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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

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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

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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

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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

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Turning Out The Lights

Last night I had a dream which some people would find pretty disturbing but I can clearly see the difference between a dream and reality and on the whole I don’t look for hidden messages because my understanding of dreams are that they are pretty much safety valves to get rid of the built-up junk that congregates in our brains. However, this dream which centred around suicide is a kind of re-occurring thought but not for one moment am I saying I’m suicidal because I’m not as I have way too much to live for.
In this dream I had some kind of terminal disease but I can’t remember what that was supposed to be but it was enough for me to feel the need to end my life. I remember walking towards the sea and having to make a decision on which way should I face as I waited for the early morning tide. The intention was to remain in control and I think that is another theme that seems to run through my dreams if not my life. The memory of the dream is quite vivid as it was only a few hours ago and I can remember choosing to sit down in the shallow water and face the mountains, my thoughts were that I really wanted my last few moments to be looking at the thing I love most about the landscape and mountains have always called me.
There was not much reflection in the dream only that I was choosing my moment instead of the illness deciding that it would switch the lights off for me. I do remember that I could see the sky changing as daylight began to break the night’s hold on it and thinking that it was going to be a good day for those left behind. Writing this down now makes it all sounds so morbid and depressing but it was not like that at all in the dream as it was far more about release and control.
I do wonder if someone who is contemplating taking their life feels the same as I felt in the dream or if we could even imagine how someone feels. You often hear people say that suicide was the easy way out or that it’s a selfish act but I don’t go along with that because I think it takes a huge amount of courage to say this is it I can’t take any more. Plus, I also think that in many cases the person committing the act is actually trying to protect their loved ones. I do understand that every case would be different but I could see huge percentage fitting into this category.
I had a friend once and I will not mention his name here because it is possible that someone might read this and recognise him from it, and that might cause some grief to his family. It was a long time ago but he was the kind of friend that would call round my house only in trouble times. He would always thank me if we chatted and always said he felt better after we had a discussion, and nearly all of his issues were not really serious matters for the most part but we have to remember that how we perceive someone else’s problems is often not how they see the problem.
I had not seen him for a few weeks and then suddenly bumped into him in a local club, he seemed cheerful enough and our conversation was brief but warm and friendly. The next day I heard that he had walked from that place and straight to a railway track where a train finished his life. I can’t help sometimes think back and wonder why at that moment he never chose to talk to me. I can only imagine that he had made the awful decision sometime before.
So suicide does affect many other people of course but I do not think it’s fair to say the person is being selfish or taking the easy route out. These are just statements that are made by people who’ve heard those things before and are just repeating them or they have never been in a position where nothing seems like it could ever change.
My own dream as disturbing as that may be to some people in no way reflects upon how I feel. I personally have an enormous amount of life to live and because I’m aware of my own mortality I need to get on with doing just that.
The dream did have one moment where a new surge of energy coursed through my veins and it was a moment when the water had dragged me back and I was under looking up and catching glimpses of the brand-new day and I thought it’s me that switching the lights out and not you.

Andy Beveridge

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Seriously I Am Not Offended!

