Take The Vision For You spiritual exercises

with David Clayton


Over thirty years ago, by chance, I met a man called David Birtwistle who asked me this question:

Are you as happy as you can be? 

It was an easy one for me to answer, ‘No!’ 

Would you like that to change? ‘Yes,’ I said. 

Let me show you how’, David said.

This was how I was introduced to a program of prayer, meditation and good works that change my life. I still practice these exercises today. It is called The Vision for You.

I pass these exercises on to you, like dozens before you, so that you might have the same gift of a new life that was given to me.

What is The Vision for You?

The process is a program of spiritual exercises rooted in the Western tradition. This is the ancient wisdom of the early Church. While everything you do is consistent with the ancient spirituality of the Christian Faith, you don’t have to be a Christian or even to believe in God in order to benefit from it. You do need to have sufficient open-mindedness to take actions that are consistent with the existence of a loving God, such as prayer. We might say you need to act as if God exists, but beyond that, you can be as skeptical and doubtful as you like.

Many people who start off as skeptics do go on to develop a strong faith in God and some even become Christians (like me!). However, this is a personal choice and not all make it. The process itself is a structured program of prayer, meditation, contemplation, and service. Typically it takes around 10 personal consultations to go through it and these are arranged weekly or biweekly. Through this, the hope is that you will adopt new habits of life that maintain the momentum.

Why do The Vision for You process?

I believe that you can have what I was given if you do what I did!

Through this process, I discovered a new direction by discovering my personal vocation - what I am made to do. This is vocation impacts my career and personal life and my relationships with others, all for the better. Nothing is perfect, but the general picture is that life is good and so much better than it used to be. Since completing the process under David’s guidance 30 years ago, I have taken dozens of people through this process and seen their lives transform too. It certainly isn’t for everyone, some don’t want to do the necessary work for example, but if you can throw yourself into the work as enthusiastically as I did, a new life is open to you.

If you think that your life could be better, then consider making this process part of your life too. Contact me and arrange an initial free consultation. We can discuss whether or not this is for you.

Who will it help?

This will help anyone who wants life to be better and is prepared to take certain actions to that end. I was deeply miserable and depressed and was at the point of despair. I also had deeply ingrained habits and behaviors that were destructive and yet I despaired of ever being able to stop. I felt powerless to change myself. Some of you may be in this position too and The Vision for You has helped many in this situation.

However, such extreme desperation and misery are not prerequisites. If you simply feel that life is flat and could be better, to the extent that you are prepared to put in some work to change things, this is for you too.

Those of us who have taken so much from the gift of this process have discovered a Great Fact - that we have a choice in life. We can choose to be happy or to be miserable.

Do I need to believe in God or convert to Christianity?

No. As I described above, we take actions that are consistent with a Christian faith but beyond being open-minded and willing enough to take the actions, you do not have to subscribe to any creed or set of beliefs. David told me, try for this for 30 days and if you don’t like it, we will return your misery with interest! What convinced me of the truth of this is that it worked. I start to feel better well before the 30 days were up.

I want to give it a go, what do I do next? And how much will it cost?

Contact me to arrange an initial conversation at a mutually convenient time. This first consultation is free. The purpose of this is to give you a chance to find out more about what is involved and for both of us to decide if we think this is for you.

Then, if you decide you want to go ahead and I am happy that will work for you, you commit to regular, typically weekly or biweekly, 50-minute consultations. The number of these sessions varies from person to person, but typically this will entail around 6-8 sessions to complete the process.

All consultations are via video conference. You need a personal computer with a camera, microphone and speaker and the internet. It is recommended you find somewhere to do this where you can talk freely about personal issues.

The Vision for You process involves adopting the habits of a spiritual life and many want to continue to practice them on an ongoing basis. This means that once they've been through the process, most people like to maintain contact and find that a quarterly refresher is helpful.

How much does it cost? The first consultation is free of charge. Thereafter the charge for each 50-minute session is $153.55. Payment is expected after each session and before starting the next.

There is a payment plan available by which you pay a flat fee of $978.23. This guarantees you up to 8 sessions together.

