[From Tim’s blog at http://www.touchingzero.com]
Be a light unto the world, and hurt it not. Seek to build, not to destroy. Bring my people home.
Do this by your shining example. Seek only Godliness. Speak only in truthfulness. Act only in love. Live the Law of Love now and for evermore. Give everything, require nothing.
Avoid the mundane. Do not accept the unacceptable. Teach all who seek to learn o the Divine.
Make every moment of your life an outpouring of love
Use every moment to think the highest thought, say the highest word, do the highest deed. In this, glorify your Holy Self, and thus, too, glorify God.
Bring peace to the Earth by bringing peace to all those whose lives you touch. Be Peace
Feel and express in every moment your Divine connection with the All, and with every person, place, and thing.
Embrace every circumstance, own every fault, share every joy, contemplate every mystery, walk in every man’s shoes, forgive every offense (including your own), heal every heart, honour every person’s truth, adore every person’s God, protect every person’s rights, preserve every person’s dignity, promote every person’s interests, provide every person’s needs, presume every person’s holiness, present every person’s greatest gifts, produce every person’s blessing, and pronounce every person’s future secure in the assured love of God.
Be a living, breathing example of the Highest Truth that lives in you.
Speak humbly of yourself, lest someone mistake your highest truth for a boast.
Speak softly, lest someone think you are merely calling for attention.
Speak gently, that all might know of Love
Speak openly, lest anyone think you have something to hide
Speak candidly, so you cannot be mistaken.
Speak often, so your word may truly go forth.
Speak respectfully, that no one be dishonoured
Speak lovingly, that every syllable may heal.
Speak of God with every utterance.
Make of your life a gift. Remember always that you are the gift.
Be a gift to everyone who enters your life, and to everyone whose life you enter. Be careful not to enter another’s life if you cannot be a gift.
When someone enters your life unexpectedly, look for the gift that person has come to receive from you.
And remember. I have sent you nothing but angels.
Adapted from Neale Donald Walsch
There is a wonderful moment from Neil Gaiman’s film Stardust where Yvaine (Claire Danes), the star of the title (yep, star, shiny thing from the sky sort of star), threatened by Lamia the witch (how did they make Michelle Pfieffer look quite that ugly – that’s what I CALL make-up) takes hold of the man she loves, and asks the simple question… “What do stars do . . . ? Shine”. Cue incredible brilliance, end of witch, applause from ghostly onlookers.
And it sent a chill down my spine, the chill that I get when I know something of importance just got said. Because ‘shine’ is what stars do. Naturally.
Yet all we have to do to be awesome, incredible, wonderful, amazing, is to do what comes naturally. To simply be as we are. To allow our natural talents out… to shine.
So here’s a couple of pieces of poetry for you, both of which I have published before, I think:
from em Claire
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
and from Meredith Brooks
Lucky that you found me
You gotta hang around me some more
Cause I’ll remind you
I’ll be around
While you’re waging your war
See it clearer than you see it
You’ve got to get out of your head to believe it
Oh I know something about you
You don’t know I know
That’s where you shine
When you’re sinking you swim
When you see your way out instead of in
That’s where you shine
Like a diamond in the rough
You’re always so resilient
That’s where you shine
When you’re walking the edge
No one’s ever going to catch you stumbling
That’s where you shine
Remember when you told me
To get up and dust yourself off
It wasn’t easy
Everything can change
And it usually does
Shake it off like it ain’t no big thing
Won’t be the last time we’re sinking
Oh, I know some things about you
You don’t know
That’s where you shine
When you think you’ve had enough
Just a matter of time before you fade
That’s where you shine
Like a clearing in the brush
Like a headlight breaking through the haze
That’s where you shine
When there’s nothing but no
And there’s nowhere to go
You find a way
That’s where you shine
Sometimes you need someone to see yourself clearer
There’s no reflection when it’s you inside the mirror
I know something about you don’t know
[posted from Tim’s blog at www.touchingzero.com]
Rather than the usual Team Hodgson snow holiday lineup of myself and my two sons, David and Jonny, this year we took David’s girlfriend Alice with us…. and I wasn’t quite prepared for what Alice would end up teaching me!