How life has changed in the last 40 years, because it seems that almost everything we say offends somebody and we now live in a state of perpetual worry. We can’t say this we can’t say that without somebody falling off their stool with bouts of anxiety.
Take Facebook for example, I have had on numerous occasions when people who had previously been friends with me unfriending me because of a statement that I posted or maybe just an opinion, now it’s not wrong to have a different opinion than me and I am certainly not saying I’m right about everything but it’s kind of weird that people think it’s acceptable to be so offended by one line of thought that they need to eradicate that person from their life.
It is well known among those that actually know me that I am an atheist. I’m not an anti-theist but just somebody who does not believe in any of the gods. To me they are all man-made and came understandably from the time when we knew very little and were trying to make sense of the world. (Ironically I do love churches)
Now I have many friends who are religious and I might add from different religions and I regularly see their pro-religion comments and here is the point, although I disagree with them and don’t believe in what they believe in I don’t immediately unfriend them because they have many other values that I do agree with. I can have conversations with these people on many other topics and enjoy the interaction, and I am not offended because they believe in something that I don’t.
The trouble with this is that often once people find out that I’m an atheist some will try to change me and that can annoy me. It is then that I can be a bit more vocal about why I don’t believe in any of the numerous gods or religions.
However, it’s not just religion that people get offended over in fact it’s just about almost everything that gets covered by over sensitivity. Now I hate racism and bullying as much as anybody could, I think that when somebody openly attacks someone because of the colour of their skin or the shape of their body then it says a lot more about that person than it does the person they are attacking and I agree that we should eradicate that kind of behaviour at every level that we can.
The other side to this coin is that a lot of it is unbalanced and is just people jumping on a bandwagon, after all think of this, there are not many Irishmen that I know that get offended by being called Paddy and the same goes for Welshman who get nicknamed Taffy, Scotsman getting called Jock does not seem to create any extra wave of sensitivity but try calling someone from Pakistan Paki and the whole world erupts. Now if you say any of these words with venom that’s a different matter but just the use of the word is completely harmless it’s just a description.
I am not offended by the fact that a lot of Australians would refer to me as a pommy which I think refers to the fact that we first sailed out of Portsmouth many years ago. I am not offended if you call me bald because I undoubtably am and the hair that does still grow on my head gets shaven off every couple of days, because like looking like that. I’m not offended if you call me white because for most of the year I am (I say most because there are about three months of the year when I adorn a rather sexy tan.)
So, what I don’t understand is why people aren’t just proud of where they came from and their roots, there are many aspects of humanity which I dislike but being from a certain area of the world surely can’t offend anyone? After all it’s how you behave that makes a difference not what you look like or even what you believe in.
You know I am not even sure if we are allowed to call someone black anymore and yet if that is the colour of that person’s skin then surely they are black if I am white it’s not an offensive remark it’s just a fact. I really don’t care what the colour of your skin is if you are nice to me then I am going to be nice to you, and I think if we all stopped being over sensitive and were just kind and looked out for each other, then none of this nonsense would exist. Different cultures are important to us because we learn and expand by understanding different ways of life and that does include the things that I don’t believe in, and yes I can still gain from something that in my mind can’t be true or exist, the reason for this is that I can learn about different people and how they interact and where their belief systems come from, but I don’t need them to be exactly the same as me to gain the benefits in fact it’s more beneficial to me if they don’t.
If you behave like an idiot then I will treat you like one and I don’t blame you if you do the same with me, but don’t expect me to put you on a pedestal because your different than me or think different things than me.
So here’s a few topics that I don’t believe in and because I don’t can cause offence. I don’t believe in fairies, unicorns, the Loch Ness monster, alien abductions, after death experiences, people talking to the dead (never seen one yet that does not use cold reading and Barnum statements), religion, telekinesis, tarot cards and past life experiences. I’m fairly sure there are quite a few more out there.
Now I find many of those topics quite interesting and as I go through life I will never stop learning after all new things are being discovered all the time, areas like quantum are opening doors up that once we could never imagine even existed so we can’t really say no to anything and all possibilities are in fact possible. However, when there is no real proof of anything we cannot therefore say it exists and when someone states that something is true without proof then they are either seriously misguided or they are lying.
Here is the thing though, if you believe in any of the above I can still be your friend because I’m not offended that you think differently to me, in fact you might be correct and me wrong. I too have some spiritual beliefs or feelings that interact with many things that I don’t actually think can be correct, I don’t fully understand these feelings and so don’t push them onto other people but through healthy debate and interaction with others we can learn and grow. The point is to be able to embrace each others thoughts and share our growth and knowledge with each other in a friendly way that benefits us all.
At the moment, it’s almost like society needs to be offended and it wants to see fault in others and for me it’s hard to see where we go in evolutionary terms as a species because we seem to be subdividing all the time, and in my opinion the subdivisions are being caused by belief in things that don’t actually exist.
So, let’s get real and start thinking about the things that really make a difference in our short time on this planet and me worrying about if I’ve offended anyone is not one of them.
Much peace.

Andy Beveridge

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Discovering Who You Really Are

Truly understanding who you are is an incredibly powerful thing and you would be amazed at how few people really have this information. We are born with a clean slate and a few natural instincts and all our knowledge is then acquired through trial and error or passed on information. This slowly increases over time into layers of learnt behaviour and we use it to govern our daily lives.
Parents are normally our first teachers and what they believe in is often what we at least in the beginning tend to believe in too. Then schooling takes over and teachers and even other children pass information into our growing data base of knowledge. Our own interests also add to this and as we grow older we experiment in other areas like relationships and work.
These layers of knowledge become the foundation blocks to how we live our lives and eventually the knowledge which we will pass on to our own children. What many people do not think about is just how much of this knowledge is true, and the original source that it was born from. Often our belief systems are actually made up from lots of other people’s beliefs and in turn their knowledge and beliefs were passed down to them too.
So it pays to sometimes question your beliefs and ask yourself “Do I really and truly have proof that this is correct?” When you start doing this it opens up a whole new way of looking at life and often leads to a path that reveals the true you.

