Baring My Soul (Talking About My Sisters Death)

Posted on September 10th, 2010 by Colin and is posted in Videos

                                                                  Baring My Soul (Talking About My Sisters Death)                                

There is something that connects us all. Something we have all got. Something we find it incredibly hard to talk about. Something we all want to hide. 

Know what it is?

It’s our fears. The things that scare us!

So I’ve decided to put myself out there with this video post and talk about the passing of my beautiful sister Sharon. Was I scared? You bet! I was shitting myself. In fact, I nearly never uploaded it.After you have finished watching (if you watch it to the end!) reciprocate. Tell me something about you that scares you to death. Do you want to breakthrough it? Do you want to change it? Tell me about it. 

A lot of good can come from admitting what scares us. 

Don’t believe me?

Try it…

Lets take our friendship to the next level…

This entry was posted on Friday, September 10th, 2010 at 7:21 am and is filed under Videos. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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    Take a look at some of the responses we have had to this article.

    1. Sep 10th

      I know it doesn’t make anything easier Colin — but your messages about your sister and how you have been feeling will help a lot of people. Thank you for being brave.

    2. Colin
      Sep 10th

      Thanks Barry. This was a scary one but I decided to bite the bullet!

    3. Sep 10th

      Authenticity is the Guru itself – and thankyou for sharing that with us Colin!

      A couple of things come to mind from this…

      Firstly, “we teach what we need to know” – I’ve noticed that this can be a little mis-construed, and would like to offer another take on that. What I have found is that you learn a heck of a lot about what you teach! Teaching something is like allowing the river of it to flow through your Being, and inevitably your edges, your boundaries, your limits get eroded and the flow becomes deeper and wider. Our capacity to share a teach anew increases, and each bend of the river gives us a new perspective. I see this in you Colin, here in this video – a deeper, wiser and even truer teaching on fears and humanity.

      Secondly… you have asked for a deeper share… and I guess the fear that I have seems to be the question “Can I do it all?” – as you put it in your video – “am I up to the job?” – and in some ways “can *I* get out of the way enough, and let some help in!?” In the last 12 months I have stepped into my ‘lifes purpose’ and watched NPA grow and perform miracles great and small – as well as watching ‘the river of it’s teaching’ radically change the landscape of my life. The share really then, is that there seem to be so many jobs in the business end of things, that seem to slip by the wayside – and I notice now, that I have been stacking them up somewhere on some internal shelving rack! And on those shelves somewhere, I know, are some incompleted interactions between you and I.

      So there you have it – thanks again for your authenticity and inspiration



    4. Jennifer Gardner
      Sep 10th


      I lost my mum last Friday at 12.30pm. Your message came to me at a time when I needed to hear some-one else’s pain…that’s my guilt, to know that some else hurts like I do somehow helped me. Mum had cancer for 17 years, she was strong, brave and a huge strength to her family. I was lucky, I had the MacMillian family support to help me, I told my mum how much I loved her, gave her lots of hugs and kisses. We nursed her through her last days and held her close when she’d taken her last breath but then I was alone. Your video has helped me today, I have rung Macmillian and asked to see them as I’m scared of the alone thoughts…..thank you Colin xxx

    5. Richard Goold
      Sep 10th

      “I want that relationship to be authentic” – I have now listened to that piece of video 3 times and every time it brings to front of mind so many examples of how relationships have lost that authenticity. Feeling compelled to wear the mask, not to drop the guard and feel vulnerable about people seeing the 360 degree you is something that I know I am guilty of. I have probably struggled with understanding the relationship between authentic, open, honest, professional, personal etc. to the point that dropping your guild or wearing a mask is far more of a risk than being authentic. If the people around you appreciate you for who you are then the authenticity of the relationship should prevail. This is something that I am certainly going to reflect on.

      We have all heard the saying that you never miss someone until they’re gone. Five years ago I lost my mum quite suddenly through cancer and within the space of 3 weeks she went from being a mobile, energetic 55 year old to being in a palliative care ward where as a family we knew it was only a matter of hours or days before she passed away. It is amazing how much get’s said, how authentic you really are, how far you throw the mask when you are in this position. Some of the deepest, loving, honest and most sincere conversations I had with my mum was during this short period of time and on hindsight there was still plenty more to say.

