I Can’t?

Growing up my favorite expression was “I Can’t”. So I am told anyway. I do recall my father trying to explain to me that I should probably at least try before saying those words and my mother rolling her eyes as I paced up and down a room having a lack of confidence moment. Two particular instances spring to mind. The first was my ‘A’ levels. I won’t pass, I can’t pass was my mantra. I still have nightmares about “A” levels levels let me tell you! Actually, the results were very mixed but I scraped a place at college anyway because despite thinking I couldn’t – I did. One of my parents told me to do something like writing to all Universities asking to be accepted since my UCCA choices all rejected me based on those results. I did. I sat and I wrote to about 20 Geology programs across the country and was accepted at three! I chose Aston University. It was the farthest away I could get from Hull. The second instance was passing my driving test. I had been accepted into a PhD program at Strathclyde University (in conjunction with the British Geological Survey) but in order to do the fieldwork in Nova Scotia, I needed that license. It took me two attempts but I passed with a week to spare and I made it to Sydney Nova Scotia.

I can’t.

Two very small words but so negative.

I realize that I have changed a lot in the last 30-years especially when I hear myself say I can. You see, I realize that I very rarely say I can’t anymore. Those words take away your power. I can’t takes away your magic. By admitting defeat like that you are programming yourself to be a failure. You are really. You are telling yourself with conviction that you will fail when you say I can’t. Think how many times you say those two words. Has it become your mantra? I can’t, I can’t and trust me – YOU WON’T!

Perhaps it having kids myself, perhaps it is a function of being older and hopefully wiser or maybe it is because I read, study and try to make magic, but I try never to utter these two words. Instead, I believe I can and I will. In fact, I believe it so much it already is. This is how I have achieved everything that I have achieved. It’s how I built my own business, sold it and created a new business all over again. It’s how I moved to become CEO of a 2 billion Euro turnover power trader in Prague – because I knew I could do it. It’s how I gave up that job and joined with my friend and colleague Patrick to start a new business that is now thriving. It is how I write books, publish poetry, blog, create websites, give presentations 20 times a year, interview on the radio. It is why I thrive in almost everything that I do. Because I CAN.

Think how important that ‘apostrophe t’ is at the end of I can. Instead of victory we create defeat. In a word.

Words have power. We create with our words and imagination. In the beginning was the word and I am pretty sure it’s first words were not I Can’t.

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The Art of Dreaming

For a while this morning I was researching Carlos Castenada. I had read his first four or five books as a teen and was thinking perhaps it was time to refresh my memory as regards their content. Pretty soon, I was reading about the man and how most likely, he was a fraud who rather than sitting in a small room with Don Juan was reading books about the subject at the University Library. I felt a rising sense of disappointment too as I read how he had retreated to a mansion with three female followers who gave up everything to live with and follow him and how he treated his family. All the classic symptoms of ego, sex and cult. Very disappointing.

I read too a summary of the content of the books. Even though Castenada himself may have been suspect, mysterious and perhaps a fraud, for me anyhow the books do contain a synthesis of real wisdom and knowledge. Who knows how he really came by that knowledge and who knows what the truth about him really is perhaps instead what matters is what we make of his books. Castenada himself talked about how reality is described to us and we eventually accept reality as described. From the moment we are born, we are described things and eventually we take on this view of reality. He said that to begin to see one had to stop the world. When you stopped the world or as I understood it, questioned what really was around you, you would begin to learn to see another reality or realities. Though he may use terminology that is different to the words I may use, he is saying what I am coming to accept as well. Any form of occult training essentially has the same objective and that is to break down the reality you were taught and help you to observe your own version of it.

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This in turn naturally leads me to the conclusion that in a way, we all create our own realities. It explains why for example, some people live conspiracy theories or see roadblocks and objections everywhere. They choose to. On the other hand, it can explain why people who can truly visualize success become successful. They create their reality. But before you can do that, you have to know yourself and be aware of what filters you have been given – how the world has been described to you. Hatred, racism, homophobia for examples, are all inherited filters – they are all a description of acceptable reality for a consensus or majority.

So while, Castenada may be a disappointment to me I feel his works are valid. They originated somewhere in his reality and they describe an alternate reality as well as providing a map for getting there. I shall re-read his books…….

Two Weeks of Silence

After today, I can promise you almost two weeks of silence from G Michael Vasey. While I am gone, I will imagine you all running out to buy my books and reading my archive of delicious articles on this blog and on Asteroth’s Domain Me? well, I will be laying in the sun, swimming and drinking cold beers to cool off in Kos. I can’t wait.

