I am driving down the M1 and the afternoon sun is blasting out its wonder and, to totally appreciate its glorious light, I fumble around to find my Ray-Bans.
Glasses on, cruising down the motorway, I am a picture of ‘isn’t life great!’ To totally submerge myself into the moment, I turn up the radio to full volume and, as if by magic, one of my favourite artists, Bruce Springsteen, starts to sing. It is trademark Springsteen. Upbeat and hard to sit still to.
This particular tune, however, also has a lyric which I am not expecting. It starts to stir a feeling inside my stomach which, for a year now, I have been fighting to keep at bay.
My tears are a testimony to which emotion has won the fight to be heard. Logic, control and reason have no place here. The words that have found a way through are, ‘I am waitin’ on a sunny day.’ Although it is sunny outside, everything inside, as the song goes on to say, is ‘raining but there isn’t a cloud in the sky’. My soul knows my truth and will not allow me an escape route. I have to endure this pain, this loneliness, this despair. Today is not an off-day; it is another day when nothing will let the pain go away.
‘When you’re serious about change’ were the words that jumped out at me when I was searching the internet for personal development courses. It was as though these words were a challenge to me, also cautioning me but somehow enticing. I understand the power of the word ‘change’, for everything that I am today is because I have embraced its true meaning.
I am the classic ‘poor boy done well’. I dragged myself out of society’s dustbin heap to achieve great success. I have all the trappings of a man who has succeeded. Confident, strong, in control of my destiny, constantly applauded as a remarkable man. But in the dead of night or simply driving down the motorway, ‘Bruce Springsteen’ and I knew that something was not right.
I had beaten the odds against Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and was able to celebrate reaching the all-clear target of three years without a relapse since my stem cell transplant, and I was fast approaching my 60th birthday, a date I wasn’t supposed to see. I am a very lucky man with everything to live for, so why was it that Bruce and his kind made me feel blue.
‘Why are you here and what do you want to achieve?’ was the question posed by the Hoffman Process. For me, the question I needed answering is, ‘How can I live my life differently than I have done in the previous sixty years?’ For, however it may appear on the outside, the truth is that everything I have achieved was driven by fear, unhappiness and loneliness. I was burdened by responsibility and people seeing me as the problem in their life.
We all have our own stories about the impact that the Hoffman Process has had on our lives. For me, it has been transformational.
I discovered many things that made sense and gave me clarity and I rediscovered parts of who I am that had lain dormant. Key moments for me were when I met my little boy and my Dad’s little boy. It was so good to meet them after such a long time. That taught me the power of forgiveness and compassion.
I have already benefited greatly in business by using my emotional self and keeping logic and reason from places they don’t belong. I have gone back to my love of music. My greatest learning is the power of vulnerability. I tried to spend my life hiding my vulnerability, but Hoffman taught me that you can’t get creativity and innovation without it. My creativity has gone up a gear and I have already won a big piece of business by coming up with a concept that I would never have thought of before. Watch this space.
People around me have seen great change but it is not all easy going. I have to get better at biting my lip when other people’s old patterns get in my way.
‘You’re only responsible for tidying up your side of the street’ keeps ringing in my ear. Sometimes ‘the dark side’ has a field day but now I know I have a choice and that helps to centre me.
Now when Bruce sings, ‘I am waitin’ on a sunny day,’ I no longer have that sickly feeling in the pit of my stomach. My gyrating body is celebrating the best 60th birthday anyone could ever have.
You can read more of Wilfred’s remarkable story on his website: www.theblackfarmer.com
Wilfred is featured in the 2018 issue of Hoffman magazine. To order a FREE copy for yourself, friends or family, click here.