Alice has never snowboarded before, so the first thing we did was to put her through a fast start ‘snowboard in a day’ course at Tamworth Snowdome. And she kept falling down…. and she kept getting right back up again. As David and I watched each fall with our hearts in our mouths, she just seemed to bounce back every time – still smiling. At this point I would have thrown the board across the slope! After the day, she announced, beaming, that she loved it… despite falling forward, backward and sideways more times than I could count.
She displayed the same tenacity on the slopes, despite receiving some of the largest bruises I have ever seen (and, she advised me, even worse on her hip), and having bounced quite nastily on her coccyx, resulting in the timely application of a lot of ice. By the end of the week her commitment and her ability to just keep going while bouncing around wildly and smiling broadly had resulted in her becoming a pretty damn good snowboarder.
The real fun – and the real lesson – was off the slopes though…. because every new experience was greeted with a whoop of excitement and childlike delight in experiencing something new. Whether it was discovering American breakfast, or wandering round a mall, or exploring the different products in a food store, or drinking in the view from a mountain… everything that she did seemed to be suffused with an incredible sense of excitement, discovery and exploration.
And for me, I realised how much I was taking for granted in my life – how much I had become cynical about. I started to notice the simple things in life – reconnecting with a spirit of playful curiosity. And as I did, I began to lighten up again – to wake up and smell the coffee.
Life is in the little things, the small details, the surprises , the beauty that we so often overlook. It’s in the joy that’s hidden in plain sight, waiting for us to notice it. It’s in every single moment of the day – if we just notice it. It’s in the delight of a smile, or the beauty of a flower. It’s in the beauty of a drop of rain, or the freedom of a leaf blowing in the wind. It’s a gift to each one of us… to be truly grateful for the world we find ourselves in. To revel in the experiences that we come across every day.
So, thank you, Alice, for reconnecting me to fun, and play, and curiosity, and laughter.
[Posted from Tim’s blog at http://www.touchingzero.com]
There comes a moment, on the slopes, as in life, when it all needs to come together – a moment when everything you’ve learned, everything you’ve practised, must come together, locking in with the terrain, the conditions, the light… and your own courage and self belief.
Beyond the open piste, beyond cruising on easy blue runs, it’s time to push yourself to a new challenge, to step beyond the simple, the easy, the straightforward.. and push forward into something new. It might be a tree run, a jump, a rail, a black run… something that moves you out of your comfort zone, that pushes the envelope. Yet anything might happen. A tree root, a rock, an unexpected obstacle, another skier… the only thing to expect is the unexpected…
No matter how much you prepare, anything might suddenly change your plans or divert you from the line. All that you can do is plan your route, line yourself up and let yourself fly… pushing yourself beyond comfortable speeds, exploring new terrain, moving beyond the realms of your current experience and letting yourself overcome the fear. You know that whatever comes up, you’ll find a way of handling it, you’ll find a new route, a new line, recovering your balance – and know you’ll land the jump . . .
And even if you don’t, even if you catch an edge and roll down the slope in a tumble of board, snow, gloves, goggles and flailing arms and legs…. you’ll still get up, brush the snow off… and try again.
[Posted from Tim’s blog at http://www.touchingzero.com]
There are days when you realise that the mountain can be a fickle mistress… days when the wind strips the snow from the hill, revealing the ice below – hard, unyielding, dangerous… where the board cannot get a grip and skitters across the ice, hard to control, as I fight to gain an edge, a purchase on the slick, unyielding surface. Where under the deceptive layer of snow can lurk a hidden danger, where control is lost and all bets are off. At any moment a smooth, gentle curve can turn into a fight to regain control, where the only option is to turn the board down the slope, ride with the hill, and respond to whatever the slope brings – where fear and exhilaration mix, and I slide across the tightrope of control, wrestling to retrieve the mastery of the edge.
