Someone’s just handed me a metaphorical trumpet and told me to blow it.
So I’ve cleaned the place, made a cup of tea, let it go cold, cleaned out my bag and made another cup of tea.
The car still needs doing.
I suppose it’s the same reason I’m not mad keen on taking selfies,
it just doesn’t feel… polite.
Sometimes I scroll past other people listing their achievements, shouting about how amazing they are –
and a little voice at the back of my head says:
‘simmer down, dear – no one likes a show-off’.
Can’t quite work out whose voice that is..
But actually, I DO like showing off.
When I’m teaching a dance or fitness class – I am an UTTERLY SHAMELESS show-off.
(I can justify that because I’m supposed to be entertaining and I know my stuff)
Give me a microphone on stage – and I’m all over the showing-off thing.
Those are my show-off comfort zones.
But this is about the other stuff – the life achievements, the qualifications, personal stuff… and I find myself squirming.
So I’ve slammed back the Tetley’s, I’m typing fast and getting over myself.
I’ve had this weird working life, which is like one of those books that you nearly give up on because it’s too complicated and meandering,
but then everything comes together in the last chapter…
and you go AHHH, clever – that makes much more sense now.
I qualified as a Fitness Instructor (Back then it was called a Health & Fitness teacher)
in 1991 when I was 18,
and already had a 1-year old.
Teenage mum, I KNOW – SHOCKER!
That’s another story
It was an amazingly fun, year-long course in… well EVERYTHING.
Circuit Training, Fitness Testing, Gym Floor, Aerobics, Stretch Classes, HIIT, Step – you name it, we learned how to teach it.
At the beginning of the year, we were all rubbish, and by the end of it – we were all shit hot.
They don’t really do courses like that now, and I really think they should.
As my background was in dance (I was even UK champion and stuff)
in 1994, I trained as a dance teacher too.
Well more accurately – I did the first of my qualifications in that
So story arc 1:
I have carried on training and teaching ALL kinds of dance and fitness, Insanity, Zumba, Aquarobics..
All the Les Mills Dance Programmes,
Ballet, Hip-Hop, Latin, Jive, Freestyle, Rock and Roll, Cheerleading… and trained 10 other Dance Teachers too.
In your mind, keep that one going… because it does.
Back to that teenage mum thing.
I am quite competitive, so I had decided if I was going to be a mum – I would be the BEST one,
so that started with a ‘natural birth’.
CUE – Hypnobirthing – the start of my hypnosis obsession.
Story arc 2, I suppose.
It worked like a charm.
I did my A-Levels at the same time.
You’d think that was madness – but babies make you stay on the spot quite a lot (not my natural habitat) so I had plenty of time to read and revise
and there was this really cool creche that she could go and play in – literally along the corridor…
back when such things were funded…
I read all the psychology books I could get my hands on.
And of course – hypnosis.
Paul McKenna was really the only one anyone had heard of, so I binged all of his stuff too.
Isn’t it weird that the internet hadn’t really got going then?
So I literally trawled Southampton Library with the fully loaded buggy, in search of hypnosis training courses.
I’d hoik everything about on the bus because I hadn’t learned to drive yet –
PLUS the baby, and her paraphernalia, books, gym kit and all kinds of random stuff.
Eventually, I found a ‘hypnosis correspondence course’ where the stuff turned up,
I had to complete it, and post it back.
It was dry as cat litter, very theoretical – and seemed to go on and on.
However – I got my certificate – from an organisation that doesn’t even exist now!
I must be getting on a bit.
And that bumbled away in the background too.
Although I was hypnotising people ‘just for fun’ –
I never stopped being amazed that it always worked.
I used it on myself too.
Most people do jobs, then move onto the next.
I don’t think I’ve actually ever given up doing any of them.
I just collected them, along with an increasingly barmy set of qualifications.
And amazing teachers, mentors and contacts along the way.
If you need to stop for a wee at any point, be my guest (I just did, and I’ve moved on to hot chocolate).
A decade on, I had 2 children,
a large, successful dance school with lots of National Champions,
had delivered over 500 children’s birthday parties in venues everywhere from London nightclubs to stately homes,
(that’s worth a blog post of its own. I got stories..),
Clearly, it’s time for baby 3.
(what’s the matter with me?)
Hypnosis to the rescue again for the birth.
