Be Mindful Where you Start From


There's an old Irish joke about a stranger who approaches a fellow in a rural village and asks for directions to a nearby pub. 'Well now,"says the local, scratching his head, "I wouldn't start out from here if I were you....."

I find myself having a similar thought when I listen to media interviewers asking what can be done to solve what appears to be a growing 'mental health crisis'. I get the feeling that the interviewer, the politicians, and the experts alike are all resigned to the fact that - no matter what we do - things will most likely continue to get worse rather than better.

As the joke illustrates, where you start out from makes a difference, and in certain respects it makes a whole world of difference. The problem we're up against in relation to mental health is NOT a lack of resources or a shortage of skilled, caring people who want to help. Nor is it a question of people needing 'more treatment'.

You have to back up a little further and realise that everything that is currently being done in the mental health field is a reflection of the prevailing model or paradigm. This model consists of a set of mostly unspoken assumptions and beliefs about psychological and emotional health & illness. There are certain things that we have collectively come to believe about mental health, and all of our treatments and interventions are based upon - and limited by - these so-called truths.

It is widely assumed in the psychiatric field, for example, that:-

  • Some people are born mentally healthy, but others are genetically predisposed to be mentally ill

  • Mental and emotional illness is largely a biological problem caused by an excess or deficiency of certain chemicals

  • There are certain psychological conditions that are permanent, and the best a person can hope for is to learn how to cope with and manage their symptoms

In the wider field of psychology and psychotherapy, it is generally assumed that:

  • Childhood trauma and past events are the main cause of psychological suffering

  • There are numerous 'stress factors' in people's lives that make them feel bad

  • Healing takes a long time and a lot of 'processing' of a person's issues

  • People need to practice techniques and go back into their past in order to feel better

The most widely-recommended treatments such as pharmaceutical drugs and cognitive behavioural therapy make perfect sense based on the above assumptions about 'what is wrong' with people who are suffering psychologically and emotionally. But what if those assumptions are fundamentally untrue? If we were to think differently about mental health, we would automatically treat people differently, and it is quite conceivable that we would experience very different outcomes as a result.

What Sydney Banks introduced to the world in the mid 1970's was a radical new perspective on mental health that is only now beginning to be more widely recognized. Just take a moment to reflect on what Syd Banks realised through his own direct experience:-

  • Every single person has innate mental health that can never be lost (although it can be temporarily obscured)

  • Only a person's own thoughts in the moment can create their feelings

  • The past can only affect a person to the degree that it continues to feature in their own thinking

  • We are only ever one thought away from happiness, or sadness, or any other experience

  • People can recover their mental and emotional well-being quickly and easily via insightful understanding of the simple principles behind their psychological functioning

Now, imagine for a moment what a mental health service might look like if it were to be based on these kinds of assumptions. What might be possible if we were to start out from here? I can tell you from my own experience that we would have every reason to be hopeful and optimistic. And we would see results on a daily basis that would be considered miraculous or 'unbelievable' from the 'old paradigm' viewpoint.

When we begin with a presumption that there is something wrong with a person, that they are somehow 'broken' or lacking something essential, we are embarking on an endless path of 'trying to fix and make things better' for them. When we can see that people are inherently mentally healthy right behind their psychological and emotional suffering, we start out from a different place. We can offer them real hope and have total faith in their capacity to come home to their own innate wisdom and wellbeing.

Robert Davidson - A Personal Tribute by Ian Watson


The death of a person who has played a significant role in your life creates an opportunity for reflection, recollection of times spent together and appreciation for the gifts they shared. On hearing of the recent death of Robert Davidson, I wanted to share a few personal memories of this unique individual who touched so many lives.

I first met Robert in 1985 when I enrolled on the new full-time homeopathy training in London that he and Barbara Harwood were just about to launch. I told him I only had enough money to pay for one term, having saved up a year's fees for the part-time training, and then switching at the last minute when I discovered there was a full-time option available. "Don't worry about it", he said, "if you sign up, the money will come". Little did I know that my training with Robert had already begun, and it was going to be about a lot more than homeopathy!

As pioneer groups tend to be, we were a boisterous and unruly bunch, and Robert was reveling in the opportunity to whip us into shape. He told us right from the start: "I'm not training you to be practitioners, I'm training you to be teachers". He was deeply concerned about the state of homeopathy and the direction it was taking - trying to gain recognition and approval on the one hand, and getting caught up in ideological battles about the 'right way' to practice on the other hand.

