The Romantic Road as Camino ~

For the past week or so, Jennifer and I have been traveling through the southern part of Germany, finalising details for our Romantic Road tour, which starts next week.

During this time too I’ve also been picking up visuals for my intuition film.

While scouting the route, we regularly came across signs for the Camino – the well known scallop shell marker showing the route to Santiago. In Germany they call it Jakobsweg –

It turns out that the Romantic Road route, which links a series of beautiful traditional towns and villages that followed an ancient trading route, was also a pilgrim route in parts, funnelling pilgrims through Germany into France, and then onto Santiago de Compostela.

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On this tour we’ll be doing a combination of walking and driving, because the Romantic Road from Wurzburg (south of Frankfurt) to Fussen (south of Munich) is more than 350kms. But several of the walking stages we have planned are actually part of the Camino.

Once the tour starts I will blog regularly, with pictures, so keep tuned!

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The Romantic Road, Bavaria

Today LA, tomorrow Dusseldorf ~

Tomorrow Jennifer and I fly out of Los Angeles to Dusseldorf in Germany, after a whirlwind three weeks working in North America.

We started in New York, then went to Dallas, then to Santa Cruz south of San Francisco, then north to Sausalito, then further north to Mount Shasta, then south again to Los Angeles, which is where we’ve been since Sunday.

The trip has been successful so far, in that I’ve shot some terrific stuff – interviews and overlay material for the film – and I’ve had some very useful conversations with some key people regarding marketing and distribution.

Last night I spent nearly 5 hours shooting a sequence which comes early in the film, and which prompted the whole thing: a sequence where I’m driving to the airport before dawn and I hear a voice telling me to slow down. I do slow down, then narrowly miss getting smashed to death by a truck that runs a red light on the cross street.

So we recreated that whole sequence last night, with full police lockdown in an intersection in downtown LA. We had permits, insurance, the whole deal. As you do. Oh, and a marauding truck. It was a long night, but I got the shots I needed to make a nice little sequence.

Also on this trip we’ve been receiving feedback on the current 88 minute Work in Progress cut of the film. I wanted to get a North American perspective, because Americans look at films differently to the way Australians look at them. Even simple things such as comprehension of language and clarity of storytelling. It was a very useful exercise, and I gained some important insights which I’ll take back into editing when we recommence in mid January. We see North America as being the major market for this film.

Tomorrow is Dusseldorf, and then a week of scouting before we start the Romantic Road Tour in Bavaria, Germany. I’m really looking forward to that. Also we’ll be doing some filming for the intuition film in Germany too.

So it’s been a busy time, and it will remain so until Christmas. But I’m excited about the film, the reaction here to it, and what I can do to make it even better….

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A Man Called Ove ~

I don’t often recommend books on this blog – and I have to say that my reading lately has been predominantly of the spiritual nature, particularly Paul Selig’s books…

However, on a long plane trip sometimes that spiritual stuff can get a little heavy, so on the trip over to the US I began reading a book called A MAN CALLED OVE, written by Fredrik Backman.

I’d read an article about the book in the New York Times, in which it said the book was the most popular book out of Sweden since the GIRL IN THE DRAGON TATTOO series. 

Here is that article:

Unlike the DRAGON TATTOO series though, A MAN CALLED OVE is a gentle and whimsical book about a stoic man who tries to commit suicide after his wife dies. Every time he tries though, life gets in the way and prevents him from doing so.

It’s funny, beautifully written, and very emotional.

It’s been a huge success world wide, and some of you might already be familiar with the book – I always come at these things late! – but for those of you who aren’t aware of it, I can highly recommend it. It would make a great Christmas present too.

Here is an excerpt – about how he met his wife…

A MAN CALLED OVE – written by Fredrik Backman

“She had a golden brooch pinned to her front, in which the sunlight reflected hypnotically through the train window. It was half past six in the morning, Ove had just clocked off his shift and was actually supposed to be taking the train home. But then he saw her on the platform with all her rich auburn hair and her blue eyes and all her effervescent laughter. And he got back on the train.

Of course he didn’t quite know himself why he was doing it. He had never been spontaneous before in his life. But when he saw her it was as if something malfunctioned. He convinced one of the conductors to lend him his spare pair of trousers and shirt, so he didn’t have to look like a train cleaner, and then Ove went to sit by Sonja. It was the single best decision he would ever make.

