Dave, you believe we go to heaven when we die?

I neither believe it nor disbelieve it because I have no knowledge or experience of it. If I said yes or no I would be giving credence to a belief, and a belief does not necessarily have anything to do with the truth, it’s just another belief, no more, no less. The answer to that question is, in my opinion, unknowable.

This might amuse you though: Only last night I dreamed I’d died and gone to heaven. Probably because I’d been to a funeral the day before, which in turn reminded me of several other good friends and family members whose funerals I’d been to in the preceding 18 months or so.

This led me, when I awoke, to ask myself what did heaven look like to me in my dream. Well of course there was plenty of chocolate to be enjoyed, and unlimited supplies of good Italian coffee too. Jimi Hendrix was there – he’s my favourite guitarist of all time – and of course my partner was there (we were both around 30 in my dream). Food played a huge part – someone told me once that I’m food obsessed, which is probably true – especially important, there was lots of cheese of all different types, and roast beef and roast potatoes (sorry if you’re a vegetarian), plentiful smoked salmon and gallons of double cream. And my favourite childhood comfort food, chicken soup with noodles and matzo balls. There was a boat, of course, because I love sailing, an 82ft. Oyster called Bare Necessities which I recently saw for sale for about £2.8 million, plenty of azure sea, a merry breeze and unbroken blue skies. There was even an Italian restaurant so I could eat my beloved pasta to my heart’s content. The temperature hovered around the 25c. mark and it never got cold and it never rained, yet there was no sign of a drought. And best of all, there was plenty of time to write and to meditate, and all my deceased friends and relatives were there.

The interesting thing about this scenario is that it’s not actually that much different from my actual life, so I understand the Gurus who say that heaven, or paradise, is right here on earth, right now. OK, I’m way beyond 30, but I still feel like I’m in my 30’s, my boat is far more modest that the one described, but it brings lots of joy and happiness and some brilliant adventures nevertheless, I can’t control the weather and there’s never enough time for writing, but when you look at it up and down, the life we have right now ain’t so bad at all, and if there’s something about it we don’t like we can change it. We have more blessings than we could count in a month of Sundays and it’s all really cool and exciting.

Just one vital difference: In heaven there were no money worries, which had the effect of removing all my anxiety. That’s what I’m working on now, back here on earth in this lifetime.

Wish me luck…

 

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Dave, why has it been such a long time since you posted anything?

Oooops, I’m hoist by my own petard!

I’m always telling my clients and the folks at my writers’ group, if you’re going to blog you have to do it regularly, and now I’ve done it myself – not posted anything for ages. Mia Culpa. Sorry.

I do have a reason. It’s not an excuse but it is a reason. I’ve been massively busy since I got back from holidays in mid August, writing and creating material for the imminent relaunch of my coaching practise, which I’m revealing to an unsuspecting public at the forthcoming Mind Body Soul Experience in London’s Olympia. I’m launching three new coaching programmes at the show and I’ve been developing their content and creating all sorts of display material for the exhibition, and so on.

The three programmes are

  • Living your Life’s Purpose
  • Write Your Book – Make a Difference
  • Be Your Own Boss – Preparing yourself for success in Self-Employment

I’m also giving a talk on the Sunday about Living Your Life’s Purpose, so if you like where I’m coming from, why don’t you pitch up and lend an ear? You and your support will be most welcome.

After that I’ll return to blogging more regularly. Honest…

After I’ve finished doing my annual tax return, that is! (Only joking).

MBS_Dave-Robson (2)

 

 

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Just do it!

“Dave, I’m full of bright ideas but I procrastinate. How do I stop doing that,” someone asked me recently.

There is only one remedy – take action!

Let’s unravel this a bit more. I’ve met lots of people who have too many ideas and don’t know which to choose, and there are many possible reasons for this. But if , as you say,  you’re a procrastinator and you look deep into your heart you will almost certainly find that the one thing you really, really want to do that stands out above all the rest will be the very last thing you will do, if ever, after you’ve half-heartedly tried all the others. This is almost always as a result of fear and self-limiting beliefs. For example, consciously or unconsciously you may have a tape loop running around in your head saying, “I’m not good enough,” or “I might fail,” or some such sabotaging message.

