It’s funny how things work out sometimes

connectedHave you ever wondered if things happen for a reason? A very unusual thing happened in my life a few years ago. I still chuckle to myself when I think about it today. 🙂

Between 2001 and the end of 2002, I had been director of a charity (Spirit Aid Foundation) that a few friends and I had set up. I had many roles within that charity, as is often the case when budgets are limited and so volunteers have to learn to turn their hands to many different tasks.

One of my roles had been to build the charity’s website. At the end of 2002, I stepped down from my work with the charity so that I could start work on writing my first book (It’s the Thought that Counts). A few days after I left, I received a call from a volunteer (Pat) who had assumed responsibility for the website. She excitedly told me that a local IT company had agreed to create a new website for free but that she would need all the original files for the site asap. Could I get them to her by tomorrow? No problem, I told her.

I got out my laptop, opened up the files, popped a CD in the drive and pressed ‘Save’. Nothing happened. I hit ‘Save’ again and again and again. Still nothing. I tried a different CD and the result was the same. I actually went through a whole pack of CDs and none of them worked either.

I decided I needed some new CDs so I jumped in the car and drove to the nearest town where I could purchase some new CDs. I entered the shop and immediately came face to face with a large display of cheap floppy discs. I made my way around them, chuckling to myself that floppy discs are ‘so yesterday’. Being tech savvy, I told myself, I would be using CDs as they are the ‘in thing’. This was 2002, around the time when floppy discs were being phased out and replaced with CDs, which could store much more data.

Everywhere I looked for CDs in the shop, I kept finding floppy discs. Eventually I had to ask a store assistant where to find them. When I took them to the counter to pay, the assistant even then attempted to sell me floppy discs on special offer. I think they had an excess of stock they wanted rid of. Affirming how tech savvy I was, I even gave the assistant a little lecture on the differences in storage capacity between a floppy disc and a CD and why it’s much better to use CDs.

Proud of my new purchase of a pack of five shiny new CDs, I made my way back home. I popped a CD in the drive and pressed, ‘Save’. Nothing! I went through all five of my new CDs and none of them worked.

Not being one to allow myself to get too stressed, I had concluded at that time in my life that if I started to feel stressed, a good exercise was to do the exact opposite from what was stressing me. So naturally, knowing that I really needed to get the files onto a CD and to the post office by around 5pm, I decided to take the rest of the day off instead.

I phoned Elizabeth and she collected me in her little Fiat Cinquecento. We decided to go for a drive to somewhere nice where we could have lunch. Once in the car, Elizabeth asked me where we were going. I hadn’t a clue. I hadn’t thought that far ahead. So I opened up the AA Road Atlas (this was 2002, long before we had a sat nav) and found the large double page that covered central Scotland, where my small village of Banknock could be found. The page spanned quite a large area of cities, towns, villages about 250 by 250 kilometres, so I randomly selected as our destination a small town neither of us had ever visited, which was about an hours’ drive away.

When we got there, we drove into a large car park that was utterly deserted so we had our choice of parking spaces. Elizabeth selected one, parked and switched the engine off. As I stepped out of the car, a little box right in the centre of the adjacent parking space caught my attention. I moved closer to examine it and was quite taken by surprise when I learned that it was a box of ten floppy discs!

I decided not to touch them, just in case somebody had dropped them and was maybe on their way back for them. So we went for a walk and stopped into a pub to get some lunch, where we stayed for the next hour or so before returning to the car. We had swiftly concluded that perhaps one of the reasons why we’d never visited that town, nor had heard of family of friends visiting it, was because there really wasn’t much to see or do.

Back at the car park, still there, sitting ‘parked’ in its very own space, was the box of floppy discs. This is when I had the thought that maybe they were meant for me, so I took them and we drove back home again.

It’s a useful strategy for managing stress and boosting your creativity, to do something completely different from what is causing you stress. Back at my laptop I decided to once again attempt to save the web files onto CDs. I figured that I probably did something in error earlier in the day. Now that I felt refreshed I had a feeling I’d spot my error. And spot it I did. My error was that I didn’t actually have a CD Writer so I couldn’t possibly save onto a CD.

I had a CD Reader. Computers nowadays (the ones that still use CDs, that is) have the ability to read a CD (i.e. open what’s on it) and write a CD (i.e. burn files onto it). In 2002, you needed to buy a CD Writer, which was a little box you plugged into the side of your computer. I didn’t have one, despite my proclaimed tech savvyness. This was the point I felt a little pang of regret at having lectured the shop assistant about all my knowledge of technology. I had needed floppy discs all along.

But it’s funny how things work out. I just happened to have a new box of floppy discs that I had found in a car park a few hours earlier. I used them instead. And I actually needed all ten of them as there were so many files.

