Shine Your Light

*** This is an archive post from 2021 ***

So maybe you’ve been wondering, dear reader, what happened to the enlightened man, the wide-eyed boy, the solo traveller on his seemingly-unstoppable global pilgrimage, the ambitious one, the spiritual one; what happened to all those prolific words of wisdom, snippets of worldly knowledge, tales from faraway places and stories of inspiration?

Perhaps he finally retired from all that, went off to live in his beloved desert far away from the world, or in a cave somewhere in the Russian wilderness. Or perhaps he died? Not such an unlikely thing… all those crazy adventures had to come to an end somehow or other. Or perhaps, you simply assumed he finally came unstuck one way or another. Surely one person cannot have all the luck forever? At some point reality will catch up with him… he’ll come crashing down, just like the rest of us.

Well, no… as far as I can tell I am very much alive. Since the beginning of the pandemic I have been travelling, both through the infinite realms of the soul, through pain, grief, abounding love, and a deep connection with earth, my faith and my race; there have been sweet moments of ecstasy beyond the powers of recollection… I have been living out childhood dreams in places around the world I have longed to see since I really was a boy.

I became 30 years old under the African sky. My beloved Africa. My 7th trip to the continent.
…when He wills it, nothing, not the apparent shutting down of the entire world, will stop a thing from happening. When God is with you, mountains will part and the powers of men fall away like leaves at the turning of the season. Truth is at this stage I don’t really have a plan or particular expectations, I am learning, slowly but surely, to trust Him, and let Him lead the way, wherever that may be.

Just when I am expecting that place to be home, to be the quiet, the retreating from all earthly things, I get ‘the call’ – He whisks me off again across the globe, fire and earth once more beneath my feet, flashing by. Once again I am in His fantastic storm, and, as always, I have no idea why… All I know, is that when God has a plan for you, or a mission – NOTHING can stop it, only you… and I would never stop it. He is mine, and I am His, and there is nothing in-between.

Make no mistake, these 12 months or so have been some of the most challenging of my life, on many levels, as I am sure they have been for us all. You cannot escape it, and regardless of what you believe, how you have chosen to deal with and respond to the global crises we have all unwittingly been flung into, it is undeniable that everybody has been affected by this, many lives ruined, dreams shattered and hopes betrayed… I won’t even begin to tell you what I’ve been up to, and will save individual stories to come as they may. But my message is this… Life goes on. Life never stopped! Man’s world, whether you chose to accept it or not, is not the real world, the real world is beyond all that, out there (and inside of you). Perhaps the only difference between me and most other people is that I haven’t chosen to stop and I don’t place all my hopes in the world of man. Never have. Whether it is home or abroad, I live. Whether I am given permission to travel or not, I am fully alive. While the sun still rises and I have the blessing of healthy lungs, two good feet and a mind to possess, I live. My travelling bag is half-full of papers, permissions for this, permission for that, tests and visas, invitation letters, flights, certificates, various documents, you name it. I am back in little England now and I get calls daily from immigration to check I am staying at home as I’ve been in exotic countries. I tell them, I am quarantining “with pleasure” – 10 days?? Let’s call it 10 weeks! I need a rest. Travelling has always been exhausting, and now it’s more complicated than ever. But… for those who will (and may) the adventure is all the better…

I have experience things these past months that would never normally be possible.
Where to start?!

p.s. some of my favourite adventures of 2020/21 were in England. Those ancient stones I am standing upon and leaning against (see below) are between 4000 – 6000 years old, older than the pyramids ! I have always been home among the ancient and natural places of the world, and one doesn’t have to jet set around to find them, to absorb them, and to find one’s own space for healing…

My dears… it is time, yes, it is time. Change has been thrust upon you, whether you will it or not, change is here. The world is changing, it is changed even. Things cannot be as they were before, and those hoping to find rest in the returning of the old things will be bleakly disappointed. Now we are being sold many quick-fix ‘solutions’ to all these problems in the promise that things will get back to that ‘normal’ you so crave, that comfort zone. It is a lie, whether an intentional lie or not is irrelevant. It is time to embrace the change, to evolve, or to die. It is as simple as that.

It is time to make a choice. I am disappointed in humanity, I cannot pretend otherwise. Most people now seem to be at ease blaming others, criticising others, pushing and shoving around to get what they need, so intent on ‘protecting’ themselves and their ‘lives’ that they would do anything to preserve it. All compassion, all humanness seems to be thrown out of the window as soon as the muck hits the fan. What have we come to? What are we doing to the world? What are we doing to each other?

Have we forgotten everything that it means to be human? What it means to be a witness!

So we come to a better day, a time of healing from the past mistakes. We don’t have to be either near or far to shine our own light. But shining your light is not to blind others, it is to reveal the Truth, of your own soul, who you Are, which reveals the Truth buried within another. We bury our true selves under cloaks – the mum, the teacher, the easygoing, the clown, the victim, the saviour. These are all just shades of the human condition. The biggest lie is the one you keep telling to yourself. Sometimes, often, the way to really heal is catastrophic, monstrous pain and upheaval. The storm can be a blessing, if we chose to learn and start again.

