Monday, 20 June 2011

Fathers Day


Today is Fathers day.

Here is a picture of Dad and me looking really happy .

Sadly, my Dad is no longer with us because he died from cancer and this makes me feel sad.

Todays is Fathers day.

Here is picture of my Dads Dad ...

Sadly, my Dad never got to be happy with his Dad because he stopped being friends with him.

According to Pops, Jim SNR was a womaniser and a bully. He would often disappear for days on end and then show up like nothing had happened. Dad told me that  he was only aged 5 or 6 when the war started between his parents. Dad became so scared that he would leave the house and walk the streets. One time he returned to an empty house. Supposedly, Jim SNR had told a neighbour that they were moving home and emptied the house of all its contents leaving the family with nothing. 

My Dad once told me that he didn't know what a normal loving father/ son relationship was. He was never cuddled or shown affection, and grew up feeling unwanted. Consequently Jim JNR never forgave his father for all his wrongdoings and their relationship fell apart like a tatty old sweater.

For many years, Dad and me didn't see eye to eye either.The road became dark, twisted  and lonely. Then one day the pain became so unbearable that I was forced to my knees. I made the unwavering decision to heal my relationship with my father.  Rather than shrink away from truth I chose to walk towards it - peeling away unresolved layers of  guilt and shame along the way, which I  had unconsciously been carrying for my father and his father before him. This toxic guilt and shame  had become so tightly wrapped around my heart that I had become cut off from my emotions. Eventually, I succumbed and what revealed itself was a hurting child walking wounded - and that child was the embodiment of father and son. I held the child closely and in that moment my relationship with my father was transformed and healed. I had remembered love.

This inner work I have undertaken is radical because it goes against the worldly grain. The butterfly effect states that a butterfly flapping its wings somewhere in the jungles of Asia can eventually start a tornado in Texas. When I changed my mind about my father the wings of love started to flap and  I experienced a miracle. Through having the courage to forgive I was able to give to my father the love I thought that I was denied as a child. We held each other and cried - father and son. And in that moment the tear in the sacred fabric started to reweave itself and the way forward became easier.

 Incidentally, today is the first time I have ever seen a picture of my grandfather. In life he may have had a hard shell but beneath the surface he was  a broken man unable to tell his son that he loved him because he didn't feel loved in his own life.
Today is  Fathers day ...
Only the love remains.

 ' We must be about our Fathers business which means the business of our Source which is love and love only. Anything loving that we do or think contributes to the healing of humanity. Any turning away from love literally holds back the planet . We are perched on the brink of a miraculous transition from the ways of fear to the ways of love.' - Marianne Williamson

Around the time Pops was diagnosed with ’that lung cancer’ a lady contacted the family saying that she was my fathers half sister. She was on a heroines journey attempting to retrace her family roots to regain her sense of self. Sadly, Hazel never got the opportunity to meet her brother before he died. But since then she has been embraced wholeheartedly by our family. I pray that the work I have done with my father allows her to be closer to him,and that her heart is repaired, even though she never met her own Father and half brothers and sisters. Auntie Hazel - I dedicate this post to you.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


When Dad died from 'that lung cancer' it had a massive impact on my relationship with death which resulted in me asking the following question:

 'If I only had 104 days left to live how would I live my life?

I decided to find out and embarked on an epic 104 day journey into unfamiliar territory. This required copious amounts of courage, and combined support from both friends and family. Ell, Brooke, Julia, Cecilia - Thankyou so much - for all your kind words and support - I don't think I could have done it without you.

An Experiment In Conscious Dying challenged my thinking beyond anything I had previously encountered.( probably because I had successfully surrounded myself with enough assorted paraphernalia to avoid ever having to face the the inevitable - my death) In the beginning, the path seemed dark, twisty and wide as I clung desperately to the sides of familiarity. However, as the experiment unfolded I began to trust the process, and instead of seeking specialness in the little things outside of me, I gave myself permission to sit quietly in the emptiness and gradually the path grew light, straight and narrow revealing a life filled with passion, excitement and possibility.