I have been neglecting Asteroth’s Domain which I reserve for more esoteric articles mainly. I guess, I simply haven’t had much to say esoterically recently. Instead, I have been focused on building a business (Commodity Technology Advisory LLC) and trying to build a platform for my writing. Both are non-stop activities and can slowly eat away every minute of the day one way or another. After a while, you look up and kick yourself because you realize that yet again, you have slowly losing sight of what is really real and important. Meditation has gone from 30 minutes plus daily to once in a while again. I think at such times, my subconscious self gets truly pissed off with the other me. That’s when I get bad and weird dreams like the one I described the other day. I have had weird dreams all of this week to be honest and so as I lay in the sun and in between frolicking in the pool or ocean with my daughter, I shall try to refocus again……

I often think that in fact, this is the dream and the false illusion that we get sucked into and allow it to become our only reality. The truth is that there are almost certainly many realities created by the many me’s that exist. Some of you may take that as the statement of a crazy man but think about it. We are all fractured characters playing roles and being different people for different purposes aren’t we? Mum, daughter, friend, enemy, clown, and so on…. as we play out our roles, we are creating a reality for them too. Each character that we play has an audience and an energy and they create the daily dramas that occupy our lives.

The trick, I think, is to wake up and recognize this. To start to try to bring all these separate bits of ourselves and all of those different reality streams under control… the control of our true will. Some people will call this God, some Goddess and yet others Divine Providence or simply the Perfected Self. Whatever you name it, it is the same thing. In order to listen and take guidance from this presence, we have to be quiet and listen. We have to talk to it via prayer – creative visualization. We have to allow It to guide us and in doing so, hopefully, we bring together the fractured aspects of ourselves into the Divine whole we were always meant to be.

energy-in-motion by michael-massurin

energy-in-motion by michael-massurin

A Conversation with G. Michael Vasey by Nick Wale

A Conversation with
G. MICHAEL VASEY

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Author of THE LAST OBSERVER
Expat Brit located in the Czech Republic

G. Michael Vasey is one of those unique writers you come across on a hot summer day. I have marvelled at this interview, and I’ve wondered what I can really say about it. I like this writer—a lot—and I can’t wait for you to like him, too! His book The Last Observer is a bit of everything, and that is the best way to describe this interview. It’s a bit of everything!


Who do you have in mind when you write?

Me. I write about my interests and things that I am passionate about. I trust that the end product is something of interest to others and that I have something unique to offer – my perspective and one that is entertaining and different.

How do you find “inspiration” and where does it live?
Inspiration often comes to me in a semi-meditative state. So listening to music of the right type can start the juices flowing, or sometimes I listen to meditation music on Youtube as I write. It seems to relax me and open a channel to the creative part of me. Other books can also give inspiration too, so when I am reading something it will trigger a series of questions or thoughts and an inner dialogue. I don’t find finding inspiration difficult to be honest. If you look around and pay attention to what is around you, how can you not be inspired? For example, until recently, I lived in Prague. Most people tramp to work, head down, worrying about the day ahead or wishing themselves miles away. As I walked through Prague to work, I looked up – at the glorious architecture and beauty, history and sheer wow of the city I lived in…. that inspires me.

Have you always aspired to be a writer?
No, but writing has always been a key part of what I do for a living, and I have always enjoyed writing. Being an author sort of sprung up on me when I realized what a body of work I had had published as articles, newsletters, book chapters and so on. Once I got comfortable with the idea, I thought – why not give it a proper go?

Tell me about how you became a writer. What was the first step for you?
Having to write so as a part of my job. I must have written well over 500 articles in newsletters and magazines professionally along with 100 white papers and reams of blog articles. So, it is something I do continually. The step you ask about is probably when I first sat down with the objective of writing a book, and I did that because I was told to in meditation…

Do you have a distinctive “voice” as a writer?
I don’t know to be honest, but in poetry I do try to play with words in certain evocative ways.

Do you think anyone can learn to be an effective writer, or is it an unnamed spiritual gift?
I think anyone who really wants to write can learn, but very few writers are true masters. That is a gift that you are born with.

Is there a book you’ve written that you’re most proud of?
No, as I tend to keep looking forward as opposed to backwards. That’s not to say there isn’t a book I am fond of. My novel, The Last Observer, though certainly not perfect, is my favourite book to date; and my last book of poetry – Moon Whispers – I think is my strongest effort yet. I pick the novel because it has the potential to appeal to a broader group of readers, I think.

On average, how long does it take for you to write your ideas down before you start writing a book?
I don’t follow this approach usually. I plan it in my head and then, after it’s going, I start to write down subplots and themes I wish to develop. In the end though, the books have a surprising talent for writing themselves and surprising even me. I suppose it’s because I write in a meditative state usually and it’s as if it’s not me doing the writing anyway.

