Doing the Gratefuls

A depressed man sitting on a bench

Charlie was stuck.  He recognised it.  He just didn’t know what to do about it.

I’m sure it’s a fairly familiar tale.  He’d given up a well paid managerial position in his late twenties to study for a degree in a subject he loved. He met his girlfriend at university.  They graduated, though, at the time the recession really kicked in.  Both of them had applied for plenty of jobs, but nothing came up, so both moved back in with their respective parents, hundreds of miles apart, and applied for job-seekers allowance.

Eventually, both found regular jobs.  These were not highly paid, not anything connected to their degrees or aspirations, but enabled them to save a small amount each month, pay their way at home and put together enough money to visit one another every month or so.

That wasn’t too bad for a start, but it dragged on year after year and both became thoroughly fed up.

“I’m 33,” Charlie announced miserably, when he came to stay with me last month. “I haven’t done anything yet.  I’m bored with my job, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life living with Dad, I miss my girlfriend and I’m fed up.  I’ve applied for loads of other jobs but nothing comes up.  Nothing is going to change.  There’s no way out.”

On the surface of it, his situation didn’t look great.  He didn’t earn enough to move into a place of his own.  He certainly didn’t earn enough to keep his girlfriend while she relocated and searched for a new job.  He spent his evenings trying to write a best-seller and learning carpentry, but – as I’ve said, he was stuck.

I hated seeing Charlie this miserable.  I toyed with the idea of talking about how we create our own lives with the way we think about them, and about the nature of reality, but he wasn’t in a space where he could hear that.  I thought back to the time I’d been at my lowest, and the teacher who had rescued me.  He’d instructed me to go and write the words

I’m grateful for all in my life

on a sheet of paper, to look at it at least three times a day, and to repeat it five times on each occasion.  To say I’d been sceptical would be an understatement, but I’d done it, and the turnaround had been amazing.

I told Charlie the story.  His reaction was exactly what I’d expected – exactly what mine had been.

“Am I allowed to say it through gritted teeth with deep irony?” he asked, grimly.

“Sure,” I said.  “Say it any way you like, but say it.  As you say it, challenge yourself to think about the most depressing, horrible, unpleasant situations in your life, and work out what they’re teaching you or showing you.”

We tried a few together.  He named a particularly hated manager at work, listing the ways she undermined others, sloped off early leaving them struggling to meet deadlines, bad-mouthed others behind their backs while being sweet as sugar to their faces.  The list went on.

“So what is she teaching you?  What lesson does she have for you?” I asked.

He thought for a while.  “How not to be a manager?  How not to handle people?”

I suggested he turned those to positives.

“So… she’s showing me that people matter, that they deserve respect and that if I end up managing others I lead by example rather than giving orders and doing something else.”

“Valuable help then,” I grinned.  “You can be grateful for Jenny.”

“I’m grateful for Jenny,” he snarled, but at least he was smiling as he said it.

I reminded him of the sentence a few more times during the holiday.  He dutifully repeated it, but with a fairly bad grace.

English: Tropical Rucksack Side View

Before he left, I had the opportunity to slip that sheet of paper I’d written the original message on into a pocket of his rucksack.  At some point he’d find it.  It might jog his memory…

Last night, Charlie phoned me.

His girlfriend had been given a large pay rise.  She’d calculated that it was enough to rent a house in a lovely town close to where she works.  He had handed in his notice and was heading up to view properties with her this weekend.  They’re planning to move in together at the start of June.  His boss has promised him a glowing reference and he’s going to search for a job there.

He’d written 40,000 words of his book, he said.  He was happy with the way it was going.  His latest wood carving project was a large green man.  That was going well too.

I asked how he felt about uprooting and moving across the country.  He admitted it had been difficult at first.
“I’ve worked through it now, though,” he said. “Friends and people at work have been very supportive and now I’ve actually committed to it, I feel hopeful about the future.”

There was a pause while I took all this in.

Quietly, almost shyly, Charlie added, “Oh, and I’ve been doing the gratefuls and that every day…”

Charlie is my son.

I’m grateful for all in my life…

Reality is … where, exactly?

English: East Backwater Rhyne, Somerset site o...

A little over a hundred years ago, a man called Arthur Bulleid lived here in Glastonbury.  Arthur’s story has always fascinated me, so let me share it with you.

Arthur was a well educated young man from a wealthy family who had always had a passion for archaeology.  He went on a trip to Switzerland, where he was able to visit the remains of prehistoric lake villages, built on timber rafts with causeways to the mainland.

Arthur had a moment.  What would you call it – inspiration, intuition, remote viewing, hunch…?  Whatever it was, Arthur Bulleid ‘knew’ there would be villages like this close to his native town, so he came home and began searching for them.

