Opinion, Review

5 Things I Discovered Taking Part in The Energy Alignment Method’s 5 Day’s to Flow

The magic of EAM is that it enables you to shift energy, let go of repetitive thoughts, and overwhelming emotions. It helps you to release physical or emotional pain, negative feelings, painful memories and traumatic experiences to be free from stress, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed.

My Facebook feed is always inundated with ads by coaches, from spiritual to general life coaching, trying to sell me their services, most of which, I ignore. However, scrolling through recently I spotted a post about The Energy Alignment Method, inviting me to participate in a free study, 5 Days To Flow.

The study introduces participants to The Energy Alignment Method (EAM), designed by Yvette Taylor. The study is held in a private Facebook group over 5 units, which can be taken in 5 days or longer and is built on the premise of such concepts as The Law’s of Attraction and Vibration, Kinesiology and Eastern Spiritual practice among others. The method, if followed correctly, is suggested to change a person’s life for the better, making The Law of Attraction work for them and clearing your aura or personal energy field of negativity and blocks that essentially prevent you from living your best life.

But what is EAM, and what did I learn about the method and myself during the five day course?

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Image belongs to EAM

1. EAM is “energy work”

EAM relys on your subconscious mind knowing exactly where there are points of resistance and reversal (like blocks) in your energy field so that you may release them. These points of resistance and reversal may have been created at any point in your life, but particularly in childhood and even, allegedly, in past lives you do not consciously remember.

Using a technique known as The Sway, a method in Kinesiology, participants are invited to ask their bodies to help them locate energy blocks, so that they can begin the process of releasing them.

In EAM, areas of your life are broken down into ten specific areas, for example, physical health, relationships and your thoughts and beliefs. During the short study, participants are invited to locate reversal or resistance in their energy by focusing on one of the simpler areas, with relationships suggested as the last area you would focus on as it takes being aligned in all other areas to work on your relationships.

An example of this might be focusing on your thoughts and beliefs surrounding your job, e.g. you would determine using The Sway if you feel resistance towards going to work and, if yes, you’d then begin to work on the process of release.

I discovered that I didn’t quite trust EAM, or The Sway and quickly grew frustrated with the process, despite my initial interest.

2. Administration might not be paying attention

For the purposes of the study, participants are invited to leave their comments and questions about each unit in the specific threads where each unit is found. If you decide to make your own post asking questions or making comments, it’s likely admin will respond, but they will suggest you leave your comments in the appropriate thread.

However, they are not responding to comments and questions in the threads, causing me to eventually make my own post in the group asking for help. I was told to post in the appropriate thread and explained that I had been, but administration weren’t providing feedback or answering questions and the administrator in question quickly went and located my previous post and responded. This didn’t make a difference for all of the other unanswered questions left by everybody else and I continued to get no responses on any other comment I’d made in the appropriate place.

I discovered that without support of an EAM mentor, you can’t possibly clear up any confusion you may have about the process and I begin to grow frustrated and even more distrustful.

3. The release process is…

After locating an apparent block in your energy, the release process method is simple, though it may not work the first time and you may have to keep doing it, or, I think (?), find another block that is preventing the release process from working. The release process is simply stating, three times in a row, that you are now ready to release the block, e.g. “I am ready to release this black cloud from my energy.” etc.

So, the release process is simply saying words with the intent of releasing negative energy until The Sway confirms your attempts have been successful. There is some talk of positive affirmations not being enough, because they’re just words, but then again, read about The Law of Vibration and positive affirmations and thinking are supposed to be quite handy in raising your vibration.

Either way, a witch knows that intent and belief matters, so whatever the words, I tried to say them with some feeling, just as I do so with positive affirmations.

