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Wired for Success TV


Mastering the 7 Areas of Life

www.wiredforsuccess.tv Presented by
Melanie Gabriel & Beryl Thomas

[Episode 49] Befriending Fear with Mary Daniels

Befriending Fear with Mary Daniels [Episode 49] Beryl: Welcome to another episode of http://www.wiredforsuccess.tv. I am Beryl Thomas and with me is my co-host, Melanie Gabriel. Say hi, Mel. Melanie: Hello everyone. Beryl: So, we are always eager to bring you the latest and the greatest to help you throw away your props and live life on your own terms. Our guest today holds a powerful position as the co-director of Alternatives, a Londonbased none for profit organization that holds regular events to explore world spirituality and personal growth. Going by the name of the Life Chef, and well find out more about that a bit later, shes also a business and life coach, a social entrepreneur, an inspirational speaker, and a workshop facilitator. She is also known for her very upbeat personality, her unfailing sense of humor, immense energy, not to mention powerful presence. She delights in the creative, the innovative and the dynamic. And in the short time that weve been around her, we know that she embodies all of those qualities. A keen writer, she has a book in process that covers the essence of her philosophy of life. Its called 9 Questions That Saved and Transformed My Life . One of her very favorite quotes that say so much about her is, Be yourself because everyone else is taken. So today, shes going to share with us something of her personal journey from a very challenging background to the woman that she now is who can finally look in the mirror and be proud of herself and what shes achieving. And we find out what Alternatives has meant to her over many years. And a bit of a behind the scenes peek of what she hopes to guide it towards in the future. So were very pleased to welcome, Mary Daniels. Mary: Hello. Beryl: Hi, Mary. Weve managed to pin you today because you are very, very busy woman. So lets get straight into this Mary because there are so
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many topics we could cover with you. I think this is going to be the first of many chats with you. Now, tell us fill us in now on what is this Life Chef thing all about? Tell us how you came by that name. Mary: OK. Well, its no secret that I actually love my food. So, when I was sitting there, I thought how can I combine different passions? And at the time, I was also sort of Ive been interested in [0:02:30] [Indiscernible] of nutrition because my son had lots of allergies and going through asthma, eczema, and it really affects his life quite hugely. And so, I wanted to combine the two. And then I think when I looked into it a lot more closely, I suddenly realized that cooking and food is such a powerful metaphors alike. And when we want to achieve something, you have these glorious cookbooks with a stunning image next to them and then the step-by-step recipes and how you mix it together and then adding in a little bit of your own to sort of to see your own taste buds a bit here, a bit there and it just felt like a natural life process we go through. So the Life Chef really came about how you could take elements of your own life and sort of create your own recipe for living. So looking at what other people are doing that sort of suits your taste buds, have that image in your head as to what you want to create. And then once youre used to doing it over practicing it a few times, start to mix it up a bit. And add in a bit here and a bit there. So for me, it just seemed really a logical process to sort of ask people to may be become their own Life Chefs. Beryl: Thats a great parallel to draw, isnt it really? Because we tend not to think of life perhaps as that we are creating it. But we are creating it, arent we? You can tend to people can tend to think that life just happens to them. But in a recipe, the same with the recipe, you can make decisions, you can try things out. And actually, life is much the same. Mary: Completely. So I mean it is. And in that sense, I think for me, its been an incredible journey. Ive been sort of building the Life Chef and working on to that brand and then what it did to my heart for several years now, Ive been coaching for well over ten years. Actually, close to 15. I shed my age, closer to ten. No, Im joking.

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So Ive gone on my own journey as every coach or anyone whos working I think in the field that is connecting with other people and its that inspiration and that teaching. And you cant not develop. You cant not grow. And I think over this course, Ive really started to reconnect with who I am and this next stage of my life. So whilst I adore the Life Chef and its still around, Im now sitting and looking at it and seeing whether its time for me to sort of evolve into this new space which is where my writing has started to come through a lot more. Alternatives at the time, the time that that could not have been more perfect as the universe normally, that things work out when theyre supposed to. So a lot has started to change and this is my year of letting go of everything and anything. Beryl: Oh wow! Mary: Yes. Beryl: Wow! Melanie: Do you want to share with us how things are changing and what youre planning to let go of? Mary: Yes. I think there are so many things that we can become attached to and there are so many things. I think especially Im in my 30s, not far off towards [0:05:39] [Indiscernible] so that piece of my life. I was in touched with my 30s but no, I can really see how so many different experiences have enriched me. And even the positive ones, we can become attached to. Whilst they are great teacher and a great learning, I really want to step into a space where all of my experiences now in literature and Im letting go of any meaning and attached to anything and really open up. So for me, I mean I was what I would say, a very curvy, delicious woman in that sense. But I think letting go is also about looking at how Im physically letting go, emotionally letting go, spiritually letting go in a holistic way because I want to also get healthier and I love my food but I am sort of embarking on a more food journey. I was completely going, Oh, its not in my DNA.
