Category Archives: 07 Barnabas the Blogger

Don’t Struggle, Snuggle!

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LEANING ON THE EVERLASTING ARMS

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms!”
– Deut 33:27
“So, humble yourselves under God’s strong hand, and in his own good time he will lift you up. You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern!” – 1 Peter 5: 6-7

Recently, and in different ways, I have been challenged to find a place where I am willing to give up control of my life’s trajectory. In some ways this concept is not alien to me, but in other ways it is. For the first forty years of my life I believed that although we all have freewill nevertheless God is in control of our destiny, and that our life’s path has been mapped out for us. For the last decade and a half I have believed that I am the master of my soul, and the one who control’s my life’s walk.

Far from a “return to base” this challenge I see as the next step towards my maturity and not one where I am going backwards. I came from a place of believing I was a “puppet of the gods” where I had no lasting control over my life. For the past eight years my passion has been about helping people to find a purpose and meaning to their lives which is of their own desire and making. Today I am beginning to see a new way forward, a new way of thinking begin to emerge to me

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Many years ago I read a biographical book about a lady called Corrie Ten Boom. The one part of this story which stood out to me was a scene from York Railway Station. She had been in York on a speaking engagement and felt that she had not yet communicated her message precisely; she hadn’t said what she wanted to say. Then as the train began to leave the station she leaned out of her carriage window and shouted the missing part of her message; it was “Don’t struggle, snuggle!”

I do see a great difference between, on the one hand being a fatalist who believes everything is planned and fixed; and on the other hand being the “master of my own destiny” and responsible for every detail of my life and being at fault every time something doesn’t go perfectly for me! My Dad used to say to me: “You see everything as black and white Andrew; but there are a million shades of grey!” Wise man my Dad! 🙂

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So here’s just one of the multi-coloured possibilities that I am now considering! What if instead of being a fatalist, someone without control, I become a man who surrenders the control I believe I have to a greater power than me? Of course it would depend on whether I believed that the “power” was benign and wanted good things for me or not. So, what if I believed that in some way this power was an extension of me that wanted the same things as me?

My concept of God has been changing in the years since I left the life of the church. I now see God as an all loving, all seeing, all knowing, all powerful and eternal ocean of being from which I have emerged. That although I am not God I am nevertheless a drop from the ocean of God and that I am here to express a part of that being that has not been seen or experienced before. Maybe I should flesh out my belief by trusting that this greater power is at work through me, and for me as well?

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I believe that such a leap of faith is called for in my life today! I believe I no longer need to control the details of my life, but merely to trust in the benign power of the larger me that I was sent here by. It’s time for me (and maybe you) to stop attempting to organise all the outcomes and instead to lean on the everlasting arms and to cast my cares on him because he cares for me; why wouldn’t he after all he is me! Well that is putting the cart before the horse; I should instead say I am part of him!

Faith is the key to what I am saying here; faith to believe my times are in his hands. That I am here to fulfil an earlier destiny which was agreed by both of us (or both of me) before I (the ego/mind of me) emerged from the ocean of God’s desire. To believe that I have moved from fatalism, to first taking control, to now a place of true faith; a place where I now know that, (regardless of what may appear to be happening to onlookers); I am in partnership with the one whose plans will never fail!

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I invite you with me to choose to trust from this moment on, to let go and let god! God is waiting to be the one we trust and that once we do, we will be able to leave the details to him. He cares for us because we are part of him. It is in our souls where we can communicate with him, our minds and our egos will take us away from the peace and certainty that our soul, and our intuition is waiting to give to us. Life, both yours and mine was never meant to be a struggle at the deepest level of our beings, it was meant to be a snuggle!!!

