Sunday, February 28, 2010


We hardly ever quite see this, but what I’m about to point out is the fact of ‘reverse faith.’

Why do people put their money in banks? Why indeed do people work to build trust and generate respect in relationships? Both of these exist for the same reason...

Interest. Pure and simple, interest.

To illustrate, I recall being somewhat bored and ill-directed one particular day a couple of years ago now. (I can tell you that I do not bore easily.) Anyway, I found myself at the community library and with the few books I had I decided to pour myself into a session of study—in this case, of all things, on the Biblical book of Esther. I hadn’t read it in ages.

I really enjoyed that study and putting my thoughts into an article based on a theme made sense, so I did. I submitted the article and all was well—then onto the next thing.

One of the things I love about God is he’s got this special thing about him—I call it the ‘ministry of surprise.’

Back then I couldn’t see just how many times I’d actually use this article, either to share, or as a discussion prompter, or simply to re-edify myself—being that several hours concentrated study captured always seems to generate many more returns. The fact is I’ve used it over and over again. And not only that, this article has facilitated the starting of a few really joyful interactions as we inevitably share things in common.

The lesson I find out of this—the concept of reverse faith as far as “interest” is concerned—is we can never tell what future and further benefit we’ll derive from our sowing into life.

The idea is seek the task; do it with joy. You never know what extra will come of it!

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

The abovementioned article is hyperlinked: We Were Born for Such a Time as This.


As I walk I often muse. On one of these occasions I thought, ‘In fifty years (aged 92) I won’t be living like this—free to go where I want—anymore... actually, in thirty years I may not have the physical freedom I have now.’

We take our freedoms very much for granted. But, that’s not the point of this piece.

My main point is we were placed here on this earth, out of the hopes and mind our parents and the will of God, for a reason. As I’m reminded by one of my favourite 1980s bands, Adam and the Ants, we need to be ‘kings (and queens) of the wild frontier.’

Our job is to visit regularly, and acquaint with, the frontier of our souls.

We have a task here and that is to safely but riskily push the envelopes of our being, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. How else are we to truly live? How else will we engage the learning gear we’ve all been blessed with?

Yet it seems there are vast millions of people who don’t push anything, let alone themselves; or perhaps they do push some things, but unfortunately for them and others, they push the wrong things and then they pay dearly for it.

When I watched Dances With Wolves (1990) again recently, I was struck with John Dunbar’s (Kevin Costner) dualistic curious courage of desire to see the frontier ‘before it’s all gone.’ He was right; the American frontier was lost less than a generation later, certainly in that region around Nebraska.

What about the frontier that exists deep within your heart? Do you visit before it’s gone; before the vital life in you is sucked dry?

Has it been settled and explored? Are their natives there you can learn from? Is it perhaps the case that you might live to regret it if you don’t venture into this wild land of your soul?

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


U2 utilised it and it certainly symbolised Madonna’s ongoing success. The fact is re-inventing ourselves and ‘our thing’ is one of the prissiest yet most powerfully sustaining strategies, protecting our ongoing success and viability.

Everyone wants success, however they individually define it.

Although it’s not risk-free, the art of re-inventing ourselves is a much better alternative than simply allowing the ‘interest factor’ to wane of its own accord.

This way we’re continually at “romance” with our world—everything’s so much more exciting and fun.

The merest thought of staying at the cusp—the bleeding edge if you like—can, however, cause much pressure and fear of failure. To re-invent is to simply throw caution to the wind as far as these fears are concerned. Really, you’ve got very little to lose if you trust yourself i.e. your judgment and your trusted guides.

Indeed, this is how we test our wisdom! This is how we trust God.

Setting ourselves apart as the people who not only look dynamic but think dynamically too should be everyone’s goal—perhaps then there’d be less room for envy and petty jealousies as everyone might simply seek to actively self-actualise, and even transcend, themselves. Not a comparison in sight! How inspiring would that world be?

The final goal of re-invention is to keep doing really well those things just now that are ‘going off,’ but to do so in unique ways. The final key is we use our successes in order to make others’ lives better.

Re-invent: explore, create, innovate—implement those ideas. What fun doing so!

Your greatest is still to be achieved.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

What About When Life Begins Falling Down?