Once it was done, I packed them up and just made it to the post office as it was closing for the day, thereby ensuring that, as promised, Pat received all of the website files the next day.

I often wonder how weird stuff happens. Being scientifically minded, I have difficulty leaving things be. I have to find an explanation. Statistically, the chances of finding a box of ten floppy discs in a car park an hours’ drive away, where I could have selected anywhere in the same radius, when I actually needed floppy discs, is round about zero, I would think. If I thought I could do it again, I think I’d have more success betting on winning the lottery two weeks in a row.

I have written in some of my blogs (see: A Cluster of Synchronicities and Do You Have a 6th Sense?) and in one of my books (Is Your Life Mapped Out?) about how we’re all connected and, in fact, how everything is connected to everything, and that if we play with the idea that consciousness is not inside the head but is spread out over the universe, then that might provide part of an explanation for why we seem to sometimes attract who and what we focus our attention on.

In this case, my larger (subconscious) awareness knew all along that I needed a box of floppy discs and, as everything is connected, was also aware of exactly where I could find such a box. At first, it drew me to a shop where I was given numerous opportunities to purchase them, but where I instead elected to let my ego have its say as I explained the merits of CDs to the shop assistant who, for the sake of good customer service, feigned some interest.

My subconscious must have had a sense of humour that day as it then seeded the idea of choosing a place nearly 100 kilometres away where I would have no choice but to accept the floppy discs that I had needed all along.

That’s my explanation anyway. I do think it’s funny how things work out sometimes.

It’s about the journey, not the destination

Street name ElizabethThere was a fierce storm in the UK last Thursday. All throughout the night we could hear the wind and rain. It was almost deafening. In the morning, our garden was strewn with torn-off branches of trees.

I was due to drive from my home in central Scotland to London. Each year in December, my publisher (Hay House) organises a Christmas party in London for the European authors. My plan was to drive because I needed a car to get to and from a speaking event 2 days later.

I delayed my early morning departure by a few hours until the weather had much improved, then set off on what is usually a simple 7-hour drive.

When I was about half way, an accident had occurred just up ahead. It was on the M6 motorway, just west of Manchester, and the M6 was now being closed. Over the next few hours, a long queue of very-slow-moving traffic was moved off the motorway and headed towards the town of Warrington to pick up a main road back onto the M6 at the next junction.

With not much else to do in a stationary traffic queue, I checked the BBC Travel News website to get real-time updates on the roads. I learned that there were two closures of the M6. The other one was about 100 miles farther, near Birmingham. I would meet that one too. At these times, most people act in one of two ways.

The first is frustration. A man in a blue car behind me was so angry when we were funnelled off the M6 that he started banging on his steering wheel – with his head! The other option is to accept what is happening in the moment. It’s not always easy to do, but I reasoned that there wasn’t really anything I could do to change the situation. I would most likely miss the party. It’s either frustration or find a way of enjoying the journey. I chose option 2.

Even the thought of having that choice was quite relaxing. I felt empowered as I dwelled on idea that I am in control of my own mind, and therefore how I feel. Just then, I caught sight of a car pulling out of a housing state and had a sudden intuition that there was probably a quicker route through the estates that would bypass the traffic queues.

I decided that trusting my intuition might be a good way to enjoy the journey a bit, regardless of whether it actually got me to my destination any quicker or not. I checked the ‘Maps’ app on my iPhone and I could, indeed, see a route through the streets. I pulled off the main road and into the streets lined with houses.

As I drove along, I felt a little buzz of crazy excitement – to be 300km from home and instead of being on the M6, I was driving though quiet streets lined with houses. It felt good to be trusting my intuition on purpose and I determined to continue trusting it, regardless of where it might take me. I passed a street called, ‘ELIZABETH DRIVE. I smiled, as that’s the name of my partner…the Elizabeth bit. 🙂

I figured it would actually be quite nice to go back and take a photograph of the sign and then text it to Elizabeth, so I did. It’s little things like these that bring complete contrast to what we could or should be doing that can actually help us to feel good. It further removed my mind from the stress of the whole ‘getting-to-my-destination’ thing.

About two minutes later, I passed another street name and, of course, I had to stop and take another photograph. This one was for ‘DAVENHAM AVENUE’. I laughed out loud.

The little intuitive side-step into the housing estates probably saved me about an hour. By the time I picked up the road back onto the M6, I began to wonder if the time-saving I’d made would actually help me get to London on time for the party. Perhaps the M6 at Birmingham would be reopened by the time I got there, I wondered. Then I’d definitely make it. I felt a little burst of satisfaction at having listened to my intuition.