On the afternoon of the final day of the experiment I sat quietly on a solitary rock on Shoreham beach. With death a mere pebbles throw away my heart was suprisingly filled with gratitude. I sipped green tea from Dad's old thermos flask weeping at the profound beauty of it all; the peaceful sound of the big sea ebbing and flowing, the seagulls chaotically diving headfirst into the water, the sun setting on the distant horizon. I could sense the edges of my heart melting. Today was definately a good day to die.

As midnight approached Ell and me looked into each others eyes one last time, and gave thanks for our time together and the love we had shared. Saying goodbye to Ell was profoundly moving. I imagined what it may have been like for Dad as he said his final goodbye to Mum. Then, I took one final look around the room before closing my eyes and surrendering to the Great Heart. Ell kept me company for awhile as she guided me through the last breath meditation. And when the moment came for me to take the last breath, my arms naturally fell to my sides and I effortlessly followed the light.

And from the vanishing point on the most distant horizon, watch as something slowly approaches. It is the first breath of life.
And with that breath arrives a new body. Notice in the desires that arise as that new incarnation approaches the dimming of the light that precedes the point of forgetfulness. Attempt to stay alert through the process of re-entry.
Each breath the first.
Each breath completely new.
Taking birth once again.
Born  back into a body to examine what was born. And what never dies.
Taking birth for the benefit of all sentient beings.
The light body reinhabiting a heavy body. Renaimating life and the possiblity of an awareness so clear it obviates any potential for the kind of stillbirth that lasts a lifetime. Born to serve and explore. To deepen the mercy of whatever world we find ourselves in.
Each breath so precious, allowing the light body to remain a moment more within its earthen vessel.
Taking birth into this world to discover the healing we have so long sought. And to sing the song we have been learning since we sat beneath the bo tree or hung from the cross or looked into the eyes of our dying child. No one said it would be easy, only fruitful.
Each breath the first, the last, the only breath available, to carry us beyond our forgetfulness into the scintillanting center of the living truth. - Stephen Levine

It's been a few days since the experiment ended and the path once again appears dark, twisty and wide. I have awkwardly returned to earth feeling self conscious and paranoid - nailed to a cross of my own making. The ego tells me that uncertainty is the enemy and spends it's days looking for love in all the wrong places - for bigger and better ways to stay in control. I have been scurrying around looking for scraps of safety outside of myself: downloading music; excessive eating; weight training and masturbating - acceptable escape routes to help numb the pain. Perhaps, this is the point of forgetfulness that Stephen Levine speaks about in his book A Year To Live. 

On a positive note...

If there is anything  An Experiment In Conscious Dying  taught me it is this; there is no-thing comfortable about living half a life. God did not make a mistake when he created me.

 It's perfectly safe to let go and listen to the whispers, trusting that I am supported unconditionally by the love of God.


Wednesday, 26 January 2011


I am privileged to have been asked to write the closing words - the blogituary - for Nige's sacred journey into the heart of life and death. I have not said all that there is to say, but I have said what I felt needed saying, and that is enough.

On January 24th 2011, Nige Atkinson completed his 104 day long Experiment in Conscious Dying. Before you read on, worry not - he has not died! (I cannot tell you how relieved I was to wake up next to him on day 105 and see his beautiful self breathing! What a remarkable work of art the lungs are to house life so delicately, yet so essentially.)

"Each breath the first, the last."
Stephen Levine

It has been an incredible honour to walk alongside Nige, to witness him on this journey, and to find myself having a parallel, personal experience with death over the last few months. I am sure there are a number of readers of this blog who feel the same. As death touches all those who love a person, so too does consciously dying, it would appear.

Nige's decision to take the 104 day long journey towards a conscious death - a journey that his dad took in 2009 when he found out about 'that cancer' - set his feet firmly on a path that brought just about the sum total of the human experience to him in a short time span.

In examining death, and in fearlessly facing the prospect of his own expiration, he encountered experience after experience, emotion after emotion, forgiveness after forgiveness, eventually arriving at the Still Point, able to let go, able to say goodbye, ready to greet death and the forgetfulness that a new beginning brings.

