Dec 04

Wisdom from Londolozi

Live While

Londolozi is one of the original pioneering Private Game Reserves of the ecotourism industry in South Africa.

The root of the word ‘Londolozi’ is the Zulu word for protect and means “protector of all living things” – an ambitious conservation ethic that Londolozi embraces in its sensitivity to the natural world. The reserve is internationally recognised for its far-sighted and progressive management of land and wildlife rehabilitation as well as productive community involvement.

And a place I would love to visit.

 

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

Aug 14

A new hope . . .

universe lit

There are moments when everything seems lost, when we feel that every single door is closed – where everything that we tried to achieve has gone sour. Sometimes it can feel like we’re simply putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes, it simply feels as if all hope has died, all our dreams have vanished, all our plans have come to nothing.

It’s then that we need to remind ourselves that we do live in a friendly universe, and that in the very problems that we might face lie the seeds of a solution. There is always hope – or, at the least, the promise of hope – even when it doesn’t seem like it. We might blame ourselves for our mistakes – but the universe of miracles simply opens the door to new possibilities, ready for us to step through it into the life that awaits us.

 

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

Jun 12

Tell me . . .

african-safari-sunset

I know I’ve been a bit quiet of late. I know I haven’t posted as many moments of inspiration as I planned to. I know I said I was going to do more. But somehow, they haven’t been there.

I read this this morning:

“Tell me. What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” (Mary Oliver)

And this seems to be the question that’s reverberating within me right now, that captures the spirit of what I am considering. It’s not so much that I am wrestling with the question, so much as it clothes-lined me and dropped me to the mat, leaving me pinned down until I submit. What DO I plan to do with the wild and precious life that I have been given? What DO I plan to do with the opportunities, the space, the richness that I am presented with?

I don’t have answers yet. But I have questions. And I hope you do too. Because life is meant to be lived, enjoyed, experienced richly and fully. Life is meant to be an adventure. Life is meant to be lived, shackles off, free of the ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’ that lock us down.

Whatever you choose, choose to live ‘epic’. As Jay-Z put it in “Can I Live?”:

“I’d rather die enormous than live dormant”

Wouldn’t you?

 

Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

May 06

You have the answer–even if you don’t know it yet.

rickman

Often we wonder ‘what should I do’? There seem so many choices, so many possibilities. What job should I go for? Where should I live? Should I buy a new car? Should I sell everything and travel the world? Should I start a new hobby? How do I increase my income? How can I help my family? I don’t know what the questions are that you face right now. but I do know this..

You have the answer.

Somewhere inside, the answer already exists. Because if you didn’t have the answer, you couldn’t have asked the question. We’re each one of us actually connected to an infinite source of wisdom, and the reason that we don’t ‘know’ the answer is usually because we’ve got in our own way. We surround ourselves with noise and chatter, drowning out the still, small, quiet urgings of our inner being. Oftentimes we make things too complicated, looking for a complex answer when the solution is far, far simpler. Usually we don’t believe the answer when it comes – surprising ourselves with an inner wisdom that we didn’t ever expect we had.

We need to listen and trust that inner voice that speaks quietly within. Sometimes we need to talk it out loud – when I was facing financial problems a few years back I would get up early in the morning and walk by the river, talking the problem over. Was I talking to myself? Maybe. Was I talking to God? Perhaps. What I do know is that as I verbalised it, answers came. Solutions started to appear.

Often the whole solution won’t appear straight away. As Martin Luther King Jr. reminds us:

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

One of the things about learning to listen to the voice of our soul is that we don’t get all the pieces at once. We get the first step. When we act on that first step, the next piece of the puzzle appears, the next solution presents itself, the next answer comes.

And that might appear in the strangest of places. A chance remark from a friend. The words of a song. A billboard advert. If those words speak to a deeper place inside, then trust them. They are the external evidence of something already happening inside you – because if they were not, then you would never have noticed them – they would have skated past your vision like the rest of the flotsam and jetsam of modern life.

And finally, for those of you who are just learning to listen, a suggestion from Sonia Choquette – choose to wonder. Wonder what the answer might be. Don’t figure it out, don’t ponder it, just wonder. “I wonder if I should move home”. “I wonder if I should go back to school”. Wondering takes the pressure of, and let’s the creative brain take over.