What would you say is the “defining” factor in your writing? What makes it yours?
Ah, good question! I think it’s my passion for trying to understand the nature of reality and my practise of magic. You see, I think magic (or if you prefer, metaphysics) has already described the Universe, and science is gradually catching up. What fascinates me is how we create our own reality or our own perspective on reality and how imagination and will can make magic. This provides for a never-ending smorgasbord of ideas, plots, endings and concepts to play with.

How do you guard your time to do what’s most important?
I am a multi-tasker and am always engaged in fifteen things at once. I move my focus from one thing to another and that constant variety keeps me engaged and busy.
What are some of the more common distractions you struggle with, and what ways have you found to overcome them?
There are times when I simply do not want to write. So I don’t.

What kind of review do you take to heart?
Oh, I hate bad reviews and take them ever so personally. It seems to me that there are a few people out there that simply get a kick out of writing deeply negative reviews – like trolls on a discussion board. I can’t help being hurt by deeply negative criticism. On the other hand, we only get better through criticism. It is how that criticism is delivered that makes the difference between something we gain from or something we are hurt by.

How do you decide what your next book will be about?
Well, I decide probably in a moment of massive interest in something or an idea, but then I end up writing something else entirely! For example, on my bio it says I am writing a book about the Fool in magic. It’s a great idea, and I have written a few pages, but I keep finding other things to write about, and I make no progress at all on that idea. I keep it in the bio to remind me that I must/should/will write that book.

Was there a link between your childhood and your vocation as a writer?
Yes – imagination. I had and still do have a very well-developed imagination to the point I can really be where I imagine I am. It is this imagination that runs riot and is the creative seed within me.

As a writer, however, you have the opportunity to self-reflect, to revisit experiences. How does that feel?
Sometimes good but not always….often, the worst of life’s experiences are actually the best – at least for writing.

What motivates you to tackle the issues others may avoid, such as nature and spirituality?
I have been interested in such things since I was knee high to a grasshopper as I wrote in my first book – Inner Journeys. Back when I was 12, I was attending meetings of the church for psychical research and reading Blavatsky… So, I am well-grounded in this stuff and a practising magician to boot. As a result, I guess I see the world a bit differently and want to share the idea that the world looks like you want it to.

When you start a new book, do you know how a book will end as you’re writing it? Or does its direction unfold during the writing, research and/or creative process?
The Last Observer wrote itself, I swear. The ending surprised me and still does.

How do you see your role in impacting and influencing society?
I only hope that I can make people think a bit, wake up and look around and see that not everything is how they were taught. If they do that, then I have already succeeded.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to do?
Writing is so integral to everything I do, and it’s not possible to answer this question.

What are the things a writer “must not” do?
You know, I don’t like rules. Why should a writer not do anything? I do feel sometimes that we are constrained by success, but real art is breaking all the rules and having the product mean something. This is why I love poetry – there are NO rules. I hear some people criticising Indie writers as if the only people who should write are Shakespeare and his ilk; but this is literary snobbishness, isn’t it? Everyone should be able to write if they so choose, and if they break rules of grammar but people love their stuff, then great….

What are some pieces of advice that you would give someone on writing well?
I would never tell someone how to write – I think people should write as they wish, and some will deem it to be good and some bad.

Young writers often make foolish mistakes. What is a mistake to avoid?

Answering a bad review… don’t do it. Ever. I did and I learned.

What obstacles and opportunities do you see for writers in the years ahead?
The whole industry is in flux with eBooks, Amazon and so on. Trying to keep up with how to market what you write, how to make money, how to find an audience, whether to self-publish or not? It’s knowing how things will fall out that could present either an obstacle or opportunity.

Could you talk about one work of creative art that has powerfully impacted you as a person?
Yes – a CD by Blackfield called Blackfield II. The music on that CD inspires me to write, and it feeds my creative juices. Every single poem in Moon Whispers was written listening to that CD. In fact, music often is the work of creative art that sends me….

What relationship do you see between imagination and creativity, and the real world?
Imagination and creativity are intertwined like lovers – one needs the other, and together they make beautiful music.

For a writer, it is easy to become an elitist. Have you ever (or do you still) struggle with pride as an author?
Not really – I do what I do and lots of people do the same so there is nothing special about me. But let’s see how I behave if I ever have a real best seller, shall we?

With all your success, how do you stay humble?
Age. I am that sort of age where nothing much impresses me anymore, least of all myself.

Have you ever considered writing fiction full time?

I would love to… will you get me a contract?