But back on the M6 and heading towards Birmingham, I began to wonder why we all seem so future-focused, including myself. Why was I now turning an enjoyable experience of intuition and contrast into being ‘the reason’ I’d get to the party? It felt like I was cheapening the experience, like I was taking something away from it, that it was merely a means to an end.

We all do this, don’t we? We try to explain why everything happens to us. But does there always need to be a reason? Does the present always need to be a means to get us to the future? Such thinking is a recipe for unhappiness and, to be honest, it’s a dish that most of us serve up to ourselves on a daily basis.

Perhaps if, from time to time, we stop looking for reasons, we stop looking to the future, and just meet the moments, the experiences, as if they are the last we’ll ever have.

I had such fun diverting out of the traffic jam and into the streets of houses. Taking those photographs of the road signs might seem unimportant to many people, especially in a future-focused mindset, but it mattered to me. It was something I laughed at in the moment and it is what I most remember about my day in traffic. It’s these seemingly tiny moments that we most remember later in life. If we’re always looking to the future, our main memories are the goals we achieve. And these are short-lived, because we quickly come up with another goal. We miss so many of the moments in between. We forget about the journey.

I was soon caught up in traffic again. The M6 hadn’t reopened and I moved about 1km in 2 and a half hours. I was stationary much of the time. Great, I thought.

I did a meditation (the traffic was completely stationary, I had my engine switched off, and I did it with my eyes open). It was wonderful, and made more so with the excited edge to my emotions because I was meditating in a traffic jam. I bounced on my seat a few times afterwards. How many people could say they did a self-love meditation on the M6, I wondered?

I also listened to some great music on the radio, using the ‘Shazam’ app on my iPhone to get the name of the songs for downloading later when I could pick up a wifi connection.

I also made a few calls to friends and enjoyed a good laugh. One of my friends said, ‘Poor you, to be stuck on the road all day and miss the party’. My response was, truthfully, ‘I’ve had a great time!’ And I had.

I arrived at my hotel in London way too late for the party but I sat in the restaurant and had a lovely meal and a nice glass of red wine, and the service was excellent – smiling staff who did everything to ensure I enjoyed my stay.

Imagine if we applied this kind of thinking to our lives! My journey on the road could just as easily be the story of your life. Don’t you recognise it?

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time for future-thinking. It gives direction to our lives. But perhaps we don’t need to give it quite so much attention.

Do you want to live for the future and forget to live today, or do you want to squeeze every ounce of experience out of the moments of your life as the journey unfolds?

It’s up to you. You have that power of choice.

Choose wisely!

A Cluster of Synchronicities

blue plant up closeYou probably know by now that I have a fascination for how stuff works, and this has come through in my books and blogs. Well, let me share with you a wee cluster of 4 amazing synchronicities that have recently occurred in my life or that of my close family or friends.

1) Connection on a flight from Canada

My friend Allyson was flying home to Scotland from Canada last week. She got talking to the man sitting beside her and learned that he lived in Bridge of Allan in central Scotland. “Oh, my friends have just moved to Bridge of Allan,” she replied. It turned out that he just moved out of the house right next door to the one we just moved into. And he was the tenant of the people who were living in the house we moved into. They’re now living in the house he vacated.

2) You look like Lulu

A lady in shop said a friend of Elizabeth’s looks a bit like the singer Lulu. Later that day, when her friend was at work, a song by Lulu came on the radio. At that moment she looked out of the window and the lady who said she looked like Lulu walked past.

3) A Hen

Elizabeth’s Dad was driving to watch his beloved Dundee football club play a league match. He car shares with a friend. The friend handed Peter a box of fresh eggs laid by his hens. He said one of his new hens wasn’t fitting in and was upsetting the others. He asked if, perhaps, Elizabeth would like a hen. At that moment a car overtook and pulled in front of them. The registration was ‘A Hen’.

4) Just can’t get enough of Lulu

Elizabeth and I were discussing these synchronicities while watching ‘You’ve Been Framed’, the comedy show where people send in funny moments caught on camera. This is when Elizabeth told me about the Lulu story. Just as she finished sharing it, the presenter of the show, Harry Hill, started talking about Lulu.

Well being me, I can’t just smile these away. I just have to understand things like this. I can’t help it. It’s a disease. Lol. 🙂

First of all, I absolutely never write these kinds of things off as random events. Everyone and everything is interconnected and seemingly strange things occasionally occur as invisible connections draw people and circumstances together in often surprising ways that might seem against the odds.

Here’s what I think: Physical matter clumps together. I guess that’s one way of thinking about the human body. 🙂 Subatomic particles cluster into atoms; atoms cluster into molecules; molecules cluster into life; people cluster into families, towns, cities, and social networks; planets cluster into solar systems; stars into galaxies; and galaxies into galactic clusters. The same pattern seems to repeat itself.