And yet those same slopes, warmed gently in the sun’s heat, produce a kind, soft surface that’s easy to navigate, where the board slides gently across the surface, and I carve languorous, rhythmic, slow turns across the mountain face, where the speed increases and the board holds its line over the bumps and through the treeline. And those moments, where the board responds to the movement of hips and legs, where it responds almost to a thought, an intention, where the slightest movement will bring a new direction, where the cold air zips past my face as the board snakes its way down the mountain face, as the speed increases…yet the uncertainty of the surface still hides hidden dangers – unexpected rocks, ice, treestumps that demand total concentration and readiness to respond at a moments notice to a change in balance, a shift in weight.
At these moments, when board and rider fuse into a unit, where riding becomes instinctive and the board yields to the riders every thought, every touch – at these moments I know that to board is more than just controlling the surface, directing the momentum… at these moments rider, board and the mountain itself combine to create the experience.. and I understand a little more about this world, and my place in it, my connection to everything, the way that energy flows around me and through me… and I feel, in awe and humility, the power of what it is to be truly human, truly alive..
[posted from Tim’s blog at http://www.touchingzero.com]
It’s a beautiful, beautiful mountain here, tree covered with beautiful runs through the pines…. the snow is crisp and white, icy until the sun warms it and it softens to create a perfect run… it seems that the runs go on for miles, leading to lifts hidden in unexpected places, in secret corners, ready to whisk us away back to the top.
Today has been windy, tearing the snow off the slopes until it blows across the mountain, covering the ground with a white mist, making it difficult to see our feet, and sometimes blowing shards of icy snow into our faces. In some places the snow has gathered into soft piles, allowing the board’s edge to cut a path down the slope. In other places, the snow has been stripped from the mountain, revealing unyielding, unforgiving ice..
The cold somehow clears the mind, creating a new clarity of thought and opening new avenues, uncovering thoughts that had lain dormant…. the wind blows through the soul, yet does not chill it, yet removing layers of old feelings, unlocking dreams and hopes, creating a new open space for future plans and dreams…. and the edge unlocks the spirit, unfurling it and allowing it to fly to new summits, new opportunities, new places….
There is a newness and a freshness here, where the cold opens up rather than causing me to retreat and seek warmth, where the exposure to the air invigorates and enlivens, and it seems that new dreams are carried on every gust, swirling and enticing me to new places to explore.. and clearing and cleaning my heart, waking it up and allowing it to feel in new ways.
Posted from Tim’s blog at www.touchingzero.com
“This one goes out to the man who mines for miracles
This one goes out to the ones in need
This one goes out to the sinner and the cynical
This ain’t about no apology
This road was paved by the hopeless and the hungry
This road was paved by the winds of change
Walking beside the guilty and the innocent
How will you raise your hand when they call your name?
We weren’t born to follow
Come on and get up off your knees
When life is a bitter pill to swallow
You gotta hold on to what you believe “
(Bon Jovi, ‘We Weren’t Born To Follow’)
A lot of people have asked me what I am doing these days – and, actually, that’s a really, really good question. So I thought I would answer it on my blog – partly, because people are interested to know, partly because it actually is an interesting answer, and partly because writing it down locks the answer in for me – in fact, I know that even as I write, I a discovering more nuances of my truth and my purpose – what I want to do, what I bring to this party called ‘life’. So here goes (I wonder what I will discover as I write this!)
First of all, it has been quite a tough process getting here. There have been a lot of changes and disappointments over the last 12 months or so – some endings of partnerships, different friends, different locations, different jobs, different mentors. I moved away from my sons when I moved to Birmingham, a choice which I have resisted for many years – and of course the long term illness and death of my mother has had a real impact on my life too. I’ve spent 12 months of my life helping to build something which will probably never see the light of day. There have been many ways in which I have disappointed myself – where I have let myself down.
