Sep 12

Why are you here?


The 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, had this to say about the meaning of life:

You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.

In my notebook I have a collection of thoughts, quotes, images, reflections and things people have said that I use to guide, direct and inspire me in life. This one has been near the top of my list for a few months now, and I have been reflecting on it often in recent days.

You see, all too often we see the point of life as being that we should work hard to become sufficiently wealthy to create happiness. I’ve been around the block often enough to have seen behind that particular deception – and I have seen people surrender their dreams and their goals to do ‘the sensible thing’ and make a living for themselves and their families. And that’s OK.

But in the end, it’s not enough. Each one of us is here with gifts that make the world richer, that create more love, more life, more joy – not just for ourselves, but also for those around us. And if we forget that, then actually we end up stealing from ourselves, as we find the noose of fine wire that is ‘making a living’ ensnares us more and more tightly.

The more we refuse to let our gift propel us forward, then the more frustrated we’re going to feel.

I think it’s a matter of intention. If we set out to enrich the world, to make the lives of others richer and fuller, then we find ourselves enriched, in all sorts of ways. If we intend to lift the sights of those we come into contact with higher, to help them see that little bit more clearly, that little bit further – if we look to bring more love, more light, more hope into the world.. then the karmic principles built into the universe will start to move. As we start to give out, then the Universe will find ways to give back to us. Perhaps not in the ways we expect, and certainly not in the ways we demand, but there are no exceptions to the rule that what we give out, comes back to us.

But perhaps we feel we have nothing to give – that others are more gifted, more capable, more able to change the world. Changing the world isn’t restricted to politicians, statesmen, rock stars and aid workers. In every moment there is the chance to bring life and light into the world.. not by forcing it, but by allowing your true nature to shine out.

In a wonderful and thoughtprovoking essay that I have quoted before, author and entrepreneur Randy Gage suggested that:

You have gifts that no one else in the world can offer.  You have skills you don’t yet know you possess, love you haven’t experienced yet, and hope that has your name upon it. There are songs you have yet to sing, dances you are meant to dance, and stories that only you are able to tell.

The world is poorer when you don’t bring your best game.

You may not change what you’re doing – you might just choose to infuse it with a shed load of joy and meaning and richness that transforms your day job into something where you’re seeking to enrich those around you. Or you might find yourself suddenly drawn into a life of creativity and wonder that you couldn’t have imagined. I don’t know. But what you will find is that it all becomes meaningful. Somehow, life seems to matter – and the more that we give it away, the more we find it.

You’re amazing.


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Sep 05

Where have all the heroes gone?

daredevil - hero

“What is it, to be a hero? Look in the mirror and you’ll know. Look into your own eyes and tell me you are not heroic, that you have not endured, or suffered… or lost the things you care about most. And yet, here you are… a survivor. So… you must be a hero. We all are. Some more than others, but none of us alone. You didn’t choose this life. It chose you.

Because a hero isn’t someone who lives above us, keeping us safe. A hero’s not a God or an idea. A hero lives here on the street, among us, with us. Always here, but rarely recognized. Look in the mirror and see yourself for what you truly are. You’re a human being. You are a hero. This is your planet. Welcome home.”

– Karen Page, Daredevil Season 2



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(I took a couple of minor liberties with the phrasing of the quotation)

Jan 02

A New Year wish for you….

canyon bridge

So, another New Year is upon us, and I felt drawn to share this post with you again.. I fell in love with this quote years ago when a friend shared it with me, and it has stayed with me.

Life often is a difficult trail to follow, leading us off on tangents, sometimes seeming to circle round on itself and going nowhere.. full of seeming dead ends, unexpected diversions. And yet always it is leading you on. The truth is, there is no such thing as a mistake – life unfolds, and the gift of a new year is to put all that behind and step into a moment of glorious new creation. Everything IS working out perfectly.

Sometimes does feel dangerous – as if at any moment, the world can crash down around us. We feel as if we walk a tightrope of disaster, a razor’s edge which will send us plummeting to disaster at any moment. Yet the truth is, that we are always safe. Always held. As it says in the introduction to ‘A Course In Miracles”

Nothing real can be threatened.

Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God


And sometimes it does feel lonely. It is our life, and only one can walk it. And sometimes it feels as if we are all alone on our journey. Yet the truth is there are cheerleaders on the way, encouraging us, supporting us, loving us. Some we know – some we don’t. Some we see, and some are invisible. But know this. you are never alone.

For me, the New Year brings up a new quest – a new part of the journey. This year feels special, somehow. In some ways, there are what seems like insurmountable obstacles in the way – and yet I have faith that those can be scaled – avoided – or that they will simply dissolve into a wisp of irrelevancy. There is something spectacular about a quest. There is a sense of mission, of purpose, of destiny about it. There is a sense of danger, of solitude – and of companionship, loyalty and shared challenge. There is the knowledge of a price to be paid – of stepping away from what is comfortable, what is known, what is certain – and into uncertainty, into the unknown.

There is a scent of achievement, of possibility. There is the likelihood of continual change, of growth, of becoming in some sense ‘more’ than we are today. It opens up the vista of wonderful experiences, glorious sights, fabulous adventures. There is the chiming of a story, of a tale to be told. It is redolent of camp fire conversations, of nights spent out under the stars, of gazing out at mysterious views.

