Brighter … greener … bluer… ??

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Ready for take off. There are 12 people in that basket!

Jenny (not her real name) came out of her second session recently describing what she felt like as she came out of her first. “It was as if the whole world was brighter. The colours were brighter, the greens greener, the sky bluer.”   That’s a key motivator in my coaching. I can turn the light on for my clients – and giving others a brighter future is a JOY. 

This week I’ve had several life-brightening comments like that – two from people who I coached over fifteen years ago. Fifteen years!  And they BOTH called this week, with real, deep, kind, oh-so-rewarding things to say. Completely out of the blue.

I stopped to think of how much they would have missed if they had not connected up.  They both have children in their teens and twenties now, whose lives also are brighter (greener, bluer?) because these two men – their dads – chose to take action on the tough challenges they were facing.

Although it is impossible to guarantee results from coaching (no coach can do that) the long-term effect can be massive. The whole world can come alive in a way you have not noticed before. It is like hitting the Enhance button on your photo app, only to realise what you now see is how life actually is, the real deal, not an ‘enhanced’ version at all. It is just that yesterday was duller, a faded (tarnished, darker) version of how life is, and you hadn’t noticed.

Or perhaps you have.  You’ve known a time when you were happier than you are now.  You suspect there are dark shadows in your life that you want to get rid of.

And if I’ve coached you in the past, and you’ve not been in touch for a while, I’d love to know what happened and what you’re doing now.  Sharing your joys with others multiplies them.

Either way, call me on my mobile 07771631945 (or email me a few lines at andrew@powerchange.com) and multiply the benefit for both our lives.  I’m itching to hear what happened to you.

“I AM HERE” What on earth …

The latest Sercombe motorbike adventure was to the Outer Hebrides.  Just me, my big BMW R1200GS and my red tent.  In case you’ve never been there – and few people round West Sussex have as it’s 730 miles away –  this string of islands is off the northwest coast of Scotland, windy, rainy and cold.

And in the middle of a mile-long deserted pristine beach I saw this:

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No footprints anywhere near, except mine, and by the time I left my idyllic wild campsite overlooking the sea, the engraving was no more – washed away by the waves.

Of course it was me. In a moment of spontaneous inspiration I carved “I AM HERE” with my foot in the sand – and the thought dominated my week, as I contemplated my life, my business, God, the universe, and my future. Today I’ve been thinking about it again as I camped out last night in the wilds of the South Downs catching up with some reading.  A bit existentialist I know, but the truth is, I am here, and I will be ‘here’ for a while yet.  Wherever I am, I AM.  It’s the inescapable truth, and on the basis that the truth frees us, I’m enjoying the freedom.

Yep, I’m here, and it is up to me to make of it what I will.

I’m not on that beach any more. I am here instead, writing this blog.  I moved on, came back to Sussex, and I’m two weeks older, and although I have a camera full of Hebridean photos – Butt of Lewis lighthouse, the rocky hillsides of Harris, Benbecula, Eriskay, and a welcoming pink roofed cafe in Lochmaddy – I can never, ever, recapture that moment on the beach.

In times of quiet solitude I become particularly aware of the presence of God ‘here’, where I am, with me.  It is as if He has said, not written in sand but whispered as a permanent statement deep within, “Andrew, I am here” – wherever I am, always. Regardless of the ups and downs of my life, I’m never actually alone. The Divine Presence, the Creator, present in the world He created.  With me. Here. Now. For ever.

And today that is sufficient for me.  In fact overwhelmingly more so.  Far more important than success, or money. God is here.

And He is where you are too – such is the omnipresent nature of the Holy Spirit.  Unhampered by the limitations of time and space, God is with you as you read this on your screen – closer, actually.

3000 years ago a gifted young shepherd on the run from his tormentors wrote about it. Stunningly poetic, he wrapped it up in a way I’ll never be able to.  I’ve put a few key bits of his poem for you to read quietly before you move on into the rest of your week. Take a few moments – ten minutes? – to stop and reconnect. And whilst you’ll already know that I am here for you today (yes, me, Andrew. Just a phone or Skype call or email away), far more importantly, He is too.

Enjoy.

E:  andrew@powerchange.com   M: 07771631945  Skype: andrewsercombe  Website: www.powerchange.com

Full Circle to Christianity’s ‘faith, hope and love’.

