5 Steps To Change Your Life

First thing I want to say is, change is hard.

Wow what a revelation I know, but I used to be one of those personal trainers, AND humans that would believe that the reason people don’t change when they say they want to, is because they don’t want it enough.

I know, I’m sorry, but if you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know that I like to be open and honest about my shortcomings, and that belief was definitely one of them!

I want to take you back a few short years ago when I was living in my gym, and using drink, coke and sex as a form of escapism from my painful reality.

I started my blog as my form of therapy as I didn’t want any advice (which is usually what we’re wired to give as humans when someone comes to us with their pain, because we can’t sit with our own pain, so we avoid and try to ‘fix’ other peoples), I just wanted to express and ‘let it out’ as it was too much for me to keep it all in.

A few months after I had been blogging about my struggles and my thoughts and feelings regarding my pain and my desire to ‘be happy,’ I remember being on a night out. I was of course still coked up and pissed,

I had an excuse right?!

And one girl in the pub beer garden said to me ‘oh you’re the guy that writes and posts all the quotes’ I actually remember being surprised that someone I didn’t know, knew me because of what I write about.

It felt great, it validated me, it made me feel like a someone and I wanted more of it!

Each week when I would sit down and write my blog I was excited for the comments and messages of validation that I would get,

I even had someone who I hadn’t seen in a few years stop me walking in to the petrol station and say how much they love my writing,

The validation kept pouring in!

Eventually I became so unhappy with my current situation, that all the validation and the nights of debauchery were no longer giving me what they used to.

It was in that moment that I became aware of the fact that I had created an identity so I could gain acceptance and love.

I had created an identity of a man who is in touch with his emotions and is really trying to get out of a dark place.

But the truth was, I didn’t want to change my life up until that point, because I was actually getting the love and acceptance I have always craved.

Surprisingly or unsurprisingly to some of you, that love and acceptance never really penetrated the wall around my heart I’d built up, which is why after a while that too was not enough.

As much as I was saying I wanted to change, the fear was that what if I change and improve my life and people no longer relate to me, or accept me, or even worse what if they don’t love me.

This was when I stopped blogging for a year or so.

I knew that my intentions behind blogging were exactly what were keeping me stuck, and I needed to find a way to let that identity go, and dive deep inside myself so I could understand who I really was.

See, sometimes we say we want to change, but the reason why we don’t is because the thing that is keeping us stuck where we currently are, is the thing that is giving us the ‘love’ we don’t feel worthy of from others.

The first step to change is cultivating the awareness to recognise that your vice (drinking, smoking, overeating, sex, masturbation) is actually serving you, and you have only adopted that as a way to ‘get through another day’

Gratitude is what is needed here, (that might be hard to embody if you have spent a lot of time hating yourself when you drink, smoke overeat do drugs etc etc so I would highly advise working with a Life Coach to help you see new perspectives, so you can show yourself the love and compassion you need to change) gratitude for the fact that you found something that helped you day to day.

The second step is to create a vision of how you DO want your life to be, that HAS to be a really powerful emotive vision that encapsulates all the feelings you want to feel each day,

Something like;

“I want to support people in letting go of all their disempowering beliefs they have about themselves, so they can really allow themselves to be loved by another instead of always pushing it away.

The reason I want to do this, is because I have spent too many years hurting myself, and others, because of the fact that I didn’t feel worthy of love.

I will feel really proud of myself everyday, when I wake up and see new opportunities to help others, instead of playing small in life.”

That was what inspired me enough to financially invest in a program to become a coach.

Slowly but surely my behaviours changed, I no longer wanted to go out every weekend and get off my head, I had a bigger purpose for my life!

The more invested in becoming a Life Coach I was, the easier it became to let the old behaviours that were no longer serving me fall away.

It wasn’t coming from a place of ‘I need to change and I need to stop doing x,y,z’ because as we all know that motivation for change never lasts.

You have to dig deep enough, and look at what those unhealthy behaviours are actually giving you, and then find a way to start giving those things to yourself, in a healthy way.

So if you’re;

In a relationship where you are unhappy and anxious everyday, then ask yourself ‘what is this relationship giving me that I could start giving myself?’

Overeating and deeply insecure about your body, then ask yourself ‘what is being overweight giving me that I could start giving myself?’