Robert could see that in the short to medium term, it was going to be a difficult period for homeopathy, and he wanted to plant something in our minds that could withstand the coming storms. At that time, he spoke with reverence about his mentor and teacher Thomas Maughan, who, as well as being Chief Druid, had nurtured a small group of students and turned them into homeopaths at a time when it was almost a lost art, at least in the U.K. There was a sense of Thomas Maughan having kept alive a barely-flickering flame of truth, and Robert felt a kind of moral responsibility to carry that flame forward so that it could ignite a future generation of healers and homeopaths.

One thing that was both shocking and admirable about Robert was his total disregard for other people's opinions. He could be charming, rude, arrogant, contentious, provocative, all in the space of twenty minutes. Most memorably, though, he was inspirational. When Robert was in full flow, you were held spellbound, and would come out of his lectures a different person, without even being able to recall what he had spoken about. He was a true visionary, who could see far beyond the everyday horizons, and he seemed to accept the inevitable isolation that goes with that role.

As I got to know Robert over time, he took me under his wing and would hire me to do all kinds of jobs in exchange for paying off my course fees. I ran the college book-store for several years, helped him to move his house and clinic, he even had me decorate his new home one time. He would tell me at short notice to pack my bag, pick me up in London in his old hand-built Bristol classic car, and we would hit the road to Devon in the evening. He would set the cruise control to 95mph, light up a big fat cigar and play ZZ-Top full-blast on the stereo all the way.

Looking back, I can see that many of the best things I learned from Robert were taught indirectly - he had a way of stretching you and opening you up that wasn't always obvious at the time and yet had a deep and lasting impact. He would, for example, suddenly stop the car and take me to what looked to me like an expensive restaurant. Reading my mind, he would hand me the menu and casually say, "Don't look at the numbers, just order what you want." And he would get a huge kick out of watching me squirm and struggle to accommodate this new, mind-blowing possibility.

It was Robert who opened my eyes to the fact that what we believe shapes our experience of life - and that we don't give up our beliefs easily, even if they are limiting or restricting us in some invisible way. It could often seem as though he wanted to be right and for everyone to think the way he thought, but I didn't experience him that way. For me, his primary concern was that people should wake the hell up and learn to think for themselves, rather than blindly following what they had been told.

As far as his approach to homeopathy was concerned, Robert was essentially eclectic and pragmatic. He thought it ludicrous that practitioners were more concerned with following the rules and practicing the 'right' way than they were with helping people to heal. To counter this tendency, he coined the term 'appropriopathy' and created a methodological framework that freed the practitioner to use whatever approach made sense to them for a given patient. My book A Guide to the Methodologies of Homeopathy could not have been written had Robert not created a context for it that didn't previously exist.

Just as Robert had intended, myself and many of my colleagues went on to become teachers and to run our own homeopathic training schools and colleges. I think it's fair to say that the template he created has been replicated throughout the U.K. and beyond, and that at least some of what he imparted to those of us who were fortunate to learn from him has continued to infuse and inform our work. His legacy is such that, even those in the homeopathic community who never met him or heard him speak are nonetheless reaping the benefit of the seeds he planted and nurtured.

I met Robert one final time quite a few years after our paths had diverged and we had gone our separate ways. Knowing of his fascination with the idea of physical immortality, I teased him on how well he was ageing. He responded by calling me something unrepeatable. He loved dark, sarcastic humour, and there was no malice in it.

We quickly got into a deep discussion about the state of homeopathy, and I mentioned some of the political things that were happening at the time. He stopped me and looked me right in the eye. "We're context warriors, Ian" he said. "It's not our job to get involved in all of that." Like many of the things he would spontaneously come out with, I wasn't at all sure I understood what he meant, but I knew that it was true.

R.I.P. Robert Davidson 1946 - 2018



Adjusting Your Sail


Things have a tendency to work out, have you noticed that? They don't always work out on our schedule, or in the way we think they should, but they work out nonetheless.

It's in the nature of life for things to work out.

This beautiful, crazy, still-unfolding miracle we call life has been working itself out since the beginning of time, and possibly even longer! Certainly, life was evolving and working things out for billions of years before humans appeared on the scene, and continues to do so in the midst of our futile attempts to put ourselves in the driving seat.