Try it. Trust it. And see what will happen.

Mar 27

Why Not You?

A post from Robin Sharma, the #1 bestselling author of The Leader Who Had No Title

The question is not can you. It's will you?

Someone will do something fresh, new and brave today.why not you?

Someone will befriend a stranger, deliver hope to the hopeless and model decency.why not you?

Someone will turn pain into power, fear into fortune and confusion into clarity.why not you?

Someone will be recognized for their mastery, celebrated for their acumen and praised for their excellence.why not you?

Someone will forge a new start, install a new habit and build a better routine.why not you?

Someone will let go of their past, rewire their present and rewrite their future.why not you?

Someone will get the sale, finish the book or close the deal.why not you?

Someone will set larger goals, take bigger risks and go to their limits.why not you?

Someone will show uncommon kindness, be a giver not a taker and leave people better than they found them.why not you?

Someone will discover their “Mighty Why”, reconnect with their purpose and so radiate their passion.why not you?

Someone will release their excuses, shatter their doubts and break free of their chains.why not you?

Someone will experience true gratitude, speak real appreciation and feel sincere happiness. why not you?

Yes-why not you?

Let’s be honest.you were born into genius. You’ve been built to amaze. And you’re designed to make history.

The question’s not can you. Nope. It’s will you?

– See more at: http://www.robinsharma.com/blog/03/why-not-you/#sthash.tOF9LceC.dpuf

Mar 25

You are uniquely irresistible….

jigsaw

There is a place that you are to fill and no one else can fill,

something you are to do which no one else can do.

(“The Game of Life” by Florence Scovel Shinn)

I always seem to return to this simple thought. you are unique. You have unique gifts, unique talents, unique strengths. There is a space in this world that fits you uniquely. There are insights only you can bring, words only you can say, dances only you can dance, and songs only you can sing.

The world needs you right now. Not some watered down insipid version of you – but the real you, the solid you, the vivid, colourful, vibrant, unique, electric, magical you. Not some pale imitation of someone else, not some attempt to follow someone else’s path – but the true, incredible, gorgeous, glorious you – with all your little flaws and weaknesses, alongside your determination, your courage, your power, your insights, your wisdom. uniquely irresistible.

Perhaps it’s time you gave the world the gift it needs. you. In all your glory.

Mar 21

Will you join me in the dance?

firedancer

In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions:

When did you stop dancing?

When did you stop singing?

When did you stop being enchanted by stories?

When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?

Many of my friends are dancers. Many of the people reading this post are dancers. And we know first hand the joy that dancing can bring. Simply letting our bodies link in flow with the music is incredibly liberating – not only do we join with the music, we join with each other and with the dance itself – and, sometimes, it seems that we reach above that and join in the eternal dance, the dance of life.

We need to move, you and I. Any form of movement works. Running, cycling, swimming, walking, yoga, all work. Martial arts like Tai Chi, Aikido, Karate, Qi Gong, Kickboxing all work. All of them wake us from our somnambulistic state and get our hearts pumping, our bodies moving. But where running and walking all seem very individual movements, and martial arts seem competitive, dance (or at least partner dance) is the product of two people working together. (Or, my Morris dancing friends will point out, more than two people).

We see the dance expressed in tribal ritual – where the dance was a place of magic, of an offering to the divine, of a way to create rain, or to celebrate a harvest. We see dance as a way of giving thanks, of expressing joy – and of expressing determination, power, courage – whether the dances of tribal Africa or the stylised haka of a rugby match.

In dance, we surrender to the music and to the rhythm flowing through us. We give ourselves to each other in the dance. We allow something ‘other’ to flow through us and we become part of something bigger – something, if we are prepared to let it, almost spiritual in essence. In fact, scratch that – dance can, when we let it, be a spiritual experience – uniting the dancers with each other, with a shared experience in the room, with the music. allowing something beyond words and beyond thought to flow through us.

I don’t care if you tango, salsa, blues, swing, ballroom, pole, handbag or dad dance. I don’t care if you’re good or if you move like a tank. I don’t care if you’ve got style, or grace, or rhythm, or whether you’ve got two left feet.

I just care that you dance. Your way. Your rules. Your style. But dance.