    6. Gary Proctor
      Sep 10th

      Hey Colin
      I remember sitting in your office in London several months ago when we both talked about the new journeys ahead we were taking. Mine as a result of my Fathers illness and review of my personal values and yours as a new direction with your career.
      Some journey since then and one you didn’t expect for sure!
      I know your experiences over the past months, whilst so sad, will have enriched your life in many ways and that of others close around you. When the sadness eases the positive aspects of what you all have been through will shine bright.
      Already by what you are saying and doing, sharing this with people, will be rewarding in so many ways.
      My own experience over my Father helped me completely change my career, my future and embark on a new path in career coaching, mentoring and working for myself….all that in my mid 50′s, after 30 years of corporate life, with no real serious financial security. Am I happy? you bet I am, a bit worried about how things will evolve, but confident it will all work out.
      Thank you for sharing Colin and thank God for family.

    7. Katherine Murby
      Sep 10th

      Dear Colin

      I have always decribed you to others who have not have the privilege of meeting you as an incredible and inspiring man. Having watched your video this is another example of why I think of you in this way. My 3 sisters and I all sat and held Mum’s hands as she took her last breath and that moment and experience changed my life as this experience has changed yours. Reflecting on your message has made me admit something to myself and I will share this seperately with you so thank you for sharing your experience and thank you for your friendship.

    8. Paul Graham
      Sep 10th

      Hi Colin,
      Thank you for your video.

      I have to admit to myself and to all the strangers here, that I have a large amount of guilt for the way I’ve been living my life. Not that I’ve gone down the wrong path, or gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd, but that I’ve ignored my true gifts and ignored my true potential. I don’t remember who said it, but the quote says “Don’t be afraid of death, be afraid of the unlived life.”

      Although I have a beautiful family, a home, usually a secure job, great family and life long friends, I find myself on the edge of tears for not being the best “me” that I can be. I feel as though I’ve lost my way and am going through the motions as I chase the American dream. But I have to ask, who’s dream is “the American dream”? and why have I chosen to follow it instead of my own?

      We all have unique gifts and talents that can help us live amazing lives, but so often we ignore or doubt those gifts. I am working each day to open those parts of myself so that little by little I can tap in to my full potential and become the best “me” that I can.

      Thank you for your wisdom, guidance and “virtual’ friendship.

      My thoughts are prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

    9. Colin
      Sep 10th

      Well! Its been a few hours since I posted this video and what a great response. As you know I was worried especially as I pushed the “go” button this morning!

      Thank you all for putting down your thoughts and feeling about the video and more importantly, putting yourself out there! I’ve enjoyed reading everyone of the comments and admire your courage for taking up my challenge.

      Here’s to a more authentic way of being


    10. Nuria
      Sep 10th

      Dear Colin,

      You have never been more ‘guru’ than in this video! How could anybody possibly unsubscribe after listening to this!!

      Now, to share:
      I have been on the road to authenticity for some time now. And it has recently all been accelerated by Coral’s illness. Seeing her courageous way of dealing with it makes me see that there is no other way to live life than by living each moment to the fullest and with great love.

      My greatest fear is to not achieve this and end up having regrets. With regards to this, I have my own ‘truthful and honest conversation’ (as you say) pending with my partner, which has been outstanding for many years. I need to come out from behind the mask.



    11. Sep 11th

      Dear Colin: Thank you for your honesty and your courage to make this video. I know how much it hurts, I know you hard it will be for you to view this video of yourself again for probably a long time.

      I have experienced death, as most people have. My father died due to a medical error over 6 years ago. I work in a pharmacy as a part-time tech/cashier and an older gentleman came in and he reminded me so much of my dad that I listened to him talk, in his kind and patient way ~ that was easily just as my dad and I had tears running down my face and had to hide for a few minutes. I have not cried for him since he died.

      Mostly though, Colin, I grieve for myself. I suppose it is selfish to grieve for oneself, but its not just me I grieve for. I grieve for my mother, my 21 year old daughter, and my siblings. I don’t grieve for my dad so much because I know he is in a GOOD place as he was a very kind and patient man. People loved him and miss you.

      However, over four years ago I was bullied out of a career that I had worked at for nearly 19 years. I was a single mom and was able to make a living that I was proud of. My values and work ethics were immpecable, as that was an important value that my dad and mom taught us as we were growing up.

