Monthly Archives: May 2014

Forgotten stories and taking the piss

As we build up to Sunday’s free “New Story, New You” training class, my aim is to share with you some lite versions of the key insights I’ll be covering on the class.

Yesterday’s blog looked at how we value stories, and how essential they are to a rich life.

Today I want to turn our attention to the stories we’ve forgotten – the stories we undervalue so much that they almost slip from our collective awareness.

It is possible that nowhere are there more examples of this than in the world of medicine. Only now are we beginning to rediscover stories of genuine holistic health care…and as a result, those who profit from these stories remaining forgotten are actively trying to suppress them.

Before we encounter the amazing work of Dr Lissa Rankin, who has done a huge amount recently to bring the forgotten stories of health to light, I thought it might be instructive to share a shocking (and literally hard to stomach) example of how I benefited in a major way from rediscovering a forgotten health story.

I knew something was slightly amiss when I began to get a dull ache underneath my left nostril.

In the same way that you know a scratchy throat can often herald the onset of a cold, I recognised that this may be the start of my left front tooth playing up.

About 8 years ago, half of it broke off courtesy of a defenders elbow as I challenged for a corner whilst playing for my pub football team.

Ever since then I’ve relied on the skill of dentists to periodically fashion a seamless looking tooth using white filling amalgam.

For whatever reason, an abscess sometimes develops on the gum above the tooth, and its arrival is usually preceded by pain below my left nostril.

This time, however, it went nuclear. In addition to pretty intense constant pain, my whole left cheek and side of my mouth was deformedly swollen and I was running a lovely fever.

Usually, after a day or so the problem would sort itself out, but after 3 days there were no noticeable improvements.

This ordeal was happening over Easter weekend, whilst away in Devon with some friends. As we headed home, I began scouring Google for natural solutions that might alleviate my suffering whilst I waited for a dentist appointment.

I didn’t much fancy stabbing my gums with a sterilised pin to lance the abscess, and I couldn’t lay my hands on any cloves or clove oil…but as I kept researching one solution jumped out at me that would probably have had most people reaching for the sterilised pin rather than go through with my chosen method.

Picture the scene – an absolutely packed motorway service station, and i’m trying to subtly urinate into an empty starbucks cup. I then knock back the contents and begin swishing it round my mouth.

As it turns out, Urine Therapy has a long and distinguished legacy outside of western medical circles. Indeed, ancient Indian texts contain over a hundred verses extolling the its virtues and curative abilities.

Luckily, having previously done some research on the subject, I was not so put of as others might be. The instructions I found called for me to swish my own urine in my mouth for ten minutes every four to six hours.

The results were literally miraculous.

After one swish, torrents of puss and blood were unleashed from my aggravated gum. After two swishes, the pain was virtually gone. My third swish came just before retiring to bed. In the morning the face that greeted me in the mirror was my own, not some elephant-man type version of myself.

I continued swishing for the rest of the following day and by the next morning it was as if nothing had happened.

It is genuinely one the most remarkable things I’ve ever experienced.

It really got me wondering just how much we might truly be able to achieve if we were to reconnect with the old stories that once served us well – the old stories treasured by other cultures, stories from our distant past, stories that allowed us to build pyramids and henges and calenders that even today defy explanation.

During Sunday’s free training, we will break open the storehouse of forgotten stories to uncover incredible stories, pertaining to all areas of life, that are now being remembered and shared.

We will discover the quite amazing implications these stories have for us as individuals, communities, and as a species.

Here’s the link you’ll need to reserve your place for Sunday’s ground-breaking free class.

If you’re one of the many who has already saved your place on the class, thank you. It was so wonderful to see the amazing response to yesterday’s invitation.

I want to leave you with a talk by Dr Lissa Rankin, who is the author of ‘Mind over Medicine’. It is a fascinating insight of her discovery of the forgotten stories of spontaneous healing…and how these are having powerful real world impacts now they are being shared once again.

Enjoy, and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

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The Key to a Rich Life…

The saint in me wanted to deny it.

I’m sure you know the scenario – you catch a glimpse of someone’s ridiculously ‘nice’ car/house/watch, and you feel a little pang of something. Sometimes jealousy, sometimes inadequacy, sometimes sadness…but always it’s a feeling you’d rather not be feeling, and a feeling your bigger self knows is totally unnecessary.

For me, the moment in question was seeing a guy who is a year younger than me proudly parading his new Ferrari on facebook.

For a brief moment, the conditioning kicked in and the tape of inadequacy began to play…“Look at that. He’s younger than you. You have just as much talent. How lazy you must be. Always dreaming big, but living small…”

Your internal dialogue may be different in the words it uses, but I’ll wager its tone and general message is pretty much the same.

