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

Just.thinking.

 

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

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

Aug 14

Mission success: Not Guaranteed

fail - gilbert

There is a very famous quote which I suspect is actually required to be included, by law, in any self development book: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” It’s a useful question to break the deadlock of fear that stops you doing something.

In her wonderful book “Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear”, Elizabeth Gilbert asks a different question. Her question is this.

What would you still do even if you knew that you might very well fail?

What is it that’s so important, so enjoyable, so critical to you that even if you thought it might not work out, that you would still do it anyway? What do you love so much that success doesn’t matter? What is it that would cause you to risk your fragile ego and go do it anyway?

As Liz Gilbert points out, your worth is not measured on the outcome. It’s not measured by whether you succeed or fail – it’s measured by whether you followed your heart, whether you put your heart and soul into it. As Coach Taylor exhorts his gridiron team in “Facing the Giants”:

Hold nothing back.

Don’t lose heart.   Don’t stop fighting. Do not quit.   Do not give up.

You have got to leave everything on the field.

That’s all that matters. “Did I give my best?” “Did I follow my heart?” If you do, then success is kinda irrelevant. It’s easy to decide what you’d do if you were guaranteed to succeed at it. But what is it that matters so much to you that success ceases to matter?

Liz says “What if I go through all the trouble of creating something if the outcome might be nothing?”. And the answer: “Because it’s fun”. Or “because I have to”. “Because it consumes me.” “Because it matters.” “Because it makes me happy.” “Because when I do this it feels as if I’m really living.”

For each of us there’s something. A cause, a purpose, a longing, a desire, that’s our true self expression. Go find it. Go do it.

Sometimes I’ve struggled to find mine. But asking that one question has helped me more than anything else.

 

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

 

(Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of (most famously) “Eat, Pray, Love”. Big Magic is a book about creativity, and fear, about Courage, and Enchantment, about allowing Creativity to have its way. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s an author, a painter, a sculptor or engaged in anything creative. And if you are one of those who don’t feel they’ve got a creative bone in their body, then you should read it. Because it will show you that you are oh so wrong about that.

Aug 18

Strength training for the soul

broken

When we’re building muscle in the gym, we gain strength by breaking the muscle down with exercise and the body then rebuilds it. It’s the same with us.. we gain strength through the breaking, through the challenges, through what life throws at us.

One of my favourite authors (and genuine crazy lady) Martha Beck writes:

“I see life as a cosmic gymnasium where we have come to be broken and healed, broken and healed, for the joy of the process and because we have decided to become strong. But our bodies are just rented instruments; the part that’s here to get stronger is the Stargazer. This is how strength training goes in the soul’s gymnasium: Life breaks us. We hurt. We find the path to our North Stars and know instinctively that following them will lead to healing. We act on that instinct. We heal. we learn to trust that the path we’ve taken is the one we’re meant to take. And with every experience taken through to its conclusion, we become more able to experience joy.

There are so many ways to lose the perspective of the Stargazer. Maybe right now your inner sight is clouded by the opinions of others or the horror stories of your inner lizard. Maybe you’re sun dazzled by a perfect looking surface, projecting the trappings of success but hiding the sense that you’re lost, directionless, hollow. It could be life has given you the chance to walk into the darkness, and you’ve been starting terrified at the ground beneath your feet. And maybe – quite likely in these days of dizzying change and unprecedented possibilities – no beaten path exists.

Look up.

Look up.

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, precedents, your own vulnerable heart – but knowing that you’ll heal strong.”

But always.

Look up.

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

Martha’s books are simply amazing and I have found them really helpful in my life. She’s been a regular contributor to Oprah and O Magazine. The quote above is from “Steering by Starlight” – but I also love both “Finding your own North Star” and “Finding your way in a Wild New World”

           

Aug 14

Creating the hero . . .

storm

The storm happens to each one of us. No question. The big question is.. how will you respond to it?

 

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

PS – I’ve just started sharing my series “Walking With Heroes” over on the blog at http://timhodgson.org/walking-with-heroes/ – go take a look!

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.

 

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

May 07

Get back up again

 

rocky balboa

In the film Rocky Balboa, Sly Stallone’s character has this to say to his son “.and the time came for you to be your own man and take on the world. And you did! But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame. Like a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you get hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward! How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you are worth go out and get what you are worth, but you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers and saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT!” Rocky in Rocky Balboa

And you are better than that. You’re the kind of person who, no matter what life throws at you, gets back up, dusts themselves off and get back in the ring again.

A couple of weeks ago my son ran the London Marathon for the first time. He was hitting his target time for the run when someone cut across him and he twisted his knee. He ran the last eleven miles (ELEVEN MILES) in what he describes as the worst pain he has ever experienced. And he still beat my marathon time.

In my own life I have fought my way through defeat and disappointment, through divorce, spiritual heartbreak, financial disaster and worse. I might write about it sometime. But that’s not the point. I don’t need your sympathy. The point is that I am still going. Still fighting. Undefeated. Stronger. Better.

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” – Haruki Murakami

We all go through the storm. We all find ourselves tested and tried. It doesn’t matter how many times we get knocked down.. as long as every single time, we get back up again. Doesn’t matter how long it takes. No-one’s counting us out of the fight. Take your time. But get back up again.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

 

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

Oct 07

Dear Human . . .

dear human

Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return.

You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of. messing up. Often.

You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives.

It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s plenty.

Courtney A Walsh

Just to remind you. In case you forgot.

 

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

Apr 15

Minion wisdom . .

6dfa761e3cc7b96c544e8ea5b06316ed

I posted this picture to my Facebook feed today.. and once I’d posted it, it made me stop and think.

You know who our most ferocious critic is? The one who sits in judgement every single moment of the day, looking at our shortcomings, seeing how we measure up? Who is it that looks for every single flaw in our characters, ready to condemn us for the smallest mistake? Who is anticipating the hurts that we cause, the lack of love that we show, the wilful stupidity, the deliberate lack of integrity, the errant foolishness, the anger, the jealousy, the laziness, the sheer cruel selfishness?

It’s not our parents – or our children. It’s not our boss, or our spouse. And God sure isn’t keeping count of our mistakes.

Who IS your harshest, fiercest critic?

You are.

We see every mistake we make, and we beat ourselves up for it. And we are merciless. Harsh. Cruel.

And yet, as Neale Donald Walsch points out:

“If you saw yourself as God sees you, you would smile a lot”

So maybe it’s time to show yourself a bit of love, and a bit of forgiveness.

You were meant to be awesome, not perfect.

Perhaps it’s time to let go of the need to be perfect.. and just get on with being awesome . . .