He didn’t know what he was going to say. But he had hardly had time to sink into the seat before she turned to him cheerfully, smiled warmly and said ‘hello’. And he found he was able to say ‘hello’ back to her without any significant complications. And when she saw that he was looking at the pile of books she had in her lap, she tilted them slightly so he could read their titles. Ove only understood about half the words.

‘You like reading?’ she asked him brightly. Ove shook his head with some insecurity, but it didn’t seem to concern her very much. She just smiled, said that she loved books more than anything, and started telling him excitedly what each of the ones in her lap was about. And Ove realised that he wanted to hear her talking about the things she loved for the rest of his life.

He had never heard anything quite as amazing as that voice. She talked as if she was continuously on the verge of breaking into giggles. And when she giggled she sounded the way Ove imagined champagne bubbles would have sounded if they were capable of laughter. He didn’t quite know what he should say to avoid seeming uneducated and stupid, but it proved to be less of a problem than he had thought. She liked talking and Ove liked keeping quiet. Retrospectively, Ove assumed that was what people meant when they said that people were compatible.”

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The Camino as Alchemist ~

It’s been about three and a half years now since I started this blog – and since I walked my first Camino.

A lot’s happened in that time.

I’m now nearing completion on a film on intuition that began seventeen years ago with my narrowly being killed by a marauding truck. And now, after traveling the world several times over, filming more than 70 interviews and amassing nearly 90hrs of footage, the film is on the home stretch.

Where does, or did, the Camino fit into all of this?

If you remember I dedicated my pilgrimage to PGS – my Personal Guidance System, which is what I call intuition. And that’s why i titled my Camino blog PGStheWay.com.

I walked the Camino intuitively, allowing The Way to lead me. And it led me to some wonderful and sustained friendships – and to insights and experiences that would begin a transformative phase of my life that is ongoing.

It’s easy to say: The Camino changed me. I don’t see it that way.

Personally, I see the Camino in terms of alchemy. That it instigated changes that were lying dormant within me – that were in a state of potential. That were in wait.

The Camino acted like an alchemist to awaken those potentials. It triggered change that was waiting to happen, if given the right set of mixtures. Had I not walked the Camino I have no doubt the transformative phase that I’m currently going through would not have happened so emphatically.

I think it’s the same with many who walk the Camino. Some walk it with that dormant potential, and The Way helps to unlock it. Some have their potential more deeply buried, more heavily protected, and the Camino Alchemist has to work harder.

The Camino is a ley line. It has a powerful energetic imprint that is the product of millions of pilgrims having walked those paths carrying powerful spiritual intent. Through their footsteps it seeps into Gaia, Mother Earth – and Gaia in turn transfers that energy back to those that follow, and who allow themselves to ground.

Grounding is plugging into the spiritual energy of Mother Earth. We have chakras – energy vortexes – in our feet that facilitate this energy flow. This is why so many people with major health issues are able to walk the Camino. They are able to walk 800kms. The elderly and the infirm. They are energised, and some are healed, by the spiritual imprint of The Way.

Everyone has the potential. That’s why we incarnate. It’s to change, and grow, and learn.

Of course you don’t need to walk the Camino to affect change. But in my instance, it was the Alchemist. It did unlock my potential to transform. To raise my vibrations.

Every day is a test, every day a challenge. Every day an opportunity.

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Ahead ~

Tomorrow Jennifer and I head off for seven weeks – to the US and Germany.

In the US we’ll be working on the intuition film, and in Germany we’ll be leading our Romantic Road tour through Bavaria. I believe it’s already started snowing on parts of our route!

We fly into New York tomorrow – and we’ll be there for the elections. On Wednesday I’m doing an interview with Paul Selig, author and channel. I’ve mentioned him several times on this blog. His books have been a big influence on me during the making of the film, and it will be wonderful to meet him, and get his insights on how intuition works.

If you want to read some of his work, start with I AM THE WORD

Whilst in America we’ll also be going to Texas and then to California. Our schedule is jam packed – almost every day is now booked with either filming or meetings. Many of the meetings will have to do with marketing and distribution. The film is quite unorthodox, and it will require non-traditional unorthodox distribution.

Technology and viewing behaviours are changing quite rapidly, and ways of distribution that worked even a year or two years ago won’t be working in a year or two years’ time. It’s crucial for me to find out what’s the most current way to best get my film to audience.

Germany will be wonderful –

We’ll be walking each day, and going from fairytale town to fairytale town along the Romantic Road. We’ll be there for the wonderful Christmas Markets, which are unique to that part of the world.

