in others, because I was still ashamed of those parts of myself.
This lack of empathy for myself that I was projecting onto others made me go into my shell, because in my mind I had told myself that this version of me that I didn’t like, would only come out if I had mates.
This meant that I isolated myself, which come with some backlash from people that I didn’t expect which then resulted in me attaching even more weight to the belief I had created around me being ‘better off on my own’.
From January 2020 I spent my days training clients, going for long 2+ hour walks on my own listening to self development podcasts, and the little time I did spend with other humans beings were Charis and her family.
Valentines day 2020 me and Charis had booked a lovely little air bnb (courtesy of my mum) in lytham st annes, and I’d booked us lunch at the cat café in Preston.
This was our first real glimpse of living together with the added bonus of being right next to the beach, and in a lovely little seaside town.
I instantly fell in love with the place, and waking up next to Charis those few mornings and planning our days together which consisted of a gorgeous walk along the beach (even though it was freezing cold) just made me realise exactly what I wanted, and I was determined to make it a reality.
Charis was due to be started her masters degree at UCLAN (Preston uni) in september 2020, but by the end of March the world was shut down because of a deadly flu virus 😉, I’ll leave that discussion out of this blog.
Strangely enough by the start of April I had been given my 30 days notice by my landlord on my PT studio, which came as a surprise but was actually the best thing that happened to me.
This was the kick up the arse I needed to stop PT’ing, and really figure out exactly what it was I wanted to do.
So I spoke to Charis, and we decided that we would move away from Sudbury, and move up to Lytham st. Annes.
I spent the majority of April selling my gym equipment with no real clue what I was going to do for an income.
My plan a year prior to this was to be an online coach, and build my online business to a point where I could drop most, if not all of my in person clients, as my dream has always been to have locational freedom, to be able to decide at the drop of a hat that I want to go and move across the country, or the world, and not have any ties anywhere, my therapist has told me this is due to my religious upbringing which was very regimented in what I could or couldn’t do.
But the thing was, I no longer wanted to having any attachments or reminders of ‘Dan the PT’, and as much as I loved the deeper behaviour change coaching I was now doing along side my face to face pt stuff, it was still a part of me that I hadn’t healed which obviously meant I needed to discard it just like those friendships.
The start of May we had found a property, and although the world had gone crazy and people were telling us we won’t be able to move, not once did I doubt that we would be going.
See the thing with me is, if I want something I will do whatever it takes to get it, because I never want to be on my death bed and think about all the times in my life I made excuses and didn’t go after what I wanted.
I was in constant communication with the estate agents, and after paying our deposit and fees they had told us that on the 16th May, all we needed to do was drop into their office and pick up the keys.
We were moving 260 miles north of everything and everyone we’ve ever known!
Now I didn’t really have any ties to Sudbury anymore, didn’t really see any of my family much, didn’t have a business I needed to stay in Sudbury for, and there was nothing that I had to sort out, it was literally just a case of packing my clothes and driving up north.
Charis on the other hand, was living with her family and she’d just left a job and all her friends, so for her, this really was a big deal.
We packed the car and began the long but very exciting journey to start a new chapter in our lives, and with every mile closer to our new home, brought with it more and more freedom.
We were so excited getting the keys, because not only was it our first place together, but it was a brand new chapter, and the start of OUR chapter in really building a life together.
We spent the first few days sleeping on our sofa because our bed wasn’t turning up until a week later, but looking back now almost a year on, this was half the fun (as my mum would remind me) this always made me think of the question,
‘Would you want to win the lottery?’ My honest answer is no.
For me i’m not money motivated, sometimes I wish I was, but the truth is, my biggest value is growth, and the journey is far more important to me than the ‘destination’, it’s all about self exploration that is driven by a curiosity to learn who I am, which i’ve come to realise is through the journey of learning who i’m not.
One of my favourite memories is putting together a chest of drawers with Charis while we were drinking ciders on a warm summer evening, admittedly it brought back some feelings around my first relationship, and starting a new life with someone, but it was from the perspective of how far i’ve come, how sorry I am for the pain and heartache I caused because of my own ‘stuff,’ and being hit by this feeling of ‘I never ever want my stuff to hurt someone again’
Now of course we all have things we struggle with, but as soon as we have the awareness to recognise our ‘stuff’, we have to start taking responsibility to heal, and our intention behind it I believe should be, because we deserve to experience all the love in the world, and anything that makes us feel unworthy of that love is a direct invitation to love that part harder and is exactly where ‘the work’ is.
we spent the next 6 weeks or so living as if we were on holiday, and we were just excited everyday to lay on the beach, drink ciders and eat fish and chips, we’d found 2 gluten free fish and chip shops so of course it would be rude not to!
by July I kind of needed some routine back in my life and I knew it was time to again focus on self growth, I invested in a high end coachng programme at £3200 for 12 weeks, which was an amount i’d never invested in myself before, but I kind of just knew that this was going to be transformational for me,
Self growth motivated, not money motivated ;).
These 12 weeks brought up some things that were challenging for me, but being part of a group of growth oriented men, in a container that was liberating and loving, was like nothing i’d ever been a part of, and being able to share things with zero-judgement was huge for me.
