Wednesday, 25 May 2016

What do you want?

What do you want in this life?  What do you want to become?  What do you want to achieve?  What do you want to acquire?  Where are you headed, and should you be headed there?

These are very important questions.  If you don't know what you want, if you get it then it will be by accident.  More likely, you will simply not get it.  If you DO know what you  want, what you REALLY want, then you have every chance of getting it.  You can start working towards it.  No matter how distant it might seem right now, every step you take can be a step closer to achieving it.  Also, if you know what you really want you can send signals to the universe that you want it, and the universe will start working with you so you can get it.

The most important step you can take in your personal development is to find out what it is you really want.  The most important step, but often the biggest and most difficult step.

Most of us think we know what we want.  We think that because we think it must be silly not to know.  Everyone knows don't they?  Actually, no.  I would say far fewer than 50% of the population really know what they want.  In fact, based on in depth interviews I would probably say only a very small percentage really know the answer to this.  That is why so few people achieve it.

Even if you think you feel quite strongly about what you want to achieve, you may be wrong.  Have you ever sat in silence and questioned yourself about your goals, about what you really want?  I strongly suggest you do that, and do it soon, even if you think you know.  If you are wrong, then every day you delay is another day of moving in the wrong direction.

Why might you think you know what you want, and yet be completely wrong?  This is far more common than you may think.  We are all impressionable beings, especially when we are young.  Perhaps your parents wanted you to achieve something and you imbibed this and then took it for your own idea.  This could be a career decision for example.  I wonder how many doctors or lawyers there are who wish they had become train drivers!  Perhaps your spouse wants you to become someone that isn't really you.  Or your friends have convinced you that you want to have something that you don't necessarily really want to have.  Maybe your employer has made you think you want to be a really good ... (fill in the gap here, depending on your job).

It is very important to cut through all this "noise" and get to the real truth.  The question "why" is a very good way to do this.

Just as an example, let's say you have decided you want to become a millionaire.  Begin by asking yourself why you want to become a millionaire.  Don't be satisfied by just the first answer, but keep digging.  For example, you may say "because I want to buy a big house".  Ask yourself why you want a big house.  How will you feel when you own it?  What will you do with it?  When you answer those questions, ask yourself "why" again.  Keep asking it.  Keep digging deeper and deeper to find out exactly why you have this desire.

You might be surprised with some of the answers you get.  Sometimes the answers will reveal that you were wishing for the wrong thing.  Maybe not completely wrong, but still not quite right.  Perhaps the reason you wanted to become a millionaire is that you want to live in a nice house by the sea.  But do you need to be a millionaire to achieve that?  Do you even need to be at all wealthy to achieve it?  I am not saying that a desire to be very wealthy is wrong, but just that you should know, in depth, exactly why you want this.  By doing this you will be able to think laterally and achieve some of those things without needing to wait to become wealthy.

I like to think of this process as peeling to the core of our being.  In our outer layer we have the things that everyone around us can see.  Peel that back and there are the things that our friends and family see.  Peel that back again and there are the things that only our closest friends and family can see - perhaps just our spouse or life partner.  Peel that layer back and you will find things that not even your closest friends and family know about - just the things we alone know.  Then peel that layer back and find the things even you didn't know about yourself.  That is when the real work is done.

Bear in mind as you do this that you are not looking to be purely selfish about things.  You are not saying "I am going to be what I want to be, do what I want to do, acquire what I want to acquire, and never mind anyone else!".  You are just trying to get to the bottom of what it is you really want.  Having done that, you may decide that one of the things you really want is to please your spouse.  So whatever that thing is your spouse wants you to achieve you will work on achieving.  Not necessarily because you want that per se but because you do really want to please your spouse.  It would be a good idea, though, at that point to include your spouse in the exercise.  Get your spouse to ask the same questions about what they want.  If they realize the dream they had for you is not a shared dream but that you are ready and willing to make it so, that should strengthen your relationship with them.  But at the same time they may now change their own ideas about what they want for you.  You will be sharing your dreams together instead of trying to make each other live a dream that may not be the right thing for either of you.

Don't expect, though, that all of your initial beliefs about what you want will be wrong.  Some most certainly will be.  But others may not.  The exercise is equally valuable for those things that you do really want.  By asking "why" and keeping on asking it as you go deeper and deeper you will awaken inner powers that will align with the universe and help you achieve those things.  This is an exercise that is vital if you really want to be all that you can be and achieve all that you can achieve.

Don't try to become what others want you to be.  Don't change just to make others like you.  Change because you want to change.  Find out what you really want to be and then become that.  Do that, and the right people will love you for it.  Those who don't are people who should not be in your circle anyway.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Beginning Meditation

Do you regularly meditate?  If so I am sure you are already aware of the advantages of meditation.  If not, perhaps it is about time you started.

