The Art of Imperfection

Perfection is impossible to find and there is a danger in seeking it. Understanding our flaws and those of loved ones is a powerful thing. It enables us the freedom of being imperfect humans. Never having to prove ourselves and always being unique and wonderfully us.

The right people are attracted to you because of your tiny imperfections for the most part. Those quirks that you think are just me are indeed to the right person attractive as it sets you out as slightly different. We should embrace our imperfections and see them as gifts that set us out from the crowd.

After all, who sets out what perfection is anyway?

An imperfect Andy Beveridge

Traffic: You Need It to Make Money Blogging

T

Traffic is the lifeblood of any online business. Without it, no matter how informative, well-designed or entertaining your blog may be, it has no chance of making money. Traffic means visitors who read your content, sign up for your email list, buy your products, click on the ads you serve, and so on. A blog lacking traffic is like having a beautiful apartment building that is empty. All it does is take up space.

We will discuss some of the best and most popular traffic methods that work today, both of the free and paid varieties.

Free Traffic Methods

There are diverse arrays of options that are cost-free and have the potential to bring traffic to your blog and enable it to begin making money. These methods include, but are not limited to, social media accounts, article posting websites and niche-related forums. An additional avenue to traffic is video posting.

Establishing accounts on social media can go a long way to getting your, visitors. They enable you to get the word out about your blog, build brand recognition and relationships with readers and potential customers. Set up a fan page on Facebook, open an account on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, or any number of other growing choices. Make sure that content is posted regularly and includes links back to your blog, or otherwise draws your fans and followers there. The better your content, the more it will be shared over the web, and bring you more traffic.

Writing and submitting engaging, original articles to sites such as Ezine Articles, Hubpages and Tumblr is a tried and true method. It puts your content on a high-traffic website and often allows you to link back to your blog, potentially converting them to readers and buyers.

The web is filled with forums where people of like interests gather to be informed, entertained or discuss passions. Hop onto Google or your search engine of choice and find forums in the same niche, or topic, as your blog. Interact with other members by answering and asking questions and leaving thoughtful advice or comments. It builds relationships and establishes you as an authority. Most forums allow you to link to your blog, especially after being a member for a set period of time. You will need to check on this and follow the rules to remain a member in good standing.

Starting a channel on a video sharing site such as YouTube can be a traffic boon as well. You decide whether to get on camera and become the face of your blog, create slideshows, or otherwise. Either repurpose blog articles into videos directly or use the videos to expand on a topic of a post, including a link to back to said post in the description box of the video. Much as with the previous options, this one allows you to have your content spread via the social sharing and foster relationships with viewers and fellow bloggers. In addition, as your channel grows, you can partner with YouTube and earn revenue off of ads served on your channel for yet another stream of income.

Paid Traffic Methods

If you have a budget and want to accelerate your traffic flow, various options are available to you. These include running ads via search engines, social media platforms and related, higher traffic blogs.

The major search engines, such as Yahoo, Google, and Bing all have ad centers where you can advertise your blog. You open an account and write an ad according to the guidelines. Once approved, it will run on either or both of search result pages or ads served on related websites, all within your set budget. These ads c, an be very effective, but also expensive, depending upon your keywords or topic.

Many of the same social media channels you can use for free traffic also allow you to buy paid ad space. These include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. They often have the ability for you to target accountholders by interests, profession, gender and more. If you correctly target, and track which ads perform best, you can build your success over time with this method.

If you would like to bypass the major search engines, but still try paid traffic, buying ad or banner space on popular blogs in your niche is an option. Get to know bloggers in your niche via social media and search engines and see which allow people to buy ad space. You’ll need to abide by requirements and restrictions for your ad. Pricing will vary by factors such as the size of the blog’s subscriber base/traffic stats, but it could prove a worthwhile investment, and not necessarily a large one.

In Conclusion

Blogging can make you a job-replacing income over time, with the application of consistent effort and dedication, provided you have the traffic which brings readers and buyers. Having a catchy domain name, an attractive design or even superior content means nothing without eyes to enjoy it. Whether you choose paid or free methods, or a combination of both, during your blogging journey, the resulting visitors will be the key to your ultimate success.

Andy Beveridge

The Passing of Billy Bob

It has taken me a few weeks to get myself to the point where I could write this. Grief is a selfish emotion in truth as we mourn over what we miss. However, we miss what we love too. I knew my furry friend could not last forever and I only had him for the last third of his life. I never knew what a young Billy Bob got up to, I do often like to imagine him as a kitten.

I have seen him play, laying on his back and throwing a leaf into the air, he has even chased bits of string although with less enthusiasm than I was putting into the game. I have seen him being pushed off his water bowl by a pair of doves and catch a mouse called Micky no Tail who never ran away anyway. Billy Bob had no teeth and would just walk around with him for a bit in his mouth until both of them agreed the game was over.

He did when I first came to Spain have a couple of friends who would clean his face after he had eaten. He never tolerated them for more than a few minutes and would bat them away. When I moved home, he found a cat he did not like, and he would chase that one down the road and he did once get into a pretty bad fight that he would have lost if I had not broken it up. He was laying on his side pawing at a great big Ginger thing that was basically trying to take chunks out of him. Quite bizarrely BB started that fight. He sulked for a few days after that and never fought again.

He first came into my life when I lived back in France with my partner. We were breaking up that year after spending 16 years together and it was quite a sad year even though we remained friends. He kind of came into my life when I needed him if I am honest. I saw this shape in the hedge which let out an almost silent mew and it was clear he was in trouble, he had some dry bread with him that I assume had been thrown out earlier to the birds., but he was in a terrible shape. After some thought I took him to the vets mainly to see if he was chipped and see what was wrong. He was dewormed and examined. The whole time he sat there on the table and shook, burying his head into my hands, that sort of won me over. The conclusion was that he had been well looked after but his owner may have died, and he had tried but failed to look after himself. He was estimated to be about 11 or 12 years old. He stayed with me for the rest of his life which was exactly five years to the day.