I don't know about you, but I lose sight of this sometimes. When I lose sight sight of the creative power and intelligence that's built into the very fabric of life itself, I start thinking that maybe it's my job to make things happen around here! Heck, it might even be my responsibility.

I've learned that there's a very simple and very reliable indicator that alerts me to the fact I might be imposing my own agenda on life without realizing it. I start feeling stressed. Burdened. Overwhelmed. Insecure. Overly-concerned about some outcome or other. Overly invested in someone or something needing to change.

Isn't it wonderful that life, in it's infinite intelligence, has given each of us a personal feedback monitor that tells us how we're doing in every single moment? It works something like this:

Align yourself with life's direction & purpose = you'll feel relaxed, inspired, grateful, peaceful, trusting, secure.....

Impose your own ideas on life = you'll feel stressed, burdened, anxious, insecure, overwhelmed, frustrated, undervalued.....

Now, I don't mean to suggest that there's no role for us to play in this drama, because we can't help but participate in the life-game we find ourselves embedded in. This is not about what we do or don't do - it's about the place within ourselves we do it from.

Understanding the true role that thought & feeling play in guiding you through life is a
game-changer in terms of your ability to navigate life's ups and downs with relative ease. Without this understanding, it really does look as though the only way you can relax is for life to get a makeover on your terms. We've all tried that one, and suffered the consequences.

There's a saying 'when you can't control the wind, adjust your sail'. You know when you're trying to make life go the way you want it to - you get the feedback. Life will seem like an uphill struggle, and you'll be stressing over it. Adjusting your sail means dropping your agenda. Let go of what you think should or should not be happening.

Trust life..... it really does have a way of working things out.

The Fundamental Principles of Life


Before I was introduced to the principles that lie behind the human experience, my work with individual clients and groups was inspiring and frustrating in equal measure. 

The inspiring part was seeing people change, find resources they didn't know they had and outgrow the earlier versions of themselves that no longer served them. The frustrating part was that I didn't really understand what made those changes happen when they happened, or what prevented them from happening when they didn't happen.

Sometimes it looked like a certain technique, process or conversation we had engaged in had produced the desired breakthrough. Yet just as often, that very same procedure would do absolutely nothing for somebody else, or even for the same person on a different occasion. It appeared to be somewhat random, although I had the niggling feeling that it wasn't really random at all - perhaps there was an invisible element at work that I hadn't yet factored into the equation?

It turns out that my hunch was correct - there is indeed a behind-the-scenes variable at work that can be brought into awareness with life-changing consequences. It is known as the Three Principles of Mind, Thought and Consciousness, and it is the simplest and most universally-helpful understanding of how human beings operate that I have ever come across. 

Principles, being fundamental constants, serve to explain and illuminate things that would otherwise appear to be random occurrences. They clear up confusion and conflicting ideas, providing a framework within which all kinds of phenomena suddenly start to make sense. 

Why is it, for example, that change can seem to be slow and difficult for one person, but quick and effortless for someone else? Why do certain people and situations seem to have the ability to 'push your buttons', when other people and situations have no such magical powers? How is it that we can 'get over' some traumas very quickly and yet 'stay stuck' in others for years? And how can we be upset or afraid in one moment, and perfectly fine in the next moment, without anything outside of us having changed? 

All of these questions, and many more besides, are answered by an understanding of the Three Principles. Not an intellectual understanding, but an embodied knowing that arises through your own insight and realization. 

We're about to commence an in-depth exploration of these principles at Regent's University in London, and there's still time to join us on the shorter Truth of the Moment Training or the longer Facilitator Training programme. If you're a change-worker of some kind, or if you're looking for a fundamental change in your own life - this training could be for you.

Knowing Where to Look

If somebody you trusted told you with absolute certainty that there was buried treasure to be found somewhere in your neighbourhood, what would you do? 

Would you go out and start digging here, there and everywhere in the hope that you would 'get lucky'?

Or would you do some research first, ask a lot of questions and try to narrow down the search area with a view to increasing your chances of striking gold?

What if you had tried both of these tactics, and still no treasure. Would you give up at this point? Maybe you would, but at the back of your mind you would still be wondering..... 

