Being around the Brisbane area has helped me see what it’s like for people who have found their lives ruined, and there was a huge sense of compassion that went out from me to them – to have your livelihood destroyed, to have everything you own taken from you: your home destroyed, your possessions lost or destroyed…. and I heard the echoes of my own experience too.
Many of you reading this blog have seen the incredible joy that I have had in the experience… how much, perhaps, I have grown through the adventure – the sights I have seen, the wonders I have known, the thrills and the joys I have had. And it has been absolutely incredible – I have felt hugely blessed through the experience.
But there have been darker moments too. And it would not be truly honest of me if I didn’t talk about the tough times.
One of the reasons I am actually ON this adventure is that my coaching business wasn’t as successful as I would have wanted – although people who worked with me loved the results that they got, there weren’t enough clients to pay the bills. Marketing myself (and actually believing in myself) wasn’t a strong point. Although the books I had written were well received, with one coaching company wanting to make ‘Jump Start Your Coaching Business’ part of their workshops, and with a number of publishing companies very interested in ‘Free Your Mind’ – none of those ventures took off. I closed ‘The Inspiration Centre’ as a business in 2010. I see, now, having stepped away from it all, that I had been thinking too small, limiting myself – and so when I get back I will be wanting to do things very differently – with much more power, much more energy – and much more belief in who I am and what I bring to the world. Of which more another time perhaps. There are some very exciting things that I have planned.
The failure of that business led me into some financial difficulties too, mainly because I didn’t succeed in getting back to work despite trying hard (10 months of applications, and several months of Job Seeker’s allowance) – I’d been out of IT for too long, but overqualified for other opportunities. A failed joint business venture with a friend led to me choosing (very) early retirement just to create some security in my life. All of this, I know in my heart, is simply leading me to true mission and purpose – almost as if the Universe knew that if any of those things had been successful, then I would not have looked for something bigger, more dramatic – more true to myself, and with a bigger impact on the world’s stage. These experiences, although painful, have led me to who I am today – and so I embrace them as being stepping stones on a journey into my own truth.
So this adventure has been an opportunity to take a break from that – to interrupt the pattern, if you will.
And, really, that experience has also brought me into a deeper relationship with the Divine Force at the centre of the Universe. I do not believe I would be where I am without that experience.
So now, I have let go of my home, and most of my possessions – my books, my synths, some oddments of furniture are in storage.. but not much of that is really particularly precious to me. I have always been more about the experience of being alive – about the joys, the experiences, the people, the friendships, the impact I am having – about what I am BEING rather than what I HAVE.
So the whole process of stepping into this adventure has not been easy. Add to that the fact that I have had to leave my family behind, and have not been able to be there for them in some ways, has made this a very difficult decision to take. .. and on occasion I am haunted by the feeling that I am running away – and also that I can’t do much about starting my business while I am travelling.
On occasion I miss my family a lot – my boys and I have become very close over the last few years, and not seeing them has been hard. There are also people that I miss too – friendships that were growing, old friends that I have become very close to, the sense of family. I miss dancing, too, and all those wonderful people I know through dance. And sometimes it does get really lonely.. and just knowing that there are people out there that truly care is incredibly important.
There is a sense that a lot of things are ‘on hold’ until I get back – learning West Coast Swing or Tango, my aikido and karate training, keyboard practice, runs in the park, cycling…
And it’s not all that comfortable sometimes while I am travelling. I’m not on a huge ‘do anything’ budget and I am living a backpacker lifestyle – dorm rooms,, noodles and pasta, watching the daily budget closely. (I discovered ‘goon’ or ‘boxie’ the other day – the Australians invented wine boxes, but you can actually by alcoholic stuff in a wine box which actually isn’t CALLED wine anywhere on the box. Needless to say, this will not be an important part of my shopping).
So, I can’t simply do whatever i want. There are days when I walk rather than take a cab, take the train rather than fly. There are days when I am counting the cents/pesos/ringgits..
And yet this experience has been amazing, and I feel like the luckiest man on earth. The people I have met, the things I have seen, the insights I have gained have been unbelievable. And I haven’t GOT to Asia yet. I hope I can bring it back and use what i have learned and what i have become to help others, I really do. And I hope that just the sharing of some of this adventure will help my readers to feel just that little bit encouraged.
So, for those of you looking on with envious eyes – there has been a price to pay to have this experience. There is a price that I pay every day that I am out there – and I wouldn’t trade it. I know I am learning and growing, I know I am exactly where I need to be right now, and I know I am a richer being for all of this.