I am learning all the time – to be true to me, not tailored, or clipped, homogenised or edited. You want me? Accept it all. There are plenty of other places to be, plenty of other walks to follow. We are only in this together if we are brutally honest with ourselves. The true version of ‘you’ is the greatest gift you can offer the world. Sometimes… at least in my life… I have found the greatest love I can give is to shut the door… and climb through the window.

Shine your light. Shine your light.

*** This is an archive post from 2021***

How are you all? This is 2023 James now. I’m still on the road. I left Southeast Asia some time ago and am now in India. I’ll think I’ll stick around here for a while and catch up on some writing, and dig into my soul a bit more, see what treasures, bliss and agony, I can release 🙂

Self-Portrait on the River Ganges, Varanasi, 2023

Wishing you all the love and strength in the world, for your journey.


  1. I saved this post to read when I had no distractions. I’m sorry to say I just read it months later. Thank you for the fresh drink of water and some clean new air to breath. So happy to hear your journeys are still fulfilling the purposes God has for your life. We are nearing the time of Passover here. I will play the beautiful video in our devotions this year with the family. So beautiful and such a gift from God that you are passing on to others. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Your picture of your arms outstretched embracing God’s divine timing is an inspiration and an absolute reminder for me and for all of us. He is the light of the world and we are carriers of this light. You shine so brightly as you live this truth. I hope you get rest and rejuvenation in India- may the layers uncovered be revealed if they should. Dormant yet if not.
    With God, even if the physical body isn’t ready to address things, He will guide the way. Magnificent!
    India! Never been. Looking forward to seeing what draws the heart.

    1. Thank you Vivianne for your heartfelt and joyful comment.

      Yes, it is timely indeed to be reminded that we are bearers of that Light, and that It may come to us anywhere in the world, at any time.
      ‘With God, even if the physical body isn’t ready to address things, He will guide the way” – a profound phrase 🙂

      Thank you so much for sharing.
      Peace. Jx

  3. Re “the human condition”…

    The human condition or world we live in has always been in plain sight for everyone and is no mystery …

    The TRUE human condition is the history of human madness mainly thanks to the 2 married pink elephants in the room and has never been on clearer display than with the deliberate global Covid Scam atrocity — see “The 2 Married Pink Elephants In The Historical Room –The Holocaustal Covid-19 Coronavirus Madness: A Sociological Perspective & Historical Assessment Of The Covid “Phenomenon”” …

    “Separate what you know from what you THINK you know.” — Unknown

    “2 weeks to flatten the curve has turned into…3 shots to feed your family!” — Unknown

    ““We’re all in this together” is a tribal maxim. Even there, it’s a con, because the tribal leaders use it to enforce loyalty and submission. … The unity of compliance.” — Jon Rappoport, Investigative Journalist

  4. I love seeing a new – or old – post from you. Your perspective and glory to God bring a breath to the soul. As you say, change is a part of life. We expect “normal” to return at some point but what’s truly normal is that nothing stays the same…except God.

  5. Hello James, thanks for sharing this beautiful post. Yet why are you offering it to us NOW – a special reason? – in lieu of a fresh curried post from South Asia?

    Wishing you the best in your travels <3

    1. My original comment seems to have vanished! But anyhow, thank you for your comment and well-wishes. Honestly, I found this post in my draft section and decided to click publish. Not exactly sure why, but at the very least I thought it deserved to see the light of day 🙂

      1. Thanks James. I agree such a beautiful post deserved to be published. It made me reminisce the Gospel of Matthew, 5:13-16.

        We are all the salt of the earth, aren’t we?

        That being said, did this post sit in your Drafts box for 2 years?

        That would be fairly mystical, wouldn’t it?

        Have a beautiful day!

        1. We are the salt of the earth… the more one reflects on that passage, the very much more it makes sense… and, yes, this post sat around for 2 years. I think originally I did publish it and then unpublished it or something, so it ended up in the drafts, waiting for the right day 🙂 2 years ago things were more volatile, people were struggling and ideas of travel were not as popular as they once were.

          Wishing you light, my friend, for the journey.

        2. Thank you dear James. It is nice to hear from you my friend <3

          Two years sitting in a draft box is a long time, isn't it? And perhaps there was some divine intervention here at work – that's my sense of the mysteries, which are plenty, as we know. Something 'out of the norm,'
          I would say.

          I feel called to post Matthew, 5;3-16; perhaps it will resonate with someone now, when it wouldn't have two years ago. We live in such a different world; a pregnant world, I would add!

          13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

          14 “You are the Light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

          15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

          16 In the same way, let your Light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

        3. Well, yes, I believe Divine Intervention is present in some way in all things… no doubt, present here now 🙂
          Thank you for the wonderful quotes from Scripture, they certainly resonate with me if no one else, and they are so very apt to the theme of this post of course. May God’s will be done in our lives! Wishing you a blessed Lent!
          James x

        4. Thank you very much dear James!

          may I ask where you are in India these days?