While working on myself, I came to a standstill when I was being told by “The Sway” I was failing to release some negative thoughts and beliefs on a certain subject. I had questions and needed them answered, but decided not to pursue the mentors beyond posting where I was told to. I didn’t get my answers, so eventually moved on to the next steps, beginning to look forward to the end of the study so I could forget about EAM.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

4. EAM is apparently working for some people

I saw a great number of positive comments and feedback from people and I’m aware that I was actually a participant of EAM’s second study, the first of which had apparently gone quite well. Yvette Taylor hopes that through the results of the study she can prove the method works and get EAM all over the world presumably.

I, however, felt that the only way I’d ever know if EAM is a method that really works is if I were to pay a lot of money to get on the EAM program, supported by a mentor. It’s absolutely not something I’m prepared to do. I hoped that I was being positively discerning and not wrongly sceptical, but the word “convoluted” kept springing to mind.

The main website states: industry leaders are already saying is “The Fastest Method For Getting In Flow”.

I disagreed.

I thought to myself “but there are easier ways” and funnily enough, The Sway confirmed this. The Sway confirmed I could clear my energy using other methods. The Sway confirmed I already had been doing a damn good job of clearing my own energy field. The Sway confirmed that I didn’t have to follow the Energy Alignment Method to reap the benefits of EAM. I believed all of this consciously and according to The Sway, my subconscious is in full of agreement.

“I’m powerful. I can do this any way I like.” I thought, quite arrogantly. And then, “That was quite arrogant, wasn’t it, April?

I suppose I learned I have a lot of faith in myself and that this may be misguided, in the sense I may have an exaggerated sense of my own abilities.

There was a lot I liked about EAM. I like the idea of trying to locate energy blocks and targeting them. I thought it was wonderful how it was apparently working out for some people. However, I also didn’t like EAM and I certainly grew annoyed about the lack of communication and support from mentors during the study. Perhaps I should have done the exact opposite of what I was advised and start giving my feedback and asking questions in my own posts.

5. The program costs?

I mentioned already that in order to get full support and really dive into EAM, I’d have to “pay a lot of money”.  The truth is, I can’t remember exactly how much the program costs, as I’ve misplaced old emails and trying to find the cost on the website is, for me, like trying to find a needle in a haystack. If I remember correctly though, you would pay a monthly fee for participation in a 10 month program. All I know is I determined it either wasn’t affordable or I just wasn’t sold on the method enough to pay for it.

Yvette seems happy, friendly and like a person living her dream right now. The fact that I walk away with a less than shining review and opinion of EAM so far is not something I do joyfully with the hope of condemning her business to ruin. In fact, I wish I had the time and money to give EAM a proper chance by taking on the program with extensive support from a mentor. Whether I think there are easier and faster ways or not, any form of therapeutic work or even spiritual and energy work is of interest to me and I’d like to understand it.

If EAM is genuinely working for people, then by all means, I hope that more people continue to discover it and get much more of it than I did, but for now, I’m going to continue working on self and life improvement through other methods.

Opinion

“Screw The Joker and Harley” – A Cog in The Wheel

I keep seeing those romanticised Joker and Harley memes on my feed. You know, the ones that portray their relationship as romantic and the kind of relationship people should want? It prompted me to save some images from the comics – mostly taken from other articles attempting to raise awareness of their relationship – and seeing as they’re just taking up space on my laptop, it’s time to share them.

 

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I wasn’t sure I’d ever write opinion pieces on this blog, but ultimately when my opinions are related to the health of society, it’s a good fit!

He’d kick me, but I’d kiss those boots!

~ Harley’s Poem

I got my Joker and Harley tattoo towards the end of an abusive relationship that followed an abusive relationship and preceded yet another abusive relationship. Every one of them had their own flavour and brand of toxicity.

I got my tattoo while I began the process of figuring stuff out, like what was “wrong” with me and what was “wrong” with him, or what is “wrong” with them, and other people out there. The “processing” process is not an overnight thing and more like years of work, relapsing and trial and error.

Every time I look at my tattoo, a symbol of abuse and “mad love” (false love), I think about what I’ve been through, what I’ve put people through and what I never want to tolerate ever again. I wonder if it’s all behind me, or if despite my intelligence, if I brave the world of dating again, I’m just going to mess up again.

