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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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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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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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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Thoughts

Most of my life I have been a caring person and attracted people into my world who needed me for something. This with a few exceptions was the same in romantic relationships too. I am an empath and naturally listen to others who would gravitate towards me and unburden themselves. For the most part I have been happy to do this even though it can take its toll.
It was natural also for me to move towards a more professional role as a counsellor and psychotherapist although I later realised that the training was benefiting me as I came to terms with my own childhood memories.
I was often involved in relationships that slowly fizzled out when the original problem had been solved and as I say with a few exceptions this was a repeated pattern. I began to slowly feel that was all I had to offer. A constant flow of people stopping by for guidance but moving on once they came to terms with their issues. In truth helping others can make me feel lonely.
For many years I have suffered bouts of depression and for the most part I am able to embrace them and take advantage of the creativity that feeds off them. Sometimes they are deeper than others and I never know which type will happen as they all form in the same way.
In the last year, I have not had many of these deeper ones but they have been replaced by something else. These new feelings are not depression but are still disturbing. I can only describe them as an overwhelming feeling of sadness that comes in like a wave. They last 10 to 20 minutes and it’s all I can do to stop myself weeping.
I am sure the roots lay in my childhood and these emotions are little more than suppressed energy. It is strange because it often sweeps over me when I see couples together that appear in love or are happy and I don’t like feeling sad in those moments because I genuinely want people to be happy.
This has got me reflecting on my life and I do wonder that despite the fact that people see me in the caring role whether I might be the one that needs the rescuing. Rescuing is a strong word and perhaps I really mean that I need to be able to have a degree of support myself and finally talk through past issues that are still holding suppressed emotions which are slowly and surely leeching into my daily life.
I may have been escaping them all along in the guise of helping others. After all, while I am listening or dealing with other people’s problems I am in reality escaping or ignoring my own.
Perhaps I needed fixing as much as I wanted to be the fixer.

Andy Beveridge

 

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Synchronicity

It’s a word that gets misused in my opinion as so much is easily explained in a non spiritual sense. Not that two people can’t be connected at a deeper energy level as I know that to be true, but more that a lot of people ignore the obvious with the word synchronicity and almost go out of their way to give it a different meaning.
For example, today I heard a story of a person who thought of a tune or a song and within moments a man sat opposite on a park bench I think and began to hum that very song. Now on the strength of it you can say what an amazing thing, I mean it is almost like they were mind reading, however surely the it makes more sense to believe the logical explanation in that their subconscious picked up on the man no matter how faint or brief humming the song already and laid that down in the brain. They then unware at a conscious level had that thought and along came the man and sat down and continued his rendition? Of course if it was a popular song then they could have both easily heard it on the radio or such earlier.
You see we are hard wired to look for patterns and our brains are constantly looking for reasons but our thinking is often flawed. If you stare at the clouds or a stone wall you will eventually see a face or an object and that is your brain looking for patterns it can recognise and we do it all the time. The trouble is with this way of thinking is it is very subjective and often forgets the misses and only remembers the hits.
An example would be that you think of someone and the phone rings and there they are but it is easy to forget of the scores of times that you have thought of that person and the phone did not ring. We remember the hits far more easily than the misses.
Synchronicity does exist to me but not at that spiritual level as there really is nothing to back that up apart from people wanting to believe it or flawed thinking. Two people who are attracted to each other often mirror one another by drinking at the same time or touching their heads and this is synchronicity to me.
It stands to reason that two people who talk to each other on a regular basis and do have a shared energy in the fact they have deep feelings with each other will say the same things and even finish each other’s sentences but this is very easily explained in a logical way.
If you don’t have so much in common this level of synchronicity would naturally lessen. When there is a perfectly sound and provable idea of how something happens, it makes sense to me to go with that probability and not one that can’t be proven or carries no real weight.