Often, the tough times are simply opening up something even greater for us.. I have so many friends that have said the same thing to me.. so embrace those moments and look for the blessing within. It’s there. Often, when our life looks like it is falling apart, it is actually falling together. Often, when things look darkest, it is just when we are about to step into something huge, beautiful and exciting.
For each of us, if we let it, life has something incredible in store – more than we can possibly imagine….
I actually found going to Great America theme park a bit of a guilty pleasure – I think I had been so focussed on finding meaning in my travels, and spending time trying to get my head together that the thought of some mindless fun was a bit beyond me. So I made an agreement with myself that this trip was going to have lots of FUN in it from here on in. Sure, there are things I want to do – and yet there’s a place for simply enjoying myself.
One of the real fun things was the chance to ride the coasters up front – I queued for a few minutes longer to get a front row seat on all the rides – but I did observe an interesting internal response to this – a reluctance to put myself first. It was almost as if I didn’t belong up front. Now, intellectually I know I can ride up front – but somewhere, deeper in my psyche, something was yelling ‘no, you need to hide at the back’. I’m hoping I learnt a lesson – that it’s part of my divine right to be up front. In fact, it’s part of my divine calling to be up front – visible – on stage – out in public…. And I hope I’ve finally got hold of that now!
A friend of mine posted a quote to Facebook the other day that got me thinking.. she said
“Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.”~ Paul Tillich
Now, I thought that was a beautiful way of expressing it… by choosing the words we use, then we create a different meaning to the feeling. We can choose to be lonely – or we can choose to enjoy solitude. I am actually quite a solitary being – I love being around people, and I love interaction, sharing, laughter, joy…. and also I love time on my own in solitude. And sometimes, sure, I feel lonely. Sometimes I don’t feel as if I am choosing solitude – I just feel as if I have been dumped in this place called ‘loneliness’.
Look at what I said above – I contrasted ‘be lonely’ with ‘enjoy solitude’. it feels to me as if ‘loneliness’ is something that happens to me, whereas ‘solitude’ is something I choose. And, to be honest, we do have that choice. On Facebook, one of the replies spoke about going to the supermarket so as not to feel lonely. And why not?! Why not use that feeling to catapult you into interaction with someone else? Go to the supermarket. Smile at people. Chat with the cahier. Resist the urge to pelt the supervisor with grapes. Oh, go on, if you must….
One of the powers that we have as human beings is the power to name. Adam was given the opportunity to have dominion over the animal kingdom by naming each animal – having the name gave him power. Even to this day in many cultures, having someone’s name gives you spiritual and psychological power over that person. Look at the story of Rumpelstiltskin – which is an echo of a deeper truth. Once the king named Rumpelstiltskin, he had power over him. It is the same with us and the words we use.
Consider the difference between ‘being depressed’ and ‘feeling melancholy’. Broadly, they are the same feeling of sadness… but with depression, we are ‘stuck’ whereas with melancholy we are making a choice. And isn’t it vageuly romantic to be a little ‘melancholic’ from time to time.
If you look at the language, it seems that ‘solitude’ is something we have control over. We choose our solitude – we can move into it – or out of it – as we wish. Loneliness, on the other hand, seems to be something that happens to us.
The truth of it is that these feelings never happen to us – we choose them… or, more accurately, we choose the response that we have to a certain situation. When confronted with being on their own, some people will decide to feel lonely. Others will decide to feel a sense of solitude, an opportunity to breathe in this life, to take stock of the situation.
Choose the words you use carefully – not because we have to fear using the wrong word (which seems to be a curse of the New Age and of the Law of Attraction “be careful what words you use, or they will come true”) – choose your words because they give you power over the situation that you are in. Find a better way to describe it. Take back control. Use language to support you rather than slow you down… in fact, play with the language you use, have fun with it… and use it to step outside of the worlds we create
Can I be honest with you today? Will you indulge me a little? You’ve been good enough to come on this journey with me so far, and I wanted to tell you a little of some of the reasons why I’m doing what I’m doing. Because maybe I’ve not given you the whole story so far….and in particular you may be asking the question… “Why Oregon?”
Well, this adventure plays to so many of my personal values: I took a look recently at what’s important to me and came up with this list:
- Love & Compassion
- Joy & Fun
- Learning and Growth
- Health & Vitality
- Achievement & Success
- Wealth and Prosperity
- Truth and Integrity
So maybe some of those are obvious – how this supports my love of adventure, freedom, joy & fun, achievement, learning, growth, courage… but what about the rest?