      After being harassed by a new boss for five months, she was able to attack my core being and I finally resigned from my job. I suffered severe depression and PTSD which I continue with to this day. I long for the days when I was independent and successful. I am grateful to have a mom who took me and my daughter in and give us a home were we are safe and loved.

      I had the opportunity to make a video of my own in an effort to move a bill through our legislation to make workplace bullying against the law. The video was a very tough thing for me to do. I still have tears when I view it.

      My live since then has been a series of lows and lowers. That is one of the reasons I subscribed to your site. I needed to find my smile.

      Now I need to share my video to you. We are brave people who need to face our fears because those fears hold us back and prevent us from being who we are. I am still hiding, but today I am going to show you who I am.

      I hope one day to find the peace I need to be myself again. Colin and others on Finding Your Smile… this is me. this is who I am today. I fight the fear everyday

      Thanks for watching.



    12. Colin, I love the authenticity and “realness” of your video posting. I think all of this makes you so very human and we all (and I) can relate so well to the humanness of your experience and loss and challenges. You speak from the heart…what great role modeling for us all. (And a very good reminder to tell the people closest to us what they mean to us…while we are all here.)

      My thoughts are with you and your family.

    13. Lynn
      Sep 11th

      Hi Colin, Thank you for sharing this. I think I know how much you are hurting. It hurts me to hear it. It has made me think about your lovely boys and how they must also have felt sad having lost an Auntie and a Grandma over recent times. What I do know is that through your openness in your grieving they will become stronger in the future at times when they need that strength. My Dad died when I was a child and through circumstances I never grieved. I have to cope with that every day.
      Love to you, Tor and the boys. Lynn

    14. Martin C
      Sep 11th

      Colin I can imagine how hard this was to do so thank you, for offering the inspiration to remind us to be authentic.I have known and worked with you for a long time and yes you do keep things contained always serving others needs before your own. Letting bare your sole for the world to see yes i know this would have been difficult for you but in doing so you are giving people the permission to do the same.
      Having lost 3 members of my family including my mum to cancer I too can can remember the feeling of shit… why did we wait for this to really be honest. I felt myself wanting to rights lots of wrongs between us in the those last days before she passed away. It taught me a valuable lesson in forgiveness. Don’t wait to forgive and forget no matter how bad the situation. As you say Colin you never know. So say it now and say it clear and say it with love.

      Please pass on my love and condolences to all your family my thoughts are with them. And my thoughts are of course with you and Tor for what must be a very tough time for you all.

      Love you man


    15. danny hiles
      Sep 11th

      Such a stong emotional video and its so true how easy it is to neglect people and relationships. Its so easy to stay in contact with people nowdays but there is always that thought of oh i will call them tomorrow or i will see them next weekend and sometimes tomorrow is to late. Stay strong and enjoy the people/relationships you still have. x x

    16. Sep 12th

      Hey Colin,

      Thank you… for even at a time of huge difficulty for you choosing to use your feelings and experiences for the benefit of others.

      I am scared of a lot of things and hate the feeling of being afraid. I remember being a 15 years old boy and playing cricket at decent level in adults teams in Lancashire, England. I was so afraid of screwing up and looking stupid in front of these grown up, mickey taking sports men that I would pray for rain or pretend to be unwell so I did not have to go. I remember vividly being in our small, badly decorated family bathroom, putting talcum powder on my face to look whiter so my parents might believe I was sick (I was never destined to be a spy).

      That massive anxiety response to situations where I might look stupid continued through my working life and still does. I have consciously tried to get better and hopefully made some head way.

      But … When reading an article a few months ago it asked a number of questions like ‘do you actively choose not to watch horror movies?’ I answered yes to all of them. It turns out I have tried so hard to get rid of fear in my life, I created a new fear… a fear of fears ;) … this article politely informed me ‘ If you answered yes to all of the above questions you are fearaphobic :)

      Love to you and the family and hope each day gets a little easier

      Stuart x

    17. pete clark
      Sep 12th

      Buddy, you bet I’m still listening. Listening and watching you lead the way through your own soul provoking us to do the same
      (racoon-like!). It’s the hardest journey and I’m having to confront some of my own re-surfaced fears as we speak. The irony is, as you said, “we just never know” and yet the burden of uncertainty for me gets heavier and heavier.

