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Eckhart Tolle says that the most beautiful thing you can give someone is
absolute presence. As I look back over the many different relationships I have
experienced I must say I agree.
I feel that the most beautiful thing you can do for someone you love dearly is to
venture to be absolutely present for them during the good times and the bad.
To let them know they're seen. To let them know they're loved.
What is the most beautiful thing you can do for someone you love dearly?
What does it mean to be a warrior these days?
When I was growing up I imagined a warrior to be someone who was the biggest,
strongest most daring of men. The one who ran the fastest into battle without a
care in the world.
As I have grown I have come to realise that to be a warrior does not mean being
stupidly brave or recklessly courageous, but rather that we act with a sense of
complete confidence and faith, totally congruent with the true wish of our spirit,
always paying clear attention to the voice of our conscience.
Those around will not always understand the modern warriors actions, they may
not see the value in what he does, they may even tell him it is wrong and he is
wrong for doing it. It may go totally against common reason, but to the modern day
warrior reason takes second place to what he knows as he acts decisively and with
Objectivity, intelligence and the hearts true wish are the driving forces which
manifest into purposeful action. The modern day warrior has a duty to his authentic
self first and common reason second.
I used to see the warrior as someone who would never show pain, never show
fear and never show their insecurities. Someone who drove forward regardless of
the challenge unaffected by any of the challenges along the way.
Now I believe that the modern day warrior is someone who can embrace all parts
of the emotional spectrum, someone who can cry when they feel the need to
release in that way, someone who can own the pain they feel when something does
not go their way, someone who can show the type of empathy and compassion that
can change someones life in a moment.
What is the Modern Day Warrior?
Growing up I had a very fractured and mostly inconsistent relationship to the notion of
LOVE, and in particular that part of us which craves connection.
I grew up with my mother and sisters in a small suburb just outside of North London,
and while I did not live with my father he lived in the same town.
My mother was, and indeed is, a wonderful, caring person who embodies the
Lover energy effortlessly as a daughter, sister and mother; always seeking connection first.
My father was, and indeed is, a complete man's man. Big, strong, independent and
can handle himself. I had these two very different people to look up to and,
as is the case with most children, I was figuring it out as I was going along, trying to
find myself along the way while at the same time experiencing the oh-so-human
development and evolution of the ego.
This left me confused quite a lot, and for the most part feeling quite inauthentic.
The challenge I faced was that I felt as a young man I should be stepping into my
father's shoes, the stoic man's man.
This feeling of inauthenticity had 2 sides;
1- I acted in ways which were not authentic to me.
2- I stopped myself from acting in ways which felt more authentic to me.
I jumped two footed into my perception of what a man’s man should be and neglected
the side of me which wanted connection, softness, oneness....my Lover energy.
I tried to be the big tough guy. I tried to project an image of the archetypal alpha male.
I buried the desire for connection deep down, where nobody could see it and thus
question the integrity of the tough guy image.
At that time, I thought all of these feelings associated with my Lover energy
were signs of weakness, “why do I need a hug right now? MAN UP!”,
would be the flavour of what I would tell myself.
So, I kept it buried and didn’t let the alpha male mask slip.
We live in a world of cause and effect, meaning that occurrences, happenings and
unfoldings are always the result of something else which occurred, happened or
unfolded previously, like dominoes if you will.
What does this mean?
Well, my decision making through those years as a young adult was always infused
with this embracing of the alpha male archetype and rejecting of the Lover energy within;
an inauthentic combination for me.
The law of cause and effect shows us that each decision we make is another step on our
journey of life, and if you’re making decisions inauthentic for you then you will at
some point arrive at a place which can be nothing other than inauthentic for you!
So, I found myself living a false life. In an attempt to conform to the way I perceived
society wanted me to be, I'd spent many years taking steps in the wrong direction and
found myself utterly unhappy.
Nothing I had to do in my life made me truly happy, not because it had no value, but
because I simply could not truly connect to it, thus there was no true purpose in my life.
In addition I was always expecting that something bad was around the corner.
Why? Because I’d built a life I did not want and was totally out of alignment.
I had got to a stage where the entirety of the reality around me was constructed with
false assumptions and limiting beliefs. Having to live in this self-constructed, inauthentic
world was a constant struggle.
