Mindful Drinking Festival

“Wow… it’s actually busy!” This is my initial reaction as I stand in the middle of Spitalfields Market on a Saturday afternoon watching people milling around picking up drinks from trays, chatting and laughing while lounging on deck chairs. There are beer, wine and gin stalls as far as the eye can see. But rather than putting myself in the middle of some kind of messed up temptation alley, I can actually drink everything in sight. This is a booze festival with a difference, everything on offer is non alcoholic. This is my first time at The Mindful Drinking Festival, but it has been running for 4 years now and with each one getting bigger than the last.

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I’m sometimes taken aback by my own naivety when it comes to being sober, it can often feel like I’m a rare breed. None of my friends in London are sober. In fact, I only know a couple of people (Hi Gabe) who are actually sober at all. So I’m shocked to see how popular an alcohol free event is. But should I be?
A quick google search says no, I shouldn’t be shocked at all. I’m flooded with recent articles and interviews on the topic. Tee totalism in the UK is on the rise, with 21 per cent of adults abstaining completely and lower drinking levels across the rest.
This explains the popularity of today’s event and also the vast amount of non alcoholic options that are available to try. There’s everything from soft drinks like Kombucha and sodas through to alcohol free wine, beer and spirits.
There are plenty of offerings from small independent brands but there’s also a noticeable presence from the big brands. Heineken 0.0% have sponsored the event, and Gordons are on hand with their new ultra low G&T. With the explosion of the alcohol free market in the past few years, it’s a smart move on their part.

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It’s apparently a great time to be sober, there are more non alcoholic options available than ever before. But with so many options it was hard to know where to start. Luckily for me I had seen that Nirvana Beer Co had not one, but 2 new beers on offer that I was desperate to try so they were my first port of call.  The first beer I tried called Zen & Berries is a really fun creation made in partnership with London Fields Brewery. It’s fruity, sour, tangy and a refreshing twist on a non alcoholic beer that’s perfect for summer. Second is their new Ananda “Buchabeer” The first of it’s kind, it blends kombucha with their tantra pale ale to make a beer that tastes great but is also actually good for you! If you’re a kombucha fan like me then this is a great version of the classic taste to try.

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Next I headed to a botanicals tasting event hosted by Fever-Tree Tonic. I only heard about and tried non alcoholic gin for the first time a couple of months ago and loved it. So I was really excited to find out that there were going to be 7 different non alcoholic “spirits” available to sample. Each was presented to us by a spokesperson for the brand and I was blown away by the passion that these creators and owners had for their product. Each one had it’s own unique identity, taste and story. However, they shared a common bond, most had started to create their own alcohol free drinks because of their own personal frustration at not being able to find a decent alternative when out with friends. It’s safe to say that I could relate, I rarely want to drink fizzy juice on a night out and I don’t always want a dusty old Becks Blue that a confused looking bartender has unearthed from the back of the cellar. These “spirits” provide an exciting and sophisticated alternative that is definitely missing currently.

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After a lot of sniffing and sipping it was hard to pick a favourite, each was delicious and had it’s own unique flavour. I have to say that Sea Arch & Berkshire Blend definitely left me wanting more. Berkshire Blend had such an enjoyable rounded subtle spice to it, while still being light and citrusy. Plus, 5% of Berkshire Blend’s profits go to Mind, so you can enjoy a good drink and a good deed at the same time! For the gin lovers I think Sea Arch was the closest to the real deal. I paired mine with Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water and ice for a classic G&T. I also loved their branding “More Beautiful Without”… I want one of their cool shirts!

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After all that tonic, I had little room left for any fizz, but as we all know I can never resist a (non alcoholic) beer and new kids on the block Braxzz from Amsterdam caught my eye. They had a couple of different IPAs available and they were so good I left with both! The Orange IPA was my stand out purely because it tasted unlike any other beers I’ve tried while remaining true to it’s IPA roots. Blindfolded I genuinely don’t think I’d know it was 0.2% and not a regular IPA. I’m super excited to see what’s going to come from them in the future, definitely my one to watch!