Keep on keeping on! Love and light from Andrew

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How To Have Fun and Success

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 HOW TO HAVE FUN AND SUCCESS

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing!” – Dale Carnegie

Think of the long hard slog, nine to five every weekday; or if you were me back in the “day job” 8.30am to around 6pm each day. Many of those days I had the Elvis Costello song: “I’d rather be anywhere else than here today!” going through my head. Was this a recipe for success? I think not! Most days thankfully were a little different, but as I sat at the same desk for two days a week for 7 years and then five days a week for the following 8 years, one word I would not use to describe the experience, was fun!

That’s more than 10 years in the same geographical location; I was earning money to keep my family in the style they were accustomed to. It was drudgery; not all the time but most days I sat there thinking of what else I’d prefer to be doing. As a result of being slightly depressed, I was comfort eating and each year I weighed more than the year before. I was slowly, but surely, heading towards a massive heart attack and an early death, which would have been stress and weight induced.

Then it all changed; I was told that my services were no longer required and I was being “let go.” I think that the shock I got that day was not as great as the one they got when THEY came to tell me (oh yes there was two of them, one playing good cop, the other bad cop) it was time for me to go. I just said “OK” I think they were expecting an argument, but they didn’t get one. I knew financially that this was the worst possible news and yet now at last I would get chance to have fun!

I had longed for many years to become a Life Coach and a couple of years before I was “let go” I had enrolled on a Life Coach Training Course, but had to put it on hold as my Father was terminally ill. Although I didn’t know how I was going to survive financially at that point, I realised that at last now I could be successful and do what I had dreamed of doing since 1996; why was I so sure of my success, because I knew this Dale Carnegie quote and that it was time to have FUN!!!

Keep on keeping on! Love and light from Andrew

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If you have enjoyed reading today’s 145th “Daily Insight” of mine, please visit http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IVK584E/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk where you can buy my first collection of “Daily Insights” and help me to be able to continue with my work.

Do You Mind Or Do You Matter?

Dr-Seuss

IT’S A CASE OF MIND OVER MATTER, IF YOU DON’T MIND IT WON’T MATTER!

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind!” – Doctor Seuss

I love Doctor Seuss, because he says things in such a profound and funny way, I can’t help but smiling! Some of the funniest men alive have great intellects! From the past I think of Mark Twain who said, among other things: “All generalisations are false, including this one!” and “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence!” Albert Einstein himself said “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves!”

Today’s quote challenges us to be the person we want to be, to be able to do that you must first define yourself in a way that makes you feel good about yourself. We all need self-respect and yet if you can catch yourself when you use the words “I am” and make a note of what words pass your lips next you’ll soon see whether you need to be encouraged or challenged about the way you see yourself. “I’m a failure!” is a bad confession and even: “I’m just a Mum!” just won’t do.

Let’s say though for the sake of argument that you have a good self-image and you use extremely positive words to follow the many times each day you say “I am … !“ Nevertheless it’s one thing using them within your own thinking, and another thing entirely to say them out loud. As a young person my parents, especially my Mum used to say to me: “Don’t be a big head Andrew, people don’t like big-heads!” So here is an “I am” statement of mine, I learned to use: “I am humble!”

In some ways my Mother got it right, I am as a result of what she said no longer an arrogant man, and yet Dr Seuss has a different angle to speak to us on this very subject. The trouble with what my Mum was saying to me, god bless her, was that we should take account of what other people thought of us, and that led me to become a people pleaser; as well as being a humble, non-arrogant man. On the other hand Dr Seuss tells us why it doesn’t matter what other people think of us!

Keep on keeping on! Love and light from Andrew 🙂 <3

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Imagine Peace!

Imagine Peace 01

 IMAGINE PEACE

“All we are saying is GIVE PEACE A CHANCE!” – John Lennon 

Have you ever wondered why people put themselves in harm’s way to stop another human being from being injured or worse? Many live to tell the tale of how they are not really a hero, they just did “what any other person would have done in the same set of circumstances!” It seems to me that there is no logical reasoning for this type of selfless behaviour and yet it is far from uncommon!

