Jul 28

OBSERVATIONS – Letting Go

One of the things I became convinced of recently was that I needed to start to let go… and various things conspired to teach me this.

One of my all time heroes and favourite teachers and authors is Neale Donald Walsch.  Neale has an incredible connection to God, and his daily inspirational newsletter ‘On this day’ is usually spot on for the challenges I am facing, or imparting some learning that I need.

The other day, Neale wrote:

On this day of your life, Tim, I believe God wants you to know…

….that yearning for a new way will not produce it. Only ending the old way can do that.

You cannot hold onto the old all the while declaring that you want something new. The old will defy the new; the old will deny the new; the old will decry the new.

There is only one way to bring in the new. You must make room for it.

And for me, that was huge.

You see, there are two principles going on here – the first is simply that we need to create a vacuum in our lives in order for things to happen.  We need to let go of what we have in order to take hold of new stuff.  We need to let go of the riverbank in order to set off on our journey down the river.  We need to clear out stuff that’s no longer serving us in order to move into the new.

And secondly, we need to create movement.  Without movement we become stuck, unable to create, unable to change things.  Without some movement in our lives… well, nothing happens.

For me, right now, it’s quite draughty.  The wind of change is blowing round me, and sometimes it’s quite unnerving – like walking along a cliff top edge when the wind is gusting, and you feel that at any moment you could be blown off that cliff, and crash to the jagged rocks below.

There are things changing for me in financial terms, as I consider how to deal with various financial challenges that I face, and do that with integrity and yet with a desire to move on.  There are things changing for me in relationships – new possibilities, new friends, new romance, maybe.  I’m moving home, from my nice comfortable 3 bedroom house into a flat (or a Winnebago… the whole idea of being in constant movement appeals to me).  My eldest son is moving out – and my youngest is going to be going back to university.  My moving home brings new friends and leaves other precious friends behind.  I may let go of my business, of my plans, of my career.  I may let go of my business, and the investment that lies in that.  I may let go of my calling, my purpose – to discover something new.  And there are some things that I am deliberately changing – the music I am listening to, the clothes that I am wearing, the books I am reading.  I am changing my behaviours, my beliefs, my attitudes (more on that soon!).

And I am letting go of the need to behave a certain way, the need to BE certain things:  The need for faith in God.  The need to be a good dancer.  The need to be in a relationship.  The need to be a good father, a provider.  The need to grow, the need to own a business.  The need to lead and to teach.  The need to have money.  The need to be free.

I’m starting to hold these things loosely, recognising that they don’t really matter….

It’s a little bit scary… and yet exhilarating.  It creates freedom, it creates movement, it creates the opportunity for new life.  Anything could happen – and probably will!  And THAT will be very, very cool.

Jul 27

MY STORY – Why “HeartStorm”

A friend of mine asked me the other day why I’d called my web site ‘HeartStorm’.  It was a good question – and the short answer is ‘because I felt led to’.  It seemed, somehow, that that’s what I was being asked to create – and that through that name, something would arise.

I’ve always loved the power of the storm- sometimes a storm is full of power, and passion, full of fury, and danger – and sometimes it is, as my wonderful friend Heather put it “It feels as if it’s kissing and caressing me with change, affection and warm good fortune. It’s invigorating and lovely as it strokes and touches. It protects and also challenges. It is an intelligent, suggestive and tempestuous wind that won’t suffer fools gladly and which loves a good challenge and fight. It can hurt but it also cares. It puts its heart into every gust and with its warmth it refreshes and reinvigorates.”

And yet for many of us we find ourselves in the midst of a turbulent storm.  Everything seems to be changing around us.  We seem to be at the mercy of the elements – of financial pressure, emotional pressure, of uncertainty over our jobs, our relationships, our homes, our livelihoods.  Change is happening at an unprecedented rate.  The things we held on to seem to be torn away – just like a tornado will tear a town to shreds.

What is our response to be in the midst of this turmoil?  When our minds are occupied with what might happen, when all we can see is the potential for disaster?

The answer is inside us… in our hearts.  You see, our hearts have a bigger connection.  They see the world, and they see our lives, but they are also the gateway to infinity, connecting us to an infinite resource that is bigger than any earthbound challenge that may be thrown at us.  Somewhere at the core of who we are we know this… somewhere we know the immensity of the connection that our hearts provide.

As I was thinking and meditating this morning I could actually see this – almost as if my heart opened up and revealed a connection into the totality of the Universe.  And at that point I started to begin to see a little bit more of who I am.. not just this mind and this body, but this infinite being, connected to everything… and everyone.

So HeartStorm is about reminding us that there is a place of peace in the middle of the storm… right at the centre, in the middle of the maelstrom, there is a place of safety, where we can be certain, where we can know that we are bigger than anything that this world can throw at us.  In the heart of the storm.. there is safety.  And yet there is movement, vibrancy, life, transition, change…

I want to use HeartStorm to bring peace.  Peace in people’s hearts, peace in their lives, peace in the world.  Not because nothing changes, not because all is calm… but because the storm rages, we can know , absolutely, that we are loved, we are cared for, we are protected.

