Looking ahead at 2018
WOW, we are on the verge of yet another new year, and this year, for the first time in a LONG time I think I am going to choose NOT to go to
This is a bit of a personal reflection on my life since 2014 and where things are heading in 2018. You may be sitting there reading this, thinking that reading about my life has no relevance to you, but I suspect that it might. We ALL go through constant changes in our lives, our mindset changes constantly as we experience life and you can’t take away the experiences you have, but you can learn from them as you move forward. This is going to be a long post, but I make no apologies, as it’s a completely new beginning for me, if not really a completely new start. It is just the first few steps on a new journey that actually started some time ago, I just did not know the destination until just realising… Enjoy the ride with me, or get off here, either way, I am OK with that and I will love you anyway 💖
In 2018 you will start to see more and more of me focusing on helping people build up their mental fitness so that they can avoid (or recover from) Stress, Anxiety and Depression (SAD) hopefully the rest of this article will help you understand why…
2017 for me has been a year of massive change and in the last couple of months, there has been a huge shift in my mindset, my learning and the people I am connecting with and the way I am connecting WITH them. Even people I have known for YEARS, I have found a new much deeper level of connection. If you are experiencing this yourself, it may be showing up differently for you, because each of us experiences this thing called life differently. We have different senses, we have different backgrounds & we have had different experiences throughout our lives, but if you have chosen to read even as far as this, then I already know that you and I have a certain kind of connection! Because anyone who didn’t read as far as this, will have got bored of what I was saying, or found fault in it, or applied their existing beliefs to the words I am saying. Some may have known me from my past and this new version of me maybe too different from the one they knew before and most people are wary of change. It is fine to be wary of change, as humans we are designed that way to keep us safe, but there are big changes going on in the world right now and things are changing every day and changing rapidly too and this is leading to a lot of unease and anxiety for most people about the future and their place in it.
This mental anxiety about the future can cause us stress in the present and often leads us to be unhappy as the gap between where we want our lives to be and where our lives actually become wider and wider. Pressures from social media and even the regular media make us all feel that we are not good enough and that everyone else is happier than we are. In reality though, we need to be careful and we should not compare
This is where my old path crosses into my new path, and we can see why the future now makes so much more sense for me based on my past experiences……
As you can see from my blog below (December 31st, 2014) this journey for me has actually been going for quite some time… In fact if you trace it back, it all started in about 1999-2000 when I was working in London and my life started to unravel for the first time. I won’t go into details here and I can’t remember the exact timeline but I broke up with my girlfriend at the time (Christina), was unable to move into the flat that I had paid a deposit for in West Kensington and lost the job that I had got in Soho (the infamous dot-com bubble). That was the time I moved back to Cheltenham in 2001, got a new job (at Christina’s company!) and started to struggle with Depression and Social Anxiety myself for the first time. Then in 2006, I got involved with setting up Bumblebees Playhouse with Karen (another ex!) but it all went a bit wrong and in 2007 I found myself in nearly £400k of personal debt. Skip forward to 2014 and I am on a “Developing the business owner” (essentially NLP practitioner) course with Terry Gormley and a challenge came out of that to run my own personal development day, which I did in October 2014 (photo below). It was a huge success for the people involved, but unfortunately, it was a bit of a financial disaster for me personally (can you see a pattern?!)
So when I look back at the blog post I wrote 3 years ago (below), whilst it does feel like I have stagnated and gone nowhere for 3 years, it has actually been a massive journey of self-discovery for me and I certainly feel like it has all been leading up to this very moment… writing this blog and having YOU read it…
Let me tell you what has happened since 31st December 2014 and possibly more importantly what has happened since 5th September 2017 and why 2018 is going to be amazing for me and possibly for you too, depending on where you are in your life right now!
I had a phone conversation yesterday with a Business/Life Coach, Marc Ford (MarcFord.uk) and he had some really positive things to say about the direction my life is heading (I have also had a similar conversation with Laura Trendall-Morrison from (TheGameChangerConsultancy.com). Marc, however, encouraged me to write this blog and to look back at the time when I was writing my daily sunrise run blog and see how far I have come since then. The interesting thing about that is that back on 31st July I did a similar exercise looking back 5 years to 2012 (The London Olympics, my first ever massive anxiety attack and my charity trip to the Gambia) and as a result I had a nervous breakdown and realised that I was VERY unhappy with the way my life was going at the end of July. As a result of that breakdown, I dropped everything I was working on (helping another friend start a new company for free!) and instead I focussed on ME and in the last 3 months the change has been astonishing. The critical part was to STOP trying to please everyone around me, stop trying to do what everyone else wanted me to do and start to look inwardly at what *I* needed in my life in order for ME to be happy, what did my HEART want me to do, not my head, not the voice, not the “The Script” (see below)
Well in the last 3 years, I have:
- Completely outsourced my DiaryBooker.com product, such that I rarely need to have anything to do with the day to day running of the business.