Supposing one day, when you had long since forgotten about that silly buried treasure story, you stumbled upon a map. And it was a map of your neighbourhood. And there was a big, red X showing the precise location of some hidden treasure. And within moments of scratching away the surface at the indicated place - there it was! 

Now it's quite possible that you were amazed at just how close you were to that treasure for all those years.... you were virtually sitting on top of it every day of your life, only you didn't realize it. 

And you might get reflective about how easy it was to find the treasure, once you knew where to look. Without the map, your only option was to keep digging and hope to 'get lucky'. But with the map, there was very little digging to be done, and luck was no longer something you had to rely upon at all.

The Three Principles understanding is the psychological equivalent of having the secret map that is every treasure-hunter's dream. It doesn't tell you what to think or how to live your life. What it does tell you is where to look - it literally directs you to the source of your own experience. From this vantage point, you'll know exactly where it's worthwhile doing some digging, and you'll appear to 'get lucky' on a regular basis!

If you'd like to save yourself some unnecessary excavation, and have the treasure map of wisdom guide you instead of relying on good fortune, I'd love to hear from you!

A Simple Error of Perception

There are several persistent myths that have combined to make the field of psychological healing seem very complicated, whereas in fact it is quite straightforward.

The first is the mistaken idea that events from the past can, in and of themselves, continue to create suffering and distress in the present. What is often overlooked is the fact that all humans have a built-in capacity to let go of the past and to experience well-being no matter what has gone before.

We do, of course, have the option of dwelling on painful memories and re-activating them on a daily basis. But it is liberating to see that we are not obliged to do so by anyone but ourselves. And to realize that it is not the past itself, but only our thoughts about the past that can disturb us in the present - this simple realization can set anyone free from what has seemed like a psychological prison.

The second myth is the idea that long-standing problems are liable to take a long time to understand and resolve. This idea persists despite the common experience we have all had of struggling with a problem for a long time, only to find the solution comes to us in an instant when we quit trying so hard to figure it out.

What we fail to see here is that problems are only long-standing because we ourselves have continued to cultivate and maintain them. When we understand how we have been doing this, and stop adding fuel to the fire, of course it burns itself out very quickly without us needing to do anything to extinguish it.

A third myth is the idea that we don't (yet) have what we need in order to be happy and fulfilled. This idea can keep us locked in the self-improvement game for years if we are not careful! 

There are an infinite variety of teachings and techniques that promise to supply what we are lacking. Yet the true mystics and sages from every tradition have all agreed upon one thing: what you seek is within you. 

Therefore, the only help that is really helpful is the kind that points you back to yourself, shows you that you have everything you need inside you already, and reminds you of what you have always known to be true.

At The Insight Space we run a programme of events, sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with our news!



An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Everything begins with an idea, and who can say where an idea comes from? All we know for certain is that when an idea occurs to us, we can either ignore it or we can give it further consideration and perhaps decide to act upon it. 

Knowing which ideas to ignore and which ones to act upon is a very useful thing to know. If you're anything like me, you will have at least as many silly ideas as you'll have good ones, and you can waste an awful amount of time and energy if you entertain all of them equally.

One thing I've learned to pay attention to is the feeling that comes with an idea, and it has been a reliable indicator of what to pursue and what to ignore. Essentially, the best ideas have always 'felt right' to me, even if they didn't seem entirely reasonable, sensible or even possible at the time.

When an idea really catches you, when you feel inspired and energized by a new possibility that just occurred to you - those are the ideas to pay attention to. These kinds of ideas tend to be persistent as well, refusing to go away even after you have convinced yourself that the idea is silly or unattainable.

When I had the idea to create a Facilitator Training Programme that would serve as a vehicle for supporting people in aligning their professional life with the Three Principles understanding, I could see what a positive impact this might have on people's lives, but I didn't yet know if anyone else could see it.

It seemed like a crazy idea in many respects, but it was an idea that inspired me and felt right, and it refused to go away. Now we run regular training programmes at The Insight Space and we look forward to another group coming together for their first weekend on February 27th

It's exciting to catch an idea that inspires you and to follow it through all the way, even though you can't yet see where it may lead. Even more exciting is to stumble upon an idea whose time has come, an idea that inspires and uplifts a whole cross-section of humanity at the same time. The Three Principles is such an idea, and it is a privilege to be able to share it with others.