Where will your quest take you this year? What story will you have to tell at the end of 2016? Something spectacular calls to you, I know it, or you would not have been drawn to this invitation. Let’s make this an incredible year, a year of adventure, of peace, of joy and above all a quest for Love.

And may it take you to a place that you could never imagine – a place where something more wonderful and more beautiful than your deepest dreams awaits you.


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May 08

You belong to Universe

belong to universe

Buckminster Fuller, the architect, inventor, designer and all round smart guy, was known for popularising the geodesic dome (as used in the Eden Project) and privileged to have the rather odd carbon molecule C60 or buckminsterfullerine (bucky-balls) named after him.

However, at one point in his life he was so full of despair and self doubt that he contemplated suicide, thinking that at least his family would benefit from the insurance payout.

Fortunately for him, for his family and for the world, he experienced a strange and profound epiphany. Writing later, he explained that he felt as though he was suspended above the ground and enclosed in a white sphere of light. A voice spoke directly to him, and declared:

“From now on you need never await temporal attestation to your thought. You think the truth. You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others”

From this point on he was a transformed man, who looked on his life with renewed hope and purpose. Ultimately Fuller chose to embark on what he described as “an experiment, to find what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity.”

When all hope seems lost – there is always hope. We may not find it the same way as Buckminster Fuller, but it is always there, when we look for it. As psychologist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross put it in her thoughts on death and dying: 

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

I can guarantee that the people who have been through the fire, that have found themselves changed, transformed, reforged in the transcendent heat of pain and disappointment, who have chosen to hold on because they see (or even if they can only guess at) their value to the world – those people are some of the most beautiful souls on the planet.


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Aug 11

Time to let go . . . . ?

give up your plans

We spend a lot of time working out how to get what we want. We put huge amounts of energy into designing a career, working out how to find love, how we will spend our days.. and yet, if we just let go of all of that, we might just find that a whole new world, more incredible and more amazing than we had ever dreamt of, lies just a hand’s breadth away.

Edward Abbey’s prayer was this:

“May all your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view…where something strange and more beautiful and full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you.”

I’ve seen this so many times in my own life – that the plans that I have carefully created didn’t work out, but when I have chosen to go with the flow, to allow life to unfold, to say “Yes” to every opportunity, to live in the moment and allow the deeper plans to unfold – those have been the times when I have known how glorious and wonderful life can truly be.


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Apr 17

Look closer . . . .


I loved this piece of art.I was looking for clockwork and found it quite by accident (at Another wonderful little piece of serendipity that keeps life interesting. when things you’re not expecting happen, just to surprise and delight you. and things that you fear simply melt away without trace.

A very thoughtful friend of mine sent me this poem. helping me to expect the unexpected, to see significance in the smallest coincidences. and to stay open to the magical

“Things to think by”

Think in ways you’ve never thought before

If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message,

Larger than anything you’ve ever heard,

Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,

Maybe wounded or deranged; or think that a moose

Has risen out of the lake, and he’s carrying on his antlers

A child of your own whom you’ve never seen.

When someone knocks on the door, think that he’s about

To give you something large: tell you you’re forgiven,

Or that it’s not necessary to work all the time, or that it’s

Been decided that if you lie down no one will die.

(Robert Bly)

Look out for the little surprises. Treasure them. Enjoy them. Expect something different, even in the smallest moments. and you’ll be surprised at what happens. I guarantee it.

Feb 21

Who are you?


Believe it or not, you are God’s gift to the universe. Totally unique, absolutely gifted, incredibly talented, more powerful than you know or could ever believe. As Marianne Williamson observes, we are more afraid of our own greatness than of our own shortcomings: “who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”

The world doesn’t need you to be humble. The world isn’t going to get upset if you step into your own truth, your own gift, your own incredible gorgeous power. The world needs you to be YOU… to bring every talent, every gift, every ability that you were created with out to play. We are poorer without you stretching out to be the greatest possible ‘you’. We miss out when you hold your gift back.

And as we step into that gift, as we dare to become who we really are, as we shake off humility, stop shrinking back and stand up to be who we truly are – then we step into a life that truly is worth living.

Join me?

Feb 06

The secret of winning…


Sometimes we feel there must be a safe way to move forward. But there isn’t. Whatever it is you want to do – if it’s truly worth doing, there will always be a risk associated with it. It doesn’t matter what it is – changing job, starting a business, falling in love, starting a new class…. there’s always that fear that we’re going to screw it up, fall flat on our faces, look stupid. We have to learn to look at that fear – and call it adventure. Those dreams have appeared in your soul because they will make you grow, cause you to stretch, make you bigger, more truly ‘you’. I’ve learned to recognise the fear of jumping into something new – it’s the same feeing of panic and exhilaration that I get strapped onto a snowboard at the top of a mountain. A friend of mine says that he always gets butterflies – he’s just learned to make them fly in formation.

But beyond that fear – just one small step beyond – there lie your dreams. And the reason you have those dreams… is because you can make them come true. Go get them.