We all must have a default setting which is part of our human nature that is predisposed to living and caring for all humanity. Often these acts of kindness are performed for family and friends, but sometimes they are done for complete strangers. The desire to make a difference has the power to override our self-interest and persuade us to act heroically!

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Ask anyone who witnesses such an event or is the recipient of these super-human acts and they will tell you how brave and wonderful the person who did it, was in that moment. So what is it that turns a person wrapped up in their own cares and worries into a saviour?

It’s almost like such people found a switch that turned off their concerns for themselves and their lives to be able to perform a heroic act. And if it is possible to do that in an emergency, maybe we could find a way to do it regularly in order to be able to make the world a better place?

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Right now there are two different groups in Ukraine who are protecting their own rights and freedoms along with those who agree with their view. Many people across the globe are taking sides with the point of view which is in their country or ethnic group’s interest.

So, what if instead both sides of this dispute along with many other such disputes that exist in our world were to switch off their concerns for themselves and instead try to find a way to save the day and help those in peril instead?

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We are capable of such acts as individuals, of that there is no doubt! Whether we are capable of doing this as communities whose desire is to have our ideas rule the day is uncertain! However, it may not only be necessary to do so, but it may have already become our only means of preventing global warfare, along with the annihilation of ours and many other species of life on Planet Earth!

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Maybe this is the way to be able to finally GIVE PEACE A CHANCE in the long term? And maybe the most potent way of us successfully and collectively imagining peace?

Love and light to you, all those we love, and those we find it a challenge to love, from Andrew

Namaste!

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Return To The Peace

Return To The Peace

RETURN TO THE PEACE
Written and © Copyright 2014
By Andrew Paul Smith 09-03-2014

 

There is a stillness found within us
It’s at the centre of who we are
And to get back to that place
Some have to journey from afar

So many have made the mistake
And put the cart before the horse
But it is never too late
To make a change of course

The mind is but a tool
Of the soul’s journey home
And if you’re thinking is in charge
It’s time remove it from the throne

Although this seems illogical
To finally lose our minds
To live instead from our hearts
It’s the way to make us kind

We have a daily choice to make
Between eternal peace or war
The mind and the ego must bow
And let the heart call the score

You Are Magnificent!

You Are Magnificent

YOU ARE MAGNIFICENT!

Don’t be scared my friend! The worse thing that happens to us in this life is death and it is then that we either go into nothingness, so it’s all over; or we end up realising this lifetime was just a dream and it’s time to wake up to a new day in reality surrounded by love and all the ones who we have loved and lost are returned to us!

“Row row row your boat gently down the stream, merrily merrily merrily merrily life us but a dream!” Be at peace! Love is the meaning of life love; Life is the meaning of love! Or as the good book says: “If god be for us who can be against us!” and “All things work together for good for those who love god!”

So be at peace; I am just the part of you that is here to remind you that you are magnificent! You are an individualisation of the god force! You are divinity personified! Be not in fear or pain! Know this, that the power of love resides within you and that you are more than equal to every challenge that you have to face!

Love and light to you from Andrew :) <3

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A New Way Of Thinking

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A NEW WAY OF THINKING

“The most damaging phrase in the language is: ‘It’s always been done that way’!” – Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

Within a series of thirteen sessions, the Life Coaching program I take people through first helps them to focus in on their goals and as we take the journey from desire to results, from faith and hope to possession and being, my clients learn something very wonderful indeed. They learn that they always had it in them to be what they wanted to be, to do what they wanted to do and to have what they wanted to have!

Through the course, we discuss such things as beliefs, rules and values. We look at where they came from and ask if they are having a positive or negative impact on their lives. We ask where does out motivation come from to be the people that we are? How do we start to take responsibility for our lives, rather than blaming or justifying our actions when they don’t express correctly who we dearly want to be seen as being?

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By going through this process, each of my clients and all those who have seriously engaged with the “New Insights” course have come to the realisation that it is our thoughts that make us into the people we are. These alumni of coaching also know that by changing their thoughts, they can change the direction of their lives, their results and their overall joy, happiness and contentment on a day to day basis.