Glastonbury Lake Village site -

I should explain that Glastonbury is a former island (the Isle of Avalon), since it was once all but surrounded by watery marshland which has since been drained to form the Somerset Levels.  That is really the only vague similarity to the topography he was seeing in Switzerland, yet, as I’ve said, he knew a similar village would be found here.

He set about excavating the slightly bumpy but otherwise unpromising field shown in these two pictures, which is a mile or two out of the town.  The finds soon began to appear – dugout canoes, cooking pots, jewellery, animal bones, knives and spears, weights from weaving looms… in fact every type of artefact to prove that a thriving community lived on the site, along with the remains of the wooden raft bases and the stakes they rested on.  Arthur had discovered exactly what he expected to find.

Strange, don’t you think?

Somewhere – I wish I could remember where – I heard a quote from a British archaeologist who had noticed a strange phenomenon.  He said that when they began a dig expecting to find Roman remains, that’s what they found.  When they expected Viking finds, these duly turned up, as did Saxon, mediaeval, Celtic and so forth.  He insisted that this was not because they already knew what was there, but seemed to link in some way to their expectations.

Perhaps you will have heard the strange and wonderful recent story of Philippa Langley, who King Richard III, by unknown artist. See sourc...‘knew’ that the bones of King Richard III would be found buried beneath a car park in Leicester.  Her story can be found here.  Once again we have a person with a passion for history and a conviction that somehow she knows the truth.

The first trench put into that car park revealed human bones.  Their dating fitted.  DNA tests linked these very bones conclusively to Richard’s remaining relatives and a curvature of the spine was noted which would have given rise to Shakespeare’s (somewhat biased – he knew which side his bread was buttered) depiction of Richard as a hunchback.  The facial reconstruction made using the skull’s measurements was eerily similar to this portrait.

There’s another Glastonbury story that fits here.  Most people dismiss it as a scam invented by the monks of Glastonbury Abbey to generate huge amounts of income, but I’m not so sure…  In 1191 a group of monks digging in the grounds discovered an oak casket – ancient even then – containing the bones of two people, along with this little cross bearing an inscription which reads:

Here lies interred in the Isle of Avalon the renowned King Arthur.

Arthur and Guinevere!  Obviously this caused massive interest.  The English King and Queen attended an elaborate re-interment ceremony and pilgrims flocked to the Abbey, making it one of the richest in the country.  Just before Henry VIII’s thugs sacked the Abbey, the tomb, bones and cross mysteriously disappeared.  No one, presumably, wanted Arthur’s remains getting into his hands.

I’m sure you can see the thread running through these stories.  It all comes down to cause and effect.

It sounds a ridiculous thing to say, I know, but I have an intriguing question to ask.  What came first – the desire and determination to make these discoveries or the remains themselves?  Were Arthur and Philippa, the thoughtful archaeologist and the mediaeval monks, the creators of this reality or the discoverers?  Did they somehow cause the objects of their intention to be found right there, right then, or was it some instinct and knowing beyond time which drew them to the correct sites?  Or both at once?

I have a personal reason for musing upon this; one which I may share at some future date…

From ‘What the Bleep?’, to The Secret, to the less hyped-up but nonetheless brilliant and revealing words of The Council  and Higgins, we are told that we create what we wish to have in our lives.  I believe that the examples above are a kind of chicken-and-egg scenario.  Neither came ‘first’.  The remains and the creator-discoverers simply came together as a result of a powerful emotional desire sent out by these individuals.  I’m not sure that I believe any more in an objective reality.

A few years ago, I was inspired to write a book based on this idea.  It was called Life: A Player’s Guide.  I’d like to finish this post with a paragraph from the final page of that book, which, I feel, links rather neatly back to Arthur Bulleid – and the rest of us:

Be The Creator. Be all-powerful and create your own life. Getting rid of the doubts and fears and the million and one reasons why you can’t follow your dreams takes patience and determination. But the potential is there. Maybe that’s why your God/self arranged for your character in this particular game to discover this book. Maybe your narrative in this lifetime-game is the story of the hero who ‘comes home’ to find the hidden treasure. You already know how those stories go. Main characters set out on their quest. They travel far and wide, cope with all kinds of trials and tribulations and have all manner of adventures and experiences. Eventually they return home, only to discover that they had what they were seeking in their possession all the time, although they needed all those apparently incidental experiences to enable them to find it. Once they’ve made that discovery, they are able to share the treasure with those around them.

Crystal concealed – and revealed…

So the strange and amazing tale of forays into the phenomenon of remote viewing continues.  The previous two posts explain the story so far.