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Melanie: Youll never know. Mary: Yes. I think enough to I suppose really just supports my body to step into this new place. So it really is a mind, body, spirit journey for me. Beryl: So talking about a journey for you, Mary, in a previous conversation we had, you told us about where you come from and how you had been inspired to lets say, be more creative with your own life. Lets say that. You pick up the story from there if you would. Mary: Yes. Wow! I think to this very moment, its an inspiration and sometimes Im thinking how far back do I go? Wow! Thats actually a really its really hit me in my body how sort of deep that goes for me. I think as a child, I came from a very Id say, interesting background. I maybe was speaking about this earlier. Ill try and find a way to describe it and even though I chose the word, challenging, part of my body is even saying, Im not sure I connect with that still. Because its been such a gift I think. Its been such a gift and its hard to hold the word gift in one hand and challenging in the other. So I think thats why Im still coming to terms with how I connect to the description of it. But I was fostered from a very young age. I think when I was two or three weeks old. I was fostered as a baby into an English family, neat little farm, beautiful family. My mother was sort of adopted Doolittle [0:08:26] [Indiscernible] all sorts of strays, donkeys, cats, she had 18 cats, everything. So she had a really sorry? Melanie: So that created an identity challenge for you then? Mary: Oh, it was really funny. And in those days, its just where they live in the community, we were the only black children. So it was even just on a sort of visual points, my brother was also fostered. She was this beautiful, typical English rose mom walking down the street and she said, I dont know what to do with your hair, Mary. So I would be everywhere in hats because I didnt know how to manage up my hair. So it was just it has many joyful memories for me. And then I moved back to live with my parents maybe when I was six or seven. Im not 100% sure of the age. And it was a sort of very different
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environment. They were sort of an African family that just came over from Africa. Theyve gone through their own challenges. And I think even looking back on it now, they were going through a lot of pain themselves and didnt necessarily know a lot of the sort of methods or the parenting skills that might have come maybe naturally for some other people. So for me, it was quite it was a very fear-based childhood. And quite sort of aggressive, very full on and there were times where I can say this now, this is strange for me to say because Ive never actually said this out loud and on recording but there were times when my life was physically in danger being at home. But I think and as my mother said this to me, gosh, not that long ago and even she always said, You were born happy, Mary. You were just one of these children thats just born happy and wise. is what she used to say, You were born like an old lady. And I hope that was a compliment. But now I think and I can relate to that throughout my childhood. I still see myself as a happy child in respect of what went on. But I had a phenomenal mentor who when I moved to my secondary school. So I moved around schools a little bit. And in what to be my sixth move, I met one of the Math teachers there and he was into a lot of some Eastern and Western philosophy. He believed in Hare Krishnas. I was I had come from a really devout Christian background. I had been sent to a Catholic convent school. Her family was sort of strict Methodist. Everything evolved around the church. And I think he took a fascination with my really my strong beliefs, my Christian beliefs that for me, Jesus was my best friend, my guide, my and I think in that space, this dialogue began and he gave me books written by Ken Wilber. We were looking at sort of [0:11:24] [Indiscernible]. It was just the most incredible journey to have at the age of 17. And at that time, I was looking at starting my own business as well. I went through a period where I dont really have anywhere to live. So I would be sort of sleeping in hospital waiting rooms or just trying to hang out wherever I could. A little bit of A&E but nobody moves you because theyre used of people being there for hours so you can actually go in late and leave when I would go to the bathroom and get something to eat and no one questions you at all.
