Recovery mode


Yosemite arrived in the App store as a free OS X upgrade from Maverick. I read the details and looked at the features. Some of the new stuff looked like fun. I saw the line in the specifications stating that a machine running Maverick would run Yosemite. My machine was running Maverick, so it appeared we were cleared for go.

I hit the download button and went to do something else while the 5.16 G file made its way across cyberspace from Apple’s server to my machine. The installation all went to plan until the last restart, which was supposed to lead configuration and access to all the new features.

There is an Apple equivalent to the Windows blue screen of death – it’s white.

By this time it was way past my bedtime.

I tried the restart again in the morning. Same white screen.

I looked at the external drive that houses whatever time machine backs up whenever the computer is operational. The light was blinking, so I decided there was a good chance I still had a copy of everything. The question was how to access it when all I could see was a blinking mouse pointer on a white screen. It’s not like Apple issue you with a user manual. These days all the help is online.

It was time to trust and go with the flow – and for a few deep breaths.

Visited the Apple store at lunch time and explained my situation. Obviously I’m in a small tribe of iMac users. The sales assistant, assuming I had a laptop, suggested I bring it in. I enlightened him a little more about the size of my problem.

‘Try recovery mode and, if that doesn’t work, ring this number.’

He wrote the number of the help line on the back of his card.

‘How do you access this recovery mode?’ I asked.

‘Hold down the Command and the R keys when you start the computer,’  he said.

I thanked him and headed back to work, confident the system would deliver when I got home and held down the magic keys.

Now that I had some idea of what I was looking for, I accessed all the details about recovery mode by doing an online search on my iPad. Sure enough, the online user manual had all the details you needed to know to execute a full system recovery from time machine or via the internet should that fail.

I’m writing this on my restored iMac.


Nothing happens by accident, the sages say.

I took a moment to wonder about the lesson contained in this experience I had called into my awareness.

What I discovered was that I had been given a reminder that I had access to resources I wasn’t aware I possessed. The recovery mode was built into the existing OS on the computer.

When you stop to think about that, you realise that we all have a recovery mode built into our personal operating system. Sometimes, we forget it’s there; like I forgot it was available on the computer. Or we have a vague notion it exits but we don’t know how to access it.

Fortunately, I knew who to ask and wasn’t shy about asking for help. How often do we stay stuck because we don’t ask for help or we ask the wrong people? It’s not magic but vulnerability that allows others to help you.

Our inbuilt recovery mode is accessible by taking time to pause and put things into perspective, and by being aware of what’s going on within our minds – where our operating system is installed, along with all the applications we have loaded over the years.

Maybe I don’t need a new operating system.

Maybe all I need is to refresh some of the applications I use to interpret the world.

Thanks for dropping by,  Peter

It’s not about invulnerability

A few words from The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman.

“The peaceful warrior’s way is not about invulnerability, but absolute vulnerability – to the world, to life, and to the Presence you felt. All along I’ve shown you by example that a warrior’s life is not about imagined perfection or victory; it is about love. Love is the warrior’s sword; wherever it cuts, it gives life, not death.”


In my experience, this is hard lesson to learn. I know I thought the way of the warrior was all about invulnerability, being able to withstand the inevitable assaults of life. All that training I received about needing a ‘thick skin’- another term for armour – to protect myself from the realities of the harsh world we live in, was a lesson I had absorbed as a boy. I thought warriors were able to maintain their composure no matter what was thrown at them, because their training helped them become invulnerable.

That might work on the battlefield, when the other guy is trying to slice you in half with his sword. Trouble is, once we adopt the warrior stance, we take the same attitude into other aspects of our lives. If your guard is always up to maintain your invulnerability, and nothing gets through, it’s impossible to cultivate intimacy in any of your relationships. You let no-one touch you and you touch no-one, except to strike them down.

I’m sure you’ve encountered some of these warriors along the way. I know I have; and I was one in my younger days. These are the people who can’t be told anything, because they are too busy defending to listen. These are the ones that don’t feel anything, when everybody else is falling apart around them, because they can’t risk being taken advantage of by showing a weakness, like sadness or joy. They’re also the ones who don’t share anything of themselves, in case you detect a weakness in their armour and exploit it to your advantage.

At some point, the books I found myself reading, contained a different message. I realised that although I was good at invulnerability, I was not good at intimacy. With some loving help, I started to see that I had it all back to front, that I had blundered down the wrong path. I discovered that I could choose the pathway of the peaceful warrior, and take up a different sword on a very different field – the field of possibilities.

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior is one of the recent books I’ve read, but it’s been around since 1980.  You can explore Dan Millman’s philosophy at .

If you’re really looking to transform your mindset from invulnerability to vulnerability, I suggest you spend some time with a new book called Daring Greatly by Brene` Brown. Check out her website at .

Thanks for dropping by,