In between all this I’ll be working on my revisions of PALACE OF FIRES – Initiate, for Penguin Random House. So it’ll be a busy time.

I’ll be blogging regularly, and on Facebook too. Watch out for the posts. It promises to be an exciting time!

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A packing list for a spiritual journey…

What do you need to go on a spiritual journey.?
And I’m not talking tours here!
I’m talking about a journey of spiritual growth.

For the past three years, in the making of my film on intuition, I’ve been on such a journey. And it’s by no means over. It’s just started.

There’s so much more to read, to learn, so much more work to do.
But it’s not work, it’s fun.

I was walking yesterday, and I began to compile a packing list for what you need when you go on a spiritual journey – and here it is:

  1. You must want to go.
    You must need to want to do it. No-one can make you, nor should they want to try. It’s something you must want to do yourself. The path must call to you, for some reason. For some people, circumstances put them on the path. Often it’s calamity. A major health issue, with themselves or someone close. A death of a loved one. Sometimes it’s a betrayal. A devastating betrayal. Sometimes it’s a financial calamity. Loss of job, bankruptcy, a business collapse – whatever it is, it’s often a major setback in life that puts one on the path. Or, it could be a revelation. Some kind of divine intervention. A call from the Higher Realms that now it’s time to start… Whatever it is, you must want to heed that call, and follow.
  2. You must be fearless.
    You must be prepared to face ridicule, rejection, you must be prepared to lose friends who think you’ve gone whacky, or who are confronted by your new stance on life. It takes courage to walk into a room and know that many are laughing at you behind your back. That’s ok. You have to be prepared to accept that. And for every friend you lose, believe me, you’ll pick up many more! Fear will try and come at you in a hundred different ways; through doubt, through humiliation, through a perceived loss of status. How can you lose status when you raise your vibrations?
  3. You must embrace imagination
    It takes imagination to go on a spiritual journey. We all have imagination. Some of us have suppressed it out of fear, but we all have that ability to build worlds where worlds don’t exist. Perhaps this is why so-called creative people find it easier to go on a spiritual path – because they have greater access to their imaginative powers. Rational left brain people sometimes find it harder – but there’s no such thing as a “creative” person. We are all creative. We all have the facilities, through our “mind’s eye,” to travel to places beyond the here and now.
  4. You must be prepared to accept what’s unknown, and what’s unknowable.
    There’s what’s known, there’s what’s not known, and there’s what’s unknowable. It’s easy to accept what’s known. It’s much harder to accept what’s not known, and it’s even harder to grasp what’s unknowable. What’s not known might well be known very soon. It was only 150 years ago that Louis Pasteur discovered germs caused disease. 150 years. In the timeline of human history, that’s nothing. Before that, we didn’t know germs made you sick. Twenty five years ago, if someone told you that soon we would live in a world where we could have a wireless hand held device that could access almost every book ever written, instantaneously, well, you’d think that was not possible. Rationalists reject elements of spirituality and the notion of a Higher Power because they say it can’t be proven. So what? Does that mean it doesn’t exist? Four hundred years ago the Church tortured and imprisoned Galileo because he dared to propose that the earth revolved around the sun – against religious teaching at that time. He dared to propose something which at the time wasn’t known, but which we now accept as being fundamentally so. You too must be prepared to accept what can’t be proven – yet. And then there’s the unknowable. Which is essential. Because we need mystery in our lives…
  5. You must reject the needs of the ego.
    The ego has a vested interest in maintaining your belief that you are a physical body in a physical world, that you are separate from everyone else, that you are either better or worse than others, that you are defined by what you do and what you have, or don’t have, and that this is all there is. It isn’t. You have to accept that who you think you are is merely dictated by what you believe are the judgements of others. You look in the mirror and you see a big fat nose. You think you are ugly. That’s because you live in a society where big fat noses are deemed ugly. Supposing you lived somewhere else, in the Amazon or Alaska, where big fat noses were deemed beautiful, then you would think yourself beautiful. How you see yourself is only a reflection of how you believe others see you. You have to break out of this illusion, which the ego seeks to perpetrate. You are not a human being seeking a spiritual experience, you are a spiritual being seeing a human experience.
  6. You must choose love over fear
    Here’s an exercise. Consider your day, any day, and consider how many decisions you make out of fear. You wake up, you get dressed in the morning. Do you select your clothing out of fear? You say goodbye to your partner as you walk out the door. Have you selected your partner out of fear? Or are you continuing in an unfulfilled relationship out of fear? You hop in your car to drive to work. Why have you chosen this particular type, or brand, or car? Was it out of fear? And your job. Are you staying in your job, which you hate, out of fear? A sense of entrapment? If you are truly analytical and honest with yourself, I think you’ll find that many of your choices have been made out of fear. If you want to go on a spiritual journey, you have to jettison these fears.
  7. You must become self aware.
    It’s interesting that in the making of my film on intuition, that over the 70 odd people I’ve interviewed all around the world, how many of them use the same words. One of the  phrases that came up continually was: Pay attention. This was key to beginning to become intuitive. Pay attention. Pay attention first, to yourself. How you are feeling moment to moment. What are you thinking moment to moment. And why? Why are you feeling upset right now? How did that happen? Was it because your boss ignored you? Does that strike at the core of your sense of self worth? Do you place your self worth in the hands of your boss? Do you need your boss’s approval to feel good about yourself? Begin to embrace a process of self examination. Self awareness. On little things. Every day things. Only then can you become aware of others, which is at the heart of compassion and empathy and generosity.
  8. Get rid of judgement.
    Judgement is about control. And control is fear based. You think you are better than that person. Because you are richer, you are smarter, you are better looking. You believe you have authority over that person. Dominion over that person. You believe you have control over that person. You are in a castle on a hill and that person is tilling fields. Your fields. None of it is real. None of it means anything. You and that person you judge are the same. You are all spirit, from the one source. You cannot go on a spiritual journey and cling to judgement. It will thwart you every time.
  9. Begin to understand that everything is one.
    On a level of quantum mechanics, there is no time and space. There are no boundaries between “things,” and people. There is no separation. Everything is energy, constantly intermingling with other energy. We know now, from Entanglement experiments, that the behaviour of one quantum particle on one side of the universe can impact on the behaviour of another quantum particle on the other side of the universe. Everything is inextricably interconnected. Which means we are one. We believe we are separate entities, but we’re not. Stand on a street corner, and look at the various people walking past, and look at them not as people of a different shape or colour or ethnicity – but look at them all as being essences of spirit. Each of them. And that essence is the same, no matter what they look like, what they dress like, where they come from. They all come from the same place.
  10. Be humble.
    You cannot learn from a position of arrogance, ego, personality, or status. You need to learn humility. You need to let go your need to control. You need to let go fear. Fear you will be judged. You need to understand that there is strength in humility, not weakness. There is nobility in humility, not ignominy.

