Alex Carberry's Inspirational Story
by Alex Carberry
Alex from AlexCarberry.com has just finished writing his Know Yourself book, and in this inspirational story he shares what led him to write it in the first place - the sad breakup of a community dear to him, despite his efforts to keep it together. Alex's long education in Sufism helped him through these difficulties, and helped him write his book. And he now uses his spiritual understandings to help show him the bigger picture about life, most of the time anyway...
1) Tell us a bit about yourself
I became very interested in communities, what holds them together and what breaks them apart. Once I had covered the broader political matters, I began to examine the human difficulties that people faced. This led me to the problems of people understanding themselves and others. I came face to face with the relentless drive to be and make others what we are not. It seemed to me that the failure to accept others for what they are or oneself for what one is, lay at the root of the problems that people had when living with each other.
I struggled and failed, to prevent a community of people from breaking apart. Those that managed to stay together did so with a set of dysfunctional relationships that were fundamentally unhealthy. Being part of and observing this process was very difficult for me and I began to draw upon the sufic wisdom inheritance I had received for solutions.
Whilst I was moving house in the bitter depths of the winter of 2010, this book began to coalesce. It was a bit like blood clotting or rather like cheese curdling but at the end of this process I began to set out what would eventually become this book, 'Know Yourself'.
'Know Yourself: Discover Your True Nature with the Ancient Sufic Wisdom', represents a milestone in my life. It represents the end of my struggle, to accept myself as a writer. I had rebelled against this for most of my adult life and this book is my laying down the gauntlet and accepting that this is one of the things that deeply defines my role in the world.
What would I like to achieve over the next 5 years? I want to empower people to be themselves and find their way through the necessary difficulty, which is the very process of living. I want to provide real tools with which to do this. To do this I am working on self help tools, that includes workshops, seminars, books and videos. I want us to understand why things are as they are and what and how we can change those things that can be changed, whilst accepting those things that are part of the fabric of existence and so cannot be changed. I want to spread empathy, self development and acceptance of the presence of Divinity wherever we turn.
There is always hope, for Mercy dominates the creation, we need to embrace this in our vision and ourselves; especially in our darkest moments.
2) Tell us about the joy that is in your life right now - what is happiness to you?
What is happiness to me? It is something that occurs from the heart which is the core of our being. The states of the heart change so much. It is much like weather conditions and the truth is, that one has very little control over the weather. I have found that:
- Acceptance of the way that things are;
- Acceptance of my role in the difficulties I face. For I can do something about what I do and am not in control of what others do;
- Struggling with myself to embrace expecting a good outcome to events;
- The struggle to finish what one starts so that we can see the Mercy manifested in the outcome;
- And surrendering to the reality of my absolute powerlessness.
...I have found that these things lead to joy. But it's like the weather and it will change and when the storm comes, I know that it will end, even if it is the final storm of my story here on earth, it will all end. These foundational things lead to a surrender and inner tranquility. With them we do not need to become obsessed or fixated with only one weather condition but allow the weather to pass and take the lessons of the experience. We are being given everything that we need
, if we would only accept the gifts that are constantly flowing to us. Difficulty and Ease are both gifts and therefore joy and anger are also both gifts. The great test is to know how to behave with them and this is the arena of study. The great study that is the meaning of our existence in this zone called The World. It is the study of what it IS and what it MEANS to be a human being; it is the study of our lives or living itself.
As I answer these questions I am unwell, because of my own tendency to overwork and I must come to terms with the stories that I tell about the nature of my existence that have led to this. For this event is telling me that I am telling myself stories that conflict with the way things truly are and I must bring myself in harmony with the Divine laws that are what is unchangeable in existence. By embracing and surrendering to my own responsibility the gift that flows is tranquility.3) Tell us about your blog/websitewww.alexcarberry.com
allows me to explore my interests, and share them with others. I intend to add webinars and video podcasts to it over the next year. I created it to do just that and so I'm happy that I'm able to do it. I'd just like it to get better and better. My real pleasure is when people ask questions.
Thank you for sharing your story so far, Alex (and your wisdom which I especially enjoyed listening to), and I look forward to using the self help tools that you develop over the next 5 years.
In the meantime, these are the personal growth tools
I am relying on, and recommending to others (mostly focussed on making inner changes, via simple-to-take actions)