In a job you hate and feel unappreciated in, ask yourself ‘what is this job giving me that I could start giving myself?’

Usually they will be things like;

Love,

Security,

A sense of purpose,

Armour to stop people getting too close,

Not having to be alone,

Acceptance,

Validation.

They all stem from a fundamental belief that ‘I am unlovable!’ so we adopt ways to either manipulate ourselves, or manipulate others into giving us what we don’t feel worthy of receiving.

So then the question now would be…

Why am I unlovable?

Once you can unpack all of the reasons why you believe you’re unlovable, and see them from a completely different perspective, you will be able to recognise that they actually aren’t founded in facts.

So then now you can begin to think about all the reasons why you ARE lovable…

Again this may be hard to do on your own, as old beliefs die hard, so I would absolutely say invest in a Life Coach, which by the way, you putting money down is actually a commitment you’re making to yourself to say ‘I know I am worthy!’

From here you can ingrain new beliefs that empower you to start asking for, and going after what you actually deserve, and you will STOP accepting all the crumbs that you are currently settling for.

So yes, change is hard, as it’s often years of unconscious beliefs, creating a reality that victimises you, but with the right support and guidance that change really can become your new reality.

So just to recap;

  1. When you are at a point in your life where you want to change, ask yourself ‘what am I getting from the situation I’m currently in, that is stopping me from wanting to make that change?’
  2. Gratitude. Seeing the behaviours you want to change, as something that have actually been serving you up until this point, and recognising that you were only doing your best to navigate each day the only way you knew how.
  3. Create a powerful vision. Really dive in to how you want your life to look in say a year from now, what feelings do you want to experience each day and why.
  4. Unpack the fundamental belief of ‘I’m unlovable’ so you can gain new perspectives, and start creating a new reality based on the reasons why you ARE lovable.
  5. In my opinion this one is absolutely vital… hire a Life Coach because it can be easy to slip back into old habits and ‘let yourself off the hook’ when you don’t feel ‘up to it’, and also because we need to be asked the tough questions that we so often avoid asking ourselves.

If you’re at a point where you are ready for these 5 steps above, then ask yourself, ‘What is really stopping me from making that change and investing in a life coach?!’

Are you worthy of the life and love you’ve always dreamed of…

Rooting for you,

Dan.

Considering Moving Away?

So May 2020 me and my girlfriend moved up to Blackpool (uk) from Sudbury, Suffolk. It’s a 260 mile journey that takes about 5 hours (give or take) so a spontaneous coffee date with a friend or family member is off the cards.

I had spent 32 years of my life living in and around my hometown, never really knowing what the big wide world (Blackpool ha!) had to offer.

There were a few reasons as to why we decided to move the other end of the country, but I’ll just list the main ones.

  1. Charis (recently promoted from girlfriend to fiancée 😉) wanted to go to Preston University to do her Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology.
  2. I knew my purpose was no longer a personal trainer, and my passion was helping people learn to love themselves.
  3. I needed to spend some time seriously working on healing some things emotionally that I’d been struggling with, and I had too many distractions, also known as excuses.
  4. When COVID hit I was unable to run my gym and earn a living, I also got my 30 day notice of eviction from my landlord (still unsure what his reasons were).
  5. A couple of years prior I had gone through a really shitty breakup which caused me to adopt some unhealthy behaviours as a coping mechanism which I was still ashamed of.

My top values are growth and freedom, I knew that in order for me to grow as a man, I needed to move away from the safety of everything I’d ever known, so I could really learn who I was and what I needed from life.

Me and Charis didn’t even sit down and have an in depth conversation about moving away, which highlights just how ready we were to make the move.

Baring in mind we moved in May, when we were in our first lockdown, everything just seemed to align for us.

  • I sold my gym equipment within days of putting it up for sale,
  • We found a property that was in our budget and didn’t require any credit checks (in fact I said I don’t have a very good credit rating which surprisingly was not an issue),
  • Within the space of 4 weeks we had found a property, paid the deposit and got our move in date all while being in lockdown,
  • Neither of us had much stuff to take with us, but the little that we did have, took us 2 trips, over 2 weekends, with Charis’s little Citreon DS3, which was a blessing because we didn’t have the hassle of sorting out a van,
  • We didn’t know anything about the area and didn’t do any research, but was surprised at the fact that we had a park directly opposite with a couple of basketball courts and a little 5 a side court (I’d been saying for a few years I want to get back into football), but more importantly we were only a 10 minute walk from the beach which had been my dream ever since I can remember!

