Oct 26

Follow the madness

love unfurl ladinsky

Over and over again I find myself coming back to this quote from poet Daniel Ladinsky. There is a beauty to it, but also a rawness to it, and a sense of unstoppable magical power.

Sometimes, we need to rediscover madness to step forward. A sense of craziness, a personal insanity that draws us past what makes sense, what seems logical. Sometimes we have to step beyond what we can see, or what we can think of. Sometimes, all our pondering and planning needs to take a back seat and we need to let our hearts do the deciding. Because our heads just aren’t equipped to understand what our hearts can naturally intuit. And so we need to let go of what our thoughts tell us – that manic maelstrom of pros and cons, for and against, extrapolations of the future – and simply let our hearts say ‘yes’.

Love doesn’t make promises of safety (although you always are). Love doesn’t guarantee success (although you might be surprised to find what ‘success’ really looks like). Love doesn’t always lead us down paths that make sense (although looking back, they will). But what love does promise is that this is what you were made for. This is the adventure of your life. And always – always – love is leading you forward into your greatest ever life.

One day, 13 ‘interesting’ years ago, I faced a choice as to whether to remain safe and secure in my hard won and well remunerated technical career, or to step out into a new world, a new adventure, full of uncertainty and danger, yet something I knew my heart was calling me to. I faced the choice – stay safe in harbour or run before the winds of the universe. I would like to tell you that it has been easy. Those close to me know that it has been anything but. It has been a wild ride. A perilous ride. But it is the adventure my heart longed for, and I know that, as Hemingway put it, I have become strong in the broken places. And, looking back, it was the adventure I needed to become who I needed to become.

Martha Beck says, in ‘Steering by Starlight’:

“Maybe your inner sight is clouded by the opinions of others, or the horror stories of your inner lizard. Maybe you’re sundazzled by a perfect looking surface, projecting the trappings of an enviable success and hiding the sense that you’re lost, directionless, hollow. Maybe life has given you a chance to walk into the darkness, and you’ve been staring terrified at the ground in front of your feet, trying to see your way by following your way to some well-beaten path. And maybe – quite likely in these days of dizzying change and unprecedented possibilities – no beaten path exists.

No matter how clouded, sunblind or terrified of the dark you may be, your Stargazer self is always gazing calmly at your destiny. Follow it forward expecting to break things – rules, conventions, your own vulnerable heart – but knowing that you’ll heal strong. The strength itself, the joy of finding it, using it, testing it and feeling it grow, is the purpose of the whole adventure.”

If you’re reading this and wondering whether to throw yourself into the adventure your heart is drawing you into. then by all means check whether this is the insanity of infatuation or the stirrings or crazy passion. And then look deep into your heart and let it draw you onward. As Joe Campbell observed: “If you go into the forest where there is already a trail – you’re not on your own path.” Find yours. Find the path only you can walk.

It takes a certain madness to leap. It takes a certain craziness to leave the well trodden safe path in search of true meaning. But when that madness is driven by a profound sense in the depths of your being that this is where love is taking you.. then jump. And you will be born on great winds across the sky.

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

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.

 

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

Dec 31

Your one rule for 2016

brilliant self

A while back I discovered this card in a shop round the corner from my home and fell in love with it immediately. The artist (Leigh Standley) has crammed so much of what I feel into one image, and it has been pinned above my desk ever since.

As many of my friends will know, I take the New Year very seriously, as a space in which I take time out to think, to dream, to plan, and above all to listen to my heart as it learns to beat more in synchronisation with Source. I take time to look back at the year – to discover the lessons learned, to look at what I have achieved, and what didn’t quite go to plan. Like for many of my friends, this has not been an easy year, and in one sense it’s a relief to say goodbye to the old and to look to a new future.

Then I close that book and look forward into possibility, into adventure, into new encounters, new opportunities, into a magical world of ‘what if?’

And this year, I’m not placing so much emphasis on my goals – on what I want to achieve, the things I want to do, the adventures I want to have, the contribution I want to make, or the destiny I want to step in to. I’m looking to see who I can BE. As David Whyte said, “What you can plan is too small for you to live. What you can live wholeheartedly will make enough plans”.

For sure, there are some things I want to achieve next year. But they are not the important things – for me, or for you. Who are we going to BE, you and I?

