GET READY FOR A NEW CHAPTER

Embracing change inside and out

Over the last year I have been doing a lot of soul searching to clear a lot of personal blocks in my headspace, and to get ready for the next chapter in my life. TheHoustonEffect blog has really helped me to realize many of those breakthroughs and to be able to share them with people who have connected with them.  I just finished an incredible two day, intensive discovery session with an amazing marketing guy, Michael Drew. I’m now in the process of getting everything set up for my new business which will centre on my HEADSPACE and HOMESPACE philosophy.

I want to thank all of you for reading these posts. I appreciate all the feedback and gratitude that you have sent me. I hope that some of what I have put out there has connected with you and maybe helped you in your own life. After all, we are in this together. Anything that can help inspire and support another person is what it’s all about.

Please make sure you have subscribed to this blog so I can send you a new post in 2014 when I will begin posting again via my new site.

I look forward to connecting with you again. Happy Holidays and I wish you every success and good fortune in the coming months.

Warmest regards

James Houston

REFLECT AND CONNECT

Take a moment to print some great memories 

When was the last time you actually printed some photos? Now that digital photography is so easy and convenient it’s becoming less common to physically print photos and create photo albums. We are taking photos at such a fast pace and, with no limits on how many frames we can take, we tend to end up with large collections of photos that are often lost in the sheer quantity or deleted.

When my Mum passed away, almost four years ago now, I decided to create a family picture wall dedicated to her memory. The last memories I had of my Mum were of her in hospital looking so frail and sick while battling liver cancer. In life however she was incredibly athletic, healthy and a vibrant woman, and I wanted to have those images around me so I could celebrate her memory and her beautiful energy. It doesn’t have to cost the earth to create a photo wall. But it allows you to connect with fond memories and images of people you love in your life. This technique also adds so much interest to any wall.

I would suggest creating what’s called a ‘Paris hang’ – a technique where you hang all different sized and shaped frames in a group. As you can see in the photo above, I decided to use mostly black frames to give the series a more modern feel. I would recommend using painter’s tape to create a top line to guide you and which you work down from. Use a measuring tape to get the right height and use your own judgement to decide how much of the wall area you cover. This technique is actually very easy to master so don’t be scared to give it a go. You will be amazed how great it looks and so glad that you took the time to print out some great memories to have around you.

OPEN THE DOORS TO YOUR DESTINY

Be open to new possibilities by allowing change in your life

Over the last twelve months I have experienced, enjoyed and, sometimes, resisted change in my life. I was struggling to let go of some constants and securities in my life. As I was moving forward to embrace new ones I found myself resisting, and being frustrated by, these changes.

A mentor of mine brought my attention to a simple yet profound thought. One that helped me to grasp what was happening and helped me to allow an unfolding in my life.

“What about your destiny?” was the question posed to me. This simple thought made me take a step back. I had been looking too closely at the details of my life rather than stepping back and seeing the whole picture. It was like I was looking closely at the knots in a tree trunk rather than standing back to see the whole tree and its magnificence.

Destiny felt like something big and somewhat far away. Then, as I thought about the bigger picture of my life, I realized that a micro view can cause us to become more reactive than proactive. Focusing on, and often freaking out about, the daily details doesn’t reflect the grand scheme of life. Think for a moment about your past week and the stress and problems you faced. Realistically, do they now seem like old news?

“Doors must close in order for other doors to open” my mentor said. This concept really resonated with me. I had been struggling with letting go of certain constants in my life and that frustration had been blocking me from allowing future opportunities to flow. Is there an area of your life where you are resisting change and possibility? Are you holding on to what you have always known? I think one of the most amazing things about change is the fact that, over time, it can have a significant impact on your life.

Remember, it’s only fear of the unknown that causes us to resist. We grasp for what we have known rather than being open to an unknown (which could potentially be a life changing possibility). As I have spoken about in previous posts fear really is a state of mind. Consider what exciting new possibilities are waiting for you. Where could you be opening some new doors in your life right now?

I AM

I am always on the look out for great films that inspire and motivate me. One such incredible film is I AM by Tom Shadyac  – better known for his comedies such as Ace Ventura, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor and Bruce Almighty. This non-fiction film poses two questions: what’s wrong with our world, and what can we do to make it better?  He does by recounting his personal personal journey after a cycling accident left him incapacitated, potentially permanently.

“My hope is that I AM is a window into Truth, a glimpse into the miracle, the mystery and magic of who we really are, and of the basic nature of the connection and unity of all things” he says.” In a way I think of I AM as the ultimate reality show.”

Check it out, it’s a must see!