So what’s going on? What’s happening when a large lump of metal and with some leather seats, or a fancy giant stone box with a roof, or a tiny round lump of mental that ticks can cause an such instant state change in us, and can kick in the internal chatter loop entitled “not good enough”?

The simple answer is that we are choosing a shit story.

A story, moreover, that is not of our making, but has instead been sold to us by companies and institutions with a vested interest in making us literally ‘buy into’ their story.

Ironically, this story we have been sold is a story that tries to condition us to reject the value of stories. Compelling us instead to value ‘things’ – which usually have a price tag attached to them.

We no longer value the stories that emerge when one is part of a genuine community, engaged in the shared raising of children, and in the hugely vulnerable, yet equally powerful experience of being mutually dependent on one-another.

It seemed for a time that we would lose our collective memory of what it meant to value stories instead of things. Thankfully there is still joy and beauty and love in the world, and when these wonders exist then there will always be stories that captivate and inspire us.

The challenge, however, is to be able to consistently rise above the vast, enslaving machinery of the world of things. We need to know how to move beyond its persistent conditioning, its debt, its stress and arrive at a place of heart, of authenticity where we can do our best and most meaningful work joyfully.

Today, I am going to give you the super simplified ‘in a nutshell’ version – where I hope I’ve succeeded in distilling ten years of research into 300 words plus one picture.

If you would like to really know the nut inside the nutshell, meaning the actual ways to implement the key idea I’ll be sharing, then I’d like to invite you to my latest free online training class entitled: New Story, New You.

It’s happening this Sunday June 1st from 7.30 – 9pm.

You’ll definitely love the class if any of the following describes you:

You want to feel like the work you’re doing actually matters
You know you have more to give, but it’s being suffocated by the system we live in
You are massively frustrated with how things are in the world
You are desperate for a bit more spark in your life

Sunday’s free class will be very different from your typical passive learning experience. It will be pure, unadulterated Transformational Storytelling…and the story we will be transforming is Yours.

Here’s the link you’ll need to save your seat.

Now to make good on my promise to share with you the essence of one of the core ideas I’ll be expanding on in Sunday’s session.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words, so I’d like to introduce you to my much loved Vaxhuall Astra.

What are your first impressions?

What if I told you this was more valuable than the Ferrari we met earlier.

Monetarily, I’m sure it’s probably worth more in scrap than any resale value it might have. But that’s not what makes my Astra valuable.

I cannot put a price on the way my bum feels in the seat – like I have the ultimate customised driving experience.

I cannot put a price on the fact that I’m sure this car has saved my life on a number of occasions

I cannot put a price on my totally inexplicable sense of pride that even after 200000 miles, the Astra is still going strong.

But even more than all these invaluable aspects, I would not say goodbye to my Astra until it literally stops working because I value the stories we have shared.

So often, when I’m picking up my friends from the station, or giving them a lift somewhere, they will comment, “I can’t believe the Astra is still going…I remember when…” and they will remind us of a moment that brings us both instantly to joy and laughter and fond reminiscence.

The Astra has seen every stage of my adult life – from student, to club promoter, to restaurateur, to youth worker, to mentor, to author, speaker, performer…and finally father.

After a few seconds of staring at the photos of my friend’s Ferrari on facebook, I realised my conditioned response of inadequacy was so ridiculous because I am already driving the Ferrari of my heart.

It is grey, it is dented, it is rusting in places and it definitely needs a hoover…and it has driven me 5 times around the world without ever leaving Britain. I wouldn’t want to drive anything else.

Out of all of this, came one of the greatest gifts of learning I have ever been able to share:

You are guaranteed a rich life when you value stories as much as you value things.

My friend with the Ferrari was proof of this – it transpired he was not showing it off because he wanted to show how big and cool he was…rather because it had always been a childhood dream to own one. The Ferrari was simply a way for him to celebrate the much more valuable stories he treasured.

So where are you falling into the trap of raising up things and devaluing the priceless stories you already have?

Are you ready to begin a new chapter, to begin living a story that wows you and impacts the world?

If yes, join me as we discover how to transform the story of where you’re at now into the true story you know you were born to be living.

Here’s the link to save your seat for Sunday’s free class

p.s. If you enjoyed this article, then do leave a comment or give it a ‘share’

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The Golden You

I have never been there, but I’m told that the Buddhist temple of Wat Traimit in Bangkok is not one of the city’s most impressive temples. What does make it worth a visit, out of almost any other temple in the whole of Thailand, is that it houses the statue of the Golden Buddha.