The view from a plane on a clear night shows us clusters of lights and little threads of light connecting them as we see the lights from towns and cities linked by roads. Placing this image side-by-side with an image of a galactic cluster (and even human brain networks) reveals the same kind of pattern.

Clusters of ‘stuff’ connected to other stuff is the way of things. Why should it be any different in human life? It’s certainly the same if you draw a social network; the pattern is there again. People cluster together and some bridge the clusters into other clusters, just like the connections between towns, galaxies, and brain cells.

The pattern of clusters connected to other clusters repeating on different scales is called a ‘fractal’, from the Latin ‘fractus’, meaning ‘broken’.

What if there are patterns in our own consciousness – deep in our unconscious minds – so that we draw ourselves together in seemingly strange ways, and even draw events to ourselves? And as we’re all connected (I’ve written about this in other blogs), we unconsciously make sure that we time things just right.

That’s the way I look at things. It can facilitate the strangest things. I was in New York City a few years ago. I’d been speaking at the ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ conference at the Javits Centre where, funnily enough, I’d briefly spoken about interconnections. Next day, Elizabeth and I had a conversation about Joan Rivers. About an hour or so later we literally bumped into her on the streets of New York, which is not exactly a small place with a tiny population!

Some people are clustered together so that we feel more connected to some people than others. Fractals occur in time too. So there are people whom you are strongly connected to whom you’ve not met yet, but the chances are you’ll make all the right choices, and so will they, so that you will come into each other’s lives, where you’ll remain there for a ‘reason, a season, or a lifetime’. The force of these connections can be strong, I believe, so that the effect is like a whirlpool in a river pulling your boat towards it. Chances are, wherever you paddle you’ll end up there!

So I think there’s more to life than we’d ordinarily think and there’s more going on beneath the surface of events than we’d imagine.

Pay attention to the synchronicities in your life. They might reveal something about what’s going on in your mind, or they may be pointing the way to something (or someone) that’s just around the corner. Hey, maybe I’m about to meet Lulu!

A Formula For How Destiny and Free Will Work Together

Clouds forming the shape of a heart
love in the sky

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably wondered whether things are meant to be – are you destined to be with that special person, or to have that job, or that friend, that dog, or that really difficult time in your life? Or do we create it all as we go along?

If you’re like me, I wrestled with it for years. There were things that I felt strongly were meant to be in my life: like going to the University I attended and also doing my PhD in the research group I ended up in, to even not getting the job I wanted in the pharmaceutical industry but instead getting one that exposed me to evidence of the placebo effect. This facilitated my route into writing books about the power of the mind, which I believe is my ‘destiny’.

But at the same time I am 100% certain that I shape my own life too, sometimes through taking action to make things happen and other times when seemingly coincidental things happen shortly after I’ve been thinking about them.

I wrote my book, ‘Is Your Life Mapped Out?: Unravelling the mystery of destiny vs free will’ to attempt to set my own mind at rest. This is what I came up with:


Before you go, “whhooooaaaaa, hey what’s with the math?” it’s actually much simpler than you think. Let me explain what the letters mean.

‘R’ is the letter I use for ‘The Reality that you experience’ and it’s caused by the letters that come after it. Here’s what they mean:

‘I’ is your intention. It’s the force of you Intending for something to happen, which often results in you acting on your intentions, or subconsciously setting in motion a chain of events that move you towards your goal.

‘E’ stands for your emotions. Emotion is a powerful force. If you have an intention to achieve something but your overall emotion about it is negative then emotion usually over rules intention and you don’t go anywhere. Alternatively, when you have a goal and you feel strongly positive when you think about it, you tend to move towards it (or attract it to you).

‘B’ stands for your beliefs. Beliefs can propel you to where you want to go or they can sabotage your efforts. Say you had a desire to be financially abundant but had a belief that it’s wrong to have money because people are starving, or that people with money are selfish or unkind, or that money is the ‘root of all evil’, for instance, then chances are these beliefs will over rule your intention to have money. No matter how hard you try, something will always seem to block your efforts.

You can usually tell what kind of beliefs you have about something by looking at your life. Stuff and experiences in your life that you are happy with, that tend to come easily to you, usually represent positive beliefs. Stuff and experiences you feel frustrated you’re not having usually signal negative beliefs in those areas. It’s best if your beliefs are in line with what you want to achieve.

