Who Is Like God?

 

a-boy-looking-out-to-sea

Who is like God?

Love was the father and love the mother.

You arrived in December, anticipating another Christmas

A reward in yourself rather than a present

A pilgrimage more than a journey

Because we cannot find love in ourselves

Only with another

And you were the purest love

The world of love in a moment

To complete the place that was prepared for you

A place shaped, breathed into, palpitating, anticipated for you

And you arrived linking Winter with Spring

A week after Mandela died and two days before his burying

You arrived, your hair already hinting of gold

Woven like the wealth of the Transvaal on the South African flag

You arrived to separate the before from the after

The Anno Domini

Dividing the past from the future

You arrived to say that there was no going back

As the Ukraine edged westwards

After the charge of the dark brigade in Crimea

And your mother wrote the gospel of your life

Like a scream of joy

As the Scribes and the Pharisees fled back to the Old Testament

Making way for the new covenant of love

Turning over and seeding the soil of hope

Too big an enterprise now for the old scythes and hoes

‘We need a tractor’ you said in almost your first words

And we realised that the lines and the furrows

Could mean happiness after all.

Roy Stannard for Michael’s Naming Day 21.8.16

For a version of this mixed with music please visit Soundcloud at:

Do It Yourself Celebrity

Do It Yourself Celebrity

IMG_4333

Last Friday 29th July I went to the Holmbush Centre at Shoreham to help my old friend and radio colleague Patrick Souiljaert man (person?) a stand at the entrance to Tesco there. He has written an autobiography in microscopic detail about the challenges of his life as a person with Cerebral Palsy. He was starved of oxygen a birth which led to the condition. However, instead of letting it define him, he has used it to energise and power his ambition, refusing to accept its limitations, using them instead to define his goals.

IMG_4338

After going to school in various special establishments (the word special is used in its loosest context here) in the South, Patrick emerged as a man with extreme sensitivity to his and others place in the world. He worked at a major telecomms company for many years before deciding that he could be a radio producer. He achieved this and worked for three Sussex-based radio stations before deciding that he could also be a property investor before going on to become an international speaker, writer and motivator.

His book — ‘Stairs For Breakfast’ was self published a year ago and has so far sold over 700 copies.

It is a raw, no-holds-barred account of the first half of his life with names and organisations changed to protect the innocent and the less than innocent. It is a page turning, honest, gripping story that demonstrates an almost documentary, forensic recall of detail and really installs the reader inside the head of someone who reacts powerfully to the limitations that life has laid upon him.

Last Friday, Patrick, John , Clare and myself went to Holmbush armed with 200 copies of the book, some banners and a great pitch provided by the generous customer services team at Tesco led by Lisa. I was given access to the public intercom system in order to make announcements.

Patrick called out to most passers by with a friendly ‘hello’, ‘how are you?’ and a goodly minority stopped to have a chat and by the end of the day 38 copies of the book at £10 each were sold.

Banner

The point of this post? That you don’t have to accept the hand that life has dealt you. That you can dream and then wake up and achieve those dreams.

That you can decide to be a writer and go and write and publish your book. That you can call yourself an international motivational speaker and go and motivate by speaking. Internationally.

Stairs for Breakfast. Success for lunch. The world for supper.

 

The End of Failing

The End of Failing

 

The Winter tide nibbles at a toe-dipped shoreline,

Above, the lowering sky grumbles at the lack of light

smudging a moleskin horizon.

A couple embroider loose stitches along the waveline

emerging like creation from the waters

half-way between the depths and the heights,

not quite fact or fiction

holding hands, in comfort as well as exploration.

Your heart asked God to place a pound in your path

if it was meant to be

and he said yes by giving you two.

On the Adur estuary skimming dreams across the surface

counting them as they bounce

not sinking or needing to come up for breath

In the perfect frozen stillness

we watch a lonely cormorant float across the sky

The sun is still a distant promise

but we feel the warmth of future fires igniting

And later in a wind-whipped harbour we watch

the sailing fantasies of absent mariners

moored together for warmth, as the north-east trades

blow us together, forging our shared heart as it shivers into being.

We take photographs, as if present at the birth of a great event

and we follow the currents to Bosham,

reading the runes in the seaweed signatures,

seeing etched

on the gulls-egg horizon

a tale we would not have dared to write

in the oblivion of yesterday

the hope, the honouring of a promise and the end of failing.

Roy Stannard 7.2.12

Standing at the doorway of the year (what I’m doing next)

Dreams are like angels (Joseph Mallord William Turner - The Angel Standing in the Sun 1846)

It’s good to be connected. The human being thrives in community and dies apart. You are connected to me. It might be through business, family, socially or some other variation on the serendipitous interaction of email. Connection is good.

Today is Christmas Eve when we traditionally wait for stars to come into alignment, precursor angels to whisper in our ear and a sense of imminent goodness to happen. Sure, 2010 was a tough year and some aspirations have had to be put on a ventilator for a while – but day by day that infant we call hope will grow imperceptibly into a thriving new year.

