Doctor | Musician | Coach
This website reflects the many different and colourful sides of my being – my professional work as a pharmaceutical physician, my creative work as a musician, and my love of personal growth work and transformation in my counselling.
My life is about following my passions. It hasn’t always been like this though. I have had to do a lot of challenging (and painful) soul searching in order to identify what I really value in my life. The prospect of having a child this year with my wonderful partner has certainly clarified and solidified my thinking on this matter. I have also had to identify the conditioning – both social and familial – that was influencing me to live a life that was not authentically mine. I am learning to do this day-by-day by following the longing in my heart.
Through years of personal growth, high performance physical activity, and creative expression, I have come to realise that a life without meaning is no life at all. So, what is the meaning of my life? How can I use my gifts to best serve the world?
I have come to realise that the answer is very simple. Do the things I love the most, and do them in a way that is compatible with certain qualities or principles. Over the next few pages I describe what I think these qualities are and what they mean to me. Dedicating myself to cultivating these in the world continues to be my life-long practice…
Gratitude | Acceptance
“Life will eventually bring you to your knees.
Either you’ll be on your knees cursing the universe and begging for a different life,
or you’ll be brought to your knees by gratitude and awe,
deeply embracing the life that you have,
too overwhelmed by the beauty of it all to stand or even speak.
Either way, they’re the same knees.”
There are many things in my life that I have absolutely no control over. When I accept this wholeheartedly, my body relaxes, I stop fighting and resenting the world. Even amidst the turmoil of day-to-day life, there are always things for me to be grateful for. I am breathing, I am alive. Gratitude enables me to get over myself. It puts my life into perspective. It is a daily reminder to give thanks for all the things I take for granted - I am fit and healthy, my family are too, I have a beautiful fiancée, a child on the way, a house to live in, and plenty of food on the table. I am a very lucky man!
Presence | Stillness
"I let myself settle, and remember that
deep inside I am just a witness,
eternally silent, aware, and unchanged."
Cultivating stillness has had a huge impact on my life. Sometimes when I don't know what to do, I just stop and do nothing. The effect is staggering. Suddenly more space is created, expectation disappears, and something unexpected and even magical takes place. For me this also equates to how "in my body" I feel in any moment. If I have too many thoughts rattling around in my head - if I become too busy with something, then I feel very distracted. It's then almost impossible for me to focus on anything fully. This is something I greatly crave. To feel fully engaged in whatever I'm doing - to be fully present. When I am fully present like this, it is possible for me to get into a flow state or get "into the zone". Suddenly, time disappears and I'm in a different world.
Truth | Honesty
"Truth is based on passionate love for truth, like wanting to know passionately,
not from a mental perspective but from the depth of the heart,
what we are, what is living, what is reality, what is the point of our life."
-A. H. Almaas
Cultivating a love of the truth is one of the central tenets of my practice. There is something profoundly healing about being in the presence of truth. Something in my body relaxes. I feel much more trust. My heart expands. I feel more alive. It's not easy but when I don't do it, I suffer for it later. I know that I've compromised myself in some way.
Kindness | Humility
"To understand everything
is to forgive everything."
The world is a much better place when people are kind to each other. It sometimes feels easier to harbour resentment against the world - this makes my body contract and I tend to feel resentment for myself too. When I am able to open my heart again, the opposite occurs. This usually happens when I am kind to myself. The things that I get angry with are usually a mirror of qualities in myself that I would rather not see. If I am able to have compassion for myself, then I can do this for other people as well.
Intimacy | Connectedness
"Love is here. Love is always here.
Somewhere between the euphoria and the darkness she found you.
And the very ground you stand on is blessed, and you are safe.
So cry, laugh, shake, vomit;
you will never be abandoned by the Heart."
The first step is for me to learn how to be intimate with myself. When I have learned this and how to connect to myself fully - i.e. to not abandon myself, to stay with all the feelings I have with love, then I can do the same for others. It is by accepting these aspects of myself, without trying to get rid of them, that I am able to be more present with what is.
Vulnerability | Courage
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.
Truth and courage aren't always comfortable,
but they're never weakness.”
Showing my true feelings takes guts. Risking being rejected by really telling the truth about how I feel requires a great deal of courage. When I show myself like this, I feel like there is a risk involved. This sometimes feels painful in my body. It feels to me like a pain in the heart. Being in contact with this pain in my body, staying with it, and then saying something that is undeniably true for me, immediately transforms the interaction. Suddenly rejection turns into acceptance. I create greater connection and intimacy.
Playfulness | Creativity
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us."
This is my life force - linked to my sexuality. My power to create. I have an interesting relationship to my creativity. It comes in spurts interspersed with long periods of draught. I have a deep longing to create beautiful things. I trust that it will come when it comes. Playfulness is my ability to not take myself so seriously. To embrace my little boy and to allow him to express himself.
Discipline | Strength
"To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family,
to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind.
If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment,
and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him."
This has become one of my favourite aspects. I started doing aerial rope about 5 years ago and it actually changed my life. I changed the way that I related to my body. I feel more masculine - stronger, fitter, almost super human. Now, I've started training in Jiu Jitsu. Again, this feeling of pushing my body to it's physical limit returns. I am doing things that I didn't know I was capable of. This makes me feel alive, powerful, unstoppable.