Any why all of this? Simple...I perceived the Lover energy to be weak, needy and
somewhat useless. So, I rejected it. I pushed it into the corner of my psyche and tried to
pretend like it didn’t exist.
The day I finally dropped this perception of Lover energy being weak everything
changed (for those who understand LoC, I experienced a 200-point jump instantaneously)
and in a heartbeat my life made sense. All of those feelings of yearning for connection and
all of those desires to fall into the deliciousness of life were welcomed in, and it was joyous,
like a reunion with deer old friends.
I came to realise that there is no weakness in Lover energy, just a different type of strength.
The lover may not beat their chest and protect the village, but they will be there whenever
someone is in need. They will be the one to create a nurturing space for those around
to heal spiritually, mentally and emotionally. The lover is the bringer of colour and vibrancy
in life and ties together all of humanity in our one commonality; deep down we all want love.
To me the Modern-Day Lover is the warrior of emotions if you will, carrying a sword of empathy
and shield of compassion, whose main wish is for everyone to synergise and melt
into the wonderment of life.
So, for you what is the Modern-Day Lover?
What is wisdom?
The 'Apology of Socrates' is the dialogue that depicts the trial of the Greek
philosopher in 469BC, specifically, it is a defence against the charges of
“corrupting the young” and “not believing in the gods in whom the city believes". In
'Apology of Socrates', Plato relates that Socrates attributes his seeming wiser than
any other person to the fact that he does not imagine that he knows what he does
"I seem, then, in just this little thing to be wiser than this man at any rate, that
what I do not know I do not think I know either."
Socrates is said to have gone to a "wise" man, and after speaking with him,
withdraws and thinks the above to himself. Socrates, since he denied any kind of
knowledge, then tried to find someone wiser than himself among politicians,
poets, and craftsmen. He found that politicians claimed wisdom without
knowledge; poets could touch people with their words, but did not know their
meaning; and craftsmen could claim knowledge only in very specific fields.
It appears as if the attachment to some form of learned knowledge starts to
narrow our focus, the stronger the attachment the more narrow the focus
becomes, as this focus narrows we can become unable to see outside of it. This
narrow focus may increase our understanding of a very specific area of knowledge
but reduces our ability to see the bigger picture, to objectively review anything that
falls outside of it without the body of learned knowledge in some way affecting the
context of the review.
One can become so overtaken by the target of their focus, so obsessed by it that
it's importance in their mind grows and expands to the point that it is all pervading
and can seem like the only real truth, or the most important thing in the world,
pushing aside any or all knowledge that lays outside of it.
So this begs the question; is awareness of ones own ignorance the source of
If we look closer, into ourselves, we often attach knowledge we have spent time
acquiring to our identity, we wear this earned knowledge like a badge of honour,
proudly displaying it for all to see. Heaven forbid someone should question this
knowledge, for to question this knowledge is to question our very identity. The
attachment to this knowledge can cloud our views and thoughts, affecting our
ability to make clear and rational decisions. We become dogmatic in our actions to
the point where we no longer seek truth, but rather seek to simply validate our
badge of honour in order to consolidate the strength of our identity.
By attaching ourselves to a belief or body of knowledge in such a way, we make it
a part of our identity, meaning we see ourselves through it's lens. In doing so we
remove the possibility that we can be anything else. The politician who has
campaigned vehemently his entire life for a certain agenda powerless to go back on
what he has fought so hard for even if the shifting tides of the political landscape
have changed his mind. The poet so caught up in eliciting a certain reaction in his
readers that he forgoes an understanding of the deeper meaning of his words,
missing the wisdom within his own message. The craftsman who commits his
entire life to mastering one trade, immersing himself so deeply within the practice
that he becomes unable to see over the walls this knowledge creates. We put
ourselves into these labelled boxes, removing all possibility that we can be
anything else in the process.
This habit of self limitation pollutes the mind, affecting our motives and thus
distorting our actions, which only serves to further perpetuate the problem. In
short we create a box for ourselves, one where true discovery cannot live.
So what is wisdom?