I moved to Spain later in the year and he spent 9 hours in the car wailing the whole way, he hated travelling, but I moved another three times in Spain but thankfully much shorter distances. He was devoted to me and had the friendliest of dispositions. Never a hiss or a spit in all the years we were together, and he loved sitting beside me with his paw on my arm. He did quickly forget his dry stale bread days and fell into typical cat mode by assuming the food bowl would always be full to the brim or it would be considered empty. He also felt he had the right to demand a certain type of cat food only to reject it at a minute’s notice. Often after I had made the effort to go out and get his favourite choice.

I thought I had lost him once before, he went missing and I almost ran out of places to look. I saw him eventually laying in the roadside gutter, I had a lump in my throat as I approached him as I assumed, he had been run over but he showed signs of life as I got to him. It was late, and there was nothing I could do but carry him home and look after him. I sat with him all night, putting drops of water onto his lips. In the morning he stood up all be it on wobbly legs. I think he may have eaten some rat poison as there were people who put that down nearby. He got stronger through the day and I nicknamed him Bounce Back Billy Bob.

The last couple of years I have watched his slow decline. He went blind and began to walk in circles sometimes. I know enough to understand that this is not a good sign. The vet said the same thing and at his obvious age there was no op to save him. I decided to not go through all the tests that would pinpoint where the tumour was in his head and vowed that I would not let him suffer. Billy Bob was not ready to go then though, he showed no signs of pain and although did slowly grow to have moments of confusion, he still looked for his food and loved sitting beside me purring loudly. In fact only 36 hours before he passed he ate and sat with me purring.

His end came suddenly, I walked into the office where he had started to sleep on a double quilt by my desk. He had knocked his water bowl over and I think he may have had a fit. He was on his bed with his head up against the wall. He looked peaceful and sound asleep, but he never woke up from that and remained in that position all day. I once again sat with him but apart from his body moving as he breathed there was no sign of him knowing anything all night. I kept stroking him, but he did not know I was there, and then just before 6.00am he simply left. He was cold, and I knew he was gone.

We keep everything that is past alive in our thoughts. Nothing truly goes, all memories exist in time and space. I shall remember my furry buddy for the rest of my days. We rescued each other I guess.

Andy Beveridge

The Passing of 2018

Well, that is 2018 gone and it was a mixed bag for sure. I kept the shadows away and apart from the odd day, depression never got a look in. Health was up and down again, and I almost feel like that is an ongoing pattern I have to accept.

I never wrote as many books as I wanted to and that was mainly due to an increase in freelance work. I do have a slow launch in process with a couple of products in the pipeline that a JV partner and myself are working on. I am going to start a new subscriber base this month as well that will offer a weekly report on all things IM, and another in the health and mindset arena.

I shall be expanding my paid membership FB group and offering them even more value this year.

The saddest event of the year was the death of my Cat Billy Bob. It was only a couple of weeks ago and I am going to write a separate post about that. Just got to give myself time to adjust.

2019 is an exciting year in so many ways. New business and maybe even love on the horizon, maybe more about that in later posts. I aim to start running again soon but that may simply be one foot in front of another as try and maintain some distant memory of my youth. I have the urge to run the canal path that leads to the ocean. There are so many tracks and paths to run on here, maybe not so easy when the heat of summer arrives but I ran in the Pyrenees a few years ago and the heat never bothered me then.

So, 2019 is

A new business launch

New subscriber base

Expand FB groups

Start jogging again

Explore other areas

Write three books

Create a food and travel blog

I wish you all a very happy and fufilled year ahead.

Andy

Ghost-writer

The Life of a Freelance Writer

 

 

When I first started writing with a view to making some money it was back in 2009. I had in truth been writing in some shape or form most of my life. Even as a child I was scribbling out short stories and recording facts about life around me. There is a big difference though when it comes to getting paid for what you do.

 

Entering the ranks as a paid writer means discipline and organization and these were not attributes that I had in abundance. I also had no real concept of how I was going to create an income from writing. To me, you either became a journalist or you wrote books. The world of creating Private label rights products and freelance ghostwriting were pretty much an unknown to me.

 

Once I discovered these lucrative areas my life took a different direction where writing was concerned. I found the Warrior forum which was and still is an Internet marketing platform. Here I was able to create bundles of articles and sell them as content to other people. I knew very little about sales funnels and building subscriber bases back then but was able to create a wage for myself. It was an up-down way of making a living though, sometimes I sold several and sometimes I barely covered my expenses.

 

I expanded into the world of PLR which basically means creating content that other people can sell as their own. Ghostwriting as it were. Now I was building subscriber bases from this and this gave me the ability to sell other products that I was affiliated with and so my income increased.

 

Later I became involved in coaching and teamed up with people to create other products for marketers, but the writing was always at the very least in the background. I found as I created brands and other businesses, writing became my way of funding these projects.

 

So, what is it like in the modern day to be a freelance writer? Well, it is a very competitive market for starters. There are sites called writing mills that offer work at ridiculously low prices and attract a lot of writers from countries where English is only the second language. However, they do damage the market.

There are a number of freelance sites that offer a variety of work to bid on or apply to and these can be of value to the freelancer. It takes a while to get established but for those with a good portfolio then there are some worthwhile projects available.

 

I have mostly got work from my own subscriber base or through followers on Twitter or Facebook. I run a number of marketing groups and pull in clients from these from time to time as well.

 

As a business blueprint unless you are very well established and have long-term projects then it is a very up and down business to be involved in. Often it is a case of having too much work or not enough.

 

I think when I first had the idea of becoming a writer I had this vision of some Bohemian lifestyle where I would be propping up various bars in seedy establishments around Europe looking for the next story. Although I have lived in the UK, France, and now Spain it did not quite work out like that.