In some ways it’s been quite a raw, painful year – and yet there have been many joys too – some incredible friendships, some wonderful experiences. In particular, the people in my life have been incredible, wonderful, amazing – and I have felt such love and such compassion from so many, many people. And there have been those that have continued to raise the bar – to hold me to a higher standard.
One of the huge things for me over the last year or so has been dealing with my own self confidence and self belief – looking at what I really believe about myself, about what I am capable of, about what’s possible. I’ve had to smash through so many limiting beliefs, so many world views, so many things that I’d let creep into my personal beliefs. As I wrote a couple of years back “There is only one barrier – the limits we place on ourselves”. And I have come to experience that in my own life – that, as Henry Ford said, “whether we believe we can or we can’t – we are right”. And now, I’m realising just who I am, just what I can do – and I want to help other people get to that place too.
So it’s time to write a new chapter, or in the words of Jon Bon Jovi “You’ve gotta live before you die”. Or, perhaps more eloquently, from Mark Twain “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
In February 2010 I decided to retire to allow me to concentrate on what I could give back to the world. For me, that’s mainly going to be through my writing and through workshops and events. I’ve taken a lot of time out to really understand what my purpose is – what I bring to the world. I know that will evolve as time goes on, but my conviction is that my gift to the world is to teach and lead people through my writing and speaking – to help people see how awesome they are, to help them to connect to their true power and to the true universal power inside them – and to help them experience true freedom.
You see, I long to see the sons and daughters of God truly come into their own. As I experience and demonstrate love and power, as I bring the presence, the peace and the power of the Universe, of God, to others, then they too will discover how incredible and awesome they are. I want to help them to reconnect to their Truth so that they can experience the wonder of who they truly are, and to understand their gift and their uniqueness.
As cricketer and missionary CT Studd wrote in the early 1900s “I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of Hell.” And, honestly, for all of us, ‘hell’ is where we fail to see our own glory, where we don’t live up to our amazing potential.
To support that mission, I’ve got some fabulous ideas for books and other products that will be available on line and through regular retail channels too. I’m also working on introductory and flagship workshops that will integrate my unique understanding of God, New Spirituality, power, energy, attraction, heart, science, neuro-linguistic programming and the science of the mind, teaching through the power of story, myth and metaphor to provide the keys that will help unlock people’s lives – to give them the tools that will help them truly live.
For me that’s incredibly exciting stuff. I really feel as if I have “let my heart catch in the wind of God”. I don’t know exactly what it means yet. I have some ideas… enough to get me really excited. But I know that something truly incredible, truly awesome, truly exciting is just around the corner. The adventure is unfolding even as I write… even as Bon Jovi belt out on my sound system “We weren’t born to follow – you’ve got to stand up for what you believe”.
Part of the adventure is a plan to travel the world later this year – to go and see some magical places, to learn from amazing people. To give up my home, my security, and to see what happens as I travel the world. As my brother once wrote in my birthday card “Stand by the ocean often, always looking outwards to sea, never lose the thrill that rises from the pit of your islander’s stomach and – if you get a chance – jump in!”
I want to create something truly amazing – and I am expecting that my friends will hold me to it – to remind me, to encourage me, to hold me to a higher standard. And for my part I promise to step into leadership, to start to give back something to the world – to create a legacy, to make a difference. As I wrote to myself last year, “Always take the shot, always make the play, always make the jump, always follow the dream.. And never wonder ‘what if…”‘.
So, here goes. Time to jump in. Time to experience all that life has to offer. Time to throw myself into the hands of God, and see what she does. Time to trust – or, to remind myself “Do not forget love. It will bring you all the madness you need to unfurl yourself across the universe”
(from Tim’s blog at http://www.touchingzero.com)
“Love is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth at the heart of creation. ” – Rabindranath Tagore
Today was a bittersweet day… today we celebrated the life of a wonderful woman, who seemed to touch the lives of those around her. The nurses who looked after my mother in her last ten months in hospital fought over who would come to the funeral, creating more havoc in the off duty roster than the world cup. Cousins I’d forgotten I had drove miles to say ‘goodbye’. Elderly aunts and incredibly sprightly uncles appeared from nowhere. People of no relation whatsoever turned up just because of who she was and because of the love she showed people. The Shrigley clan were out in force – and amongst them some of the kindest, most insightful young people that I know.