I’m choosing to be bolder, braver, more prepared to stand up for what I believe and to speak my truth. I want to live simpler, with more passion, and more kindness. I want to have a bigger impact on the world. I want to be more magical, more connected to my Source, more in the flow, more truly alive.

I want to be more loving, more peaceful, more inspired. I want to live deeper, be wiser, more grounded. And I know that as I do, people around me will discover more peace, more wisdom and experience more love themselves.

So in 2016, I choose this – to live true to myself and in the end to have only one rule – to BE my wild, courageous, brilliant self. Every. Single. Day.

So.

What is it YOU plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

May you have the most magical, unlimited, abundant year ever – may you never fail to express all of the wild and wondrous things you are – and may every single one of your fabulous dreams come true.

 

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

 

PS – it’s been a long time coming, but I’m hoping to make a ‘what’s next’ announcement next week. No promises though!

Jan 01

UNLIMITED!

plans

And another year rolls round.and we step boldly into 2015. For some, it’s just a number that changes on a calendar. For some of us, it’s an opportunity to look at the year ahead and decide that we want it to be different from last year.

For me, 2014 was a year of dramatic contrast – some incredible joys, dramatic highs and wonderful happiness – and some deep moments of sadness and frustration. It’s a year in which many of my dreams and plans simply did not happen, a year where I seemed in some ways to step backwards. And yet, simply by choosing differently, 2015 will be very very different.

One of the things I have learned is that while it’s good to have goals, plans, intentions, dreams – we should never limit ourselves to those things. We’ve been taught that we need to have concrete well described goals, with a time frame for achieving them, with a quantifiable end result. And then, say the students of Intention and the Law of Attraction, we give the Universe and our unconscious minds enough to work on. We set our infinitely powerful minds to work on solving the problem, on making things happen. We draw from infinite resources to change our worlds and bring new things into being. And these things work. They really do. And as Oscar Hammerstein II famously observed in South Pacific “You gotta have a dream, [cause] if you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?”

But that’s the hard work. All those dreams, all those goals? Designed to do one thing. create a different state of feeling. You want to lose 10lb by June? Probably the intention is to feel healthier, to feel more energetic, to be more attractive . . .  That goal to create a new business? Is the intention actually to be a success, to be prosperous . . . That goal to travel the world? Isn’t the intention to be more adventurous, or to be more curious . . .

I know you have some goals – things you want to achieve in 2015. I hope they go beyond the ‘get fit, get healthy, fall in love, make more money, get more stuff’ and into the truly life changing ‘make a difference, change the world, create a new meaning to life’ kinda goals. But those are what coach Martha Beck calls ‘noun-verb’ goals. She suggests you look beyond the goals to the adjectives. How do those goals make you feel? When you get there, what will it be like? Will you feel successful? Empowered? Alive? Wise? Curious? Adventurous? Loving? That’s why I created this picture for 2015.with a list of things we can choose to be, ways we might behave, things that we can recognise in our lives states of being we can simply step into.

hny

So, this year, I started my 2015 planning with a look back at 2014 – there were a whole load of goals there that I didn’t get to. But when I looked behind the goals, I found that I really was behaving differently – that I had changed my state of being. (Oh, for sure, there’s a whole load of things I didn’t get right, and I had to spend a bit of time looking at my mistakes, and forgiving myself for making some really stupid blunders. What’s new?!)

So this year, when I started planning, I looked at what was important to me, the things that I truly value – things like Family, Friendship, Love, Adventure, Spirituality, Health, Purpose, Wisdom. and then I looked at what I wanted to BE in support of those values. Turns out I want to be adventurous, curious, wise, fearless, purposeful, passionate, unlimited. and a whole load more besides. and of course I can choose to simply start to begin to be those today, and grow into those more throughout the year as I choose to behave differently. It’s not so much about the goal – it’s about the journey – and who we become on that journey.

Now, for sure, there are some concrete things that I want to see happen through the year. but I know that the important stuff is in the way I am choosing to behave, in the stuff I am choosing to feel. And once I have decided that, then it becomes a simple process of choosing to step into that every day. And then, as if by magic, all your goals and more start to fall into place..

So. Happy New Year to each and every one of you. May you follow your dream, and may you light a candle this year that no-one can ever extinguish. Remember one thing this year – you really are an amazing creation: full of power, and wisdom, and love, and compassion, and magic.

