Posts Tagged ‘London’

Chance Encounters?

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Once in a while – or more often if you are “lucky” – the right person comes along at exactly the right time.  He or she seems made-to-order!  A gift from who knows where.

This is what happened to me in London, not long after U.K. authorities had given me my marching orders.  I had stayed long enough, they advised me, it would soon be time to go.  I loved London and wanted to remain there – so this news hit me hard.  In fact, I began to sound a bit like my namesake Scarlett O’Hara at the end of the film Gone with the Wind: “Where will I go?  What will I do?”  Then, Chris came along. 

After hearing my tale of woe, he offered to help me deal as productively as possible with my situation.  He told me he had professional training in Direction Finding Techniques and something intriguing called Sub-Personality Management.  He invited me to take temporary refuge in his Wimbledon home, which he called The Railway Tracks Hotel, where he would put me through a series of exercises designed to give me a better sense of myself and my future – before going into “exile”.  I accepted!

I had the same right-person, right-time experience recently while flying from Toronto, Canada, to Cozumel, Mexico.  With the help of my brilliant web “master” Bruce Buttimore, I had just launched my website and was thinking of starting a blog to introduce my Chris-inspired book “Lost and Found in London:  How the Railway Tracks Hotel Changed Me”.  Somehow, the perfect person, Saskia Winjgaard, was sitting beside me on the plane.  There, 6 or 7 miles above the earth, she offered me – a complete stranger – her help and support on my blog project, once we returned to our normal lives.  Again, I accepted – and you are reading the result!  

Some people describe such serendipitous meetings as “the universe providing”.  They claim that I sent positive energy vibes out and “attracted” exactly who I needed.  Although this sounds like a tempting scenario to believe in, I haven’t decided whether I can entirely.  What I do know is that the best way to experience life and bring interesting, exciting people into it is to be “out there”, taking risks, exuding enthusiasm and a certain amount of positive energy!  You won’t attract anything momentous sitting at home, watching TV.

The Triumphs and Perils of Self-Image

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Self-image is everything!  It speaks volumes.  It controls us and our actions to the nth degree.  There’s no getting around it.  That’s where the problems and solutions lie.

As I wrote in my first two blogs, I want to communicate what I learned about self-transformation – reprogramming that stubborn self-image – while in London, England, a year ago.  I’ve written a book about the experience Lost and Found in London, but also want to get the word out virtually.

When I arrived in London, I was delighted to be there, but was also feeling a little desperate.  My life wasn’t what I wanted it to be – both personally and professionally.  I was frustrated, but had no idea what to do about it.  Somehow things weren’t going as I had hoped, but the cause of my inability to achieve the life I fantasized about was a mystery to me.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to identify any one root cause of a person’s attitudes and actions.  We are all like giant puzzles with many, many parts, influenced by the various worlds I have mentioned – the worlds of family, friends, community, country, and planet.  Trying to isolate a key piece to explain the whole puzzle is foolish.  There are simply too many elements involved in creating the person you have become.

But there are patterns and clues to what makes us tick – and we should be on the look-out for them.  In terms of self-image, the good news for me is that I have always seen myself as a reasonably slim person – and rarely have weight problems (except when I’ve fallen in love with a good cook!).  That self-image is like an internal guardian – mentally watching the scales!  The bad news is that my stable, up-and-coming, middle-class life was destroyed when my father died at age 31, leaving my 25-year-old mother alone with three children under 5.  That led to a life of instability and relative poverty – and, I believe, greatly affected my self-image.

When I first met Chris, my London Life Coach, our task was to reveal and revise the negative aspects of my self-image.  The ones that were creating my own personal glass ceiling …limiting my life.  More to come …

The Personal IS the Political

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Welcome to Blog Two!  I want to thank everyone who commented on the launch of this valuable new tool, which, as I mentioned, is related to my as-yet-unpublished book Lost and Found in London:  How the Railway Tracks Hotel Changed Me.  The comments were positive – with one exception.  Someone very close to me had a concern.

This thoughtful person felt that I should not combine my political work and website with my self-help-style blog – which might be considered by some as “flaky”.  As you can imagine, this gave me food for thought.  No one, especially in journalism, wants to have this particular “f” word applied to them!  Credibility flies out the door.

However, although I have certainly taken this advice into consideration, I have decided to maintain the connection between website and blog – and hope for the best.  There is an important reason for this.

As I stated in Blog One, we all have several worlds – internal and external – on varying levels.  What is equally important to acknowledge is that the spiritual and tangible are very closely linked.  Actually, they are impossible to de-link, although many have tried.

My premise is that changing your internal world should be done in tandem with adjusting your actions in the external world.  You can’t tell yourself you want to be a more thoughtful, caring person, as you degrade your environment in some way. 

There’s a symbiosis between the internal and the external (and vice versa), which we can’t avoid – for long!  Until next time …


Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Welcome to my blog!  It’s wonderful to have such an immediate way of expressing my thoughts and opinions.  There are no columns to sell to mainly-corporate-controlled newspapers, no publishers/editors/censors to deal with.  Just a direct line to the reader.

First, I want to thank Saskia Wijngaard for her help and inspiration.  We met on a plane heading to Mexico; she offered to guide me through the process of establishing a blog, and she did just that, taking valuable time from her busy schedule. Let me explain why I have called this blog: help2changeourworlds.  I wanted to emphasize the fact that we all face and have to deal with many complex worlds – not simply one, big, amorphous one.  Externally, we are confronted with, at the very least, the worlds of our family, our community, our country, and our planet.  Although we make use of the same general set of skills in our relations with these worlds, they do require different knowledge and perspective.
The same holds true with our internal worlds.  We have our conscious mind, our unconscious, our subconscious, and even our super conscious.  Again, they all demand varying degrees of awareness and understanding, which I will deal with in future blogs.

Even with an understanding of this multi-world concept, changing isn’t all that easy.  Each one of us is the end-product of a lot of programming and imprinting by parents, friends and acquaintances, and society.  It has taken years – day after day after day – to be who and what we are.  We can’t transform ourselves overnight.  We can’t even do it in a matter of weeks or months.  That’s important to remember!  Change is an on-going process.  If you are lucky, it will never end.

This blog is based on my novel Lost and Found in London: How the Railway Tracks Hotel Changed Me, which will be published this year.  Lost and Found deals with my own recent experience when, after having fun for several months in London, England, I ran out of time and money – and had to come up with a viable plan for the future.  (For a full synopsis, go to my website:

I also needed the strength of mind and willpower to follow that plan and get on with a productive and happy life.  Fortunately, I found the right person, who had training in Life Coaching – helping people change for the better.  He taught me a lot about myself and about being human through conversations and exercises.  Now, I want to pass along my learning to you.

We all have a lot of battles to fight in our various worlds and it isn’t always easy.  I’m sure my efforts and experiences can help you!