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My last stop was with the super cute Soda Folk who satisfied my sweet tooth with a whole range of American inspired sodas. I loved the Root Beer as it was the most authentic tasting version I’ve had outside of the US itself.  Each soda has been dedicated to someone remarkable, they all have their own story which you can read about on their website, it’s sure to bring a smile to your face.

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By the time it came to leave I was feeling really inspired and also kinda ill from the sheer volume of liquid I’d consumed. However in all seriousness to meet so many people with their own stories, their own businesses and passions all united under one common factor of sobriety, was really powerful. One of the biggest struggles that I’ve found with being sober is that 99% of the time I am the only one or at least it feels that way. The Mindful Drinking Fest served as a strong reminder that I’m not such a rare breed, I am not alone and I am actually one of many.

Huge thanks to Club Soda for arranging the Festival and to everyone who took the time to talk to me throughout the day.

Remember to donate to my JUST GIVING page for Mind The Mental Health Charity

Good news Glasgow! The next Mindful Drinking Festival is coming your way. Check it out!

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Shakespeare’s Globe

A visit to the iconic Shakespeare’s Globe has been high on my London Bucket list ever since I first moved to the city, but somehow I’d never managed to get around to going. What can I say? It’s a little more difficult to organise things when you’re constantly hungover. So, when this years renowned summer season tickets were released I was all over it. This summer The Globe is presenting 2 different plays; Hamlet, and As You Like It from 2nd of May until the 26th of August. I chose to see As You Like It, purely based on the fact that for my first trip a lighthearted comedy seemed like it might be an easier ride.
While I was excited to finally go, I was completely unsure of what to expect from both the performance and the venue. It’s certainly been a while since I read or saw any Shakespeare, so I had worries of not being able to follow the dialogue. Plus, while purchasing our tickets we decided to go for the £5 “groundling” tickets which, while giving you arguably the best view available, also means that you have to stand for the full performance. With the running time of As You Like It coming in at 2 hours and 45 minutes I wondered how I would fare in the London summer heatwave.

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The Globe building is a replica of the original 1599 theatre that burned down after an ill fated performance of Henry VIII in 1613. It was painstakingly recreated by a team spearheaded by American actor, director and producer Sam Wanamaker from the little information that actually exists about the original theatre. The building is a round structure made of green oak and lime plaster and is partially covered by a thatched roof made of water reeds. The inside is pretty spectacular and the stage is beautifully and elaborately painted.

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Due to the authentic design of the building and the nature of the performances there are a few quirks that are useful to know about before you go so that if you’re a first time visitor you can have the best (and most comfortable) experience possible.

1) Book Your Tickets Early 
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Sign up to the Globe newsletter to receive updates on when tickets for the performances are going to go on sale. By signing up to the newsletter I also managed to bag Macbeth by candlelight tickets for the Winter Season.  The Summer Season is well renowned and some well known plays are more popular than others. The seated tickets sell out pretty quickly (now I can see why) so get in there quick to get a good view. That being said there are 700 £5 Groundling tickets available for each performance, so if you’ve missed the boat on seating tickets you don’t have to miss out entirely. While I would say that the £5 tickets are an amazing bargain, I must admit that towards the end of the 2 hours and 45 minutes long performance, there was a lot of uncomfortable shuffling, leaning and stretching going on. Groundlings are forbidden to sit down on the floor during the performance, so really be prepared to stand for the entire length of time. If you can, bag yourself a spot right in front of the stage so that you can lean on it, but be prepared for some actor interaction as a consequence, as during the performance one audience member had her drink brazenly stolen and drank by a cheeky actor.