Now as much as things just felt right for us and everything seemed to fall into place, it has not been without it’s struggles, and the reason why I wanted to write this blog was because I’m sure you’ve toyed with the idea of moving away and starting afresh, and I want to help you decide if it’s right for you, and hopefully make the move easier for you if you do decide to ‘up sticks’ and leave.

Here are 10 of the most important things I’ve managed to whittle it down to when it comes to moving away;

  1. Get clear and really honest with yourself about your reasons for wanting to move. If you’re running away expecting things to be ‘better’ then I would invite you to think about the fact that it doesn’t matter where you are, your problems still follow you, unless you intend to do ‘the work’.
  2. Loneliness is a big one! If you struggle with your mental health, and specifically have suicidal thoughts, I would probably say moving away from your hometown is not the best decision, but if you feel capable of ‘doing the work’ then loneliness may be exactly what you need.
  3. What are you going to do for an income to support yourself? It will be much easier to do a job in a town that you don’t know anyone, because you won’t have those thoughts about ‘I don’t want someone seeing me working here’ which means that you can find a job, that enables you to work an amount of hours you need to to pay the bills, but also a job that gives you as much time off as you need to invest into ‘doing the work’
  4. You will lose contact with people that you thought were your friend. This is normal and can bring up a lot of feelings that are uncomfortable, but the blessing is that it allows you to get super honest with yourself about who YOU want in your life, and learn a very powerful lesson of letting go.
  5. Boredom! This is something that you may have to get acquainted with, because a lot of your usual distractions will no longer be there for you. Boredom will teach you so much about yourself, especially to listen to what it is you actually want to do long-term, that sense of purpose and direction we all need, can come from letting yourself sit with boredom for long enough to be guided towards what inspires you.
  6. Stay curious. You no longer have the pressure of a fixed identity (you can be who you want to be, because no one knows you) so say yes to things you wouldn’t normally, try things that you’ve always wanted to try, and allow yourself to do whatever it is that peaks an interest!
  7. Therapy! I would highly recommend investing in either therapy, counselling or a coach, because it will be hard to process some of your triggers on your own, and having someone outside of your immediate circle to open up to without the fear of being judged, is so powerful and hugely transformative.
  8. Online courses, programmes and groups. I invested in a group coaching programme that had people all over the world in, and as a result I have made some lifelong friends that I would never of met had it not of been for that programme.
  9. Removing the comfort blanket of all that was familiar (your hometown), enables you to get really clear on your goals. investing in a coach to help guide you and hold you accountable as you will no longer have all the distractions that you once had in your hometown will open your eyes to what is actually important to you.
  10. Have fun! It doesn’t have to be all serious, there will be so many new things, experiences, places to explore and whether or not you move away on your own, or with a partner, there will be opportunities to ‘put yourself out there’ as long as you don’t let fear get in the way!

Things I experienced personally…

Loneliness – I actually have a funny relationship with loneliness… A few years ago when I was at rock bottom, drowning in debt, and living in my personal training studio, I wrote a blog post about loneliness. Blogging for me was kind of like my therapy, or that friend that you could say anything to and they wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow.

That blog post was what inspired Charis to message me. She told me when she first read it she was also going through her own pain and hurt, and really related to my blog post. A few days later we met up for the first time having not known eachother at all apart from those few messages. Fast forward a few years and we are now engaged and planning our wedding 😉, so you could say I’m pretty fond of loneliness.

I’d been so used to supressing my emotions, and running away from myself, that I never actually knew who I was (I’m sure we can all relate to that) until a few years ago, when I had no choice to feel all the feels which became my blog name.

Loneliness became my greatest teacher, because it forced me to look at the parts of myself that I was struggling to like, let alone love.

This time when loneliness came back around I was ready to welcome him in.

I was able to ask myself questions such as ‘am I avoiding loneliness by wanting to go out drinking?’ or ‘am I using social media as a distraction from sitting with myself?’ and asking myself these self-inquiring questions gave me a new perspective, which presented me with another option.

I can NOT recommend loneliness enough!

Embrace it, listen to it, sit with it, learn from it and as my good friend Aviram says ‘stay curious!’