Thereafter you have the option of paying for quarterly refresher sessions individually or by paying for a batch of 4 in advance for a flat fee of $557.80.

Buy The Vision for You - How to Discover the Life You Were Made For;

Buy The Vision for You - A Short Summary of the Spiritual Exercises & a Manual to Accompany Workshops.

When I first met my mentor, David Birtwistle, I was miserable and depressed about the direction my life was going. He told me that he could show me a way to feel better and have a new direction in life. I wanted to be an artist and live in America and was getting nowhere, but it ran deeper than that. My relationships were unfulfilling and superficial at best. I just didn’t know what to do to try to be happy, or what I really wanted in life and while others around me seemed to be moving forward with their lives, I had a sense that I was being left behind. 

Several years later, as a result of following David’s simple directions, I became  Artist-in-Residence at a Liberal Arts college in New Hampshire. But more than that it transformed my whole outlook in life. Where I used to be bitter, difficult to get on with and pessimistic I am now so much more optimistic and happy. 

David died nine years after I met him, but he made me promise, in common with many others who benefitted from his help, to hand on to others what he had given to me. The great discovery made by those of us who benefitted from this process is that we have the freedom to choose. We can choose to be happy or to be miserable almost regardless of circumstances. This is what drove me to write the two books about the process The Vision for You - How to Discover the Life You Were Made For; and a condensed presentation of the same process The Vision for You - A Short Summary of the Spiritual Exercises & a Manual to Accompany Workshops.

The books explain how to do the process. Do feel free to buy them and work your own way through the exercises. Many find that this is best done with one person helping another by passing on his experience of doing this process. If would rather do this with someone showing you how. Then please do contact me! I look forward to hearing from you.


David Clayton is the author of The Vision for You - How to Discover the Life You Were Made For; and a condensed presentation of the same process The Vision for You - A Short Summary of the Spiritual Exercises & a Manual to Accompany Workshops.

David is an internationally known artist, teacher, writer, and broadcaster. He moved from his native England to the U.S. in 2009 and has been working there ever since. He is founding Provost of Pontifex University, a new online Catholic education platform. Pontifex University offers three unique programs that incorporate the topic of this book directly: first an MA in the Theology of the Body and the New Evangelization (offered in conjunction with the Theology of the Body Institute); and a Masters in Sacred Arts which is a traditional formation in beauty for artists, patrons of the arts and all who want to contribute creatively to the transformation of the culture in the modern world. The third program is a low course-requirement Theology Doctorate.

In addition, Clayton has published articles in many Catholic publications and journals such as Magnificat and Adoremus and writes for his weekly blog thewayofbeauty.org, and for newliturgicalmovement.org. He wrote, co-produced and presented the 13-part TV series about traditional art and culture The Way of Beauty, shown by Catholic TV in 2010 and 2011.

His artistic training is in both the sacred art tradition of Byzantine iconography; and as a portrait painter in the style of Western classical naturalism, which he studied in Florence, Italy. He has had prominent commissions in the UK and the United States and his work has been featured in many publications in both countries.

His other books include The Way of Beauty - the place of beauty in a Catholic culture and Catholic education, published in May 2015; The Little Oratory, co-written with Leila Lawler and published in 2014, and The Vision for You - How to Discover the Life You Were Made For.

He has also composed over 80 tones for the psalms in English, with four-part arrangements. These have been featured in Chant Cafe, Monastic Musicians magazine, and the website of the school of liturgical music at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

He also plays precisely 11 tunes on the banjo in the Appalachian clawhammer style. He is available to play on those occasions when rustic old-timey banjo might be considered entertaining or useful (although he is rarely asked to do so).

Artistically, he has had major commissions for the Brompton Oratory in London, Pluscarden Abbey and the Maryvale Institute in the UK, and has been featured in many Catholic books that discuss art and culture. Most recently he worked for seven years as Artist-in-Residence at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in New Hampshire where the college chapel contains many large and small-scale paintings.

David lives and works near San Francisco in California USA where he has been for four years.


