Sunday, 18 November 2012


Last night, I went out to a bar to meet up with some friends and to watch a band, Local Legend, who I had seen many times before.  They're a rock covers band and belt out some very good tunes - their lead guitarist is one of the most amazing guitarists I've ever had the pleasure of watching and listening to live.  Sometimes in life, you just have to marvel at a person who possesses such an incredible talent and realise that what you are witnessing is something very special: a culmination of talent and passion.   And who would have thought you would find such a thing in the sleepy backwaters of Playa Flamingo?

Amongst the songs played by the band is one of my favourites, Dream On by Aerosmith.  Is it purely coincidence that one of my favourite songs is about following your dreams?  When I first discovered the song, it was because I was at the time (1989) really into Aerosmith.  Love in an Elevator had been riding high in the charts, Pump by Aerosmith was my favourite album, and I decided that I wanted to get to know more of music of this band.  Permanent Vacation was added and then at a record fair, I found their first album on vinyl, Aerosmith, released in 1973. When I got home and put it on for my first listen, one song stuck out more than any other, Dream On.  How was I to know at that time the meaning that this song was to have for my life?  I was clueless, uncertain of the future and saw life superficially.

But is this really a coincidence?  I'm not sure that it is.  There are many decisions and choices that we have to make in life.  At the time, we have no idea how profound an impact even the simplest decision can have.  Just as in the butterfly effect, tiny and innocuous vibrations in the air can lead to a hurricane.  I am convinced that at the root of every decision is an undercurrent of subconsciousness.  Our subconscious self makes decisions that lead us ever onwards, toward our destinies.  Our hearts know the true path and they quietly guide us, taking us to the places we need to go, to the things that we need to experience and to find the people that we need to meet.

Take for example my meeting with my spiritual teacher, the person I credit with awakening my slumbering spirit.  We were colleagues on the same project at work.  I was the lead in the UK, he was my counterpart in South Africa.  I needed to go to South Africa for three weeks to meet the team and to help them and as I was going to be there for three weekends, I wanted to see some wildlife and something of the country.  I wrote an email and asked if there were any places to see some game that I could visit.  In his reply to me, he asked how I felt about making a weekend trip to a game reserve and to sleep out on the trail under the stars? I wrote back, telling him how he had no idea how much that was just the perfect thing that I would like to do.  So, after two days of business, we headed out together in his car for a weekend of camping and hiking in a game reserve.  During the evenings, we talked around the campfire about life and it was because of these conversations, that I started to think differently I began to let my true self surface.  This sleeper began to wake.

A few years later, in a taxi in Budapest, a friend hands me a copy of The Alchemist.  A simple and friendly act that would change everything for me.  How had I ended up in Budapest, at that exact moment, in that taxi, with that person, who had that book in her bag?  Everything, and I literally mean every thing, that I had done, every decision I had ever taken, led me to that moment.  It put me in the right place at the right time.  I was given an opportunity.

No, I don't believe in coincidence.  Coincidence is the manifestation of every previous action.  We are guided by our hearts towards what is right for each of us. The heart always knows.  The great lesson of life is actually very simple: follow your heart, always.

Dream on.  It's the same message.  Believe in your dreams, follow your heart.

"Sing with me, sing for the year, sing for the laughter, sing for the tear, sing with me, just for today, maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away."

So, before I was conscious of anything, I had already selected a song with meaning for my life.  Only later would I come to realise the significance of it.  For all of my life, the same message has come to me in different guises: Dream on.  Carpe diem.  Follow your dreams.

There is no coincidence.  It is, as it has always been.  As it will always be. 

The Many
The many decisions we make
The many paths we might take
The many choices that we face
Hammer and chisel
To shape our lives
Guiding us ever on
Toward what is right
Revealing what is needed
Reach out and take it
It is yours
Freedom awaits
Unbind the chains and shackles
Let your spirit run free
Spread your wings
And soar once more
As you once did
Cry out in joy
Give thanks to your heart
For you have arrived.

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