Life has a way of messing with us. It can leave us anxious and insecure or just lost, not knowing which direction to take. Our childhoods are the key factor in who we are today and how we deal with life. Something as simple as meeting a stranger can be a massive issue for some whereas something extreme like jumping out of a plane can be really simple for others. We are very complex and no two people are the same. This is why it is good to use a selection of different methods to transform your life and become the happy life loving person you want to be. Below are a list of the things that I have done to transform my life. I highly recommend every one of them but even if you only do one you will reap the rewards. They guided me to where I am now and released me from suffering. I have listed them in order that I did them along with the year so that you can get an idea of how long it took to reach my current state. I wish that I had done them all closer together but life sometimes seems to get in the way.
NLP Neuro Linguistic Programming
May - 1998
I was feeling very insecure in a relationship with an amazing woman. I was struggling with severe anxiety and felt totally worthless and unlovable. Thoughts of suicide were frequent. I was a mess. I let a lot of people down including my children. Something had to change. I went to the local Wellness Centre and was advised to try NLP. I booked myself in for 3 sessions. NLP rarely takes more than 3 sessions for each issue you are working on. After each session I ran to my car laughing as if a huge dark cloud had been lifted. I realised everything can be transformed no matter how trapped you feel. NLP works on creating new neural pathways that help to remove your old negative patterns. One of the greatest things about NLP is that you get to learn the techniques in your sessions so can use them on your own. It is for this reason that I trained to become an NLP practitioner. I trained with Pegasus NLP. You can find them here. http://nlp-now.co.uk You can also find my website here: http://nlp4living.co.uk
The Handbook to Higher Consciousness
May - 2000
During my travels around Australia I found the book The Handbook to Higher Consciousness by Ken Keyes Jr. While reading it I had an epiphany and realised why I had been such dick for so long. I had started to look at myself in a different light and saw that I was not to blame for the person I once was. I bought several copies of this book and gave them away to people I met that expressed an interest after I'd told them about it. It explains how we are all addicted to one or more of the following groups of addictions: security, sensation and power. I was very quickly able to see what addiction was active when I was in suffering. It uses its 12 pathways as mantras that are great for raising your level of consciousness. This was the beginning of my heightened self awareness. I thoroughly recommend this book. You can find it online although it is no longer in print. Ken Keyes Jr. was the founder of the living love method of transformation.
You can see the 12 pathways here sung on this video:
The Hoffman Process
For years I was practicing NLP on myself before I trained as a practitioner. I didn't quite have the tools I needed to breakthrough those very deep seated patterns from my early childhood. I met a yoga teacher in London who had attended the Hoffman Process and after hearing what she said about it I signed up. The course is a week long residential process that literally strips your childhood down to its bare bones. Based on a variety of teachings - Psychodynamic, Transpersonal, Gestalt, Behavioural, and Cognitive - the combination of intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual work provides an all-round approach to resolving many of life’s problems. I literally bounced around life for a year afterwards. There are quite a few famous people that are know to have attended a Hoffman Process including Gwynwth Paltrow and Goldie. You can find more information on their website. http://www.hoffmaninstitute.org or the for the UK website: http://www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk/
The Landmark Forum
Later that year I attended the Landmark Forum. This is an amazing transformational 3 day course that will literally leave you thinking what the hell have I been doing with my life!? This gave me some structure to my life and helped me deal with issues as they came up. I still had a long way to go and luckily Landmark Education has some great courses. I threw myself in and got amazing results. I went on to do their Advanced Course, Self Expression Leadership Programme, Introduction Leadership Programme and one of their communication courses. You get a free 12 week seminar series which is amazing at further developing yourself and going deeper. The community around Landmark is really something special and this is also great for continuing the advancement of yourself in being with people. You can find courses and more information on their website: http://www.landmarkworldwide.com/
Forgiving someone was one of the profoundest experiences for the effort that it took. After reading up on it and then doing a guided meditation I felt I was ready. I forgave the man who beat and abused me as a boy. I did not only forgive him but I learnt love him for the child he was. I understand that as a boy something went wrong for him and his thought processes became twisted. I understand he must have gone through some periods of immense pain and struggle. Forgiveness is a personal process. Without forgiveness you are carrying negative feelings around inside your being. The effects on your thoughts and body are dense and will stop you finding true peace. I immediately felt free of guilt, shame, and anger. I instantly felt a calm and like someone had turned up the my happiness dial.
