My Life's Greatest Adventure
A number of years ago I went on a journey of self discovery which was one of the greatest adventures I could ever hope to experience.
I was once asked, as part of a development programme, to write the story of my life. At first it felt galling, but soon it became a fascinating exercise. The brief was to capture the moments that I thought had shaped who I really am right now. By doing so I had to really consider what it was that shaped me through experience rather than my genetics. Where you were brought up, your siblings, your early school experiences, the more visceral achievements or failures that have been indelibly stamped into your consciousness are all part of that big story. However, one of the most significant parts of my story was when my belief systems got challenged in such a way that I had to review everything.
It was a time that I realised that I lived in two worlds; almost like the yin and the yang.
I could use logic and analysis to make sense of any situation. I loved being me, because the world made sense through my grid of intellect and my models of what life is all about. It was solid, it was rational and I felt that I had the power to control and conquer it.
The yang in me was strong.
I have always been interested in what was then described as the paranormal i.e. stuff that we can’t explain by science. One day, when I was leaving a friend of mine's house, I had the most visceral premonition of my life. I was 18 and was about to drive home in my very first car; a little Fiat Sports Coupe that was my pride and joy. When I approached my car, I knew that something was wrong. Everything in my body wanted me to walk home and to never drive that car again.
I overcame the urge by applying my fabulous intellectual logic and told myself how ridiculous I was being and managed to drive back home but when I turned off the engine, the urge came back so strongly that I couldn't even take the keys out of the ignition before I swiftly ejected myself from the driving seat and ran away from the car.
The next day I told my family and friends about my experience and vowed never to drive that car again because I knew if I did something terrible would happen, an accident that would put my life at risk.
I grew up in the countryside in a beautiful part of Herefordshire. As an 18-year-old, it was kind of hard to have much fun without the set of wheels, as there was nowhere to go without a long, long walk.
So after a couple of days, I relented and drove to meet some friends in a local pub. The idea of pleasure overcame my fear and we had a great evening. I only had half a pint of bitter all evening and therefore was sober and fine to drive home.
However when I did I somehow managed to clip a tree as I turned left and rolled my car down the lane, crashing in the most dramatic of fashions at the bottom. I wasn't racing, no other cars were involved and it was absolutely the last thing I wanted to happen. Fortunately, I got patched up well and am forever grateful to the fabulous National Health Service. The only remnants of the crash are a lump of glass that I still have stuck in my skull and a healthy respect for taking left hand corners.
The biggest impact of that moment however, was that I now had to reappraise all my fundamental beliefs. The fact that I could predict this accident and had witnesses to that prediction, rocked my world. There was nothing subtle about my experience, and there was therefore no way of avoiding it. I realised that there was more to this life than I understood, and I was so shaken by that realisation that I didn't know where to look for the answers.
Over the years that followed, I made other predictions that came true and I had other unusual experiences that could not be explained by logic.
The yin was hard to ignore.
As a result of exploring energetic connection and consciousness, my life has taken an amazing turn and is way more exciting an adventure that I could ever have imagined. I now feel like I live in both worlds. Sometimes it’s more yang, sometimes it’s more yin, but they do co-exist every day.
My life's biggest adventure is still to this day expanding my understanding of how this interconnection works. For me it is way more exciting than any trip around the world or any number of pursuits that I used to consider ‘adventurous’.
When walking down any street can be an inspirational revelation you realise that you don’t need to go to Machu Picchu for breakthroughs.
If anybody would like to experience of what I am describing, check out www.streetwisdom.org and sign up for a free immersion into what is possible when we tune in to this amazing world around us.
At Upping Your Elvis we believe that everybody is perfect, we just often forget. Our job is to help organisations and the people within them rediscover that, and love every minute of doing so – it can all be an adventure. This may sound fluffy, but the ROI’s that we achieve can be incredible. We wouldn’t be asked back again and again unless real impact is created and real value to business is seen. To do this work well, I need to have a high degree of good rational thought so that I can understand clients’ businesses and connect with how they add value. To that end my yang background serves me incredibly well.
This ‘fluffy’ stuff has an effect way beyond any rebrand, restructure, downsizing, strategy shift, process implementation or any number of initiatives that the board has sponsored, that I have ever seen, and that’s why I have devoted my life to it.
Get people to be their true extraordinary selves and everything else follows.
Business and indeed the new generation of leaders are becoming more and more aware of the limitations of the logical brain. What was once thought of as ‘hippy’ is now seen as smart practise.
AG Laffley, P&G’s former CEO, is a strong advocate of meditation and is certain of the benefit to business. So is William George, a current Goldman Sachs board member and a former chief executive of the healthcare giant Medtronic and so, indeed, was Steve Jobs . . . the list goes on . . .
The tide is turning; we are waking up and what lies ahead is all an adventure.
Top Tips for tuning in
1.Sit straight, breathe deep and smile.
2.Notice that in essence you are way more than your name, your body, your job. Feel it.
3.When meeting others, slow down and really see them. Breathe deeply and appreciate them fully.
4.Spend time everyday just being eg Sit on a bench and watch the world go by
5.Turn off your PDA for at least 1 hour a day and enjoy the peace.
Adapted from Free! Love Your Work, Love Your Life by Chris Barez-Brown, published by Penguin on 6th June 2014.