In the Flow

I create my day

I create my day (Photo credit: AlicePopkorn)

Do you ever wonder if all those people who write books about manifesting abundance are multi-millionaires?

How about the ones who write about creating health and wellness – are they all lithe octogenarians who jog up mountains and haven’t had so much as a cold since 1952?

Or am I the only person who has written a self-help type of book, believed it completely, but been (if I’m totally honest) just a little way off putting everything I wrote into practice every day of my life?  Or even most days?

From time to time, that’s bothered me a bit.  I’ve wondered what I’d say if some heckler at one of my talks asked what kind of reality I was creating for myself, given that I tell everyone it’s possible.

My mind kept wandering back to that man in What The Bleep Do We Know!? who sat in his study and explained to camera how he consciously plans every day out, decides what he wants and then enjoys what the Universe brings him.

I’m not sure that I made a conscious decision to start living like that – ‘on purpose’ as they say – but it’s happened.

English: Shower

There are many New Age phrases that slip off the tongue so easily.  ‘In the Flow’ has to be one of the most clichéd.  What I’m learning, though, is that it describes exactly how this manifesting lark works.  If you imagine this stream of excellent, abundant experience flowing into your life like a warm shower, you have to concentrate and avoid wandering away from it.

For example: In a recent post Of Rusty Keys, Unicorns and Leaky Roofs you may recall that I said this:

Ideally I’d like the surveyor’s report to highlight all the problems, but not find anything too structural that needs repairs beyond my rather limited means.

What I got was just what I’d requested – a surveyor’s report that highlighted urgent repairs with an estimated cost of exactly the amount of money I have in the ‘rather limited’ piggy bank.
Tile Roof Pattern

At that point, for about fifteen minutes, I moved out of the flow.

I panicked.

I started wondering what would happen if builders uncovered unexpected and expensive problems that couldn’t have been foreseen.  I was miserable at the thought that my life savings would be swallowed up by decidedly un-sexy re-pointing and roof felting, with nothing left for the transformations I was dreaming of – the upstairs bathroom (conservation officer said ‘Yes’!), the butler’s sink and oak kitchen, or even redecorating the rest of the cottage, which currently boasts peeling white wood-chip paper in every room.

It takes practice, this business of creating and allowing the Universe to provide.

I’m getting better at it, though.  Soon I had moved back into the flow of that lovely warm shower.  I’d been given exactly what I’d put out for – because that’s the way this works.  So I swallowed hard, put in an absurdly low offer on the cottage and, within an hour or two, we had haggled our way to a price both I and the seller felt happy with.  That means the piggy bank is looking a little plumper and in any case, if more money is needed somewhere along the line,  I’ll just say, “Ideally I’d like…” and wait for it to arrive.

As you may have noticed, I’ve already – within two weeks – received the first three items from my ‘wish list’ in that previous post.

The magic continues.

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A Child with autistic spectrum perception in a neuro-typical school – help, please


EXPERT (Photo credit: Pete Prodoehl)

It’s no coincidence, of course, that within a week, two people had asked me questions about children with autistic spectrum perception coping in mainstream schools. It was clearly something I needed to give attention to.

The first was a parent, asking my opinion about her daughter, a ten-year-old I see for a couple of hours a week.

This thoughtful, caring and highly intuitive mum was at her wit’s end, as another ‘expert’, who had spent all of twenty minutes assessing her child, sat her down and talked at her about the girl’s needs, beginning with, “Is there anything in particular that you wanted to say, or are you happy just to let me explain my findings?  I’m afraid we don’t have very long.”

The implication – that 20 minutes of advice from an expert was more relevant and worthy of discussion than ten years of maternal care and understanding –  was not lost on the parent.  She bit her tongue, listened as the standard strategies and suggestions were trotted out, and silently despaired.  I’ve seen this happen to families more times than I can count.

Hot on the heels of this was an enquiry from a friend who is working in a school where a young teacher is trying to balance the needs of a class of lively six-year-olds and one little boy on the autistic spectrum.  He’s yet to be ‘seen’ by the expert, but the teacher is in need of strategies and ideas to help him cope within the classroom – preferably in such a way that his screaming fits and throwing of anything he can lay his hands on can be reduced.

Forest School 032

Forest School

I’ve never met this child, and was told only that he enjoyed the class forest school sessions, loved nature and since his personal teaching assistant had left was being given round the clock one-to-one attention by a wide range of staff – including teachers giving up their lunch hours – to ensure that he was always supervised.  My friend also mentioned that he’d had to be dragged, kicking and screaming to school that Monday.

And this is where the help comes in.

Yes, I came up with a few thoughts, off the top of my head, which I’ll copy below.  I have a fair bit of personal experience and have read many books on the subject, but would never call myself an expert.   That title I’d reserve for the parents and the people on the spectrum who have lived with this amazing, different and non-typical way of being on a daily basis, year after year.