You can see more at www.heartstorm.org – but don’t buy anything yet – the links don’t work!

Jul 21

VISION – what needs building?

Last October, I attended a retreat run by Neale Donald Walsch, in the beautiful location of Gaunts House in Dorset.  On the evening of the last day, we had a concert where the lovely Muriel was singing.  As I just watched the group of 60 odd folk gathered from all walks of life, I was moved to create a space where people could gather together and simply enjoy a spiritual experience – without needing to subscribe to a particular dogma or creed, without needing to conform – but simply a place where they could be themselves.

As I was out walking and meditating the other day, I started to understand some more of what needed to be created…. to understand what might be called ‘The Gathering’.  Although it might not!

Creating this has been high on my heart’s agenda, and recently I have been hearing the call of God to create this kind of event – a place where people can, above all, experience God, connect with each other, and experience Love.

So here’s the start of a manifesto… where people can come and be free, be loved, be accepted.

I believe in a space

– where people are accepted
– where love triumphs
– where miracles happen
– where people can grow
– where people feel safe
– where love and service can flow
– where people can find God
– where people can hear God speak
– where people are blessed
– where people can be healed

By creating a space of love where people can meet God, we will be changing lives and changing the world, with leadership, training, personal and spiritual transformation that enables people to reach their incredible potential.

Jul 17

THOUGHTS – Does it matter?

You know, it actually doesn’t matter whether you believe any of this stuff.  In fact, it doesn’t matter to me whether this stuff is real either.  When I was doing my NLP training, my trainer said something that really made me stop and think.  You see, we as humans seem obsessed with ‘truth’.  We want to seek out the genuine ‘truth’ behind something.  And maybe that’s important and maybe it isn’t – and here’s why.

I trained as a Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which means that we went pretty deep into how the conscious and unconscious minds work.  In NLP, we learn a whole series of ‘Presuppositions’ – principles on which NLP is founded, the core precepts of you like that lay the foundations for everything else.  Things like ‘the meaning of communication is the result you get’ and ‘there is no failure, only feedback’.  (There are some truly lifechanging presuppositions that are the core of NLP, and if you want to know more, book on an NLP course – in fact, I’m considering running one myself, probably called “It’s NLP, but not as you know it”).

Anyway, what my trainer said was “I don’t know if this is true or not, but what I do know is the effects that believing it produce in my life”.

So, I have no real way of knowing if God exists or not.  I have no real way of knowing if the things I do in pursuit of God are the best or not.  But what I do is to look and see if I like the effects they are having.  Does believing this make me more positive (yes).  Does believing this make me more loving (yes).  Does believing this give me more hope (yes).  Do other people like the person that I am (yes).

So, in the end, if my beliefs, and my values, and my behaviours produce these sort of results in my life, it doesn’t really matter if it’s true or not, does it?  And, sure, I believe that God is real.  I believe that we are all ‘God’.  I believe that there is no ‘death’.  I believe that we can change the world around us.  I believe so much – and in so much magic and wonder, power and freedom – and much of it we will explore in the coming weeks and months in this blog.

And yet, provided that what I believe is helping me be more loving, more able to help people, more able to help myself, making me more confident, more capable, more full of hope, and life, and joy, and freedom – then, in a sense, whether or not it is ‘true’ isn’t the important thing.  Because I like the effects that it produces.

Jul 17

MY STORY – early memories

Thinking back, my spiritual journey began at a very early age… but it would only be much later in my life that I realised how significant some of those moments were. My parents weren’t particularly spiritual, and apart from a couple of weeks at Sunday School (I hated it!) I used to get dragged along to church once a year on Remembrance Sunday. My uncle had been killed in the war so my father used to take us along in memory of him. It was cold, it was uncomfortable, and it was boring.

The earliest event I can recall that had some sense of the magical to it was when I was left in my pram outside the local post office. Now they had a milk machine there (this was before the days of Coke vending, guys) and I just started to press the buttons. Incredibly, milk cartons started landing in my pram.

It wasn’t until much later in my life that I realised the link with how interconnected I was with machines – a kind of modern day shaman, if you like – someone who has such a tight affinity with technology and machinery that it responds almost magically to me.

Another event I didn’t understand the significance of was at junior school. Every year at the Christmas party, we would have a fancy dress parade. I chose to go as Mercury, the messenger of the Gods, with my winged hat, my winged boots, and a toga. Probably best that you don’t try to imagine it. Now, local kids being who they are, they simply didn’t ‘get’ it and laughed me out of the parade. It took me a long, long time to lose the story of being laughed at because I’d tried to be different, because I had tried to stand out.. because I had tried to be true to my identity. I suspect that somewhere in my being I decided never to stand out in the same way again – never to risk being the subject of people’s jokes, never to risk ridicule… and so, like so many of us, I began the journey towards shrinking down and settling for second best.. of not letting my true awesomeness out.