 

I have thanks to Amazon published my own books but am a long way from breaking into the best sellers lists.

 

I think another thing worth mentioning is that you don’t often get to write about the topics you would most like to write about as you have to take the work where it is and that is very often in subjects that bore you. That is not the case all the time though as I have had projects that have been educational and fun to be involved in.

 

Ghost-writing can be strange too as you may write your own books and see a few sales but nothing to boast about and then you ghostwrite one and see it scale the charts higher than any of your own and you think I wrote that. I guess that is just how you look at it, the glass half empty or full.

 

There are the days when I gaze out of the window coffee in my hand and think my work is right here. In fact, my work is where ever I want it to be. I have the freedom to move anywhere I want as long as there is an Internet connection.

 

Freelance writing is very much a lifestyle rather than a job.

 

 

 

Salisbury

Memories of Salisbury Plain

I have been in a reflective mood lately. I don’t know if it is the understanding of time speeding up which it surely is or the fact that little pockets of memory have suddenly become more accessible to me. Either way, I keep remembering parts of my life I had forgotten about.

I lived not so far away from Salisbury plain. This is a huge area of land that was purchased by the military when land was cheap in the Wiltshire county where it sits. It is used on a daily basis for army maneuvers which can consist of gunfire from rifles and tanks. Red flags indicate when such events are taking place and what areas of the plain this is happening in.

Most of Salisbury plain is not accessible to the public at any time and the parts that can be walked on are clearly marked. However, for me, the bits that I was allowed on were of little interest. I was fascinated by wildlife and particularly social insects. The good thing about the military owning huge areas of land and throwing enough shells around to scare most people away is that the land pretty much sits untampered with. Nature on Salisbury plain thrives in a way that is completely different from anywhere else in the UK. Rare wildflowers and insects live in the open stretches of chalkland and forests, butterflies that struggle anywhere else still have a foothold in and on this almost untouched ground.

My interest in social insects attracted me to the place and I knew exactly where to park my motorcycle and where to cross the fencing and disappear into this forbidden wilderness. In those days I either had little fear of coming across an unexploded shell or was too stupid to think about it and I forget which it was, but I did manage to avoid them.
Salisbury plain is changeable in mood in a similar way that parts of Scotland are too. You can stand miles away from any building or other humans and look up to a sky that goes on forever only for the mood to change as a weather front smothers the view in a matter of minutes. A clear blue sky can transform into a threatening and suppressing blanket of grey and black and exposes your singular vulnerability. Such moments are both beautiful and scary.
On some occasions, I would sleep out on the plain and one night I came across a group of soldiers in the woodland who were sat on logs around a campfire. I felt like some military sniper as I crept through the undergrowth until I was close enough to be able to hear them. The next day when they were gone I examined where they had all sat drinking and found enough coins that had dropped from their pockets into the undergrowth to buy myself a cheap lunch later in the day. I don’t know why that felt like some kind of victory, but it did.

I am glad I foolishly took those risks as I saw some things in nature that not many will see today, and I won’t see those things again either. I gathered information and discovered things only to find that others too had discovered them and before me. Still, that kind of education cannot be purchased and is never forgotten.
As we grow older time does speed up. The long summer afternoons we remember as a child are very much a thing of the past and an afternoon now whizzes by at almost the speed of light.

You can when you reflect back slow it down a little, not enough to replicate those distant memories but enough to give the illusion that time is in our control for a few fleeting moments.

Andy Beveridge

A cow

Why I Eat Next to No Meat

I have gradually over the years eaten less meat right up to the point where 99% of my diet is now meat free. I don’t do this to be part of some crusade against anyone or any movement, and nor do I want to be labeled myself.

I have two reasons why I am almost certainly going to eat next to no meat from now on.

 

·        The cruelty of factory farming

·        We don’t know what we are eating

 

Factory farming is beyond cruelty. It is almost like looking back at the terrible atrocities of the concentration camps. It really is that bad. Animals like cows and pigs can smell the blood and fear and you only have to watch them all wide-eyed and shrieking to know that they understand death. Cows are shot through the head with a retractable bolt, they are then hoisted above a tank where their throats are cut so they bleed out while still kicking.

 

Pigs are stunned first but these are intelligent animals and they know and fear their outcome. They too have their throats cut and as with sheep, it is often the case that they regain consciousness while bleeding to death. I have never seen chickens being slaughtered but I am told they travel upside down on a moving platform and have their heads cut off.

 

The intensity of factory farming also brings further cruelty. Animals bunched together in conditions we would not put our enemies through. Chickens with no room to move are simply egg laying machines with zero pleasure in life. They never feel grass beneath them or see the light of day. They are handled appallingly and have a very short lifespan. All this to produce cheap eggs for the supermarkets.

 

The dairy industry should be ashamed of itself too. Cows mourn the loss of their calf’s which of course is the reason they produce the milk. They are kept in this state until they are so burned out they are of no use to us anymore. I have not even touched the tip of the iceberg in describing the cruelty involved.

 

Secondly, we don’t know what we are eating now. Most animals are forced to grow with the use of hormones and steroids. Add to this all the other chemicals that enter the system through pesticides etc and it makes me worry what we are doing to our own bodies.  The population on large does not seem to care but I do.

Is it not enough that we are being gradually poisoned by food manufacturers? We eat more none-foods than ever now, and we are paying the consequences. The rise of several diseases is directly linked to these processed foods.

 

I can see a world of difference from someone living of their own land. Keeping a rabbit or deer population under control and eating those that are culled is far different than factory farming. So, I choose to rarely eat meat and am slowly replacing dairy. I have no wish to label myself, but I feel happier in myself in evolving down this route.

 

I still eat mackerel.

