Guide

With the wealth of information available on this website, it can feel overwhelming when you’re not sure in which direction to go, where to click, what to read or watch, or how best to access and distill the vital elements of the development process. This page offers you an overview of all the ways in which you can tap into the content and structure your own learning. Of course, there is no substitute for one-to-one coaching, so for more information on how that works, click here.

 

Blog

There are more than 1,000 posts on the blog. They are divided into two sets: the Current Posts (from 2011 onwards) written about specific subjects regarding personal development; and the Journal Entries (2000 – 2003) about my own development process. The complete list of posts can be found in the Archives, where they are also sorted by category. There is additional information relating to the blog on the About page.

It is best to start with the current posts (2011 – present), because they outline what is necessary for this work. The journal entries are an ideal additional resource because they provide evidence for the current posts. To get you started, there are links to ten of the most influential posts at the bottom of this page.

Also, make use of the ‘Related posts’ listed at the bottom of many of the entries, as well as the other posts highlighted in the texts themselves, as these will give you different perspectives on the same issues, or point you towards the pertinent journal entries.

 

Random Posts

Click on the link Read a random blog post’ on the right-hand side of the horizontal menu to generate a random post from all available entries. Find a way to make a connection with whatever post you are given. This will help you to reflect on things which you might otherwise not think about.

 

Book

Evolution By Natural Reflection uses a collection of the most useful posts to tell the story of my four years of training under my teacher, Karaj. The journal entries from that period are interspersed with current posts which complement the main story perfectly. Those later pieces are embedded within the main text and appear 11 years after the relevant journal entry. There are 109 of them spread throughout the book, (compared to 450 journal entries). The book can be read in two ways: either as a complete story cover to cover, or as individual entries randomly selected. I have endeavoured to make sure that each entry offers insight into the development process, although some pieces have been included for the story’s sake.

The whole idea of the book is that, as you read the story, you apply the learning points to your own life, reflecting on your own behaviour as you go, recording your own insights, and witnessing your own development.

 

Seminars

In 2016 I ran a series of 18 seminars which are summarised here. They are an ideal place to start because they cover many of the subjects vital to this work. Each individual summary contains further links to other posts in order that you can deepen your knowledge. Where relevant, those posts also have page numbers from the book, so that the two can be used together. Each seminar summary comes with a video (see below).

 

Videos

The seminar videos are available at the end of each respective summary, but are also collected together on one page here. They range in length from just a few minutes to half an hour.

 

Transactional Analysis

I was trained using Transactional Analysis (TA). There are a number of different areas within TA, all of which appear again and again in the journal entries. The main topics are listed below. Each topic also has its own category in the archives.

 

10 To Get You Started

Here are ten posts which offer a fine introduction to the blog and the work. I have included the final paragraphs of each post to give you an idea of what you will find there. Click on the title to read the full post.

1.  Write Stuff Down

This all leads inevitably to an increase in awareness. You begin to notice more of everything. You observe how you act and react, and how situations play out differently if you alter just one aspect of who you are. The more you observe, the more likely you are actively to influence your own behaviour. But it doesn’t stop there because, fascinatingly, change also occurs without you even trying. The act of observation itself is enough to cause a shift. And you can set it all in motion by just putting pen to paper.

2.  Make It All About You

There are people who wait for inspiration, thinking that’s how inspiration works. But those who know, understand that you have to work for it, chase it down, force it into existence. So, bend the universe to serve your purpose and reshape your world according to your vision. Make your goal the focus of everything you do. Talk to people about it and be on the lookout for ways to fulfill it. Then, at the end of the day, reflect on how much of your goal has been achieved and how it all happened. You may be surprised.

3.  Make Yourself (Happy)

Reflect on who you are. You will find beauty. And you will undoubtedly find something to work on, which may leave you feeling downhearted. If it does, know that, irrespective of the outcome, the mere act of working on yourself can make you happy.

4.  Think Whatever You Want

Next time you notice your mind telling you things about yourself which are not supportive, helpful or encouraging, redirect it onto something very simple such as counting each time you breathe out. In time you’ll be introducing it to more involved and more favourable thoughts. And before you know it you’ll find that you can think whatever you want.

5.  Internal Dialogues

The woman mentioned in the second paragraph once listed, as one of her qualities, the fact that she is able to get on and do the things she doesn’t want to do. That’s because she has a strong Parent ego state. It had been provided by her parents during her upbringing, but we are also able to provide and shape our own. As with everything to do with personal development, it just takes awareness and practice: become conscious of the messages you are giving to yourself, maintain the positive ones and change the negative ones. And tell yourself to keep doing it.

6.  Better Strategies

Life is about defining what we want and looking for the best strategies to help us realise our goals. As we search, however, we must be humble enough to question our existing strategies, re-examining them as we go. But we need not search alone. We are fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who can offer us the benefit of their wisdom. Their presence in our lives is invaluable. They may not be easy to spot, but they are inclined to say ‘thank you’ when you compliment them.

7.  Life In The Middle

In his TED talk on The Surprising Science of Happiness, the Harvard psychology professor, Dan Gilbert, closes with the line: ‘We have within us the capacity to manufacture the very commodity we are chasing when we choose experience.’ It means that, from the peaceful, tranquil place at the heart of everything, we can choose to feel whatever we want. Then, just like the tennis player, we return to the middle, safe in the knowledge that we will be restored to the calm, centred beings we were born to be.

8.  Listen to Yourself

Research does tell us to exercise some caution with our intuition. There are times when blind faith in our intuitive responses will definitely lead us astray. However, the more we listen to ourselves and the more we observe, the better we become at discerning when to be confident and when to double check; when to have the courage to speak and when to hold back. It takes practice and awareness. And it starts by listening closely to your self.

9.  The Exponential Curve

Even the effort which seems to be wasted serves a purpose, because it brings you a fraction closer to your objective. And every fraction moves you nearer to that break in the curve where progress becomes a little easier. So when you stand before your next challenge, keep in mind that it may not be easy and that there will be times when you question your progress. Then say to yourself: ‘Make a start, keep going, and know that eventually you will succeed.’

10. The Power Of Intention

It’s possible, of course, that both examples were just coincidences; each one a chance occurrence. But if you accept the premise that coincidence played no part, then a different world opens up. One in which you have more power than you thought. Moreover, when that power is focused and you understand the process, a calmness descends, allowing you to appreciate a more in-tune version of the world. It’s a moving experience because, when we observe the effects of clarity and intention in such a way, we can almost feel ourselves evolving.

 

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