I won a small poetry competition on Facebook a few years ago writing about Harley’s Stockholm syndrome, called Harley’s Poem. My friends on Facebook have likely seen it cropping up a few times over the years. The competition was ran by popular Joker cosplayer, Anthony Misiano. I’m a big fan!

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One of my old blog posts about Harley and Joker’s relationship in contrast to the respectful, loving relationship between Gomez and Morticia Addams seems to have influenced the creation of popular meme.

I can’t help but think, if you have a daughter or connections to young women, you ought to think twice before sharing a meme that romanticises domestic violence. However, I know going around demanding people rethink their behaviour and change their ways is a waste of time. Arguing with people over their posts on social media gets everybody nowhere. That’s why my focus has primarily been on me and being the change I want to see.

I wont be told what to say, or think or do, by anyone, but I try to consider the wider impact of my actions. I’ve had to make so many changes over the years because it turned out, some of my habits and behaviours were not the kind that encourages a better, fair society. I don’t just say “I don’t want to hurt anybody and I care about people.” I mean it, when I say it and if my behaviour does not reflect my core values, I realise it’s time to change it.

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When it comes to stories like The Joker and Quinn’s, you can respect the artists and writers, without allowing this media to become a harmful message. Respect the actors in the movies. Respect the story, but don’t twist the story. Tell it how it is!

I’ve always liked heroes and villains, horror movies and the dark stuff growing up. You’d have a hard job getting me to sit down to watch a Disney film at any stage of my life, but I know what I’m looking at when I’m looking at violence.

People don’t seem to want to take responsibility for the messages they put out there that impact people’s lives, but are deeply confused when they read yet another article in the news about another violent incident or murder. And yet, society and people has been under the microscope for a long time. It’s fairly obvious where problems lie, but less obvious sometimes is how we can do something about it when a lot of people would rather disagree and carry on as they were.

Many people have tricked themselves into believing one comment in the pub, or one social media share is a “harmless” act and disregard their connection to everyone and everything around them. You are a person in society, a cog in the wheel, and you play your role in deciding which way the wheel turns every single day.
Recipes

Garlic and Herb Soup

One thing I try to include in my diet frequently is garlic for it’s antimicrobial properties. However, to get the full health benefits of garlic, you need to eat it raw. Ordinarily, with most meals I’d stick to one or two cloves, making delicious salad dressings where I can reap the benefits of allicin, or, I especially enjoy garlic in tomato sauces.

It’s important to eat a wide range of herbs and spices, as these have their own, often overlooked health benefits. It’s preferable to get into the habit of adding them to meals and smoothies every day. Coriander is one of my personal favourites and I can quite happily add it to a lot of dishes.

I’m also a huge fan of making my own soups and testing different flavours. I’m often one to stray from a original recipe in front of me, dubbing my experiments ‘guessipes’. I find a lot of recipes online don’t cater for single people or smaller households with very fussy small people, and sometimes, I just don’t want or need to cook large batches. This is often where my experimenting comes in, as I begin cutting and switching out ingredients to find what’s best for my household.

My simple recipe may not reap the full health benefits of garlic, but it’s still nutritious and delicious. I use one and a half bulbs of garlic so it’s not too overpowering and you can really taste the coriander too. However, you can add more garlic if you like and instead of roasting all of it, you could save some cloves, crush them and wait for 10 minutes while the phytonutrient allicin develops. You can then throw this into the soup mix when you go to blend the soup. This will give the soup a much more pungent flavour, as you will only be heating the soup through, ready to eat.


(serves: 1 large bowl, 2 small bowls)

  • 1 and a half to 2 bulbs of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 350ml chicken or vegetable stock
    (homemade is best)
  • 30ml coconut cream
    (add more for a stronger coconut flavour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 generous handful of fresh chives
  • 1 generous handful of coriander

Preheat the oven to 190° (fan ovens / 210° conventional) and prepare the garlic for roasting by removing the outer layer of skin, chopping off the heads and drizzling them with olive oil. Wrap the bulbs in tin foil and placing them head down, roast for about 40 minutes.