THERE’S A LOT OF SOUL SICKNESS ABOUT. People go about their lives without fixing the messes that come about during the process of living their lives. And Michael Douglas’s role as D-Fens in Falling Down (1993) epitomises this soul sickness, albeit manifested by mental illness.

How much mental illness is due a rank lack of love; otherwise rampant neglect or abuse? Why is it also that people are often manacled to a past so unreal?

“And everything will be just like it was before.”

~D-Fens in Falling Down.

How many people cannot deal with the way life has changed?—totally abhorrent they are to a present reality that has gone pear-shaped.

We were never meant to deny our personally, interpersonally and divinely shaped realities. We were always designed in such a way as to cope with the “incoming” hurts as they occur.

The fact is life will fall down for us at some stage. There’s almost nothing surer.

So, the most important skill any of us can learn and hence be aware of is the skill of response. That is, we’re faced with all sorts of adverse and horrible life circumstances, from the garden-variety inconvenience to major loss, and we must choose then to respond accordingly so that the hurts of life do not take hold of us—sweeping us off course. We daren’t become mentally, emotionally or spiritually marooned!

D-fens had reached his point of ‘no return.’ Using the analogy of the ill-fated but miraculous Apollo 13 flight, what he started he had to finish—and it was always going to finish horribly.

Life is never meant to push us firmly into a corner, but it’s up to us to respond wisely and appropriately as we venture through life. As your life falls down know how to pick it up; know how to receive the love that’s all around us; an ever-present love.

Let that love soothe you.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Restless nights in your room,

Oh for tomorrow—the thought, the doom,

As the mind ponders and races,

Got a firm mind to don bib ‘n’ braces.

Venturing through the challenging wares,

Why it seems so many cares?

Not that I’m stressed—just mystified,

So much need my sleep, truly I’ve cried!

Toss ‘n’ turn to stop the gait,

The voices in my head call me “mate,”

How do I stop them I do not know,

Counting sheep—away we go!

Truly there are a thousand different things,

That I could be doing with this time the thought now rings,

I get up with purpose; write, pray or clean,

Me and my mind, together a team!

Now I’m up I think what to do,

Blessed the feeling though my eyes still glue,

A minute or two and I’m ready to charge,

Me and my mind—ready and at large.


What do we do with those horrendous sleepless and restless nights? One thing I’ve learned is that tossing and turning is no good at all. Try getting to sleep for thirty minutes and if there’s no success we’re best to get up and do some light reading (without too much light around) and have a warmed glass of milk. A steady and warm shower can also help replicate the relaxing conditions pre-sleep.

A really good night’s sleep involves five by 90 minute sleep cycles. If you’re struggling to even get three of these i.e. four and a half hours sleep, never mind it; getting one full ninety minute cycle before you are due to wake up is key.

For instance, if I get up at 2.30am and must wake by 7.00am, I need to be back in bed by 5.30am. Of course, earlier is better. And with a poor night’s sleep comes the need for an earlier night or some 10-20 minute naps during the ensuing day. The last ninety minute cycle will almost certainly give you the most vital pre-awakening rest you’ll need. This sort of sleep is like the re-booting of the computer for our conscious minds. It makes all the difference for now.

Let’s not stress too much about a lack of sleep—focus on gradual, steady improvement over the weeks and months. Be patient with yourself.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Not just in posture but so in attitude,

A wonderful reality, a feeling imbued,

A state, a feeling, of strident awares,

Joy abounding—a preponderance of golden cares!

Standing tall under the sun,

Placed an accord, a good deed done,

Hardly a worry it’s considered complete,

Under the grace of God’s king seat.

Standing tall I feel above it now,

In cultured India, equal to a cow,

Footloose and fanciful I dance and caress,

Nothing like it, quite simply, I really must confess.

Feeling six foot when you’re only five foot ten,

Large enough really, compared to London’s Big Ben,

What can I think of to compare this feeling to?

I really do not know but it’s not making me blue!

Standing tall about the gate,

Wonder perhaps what’ll meet my fate?

Generating an accord of joy,

Always better than the darkest ploy.

Standing tall I can tell you now,

Much better truly than beating the brow,

Hold it now as long as you can,

Do it now, I’ll be your biggest fan!

How do I conclude now when I feel I’ve only started?