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Beryl: Well, thats a bit of useful life advice there from the Chef. Mary: Yeah. Im not suggesting that everyone on the streets starts to migrate to A&E [0:12:06] [Indiscernible]. But now I think, as a young person, and it wasnt that I couldnt go home in the sense that they said to me, Youre not allowed in. It was because I was actually so scared to go home. And I didnt really have anywhere else to go. I had some friends. And it came to a period where for a week or two so I wouldnt really be able to go home. So I think for me, that whole having that mentor, having that guide and everybody in my life has been a spiritual guide, a spiritual teacher and I can really recognized that even though it was sort of come in forms that have challenged me as an individual, my parents, my foster, any shape or form. So yes, so I left school with this incredible learning and decided to start a business. Beryl: Which was? Mary: Sorry? Beryl: Sorry. I was just going to say to you, which was? Mary: Oh, OK. So my first business originally, I had a taste of it whilst I was doing my sort of GCSE and A-level and that was working with young children in the school who were struggling with their studies. And then I started to realize, they were struggling with their confidence. So for me, they went hand in hand. So if I worked on making them feel better about themselves, I can see it was having an impact on the way that they would learn and absorb the information because there was this inner confidence. So I started words sort of spread, and I started to work with quite a few sort of children around the school. And then when I moved to university, I knew that I wanted to travel and I still wanted to have a business and I wanted to have a degree. I had come from a background where because there was such a lack of parenting in some shape or form, not completely. It was very strict in others. In other shapes or forms, it was quite free. So there were no boundaries for me. The idea of traveling and starting a
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business and doing a degree did not seem odd. It was all physically possible which just seemed achievable. Bear in mind that at that time, I had missed about quite a bit during my A levels with my previous business. So I hadnt gotten into a university of my choice which is originally Cambridge. It was my fathers. It was like Cambridge or Oxford and thats it. So I was in a youth hostel at about 200 and odd pounds to my name, no host of residence, and still hadnt completed what course I was going to be on. It was just this incredible space. I was living off popcorn because it doubled in size so I managed to have more. Beryl: Another good tip. Mary: I was having popcorn and that was it. And yes, and I just somehow made it happened. And I used to commute every week from Bristol to Holland overnight on the coach for a few days there and a few days here. And it was the business was sort of personal development around environmental products, teaching young people how to start their own business as well combined giving workshops, running courses. Beryl: Wow! Melanie: So you were doing that in Holland? Mary: Yes. Melanie: You were commuting to Holland to run these courses? Mary: Yes. Melanie: Why Holland? Mary: Because I knew one person there that I thought I could combine traveling. And I didnt have any money so that all I can get though. I could crash in this persons floor. Melanie: OK.

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Mary: And just stay with them for free. And then sort of come back and forth until I figured its hard. Ive never been one of these people that worry about the outcome. Im very much, This is what I want to do now. And I jump straight into it. And whilst Im discovering whether I can swim then and Im like, OK, Mary. Whats your plan really quickly? But the decision and action comes very quickly. Then the plan comes. So it might not be the best of the best. Its always been my natural order. Melanie: But it worked. Beryl: It worked. And this is fascinating listening to you, Mary, because I find it really difficult to do things that way around. Id like to see things kind of set in stone which Im learning not to wish for now. But are you saying that you dont feel fear when you go into these situations? Im not talking about physical fear necessarily but fear of a failure for example? Sorry, Melanie. Fear of? Melanie: No, I was trying to find a word that you might want and I said dread. Beryl: Yeah. Mary: I absolutely felt fear of failure. No choice about it. And I have thought about this quite a lot. And I think a lot of people would be quite surprised because on one hand, Id say it was very outgoing, voicetress, really go for it. But I am quite shy in a weird way. And everyone laughs but those who really know me well. No. Im the person who would go to a dinner party and not know anyone and it really requires inner courage for me to go up to somebody and speak to them. Still to this day, I dread any form of networking events. I will come last and leave early. So Im still working on that. But someone in the office who works with me at Alternatives, Vivian, bless her, and shes a really social butterfly. And Ive learned enough from her. But no, I do experience fear. And so, my only honest answer about that and it might just be because I experienced it quite intensely at a young age. I managed to live in a situation that was quite fear-based and it had a lot of anxiety for me but at the same time, I was still able to live and laugh and try and be myself as much as possible. And Im not sure if Ive just become comfortable with the two side by side that I have an expectation it will
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always be there on some level. And sometimes, I will feel it and sometimes, I wont notice it. But it doesnt mean that I have not experienced it when Im going to massive hurdles. I think the thing with fear is Ive learned a way to make it my friend. I think thats probably what it is. Ive really befriended it. Ive accepted that when Im about to take a huge leap, if I feel it, that means Im stretching and growing. So its there as a loving guide and a friend. And its not an enemy. Failure is not an enemy at all. Failure can only exist if you believe that there is a right or wrong. I dont believe that there is a right or wrong so therefore, I cant connect to failing. I can connect to experiences. So then maybe some experiences I ever had that have had a very different outcome to the one I perceived or thought or even hoped I would have but thats only a different outcome to the one I expected. Not a different outcome to the one I needed. So its really getting clear on a difference. And I think if you have a reflection of process that allows you to reflect on what youre doing and where youre going, you will always see every kind of sort of experience as one thats beneficial. Melanie: So theres a thought going through my mind here, Mary, because you described your background especially with your biological family and usually, one would expect one to be somewhat fearful if not defeated by that kind of environment. Im wondering because you do refer to this background as being a gift and I agree with you, it can be, Im wondering what it is about this background, what is the gift there that equipped you to be able to treat fear as a friend? Mary: Thats a good question. I think I have the most incredible relationship with my family at the moment. And one thing I would like to say and this is why I talked about my background as an interesting space for me because at the moment, I mean my father passed away a few years ago and my mother and I, we were quite estranged for a while. And I did say to her recently, Look mom, Im writing a book and it does involve some things that happened when I was a child. And for years, she was very traditional. And I think as Ive matured, Ive really come to understand my mom. And in fact, this leads so well into the