The Creative Power of Thought

A memory is whatever you think happened sometime in the past.

Imagination is whatever you think might happen sometime in the future.

A dream is whatever you think is happening while your body sleeps.

Perception is whatever you think your world consists of at any given moment. 

Thought is the invisible, creative power that gives shape, form and feeling to the life force energy as it flows through every living being. 

We cannot see thought, just as we cannot see gravity. 

What we can notice are the effects of thought (and of gravity) and adjust our relationship to it accordingly, thereby saving ourselves an immense amount of trouble! 

The Deeper Truth

Whenever life looks bleak, whatever it is you are up against - there is always a deeper truth which, once revealed, restores your peace of mind and enables you to move forward in life.

You can lose sight of the deeper truth, but it doesn't fundamentally change the way things are. It only changes your experience of how things are, creating temporary feelings of insecurity, confusion or despair.

The deeper truth is calming and healing - that's how you can recognize it. Once you see it, whatever was clouding your perception gets blown away and you remember who you really are and what you are truly capable of. 

The deeper truth restores your humanity. It puts you back in touch with the common ground that we all share, and reminds you not to take life too personally or too seriously. 

The deeper truth cannot be told in words, nor can it be understood with the intellect. Only the heart can know what belongs to the heart. 

Returning to the Source

It still blows my mind to consider that every single one of the thousands of different varieties of psychological and emotional experience that exist for us are all being generated in exactly the same way. 

Just as we see in the natural world the same life force energy giving rise to an infinite variety of plant and animal species, so it is in our interior world. That singular creative power produces any and every possible kind of thought which we can, through the gift of consciousness, experience as a living, sensory, full-blown virtual reality. 

Because the creative power itself is invisible, it's the resulting creations that catch our attention. We feel good or bad, happy or sad, and we react accordingly. If we like the feeling, we try to hang onto it and feel it again. If we don't like it, we try to make it go away and hope we can avoid it in the future. 

What we don't realize is that every feeling is just a temporary thought-creation which, if left to its own devices, will dissolve back into the nothingness from which it came. The essence of who you are is undisturbed by this constant stream of momentary comings and goings, just as the sun is equally unaffected by a storm cloud or a rainbow. 

In my work I find that it's a huge relief for people to discover that they are fundamentally okay regardless of what they happen to be feeling in the moment. Recognizing this fact, and seeing how all feelings get created in exactly the same way restores your equanimity and puts you in accord with the way things naturally are. 

When you're no longer struggling against your own experience, you're free to enjoy the flow of life with its rich diversity of both inner and outer forms that makes the human experience such an incredible expression of the one creative power. 

If you'd like to gain a deeper understanding of how your experience gets created from the inside-out, whether for your own benefit or to help others - check out our forthcoming events.

The Power of Resilience

One of the most valuable things we can gain from an understanding of the Three Principles is an awareness of how resilient we humans really are. We have all suffered traumas, endured difficulties and at times wondered if we would ever make it through to the other side. 

And we have all had the experience of getting over whatever it was that seemed insurmountable at the time. Often without realising it, and in a seemingly random manner, we suddenly find that we have let something go, moved on in life and found a new sense of meaning and purpose. Except when we don't! 

And this is where an understanding of the principles that operate behind our daily experience is so helpful. It shows us how we get over things when we do, and it also shows us why we continue to struggle with other things, despite our best efforts to let them go.

Even more importantly, we learn that everyone has the capacity to bounce back and have a fresh start in life, and that this capacity cannot be lost. The ability to recover and reorient ourselves is built into the human psyche, no matter what we have been through or how long we have been struggling. 

The gift of the principles is that by revealing the depth of resilience we have available to us, we are automatically enabled to make greater use of it. And through understanding how we get 'stuck' in life, and how it is that we can recover, we quickly get used to a whole new level of well-being that we never knew was possible for us.


Show Me Your Original Face

Towards the end of one of my retreats, someone made the comment that 'everyone looks more beautiful now'. And it was true. It is, I have discovered, one of the happy side-effects of uncovering something that is real and true about ourselves.

The human face, more than anything else, reveals so much about a person's inner life. It is surprising how quickly the face regains some of its natural radiance when we shed a significant portion of our emotional and psychological baggage.

Nowadays, many people assume that the accumulation of lines and tensions in the face are the result of the ageing process, and an increasing number are resorting to the needle and the knife to try and retain a youthful appearance.