Well, that’s no biggie—it’s not like I’ve been martyred,

Standing tall might be the best there’s ever been,

Like departing here in this state as nothing ever seen!


It doesn’t happen often but at times we just feel tall. Erect we stand, refreshed for the challenges that are about to beset us—we feel prepared, confident, able; a capacity to burn!

There’s a certain joy about us, a skip in our step. Gee, it might only last an hour or two, but how we feel just now! Tremendous!

Joy can feel so, ‘boxed up and gift-wrapped, decorated and lace-strapped; put under the tree, it’ll be about the best I’ll ever see.’

And this is how I felt for a fleeting few moments—of my “present”—recently as I stood in my bathroom contemplating the day ahead.

Oh for more of that!

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

The IMPORTANCE Red Herring

I’VE BEEN DOING MORE RESEARCH ON ‘OLD SOULS.’ But this has nothing to do with any take on religion. It is merely a term I’m using for the soul who seriously partakes in accumulating wisdom and living wisely. This learning here is very profound:

With everything, value;

With nothing, importance;

Instantly recognisable,

An eternal ordinance.

Nothing is important, yet everything has value. When we finally chew on this and hence sense the truth-filled taste we discover something really cogent and wonderfully congruent.

The reason nothing is important is it carries a self-perceived flavour about it; importance is entirely subjective. You get a million completely different responses—that’s nothing to hang your hat on.

What is truly important? Those things that are truly “important” have value; and everything has value. And this is the thing we so often lack!

So often we miss the point.

Value never changes just as values never do. They’re eternal. Yet, importance shifts with the waves. Importance shifts as priorities do—entirely unreliable they are in the world reflecting a need for more virtue, alignment and congruence. What is “important” for one person is not important for the next person. Importance is hence bendable and entirely moveable and this isn’t helpful in the real world of necessary virtuous rigidity and the world’s clamouring for same. We need a more reliable standard.

And yet, there’s never a need for stress and anxiety when we are confident about value. When “value” underpins us we’re less “touchy” and surer of ourselves. We all of a sudden know what to look for in life.

Old souls will tend to become quite stressed without this knowledge front-of-mind—their foremost purpose is to seek to reconcile a world in disarray; they note with seriousness their importance. Their compassion drives them to this end. But, the simple turn of philosophy, the slight adjustment in mindset, is all it takes for them to more fully understand. They are then more useful to the world. They learn to reject the folly of importance and seek the value in things.

This is one key to wisdom and correct vision, right here.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Very Old Soul

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THIS TERM? I have and I’m quite endeared to it, though I’ll not subscribe to any religiosity about its origins. I guess I like it mainly because it describes an implied maturity in a person who seems to have wisdom (in certain ways) and innocence beyond their years.

It’s the amazing thing about our humanity. The cast is broken each time one being is conceived, and DNA and cellular machinery is redesigned so totally afresh.

Intelligent design, indeed!

I’ve always felt that being an old soul—or having an old soul around—is of great benefit. And any of us can become or act as an old soul. All it takes is the desire to see beyond present realities into the numerous realities of probability that are ever-present.

It’s otherwise called having an ‘open mind.’

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Sitting here alone, astride the powers and struggle,

I try to uphold my mirth, but it’s chastened with trouble,

Though it isn’t plain to me I beckon to the huddle,

Confounded my dream is broken, my mind all a muddle.

As I seek an escape from this poignant lament,

My heart in as much, not a bit content,

And I simply ask of you, “When the relent?”

To wit you’re inclined to answer, “I am not yet spent!”

In my harassed wonderment the waters ebb and flow,

How on earth they do this however shall I know?

Bewildered and vanquished besides the strength to stow,

The harmony and justice, wherever did they go?

Times like this, how they seem, hard to comprehend,

Just as well I consider and resolve—difficult to contend,

Besides the shattered dreams today, impossible to pretend,

Thoughts by wildfire numbness; how to start the mend?

All to think to solve it I consider a time to weep,

The thing amazing about it profoundly void of a peep,

My drive and toil and want, at present they’re neap,

Beyond the spoil of bliss into hardship, blessed my soul you keep.

What do I pray for, a wonder stroke perhaps?

Something but to pull me up, by the bootstraps,

Calamity masterminded beyond mistaken mishaps,

At last it is apparent, I’ve fallen for the traps.

