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Guest Blog - Ray Coates How do you capture a life’s goal in words? Music and song!!

My name is Ray Coates and I am a singer/songwriter and a throat cancer survivor, in 2008 I went for virtually an entire year with NO voice.

I have always been a singer songwriter and I started writing lyrics at the tender age of about seven. In my late teens, I was writing songs regularly. Fast forward to around about 1996 I continued to write songs and began to create and record some new music.

Life was busy for the next few years, myself and my then wife and 2 children moved to the Isle of Lewis, a western Isle of Scotland. I wrote a couple of songs whilst on the Island with a guitarist who I became friends with.

Moving now to the year 2008 (now our family had grown to 5 children - 3 daughters and 2 sons) and I was diagnosed with throat cancer; discovered my Dad had passed away (I hadn’t seen him since I was 5 years old) and I began to go through marriage separation and ultimately divorce. In 2008, I lost the ability to effectively speak for close to a year!

In 2010 I wrote and eventually released a track to connect with anyone who had experience dark, seemingly impossible times and felt they had NO voice, ‘The Voice Within’ as a single was ultimately born. In 2019 this was re released as a single to support the homeless prevention organisation Shelter and was performed by Zoe Evans who had faced being without a permanent home for herself and her children (search 'The Voice Within' Zoe Evans to download this song in aid of Shelter). Guess what though? No album released!

Between 2010 and 2018 my writing increased, to the point where I had a MASSIVE collection of songs, but doing nothing with them.

In the summer of last year 2019, I was given a massive honour and privilege! I was approached by Charles Mattocks (celebrity chef, tv and film maker, producer, diabetes advocate and nephew of the late great Bob Marley) to write a song for his cancer DOCU series 'Eight days' (currently airing on WGN network in USA & also on the Hope4Cancer centres

'Your Journey' is available for download as a single in ALL digital download stores and will be featured as the outro song at the conclusion of the LAST episode of 'Eight days'!!

This story of a lifetime pursuit, is now coming to completion (I won’t say conclusion, because there is SO much more to come). In late 2019 I began to prepare to RELEASE an ALBUM! I chose solid songs. One of those songs was inspired by Soul Purpose strategist Sherry Cannon Jones and her inspiration, helped me to give birth to 'Garden of Life' (this song subsequently became the TITLE track for the album!). Every song I chose for the album had to be with DEEP meaning and energy, some of the songs had been written a couple of years earlier. All of these songs had a common theme - DEEP CONNECTION! Deep connection with self; with love; with our fellow human beings; with our children; with nature and with the earth. As a result the ‘Garden of Life’ grew, flourished and today is being shared TOTALLY, GLOBALLY!

I came into contact with Sherry Cannon-Jones, when I was invited to be interviewed by Rebecca Adams for her International Interview series (IIS 2019).

Sherry was also interviewed in this series and I loved her interview! There was something truly uplifting and freeing about Sherry’s energy! Therefore, we connected through messages and then one day decided to speak on the phone. I briefly shared my life’s journey with Sherry and what I felt was my purpose.

From that very first conversation with Sherry, in fact even IN that first conversation, I felt Sherry helped me to reconnect with my spiritual personality and nature. I was deeply moved by the WAY in which Sherry listened and above all else (for me personally) her non-Judge mental approach, Sherry gave me encouragement to re-engage more fully with MY purpose.

From that first discussion, the inspiration of Sherry's philosophy and life experience led to me writing the song called ‘Garden of Life’! This song was about purpose, value, life, creation and really going back to the original garden. Sherry's mission is to show people how to strip back all the layers of pressure and expectation that bury our soul. Her analogy is that our lives are like the Garden of Eden, our Garden of Life. She talked about how we were created to live a life full of joy, beauty peace and happiness but like Adam and Eve but we are disconnected and distanced from our Garden of Life through the behaviours, attitudes, pressures and expectations of mankind. The experience of writing this song for Sherry was DIVINE! How important conversations are! How important it is to reach out! How important to connect! How important to listen! As a result of all of the above ‘Garden of Life’ the song was born and it subsequently has become the TITLE track for my globally released album!

I will be eternally grateful to Sherry and her mission, inspiration and encouragement in helping me meet MY purpose.

My message to you is; it is NEVER too late for YOU to plant, cultivate and grow YOUR very OWN garden of life, whatever that may be! Dear friends, make plans, make life, enrich your life with amazing experiences and love deeply and outwardly from your beautiful heart.

‘Garden of Life’ is available to order on CD (includes 3 bonus tracks)

‘Garden of Life’ is also available to download from ALL digital download stores! Including I-tunes

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