 

Andy Beveridge

Religion and Other Supernatural Beliefs Baffle Me

I am baffled at times with the world I live in. We know so much, we have discovered things that we could only have imagined a few years ago and yet as a society, as a species, we are in parts still rooted into a past that chains us to illusion and fakery.

It is easy to take a trip back in history to a time when we knew nothing. Our world would have been very different. Old age would have been 40, most children die very young. Tooth decay is a killer of adults. We can see how early man may have looked at the night sky and started to wonder what it all meant and thank goodness he did as that was our first steps into a scientific way of thinking.

He would have known nothing of earthquakes, volcanoes, and floods. Plagues and famine would be beyond comprehension, bacteria and microbes would not have even been acknowledged. It makes sense that an intelligent species would want to come up with an explanation but with a basic lack of knowledge, it is clear that most early thoughts would be wrong. But still they tried and that is important to us now.
They began to create imaginary beings that controlled all this, at the time this probably was as good a theory as any. Gods were born, lots of them. Sacrifices were made in their name, fear formed, what if you did not please them? What if they did not like how you worshiped them? and so a cycle of worship and fear began.
A modern understanding of the world we live in allows us to know what causes all these natural events. We do not have to look out and still hold on to earlier made-up explanations. Religion was born on the back of ignorance and developed its own agenda as different religious organizations battled for control over people and created wealth. The supernatural element of most religions is dying thank goodness, but its death is a very slow drawn out one and it has chains that still hold societies back into a stone age way of thinking. This will end one day but sadly not before my time.

It also baffles me how and why people will believe in anything that contains not one single drop of evidence. Coming up with new ideas is brilliant, examining them and attempting to prove them wrong is perfect as the end result becomes the truth. It is ok if we uncover new information that changes our way of thinking as that is the scientific way of learning and growing. We need to be prepared to answer to the truth and not base our lives on fantasy no matter how appealing it is.

Take the supernatural for instance, that covers a wide umbrella but all that is contained within it requires a belief in something that has not a single element of proof. In this day and age, we can pretty much solve anything that we know about and by that, I mean if it is a story or a theory then we have the ability to work it out.
When there is not a single shred of evidence to back something up then the probability of it being true is as close to zero as you can take it. All the supernatural fits into that. It at best belongs to a world where we knew little and had enormous gaps to fill in.

I think I will take each element of the supernatural world and examine it in more detail in future posts as this is a big topic with many branches of its tree.

There is much yet to discover about the universe we live in, and in truth, I think we probably have only started to scratch the surface. It seems that half our societies are moving forward while the other half are chained to a past that keeps them from growing.

What we will discover in the future will be real and not built from fantasy. It I have no doubt will be breathtaking and wonderous and far more amazing than what we can imagine with our brains right now. Multi-verse will likely be blown away, but the truth may even be more bizarre. It will be an amazing journey for mankind if we are able to continue evolving and that is questionable. I will save that for another post though.

My Intentions as a Blogger

For a long time now, I have wanted to become more active as a blogger. Not that I have any intention of creating anything more than some weekly ramblings but if anyone is to read it then they do have to find it. Extra activity must surely help that. Blogging to me is therapeutic, I can write without really caring if each article is using the correct keywords and the structure can be simply of my choice.

I don’t need to have each piece edited and although my grammar still needs to be watched I don’t have to beat myself up if I spell the odd word wrong. In fact, I can drift from American English to UK English and sort of create my own version that both sides of the Atlantic will now never understand.

In fact, having a blog is pure freedom, it belongs entirely to the writer and opinions are purely that of the creator and do not reflect on the reader at all. Of course, controversial topics will always cause a little more friction and don’t the media just know that. I will, however, just write about things I think of at the time, topics, as you can already see in the history of this blog, will range from general thoughts on a variety of niches and humor or at least things I find amusing.
I am contemplating turning it into a magazine type theme and reporting more like a journalist. I will give that some more thought.

Andy Beveridge

Bats and all things Hallow

You know its Halloween as I write this and that pagan festival although in principal does not bother me, the behaviour it spawns does. Lots of children and some of them too old to be taking part have the right to knock on the door and expect a bucket full of sugary delights. All this without offering anything in return. I mean dressing up as a witch or a ghoul is not entertainment to me, I can dress the cat up like that and have way more fun.
Then there is the threat of something bad happening if their demands are not met. One’s car or house stands to be egged if all their demands are not fulfilled. No, I think the guy that came up with the idea of coating onions in toffee to disguise them as toffee apples was on the right track in my opinion.
I have to blame our American cousins for this outrage as they took what was a sensible little celebration and blew it up out of all proportions. You see we had it nailed, a couple of skeletons or a witch hung up as a form of decoration and maybe a couple of extra horror movies on the television. Not an egging in sight. No, they had to take it and ruin it by making it a commercial farce and the UK quickly followed thinking it was missing out. Personally, I think it was the confectionery manufacturers behind it all as they had the most to gain.
While we are on the topic, why do bats get such a bad press? True the vampire bat is a bit of a bastard. Crawling along the floor towards victims when you have a perfectly good pair of wings is not a good start. Plus, it is by far the ugliest of the 1300 species. But many of the others are like little fury bundles of cuddly things, and the fruit bat looks like a fox with wings which although in description terms alone should ruin any chicken’s night is actually as the name suggests a fruit eater. No good telling chickens that as they simple do not have the IQ to understand.
No bats are essential as they can eat their own body weight in insects every night and many of them pollinate fruits and flowers. Here is another myth, bats do not get tangled in your hair ever! They have the best sonar radar system around and can navigate perfectly well in a room criss-crossed with wires. There are no recorded case of bats being too drunk to use their sonar radar less than perfectly.
So, my guess is Hollywood and Bram Stoker are the source of bat related myths.
Toodle pip for now.

Andy

May Our Darkness Never Blind Us From Our Light Within.