But these traps of mine are certainly not me!

I consider them not a home, let alone a tree,

To jettison this state of mine a lonely little fee,

A will to reconcile and a time for me to agree.


Everybody struggles and everybody hurts. Even the people with painted-on smiles struggle—perhaps the most; though they’ll often not admit it. To struggle is okay. It’s no vast nuisance to want shelter and seek it all the same.

It’s the life-condemning struggles that last and last that are our biggest concern. We need an escape, a way of purging the grief lurking deep within. Re-introduce yourself to tears. Acquaint yourself with a friend. Chat deep and meaningful. Soothe those spiritual and emotional aches and pains.

And, of course, there’ll be struggles manufactured for a time—a time of purposeful grief like a break-up or sudden irreconcilable loss. We will all have them!

And then there’s the good ole daily struggle. Who’d be without it?

Accept the struggle. It’s far from perfect I know. Just don’t fight. Simply accept. It’s the best that will do for such a time as this.

As Dido sang, ‘You’ll see the sun again,’ sometime. Hope for it. Hold out for it.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Okay, Continue Now As You Were... (NOT!)

AT TIMES WE SEND MIXED MESSAGES. We do a great job, and in that, we seek our promotions and opportunities at other ‘more esteemed’ things. Our motives are found confused and totally subliminal when the organisation simply gives its blessing to us continuing as we are; the “freedom” to do more of this good work.

To seek a promotion by doing a good job alone is quite a delusion in the general sense. Although diligence is occasionally rewarded via promotion, people doing a good job are best left where they are. The best chance of getting that promotion you desire is to study or work upon your influence or set yourself apart somehow.

Devoid of getting opportunities to fill higher voids where your skills are mandatory, the organisational pressures won’t thrust you to the forefront nearly as readily as you’d otherwise think. In any event, the opportunities are bound to be fleeting.

The best thing in life is living as close to reality as we can, rejecting the delusion. Delusions, whilst temporary comfortable, always hurt on the way out.

Finding out what you truly want and then having the creativity and innovation to design the path to it; that’s the destiny of the life risk-taker.

This person will achieve their dreams, for they’ve taken it upon themselves to fit their minds and hearts to reality, or at least squeeze out all delusion possible by the simple virtue of continual movement in the direction of their goals.

This is designed resilience, fuelled by a cogent desire for truth.

There could be hardly anything more demoralising than waiting “patiently” for several planets to align (for an instant in time) in order to finally make your move.

Destiny awaits the brave. The tricky bit is determining your moves and their sequence; doing this patiently and wisely, but decisively, is a great life outcome for you and your future and everyone associated with you.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Power of Royal Assent

AN AMBULANCE SPEEDS TO HOSPITAL, sirens blaring—a Priority One call—a full-scale emergency in progress. It has the assent of the nation’s sovereign; God’s speed!

Likewise, the filling of the CEO position in a thrivingly vital ministry for poor and orphaned kids otherwise subject to abuse and neglect. It has royal assent by simple virtue of the nature of need.

Both of these precede many other goals of the “Crown” of seemingly equal import. These jump to the head of the queue; and we’re glad, for they reveal the state of the nation’s care for the truly needy.

The power of royal assent dictates the values of the State.

This power is the power that also influences and dictates people’s attitudes and beliefs at a much broader level.

Our political, business and community leaders have more than power; they have much responsibility to devise and promulgate virtuous and wise policy and law.

For this reason they are much vaunted for their task, for temptations to transgress, even for burning out due to exhaustion at the burden placed on them.

The power of royal assent is vital to us all. It is something for which we all depend. We should wholeheartedly respect it!

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


It is the secret of just about everything: the poise to think at that crunch moment. To limit the cognitive and heart space to a flux core of resolute focus—it is virtue-in-the-moment personified. This is how to win the precious minute, especially when mind and ticker are contorting to vexing stimuli; chaos abounding.

Fused strength to think—it is power to mould an outcome perfect to the situation.

“Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having any opinion at all.”

~G.C. Lichtenberg.

Peace of mind is a fluid mind. The power to think is peace—no dissonance whatsoever. It is hence a great inspiration to experience this personally; to witness it otherwise is simply wonderful as congruence is extruded between two (and subliminally between a thousand more!).