If any of you reading this and can add further insights and suggestions (bearing in mind, of course, the needs of the rest of the children in the class), please comment and add your ideas.  I promise they’ll be passed on.

Here – for what they’re worth, are the thoughts I had, in no particular order:

Familiarity, to a child on the spectrum, is like a life raft in a sea of change, so the current situation with constantly changing minders is the worst possible for him.  Given that presumably nothing can be done about that, he needs as many things as possible to stay the same – either the room he’s cared for in, or a folder/box of his own equipment or activities (preferably his favourite colour and/or texture – he’s bound to have very strong preferences – but failing that, a Thomas the Tank Engine cover almost always works!)

If he doesn’t already have one, a visual timetable will help him to make some sense of his days, as long as every adult works through it with him at every change in his day.  It needs to be geared to his particular circumstances.

Cash in on his affinity with nature in every way possible – a feely box with bark, leaves, moss etc. to touch and talk about; a set of twigs or pebbles to count, sort or order in various ways; picture books about the natural world to share and perhaps a bird feeder outside the window, which he could fill and watch.  

I’ve noticed that these kids often have a link to crystals.  It would be worth seeing if a small bag of tumbled stones can be used to calm him when he’s out of control.  A lad I taught used to tell me that he could feel certain crystals vibrating in his hand.  He had an aventurine that always helped him to feel calmer if something had upset him.

Check with Mum whether there’s a particular object/texture/picture/sound that calms him at home.  Maybe school could have something similar to offer when he’s at the throwing stage.  

Perhaps a peaceful sunset or polar poster could be put at his eye level for him to lose himself in.

I’d strongly suggest that staff don’t discourage flapping, rocking or repetitive actions.  These may not be neuro-typical behaviours, but they are exactly what these children need to get themselves back under control.  Screaming and headbanging are less easy to deal with, but cushions help in both cases – to smother the noise (though not the child, of course!) and to protect the head.

The apparently unprovoked Monday morning tantrum could have been a response to the change from the weekend routine or a complaint about the chaos of having this many-carers system at school, but children on the spectrum are invariably very sensitive to the moods and feelings of others – to the point of telepathy, so he could easily be acting out some tension he has sensed in the household.

If outdoors works for him, get him outdoors!  I know from bitter experience teaching on the Essex coast, with winds straight from Siberia, how unpleasant that might be for his minder, but it may help him to gain control of himself.    

I presume someone has checked whether strip lighting affects him?  Some hypersensitive kids get an unbearable strobing effect from them.  They can also be strongly affected by smells, sounds, textures and the pattern of light and shadow, which the rest of us would barely notice.  So get all his carers to avoid perfume, for example.  Again, his mum could probably advise you.

I realise these are only a few ‘first aid’ measures, and don’t even scratch the surface of the deeper needs of a person who perceives in this way.  

Maybe they’ll help slightly.  Maybe you have something to add…

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Of rusty keys, unicorns and leaky roofs


Keys (Photo credit: glen edelson)

I didn’t even intend to enter the antique shop, but it was freezing cold, my companion was going in and I didn’t fancy standing outside.  We browsed for a while.  She bought nothing.     I bought a large, rusty key that somehow took my fancy.

“Now you just need the house to go with it,” she grinned.
“Fat chance,” I remember saying.
Unable to lay my hands on my capital (family stuff) I’ve been renting a pleasant enough little terraced house with a tiny courtyard and waiting, and dreaming.

Then – about a month later – I saw the picture.

Grade 2 listed 17th century cottage with stone mullion windows and a long garden right here in my town, at a suspiciously low price – one that, if I could lay my hands on my money, would just be within my reach.

I felt ridiculously excited.

Obviously, though, there were drawbacks.  Even the softly lit, flattering estate agent’s photos made it clear that not all was perfect.

‘In need of modernisation’ it said.  Well yes, that and major roof repairs, getting rid of the large gaping hole in an upstairs ceiling, damp issues, ill-fitting single-glazed windows, no doors that lock without extreme physical force being applied – or even open and close properly – and we’re getting closer.

So did that lot put me off?


I couldn’t figure out why not.  So I chatted it over with a friend.  Telling her the story, I got to the point where the photo in the estate agent’s window had grabbed my attention.  The words, “and I knew it was my cottage” came out of my mouth.  I hadn’t consciously put them there.

Kew Gardens

At the same moment, I had a flashback to an event that had taken place several years before.  I’d been participating in a group meditation.  The leader had suggested we find our power animals.  I saw myself standing in a garden.  It was in a part of my town I had often passed through, but never stopped in.  As I stood there, a unicorn walked slowly towards me and I felt perfect peace and happiness.

As you’ve probably guessed, the location of this vision was exactly where the cottage is situated.

