This is my story

carla tricolour 9Where did Unfurling come from?

A few years ago, I was in a very bad place. Having spent seven years in a relationship that had come to an end, and having also just left a job I loved but which was draining me, I had no clue what to do with myself – and no real idea of who I was. (Know that feeling all too well?)

I’d gone through life to that point listening to, and, doing, what I “should” and what was expected – and while not terrible, it wasn’t… well, ME. (Sound a bit too familiar?)

If you’ve ever felt a bit like you’re sleepwalking through life, or as if you’re just playing pretend at being a grown up in the real world, you’ll know exactly how that felt.

Bringing imagination to life

I was often told that I was too dreamy, too imaginative and needed to live more in the real world.

Between a love of books (circus books as a child, fantasy as a teen and an adult), a lifelong passion for dance and an incredibly rich imagination, plus a love of costume which I think started aged about three months, I’d been imagining, writing and creating characters for myself all my life.

By the time the relationship that had defined me for so long fell apart, I had been exploring that strange new thing called the internet, and had expanded some of these personas for various forums and meetups.

I realised that the women I created and projected were always more confident, more sure of themselves and more assertive than I ever was in real life.

Their style was a whole lot more defined than my own, too – no fading into the background for these ladies.

And yet they were coming from deep within me – and they strongly resembled me, so there was no reason why I shouldn’t borrow and use elements of them in my everyday life.

Saying goodbye to ‘should’

In 2011 I finally stuck two fingers up at convention and the way I’d always behaved, and decided, on a whim, to go on a 3,000 mile road trip across Europe with a (male) acquaintance from my car club who I had, at that point, met exactly once.

On my return, I took up burlesque dancing (infused with my beloved country western music, of course) and that was truly the turning point.

Lotta Fiero, my burlesque/pin up alter ego, came barrelling into existence, and by focusing on her, creating and discovering and getting to know her, I turned my entire life around – making changes as big as moving house and quitting the City job I hated, and as small but powerful as starting a gratitude practice.

While getting to know Lotta I spotted glimpses of the alter egos I’d forgotten or not suspected existed – Harriet, my City alter ego who was actually capable of commuting to London and sitting in an office wearing a suit; the cowgirl I always became on horseback and whenever I flew to the USA; the mermaid I’d always been whenever I was anywhere near water.

Today, apart from Harriet who has long since stepped down from active service, I am as much my alter egos as I am myself – though I still borrow more of Lotta when I’m on stage, or trying to do something that would ordinarily make me nervous. And I create more all the time, for all sorts of occasions and purposes.

This is the guide I wish I’d had when I first realised how transformational having an alter ego is… and I’m so excited to discover yours with you!

Come and explore...

Change your world – come and see for yourself what your alter ego can do