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.

What Is Self-Love?

You may be thinking that loving yourself is only something that cocky and arrogant people do,

Or you may be thinking that no one loves themselves,

Or if you’re a professional ‘self-loather’ then not loving yourself is something you can use to beat yourself up with as well,

‘I can’t even love myself!’

Wherever you sit in regard to your own definition of self-love I thought I would be your knight in shining armour and hit you right in the feels by letting you in to my world of self-love,

You’re welcome 😉.

First of all, I just want to go into what self-love isn’t…

Self-love is NOT:

Cocky or arrogant, in fact if someone is genuinely cocky and arrogant that is proof that they don’t love themselves because real love is not something that requires proof, it is something you just know and feel.

Conditional. If you find you can say I love myself only when things are going well but not when they aren’t then this is conditional love and NOT real love.

A destination. Self-love is a daily practice and just like any relationship requires effort. A question I get my clients to ask themselves is ‘what would I do if I loved myself?’ this will give you a new perspective and help you navigate your day-to-day life.

Egoic. Self-love wants others to experience peace and joy and does not need to trample on others for it to exist. Self-love does not mean you love yourself more than others.

Needy. Self-love does not need validation from others to feel worthy.

Jealous. Self-love doesn’t get jealous of others because it knows that whatever you desire is yours and you are more than worthy of receiving your desires.

Lack. Self-love does not worry about there not being enough of something (enough good partners, money, clients etc).

Now of course these are the ideals and as I mentioned, self-love is a journey, NOT a destination. You also can’t beat yourself up for not being ‘there’ yet as ‘there’ is always a journey that goes deeper and deeper into who you are.

But be careful, because you can create what Mark Manson calls the feedback loop from hell, you beat yourself up, for beating yourself up and then beat yourself up, because you shouldn’t be beating yourself up, and on and on the loop goes.

The more aware you become of the parts of yourself that have been hidden, the more opportunities you will find to get to know and love those new parts of yourself.

I now consider it a game,

A game of hide and seek…

Those parts of ourselves we’ve hidden from ourselves need to be found for the game to be over, but some are harder to find than others, some require us to go to new places and open different doors.

Remember though,

You are not playing hide and seek with an axe murderer,

You are playing hide and seek with a loving big brother or sister.

Self-love really is about going into those dark places and shining a light on the parts of our being that we have demonised and identified as unlovable.

Self-love is about compassionately inviting those parts of ourselves out of the dark corners and into the light.

Those parts of me that I find harder to love I call ‘little Dan’

Little Dan gets anxious and sometimes believes he is unworthy and at times causes others to feel the pain that he is in but over the last couple of years I have learnt to understand that he has been trying to save me from hurt.

Unfortunately, because he is only a young boy, he doesn’t understand that he doesn’t need to react in unhealthy ways at times and I’m trying to put my arm round him when he feels scared and under threat.

Little Dan is just a scared little child looking out for me and I have made a commitment to treat him as such instead of punishing him.

I am his nurturing loving parent that loves him regardless of how he acts.

So, by now I hope I’ve managed to shine a light on your ‘little *insert name (mind out of the gutter, clearly little Dan is feeling something to be blaming you for where your mind goes 😉 haha!) so you can recognise just how he/she reacts and begin understanding why.

In this next part my intention is to help you relate to how self-love and lack of self-love is playing out in your life and why practising self-love is absolutely vital to live a life that lights us up and fulfils us.

Relationships:

Lack of – Lack of self-love will have you believe that YOU are lucky to have these people in your life instead of being equally beneficial. You will also find yourself putting everyone else’s needs above your own because you believe your worth is in what you do for others instead of who you are. You may find yourself accepting shitty behaviour from people and allowing them to disrespect and take advantage of you as long as you are being fed crumbs of ‘love’. Instead of being alone you will invite people back into your life that hurt you without them having to acknowledge how their actions/behaviours affected you because being alone is worse than being around people that are unsafe.