As a quick reminder, meditation can bring you so many benefits.  It can significantly improve your mental and physical health.  It can slow the aging process.  It can make you happier.  It can make you far more productive.  It can help you see where you are going wrong, perhaps in your work, perhaps in your relationships, perhaps in one or more of your hobbies, and how to put right whatever it is that is going wrong.  It can make you calmer and less stressed.  It can help you concentrate better.  It can help you work better.  It can lead you to much greater self-awareness.  Combine it with the techniques of affirmation and manifestation and it can greatly accelerate your progress towards your goals.  Need I go on?

Some people argue that they don't have time to meditate.  If this is you, forgive me but I have to tell you that is complete rubbish!  Whatever tasks you have to complete, I can pretty much guarantee that regular meditation will help you complete them better and faster.  Just 10 or 15 minutes of meditation every day will save you more than the 10 or 15 minutes you spend doing it.  If you are too busy, that is not a reason not to meditate - it is a very good reason why you SHOULD meditate!

Another reason people often give for not meditating is that their mind quickly wanders off and therefore there is no point.  If that is the way you feel, rather than "there is no point" you are actually completely missing the point!  One of the really good benefits of regular meditation practice is that it helps you to train your mind not to wander off.  If, when you first start meditating, you find your mind is difficult to control, don't regard that as a reason not to meditate - it is a very good reason why you SHOULD meditate.

"But if my mind wanders off the moment I start trying to meditate, then I will be sitting there just wasting my time won't I?"  This is a very common question.

The answer to this question is "no, you will not be wasting your time - as long as you have the desire to improve your meditation technique".

How can you bring your wandering mind under your control?  You do this by not worrying about the fact that it is NOT under your control - yet!  Do not try to rein it in.  Do not get cross with yourself.  The more you attempt to rein it the wilder it will become, and the crosser you will get.  You will be setting yourself up for failure.

Just try this little exercise for a moment.  When was the last time you thought about a pink elephant?  A few minutes ago?  I am pretty sure that is not the case!  A few days ago?  Maybe, but probably not even then.  Probably at least a few months ago.  So if you haven't thought about a pink elephant for weeks or months, how difficult should it be not to think about one for the next two minutes?  Ridiculously easy, surely!  Try it now.  Sit quietly and for the next two minutes do not think about a pink elephant.

Have you tried this?  How did it go?  Let me guess - for the past two minutes thoughts of pink elephants have been popping in and out of your mind.  Not just once or twice, but throughout most or all of the two minutes!  Am I right?  If I am wrong, then congratulations - go to the front of the class!  But certainly most of my readers will have found this exercise simply impossible.

When the thought of a pink elephant came into your mind, what did you do about it?  Did you try to stop it?  If so, that was your big mistake.  What you should have done was simply notice it was there but not thought any more about it.  By trying to stop it you had to think about it, so that is a self-defeating exercise.  Again, be aware the thought was there, but don't get cross, don't try to stop it, just recognise it is there and allow it to move on.  You still won't win the prize for not thinking about a pink elephant, but nobody will.  What you will have done is reduce thoughts of pink elephants to a minimum, with no fuss, no mental anguish, no anger at your wayward mind.

Why did I introduce this silly exercise?

Because this is exactly the way you will handle all the obstacles your mind tries to put in the way of your meditation practice.  Do not try to stop them, to block them, to make them go away.  If you try to do any of this they will have won.  Instead of focusing on your meditation you will be focused on the interruptions.  Simply acknowledge the interruption is there but do not react to it at all.  Don't feel guilty either.  Recognize that as you start meditating this is bound to happen and that your responsibility is simply to be aware it has happened, and nothing more.  That is the only way to bring your mind under your control.

What you will find when you do this is that gradually those interrupting thoughts and feelings will seem to recede into the distance.  They will still be there, but because you are not reacting to them they will become less and less noticeable.

At this point, though, there is a big danger.  Well, two big dangers!

The first danger is you may want to congratulate yourself on controlling your wayward mind.  Don't!  The urge to congratulate yourself is, itself, an interruption of your meditation!  It may seem obvious now, but it is not so obvious when you are in the middle of your meditation.  So when you feel this urge, just acknowledge it is there but do not react to it.  Allow it to enter your mind but just notice it is there without acting on it.

The second danger is a false sense of security.  Meditation is a technique that brings your very powerful mind under your control.  Your mind does not like that and will do anything it can to stop you controlling it.  One technique it will use is to appear to have backed down, giving you that false sense of security.  Once you are settled into that state it will then return, appearing even more wayward than it did in the first place.  Many people give up at this point.  Don't give up.  The fact that it is using this technique shows it is running scared.  It can see you are succeeding and therefore it is trying even harder to make you fail.  Just keep doing what you have done from the beginning - be aware of the new attack but do not react to it.  Do not try to stop it.  Do not get angry with it.  Just be aware and continue your meditation.