 

EXERCISE YOUR GRATITUDE

Try this for a week and feel it change your life

Meditation is a wonderful thing. It releases stress, relaxes your mind and allows you to really connect with your inner self.  Once you get into the habit of a daily meditation practice you notice that when you don’t do it things don’t flow as smoothly. You feel more of a discord in your day to day.

However, I do believe that many people find meditation in other activities, whether it’s exercise, playing music or even gardening, cooking or cleaning. Think about an activity that allows you to disconnect by connecting you to something you enjoy. Something you do that allows you to have some time alone with your HEADSPACE.

For me it’s when I power walk with my dog in the morning on the West Side Highway in NYC. I get to spend at least 30 minutes alone and lately I have chosen to exercise gratitude in my life during this time. I recommend trying this for a week. Watch how different you feel. Remember, this can be done while doing any activity that allows you to be alone in your HEADSPACE.

While you are doing your activity or exercise start a dialogue. This can be out loud or it can be in your head depending on where you are. Acknowledge all the things in your life you are grateful for in this moment. It’s also a chance to be grateful that you are ‘allowing’ all the incredible things into your reality. Finally it’s important to announce that you are worthy of all these things, remember it’s one thing to know what you want but another to allow them into your life because you feel worthy of them.

I will give you just a small example of how this dialogue may go for me:

“I’m so grateful it’s Fall in New York. I love this time of year and I love that I get to walk outside. I’m grateful that I have a dog and that she is healthy and fit. I’m grateful that I feel great in my body and that my stomach is healed; I feel amazing. I am so grateful that I have incredible friends in my life who support me and want to see me do well. I’m grateful for my family and that I was able to go home to Australia last month to see them and connect with my nieces and nephews. I’m grateful that I know by feeling this good about my life I am connecting to a higher vibration and allowing all the incredible things that I have dreamt about to flow into my reality. I know that I am worthy of success, love, abundance, joy, health and support and I’m so grateful that all these things are flowing easily into my life right now. I love feeling this great.”

Don’t worry about the dialogue and how it flows, just keep on going. It’s more about ‘feeling’ what the words mean. As you do your activity to keep a constant flow of gratitude and allowance, and make sure you try and connect to the ‘feeling’ of the words. Really ‘feel’ the gratitude and love you have for your life right now. So often we spend this alone time stressing and thinking about the drama in our lives which, in actual fact, only attracts more drama. Even if you are feeling awful just commit to doing it anyway and make an effort to connect to ‘feeling’ the gratitude dialogue. I guarantee that if you try this for a week you will feel different. Try adding music to the mix as well if it helps you to get more connected.

Remember, the higher your vibration or energy the closer you are to attracting all the great stuff that you have imagined for yourself.

Give it a try! It’s all about trying to include routines like this into your daily life so you have a chance to connect back to feeling great.

PUT ON YOUR ROSE COLORED GLASSES

Seeing the best the world has to offer will change the way it appears

What do you experience in your daily life? Do people drive you a little crazy? Does shit keep hitting the fan and then the hours seem to pass by painfully slow?

Every day we make a conscious choice as to how we are going to not only see the world, but interact with it. Have you noticed that when you are having a ‘bad day’, everything seems to go wrong and you just wish you could go back to bed and start again? It really comes back to your energy and what kind of an experience you are attracting.

When I am really conscious about setting my day off on a positive foot, I make the decision to look for the best in my day to day experience. All of a sudden it’s like I am on a different life channel. People are much easier to be with and the day flows a lot smoother. Take a moment to remind yourself that you are creating your reality. It is a truly valuable thing and the old saying ‘see the best in others’ also relates to experiences.

Take a moment to notice the people around you. Think about someone you know who is positive and observe the way they see the world. What is the experience they are having. Now look at someone who manages to find the endless drama in life. Watch them make mountains out of molehills. Without observation these characteristics go unnoticed. But the reality is that you have a choice! Only you decide what experience you want to have each day and the kind of interaction you are enjoying or not enjoying with the life around you.

Now, you may think this approach isn’t really facing reality; that sometimes shit happens and you feel the need to justify why you freaked out, or why you only saw the worse case scenario. It’s similar to the ‘being right’ situation that I have blogged about in a previous post. Sometimes reality isn’t worth buying into; find the positive and focus on that. This ‘no worries’ approach can deflate the negatives and often save the rest of your day or your week feeling so bad. You will start to attract more positive experiences into your life.

The idea of seeing the world through rose colored glasses is a little strange at first but, after a while, when your eyes and mind adjust, this can become the norm – your new reality; your new outlook.

Try it tomorrow! See the best in your day. You may be surprised how great you feel and that others notice the change.

GET READY. GET SET. GET OUT OF THE WAY!