Practising self-love – having boundaries that invite people to love you how you want to be loved and treated because you don’t NEED people in your life to fill a void as you are already whole.

Career/purpose:

Lack of – Lack of self-love will have you believe that there is not enough, you will be living in a scarcity belief system that will cloud your reality with doom and fear. ‘I do not have enough money and in order for me to have more I need to work more (do more overtime). You will believe that the job you have is not that bad even though you don’t feel respected you still hold on to a story that you’ve ingrained in you about this job paying the bills, this job isn’t bad hours, this job isn’t hard work or stressful and really what you’re doing is avoiding the fact that actually your job makes you miserable and makes you feel purposeless.

Practising self-love – if you feel unappreciated in a job, your self love practice will have you ask yourself ‘why am I allowing myself to be treated less than how I want to be treated?’

You will not settle in a job just because it pays the bills because you know there are multiple ways you can earn enough money to pay the bills.

You will think about what it is you really want to do with your life and career and explore your options.

You will know that your worth is not attached to your job or financial status and as a result this will liberate you so that you can really go after what lights you up, this is how you ‘find your purpose’.

Health:

Lack of – Lack of self-love in this area will cause you to pass up responsibility and make your health someone else’s problem. You will believe that you can’t change and embody self-sabotaging stories like ‘eating healthy is too expensive’ or ‘I just don’t have the motivation or time to go to the gym’ or ‘my parents were overweight so that’s why I’m overweight’. You will tell yourself you have mental health struggles and begin to identify with a disempowering label. You will live in blame of your parents because it’s their fault that you are emotionally ‘unhealthy’. You will refuse professional help and instead turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as binge drinking, overeating and illegal substance abuse.

Practising self-love – You will see your health as your responsibility and it will come from a place of ‘I am worthy of being healthy’ you will see your health as something that is always in your power to improve, whether that be committing to an exercise schedule each week, going to therapy or hiring a life coach. You will not outsource your health and you will make ‘being healthy’ part of your identity.

As you can see if we are not continually practising self-love daily then EVERY area of our life becomes compromised.

The biggest takeaway I want you to leave with today is,

Self-love is a practise; it is NOT something you just gain or a place you arrive at and then the journey is over.

We always have new ways we can love ourselves and the deeper we go inside ourselves, the more parts we uncover that give us an opportunity to love.

Humans really are like onions; you peel a part back and then get to heal and love that part you were unaware of before.

Then you get to peel back another layer and heal and love that part of yourself,

The thing that excites me is the fact that I will NEVER know who I am because there are always new parts of myself, I’m discovering and these new parts of who I am get to be understood and loved.

From one day to the next I am becoming more and more ME,

And I am on a journey of chipping away everything that ISN’T ME so I can show up in my life as the person that I always was before I built up the walls of defence.

Self-love is ALWAYS the antidote.

A Story About Values

So over the last few months I felt as if I was being guided towards becoming a therapist, as well as a life coach.

I sat and really thought about what it was I wanted to be doing and where I saw myself making the biggest impact.

In 5 years time;

I saw myself buying a 4-5 bedroom house,

Having a therapy room, where I would facilitate psychedelic therapeutic settings and help people through things such as PTSD and emotional abuse,

Having an office space, where me and Charis would work on the business, podcasting, day to day runnings etc,

An outdoor unit at the end of the garden for a gym,

And overall just an amazing home, next to the sea, supporting people through deep transformations.

Thing is, I was not what you would call a model student while at school.

I was kicked out in year 10, and missed a lot of school through truancy and quite frankly just not feeling like I fit in (good old religious cult programming).

So I enquired about university.

I filled in the application,

Had a friend and coach of mine write me an amazing reference,

Had everything in place, and was confident that I would be one of the people that they waiver the G.C.S.E grades for, because ‘I knew my shit’

Well this is the first sign from God/source/universe that this might not be the path for me.