Despite what you may be thinking, this is not an encouragement for you to become my client and go through the “New Insights” course with me; although if you decide that is what you would like to do I wouldn’t object. The reason I am sharing these thoughts with you now is because of a new thought I had this morning; if the individual can take charge of their thinking and thereby change their lives, then so can human society!

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We do the things we do because of the way we were trained to do them by our parents, our teachers, our peers. So through taking the time to investigate the beliefs, rules and values we hold because of our social conditioning, we are able to ascertain whether these strategies are working for us and then we can change them if we find it is necessary to. In the same way we need to examine the beliefs, rules and values we have as a human society and do the same.

I intend to write a series of articles to investigate what it is we do as human beings to enable us all to question whether the basis of our interactions with each other on the planet is helping or hindering the progress and or the survival of our species and our planet. I’d love to read your comments on what I say, maybe you can help bring more clarity to the ideas that I am bringing. I believe it’s time for us to stop acting as individuals and as a human race on auto-pilot!

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It is my intention to look at religion, philosophy, politics, economics, but the first article in this series will be about self-belief, self-knowledge and the direction our personal development and growth should take if the end result we are aiming for is the improvement of the human experience for all on our dear Mother Earth. Should we be aiming to take our civilisation off planet and stop having our eggs in one basket, and what kind of a civilisation do we want to take to the stars if we go?

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Love and light to you from Andrew :) <3

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The Best Way To Love Someone

The Best Way to Love Someone

 THE GREATEST VERSION OF OURSELVES!

“I find the best way to love someone is not to change them, but instead, help them reveal the greatest version of themselves!” – Steve Maraboli

In my work as a coach my absolute joy is to join in with my client’s journey to ultimate self-realisation and self-assurance. I hope I am like other coaches who work from a place of ultimate love for humanity as the reason for their work.

I remember the words of the old hymn that describes the mission of Jesus as being “Love to the loveless shown that they might lovely be!” I can’t think of a better calling or vocation, to care for others in a selfless and noncontrolling way. It can be frustrating at times on a human level, when you can see what needs to change in a client’s life, but you know they will be far better served by being allowed to discover this truth for themselves.

As human beings, especially from a male perspective, we so desire to fix things, to help solve the problems that our loved ones have and yet we are human beings not human fixers! Sometimes our loved ones want our help and suggestions, but other times we need to be those who are with people in their grief and problems and be willing to “weep with those who weep!”

We are told that we will forget what people say to us, and what people do for us, but we will always remember how people made us feel. To love someone in a way that will never be forgotten is to allow them to be who they are without wanting to fix them. If we can make them feel good about themselves and their circumstances, regardless of whether they are pleased about them or not we will have served them well!

We are all on the road of life and although its twists and turns separate our experience and perspective of the reality of life, we can be there for each other along the way. We can be a cheery smile or the warmth of a hug to our fellow travellers and we can be remembered with affection should we take a different route, if our journeying takes us in different directions.

What is the best version of yourself that you haven’t discovered yet? Look out for those who love you without trying to change you, because their observations and insights may be of help to you and me!

Love and light to you from Andrew :) <3

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Cry Freedom Now!

Cry Freedom Now 01

MAGIC

“We all possess more power and greater possibilities than we realize, and visualizing is one of the greatest of these powers!” – Genevieve Behrend, 1881-1960, Author

Have you ever got sick and tired of being sick and tired? Does it seem to you that with every step forward you make life pushes you back two? Have you abdicated your personal power in a time of frustration and said “I give up!” What is my point?

I have a very simple but profound fact to share with you: You are magnificent! You are divinity in human form! There is nothing you can’t do, nowhere that you can’t go and no personal goal you can’t achieve! You can create your own reality!

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You have been hood-winked into believing that you are just Mary the shop assistant, or John the mechanic, but you are an expression of the universe in sentient physical form and you are connected to the whole! If you don’t believe me, ask a quantum physicist!