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book because Ive journaled a lot as a child. I mean I have these multitudes of journals under my bed and it came all sorts. And part of writing this book is also letting go of my attachment to my journals and my attachment to whatever the comfort that they gave me. And I noticed a pattern in the things that I would journal about. So I would first of all always look up what have I been learning from this, what can I learn from this. I have no idea how that came about but I just felt that getting some learning from what was happening to me had to be key. And I think my Christian faith being so strong at the time was very much when I say that my relationship with Jesus was a very key part of my life, now, I see myself as spiritual. But then I really saw myself as a strong devout Christian. That for me was a dialogue. I saw that relationship as I would read these extracts and really learn about the teachings of Christianity and forgiveness, all sorts of things, it opened up a dialogue for me internally. And so, I used to ask myself nine questions without them having any structure. And one of them was apart from what have I learned, the other one came about from what do I need to just accept. And I think coming from that space of acceptance finally and it took me a long time I think to really understand what it meant to accept. As a child, it was very much what I cant change this so how can I just make the most of it? Then as I matured, I realized that that was acceptance. And connecting with my mother now, very much I think a lot of us in our family felt a bit disappointed and let down at key stages of our childhood. And Ive had just the most beautiful privilege to have enough time to reconnect with my mother and I understand her and see her for the shes an incredible woman. She is a true inspiration. I never would have said that about 15 years ago at all. Not that she was a bad person but she was in so much pain. I dont think she could see past that pain to mother us. And we grew up in an environment where all of our friends were experiencing what we saw as this ideal English the children were loved and pampered and I was coming home to chores and being sort of shouted at and talked down to and sometimes, quite a few things past that point. And so for me, I think to be able to go into a space and truly see my mother and accept shes not going to be one of these moms that Ive been wishing her to be for years. She is who she is and actually, she is my mom and I
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need to get to know this incredible woman. And we wont always agree. We would probably never see eye to eye but at least if we can accept each other or even if I could just accept her. It doesnt even need to come back the other way. And in that moment I think, when I decided to step into that space, thats when the most incredible things happened in our relationship. Thats when I start trying to defend myself and justify things and question her and I think thats when she stopped feeling this attack from us as if shed failed. Sorry, Mel. Im not sure if that answered your question. Melanie: No, thats fine. Thats fine because its sort of opened up into a much bigger area where I suspect whereas it would have been easy to take the fear that you felt in that situation forward in life, youve been questioning of yourself, youve been looking at the best way to make the best of it which I have to say well done because you remind me of my childhood where it wasnt the most comfortable experience. And I couldnt change it. But what I did was I bided my time. But you did something clever. You asked questions about what were you learning. I wished I had thought of that then. So clearly, this would have filtered its way through just the way you handle life. Mary: I think so. And actually, just coming back because I know you asked me about the fear, coming back to the thing with that fear and how we handle life and what we do, I think the fear was also a part of my acceptance, is that there will be times that I experience fear. There will be times that I experience challenges where I may not know the answer for a long time where I may feel really lost. I may feel quite disconnected. And I think having gone through such a myriad of experiences and tons of experiences at such a young age, it came to a point where life seemed easy. It was almost as if what else can go wrong? Life seems when youre in a situation where there was one particular situation when I was younger where I physically thought this may be the day I die. Really, it was a reality. Things were happening. And I dont know. It just puts into perspective what is important. And in that moment, so much just disappeared where I thought I dont know. I think theres only so far fear can ever push you. Theres only so far fear can ever push you. You do the rest. Its what you allow fear to become.
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Theres only so far you can build fear up to. And I just think if you really stepped into space, step into the heart of it and see what its trying to teach you. You will realize that its probably one of the greatest friends you will ever have. Melanie: I mean this is such a wonderful bit of advice that youre giving to the public here. Beryl: Melanie, stop, stop, stop. Theres a bit of echo going on there. Melanie: OK. I dont know what changed. Beryl: Keep talking for a bit. Lets see if its gone. Melanie: So is that improving? Beryl: Yes, OK. Melanie: Yeah. OK. Beryl: So go back to when you started speaking. Melanie: Ill just pause. Beryl: Thank you. Melanie: Yeah. So this is a really great piece of advice you are giving to the public actually because what you did was you sat with the fear, saw what it was teaching you. And bringing this up has been so important because its important in terms of what were communicating to people when we talk about being wired for success because Im comparing my situation which was not as useful as yours in that the intense experiences were so awful that I actually switched myself off so I couldnt feel fear. But I then paid for it as an adult because I had to go through so much to dare to revisit that fear and then let it go. But with you, it got to the point where you decided, OK. Lets see what we can make of it. And I think a lot of people, a lot of people do switch off so they cant feel the fear, not at that level of intensity and then it creates all the problems.