They told me that I would not qualify and I’d need to get the grades to get on to the course.

So I enquired about an access course to higher education.

I done everything that was required and yesterday was my enrolment day into Blackpool and Fylde college.

I turned up at College feeling anxious, it wasn’t anxious about starting the course or anything to do with the college itself,

I felt anxious because I was unsure if this was for me.

I walked up to where it said ‘enroll here’ and was greeted by 2 women,

“Hi would you mind just popping your mask on please?”

“I’m exempt” I replied.

She turned round and picked up a brand new mask and held it out to me,

I looked at her at repeated,

“I’m exempt”

The second woman standing beside her said “could you pop a visor on please?”

Again I repeated “no I won’t wear a visor I’m exempt”

They both looked at me and then at eachother and one of them said to me “erm… I’m not sure what to do, I’ll just go and get my manager”

Bless her, she was clearly feeling uncomfortable.

5 minutes went by and in that time I had messaged Charis saying I’m getting hassled about wearing a mask.

Finally her manager came out and walked towards me.

“Hi do you have your I.D to let me know that you are exempt?”

I responded “no I don’t need to show you anything it says that clearly on the government website”

“Yes but you can print it off though can’t you?”

“Yes I can do” I said.

“But even if you have an exemption card you will still need to wear either a visor or a mask…” she told me.

This is where things went downhill.

At the corner of my eye I could see, and quite clearly hear, a young girl in front of me being interrogated about wearing a mask.

She said that she can’t wear one because she has claustrophobia, and that she will get really overwhelmed if she has anything around her face.

She was passed a visor and asked if she could just pop it on.

She was clearly embarrassed and didn’t know what to do, so she put it on and said that she might get overwhelmed and have to take it off, there was no acknowledgement from the lady that gave her the visor as she was already greeting the next person in line.

So by this point I was really trying to keep my cool as I hate seeing people get bullied, especially if they are unable to speak up for themselves!

So I calmly said to the woman in front of me still,

“How does that work if I’m exempt and the government website says that I don’t need to prove anything to be able to enter places?”

She went on to tell me that “this is just what Blackpool and Fylde College are doing to combat the virus”

I asked “so what do we do then?”

“Well to be a student here, you will need to wear either a visor, or a mask in class, whether you’re exempt or not”

I looked at her for a few seconds puzzled,

“ok don’t worry I’ll leave it then” as I turned round and walked past the line of people that had just witnessed the whole thing.

I went back to the car and told Charis exactly what happened, to which she said to me,

“would you really want to be part of an organisation that isn’t inclusive and discriminates?”

The answer is clearly FUCK NO!

If the teachers bully people, and are happy to break the law (refusing someone an education because of a medical exemption that prevents people from wearing a mask), then what message is that teaching the students?

Now if that was Dan just a few short years ago, I would of only had 2 choices available to me,

Go against my values and morals,

Or

Become argumentative,

Which shows me just how much I’ve grown.

This interaction gave me an opportunity to really see what is important to me, and whether I believe wholeheartedly in my beliefs or not.

The truth is sometimes we need doors to be shut in our face, for us to wake us up to the fact that that path is not meant for us.

Something I heard on a podcast was ‘don’t be the one to say no to yourself, let God tell you no!’

So what does this mean for my vision?

Absolutely nothing!

The only thing that has changed is the HOW.

While journaling this morning I know that the timeframe is also unrealistic…

I don’t need 5 years!

I’ve transformed who I am and the way my life looks profoundly in just 2 years!

Imagine what I’m going to do in the next 2 years with the momentum I’ve created already 😉!

My message is really one of values and trusting your intuition.

I had that little inkling, manifesting as anxiety, that this might not be the right path for me, I’ve always been one for following the road less travelled, I’ve been self employed for 8 years and I’ve always took that next step or leap forward, regardless of others telling me they would do something different, or that it won’t work out.

