Spiritual teacher Neale Donald Walsh to visit Australia
WHEN Neale Donald Walsh was approaching his 50th birthday, he felt his life had no purpose.
He had reached a dead-end, his relationship was not working, his financial situation was dire and he felt everything in his life was "devastatingly failing".
In the middle of a long and painful night he called out to God, asked why his life was in such disarray.
"I asked what I had done to deserve a life of such struggle," he said.
"I then wrote an angry letter to God asking what it would take to make my life work.
"I began receiving answers, in the form of thoughts I had never had before.
"I began writing those thoughts down, they brought me other questions, other thoughts, and before I knew it, I had engaged in conversation with God."
Walsh kept a record of his notes as they grew, and eventually sent the notes off to a publisher never dreaming he would hear back.
But he did.
The notes became a book, entitled Conversations with God, and when published, it instantly hit the New York Times best-seller list and went on to sell multi-million copies around the world, translated into 37 languages.
That was 20 years ago, now Walsh is considered one of the world's top 100 spiritual teachers, up there with the Dalai Lama and Oprah, helping people to have their own conversations with God and find spiritual well-being.
The 74 year old US-based author and non-religious spiritual messenger will share his learnings with Australian audiences through a three-city east coast tour of Australia, appearing in Brisbane on March 1.
While his philosophies and teachings touch a chord with people from all walks of life, he is especially pleased to talk to seniors, being a good age himself.
He spoke to Seniors Newspapers from his home in the US in the lead-up to his departure for Australia.
"My life began at 50," he said.
"I now realise that the younger years of our lives have been earned, now we have what is coming to us.
"These are the best years of our lives.
"In most cases we have more freedom to pay attention to the true agenda.
"It's not about a better house, a better spouse.
"All those things have been done.
"We now find we have true time and freedom to focus on what is really important in life, the agenda of our souls.
"The soul is entirely different to the body or mind.
"From (age) 50 onward we can focus, announce and declare and fulfil the grander version of the idea of who we are.
"We can demonstrate our true nature, our true identity at the highest level."
All of us would like to have our own spiritual teacher, someone close-by who could advise and lead us, lift our spirits throughout each day, especially when the going is tough.
Walsh says it is all about the daily choices and decisions we make that can lead us through our days in a contented frame of mind.
"It is about finding ways to experience everything more grandly," he said.
"Look closely at your life as it is being lived now, see if you can create daily experiences to enhance your day, and respond to them (experiences) in such a way that they bring expression to your highest levels.
"The greatest satisfaction I have is when I express and feel who I really am, not what I imagine myself to be."
Walsh believes that although we live in difficult and worrying times, the best years are ahead of us.
"My latest book (Conversations with God Book 4), talks about the great changes going on all over the world; political, social and economic.
"It is a perfect time for our advancement, to look at the changes as either a threat to humanity and be scared and live in fear, or look at them as perfect motivation for which humanity can create itself anew."
This will be Walsh's fourth visit to Brisbane, a city he loves.
"I adore Brisbane," he said.
"I was there on Australia Day on my last visit.
"All the bridges were lit up, there were fireworks going off on the riverfront.
"It was a magnificent display from one bridge to the next.
"I was very fortunate to be there."
Neale Donald Walsh will appear at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on March 1 at 7pm.
For event details and tickets, go to www.bcec.com.au/whats-on or call 3308 3000.