But these kind of messages have come to your unconscious mind from the outside as what we call conditioning and have nothing to do with who you really are. The real you wants to do something creative.

As always we come back to the late Susan Jeffers, who coined the phrase, “feel the fear and do it anyway.” Just do it. That is the only solution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dave, what’s so important about an “attitude of gratitude?”

Very simple. You will feel better, you’ll be happier and you’ll more easily achieve your dreams if you adopt an attitude of gratitude. Here’s how it works:

Your mind, as I have explained in previous posts, is extremely powerful and can create anything you want. It can also create stuff you don’t want if you’re not very careful. Your mind takes its instruction from your dominant thoughts and feelings and creates more of those. So, for example, if you spends lots of time thinking about how much you love your children, you will experience more and more love for them. Because you are thinking predominantly of love, your mind creates more love. But if you constantly think about what a pain in the backside they are, because you are thinking of your suffering your mind will create more suffering for you. You will constantly feel irritated by your children, no matter how much they love you or you love them. Therefore, if you want to be happy, you must be very discriminating about what input you allow into your delicate psyche and filter out everything negative.

By the way, when I say your mind creates whatever you want I don’t me it literally. It’s a metaphor meaning that your mind will prompt you to take the appropriate actions which will lead to you creating what you want. As usual, it’s all about your mindset.

It is also the case that you can’t focus on more than one thing at a time. Therefore by focusing on something positive, you automatically rule out everything negative. The simplest way to do that is to focus on all the thing in your life for which you feel genuinely grateful. That’s it. No rocket science, just plain, good old-fashioned common sense.

I hope that helps.

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Dave, I go to pieces when I have to speak in public. What to do?

If you get nervous when standing in front of a bunch of people who are expecting something of value from you, first of all accept and understand that this is normal. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel something. But of course abject terror is extremely unhelpful when you are trying to share something with a group because it renders you virtually unable to perform and it ruins your enjoyment.

Usually it’s a lack of self-belief that underlies such fears. You are running all kinds of self-limiting beliefs, some conscious, others not so conscious, such as “they’ll think I’m an idiot,” or “why should they listen to me,” or “what if I fail,” or “I’m no good at public speaking.” But equally important is your belief in your material.

If you stick to talking or presenting about something you are passionate about you’ll be able to get over your self-doubt eventually, if you persist and get lots of practise. If you’re a snake oil salesman and you don’t believe in your product, you won’t feel good about yourself trying to sell it to people, and very likely they’ll see through your façade and indeed give you an unpleasant reception. But if, for example, you want to demonstrate or share some yoga postures and get people to join in, as long as you are passionate about yoga, people will love you – even if you appear nervous.

Another thing to bear in mind is that you can’t please all the people all the time, so don’t be a pleaser.

It’s also a good idea to meditate in silence and then chanting the mantra “Om” before making your public appearance. This will calm you down and help you find your inner courage.

Here’s the secret and, as usual, it all boils down to your mindset: You have something deep in your heart that you are passionate about and you want to share with an audience. Your business then is to share it – nothing else. How the audience receives it and what they do with it is their business, not yours. As the Impeccable Warrior will acknowledge, if you do your part to the best of your ability, you have nothing to reproach yourself for whatever happens, even in the unlikely event that the audience hates what you told them. You have actually been successful and your confidence will grow gradually as you keep on trying harder and harder and constantly raise your game.

So be of bon courage – choose some great material and carry on. As the I Ching puts it, “perseverance furthers.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

More information: www.daverobsoncoaching.co.uk

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Dave, what can I do to build my self-esteem?

Haha, this is one of those chicken and egg questions.

You can’t just get up in the morning and say to yourself, “hey, today I’m going to raise my self-esteem!” I mean, how do you do that? Clearly it’s impossible.