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Mary: It does. And I dont feel that theres one experience thats any less I mean more or less than the other because I feel that your experience, Mel, is totally valid as well. And I suppose, this is why Ive struggled with looking at ways to integrate my childhood and my journey to this point into my learnings of today is because sometimes when people hear some stories, they immediately look at, My goodness, if I were in that situation, how would I cope? and based on that, they might then not greedy because that sounds awful but think, I would have done this or I would have done that. And actually, until we are until I am you and you are me, we never know how each other Melanie: Its absolutely true, yeah. Mary: And actually, both responses are equally powerful because I think to a degree, there are ways where I did switch off but it might be not in the obvious way that you connected with what switch off means to you. So Ive looked at the challenges that Ive had with my weight and Ive looked at that and I thought, Yes, I can say I love my food and I love this. But maybe that was a form of me also coping with the excess. Its that I wasnt yet equipped to deal with. Melanie: Yeah. Mary: Now, Im in this year of really letting go sort of physically and mentally and emotionally. That also includes my weight, my excess weight that and what that represents and potentially what thats been protecting me from in a way that I hadnt connected with at that time. So I think every experience is unique to a person and someone whos been in the most loving family and I say lovin in abbreviations can be living a more traumatic life than somebody who appears to have come from a traumatic background. I think its how we connect to our experiences and how we connect to our definition of fear and trauma and challenge. And I just think that Ive in some shape or form connected to it in a different way that may have just been what saved me. I dont know.

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Melanie: Youre absolutely right. So Beryl: Well Melanie: Carry on. Beryl: Its interesting listening to you because its very easy to make judgments, isnt it? And look at you and think, Oh, what a terrible time you had. But actually, youve turned it all into a gift. And I often say to my sons, be grateful that you werent born with a silver spoon in your mouth because it allows you, as you have done clearly, to carve your own path. Nobody has held you back, one could argue, because you had to do this yourself. And I think when you I know some young people for example, that they dont have to work, OK? Financially, they dont have to work. And I look at them without judgment but I do think, What a shame because I can see in you some really special things that you could take out and share with the world. But because youre not motivated because you dont need money, you dont need to make your own money, that gift that you have will never be shared with the world. Mary: And I hear you. I mean Ive done a lot of work with young people from going into secondary schools and mentoring and coaching there, going into prisons, just a wide range of environments from very young age is when you see some 11, 12 year olds who are addicted in some shape or form to drugs. I mean its incredible, some of the things that are going on. And being a parent myself, you have sort of at a very young age, I met my partner and he had sort of three boys and we had a son together. So it was sort of four boys that are just all over the place. And now, I look at my youngest son and he had this incredible lifestyle. And I think sometimes, you overcompensate sometimes. You want to almost give them the things that you felt were missing from your own childhood. And has it served him or not? Ive given up that question and I have to be honest with you because I just think, he will be who he will be. He is definitely taken some I suppose, I have been told from my friends. But of course, he can be quite direct a lot. There are times when I walk away and I have nothing to say. Im totally lost for words. He sees the world very much black and white.
