Back when I was the Social Media Deej the first live reporting job I ever did, was, at the tim, by far the best thing I had ever done. I remember, now with a smile, how people would be genuinely shocked that I was more proud of the three days work I did typing stuff on Facebook for a business coach in LA than the three years of work I put in to gain my degree in textile design.

At the end of this particular event, which I had flown half way across the world alone to attend, at the tender age of 24, with only a moment’s notice to my nearest and dearest so as not to give them any time to worry about me, my client said to me

“You know what you did is incredible, right? EVERYONE is talking about it! Thank you!”

To which I replied

“Um, err, yeah, that’s alright”

A very standard British response for no worries, just doing my job and getting mildly uncomfortable while trying to deflect this huge monstrosity of a compliment you’ve just shot my way.

“Soooo British! But don’t worry, you’re young, we can change that!” retorted my client to my frankly lacklustre (read crap) response.

... Even if you're miserable.

... Even if you're miserable.

And she was right. I didn’t realise it at the time as I had always thought of myself as being quite a free spirit, unencumbered by any stiff upper lip-ness. But being dropped in LA, a stone’s throw from Venice Beach, in the middle of a personal development focused women’s business seminar, led by a self-confessed ex hippie healer, soon taught me differently!

I was sooo stiff! So British! I was afraid of closing my eyes during any of the exercises that required it… Someone might be looking at me. Looking at my face and how it looks when my eyes are closed. They’ll know how I look when I’m sleeping. They might take a photograph of me and post it online! Eeek!

Just imagine how out of place and discombobulated I felt when the attendees started giving birth to their baby selves then cradling them and re parenting them. Cripes!

{If you're not familiar with the US self development and coaching industry check out this spoof video for a fun 4 minute guide to what it looks and feels like} 

North vs. South: Northern Stereotype Artwork by the terribly talented Toby Triumph

North vs. South: Northern Stereotype Artwork by the terribly talented Toby Triumph

I was actually a very special brand of stiff: Northern working class. Folks outside the UK tend not to grasp the complexity of our generally unspoken, but nevertheless prevalent class system and the geographical and psychological nuances that go along with it. If you’re one of those folks this part is especially for you.

As a Northern working class Brit, I absolutely did not do compliments, giving or receiving. Especially receiving. Overt or unnecessary positivity was a complete no-no. Everything had a tinge of grim about it. A sleight of sarcasm, a whiff of disdain. As a breed we also don’t like to go on too much. It’s cold up north, (or so we tell the Southerners to keep them out!) and when you’ve done a hard day’s graft down a coal mine (metaphorically speaking for myself of course) you haven’t the time or the inclination to be standing about in the bracing wind and lashing rain having pleasant but pointless chit chat. Straight to the point and in the door for your tea, which is the word used for the third meal of the day when you get past a certain point about half way up England.

Fast forward 2 years and I find myself, having been immersed in US style self development work for this whole time, on the other side of some very un-British experiences.

For example, and this one’s really the pinnacle so far so I advise you to keep reading. I had a spiritual revelation. Yes, I know. But stay with me, it’s worth your time if only for a laugh!

There I was, Northern working class Brit, meat eater, beer drinker, atheist, couldn’t tell my solar plexus from my third eye (still can’t) doing my best to live day to day by all the awesome new stuff my transatlantic sisters were teaching me about mindset, wealth consciousness, energy management, and lots of other snazzy phrases that may or may not make sense to you, but still not going whole hog with all the rebirthing and whatnot. 

Then I got my heart broken. Shattered, in fact.

At the time I was devastated because in my mind I hadn’t just lost my boyfriend, but my whole life as I knew it. Together we had future tripped in a massive way. We had entered into co-dependency, living out the present via a projected future fantasy. And unexpectedly, within moments, it was ripped from under me.

“Our greatest pain comes from attachment to things we never had”, she said wisely with 20/20 hindsight.

And I was in great pain. I was literally on my knees begging for help, from who, God knows (ba-bum, I’m here all week folks). I just needed to get out of it because I was afraid I might not survive it.

Then, as if by a miracle, that was it. The door to my soul had been blown wide open. My British-ness no longer a valid barrier to the most woo of all things to dabble in: Spirituality.

I got the message. Actually I got a message. Again, at the time I had no idea where from but I had asked for help and I wasn’t about to start quizzing the voice in my head for ID at the door. I’d been given the answer to the question I’d been asking. Boom. Just like that. I was on my knees (again, I know, I’ll be getting a reputation. Haha, very funny, mind out of the gutter please) sobbing in my living room, having a bloody spiritual revelation cheers very much.

A serious spiritual practice: Simpler than drinking tea apparently! (PS. Don't EVER let anyone tell you that it is uncouth to dunk. This is simply not true. Now pass the chocolate hobnobs.)

A serious spiritual practice: Simpler than drinking tea apparently! (PS. Don't EVER let anyone tell you that it is uncouth to dunk. This is simply not true. Now pass the chocolate hobnobs.)

The message I got was that I needed to bring spirituality, meditation, PMA, life coaching, therapy lite, call it whatever you want, to the UK, in a non-religious, down to Earth, Brit friendly way. Which seemed like a jolly good idea, so I followed the guidance and became The Spirit DJ.

It made so much sense to me to do this work because I see so many of my UK sisters suffering the kind of low level, persistent psychological anxiety that I once carried with me and lived my life from, that I now know could be helped enormously, if not eradicated altogether by a simple, practical spiritual practice.

I see inklings of depression, smidgens of trauma, buckets full of unfulfillment, smears of failure and guilt everywhere. And quite frankly this stiff upper lip, stoic, no fuss emotionless jive we’re dancing in the Land of [where has all the] Hope & Glory [gone] isn’t doing us any favours.

However, I'm aware that centuries of tradition, ingrained in a nation’s culture won’t be undone by one Mansfield lass having a funny turn and writing passionately about it on't Internet.

So I know that my job is to be a translator. I’m here to use my Brit given skills for bringing weird and wonderful concepts like spirituality down to a real practical, understandable level, with just the right amount of sarcasm and not taking ourselves too seriously thrown in for good measure.

In fact, that’s my mission. To bring the awesome stuff that I’ve experienced first hand, and now have seen working in my client’s lives, to the womenfolk of the UK, in a super palatable easy to digest way, with minimal reference to religion and all body contact and eye closing optional.

In my terribly humble opinion, Britain is far too great to be left behind in the happiness stakes. It’s time we started to embrace a more positive mental attitude and I think all it might take is for us to start hearing it spoken in our own language.

"Spirituality with a side of chips love?"

"Spirituality with a side of chips love?"

If you agree and you’d like to come along to an hour long demonstration of spirituality done the British way, I’d love to invite you to my Super Special Edition All Content Live Hangout – The Awesome Life Show happening this Friday, 21st February at 1pm GMT.

Check out all the deets here and get yourself registered ASAP. We’re going to party like it’s 12 degrees and drizzling in June but we’re bloody well barbecuing anyway. Because we’re British, you know.

 

 

Ladies, don't ever say I don't give you anything. 

Ladies, don't ever say I don't give you anything. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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