‘p’ stands for ‘momentum of your current experience’. Just like a large ship in the ocean can’t make a sudden 90 degree turn, but turns throughout a large arc due to it’s weight, or momentum, so most people, when they decide to make a life change, still experience elements (circumstances, types of people, etc) of their old life for a while as their life turns in an arc rather than in a sudden straight line off to the right or left. Intention works a lot with momentum because the stronger your intention, the faster you break your momentum and the shorter the turning arc in your life.

‘Fe’ stands for external forces. These are forces in your environment that have an impact on your life and the kind of choices you make. They can be the weather, ‘chronobiological’, in terms of how the Earth’s rotation, the sun, and the moon can impact biology, they can be effects of food, or anything else that represents how we interact with our natural environment. They can even represent the physical or social environment a person lives in, which can be a very strong force for some.

‘Fi’ stands for internal forces. These are what I refer to as spiritual forces. I believe that consciousness transcends time and space and thus ‘You’ existed in some form or other before you were born on Earth. Rather than your life being a random event, then, it is likely that you were born at a particular time (given the entire span of Earth’s history) in a particular place, into a particular set of social and economic conditions, even into a particular family environment, and often with a latent skill set or direction you intended to move towards. These ‘preconditions’ would set the tone of the early years of your life, which would then have a strong bearing on the kind of adult you become and the direction of your life. When I talk of ‘destiny’, this is what I refer to.

‘O’ stands for the effect of other people on you. We’re all influenced by other people – either directly, by family, friends, colleagues, or even people we meet throughout our day, or indirectly, as world events affect the financial or social environment that we live and move in, or as our choices are influenced by marketing efforts, propaganda, or just information we pick up through watching or reading the media.

‘X’ is for any other forces that I haven’t though of. 🙂 I’m sure I’ve not thought of everything.

So the reality that you experience is related to your intentions, your emotions, your beliefs, the momentum of what’s currently happening in your life, external forces, internal (spiritual) forces, and the influence of other people.

So how do these forces interact with one another? Well, I think we are born into a set of conditions and circumstances that set the landscape of our lives and its colour tones. As we travel through our landscape, we are occasionally pulled left and right and even nudged back or sucked forwards from time to time. But amid these ‘winds’, we are always choosing, always creating, always shaping our lives. It is impossible not to. Thoughts are creative. What we focus on we move towards. That, too me, is a Law. Some call it the ‘Law of Attraction’ or the ‘Secret’.

Some people believe in destiny, others don’t. What I’ve written here is just my belief, coloured, perhaps, by the influences I’ve experienced in my life and also by what I’ve always sensed. In some ways I’ve sought scientific evidence to explain what I’ve always believed.

Whether you take comfort in an overall direction you feel you’re supposed to be going in or whether you’re more motivated in taking the actions that are necessary to get to where you want to get to is up to you. We’re all different. Some are more comfortable with the former, some with the latter.

As long as you’re comfortable with whatever you personally believe, then great. Happiness and contentedness arise when we’re comfortable with our own beliefs, regardless of whether there is an ultimate truth or not.

Personally, I think destiny and free will interact constantly, just as nature and nurture interact. Genes do not act out with their environment, but in relationship with it.

So, too, do our hopes and dreams play out in relationship to our environment – both physical and spiritual.



Dr David R Hamilton, ‘Is Your Life Mapped Out? Unravelling the mystery of destiny vs free will’ (Hay House, 2012). ( paperback) ( kindle) ( paperback) ( kindle)

A lucky escape – premonition, guidance, or both?

Butterfly flyingI often wonder about the timing of events.

Just the other day Elizabeth and I were walking our dog Oscar (now ten and a half months old, if you’ve been following his progress 🙂 ) towards the park in the morning. We were walking along a street when a pane of glass fell out of an upstairs window and smashed on the ground just 10 metres in front of us. It would almost certainly have caused us serious injury had we arrived a few seconds earlier.

The thing is, when we were leaving our house a few moments earlier, Elizabeth had to go back in to collect something she’d left on the table. This slowed us down by a few seconds.

Had Elizabeth not gone back into the house, we would probably have been right underneath the glass when it fell.

We were stunned at what happened and got to thinking how lucky we were.

I wondered afterwards, did Elizabeth have a premonition – a presentiment – and so cause us a delay that meant we missed the falling glass?

It’s a subject I’ve often thought about and I even wrote a chapter of my book, Is Your Life Mapped Out: Unravelling the mystery of destiny vs free will, on the research into presentiment. Basically, research seems to show that we ‘feel’ events before they occur. That’s what presentiment is – a pre-feeling. I believe that Elizabeth did receive a presentiment.

Another way you might look at it is that we were guided to slow down by guardian angels, spirit guides, our higher selves, or even deceased relatives.

