Lent Meditation – Day 39

Journey: Return

Urmila and I were travelling the world. We were creating new businesses and re-thinking our relationships with the world. We were free of our old restrictions and partners, and were looking to keep it that way. How could we take this forward? How could I follow my purpose in life?

We had agreed to take on a long-term, three year, house-sit in Spain. This was going to mean less travelling and that we would be creating a more settled life. We were having problems with money. We were trying to separate out our separate resources and incomes. We wanted to balance our expenditure so we both contributed fairly. We had spoken to a coach friend of ours trying to find a solution.

On the last night before we arrived at our house-sit we sat in an empty restaurant on the Mediterranean talking about how to resolve this matter. Out of the blue I offered a solution: getting married.

I suggested it tentatively concerned that I was just going back to my old comfort zone of family life. Was I reverting again, letting go of my new-found freedom? What would Urmila think, would she see it as an attempt to tie her down, against her wishes?

She was surprised, but liked the idea. We could still travel, we could still be free, it would just make life a lot easier. She accepted and we moved into the house in Spain and started to plan our future.

This time I was moving into a permanent connection in the full understanding of who I was and what I wanted in the world. In a sense I was going back to the start but with a completely different view of live. I was not being needy or seeking some kind of redemption. I was being me and moving forward, loving someone for herself and not for what she could give me. This was me finally on the road.

After we were married in Venice we settled in Spain and we are still here five years later. We have become residents and have bought a house here in the mountains. This is not an attempt at comfort this is creating a long-term future and life together. We both understand where we have been and we are both excited about where we are going. We love our life here and are stimulated by it.

This is not permanent here, or maybe it is. We have fixed nothing but we enjoy being together here in Spain. I am developing my life as a writer, exploring my thoughts and ideas. I am writing to inspire other people to look at and maybe re-think their lives.

Earlier in this series I talked about coming home, about finding the treasure back where I started. That is where I am now, back where I started but the difference is that I am not the same person. Yes, I am older. Yes, I am wiser. The real difference, though is that I have found my truth, I have unearthed my treasure, the one I was seeking all those years ago.

I have made many mistakes in my life, but I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to correct them, at least for myself. I have left people behind but I have also inspired people to live a better life.

That is my life now, to follow my purpose and inspire other people in their lives. I am no longer living for me, for my sole enjoyment, for my neediness. I am living for Urmila and our marriage, and I am living for the people I touch with my life and my writing.

Lent Meditation – Day 38

Journey: Strength

I left go of my neediness, I let go of my need. I found the inner strength to be me and to take my place in the world. I discovered that trying to re-create the world to what I wanted had caused all the problems I had faced in my life. It had caused the destruction of my marriage. Perhaps it would never have happened in the first place if I had not been this way. So what was my next step?

I arrived back at the cottage a changed man. According to Urmila my voice was deeper, my certainty was obvious, I had become a man. She had not been expecting this, she had already decided that this relationship was not going anywhere and it was time to end it.

She dived into a black hole of uncertainty and confusion, because of my shift. It was not supposed to be this way. She had spent some years trying to get the men she was with to go inside and find their masculine strength with no long term results. Here I was a changed man, a man who had found himself, a man who was willing to accept whatever happened. She did not know what to do, she did not know if it was going to last.

I opened up about how I saw the future and talked about what I would like to do, how I would like my life to move forward. She wanted to keep travelling and no plans to settle down and create a new settled life. She had been settled/trapped for too long to want to go into that again. I said I would happy to come on the road with her, to let go of my life in England and see where things went.

She ran away to Fiji, to the other side of the world in confusion. She had found someone who she now found herself attracted to and she needed to work out what to do.

I had shaken my world apart, I had shaken Urmila’s world apart, what was to come? How was I going to resolve my relationship with the world now that I had stopped trying to manipulate for my own ends. I was out there as me, letting life take its course.

I went to Fiji and Urmila and I started over again, spending time together getting to know the new me. We made a commitment and shared an apartment together in Fiji. This turned out to be an amazing time and an amazing experience. It transformed our lives and set us on a road into the world together.

