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William Roache, best known as Ken Barlow in Coronation Street, describes how he chose a career in acting, largely due to the influence of his theosophist-spiritualist- esotericist-homoeopath grandfather. Far more than a tale of celebrity high life, Soul on the Street offers an inspirational insight into Bill's deep spiritual understanding and the times and events that have shaped it. He shares his motivating belief that our aim should be to make ourselves 'beacons of light' to illuminate the place we're in, making things better for ourselves and all around us. Written in a warm engaging style, and newly available in softback, this book is ideal for all fans of The Street, and especially those with an interest in spirituality.
352pp, 129mm x 198mm, softback, 2008

Despite the sometimes intensive demands of all my work, every morning I try to remember that I'm an eternal being and to be grateful for the infinite love that is a part of us all. And then I arrive at the studios at 7 o'clock and go through a whole load of scenes where I'm screaming and shouting!

There is a reason for this, of course. In a way, it's a test. It's easy to maintain a spiritual focus if you are sitting meditating in a monastery and nothing is disturbing you. But if you can keep that meditative calm or that understanding of your spiritual nature while actively participating in the material world, then it's stronger - it's for real.

'Every morning lean your arm upon the windowsill of heaven and gaze upon your God. Then, with this vision in your heart, turn strong to meet the day.'

Ideally, you should meditate at a fixed time each day - say, dawn or dusk - and in the same place, because then that will be a little pocket of peace for you. As I've mentioned, my lifestyle is such that this isn't possible, and I'm afraid I'm not a creature of habit either, so I just meditate when I can, but I like to do it in my dressing room at work and on my conservatory at home.

I also try to hold a thought or phrase in my mind, perhaps something that I've been reading, and ponder on it. One I've been thinking about recently is, All the bad experiences are precious gifts. When I do this I find that suddenly during the day all the words seem to expand and each word becomes greater and more important. And afterwards I am able to see with a different perspective.

A little while ago I was holding the thought, Help me to realize my oneness with the infinite love, and suddenly 'oneness' became almost solid, as if it had form. It was actually there. You could weigh it! And 'realize' - what is to 'realize', to make real, to fully absorb, to become? It's to know it completely. And to realize the infinite love! What an amazing thought.

If you hold something in your mind in this way, you go more and more deeply into it and eventually begin to become it. Over time you assimilate it completely, it becomes part of you, and then you can move on and hold another thought. It's a bit like learning golf, really, or cricket - you learn a technique and then after a while you do it automatically and move on to something else.

I once put some of my favourite thoughts together and called them 'A Prayer of Intention':

A Prayer of Intention
Ever-present all-loving Father, strengthen me in my intention
To be whole,
To align myself consciously with my soul,
To remember I am immortal,
To feel in my heart the reality of your loving presence,
To retain the power entrusted to me,
To rejoice in being eternal,
To bring my body into harmony with the whole
And thus to realize my oneness with the infinite love.

Each line of this prayer can be used for deep thought and meditation. I have found it helps greatly in expanding understanding.

Another good phrase to hold in your mind is, Love, always love. That was how one of the spirit messages I got from Edwina, through Peggy Kennard, ended. If you think about it, it's amazing. Life is love, it's what it's all about - and it's always there. Love, always love! Love is the dynamic of life. Love is the life force. Life is love. All we have to do is release it, but sadly we are better at obscuring it.

I have some rose bushes at home. There are five of them. I've had them for four or five years. One is called 'Love', another is 'Always', a third is 'Light' and the others are 'Friendship' and 'Infinite'. Most are light pink and one is a deep red, but they've all got a lovely fragrance. They are just by my front door and every morning when I get into my car, I look at them and, especially through the winter, I send love down to their roots and say to them: Use this love to build your reserves so that you can fully manifest your beauty.

I thought that giving them love like that would really help them to flourish, but one day I looked at them and saw that they were covered in greenfly!

At first I was horrified by this, and disappointed too, because I thought it showed my loving thoughts had been ineffectual, but then I thought, Hang on, what this means is it's no use just going about thinking, 'Love, love, love!' because we're in a material world and we've got to deal with the greenfly of this world. I realized I was looking after the rose bushes spiritually but I wasn't looking after them materially, and when you're here on Earth you have to do both. So that was a lesson. I had to deal with the greenfly. I did and now the roses are blooming gloriously.

From Soul On the Street, ?2008 by William Roache, published by Hay House.