education, ethics, Health and lifestyle, inspirational, motivational, spiritual Journey

Growing Spiritually with Mr. Philip G. Rochford.

This is an overdue post. I attended the launch of the eleventh book, Think, Be Still & Grow Spiritually, Your Spiritual Manifesto, by one Mr. Philip G. Rochford on Saturday 2nd May 2015 and  have been wanting to write about the event since that day.

However, because of physical exhaustion, not related to the event, I have been unable to focus enough to do this post.

Anyway, it is not too late. A good thing is a good thing irrespective of time… and it was a great thing.

Before relating about the event, I am compelled to share one of the reviews of Think, Be Still & Grow Spiritually. I read this as I awaited the start of the launch and,had I worn socks they would have been blown off by this review.

The review was written by The Elder, Chief If`a Oj`e Won Yomi Abiodun…LeRoy Clarke, Author of “Parables of Our Joyless Days.” Here it is.

“An Offering of Balm

The proposition that the effrontery prevailing upon our space at present, will successfully further wither our spiritual into dread submission at being witnesses to our own funeral has no chance, up against our just, indefatigable poetic will!

Under all this insurrectionist weight, a prefatory soul exults, setting perdition’s obdurate Seals asunder; before it, their prevaricators will retreat to their solicitude of acrid, underarm odors and that commotion suited insomniacs. It will be this progeny of a fiercer zeal, Philip Rochford, by avoiding the spit of the peddle among aphorisms of pavement glitter, to emerge armed with an aurora of minted texts… and, with salved disposition, and the sonorous timbre of his arborescent faith, transfix centurion pillories; putting those barren bearings of misalliance to rest in their deep, dark slough of misanthrope…

That he has persisted with successive testimonials, he has published seven titles; demonstrates a will that will not wane under that impounding death that will not die… He is certain to urge us, guaranteed: To Think, Be Still & Grow Spiritually! (Is the Key)-Indeed, a dream stirs, reminding us further; to fain Gravity is to be ennobled by Grace.”

 How does one transition from such eloquence?

Simply. Let me tell you about the gentleman, eloquence personified .

My connection with Mr. Rochford.

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Mr. Philip Guy Rochford is near and dear to me for several reasons. He is a prominent citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, one whom I admire for his outstanding achievements for over forty years.

He is the man who willingly agreed to write the foreword for my own book, From Lion to Lamb: A Spiritual Journey, without ever meeting me, without knowing me personally. This exemplifies one of the traits about the man that was spoken about on Saturday: he is an “encourager”.

He did more than write the foreword; he guided me through the self-publishing process, cheering me along the way.

He did not forget me after that project. Mr. Rochford continues to be accessible and willing to assist and encourage whenever called upon.

The Professional Mr. Rochford.

But who really is Philip G. Rochford? He started out in the public sector in Trinidad back in the mid-sixties.  He served as an advisor to the then Prime Minister, Dr. Eric Williams, for a ten year period.

He worked in the banking sector and was the first local Chief Executive Officer at the National Commercial Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr. Rochford received a national award for his contribution in the arena of economics in 1975.He has since become a certified life coach apart from being a published author many times over.

He is a husband, father and grandfather.

You may read more about the professional, Mr. Philip G. Rochford  here.

So on to the Formal Launch of his newest book, Think, Be Still and Grow Spiritually, Your Spiritual Manifesto.

The Event.

The professionalism of the man was reflected in the programme that Saturday evening. The venue was Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre at St. Ann’s in North Trinidad:  a lovely room in pristine settings.

A table for registration greeted guests as they arrived. There was a beautifully laid out book displays. I was impressed by the titles, their content and the connections apparent from those titles.

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Above: Mrs Edlin Rochford adjusts the display before the event.

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The programme would have started on time because everything was in place for just that purpose. However, in typical “Trini” style, guest arrival was tardy. The event began about ten minutes later than the proposed time as a result.

The stage was set with a head table for the guest speakers, Chairperson and Mr. Rochford. The table was appropriately adorned with a banner.

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The launch unfolded with an invitation by the chairperson, Mrs. Edlin Rochford for all to stand for the National Anthem and to join in prayer.

The speakers were then invited to the podium as we were treated to insights of the author that could only come from those who were close enough to him, who had known him long enough.

Then we heard from the author before some comments from the audience and the vote of thanks.

Mr. Eden Shand: “Connections and Conversations with the Author.”

(as indicated on the programme for the launch)

One of his best friends, Mr. Eden Shand was the first speaker. He alluded to one of the author’s previous book titles as being a statement of the author: Glimpses of Greatness.

His message was well delivered, in deep tones, resounding with the underlying closeness that he obviously shares with the author.

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Above: Mr. Shand addresses the audience. Seated from left at the head table:

Mrs. Edlin Rochford, Mrs. Andrea Rochford- Douglas and Mr. Nazeer Sultan.

Mr. Shand, I must add, is also a prominent son of our soil. He was involved in politics for a short time under our NAR government but he is most well known as an environmentalist. He is a consultant , has his own company and is also an author.

