Author Archives: Phil Richardson

Royal Leamington Spa – Some Thoughts on the Future

My wife, Ruth, and I arrived in the town of Royal Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, England a few days before Christmas last year, to begin our protracted ten week house-sit and to use that time to search for the right house in the right place for us to establish a new home.

It’s a quiet, pleasant town straddling the winding River Leam, spaciously laid out and full of Regency architecture, a large well-kept public park and a pervasive atmosphere of wellbeing. A perfect place to ponder with gratitude the sixty five years I had lived in Africa and to relish the unknowns of my future here in the land of my birth.

Nine months before, we had said a fond final farewell to our home and friends in Cape Town and began an intervening stay at Sunrise Ranch in Colorado, USA, with a side trip to Edenvale near Vancouver, British Columbia and then to embark on a new life that would be based in the UK.

We were left in no doubt about the fact that this really was a new cycle with a clean slate when, early in our stay at Sunrise, we received the news that all the possessions we had chosen to take with us to start a new home had been consumed by a warehouse fire!

While there is something freeing about knowing that all you now possess in the world fits into two suitcases, there’s an intensity involved in coming to terms with the loss of those special items accumulated over a lifetime. We had already trimmed and culled what we had to ensure that only those items that had a special heart connection or an important function made it into our new life.

Recently, we have been speaking about Crossing the Threshold and Standing at the Precipice – all in reference to the necessity to be able to leave the old familiar life and move into whatever our future holds for us. The way we deal with the actual, real-time opportunities that come to us to do that, has a lot to do with how that future works out. We have a choice. Thresholds are to be crossed and precipices to be leapt, with due discernment, of course, but without letting fear and uncertainty paralyse us into faint-hearted inactivity. The willingness to risk what we have for a brighter, more creative future is an essential characteristic for anyone who genuinely desires to make a difference in the world. If making that difference was easy or guaranteed, it would have happened already. There’s an element of risk involved in moving boldly through Life’s challenges.

I recently came across this piece by David Whyte:


We are here essentially to risk ourselves in the world. We are a form of

invitation to others and to otherness, we are meant to hazard ourselves for

the right thing, for the right woman or the right man, for a son or a daughter,

for the right work or for a gift given against all the odds. And in all this

continual risking the most profound courage may be found in the simple

willingness to allow ourselves to be happy along the way…

© 2015 David Whyte from ‘LONGING’ In CONSOLATIONS: The Solace,

Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.

How true! There’s very little that’s really worthy of accomplishment in life that doesn’t carry some risk. There’s never an iron-clad guarantee that things will work out as we expect or want them to. There’s possibility of failure, of disappointment, of the unexpected, of making the wrong choice in the first place. But “the willingness to be happy along the way” makes all the difference and allows it all to be worthwhile and ultimately, creative and fulfilling.

In a few weeks, Ruth and I move into our new house and start the process of creating a new home and a new life – I might say, from scratch, but that would not be true. There are many seen and unseen gifts that we carry into this new cycle, so much to be happy about and thankful for. Establishing a safe, loving home is not the ultimate goal but having that as a foundation for the larger purpose of changing the world will play an important part in our effectiveness and success in doing that.

Thank you, Royal Leamington Spa, for offering us your fine gracious atmosphere and the space to engage with the option of a vibrant, creative future. May our presence here have been a blessing to you as we walked your streets with appreciation and care and may we return someday to share with you some fruits of this new phase of creation that is ours to steward and manifest.

PHIL RICHARDSON is an international speaker and teacher who invites people to reconnect with

their deeper innate spiritual awareness and to bring that awareness into their everyday lives.




A More Shining World

Never again will we stand

On the threshold of a new age.

We that are here now are touched

In some mysterious way

With the ability to change

And make the future.

Those who wake to the wonder

Of this magic moment,

Who wake to the possibilities

Of this charged conjunction,

Are the chosen ones who have chosen

To act, to free the future, to open it up,

To consign prejudices to the past,

To open up the magic casement

Of the human spirit

Onto a more shining world.

This verse from a poem “Mental Fight” by Ben Okri, the Nigerian poet and novelist, describes very graphically where we stand as humanity at this time. While we can get caught up in all the prevailing adversity and turmoil in the world, my constant question to myself is, “where can I make a positive difference?”

In South Africa, where, until recently my wife Ruth and I lived, some radical steps have been taken by the incumbent president that will seriously damage the country’s financial and humanitarian wellbeing in the short term but is also likely to lead to his own political demise in the medium to long term. He doesn’t seem to care. And he has plenty of lackeys who stand to gain enormous wealth by protecting him and backing his obviously destructive policies.