Why be hemmed in by choosing the “right” to have a view? It can be a rank immaturity to take that way; a hellishly charming fatal flaw. The mind stumbles over wisdom, clamouring in the dark—sense unapparent.

What’s involved?—wisdom and the discipline of mind training, and then: application.

“Some people do not become thinkers simply because their memories are too good.”

~Friedrich Nietzsche.

Memory in this context is about forgiveness. Those like elephants are held back in their thinking because it is simply the past—proximal or distal—that confounds the person. They can’t for the life of them ‘build the bridge.’ The mindset becomes an infernal infestation as the world is grounded in a place not its own choosing. Sheer madness.

A person is not idle because they are absorbed in thought. There is visible labour and there is invisible labour (Victor Hugo). Humankind is renowned for not rating or respecting thought. For the thinker, then, he or she knows and accepts this folly and they don’t struggle against it; they work with it, playing as well “away” as they do at home.

Effective thinking works with ‘what is.’ It is not constrained by the tardy and notional distraction. A channel is found and it is exploited to the fullest!

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Enjoying That “Swollen” Moment Right Now!

IN THIS DAY AND AGE BEING TIME-POOR is a reality all must contend with; some more so, some less so—but all necessarily so. And when we have lots on, people who’re naturally engaging in life at a more pedestrian pace can easily infuriate us—revealing an obviously expressible envy; a.k.a. time-envy.

Before we know it all the enjoyment is sapped out of life as we inevitably crash into our beds at the end of a long day.

And why wouldn’t we be just a teensy bit envious? They have what we need. They have more time (it seems) than they need; time even to “waste.” We need the ‘extra time,’ after all. They should pitch in, lend a hand, or at least give us some of their time.

But, extra time—as a concept—is more than a little false. None of us gets any more than our 24-hour day; that’s official. It’s a folly to want extra time and we, of a sense, know it. Yet, we still cruel ourselves, whinge and complain, about it.

And still we have this time problem. It’s not going away. If only we can get the next two or three activities sorted and out of the way, then we’ll be set, we say to ourselves. Or so it seems.

We forget in these moments, in our living for the immediate future—thirty minutes or a couple of hours away, that the present can still be enjoyed. We only have to decide for it.

“Swollen” moments are instances in time of crowding and that overburdening noisy reality—our minds abuzz with much stress; cognition pushed to capacity.

I, in my swollen moment, can just as easily decide for eustress as distress—that is, I (and you) can decide for pleasure over pain. It’s an impact of the will and a heart commitment to match. It generally is that easy.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Planning’s Greatest Strength – Power of Decision

FOR MANY, IT’S A BORING SUBJECT. But the fact is planning is power. This is because planning is ninety percent decision-making. It allows us to predict beforetime a vast number of our decisions. And decisions are central—absolutely pivotal—to every form of self-enabled success in life.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War (6th Century B.C.E.), said:

“The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.”

That’s the importance of planning. It embodies potential and releases quality into the decision-making process. With power at our disposal—and everyone has power—we must exercise wisdom in executing our powers, otherwise we ‘fall short’ of where we need to be—Christians call this “sin.” Planning actually helps us to ‘hit the target’ we ordinary can reach.

Our previously couched decisions also pave the way for cognitive space, untold energies and wisdom.

Important Decision Making Junctures

  1. Time Ahead – none of us have time to waste. Planning decisions about the use of our time is so cogent for our effectiveness.
  2. Activities & Their Order – we all have a plethora of things to do and any number of ways to do them. What is going to influence this maze of information? A well considered plan or a scatty-at-best mishmash of positively intended though poorly thought-out acts? It’s a no-brainer when we consider it like that, “spontaneity” or not!
  3. Strategies – we all have problems to solve. These require much thought on the ways we must tackle them. Strategies at the tactical level define our wisdom; the very application of life.
  4. Contingencies – not many things—and plans too for that matter—turn out as we originally intended them. Things often go pear-shaped. So, we need to do our contingency planning. We have to prepare for failed expectations to limit our disappointment and ‘keep the show on the road.’ Contingency is continuity.

The greatest strength of planning is that it facilitates many decisions beforehand and frees up precious mental and emotional space otherwise invested in the most immediate present; that which we owe ourselves and others i.e. to be present; to be at our best.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.