Up to this point, I had two main assumptions about the experiments we were doing.  The first was that I was in some way conveying information to Will about crystals as I held them in my hand while he, many miles away, focussed on ‘seeing’ them.  The second was that these viewings were working brilliantly because we were both using our Andara Crystals, which had some kind of link to each other.  Both these assumptions were about to be blown apart by what happened next.

On the Friday before the third viewing we had scheduled, my soon-to-be-granddaughter decided to put in an appearance.  Just as I was settling for a quiet evening, I received a frantic phone call.  My daughter was in labour.  There was no one to look after the three year old.  Could I come, please, NOW?

There followed a hectic, high-speed journey across the country.  I’d had 15 minutes to pack.  Racing around the house mumbling, “Toothbrush…  make-up…  pyjamas…  phone…” etc. as I hurled things into a case, with no idea how long I’d be staying, the precious third Andara stone went right out of my head and was left behind.

My new granddaughter, with Mum and big brother

My new granddaughter, with Mum and big brother

On the Sunday, when mother and baby were safely home and doing fine, my jumbled and sleep-deprived thoughts turned to the viewing.  I am seldom without a crystal of some sort stuffed into a pocket and I was relieved to find that I had inadvertently brought a gorgeous tumbled green kyanite with rubies scattered through it – one of my favourite crystals.  I explained the situation to Will and told him I’d endeavour to find a quietish spot in the house and would be focussing on a non-Andara crystal at exactly 2.30 pm.

What I didn’t know at the time – he only told me some weeks later – was that Will had already picked up on the absent third Andara, some days before I’d left home.  He had also, two hours before the scheduled time, done an advance viewing for the crystal I had with me.

Green kyanite with rubies

Green kyanite with rubies

We proceeded as before, signalling a start and end to the session via text messages.  I sat in a corner of the spare bedroom, my feet resting on my suitcase, holding my kyanite.  He told me he’d seen red at first, then a clear quartz crystal.  He told me it had a definite triangular shape.  In his advance viewing, he’d seen the stone as a pinkish colour, but didn’t mention that.

There was quite obviously no match.  He looked at the photo and simply said, “Nothing like what I saw.”

I felt my focus had been weak.  I wondered if it only worked for Andara crystals.  Sadly, we put it aside and resolved to try again when I was home, the next week.

Monday arrived.

It was early morning.  My three year old grandson was rifling through my suitcase and found a small pouch tucked into my make-up holder.

“Wossis, Grandma?” he enquired.

“It’s my dowsing pendulum,” I said, taking the, ahem, cone-shaped rose-quartz crystal from the red fabric pouch to show him.

I never go anywhere without one of my three pendulums.  I use them to get in touch with my intuition, my Higher Self, my guides.  The rose quartz one is always kept in the make-up bag.  As I said, I hadn’t had much sleep for several nights and – stupid as it may sound – it simply hadn’t crossed my mind that this, too, was a crystal.

A slow awe spread through my entire being as I realised what had happened.  Somehow – in some utterly unfathomable way – Will had picked up on this little crystal inside its bright red pouch, inside the make-up bag, inside the suitcase, under my feet, during the viewing session, while completely missing the crystal I was holding and concentrating on.

Rose quartz pendulum

Rose quartz pendulum

I laid the pendulum on the pouch and photographed it, sending the picture to Will. “Any chance this is what you were seeing yesterday?”

He agreed that it was a perfect match for the stone he’d seen, while the pouch was the exact shade of red he’d seen before being able to penetrate to the crystal.

Later it occurred to me that Will and the rose quartz pendulum were old friends.  I’d had it for many years.  As a young boy he’d watched as I dowsed with it, taking dictation of messages from guides and his departed mother as the crystal danced across my computer keyboard, allowing him to understand that he was never alone, and that death was not the great separator he’d feared.

Was this why time, space and a succession of containers were unable to prevent him from making contact with it once again – or vice versa…?

The third Andara

The third Andara

Of course I had no idea that, had I asked him, Will would also have been able to describe the third of my Andara Crystals, despite our viewing session still being in the future.  The following Sunday he told me its colour and shape, even providing me with a clear drawing of the stone.  He did this from the impressions he’d gained a week and a half beforehand.

I’d now learned that his ability to view was clearly not restricted to the Andaras.  It also became evident that my own focus on the object was not a necessary part of the procedure, although perhaps my presence was.

There were still many more questions than answers and we decided that our next project would be to see whether – having kick-started this ability with the crystals – he would be able to view other things.  Perhaps he could pick up features of my location, for example.

On another Sunday afternoon, the answer to that would be revealed.