          I interacted virtually this morning with a woman based in Punjab – all the way from Virginia!

          And yes, the world needs all our Light!

          Love & much Light,


        5. My pleasure, Gilles.

          I am currently nestled in semi-permanence in South Goa, India, somewhere half-wayish down the west coast of the country. It is very balmy but easy breezy here, with plenty of wonderful nature around. It’s the perfect place to rest and reflect a while 🙂

          Sending all the love and light I can muster to Virginia. I am sure plenty of my ancestors settled in those areas… a funny thought really…

        6. That’s very interesting dear James,

          I have a friend who’s been staying in an ashram south of Goa for some time. The name of the ashram is Shankar Prasad, in Gokarna. Three hours south of Goa city. Perhaps it rings a bell?

          India is a beautiful country, isn’t it? I visited long, long ago and spent some time at Kovalam Beach, further south, in Kerala. Sweet memories, they are.

          And thanks for your “funny thought” about your ancestors. Who knows, they may have ended up in Jamestown, the capital of Virginia in the early days of the incoming settlers?

          Have a good night & lots of Love

        7. Oh, yes, I know of Gokarna, I was hoping to visit in fact. How interesting…

          India is a wide and wonderful land indeed! I am still in love with it after all this time I am glad to say (8 years since my last visit!!) There is too too much to see, so undoubtedly I will have to make many subsequent trips (although I’m certainly not complaining about that).

          I am sure some of my ancestors were among the early settlers to N. America, no doubt. I have conflicting feelings about it to be honest. It both fascinates me and haunts me. My heart jolts when I think of the indigenous peoples of that land, and all first peoples… but times change and the great plan of life is not over, great things come and go, and those people will shine again, I am sure… I hope to explore the Americas extensively one day, God willing.

          Peace. Jx

        8. Thanks dear James,

          India is a beautifully diverse country and it must have changed a lot in the 40 years that I haven’t visited.

          And yet there was (already) a feeling of the multitude back then – the most populated country on earth.

          Enjoy your time in this wonderful land – and don’t think too much of this side of the pond!!

          Love & much Light,


  6. Hi James, glad to see your posts.
    Our world seems to be divided between simple pleasures and selfish aspirations.
    For myself, I prefer leaning towards a less complicated, rose coloured view.

  7. I just opened your post after replying to someone about a strange experience at some stones…. I said how I consider the human-made world to be an ‘overlay’ of the real, natural world beneath… That we need to keep our connection to the geology, stars, trees and natural phenomena around us – not be distracted by the overlay….! So lovely it was to hear you saying essentially the same. We wander different paths – call the sacred by many names – but we recognise truth, beauty and kindness…..
    Not all who wander are lost – and getting lost can be fun!

    1. This is a wonderful response! It is precisely what I was trying to say. No matter what happens the Truth is beneath all of man’s world. I love the image of the layering. Very poignant. And yes, getting lost has often been the perfect cure <3

  8. Your time has definitely not been misspent in the sense of purpose, for to me your purpose was to expose yourself to as much of the humanity that you could in the time you set apart for your trip to far away lands. I have done this in the U.S. in my lifetime, sometimes isolated as if on retreat and other times when I chose to spend time with other people as I moved around. Humanity is the same everywhere, yet different only by languages and some chosen ways of living. Some live lives of luxury and want for nothing, yet live lonely in the midst of others. Some live common everyday lives, never having enough money to travel or vacation, just continue to work everyday and enjoy their families and friends. Then there are those who have absolutely nothing, living on the streets or the land, just wandering aimlessly, concentrating only on the next meal. I once lived with American Indians, who had literally lost everything they ever had, their land, their way of life, their heritage, and yet they have survived all of this and hand on to the prospect of things getting better one day. All are searching for something that is just out of their reach, but one day they hope to find it just ahead over the next rise. The common thread for all is faith in God, the Holy Spirt or the Great Spirit, or something similar. One think I have found to be true for all is “The Touch.” It may be God’s touch or the Spirit or just someone reaching out to ask, “How are you today?” I feel this leads us to whatever legacy we hope to leave others when we leave this earthly world. Something tangible that we leave behind, to let others know we were there or maybe we have the same feelings as you or maybe just to let someone know they care for you.
    Anyway, I have enjoyed your postings, most giving me pause to think about your thoughts or what you saw on your travels. Not many will ever take a trip like you went on, but many will wonders how they might have reacted to a trip like yours. Blessings brother. Rest up, and write down the rest of your thoughts while you were traveling.

    1. Thank you my friend, I am much enjoying the rest. I also enjoyed reading your lengthy response and reflections. It is true, there are people of all kinds on this globe living all kinds of lives. This touch you speak of is a very crucial yet simple thing. Some people have that natural ability, no matter where they are, to make their ordinary everyday meetings glimmer with the extraordinary. It is a gift I perhaps admire most of all… You’ve given me much to think on… God bless you.


      1. Interesting how time plays tricks on us, dear Gail.

        This post is two years old, yet James published it two weeks ago. There is something mystical about this timing and I still can’t put my finger on it 🙂

        Happy Easter!

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