Andy Beveridge

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An Acceptance of Blame

My earliest memory of my Mother was when I was three years old, in fact she is my earliest memory. I remember trying to hold her hand and I never forgot the pain that gave her, although I can’t pretend that I understood that then.
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Her illness had already been with her for two years and her joints were already swollen and stiff. To cuddle or touch was painful and as a loving Mother that must have hurt her in other ways too
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As the next few years drifted along I learned to show affection in other ways. I wrote about her and did chores. I can’t pretend that it hurt me not give my Mum a cuddle because I didn’t know any different, but I do know it carried a legacy long into my adulthood. In fact it is still with me today.
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You see I learned to love but in a none-tactile way and I can now see the problems this has caused. I show my love for someone by supporting them, by buying gifts, by protecting them and throughout the years I have kidded myself that this was enough. It was never enough and I know that now.
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I avoided embracing even when it was what I so badly wanted to do. I felt awkward all the time in being demonstrative. I made excuses like “It’s just the way I am” and “I show how much I care in other ways” All the time of course I am starving that person of their basic needs.
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I slowly without knowing squeezed the life out of relationships, even though I loved with all my heart the very footsteps that person made.
The fact that my last relationship lasted 16 years is testament to just how strong our bonds were, but even then the process was only slowed up and the rope that held us together became too thin in the end and finally snapped.
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I am saddened by this because I had more control than I thought and could have put this right within myself, but it has taken to this point to understand this.
So many times in our lives it becomes easier to blame others or place barriers up to protect ourselves when in fact that very act will always lead to our own pain and that of the people we love.
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My Mother is not to blame, she loved me as much as anyone could and her illness was not her fault. My partners who I have let down are not to blame for it is I that never met their needs. It can only lay on my shoulders for not allowing myself to face what I already knew.
When I think of the countless people I have helped in a professional or friendship manner it seems strange that I could not look into my own issues and face them head on.
I guess as long as I exist, then for my own part lessons can still be learned.
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Andy Beveridge

 

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My views on the Feria


Posted on July 13, 2014

The Feria had its annual visit to Ceret this weekend. There are the two sides to it really, one is the bit that involves bulls and the other is thousands of young people getting drunk and making a mess. Neither one appeals to me.
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The bull part also breaks down into two parts. On the Saturday the cobbled streets of Ceret are flimsily fenced off and a lorry placed at either end of the main street which for the rest of the year is beautiful with it tall plane trees and ancient buildings.
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The lorry at one end contains several young bulls and the idea is to run the bulls down through the street to the other lorry. Horses and riders control the bulls as they escape the first lorry all wide eyed and frightened. They get a few hundred yards if that before the horsemen sandwich them, which slows them up enough for drunken idiots to climb over the barrier and grab a tail. It is the horses that hold the bulls and not the young men who believe them-selves to be showing bravado. It is the same ritual every year. The horses part and the young bulls run on and head straight to the other lorry.
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It is wrong for me to moan about another culture when living in the country but I just don’t see the point to this one. It isn’t brave to catch the bull’s tail, we are not talking fire breathing giant bulls that could tear down castle walls here and it requires no skill or real courage. It seems to be all pointless. The bulls are frightened creatures that just want to escape. The noise from the baying crowd confuses them and nothing much happens expect that now and again a drunken idiot steps over the barrier in front of the running horses and gets knocked over.
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The other part of the bull thing is the actual bull fights that follow in the afternoon. I imagine it is different bulls than the ones that run through the streets, because there would be not much of a fight with them. That said I don’t think there is much of a fight anyway. The bulls have a few inches of horn removed and then the tip glued back on, and this apparently causes them to misjudge distance.
They also get several lances thrust into their shoulders weakening them and lowering their heads. It really is just a ritual slaughter and how anyone can find the spectacle entertaining is beyond me. From where I live I can hear the bloodlust in the crowds and sometimes hear the bulls bellowing. Not a sound I enjoy or want to hear again.
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The thing is it is not even a French tradition and the Spanish are slowly stopping the practise. The old King was completely against it and I hear his Son who has taken over the throne is even more so. Long live the King.
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Here in French Catalonia they have no intention of stopping this bloodshed. Although it is getting harder to find the matadors these days as it is a tradition that is dying out as quickly as the bulls in the ring.
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The other side to the Feria is the huge number of people visiting the area. Thousands camping out on any bit of available green (including the park opposite my house) They all drink pretty solid for 48hrs and the consequences are rather messy. The shops and private doorways are usually covered in plastic the day before in preparation for the urine soaking they are almost certainly going to receive. Various bands set up and there is general chaos from dawn to dusk and beyond.
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I have to say the local council do a grand job of cleaning up the day after and within a few hours the streets smell of cheap disinfectant instead of piss.
Apart from some broken glass and the constant noise there is very little real trouble and the local clubs who set up the bars do make some money from the whole process, but it not a spectacle that I will ever return to see again.
Andy Beveridge