Use this technique and you will find it easier and easier to meditate.  You may never completely stop the interruptions your mind tries to throw into your meditation, but they will no longer disturb you, and that attitude robs them of all their power.

If you already meditate but are frequently irritated by mental interruptions, you should find this technique of very great help.  If you do not meditate yet, and have not started because you are afraid you won't be able to maintain a "clear" mind, you should now realize that is nothing to worry about at all.  Start meditating regularly from now on and reap all the benefits I have listed and more!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


Most of us recognize that there are hurdles to cross if we want to obtain anything worthwhile.  Sometimes they are massive hurdles, but if we want it enough we will find a way over them.

What is less well known is the "burdens" each of us carries.  Before you say "I have no burdens" let me say that you would be a pretty unique person if you had none at all.  Well, you ARE unique - we all are.  But there are very few people in the world who have no burdens making it more difficult than it should be to reach their goals.

I first came across the concept of this kind of burden in John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress".  The pilgrim, struggling to reach his goal, is carrying a massive pack on his back.  A bit like a soldier doing a "yomp" - you know the kind of exercise I mean, where some poor guy is struggling across difficult terrain with a bergen on his back containing 40 kilos of probably completely unnecessary equipment.  Sometimes there may even be bricks in the bergen just to increase the weight.  At least the soldier knows he is carrying this and he is doing so for a purpose - particularly to increase his endurance.  In the case of pilgrim, he wanted to get rid of his burden but had no idea how to do so.  He knew he had to get rid of it or he would never reach his goal.

We are all carrying burdens like this.  Unlike Pilgrim, most of us do not even know they are there, but that doesn't make the burden any lighter.

Some of those burdens are doubts.  We are ready to achieve our goal and believe we can do so.  But deep within us is a hidden doubt that we will ever get there.  The "doubt" burden is very heavy.  It is a bit like a new recruit putting 50 kilos in his bergen when he hasn't even practised with 20 kilos.  You must dissolve this burden by affirming daily that you have already achieved your goal, and knowing it is now simply waiting there for you to recognize it.

Other burdens are beliefs that what we are trying to achieve is wrong, or sinful in some way.  Again, this is usually a hidden burden.  As I have indicated in other blogs, you must work on this one by first meditating on your goal.  As you do so, see what feelings arise.  It could be that the inner feeling you had was right.  Perhaps this is not something for you.  But you may also find that those feelings are illogical.  They may have been planted there many years ago, perhaps when you were a child.  In fact there is strong evidence that some of them could have been planted there even further back than that.  When you identify a false belief of this kind I suggest you follow a ritual to get rid of it.  Begin by affirming your goal and associating it with a good feeling.  Then visualize the wrong belief as a chain tying your hands.  But it is really a weak chain.  Feel yourself breaking the chain by moving your hands upwards and outwards.  See the broken links of that chain falling to the ground, and then feel so grateful that this false belief has been destroyed.  Finish your meditation (for that is what it is) with an affirmation again.

I believe there are also other burdens preventing you from reaching your goals.  These burdens are what Franz Bardon called "astral larvae" in his book "Initiation into Hermetics".  You could also think of them as evil spirits.  Personally I do not see them as evil as such, but rather fairly unintelligent entities in the astral realm.  Whether or not you view them as evil spirits or astral entities that are neither good nor evil they are still something you don't want around you.  There are rituals you can use to protect yourself from astral larvae, some of which are largely based on Paul's letter to the Ephesians in chapter 6, verses 10 to 18.  You may also find Dion Fortune's book, "Psychic Self-Defence" helpful.  Alternatively, use exactly the same technique as I have suggested in the previous paragraph.

Work on removing your burdens and you will be surprised how much easier it is to reach your goals.

I have given links above to buy "Pilgrim's Progress", "Psychic Self-Defence" and "Initiation into Hermetics" if you feel any of these could be helpful.  The links are for payment in US dollars.  If you prefer to pay in £ sterling, use this link to "Pilgrim's Progress", this one to "Psychic Self-Defence" and this one to "Initiation into Hermetics".

Wednesday, 4 May 2016


Positive or Negative?

What is your prevailing mindstate?  Is it primarily positive or negative?

I believe it is important to maintain a positive mindstate as much as possible, for three different reasons.

Firstly, I believe that everything that happens to me originates from within.  If I constantly think negative thoughts, negative things will happen to me.  In other words, I strongly believe in the Law of Attraction.  Whatever I focus on most will be attracted to me, be it good or bad.  Why attract bad things when, if you choose, you can attract good things instead?