      Having lost a sister and a father too, there hasn’t been a day go by when I haven’t had yourself, your Mum and Mick in my thoughts. I’m delighted and not at all surprised by the amount of Vitamin C you and the family received ( reminds me of George Bailey from “It’s a wonderful life”). Your post reminded me of the important stuff so I made a mental list of all the people and stuff I should be grateful for…and then the guilt kicked in :( Guilt driven by ” I should know better”. I haven’t reminded them or myself for such a long time. But I can start again now…

      A reason, season or a lifetime…you know the answer:)

      Luv ya buddy


    18. Sep 12th

      thank you Colin… I know I should… but Im not ready to.. not yet… not here… but I know I should… but Im still too scared to… but a few steps closer ot, because of you…. my continued thoughts with you you mum and Mick… xxx

    19. Sarah C
      Sep 12th


      Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this way. I think you should be very proud of yourself for having done it, It takes real courage to allow yourself to be vulnerable.

      A couple of years I went through an unexpected divorce and at the same time was also asked to support my father-in-law through his preparations for death. He felt could ask me to do things, and talk with him about things that he didn’t feel able to with his immediate family. While it was very difficult at the time, it now feels like a privilege to have shared that time with him and his wife as well as ‘the good times’. I hope you come to feel the same way about your last times with your sister.

      The other thing I want to share ( and thanks to your video I now have a note -to-self that I haven’t told my friends and family this enough) – I received so much support from people – friends and acquaintances – when I was honest about where I was at and how I was feeling at different times – that I actually now look back on that time, when I was feeling very hurt and rejected by my ex-husband – and what I now have to remember is how loved and cared for I felt by the other people around me.

      I do believe that being as open as you can about who you are and what you are about, and seeking to find out the same about others around you, gives the most meaningful relationships – in all areas of life. I found it interesting that you weren’t sure if this fitted with Finding Your Smile. To me achieving ‘FYS’ is about integrating our life experiences in such a way that we are accepting of ourselves, and moving on as best we can to do the best we can in.

      Best wishes to you all now in this period of adjustment and reflection.

    20. Matt
      Sep 13th

      Thank you Colin, your testimonials since Sharon (and your father´s) passing continue to offer clarity to us all. As a community, we are at your side.

      At 14 when my oldest brother (of 8 siblings) died in an accident, a powerful memory was my mother´s grieving and her immediate guilt for not telling Danny she loved him. She held me that afternoon and in her anguish, repeated this to me and my brothers and sisters a number of times, I was very confused by it all. My father, for years after, buried the pain and guilt and it was a long time before he resurfaced again to face our loss. The experience was an emotional hell for us teenagers and we felt at times abandoned.

      Nearly 30 years later, my parents, through tremendous courage, faith and a healthy appetite for living in the NOW, found prosperity from this experience and taught us directly and indirectly to be authentic and truthful to ourselves. Danny´s passing, like all family deaths, is heart wrenching although a gift, in the sense that deep, soulful pain removes the mask we hide behind and offers a glimpse of our authentic selves. The real craft of course is nurturing our true selves – recognizing the power, freedom and limitlessness it bears and utilizing this gift as our permanent base – from which all our thoughts and actions stem from.

      Thank you again for your honesty and ability to GIVE at such an emotional time my friend. Your work is massively important in this world and you are not alone!

    21. Graham
      Sep 13th

      Hi Colin. I was sorry to hear your news. I’ve been feeling a little flat as I had no words to share with you. I have just come in from a run and I am still dripping onto the keyboard. But some thoughts came to me and I wanted to share them with you.
      I am surrounded by three seperate of death right now. First your own brave video and tribute to your sister, then over the weekend a member of our staff lost her 50 year old father and then my own fathers partner who outlived him by some 3 years – even though she was being eaten away by a facial cancer finally passed away on Sunday.
      All seperate events that literally have torn their loved ones lives apart, and yet I see commonly running through them all individual expressions of genuine love and affection that pour out from people. Tokens of love that seem almost to come from no-where. Those whose lives have been torn so deeply may not be aware (and may never be able to accept) but Its almost as if the world is somehow and even unfairly a better place for the spontienious expressions of pure love and feeling inspite of or even because of the passing of the loved one.
      My thoughts are with your and yours Colin. I pray you find your smile again soon. Graham x

    22. Ana-Maria Hutchinson
      Sep 14th

      Dear Colin,

      I’ve found your video really touching and poignant, and your need for connection at this sad time so endearing and human. I would so like to give you a hug!