That’s because self-esteem is an effect, not a cause. Let me see if I can explain (it took me years to figure this out…).

If you adopt the Behaviour of the Impeccable Warrior, you will never have to worry about your self-esteem. The Impeccable Warrior is not someone who goes around making war with all and sundry. Far from it. He (or she) is a person who behaves with absolute integrity. His behaviour is always in accordance with his core beliefs, values and code of ethics. He is completely aligned with who he is. He does only what he loves, therefore he loves whatever he does. This way, he never has anything to reproach himself for, no matter what happens.

Clearly, such a person will have taken all the time and effort necessary to get to know himself inside out so he knows clearly and consciously what his values are.

So if you think about it, why should such a person not feel good about himself? No reason.

Therefore I suggest you forget about your self-esteem and concentrate instead on living with integrity, carefully focussing on doing what you love, raising your conscious awareness to the highest possible level, and giving your gift to the world with all the love in your heart. Then one day you’ll wake up and suddenly notice, “hey, my self-esteem has taken care of itself.”

 

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Just though of something else relevant and important to yesterdays post that I want to share.

This is the whole point behind my catchphrase, “do what you love, love what you do.” It really is of paramount importance to find out what it is you love doing more than anything else, which is almost certainly also going to be your greatest talent, or potential talent, as well. For the simple reason doing what you love brings you effortlessly into the moment, and right here. It happens spontaneously, therefore it’s the perfect meditation for you.

That’s what my sailing example is about. I start sailing and automatically I’m in the moment. For you it might be mountaineering, hill walking, playing tennis, gardening, walking your dog in the park. Whatever. And it doen’t have to be your job or business. I never earn anything from sailing, not do I ever intend to. In fact it costs me money. But it gives me infinite abundance and takes away my suffering, so for me it’s a no-brainer. I just do it whenever I can.

So why should I worry about suffering? What suffering? Suffering only occurs when you do NOT do what you love. When you are in denial. When you are out of the flow or fighting against it.

My suggestion: Go for an easy life. Give up the fight, drop your resistance and surrender to doing what you love, whatever that might be.

 

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Have you suffered enough?

Dave, is it possible for us to end our suffering, and if so, how?

Wow, what a great question!

This is how I see it. In living your life you have two choices, the way of resistance or the way of acceptance.

If you choose the way of resistance you will undoubtedly exacerbate your suffering. If you choose the way of acceptance you get a much easier passage through life and greatly mitigate your suffering. The important point here is that YOU CHOOSE, even if it’s unconsciously.

Therefore the key to the whole question is to raise your awareness to the highest possible level. You will almost certainly have to overcome a whole lifetime of negative conditioning, so great awareness is essential.

The Dalai Lama tells us, “there’s really no avoiding the fact that suffering is part of life….” So that’s the first thing we have to accept. “Suffering is the underlying nature of Samsara,” he adds (Samsara means our unenlightened existence). And therein lies a gigantic clue. If we live an enlightened existence, as I have seen in a handful of people, do we then suffer?

Let us now consider the teaching of Eckhart Tolle who tells us that our pain, suffering and all our neurotic behaviour is caused by our refusal to live in the present moment. The past is a mere memory and the future has not yet happened, therefore to live in the past or the future is to dwell in fantasy land. If we come into the present moment, here and now, your ‘problems’ will melt away because now is the only real moment in time, and here is the only real place. putting it another way, it is impossible to be somewhere else other than where you are at any given time, and it’s equally impossible to exist in any other timeframe except in this moment, just as you cannot be anyone else other than who you actually are. As soon as you get that and stop trying to be or do otherwise, you get in tune with reality and your inner conflict drops straight away. That’s what I mean by acceptance.

I have put this to the test many times and it works, but you can only do it with a high level of awareness. Here are a few examples from my everyday life: I start the journey from home to a place in France where I keep my boat. On the way there my mind is crammed full of all sorts of stuff – what happened with a client I saw yesterday, worries about bills and money, and all the things I’ll have to do when I get back home. etc.