2) Spring for the Seats

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Again if possible I’d recommend spending a bit more for some seats. Prices start at £15 for seating tickets, but as I mentioned before they sell out pretty quickly. However seating isn’t without pitfalls all of it’s own. A lot of the seats have a slightly restricted view because of the wooden pillars pictured above, but the Globe website views you a handy view guide so that you know what view you’re buying before you go. I’d also recommend grabbing for one of the rentable seat cushions available at the Globe for £1, as I’ve heard the wooden pews aren’t the comfiest of seats either.

3) The Plays Will Run No Matter What The Weather

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As we all know, the “Great British Summer” is unpredictable at best, but the performances at the Globe aren’t due to the fact that they run no matter what the weather is like. So if you went for the covered seats, this might not be such an issue for you, however if you’re a groundling like I was, I’d thoroughly recommend that you check the weather forecast and then check it again. The open air theatre means that you are exposed to the roasting sun or torrential downpour and everything in between. I went for an evening performance when it was slightly cooler than it had been during the 30 degree daytime. On the other end of the weather spectrum no umbrellas are allowed, but you can purchase a handy and stylish plastic rain mac at the theatre if needed.

4) Brush Up On The Synopsis 
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Poster for As You Like It – Shakespeare’s Globe

The Globe’s website gives a handy synopsis of each play, which I read up on before hand. As I mentioned before I was quite worried that I wouldn’t be able to follow the Shakespearian dialogue. After about 15 minutes or so of my brain struggling to get into gear at the beginning I completely got into the groove of the language and the plot. This was definitely helped along by the fact that I had done my homework beforehand and could distinguish who each character was. Which, in this amazingly gender blind performance with actors taking on multiple roles was actually a bit more tricky than you might initially expect.

5) Bring Cash

There are Kiosks in the Globe where you can buy drinks and snacks before the performance, you can also pre book your drinks for intermission which I’d recommend. But, you can only pay by card before the performance, afterwards it is cash only. The Swan pub which is attached to The Globe however takes card at all times, but expect a queue at interval!

All in all, I can’t recommend going to The Globe enough, it was such an incredible experience and one I was really happy to finally cross off my list and share with everyone. The performance completely surpassed my expectations and I cant wait to go back for the Winter Season. Plus, with a ticket costing the price of a pint, who can argue with that?

You can get tickets to performances at Shakespeare’s Globe –  HERE

Don’t forget to donate to my JustGiving page for my 1 year sobriety Challenge for Mind Charity – HERE 

Mel
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A Trip To Nirvana

A fateful string of events had led me to the Nirvana brewery in East London on a sunny Friday night, surrounded by complete strangers listening intently to the brewing process of non alcoholic beer. Earlier in the week I had stumbled across a bottle of their Tantra Pale Ale in the fridge of WholeFoods and instantly fell in love with it’s crisp hoppy taste.
On my mission to find out more about who had made this (aka where can I get more of this shit and fast) I found out that luckily for me there was a brewery tour happening that very week, I was going straight to the source.

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Nirvana was born from a belief that non alcoholic beers don’t have to be tasteless or boring. Even though 14% of the UK already drink non alcoholic beer and cider, when I decided to stop drinking I really wasn’t interested. I didn’t see the point and had a bad experience with the one kind that I had tried. Cough, Becks Blue, cough. What I didn’t realise was that there was a rebellion against that very impression of alcohol free beers happening 20 minutes from my flat.

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Nirvana are the UK’s only brewery dedicated to low and alcohol free beers. Instantly I was blown away by the thought and detail that goes into every aspect of the business. They’re environmentally friendly, vegan and use natural ingredients in their brewing process, with no chemical enhancements. Oh, and they also have yoga classes in the brewery! Speaking of which, my yogi’s might also recognise the use of the Kundalini symbol on the bottles. This idea of spiritual enlightenment is carried throughout all of their branding. Each beer is assigned a chakra colour and it’s own tag line including “Positive action returns a positive reaction”. That tag line kind of sums up the visit for me, I went in thinking I’d learn a little bit about beer but came away feeling inspired (positive reaction) by the work and dedication (positive action) that they put into their products. The owner Steve is so knowledgeable and engaging and has a real passion for educating people about non alcoholic beers. I loved learning about the brewing process and the ever growing alcohol free beer market in general.