What to do in the face of such anti-populace, contra-sanity, ultimately self-destructive and seemingly irrational behavior? While I’m fully aware that this is not close to being unique on our current world scene, it is the most personally impactful.

The “new age” that Ben Okri describes is not birthed through studiously ignoring what is happening around me and blindly maintaining a business-as-usual routine. Clearly, “business” is increasingly becoming un-usual, and the old age is fast becoming redundant. Well then, what’s next?

I’m not, and never will be a politician or economist, or strategist at those levels. I have no easy answers to the apparently intractable dilemmas that face humanity (me) at this time. And I certainly do not claim any in-depth understanding of all the factors at play. But still, I do feel the challenge of what Okri describes as “this charged conjunction” and count myself as among one of the “chosen ones who have chosen to act…”

The “magic casement of the human spirit” is indeed the only viable connection between what is possible in the natural design and what will actually show up as a positively evolving world. It has been said many times that the planet has enough resources and the right technology to meet all of the challenges of poverty, hunger, inequality, environmental degradation, the decimation of species and all the rest. So, what’s the problem?

Maybe the vision of a freed-up future that holds the promise of peace, abundance and fulfillment lies too far ahead for a humanity that has largely been enrolled in the expectation of and demand for instant gratification. This is where I come in!

I do have a feeling for what is possible. I have the desire and patience to open up to that possibility, knowing there’s still internal work to do that will take time. I accept that there’s some urgency—we don’t have unlimited time. I know there are many others who are taking the same stance in their lives and I already work closely with some of them.

So, I can make a difference right now, right where I am. And so can you! Each moment of conscious, creative, compassionate living, each step taken away from the old, into the new does bring change. We may never see direct evidence of that difference but we will feel it, slowly but surely, as a more shining world unfolds around us and inspires others to join us at the threshold.

-Phil Richardson


PHIL RICHARDSON is an international speaker and teacher who invites people to reconnect with their deeper innate spiritual awareness and to bring that awareness into their everyday lives.





Standing in the Now, Honouring the Past, Welcoming the Future


As my wife, Ruth, and I continue preparing for our relocation from Cape Town to the UK in early March, via an extended stay at Sunrise Ranch in Colorado, and as the time fast approaches for our departure, I realise what an enormous cycle this has been for me.

In the sorting and packing of possessions, deciding what I want to take with me while considering what is redundant stuff that I’ve held on to over the years (you never know when you might need it), the memories flow thick and fast! Old 35mm photographic slides showing something of my life in Kenya in the early 50s; a book that I received as a first prize in an inter-school drama competition in 1964; a black-and-white photo of the Fourways Johannesburg EDL community from the early 80s; and tools that were part of my survival kit when I undertook a solo safari into the Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana in the late 90s.

What an incredible cycle it’s been, chock-full of beauty, challenge, growth and learning—a very different life to the one I might have had if my parents had not answered the call they heard to take a step into the unknown and take a chance in wildest Africa! Certainly, my early life on this continent was a mix of extremes—from exhilarating excitement to abject loneliness and depression. But, in looking back, I feel deeply thankful for it all and know that my soul has been well nourished and exercised.

I know that what makes it all meaningful to me now is the depth of gratitude I feel for the innumerable gifts I have received, including many that were less welcome at the time. In the process of sorting papers I came across this piece that I wrote a few years ago:

It takes courage to embrace the pain and adversity that our life sometimes brings us. We can’t expect to live out our lives without something of that experience—it’s part of the territory of being human. To be whole people who create a whole world, our ability to be thankful in the midst of whatever is happening for us is a crucial ingredient in the creative change that can happen through the way we handle our circumstances. To maintain an attitude of gratitude, no matter what, takes courage. To not slide into a state of victimhood in the face of that which might seem to be unjust or unfair takes strength of character and an understanding that we live in a caring and abundant universe, no matter what human nature factors might be suggesting otherwise. We make a positive difference in our world to the degree that we remember who we are as creator beings and know that every circumstance, just as it is, provides opportunity for transformation—of ourselves and of our worlds.

Today, 7th February, is exactly one month from our upcoming departure date. The intervening years between my original arrival in Africa in 1952 and now seem so fleeting, so brief, and yet so full —like I’ve lived more than just one life in that space of time.

As I stand at a new threshold, I do not take for granted what and who played their part in the life I have lived and, standing shoulder to shoulder with Ruth, I welcome whatever the next cycle will reveal and give deep thanks for everything that brought me to this moment.


-Phil Richardson


PHIL RICHARDSON is an international speaker and teacher who invites people to reconnect with their deeper innate spiritual awareness and to bring that awareness into their everyday lives.





Thoughts for the New Year

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