In a world where the usual reassurances are no longer working, where, across the world, confidence in government, education, business and justice systems – even in ourselves – is at an all-time low, more and more people are looking around with searching eyes, hunting for some roots, some solid ground beneath their feet, something – anything – that they can rely on as an ultimate safety net, a better pathway along which to walk into the future and a better way of living for the present.IMG_2204

Is this ‘something’ God? Not the universe, energy, or Nature, but the God of Christianity, the creator of it all? I am increasingly of the conviction that it is.

There is an unwavering hope, wholeness and security in the Christian Faith. With its clear clean message of the ultimate in love, freedom and justice, it is proving yet again to be better than any kitchen or partner update, more reliable than Wikipedia, and more secure than a gated property or any amount of money in the bank.

Built around relevant real-time local worshipping communities, Christianity has consistently invited people to a liberating spiritual surrender of their lives to their Creator – along with a radical review of their current values and attitudes – reaching out to him in humility, faith and commitment.

The result is a profound sideways ‘paradigm’ shift, into a new world and a new way of thinking, where the goals and aspirations of 21st Century living are replaced by much more profound goals and aspirations that cannot be bettered and will last, literally, for ever.

  • Welcome to the experience of a loving and eternal here-and-now God who we can truly connect with and be honestly accountable to.
  • Welcome to the promise of heaven and eternal life awaiting us beyond our physical death.
  • Welcome to a set of uncompromised day-to-day guiding life principles that have been around since the beginning of time and we can surrender to.
  • Welcome to an understanding of the world we live in that takes us beyond the natural worries and concerns of economic growth, survival of the fittest, cancer and redundancy.

Yes, welcome to the faith-filled, hope-filled, and love-filled life of 21st Century Christianity. Signing up has changed the lives of thousands of millions across the world for over two millennia. Some track record, eh?  Agreed, there is a price to pay – the price is simply everything you have, do and are.  Everything.

I’m in.

The Kind Stranger Chapter 4: A trip to the pottery.

Good morning!”

I’m getting used to the Kind Stranger sneaking up on me and surprising me.  Behind his smiling face is a playful sense of humour. Here I was getting on with my life, preparing breakfast in the kitchen. In he came, looking for me. KS is always welcome in our home.

“We’re going on a short trip today,” he said. “I’ve something to show you.”

By now I have learnt that he hears the deeper thoughts I have and responds to them without me needing to verbalising anything. I suspected this was another similar moment. It was.

But of course we didn’t need to get the car out and disappear down the road.  No, the Kind Stranger invited me to sit quietly with him, rest my mind, and wait. A few minutes later, I knew we were on the move, and soon we arrived at a village square.  You’ll probably have been there yourself.  It had an array of houses gathered around a village green.

“We’re going just over there”, he pointed to an old building with a light burning inside. We wandered over, he lifted the latch and we stepped inside.

We were in a workshoppy room, with pots everywhere, in various stages of completion. This, I realised was the village potter’s house, and I was unnerved to find that the old potter, working away at her wheel in the corner was oblivious to us.  I tried to talk to the old woman, but she didn’t hear me.  It was as if I was invisible to her. I slowly realised that I was.

I turned to the Kind Stranger to ask what all this was about when he put his finger to his lips to quieten me. He smiled. “Just watch,” he whispered.

I moved over to a workbench, pulled myself up onto it so I could sit more comfortably, and watched as instructed.

The Kind Stranger came and stood by me, and put his hand on my arm.  He often did this to reassure me and help me to relax. I felt myself take in deep breath and exhale slowly, feeling my shoulders drop and my breathing slow.

The Potter got up, moved past us, and unseeing, made her way to a bin of clay. Lifting the lid, she removed a lump of pure soft clay. Cutting a small amount from the lump the potter took it over to her wheel and began to carefully press it, mould it, and shape it. She took such care, and I was intrigued to watch her skills in action. Several times she stopped the wheel, and looked contemplatively at her amazing creation. It was absolutely beautiful. She had used her lifetime of skill to form a fine elegant pot that would undoubtedly be very valuable when it was finished.

Turning it slowly, she looked at each facet, checking it on the inside, on the outside, and smiled – a bit like the Kind Stranger did. Then, all of a sudden, she stopped. She had noticed a tiny flaw, a little impurity in the clay, hidden imperceptibly on the inside of the vessel. I expected her to pass over it, or take some spare clay and fix it somehow, but she didn’t. No, she gently put her hands around it and with the wheel spinning, crushed the entire pot back into a single lump of clay, and she began to make it again, a different vessel.