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There are so many things about him that he would mention and I get it. And he knows I get it and I know I would be able to ask it that to him, Oh, can you go and pick something up or how many times have I told you, you need to do this? Its that, Mom, but I dont want to. And I said, But Im asking you to as your mom. And he said, But just because you gave birth to me mom, doesnt mean because Im And then hed stopped and says, Remember, you said I can speak my mind as long as [0:33:36] [Indiscernible]. So I said, Yup, you got me. Melanie: Oh dear. Mary: Its great to be parents. You say, Because Im you parent, you need to do it. He said, That doesnt make them more intelligent or not equal than me. It just makes them older. So Beryl: Now, isnt it interesting, were in a different age, arent we? I wouldnt have spoken back like this. I wouldnt have spoken back at school. But were in a different age now, arent we? And Id like to kind of bring you in to talk a little bit about Alternatives, Mary, here because things are changing massively in this world. We have the most amazing opportunity in front of us to create something new. And the way I see you at Alternatives and all of Alternatives, all the people that are involved in it, youre forging away, youre flying a flag and saying, Come on. Change is happening. Lets be part of it in some way. What do you tell us about your journey there. Mary: Absolutely. I mean Alternatives to me has been just an iconic part. Its just in term of my own transformation, its been key. And I sort of came to Alternatives for years just as a plain guest and it was a sanctuary. Just walking into St. James Church, being able to breath, being in this space where you dont you just didnt feel any form of judgment at all and I genuinely mean that. You could turn up however you wanted to. Nobody was there to judge you. And it was space to connect with peoples journeys for inspiration, for guidance, for spirituality. And spirituality can have a bit of a bad name. People think its a bit fluffy. Its a bit hippie. Its a bit this. But there was a power behind spirituality. And Im not talking about the commercial
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spirituality. Spirituality for me is just simply represents a way of being. See, I have come from a world of personal development. And personal development for me was very much a way of thinking. It was very cerebral. It was sort of tools, techniques. But as I moved on this journey, I thought spirituality for me is more about a way of being. How Im showing up in every moment, coming out of my head and into my heart and really being fully present to my life and everything around me. So Alternatives is providing this amazing platform for you to connect with who are you being and what does that mean for you? So having moved from being in the audience to I was and I wont lie. There were lots of volunteers I never thought I had any time. But like everything, the second you say yes, if its the right thing, the universe will transpire to make it happen. Then I was sort of asked to become workshop coordinator not knowing they were sort of assessing me out as a potential director. I love the guys, I really do and Ester as well, one of the past directors, phenomenal woman. And now, Im sort of here, co-directing with Richard, phenomenal team, sort of Vivian and Susanna in the office. I feel really that this is a personal calling. I feel that we are an organization that is really looking at ways to raise consciousness and there are so many people like yourselves, other organizations that are looking at ways to raise consciousness, looking at ways to just inspire and get the message out there. But we can only do that if we know what that means for ourselves. Everything I think starts internally and its how ripples out. So for me coming into this phase, it wasnt just where you go with the organization, what are you going to do. The questions I was asking myself is where am I going, who am I going to be, what do I need to become to raise my own consciousness? And on that internal journey, it will indirectly affect the platform we provide for other people on a similar journey because suddenly, when youre connected to that space, you are seeing and experiencing them being very different things to just were holding events, were bringing people over where no, its more way more than that, way more than that.

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And I think thats what Im hoping to bring to the organization is all about collective inner journeys that we were experiencing within the organization and then connecting it with our audience, members, and this new younger generation that are so much more aware. They are enlightened in a truest sense. And I think the real shift is not us worrying about how to parent them and how to manage them, its about how we accept them and not enforce our own rules on them and let them be. And thats a massive shift for what I call this generation that is where the sort of what enlightenment means. But have come through a bit of the old schooling of you have to be old and wise and got all these experiences before you become enlightened. No, were born enlightened. Our journey is to come back to that place that we were born into. Its not to sort of go into a path to find it. We are born in it, it never goes anywhere. Life removes us from it. And our journey is to reconnect. Thats all it is. And I see these young people so connected in the moment raw and I see a way where Alternatives can open that now and engage with people of all ages, all backgrounds everywhere in the world and hold a space wherever theyre at on their journey. Beryl: Its interesting you say that because oh, is that echoing for people? Melanie: Yeah, we can hear the echo. Beryl: Is that any better? Melanie: Keep talking. This is what happened with me. Yes, its improved now. Beryl: Lets just pause. So recently, I came to Alternatives to see Tim Ferriss, Mary. Mary: Oh yes. Beryl: I brought my sons who are in their early 20s. Mary: Fantastic.