Yet we have all met individuals of advanced years whose inner beauty shines through without any help from a plastic surgeon. In many cases, the person's face has a glow to it that increases rather than diminishes with age. How, you may wonder, does that happen?

Of course there are constitutional, dietary and lifestyle factors that will contribute to or detract from a healthy appearance. But I think there is something else that is just as visible in the eyes and facial expression that reflects the presence - or absence - of such attributes as inner contentment, self-acceptance and fulfillment in life.

There is, it seems, no faking of these internal qualities and the natural beauty that goes with them. Trying to be something that you are not is exhausting, and no matter how well polished it may be, every mask will begin to slip away eventually to reveal a deeper truth.

A zen koan states: 

'Show me your original face - the one you had before you were born!' 

That 'original face' is, I believe, the one that remains when we are no longer living in a way which is out of synch with our true nature.

In my workshops I am often struck by how diligently we hold onto our masks and the painful memories that lie behind them. And then, as we relax the grip and let the false selves fall away, something magical happens. We take a faltering step towards embracing the wise and wonderful being that we truly are. And without making any effort to do so, we become a little more beautiful.

A Deeper Intelligence

It's funny how a new understanding seems totally obvious once you have seen it, yet the same understanding would have struck you as irrelevant or even ridiculous just a few minutes earlier.

In my homeopathic work years ago, I always enjoyed the moment when someone would wake up to the fact that there was this unlimited self-healing potential within all of us that could be activated in an instant with the help of an appropriate remedy. 

To anyone who has not yet seen this fact for themselves, it seems far-fetched and highly improbable, especially given the non-material basis of homeopathic potencies. Once realized however, it becomes not only possible but entirely self-evident, requiring no external proof or validation.

People who haven't yet understood homeopathy think that it has to be believed in order to work. What we forget is that once you really know something through your own experience, there is no requirement or necessity to believe in it. Nobody would expect you to believe in electricity in order to make your appliances work!

The capacity to experience an insight, when we suddenly see something that was literally invisible to us previously, is something that all humans share. It is also something that almost all of us fail to appreciate the significance of.

The very nature of insightful understanding is both mysterious and elusive. How can it be that we are blind to something for twenty years and yet potentially we can see it in any moment? And when we do see it, what we have just seen can change our life forever? And the actual seeing of it took literally an instant - it didn't take months or years of study or analysis. 

Insight is what transforms our consciousness. And this, in turn, is what changes our life for the better. You can give the best advice in the world to someone who is struggling in life, but until they see a new possibility for themselves, your advice will fall on deaf ears and will not be helpful. 

In fact, it is often less than helpful to give advice because whenever we tell others what they should do, we are reinforcing the false idea that they don't have access to their own wisdom. And this is never true.

There's a deeper intelligence behind life that is available to all of us. Do you think that having that deeper intelligence more fully available to you, informing your decisions, inspiring your creative projects and infusing your relationships might affect the way you experience life? I'd love you to find out for yourself!

I'll be sharing this simple yet powerfully transformative understanding at my upcoming Truth of the Moment training beginning in February 2016. Click HERE for details.

Going With the Flow

I hope the new year brings a renewed sense of ease and possibility into your life. Contrary to popular belief here in the northern hemisphere, the winter months don't have to be a time that is associated with gloom and doom in the minds of many.

While it is true that in nature the daylight hours are short and the visible signs of growth are thin on the ground, we can rest assured that in the invisible realm, a period of quiet incubation is unfolding perfectly in readiness for the creative outburst yet to come.

And so it is in our own lives that we encounter periods of relative inactivity, when it seems as if there isn't the energy or the inclination to get things done, or the effort-to-reward ratio feels a little less favourable than usual.

If we allow ourselves a bit of time for reflection, rest and recharging our batteries, we can spring back into life more quickly than if we keep pushing ourselves to keep busy or berating ourselves for what we haven't managed to achieve. 

Going with the flow means shooting the rapids when the energy is fast and furious, but it also means drifting aimlessly for a while when the current is weak and the air is still.

Follow The Thread

When I look back at more than thirty years of following my interest through the fields of natural healing, psychology and spirituality, I can see now that the connecting thread linking everything I have studied and practised is this: the transformation of human consciousness. Ultimately, this has always been and still remains as the driving purpose and passion in my life. 

