In pre-modern Europe (and other places) there was a belief that a kind of magic attached to places and times.  These times and places weren’t just the usual they were holy (set apart from the run of the mill), they had a different use.  They were ‘blessed’.


Which is quite primitive and naive.  Now we’d say that something in the time or place connected with something in ourself.  (I would say ‘the magic is in the meeting’).


I had never experienced anything like this until I lived for a few months in Cairns in tropical Queensland, Australia.  I have no way of conveying the feeling other than by saying that ‘the place felt spiritual’.  If you think this sounds weird and just delusional I entirely understand – I would have felt the same before I’d had the experience.


Modern Times

Today we know that times and places don’t have ‘special powers’ – though this means it is hard for us to name things like my experience of Cairns.  Our labels don’t easily fit.


I do think it is useful to us to set aside special times and places.  “Shrines” as memorials to people and experiences.

  • To times of transitions (graduation, marriage)
  • To loved ones who have died
  • To places where we had especially important experiences (a holiday or meeting with someone of significance).



For Christians Christmas was one of the blessed times.  A day that communicated its blessing to those who observed it.


What was the special blessing of Christmas?

  • God giving freely to people.  Underneath all the commercialisation (buried very deep under it) we still retain this sense of the blessing.
  • Put in modern, secular terms: Life comes free!  There is the possibility and joy and compassion, delight and pleasure.  (Even though some of us don’t get to experience the possibility.)


What to do?

  • Consider setting aside special times and places.  Ideally ones that have meaning for you.
  • To get back in touch with what you hold sacred – what lies at the core of who you are.
  • If you have this possibility, take it up; there are way too many that don’t.

My Christmas message: life come free, take time to connect with what is sacred for you – those special times and places that bring you more life.  Perhaps you will feel the desire to give to others too.  Wishing you the blessing of Christmas, Evan.






The Wise One’s Apprenticeship #1 the need

December 21, 2014

  One of the dominant stories in the self development blogosphere is the Hero(ine)’s Journey. It is an approach with many strengths. This post is to give an alternative to it. The Strengths of the Hero(ine)’s Journey It gives permission for people to strike out on their own. To find what is true for them. […]

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Self-Development Without Narcissism

November 14, 2014

    One of the sins that self-development is accused of is narcissism. I don’t go along with this entirely, I do go along with it partly.  In this post I want to explain my approach to narcissism and our thriving.   Narcissism and How it Comes About When a need of yours is not […]

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Living With Phonieness and Fakery

November 7, 2014

  In reply to the question, “What is your greatest difficulty with living an authentic life?” I got this response: being around those who don’t. I guess this was a light-hearted response, at least partly. So here is a response to the part that may not be light-hearted.   It Is OK To Look After […]

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Energy, Motivation and Interest

November 3, 2014

This post is in response to this comment I got in the “What is your greatest difficulty living an authentic life?” box in the sidebar.   This is the comment: Finding something to do in a world where little interests me – so end up doing nothing and not moving on from circumstances I should […]

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Shall Respond Soon

November 1, 2014

I just got this comment in the “What is your greatest difficulty in living an authentic life?” box in the sidebar:   Finding something to do in a world where little interests me – so end up doing nothing and not moving on from circumstances I should leave behind (and want to)!   I shall […]

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How A Label Made Me Happy

October 31, 2014

  Labels Save Us Time and Effort For instance: In conversation I can refer to my friend “Christine” rather than; that person of a particular height, with a certain hair colour and style of dress. I can talk about a political philosophy (say “Anarchism”) without listing its features and distinguishing it from other political philosophies. […]

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A Challenge: Tell Your Story of How You Have Been Shaped by Others

October 15, 2014

This post is stimulated by a post that a friend on Facebook alerted me to: about the West not needing more of the Hero(ine)’s Story.   Which I think is true.   I do think that the adaptability and creativity of individuals is vital and important.  The problem is ignoring our social context.  We Western […]

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Being Hurt and Isolating Ourselves

October 5, 2014

So much for my optimistic idea about being able to respond to this comment in 24 hours. I hope it has been worth the wait.   I received this comment in the ‘What is your greatest difficulty in living an authentic life?” box – to the right of this post.  If you have a difficulty […]

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Shall Respond Soon

October 3, 2014

I got a comment in the ‘What is your greatest problem with living an authentic life?’ box.  It was lengthy and I’m thinking over how to respond. Shall respond soon – probably in the next 24hrs.  Evan

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Thriving #4 what to do in new or complicated situations

September 26, 2014

  The last post was about learning to get better at something: movine from not knowing to the business of being aware of what to do, to getting better at doing it, to being able to do it routinely. This is very useful in well defined areas – sports, the fine arts, business and so […]

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