Milestone Moments

Everyone has milestone moments in their lives.

These are achievements that give you the opportunity to congratulate yourself on your success and are significant moments to celebrate with friends and loved ones.

The world is giving strong evidence of how things are unfolding just as they should and offering you benefits and also new directions.

One Success Leads to Another

Contrary to popular belief, it is not a series of failures that lead to success but rather a series of successes that lead to greater success. Ask any successful businessman. They all demonstrate the same good fortune.

So now in your acknowledgement of your success, it’s time to look for further opportunities. In your current state of success, you are more likely to be empowered to have a bigger vision of your future.

Don’t let it go to waste by resting on your laurels. Use your momentum to reach out to what you want your future to be. Extend yourself to use your full potential.

Time to Take Stock

So this is the best time to take stock of who you have become in your life journey so far.

Are you becoming the person you want to be?

Are you even pointing in the right direction?

What exactly do you truly want?

It Takes a Team

Nobody does things in isolation. It takes a team of close friends and associates to work with you and to guide you successfully through life.

Even that simple question, “What do I want?” is a something that most people can’t answer or sometimes never even ask.

And asking once only is not enough. You need to revisit that question at these milestone moments of your life to confirm that where you are heading is still correct for you.

Perhaps you need to review your values and priorities and adjust your path a little. The longer you leave this process the more time you have maybe spent drifting off course, and the harder it is then to get back on track.

Having an experienced guide can also be an advantage. Adding new perspectives and taking prompt new actions can often be the difference between success and mediocrity going forward.

A Fulfilling Life

If you want to have a fulfilling life, wouldn’t knowing what you want and aligning with your values make things a lot easier?

For a start, you could save time by not doing the things that don’t support you!

Then you could devote that extra time to doing the things that are actually going to add to your happiness and satisfaction and make a positive difference to your life.

So take the time now to ask yourself the question, “What you want in your life?” And if you need a little help then contact me via my

And if you need a little extra help then contact me via my About Page.

Dimensions of Existence

The dimensions of human existence are a kind of way of structuring thinking that varies across cultures and time periods. They provide different perspectives on any problem situation by looking through the lenses of the physical, social, personal and spiritual realms.

These different realms have been discussed back to antiquity and provide a practical checklist for our thought processes. These realms have helped our ancestors construct stories, myths, legends and folktales that have trickled down through the ages.

Now these dimensions of existence have taken root in existential psychotherapy too as follows (quoting almost from Wikipedia)

  • In the social dimension, individuals relate to others as they interact with the public world around them.
  • In the physical dimension, individuals relate to their environment and to the givens of the natural world around them.
  • In the personal dimension, individuals relate to themselves and in this way create a psychological world.
  • In the spiritual dimension, individuals relate to the “unknown” and thus create a sense of an ideal world, an ideology, and a philosophical outlook.

These 4 dimensions of existence are also inter-related as therapist van Deurzen says,

“The four dimensions are obviously interwoven and provide a complex four-dimensional force field for our existence. “

But I feel that Literature has forever used similar models and those inter-weavings are worthy of a much more detailed exploration and explanation, and therapists could learn much from this rich history.

My Experience

I recognise now, later in life, that as I have lived my life, my focus of the different dimensions of existence and my realms of primary experience have changed a lot.

As a child, I had little understanding of the spiritual dimension but now I focus a great deal in that sphere.

Likewise in there have been times when I have followed society’s edicts and done my duty but at other times I have rebelled and followed my own path.

So the dimensions of existence that are of most concern, depend to a large degree on the stage of life one is at.

Exercise: Who Am I?

It’s useful to take a piece of paper and do an exercise answering the question “Who am I?”

I did this exercise for myself a few months back and I don’t think it’s a surprise that all my fears these days lie in the physical dimension and, in contrast, I have less concern with the social dimension.