IMG_0502It feels to me as though Nirvana are at the beginning of a really exciting journey, one that aims to inspire an alternative way of thinking and drinking and don’t know about you but I am ready for enlightenment.

Find out more about Nirvana HERE

And get some of the good stuff for yourself  HERE

Keep donating to my Just Giving HERE

Thanks to Feel Good AF Fridays for arranging the tour @feelgoodaffriday
Special thanks to Steve Dass & Byron Biroli

Check out some more pictures from the tour below.

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Take A Pause : Wellbeing Festival

On Wednesday I went to check out the Take A Pause: Wellbeing Festival in Dalston. The event, which was run by Mind and City and Hackney Wellbeing Network during Mental Health Awareness Week, meant that locals could come and learn about self-care techniques, mindfulness and discover what support the City and Hackney Wellbeing Network can offer. The focus of this weeks Mental Health Awareness Week is stress, and there were plenty of activities and practices to encourage us to “Take A Pause”. When I saw the information for the event I knew I had to go, they had all kinds of free activities like yoga, massages, meditation, talks, plant potting, tea bag making and last but not least free pizza. Naturally, I signed up to try everything and find out more information about all of the amazing services available.

Hackney Herbal

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Hackney Herbal are a social enterprise that promote wellbeing through herbal activities, workshops and their Hackney grown herbal tea bags. I made my own tea bag blend of Rose, Lavender and Lemon Verbena, which is a blend I was helped to create to promote relaxation and calm.
What I really liked about Hackney Herbal is the variety of activities that they offer, they do everything from herbal tea classes , growing masterclasses, classes to make your own skincare and lipbalms, but also they run 6 week courses at Centre For Better Health . They grow all the herbs for their workshops and teas in a couple of community gardens around Hackney and also in their own gardens and window boxes at home. They gave me some Marigold seeds to take home so I can start my own garden too.
If you don’t live in London you can still visit their shop and enjoy some of their herbal goodness wherever you are.

Lavender Bags & Affirmations with Shoreditch Trust 

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Lavender is one of the most well studied essential oils in terms of it’s relaxing effects. Research suggests that it may be useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness. So just by making and taking home one of these little bags you could feel calmer already! Shoreditch Trust are another incredible charity in Hackney that offer an extensive range of support services including health coaches“Peace of Mind” workshops and small group sessions and other activities like yoga and cooking which you can self refer to through City and Hackney Wellbeing Network. 

Mindfulness with Miia Chambers 

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Photo Credit – Mind

I felt really privileged to take part in this Mindfulness workshop with Miia who is a Mindful Self-Compassion practitioner, trainer, coach and the Mindfulness Lead at Mind – City, Hackney and Waltham Forest.
The exercise took place in a cozy little conservatory next to a log fire, which was a welcome respite from the chill outside. She led us through a couple of exercises focused around mindfulness and self compassion. The second of which I found particularly interesting and useful. I am and always have been my own worst critic, and I know the same applies for many people. How often in a day are we hard on ourselves? Or put ourselves down about something, or have a negative thought about something we’ve said or done? Half of the time we don’t even realise we’re doing it! Miia advised us to speak to ourselves as we would a friend, because as she pointed out; “If we spoke to our friends with the same harshness and criticism as we do ourselves, we wouldn’t have very many friends.” Too true! I found the whole session really comforting and also reassuring to know that everyone else there was having a similar experience to me. Thanks for sharing everyone!
Miia was also kind enough to share her tips on how to “Take A Pause” this Mental Health Awareness week, which you can find on my Instagram.
You can also catch her speak at The Mindful Living Show in Islington on June 1st.