After 25-30 minutes, I would start preparing my stock if I am using store-bought, because we need it to cool down before it goes into the blender, but if you already have some homemade you can move onto preparing the onions.

Even though the onions are going to end up in the blender, I still take care finely dicing them as evenly as possible to encourage even cooking. It will take about five minutes frying with a teaspoon of olive oil on a medium heat for the onions to become translucent. Remove from the heat when done and allow to cool.

When the garlic is ready, remove from the tinfoil and set aside to cool. If there is any excess oil in the foil you can salvage that for some nice garlic infused oil. However, remember to pour it into a heatproof container. Don’t pour the hot oil into a plastic tub!

As all of the ingredients are cooling you can prepare your herbs and then transfer the coconut cream, garlic, onions and herbs into your blender. Removing the garlic from the skin should be easy. Just use a knife, or your fingers to gently loosen the skin away from the cloves and each clove should easily slide out.

I start by adding about half the stock mixture with the rest of the ingredients, and blend the mix for about 10 seconds. Then slowly begin adding more stock, until it’s my preferred consistency and blend more, until I’m left with this delightful, pale green soup with dark green bits. Note that I almost always make extra stock in case I decide I need it, and there should be extra coconut cream to hand in case you decide 30ml isn’t enough!

The soup is now ready to be reheated and eaten, or – if it’s cool – transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheating shouldn’t take much more than a few minutes. I never use a timer and just do it “by eye”, heating through until it’s piping hot over a medium heat.

mindfulness

How Do I Meditate? | Meditation for Beginners

Meditation is easy!

There are some common misconceptions about meditation. These include what it involves and what makes a meditation successful. I’m here to tell you now that the only way to be unsuccessful with meditation is to never try it or to give up on it as a practice.

Meditation is a proven successful method of reducing and managing stress and anxiety. It is a simple practice, often used for grounding the self in the present moment.

In our busy modern lives, we are usually inundated with tasks and our minds are always racing from one thing to the next. You could think of finding time for meditation as a chance to recharge your brains batteries between tasks, like charging your mobile phone when it’s starting to run low. It’s a much-needed break for the mind and everyone can benefit from it.

Meditation can be a great start to the morning, kicking you off with calm and clarity for the day ahead. It can be done at night before bed and is proven to help people relax into sleep. Even children can learn and benefit from the practice of meditation.

 

If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.

~ Amit Ray

Meditation isn’t just for spiritual and religious people. It’s not just for psychics and people trying to practice magic. It doesn’t necessarily involve going into trances and having visions, though for some people, this might be what happens.

Some people go into meditation with a specific purpose other than grounding themselves or to try to help them sleep. They may go into meditation with the intention of healing themselves, energetically, or to connect to spirit guides. These sorts of practices are obviously unsuitable for those who do not believe in Spirit, or the power of energy healing, but what is suitable for everyone is basic meditation practices, scientifically proven to be good for mental health.

In this article, I would like to focus on basic meditation techniques and mindfulness for the beginner interested in using meditation for relieving stress and grounding yourself in the present moment.

How do I Meditate - Meditation-for-Beginners

Step 1 (Set a timer for five minutes):

As a beginner, you want to start by finding somewhere quiet to practice where you will not be distracted. It usually helps to be sitting down comfortably in a chair, or on the floor, keeping your spine straight, with your hands on your lap or knees and your chin tilted slightly towards your chest.

Meditation can be done standing or lying down too, but as it can be extremely relaxing, you might find yourself falling asleep when led down. If you don’t want to fall asleep when you’re lying down, it is always helpful to have a timer set. I personally use a free meditation app on my phone called Insight Timer.

The main thing is to ensure you are comfortable, as you will be maintaining this position for five minutes.