Sure, life is a mystery and we don’t understand it all yet, but Einstein said that “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” If you don’t like the reality you are living in then you are capable of changing it, because it is merely an illusion, your illusion!

I was thinking about Nelson Mandela and how he did something quite magical! He single-handedly stopped a blood bath. The minority white apartheid regime’s days were numbered, he knew it and they knew it; but he offered a way forward that would allow peace and reconciliation to prevail.

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We have a similar situation today with a small elite running the western world (if not the whole world) whilst treating the rest of us as second class planetary inhabitants. Can a peaceful end be brought to this system without blood being spilled? Mandela has proved that such magic is possible!

We all need to play our part wherever your Robben Island happens to be, where the current system has you seemingly trapped. You and I need to live every day as those who know the freedom we seek in our hearts. The song “Free Nelson Mandela” was an oxymoron, Mandela was always free in his heart!

We are magnificent beings, we are divinity in human form and it is time for us all to view our reality as us being so. You cannot long term imprison people within imposed social structures, when they have decided that they are already free! I say “Cry Freedom!” I say “Cry Freedom Now!”

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https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cry-Freedom-Now/1420119648224118

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

“We are thoughts that have learned how to create the physical machine. We are impulses of intelligence in a larger void of intelligence. We have learned how to create physical matter, by that I mean our minds and our bodies. The world is a quantum soup, radically ambiguous, a ceaselessly flowing field of all possibilities of infinite choice. We are like King Midas – but where he could only turn things to gold, we can turn things into anything we like.” – Deepak Chopra

Love and light to you from Andrew :) <3

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Heroes & Villains (IV) – The Conclusion (with Video)

Heroes and Villains Conclusion (i)

“Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well!” – Josh Billings

In the past month I have been speaking about some of my heroes. I have written about President Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, John Lennon and I have quoted song lyrics from Larry Norman. Stories especially those about real people are wonderful, because they help us to see how it is possible to live a life that impacts the world if not the lives of others in a positive way.

My eyes were drawn to watch a video article on TR – that’s Russia Today a satellite news channel which told of some of the shady dealings that Nelson Mandela made when he was President of South Africa to help get the South African economy on a secure footing. I also watched a couple of videos recorded by Larry Norman’s girlfriend who spoke of how he manipulated people.

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At first I was disappointed to find that my heroes weren’t as I imagined them to be and then I thought of JFK’s fling with Marilyn Monroe and remembered something I’d read in a John Lennon biography. John had a drunken fight with his best friend Stuart Sutcliffe who hit his head on the pavement (sidewalk) and when he later died of a brain haemorrhage Lennon blamed himself.

The point I am making here is that no-one is perfect and that is the same of both you and me too! We are not only the heroes in our own story, we are the villains too! We are in good company, thankfully; because if you read the great “Hall of Faith” chapter in the bible Hebrews 11 you read about the mighty exploits of the great men of faith to be found in the Old Testament.

There are some wonderful heroes celebrated there: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Samuel, David, Solomon and so the list goes on. The great man of faith Abraham didn’t believe God’s promise that Sarah would bear him a son and with Sarah’s blessing had a son with Hagar their maidservant. Isaac stole his brothers birth right, David had Uriah the Hittite killed so that he could marry Bathsheba.

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I’ve read the bible through all the way twice, so I know that Hebrews 11 is only telling us one part of these stories! Human beings are flawed; we have the capacity for great good and great evil. We need to be real, we are not all good or all bad, but we need to make sure that we keep the dark side of our nature on a short leash and put our best foot forward every day of our lives!

I believe we should forgive our heroes for not quite making the mark, and forgive ourselves and our fellow human beings for being like us less than we’d like to be and maybe then we will be remembered for the joy we have brought to the world, the good that we have done for others and we will all rest in peace when our time comes.

HERE’S THE VIDEO: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=327235900751104&set=o.135612909944672&type=3&theater

Love and light to you from Andrew :) <3