Hopefully this gives everyone a small idea of the amazing amount of work that these charities do and the services they provide. I’ve provided as many links as possible so that you can access information to each of the services mentioned. But, we all know the reality of dealing with mental health isn’t as simple as making lavender bags, if you need urgent help, please talk to someone you know, contact a GP or read this Crisis Guide provided by Mind which explains what steps you can take and who to contact.

Big thank you to everyone from Mind, City and Hackney Wellbeing Network, Shoreditch Trust, Hackney Herbal and to Miia Chambers who all took the time to talk to me at this incredible event!

Don’t forget to donate to my 1 year sobriety challenge for Mind and support all the wonderful work they do and services they provide  HERE

Some more event pictures below.

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6 Months Sober

 I can’t quite believe that I’m already half way through my sobriety challenge. The fact that the halfway point falls on Mental Health Awareness Week couldn’t have been timed any better if I tried (I didn’t). Sometimes it’s easy to forget why I started this challenge in the first place now that I’m so used to being sober. Life gets in the way and I have to stop and remind myself that I started it out of a deep respect and belief in the work that Mind do. I believe their services are so crucial, everyone should be able to access free help when they need it. So on day 2 of Mental Health Awareness Week I’m celebrating the money we’ve raised for Mind so far but I’m also celebrating all of my wonderful family, friends and even randomers who have given me so much encouragement and support. All of your kind words of praise in messages and in person (even in the wee hours in dimly lit bars, I remember the nice things you’ve said even if you don’t) have really kept me going. You have also opened up and shared your own experiences with me, for which I truly feel honoured and privileged. I aimed to have open and honest conversations to raise awareness about the relationship between alcohol and mental health and I really feel like it’s happening and also turning into something so much more than that. So, with that in mind, to encourage you to give your body and brain a break this mental health awareness week I’ve researched and drank my way through 6 months worth of bars and bottles to bring you my top 6 booze free bevvies.

1) Old Fashioned at Dishoom Carnaby Street

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A hidden gem of a mocktail menu exists tucked away behind Carnaby Street in this Bombay restaurant. There’s not a Shirley Temple in sight as this sophisticated menu serves twists on classics that generally remain untackled by the booze free bartender. It’s also worth mentioning that the food is amazing. Go for the food and stay for the mocktails.

2) Nirvana Brewing Co Beer

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I only came across one of these beers for the first time last week and I’m so glad that I did. Nirvana Brewing Co are an East London brewery and the only brewery in the UK dedicated to low percentage or non alcoholic beer. The range not only looks amazing but tastes it too. Plus, all their beers vegan friendly and, they also champion an environmentally friendly ethos. Brownie points all round! I found mine in Whole Foods.
3) The Bees Knees Rosé Prosecco at Redemption Bar Notting Hill

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I was really apprehensive about trying an alcohol free wine, but one sip of these fruity bubbles put any worries I had to rest. I think the trick lies in not trying to mimic the usual dryness of prosecco, but instead they’ve focused on creating a refreshing sweet and fruity drink. I got mine for my 6 month celebration in Redemption Bar (its also available online) a completely vegan and alcohol free café. They have a full cocktail menu plus wine, beer and a dedicated section of gin cocktails which brings me nicely to my number 4.

4) Seedlip Alcohol Free Gin

Yep, what a time to be alive, or at least sober. Seedlip have created not one but 2 non alcoholic gins. One is spicy and one is more herbal, but both are delicious. I had mine with crushed ice and cucumber, but check out their website for some exciting serving suggestions. Some places that I’ve found in London that stock it include Redemption, Dandelyn, All Soho Houses, No 32 The Old Town. Get it online too!

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5) Erdinger Alkohokfrie

I could do an entire post on non alcoholic beers alone and to be honest I probably will, but this deserves special mention as it has become my go to beer replacement. In my opinion one of the most convincing dupes available (not you Becks Blue) I stick mine in the freezer a few minutes before drinking to give it an extra crisp taste. Get it in Wetherspoons and Waitrose.