When you are more skilled at meditation, you will likely find you are able to go into meditative states even when there are distractions around.

Step 2 (Focus on your breath):

Now that you are comfortable, you are to begin by focusing on your breath. Breathe in and out through your nose, and notice the sensations. Is the breath cooler coming in or out?

You might want to focus on the rise and fall of your chest or belly, but do not try to change your breath. Just let it be, as it is.

You are just going to focus on your breath to begin with. It may help to visualise the word “inhale” with each breath in, and on each breath out begin to count up, from “one”, all the way up to “nine”.

If your mind wanders off and becomes lost in thought, don’t despair! Just notice, without judgement, what has happened and bring your attention back to your breath. Keep counting on each breath out, all the way up to the number 9.

You should now already be in a much calmer state of mind.

Step 3 (Relax):

Continuing to breathe in and out, bring your awareness to your body. How does it feel? Are you holding tension anywhere?

Tell yourself “relax” and breathe into the area you are holding tension. Allow yourself to let go.

When you feel your body is relaxed, you can bring your attention back to your breath and once again count all the way up to “nine” on each breath out. You can keep repeating this process, but read on to find out how to deal with thoughts and feelings that arise during your meditation.

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Photo by Danne on Pexels.com

Observe your thoughts:

It’s natural for the mind to wander, even during meditation. With practice you may find it wanders less and less often, but whenever it does, notice the thoughts and watch them, as an observer. Do not follow the thoughts. Just let them pass you by.

To not follow them means to not get carried away with the stories and ideas the mind is presenting to you. Notice them. Observe them without judgement and let them go, returning your awareness to your breath.

You are not your thoughts. You are the watcher. You are the listener.

My favourite analogy is to compare thoughts to traffic. You are the watcher, sat on the side of the road as the cars, motorcycles and trucks (i.e. your thoughts) continue to drive by.

Observe your feelings:

During meditation, some emotions may arise. Notice these feelings. Perhaps you can identify them. For example, you might feel happy or sad. Don’t argue with your feelings or try to change them. Just observe the feeling and let it be.

Just as you are not your thoughts, you are not your feelings. You are the watcher. You are the one that notices the changing tides of your emotions.

Understand that everything is just as it should be in this moment. You are exactly as you should be. Sit with your emotions without judgement, over-analysing or attaching stories to them and continue to focus on your breath.

Notice if anything changes. Feelings are transient and it’s possible they will change even during the meditation.

Observe your body:

Notice bodily sensations. Your tummy may rumble. You may suddenly feel urges to scratch an itch. You may feel tension coming back or feel your body relaxing as you bring your awareness to the tension and breathe into it. Resist the urge to change anything and simply be, as you are, aware of what is going on in your body and mind and aware of your breath coming in and out.

Notice the space:

Space is the gap between thoughts that you may feel you rarely or have never experienced if you have quite a busy mind. You can begin to learn to notice it by noticing the space between each breath – that moment between each inhale and exhale.

As you learn to observe your thoughts as a watcher, you begin to find space. Notice the space between each thought. Notice these quiet moments, where you are not thinking at all. Notice when the space gets longer or shorter.

Notice how you feel in this space.

Don’t give up:

If you’ve follow my guidance, soon you will have successfully practised meditation for five minutes, without worrying that you’ve had “too many thoughts” or that you’ve somehow done something wrong because you didn’t go into a trance. Hopefully, you find it relaxing and perhaps even enlightening in some way. Maybe you will quickly see the benefit of taking the time to meditate.

The trick to getting the full benefits of meditation is to never give up on it. Continue to practice every day, perhaps several times a day, and/or for longer periods if you feel able to. The more you practise, the easier it is and the more likely you will see positive changes in your health.

Personal, Promotional

A Romance with My Recovery

This is the longest I’ve been single since I was a teenager. 

I never knew just how much I needed and would value this time alone. My last attempt at a serious relationship only ended a year ago and I can still remember how crushed I felt that things hadn’t worked out again.