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Beryl: Yeah. And they were enthralled. And my eldest one said, That was really interesting. Because theyd seen the Alternatives magazine that you do, your brochure. Mary: Yes. Beryl: And he said, I would never have gone there but for the Tim Ferriss event. And he said, But I am open now to going to more events. Mary: Oh fantastic. Beryl: And it was interesting because there were a lot of young men at that event, werent there? Mary: Yeah. Beryl: And I think a lot of them were new there. So youre opening the doors to embrace because theyve got so much to teach us. Youre absolutely right. These young people, they dont have the fears and the anxieties and they see life very, very differently and Im sure thats largely to do with the internet and the information that the access to knowledge that we have. But still, the work that youre doing there I think is embracing these younger groups especially in London. It seems like younger group of people who are much more questioning than we were, well perhaps, certainly from age group, and they are looking. They feel this need for there is something more. There is something theyre hungry. Its like youre nourishing their soul. Mary: Absolutely, absolutely. And I think its and it is. Everything about learning is that learning never happens in one direction at all. It never happens. It is a holistic process. And we are part of our aim is to provide a platform that appeals to all and to also redefine what people connected what spirituality means for people. The great thing about Alternatives is here, you have this incredible church, [0:41:07] [Indiscernible] church that is so steep in tradition and just everything that goes with that. And then you have this really sort of spiritual wacky out there group inviting all sorts. And to have the two coexist in itself
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I think is a miracle and blessing because for some people, thats the first time theyve ever walked into a church and being comfortable in that space. Church has so many heavy connotations for me. To see someone on an altar talking about releasing your energy and how to have a 4-hour workweek or tantric, whatever it is, to have that within a church space is very unique. And I thank sort of Donald Reeves who was a really inspired and visionary rector at the time who saw this as a project and with the Malcolms journey, they basically put it together. From 2000, its now become an independent not for profit. So whilst we are independent in that sense, were still in this great space. And I think were trying to really look at ways where spirituality is mainstream and its not even about everything is spiritual, everything. There is no separation. And under that guise of everything being spiritual, Im now going to invite anything thats inspirational, anything that allows people to connect to themselves in any shape or form of a quality that we feel will allow people to have some of their questions answered. So that is our aim really. Beryl: Well, we are blessed to have Alternatives in London. Were absolutely blessed, Mary. We are blessed that you have stepped into this role to help to shape Alternatives going forward. And you have fantastic message there. Mary: Thank you. Beryl: Is there anything that weve not asked you about Alternatives or anything that you would like to share? Melanie: Or anything about your book. Beryl: Yes, about your book. We havent talked about your book. Yes, your forthcoming book. Melanie: Because that must have been a [0:43:10] [Indiscernible] between what youre doing at Alternatives and the book. Mary: Yeah. I think a lot of it is I mean for me, I suppose and thank you for that. I dont really see a separation. So its hard for me to almost
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categorize where Im at in my life because everything is just this full moment. And the one thing I would say specifically with Alternatives is Im really excited about the way were now engaging with our audience. Not just the ones that physically come and sit in the church in London but just all around the world. So I would say to anyone who has been inspired, for anyone thats going on a journey, for anyone that wants to either recommend, come and engage, come and connect with us. We are a very much and this is something Im really passionate about, we are an open space. This isnt owned by anyone. There is no ownership of this space. Alternatives is merely one vehicle of many and were holding hands and joining dots but this is shared space. Its a collective. So I really encourage people to come in and to share with us in any way they feel inspired to do so. And I think the book for me is really a journaling of my experiences, my learnings, the things that have helped me become more of who I am. I try and use language that people can understand but I think even more than just saying a journey, I think for me its just a reconnection because a journey almost sense that I am going somewhere whereas I think where I am at the moment is, its more of reconnecting to just being here. So, sort of letting go. Melanie: I was going to say, letting go starts you seeing that youre connected. Mary: See, letting go of everything for me is just because we dont own anything, the idea of letting go allows you then to just be left with what is. So if theres nothing cluttering you, theres nothing in the way physically, mentally, emotionally, it leaves you with what is. And what is, is almost everything. Melanie: Yes. Mary: So its almost this contradiction because I joked that its almost like were all lost property. And for some reason, we have this fear that were lost property. But actually, that is the best part of it because as lost property, there is no ownership. There is nothing. You dont need to worry about where things belong and youre free. There is a freedom. And I think that we should all I suppose for me personally, I cant speak for everyone,
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I like the excitement that comes from almost relishing being lost and letting go and trusting what will appear because it is never what we think it will be. And its always much more than we thought we could ever handle. And that is the joy I think of just letting go because you couldnt manage it if you tried. Beryl: What youre really saying is I think, what youre saying to me lets say, what youre saying to me is dont limit yourself and its so easy, isnt it? Because when we make plans of what we think life is going to be, actually, were limiting ourselves, arent we? Mary: Absolutely, absolutely. And dont get me wrong, I know its not that I wake up and wander around aimlessly. I just want you to see what the day will bring me. Everybody in the organization, there are things that we have to do. But its always leaving space, always leaving space for anything, for something, for nothing, its leaving space. And sometimes I think we fill our lives too much. And trust me, I am the worst case. Melanie: You know all about that. Mary: We fill our lives too much. And I think part of this inner journey of letting go with me is physically, I have been filling my body too much but Ive also been filling my life too much. And letting go is about creating space. So you can go in the journey. You can be in the car. You can have your [0:47:23] [Indiscernible] or you can have your map. But slow down. Roll down the window. Look left and right. Melanie: Enjoy the journey. Mary: Yes. Enjoy it and relish it and trust that you will get there. But also trust that getting there may not be the destination youre programmed into the [Indiscernible]. Beryl: Maybe a more exciting destination is waiting for you. Mary: Absolutely. Melanie: But what this reminds me of actually, we have a colleague and he refers to this as delighting in the wonder of uncertainty.