We've all experienced those times when we're in total creative flow, where the
ideas course through you freely and are so spontaneous that you feel more like a
witness than the creator of this magic. During those moments anything is possible.
During those moments your heart is singing it's most beautiful song as loudly as it
So what brings on those moments?
What seemingly perfect set of circumstances have come together in such divine synergy? These are questions that offer huge potential rewards if explored thoroughly. The ability to get yourself into that flow state at will would be an all powerful one, life enhancing in every
If I think about any time I have been in that state it has felt effortless, like I have
stumbled into it in some way. There seems to be a real feeling of surrender, like all I
have to do is accept the state for what it is without any attempt to control it. But it
also feels very much entwined with my emotions, and as though a big shift with my
emotions caused by some event or trauma would take me out of this state.
By comparison when I am not in this state any creative endeavour feels far more
like it is being over manipulated by my mind, like I am overthinking.
To me the distinction between the two feels like the difference between having
limitless untempered creative power, and applying the limitations of my mental
acuity to a task. One is non-judgemental surrender to whatever may come through,
the other is me trying to take control of the process. One feels as though it is driven
by love, the other by a core human need shining through and trying to manipulate
the situation to my own linear perspective of what will serve that need.
As I sit with this thought it feels calming. Overthinking can be tiring, and
believing that you have to control everything even more so. So getting to a point
where the path to cultivating creative inspiration is best followed through a
process of letting go of the perception of control, letting go of the belief that you
know best and, well, just letting go, is very comforting.
I have thought deeply about times of flow and times of no-flow, and how my
general life practices were different. The times when I have found myself moving
effortlessly into a flow state have been the times when I am most conscious, when
my meditation, mindfulness and gratitude practices are being observed the most.
This is so clear that now it feels as though a no-flow state has become an alert to
remind me I have maybe become slightly lazy with my practices, for whatever
Considering the importance of this question I am keen to learn more and ask,
what is the best way to cultivate creative inspiration?
A few years ago at the dawn of my spiritual awakening I was presented with the
realisation that I had become quite a judgemental person.
A spiritual teacher I was working with at the time introduced me to the notion
that as soon as we judge someone we become unable to truly connect and learn
from them, like this initial judgement becomes the lens that we see them through
for evermore. I realised that I was quick to judge people, quick to jump to a
conclusion about them based on what they were wearing, the first thing I heard
them say, their mannerisms, the group they were a part of, the location I met them
in and many more factors which in truth tell you very little about the person.
So I sat with this, initially feeling quite let down that I was a judgemental person,
shallow because I was almost writing people off because of superficial factors, in
short I started judging myself! This thought made me laugh enough that it was
natural to quickly drop it and move forward.
I asked myself why I do this, a question which had me going around in circles.
After much exploration in this area of thought it started to feel futile and like the
answer for this question was not to be found here, so I decided to take a different
approach, deciding instead to focus on what we all have in common. I moved away
from trying to over analyse the judgemental behavioural pattern and instead took
what felt like a more loving approach.
So I started to explore what I had in common with people, what I had in common
that was impossible to tell during a first encounter. What I had in common with
everyone, what we all have in common with each other.
After much thought I came to a conclusion which felt true and loving, that every
being in existence just wants to be happy.
Happiness of course takes different shapes and forms for different people, so
how we express this want to be happy can differ greatly from person to person, but
when we strip back all of the details we're left with that one truth.
Now whether not this is true was entirely irrelevant to me, the fact was it was
true enough to me for the judgemental pattern to be washed away. I started
looking into the eyes of every person I came in contact with and, as oppose to
reviewing different characteristics in order to label and pigeon hole, I started
understanding that all that person wanted was to be happy.
All of a sudden those characteristics seemed divinely beautiful, an expression of their souls wish to be happy. I started to see myself in everyone, see my loves and insecurities in
everyone, I started to feel the same overwhelmingly warm and comforting feeling
of love looking at strangers as I did looking at my children. I fell in love with the
world and everyone in it.
It became very easy to understand why anyone did anything (although it is worth
pointing out that understanding and acceptance did not always walk hand in hand),
and then very difficult to get annoyed or upset by anyone else actions.