In two very happy years at Powerchange.com I have seen the advent of Auto-Response Psychology within a new neuro-scientific approach (recognising that it is our brain that is telling us that we just can’t help it) and help nudge forward the frontiers of new Psychology. As part of this process I’ve walked the ancient paths of Sussex Downland and gazed in wonder at the hills and vistas of Sussex, stopping along the way at Slindon to see lambs being born, sometimes on the very same day as squealing, mewling ideas. I’ve learned how the human mind works and laughed out loud as I’ve seen those ideas work out in practice in sleepy country pubs. I’ve risen before dawn to make the journey to South West London to communicate these ideas to others. I’ve worked with hundreds of individuals to enable them to take back control of their lives.

Who wouldn’t want to improve the way they think?

And in thinking differently, I am moving on. Helping others to change has changed me. Understanding why people do what they do and helping them to change (if they want to) has led to a better understanding of myself. Enabling individuals to reclaim control over the levers of their lives has shown me that I am the master of my own destiny. Healer, heal thyself.

The apocryphal tale is told of an elderly lady living in Moscow at the end of the Communist era. With Glasnost thawing, she was left with the inheritance of fifty years of municipal neglect. A radiator in her lounge had been live electrically for the whole time she had lived in the high-rise apartment block. If she touched it, she received a shock. After a while she had adjusted to this by arranging the furniture around the radiator so that she didn’t have to go near it. Fifty years had passed. One day, there was a knock on the door. A man in a boiler suit was standing there. “Have you had problems with your heating system?” She nodded. “I am here to rectify this. I will only take a few minutes.” She allowed him in and watched as he went to the cupboard under the stairs and reversed the live and earth wiring at the fuse box. “It’s fixed now – go and touch the radiator.” She couldn’t. The habits of fifty years prevented her from touching the offending radiator. The electrician walked up to the unit and touched it. Her eyes widened and tentatively she walked up to the radiator and put her hand on it. In that instant fifty years of avoidance and fear departed.

As human beings of habit, the neurological pathways in our brain will constantly bypass areas of fear (I’ll protect you from the hooded claw, keep the vampires from your door) often with a big ‘hands off’ warning. As soon as the individual realises that they are in control of these feelings and that the feelings are there to protect them, they adjust. The radiator can be touched again.

Perhaps it was watching Series Three of ‘Mad Men’ on TV that did it.    The enigmatic/open, cerebral /animalistic, alpha male/fragile egomaniac Don Draper reminded me of why I entered the advertising industry all those years ago. The eureka moments, the knowledge that only my fevered brain could come up with those ideas. Perhaps it was feeling the loss of not working in a creative team; perhaps I had just felt the overwhelming reservoir tank of creative thinking build up for too long.

Perhaps I just love the feint/thrust/lunge/riposte of advertising, so I was inspired recently to send an email to half a dozen ad agencies whose work I respect and admire (sorry, I’m not naming them here, you know who you are).

Here’s the weird part. One of the companies I had admired from a distance turns out to be run by someone who is also trained in Psychology – and who has run a radio station (Radio Mercury). Historical note: I co-founded and then ran Splash FM in Worthing in 2003-6.

I walked into Zero-FiftyOne after meeting with Neil Macadam and felt like I had been there for years. After talking with Neil Macadam, David Smith and Jon Dudley of Zero FiftyOne I knew that it was time to return to the lodestone and create more words. The thing is, I now know where to send those words to really make a difference. The buzz in the room was familiar. We speak the same language. The glove fitted.

I join Zero FiftyOne on the 4th January. My email will be roy@zerofiftyone.com My landline: 01273 587446; mobile 07803 269154 and the website: www.zerofiftyone.co.uk

The market is like a tough vocal judge waiting for you to hit the right note. It acknowledges your brave, but off-key attempts, smiling patronizingly as you miss the mark. However, the only time it will sit up and take notice is when you hit that note. The one that makes a difference. The exciting thing is that you and you alone can do that. It’s not always obvious before you start what the right note, pitch, scale or emotion is, what the right product is, what the right strategy is. It’s frightening and inspiring realising that you and no-one else knows when that note will appear. Hitting it is a heart-stopping, unpredictable experience. But only you have the talent to give it a shot.

So when would now be a good time to do that?

It would be nice to catch up and hear how you are.  If you would like to stay in touch professionally, socially or personally, that would be great. Dreams are like angels, they keep bad at bay. Let’s make 2011 a really good year.