At the end of the 12 weeks I came away with a handful of really close friends that I regularly keep in touch with, and would now consider some of my closest friends i’ve ever had, you know the type of friends where you don’t have to be anything or anyone other than yourself…
Now it was far more obvious to me who I am meant to be helping!
I am meant to be helping men that have had all these same feelings of unworthiness that i’ve had, and help them out of that dark hole that we all get stuck in at certain times in our lives, and be the light for them when they are ready to look up,
I know I can now be that helping hand up for them, to start creating the life they truly deserve, while we work through all those uncomfortable feelings and beliefs together.
Now I was filled with a deep sense of purpose, I set about creating a coaching programme based around my own journey and the modalities i’d learnt and used myself along the way.
I had just created my new programme and was like a kid in a candy store, the only difference was, I knew I could have it all, there was no limits!
The next morning I wrote a post about where I was 3 years ago, and where I am now, I spoke about being arrested for an allegation of attempted rape, and how I ended up in £10k worth of debt and living in my PT studio, and how investing in myself and committing to my health has got me to where I am now.
I posted this in a Facebook group for entrepeneurs and it’s got something like 17k people in there.
My post sparked a conversation with someone via messenger, he had told me he was in a similar situation, or atleast knew how I had felt back then and he was scared of going down that path and losing the life he now has.
We booked a call for a day later and he opened up about where he currently is, and how he is ready to commit to himself.
I told him I knew I could help him and we went through how it would look us working together for 12 weeks, and that the programme was £1000.
he said ‘let me speak to the mrs’
30 minutes later he messaged me saying, you know what let’s do it, i’m in, I know this is exactly what I need!’
I always remember this moment because we never knew eachother, and apart from a 30 minute call, he put all his faith into me, and was willing to invest £1000 without any real proof that this was going to be what he needed, heck he didn’t even know if I was legit or if i’d take his money and ghost him!
Since this point my business has grown, and the more I align with who I am, and share the REAL me, the more I feel alive, and get to help other amazing men that want more for their lives!
This is where it really takes off for me…
6 weeks ago I started counselling because I knew that I was still holding on to shame around religious ‘stuff’ linked to sexuality, and this I knew was impacting how I show up in my relationship, I liken it to a part of me that i’ve locked away, and I knew that having a space to sit in uncomfortable feelings and be validated would be exactly what I need to really open my heart to the world.
Since I started my blog a few years ago I have always been very open and raw about the things i’m currently going through, the reason for this is because for me it’s kind of like my therapy, it’s a way for me to be who I truly am, I don’t know what it is about writing but I find it so cathartic, and liberating, but i’ve always held this belief that my writing has to be separate from my business.
My writing (effectively the real me) has to be separate from my business, because it’s unprofessional and I need to be a certain way for people to buy into me.
This always left me feeling unfulfilled, and what i’d done was create a huge divide, again this comes back to my religious trauma that had me believe I am either GOOD or BAD.
I now no longer hold on to that belief that I have to divide parts of myself up, it just comes down to my willingness to be vulnerable, and my motivation for being vulnerable is so I can empower others to always be true to themselves, and STOP putting on different masks in order to ‘fit in’
At the end of the day not everyone will get me, and not everyone will like me, but as long as I like me, and I follow my heart, life will always be a beautiful adventure that is full of twists and turns, and amazing opportunities, and I REFUSE to be the limiting factor in experiencing ALL of life!
All those parts of me that i’ve hidden, discarded and shamed, I am now grabbing hold of, and reconnecting them, and I promise I will NEVER abandon any part of me again, i’ve done it for far too long, and I owe it to myself and those closest to me to bring all of me :).
My business and my writing are extensons of me, and are no longer separate entities that I judge and use for validation,
I am now whole and am creating from a FULL heart, and not a heart that is begging to be mended or healed through people pleasing or playing small.
“Thankyou past Dan” as I wrap my arms around him and pat him on the back.
“You done exactly what you needed to do, you done your best, i’ll take us from here”
“I’ve got us”
What i’ve learnt…
- Not everyone is meant to stay with you through every part of your life, and this does not mean that anything is wrong with you, OR them but just like day gives way to night the only permanent in life is change.
- You can’t think your way through life, you have to FEEL your way through life and this means experiencing ALL of it, the highs and the lows and everything in between.
- My worth is not attached to other peoples opinions of me, and is directly attached to my ability to love, and be loved, caveat… I am ALWAYS worthy of unconditional love.
- Vulnerability is my superpower!
- Everything I want is already inside of me I just have to shine a light in the darkness and not live in fear of what I might find.
- It’s ALL LOVE!
- I am capable of disgusting atrocities and every time I judge someone else for something I am instantly judging myself.
- We are all one!
- I am not my body or my thoughts, but the awareness behind it all.
- happiness is a shitty metric to live your life by, because it’s an emotion, emotions come and go, purpose, fulfilment and joy are far better things to go in pursuit of.
- life is NOT something that needs to look a certain way and as soon as you release attachment to how you think it should look the more you can begin enjoying this brief experience.
- Self-reflect, self-reflect, self-reflect!