It became clear to me that our state of consciousness is primary and our life experience is secondary, and that this is equally true on both an individual and a collective level. Einstein's insightful observation that

no problem can be solved at the same level of consciousness that created it

spoke very deeply to me. He seemed to be saying what I already knew to be true - that behind all the complexities of life there was a simple, consistent truth that had the power to transform any problem - and all it took was a shift in consciousness to a different level. 

Now I'm fully aware that when you're entangled in some difficulty and can't see the wood for the trees, it seems inconceivable that viewing the same situation from a different place within yourself could make much of a difference - until it does! And when it does, and you move forward feeling relieved and unburdened, resolving not to take life so seriously in future...... somewhere along the way, you get caught in the illusion once again. The illusion being that the problem is 'out there' in the world somewhere, and there ought to be a solution 'out there' as well, if only we could find it.

For me, gaining an appreciation of the Three Principles uncovered by the late Sydney Banks has brought me full circle back to where I started all those years ago. What I knew to be true then I know with greater certainty than ever - a shift in consciousness is truly all it takes to transform a human life and, in so doing, to change the world. Better still, these principles reveal the elegant simplicity behind life, making available to everyone a possibility of change that at one time seemed elusive and accessible only to a select few.  

The Infinite Capacity to Create

Hugh Prather wrote in his book Notes on Love & Courage that

'No matter how good things get, my capacity to make myself unhappy is always equal to it'. 

When I read that sentence many years ago, I understood the point he was making, that how we feel on the inside is never a reflection of how our life looks on the outside, and that success in life does not create happiness in and of itself.

Knowing that your feelings are created inside of you independently of life circumstances is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't take you all the way. All too often, it leads to the false conclusion that there must be something wrong with me, something I need that I don't yet have,  or something I have that I need to get rid of.

What Sydney Banks realised, and was able to share with the world, was the nature of thought and the crucial role it plays in creating our experience. He saw, in essence, that our capacity to create any feeling is limitless, and it has nothing to do with how good (or bad) life seems to be on the outside. 

The three principles understanding is truly a game-changer, as it liberates us from the illusory idea that something has to change before we can feel differently. Until we see through that illusion, it literally runs our life in an endless search for something we can never find. 

Catching a glimpse of how it really works puts an end to the search, brings us home to ourself and ignites a world of possibility we never knew existed.

It's my pleasure to share this understanding at my upcoming Truth of the Moment training in London


It's an Inside Job


Quite a few years ago I noticed a change of emphasis had occurred in my consultation work. The focus of my work became less about curing peoples' health problems, and more about helping people tap into their own wisdom and bring forth the latent potential that already existed within.

Without realizing it fully at the time, my role was developing into something more like a coach and less like a therapist. During the years that have followed, there has been a widespread shift in consciousness in a similar direction, with more and more people seeking ways to transform and empower themselves, rather than becoming dependent on external sources of help.

The internet has undoubtedly played a role in this shift, and has become the most powerful self-help resource in the world. It is not uncommon now for a person to know more about their specific health problem - with the help of Google - than a general medical practitioner could ever know, which changes the dynamic of the healing relationship forever.

I have often said that the practitioners who will thrive in the foreseeable future are not the 'authoritarian experts' who maintain their status by disempowering others. Rather, it is the ones who share their knowledge and simplify their understanding, making it accessible and available to everyone who wants to learn, who will find themselves in demand. 

I have also come to believe that when real inner change happens, it tends to happen rather quickly. There is a popular idea that long-standing problems take a long time to resolve, but this hasn't been my experience. 

Usually I find that a lack of resolution is the result of addressing the issue on an inappropriate level, such as attempting to get something in the outside world to change, when it is an internal shift that is required. Or looking for resources on the outside that can only ever be found on the inside.

And this has become the thread that runs through all of my work these days - recognizing the correspondence between the external and the internal, and helping others to discover for themselves that when it comes to inner transformation, we always have everything we need. 

It's just that we forget this, sometimes, and the best kind of help we can receive at those times is a timely and gentle reminder of what we already know to be true.

The Costume of Self Identity


One of the most striking differences between young children and the rest of us is how quickly the youngsters tend to get over things.