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6) Kopparberg Alcohol Free

Just in time for summer, Kopparberg has turned everyone’s favourite tooth melting fruity ciders into an equally sweet alcohol free bevvy. Available in Mixed Fruit and Strawberry and Lime flavours these taste pretty much the same as the real thing. They’re not the healthiest of the alcohol free alternatives (10 grams of sugar per 100ml, help) but definitely delicious.

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Extra advice for anyone tempted to try some non alcoholic beer. Although frustratingly it seems to be the most commonly available one, I really can’t get on board with Becks Blue. I think there are much better big brand alternatives like San Miguel 0.0%, Budweiser Prohibition Brew and Bavaria Alcohol Free that you can get in most supermarkets!

Don’t forget to donate to my Just Giving page for Mind – HERE

Happy 6 Months!!
Mel

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I Join An Alt-Punk-Feminist Wrestling School

There have been many strange moments during my sobriety journey (A hangover free Christmas Day, getting change back from a fiver for a drink at the bar, a crystal bowl and gong sound bath) but this has to be the strangest by far. I’m standing in the middle of a wrestling ring, holding a championship belt, screaming “Square Go” at a room full of applauding women. While this might sound not far off of a drunken night out, I can assure you that it’s a stone cold sober 10am on a Sunday. I just happen to be at my first day of wrestling school.

When I heard about Eve women’s wrestling school starting up near me I was ecstatic. I’ve been a wrestling fan ever since I was young. The action, the elaborate, eccentric storylines and costumes I saw on screen captured my imagination and never really let it go. However even as a child, I remember feeling frustrated about the extreme inequality present in women’s wrestling. This was during the 90s and early 2000’s a period in WWE history is known as “The Attitude Era”. Storylines were deliberately outrageous, slapstick and often extremely non-pc, made to provoke and shock the audience. An era of massive growth for men’s wrestling and for the WWE itself,  male tag teams were a hot commodity and the action was being ramped up further with the introduction of Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches.
But where were the women? The answer is there wasn’t really many. It’s no secret that wrestling was a predominately male dominated industry and the few women that did have contracts were only used as arm candy or written into scripts as love interests. After a while thanks to women like Sable, Chyna and Lita to name a few, women began to have matches. But mostly they would compete in things like a “Bra and Panties” match. In which the object is to strip the opponents clothes off until they are left in only (you guessed it) their bra and panties. A notorious tomboy as a kid (and adult) this just didn’t appeal to me, I felt frustrated. I wanted to moonsault off the top rope like Lita, not hang off of some wrestlers arm.
This childhood memory comes flooding back to me as I’m looking around the wrestling ring watching the 20 or so women around me tumble across the floor and spin each other around into headlocks. “Lita would approve” I think to myself.

The Eve ethos is to teach self identifying women of all ages, shapes and abilities the confidence they need to “Fight Like A Girl”. They recognise that as women we aren’t exactly encouraged to be loud, brash and tough, but boy do they break down those barriers fast. Within the warm up the coaches Rhia O’Reilly and Greg Burridge have us shouting at the top of our lungs and running around the room. But the true test of confidence is yet to come. After we’ve completed the physical training section (wrist lock anyone?) we’re given 5 minutes to come up with a character and get ready to get into the ring and cut a promo. Which in wrestling terms basically means, get in the ring and tell everyone how awesome you (or your character) is.
Even though I think I am generally confident, this kind of improv is my worst nightmare. I’m immediately stressed, nervous and anxious, my mind wildly mulling over how stupid I’m going to look, what I’m going to say and what everyone is going to think. But then I remember how safe this space is, along with all the help that has been given to me already. I also see how encouraging everyone is to the other performers before me.
This doesn’t stop me feeling like I’m going to throw up as soon as it’s my turn to walk into the ring though. But as I’m nervously about to begin I actually get annoyed with myself as I remember the Eve ethos and think “Why the fuck should I be embarrassed? Are gender expectations making me feel like I shouldn’t stand here and be loud and brash if I want to?”
As a woman, the importance of being able to speak up and to have confidence in ourselves is paramount, to not be ashamed of our bodies, our voices, our opinions or even of just being silly if we want to. Even though I’m only pretending to be a wrestling character, to confidently deliver my promo to the room feels so empowering and liberating. As I go back to my seat, I’m on a high. I cant help but think of how far we’ve come from the Bra and Panties matches of the past, but also of how far we’ve still to go. But as I look around the room and watch each woman feel the power of lifting that championship belt for themselves, I think that all of these amazing bad ass bitches are definitely going to help get us there.