For a little while, my main concerns were whether or not I’d ever meet anybody again and whether I’d ever feel truly in love. I worried that maybe I just wasn’t relationship material. I wondered if I ever really was. I told myself, with a sinking heart,  that perhaps nobody will ever love me again.

Talking to my friend, Donna, about my relationship woes over the last Christmas period, she strongly advised me to take time for myself. She reminded me that I hadn’t had that – not really – for a long time and that I need to learn to love myself again.

I didn’t know what else to do, but to take her advice seriously, so I began to try.

Fast-forward several months, and not only had I been diving into every self love self-help workshop I could find, but I was slowly starting to live my life exactly how I always wanted to.

I started focusing on all of the dreams and goals I’d been mulling over for years. I started to achieve things I kept putting off because it was never the right time or because I kept finding bad excuses.

I was learning that loving myself meant understanding myself and managing negative thought patterns that had me getting in my own way. I realised loving myself is about being true to my real self. But first, I’d have to get to know myself again.

It’s amazing how much of yourself you can lose in relationships if you’re not careful.

Alone, silently
the bamboo shoot
becomes a bamboo

– Santoka

I had a feeling when I turned 29 in 2017, that 2018 and turning 30 would herald some sort of major transformation for me and that’s exactly what this year has been about.

I had been through my fair share of trauma and had never taken any time to recover, thinking I could just stuff things down and keep on moving. Yet, I wasn’t really moving at all because I placed no importance whatsoever on healing past hurts.

I never considered that I shouldn’t date anybody until I’d dealt with myself properly. It didn’t seem logical to let someone pass me by if we liked each other. But my relationships, good or bad, were partly what was distracting me from doing the important stuff.

I wasn’t even living the life I want and parts of my twenties had dissolved into some sort of sad blur.

The truth is, I probably will meet someone again, I probably will love again and of course I’m relationship material; I got married once already, didn’t I? But there’s no rush. I stopped being concerned about romance months ago and I’m so happy with the way things are right now. I can focus entirely on my son and recovering whatever I’d lost.

This last year has seen me gaining qualifications that help me towards my career goals. I’ve gone back to my spiritual roots and stopped pretending to be someone else to avoid ridicule. I started setting goals, writing bucket-lists, facing fears, forcing myself out of my comfort zone and even decided to follow one of my dreams, literally.

Some time earlier this year, I discovered a London-based rock band on Instagram. I can’t ever get enough of music, so I always tend to check out the bands that fall into my lap and I enjoyed this band enough that I immediately bought every song I could get my hands on.

That band was Romances – an appropriate moniker for the five musicians who unknowingly became part of my journey of self love and healing!

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Romances at The Monarch, Camden, 7th August 2018 – photo by James Canavan

I was casually enjoying their music from time to time to begin with and thought to myself that maybe I’d see them live some day. Then all of a sudden, I started having dreams of going to watch them play.

After the first dream, I remember waking up thinking it must have been because I’d watched one of their videos on social media. But then the dreams kept happening, once or twice a week, and at first I was a bit confused. I hadn’t listened to them that much, but I seemed to be their biggest fan in my sleep.

As strange as it may sound, my dreams of Romances putting on an awesome show are what got me more invested and listening more to the band. I certainly wanted to see them play, but deep down I was sure that no matter how much I told myself I would go, I’d probably never get around to it.

I’m always seeing shows and events I want to go to, but I’ve never gone because a lot of my friends are usually busy or simply uninterested in the music I enjoy. Music is the most important form of art in my life, yet I’d rarely been to see bands play live.

Though I spent a lot of time in London when I was dating my ex and was more than accustomed to travelling there alone, I’d never gone on a ‘night out’ alone. I’ve travelled as far as America alone, but I’d never been to a pub or club on my own and the thought of it just seemed terrifying!

Wouldn’t I look like a total loser, lingering around with no friends to accompany me? Wouldn’t it be dangerous?