If you observe a three or four-year old going about their business, you'll see them being sweet and generous and possessive and insecure and loving and fearful and confident and frustrated, all in the space of an hour or two! And beneath the surface fluctuations you can see the natural, innate well-being and healthy self-esteem shining through that is every individual's birthright.

Watch an older child or an adult for a few days and you'll see they have developed the ability to hold onto things, to remember past upsets and dwell on them, and to worry about imaginary futures that don't yet exist. Not only that, they will have formed the habit of
thinking about themselves in certain ways, and believing those thoughts to be real and true, thereby obscuring their natural radiance.

What was once a momentary, passing experience for the toddler becomes a costume of self-identity for the grown-up, which, if worn regularly, begins to infiltrate and dominate our daily life experience. Once we had insecure moments. Now we say
'I'm an insecure person', and we start behaving as if that were actually true.

An understanding of the principles behind your psychological experience enables you to break free from the limitations of your own habitual thought patterns and to reclaim the resilience, spontaneity, creativity and present-moment awareness that you enjoyed as a youngster.


A New Perspective is Just Around the Corner

Many years ago I was at a low point in my life, going through what felt like a premature midlife crisis. I had lost my direction, and didn't know what to do with either myself or my life. One day, I gave up trying to figure things out and decided to take a hike up one of the mountains in the Lake District, close to where I lived at the time.

I had taken this particular path many times, and my usual routine was to hike beyond the tree line to where the track leveled out and a stunning vista of the lake below came into view. It was a very quiet place that didn't attract many walkers, and I would invariably stop and get my breath back there, take in the view for a while and then head back down the hillside.

But on this occasion, a strange thing happened. As I stood up to head towards home, I found myself walking in the opposite direction, further along the trail than I could remember venturing before. My thoughts were telling me it was getting late in the day and I ought to turn around, but something compelled me to keep going. I was puzzled, yet curious at the same time. It felt as if I had no choice but to continue walking up that mountain!

Eventually, I reached a point where the path disappeared out of view ahead of me and I decided that was it - I would go just far enough to see whatever was around that bend, and then I would turn back. I continued walking, and as I came around the corner, I was literally stopped in my tracks by a huge, reddish-brown stag. He was standing right in front of me and caught my eye as he looked down at me, cocking his majestic, antler-crowned head slightly as he did so. Despite his size and close proximity, I didn't feel at all afraid and, it seems, neither did he, because he simply stood there gazing at me for what felt like an eternity before slowly turning around and casually wandering off.

I was utterly spellbound as I watched him disappear into the distance. It was almost as if he had been waiting for me around that corner, and, having delivered his silent message, we were both free to go on our way. As I retraced my steps back down the hillside, I remember being struck by how differently I felt compared to when I had set off earlier in the afternoon. My head was completely free of gloomy thoughts, my spirits were soaring and I knew with absolute certainty that everything was going to work out just fine.

Wisdom comes to us in a thousand different ways. We have only to quit paying attention to that noisy internal chatter that has an all-too familiar ring to it, and let ourselves be guided by a deeper knowing that is always available to us, just waiting in the wings. Call it intuition or gut feeling, it has a quiet persistence to it that you can learn to recognize and pay attention to. 'Listen', it whispers. 'Step this way. A new perspective is just around the corner......'


How to Make Apple Pie

The astronomer Carl Sagan once said that if you want to make apple pie from scratch, first you'll need to invent the entire universe. I like that quote, because it alters your perspective and points you back in the direction of what comes first in the scheme of things.

Seeing how the three principles of mind, thought and consciousness operate behind the scenes of our everyday existence has a similar effect on our psyche, re-orienting us away from the end results of our creative activity and towards the source from which it all springs.

We cannot help but notice that our feelings and moods change like the weather, and with them our behaviours, relationships, stress levels and a whole host of 'performance indicators' go up and down accordingly.

While it is tempting to dive in and try to change, fix or improve ourselves and our life experience, if we don't see where it is actually arising from we have a never-ending project on our hands. In medical terms, we are trying to eliminate the symptoms without a true understanding of the underlying cause.

What the principles help us to see is that our own creative power extends all the way back beyond what we can see and feel, and there is a direct link connecting our local experience to the infinite intelligence behind all of life. 

That link is the power of thought, and we can use it blindly and suffer the consequences, or we can learn the principles behind its operation and create a very different life experience for ourselves.