If you want to know about my mother – look at my sons, and my brother’s sons and daughter. Her spirit is living on in the lives of her grandchildren – and that means that the future of this world is a little bit brighter, a little bit kinder, a little bit more hopeful. And a little bit crazier – and maybe a bit funnier.
The one thing that shone through today was love. The people who had been on the receiving end of my mother’s care and affection were better for it. The family that were touched by her smile, by her tenderness, by her willingness to go an extra mile. The hospital that was lit up with joy simply because she was a patient there. The children in her class that had been cared for, and helped, and taught, when everyone else had given up. Even the rector had to pause to recover himself while telling the story of my mother’s life. She wasn’t a saint… but she was someone who chose to make herself available to love people.
Today, I had a birthday. And my mother had managed to arrange it all so that my family could celebrate with me. It was one of the best birthdays I’ve had. And we celebrated life. Life that is lived well. Life that expresses itself in care for others, life that has at its purpose, at its heart, a desire to experience more of what makes life truly worth living… life that is all about love. And if we don’t make love the point of it all – well, what is the point of it all? If we don’t use this life to find ways to love people, care for people, encourage people, protect, help, support and look after those around us – then what IS the point?
Mum didn’t always get it right. But she got it right more often than she got it wrong. And that is what I hope I can do. Just a little. You see, it seems to me that what the world needs, right now, is love. Love expressed in all sorts of ways. For some of us that will mean travelling the world, helping people, teaching people, loving them back to life. For others it will mean digging ourselves into our communities. For others it will mean being active politically, for others it will be expressed through their job, their families, their hobbies, through voluntary work, through a myriad incredible facets of one single truth. Love is all there is. And Love never ends.
“Give up your small ambitions. Come and save the world” – St Frances Xavier Cabrini
(From Tim’s blog at http://www.touchingzero.com)
Last night I lost a friend and a mother. And the world lost another of its heroes, a beautiful, beautiful person that brought love and light wherever she went. Mum had been struggling to recover from a major stroke last Christmas that left her without speech, without the use of her right arm and unable to walk. Despite frustration and tears, despite her worry about how much memory she had lost, despite having to struggle to speak and to walk, despite various additional medical complications including being diagnosed as epileptic and diabetic, she never complained, and she never gave up. She carried on being worried about those around her, and about ‘being a bother’ to anyone. Her favourite word became ‘lovely’ as she was delighted by anything nice, from a vase of flowers to a lovely dinner. A second stroke last weekend left her immobile, and the end was really inevitable. My brother and I were at her side as she slipped away peacefully and slowly.
Mum was an infant school teacher, and her classes produced the highest numbers of people going off to university. I would attend her classes when I was off school myself, and help her hear reading. Her children and her staff adored her. I can remember the hours she spent marking books while listening to the TV – and still seemed to be able to spot ‘who did it’ before anyone else.
She had to draw her career to a close when in a bizarre accident she ran herself over days before her wedding to her second husband – my father having died the previous year. She was carried into the church and still looked beautiful. And I, bursting with pride, had the privilege of giving the bride away…
When she died, the hospital went quiet. The nurses had grown to love her dearly over the 8 months she had been at Daventry hospital, and they too felt the loss of an angel keenly, and wept with us.
She worried all the time about whether she had given us a good upbringing. I say take a look at me, take a look at my brother, take a look at my children and my brother’s children, and then decide whether she got it right. Her legacy lives on in the lives of all she touched – and especially in her children and grandchildren. She got it right.
For me she created a love of reading, of learning, and an ability to intuitively read people (and TV and movies… like her, I can usually spot whodunnit way before anyone else!). She taught me the secrets of how to make arithmetic easy, and how to remember my Russian alphabet. She taught me how do crosswords, and she shared her love for puzzles, and words, and the magic of exploring thought. She taught me how to love people. She taught me about relationships, about hope, about dreams.
