I have always been interested in personal growth and spiritual issues. In the prologue of my book Achieving Sustainability: The Ultimate Human Challenge (see publications) I write that the source of these interests can be found in childhood. However, it was not until I got divorced at the age of 30, took sole care of my two children (aged 3 and 6) and moved from being wealthy in Malaysia to being poor in Cornwall, UK – that I decided to embark on a journey of personal and spiritual development. It was a conscious choice as I knew that I had to do something to survive and remain strong and healthy in mind and spirit.
The inner aspect is a key factor in the transition to zero carbon and sustainable societies. Our fears, worries and other emotional issues often prevent us from taking the necessary steps. I write about that in Chapter 8 in Achieving Sustainability. About the importance of the inner work that helps to muster the necessary will for change and build resilience.
Luckily personal and inner work is something each of us can do without any external interference. There are so many excellent teachers, coaches and consultants around the world as well as books and online tools that can support our personal processes. I see more and more women and men engaging in meditation and mindfullness.I spend 10-15 minutes a day focussing on my breathing. It is simple and easy. I also have an app where I can access meditation practices for sleep. It is better that pills. I sleep more soundly and wake refreshed.
Over the period of more than 30 years of personal work I think I must have tried almost everything from individual consultations to week-long courses in personal and spiritual development in England, Ireland, India, Sweden, Egypt, US, Israel and Denmark. A lot of it has been tough. Facing yourself, your fixed thought patterns and your demons is challenging but necessary to be able to move on. Each bit has taught me something about being human, about myself and others. It is an ongoing process. My life has consisted of many chapters and each has presented me with new challenges. Life is one long school.