"Opening up to the pain of death is one of the most mysterious blessings of life."
Marianne Williamson

One of the sentences I often heard him speak was, "If I only had 74 / 13/ 5 (and so on) days to live, how differently would I live my life today?"

Towards the end of the experiment, this was a question that he fired in my direction more than once! How, he challenged, would I live my life knowing that he was going to die in just a few fleeting days. What a question!, my ego ranted.

Unbeknownst to me, the possibility of Nige dying in a rapidly decreasing number of days had become genuinely frighteningand I wrestled with a strange mix of thoughts and emotions swirling and whirling and whooshing around inside me, all boiling down to a single thought: "Please don't leave me!"

My own greatest fear, met through his experiment. What a blessing.

What a question, then, for all of us. What a question! This is perhaps one of the greatest learnings that I witnessed emerge in Nige from this experiment: if we each lived our lives conscious of death's inevitable arrival, conscious of its complete lack of predictability, conscious of our eventual departure from this heavy body, how differently would we choose to live? 

How differently would we choose to think?
Fear or love - which do you choose?

How differently would we love?
Fear or love - which do you choose?

How much more willing would we be to leave no stone unturned so that when Death greeted us, we could say: 

"Yes. Today is a good day to die, for all things in my life are present."
Fear or love - which do you choose?

Without reservation, I can say that Nige gave himself fully to this experiment, and to answering these questions. I know that you know that - you were there. You read the blog posts. You saw the images. You said your final words to him, just as I did. You mirrored the respectful sacredness with which he entered into this experience.

In doing so, you have been an essential part of a seminal journey of healing. On behalf of Nige, and on behalf of Jim - ever present and greatly missed - I want to express heartfelt gratitude to life, for flowing through us; to death, for always being a hair's breadth away; and to the Great Giver of life, to Spirit, which flows through all things and bestows miracles upon all of us.

"Everything that comes from love is a miracle."
A Course in Miracles

May our eyes see the miracles that we are, and may we live each day ready to greet death, consciously aware of the magnificent lessons that it would have us learn while we live, so that we may remember that in truth:

"Only the Love is real in any situation."
A Course in Miracles

Monday, 24 January 2011

Journey's End

       'The journey closes, ending at the place where it began. No trace of it remains.' - ACIM

A Good Day To Die

DAY  1

Today is a good day to die for all the things of my life are present.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Dear Elloa ...


Once upon a lifetime a person comes along and touches the heart so profoundly that we catch a glimpse of heaven on earth. From the first moment I saw you I have loved you dearly. Together, we have walked the path of the open heart and showed up for love, bravely surrendering our deepest wounds to the light for healing.

 'God heals the world two by two'.

My beloved Elloa ...

Thankyou for being a beautiful soul, mighty companion, best friend and lover. Thankyou for your courageous spirit, gigantic heart, brutal honesty, passion, grace and power. Thankyou for the joy that you have brought into my life. Thankyou for holding my hand. Thankyou for this Love.

It has been an honour to walk with you on this great and holy adventure.

This is the beginning, not an end. Our bond is stronger than death.

May your heart stay open.

May you always follow the light.

Your friend goes with you. You are not alone.

I shall watch over you and protect you.

Till we meet again.

 I love you,

Nige XXX

'You do not walk alone. Gods angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure that I will never leave you comfortless.' - ACIM



Saturday, 22 January 2011

Finding My Lotus Before The Winter

 DAY 4

As the moment of death approaches I can feel myself trembling as I stare at the picture album of my life and all that it has been. 42 years of shit and sunshine flash before my eyes. Did I find my lotus before the winter, or will I die with my dream unrealized?

When Dad was diagnosed with 'that lung cancer' he was dragged kicking and screaming to his knees. In the beginning, he struggled to leave behind the familiar life he once knew. (See below for a photograph of Dad looking grumpy as he set out on the path to find his lotus before the winter.)

However, in the 104 days that followed Pops found himself walking the road less travelled, and as the days progressed, the edges of his heart began to soften and expand,and slowly but surely everything superficial  faded away to reveal the only thingy worth remembering in this lifetime ... LOVE.  (See below for a photograph of Dad looking happy after finding his lotus before the winter.)