Relationships – Now this has been a real process, and taught me so much about expectations and letting go.

To begin with I held on to the belief that friends and family SHOULD make an effort to communicate and ‘keep’ the relationship growing. There were times when I would feel resentment at the fact that some of the people I expected to be in my life, made zero effort. It was uncomfortable AND it was absolutely necessary!

I started to again, do some self reflection, and really inquire why I feel this way around what I expect. I began realising that the only thing creating that form of suffering, was my expectations that I’d covertly put on others.

Truth is, some people are just not meant to be in your life any longer, and this does NOT mean that they are bad people, it just means that the relationship has run it’s course.

Something that I began thinking about, was how we have a belief that a friendship should last forever, yet an intimate relationship can break down and transition, but that’s deemed as perfectly normal and acceptable…

I also began recognising my lack of effort I’d put in to family and friendships, and this enabled me to be really honest with myself, and ask why I hadn’t put much effort in, and act upon that realisation, whether it meant actively working harder on it, or learning to let it go.

Again use this as a learning instead of a way to create a victim identity. Let go of the relationships you need to let go of and invest in the ones you want to improve.

Counselling/Coaching/Support – I can honestly say if I hadn’t of invested in my own healing, and personal development I would not be where I am today! I knew I had things I needed to work on personally that were holding me back from really stepping in to my power, and were causing me to play small and sabotage in life. For me I didn’t care how much it cost to heal, because the price of mediocre relationships, and the feelings of no real purpose in life were far higher than any amount of money!

Now I am always working with a coach of some sort because having an expert in a specific area of life, guide me, and hold me accountable to whatever goals I set myself, is worth it’s weight in gold!

This is something we go through in my 6 Month Deep Dive 1-1 coaching programme. Looking at ‘who are you’, and a question I always ask myself is, ‘are you someone who invests in themselves, and wants to improve and grow, or are you someone that plays small and settles?’

This always guides me towards growth!

Goals/Business – Moving away and not knowing anyone apart from each other (me and Charis), enabled us to work on ourselves individually, and our relationship, and get super clear on what it is we want for our lives.

It took me about 6 months of ‘downtime’ and personal healing work that guided me towards my purpose in life.

Growing up as a Jehovah’s witness, and struggling for years with parts of my personality that had been demonised, made me believe that I was unlovable.

Because I believed I was unlovable, guess how I showed up in relationships…

Yep, I would sabotage everything because I didn’t feel worthy of love.

Using the last 18 months to really be with myself, and see how I was showing up in life and my relationship with Charis, was exactly what I needed to guide me towards the type of coach I am

My purpose is helping people understand themselves, unlearn the beliefs and stories that are holding them back, and really learn to start giving themselves the love they so freely give to others!

So my advice to you;

If you are thinking that moving away will solve all your problems, then you’re wrong,

If you are moving away to really work on yourself, explore new places and grow as a person, then I would highly recommend taking the leap and NOT overthinking it all!

It took us a month, during a ‘pandemic’ and all we needed was £2000 to set us up for the first month.

I’ll leave you with a question to ask yourself…

‘Am I someone that makes my dream a reality, or am I someone that just talks about it?’

Vulnerability Is My Superpower

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…


No,


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”


Dan.

What i’ve learnt…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Vulnerability is my superpower!
  5. 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.
  6. It’s ALL LOVE!
  7. I am capable of disgusting atrocities and every time I judge someone else for something I am instantly judging myself.
  8. We are all one!
  9. I am not my body or my thoughts, but the awareness behind it all.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Self-reflect, self-reflect, self-reflect!

Intimacy In A Relationship Is HARD!

A lesson that I’ve learnt the hard way and is something that me and Charis speak about a lot, is the importance of sexual intimacy in our relationship.

It’s so easy to get caught up in life and forget to invest daily into our relationship, and that very reason is exactly why in the past, a relationship I was in, ended up being more so as a best friend and not a girlfriend and sexual partner.

It’s only upon reflection we can really see where we went wrong.

You know that honeymoon period that everyone says goes…

I truly believe it doesn’t have to, and can transcend into something far greater where you become lovers, best friends and life partners,

But there is an IF…

Initially my main reasons for investing in my relationship were through fear that I would lose that ‘I JUST WANT TO FUCK YOU’ feeling, especially after I’d been there before and had really hurt someone I loved, because I didn’t have the awareness or the tools to cultivate the type of relationship I wanted, and coupled with the lack of courage to communicate my deepest desires, this led me to take the ‘easy’ otherwise known as the cowards way out…

Cheating.