We worked on events, travelled the world and found our lives merging closer together. We started house-sitting around the world, staying wherever we fancied, roaming the planet. We set up an internet domain, roamingbirds.com, to signify what our life had become.

I started to create a new life of work. I left lighting design behind after forty years and became a writer. I started writing in two areas, travel and men, eventually to focus on men and masculinity. I was invigorated by my shift into myself, by the idea that I had come home to what was already inside me. I wrote on this on my website, malexperience.com, which became satpurusha.com.

I started working as a coach as I explored my new freedom and my new ideas. Urmila stimulated my intellectual and emotional development and our relationship blossomed. Urmila started writing and exploring her femininity as we both spent more and more time together.

Where could this go, what could endanger it?

Lent Meditation – Day 37

Journey: Adventure

I had broken away from my old life and was busy forging a new one. Was this a new life or was it just a repeat of the same old pattern? Was I changing and renewing myself or was I just regressing to childhood and starting all over again?

I had burnt my boats behind me, there was no going back. I had divorced my wife, sold my house and had taken on large debts that I had no foreseeable way of paying back. I was travelling and not pursuing my lighting design work so my income was shrinking. The situation was getting difficult, to say the least.

I had met this amazing woman and was spending time with her around the world. We went on a powerful road trip through the south west corner of the US. We drove in a Mustang from San Diego to San Francisco via the Grand Canyon and Death Valley. This trip brought us together and made me think that we could have a fabulous future.

We had a synergy that excited me, and we had a great deal in common. We were both divorced and had been in long marriages with addictive partners. We were both renewing our lives and re-forging our relationships with our selves and with the world.

We spent time together in Fiji and in the US, so I invited her to the cottage I now rented up in the Derbyshire hills. This was going to be an interesting new departure.

In the relative isolation of my cottage I spent time talking to Urmila. I was helping her to see what a great relationship and life we could create together. We had so much in common and so much we would be able to do together. We were a perfect match, the answer to both our needs.

The answer devastated me and sent me back wondering what on earth I was doing. “I don’t need another girlfriend,” she said, “I can make my own mind up, thank you very much.” That was pretty final.

I was in a spin and did not know what to do. She did not agree with me, and she was on the verge of moving on, leaving me behind.

We talked and talked and everything she said just hurt more. She was putting me in my place and being told I could not change her view and it was time I accepted that.

I went on a trip to Seattle for a meeting connected with my lighting design business, which was still limping along, on its last legs. We talked by text on Skype throughout the weekend. I was trying come to terms with what was going on, trying to find out what she wanted. My well developing skills of persuasion has gone down the plughole, ineffective with her.

On the last day she was on the verge of calling it all off. In exasperation she told me to look at myself and become a man! The connection disappeared and we did not speak again till I got home the next day.

On the flight back I thought about what she said and realised it spoke to what had been going on throughout my life. I had been trying to create the life I wanted around me rather than just being me and living my life. I had decided what my life should be like and persuaded the world to fit in to that. It had not worked, yet here I was doing the same thing again.

I decided to make a simple but profound shift: to become me, to become a man, to live life as came to me. I let go of having a relationship and decided that I was either right for her or not. The best thing I could do was to stand up and just be myself.

What happened when I got back to Derbyshire was life-changing, and not just for me.

Lent Meditation – Day 36

Journey: Demons

I left home and went travelling—finally travelling for myself, not travelling for business. This was a return to the rebellion I had started by going into the theatre but it was one with freedom, with an acceptance of uncertainty. I was doing the travelling I had missed out on by going to work after school—I felt young again.

I was now finding answers, I was now diving into myself and seeing what was there. I was learning about myself, changing myself, growing and developing. I was developing ideas of how to use this in the world, how to use my learnings to help other people. There was no focus to it yet, but there was a power growing inside.

I did more events with Tony Robbins and became a Senior Leader with his organisation. In the year I left home I spent four months in Fiji working on his events. I had learned many skills in my life and was a capable person. I met a lady, of course, and jumped back into trying to create the comfortable world I had left twice before. This time it was to be different—but more on that later.