I keep thinking back to 2010 when I decided I knew enough to go full time online. That was a big year for me as we also sold our home and moved to France too. My motivation was clear, I had already suffered a burn out and needed to change my lifestyle and the secondary push was that I rather liked the idea of being able to travel around Europe and only require an Internet connection.
I think I had visions of a somewhat Bohemian life where I propped up bars in various seedy watering holes like some hack chasing the next story. The reality of course was nothing like that although I did see and experience a lot of the French Catalan way of life.

Success came in little waves and gave me hope for a brighter future, I knew nothing of list building and sales funnels back then and I wish I had invested in a mentor far sooner than I actually did. Once I was armed with more knowledge then the path become clearer, but I had my moments of self -doubt still as one of my problems was distraction. Everything interested me and I was in danger of becoming involved in too many things at once. This effectively makes you a master at none of it as you spread yourself too thin. Even these mistakes did help me in a way as later when I became a coach or mentor to others I could steer them away from any problem areas they might encounter on their own. All knowledge is good if we learn from it.

I was beginning after two years into my time in France to become known as a writer and an Internet marketer. I created dozens of little mini businesses, some worked and some didn’t but I started to understand the needs of a given market far better when I realised that my business knowledge from my offline years could be used online as well. I had run several companies back in the UK and was qualified in psychotherapy and counselling and had taken life and business coaching courses. I started to use some of these skills in an analytical way and my business took off.

There lurked a demon though, and it swooped out of the beautiful sunny skies like the eagles that could be seen riding the thermals over the Pyrenees mountains. Depression had shown itself before in my life, for I have a troubled background stretching back to childhood but this was different, it was darker and angrier than before. It numbed me and made me retreat into myself.
It was not with me all the time and I became an expert at wearing a mask to disguise it. However, it did change me and slowly ate away at a lot of my persona. I can’t blame it completely for the break- up of my relationship with my partner that had lasted 16 years, because there were other components to that but I am sure it held a role in there somewhere.

She went back to the UK and I remained in France for one last summer before heading to Spain to basically start again. I never realised how ill I had become in that time. I gave everything away. Life was spiralling in a way that I could never have envisaged.

Now I was in a country where I knew no one and was very troubled mentally, but my physical health was now deteriorating as well. Within weeks Bells palsy set in and my face became frozen down one side. Going out was difficult, driving became impossible as I could not blink as the nerves were damaged. My eyes were beyond sore. They put me on a drug called lyrica (I later found out it is referred to as the suicide drug of Spain) This accelerated my downfall and I began to not look after myself properly, business suffered too. Eventually I had a complete mental and physical breakdown. My diabetic condition worsened and I became very ill.

A moment of clarity came as Billy Bob my cat pawed at me on Xmas morning. I am not sure how long I had been sat there on the floor but I came to my senses for a few minutes and threw the drugs in the bin and made a decision that this was my fight back. I had lost 28 pounds in weight.
Two years on from that I am still in Spain but have moved a couple of times. I certainly don’t feel perfect but most of the depression has gone although it will always walk in the shadows with me. The bells palsy has left its mark as I have some muscles in my face that don’t work too well but I no longer think about it. I am once again physically fit and can run and cycle for miles. I had support from family and one very close friend online and that was I feel very important in my slow recovery.
My ambition has returned as well and although I am a long way from being where I once was business wise I have already helped many people become successful with their own online businesses. It’s funny, because I am actually better at helping others than myself.

I am developing the brand Simply Meat Free with my Sister and am back creating coaching courses and doing some freelance writing. I also own the brand Digi Warrior and have created a couple of memberships sites.

All in all, the future does look brighter although I need to work hard at bettering my financial status. What I do find now is that I can’t concentrate for as long as I could before but in some ways, that could be a good thing.

My life or at least a big part of it has been immersed in helping others. I still feel that this is my direction, I have created an online support group for diabetics and am thinking about becoming involved in the mind set and life coaching arena again. My last book “The 7 Steps to the Real You” was a step in that direction.
Helping other I feel actually helps me too.

May our darkness never blind us from our light within.

Andy Beveridge

Early Morning Thoughts (Pre Coffee)

Love does not conquer hate and never has done. Hate does not overwhelm love either. Lots of statements get thrown around with probably good intentions but lack the evidence to support them. Crime does not pay is another one. Actually, for millions of people crime has paid very well. Not quite so good if you march into a building with a shooter and get caught trying to nick 15k and end up doing 15 years bird. Then, if you do that you are an idiot because that is a poor pay off.

Our world is fairly balanced, and awareness is our friend. We can write posts on social media about how unfair life is but for most of us we tend to live in that middle zone where we get a bit of both negative and positive. Which one of these you concentrate upon is really just a choice.
I say chuck out all that learnt behaviour which at best is probably handed down out of date information and live by your own moral code. Do and act in a way that you feel comfortable and allow yourself to be you. We can stare at the vast inky blackness of space and come up with profound spiritual statements but in truth all the answers are already locked inside your own head.

(I actually like staring out at the inky blackness of space)

Morning thoughts by Andy Beveridge

Life Thoughts

Your own mortality is real and no matter what we fear and no matter how much we don’t want that to be the truth, it is, and all of us will pass away at some point in time. Not only us but also our loved ones and all our friends too.
Once you accept your own mortality it allows you to use time in a different way and understand the importance of past relationships and the new ones yet to be forged. Bitterness and rivalry are just grains of sand on a never-ending beach when compared to our short time on this planet. Learn to take with you what is good on your journey and cast away the negativity that hold you back from being who you truly are.
Understand that material things are not there forever either and the pleasure they give is just a momentary thing. Money itself is worthless and its real job is to act as a facilitator to the things that we really want to do or own. The pursuit of money is dangerously evil, far better to allow money to come into your life because you offer value and integrity to others.

Do not constantly seek happiness in the world for its true home is deep with inside you. Happiness is created by you and is up to you to understand how to allow this to flow.