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Mary: Yes, I love that. I love that. Oh, uncertainty is that is another thing that I just think is magical. Its all of these words and things that were so used to hearing that have been attached with some form of fear. And I think its really rewriting that coding of how uncertainty can be sometimes such a powerful place to be, such a powerful place to be, being nervous, being scared, the unknown. Its I think how we accept what that can bring for us and actually see the gift in that, really see the gift in that. And I think that comes down to trust. If you really trust in yourself because trust is about having the certainty to know that whatever happens, youll be OK and you can deal with it and it will be fine. And so I think, once you have that trust, that certainty yourself, you can deal with the uncertainty. Melanie: I know its a delight. Mary: Yes, absolutely, absolutely. Beryl: Were aware that you have plenty to do at Alternatives. We could talk for a long time. We would like to invite you back to discuss more of these topics. Mary: Oh, thank you. Thank you. Yes, I have see, I enjoyed creating with you two gorgeous ladies. Its been a true delight, a true joy. Honestly, it has. And I just want to commend on the work that you do as well because it is all about joining the dots and connecting and inspiring and holding the space. And so, its been a real privileged to be a part of your journey even for a short while. And so, thank you. Beryl: Everything youre saying is resonating with me about fear, being out of comfort zone, not knowing where things are going but trusting that were on the right path. That was all humming away in there for me, Mary, for sure. Mary: Oh, fantastic, fantastic. Beryl: OK. Mary: Thank you.

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Melanie: Speaking of which, you assist people on their journey, do you not? Do you not coach or mentor yourself privately? Mary: Yes, I do. Not as much as I used to because of my time at Alternatives. But what I am actually starting up again which I used to years ago, ironically, that is where I met Vivian who now deals with our social and marketing. And she used to come to one of these womens group that I used to run in London every week. And it was like a beautiful pool of lost souls who were looking at me like, [0:50:22] [Indiscernible]. And we had the most incredible dialogue and journey and connection and its about holding the space. And I have missed doing that for one and Ive realized that because I had very limited time to do one-to-one coaching, I still do it now and then. And I work with some businesses, more sort of social entrepreneurs. Im actually looking at starting now that group again. And Ill let you know. But its going to be around a covered garden area and its going to be the first Thursday of every month. So if anyone is interested, please feel free to get in touch. Melanie: And how would they find you? Beryl: Yeah. Mary: OK. They can email me. So if you want OK. If you want to send anything to Alternatives, the best thing to do is to go on to the website. The email address is admin@alternatives.org.uk. If its something about the womens group or coaching, then they can find me, if theyre going to mary@thelifechef.com then they can get a hold of me there or Facebook me. And Alternatives, please come to Alternatives Facebook and Twitter page. There is such a buzz going on around that now. We are loving connecting with people and sharing our thoughts and even our afternoon teas, the birthdays. Like we have girls day on Friday when we just have the girls in the office and [0:51:46] [Indiscernible]. Beryl: That sounds fun. You better give us your address. Mary: Not part of letting go though, is it? Beryl: No, no, no.

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Mary: [Indiscernible]. Its all about balance. Beryl: OK. Melanie: OK. I suppose we better let you go. Mary: Thank you. Melanie: And before we do, just to round up, I would just like to thank the listening audience for tuning in to todays episode of Wired for Success TV. I would just like to say, if you are watching the episode on our site, then please, please remember to comment on the box somewhere below my finger and do leave your comments and questions and Im sure Mary will answer any questions or thoughts as appropriate. If youre watching this on YouTube, then please be sure to press the subscribe button which is up here somewhere. And do subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you are listening to this on iTunes, again, please subscribe to our podcast channel and please leave a review. If you are watching this on social media, please feel free to share this with your friends. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter at . https://www.facebook.com/WiredForSuccesstv https://twitter.com/WiredSuccessTV Finally, regardless of where youre listening to us from, if you havent done so already, please head back to our site which is http://www.wiredforsuccess.tv and sign up for more awesome content about future episodes and whatever else were doing. And of course, were going to have a transcription of this. Beryl: Yes, there will be one. Absolutely. Melanie: Yes, there will be a transcript of this interview very soon. So thank you all for tuning in. Please remember to tune in for our next episode. And from myself, Mel Gabriel, and Beryl and Mary Daniels, we say goodbye. And say goodbye ladies.
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Beryl: Bye. Mary: Bye. Beryl: Thank you so much, Mary. Mary: Thank you. Youre more than welcome. Beryl: See you soon. Mary: More than welcome. Take care. Bye. Beryl: Bye.

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Whilst every attempt has been made to provide information that is both accurate and effective, the authors do not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or use/misuse of this information.

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