SANCTUARY RESORTS ... a journey

Saturday, January 28, 2012

When Andrew met Harry and Judi

When I was still working for Marco Polo Hotels in Hong Kong, often I would go from my office to one of the hotels in the Ocean Centre complex for lunch. On the way back I would always go through the Ocean Centre Shopping Arcade which joined the properties, and from there the route was to turn left into the Hong Kong Hotel where my office was located.

On this particular day however, as I approached the entrance to the Hong Kong Hotel, I felt that instead of turning left and going straight into the hotel, I should be turning right and going into the Ocean Terminal area, which was on the harbor front, where the cruise ships docked. There was no real reason to do this as it added an extra five minutes to the walk, it also meant that I would have to go one floor down by escalator and then one floor back up by stairs to reach the elevators to my office. However, somehow I felt it was the right thing to do.

As I was riding down the escalator near the harbor front where the cruise ships came in, I saw, standing at the bottom was Harry and Judi Mullikin, my previous boss when he was President of Westin Hotels & Resorts, and his wife. They looked up, saw me and exclaimed, “We just got off a cruise ship and were looking for a telephone to see if we could find you and tell you we were here, as we weren’t sure where in Hong Kong you were.”

I said, “I guess I got the message!

It must have been the Universal Extranet working!

Read more about the Universal Extranet in my upcoming book...

It’s all about Intention…


I remember it was a Wednesday morning, sometime ago, and I needed to speak to three people about some of my charity work that I was doing for the KELY Support Group. It was very important to me to get these matters finalized in a timely manner, however I got busy with my “day job” and wasn’t able to do anything about contacting these people.

Later in the day busily rushing to a luncheon appointment I jumped onto the MTR (mass transit) to find, standing next to me, one of the people I wanted to talk too. We exchanged the information required and I proceeded to my luncheon.

After being heavily involved in discussion during my business luncheon, I got up to leave the restaurant, and as I turned to leave the table, I saw, sitting a couple of tables away, the second person I needed to speak to about KELY. We exchanged the information required and I went back to my office feeling pretty pleased that I had, with no outward effort on my part, at least managed to see two of the people that I needed to see that day.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty normal and as I made my way home I thought it had been a good day’s work and fortuitous that I had made two out of the three contacts I had in mind.

Then something interesting happened.

I was in Pacific Place, a shopping mall in Hong Kong, and as I was about to get on an escalator to take me to the place where I normally caught my bus home, I suddenly felt that I was going the wrong way. My logic said get on the escalator that’s the way home, but my feeling was get off the escalator you are going the wrong way. Although tired after a hectic day, I decided to go with my feelings, and jumped off the escalator. I then took a longer route to the bus stop that led me past several shops including a McDonald’s, and as I passed McDonald’s the third person that was on my list to see that day came out of McDonald’s. I had managed, without any perceived effort to see all three of the people I needed to that day. However the lesson for me was not that I was able to manifest this experience just by the power of thoughtful intention, but that by going with my feelings, not my logic, I could achieve so much more.

If you would like to know who that third person was, maybe get a copy of my upcoming book…it may have been you!

There are no coincidences...

I don't believe in coincidences...Everything happens for a reason.

We may not always understand or appreciate it at the time, and it may be connected to something in the future rather than the present, but if you are open and observant to such happenings they will happen more often, and you will enjoy a more abundant and meaningful life…that's the way it's meant to be.

In the coming posts I will be sharing some of the experiences that I have appreciated in recent years, and more so since I started my journey with Sanctuary Resorts.

As you may know I am based in Hong Kong, and my mother called me the other day from the UK, and interestingly, mentioned that there is a study being undertaken by a Cambridge University Professor on this very subject, which propelled me to share these happenings on my Blog, and also in my upcoming book. I will add these postings to the research site as well.

I thought I would start these posts with an interesting happening some years ago.

Before leaving my corporate position with Marco Polo Hotels, and starting the process of setting up Sanctuary Resorts I had an unexpected meeting with my friend Ronnie Ng. I had first met Ronnie a few years earlier when he was engaged as the first outside trainer for our Rotary International District Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program. Subsequently Ronnie conducted some training programs for the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel, and it was during this time that we reconnected. We had some interesting conversations in between the programs and during one of them I remarked that I admired the style of jacket Ronnie was wearing, as it was casual, and while it had a Mandarin style collar, it was more contemporary in design. Ronnie thought it would look good on me and suggested next time I had a suit made I get one similar.