The mind does nothing but talk and ask questions, and search for meanings.
The heart does not talk, does not ask questions, does not search for meanings.
It silently moves toward God and surrenders itself to Him.
Francis of Assis


Friday, 21 January 2011

Looking Through The Eyes of Love


I'm going to look twice at you ...

... Until I see the Christ in You.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Letting Go ..

DAY  6

As death approaches I sense a hard, knot in my belly as the ego tries desperately hard to convince me to abandon this ridiculous test and get back to familiarity. Mr Ego has advised me to keep busy to help numb out any feelings of pain. Everything from overeating to training to studying. It promises heaven and yet in it's relentless quest to protect itself condemns me to hell.

I went for a quiet walk in the woods and sat on my favourite wooden bench overlooking the pond; a silent place to say goodbye to all I have been in this life; teacher of God, workshop facilitator, writer, personal trainer, bodybuilder, counsellor, actor, singer, meditator, photographer, tea maker, fiance, son, brother, uncle and friend. 

A silent place to grieve the simple things; like holding hands with Ell, drinking green tea, listening to birdsong, riding the bike, preparing for a part in a play, meditating in the space between the bed and the door, walking in nature, driving Winston down a winding road, blogging, downloading a favourite album, singing in the shower, weight training, and eating melted cheese on rye toast topped with spring onions. 

In 6 days time all this will be erased in a single sigh.

My name-GONE.

My face-GONE.

My reputation-GONE;

and  I will float free in my original spaciousness.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Forgotten Song


Listen, - perhaps you catch a hint of a ancient state not quite forgotten; dim perhaps, and yet not altogether unfamiliar, like a song whose name is long forgotten, and the circumstances in which you heard completely unremembered. Not the whole song has stayed with you, but just a little wisp of melody, attached not to a person or a place or anything particular. But you remember, from just this little part, how lovely was the song, how wonderful the setting where you heard it, and how you loved those who were there and listened with you.
The notes are nothing. Yet you have kept them with you, not for themselves, but as a soft reminder of what would make you weep if you remembered how dear it was to you. You could remember, yet you are afriad, believing you would lose the world you learned since then. And yet you know that nothing in the world you learned is half so dear as this. Listen,and see if you remember an ancient song you knew so long ago, and held more dear than any melody you taught yourself to cherish since.
Beyond the body, beyond the sun and stars, past everything you see and yet somehow familiar, is an arc of golden light that stretches as you look into a great and shining circle. And all the circle fills with light  before your eyes. The edges of the circle disappear, and what is in it is no longer contained at all. The light expands and covers everything, extending to infinity forever shining with no break or limit anywhere. Within it everything is joined in perfect continuity. Nor is it possible to image that anything could be outside, for there is nowhere that the light is not. - ACIM

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Angel of Death - Pt 2


Supposedly, when a person is close to leaving his or her body an Angel of Death appears, and when this Angel appears it means that it is time to go. During Dad's last few hours on earth my big siss mentioned that he kept looking towards the foot of the bed, which leads me to believe that the Dark Angel may have been in the room.

I sincerely believe that the Angel of Death is Gods most understanding angel.

I also think that  the Angel of Death  gives us a tiny window of time to tie up any loose ends, and say our goodbyes. Dad spent his final hours saying goodbye to everyone he loved; both friends and family before  taking his last breath and leaving this world behind.

The nurses in the hospice where Dad spent his final days had no interest in saving his life; on the contrary, their main focus was to gently help him prepare to make the final journey. I truly believe that these nurses may have an intimate relationship with the Angel of Death, and an understanding of the delicate way death unfolds.

As day turned to night, death entered through the tips of Dad's fingers, gently coaxing his soul from the body, out through the top of the head.

When Mum spoke with me the following day on the phone, she said that witnessing Dad take his final breath was breathtakingly beautiful.