Andy Beveridge

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Universe I am here

The moon circles us like we circle the sun. In ancient times it is easy to understand how this must have been confusing. Stories would have been told and folklore and legends born as people tried to make sense of everything. Of course, they had no understanding that they were just tiny specks in space and that millions of years before, creatures existed that would have frightened the most hardened of story tellers. Religion much later was born in the same way as more modern humans looked for a way to explain things.
Now we have so much proof thanks to science constantly attempting to disprove various theories, and we understand so much more about how life was formed. Yet with Quantum opening up new doors all the time it gives a sense of possible new secrets being revealed for the first time to us.
Yet when I stand and stare at that inky blackness and know that our star is just one very small one out of billions of others and many will have planets around them, it makes you realise just how awesome it all is. Sometimes I can almost feel the energy surging through me. I want to reach out to those stars and in a way I know I will one day. We are but star dust.
It’s all carbon man.

Andy Beveridge.

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The Balance Between Negative and Positive

When we think of negative and positive it is easy to think of it as black-and-white but this is not strictly true. As a coach for many years I pushed or tried to change people into thinking in a positive manner, no harm to this of course because being positive is beneficial to our well-being, in fact I often spoke of having a choice on how you view something, you can see the negative or you can see the positive and for the most part looking at things in a positive way tends to lead to a better outcome.
However much that I encourage positive outlook in life it should not come at the expense of ignoring negativity. Negativity is a balance and I have spoken about this in the past, it is important to understand that there are both sides to any thought process or outcome. It would be wrong to blindly ignore some negative thoughts as they can act as a warning and should be heeded.
So, it pays to understand that negativity also has its place in our thought process, we ought to be taking note of it but not allowing it to control us, in fact if we use it properly it can lead to us seeing a positive outcome from what would be a negative situation.

Andy Beveridge

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When Dark Clouds Gather

Depression is one of those subjects that people tend to shy away from, but I prefer to bring it into the open. I think that I am one of the lucky ones in that my depression periods do seem to be controllable, in fact sometimes I welcome them as I become more creative during these moments that tend to last one or two days.
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So clearly I don’t suffer as so many do but it still changes the course of how I think and act and often I find that I’m putting a mask on, not because I’m ashamed but because I don’t want to affect others. I often think of it this way, I see a dark forest ahead of me and there is a path that is lit up going right the way through, this path meanders like a river through a valley, so you can never see very far but as long as you stay on the path then you get to the other side safely. When I do my most creative work, I have 1 foot in the darkness and 1 foot on the path.
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My fear is stepping off the path and walking into the darkness because I do have an urge to do that sometimes.
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When all is said and done, depression like most things must affect us all differently, and as I’ve already said I am aware that mine is at least controllable, but it is there all the same and sometimes it feels very much like I’m drowning in emotion. Other times it feels like there is no emotion left and I think others will recognise that trait more than the first one.
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For the most part as an individual I am really happy and it is hard to think what triggers off the sudden mood changes, there is no one big thing but more a series of smaller issues that can sometimes morph into something larger. Last year was an awful year for me with the breakup of a long-term relationship and ill-health following and later my business crashed through neglect but during that time I cant really remember being depressed, maybe ill but not what I would call in a dark depression. Ironically through some emotional problems I am on the border of depression now. I can feel dark shadows invading and although this is likely to pass quickly it can be a bit scary.
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I think the message in the short article is really to reflect on the fact that any one of us can feel this and I think that most of us do at some point. It is never enough to tell someone to buck up and get their ideas together, we have all that in place. For me it is about having space and the ability to express myself and this prevents the darkness becoming overwhelming but do not think for one minute that every smile or joke tells the true story.
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Andy Beveridge

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Golf Defies The Laws Of Physics.

Golf is one of those games that defies the laws of physics. You know the trajectory of the club head is correct and you also know that your grip is not too light but firm enough to keep control. You have eyed the green in the near distance and lined up everything up in exactly the same way as you did when you hit that wonderful shot about a year ago. The breeze is gentle and warm and will not be taking a part in the journey of this golf ball through the air.
The club head slices through the air in a controlled arc and is every bit as good as professionals look on the television or at least that is what your head says, because your friends stood behind you are seeing a different picture. For them result is inevitable as they can see you are facing slightly to the right and that aged old excuse of I tend to bring the ball round doesn’t cut it anymore.
You can actually fool yourself right up to the point of impact that it is going to be a great shot as up to that point there is no proof of anything different. Once club and ball make contact then all bets are off and the savageness of your incompetency knows no bounds. The head of the club follows through in a manner that you practiced so many times in the past and your torso twists and the club head although nowhere near where you think it is does end up behind you. The ball however reveals the truth of how your stance and setup were all misaligned.
You could forgive yourself if the ball had gone a few yards right of the green as you were already facing away as your friends will repeatedly tell you later on in the clubhouse, but the fact that somewhere deep down in your subconscious you knew this mistake made for another problem. It’s a tiny movement but to compensate and your subconscious knew it had to, there was an adjustment mid flow. A slice had been produced. Now the ball already destined even with the perfect stroke to land a few yards right of the green has now developed a beautiful spinning action and arcs itself away from the chosen target and seriously threatens golfers on another fairway.
Little smirks appear on the faces of fellow players as their job just got easier, because it is one of the quirks of playing golf that if someone has made a mistake that you will never feel as bad as they did. Of course, there will be a round of how unlucky and I thought you nailed that one. None of this course compensates for the complete lack of skills on display. Little reminders creep in about how you’re actually paying for this in cash. Sometimes you even look at the clubs and think it’s time you changed them especially when a friend hits the perfect shot with their brand-new club.
Golf is truly a frustrating game at times and it does seem to defy the law of physics, it certainly does not live up to the law of averages or at least how I play it anyway. Yet it is strangely addictive and it only takes one perfect contact with the ball to have you planning next week’s game.
There must be some life lessons to be learned from this but for the life of me I can’t think of any.