He spoke of the beginnings of the spiritual journey of the author in his youthful years. Mr. Rochford was part of a spiritual circle of men. He was considered by those in the circle as the “Great Comforter”.

He told that such was the spirituality of Mr. Rochford that he presided over the local wedding of his (Mr. Shand’s) daughter at her request.

Mr. Rochford ,we were told, was an adivisor, a mentor and encourager and:

“No man is a failure who has been befriended by Philip G. Rochford.”

 

Mrs. Andrea Rochford-Douglas: “The impact of my father’s spirituality on my life.”              

(as indicated on the programme for the launch)

It is so heartwarming to hear a daughter speak of her father in such glowing terms, especially in his presence. I spoke about my father…at his funeral. This was truly a moving moment.

Ms Rochford – Douglas’s eyes were glistening, as she reflected on some intensely personal memories of her father and the impact of his spirituality on all his children’s lives.

As a young child, she was once confused as to why there were holy books from different religious backgrounds in their house. Her father’s response: “religion is the pathway to serve God.” In his estimation, it did not matter what a person’s religion was, the ultimate purpose was the same.

We heard that Mr. Rochford prayed and meditated two times per day, morning and evening, in the same place, on a daily basis.

He modelled spirituality to his children and molded their own spirituality by such example.

Mr. Nazeer Sultan: “ My reflections on the book, ‘Think, Be Still & Grow Spirtiually’.”

(as indicated on the programme for the launch)

Entertaining, intellectual and revealing: these are the words which come to mind when I reflected on this speech.

This protégé of Mr. Rochford led us through the development of their relationship which in itself was a spiritual journey of sorts. The principles outlined in the book are indeed those practiced by the author.

PG, as he was fondly referred to by this speaker, had a personal theory of change. He was a spiritual man even in his days in the corporate world.

He was described as having change in his DNA and was one who was not satisfied with change in and of itself but required that the change took place in the mindset of the leaders he encountered.

The leadership principles of today such as leading by example, listening, encouraging, flexibility and self-growth, were practiced by Mr. Rochford in the seventies.

One of his sayings was, “ you cannot enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thinking.” Now isn’t that profound?

Mr. Philip Guy Rochford: “The Story behind the Book.”

(as indicated on the programme for the launch)

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We learnt that the story and the passion for writing the story was borne out of a visit in September 2014 by the author to the United States. He went to a coaching programme where he “became alive”.

This book is different from his first ten books in two ways, we were told:

It reflected spiritual aspects of his life’s work which were not shared previously.

It was intense – completed in two weeks.

Thoughts were recorded as they came, sometimes at 3 a.m., so that they would not become lost or forgotten.

Some Critical points about the book, Think, Be Still & Grow Spiritually.

Mr Rochford proposes that, like fingerprints, no two people share the same spiritual perspective. He defined spirituality in several ways, one of which was that it is the exercise of core values in daily activities on a daily basis.

He postulated that all religions share the following:

  • belief in a God
  • advocate being your brother’s respecter
  • exert control by fear of some punishment.
  • Have some minimum values to be followed.

The book is based on seven of these values. They are encrypted in the acronym: FOLDING. (You will have to get your copy of the book to find out what this means).

We are reminded by the author that what we achieve in life is due to the attention we place on our intentions.

The book explores the values of FOLDING in consecutive chapters. Each chapter is followed by a spiritual exercise with the intention of assisting the reader in developing the thought processes to grow spiritually.

He urges that the reader strive to develop a spiritual manifesto as the book is read.

My thoughts.

Several things stood out for me.

  • ONWARD, UPWARD, INWARD:

These words resonated in my consciousness because they so aptly represent my own spiritual journey. This is what Mr. Rochford  recommends that we do in order to soar as an eagle: strive to move onward, upward and inward.

  • Mental fasting:

I practice physical fasting and I do practice this mental fasting but I never put a name to it. I liked the term and I love the concept. He advocated to start off refraining from criticizing, condemning or complaining for at least one hour every day ( but would really prefer if it could be done for 24 hours).

  • The quality of the reviews and the reviewers for this book underscore the depth and breadth of knowledge and understanding to be gleaned from reading, Think, Be Still & Grow Spiritually.
  • Finally there is one aspect of the evening I felt should have been better: the attendance.

For those who were there, the benefits were multiple. We were treated to an intellectual event, replete with examples of fellowship, leadership and family values.

Some lucky guests received free copies of the new book as well as copies of some of his other books. There was all the celebration worthy of such an occasion.

There was the right balance of story-telling, humour and emotion. Speakers even touched on the topic of sexuality – I am not divulging that one; that is an attendee’s privilege.

We shared in delightful refreshments afterward and there was time for socializing and book signing.

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Above: Mr Eden Shand and me!

The book, “Think, Be Still & Grow Spiritually” is available online at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and also at Balboa Press.com.

I leave you with these words:

“Think, Be Still & Grow Spiritually.”

Do you know Mr. Rochford? Have you ever read any of his books? Please share your thoughts about the author or his books.

 

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