Now my reasons for investing in my relationship are different, I know what type of relationship I want, and I have a duty to Charis to always try my best to communicate and stick to my commitment that we both made when deciding we wanted to create a relationship together.

I’ve learnt that 2 people (speaking about monogamous relationships as I haven’t experienced polyamory or open) that like eachother and choose to be in a relationship, just isn’t enough for a relationship to flourish, It takes constant communication, challenges, fear, love and everything in between to build the relationship you truly want.

As soon as I stop investing in my relationship and become lazy and complacent, my relationship will suffer (I know shock horror), so in order for me to have the type of relationship where I look at Charis and want to have passionate sex (or a quickie, or anything else sexually) with her, I HAVE to put the work in!

I want someone I can share my fears with (this starts with me owning them first),

I want someone I can break down infront of (this is what i’m currently working on through counselling as I struggle to connect with my own emotions and express them),

I want someone I can do nothing with (everyone loves a ‘snacks and film’ night),

BUT…I also want someone I can enjoy sexually,

And THAT comes down to how willing I am to invest in myself and my own healing (we’ve all got layers we need to peel back and learn to love).

A question I would ask yourself if you crave more intimacy with your partner is…

‘where am I not showing up for myself, where am I not showing up in my relationship, where am I NOT putting effort in and what can I do right NOW to start reinvesting?

Dan ‘this relationship stuff is hard’ Reader,

Much love.

How My Sexual Violation Empowered Me

Hi, I’m Charis. For those of you who know Dan, you will know this blogging platform originated from the man himself. You will also know the past eighteen months of blogging Dan has been nothing but open and honest. As I am piggy backing the audience he has drawn, I plan to follow suit with each contribution to this platform.


Before the 21st of December 2017 I was your average 18-year-old wishing away the week days and longing for that ‘Saturday night feeling’. I was out, most weekends, enjoying the feeling of intoxicating my body with alcohol alongside my friends. I had just started university at the time and after all, this what students go to university for right?


You’re probably questioning why I have introduced my story with an introduction to who I was before the 21st of December. The answer is simple. On that night I headed into town with my friends to enjoy the Christmas festivities. The only thing I was unaware of upon heading out that evening was that a 30-year-old male would break my spirit in a matter of minutes. My spirit remained broken for 9 months.


On the night of this discussion I was raped and pornographically violated. Particularly heavy words huh. I woke up in the home of a stranger, naked, disorientated, exposed, and oblivious of actual confirmation of what had happened the night before. I refused to believe what had happened to me was true. I never used the word ‘rape’ until it was presented to me in verbal communication from my counsellor that, that is what had occurred that night. Despite not knowing what had happened the night before all I knew when I left the next day was that there was a part of me missing. Exactly two weeks after the attack I was presented with my worst fears, a sexually explicit image of me surfaced, an image of my perpetrator engaging in intercourse with me. The photo was shared to my best friend, all his friends, and even made its way back to my own mum. Waking up the next day I did not believe anything else could break me. Boy was I wrong. The little piece of myself I had left had been stolen from me too. For the next three months following January the 4th I was mocked and laughed at by his friends, my ‘friends’ and my attacker himself. I truly had no care or regard left for myself, I was ashamed and riddled with self-blame. I began engaging in self-sabotaging behaviours; I was going out increasingly, misusing alcohol to numb the way I truly felt. I began to purge, head over the bowl, eyes streaming, screaming out for someone, anyone to save me from myself.


I went on like this for months. I hadn’t seen my perpetrator for months either. On August Bank Holiday Sunday I saw him. In a local bar, I sat in my seat at a table with my friends and he walked behind me, stroked my arm and hair. I did not move an inch, I wanted to cry, claw away at the part of my skin he had yet again invaded. He committed this act to simply remind me of what he had done, almost as if he was proud, it gave him a sense of control and dominance. He saw that I was enjoying my evening and decided he would soon put me in the place that belittled me and empowered him. Where it would have been easy for me to run home that night, I took a breath, rung my sister, and continued my night out. From the moment I stayed out I knew something had snapped inside of me. I had, had enough.