(or, as Mr Miyage put it in “The Karate Kid” – “never trust a spiritual teacher who doesn’t dance”)

Mar 21

Perhaps it’s time to sing a new song . . .

birdsong

In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions:

When did you stop dancing?

When did you stop singing?

When did you stop being enchanted by stories?

When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?

What can I say about the power of song? A song seems to speak more deeply to the heart than any story can, than any mere words can hope to achieve. The music draws a path deep into our beings, allowing the emotions to be unlocked and the heart to open.

Last night I watched Peter Gabriel perform ‘Biko’, his song about the South African anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko, who died in police custody. And the injustice and the sadness of it all cut deep inside me as I longed for a world where these things didn’t happen.

On other days I have found myself swept away on songs of freedom, songs of determination, songs of hope, songs of love. I’ve found inspiration in unlikely places – from Def Leppard to David Guetta, Nina Gordon to Nickleback. Stef Lang, Jim Steinman, Leonard Cohen, Edgar Winter, Jonny Lang, Mark Willard, Josh Bates – all have written songs that have sent shivers up my spine as the deep truth has sunk in.

And for me, often, I find my faith boosted as I sing back to the sky – songs of determination, of hope, of triumph, songs of gratitude, songs of faith. One of the ways I feel totally alive is to surround myself with music.

I find myself echoing the words of the psalm writer:

I have been brought out of destruction, out of the clay, and my feet are set upon a rock – making my footsteps secure again. And there is a new song in my mouth, a song of joy.

So, today, sing a new song with me. Find a song of hope, a song that stirs you, that moves you, that speaks to you. And sing.

Mar 14

Are you ready for a new beginning?

lambs

Spring has sprung, at least in England. I came across these little darlings while I was out on my bike today, and it made me think. are you ready for a new beginning? Perhaps things are going great for you, and life’s working out just fine. Now might be the time for your life to ramp up and really begin to be even more amazing. You might end off in a totally different direction, because where there is movement, then it’s easy to change direction.

Or perhaps you feel stuck and unable to move forward. There is power in stillness, too.. from a place of stillness there is the opportunity to leap in any direction.

I don’t know where you are today. What challenges you face, what difficulties you’re in, what joys you’re experiencing, what’s working in your life and what doesn’t seem to be working out just yet. But I encourage you to do this. Don’t stay where you are. Move. Do something. It doesn’t matter what. It doesn’t matter how big that ‘something’ is. It could be little, or it could be huge. But change something.

And you’ll find that new beginnings start right where you are.

Mar 05

Wakey wakey time . . . .

sunrise

In our fast paced modern world, we tend to leap out of bed, rush out the door, grab breakfast on the run – rushing to meet the day. and yet the ancients knew the secret of success was in taking time out at the beginning of the day.

I’m continually reminded of how important it is – and, I have to be honest, I don’t find it easy. Yet I do know that those days where I have taken time out in peace and silence are the days when I feel most successful, where I feel in control of my life, where I feel most connected to the earth, to the universe and to other people – those are the days when little goes wrong and a lot goes right, and when I feel the most grounded and at peace.

For me, my morning ritual includes some exercise, some martial arts practice, and some coffee (something has to kick start my brain!). I take time to read something that lifts my spirit and helps me see truth more clearly – something that connects me to my soul.

And I take time to connect to ‘The Other’ – call it God, call it The Universe, call it Infinite Intelligence, call it Love – or, if it helps, just get in touch with the core of your being.. it doesn’t really matter what you call it. You can call it prayer, call it meditation, call it being mindful. It’s the pause button before the day gets going.  I find that a pattern of breathing can help to centre me. to breathe in deeply and then out – I find that breathing in for a count of 7 then out for a count of 11 works well to bring a deeper sense of peace.

Some folk find that taking a walk helps them to connect (I’ve talked to people who deliberately park at the far end of the car park so they can use the walk to reconnect to the deeper part of themselves).

And I find it helps to have an intention for the day, too – not so much something I want to do, but more what I want to be – and in particular, apart from all the things you want to do, all the tasks that you face, all the situations that you have to deal with, I always ask that I be an agent of love and of peace throughout the day – that I might bring love and healing to those I meet, and that I might be a blessing wherever I go.

I’d just encourage you to take a moment before you start your day to stop. To breathe. To be at peace. And to listen – for the morning has secrets to whisper to you.