This is just another learning all around me trusting myself, and continuing to create what feels right to me!

Today I feel powerful!

I feel inspired and excited!

But most of all, I feel grateful for another lesson that has brought me closer to myself.

A door closing may be the very thing you need, even though you don’t understand why, your job is to let go of the need to figure it out and just learn to trust that it’s all working out exactly as it’s meant to for you 😊!

YOU are the creator of your reality!

Much love,

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.

Rejection Sensitivity

Were all prone to view things through a negative self-fulfilling prophecy lens.

Cogito ergo sum – I think therefore I am.

Now I’m not going to try and ‘go all physician’ on you,

  1. Because I’m not a physician

And

2. Because there is not enough research conducted on it.

So today I’m going to invite you to go inside, as we can’t go outside and get really curious about your own relational experiences and fears of rejection.

Dating – you might be a serial swiper or more of a POF kinda guy/gal but whatever form of online dating you use I would hazard a guess and say that it eases the ‘pain/fear of rejection’ partly because you have so many other choices but also because you’re not actually having to down a tequila and walk over to said lucky guy/gal and ask to be kicked in the proverbials resulting in the painful walk of shame back to your friends.

In my opinion our lack of dutch courage needed to enter a genuine face to face situation that has the ability to spark up a real conversation with a human being instead of a smartphone screen is taking us away from at its core, personal growth. You might be getting a lot more rejection via a swipe the wrong way but in comparison to a swipe in far greater magnitude of a real life situation you are definitely drawing the long straw.

First 12 months of a relationship – This is the part of the relationship where you are still getting to know your partner and learning who they are and what makes them tick. (obviously you’ve spent some time before getting into this relationship so you can form an educated decision as to whether or not they are worthy 😉) This is also the most vulnerable stage of a relationship, you don’t have any real certainty, you have very little security and this is the minds kryptonite as human beings love certainty, and this first year you will be watching what your partner says and does to decide whether you are safe to remove a layer of armour and let them in, or not.

The caveat to this is if you are not continuing your own personal development such as making your health a priority, keeping up with your own hobbies (to preserve self identity) and making sure you are always curious in regards to your own feelings/triggers etc then your perception of things will get blurred.

Lets say you are currently not feeling particularly good in your own skin, you then notice your partner has liked a couple of pictures on social media and you instantly attach a story of ‘my partner doesn’t fancy me anymore’ to those likes.

Now I hope that as you read this you are confident in your body, but if you’re not then ask yourself the question IS THIS STORY I’VE CREATED AROUND THOSE ‘LIKES’ FACT OR NOT? And then try to take as much responsibility as you possibly can right now for how you currently feel.

^^^ That can be hard because in the moment we want to project how we feel onto our partner and start throwing around blame, but always TRY your best to look inside first and take as much responsibility before you open your mouth.

12+ months into a relationship – You have a sense of security now and if you’ve made it this far then your partner should be your ‘safe place’ but with that being said this can also be the time when if you haven’t watered your ‘relationship garden’ (every part of me wanted to write YOUR LADY GARDEN but you’re not as childish and perverted as me) then your partner could begin to think about how green their neighbours grass is. It’s in these stages of the relationship that rejection could be far more catastrophic, not only do you feel more secure in your relationship but you’ve also began building a life and identity around your relationship. You might be living together, you might have kids together you might even be married if that’s something you believe in (*sidenote I wholeheartedly believe in marriage for the right reasons but that’s another story for another time), so if you start to feel a sense of rejection and you’ve been doing your own work and working on your relationship then this could be for something that is completely out of your control and possibly due to your partner not doing their own work and putting equal amounts of effort into growing the relationship.

The truth is no matter how much time and effort you invest in yourself and your relationship things can still not go the way you want them to or have even planned them to.

Every single one of us are walking this earth as a work in progress and carry our own unhealed traumas and with that being said I’d urge you to always look in the mirror when you feel a sense of rejection instead of making your pain and hurt from a perceived rejection someone else’s problem.