- I ran my FindYourFire workshop 4 times and got a fair bit of Media coverage (JohnVDenley.com/Media) but it did not make enough income to create a sustainable business on its own.
- I walked the 500 mile Camino de Santiago in April/May 2016 (JohnVDenley.com/Camino)
- I got my NLP Practitioner certification in June 2016, with Gemma Bailey at PeopleBuilding.co.uk
- I have learnt to do the Rubiks cube in a personal record of 77seconds and figured out how to teach others a relatively easy way to do it themselves (JohnVDenley.com/Rubiks)
- I have been on 2 cruises in the Carribean (TheMastermindCruise.com) and helped to run a huge conference in Orlando (MastermindEvent.com)
- I have fallen in love 3 times and had those 3 amazing women go on to form very stable and happy relationships (after me) – it’s OK, I LIKE that they are happy, if it was meant to be something with me then it would have been, but I believe the universe is keeping me free for bigger things at the moment!
- I helped to startup NeptuneRum.com in 2017 (sorry the website is STILL so slow to load)
- I have been to Manchester for the first time a couple of months ago, loved it, and have been back twice more, I may move there!
- I got involved and made a fair chunk of money with Bitcoin and bought a Bitcoin rig, which is fun! (JohnVDenley.com/Bitcoin)
- I finally connected in person with Richard “The Script” Wilkins (TheMinistryOfInspiration.com) and Zoe Meade (you-are-enough.co.uk) who was saved from suicide by learning that the negative voice (The Script) inside our heads is inside EVERYONE’s heads and it LIES!! Thanks to Ian Banyard (IanBanyard.com) for helping me get there and supporting me with my Natural Mindfulness journey over the last 4 years!!
- I have also been studying with and connecting with Kyle “Evolving out loud” Cease (KyleCease.com), who is really my hero and who does these amazing 2-day events that I am hoping to emulate in 2018 – watch this space (JohnVDenley.com/work-with-john)
- I have also had huge support from Pippa Hodge, Brad Burton and everyone else in the NowWhatClub.Rocks group 😁
- Most recently I have been on a coworking retreat in Malaga (TheCoworkingRetreat.com), where I reconnected with Tony Burgess (who I went with on a charity trip to the Gambia in 2012) and met Claire Russell (ClaireRussell.co.uk) who has totally changed my life in so many ways in such a short period of time it is astonishing and the knock-on effects of that connection
havebeen even more astounding.
And ALL of the above have led me to a point where in 2018 I will be:
- Learning about property investment (with none of my own money) with PPN thanks to connecting to Rob Moore via Samantha Brown which will allow me to move back to Cheltenham, this will also allow me to start looking at how I might be able to help the homeless in the future, which is something I have always wanted to do. I HATE seeing people who are living on the street, in these modern times there should be no need for this!
- I have also signed up to join The Samaritans (Samaritans.org) as a volunteer, which is an organisation I have used a couple of times myself and to help others. Claire is also a volunteer and she was the one who inspired me to ask more questions and make the move.
- I am also meeting up with Gloucestershire Fostering with a view to finding out what kind of property I would need to be living in so that I can maybe start to work as a respite or emergency foster carer once I have settled back in Cheltenham again…
- I will be restarting my regular FindYourFire workshops, I will be working at the Isbourne centre in Cheltenham to provide the workshops, to do some 1-1 work and maybe even some free taster sessions!
- I am launching a new walking retreat based on my experience of walking the Camino – this is ready to book right now at JohnVDenley.com/WalkingRetreat
- My book WILL finally get published this year (title still may change, but currently it is “The Art of Uphill Skiing”)
- I will also be making my FindYourFire workshops available to businesses to help improve the mental fitness of their employees to help them avoid Stress, Anxiety and Depression and therefore also have a happier and more productive workforce! 😀 I am hoping to be doing this in conjunction with Claire Russell (above) and viisana.com
So as you can see (IF you have stuck with me this far) all the things that have happened in my past (even my first-year Psychology module) have led me to this point, this moment, at
It’s also little things that people have said along the way, conversations I have had probably with people who have no idea how much of a positive impact they have had… Everything you do has an effect on the people around you and the smallest thing you do can have a massive impact on that other person and can sometimes even have an even bigger effect on the next person…
For example I had a small conversation with a lady called Regina Breech, I have no idea how we connected, other than the fact that we are both fans of Kyle Cease (see above) and we chatted for a while about 1 hour long meditation and how Kyle said that there is something that happens after about 40 minutes where everything shifts, so I tried that a few times and they are both right… it’s like your body stops fighting the meditation and allows you to connect directly to your heart and soul, we have since become friends…
Then there is the conversation I had with a fantastic young 20yr old Hazel Peers (who makes amazing crochet unicorns!!) and although she did not know it (until just now when I checked in with her), talking to her on facebook via a 4Networking connected group and her being so open about her life and her relationships allowed me to discover some internal feelings of my own that made so much more sense in the context of how she explained her background. Not only that, but her accepting me as I am without any need to put on a mask, allowed me to understand that the RIGHT people like you for the RIGHT reasons. This ties in with what Kyle teaches about how when you are meeting someone, we all try to guess what the other person might like to hear, so we say that and then they say what they think we might like to hear and it all becomes a false conversation rather than a REAL conversation. What I have noticed as I have started having real unfiltered conversations with people, is exactly that, you start to attract people who like you for YOU and not just the people who like the “fake you”!!