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The long goodbye

June 2014

A relationship that breaks down puts you through a period that feels almost the same as grief. Well that is what it feels like to me. It is well documented on my Facebook account that my long term relationship of 16 years came to an end just after Xmas. There is no animosity and no bitter feeling, just an acceptance that what once was is no more.
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In fact we still live in the same house and to those on the outside they would not really know that much is wrong, but that all comes to an end when September comes and it approaches everyday as the usual long hot summer kicks in. We both then go our separate ways, her to the UK and me almost certainly to Spain.
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The trouble is it has produced a long slow death, one that is inevitable but elongated. Neither one of us can move forward with our lives, and each day for me at least brings thoughts and fears of that single moment when it is finally over. The thought that not hardly one day has passed in sixteen years when we have not talked or seen each other, then suddenly it will all be gone forever.
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Then I wonder if I will ever meet anyone else again, what have I to offer? How will I deal with loneliness? The thought of starting again with someone else fills me with fear. Do I even have the energy?
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There is another part of me that seeks adventure and of course Spain will offer me that, but I wish I could see the future to see how it pans out.
Andy

 

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Acceptance the route to freedom

One of the gifts we are given in life is the ability to explore our thoughts and expand our reasoning powers. To better understand how we think and more importantly why we perceive things to be how they are is extremely powerful.
To do this with conviction we have to accept certain things that our emotions bring into play, these are born from different experiences which have been built up layer after layer throughout our lives.
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For instance the acceptance that it is alright to cry can be a breakthrough on its own, because pent up emotions like grief or anger act like a pressure cooker with no safety valve. Something has to give and it always does and often when you least expect it.
It can take one tiny trigger to release this stored energy and often it is not directly associated with the original problem. This can make it difficult for family or friends to understand where a sudden outburst of emotion has come from which sometimes compounds the problem further, and creates “a nobody understands me” feeling.
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It can be as easy as saying I allow myself to feel upset or afraid or lonely. Allowing your-self this freedom from inside is kind of like releasing the safety valve slowly.
It worked for me. I was once a child that had to grow up too quickly and in the end I became an adult who yearned to be a child. Essentially I became two different people in one body for a long time. I had an ultra serious side now seen through adult eyes, but inside I was breaking up with conflicting emotions. I still battle a little with that today, but the moment I allowed myself to express those feelings was the day I finally saw some light.
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This enabled me to view the world in a different way, and no longer bound by chains that had no right to be there, I became far more interested in how others also perceived their world. I know now that we don’t all see it the same way.
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Acceptance is a word that can bring so much change.

Andy Beveridge

 

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Should Religion be Taught in School?

As soon as an atheist like myself mentions religion the theists gather up their weapons ready to pounce. I sometimes feel the venom before I have finished writing.
So, when the subject came up on the topic of whether religion should be taught in schools I think some people were prepared for my views to be somewhat controversial. However, in truth, I feel that religion is a very important part of our history, and it should definitely be taught in schools.

By that I don’t mean children should be indoctrinated into any particular religion of that country and nor do I think for one moment that they should be coaxed into thinking that the word of the Bible or any other holy book should be thought of as factual. What I would rather see is the history of all the main religions being taught so that children could see how people’s thought patterns from different cultures and throughout history have shaped society.

We also need to remember that religion was our first real attempt at science as it looked to the stars and made us try and explain our existence. We of course knew nothing then and so were mostly just guessing. There is a reason why bacteria and microbes and viruses are not mentioned in the Bible, this was simply because man did not know they existed.
Religions have given us other things that are worthy of mentioning, we have wonderful pieces of art and some of the architecture spawned by a belief in a certain religions introduced us to a creativity that may not of existed if those beliefs have not been followed. I find it hard to gaze up at a Cathedral and not be awed by the sheer beauty and power of such buildings. Some of the buildings and architecture of the Moores intrigues me and make me think about the history of that area. Other Gothic type buildings take me in another direction and this is all good for the senses and it is completely possible for us to enjoy this but still not believe in the religion that spawned it.
No I think the history of religions should be taught in our schools but nobody should be forced to believe in a particular type of religion. As that is simply brain washing a person into believing that a certain type of religion is the real one and the others are fake, somewhere someone will be saying the exact same thing about theirs.

History, culture and art are all things that should be taught and various religions have had their influence in that, and so to learn about them and how they shaped our lives is very important.

Andy

 

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