Visit G. Michael Vasey’s Amazon Author Page and explore your imagination…

Interview by Nick Wale and published in Novel Reads by Novel Ideas June 2014 issues

Republished with permission.

It’s All About Marketing

As I cycled on the bike that doesn’t go anywhere this morning like a rat in a cage trying to keep down the middle age spread (can I say that at my age?), it struck me that almost everything I do these days requires marketing. It’s not longer good enough just to do something but now you have to find a way to tell people about it too. Ok, probably, it’s always been that way to some degree but now with social media and the way the world is, it seems that the louder and more effectively you sing your own praises, the more success you enjoy.

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But is it really that simple?

On the one hand, it is. You must confidently and unflinchingly go forth and use every opportunity to tell the world about whatever it is you are doing if you want success. It doesn’t matter if this is the software business, an investment opportunity, a book, a movie or whatever. People need to know – they always did – but now, there are so many other people shouting you have to find a way to shout louder or more effectively simply to rise above the noise. The playing field has been leveled people – anyone can get visibility and everyone now has a shot at 30 seconds of fame – if you just know how to sell yourself.

On the other hand it isn’t. Shouting confidently may attract peoples attention but you won’t keep it long if you don’t deliver. It’s not JUST about marketing but about delivering too.

I have done a lot of brand work and strategic marketing with my clients and what I just wrote above really translates into the following;

1. You must have a brand – a brand is an ‘image’ if you will that can be experienced by an audience.
2. The brand must resonate with the intended audience and it should be attractive and have brand promise – it promises to deliver something the market wants.
3. Finally, people’s experience of the brand must be true to the brand promise and leave them wanting more – the experience of the brand must build brand loyalty.

It’s part 3 that a lot of people forget. Shouting and appealing to people to come and visit your blog for example, isn’t going to build a following unless you actually write on that blog and write compelling articles that reinforces your brand promise and brings people back for more.

So, we can all shout and shout loud. We can be effective at reaching a market but if we don’t deliver what we promised, it is all for naught.

Knowing all of this, I have often likened people to brands. In fact, people are complex as they actually develop multiple brands – father, brother, son, professional, drinking buddy etc. These are all brands and we promise things to our friends and family through them. But if we act differently to what we say about ourselves, people quickly see through the act and instead of building good, solid relationships, people see you as false, untrustworthy and an actor on life’s stage.

Anyway, I am trying to build a brand as an author. I am shouting and I hope I am delivering the what I shout about too. So, here is one shout – please go along to my new author Facebook page and like it – maybe even share it. Help my shout out reach a wide audience please. If you could do that for me then its up to me to do the rest and deliver what I promise….

Thanks a lot.

A Childlike Reality

Children often bring a smile to our lips. Their worldview unfettered by outside influence and devoid of any political pressure often provides us with laughter and sometimes remarkably powerful but simple insights into our complex world.

I have played more than my part in terms of aiding this phenomenom having fathered four children to date and each and everyone of them has taught me something valuable or brought a smile to my face in terms of what they did or said. All kids are different too right from the very beginning. Having watched my twin boys grow up I can say that… different from the very first second of life outside the womb. Obviously, it is my youngest child that now alone has this childlike ability to point out glitches in the matrix as my three sons are now all grown and have lost their childlike innocence.

Just the day before yesterday, as we drove to the store, I was moaning about the lack of sales for my books and explaining that I would really like to have one of my books (if not all) sell in the thousands or tens of thousands and not just the hundreds. Deni told me that I should write about something different like Lions or Tigers and if not that then about my life. I explained that my life really isn’t of much interest to other people and that I doubted that book would sell. Deni’s response – “it will if you put pictures of me in it!”

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This childlike confidence might not seem like very much but if you think about it, if thoughts have the power to create reality, then why do we not get what we want? The answer to that question is because no matter how much we try to convince ourselves that we are thinking positively and believing completely, we also know that we are not. As adults, we have been told so many times that we can’t or we shouldn’t that it has become an inbuilt mechanism to ensure our failure and the failure of the becoming reality of our thoughts. I start out all positive and confident that my thoughts are of best selling books or a vacation in Mexico. I am sure that this will happen if I just keep picturing it, believing in it and seeing it. a couple of hours later though, it starts. “Don’t be bloody daft,” says that initial passing doubting thought. To be followed by internal bickering no doubt and ultimately failure. The child though has yet to be programed for failure. The child still knows how to believe without self-doubt. The child ought to be able to really create their own reality. It’s a shame Deni can’t help me create mine.