For those of you who know me well, it makes so much sense that I would want to go off and do this – and yet there is something deeper going on. You see, for me this is a real voyage of self discovery – an opportunity to really understand who I am, and why I am here. The last couple of weeks have been very significant in preparing the ground for that, and I’ve shared a couple of those stories with you.
There are four big questions that we all need to answer.
- Who am I?
- Where am I?
- Why am I where I am?
- What am I going to do about where I am?
I’m beginning to see answers to those questions… and I promise I will share them at some point. But I think that most of you know that I am deeply, deeply motivated by something else – call it love, call it compassion, call it God, call it what you will – but enough of you have been kind enough to notice that there is something ‘different’ about me.
So one of the reasons for me being over in the US was to do the Huna workshop. The other was to attend a retreat with Neale Donald Walsch. I’ve attended his retreats in the UK a couple of times – and I know that some of you reading this are friends I’ve made on those retreats (you know who you are!)
I have a feeling, though, that this event will be very significant in my life, and will be another part in the major shift around who I am, and what my reason for being here is. And I mean here on this planet, by the way – here living this life.
Neale is the author of the Conversations With God books – probably the books that have made the most sense to me about life, about God, about the world we live in. You could do a lot worse than read ‘Conversations with God’ or ‘Happier than God’. Borrow it out of the library. Go into Waterstones and read it there. Or not, it’s entirely up to you. For many people, including some very influential world leaders, it has been very important. It may well resonate with you too.
I have not seen many people deal with a room of people with such compassion and such insight – with such understanding of what’s going on for them.
Yet today I have been particularly moved – firstly by em claire’s reading of her poem ‘Shine’ which I have published before
God says for me to tell You This:
nothing needs fixing;
You were made to bend
so that you could find
all of the many miracles at your feet.
You were made to stretch
so that you would discover,
your own beautiful face of Heaven
all that you think you must shoulder.
When I appeal to God to speak to me,
I’m feeling just as small and alone as you might feel.
But this is when, for no particular reason at all,
I begin to
For various reasons, that poem meant more to me today than ever before – as I said to em on the way out – “I came here to hear you read that poem. I can go home now”.
But the reason we are all here is simply to become the next grandest version of the greatest vision of who we are. We are, each of us, an individuation of Divinity, an expression of God – an opportunity for God’s nature to be expressed on earth. And the time that we will feel that the most clearly is when we are giving to others. So life is not about how much money we make, or how influential we are, or even how much fun we have – although all those things are important – life is about how much we give.
And so I find myself challenged – how much can I give to others while I am travelling… and how much can I bring back to allow me to be even more compassionate, even more caring, even more inspiring.
I have much to think about in order to answer the question “Why Am I Here?”
I got kinda frustrated today… I looked at some of the folk that I trained with in my platform skills course, and looked at how successful they had become… the houses, the cars, the holidays… and wondered what it was that had stopped me doing that. Why hadn’t I made it big? Why hadn’t I produced the results that the courses said?
Now, I’m not actually envious – sure, I’d love to have some of the trappings of success, I’d even love to be a little bit financially free. But there’s a reason why it’s not happened for me yet.
Ages ago, when I was part of the Praise Community charismatic church, the leadership team recognised my prophetic gifts… and along with that went a warning – that for those called to be visionaries, to be pioneers, to truly lead God’s people… they would find it really hard. And I struggled through a painful marriage that eventually fell apart… and I found myself far from my God, lost in a wasteland…
Later on, I found the echoes of that voice from my teacher, who told me that if I demanded to grow – then a storm would start. I’ve said that I want it all, to be alive, to be humble, to be grateful, to be overwhelmed – and God would answer that prayer. I set my stall out to want God at the deepest level – and God would answer that prayer – but it would hurt.
And she was right. It’s been painful, not just because of what I have been through, but because of the gap – because I have been waiting for something to happen… longing for it, longing to see what my place in the world was. Longing to see a bit of success, a little bit of light in the painful process.
I’ve been wondering why things haven’t been happening in my life – why, despite a new connection to God, a new understanding of what the Christ means in my life, and a new openness to what I don’t understand, that nothing seems to be moving for me.