It might seem strange for a person with a background in science to say he believes that angels or spirit guides exist, but why not? I am of the opinion that consciousness is not inside our heads, which is where I deviate from the mainstream scientific opinion of consciousness. I believe consciousness is fundamental to nature; it’s part of reality itself, and the brain (& heart) act more like aerials that receive it, much as your TV receives movies.

If consciousness is not inside your head then where is it? Everywhere!

I believe that the universe as we know it arises out of consciousness much as a sapling arises out of fertile soil. A field of consciousness, therefore, is the basis of all reality.

I doubt very much that human consciousness is the only color, or shade, of consciousness then. Just as pure white light can be split by a raindrop to present a rainbow of colors, so perhaps pure consciousness also splits into different colors, with human consciousness being one colour and angels, guides, etc, being another.

And if their consciousness is of a higher energy (or frequency) than human consciousness, just as violet is higher energy than red, then this might give them the ability to watch in on human life and guide us from time to time. That is what I believe.

Were we guided to avoid the falling pane of glass? I believe we were. Did Elizabeth also receive a presentiment of it? I believe she did.

Interestingly, Oscar received a sharp cut to his mouth earlier in the morning. We were playing and I kicked a hard rubber ring (one of his toys) and it knocked his food bowl and water bowl into each other, causing his food bowl to break. He lunged into the broken pieces of porcelain to get the ring and cut the inside of his mouth.

Strange things happen in our world and I believe events are connected. That Oscar received a cut to his mouth, was he taking on the energy of a glass cut that somehow spared us from being cut by the falling glass? Some people say that dogs can absorb energy, deflecting it away, in a sense, from their owners. Or was Oscar being cut somehow a manifestation of a presentiment of the potential for us to be hit by the glass?

Some might say there is no connection and that these were just random events, that we connect events together to give meaning to our lives. I don’t think we should always be quite so quick to dismiss things as random. We are far more connected than we think. In Sanskrit, the words ‘Aham Brahasmi’ mean ‘the core of my being is the ultimate reality, the root and ground of the universe, the source of all that exists’.

If consciousness is the core of reality, then it seems to me that we, and the events of our lives, are far more connected than science would have us believe. Our lives are intertwined, where people and events are connected in space and time.

Forces exist that pull people together for a ‘reason, a season, or a lifetime’ and lead us to events that are meaningful for us.

So all things considered, I do think were we meant to avoid the falling glass and I’m very grateful for that.

5 Books that Profoundly Impacted my Life

I was looking through my bookshelves recently and it got me thinking about the books that have profoundly impacted my life. There have been 5 to be precise. I thought I might share them with you.


1) The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale

I read this book in 1994. It arrived in my life at the perfect time because I was into the second year of my PhD and my research was going badly. I was under pressure to get results but nothing I was doing was working. I was feeling very depressed, not just with my results, but because I felt I was supposed to be doing something else with my life.

The book was like a breath of fresh air because it talked about the power of the mind and of belief. It was exactly the kind of thoughts I had been thinking but I hadn’t realised anyone else thought the same kind of way. It was a direction-changer for me because it ignited the thought in me of writing and speaking about that kind of stuff and I realised that it was the ‘something else’ I was supposed to be doing, maybe not right away but at some stage.

Check out The Power of Positive Thinking


2) The Nature of Personal Reality (A Seth Book), by Jane Roberts

I also read this in 1994, only a few months after I read The Power of Positive Thinking. I was on a roll and had started having thoughts about the nature of reality. I had figured out that there must be ‘layers’ to reality and consciousness, as well as other realities (or dimensions). I found this book in a bookshop in Glasgow, Scotland, and lapped it up.

It spoke of how consciousness creates reality, how we exist as larger entities (or souls), and how our individual and collective beliefs shape everything around us. It was deeply metaphysical, not least because it was a channelled book.

Jane Roberts was a trance medium and she channelled Seth, who called himself an ‘energy personality essence’. The teachings are profound. I tried to share some with my friends, most of whom were sceptical of the whole channelled thing, but they became engrossed when I asked them to side-step that issue and just read the words.

To date, this is the book I have re-read more than any other book.

Check out The Nature of Personal Reality


3) The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield

I read this book in 1998. It represented the beginning of my journey out of the pharmaceutical industry. I had taken a job where I was a scientist developing drugs for cardiovascular disease and cancer, but my real interest was the power of the mind and consciousness. I was fascinated with the placebo effect and for me it was a demonstration of our capacity to use the mind to heal.

The Celestine Prophecy put many of the teachings around life, psychology, the mind, and even spiritual evolution into a captivating adventure novel. There was a chapter on seeing auras that I loved and it set me off on a mission to learn how to see them for myself.