      I guess my two greatest fears I can share with you and the Maverick community, which have held me back for years now, are 1) the fear of lack, which has held me back, as in the Jumping Mouse story, from ‘making the jump’ and reaching for the Sacred Mountains, in spite of all the ‘medicine’ I’ve received, not the least the FYS retreat at the end of 2007; and 2) the fear of never finding romance again and of finishing my days alone. And there are guilt and anger attached to both fears for not fulfilling my potential as a human being. Life is so short and precious – it’s such a crime to waste it!

      I have endless admiration for your Colin – for your authenticity, your genuineness, your integrity, your courage and the way you carry yourself. Hang on in there – you shall be healed and the sorrow, like in alchemy, will be transmuted into the light-giving gold of Love (with a capital L), deeper understanding and (even) greater compassion for the world.

      Ana xx

    23. Andrea
      Sep 15th

      Colin, thank you for being authentic, always being happy smiling is a difficult and ultimately painful experience, as hiding behind the mask cuts you off. I have done this as well for many years, and now start to show more about what really goes on. This has started to help things move more freely. Being really truthful to ourselves and then to the outside, is the way to live fully.
      Keep doing what you do in your way – your journey is inspiring to everyone who reads.
      andrea xx

    24. Sep 19th


      Being an authentic guru is important as this enables people to see your human side. I have far more credibility when you are able to show your own feelings good or bad, as people will think “at least this guy knows what it’s like”

      My father died 20 years ago and at the time I thought I dealt with it OK, I supported mt mother and brother and the wider family. I took on responsibility for sorting the estate and then got on with my life. 9 years later while supporting a colleague whose father was terminally ill, the emotion of his death surfaced again. The guy I was helping explained how he had told his date how much he loved him and I realised that my dad and I had never said that to each other, even when I knew he was dying. For a few months I was thinking of him, dreaming of him and wondering if I could have done more to prolong his life with the doctors. Should I have taken my mum to see him after he died I wondered. The sense of guilt was strong but I did not really know why as logically I knew I had done what seemed right at the time. Fortunately, I had a friend who helped my deal with the feelings and move on again. Your video took me back to thinking of my dad and has reminded me that it is OK to show my emotion and that people really love us more for it.

      Thanks and take care


    25. Sep 22nd

      Hi Colin, your written post brought tears to my eyes. Thanks and I hope to see you again soon. A big hug from New Zealand. Louise x

    26. Paul
      Oct 7th

      Hi Colin,
      It’s October and I am revisiting you on the beach; a familiar place with the unfamiliar presence of the passing of a cherished loved one. My heart goes out to you and you know.
      As I look back I am so touched by your authenticity, touched by your courage to be the real you in a place and time that feel so unreal and touched by the spirit of your authentic self which use is so present.
      Continue to Bless and be blessed; it is your life’s purpose
      love Paul

    27. Andy Wolfe
      Oct 9th

      My dear friend that must have been very tough to do so THANK YOU it is an inspiration and as ever with you the feelings make me feel very real.

      I miss sitting next to you and laughing uncontrollably as we did on a few occassions so lets do that next time we are togther and lets make that soon buddy!!

      As you know I helped my mum and my brothers nurse my dear dad into his next life 3 years ago. As a result of that many things changed. The one that endures most is just how close we are as a family and as brothers we spend more time together than we ever did and we help each other in our lives all the tiime.

      Since leaving the firm, which I have to admit was hard to re-condition, I have found a new me, more like the old me and that works well. Being in a place of happiness is so important for making good decisions and I am now doing that. I have also decided that whatever I am now and for forever it will be to make the biggest contributon I can make, with others .. and that is working out!!

      I will share more when we get together.

      I ahev also learned to turn my facebook on and look out for your messages.. I just havent been using this great communicator properly.. I will now.

      So Colin I love you dearly and feel very close to you right now so pls do call and lets hook up soonest.

      Our love to Tor and the family and thank for being the great you.

      Andy xx

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