First I Dreamt the Journey – Part 17 -That Space

Little by little, as practice made me more accustomed to visiting the cave, to finding the stepping stones and to conversing with the beautiful fairy, I became more able to find, and to operate out of, a particular space.

A space where I am just in the moment, a space where time stands still, a space where the past and the future have vanished and there is only the now. A space where I am in touch with the core of my being, where I respond without troubling my conscious mind. A space where I have complete trust that whatever I say or do is okay.

When I am operating out of that space the voices of my inner critics are silent because they do not exist in that space. There is no concept of success or failure there because whatever is in the now is whatever is and therefore cannot be right or wrong.

In particular the voice which would have me not try is silent. That voice would persuade me not to try for fear that I would fail or be rejected. The logic of that voice is impeccable yet flawed. It is not failure I am afraid of; rather it is success.

I have failed many times before and therefore it is not to be feared. However success will often result in a step into the unknown which is, in itself, frightening. Success too raises expectation levels – I have succeeded once, I can succeed again.

These doubting voices do not exist in the now. But I must be wary of their desire to re-visit those occasions when I have been there and cast their critical eye over them. They seek to delude and undermine. They use phrases like “not perfect” and “could have done better” which I do well not to listen to. The reality is that, if I have operated out of the now, I will have performed to the best of my ability at that point in time and I must learn to trust that is so.

Oh, I can study and I can learn and I can fine-tune. And, for sure, the more I learn about the core of who is me the more likely it is that coming from the now will result in behaviour in line with who I am.

We must study, in particular, how we can reach that space. We will have been there many times. Sometimes we will have arrived there without appearing to try and only realise we have been there after we have come back. Sometimes we will have got there apparently by accident, catching ourselves by surprise.

We must be prepared to reflect on these occasions, to teach ourselves how we can do that. The effort will be worthwhile because operating out of that space will always leave us feeling at peace with ourselves.

Audio version at


11 Responses to “First I Dreamt the Journey – Part 17 -That Space”

  1. You are doing a great job with your poems and this journey, and I hope you will find in the end of the journey that you are good the way you are. Maybe it is that simple πŸ™‚ Don’t worry about living up to expectations, esp. your own. You will πŸ™‚

  2. christine Says:

    Oh David, this is so good to read on my return from Ireland (I missed you very much)

    I remember years ago you saying that we tread on dangerous ground when we think we have “cracked it” and I think I have kind of thought that is what I have done with living in the now recently. I let my guard down. Working on living in the now takes constant practise and attention. I have recently been doing so very well, when suddenly last week the doubting voices were at it again telling me I am inadequate and not as good a person as I used to be. I am aware that these are unthruths, particularly after reading this section of the book today.

    I can only reiterate this book is a true companion for the road as I hope you and I can be also.

    Lots of love and big hugs



    • belfastdavid Says:

      I think the difference Christine is that when the doubting voices were telling you those things you knew them to be untruths. In the past you might have believed them!!!

      But yes, we do need to be on our guard and we do need to put in the work. The joy is that if we do those things we do get the rewards!! πŸ™‚

      The book is handbag sized so that you can carry it with you where ever you are on the road.
      And we do walk the road together.

      Lots of love to you too

  3. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    Just a little comment, I’m no expert at this πŸ™‚
    but I can see the value in trying. I took several good ideas from Zen when I was a teen, and living in the now was one of those. It actually helps enjoying just being here – now.

    In any case, I think it’s very commendable that you have written all those steps to help others on the way. I think you are doing great!

    from cold Adelaide,
    Vera & Karley (who is totally unconcerned, wearing her beautiful fur coat πŸ™‚

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Ah Vera,
      I pass on only that which I was taught and which I have found useful because I was told that I can only keep it by giving it away. πŸ™‚

      And I am smiling at the thought of a true expert in living in the now being “totally unconcerned wearing her beautiful fur coat” πŸ™‚

      May you both have a warm and peaceful week


  4. Hi David,

    I very much relate to this chapter! Living in the now is something I have found to be of great benefit. Not that it is always easy, but when you find those spaces, ahhh it’s good! πŸ™‚

    As you know with my drawing and painting, the doubting voices can hit fever pitch if I’m not careful. In teaching myself I’ve had to cultivate that place where I am just doing what I’m doing.

    When I look back I have found most of my progress in life has been in those spaces, where you just do. You no longer question or second guess yourself you just take action.

    The last part of of my name Karma means action. Something which I try to live up to. πŸ™‚

    Thankyou again so much for continuing to post the serialisation of the book. It has been so good to re-visit it in this format. I’m always left feeling better for it and it reminds me how proud of you I am that you have been able to reach these points and continue on with such success. You have become a great inspiration for me as well as motivation! πŸ™‚

    I hope you have a most lovely week. Don’t forget those deep breaths! πŸ™‚


    • belfastdavid Says:

      Hi Tikarma,

      I don’t suppose those doubting voices will ever totally go away. But at least if we have put down the big stick we used to beat ourselves with we are making progress!! πŸ™‚

      I found working as a psychiatric nurse helped me greatly in understanding “that space”. If I was going to really help someone then I had to be prepared to go into their space and get out of mine. If we could both get into a space in between us in the now then real, significant progress could be made.

      I do find that I can often best get into that space whilst walking. Particularly if I am walking in Whitby. πŸ™‚

      Or, of course, in the early morning πŸ™‚

      Breathing deeply now πŸ™‚

      You have a really good week – don’t forget the TLC


  5. David,

    “That space” is where I am trying to put myself lately. So much metaphysical STUFF gets in the way! I go for walks in the woods, away on trips, dive into a good book, tell myself to look around at my real world and find the things that can ground me–but it takes me farther away from the destination rather than nearer. I realize now that the place I need to reach is inside, not outside of, me. And, ME is something far more complex than body and brain.

    These blogs, along with various comments and your reply to those comments, have helped. Thank you for posting them. I am going to look at the video later–saving it for a more relaxing (hopefully) period this evening.

    Having already read your book twice, I thought I had learned as much as I could from the pages. But, I find myself looking into the words from a different place in my life now, and they carry new meaning. I suspect that is true for the author too. πŸ™‚

    Take care, and much love,

    • belfastdavid Says:


      I have a wry smile as I recognise what you are saying. For a long time I too looked in the wrong places (outside of me) for the answers!! In fact for a long time I thought I had found the answers inside a bottle of whiskey but there are no answers there.

      I suspect you might find some of your answers in your poetry and in your painting – both places where you can be in the now whilst you are creating. I do know that my poetry has often given me answers, or at least clues, to who I am.

      And you are quite right – this whole exercise of posting the book and reading the comments is providing me with new meaning too – I am really glad I took it on!! πŸ™‚

      You take good care of yourself too
      Much Love

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