Then there were the two cruises I went on with Art Jonak, his daughter Julie Jonak and their family. The first cruise, I felt a little isolated, but then when I went back on the second cruise, they had clearly seen the change in my over the previous 12 months, and they had got to know me better through Facebook. This meant that on the second cruise I suddenly felt a little like I was a part of the family. Amongst other things, I played table football with Art, I had dinner with Julie, I had lunch with the whole family in Puerto Rico and a whole group of us had lunch on the beach on one of the other islands…
On that first cruise (November 2015) I also met the very lovely Mari, who then saw me walk the Camino in April 2016 and then walked it herself in September 2016. Again it’s that ripple effect in action! I only walked the Camino myself because I bumped into the ex-boyfriend of a friend of mine (Abi) in Cheltenham who had just done it himself!!
Are you still with me, have you had any insights yet? See what I am doing here is unfiltered, this was going to be a completely different blog and it was planned to be much shorter, but rather than filtering my thoughts too much, I am writing from the heart and just saying the things that come out with passion and love from my heart and soul and the right people will LOVE it and the people that don’t, well they are probably not my kind of people and they will find someone else that will resonate better with them, and I LOVE that (to borrow another Kyle Cease line!)
To summarise then, my focus from 2018 onwards is to be a little like a personal trainer for your mind. I will be helping people build up their mental fitness, so that they can avoid (or recover from) Stress, Anxiety and Depression (SAD), ideally without the need for long-term dependence on drugs!
I have no idea if this has covered everything I need it to cover, but this is where my fingers have stopped typing and I am sure that the things that needed to be said have been said and anything more that
Relax, have fun, enjoy the people you are WITH and I am sure I will see you soon… Here’s to a Happy and
LOADS of love from me to YOU! 😁 💖 🔥XXXX
So here is that Blog from 3 years ago and if you want to read some of my others from back then (they are GOOD) then you can see them here: JohnVDenley.com/my-old-blogs-prior-to-friday-13th-march
Happy New Years Eve everyone
It’s the last sunrise of 2014 and it’s cloudy out there, so as I never did get around to posting this photo 2 days ago, here it is…
Traditionally New Years Eve is a time for reflection on the past year and a look forward at the year ahead. It’s a period of change, putting the past behind and often a wish for a better future. There will be a party tonight for many and 2015 will start with some sore heads!
Tonight is indeed a party for me (thanks Sharon I’m really excited about it) but it’s also officially my last night at my flat in Cheltenham as I hand over the keys tomorrow morning. So for me tonight is a real transition. When I look back at where I was last year, it’s an odd view. I feel a little uncertain and unsure about the future right now as I look ahead, mostly because it’s so very different to where I imagined it would be this time last year!
If I try to write it all down here it will take forever. So I’ll just have to put it as simply as “watch this space”. I would love to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have touched my life over the past 12 months but really when I start to think about it, there are hundreds of you who have had an impact. So I can’t possibly name check everyone. However, and this is probably the most significant change for me over the last year, even those people who in the past may well have had a damaging and negative impact on my life, are now seen by me as learning experiences. I see thier negativity with compassion and understanding, that it is not their fault (or mine), they just have a different view on the world around them.
It’s a little bit like that moment in the movie “it’s a wonderful life” where George finally realises the massive positive effects he has had on the whole world around him, often without realising it and in his biggest hour of need, everyone rallied around to help him, including the bank inspector and the people there to arrest him!
They all joined in for a jolly good song at the end and everyone lived happily ever after…
Have a great night tonight, have a damn good sing at midnight and leap forward into 2015 full of determination to be the best version of you that you can be. Your future is yours for the taking. Go get it!