A few months later it was time to get a new suit, and to be honest I “chickened out”, and when my tailor, Andy, asked me what sort of suit I would like, I just said “my usual,” meaning a classic style double-breasted black suit. Interestingly he then said, “Actually Mr. Jones I am making a new style of suit for another client of mine, that I think would really suit you”…and he brought out a black suit with a jacket that was nearly identical to the one Ronnie wore! I just knew it was meant to be and had one made the same…

(To be clear the other client was not Ronnie and my tailor didn’t know Ronnie).

There is more to this story, but perhaps I will save that for my Book…

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Mind over Matter

Many years ago, just after I completed the Avatar course and started Sanctuary Resorts, I was on a business trip to Kuala Lumpur to attend the Board meeting of the Indian Ocean Tourism Organization (IOTO). I had just purchased a new suitcase for the trip and on arrival at the hotel I realized that the lock was not closing properly. I decided that I needed to re-set the lock and started to follow the instructions. However in trying to re-set the lock I accidentally closed the case without knowing the new combination number.

All the papers I needed for the meeting were in the suitcase. I tried to open the case with various combinations, getting more and more frustrated each spin of the three digit configuration required.

I remembered that a friend of mine had told me another mutual friend had once used Reiki to fix a fax machine in their office, and I had this thought that perhaps I could open the suitcase using a similar method.

For some reason I felt that if I could just focus enough energy I may be able to open the lock, although I had never done such a thing before.

In order to distract my mind from being upset, I made some telephone calls and did some reading, and then tried again, but still without success. I was getting resigned to calling the maintenance department to loan me a screwdriver to break the lock of my nice new suitcase.

As I wasn’t getting anywhere fast, I decided to go for a walk and get some fresh air. After about an hour, I returned to the room and as it was getting near to the time for the meeting I thought this was my last try to open the suitcase using the power of positive thinking of my mind only. I laid my hands on the combination lock, closed my eyes and focused on opening the lock with the right combination. Without looking, I used my thumbs to turn the numbers on the lock…and it opened! WOW, I was amazed. I cannot say how it happened, it just did. I looked at the numbers and realized I would never have remembered them or knowingly used that set of numbers as the combination.

For me this was a very positive experience and I believe was a lesson to me that if we really concentrate and focus on what we want to achieve, we can do anything…we can even achieve Mind over Matter!

Now, more than ten years later, it happened again!

A few days ago I was in my hotel room this time in Hong Kong, again with a new suitcase, and again inadvertently locked my suitcase without knowing the new combination number. (What is it with me and combination locks?!)

This time it wasn’t so bad, as the case was in the “open” position when it happened, but I still couldn’t use the locking mechanism of my new suitcase in future. I tried a couple of times to jiggle the combination, but without success, and went through a similar process as I described above, but with no luck. I started to wonder if I had lost my touch!

Then just this afternoon with a calm, but focused approach I decided to set about opening the combination lock. Once again closing my eyes, after a few gyrations of the three digit numbers, the lock opened!

Is this another example of mind over matter? Or just Luck. To be honest I cannot say for sure. I know what I believe, and it works for me!

However, one thing I have learnt over time is that with many challenges in our lives, depending on whether we look at them from a positive or negative viewpoint the outcome can be quite different. In fact when looking at such situations my belief is that there is enough energy within us that allows us to develop such power over even material things, as long as we are willing to let go, have a good and clear intention and not harbor selfish or restrictive feelings. As I often say when confronted with such situations and dilemmas…it’s just a case of Mind over Matter…I don’t Mind, and it doesn’t Matter! J

Sunday, July 03, 2011

60 years of synchronicity

I felt that I had to write more here and now.

As I approached my 60th birthday I felt that I had to be back in Hong Kong at this time, and events seem to have supported this feeling.

I have had an interesting week of meetings and re-connections. If you believe in synchronicity, (and I do!), then several events support this phenomenon, and one particular one stands out.

During this week I went to see my tailor in Hong Kong, Andy Shum of Practical Tailors. He is the tailor that originally provided me with my signature suit which I will detail in another passage, the Omen of the Tailor. I have not been to Andy for a awhile and although I do like my signature suit, I had been thinking about having a second, casual jacket to complement my wardrobe and for travel. When I mentioned this briefly to Andy during my fitting, once again he brought out a jacket that he was preparing for another client that was exactly the style I was looking for, and for which he was in the process of developing a pattern. He seems to have a knack for providing just the right article at the right time. Are my thoughts transferring to him subconsciously?!