But once the sailing begins –  in fact the very moment we cast off those mooring ropes – all that stuff disappears as I find myself automatically focusing on what’s going on right now. The challenges, the joys and sometimes the difficulties of conducting a boat safely from A to B occupy my whole mind, and all those worries literally disappear, for the time being anyway.

During the moments we are sailing, the idea of suffering simply does not arise (unless it’s raining and/ or very cold), which is why I regard it as a meditation.

The same happens when I write, build something out of wood, make something on my woodturning lathe, read a book, watch a great movie or play a musical instrument.

Now, because I have had these very real experiences I have discovered it is indeed possible to end my suffering, for a while at least. While I have my full awareness on what I’m doing at this very moment, and while I’m in a state of acceptance of what is going on, there is no suffering, so Eckhart Tolle, the Dalai Lama, and countless other sages and gurus, are right. The difficulty is maintaining that awareness while, let’s say, doing the washing up. Perhaps if I were able to maintain a state of awareness, I would also get great joy from doing the washing up!

Meanwhile, probably the greatest help is meditation. Meditation undoubtedly helps to build your awareness and lifts your consciousness to a higher level. But that’s another story for another day…

 

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Dave, what do you mean by the Behaviour of the Impeccable Warrior?

This is a teaching I picked up from Carlos Castaneda way back in the early 70’s.

Castaneda was a sociologist or possibly an anthropologist working at the University of LA who was very interested in the secret knowledge of the Shamanic masters of New Mexico. The spiritual teacher he found there, Don Juan, told him of the Behaviour of the Impeccable Warrior and after I read about it I never forgot it.

The Impeccable Warrior is not someone who goes around fighting everyone. Far from it. He is someone who is totally and utterly in tune with his own core values, beliefs and ethical code. He is not led (or misled) by others. He does only what he believes is right, he always goes with his gut reaction, his instincts and his intuition, and he trusts himself implicitly to always do what he thinks is right, whatever the cost.

That’s a beautiful way to live your life because it means you went that extra mile, you left no stone unturned, so whatever happens, you never have anything to reproach yourself for.

So your self-esteem remains intact and you can always hold your head high, but without being conceited or egotistical. You are simply content because you always follow your heart.

It’s a brilliant strategy for dealing with some of the more tricky situations life throws at you. Give it a try and you’ll see how you can cope with any situation in that way.

 

More information: www.daverobsoncoaching.co.uk

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The eloquence of a golden silence

Dave, you haven’t blogged for almost a month. Why have you gone quiet on us? Someone asked me this the other day.

So sorry, everyone, can’t exactly say I’ve been a fountain of wisdom of late. I suppose everyone reacts differently to a bereavement. It’s just that I had nothing to say – until now that is – and I believe, especially as a writer or blogger, if you have nothing to contribute it’s best to shut up, rather than just sounding off to gratify your own ego.

I am reminded of the story of Socrates.

The disciples of Socrates went to the Oracle of Delphi and asked the question, “who is the wisest man in the whole world?” The Oracle answered, “Socrates.”

The disciples were very excited and ran back to Socrates and told him he should rejoice, for the Oracle had pronounced him the wisest man in the whole world, but Socrates just fell about laughing.

The disciples were very puzzled at this and demanded an explanation.

“This is all nonsense,” Socrates exclaimed. “There is only one thing I know: that I know nothing!”

By now the disciples were totally baffled. They ran back to the Oracle and said, “We told Socrates he should rejoice because you said he was the wisest man in the whole world, but he just laughed. What is going on here?”

Finally the Oracle also laughed, saying, “that is precisely why Socrates is the wisest man. Because he knows that he knows nothing!”

 

Don’t worry folks, I’ll get over it soon and I’ll be back to my usual loquacious self before you know it! Who knows, perhaps you’ll realise the silence was just as eloquent.

After all, silence is golden, so they say.

More information: www.daverobsoncoaching.co.uk

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