I pray that when my time comes - which is very soon soon, as An Experiment in Conscious Dying draws to a close - that the Angel of Death is as nice to me as he was to Dad, but that he doesn't take me with him on this occasion when I do my final last breath meditation. However, if he does, at least I'll have spent the last 104 days preparing for it.

'I loose the world from all I thought it was' - ACIM

Monday, 17 January 2011

Many Happy (Non) Returns


Today is my 42nd birthday.

This will be my final illusory birthday in this particular incarnation. 42 years ago on the 16th of Janurary 1969 I returned to earth in the form of a bouncing baby boy called Nige. What did I come here to learn? Well, I just have to take a closer look at challenges I have attempted to overcome in this lifetime - losing a testicle, bullying, sexual abuse - to see my current curriculum take form. This lifetime has been a fascinating adventure in for-getting and remembering  I have learnt that there is no middle ground, no in-between. To choose one is to let go of the other. In other words; it is impossible to be in both places at the same time. In my limited experience; forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door to remembering.  It doesn't matter if you are aged 6 or 60, the same guidelines apply to everyone, and in all situations.

Here are just some of the sparkly highlights from my 42nd birthday..

Started the day with meditation, prayers and acknowledgments.

Recieved a beautiful handmade birthday card from Ell. This is what it looked like .. 

I wept on seeing this and thought to myself;  if more parents gave cards like this to their children on birthdays the world would be a better place to live.

My beloved Ell  also gave me a lovely gift, wrapped up in pink paper with a fancy bow; a dictionary and thesaurus to help me learn new words like inimitable -which means impossible to immitate.

Rustled up millet flakes for breakfast with raisins, figs, apple and goats milk. Yummie.

Made a windy road trip in Winston to Marwell Zoo. Home to over 250 exotic and endangered species, in beautiful surroundings.

Said hello to a friendly Humbolt penguin performing aqua aerobics. ( Aqua aerobics is an ideal way to improve the health of the heart and lungs and burn off some calories without suffering excessive wear and tear on the body.)

Connected with the Okapi.;The Okapi is a timid animal which lives in the densest parts of the forests of Central Africa. I am still baffled as to why they had the radio playing in the enclosure.  Maybe, the sound of soothing music was to help relieve the Okapi of  painful memories of loss of habitat, friends and family in the deep forests of Central Africa.

Ell cried when she saw the giraffes. Giraffes are very tall with long necks which is proably very useful for seeing an angry human with a gun from afar and may help save a life.

We shared a feta salad for lunch and listened to the birds singing.

Had an honest chat with Ell over a cup of berry tea.

Met lots of little people filled with wonder.

Ell and me shared the disabled loo at the same time and came out to a crowd of queing people, who looked at us like we had been doing zoo sex.

Ate dins at a pub in Arundel- chicken and leek pie with mash that looked suspiciously like chips.

Made pictures using crayons

Had a wobbly moment  when I started to feel  birthday pressure to make this day the best one ever. Fortunately, Ell was on hand to remind me me that I am innocent.

Crawled into bed, snuggled up with Ell,  and had a catnap.

Ell gave me a birthday massage which hurt like heaven.

Taught Ell how to sit up straight and raise both arms over her head when having a poo to help open up her vowels. According to Karen Kingston in her bestselling book Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui - 'if your colon is clear , your body thrives and your life works. If your colon is clogged , it will affect everything you do.'

Retired for bed thoroughly exhausted but happy.

 All in all, it was a smashing birthday

Friday, 14 January 2011

Beyond All Limits

DAY 11

As a bee seeks nectar from all kinds of flowers
seek teachings everywhere.
Like a deer that finds a quiet place to graze
seek seclusion to digest all that you have gathered.
Like a mad one beyond all limits
go where you please and live like a lion
completely free of all fear. 

Dzogchen Tantra

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Last Will And 'Teddyment'

DAY 12

Earlier today I read the following in Cecilias ' Adventures Of A Year To Love' blog ...

'And as that moment arrives, have you said what you want to the people in your life? Have you cleaned up any heaviness in your heart? Have you planned for your service, your belongings and your body? Have you resolved your fear around dying and death? Can you die in this moment with ease in your Being? Are you ready?'