‘The Power Of Love’ by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

 
I’ll protect you from the hooded claw
Keep the vampires from your door
Feels like fire
I’m so in love with you
Dreams are like angels
They keep bad at bay-bad at bay
Love is the light
Scaring darkness away-yeah
I’m so in love with you
Purge the soul
Make love your goal
 
[1]-The power of love
A force from above
Cleaning my soul
Flame on burn desire
Love with tongues of fire
Purge the soul
Make love your goal
I’ll protect you from the hooded claw
Keep the vampires from your door
When the chips are down I’ll be around
With my undying, death-defying
Love for you
Envy will hurt itself
Let yourself be beautiful
Sparkling love, flowers
And pearls and pretty girls
Love is like an energy
Rushin’ rushin’ inside of me
[Repeat 1]
This time we go sublime
Lovers entwine-divine divine
Love is danger, love is pleasure
Love is pure-the only treasure
I’m so in love with you
Purge the soul
Make love your goal
The power of love
A force from above
Cleaning my soul
The power of love
A force from above
A sky-scraping dove
Flame on burn desire
Love with tongues of fire
Purge the soul
Make love your goal
I’ll protect you from the hooded claw
Keep the vampires from your door

Off the map?

Are you out there?

How often have you heard the expression ‘it’s off the map’, or ‘I haven’t planned for this’, or ‘there is no routemap for what I am going through?’ The language of life often delineates where we go and what we are prepared to try. ‘That’s off limits’, or ‘don’t go there’ have far more impact and meaning than the words first suggest. We hear expressions like that virtually from the womb. In fact, it comes as a surprise that the first words we hear as infants aren’t ‘Welcome to the world, don’t walk on the grass!’ 

As children we will hear exhortations to ‘be careful’, to ‘watch where we’re going’ or ‘look out!’ – the culture of childhood is not to explore or to go to places that we are not supposed to. If anything, this culture of carefulness has become more pronounced in recent years. We sensibly, oh so sensibly channel our kids into the Scout or Guides and allow them to discover new things under very managed circumstances. Nothing wrong with that at all, but kids need to test themselves against bigger, stronger opposition than the local five badges on my sleeve brigade.

Most of us stay on the map for most of our lives. We explore the map, we go the very edge of the map in certain circumstances and occasionally we deliberately get ourselves lost, just to prove that we can survive in the wild. However, we are not in the wild, we are at the edge of a very civilised map. We clutch our compass and probably the phone number of our favoured local cab firm and we stride out with a slight sense of adventure.

When Christopher Columbus discovered America he did not set out with the objective of discovering a place called America. True, there was a sense of a brave new world existing out there somewhere, but not one that was already charted. A true explorer is not someone who re-discovers the known. To find yourself, you have to first lose your bearings.

In American law, discovery is the pre-trial phase in a lawsuit in which each party through the law of civil procedure can request documents and other evidence from other parties and can compel the production of evidence by using a subpoena or requests for production of documents and depositions. The important point here is that the lawyer does not know in advance what this request might turn up. If they did the request would be superfluous and the trial would probably not be necessary.

In the same way, if we know in advance what we are going to discover then actually we have already discovered it and the process of exploration is redundant. When people talk about career and planning their life, what they are attempting to do is read a map that they do not own yet. Let’s consider the word career for a second. A career cannot exist in advance. By definition, a career exists in retrospect. It is printed on a CV. It is difficult to plot or calculate in advance. However, careering about in your job or life in general may have the unexpected consequence of touching the edges of what is possible. You may discover areas of the future that you didn’t know existed.

Staying on the map means that you will not discover what lies off the map, the other side of the horizon, where the places are when you wander off the beaten track. Do you want to live on a beaten track? Do you want to live on the wall or off it?  

You don’t have to subscribe to the National Geographic in order to explore. You don’t need to buy a tent and canoe down the Amazon. You don’t need to be Bear Grylls or Ray Mears. It’s a state of mind not a state of nation.

The first step of discovery is understanding that the door in front of you is locked on the inside, not the outside and that you hold the key. Step through it and breathe in the air. It looks unfamiliar but the sun is shining. Beyond the map, there is another map, undrawn.

Congratulations, you have just become an explorer.

Are you worth 10 out of 10? A free self development course by Roy Stannard

 LeapsofFaith-main_Full

10/10 people. You know the types of people. Always confident, on top of things, with high self worth and amazingly popular. Wouldn’t it be nice to be one of those?

This course will take you to where you go – and then signpost where you could go next. It is intended as a first stage on a journey that will take you towards the Powerchange aim of providing you with a life that you are proud to own. Powerchange is a personal development organisation with a vast array of tools and resources, all designed to take you to where you want to be.

How do you know if you need this course?

We suspect that you will just know. But the following questions may give you an insight.

> Are you using your talents to their best advantage?

> Do you feel put upon – or put down – at work?

> Is work simply not working?

> Do you feel held back from becoming the successful person that you       
     know you are inside?

> Do you blame other people for your lack of success?

> Would you like to restore your confidence and sense of self-worth?

If the answers to the above are generally ‘yes’, then please continue. This could be a life-changing moment.

At each stage there will be a question to answer and some options. There are no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answers, just honest ones. The answer you give will trigger a response from Powerchange – and this in turn will re-shape your thinking and take you on towards the next stage.

If at any stage you would like to talk to the course author Roy Stannard I can be emailed on roy@powerchange.com

To join the Course please visit this link – it’s free!

http://www.spaceded.com/