I would have pushed it all to the back of mind, but then, Romances released their first single, Parallels. Soon after, the famous American singer Billy Ray Cyrus was telling his fans to “check out” the song. By this point, I was familiar with the band members names, extremely impressed with their talent and had watched every video they uploaded to social media.

I was turning into what my ex described as a “Romances super-fan” just like I was in my dreams. And of course, the dreams continued.

It is a positive sign to dream of a band or musical group playing live music. It usually refers to a good level of spirituality in your life, which brings you a lot of inner peace and contentment.

AuntyFlo.com

I wondered if the dreams meant something and it occurred to me that maybe I just needed to go! I had so many fears surrounding going out alone, being seen alone and getting into some sort of trouble, that I realised that perhaps a trip to London was exactly what my soul had ordered.

If you want a better life, it’s no good staying constraints of your comfort zone, hanging onto pointless fears! Life is about growing, changing and doing new things. If I could get on a plane to fly to America all by myself, I could probably take a trip to the pub alone, even if it did require several hours travelling.

I’ve spent much of my adult life not going to see bands I really wanted to see because my mind was always coming up with a hundred bad reasons not to.

I finally went for the first time in August, despite the nerves. I had quite a lot of fun alone in London. I did meet with my ex briefly, seeing him for the first time since we split. He joined me for two drinks and then left, with me free to do whatever I wanted and not have to worry about anybody else all night.

I made a friend at the bar, Yarek, and though I was mostly trying to sneak around unnoticed, he informed Ashby (guitarist) of Romances I’d travelled to see them play and before I knew it, I’d met the whole band and was spilling my guts to them about how much I loved their music. They were all so friendly and I’d managed to get through the night without much trouble at all!

The only issue I encountered was one that I think is quite typical for women, whether they’re alone or accompanied; I attracted the unwanted attention of a couple of men that evening and one was following me around for a while. I wont play it down as an issue. This is quite a serious issue that is, in part, one of the reasons I’ve been too terrified to go out alone.

I hadn’t really known how to deal with unwanted attention and that’s probably one thing I’ve yet to learn, but Soufian (bassist) spotted what was going on. He somehow managed to get rid of the man, quickly, with little more than a glare and declaring we’d ignore him.

Regardless of the behaviour of some intimidating men, I ended up having a wonderfully memorable night, for all the right reasons. I couldn’t stop smiling for days.

I enjoyed the support bands, Big Peyote and Rival Karma. Yarek insisted that I would love Rival Karma and he was absolutely right! They quickly became another favourite of mine.

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Rival Karma at The Monarch, Camden, 7th August 2018 – Photo by James Canavan

Rival Karma knew Yarek, so thanks to them, I was able to track him down on social media and stay in touch. And since first seeing them live, I’ve also been able to enjoy them treating their fans to a little live music on Instagram when I’ve been stuck at home, something they may never know just how much I appreciate.

(Or there was that time I was watching while walking around Tesco, attracting the gazes of everybody I walked past, but suddenly caring a whole lot less if I looked like a ‘loser’.)

I’ve enjoyed watching the bands so much, I ended up returning to London again twice this week so that I can see all three bands again. I also got myself tickets to see several other bands and wrote another bucket-list, specifically for all the bands I’m determined to see.

I took myself on a date to Daphne Restaurant in Camden, somewhere I’d always wanted to go when I was spending so much time in London. My ex and his girlfriend joined me to watch Romances this time and whereas that sort of situation might be awkward for some people, I had the best night with them. I’m so grateful to have them as friends.

After my experiences recently, now when I want to go anywhere, I don’t suppose that I wont go based on fear. Being alone certainly wont stop me! Now I know that I’ll probably go wherever I want to. My comfort zone has gotten a whole lot bigger all of a sudden.

I’m starting to think I was always supposed to go and see Romances eventually and I knew it, deep in my soul. It felt like destiny that I’d almost ignored, a chance to romance myself.