And I think it’s this. Throughout the history of God’s dealings with men, there have been wilderness experiences. Moses was in the wilderness, a humble shepherd in the service of Jethro the priest when God came to him in the burning bush. Jonah fled from God and found himself in the belly of a whale, before he stepped up to what God had for him. After Jesus’ departure, the disciples were told to wait in Jerusalem for the power of God to come upon them.
It seems that every true prophet, every true man of God, has an experience where God doesn’t seem to be speaking, where they feel separate from the Divine flow, where it seems as if nothing is happening. And then the spirit and power of God comes upon them. And then God moves in – and nothing is the same again.
I’ve been looking round at the nature of this planet’s spiritual evolution, and I have to say that although we are looking at Love in a whole new way, we are considering care for the planet in a new way, and we’re seeing things like our unity with God in a new light… there seems to be one thing missing. And that is the power of God.
In the revivals in the 18th century, the power of God was clearly seen. Again in the 1960s and 1970s in the charismatic movement, the power of God was demonstrated through prophets and healers – men who stood before God and man.
I believe that time is coming again. I believe a time is coming when the breath of God will be breathed on us again… and the world will be moved in a new way. I have no idea what form that will take, because God delights in doing a new thing, in living in a new way.. and yet I am becoming increasingly certain that God is moving in a new way amongst those that love him – that she is finding a new way to demonstrate her power amongst all nations and all faiths.
So I draw courage and hope from the story of Jesus’ disciples, who were told “Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard Me speak about. For John baptised with water but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.” And that’s what I am waiting for, because that’s what the world needs right now – the fire of God.
So for me, it’s not about success. It’s not about financial freedom. It’s about following in the steps of my God – it’s about waiting for ‘the anointing’ – for the power of God in my life. It’s waiting for a moment similar to the experience of Moses at the burning bush – who knew that he had been called by God when the glory of the presence of God came to him.
And at that point, I will know. Absolutely. And so I pray “God, please use me”. “God, please touch my heart”. And “God, please put your power and your anointing and your Spirit inside me – because I cannot, and will not do this without you”.
Yesterday, I got a whole new sense of destiny… and perhaps some of the reason why I have been going through so much crap lately.
You see, I have been trying to sell my house for a while – and have just been told that the building society will not let me sell as it is a negative equity situation. Now, I am really frustrated by this, and will have to take some very hard decisions about the future, and how to deal with this and the rest of the debt I have amassed. And I feel very guilty about what has happened – and although I have made mistakes, there are many things that I couldn’t avoid – like not being able to find a job for ten months.
And, while thinking about all this, I realised that from God’s perspective, the building society debt, the credit card debt, and the rest of the burden that I have been carrying is actually irrelevant. And, somewhere under all that I realised that God was saying ‘Set my people free’. God would rather see me free from the burden than see the building society get their money. Sure, I know that I ‘owe’ that money.. but in the end, it’s just money.
So this helps me look into the future with new eyes and with new freedom – and will guide some of the choices that I might make. I’ve been so burdened with all this, that actually suicide has been a possibility… and I realised that that is just stupid, when it’s possible to step free – when English law allows for us to claim our freedom from financial imprisonment.
Will I go bankrupt? I have no idea.
But actually, that’s not the point. What the point IS, is that freedom is our birthright as children of God. In fact, it’s actually one of my highest values, and I have been trying to work out why that is. Is it a rebellion against my marriage? Or do I feel shackled by my own beliefs, my perceived limits, my ‘story’? Did I feel restricted by my religious upbringing?
But what is more important is that this is part of my calling. In the same way that Moses was called to demand that the Pharaoh of Egypt ‘Set my people free’.
Moses had to encounter God in a new and unexpected way at the burning bush. And he had to give up his privileged position in order to step into the new. He had to leave his place in the royal court of Egypt in order to lead the people of God. And somewhere, deep within my being, I resonate with that.
I believe that part of what I am called to is to declare the same. Freedom from the lies and the rules that are woven round our lives. Freedom from the demands of the media, of society, of our financial institutions. It has been this way – and yet it doesn’t need to be.
And maybe I had to experience the crushing burden of financial debt in order to understand what freedom feels like.
I want to see people set free from the limits they place on themselves, to reach for everything they can possibly be. To be free from guilt. Free from the rules we place on our lives. Free from the words ‘should’ and ‘must’. Free from despair.
I have no idea where that leads me, where it takes me, where it could go next. But it is a new chapter of my life.. to walk both into freedom, and into my calling..
This morning I woke, slowly…. and yet with longing burning in my heart. For some days I had been conscious of God calling me to a new place – and of a deep inner longing that wanted me to step into a new relationship with the awesome power of God.
