Thursday, 2 March 2023

The Obstacle is the Way

"The obstacle is the way." I get how annoying that sounds, even obtuse… and if I tell you it comes from the Stoics, even more so somehow. There’s an element of ‘should’ and ‘not enough’ – “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”, “get it together”, “get over it” - Ugh!


To the wounded, and the veterans of life’s harshest ways, it’s not what we need to hear, at all.

Just ask anyone with PTSD… not helpful.


…but let me put a different slant on it, something I missed at first, something that might be useful to you.


I've been butting my head up against a brick wall. I'm sure that sounds familiar. :) I was trying to make something work that just wasn't, for all kinds of reasons.


I've been wanting to do two things at once, for a long time now. I love coaching. I'm good at it and when I'm coaching, time seems to disappear, and the people around me see a smiling person emerge afterwards.


On the other hand, I have a bigger vision, a dream to help people live their dreams on a much  larger scale. So I made a website and called my business The Dreamer's Caravan. 


But it didn't work. It had split focus. I wasn't getting anywhere near the sort of numbers I needed to change the world! Over and again, my childhood friend's words came to mind, "You've got to start somewhere, Simon" and other advice "Do not despise small beginnings (Zechariah 4.10)."

It reminded me of my mother's vegetable patch. Not enough soil to go round. The result? Small vegies & in my case, I stalled like a single propeller airplane, pointed at the sky. 

In free fall, I took a Masters degree to teach English as a second language. I don't really like teaching and I'm not really good at it.

When I finally looked at things objectively, accepted the 'what's so', I saw that I needed to simplify things. 


And that's where the annoying quote comes in. Rather than banging my head against a brick wall, the wall became an opportunity. I just had to see it that way.

That's not an easy thing to do, but if you bang your head long enough... Haha :D

It hurts...

The opportunity was to simplify things. Good for me, good for people I might be able to help. Win-win. 

The obstacle was the way.


There's a guy I've admired now for a long time, Nick Vujcic, who has plenty to say about such things. Coming form him, it carries more weight and less 'should'. 


The guy has no arms and no legs and he's amazing. 


His slogan? Obstacles = Opportunities. 

Worth listening to.










Sunday, 30 October 2022

It Could Not Be

As I look back at the past few years, years of being locked in houses, muzzled and masked and treated like slaves in a so-called democracy… I continue to give thanks.

I do not give thanks for the events. I give thanks in the midst of them.
“In all things give thanks…” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5.18

It's good advice - good for the heart and for the soul. Spiritual exercise.

It’s amazing to me that I can do that. It has not come easily. I was so angry with our leaders in Australia who, to this day in many states, continue to act like tyrants. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, or quacks like a duck then it probably is a duck.

That so many people would fall for the story of “It’s in everyone’s best interest” and blindly trust their leaders while their freedoms were taken away is astonishing to me, and also not. I've kept thinking back to scenes in Defiance about the early days of the holocaust.

Despite being told what the Nazis were doing, many Jewish people could not accept that such evil could exist, and so simply waited to be shipped off, like cattle, to their deaths. They simply could not be persuaded otherwise.

In our time, I have heard the same reasoning “It could not be” as I've tried to talk about what's happening now, what was so obvious to me and yet and so incomprehensible to so many others.

It could not be…

… that the virus was man-made, or that leaders world-wide were stepping away from their duty of care or worse, or that the mandating of vaccines not properly tested and entirely new in their make-up was unconscionable.

It could not be that young people are dying of heart attacks, as a result, the world over.
It could not be that this was orchestrated for money and power.
It could not be.

That's just the tip of the iceberg, yet even this is too much for many, while proof lies accessible in the palm of their hands on a smart phone, if only they were willing to see.

Finding out is not the hardest part. It is the shock of its possibility and the willingness to accept it. Victor Frankl, a holocaust survivor, describes the psychology beautifully in ‘Man’s Search for Meaning.’ It’s not an easy read.

We are taught at an early age to accept and blindly follow our leaders. Compliance has been a buzz word in education circles for many years and in these covid years, more widely so. Here in Sydney our leader put our army on the streets. It was astonishing.

Despite all of this I have continued to have hope. Hope that more and more people will continue to see what's going on and that they will not stand for it. That justice will prevail. It's already happening.

I do not blindly hope as one who walks out onto a frozen lake, in late Spring. I hope in God who is faithful, who requires us to play our part and who, in times of great darkness, has always responded to the prayers of His people.

Hope comes from the stories of old, Moses and the Red Sea and the falling of empire, a ready hand of justice that is never late and always on time, if only we will ask.

Hope comes from His unchanging nature - yesterday, today and forever.
God is love. But I guess, you've got to experience that for yourself.

Thursday, 24 March 2022

The Struggle for Fulfillment

So I was talking about struggles... God help me! :D

I’ve wrestled with what so many of us do, the struggle for fulfillment. A lot of people give up, settling for less than their dreams or heart's desires. Some replace fulfillment with a show of the ego or boy's toys, glam and all that jazz. Some get a taste for power. It is never satisfied.

