Tag Archives: Inspiration


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


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.


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?


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.


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.


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

Avalon Beach, Australia.

“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.”

“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.

“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.”

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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”





Are you still making the same mistakes or do you just love the drama?    

As we travel through our life journey we are often confronted with challenging situations that we have experienced before. And often our reactions, and results, are exactly the same.

Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Why is it that we repeat the same mistakes over and over? No matter how bad it made us feel last time, or how much of a drama it was, we quickly throw away all common sense and just jump right back to where we were.

To make matters worse we tend to talk about the negative outcome (which, realistically, we could see coming anyway) to anyone who will listen. This is a pattern that can quite literally last a lifetime and can be very destructive, particularly when it comes to relationships and careers.

About nine years ago I found myself in a string of dysfunctional relationships. For several years I was in denial about one fact – the common factor in all of those relationships was actually me, not them. I committed to seeing a therapist for 12 months and at about the 10-month  mark I met an incredible person, who I have now been with for over eight years! It’s my longest and most healthy relationship to date. One thing I also found helpful at the time was to write down what I was looking for in a partner in terms of personality traits, the kind of relationship we would have and how I felt in it.

This same approach can be applied to any area of your life that you feel isn’t really working. Are you going from job to job, diet to diet or, like me, from date to date? We are all human and we all make mistakes. It’s just up to us how we handle them and what lessons we walk away with.

It’s important to note that there are a lot of people out there who love to listen to your drama and really feed that negative energy. You share with them and they share with you. Although sometimes satisfying, it’s actually a very destructive conversation. It holds you back from moving forward to new possibilities.

You really need to start to listen to, and trust, your inner voice – the one that has seen you go down certain paths before. When you are confronted with a negative situation, go back to that previous time you experienced it and ask yourself: ‘How did I handle it and what was the outcome?’ and, ultimately, ‘How did that make me feel?’

It’s tough at first but try it and see how you go. Remember, any pattern can be broken and a new way of thinking can be established. Get out your affirmations and remind yourself of who you are, what you want and, most importantly, that you’re worth it.


Reconnect with a life less complicated

It’s so easy to become consumed by our own lives. We forget to take a look around and see what’s going on in the world. With all the digital devices we now have to keep us constantly stimulated, updated and “connected”, we actually miss so much of what’s happening around us.

There are several things I love to do to get inspired and to get out of my own headspace. When I take a spontaneous walk around the city I always come across people who are living their dreams and trying to make it happen – whether they are busking, exercising or rushing to work, I love that inspired energy and getting out there amongst it. When was the last time you went to see a live performance? How about an inspiring documentary film or incredible sports match? Taking a break from your own life is a wonderful thing to do, especially when you are getting frustrated or buried in your own bullshit.

What are some of the things that you have experienced in your life that really get you inspired? Taking yourself back to that time, place or experience is a great resource emotion that can be tapped into whenever you need a motivational fix.

Remind yourself that life is not a competition. We are in this game of life together and being inspired by your friends and fellow man is an incredible gift. Any time a friend of mine kicks a major goal I win too. Inspiration is cheap and can be found in so many places – you just have to keep an eye out for it.

Recently I came across two young skater kids busking in Washington Square Park, NYC. Using two plastic buckets as drums, they sat on the street and played for hours. I watched them enjoying their moment and got lost in the realisation that I really overcomplicate so much of my life. Bringing life back to the basics, and enjoying each day, is a key to happiness and such a valuable thing to remember.

Kids manage to embrace each day with an open mind and an excited outlook. It’s amazing how much we can learn if we take a moment to get out of our own adult ways and embrace the child within.


Confront fears and embrace new frontiers

My cousin Sally heard about my appendix and stomach issues. She emailed me a description of what appendicitis and stomach issues mean according to author Louise Hay. If you get a chance to read her book, You Can Heal Your Life, she gives a great breakdown on where all our ailments and physical issues stem from.

According to her book, my specific issues relate the following:

Cause: fear, fear of life and blocking the flow of good.
Mediation: “I am safe, I relax and let life flow joyously”

As for stomach problems it’s similar.

Cause: dread, fear of the new and inability to assimilate the new.
Meditation: “Life agrees with me. I assimilate the new every moment of every day. All is well.”

This gave me a lot of insight into where my issues had stemmed from and how to help myself get through this time. The fact that I just signed with a new Agent, launched a new project, am about to launch a new brand and company next year, and sold our apartment, has obviously brought up a whole bunch of fears and doubts.

I looked up fear in the Wikipedia dictionary and it came up with this:
‘Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes entities to quickly pull far away from it and usually hide. It is a basic survival mechanism …’

What stood out for me here are the words ‘perceived’ threat. Basically it’s something that ‘I’ am creating in my mind; my perception or point of view is causing me to be fearful. I considered why I was fearful about all this change when, really, it should be exciting. Fear is a state of mind and I need to affirm that there is nothing to be fearful of. Change is a positive thing. The focus needs to be on what great things can come from change rather than a ‘perceived threat’.

Consider change in your own life. Consider when you have been confronted with your own fear and have taken a chance. Those are the times you need to reflect on because they remind you that life is about embracing change and new frontiers. It’s time to embrace possibility.


Sometimes it takes a wake up call to wake you up.

As I look at my life I am grateful that I have never had to deal with major illness, or had an extended period of time in hospital. That was until last month. I was having some stomach issues and started on a journey to try and resolve it, and to start feeling healthy again. After almost a month of seeing doctors, listening to opinions and trying various Eastern medicines, I had a CT scan. A 4cm mass was discovered in my abdomen. I have spent the last five days in hospital on an antibiotic IV drip to contain the infection and to do more tests to see exactly what the mass was.

I don’t think anyone is ever really ready to handle this kind of a situation. I was trying to put a positive outlook in to play, telling myself, “Don’t worry, it’s not a tumor, but if it is I will deal with it”. Fortunately the final scan identified that issue as a perforated appendix. A cyst had also formed behind it and was too close to my vertebrae to be drained or removed. Spending five days in hospital in a state of limbo you get a chance to look at your life and see what is really important to you. The people and family you love in your life, the great memories you have and, above all, your health. These are things we so often take for granted and unfortunately it’s often too late before we realize how valuable they really are.

I truly believe the universe only gives us what we can handle. Sometimes the cards we are dealt don’t make sense at the time but, reflecting back on them at a later time, often provides us with insights into why certain things happened. Insights that help us grow, develop and change. I’m still on the mend but know this last month was a pivotal point in my growth. Ironically I looked back on the post I wrote a few weeks back, The Butterfly Effect, and it’s interesting how my stomach pain evolved to a perforated appendix, and what a massive impact it had on my wellbeing.

I’m grateful to be getting back on track. Hopefully this was the turning point, or evolution, that I had been working towards. Let us all be grateful for the people in our lives that we love and enjoy this time we have.