It hurt me to watch. I felt sad that such a nice pot would never be used by anyone or admired. Even though it was flawed it was still beautiful, still useful, still worth something. The mark was on the inside, not really visible, what was the big deal?  But I could see that to the potter it mattered. This was about her making the very most of the clay.

Something was happening inside me as I realised that the potter was not going to settle for second best. Of course, she knew that, in her hands, there was no need for any concern at all. She knew just what to do. This was clay of the highest quality and my guess is that she had paid a high price for that raw material. She had no desire to leave the clay flawed by an impurity and had no intention of moving on until that vessel was…

Exactly. The Kind Stranger  looked over at me and winked. We made our way out of the potter’s workshop, and soon we were back in my kitchen. I knew what this was about, and he knew I knew. It was about me, the value of my ‘clay’ and what I really needed right now. If I would allow myself to be …

I caught his eye. He smiled approvingly. Great. He had heard my unspoken decision.

An ‘Ideal Home’?

I could mean a physical ‘bricks-and-mortar’ home.  I could mean the context of a family most of us have. I could mean the classic ‘family you choose for yourself’, someone’s definition for a close group of friends.  I potentially mean all of those and one more beside: the home you can enjoy inside yourself.

Your Ideal Home.

This is about how you conceive an ‘ideal home’ in your thinking, and how it affects you life.  This Ideal Home concept is part of our SHAPE programme and helps you create the one place in life you can know a deep sense of safety, acceptance, belief in you, a place to (ad)venture from, and a place to return to for rest and privacy.

In a far-from-ideal outer world, you can have an ideal home to provide you with a secure inner world, a psychological ‘powerbubble’ of peace, safety, acceptance, love, honesty, discipline, experiment, playfulness, learning about life, and how to fit in. A place of support and encouragement, of caution and warning.

Somewhere safe.

Some people have never known a secure home life. With this programme you can move towards inner safety, inner acceptance, inner discipline, inner caution, inner encouragement.  We encourage people towards making the foundation of their home deep and strong – and based on something other than a superficial whim.

What, me?

If your curiosity is stirred and you’re thinking something like “This has the potential for making a difference for me”, then it will. irrespective of the past family life you’ve had or not had, irrespective of the state of your family life right now, you can build your own ideal home. Here in Powerchange we have all sorts of ways of helping you, at your pace, to have the ‘home’ you want. And as you work ON it as well as live IN it, you’ll discover how much better your inner home can be.

Like building a physical home for you and those you love to live in, building an inner home is a very rewarding experience. It takes you to a new and different place in life.  Maybe it makes you an official ‘homeowner’! We make it a joy, a rewarding discovery, free of the pain people associate with thinking about the past (we use a very clever technique: Psychological Anaesthetic, which works brilliantly.) With each metaphorical brick, plank, and window, you’ll actually feel, deep inside the GOOD things – and none of the ‘bad’ things – associated with an ideal home-life.

Great views, no close neighbours.

Look out onto a better horizon.

Some people spend their entire lives in a hovel, a slum, and long for escape. Instead you can look out onto wide open spaces, a rich horizon filled with beauty.

Your inner home may change where, and how, you actually end up living. As you allow your thoughts to imagine your ‘ideal home’ those thoughts start to take on a physical power, affecting the daily choices you make. It will be for you personally – one thing your new home won’t be is one that is perfect for someone ELSE.  No this is about you, your life, your sense of place – and not in a selfish way either.

Lots of neighbours, view of a sewerage ditch.

When you have an inner ‘home’ you are proud to own, you will be much better equipped to serve those around you, and just maybe you will be able to inspire others with what you’ve achieved so that they venture out from a place within themselves they know they can confidently and happily return to.

Feeling out of my depth!

I often do. I read (somewhere) that you should bite off more than you can chew in order to find out you can chew it. Not find out IF you can. I consistently do that. Over the weekend I did it again on the Powerchange training I ran in London, deliberately taking myself out of my depth – and out of one or two other peoples’ depth too. Result? We learned better how to swim. The longer term results will be SO worthwhile. If you do that too, I’m interested. Let me know.