Much love..

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

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.

 

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

Apr 10

Perhaps it’s time to ride the wild wind….

skydive

As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Fear tears at the soul of man, stopping us from achieving, from creating, from being. Fear stops us being free, it loops a fine wire of comfort around our hearts – while we stay within that place, we are safe. and yet ‘being safe’ was not what we were made for.

We were made to soar, to leap, to thrill to the fine line between safety and comfort – not to take foolish risks, but to venture out in a spirit of pioneering freedom. To be more than we are will always mean that we have to stretch beyond – to risk something.  Only as we choose to do something that takes us beyond our fears will we really know what we are capable of doing – and who we are capable of being.

You can choose to be held prisoner by fear – or you can choose to call fear “adventure” and ride the chaos to your dreams.

Which do you choose?

Mar 10

I wonder what Spring is bringing for you . . . ?

clouds

Here in England, it seems that Spring has arrived. From a long, cold, wet, dreary Winter, the signs of Spring are appearing. Crocuses, snowdrops and daffodils are beginning to peer out of grassy banks. Trees look primed ready to burst into leaf. There is a freshness in the air, a sense that something new is coming.

And I think there is. As we become ready to allow change to happen in our lives, then things will start to happen. Doors will begin to open, synchronicities will start to happen, coincidences will materialise. You will begin to meet people who can provide stepping stones to your dreams. Ideas will present themselves that will catapult you into your future.

You see, all those things that you dream of happening are truly possible. If they were not possible, then they wouldn’t have come into your consciousness. If there was no chance of them happening, then they would not have started to grow deep inside of you. Now, I’m not talking about those fatuous and selfish dreams that you might have – but those deep down dreams – the ones you almost fear to believe are real. Those are the dreams that matter, the ones that lead us to be bigger, better, greater human beings. Those are the dreams that have been truly placed in your heart – and those dreams are real.

So maybe now is the time to give those dreams a little bit of a spring clean. Get them out. Take a look at them. Are they still what you want? Does your heart burn with longing to see them come true? Do they feel good? Are you ready to pay the price that having those dreams will cost? Are you ready to do what needs to be done?

And now, believe in your dream. If you have the dream, you have the means to make it come true. Let it. Allow it to grow. Follow the hints and the signs that appear. Listen to the voice of your soul leading you forward. Step into your dream – and allow it to become real in your life now.

Mar 07

Wisdom from the Blues….

finding

First an apology for the lack of post yesterday. Yesterday, I had nothing. And that’s OK. But I thought I’d create a multimedia experience for you today, blending some blues boogie, some video, and some wisdom from one of my favourite blues singer songwriters.

I loved this track “What You’re Looking For” from Jonny Lang:

You always see only see what you want to see
Always walking in your own reality
Are you awake or are you living inside a dream?
Making movies in the back of your mind
Frame by frame, line by line
You’re changing and re-arranging it all the time
But it always ends the same and you don’t know why
[Chorus]
If you’re looking for love
you’re going to find it
If you’re looking for faith
you’re going to find it
If you’re looking for hope
you’re going to find it
you’re going to finally find what you’re looking for
If you’re looking for fear
you’re going to find it
if you’re looking for trouble
you’re going to find it
if you’re looking for love
you’re finally going to find what you’re looking for

Two people could be walking in the same shoes
And at the same time hear the same news
One’s laughing and the other one’s crying
One is living and the other one’s dying
So tell me now which one is you
Cause in the end it’s up to you
Cause the fact is that’s there’s only one truth
And the only difference is a point of view
[Chorus]
And when you finally find it, there’ll be no denying
That you were holding it the whole time
Tomorrow’s too late, you just can’t wait
To change your mind

(Corrected the “gonnas” – can’t let those stand)

Find what you’re looking for

 

So what do I take away from this?

I think you really do find what you’re looking to find. If you’re looking for and expecting to find love – you’ll find it popping up in all sorts of ways in your life. If you’re looking for and expecting to find wealth and prosperity, then you’re going to recognise all the ways that it appears in your life. If you’re looking for and expecting to find adventure, then you’re going to notice all the ways that your life is an adventure.

And noticing what you already have tends to attract even more of it into your life.