“I began The Vision for You process a couple of years ago. Even though I had a strong faith and I was not in a severe crisis, the preoccupations of my day-to-day life were causing anxiety and self-doubt. I was getting stuck with negative emotions that were becoming habitual. I found the process to be extremely helpful and practical. It has helped me go through periods of uncertainty without fear, and I can now deal with feelings of discouragement very quickly and effectively. As a result, I have clarity about the future, my spiritual life has been enriched, and I am much happier.

Many people today seek spiritual enrichment but cannot find it and do not know where to begin. David’s process is accessible to anyone. It appeals to a person’s common sense and reason and is rooted in our natural longing for God and the everlasting.”

Michel Accad, MD, San Francisco, California.

“I started The Vision for You process in London in 1995. At that point, I had no faith. I was going through a personal crisis and I felt utterly hopeless, miserable and very fearful. I am not exaggerating when I say I was jobless and homeless. The process had an immediate and powerful impact on me and my life. It immediately opened the door to a faith that led, to my being received into the Catholic Church some years later. It gave me an enjoyable, fulfilling and successful career, and most importantly a life that is consistently happy. I still work the process on a daily basis and this transformation has continues unabated. It’s still getting better!”

Jim Woodward, founder Meyer-MMX LLC, Irvine, CA.

“When I found out about the Vision for You process in June 2008, I was drifting aimlessly and in many ways in despair about how to change. What it gave me was a new purpose life and a deeper faith in God which has touched pretty much every aspect of what I do. It has helped my personal relationships and my been invaluable help in discerning my career path and working out how best to follow it. I knew that I had arrived when I ended up being assigned to audit somewhere that I had dreamt of going to ever since I was a small boy...Legoland!”

Peter Murphy: Gulf War veteran and lead assessor for one of the world's leading business support firms specializing in environmental compliance. Lancashire; England

“Beginning over 15 years ago, I undertook the Vision for You course when I was just beginning law studies. I was worried about how it would turn out; but I became a solicitor (lawyer) in Kent, England. The process has been an invaluable tool in helping me to clear my thinking and apply reason as I plan each day ahead & my future. I have found that working through this process with a sponsor has been helpful. It provides a check & balance on my thoughts & actions; while encouraging greater aspiration and reliance on intuitive thought. Today I absolutely insist on enjoying life. I commend the course to you, you really would not want to miss out!”

Mark Marriott, Kent, England,”

“I started The Vision for You process in 1992 when I was 27 years old. At that time, I was so low I hardly cared if I lived or died. I had no hope, no friends, no love, no education, and no job. After just a week my life started to improve - I felt different and things started to change around me. I felt that the spring on the outside was also inside! One year after starting the process, things were dramatically different, I had started my dream education, and every area of my life, personal and professional, had changed for the better. Today I still work the process and I have no doubts that it works - because I see the results when I work it. Now, because of my gratitude for all that it has given me, I am in a position to pass on what I was given seeing how it works in their lives too is what makes my life worthwhile.”

Kaj Hammargren: Founder and owner “4Gr8innovations” and “Ghandi-Shop.dk”

“At an incredibly low point in my life, about 13 years ago, and looking for a way out of the daily despair I experienced, a friend introduced me to someone who had been through the Vision For You process and offered to pass it on to me if I cared to try it. I wasn't particularly hopeful, but I felt as though I was out of options at that point. To my utter surprise, I experienced almost instant relief from the desperation and actually started to experience real joy for the first time in many years. This spurred me on to follow through with the rest of the process which I still practice today. To say my life has changed is an understatement - when I started the process I was practicing and teaching New Age Therapies, which didn’t make me happy and only furthered my confusion and anguish. The 'process' immediately brought about hope and faith - something I saw in so many people who also begun and went through the process. This started a spiritual journey which, in my case, culminated in my converting to Roman Catholicism. I married a devout Catholic woman and we've since had two beautiful children; I changed careers and have found peace and purpose. Had I not embarked upon the Vision for You Process, I am convinced none of the above could ever have happened. Highly recommended.”

Tim Watts, Client Partner for Global Consulting and Development Firm, Berkshire. UK