Secondly, I believe my state of mind spreads to those around me.  You don't have to believe in magic (which, personally, I do anyway) or any of the "new thought" philosophies (again, I do), to believe you "infect" those around you with your moods.  Imagine being in a room of people who are all in a bad mood and are showing this, for example, through their facial expressions.  How does that make you feel?  I would be most surprised if it made you feel happy!  Wouldn't you want to get out of that room as quickly as possible so you didn't become miserable?  Now imagine being in a room where everyone is happy.  True, some people do react badly to this, so it is not quite as simple as it seems.  But as long as there is not something deep within you that resents the happiness (for example if you have just lost a loved one) you will probably find the happiness is infectious too.

Lastly, if you have the choice of being happy or sad, which would you choose?  Surely you would wish to be happy wouldn't you?  If you have a positive state of mind you are much more likely to be happy than sad.  Happiness is not something external but rather comes from inside you.  The things that happen to you do not, of themselves, make you happy or sad.  They may trigger a happy or sad state of mind, but the key word here is "trigger".  It is not what happens itself that causes you to be happy or sad, but your state of mind.  So why not choose to have a positive state of mind that makes you happy.

Realistic Optimism

Recently I heard a so-called expert on the radio assert that the "normal" mindstate of British people is pessimism.  He berated those who are optimistic and said they should just accept the "normal" pessimistic state of mind which is the heritage of the British.

Why?  I am British, and I certainly do not accept this point of view.  I do accept that many are pessimists, and this is not restricted to the British.  Indeed, some sales trainers tell us that the way to motivate British buyers is to get them to move away from the things they fear rather than towards the things they want.  That may be true, but it doesn't have to be.

We can choose to be optimistic if we wish.  By all means realistic, but still optimistic.  By "realistic" I mean not always so expecting the best outcome that we are shocked and disappointed when it doesn't happen.  But by "optimistic" I mean knowing that good things will happen, even if there are sometimes some less pleasant interludes on the way.  Be prepared for the worst, but expect the best!

Victim Mindset

Many people have what is called a "victim mindstate".  They are always asking "why does this happen to me?"  They view themselves as always being the victim of unfortunate circumstances.  If you believe you are a victim you will interpret everything that happens to you in this way.

Notice the choice of words here - "happens to you".  Victims have a grandiose sense of their own importance.  Everything that happens is something happening to them.  Not impersonal.  Not just one of those things.  But a part of a universal conspiracy to make them miserable.  They are the centre of the universe.  Not a kind universe but an evil, threatening universe.

Guess what?  If that is the way you think you will start attracting those bad situations to you.  Even when you are in a good situation, though, you will manage to find something bad within it.  You will find the elements that support your view that you are a victim.

If you are a victim, escaping from this mindset is not easy.  But it is something you must do unless you want to stay miserable all your life.

The universe is not conspiring against you.  It wants nothing more than to give you all the good things you want and deserve.  But as long as you keep asking it for the bad things (which is what you are doing when you fall into the trap of the victim mindstate) it will give them to you.  As it says in Matthew 7:7 - "Ask and it shall be given to you".  That applies just as much, unfortunately, to the bad things in life as well as the good things.

I Make It Happen

Most of us fall into the victim trap from time to time, even if we do not generally have the victim mindset personality.  When it happens to you do NOT ask the question "why me?", or you are in danger of falling deeper and deeper into the victim mindset.  Instead, ask an empowering question.  Ask "what can I do to ...." - and fill in the gap depending on the circumstances.  "What can I do to make more money?"  "What can I do to attract a lovely partner?"  "What can I do to be happier?".  I am sure you can add many more examples.  The universe always answers your questions eventually, so by asking such questions you will be finding the ways to a better life.

Move from the state of "it happens to me" (the victim state) to that of "I make it happen".  Ask the right questions, and then make it happen by following the answers to those questions.

It Happens Through Me

Ultimately, you can then move again from "it happens to me" to "it happens through me".  This is the state in which you are allowing universal power to flow through you and bring good things to those around you.  By doing this you will find you are doubly blessed.  You will certainly feel good being the instrument of the universe in bringing all that is good to others.  But also you will find that as you give, so you will receive.  This is a universal law which cannot be broken.

For most of us, our mindset is not a permanent fixture but a fluctuating state.  Sometimes most of us will fall into the victim mindset unless we notice it starting to happen and take action to reverse it.  Try as much as possible to be in the "it happens through me" mindset.

Don't be taken in by those around you who try to tell you it is silly to be optimistic and the more realistic state of mind is the pessimistic one.  This is only true if you let it be true.  Don't become a victim, but become the one who creates happiness all around and luxuriates in that happiness!