The magnitude of the change I experienced convinced me that I had identified
something we all have in common, and many times I have sat in quiet
contemplation at what else there may be, yet during these times I come to the
conclusion that anything else I identify comes back to wanting to be happy again.
It has become a beautiful mindfulness practice to sit quietly contemplating,
what is the one thing we all have in common?
Why do we ask questions?
What is the motive behind them?
Well, this of course can be different depending on the person and
circumstances. I have always been a fan of asking questions, I am sure much to
the annoyance of colleagues in what they deem to be boring training courses they
would like to leave quickly.
And my motive changes between situations. I found when I was a younger man
early in my career in the City I would ask every question possible, I wanted to make
sure I knew everything, had every base covered. I must have annoyed the hell out
of the managers and coaches I worked with.
Sometimes these questions would be asked as I really didn't know the answer,
and wanted to fill in a gap in my knowledge. Sometimes I thought I knew the
answer, wasn't sure and wanted validation.
Other times I felt confident I knew the answer but wanted to be sure my own subjective view on the situation wasn't affecting it; like credibility checking the answer that I thought I knew.
Other times I may know an answer, or at least have felt I had figured out an
answer to something, but would see it as being quite ridiculous, almost
unbelievable, and wanted to hear someone else say the answer out loud.
In the stage of my life I am at now I realise I ask most of my questions for an
altogether different reason, it is no longer about the answer, but about the
conversational journey I can walk with someone in coming to a shared truth on the
subject. Questions are such a wonderful vehicle for exploring our beliefs and
finding our deep held views on a matter.
I also love to ask a question with absolutely no intention of coming to a
conclusive answer, and seeing what other gems of wisdom I can find along the
road of discovery. Some of my greatest lessons have been learnt, and my greatest
insights gained, this way.
This new view of questioning has become one of the great joys in my life, it has
allowed me to explore my own mind and the minds of friends in such a way that we
together shine light on a whole new set of feelings or beliefs. We come to
realisations about altogether different subjects we would never have chosen to
think about on their own.
Sometimes I hear people say things like, "What did he/she ask that?", "You can
probably answer that question yourself" or "Does that really need to be asked?";
and when I hear this I honestly feel sorry for that person, I realise that perhaps they
have not discovered the wonderful joy of asking questions.
So I ponder the thought in my favourite way;
What is the real point of asking
During a recent conversation with a friend we were discussing friends I have of
the opposite sex, and in particular how much quality time I had been spending with
them. The natural 'bro-infused' comment came forth enquiring about any possible
My instant reaction was that these were such good friends with whom I had such
a strong bond that they had become my sisters and that any romance within the
situation would devalue the relationship in some way, "No way, we're way too close
for that" I said.
His reaction was one of surprise and confusion, "I have heard you say this
before," he quipped, "and it didn't make sense then either, surely you'd want the
bond with your romantic connections to be the strongest and deepest it could be?"
And it got me thinking, throughout my life I have always seen a scale in
relationships with women where in which as soon as I become very close to them
and we bond at a soul level any romantic possibility disappears in my mind. I see
them as sisters, extremely close, and it feels as though any romantic connection
would devalue the relationship in some way.
So when does a friendship turn into an intimate relationship?
Perhaps for me I am reminded of intimate relationships I used to have when I
was a younger man in my late teens which were really about one thing for me,
having sex. At that point in my life my interest in these relationships would fizzle
out after some time, or become solely about the physical, pushing all other
connection into the dark. Whereas if I think about the handful of relationships I had
at the time which didn't get physical, the bond continued to deepen and lasted far
longer, often up until the present day.
And I guess that is it. Nowadays when I really connect with a woman I connect
for the person they are, for the incredible light that emanates from them, for the
beautiful flow of feminine energy that flows through them and inspires me in every
moment, and I just don't want to ruin that. I feel that perhaps my actions as a
younger man framed my model of relationships with women in such a way that to
take it to the physical is to take the first steps toward ending the relationship.
I am friends with some amazing, strong, independent, inspiring women who are
out there changing the world in their own ways, both on a mass scale and one
person at a time, and I value them so much as people I do not want to follow an old
pattern. I want them in my life for as long as possible.
So as someone who has not figured this one out yet, when does a friendship turn
into an intimate relationship?