Out of the shadows

When I was much younger, I was confident and didn’t mind being out in the limelight.   I enjoyed singing solo in the choir, going in for the talent shows whilst on holidays, I enjoyed being myself.

Then the bullying started and I subconsciously decided to retreat into the shadows. Instead of being the little girl who was happy singing at talent shows or singing solo, I started to blend in with the crowd.  Becoming invisible meant that I couldn’t be singled out by the bullies.

I got involved in hockey, netball, athletics, dancing.   Team activities where I was part of the crowd (the team), never really having to stand out but working as a team to achieve goals.   When I won the 100m races at school the team house I belonged to were cheering me.

Out of school I only surrounded myself with a close knit group of friends.   Sometimes I was someone’s best friend until the next one came along and I did take it personally.  The bullying had knocked my confidence and it made me feel unloved and unwanted.

Bullying continued from middle school to high school partly because the same individuals followed me there.    Again I only had a small amount of friends and kept in with the sports, dancing and theatre.  Things that I knew and felt confident doing but again keeping in the shadows.   People saw me as overly confident but most of the time that was just a charade.

I went to university close to my home so didn’t really socialise much.  Again I had a handful of close friends and on finishing my degree, me and the fiance moved from our family homes to Wakefield, West Yorkshire.    We started married life again surrounding ourselves with a new set of friends.  I started to do Amateur Dramatics and making new friends.  Life was looking good.  4 years later due to a relocation of his business we moved from Wakefield to Halifax and it was at this time I developed Crohns Disease – my life was on hold, I couldn’t visit my old friends, couldn’t do my Amateur Dramatics and my husband decided that we should seperate.

The old feelings of being unwanted and unloved came flooding back

But I still remained in the shadows.   In 2010 I eventually got back into Amateur Dramatics, however still worked in the chorus, never auditioning for roles.  In 2011 after 16 years working for the same company I was made redundant.   I had started a home based business a few years before and was involved in a lot of self-development training – the amount of knock backs start to make you resilient but the knock backs also added to my insecurities.   Throughout my life so far I had felt “I wasn’t good enough”,  not getting the A level grades I hoped for,  the degree grade I wanted and passing my driving test 2nd time .     Added to that a divorce whilst recovering from a life saving operation and you get the picture.    I retrained as a Nutritionist and started networking to bring in more business.   My business coach however noticed I was going to the networking but hiding behind the inaction, the follow up.  He advised that I needed to start investing in myself.  I was busy being busy but it wasn’t bringing in the money I wanted – it wasn’t making the boat go faster.

So I started my Mindfulness training and over the last 3 years I have been working on those “limiting beliefs” that were stopping me being the person I wanted to be.   I found clarity in both myself and what I wanted to do with my life.   I trained as a practitioner so I can share my learnings with others.

I surrounded myself with people that were there to support me, lift me up, encourage me, that saw my potential.  I started to audition for parts and got small roles in the shows.  I started singing in a trio at 1940s events and have started to do more solo work.  I am coming out of the shadows and into the light and it feels good.  This year I got my first principal part in a panto, sang solos at a music evening and have a principal role in a play.  All because someone said that I could do it and I believed them.  I believed in myself.  Yes there are still people out there that still say that “you won’t get that part”, “you’re too old” but now I can recognise my old thought patterns and understand that whatever they think is none of my concern.  If they speak from the heart then I will listen, if they speak from their “ego” then it is more about them and their insecurities than anything to do with me.

So what have I learnt over the last 3 years:-

  • The mind holds a lot of rubbish, give it a spring clean every now and again.
  • The past doesn’t have to define you.
  • Learn to love yourself
  • Limiting beliefs are just that limiting – be unlimited.

I have found a way to help people remove their inner demons and unleash their power through mindfulness, meditation and mindful eating/nutrition.




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