You see if you knew me on the outside, I looked fine and the majority of the time those whom are suffering look ‘fine’ on the outside, behind my bedroom walls I was howling praying to be anyone but myself.


Then I met Dan. I stumbled upon one of his blogs about loneliness. The universe had placed this blog in my path because it knew it was exactly what I needed to introduce me to the person whom was also struggling in his own personal life. Dan was never placed in my path for him to save me. Dan introduced me to podcasts and journaling. A week into communicating with Dan I knew exactly what I had to do without any interpretation from him. It was that I needed professional help. I made the call, attended the assessment and begun my six months of professional help. A form of help like no other. This was the route to correcting my self-destructive behaviours and allowing my heart to forgive myself.

I truly commend anyone with the bravery to admit themselves to counselling and therapy. I remember walking out of my assessment to meet my mum and sister. The only line I said to them whilst my voice cracked was ‘I know it was going to be hard but I didn’t think it was going to be that hard’ all the anger and hurt I projected upon myself for the past nine months was beginning to release from my body. His toxicity and grip that felt so heavily forced around my neck began to loosen. I write this part of this article tears streaming down eyes because I will never forget overwhelming feeling of no longer being under suffocation.


I had never planned this vicious attack to ever be part of my story, but without it I would have not been enabled the empowerment to love myself unconditionally, I would have never discovered the level of awareness that I currently attain. I am no longer full of hatred for him, nor am I for myself. The incident served its purpose exactly when it was supposed to. It will always be a part of my story, but it will not continue to define my story. It shaped me into the empowered and independent woman that I am and for that reason alone I am full of gratitude. I had two choices. I could have chosen: to live a life of bitterness and hurt, or I could have chosen to take what had already happened and recreate something beautiful from it. My message to you is that no matter what feels like the most heart-breaking situation to occur. You always have the power to choose yourself. Nobody will ever have more power over you than YOURSELF. Something taught to me by my counsellor when all I could feel was powerlessness.


If the said individual ever reads this, I hope you acknowledge that I don’t hate you. I thank you for giving me something far greater than what you think you gained. You gave me self-love, growth, and power.

Thank you! C x

The Curse Of The Intimacy Mask

Part 1.

I suppose i’ve been wanting to write this blog for a while but as my coach says,

“We’re never ready until we’re ready”

I want to start off by letting you all in on one of the real reasons I write my blog, and why I am more than happy to share it with whoever stumbles across it.

Ok, so the first blog I wrote was a hugely emotional representation of the hurt I was feeling in the hope that my ex would stumble across it in some corner of the internet just like you have,

I know…

Cringeworthy!

The more I began to look inside myself and be brutally honest with why I do certain things, it became evident that i’d been wearing this mask in a botched attempt to disable my deepest form of self expression.

I’ve been carrying a little shame but mainly fear that if I share who I truly am I would lose those close to me.

I talk about sex a lot, and I think about sex a lot, but this isn’t just because I have a high sex drive, this is because I want to get rid of all the stigma surrounding sex particularly self expression and fetishes (suppose they could fall under the same bracket) and give others the courage and enable you to give yourself permission to fully express who you are without fear.

As we all know there are very few absolutes in life so everything I share are just my opinions based on my experiences.

Now let me take you back to my first relationship when I was 22…

We were together 6 years, she was my first love and even to this day we still care about eachother a lot.

Truth is I never ever showed her who I truly was, I showed her the parts of me that I loved but anything that I was a little unsure about or thought she couldn’t handle I kept hidden through fear of losing her.

I have a fearless adventurous side in all areas of my life, and HATE, to the point where I cut people out of my life, those that put limitations on things, but when it comes to rejection I think we all have this huge fear that we continue to feed so it actually grows into something that really becomes an issue.

Now i’m not one for what you would call ‘vanilla sex’ not that their is anything wrong with that if that’s your thing but neither was I ready to openly ‘bare all’ and potentially be rejected.

So I done what us humans do and buried my head (I mean in the sand, not between her legs)

I lived in fear that if she ever saw that side of me I would lose her and I really DID NOT want that!

Porn became a bit of an addiction for me and a way that I could express myself judgement free, but of course this is not what porn should be used for, in fact I often think we substitute things in order to actually address the real issue.

The more I think about intimacy and why we all crave it so much but very few get the real genuine connections we are looking for is because just like me you too are afraid of ‘baring all’ and taking off the mask.

