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

Sep 16

Hope. Always.

tent night

Here’s the thing. Shit happens. Doesn’t matter who we are. stuff goes wrong. I’ve had my share of things go wrong in my life, and I know that there are only two places we can live. We can choose to live in despair, convinced that things can only get worse, that this situation will never get fixed.. or we can choose to live in hope, expecting that no matter how dark the night, morning is coming. I’ve lived both sides of those tracks, and I know where I’m deciding to live. in a place of hope where anything can happen, where there are solutions, and options, where there is possibility. where there is promise. Join me?

 

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

Aug 26

Gentle darkness

Desert

Each one of us has lived through tough times – and there have been moments for each of us in which we have wished that things had gone differently, that we didn’t have to walk through that dark night, to step into that emptiness that scoured our heart and threatened to crush our soul. For some of us, the abyss has been deeper and darker than it has for others. yet each of us has had to look into that darkness, walking through it one trembling step at a time.

I don’t know where you are – for you right now all may be well, the darkness just a shadow in your past. For others who at this moment are walking through that place where hope seems lost and the coldness saps the joy from our souls and the courage from our hearts. these are the times in which heroes are born, where character is created.

Joseph Campbell once explained:

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life.

Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.

Without these moments of darkness, we never truly see who we are. In all that life brings us, there is a gift.. something that makes us more real, more powerful, wiser, stronger, more courageous. more true to who we really are. Campbell went on to say:

Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.

If life right now seems tough, then look up to the stars and know that you are loved. That you are growing. That you are becoming more truly you. And if, in this moment, you feel you have no hope. then lean on mine. And know that these things, too, shall pass.

You are more precious than you can possibly imagine.

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

Apr 11

Are you sure you know what that story REALLY meant?

strength on the mountain

A few days ago I retold the story of the Lost Son (or the Prodigal Son) – if you missed it, you can read it HERE – and, honestly, I’d suggest you do before you carry on. Really.

That story has been used by the Christian Church for generations to explain what happens when you go off on your own, when you step out from how things should be. It’s a story of wilfulness, of wasting life on trivia and wanton behaviour – and of a Father’s love, once the son turns round and admits he got it wrong, is welcomed back into the safety of the family again (and puts the older brother’s nose out of joint).

But is it? Is it about ‘going your own way’ and the dangers of immorality? Did the younger son really screw up and make the wrong decision? I’m not so sure. Over the last few months, this story has become very precious to me, for all sorts of reasons. And, honestly, I’m rooting for the younger son. Cause I think he got it right.

Imagine the plight of the younger son, always in his elder brother’s shadow. He knows that the family business will eventually fall to his brother. He knows that his brother will get the larger share of the inheritance – that’s just the way things were in Israel at that time. He knows that the larger blessing of his father will go to his brother. So what can he do?

He decides to go out and make a name for himself on his own. He gets his resources together, going to his father to ask for his portion of the family fortune early (and that in itself was a ballsy move) and sets out for a distant country to make a name for himself. I suspect he planned going back to his family as a wealthy and successful businessman in his own right.

And I’m with him all the way.

Unfortunately for him, it doesn’t work out the way he intended. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps he fell in with the wrong crowd. Perhaps his struggles to make his business succeed caused him to stretch his resources to breaking point. Perhaps he got distracted from his goal. I don’t know – and it doesn’t matter. Because that’s not the point. This isn’t a story about how you can go wrong and move away from your blessing. It’s a story that shows that all the resources that you need are right at hand. And in that sense, it’s not really a story about a lost son at all.

Our hero finally found himself starving, out on the streets and unable to find a way out. And you’d be surprised how many of my mentors have been in exactly the same place. On the streets. Bankrupt. Out of work. Stuck in failure. Because only when they get to the bottom of their own resources do they realise that there’s another way. Only then are we going to recognise what’s really real.

Our hero eventually (in the bible story, at least) found himself feeding the pigs. That’s about as low as it can get for a good Hebrew boy – feeding the animals that the Hebrews themselves won’t touch. But he’s missed something – something that he only finds when he decides to return to his father.

You see, he thinks that he’s had his chance. He thinks he’s had his shot, and he failed. All he can do is to crawl back as a failure and ask for a servant’s job. But that’s not the way his father sees it at all.

You see, the resources of the father still belong to the son. At any moment he could reach out and take hold of them. At any moment he could step back into a position of power. Guilt, shame, and embarrassment stopped him. But everything he needed was available for asking. This isn’t about the father’s forgiveness – I’m a father, and I will tell you right now it has nothing to do with forgiveness. If one of my sons screws up, forgiveness and restitution isn’t ever a question. It’s guaranteed. Not forgiving, not welcoming him back would simply not be an option for me.. simply because I’d have to stop being a father at that point. In truth, the only lesson he needs to learn is how much I love him.

We’re in the same position, you and I. No matter how badly we’ve screwed up, no matter how badly we might think we’ve got it wrong – no matter how stupid we think we may have been,  and how many bad choices we think we might have made.. all the resources we need are still available to us. We didn’t make ourselves ineligible. Because that’s impossible. We are still unlimited, powerful, incredible beings. We still have infinite creative power. We still have the resources of the universe behind us.

We still, always, have a choice whether to wallow in failure and self pity, to look continually at the disaster that has befallen us..

. or to raise our eyes to the sky, to stand up tall, to recognise our inheritance and the truth of who we are, and return to our rightful place as gifted individuals with a story to tell and a purpose to fulfill.

I’ll choose that every time.

Mar 04

Really? Yep..really really.

sunrise earth

There are times when I feel as if I have screwed it up and there’s no way back. I can find myself not knowing how to step forward, how to make progress toward my dreams. And it’s those times when I hear a voice whispering to me “All the abundance, all the power, all the love, all the joy, all the happiness, all the excitement of the Universe is available to you. All of it. You just need to show up for it. You just need to recognise that it’s available for you any time you choose.”

And in that moment. hope lives again.