This time I was going to change my life. At the start of my journal for that year, 2006, I said,

“Life is changing, Life will never be the same again.—This was never truer than of now. The tipping pint for me is NOW. Never again will there be a day like today, never again will I put myself through the pain and heartache I did today. Perhaps it was necessary for me to experience one last time what it has been like and what it would carry on like if I didn’t change.”

My determination saw me through against the battles that lay ahead. I faced struggle, bitterness and rejection in moving forward but the move was right and the move was to transform me.

My wife was bitter seeing our life together fall away. I understood her pain. After all it was me who had pushed to bring us together, it was my persuasiveness that had created the family life I was now rejecting. I faced difficulty unpicking the life we had created together. Our boys were grown up, so now had lives of their own, but we still had to untangle the piles of debts and responsibilities we had created.

My wider family just did not understand what was going on. They thought I had become tangled up in a cult and could not understand what I was doing. Leaving my marriage was something that was unacceptable to many of them and they did not like it. It seemed like they rejected me and took my wife to their bosom as a clear signal of what they felt. That hurt me so much.

My lighting design business collapsed for a second time. I became involved in financial chaos as I struggled to earn an income and deal with the debts that seemed to be spiralling out of control.

I had new friends in the world of self-development, friends who helped me to see what I had to do. I had support in a way I had never experienced before, support from people who cared. They helped me see a way through my confusion and understand that my seeking was normal and was something that I needed to resolve.

Then there was Urmila. Was this a new chapter or was this just a descent back into a comfortable nightmare?

Lent Meditation – Day 35

Journey: Shift

My jump off into the world of the theatre and rebellion was exciting and stimulating. But in the end it did not provide any answers to the seeking inside me. I still felt a loneliness inside despite all the people I met and worked with on a daily basis. I missed the connection at home, tenuous as it was. As soon as I could I found a way back into a form of that same life.

At the time my theatrical life seemed to last forever. After only five years I began what I later realised was a way back out of the danger and isolation inherent in that amazing life. I met a girl who swept me away with the power of her sexual connection.

I had not been bold enough to develop many sexual connections, even though it was everywhere—or so it seemed. When I fell into bed with my boss the experience overwhelmed me and I thought this was it. I was craving love and felt it in this relationship, I thought I had found what I had been starved of.

To her it was a bit of fun, but for me this was it. My first actual relationship and I was not going to let go of it. I found the dominating, persuasive power that I had learned from my father and would not let her go. She was bowled over and stuck with me.

In time we married and had two children, two boys, my own copy of the family I was brought up in. I had returned and created what I had hated for all those years, but I told myself it was different. We bought ever bigger houses with ever bigger mortgages. I moved from the theatre to a more normal job in a lighting company to make more money and spend more time at home.

The debt and pressure built up and I was till seeking, I had still not found any answers only more questions, more doubts. What was I doing? Where was I going? Was this it?

This lasted for more years than I care to remember. I developed a career in Architectural Lighting Design. I went into business and failed at business—twice. Although I had a great reputation as a designer I spent too much time trying to run a business. I even went to the extent of doing the book-keeping and running the finances.
I had not just fallen back into what I had run away from I had deliberately taken myself there. I knew I was doing what my father had done and somehow it seemed to make it alright—but it was not.

Our great marriage with the powerful physical connection broke down and fell apart. My wife blew herself apart with alcohol and I became lost in a swirling sea of anger, frustration and resentment. I had no idea what to do, but I did know that I had to do something.

Tony Robbins came to my rescue. In his work I started to see some answers, started to find the outline of a way forward, a way out. I was at a powerful event of his, Date with Destiny, when I saw my next step. It was Relationship Day and he was encouraging people to go back and work on their relationships, to make them work.

Then he said, “But, sometimes, after say thirty years, it is time to call it a day and move on. Sometimes you have to accept that it is just not going to work.” He was speaking to me, he was opening up the space for me to admit that I needed to move forward on my own.

I left home, sold my house and moved on.