The last stage of manifesting what you want in your life is just allowing it.

Over the past few weeks I have been feeling stuck and frustrated. As I approached my  birthday this week, and what I believe is the start of an exciting new chapter in my life, I have been conscious of the fact that the only thing getting in my way is myself.

I’m sure you can relate to this frustration if you are also a person who, like myself, is proactive when it comes to making things happen in your life. What’s so wonderful about intention, and setting yourself on a certain path to a result, is that the universe comes into play right from the start. It is then up to you –  trust the process and connect to the feeling and vision of the result you are trying to create. Things will start to align. Soon you will be attracting opportunities that present themselves, at the right time, in order for you to move forward.

Trust is such a massive part of this wonderful process. If you align with the feeling, or vibration of a result, you want to achieve then you will attract that result faster than you can imagine. However, when good old fear raises its head you can start to downward spiral, imagining the worst outcomes in your mind. It was only last week that I was literally talking myself off the edge of a downward spiral; frustrated that I knew the answer, yet I still doubted the universal process.

The last stage of achieving a result in your life is often, simply, to get out of the way! Let it flow into your reality. How many times have you been pushing and pushing towards a particular result when finally you got so frustrated you walked away and just said ‘F**ck it’? Then, things actually shifted.  How many times does this need to happen before I/we truly learn and start to trust this simple process. Stop forcing it in to your life rather than just allowing it.

If you are frustrated by something in your life at the moment, it’s time to let it go for a while. Distract yourself with something you enjoy; change your mood and vibration. See what happens. In other words, get out of the way! Stop blocking the universal flow of your life. Remember, the better you feel day to day, the faster you will attract the great results you are trying to achieve in your life.

WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE

Putting what you’ve learnt into practice.

It’s easier to grasp something when it’s external from us and not actually part of the workings of our own lives at that time. You might read about a lesson learnt and nod your head in acknowledgement – you ‘get it’ intellectually. Things can change however when you are confronted with the very same situation, or lesson, in your own life. The real life situation requires action rather than intellectual understanding.

Since selling our apartment in New York a few months ago my partner and I have been casually looking for a new apartment to buy. We want a place in the same area that we can renovate, and have a set budget. Of course there is only one place we found that we both fell in love with. It’s more than we wanted to spend but it ticks a lot of boxes. So we set out to try and get financing for it.

Recently, a good friend introduced me to a private bank, through which we were trying to be approved for a new mortgage that would allow us to put in an offer on this new place. What I didn’t realize is that private banks are incredibly conservative. As an artist with an irregular wage structure it can be challenging to get approved for a mortgage. After a month of back and forth, the bank came back with a very low offer. I was expecting them to approve the amount we needed so I was obviously disappointed.

Now here’s the rub folks – I know after what I’ve learnt that I can’t be attached to that particular apartment. Even though I believe it’s the one, I need to be committed to the idea that another one will be just as great, if not better. Letting go can be the challenge as you have already visualized yourself in that place and want it to work out. This goes back to attachment versus commitment, a topic I have mentioned before in a previous post.

My accountant is now looking at other mortgage options but these processes take a while. I doubt the apartment we wanted, and has been on the market for a few months now, will still be there when we are ready, and that we will be able to get it for the price we wanted.

Ultimately, it’s about retraining the internal dialogue in your head. Remind yourself when you need to rethink something in a positive way. Take a moment to re-evaluate the way you are looking at the situation.

I’ll let you know how things pan out with the apartment and the mortgage, so stay tuned.

THE GORROW EFFECT

I’ve just come back from a visit home to Sydney and was lucky enough to spend time with friends and family who I wished lived closer to me in New York.

One of those people is Gary Gorrow. I’ve known him for over 15 years now and I have watched him grow into such an inspirational force. I spent an afternoon catching up with Gary while I was home and what I love most about great friends like him is that it feels like time has never passed. Whether you see them every two days or two years, you pick up right where you left off.

Gary is living an inspired dream with his incredible family and I’m proud to call him a close friend. Read his profile below and be sure to check out his websites: www.garygorrow.com and www.consciousclub.com

LOCATION //
Avalon Beach, Australia.

WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE AND PASSION? //
“My passion is to help people grow and evolve. I’ve discovered that part of my gift is teaching people to live from the level of their Being. That idea can seem rather abstract, but it essentially means living from that place above and beyond their minds. It’s founded on the timeless wisdom that there’s something more profound to life than our minds, that is of course our very consciousness. My personal purpose is to live from that level myself. When I do this life takes care of itself, everything unfolds as if in accord with a higher order.”