Human beings have what’s called a reticular activating system – it’s the system that, as soon as you’ve decided to buy a purple Mini, suddenly you notice that there are an awful lot of purple Minis around all of a sudden. Because I am focussed on finding inspiring quotes and subjects for this blog, I hear them all around me – in movies and TV shows, in books, in snippets of conversation.

If you go out with a sense of ‘everyone’s a jerk’ then guess what – you find ways to see everyone as a jerk, and they behave in ways that piss you off. If you go out with a sense of ‘people are wonderful’ then sure enough, people end up being lovely. It may sound naive, but honestly, I would rather believe the best of people and occasionally be disappointed, than believe the worst and be disappointed all the time!

We do have to distinguish between ‘wanting’ with that sense of desperation “must have this or I will be unhappy” and ‘wanting’ with a sense of both “I’d really like that to happen” and “you know, I already feel a lot like that” though.  Desperation tends to push things away. Recognising the good stuff that’s already in your life tends to create more like that.

A friend and I were discussing this a while back. “The secret to finding the big happy”, she said, “it seems to me, to be simply to decide to be happy. And once you decide to be happy, and you’re expecting to be happy, and you’re looking for all the ways you can be happy – then suddenly you realise that happy. is what you are”

Jan 27

It’s Stardust….

infinite potentialSometimes, someone says something that’s worth reflecting on. Author Neil Gaiman often says something that’s worth reflecting on. Neil is the author of lots of wonderful books, including Stardust and American Gods, as well as the amazingly evocative, spooky and thoughtful Sandman comic books.

 

I’m particularly fond of The Graveyard Book (from which todays quote comes – this may in fact be my favourite quote ever) and I also loved his address to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.. worth reading the whole thing.. but here’s what I took away from it…

 

First of all: When you start out you have no idea what you are doing. Don’t let that be an excuse for not starting. As Morpheus observed of Neo in ‘The Matrix’:

“Everyone falls the first time. If you never know failure, how can you know success?”

But get going. Make things happen. Some of them will work. Do more of that. Some of them won’t. Learn from those.

Secondly, If you have an idea of what you want to achieve, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that. Don’t deny the call in your soul. Don’t say ‘I couldn’t possibly do that’ or ‘no-one can make money from that’. You’re going to be miserable unless you give free reign to the call of your inner truth.

Thirdly, you’re going to have to deal with the problems of failure. Get used to it. Even when you’ve got experience, you’re going to fail sometimes. But now they’re not beginner’s error. They are real up front slap bang ‘should have known better’ and ‘I feel stupid’ failures. Deal with it. Dust off your pride. Move on.

Fourthly, I hope you’ll make mistakes. Welcome them. Value them. Learn from them. Use them. Remember Post It Notes? That came out of a project that was a huge failure. They invented an apparently useless non stick sticky glue. Yet someone saw the possibility of a non-sticky glue and made 3m a fortune. The history books are littered with things that worked out but that started out in abject failure. Take heart. Sometimes your failures are your greatest successes.

Fifthly, while you are at it, do your thing. Do the stuff that only you can do. We don’t want another version of someone else. We want you. YOU. Uniquely, wonderfully, powerfully you. Only you can bring your unique gift to the party – and the universe is waiting with bated breath for you to do it.

Sixthly. Stuff happens. Serendipity brings things together. Surprises will surprise you. Watch out for them. There is a huge amount of magic going on in the world. I agree with whoever said

“A coincidence is a small miracle in which God chooses to remain anonymous”

Pay attention. That song, that movie, that poster, that person you sit next to on the bus, the world is full of coincidences. Learn to spot them.

Seventhly. Make up your own rules. You think there’s a rule book for life. You think there’s some cosmic Santa Claus checking his list? As Neale Donald Walsch records God as saying to him in “Conversations with God”

“There’s only what works and what doesn’t, given what you are trying to achieve”

The greatest things that got done got done by people who decided to ignore the rule book and do it differently. I love this from DiscWorld:

Tiffany: “I thought there were rules?”

Granny Weatherwax “Oh? Really? Did you sign anything? Did you take any kind of oath? No? Then they weren’t your rules.”

The last word goes to Neil:

“And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes.

Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.”

1-TimSignature

 

For Neil’s full address to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia – go HERE