Understand that you cannot possibly make everyone happy and is not your job to do so. Allow people to follow their own path and by being true to yourself you will offer them far more enlightenment and eliminate the stress of having to please.

Forget perfection as it does not really exist, constantly seeking it will slowly erode your own self-confidence and you will start to doubt your own abilities. Seeking perfection will also stop you from actually doing the things you want to do, it is far better to take action and then learn from that action and gradually try and improve things. Action is your friend and needing perfection your enemy
When you look back through your life, your personal achievements will of course hold a special place, but it is the love that you felt and the relationships that you formed that will truly warm the spirit.
No athlete and no businessman achieve success without constant practice and the ability to absorb failure and see it as a stepping stone. We need to treat love in exactly the same way, we should be constantly practicing on our journey of understanding and giving. The knowledge that by spreading are most inner love will act like ripples on a pond and spread out further than we could ever imagine is very powerful.

Stop living in the past as it carries and creates chains that hold you back, instead take those lessons and create a better world for yourself and those you love.

Allow yourself to be you.

Andy Beveridge

How Certain Beliefs Can Damage a Relationship

Very few of us are trained to actually explore our own belief systems and therefore, we trundle through life with these beliefs largely unchallenged. False beliefs can be quite damaging in certain aspects of life and one area in which we need to look at those beliefs is within relationships.
We may believe in something wholeheartedly but this does not make it true.

If we make judgments simply through values that have been either passed down to us or which are largely unexplored, then we risk a less than desirable outcome. Consider this – has there ever been a time in your life when you have wanted to ask someone out on a date but failed to do so fearing rejection? If the answer is yes, then this is a self-limiting belief. The origins of this belief may be deeply embedded in the sub-conscious mind and may have been laid down as a trigger many years beforehand.

So, let’s examine some beliefs and see if they are really working for you.

If you are in a healthy relationship and happy with the ebb and flow of energy between you then all is well but for a great many people, this is not the case, the harmony between both may be sadly lacking. Or, you may no longer be in a relationship and feel that you have missed your chance of finding true love. You may have been hurt and unable to face the prospect of finding love again. Sometimes, by simply examining your personal beliefs, it is possible to facilitate change for the better.

Here are a few beliefs that are simply not true and may damage a relationship very quickly:

1. If you fall out of love then it will never return.
2. What I have experienced in the past will always return in the future.
3. It takes two to change things.
4. If it’s real love then it should require no work.
5. If it doesn’t work this time then I will never find true love again.

Now if you read through these five sentences, do they make sense to you? Do any of them resonate as to how you feel? Can you justify any of the statements made?
It’s worth nothing that none of these are true, it is simply a case of perception i.e. how we see things or how we feel that differs. I have picked out these five sentences deliberately because they are often the type of false information that is passed on down to us. They occur through damaging experiences and beliefs of others which eventually become our own.
We need to examine them and question why this should be so.
It pays to write a list down that includes every self-limiting belief that you have and although you may struggle initially, you can rectify this by considering any decisions made in relationships and question why you made them. It is possible to empower oneself very easily once we start to dissect any beliefs and actions that have been self-limiting. Simply, they have no right to be with us at all.

So here is a couple of questions that you should ask yourself.

1. Is what I believe really true?
2. Can I change how I think about situations?
3. With practice, can I have a different belief system?

We must recognise that the capability of change is within all of us and the real power lies with our recognising our basic needs and those of our partner’s too. Each of us is responsible for our actions and so anything we do in life, will facilitate change in some direction. The point is to recognise the value of what we have in any given partnership. No two people are ever the same and so no relationship can be the same as the previous one, this means that what happened once is not necessary going to happen again. We must eliminate comparisons for that is damaging in itself.
All of the positives above allow us to be true to ourselves and to enable the partnership to feel free and safe because the relationship can grow without fear or limitations. We develop in the way that we should. This is often the main key to a healthy, loving relationship.

Andy Beveridge

Is There Any Evidence That the Heart is Actually a Mini Brain?