Think about what you can do to grow and step more into your best self, think about how you can be more loving to your perceived rejecter, think about the person you want to be and think how that person would respond/communicate.

Ultimately as hard and as painful rejection is, there are so many variables that come in to play and when you get that intense feeling of rejection and you start questioning your self worth try to take a deep breath and think about what this feeling is teaching you.

Somewhere buried deep inside you is a lesson that is trying to come out, but first you have to be willing to ask yourself the questions that elicit the most uncomfortable feelings and continue to keep leaning into them.

ALWAYS QUESTION YOURSELF!

Much love,

Dan.

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

Are You Who You Say You Are?

We all would like to think of ourselves as kind, caring, thoughtful, human beings that have zero flaws and are always right… unfortunately that is not the case and never will be the case and this blog is going to explain and hopefully provoke some thought as to why.

As imperfect humans we have become masters at creating defence mechanisms so we don’t come across as the bad guy and instead we opt for things like taking on the role as a victim even if we are the one in the wrong.

We are Derren Brownesque manipulators and use all sorts of justifications, explanations and excuses to protect our behaviour, some of us have got that good at it that we actually believe these bullshit stories and justifications as to why we acted a certain way instead of just holding our hands up and admitting that we fucked up.

Now I want you to think about the things you’ve done in the past that you said you would never do again…

I’m going to get you to think about the types of labels we are given based on a negative action we have taken.

The first one is someone that got convicted of a murder and served 25 years in prison, once he is released is he labelled a murderer or does that label now leave him as he’s served the time for the crime…???

The second one is a cheat, this person cheated in a previous relationship and is now entering a new relationship, is this person still labelled a cheat because of his/her actions in a previous relationship…???

The third is a pisshead (my use of the word pisshead is defining someone who gets pissed atleast once a week) who decides to limit their drinking to once a month, do they keep the label a pisshead…???

As humans it’s in our nature to be very judgemental and hypocritical and look at things very black and white which in my opinion has no real place in society.

If you’ve followed my blog since day 1 then you’ll know that I cheated in a previous long term relationship and I had a very hard time dealing with the guilt afterwards (using my defence mechanism to soften the blow of the full force of consequences I deserved). Now do I continue to keep the label of a cheat or do I have to prove that i’m not and if that’s the case what is the timeframe in which I have to prove myself for??

The murderer that is now out of prison should also be able to drop the label of a murderer if I am able to drop the label of a cheat, if he/she doesn’t kill anyone again and I don’t cheat again then these ‘laws’ need to be exactly the same right across the board?!

My next argument I would like you to think about is one of self growth.

I have dedicated a lot of time to self development and who I am now is certainly no longer who I was a year ago let alone when I cheated. My morals, values and beliefs are completely different and i’m much more open-minded to things that I would of been very black and white about before.

One of the most important things to self growth is visualising the type of person you want to become and adopting that persons belief systems, morals, values and work ethic so you begin to think how the type of person you want to become would think, i suppose it’s a similar premise to that of ‘fake it until you make it’ but nonetheless will disable you from identifying yourself as that label you had from that act of negative behaviour/s.

The long and short of it is that person that murdered someone 25 years ago has undertaken the deepest most transformative amount of self growth that they are worlds apart from the person they used to be.

I’m not going to share my opinion on this although i’m sure you can probably guess what it is as I want you to try and think about this without having any external influences.

I just want to digress and say that the excuses, justifications and explanations we use to protect our negative behaviour/s although could potentially be true, still DOES NOT mean that we have the right to take ownership of the victim label, a perpetrator does not deserve to take anymore away from their victim!

*Sidenote if you believe that the person that murdered someone always remains a murderer then with this belief system you too remain a,

Smoker

Cheat

Pisshead

Druggy

and anything else that you perceive as negative that you have partaken in atleast once.