But somewhere in my heart I knew who I was. I knew the job I had to do. I knew, deep down inside, that part of my role on this planet was to be a bridge, to be someone who would look to stand in the gap and help to bring God’s presence into people’s lives – someone who would, eventually, seek to be a man who wanted to bring one simple message… “Remember Who You truly Are”.

Jul 04

THOUGHTS – Independence Day

Today, I was supposed to be running a relationship event for people who wanted to look at taking back their personal power in their relationships.. Which, sadly, got cancelled. But it has given me chance to think about independence…and that may have been the real cosmic reason for organising the event in the first place.

On 1st July this year I started to look at some of the things that I wanted to achieve in the second half of the year, and what actions I would need to take towards them. And yet it seemed like more than that for me – it seemed like a new beginning – a chance to let go of what had been in order to step into something new.

I took some decisions – to decide to move into my own personal power – to reveal more of ‘who I am’ so that others will have the power to step into more of who they are. So that others can live the dream – so that others can marvel at the wonder of Who They Truly Are.

I sensed that I needed to start to make every moment count – to let every moment reflect my reason for being alive.

The United States of America chose to DECLARE their independence – in the face of history, in the face of world opposition, in the face of everything that HAD been, they chose to make a new future – to create a new beginning.

And in the end, this morning I realised that this was a day to declare my independence . . .

Freedom from fear
Freedom from the need to be right
Freedom to love others
Freedom from financial insecurity
Freedom to believe
Freedom to build my own truth
Freedom to live where I want
Freedom to choose to be in love
Freedom to be myself
Freedom to be happy and joyful
Freedom to follow God wherever God takes me
Freedom to let life unfurl me across the Universe
Freedom to lead people
Freedom to live an exciting life
Freedom from my own expectations
Freedom from the expectation of others
Freedom to allow God to reveal truth to me
Freedom to pick myself up and start again
Freedom to think for myself
Freedom to hold any dream I want
Freedom to do something – or not to do it
Freedom from the need to fit in

We do get to choose, you know. Not to decide is to decide – the very act of not deciding is, in itself, a decision. We are where we are because we have chosen to be there – in our hands lies the power to change what’s true for us.

So what will you declare today? What will YOUR statement of independence be? Where will YOU choose the freedom and liberation that is yours by right as a child of God? Where will you choose to step into possibility – and write your own future?

Jun 29

Here goes…..

It’s a strange title for a blog, isn’t it? AManOfGod? Perhaps not quite humble enough, perhaps just a little bit arrogant? Maybe a little bit ‘in your face’? Well, I didn’t expect to write this blog.. but I did feel as if I was called to write it. I did feel as if God was asking me to write it, even if no-one ever read it. In fact, my friend and mentor Julie put the idea into my head… and the more I thought about it, the more it felt like the right thing to do… even if no-one else ever read it.

As if there was something inside me burning and longing to get out, to get itself down into words. Some people might think it’s my ego wanting me to do this – an exercise in self publicity and vanity. And yet I know it’s not that, but a longing to tell what this journey has been like so far… the highs, the lows, the fears, the elation, the insights, the dreams. I want to be able to explain what God means to me – how that encounter with the Divine has changed my life. I want to tell the story about my own personal journey, which has very little to do with organised religion, with Christianity, or Buddhism, or New Age, although there’s all of that and more in there.

I want to explore what it’s like to know that I have a connection to the Creator… how that affects who I am, how that changes how I look at life, how I love people, how I choose to live. And I want to introduce people to the God that I know… which will let you become acquainted with the God that you know.

So, what will this blog be? Honestly, I have no idea. Partly it’s my record of my spiritual journey, spanning over 35 years. Partly it’s my up to date experiences of what’s happening right now. Partly it’s a chance for me to demonstrate how an ordinary man can be a spiritual being while still retaining his masculinity, while still living in the real world. How I can bring God into everything that I do, whatever I find myself doing – working, dancing, raising a family, being with friends…

But let’s see, shall we… I’ll start, and we’ll see what happens on this journey.

I want this blog to explore the nature of my relationship with Divinity, with God, with Love, with Source, with the Universal power – however you want to term that Higher Power. I want to explore the way that God shows up in my life… not to tell you ‘this is how it is’ but simply ‘this is how I experience it’. I want to explore my history of knowing God since I was in my early teens, through growing up, through marriage, through divorce, through starting again. I want to explore how that relationship has changed – how I walked away from God and then walked straight back in to God’s arms again.

I want to do this without dogma. I don’t want you to accept anything I say. But I do want you to think. Test it.  Try it.  Consider it. If it works, if it resonates, if something seems to echo in your heart, in your soul, then that’s great. And if it doesn’t… well, that’s great too. God is always speaking… maybe today he will will use the words of this blog – and maybe tomorrow she will use the words of a song, or a beautiful sight, or the insights of a friend. All I ask is that you stay open… and consider that maybe, just maybe, God is ready to speak.