There is a theory going around stating that the heart plays a far bigger role than just a large muscle that pumps blood around our body and actually acts in a cognitive way. I think it is easy to see how the heart has been picked out to be something special and of course it is vitally important as its role is the difference between life and death. Heart failure really is the end and so we are quite right to understand the importance of this organ.
For centuries now the heart has played a bigger role than perhaps it really deserved. We are heartfelt, we have hearts of gold, I give you my heart, I love from the bottom of my heart, and the list goes on. All of this suggests deeper emotions that are being released directly from this organ and that just isn’t true in my opinion.
The heart is practically worshiped by humanity and in all cultures and there are many historical references in literature. Music is littered with lyrics that mention the heart in a way that leaves other organs out in the cold, after all you don’t hear many people say that guy has a liver of gold.
There are quite a few sites that push out this idea of the heart operating in a more cognitive manner but having read through them I find very little in the way of evidence as most of it seems to point to suggestion. A lot of the references are from unpublished work or recorded conversations which does not lend itself to a strong supportive argument.
I found one paper called “The electricity of touch” which basically went on to discuss a measurement of cardiac energy exchange between people. This paper has no real science behind it and even the author admits this. Yet that paper has been pushed forward in many places as real evidence that supports the claim that the heart is a mini brain. Any form of guesswork destroys scientific claims and that is a simple fact.
The basis of the main theory stems from the fact that the heart has a network of 40,000 neurons within it. These neurons detect hormones, neurochemicals, and are aware of heart rate and blood pressure. So, on this evidence they base the theory that the heart communicates with the brain and the rest of the body in a biophysical and electromagnetic sense.
When this is backed up by the fact [I believe this to be true] that the heart secretes oxytocin which is considered a bonding hormone and is present in childbirth and lactation and also that recently it was discovered that this hormone was involved in other functions as well like complex sexual and maternal behaviors. So when you look at it from that angle it looks like the theory is beginning to back itself up but it quickly falls apart when you look at the reality.
For instance, your heart does have 40,000 neurons and a lot of those are very sensitive to circulating hormones but so do many other parts of the body and nobody is pushing those as having a mini brain. Here is another thing, the complete intestinal tract has more nerve cells than the entire central nervous system and we are constantly being reminded about the sensations from our gut far more than from our heart. The gut also has most of the neurotransmitters found in the brain. This actually makes the gut a far more worthy candidate for the mini brain theory than the heart.
In fact, most of our organs have huge organized and functioning neural networks but nobody is suggesting that they also act in a cognitive and planning kind of way, in fact there is no suggestion of at all that these other organs are controlling any other part of our body. The brain does not dish out this work to other body parts and much of what has been said in the past was meant to be taken metaphorically and not in a literal sense. I stand by the fact that neither the gut nor the heart has a mini brain.
Then we get onto the big claim that the electromagnetic signals generated by the heart influence other parts of the body. These signals are so weak that only specialized equipment can pick them up and they are lost in the noise of other signal generated by the rest of the body, and it is a very weak proposal to suggest that these extremely weak signals can influence other cells. Especially when there is so much other noise going on from other organs and especially muscles. There is much evidence to back up this weakness of signal in a magnetic and electrical sense.
Another claim is that the heart is responsible in some way for making decisions within our thoughts. For the life of me I cannot find one single piece of real evidence that could support this. As far as I’m concerned, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for the decisions we make and if we feel good about a certain decision then it is the result of the dopamine neurotransmitter. This is fact and proven.
Herophilus was a Greek philosopher working in Egypt around 300 BC and his studies went a long way to proving that the brain was responsible for our intellect and are cognitive ability. The romantic side of linking the heart to many other things has lived on though and mostly through music and lyrics but that kept this myth alive to this day.
So to sum this up, there appears to be no real hard-core scientific evidence that supports the heart being anything other than a muscle which pumps the blood around the body. The heart can really not be thought of as a mini brain any more than one of your other organs such as your liver or spleen. As we mentioned before the intestines actually represent a far better candidate for the mini brain than the heart ever could and nobody is pushing for that to be true.
Much that I like to find out new information and discover new facts that make us think in a different way the very thought that anyone takes this particular theory seriously does make me cringe. It was disproven over 2000 years ago and revisiting this theory is like taking a trip back to the dark ages because there is no real scientific evidence to support it.

Andy Beveridge

God’s Plan And Random Events


One of the things that irks me most is the saying it’s all in God’s plan. First of all, the person who says this usually doesn’t mention which God and so I find that confusing to start with. Then there is the question, do they mean everything?

If they do and I am to assume that their God overlooks all things, then we must take into consideration all the bad stuff that happens as well. It is not enough to say God moves in mysterious ways, as to offer that as an explanation is just a get out cause. A statement used when that person can’t give a reasonable explanation that makes any sense.
I also dislike the way people cherry pick when they make these statements. An example being that a child gets rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building after days of searching and they say it is God’s plan. So, does that mean that all the other children that died in collapsed buildings was part of that plan?
If a child is abducted and held in the cellar for a number of years and continually raped and then her child raped as well still part of God’s plan too? That child probably prayed to God every single day and her family were probably doing the same and yet no salvation appeared, I have to assume that that too would be part of God’s plan as if not why did he not prevent it?

So, the only conclusion can be that there is no God or that he is powerless or doesn’t care. I made my choice on this a very long time ago. Anyway, this article is not all about religion because there is a crossover as well.
So, moving away from the religious aspect, why is it that so many people think that things or events are meant to be? If something happens whether it is good or bad you hear the statement there is a reason for everything and it was meant to be.
Now I understand that all things are connected that there is a reaction to any action and I even get that certain energies can attract or repel, and so I also get that people tend not to see the randomness of things. We seem as a species to want to label things and give meaning to anything that happens in our lives. There are some people who are not specifically religious but turn to the universe and revert to almost the same way as someone with a deep faith in that they give the universe the power instead of a God. This to me is just as crazy a notion as the existence of the 3000 plus Gods that have been worshiped throughout time.
To suggest that all things are meant to happen is to take away our power of choice because you may as well say it does not matter what I choose to do today as it was already part of my destiny and I do not believe that for one moment. Nothing in my world points to that being correct.
If something good or something bad happens in your life no it was not meant to be, it just happened. If you need to go back to your house because you forgot your keys and this meant that you were a few minutes late and missed a bus that blew up or crashed it does not mean that your life was saved for some specific reason. We are just not that important and I find it absurd to think that people would assume that we are. Equally if an accident happens it is not just you being picked off because it is your time to go or that there is a special reason that you must leave this planet.

We are responsible for our own choices and we make decisions based on any number of things. Sometimes it’s greed sometimes it’s love and sometimes it’s random but all these choices can lead to different events. I do understand as I said before that one action causes an effect on another and that clearly makes sense but it does not mean that it was pre-destined.
You could argue that randomness does not exist in the sense that if you knew all possible variables then you would know the outcome of any given event, but that of course is totally impossible. If it were possible then you could predict the future and you could make one heck of a lot of money in a casino.
If you held your arm out straight and had a handful of Straws in your grasp and release them they would form a pattern on the floor and to all intents and purposes it would be random because the next time you tried it the pattern created would be completely different and you could carry on doing that for a lifetime and never repeat the pattern in its entirety.
The reason that it is random is because of the variables, you can’t control all of these and even things like how tired your arm is or how tight your grip was will make a difference to how the straws fell to the ground. Then you have things like air pressure that varies and breezes and muscle tension and so your outcome is random you can’t predict it.
Life is like that, things do react to other energy and can be drawn from other energy and attracted to it and repelled but it is rare for any sequence of events to be exactly duplicated and therefore randomness as a result enters our life.