However, I was shocked that my “Who am I?” results had nothing spiritual at all, yet I would say that it is a big focus of my intellectual interest. But strangely, nothing spiritual seems to have had a deep or major impact on me.

I guess I am rather secular in my views and treat all religions as fascinating stories with deep insights, but I don’t identify too much with any specific viewpoint to the extent of a belief.

Check Your Symptoms…

Many people suffer symptoms such as stress, anxiety, depression and worry.

These can sometimes be caused by the squareness of your ego not fitting into the roundness of your natural self. Or put another, but similar, way by Existential Therapy,

“is a philosophical method of therapy that operates on the belief that inner conflict within a person is due to that individual’s confrontation with the givens of existence.”

According to Rollo May, who was a leading existential psychologist, the way out (the cure) is to take some time to look inwards into yourself at the conflicts and the mismatches so as to integrate your ego better into yourself.

These are things we can discuss if you wish.

Contact me through my About Page

Dangerous Knowledge

Every adventure comes with risks and what I offer is dangerous knowledge. For by the time you start on this personal quest you will already have a life of obligations and commitments such as a job, relationships, friends, habits, obsessions, etc.

On your personal quest, you will gain knowledge. It reminds me of the story of Pandora’s Box where, despite her desire to do good, her curiosity got the better of her and she unleashed forces that she neither fully understood about nor anticipated.

But the dangerous knowledge I will help you to discover is more subtle yet it may possibly turn your life upside down, as it did mine, and the consequences can be very difficult to live with.

So I repeat that this quest I am promoting is not for everyone.

A Practical Approach

When we are young, society imprints upon us all kinds of behaviours. But when we are older we have the opportunity to temporarily set aside those things and rebuild ourselves from the inside out before returning to society’s ways as a more mature, more responsible and more fulfilled individual.

However, with your new “dangerous knowledge” you will find that “returning to society’s ways” is a whole other chapter in your journey and not merely a simple step.

My Experience

In my life, the real start of my personal quest was during my 40’s. I think the ideal time is perhaps a little earlier but it depends on your circumstances.

As I have already said on my About Page, it all began for me as a crisis that led to a revelation. I was presented with a choice and had to make a set of difficult decisions.

In summary, these decisions relate this to certain “existential givens” that included belonging and autonomy, freedom and responsibility, meaning and meaninglessness, embodiment, unknowing, and death and limitations.

The result has been a rejuvenated and authentic life. And the “existential givens” have become simply a list of some of the concerns I have come across on my journey so far.

The only way I can describe my response with any real meaning is to say that every day I chose to see a luminescent beauty that set me up for each day. I never worried about mistakes of the past nor worried too much about the future.

When I look back over my life I find that there were things I did right and things I did wrong, but at the time I always did my best, and it is only with hindsight that I can make any truly meaningful judgments.

So I have no regrets at all.

There is indeed a way from crisis to wholeness not despite the crises of life but because of them. A whole life must eventually become an integrated and authentic life.

 

Celebrate your Imperfections

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”

– Leonard Cohen

Imperfections I recognise

The Existential Approach, that I remember from Sartre so many years ago, is that “Existence Precedes Essence”.

I take this to mean that we are born into this world without meaning or purpose. And we develop our own views from then on. It’s also my observation that existential thoughts often tend to be “dark” and about suffering, meaninglessness, etc

Positive Psychology, on the other hand, attempts to balance the situation through identifying the strengths of the individual and to leverage those strengths to enable that person to thrive and blossom. It’s noticeable that this is about “light” and good thoughts.

Imperfection is a Healer

The lines quoted above from a Leonard Cohen song say, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”. I guess this means that nothing is perfect ever, for everything has some kind of flaw or crack in it.

And it is that very imperfection that allows the light that Leonard Cohen sees as the enabler for nature to break in and start the next chapter of one’s life journey.

So the quote is about a balance of dark and light, or metaphorically, bad and good times, etc. Mixing existential philosophy and positive psychology is also a balance too.