10ft high, and emanating a deep glow, the statue is made entirely of gold and weighs 5½ tons. That’s impressive enough, but what is truly impressive is the story of the Golden Buddha.

During one of the country’s conflicts with Burma (now Myanmar), the monks of the temple where the statue was based feared that their beloved statue would fall victim to looters.

To prevent this travesty, they decided to cover the statue in thick plaster – thus disguising its true value. The trouble was that they did such a good job that when they passed away, so did any memory of the statue’s true nature.

It remained cased in plaster for more than two centuries, moving from place to place, perceived as having less and less value as the years rolled on.

One day, however, during an attempt to transport the statue to a new temple, it slipped from the crane and fell into the mud. It stayed in the mud overnight, during which time a monk from the nearby temple had a dream that the statue was divinely inspired.

In the morning he visited the muddied statue and saw a glimmer of gold shining out from a crack in the plaster, and so began the journey of restoring the Golden Buddha to its rightful place in the hearts of the thousands of locals and visitors who draw strength and inspiration from the statue every year.

I share this tale with you as a way of opening up a question.

The question I must ask is “What’s your plaster?” What fears, what beliefs, what assumptions are currently hiding your true brilliance from the world?

Very often our plaster has been stuck to us for many years. So long, in fact, that, like the passing away of the monks who knew the statue’s true nature, we forget we were ever anything more than a mask of our true selves.

The saddest part is that all too frequently, we plastered ourselves not because it was the right thing to do, but because we allowed the beliefs, fears and stories of others to influence how we interact with the world.

It is my hope that this blog may act as a hammer of inspiration…just enough to crack the plaster, so you can remember the true you, the bright soul of your great self – possessing an incomparable gift to share with the world.

To aid in this inspiration and remembering process, let me share a recent experience that has given me irrefutable proof that we each have far more greatness within than we ever dare to dream.

The experience I refer to is the wonder of becoming a father for the first time

Now I’m not trying to get into a ‘my baby’s cuter than your baby’ competition…but ain’t she a stunner!?

Yet the amazing thing is that before Freya’s arrival just over 9 months ago, I thought I was operating at pretty near my peak potential. The final draft of my book was being edited, I was getting more and more opportunities to wow people with my personalized poetry gifts and live performances, and the youth projects I was working on in my home town were flourishing.

Then Freya arrived…and she obliterated all perceptions I had of what is possible.

It took me a while to understand what was going on. Being a new parent tends to be quite an all-consuming task. Yet once I had some time to reflect, the clarity and insights came thick and fast.

I particularly remember driving back from London one afternoon, I guess in late October, and being powerfully aware of a new feeling. The more I became aware of it, the more I realized that what I was feeling was a whole new level and kind of love.

One of the ways this new love announced itself was through my being able to experience a brand new reason to look forward to going home. It was a feeling that actually felt a bit like cheating on my wife! Let me explain…

Previously, I’d look forward to going home because I knew I’d get to see Fan, and to experience anew the stunning and indescribably loving smile that would greet me each time I’d walk through the door, not to mention the feel of her lips when we’d kiss.

Now, whilst all those thrills still await me even today, there is a new thrill, one that is currently more intoxicating than my wife can hope to compete with (hence feeling like I’m cheating) – it is the smile of unbridled delight that transforms Freya’s face the instant she sees me arrive home.

It is a smile that ignites in me something I never would have thought possible. A love that has expanded the whole of who I am. I know that if I am capable of such love, there is more gold within me than I had ever imagined.

Knowing this has uplifted everything – I have a more intense and powerful love for Fan, for my family, for my friends, for the earth and for all those who I may be able to serve in a small or big way. I am joyously aware that if I am capable of loving in a brand new way, I must equally be capable of doing other things I had previously thought impossible.

I share this example because the same incredible potential is present in you.

I don’t know how thick your plaster is, or how much of it you have already removed…but I do know that there is a golden you, and it is more beautiful and powerful than my words could ever capture.

The trouble is that our society can be a little too good at belittling your gold in an effort to sell you more plaster. The consequence of this is that too many people either undervalue their gold, or, worse, cannot even see it anymore.

One of the profound gifts I have been given, as a result of working with some of the UK’s most talented yet neglected young people, is a knack of helping others to discover and start sharing their gold with the world.

If that’s something you’d like to do more of, and if, after reading this, you think I might be a good place to start…then please give me a call or a text and let’s start chipping away at that plaster.

You can get me on oh seven nine three nine eight five five seven seven four
Or George(at)

Whatever happens…keep letting your gold amaze people.

Massive love.

p.s. if you enjoyed this, I’d love to hear what you thought via the comments, or you could give it a ‘share’.

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