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW? //
“Lots of different things actually. I’m organising a Conscious Club festival and events. I’m working on setting up Conscious Club in LA, London, Canada, San Francisco. In concert with this I’m also regularly training people in the art of Vedic Meditation; organising retreats around the country; and I’ve just started an intensive training for a group of my finest students who are on the path to become teachers.

HOW DO YOU EFFECT CHANGE IN YOUR OWN LIFE? //
“We’re all familiar with the expression ‘actions speak louder than words’, and there is a great truth to this statement. But I have also come to appreciate that consciousness rules the day; our words and our actions are shaped by our level of consciousness.

In my line of work I’ve found that I’m only really effective at effecting positive change when I am operating from a higher place. So first and foremost I do what I can to cultivate inner balance and connectedness with my inner being. When I operate from this level I feel myself becoming more transparent to the needs of the world around me. Great ideas dawn inside me. My ego is kept out of the way and I become an excellent servant for change. The key is for people to get the inner right because we are truly magnetic to what ever is happening within us.”

HOW DO YOU EFFECT CHANGE IN YOUR COMMUNITY? //
The Conscious Club was created for that exact reason. My buddy Tim Brown and I realised that society is changing and people have become increasingly tired of going to the same old pubs and clubs, yelling at each other for a number of hours, before coming home with nothing to show for it except a hoarse voice, empty wallets and a hangover! So we thought lets create a club where people can have a fun night out and get enlightened at the same time.

The Club is all about creating conscious community through the medium of what we refer to as ‘enlighter-tainment’. Each Conscious Club event intelligently weaves together a message with enlightening entertainment of all genres including uplifting live music, films that provide insight into the human condition, knowledge presentations from some of the world’s thought leaders, the rare opportunity to to be in the presence of hundreds of meditating minds, the sharing of a delicious vegetarian feast and a vibrant social exchange.

We now found ourselves with a rapidly growing community here in Australia and there are calls for it across the globe which we are working on to make a reality. I describe the Conscious Club as TED, MTV unplugged, a meditation ashram, hip bar (albeit a non-alcoholic one) all rolled into one. We’re like the Dalai Lama meets The Rolling Stones –  that’s the Conscious Club.”

DESCRIBE YOUR HEADSPACE? //
“Well I’ve been meditating for so long now that I find my headspace is generally clear and balanced. I used to have big ambitions and big visions. But what I realise now more than ever is the importance of simply being present. How insulting it is to ignore creation for the idea that the future is supreme to the now. More and more that’s where my headspace is directed to these days – attuning with the sacredness of each waking moment. I find the creative pursuits and ideas come in and around that silence organically. I’ve taken a back seat to ambition and allow Nature to organise me rather than allow my ego to mobilise me. I find more and more that I am developing this quality of being able to sit in witnessing awareness, to observe myself, my actions, my mind and to live from my being. It’s a nice headspace to be in.”

DESCRIBE YOUR HOMESPACE? //
“My wife is French and I’m a minimalist. Our home tends to reflect an integration of those two elements. There’s a lot of natural timber and white finishes. I love white and we’ve done all we could with our home to create an open plan living. The living room flows out to the beautiful sunny garden. We have a veggie patch and lots of fruit trees – although they’ve yet to mature. It’s five minutes to walk to the beach so that is the secret from me. I could live in a tent as long as I’m by the ocean. Surfing is my mecca. We also have two small kids so it’s almost impossible to keep the house tidy for longer than five minutes. Besides the wrecking ball factor they bring to the home, our kids create an air of love and play. I love that energy in our home. It’s so precious.”

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU? //
“Many things! The natural world, when you look closely at the way and structure of things you see it is the work of such a supreme artist. Kindness and generosity inspires me. People who are passionate. People who believe in something. People who spend their energy developing a craft or a talent and become masters of it. People who devote their life energy to a purpose beyond themselves. When I get around people like that I find myself aflame with spirit. It makes me want to do more with my life. To become the best possible example of myself I can be.”

 

 

 

CREATING A INSPIRATIONAL COMPANY AND LIFESTYLE

Keep your eye out for people who are already doing a great job. 
I love when friends send me inspiring quotes or videos. My good mate Andy Hannagan (co-founder of Bounce Foods) sent me this awesome video of Vishen Lakhiani – the founder of global activist group, Mindvalley. Vishen spoke at Engage Today in Calgary with Sir Richard Branson and His Holiness the Dalai Lama amongst the impressive lineup of speakers. This speech was voted in the top 3 of the entire event!
Vishen offers some great insights that align with the way that I am looking to build my own company and brand. He talks about a concept he refers to as ‘Flow: The Ultimate State of Human Existence’. He also shares how to master this state of being and how to bring it to your family, business teams or any groups you lead. Take a look …