I hear resonance of this when I think of the words by Jesus about entering heaven. He says that whoever wants to enter heaven must first convert and then become as little children. I would see heaven as the state that Humans should aspire to and conversion would be to understand this. To become as little children would restore our inner confidence and ability to believe.

To become childlike has a meaning to me that involves cutting away the baggage that has been placed upon me and being truly what I was meant to be. A similar analogy is the Fool and to be foolish. In essence being childlike and being foolish share some key characteristics in that our ego is as yet under developed and our outlook unfettered by the jaundiced views of life’s experience. To the point where, many years ago, one of my sons walked out of the bathroom and across the house past numerous assembled visitors with his trousers round his ankles to ask Dad “Can you wipe my bum please?”

Of FA Cup Finals, Hull and Yorkshire

This last weekend, I and a good percentage of my fellow East Yorkshire compadres (not all as Rugby is still big in Hull and Hull KR played Hull FC that same day!) were either sat in the London sun at Wembley or, like me, huddled in front of the biggest TV we could find. Of course, none of us really entertained the idea that we could actually win the FA Cup but we all brimmed with pride and awe at the occasion none the less. But you also knew, as underdogs, we had nothing at all to lose and there is always the chance, no matter how slim, that on the day and for 90 minutes, Hull City could be the better team. Of course, 10 minutes after kick off and the score Hull City 2 Arsenal 0, we perhaps did allow ourselves a moment or two to dream that maybe it was going to be the underdog’s day and that Curtis Davies would lift that cup for the long suffering fans of Hull City. In the end, it wasn’t to be, but the overwhelming sense of pride at having made Arsenal and their fans suffer and work for their reward made it all worthwhile. In fact, now we have a taste for such occasions, we want more!

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Of course, when you play a team like Arsenal you are playing a global brand. People who have never been to Arsenal support that club all around the world and they expect success. Arsenal have a history and a pedigree. They have one player valued at two times our entire squad. It’s easy to support a team like Arsenal.

But, I have to say, I would have liked to see more media coverage of the underdog. Hull’s story is a much better one than Arsenals. Its easy to be an Arsenal fan with expectations of Premier League football, Europe and silverware year in and year out so it must be tough to go 9 years without a trophy. Arsenal fans everywhere have my sympathy. I full well understand how 9-years is an eternity to wait. You see, Hull City was founded 110-years ago and we have never won anything. After Saturday’s glorious defeat, we have still never won anything. There are loyal Hull City fans, born and bred in Hull, who have been born and died without ever seeing Hull City win anything. These are real fans.

To be honest, the media could have done a better job. A decade ago, Hull City were in the bottom tier of English football. Almost went out of business a couple of times. The club has gone from bottom to top in a short period of time and we all of course hope that over the next few years, it will stay there and that we will win something soon. But thats the difference between us and Arsenal fans. They get all weird over not winning a trophy in 9-years, we just support our team through thick and thin – mostly thin times. There are some truly great stories that they could have done a better job of picking up on.

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In fact, having travelled a lot in my life I can say that there is something about being from Yorkshire and Hull – in that order. Hull has always been somehow cut off from everything by virtue of its geographic position. The huge muddy estuary of the Humber to the south, the boulder clay cliffs of the east coast leave only the north and west accessible. Hull has always been a sort of maverick place willing to assert itself whether that was the Icelandic cod war or the English civil war! Hull has historically been a backwater cut off from the south albeit an important backwater as a result of its port and access to the ocean. Being essentially cut off and isolated is in the psyche of its inhabitants too. We are unafraid, down to earth and unimpressed with attitudes. We get on with it, make the best of it and know how to enjoy ourselves. There is an element of Yorkshire spirit too in there but with a definite Hull edge. We are like our team – resolute, spirited and uncomplaining taking little or no notice of what others might think or say – after all, the vast majority of them have never been to Hull!

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So, quite honestly I feel sorry for Arsenal fans having to wait 9-years to win something. They plainly don’t have the stomach for the long haul or for adversity that comes with being born north of Watford and especially in a little City called Kingston upon the River Hull.

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Hull City Honours – from Wikipedia.

Football League Championship and predecessors (level 2 of the English football league system)
Runners-up: 2012–13
Play-off winners: 2007–08

Football League One and predecessors (level 3 of the English football league system)
Champions: 1965–66
Runners-up: 1958–59, 2004–05
Promoted: 1984–85

Football League Two and predecessors (level 4 of the English football league system)
Runners-up: 1982–83, 2003–04

Football League Third Division North
Champions: 1932–33, 1948–49

FA Cup
Runners-up: 2014
Semi-finalists: 1930

Football League Trophy
Runners-up: 1984

Watney Cup
Runners-up: 1974