A few friends had done this and recommended it to me. I was a bit reluctant for a few years just because I didn't like the thought of not talking. It sounded like being in a monastery or convent. How wrong I was. This 10 day silent meditation is said to be the meditation that Buddha practiced to become enlightened. It will strip away all your social conditioning and reveal your own truth. You will feel your connection with the universe and realise there is no difference between you, the breeze, the sea, and the animals. It awoke my compassion and I became vegan within a week. I was no longer scared of dying. I smile at the thought of returning to the source. The food was also amazing. This is a residential affair which is donation based. You give what you can afford. Some people pay a lot more just so that others can benefit from this amazing meditation. Why is it such a long process? You need at least 3 days learning how to focus your mind without which you would not be able to experience the full Vipassana experience. You can do this meditation all around the world. The can find the UK center here: https://www.dipa.dhamma.org/
I reached a stage in my development where I felt frustrated. I stopped having breakthroughs even though I still had some big stuff to shift. I had heard about Buddhafield and it sounded like the sort of place that I could submerge myself into as fully as possible. I knew that I would have to give it 100% for the whole 5 days I was there. I got up at 5am each morning and was in bed by 8pm reading. I didn't attend any of the music or fun things in the evening. I just went for it during the day. Finding workshops that really challenged me, that felt uncomfortable and that scared me. I had at least one private treatment in the healing area each day. I ate delicious food. It was amazing being in a place where there was no alcohol yet people had very high spirits. A few weeks later I gave up alcohol and for once in my life I had the space to learn to love myself. For the first time in my life my anxiety and depression had completely disappeared. My thoughts were positive and amazing people started to pop up in my life. I had started to manifest the people that I wanted to be in my life and each one had a valuable lesson. You can find out more about this festival here: http://www.buddhafield.com/?festival=about
After going to a very chilled stag do on a beautiful piece of land in North Wales I had the crazy idea of setting up a little healing festival. I saw this as an opportunity of getting this transformational work out to people that couldn't afford to spend hundreds of pounds on festivals. I also realised that deep healing cannot occur in the presence of alcohol or drugs so I decided that this festival would be intoxicant free. I was expecting to sell about 30 tickets and have a lovely quiet little affair. We actually sold more like 70 tickets and so Conscious Camp was born. It is still a very relaxed and chilled out event but we have more workshops, more music, more great food than we did the first time around. Tickets never exceed £55 and we never have more than 200 people on site. You can find out more about Conscious Camp here: http://consciouscamp.co.uk
Osho Leela Community Experience Programme
There was still something that bugged me. It was holding me back. There were things that I wanted to do. I didn't quite know what it was. A friend of mine recommended that I got to Osho Leela in Dorset, England and try out the CEP or Community Experience Programme. The idea is that you go there to work for about 5/6 hours a day in exchange for food, accommodation, access to any of the festivals that they are doing, and access to their development tools. These include their dynamic meditations which are absolutely amazing. There is also a community day each week where you get to go a little deeper. There is a cost per week which is only £30 a week during the colder months (Nov 1 – May 1), or £5 a day, or £50 a week during the warmer months (May 1 – Nov 1), or £8/day. By the time I had finished my chosen 3 week stint I was a different person. I was able to very confidently stand in front of a group of people without any fear at all. My confidence soared and my self esteem was at a new time high.
A Typical Week-day at Osho Leela:
- 07.00 – Morning Meditation
- 08.00 – Showers and breakfast
- 09.00 – Morning Meeting (Dancing and hugging). We then gather in a circle to appreciate new arrivals and anyone leaving, and we finish with a group “power move.”
- 09.15 – Work
- 10.40 – Coffee break
- 11.00 – Work
- 12.30 – Vipassana Meditation
- 13.00 – Lunch followed by dishes then a break
- 15.00 – Work
- 16.30 – CEP tea break
- 17.00 – Work
- 18.00 – Evening Meditation or Session
- 19.00 – Dinner followed by dishes
- 20.30 – Optional evening session or free time.
Check out the video of me below recorded the day I finished there.
I now realise that I have awoken but most of the world is still sleeping. I see it as part of my journey to assist them in awakening and heal so that they can also be free from suffering. Everyone has a journey, some more extreme than others. I was fortunate to have had an extreme one that got me to this place. Buddha said there cannot be enlightenment without suffering. People who experience limited suffering will not seek peace because they can find contentment in life's ever changing world. The people I want to help are those that are suffering and are looking for answers. This is my calling. I am a computer programmer and web developer by trade but I am starting to develop other skills away from the computer and more towards community and nature. This feels a lot more human than sitting in front of a screen for hours. I am now organising other events around the UK, mini festivals, conscious dance events, and am also looking at getting my NLP practice back under way so that I can help my clients achieve the things that they wish to achieve in life. You can check out my coaching and NLP services here: http://nlp4living.co.uk
May all beings be in bliss. Namaste.