I remember sitting among some trees one day, a few days before Christmas of 1998, trying to see the auras around the branches and leaves. If you doubt that we have the capacity to see auras then read my blog article on a scientific discovery that showed how an overlapping of brain regions (synaesthesia) can give us the ability.

Check out The Celestine Prophecy


4) Conversations with God, by Neale Donald Walsch

I read this book in 1999. It was only a few weeks after I had resigned from the pharmaceutical industry. I had been excitedly thinking of the workshops I would run and the topics I would write on. At the time, it was all power of the mind stuff and self-development.

Then along came Conversations with God to remind me how much my real passion was to infuse what I write and teach with love and compassion. Inspiring love, compassion, and kindness was an important part of who I was but I guess I just didn’t realise that I could talk about it, nor that anyone would be interested in what some perceived as ‘sentimental, soft stuff’.

But love, compassion and kindness has formed a thread through all of my books so far and Neale’s book began that exploration for me.

Check out Conversations with God


5) Dying to be Me, by Anita Moorjani

I read this book just a couple of months ago and was privileged enough to talk with Anita quite a bit during the two recent I Can Do It conferences held in the UK by our publisher, Hay House.

Anita had cancer, she was in a coma and her organs had just packed in, when she had an NDE (near death experience). She described her experience; what it was like, how she became one with everything, and how we are all connected. She saw her future, if she chose to come back, where the cancer would rapidly disappear (no one had ever previously recovered from that kind of cancer at that stage) as she lived her life fearlessly, as she learned to love herself. The main lesson she brought back was the importance of loving ourselves.

That really struck a chord with me. Even though I do what I do, I really don’t think I have been loving myself that much, in that outside of when I’m on stage (where I feel really at home) I often hold back from expressing myself out of fear for what people might think or say. It might sound silly to some, but I guess we all have our challenges.

Check out Dying to be Me


I have read and enjoyed many, many other books over the years, but I only wanted to include in this blog those that had the greatest impact upon me.

Maybe I should have called this blog, ‘5 books and 2 tapes that profoundly impacted my life’ because I could add that two audio programs by Dr Wayne Dyer also created a seismic shift in me.

The first was a single tape (this was in 2000 before CDs were as popular), called ‘How to get what you really, really, really, really want.’ I listened to it sooooo many times. I even transcribed it and used it as a basis for a one-off talk I did to about a dozen people back in 2000. The other was an 8-part tape set called, ‘The Secrets to Manifesting Your Destiny’.

What impacted me most about Wayne was that his love, compassion, and kindness shone through not just in his words but even in the tone of his voice. You can sense it in how he says what he says. For an entire year I listened to those tapes every time I drove my car.

What books have most impacted your life?


Do cosmic cycles drive some biological processes?

Full Moon
Full Moon

Have you ever heard of the word, ‘Chronobiology?’

It is basically the science that describes how biological processes adapt to solar and lunar cycles. It’s why you sleep and wake and even why you get jet lag. It even covers photosynthesis and why some animals hibernate.

As the earth spins, the sun moves across the sky. Most people think that the sun is actually moving across the sky but it is really the earth that is spinning. But this periodic transit of the sun activates and deactivates the CLOCK gene (short for Circadian Locomotor Output Cycles Kaput), leading to secretion of the hormone ‘melatonin’ from the pineal gland.

You’d be forgiven for thinking, ‘so what?’ Well, melatonin is the hormone that is responsible for you sleeping and waking. As melatonin rises you get sleepy. As it falls you find yourself more awake. It goes up and down like clockwork, and is ultimately synched with the rotation of the earth.

If you fly to another time zone, your melatonin rhythm is out of synch with your natural rhythm, which is tuned to where you live. For instance, you might arrive at 4pm local-time after a 10-hour flight but your body clock thinks it’s midnight. Your melatonin levels are higher than everyone else’s, so while they’re all wide-awake, you’re feeling pretty tired.

It takes a few days for your levels to entrain (or fall in synch) with where you have travelled to and that’s when you’re officially over your let jag.

Enough of the earth and sun for now! What about the moon? There’s strong symbolism connecting the moon to women. Carol P. Christ, a writer on women’s spirituality and feminist theology, wrote,

Our great symbol for the Goddess is the moon, whose three aspects reflect the three stages in women’s lives and whose cycles of waxing and waning coincide with women’s menstrual cycles.”

Indeed, there’s now strong evidence that the period of the moon is also synched with women’s menstrual cycles. Around 28% of women have been found to have their periods around the 4 days either side of a new moon, as compared with 14% at any other time slice in the month.

I find all this kind of information really fascinating. I have always enjoyed astronomy. One of my favourite things to do is lie on the grass on a clear night and look up at the stars. I have even wondered about astrology, whether heavenly movements can in some way be related to our lives. I know most scientists are very skeptical about the subject. I personally don’t think we should be so quick to judge.