On a slightly different but related tack, I say that the beauty I see in every individual is precisely because of their imperfections. Just as any picture we see is only possible because light has shadow mixed in with it.

It’s all about balance, and nobody is perfect unless maybe they are an angel or possibly a saint.

“The only whole heart is a broken one.”

– Menachem Mendel, religious scholar

 

Gratitude

Gratitude and Wellbeing

It’s said that gratitude is a key attitude to wellbeing in life.

But the concept of gratitude has bothered me for many years. I could see the purpose of it but often felt it was inappropriate in some way and I know I am not the only person to feel it is demeaning to be too grateful.

For example, Joseph Stalin (probably not totally normal in his views!) said, “Gratitude is a sickness suffered by dogs.”

How Does it Arise?

I guess I must have learned my view on gratitude from my upbringing because I don’t remember formulating it for myself at any time.

And that’s another thing I might mention in that for most of my life I felt I was a victim of my emotions rather than the controller of them. But that’s another story and it came as a fantastic revelation when it happened, and it turned my life on its head.

 

A Child’s Perspective

But I do look at my son and wonder what on earth he has to be grateful for. He was brought here without his consent into a life that is “nasty, brutish and short” and frankly a cruel place according to the News I see on TV.

He could be grateful that he doesn’t have to kill his food before he eats it, or that he has medication for his illnesses, or that he lives in a currently secure environment with a roof over his head, etc.

But to feel grateful is a decision that he may decide to have or not. It is not something I expect from him even if it is touted as a healing attitude and makes one feel better.

Back to Gratitude

Anyway, getting back to my own predicament, gratitude is indeed fully appropriate in every way. And I feel it many times each day for very real reasons.

I am grateful for the life I have been privileged to have had. It has been a mixed experience but a worthwhile one all the same.

I think gratitude is something only to be experienced by someone later in life as they look back to a life well lived or at least a life without torment. I am guessing that there is always something good that happens in everyone’s life.

Personal Quest Research

Calling All Seekers…

We are all Seekers, and life is nothing if it is not an adventure.

But there are no satisfactory formulas on how to live your life to the full.

Some Clues

Mastering your Inner Life is the doorway to your total fulfilment, joy and purpose. So venture with me into that unknown territory in search of the treasures you seek.

That’s what I call The Personal Quest…

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life.”

– Joseph Campbell

My Invitation to You to Collaborate on Research

I have been spent over 10 years researching into solutions to “the human condition” and now I am set to explore with a selected few to demonstrate how my personally proven methods can work for you too.

So please come with me on a “journey of the soul”, through my coaching model, to engage in further research and to find those treasures of life hidden inside yourself.

Start Your Journey Now

 

Relate or Identify

There are many ways of exploring our inner worlds but one question always arises and that is to relate to or to identify with aspects of our findings.

Let me elaborate a little.

Inner Explorations

Our inner explorations may involve such things as the following:

  • Meditations (mindfulness, concentration, transcendental, etc)
  • Contemplations (religious or secular)
  • Psychoanalysis (Freudian, Jungian, existential, etc)
  • Psychological (psychological tests, etc)
  • Chemical (drugs such as LSD, mescaline, etc)
  • Physical (physical highs, sex, etc)
  • Emotional
  • Mystical
  • Philosophical
  • And so on

My Recommendation

All of the above methods have some value and enable us to gain insights into facets of our personalities or inner selves.

However, the way we respond to the experiences and information gained is critical for our well-being.

For example, we may be influenced by a religious cult or be indoctrinated by a group of regular believers or simply take a trip to a religious shrine such as abound in Jerusalem (see the Jerusalem Syndrome)

This is an example of someone who identifies with a result from their inner (and outer) exploration. I would say this is a rather extremist viewpoint.

However, for those of us who want to retain some control over our lives, we would do better to relate to those aspects of our inner experiences rather than identify with them too closely.