FORE!

Andy Beveridge

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I Have the Most Laid Back Cat in the World

It dawned on me the other day that I have very few photographs of my cat Billy Bob with his eyes open and I take a lot of pictures of him. This is because he is so chilled he sleeps most of the time.
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He has a gentle spirit and lives in a world where cats don’t hunt or spit at each other, no Billy Bob is more likely to share his stash of catnip on meeting another cat. I have seen doves edge him away from his water bowl.
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The only act of violence I ever saw in him was when he caught a wounded dragon fly and he ate it before I could get to him. This could have been a moment of madness on his part where he returned to his primeval roots but I prefer to think of it as an act of kindness as he put the poor creature out of its misery.
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He hates traveling but settles into any new home like he had it purposely made for him. “Put the sofa there and I will sleep while you unpack” He gives a lot of love and likes to be within about 20 feet of me all the time, strangely he does not like being picked up but loves sitting next to me with one paw on my arm.
He has his own Facebook page now where I often find myself writing on his behalf. You can check it out here if you so desire. My name is Billy Bob

Andy

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Leaving the European Union Caused So Much Hate

It amazes me the hate and controversy raised by the vote to stay in the European Union or leave. Where does all this putrid and vile behaviour really stem from? In my opinion, it has been born from the scare mongering tactics that were constantly used by both sides in the run up and throughout their campaigns. Very few real facts came out and I think that was because even the politcians did not fully understand the future themselves.

So most people based their vote on a bed of lies that was designed to scare them and it appears to have worked because once you introduce fear it quickly overtakes logic in my eyes. Families fall out with each and other friends turn against one another and for what? A journey into the unknown? Surely this is the time when we embrace each other and walk forward into an unpredictable future but with a united front.

Look at some of the lies. Immigration out of control. Well immigration is a problem to an already overcrowded island but coming out of the Union does not mean that future elected governments will instantly solve this problem. Plus, we should encourage new skills into the country and perhaps the solution lays with a more controlled kind of immigration policy where young men are not instantly allowed in from war torn countries but women and children are in certain numbers for a period of time until it is safe for instance. Perhaps more people should be vetted and checked before entry but leaving the Union does not put any of that right.

Nobody will deal with us and we will lose out on trade deals. Well that one got put to bed fairly quickly as countries quickly put their hands up knowing that they could now create lucrative free trade deals. Even the European Union does not want to lose out on this and we have much to offer in the way of trading. India, Pakistan, Canada, USA, China to name just a few will be open to create new trade deals which would have been impossible while in Europe. That is one argument from both sides that was little more than scaremongering. There were many more as I am sure you are aware of.
The fact that most of us do not really know what the consequences are of leaving makes it even more absurd to spread hate in the way it has happened. I think the one thing for certain is that no matter what happens with our economy future governments will blame us leaving for the unpopular policies they bring in and that would have happened either way.
I live in Europe and a lot of people are panicking over what will happen to ex pats, well nothing really. I mean we are not all going to get thrown out of the various countries we live are we. Here in Spain the economy would simply crash if we all left and I am pretty certain that would be the same in other European countries. We have to remember that people lived abroad before we joined the Union but I get that it is a lot easier to move around right now. What will happen is people will have to become legal which of course they should be anyway and I am sure there will be a few euros added to the various forms that we fill in.
All in all, once the dust has settled life will go on pretty much as before and it surely is not worth falling out over and even more so if you are one of those that did not really know what you were voting for.
I will add one more thing, as it stands now we are not out of the Union as it takes a while to sort these exits out and of course it was only a referendum which carries no legal standing. That said I don’t think the result will change now.
Onwards and upwards to a bigger and brighter future and I would have said that whatever the result turned out to be.

Andy Beveridge

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