Others like the wonderful, recently retired Ash Barty, make the heart sing with their passion and character that they bring to their endeavours.

I wish I could say fulfillment was easy. There's a bunch of folks who make it sound that way. Maybe for them it was... sounds a bit fishy though to me.

'Success' is a billion dollar industry, with the ‘Greats’ showing us lesser lights the art of being like them. I laugh as I write that but it’s not necessarily their fault. :D We hold people up as idols in our culture. We worship winners. Some seem humble enough but then it doesn't pay to look weak.

In my earthly struggle for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (God bless America), finding a way to succeed without forsaking one's authenticity has been fundamentally important. I didn't want to sell out for success, to sell my soul.

Yeshua, speaking on the subject of success, said "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you" (Matthew 6.33), & "He who seeks to save his life will lose it but he who lays it down, for my sake, will find it" (Matthew 16.25). Sounds like a riddle doesn't it? He did that a lot.

What I think it means and it is, of course, just my opinion... is a few things:

  • Going after the stuff isn't fulfilling.
  • Neither is ego.
  • Lay that down and understand that this life is not the be all and end all of things.
  • Who you are matters.
  • Who you become matters.
  • What you really want matters... 

but you won't get it until you know who you are, until you know that you are good enough - what Tammy called a 'matching vibration' in my most recent podcast here.

Many of us don't believe we're good enough for our dreams.
That's where becoming & faith comes in. 

It's a journey.

Falling upon the gentle art of coaching was such a delight. It helps to work things through in such a unique and gentle way. Having engaged in many programs that taught me their answers I was encouraged, through coaching, to find my own. 

What a game-changer! 


Thursday, 24 February 2022

The Struggle for Freedom

I've been resisting this... writing about struggles... It doesn’t seem to come easily, at all.  It goes against the grain. Everything of the world shouts, just a little too loudly, about its own greatness and the lesser nature of others. 

The world is like an adult child playing out a schoolyard theme of fear, attacking anything different.

In my place of birth, Sydney Australia, ‘wogs’ were ridiculed for the content of their lunch boxes, strange accents and/or the colour of their skin. Strangely enough, tans were revered at the time but hypocrisy is easily overlooked by the incredulous, self-righteous or so it seems. :)

Being ‘right’ is the enemy of relationship. It gathers to itself those who will agree with it and shuns those who will not. It seems more a fear of being wrong. 

We can see this expressed at every level of human experience. One nation thinks themselves better than another. Russia, for example, seeks to 'liberate' Ukraine from the west. China seeks to take the seas to its south, with an eye towards land to its west. In their own minds they are justified. 

Nations behaving as schoolyard children... what a legacy. :D

Isn’t it always about feelings of self worth? Nations and children alike?

In pubs, shops, places of work, entertainment and governments bullies take the place of their predecessor, dominating to avoid being dominated. Babylon, Greece and Rome successively rose to power and empire, only to sink into the annuls of history - in the end fearful children in their thinking all. 

One man in history turned the tables upside down and we’ve never been the same since, time divided into before and after. Christmas became the most celebrated time of the year, leadership became more about service than lording it over others. 

Nations and people who have adopted this principle, have thrived the world over ever since.

In these years of the corona (crown) virus we’ve seen mobs lay their weight behind tyrants in the form of cancel-culture, shouting down those who might dare to think differently. Never mind if the facts don’t seem to support them. Steady has been the cry for ‘strength’ and ‘unity’ and ironically, to follow the 'science', an apparently changeable entity these days. 

So too labels... a democratic country's leader recently enacted the emergency act against a rebellious free-thinking tribe of hymn singing truckers. Some emergency, thinking for ourselves. (Trudeau means traitor in French).

Daring to write about my struggles then, in this broader context, I take a deep breath and dive into a mire where some may condemn… yet others, I hope might be emboldened to their own views, thinking for themselves, speaking their truth and fearing not the mob and its agreed upon terms of conditional acceptance. I gently tip my lid to Jordan Peterson in this regard. 

To be continued... <3


Thursday, 29 July 2021

Thrive! Don't just Survive.

It may sound silly talking about this in the middle of a global pandemic. Most of us are in survival mode, but it's has given us a chance to reflect on the nature of our regular lives - about what we want. What do you really want?

Few places around the world teach about  T H R I V I N G. Most of us learn how to survive. We're taught from an early age to work hard and get a job. It's not bad advice but most success coaches will tell you that trading time for money is the worst thing you could do. 

It's a trap of making just enough money to pay the bills.

So how do we go from surviving to thriving? There are a lot of great programs around to help you do that. That reminds me to put up a list on my website. But most of these programs start by asking people what they want and a lot of us aren't clear about that. 

We've been programmed to think and dream small.

If you put a flee in a jar, and put a lid on it, it will jump and hit the lid several times. If you then take the lid off, it will never get out of the jar. It has been trained to jump only so high. 