It’s not actually possible to disentangle human biology from the movements of the sun and moon and the rotation of the earth. These, in turn, are affected by, or are at least in synch with, larger rhythms and cycles. I don’t profess to know that much about astrology, nor how it works, but I personally don’t think anyone should dismiss the subject without a thorough understanding of these larger cycles.

I did have a go at calculating my own chart….a long process and would have been a lot easier had I just used a computer rather than an ephemeris, but then again I do like to know what is being calculated. 🙂 To me, it’s a map of the heavens according to my time of birth and the coordinates of where I was born. Could that map in some way have a bearing on some of the body’s rhythms? I don’t think anyone has actually researched it like that. I’d be curious to see what they’d come up with.

But coming back to why I wrote this blog entry. I wanted to really just point out that the spinning of the earth, the orbit of the moon, and even the movement of the earth around the sun, can be thought of as forces of destiny, in that we can predict these cosmic movements with astonishing accuracy from the moment a person is born for the rest of their lives.

So in this way, it is possible to predict some of a person’s biology at any date in the future. All you would need to know is their coordinates so you can work out the position of the sun in the sky.

I find that kind of cool. 🙂

I covered the subject of chronobiology in chapter 1 of my book, ‘Is Your Life Mapped Out?’ (Hay House, October 1st, 2012). Please forgive the blatant promotion of the book – I’ve never been one for promoting my own stuff (sound of publisher rapping my knuckles) – but I’m just so absolutely fascinated with the whole subject of destiny, free will, consciousness, the meaning of life, and how our thoughts create our reality, and want to shout about it from the highest mountaintops.

Please feel free to help me get the subject out. 🙂


Is Your Life Mapped Out?

My New Book

It’s a really big question. Is life governed by fate or do we make it up as we go along?

The overall subject I explored in this book is one that has profoundly shaped my life and molded how I think about things.

I do believe that some events in life are meant to be. Or, let me broaden that…. I believe that certain events in life have a high probability of happening. Life is about probabilities and not certainties, as quantum physics clearly shows us, and so it doesn’t necessarily mean these events are set in stone. There is, I believe, a subtle dance between what we might call destiny (there are actually multiple forces – both internal and external – that influence our lives) and free will.

So to explain why things happen the way they do, I’ve delved into chronobiology (how some biological processes are driven by cosmic cycles) and epigenetics, but also gone into intuition, presentiment (how humans and animals can seemingly sense future events) and spiritual ideas around the nature of consciousness and who we really are. I have even made some really big suggestions regarding the nature of reality, time, and even the origins of the universe. And I’ve attempted to equate all this with exactly how we affect our lives through what I define as the 3 levels of creation, so that we can grasp the dance between destiny and free will.

I started having thoughts about reality, how things work, whether what happens is fate or whether I create my reality, and other things like this, when I was around 12 years old. These kinds of thoughts occupied my mind a lot during my teenage years (sad, I know).

It became clear to me that my intentions and actions, intermixed with the influences of other people, led to much of what I experienced in my life, but I felt that there were sometimes deeper forces at bay so that some things were always going to happen regardless of what choices I made.

I can look back on my life now – albeit only 41 years so far…. I’m 42 next month…. good wishes are welcome 🙂 – and it feels like certain things were very important in my life… why I did my PhD where I did, why I got the R&D job I did and not the one I actually wanted, and even why I experienced a 6 month period of depression.

On a very personal note. I had to write this book. It has been inside of me for a number of years but I felt I needed to write my other books first. Probably, this was because I needed to get to where I was in my development as an author, as well as in my spiritual and personal development, but also, importantly, in my self confidence, so that I could do the subject justice.

The latter is especially important for me given that, even though I am a public speaker, I have struggled with self-confidence for years (we all have our personal challenges). I am aware that some of the ideas might invite skepticism, although I am sure the science is pretty solid, but I needed to get to a place where it didn’t bother me whether people agreed with me or not. There are some things that you just need to say, regardless.

It’s been synchronistic, too, that some of the research that pulled the deeper ideas together in the book, especially the groundbreaking experiments in quantum physics (entanglement in time….. awesome subject), were only done in the last couple of years. Through this type of research we are led to the awesome conclusions that all time is simultaneous and that the past is still evolving (bit of a mind screw that one)!

I’d better stop now…. I just can’t help giving away too much stuff, but I just find it sooooo fascinating. My publisher would prefer that you read the book for yourself. 🙂

So if you’re interested in checking out or buying the book, here’s some of the links:

Amazon UK

Kindle UK

Kindle US