Inside me there has been a hunger, a longing , almost howling, roaring, unstoppable desire for something to change. And it’s not in my personal circumstances.
Sure, I would love to move from my current financial situation to one of true abundance, prosperity and financial freedom. Sure, I would love to find someone to share my life with, discovering our destiny together. Sure, I would love a new car, a lovely house to live in, adventures, excitement, fun – all the things that are in my dream book.
And yet, continually threading through my mind is the longing for something to change, something to shift – and for me to step into true power, and the power of God. I feel a little like Jacob in the book of Genesis, when he wrestled all night with the angel of God: and finally the angel said ‘Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” ‘ (Gen 32:26)And the angel DID bless Jacob – and also touched Jacob’s hip, causing him to limp. And if there’s a price to be paid for God to touch my life, then so be it.
It all goes back to many years ago when I was ‘baptised in the Holy Spirit’ as a member of a charismatic baptist church, a church that believed in ‘the gifts of the Holy Spirit’. In the book of Acts, the disciples received the power and the gifts of the spirit of God – descending like tongues of fire.
It feels in some way like that’s what I have been called to do… to bring that experience back to others. To see the songs of God come into their inheritance. To move beyond the ‘nice’ world of New Spirituality into something that has power, that has dynamism, something that has ‘balls’, if you will pardon the expression. Not so that we can all sit around enjoying these experiences – but so that we can go out and DO something in the world. So that we can shake it up, bringing the power and the authority of the Creator into government, into social life – challenging our social inequality, the status quo, our lack of feeling…
And that’s what I am longing to experience right now. That’s what I want to see… to feel, to know deep in my gut – that God is with me to demonstrate the power of the gift of God.
And so I pray “reconnect me to the awesome gift and power of God. Touch me with God’s Spirit, and bring me to a new level of Her Divine creative energy”.
The mind sabotages – stops you living in your heart. So find a way to connect to the heart.
It’s already happening – my heart is running a huge chunk of the show. But if my will is given over, then my heart WILL get me where I am going.
In my heart, I really just don’t care.
Let consciousness come from the heart area. Follow my heart. … the heart is more powerful than anything.
Ask the heart to teach me, give permission to my heart to lead me.
The heart is the doorway to the universe – when we hang out there, then miracles happen.
My heart is the connection to God (whereas the mind is the connection to Earth – we are the pivot point between heaven and Earth). It’s like a doorway – a space into infinity.
Take time to meditate on my heart.. and allow love to direct me.
I found that I had come to a real ‘stop’ in my life… not sure what to do about the financial issues, about my career, about my relationships… I decided to take a few days out to decide who I was, and what I was about.
This morning I took a walk and found my favourite place, in the grounds of the local public school. I call it ‘The Place Angels Love to Dance’ – partly because I find it’s a place where I can hear God clearly, and because of the huge numbers of white feathers around.
This is what came through…
Firstly, I got clarity about bankruptcy… it remains a possibility, but the nature of Who I Am will not let me take that route – because it would be running away. So if someone chooses to make me bankrupt, then that’s OK, but I will not choose it.
More importantly, life principle#1 My life is surrendered to God. Life principle #2 My life is to be used in the service of others… to love and heal the world. I spent some time rereading ‘A Return to Love’ and it was so, so clear what I was about.
I’m a ruler in charge of my life… now I feel nervous and fearful because this hugely powerful being inside me is stepping out from being ‘ordinary’ and that’s bound to shake the foundations a bit! I want to demonstrate a state of Being in my life which is about Leadership and about Power – with Love.
And I know one thing… I am in pursuit of God. But my purpose became profoundly clear.. I am about bringing the presence of God to people… allowing God to flow through me so that they can experience that. Enabling power ot be restored to the children of God.
I know I will end up demonstrating that in public, on stage, giving to others – being in a position of leading others into what I am experiencing.
I realised that the key to power lies inside the heart – and that if we live from there then we connect to real power.
And then a thought came.. called ‘Shekina’. That might be a place.. or it might be an event.. ‘Shekina’ means ‘the dwelling or settling presence of God’ and is exactly what I want to create. I thought about building a retreat that was a place where people experience the holy, powerful, awesome nature of God, where they feel loved, and alive. Not just about peace and tranquillity, but about noise and laughter, fun & joy, happiness, power, excitement, energy, passion. I have no idea where that takes me – but it feels really exciting…. so watch this space….