Okay, so this is my packing list for a spiritual journey. It’s not a full packing list – it’s like a “day pack” list. But perhaps the most important thing on the list is the first item – you need to want to go.

When you’re ready, everything will come to you that you need. Trust that. You will be given everything, and everyone, you need. That’s what happened to me – and it’s still happening.

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Announcing 3 book deal with Penguin Random House ~

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve signed a three book deal with Penguin Random House. They will be publishing my modern-day witchcraft series, Palace of Fires.

Palace of Fires is the new title of what was formerly White Witch Black Witch, which I self published earlier this year. As soon as I realised that there could be interest from traditional publishing, I withdrew the book from Amazon.

So how did this happen?

Well, through various means the manuscript got to Lisa Riley, publisher of the Young Readers division of Penguin Random House. She read it, along with her Commissioning Editor Amy Thomas, and they both loved it.

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Lisa Riley, Publisher – Bill Bennett – Amy Thomas, Editor

Lisa told me later that she found the novel “unputdownable.” Amy said she read the whole book in four hours. And then they offered me a deal, not only for that book, but for the next two in the series.

Here’s a synopsis:

Palace of Fires tells the story of a young girl in Northern California who discovers that her mother has been abducted by a clandestine organisation of witches, intent on collecting her mum’s soul to repay an ancestral debt to Satan that goes back centuries. The only way this fifteen year old girl can hope to rescue her mother is to become a witch herself. Accompanied by a Native American shaman boy, they set off to find her before she’s ritually sacrificed.

Penguin Random House see it as a highly commercial series for the Young Adult market, with the potential to cross over into an older readership.

The first book will be published in February 2018, with the next two books coming in six month intervals thereafter.

I’m thrilled to be working with such a prestigious publishing house as Penguin Random House – one of the world’s top publishers. And delighted to be working with Lisa and Amy, who will help me take my story out to the world.

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