S**t! I hadn't thought about writing a 'Last Will And Testament' or leaving instructions for the funeral. (A will or testament in a legal declaration by which a person names, one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death.)  I was hoping this bit of the experiment would quietly slip by unnoticed. Perhaps I could just die , and let the relatives sort out my junk for me and divide it up amongst themselves. Failing that, they could just dump it all by the side of the road. (Fly-tipping is the term used for illegally dumping waste in this country). This could be likened to cow-tipping, however, it might  be worth adding that pushing over sleeping cows is hardly similar to illegally dumping a dead mans possessions by the side of the road.

Fortunately, I dejunk on a regular basis so the clutter is minimal(ish). Hopefully, this will make things easier for people when I die. To be perfectly honest, people have more than enough clutter in their lives already without me adding to it. Nevertheless, there are a few remaining worldy possessions which I intend to pass on when I am finished.

'At their best, material possessions provide a link with the past, and a message to the future.'  - Mike George

I have started to make a list... Here are just a few of the things up for grabs ...

1 x A Course in Miracles (slightly battered)
1 x box of Green Tea ( full of antixodiants)
1 x Car (Winston)
1 x Teddy Bear - (known as Teddy to his friends)
1 x Shamanic Drum ( useful for annoying neighbours)
1 x Computer   
1 x Rose Quartz
1 x Wedding Ring ( Dad's)
1 x Nikon D70s SLR Camera
1 x Condor Touring Bike (Harry)
1 x Sweater ( Dad's)
1 x Stone Buddah Statue
1 x Green Jade
DJ Equipment
1 x Framed picture of Lance Armstrong
7 x pairs of underpants (one for each day)
1 x Rebel Without A Cause - DVD - ( Starring James Dean)

I haven't quite decided who will get what just yet. Lets just say its a work in progress. On reflection, I might leave the underpants to  Nick - the angel mechanic. He could use them as rags to wipe his oily hands clean between jobs. I will probably leave  'Teddy' to Ell because he will be need a good home when I am gone, and she has good rapport with him, having supported him in teaching Teddy Yoga. ( See right for a photo of Ell practicing the art of Teddy Yoga.)

I still find it ridiculous that I  have spent a big chunk of this lifetime living with the dreaded clutteritis, creating distractions and defenses, causing myself to feel enslaved, and yet somehow when the time comes to leave, I won't be able to take any of it with me.

Onward ...

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The 'Last Breath' Meditation

DAY 14

Recently, I have been contemplating the art of dying consciously using a last breath meditation from Stephen Levines book ' A Year To Live'. This business of 'conscious dying' may at first seem like a morbid obsession, but during  the last few weeks I  have discovered the opposite; that fear of death begets fear of life.

Seeing Dad's body at the funeral parlour helped me to get a better grasp on the temporary nature of life in a body. I was standing over a wooden box staring at the empty shell which Dad had inhabited for 79 years, before abandoning in favour of the light.  

 I take each breath as though it were the last. And at the end of each and every out breath there is a moment of stillness. Holding onto nothing. Letting go of the last breath, edges melting, letting the light body float free, dissolving into the vastness of space.

Making the decision to face the  fear of death has opened my eyes to living, perhaps more fully than ever before. 
In the beginning , I found myself resisting the process, clinging to sameness- even though I knew it was holding me back. Fortunately, as the practice of dying has deepened, the dark edges are softening, and I am experiencing flashes of  unwavering clarity - revealing the universal love that connects us all.

It's safe to let go and surrender into what is.

The Holy Spirit leads me unto Christ, and where else would I go? What need have I but to awake in him. - ACIM


Monday, 10 January 2011

In Beauty May I Walk

DAY 15

In beauty
may I walk
All day long
may I walk
Through the returning seasons
may I walk
Beautifully will I possess again
Beautifully birds
Beautifully joyful birds
On the trail marked with pollen
may I walk
With grasshoppers about my feet
may I walk
With dew about my feet
may I walk
With beauty may I walk
With beauty before me
may I walk
With beauty behind me
may I walk
With beauty above me
may I walk
With beauty all around me
may I walk
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, lively,
may I walk
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, living again,
may I walk,
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.