Hear it straight from Rhia herself (and me) here – Eve Press Association Video

Please keep donating to my One Year Sobriety Challenge for Mind HERE

The Eve Academy runs every Sunday at 
Resistance Gallery, 265 Poyser Street, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9RF.

Doors open at 10am ready for a 10.30am start until 12.30
Classes are £10 payable on the day. Go check it out!

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

A year ago Earth Day would have passed me by without much thought. It’s not necessarily that I didn’t care, it’s just that I wouldn’t have noticed. I was busy…drinking and stuff.
But there’s been a surprising side effect to being sober. Giving up alcohol has made me more environmentally friendly, and I don’t just mean the amount of beer cans consumed on a weekly basis.
I’m now 5 months sober and I feel as though I have overcome the awkward adjustment phase of giving up alcohol and I’m now fully in the flow of sobriety. The shift in my life has been enormous, I feel as though I’m the most in tune with my mind and body that I’ve ever been. With that realisation comes a newfound respect for the complexity of how my mind works and how powerful my body is, especially as a woman. Concepts like “self love” no longer feel alien to me, and I’m actually buzzing to do things that are going to make my brain and body feel good.
I now see things such as going to the gym and eating good food as an act of love and care rather than something I have to do out of guilt after bingeing all weekend or through a dislike for my body.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming my body is a temple by any means, I’m still partial to an odd cigarette here and there (sorry Mum) and pizza will always be the way to my heart, but I’m now completely conscious of both the fragility and strength within.
What has that got to do with the environment? Well, the key word is one I’ve already used – conscious.
I started to feel a responsibility to myself to do what’s best for me, so slowly but surely I started to make small changes in my life that would affect me positively. Things like cut down on dairy, drink more water, cut down on crazy hours at work, use make up and toiletries that are kinder for my skin and hair. I was doing good things for myself that just happened to be environmentally friendly, but it really is no coincidence that the things that are good for us, are also good for the planet. The better I felt, the more conscious and mindful I became of everything and everyone around me and the more I started researching into the impact I was having on our environment. The statistics I found during my search are shocking and I won’t bore you with them, but the question I had for myself is why didn’t I really care until now?

I’ve been vegetarian ever since I was a teenager. I saw one PETA video and never looked back. Why? Because I love animals. I saw that video and felt the direct weight of responsibility and vowed to never again to eat meat.
But when it came to nature, sure, I liked being up a mountain or at the beach but I never felt like I was directly responsible for the negative impact I was having on the environment in the same way I felt responsible with the cow. What was one more plastic straw anyways? I was disconnected.

The truth is, I had to connect with and learn to take care of myself first, to have the realisation and respect for the fact that, duh, of course everything is connected. And just like that I finally felt not only responsible, but that I really wanted to help to make things better.

Perspective is everything, I think maybe if we approach healing the earth from a place of true love and respect, rather than with sporadic bursts of guilt. We will find that the Earth, just like ourselves, is worth saving.
Don’t forget to donate to my 1 year sobriety challenge for Mind Charity – HERE
Mel
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