The second event was the 30th Anniversary re-union party being scheduled for the staff of the Kowloon Shangri-La. As soon as I heard about the event I knew I had to be there. The evening was a great celebration, held at the Kowloon Shangri-La hotel and attended by nearly 200 people. It was a wonderful opportunity to re-connect with ex-colleagues and friends, many of whom I had not seen for more than twenty five years. A lot of us have now decided to keep in contact using Facebook. It was nice that a number of them said I had not changed in all those years. Guess I always looked old! :-)

The third and most interesting re-connection came earlier on the same day, as I was scheduled to meet another ex-colleague and friend from my Marco Polo days, Joel Teo. Joel was the IT specialist for the group, and is now with Peninsula Hotels. He had helped me select a suitable Laptop before and had now offered to help me look for a replacement for my existing one which was not working so well. As I set off for the lunch time meeting I realized I needed to get some additional pocket money, so on arrival at the MTR station at the Elements shopping mall I went to the nearest ATM machine. However this was not working and I was directed to another one a few floors away.

There were two machines and one both had people using them. The one on my left had a lady waiting to be next, so I politely lined up in front of the other one, not really taking much notice of the other people in the queue. As the person in front of me finished first, and the lady standing in the next line had been waiting before me, I turned to offer her to go to the terminal in front of me. It was only then when our eyes met that we both realized we knew each other. It was Doris Ho, my previous secretary from Marco Polo Hotels! What a wonderful surprise. We hadn't seen each other for several years, and were able to take this time to catch up. Doris then came with me and was able to meet with Joel Teo, as we all worked together, and she also hadn't seen him for a long time. Doris mentioned that she had gone to the first ATM as well, and if that had been working we probably wouldn't have met. An interesting piece of synchronicity at work.

Although many people put such events down to coincidences, if we take time to focus and reflect on such happenings I believe we find a deeper process and connection in motion. I find that such synchronicity happens more regularly these days, not only in my life, but in that of the people around me. What my brother explains as "Your (my) Celestine Prohecy moments"! We are still discovering the miracles of the Universe, I still learn new things every day and wonder at them, even at my advanced age. I am sure even more interesting developments will be attained in future as we reach a harmonious balance of Body, Mind and Spirit, not only in our personal lives, but in our professional activities, and in our communities.

With Love and Light








Monday, July 05, 2010

A new path on the Journey starts

An old Chinese proverb says...The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

Well, I took that step a few weeks ago. I packed up my things and embarked on a short adventure. In fact I took several steps to explore some new opportunities that I felt may provide a new path for me to follow in the coming months and years. I ventured to North America, Canada to be exact to meet with a Chief of a First Nations Tribe in Manitoba. I also met up with some old colleagues from my days with Westin Hotels and Resorts, and finally I came back to England to spend time with my parents and family, and re-connect with some friends in this country too.

I now feel that it is time for me to write more and share these journeys with my friends and interested readers. When I started this blog some years ago, I thought it may be a challenge, but I obviously didn't realise the time it would take, or have the discipline to do so, or perhaps it wasn't meant to be then, and it lapsed. However, as I am now intending to write a book as well, I believe part of fulfilling this endeavour includes updating and more regularly writing updates on this blog.

I hope anyone taking the time to review these pages will find the information shared of interest.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Journey Starts

I say that I started my journey in October of 1995, not really knowing what that means. But actually I probably started my journey the day I was born, I just didn’t know it then.

In that October I felt that my life was changing. I was starting to look at things differently, and for some more meaning in my life.


By that time, I had done nearly every job in a hotel from Dishwasher and Cleaner to Chef, General Manager and finally Vice President,...but I was not feeling fulfilled. Through discussions with colleagues and friends, my outlook on life started to shift from a materialistic to a more spiritual approach to life.

During that month I read two books, The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield and Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss. In the Celestine Prophecy, I saw my life in a mirror at that time. Similar to the story in the book, I felt I had started on a journey to find a meaning in my life and to enlightenment. Again as in the book people I had met before were coming back into my life, as if they had a message for me that perhaps I had missed before. That I could actually realize the synchronicity of these happenings, (before I even knew this word!) was quite a revelation in itself!

I felt I needed to find my Mission in Life and pursue it. Whatever that would bring.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Welcome to this site of Sanctuary

I thought I would write this Blog as so many positive things have happened, and continue to happen to me in this life, and sometimes I fail to appreciate or keep note of them, and also to share them with others, often giving them inspiration and hope.