We do sometimes wonder how she survived so long. She was a victim of the Austin Allegro steering fault, which meant she drove straight off the road into a field, totalling the car. She mistook the rev counter for the speedo and wonder why 30mph seemed so fast. She ran her self over (how?). She set fire to the kitchen (bigtime) while deep fat frying sausages (why?). She went blind at one point with cataracts. She made it through a major heart attack. My brother and I were pretty convinced that being near her would be the best way to survive nuclear war, simply because whatever happened, she would still be alive.
And so I am going to miss her, like I miss my Dad too. I’m going to miss her wisdom. I am going to miss her laughter, her joy, her indomitable spirit. I’m going to miss Boxing Day at hers, with sacks of carefully wrapped toothpaste, toilet rolls, soap, and surprises that she had collected over the year. I’m going to miss her smile, her hugs, her friendship.
But most of all, I will miss her love, her acceptance, and her support. Mum has stepped through onto the next step of her journey, another phase of her adventure. I can imagine St Peter tapping his watch impatiently, waiting for the guest of honour to attend her own homecoming party – but she was too busy looking after other people to turn up on time.
We will miss you, Mum… and we will treasure the memories – and what you have given us. The world has lost one of its great teachers. And now it’s time for me to step up now and share truth and promise, opportunity and possibility. In my way, for sure – but it’s time.
Mum, thankyou for everything. We all love you.
The world of Huna
For years I have been interested in the Hawai’ian shamanism of Huna, the traditional belief system of Hawai’i. Part of that has been the fact that many NLP trainers like me went on to look at Huna – largely because of its similarity to the NLP model of conscious – unconscious – superconscious minds. A more important part has been a calling to explore this tradition. I’ve been reading on the subject for a while, but also travelled to Austin, Texas, to hear Dr Joe Vitale speak about his experiences with Dr Iheakala Hew Len and the Hawai’ian practice of Ho’opono’pono – and then to spend a weekend in Cork with Dr Hew Len himself learning Ho’opono’pono first hand. And that in itself is a series of amazing stories!
So when I found out that Serge Kahili King, author of (amongst others) ‘Urban Shaman’ was in Tamworth (about 30 minutes down the road from me now!) I knew I had to go… partly because of a deep inner knowing.. and partly because if I hadn’t gone, my friend Jackie would have had something to say about it.
And it was like coming home. So much of Huna ‘made sense’ based on what I already knew – or could be integrated into my existing belief set. The idea that we are all one, the concepts surrounding energy, the importance of flow, all started to fit into place. I found I was automatically extending the concepts, building new processes and adapting others, coming to deeper understandings of my own model of life – and of power.
I discovered new models for workshops and courses appearing in front of me – new ways to teach what I had known for years but lacked a framework to explain. I found new healing pathways that made more sense, worked more effectively and were simpler than what I had been experiencing. I found gaps in what I understood being filled in. And I found myself connected to nature, to other people, to God and to the universe in a new way – without all the shamanistic trappings of other worlds, of drums, rattles, arcane belief systems and so on. (And if those things work for you, that’s great, really – it’s just that they never did work for me, somehow).
If you’re interested in Huna at all, then read ‘Urban Shaman’… but the best definition I found of shamanism was from that book:
“I define a shaman as a healer of relationships: between mind and body, between humans and nature, and between matter and spirit”. I also loved Serge’s distinction between the warrior shaman, based on development of power to deal with illness, fear and disharmony, and the adventurer shaman, including Huna, tends to deal with these things by creating love, co-operation and harmony. Those who know me well will understand exactly why Huna appeals so much as a pathway to healing.
So, expect more Huna stuff from me over the next few weeks as I integrate all this. I’m profoundly grateful to Serge and to Pete from Urban Huna who brought Serge over to the UK. For more, take a look at http://www.huna.org and http://www.urbanhuna.com.