In late 2018, I decided I needed to learn more about business as I was running a small restaurant group and needed to fill in a few gaps in my skillset. I also felt overwhelmed and had experienced a series of – for me – significantly stressful events in the course of the business operation. I was working 80+ hours a week with no days off (and have done for 5 years now). I was not in my happy place but resigned myself to the fact that it was “just business” and that’s what being an entrepreneur was all about.
But something gnawed at my soul. I saw other entrepreneurs leading very different lives. I watched clips on YouTube from leading coaches who emphasised life doesn’t have to be this way. They had had great epiphanies in their time and now lived a very different, very positive, abundant life. This was the framework for My Story and how this journey and blog began. I also met an old man who ran his own business and was complaining that he had not had a holiday in 46 years and had to be in work every day “because staff.” I did not want to become that man.
I have read a lot of books this year, nearly 50 in total – more when you count re-reads. I have signed up for a number of online business courses, though these often led me to more reading as I needed to better understand aspects of the teaching. You can read my relevant book list here under the Long Reads section (or my complete 2019 list on Goodreads for more diversity).
What did I discover?
Manifestation & Everything is as it is Supposed to Be
I bounced between psychology, philosophy, spirituality and a mixture of the three. Some books lead me to others, and more appeared on the horizon at just the right time. There seemed to be great synchronicity at work and, as I had read about the theory of abundance, the law of attraction, et al, I realised that there was a fundamental truth in how the universe operates.
I used to be a very spiritual person. I looked into many ancient belief systems ranging from Native American, Norse, Druidism and other Pagan beliefs, various flavours of Buddhism, Tai Chi, Astrology (Western and Chinese) and read a number of esoteric philosophies including Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, Dion Fortune, FC Happold, WE Butler, JJ Hurtak and Francis Barrett. It was all part of my inner quest to understand how the universe worked and why we are here. I coupled this with scientific study at school and tried to rationalise the beliefs of the various systems with what we could prove.
But since early in the 2000s, my life had turned to a more mundane existence. I had been encouraged to dispose of my ‘nonsense’ and focus on running my various businesses. More and more time was consumed by the day-to-day busyness and I felt I had become more and more disenfranchised. As I near the end of the second decade of the new Millenium, almost 20 years from what I now see as the start of my internal rot, I have awoken to my old beliefs and reconnected with my own soul, connected with how I believe things should be.
Since rediscovering my inner spirituality, I have noticed an acceleration of synchronicities in my life, and more abundance is appearing almost effortlessly. I do more meditation, reflection and visualisation and realise what I want out of life. As Gabby Bernstein explains in her books, the state of acceptance to the universal truth allows the energy of the universe to do its thing. Sometimes, you can set an intention and if it feels totally true within you then it will come to pass – although the timeframe may be uncertain. If you feel stuck, open it up to the universe and things will become unstuck – one way or another. I have noticed problems resolving themselves and situations transforming without being forced, sometimes in unexpected ways. I even won a USD 1500 voucher for a full-week entrepreneur conference in Bali – I just need to manifest the remaining USD 3000 plus airfare and I’m good to go!
My Story is Not Their Story
My story, my journey, is unique to me. I have certain qualities, skills and gifts which I was uniquely born with. This combination of talents doesn’t exist in others. You could put it down to astrology, or just the great coincidence of biology selecting and activating my DNA in my particular way. This does not make me a bad person, or stupid, or unskilled, or wrong (as others have told me). It just means I might not be a good fit for their world, but a perfect fit for mine and others that should be aligned with me.
I am reminded of the lyrics of the Nightwish track The Greatest Show on Earth:
“After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with colour, bountiful with life.
Within decades we must close our eyes again.
Isn’t it a noble and enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it?”
“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly, those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of those stupefying odds, it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?”
I don’t need to give up my dreams for what others want. I don’t need to do what they expect me to do out of a misplaced sense of duty to be nice. I need to be me, be authentic to myself and become the person I was meant to be.
My story is about stories – I like to write, I like movies, and I used to run theatrical events. I enjoy business and am always seeking to learn new things. I like training and speaking – offering my knowledge to others so they may learn a new perspective. I like nature and have great concern for the environment – everything is out of balance, there is little respect for the planet.
I have taken back my inner strength, reconnected with my source and have reset boundaries. I have found a serenity that has not been there for a very long time. I have found my intuition and reconnected with my emotions. It’s been a bumpy ride and there is still more ground to cover, but I feel more whole again.
I know there are things I will tolerate and things I won’t tolerate. When people cross the line, the situation has to change as I am no longer prepared to be that guy who just rolls over and does everything for everybody. It’s exhausting and always ends in failure. This is a tough area as I still find I fall into this trap because it was a deep subconscious pattern, but progress is good.
The Lessons Click Into Place
Through all the self-help books I have read this year there has been a common theme. Each coach puts a spin on the content in their own way, and each has resonated with me in different ways (see Why Self-Help Books Don’t Work and Self-Help Books: Further Thoughts on the Journey). As I read each one, I built up a momentum for change. Each lesson, with its different perspective but similar core message, slowly rewired my unconscious self-limiting beliefs.
Not everything has been rewired (yet) but the change is deep and is rippling out into other areas of my life. I am more engaging with friends and co-workers and am stepping out to seek more networking opportunities. I am taking more time to think things through, rather than shooting from the hip. I launched separate websites for my writing and my restaurant knowledge, as well as this site to help you on your journey. I also set up my StarNow profile to look for acting, voice and modelling work. I feel nervous yet excited.
Here’s to an amazing 2020! It’s going to be fabulous in so many ways I have imagined, and maybe a few I haven’t. The end of 2019 feels like the closing of a very downward decade, but the start of 2020 feels like the beginning of a magical journey. My inner child’s hope is renewed. Here’s to your journey in 2020 and beyond!