Alasdair Lord was born and grew up in York, England and first became interested in human socio-economic and political organisation as a teenager. After working in Holland in 1992 he attended the University of Portsmouth from 1992-1996 and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Latin American Studies. During this time he spent a year studying in Mexico and witnessed first hand the Zapatista uprising in San Cristobal de Las Casas, New Year’s Day 1994. After graduating in 1996 he became an English as a Foreign Language teacher and then lived and worked for over Eight years in Thailand, four years in Oman, two and a half years in Saudi Arabia and a year in Spain as a language teacher. He has also worked at a number of language schools in England teaching mixed nationality groups of teenagers and adults, and business-people one-to-one. He has also taught academic English to Chinese students, both online and in person, at Loughborough University, University of York, Lancaster University and the University of Nottingham.
He graduated with an MSc in Water and Environmental Management from the Water Engineering Development Centre (WEDC), based at Loughborough University, in 2003. During his time living in Thailand he was the Education for Sustainable Development Coordinator for the British Council (Thailand), co-writing a text book on climate change for Thai high school teachers and delivering a paper at the 10th UNESCO-APEID conference, Learning Together; Education for Sustainable Development, in Bangkok in December 2006. While living in Thailand he also survived the Asian Tsunami of Boxing Day 2004 and the devastating flooding of 2011 in Ayutthaya.
He first encountered the teachings of the Buddha at school aged seventeen and eventually took refuge in the Thai forest monk tradition in northern Thailand in 2012. Politically he considers himself a Postcapitalist. He speaks fluent Spanish and Thai and a little French. On YouTube he posts videos as The Renaissance Yorkshireman Podcast. He is self-employed and writes self-help courses based on his own experiences, using a variety of modalities and techniques which incorporate journalling and meditation. He lives in England and has one adult daughter. In 2023 he published Postcapitalism: An Alternative to the ‘Great reset’, which is the updated version of the book he first started writing in 2013.
Background to my first online course. The Toolkit for Sustained Personal Change, that I now offer with limited availability, grew out of my own personal experience of loss and growth. Three months after I turned 14-years-old my father died and the prism through which I viewed the world shattered forever. My world shifted on its axis and I had no choice but to adapt to sudden and profound changes. My youth, naivete and lack of experience were simultaneously a hindrance to growth (I had little clue where to start, few role-models and no idea where to look for guidance) and a secret weapon; my cup had barely begun to be filled and I had a child’s inquiring and open mind. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I had started upon a long and winding journey of self-discovery and healing.
Over the years I have found new viewpoints from which to make sense of the world, fashioned new prisms of perspective from fragments of the old one melded together with fresh ideas and challenging concepts. This process has taken me to many places, both literally and metaphorically. I have lived and worked in Holland, Mexico, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Spain. I’ve explored deserts and jungles, coasts and mountains, ancient ruins and purpose-built training centres and experienced silent retreats and sprawling mega-cities. I’ve utilised psychedelic experiences, a wide range of meditation techniques and had a lucid dreaming practice. During my work and travels I’ve also become multi-lingual .
And yet I remained dogged with many of the negative patterns acquired by age 14, and others picked up in early adulthood. The goblins and gremlins of my mind, although less unruly than they had been in my youth, still had the power to ambush me and sabotage my attempts at transformation.
Life, work, marriage and fatherhood kept me busy and distracted, but the breakdown of my marriage in my early forties led to a new period of re-evaluation. This time It was different; I had role-models, I was worldly-wise, and I had a substantial toolbox of psychological and spiritual techniques that I had researched and developed over the years. But as always, life kept getting in the way of my growth, demands on my time and energy coming from multiple sources. It wasn’t until my late forties when I returned to my home city (only a mile from where I had grown up and my father had died) and my teenage daughter came to live with me that I felt I had the time and the mental and emotional space to utilise the appropriate resources and truly change the deeply set patterns that kept reiterating in my life.
By this time I had considerable life experience. I’d been married and divorced, I was a father, I’d spent almost two decades teaching all over the world, I’d mastered languages, I was an experienced meditator, had had an effective lucid dreaming practice, and had examined my life in counselling. And yet the unsystematic nature of my approach meant that, although my life was better in many ways, certain patterns in my life, most particularly the anger that I had internalised from my childhood, kept resurfacing. With a new job, new house, and becoming primary carer for my daughter, my life was radically shifting anyway so I decided it was a good time to start a new line of self-inquiry.
Starting with a reinvigorated meditation practice and a gratitude journal, I made a conscious effort to focus on the positive aspects of my life, of which there were many. Very quickly, I found that my mood and general attitude improving. Building on this positive momentum, I faced and examined the repeating patterns in my life in a systematic manner and found that once I came to know them, it was much easier to change them. By identifying, detailing and analysing them in journal form, I could clearly see what aspects of my life were holding me back, and also to reimagine how I wanted my new life to be. I drew on my experience of creative visualisations and the tools I had gathered to Imagine the New Man that I wanted to become. A New Man who straddled a liminal space between imagination and reality, an embryonic New Man waiting to be given form through my own intent and action. The Toolkit that I used, acquired from a variety of sources and refined over many years, and that I know from personal experience to be effective, is what I offer to you now to help fashion your own New Man or New Woman.