The bottom line to this is that we are responsible for our own choices and there is no God or universal power that makes these decisions for us. We are all connected through an energy that is difficult to explain but appears to be real and one event is connected to another often in ways that make us look for patterns, but our lives and destiny is not predetermined.
We are our own God in that what you do now changes your future tomorrow.

Andy Beveridge

Why I Think Mother Teresa Should Not Be Made a Saint

Surely even the most die- hard Catholic must cringe at the beautification of Mother Teresa? I do not hold the belief of the late Christphor Hitchens who thought of her as almost evil because I believe she was just a pawn or a puppet and others pulled the string. That said she did create a hell on earth for many. Her statement to a Calcutta population that aids was evil but condoms were worse must have condemned thousands of babies to a life of poverty and depravation. The misuse of funds and the awful state of some of the hospitals that were made in her name and funded by millions raised by her should both be investigated. There is a massive hole where those millions went and no one can explain what happened to the money and it was obvious the hospitals never received it. Once again, I think she was just a pawn.

I think however it is the miracle itself which is most embarrassing. A Bengali woman named Monica Besra claims that a beam of light emerged from a picture of MT, which she happened to have in her home, and relieved her of a cancerous tumor. Her physician, Dr. Ranjan Mustafi, says that she didn’t have a cancerous tumor in the first place and that the tubercular cyst she did have was cured by a course of prescription medicine. Nothing here makes sense and just points to how truth or proof is not important to many people, if blind faith and hope are all you need then it makes it very easy to believe any kind of fabrication. Let us also not forget that she herself lost her faith in the last year of her life.

Andy Beveridge

 

We Are All Just Humans

We are all one race as it is proven that we can all be traced back to one Valley in Africa. The differences in the color or appearance of our skin is merely down to climate changes and the fact that some of us evolved to become better equipped in certain parts of the world and certain conditions. The truth of the matter is that the white supremeist and the black power supporter stand alongside each other in the same body, each one could and should use the blood of the other in a medical emergency.

Only belief systems separate us, beliefs that come from a darker age, an age that lacked knowledge and so beliefs were born that have no bearing in the world we live in today. Culture is important to us as a species as it gives us a better understanding of our history and our arts. It brings in a variety of different cuisines and architecture it makes us open our eyes to the beautiful world that we live in. It only goes wrong when different cultures have different belief systems that remain unquestioned. Religion does this all the time. Child mutilation is 100% born from religious beliefs as an example.
We evolved from a common ancestor shared by the chimpanzee, both of us evolved down a different line and we’re still evolving today but the chimpanzees are cousins for sure. Three other types of human evolved down a similar line and are now extinct. We are only important to ourselves and the world and its species change at a drop of a hat when the power of natural selection is at work. It is an amazing thing that we have developed to be able to think and explore in a way that other species have never reached. When you consider what we have achieved already on this planet both good and bad that it is quite breath taking for we have not been here that long.

The fact that we can kill each other because we were born in a different part of the world and therefore believe in something different is very sad. When our species was down to just a few thousand and the first ones walked out of Africa there was no way that they could have ever known the dangers of diversity to humanity.

I embrace you as a fellow human.

Andy Beveridge

The Light Behind the Dark.

There is a storm coming and you know it because there always is and the next one may be in a different guise than the last one but it will still bring the rain and dark clouds. Of course, it will pass just like the last one did and every one from now on will too.

We can’t avoid these moments in our life but we can at least see beyond them. Sometimes it will look and feel like there is no way forward but there always is. Sometimes the storm can be so dark and heavy that occasionally a person cannot see the light behind the storm and chooses not to carry on in a moment of despair. We lose them from time to time and it’s sad because we always feel we could have done something. Perhaps we can and perhaps we can’t and we never know because that moment is gone.

Depression is a subject that many won’t talk about and it confuses me because anyone of us can suffer from it either directly or indirectly when a family member or friend enters the storm themselves. It’s not taboo, it’s not contagious, it is just a state of mind. I never hide the fact that I have depressive moments which are largely controlled and in my case not by drugs, and I am willing to talk about it because by being open it releases it in a way. I am being purely selfish when I mention my own problems but I do hope it helps at least someone to also feel they can talk about it too.
I live over 90% of my life in a place that is very comfortable and by that, I mean I find humor in everything and enjoy seeking the truth in a variety of subjects. I am generally a happy person but dark clouds can blow in when I least expect it. I have been enjoying a coffee with friends and suddenly without any known reason my inner world starts to fall apart. I have never felt suicidal but have had visions of my own death and that can be quite disturbing too. I could often cry at these points but I am so good at wearing a mask these days that very few people actually detect what is going on behind the scenes.
Never be ashamed of your thought pattern and never be frightened to tell the world how you feel. No one is truly alone and if you feel that way then reach out to me as I will understand. Although its not my line of work anymore I am never going to turn my back on anyone who needs to chat.

Andy Beveridge

A Short Jog

My light jog across the waste ground led yet again to another mishap. My foot caught a small rock and my knees buckled and for a few short seconds much to the amusement of the Spanish family walking behind me I gave an impression of someone attempting a late entry into the ministry of funny walks as I was still sort of jogging but in an almost crouching position, but this ended when my ankle turned over like a tranny on his first outing with heels that he can’t control. The forward roll that followed was one of my better ones and I think I have indeed nailed this movement now and almost feel like repeating it randomly in front of people. Then standing straight up and pretending to spot a plant that needed to be examined (This never fools anyone and they know you are soaked in embarrassment) it’s a bit like a cat that slips of a table and continues to clean itself while pretending that is what it meant to do. With one last look at the plant I jogged away lifting my knees slightly higher than necessary in a bid to not allow it to happen again in front of the Spanish family who had already had their quota of entertainment for the day. The parrots mocked me from their tree.

Andy (no pride left) Beveridge

1 2 3