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Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Siurana, Catalunya

On the first day of 2017 I visited a magical place in the company of magical people. Not in a fantasy land of media making, but a real one here on earth. It was the third time I have experienced that feeling of being in a heavenly place in recent times – and I realised that on each occasion, it involved a sense of being above the clouds – and in amazing light. The first time was at Machu Picchu, where the sun rose over a distant peak and spread its glorious rays through a carpetSunrise over Machu Picchu, Peru of clouds that rose between the mountains. It was ethereal. The second time was on a plane as I gazed at the Supermoon recently, it shone across a stretch of cotton wool sea, as we flew above it. And the third time was on New Year’s Day at Siurana in Catalunya, where the clouds again rose between the peaks and the sun’s setting light made for an almost surreal view, you know, one that you look at in retrospect in a picture and can’t quite believe that you really saw it?

Each time, the thought crossed my mind, “this is heaven on earth”.

But this time it also occurred to me that contemplating the nature of heaven is just like contemplating the nature of life. Ultimately, when there are no real facts to hold on to (and when you really think about it, very few hard facts actually exist), our experience and understanding come down to what we choose to believe. And that belief is personal to each of us and ours to own. Recent events in my life have brought me to the belief that we – and everything around us, far beyond what our eyes can see - exist of and in light. We are light and our light shines beyond our current lifetime and across boundaries we barely know exist. That belief helps me to now experience life with more gratitude, simplicity and happiness than before. And with less fear.

Heaven is not just a place that we go to when we pass from this lifetime, neither is it just a place on earth, it is wherever, whatever or however we perceive it to be, either real or imagined. We do not have to be constrained by the understanding, beliefs or knowledge of others. We each have our own truth. We can create our heaven with the pure magic of our own belief… and what is even more magical, is that we can choose what we want that to be…

Butterfly time…

Butterfly time…

Well I guess the first news is my new website!!

Over the years I’ve written many articles for other websites or publications – this is the first time that I’ve written for something that’s mine. If I’m honest it feels a bit odd to have my own domain name and a place that’s so personal, but perhaps that’s the point, it’s time to just be “me” for a while. After all, the last five years have been largely a journey of personal rediscovery. So that makes this a bit of a butterfly moment.

This place is a home for my story, but also a chance to share in a way what will hopefully help and inspire others. It’s also a launchpad, for the creative part of me that has been hidden for a very long time. It feels good to let that side of me fly.

The picture above is from my travels with my niece Natalie in Peru last year – it was one of those moments when an idea clicks in your head and it has become something of a metaphor. We were high up in the mountains after a long trek – one that took us to the edge of sheer drop to a valley 150 feet below, on a craggy ledge. It felt like standing on the edge of the world; exhilarating – and a little scary. This butterfly was sitting on the stone, soaking up the sun. It stayed there regardless of the people around it – like most of the wildlife in the area, it was unused to the presence of humans. It therefore had no fear. It had not been conditioned or affected by the presence of others, the butterfly was just blissfully able to “be” exactly as nature meant it, unafraid of any consequences of ur presence. And everyone there respected its right to sit there in peace.

Lessons from nature. If we become too afraid of the consequences of our actions, we cannot emerge and be who we really are; we stop ourselves doing what we really want to do. And if we each have respect for everyone else’s right to exist on their own terms and expect the same from them, then we are all much better placed to do that.

It seems simple. Here’s to being a butterfly.