Similarly, a young elephant will have its leg tied to a peg in the ground. It learns that it cannot pull the peg out, so that even when it is older and much larger it does not try. It already believes it is impossible.

There in lies the rub. What we believe to be true, dictates what we will do, even if it no longer applies.

Good coaching programs help adjust our beliefs about what's possible and then show us actions we can take to change the outcomes we're getting. It's powerful stuff! But don't forget to get clear about what you want first. A lot of people climb the ladder to 'success', only to find it dissatisfying.

That's where I come in. I help people get comfortable in their own skin and clear about what they want, before they go and get it. But I can't help everyone. I help misfits, and ok, rebels and troublemakers... If that sounds like you, give me a Hoy! :)

Monday, 21 June 2021

New Beginnings (not the new normal)

We're told, by those who would think for us, that we should get used to the 'new normal', but clarity of mind suggests otherwise. Looking at the facts is not easy in a day when the majority of the media is owned by a handful of companies, world wide. Facts are not so easy to come by.

Thinking for our selves is especially called for in dark days and it takes something to do it. It takes standing apart from the mob and the mob has its way of burying people. It's raised its ugly head more obviously recently. These are days of stark contrasts. In some ways it's easier to see the wood for the trees. 

Cancel culture is a vehicle upon which a myriad of insane 'truths' are wheeled out to the general assembly. There's no such thing as gender. Good is evil. Evil is good. Critical race theory, pretends to stand for racial equality and yet focuses on the colour of a man's skin rather than the quality of his character, not even remotely aligned with Martin Luther King's dream. 

If you're rankled at my using the word 'his' you might consider yourself well trained and I don't say that to get in anyone's face, but to make it as plain as the nose on your face. I could have toed the line and chosen she or any number of proposed 'correct' gender pronouns. Does being 'correct' bring us together or drive us apart? Divide and conquer has been a card played down through the ages.

We can thank God for those who dare to stand apart and speak the truth, "though the heavens fall." 

Some might say, "who's truth?" and I would suggest your own. Start there.

To think you know what's for best for someone else can be considered the height of arrogance. All men are created equal, and yet some think themselves more equal than others. This is not to say we should not have leaders. History shows clearly the kinds of leaders we can admire. In each case they were servants of the people. Despots, by contrast, wheeled out the same old lines, "Look there in the shadows, it's something to fear, we'll look after you. Give us your liberty and we'll take care of everything. Trust us."

Taking a look around the world, right now, we can see these two sorts of leaders standing out in obvious contrast. It's like night and day. Here in Australia the premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, recently sought to extend his power to lock people in their homes, indefinitely. Think about that for a moment. Here, in Australia. Indefinitely. In the United States, that great bastion of liberty, the fight is at its thickest. They are in the prayers of many around the world.

To put the issue at hand simply, each of us knows what's best for us individually. Good leaders know what's best for us collectively. To mess with that is to mess with freedom and its being messed with alright, worldwide. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great documents of freedom have come from such moments in history - the original constitution of the United States (after throwing out a despot English king), the Magna Carta likewise, on home soil. Let us pray that in our time, justice might also be done.

Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum - Let justice be done though the heavens fall.

It's one thing to look out at the world, another to begin with ourselves. We've been given a chance to reassess where we're going. What do you want to do with that? What is it you want for yourself and your children and their children's children? 

It's something worth thinking about.

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Broken Promises, broken dreams ~ Australia Day, 2021

Yesterday in the land down under, we had Australia Day. Like most days of celebration, it is controversial these dark days. On this day, modern day Australia was born, as boats laden with white men and previously unexposed diseases arrived on our shores, with devastating results for the locals.

A decree from a distant religious despot had decreed the land unoccupied and so the rest is history.

Debates raged this day, while others sat back with an ale and the attitude of what one much loved local poet describes as being ‘alcohol tolerant’.

It’s no easy fix, of course, for years governments have thrown money at the problem, not knowing what else to do. Well, truth be told, they didn’t like what doing the right thing would look like. A landmark high court ruling for Mabo pointed the way. The land was not in fact unoccupied as stipulated under the assumption that since there were no fences, nobody wanted it… you couldn’t write home about it.

Greed and a lust for power has driven mankind since the days of nimrod and his legacy has seemingly just had a victory with the stolen seat of the highest office, in the most powerful nation on earth. It’s not just in Australia that the lust for power has stolen the rights of the many for the benefit of the few.

So we’ll see how it goes. I, for one, think that such madness cannot last.

History, of course, has its lessons and the bad guys nearly always seem to overlook this fact. Gandhi’s famous quote rings out, “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall… think of it always.”

These days we seem short of heroes, as the mob rails out against imperfection. A bloke could make blind men see and raise the dead to life and still be found wanting for some small matter or other.




The Obstacle is the Way

"The obstacle is the way." I get how annoying that sounds, even obtuse… and if I tell you it comes from the Stoics, even more so s...