Friday, 7 January 2011


DAY 18

If I or any other man has ever done anything to hurt you or offend you, and for the manifold transgressions against women, you and every other, I apologize.
Please forgive me and please forgive us.
If you have ever felt demeaned, uncherished, or your womanhood betrayed in any way;
If I or any other man has failed to see the light of your sex and the brilliance of your female spirit, on behalf of all of us, I am so sorry.
May the beauty of women and the power of women and the vision of women now burst forth in our world and in our consciousness.
May the mind of man be healed
May the heart of woman repair.
I commit to you and to God that I am, and shall be, a man who sees your value.
I see your light.
God bless you and your sisters, our mothers and our daughters.
I shall teach my brothers to honour you.
May we never go back.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Boys To Men

DAY 19

Growing up, Dad was my first experience of God. He was my first friend, my teacher, I watched his every move trying to emulate him at every opportunity.

Sadly, things started to turn sour between me and Pops during my early teens when I discovered that he wasn't God afterall - but a human being. This could be likened to the day I discovered that Father Christmas wasn't real. I felt dazed and confused. I ended up blaming him for my pain, believing that he had abandoned me, and spent the next few years walking the solitary path of fear.

 Through the ages, men have committed dreadful historical atrocities. Idi Amin, Pot Pol, Josef Stalin, Osama Bin Laden, Adolf Hitler to name a few. Sadly, men continue to carry this collective guilt for the perceived sins of all men. We carry a gnawing suspicion of who we are and as a result  become a shadow of ourselves. We are taught to be tough ; to compete, and to feel nothing. In my experience; there is nothing more frightening and dangerous than a wounded boy trapped in a man's body.

 'This world is a picture of the crucifixion of Gods son. And until you realise that Gods son cannot be crucified, this is the world you will see.' - ACIM

It was only during time spent in Canada in 93/94 that I discovered a book called  A Course in Miracles, found the courage to participate in a life transforming workshop called The Awakening, and decided to become a teacher of God. It was like learning to walk all over again. I was determined  to lay down my sword and make friends with my wounds. Initially, I was filled with hulk-like fury but eventually this fell by the wayside, to reveal feelings of guilt and shame, and beneath this was the essence of a beautiful man waiting to be remembered for what he absolutely is.

I started to study the Course, and that Christmas returned to England to conduct a series of interviews with my family, in an attempt to discover more about myself. The results were nothing short of miraculous.

I found myself sitting in a room with a man who as a boy had been thrown aside like a tatty old sweater, by a Father who according to Dad emptied the house of all its contents and disappeared leaving the family with nothing. He had to grow up quickly, often looking after his brother and sister whilst his mother went out to work in the factory. Dad always believed something was missing in his life, that he was robbed of a childhood.

Suddenly, the walls of separation came crashing down, and I found myself weeping  for this broken man- for all men.

Healing tears.

That's how me and Dad became friends again.

This decision to step out of my comfort zone, and make the journey from fear to love saved my life - and my relationship with my Father. As Dad prepared to leave his body I was able to say the most important words of all 'I Love You', and even though he couldn't say those words back because he was too sick to speak, I know in my heart that he understood with perfect certainty.

In 19 days I will die knowing that I made a difference to my Fathers life, by simply reminding him that he was enough; that it was perfectly safe to open his heart, feel all his feelings; to laugh and cry and to simply be the kind and gentle man he was born to be.

'Somewhere between the mask of being nice but invisible, and the armor of being right but alone, is the face of a man being truly honest, truly certain and truly loving.' - Duane O'kane

May God give us a healed vision of what it  truly means to be a man

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

'Thank you'

DAY  20

I think that the dying pray at the last not 'please', but 'thank you', as a guest thanks his host at the door - Annie Dillard

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Side By Side

DAY 21

courageous hearts
- a single 
silky web

- born again
in you.

of disconnection
true connection.

Side by side
we walk
as one.
the Great Heart

- Mighty Companions.

To my one true love... Elloa Barbour.