Intimacy is really about standing in front of your partner while you’re carrying all these different bags of things we would call ‘issues’ and them looking in to your eyes and telling you ‘I SEE YOU, AND I STILL WANT YOU’

In reality this is all we want, we want to be accepted for who we truly are instead of living in fear and keeping parts of ourselves hidden from our loved ones in case they get up and leave.

This was literally the biggest breakthrough i’ve had which is why now I am so open about everything and actually have received comments like ‘maybe you shouldn’t put that out there’ or under the radar comments aimed at me by people that must think i’m stupid 😉 ‘why do people share so much on social media,’

Well let me tell you right now…

If you feel the need to water down your personality or hold back on expressing yourself in hugely important areas of your life such as sexually then you are setting yourself up for a very bitter unhappy unfulfilled life and you only have yourself to blame!

My personal reason for cheating was because rejection from someone you don’t love is an easier pill to swallow than rejection from that one person you want to be accepted by.

Start showing up as your true self and those who are meant to be in your life will naturally gravitate towards you and those that aren’t will drift away.

I’m A Liar And So Are you

I wanted to explore a concept that baffles me time and time again every single time i’m faced with it,

I like to call this the people pleaser syndrome.

None of us like to hurt people intentionally and will even at times ignore our own wants and needs through fear of someone being displeased by a decision that doesn’t suit them unless of course you have zero empathy, fall into the category of a psychopath and your aspirations are to be just like the man, the legend Adolf Hitler <<< sarcasm level 101%.

Now let me put this into some real life context for you before my mind wanders down that rabbit hole of sociopaths, psychopaths and Satan worshippers.

Lets say you have recently made the decision to stop doing cocaine because you realise that some of the worst decisions you have made are a result of being face down in that white powder with a £10 note up your nose.

Now you know that your decision making is completely in your control when you are sober, but add some tequila, Strongbow dark fruits or Prosecco (if you are a proud owner of a vagina or are gender fluid) into your bloodstream and this becomes a whole new conversation if you’re fortunate enough to not of bypassed the should I shouldn’t I stage.

Your friends birthday is a few days away and you know this means going out and getting drunk and disorderly and you will without a doubt become victim to some shocking decisions after being face down in that substance that makes you believe you are untouchable.

Now they come out for your birthday a couple of months ago and you tell yourself it’s only right I should go out for theirs even though you know the things you are going to be getting up to are the opposite of what you promised yourself you were going to do.

This is where this people pleaser syndrome comes into play…

Do I break the promise I made to myself and do the things I no longer want to do,

Or…

Do I speak to my friend and just mention that i’m not going to be coming out drinking but we can go for a bite to eat and i’ll pay when you’re next free,

It takes a very strong person to not follow the crowd and most of us will choose to go out and justify it by telling ourselves, it’s only once and it is their birthday, i’m not hurting anyone,

But…

In actual fact making promises to yourself and then breaking them every time a difficult decision that will potentially upset someone comes along is hurting YOU and if you are so easily willing to hurt yourself then why do you get so upset when someone else hurts you?

I think this people pleaser syndrome comes about because we are all looking for instant gratification and can’t handle when we feel bad ourselves by delaying instant gratification for long term gain.

You can’t go out for dinner and choose a lower calorie option when everyone else is eating burgers and pizza because you don’t want to feel left out, but you’re more than happy to over indulge knowing that this is going to be far worse for you in the long term.

You can’t have a year without a holiday and invest that money into that course you want to do even though you know that a week abroad isn’t going to help you start a new career but yet you will still go away and get back to the same shitty job with that arsehole boss you always moan about.

You can’t be single for a while even though you know that jumping from relationship to relationship is only bringing you more unhappiness in the long term because you’re just getting with anyone that shows you a bit of attention because you feel lonely on your own.

You are not willing to feel bad yourself in the short term which is exactly why you are so scared of upsetting others based on a promise you have made to yourself that is all about improving your life and requires the delaying of instant gratification.

2019 for me is going to be about doing more things that I want to do that will bring me more fulfilment and a much more meaningful life rather than worrying about upsetting others.

Think about the decisions you are faced with every day and decide if you are making them based on what you actually want to do or if you are just choosing the easier instant gratification decision so you don’t upset someone.