Now everything started to make sense to me.  This really was – in some strange, metaphysical way – my cottage.

The strangest things started to happen.  Every time I hit a problem, the solution appeared.

My money – tied up and unreachable for five years – suddenly was available.

My fears about planning restrictions on listed buildings were allayed by a quick call to the local conservation officers.  Not only did they patiently chat through the issues by phone – one of them is coming out to walk through the cottage with me and talk me through the options.

I seem to have found the most thorough and helpful surveyor in the county.

Even when I put out the thought that it would be helpful to talk to someone who knows that part of town and the neighbours well, the Universe delivered.  From out of nowhere, someone I hadn’t seen for a couple of years wandered up to me in the High Street and told me all I needed to know.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve said, “Ideally, I’d like…” and received exactly that.


Early days, but I’m staying  in the flow…

Ideally I’d like the surveyor’s report to highlight all the problems, but not find anything too structural that needs repairs beyond my rather limited means.

Ideally I’d like the conservation officer to tell me I can put in an upstairs bathroom and make the other changes I dream of.

Ideally I’d like the vendor to accept my offer, so that I’ll have enough left for the ‘modernisations’.

Ideally I’d like to find friendly, reliable local builders and craftsmen with traditional skills who could put this poor, neglected cottage back together.

Ideally, I’d love to be the custodian of an ancient cottage that feels warm, snug and comfortable, with a pretty and productive garden, by this time next year.

I’m more than happy to share it with a unicorn, and I bet the key will fit somewhere!

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Between Two Worlds in Avebury

English: Avebury Ring. Ancient monument much m...

Yesterday, here in the south west of England, it didn’t rain.  In fact the sun shone, birds twittered, a few white clouds scudded across a fresh blue sky and all felt good, at last.  January was the wettest on record here, but January is gone.  Snowdrops are out and there is the promise of spring.

My friend (one with a car) was off to Avebury to celebrate Imbolc with fellow druids, and offered me a lift.

“You don’t have to join in with the ritual,” she told me.  “You can go off and do your own thing.”

How well she knows me!  How good it is to have friends like that.

I accepted eagerly and donning many layers of clothes (druidic rituals tend to go on a bit, so I knew I was in for a protracted wander) I headed off to meet her.

We left saturated Somerset behind and entered the chalkier, slightly better-drained hills of Wiltshire.  True, the road leading towards Avebury was bordered by large swathes of flooded field where flocks of seagulls swam and bobbed cheerfully, but grass and trees could still be seen, the road was dry and the water wasn’t deep enough for swans – mere puddles by comparison to The Somerset Levels.

So after a much-needed cuppa at the National Trust cafe, we separated – she to join her garlanded and enrobed companions and I to saunter off alone; to wander between two worlds.

English: Avebury Henge and Village, England Ph...

It seemed an appropriate way to experience Avebury – a place unique in its ability to blend cultures and millennia.  Way back in times with far too many zeros in their dates to be even vaguely imagined, huge earth ramparts and ditches were carved out across acres of this landscape.  A massive mound was constructed from chalk nearby.  Stones the size of a modest house wall were erected in circles and avenues.

We can’t begin to guess what ceremonies, rituals or meetings took place in this fantastical place.  Certainly there are books claiming to decode and explain all, but how could we honestly begin to fathom the subtleties of the beliefs and aspirations of that long-departed culture?

When the first antiquarians, wearing long curly wigs and wildly unsuitable clothes, started to recognise the site’s significance, they were met by surly villagers, busily engaged in lighting fires beneath the stones to break them into usable boulders for constructing their cottages and farm buildings.  Now the two cultures agree silently to differ and co-exist cheek by jowl, scrutinised and invaded alike by summer hordes of tourists.

Few tourists yesterday though.  The Imbolc celebrants drummed and intoned in their circle.  Day-trippers strode purposefully around the site as they sought to exhaust their dogs and children.  Circles within circles, wheels within the car park…

English: Stone 9 of the south-west quadrant of...

I felt equally removed from both groups.  Seeking out a huge and beautiful stone I leaned against it, closed my eyes and let myself drop out of time.   No visions of ancient ceremonies or connection to ancestors, just a profound gratitude that this stone had stood here through the ages and was now offering me shelter and support.

If, when my eyes were shut, I saw a green-brown sky with a glittering grey rock moon, or when they were open I saw the quartz glinting star-like from a thousand places in the megalith, it’s all one.  Seeing stones and seeing stars – is there a difference?

I felt uplifted and happy and full with the wonder of the day.  So, I’m certain, did the druids and the dog-and-child walkers.

So create your rituals, ye neo-druids; excite and exhaust your small companions ye motorists, and inside my dreams I’ll weave my invisible dance amongst you all and between the different dimensions of Avebury.

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