18 months or so in,
travelling up and down the country winning trophies, whilst brilliant fun… started to get a bit of a saga.
I literally judged at the All-England championships in a very posh evening gown and a travel cot next to me.
In honesty – it was glamorous and fabulous dahhling, but quite a bitchy kind of world –
the only part I didn’t enjoy at all.
Competitiveness – YES.
Skulduggery… not so much.
But I collected stories that I’m saving for the Ted Talk.
I kept the favourite classes, but ditched the competitions.
That felt better.
I sat for a month, really without moving from the spot
and wrote a children’s Music & Movement programme –
which is still being taught in nurseries now 14 years on!
Oh, and I did a Life Coaching qualification.
200 hours worth, if you please.
And a pretty decent nutrition course – because food.
(Doing a level 4 Nutrition currently… standard)
and because I wasn’t haring up and down the motorway, I decided to run early morning Fitcamps 3 times a week.
(Like bootcamps, but camper, indoors, with disco lights, games and ridiculousness)
For three years.
It was great.
And then had other people teach them as well.
(I just remembered that part)
At the same time I had fallen in passionate love with something called Bodyjam –
a dancey fitnessy thing and taught it whenever I could.
It ticked all previous boxes.
Still my favourite thing.
This totally had my dance itch nicely scratched.
With much less fake tan, Swarovski crystals and false eyelashes involved.
And then more luck kind of shone down on me
and I found myself on an awesome in-person, real-life hypnosis diploma, with a sweary force of nature of a trainer
….as diametrically opposed to the first Hypnosis course as was possible.
It was SUPER hands-on and practical – and literally the piece in the hypnosis puzzle I needed.
Not a training manual in sight.
Are you keeping up?
It looks all over the place, doesn’t it?
What happened next is where I tie it up a bit.
One of my class attendees was in the form of yoga and mindfulness expert Claire Wakeford,
we hit it off, taught (if you don’t mind me saying so)
AWESOME classes together, and had a ball.
We even wrote a wellness programme together which incorporated everything I’d learned, and her expertise too.
We held enormous events and fancy ballrooms visited companies and schools to give training days and helped people 121.
The qualifications were great (and vital) – but the experience… almost 30 non-stop years of it –
This was the important stuff.
Working with hundreds of children and teenagers in the dance school.
Maybe 1000s in the end.
And their parents.
The babies and toddlers clambering all over me together in the Music and Movement programme.
And training teachers to do that.
And the obligatory tea, coffee and chats with their mums afterwards, as the little ones played.
Helping families hold great events and deal with the dramas and behind the scenes stress.
And the thousands and thousands of people coming to me to get fit, strong or learn a skill.
To learn to eat better, sleep better, manage their time better, get organised.
Or just have some time to themselves.
The people who’ve come for hypnosis to give up things, or do more of something else…
I never stop being amazed at how close to magic it is.
How it works every time.
I’m still obsessed.
All of the stories.
The struggles, the triumphs.
Literally more fun than I can even tell you.
One of the great things about being 47 1/4
and not 25 is…..
I’ve had time to accumulate usefulness.
I’ve got the hypnosis, the food, the coaching and fitness qualifications yada yada – and of course, they are vital
(so I know what I’m talking about and don’t just spout a load of nonsense).
But it’s the life stuff that makes it useful.
It’s the years in-between.
It’s knowing how to apply it.
You’ve heard the story of the plumber who taps the pipe once and fixes the problem?
(His fee isn’t for the tap – it’s for the years that showed him where to)
The Human Upgrade membership … is the chapter where the other things make sense.
It’s what I have learned about how to be happy and healthy
how to turn that into a game
how to prioritise fun
how to get lots of cool stuff done without burning out
how to keep your life interesting
but also the input from experts I’ve met along the way that have blown me away with their brilliance.
Like Amy Linford – UK’s Strongest woman at the forefront of research into making people pain free –
who’s collaborated on what we teach in fitness and food.
Claire has always said, I collect brilliant people – I think she’s right.
This isn’t really very good trumpet blowing,
but I am competitive,
So I thought that telling you some of how came to make the BEST POSSIBLE Happiness & Health Membership community,
would make much more sense.
(And it really is.)
p.s. I’ve left lots of bits out, I’ll come back to those another time.
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