Since human consciousness emerged, the great question has been “How do I live well?” The answers that countless individuals and cultures continue to offer fascinate me. A significant part of my practice is the conducting of funeral services and this gives me an incredibly profound insight into how real people have led real lives. Some may have turned out well and others not so well and telling their stories has helped me to distil a great deal of human wisdom which I bring to my clients in my workshops and retreats, addressing that great question: “How do I live well?”. This also has a major impact on how I help couples who are making a lifelong commitment to each other to create really good and authentic rituals that express both their outward and visible love for each other and also the inward and spiritual truths of their relationship.
Speaking on all areas of personal and spiritual development is both a natural extension of my fascination with the human condition and of my soul coaching work. During my 21 years as a priest in the Church of England I established a strong reputation as a warm, humorous and engaging speaker with a down to earth approach. Having now stepped away from institutional religion, and having always believed that it is more fun to explore questions than to try to shut them down with trite answers, audiences can expect intelligent input, expressed in an accessible way that both validates their own questions and provokes further inner exploration.
The key to my approach to Life Coaching is summed up in the phrase coined by the late Dr Stephen Covey: “Begin with the End in Mind.” From my long experience, a clarity about how we would wish to be remembered creates an authentic life journey focused on what’s really important. Individual programmes can be tailored to dovetail with retreats or workshops and/or particular life events.
This is the heart and engine of my practice. From birth, through the great celebrations of life to the marking of the death of a loved one, human beings have always come together to share these moments with those closest to them using meaningful ritual. Working with all kinds of people to enable them to mark with authenticity these great moments is a huge privilege and joy. With over two decades of experience and an expertise that has ranged from hosting Royalty, through ‘Society Weddings’ to gently holding the hand of the dying I bring both a depth of knowledge and a lightness of touch that give my clients confidence that a moment that is deeply precious to them is being held with gentle wisdom and skill.
Today I can honestly say that I have found a level of personal happiness and professional satisfaction that I would have not have thought possible even ten years ago. I am able to live a life shaped by love, forgiveness and inner peace - partly thanks to the love, companionship and friendship of some amazing people, but primarily because, over the years, I have learned to focus on the point of stillness within me and, from that, find a more authentic voice than I have ever known. ’Twas not always thus.
Owing to circumstances beyond anybody’s control, by the age of 15 I had experienced bereavement, loss, domestic upheaval and uncertainty along with bullying at school - a chaotic early life that left me angry, lacking in confidence and seeking a place of safe refuge. In common with so many other people, my early experiences had stunted the development of an authentic self and not allowed my inner voice of calm to develop.
In my late twenties I began what was to be a life-changing journey through the ordained ministry of the Church of England. Whilst this gave me order and a sense of belonging as well as an opportunity to reflect deeply on the human condition, the relative rigidity of belief and practice required of a priest was not, in the end, for me. It did give me, however, a close acquaintance with all the shades of human life, an unshockability and an absolute commitment to confidentiality.
My practice is born of all that has gone before and continues to evolve and change daily. The journey never ends.
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
T.S. Eliot | Little Gidding