Hi, my name is Antony Cholerton and I founded The Children’s Fire Movement C.I.C back in 2012. I currently live near Bude, Cornwall in the UK along with my wife and three beautiful children. For many years now I have dedicated my Life to delving more deeply into the human condition – but more recently to the support and empowerment of others, especially community groups (see my ‘Current Projects’ below). My main passion though is in contributing support, through the Children’s Fire Movement, towards providing a beautiful, life-affirming legacy for our future generations.
Founder of the CFM
Although I was taught about the Children’s Fire many years ago, along with other tools, concepts and practices, it wasn’t until early 2011 that the light bulb actually switched on in my mind regarding it becoming an accessible, and possibly significant movement for change. I am learning to appreciate that there is a perfect timing and rhythm in all things.
It was when I came across a YouTube video of Tim ‘Mac’ Macartney delivering an emotive talk on the Children’s Fire at QI Global that the penny actually dropped. It wasn’t just his inspirational delivery of an ancient, and timeless wisdom, but also the manner in which I came across the video. It had been sitting, ‘lost in action’, in one of the many tabs in my web browser for weeks until a potent thunderstorm descended upon our Cornwall home. Though the power had been taken out (thankfully I’d been working on a laptop) and the room plunged into darkness, the powerful tones of Mac’s voice were now emanating from my headphones!
His words resonated, mingling with my deep connection with Earth and my responsibilities as a father of three beautiful children. And even though it’s taken me until now to publicly respond to that catalytic event, it had been pretty clear to me in that moment as to what was needed. I think we all know, deep down, beneath our fears and assumptions about the world. Beneath the ‘what if’s’ and the fantasy of ‘what will happen to me if I dare to speak my truth?’. Maybe the questions we should be asking are ‘what are the consequences of us not mustering the courage to speak our truth?’ and ‘what kind of legacy will we, both as individuals and as a human collective, be leaving for our children, and our children’s children if we choose to remain victim to our fears – mute and passive?’.
My Personal Weblog
A Council Guide
I’ve had a fascination with mind expanding (or mind-freeing) teachings and techniques for many years and have studied both contemporary and indigenous disciplines for evoking positive, life-enhancing changes within individuals and community groups. My passion has been with the earth wisdom teachings (or Medicine as it is known) that I have been proactively studying since 1998 and more specifically the Delicate Lodge tradition since 2004 (an ancient tradition that flourished during Mayan & pre Mayan times which has since influenced cultures world wide). I graduated as a Council Guide and have been authorised to guide groups of people in the use of the Council Wheel (as well as other tools). The Council Wheel is a holistic information gathering structure that has been used for generations to surface the collective wisdom of community groups – it’s also a powerful tool that can be used by the individual.
Previously I qualified as a practitioner of Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) in 1997 whilst also studying the basics of hypnotherapy.
Music & Other Stuff!
Many years ago BC (Before Children!) I studied to be a micro-electonics engineer and worked for a brief time at Smiths Aerospace & Defence. I soon realised that, despite the good pay, pension etc, I would slowly vegetate if I remained in their employment – I also found it hard to resolve my ethics with working for a company that designed and manufactured weapons systems! I started to have visions of being on stage singing – a notion that my parents, at the time, related to some form of insanity as they’d never even heard me hum a tune before, let alone sing! In fact, pretty much everyone thought I’d gone mad! Not long after though I was soon singing in a band and getting some good interest from UK music magazines and a Japanese record company (but I won’t bore you with fish-that-got-away stories here!).
After a couple of years in the band I thought I’d better do something more conventional with my life and went to university. I took Ocean Science (oceanography, meteorology, climatology… basically lots of ologies – and lot’s of surfing ;-)!) in the hope of a more environmental career path. Unfortunately the BSc Honours degree I was awarded presented me with the option of either voluntary environmental work or earning lots of money working for the petro-chemical industry!
So I became an ethical web developer – of course!!
Before going freelance I was technical director of an online robin-hood style project, called muZonet, designed to support local music shops compete with the large online distributors and supermarkets that were closing so many of our local traders down. Unfortunately the music industry association was on the side of the big-boys -$$ ka-ching! $$
Anyway, it’s great to now have the wonderful opportunity to combine my skills as a web developer and Council Guide with my passions of music and “saving” the planet ;-)! Though I do hope my involvement in the IT department is going to be a temporary one!!
Current projects I’m involved in outside of the CFM
Youth work: I’m currently guiding on a three year youth project in the NW area of London. The Social Finance funded project is focused on supporting 14-16 year olds, who are at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training), in creating life-affirming behaviour change.
Stress Disorder: September 2013: I will be co-running a funded pilot programme to support ex-service men and women with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’ve already helped deliver one preliminary day earlier this year which received some great feedback.