More often than not if you have cheated, done drugs, smoked, drunk too much etc you actually become even more judgemental towards those that are currently doing one of these things that you no longer do and I actually think that if it’s coming from a place of love because you know how detrimental these behaviours are then the label ‘a hypocrite’ is possibly a pretty good label to have to help inspire change.

I would really love to hear your thoughts on ‘the murderer’ and your reasons why :)!

Labels And Identities

For a long time now i’ve been my usual stubborn self and wanted to do everything without any help. This comes from the fact that I want to prove not only to myself but also everyone else that has ever doubted me that I can and I will do this.

This, i’ve recently realised is my own definition of success (nice car, nice home, a lot of money in the bank) which was something that started off as a way for me to grow in confidence and not be that shy little boy that I was all through my life, until I applied for that apprenticeship in the health and fitness industry at the age of 21.

The last 2 years for me have been particularly tough and have led me to attach certain labels and identities to who I am and i’ve allowed these to take control and be the main driver for a lot of the choices, decisions and actions I have been taking that not only no longer serve me but are now beginning to scare me…

My biggest fear is now that because of a choice or action I take I will ruin a friendship, my reputation, that has taken me a long time to build (I mean the people’s opinions that actually know the real me, not the people that THINK they know me) and the respect others have for me.

After a certain weekend a while ago when I could of potentially seriously fucked up and hearing the words of someone say to me just before I was going to go in to the toilet of a pub, to be face down, with a £10 note up my nose ‘I’m just worried because I want the best for you’ I knew that something drastically had to change, and as much as I could justify what I was doing to make it sound that in some weird way that I deserved to be doing this, I finally held my hands up and admitted that I could no longer do it on my own, I needed help.

I believe that every single one of us needs help to get out of our own way and become the best version of our self, but there seems to be some weird stigma surrounding this notion that if you ask for help you are ‘broken’

I like to think of us in a way that doesn’t promote this mentality of being broken, and rationalising by admitting that none of us are ever broken because none of us are ever whole.

My theory is that when something is whole it’s complete and when something is complete it can’t be added to but if we cannot be added to then why the fuck are we bothering to better ourselves in the first place because we have reached our full potential already and where you currently are is where you will always remain,

Fuck that!!!!

December 2017 before my 30th birthday I was in a holiday inn just outside Manchester with only big ted, my pen and my journal to keep me company the night after i’d attended a mindset and business seminar, for the previous 4 months leading up to this night I had been telling myself and my journal just how broken I was,

I made a promise to myself that night that tomorrow will be day 1 in search of Dan under all the labels, identities and versions of myself that i’ve been to please others around me.

it’s been the most transformational year of my life and I am so glad I went through it because if I hadn’t then I would not have the level of self awareness and confidence in who I am that I do now, in short (yes like me!) I am now able to start dropping the identity of Dan the struggling homeless PT step into the new identity I have been creating for myself for just over a year.

After having a couple of conversations with this amazing life coach whose seminar I went to back in December I realised just how kind, caring and genuine she was but I was still playing ‘stubborn Dan’ and chose to continue to go at it alone.

over 12 months of trying to do it alone, almost ruining friendships and hearing a few very close friends and family members say to me ‘this isn’t you’ COINCIDENTALLY Shari the amazing life coach i’ve been speaking about was speaking on a facebook live about her new 12 week maverick life program and right at that very moment I knew this was exactly what I was meant to see at the top of my Facebook newsfeed!

Yesterday was the end of week 1 and i’ve already uncovered a lot of things about who the ‘old Dan’ is that is trying so hard to hold on so the new Dan can’t come out.

I have also learned a lot about why it has taken me so long to shed the struggling, broken, homeless PT Dan and who the real Dan is that has been pushed so far down that he’s become lost.

I’m fucking excited to see where these next 11 weeks take me and who I will become without fear of judgement or needing to be someone for others and just stepping into the Dan that I want to be. for me.