Well that was unexpected.

A request from a potential new Facebook friend.  The name’s distantly familiar.  So is the face, when I take a look at his profile, and those dim bells clanging at the very back of my mind are telling me he’s somehow connected to the school I worked at, before everything changed.  His profile says he’s from my old town.  Slightly bemused and curious, I press the Accept button.

An hour later, the young man messages me.  He’d been a student teacher at the school for a few weeks, it emerges, while I was working there.  We’d chatted several times in the staff room.  I feel slightly less embarrassed now that my recall was somewhat dim.  In the intervening years, he’s moved around the country, married, had children and is now back there and doing my old job – teaching Year 6 at the same Essex school.  Somewhat synchronous…

He tells me about life there these days.  Sounds ghastly – endless new initiatives imposed by clueless, reactionary politicians, ‘special measures’ imposed on the staff, ‘academy status’ whatever that is – more and more control from above, obviously – and packs of disaffected kids prowling the building and contemplating escape.  I suddenly feel very safe and cosseted by my present easy lifestyle.  Also mildly guilty for getting out when I did.

Then he totally amazes me.
“I read your book,” he says.

Available in paperback and Kindle editions

Really?  I can’t imagine anyone in Essex reading my book.  He tells me it inspired him and that he now has a totally new attitude towards education and is considering getting out of the crumbling system and educating in other ways.  He’s been on a Forest Schools course.  He’s thinking about working for a local wildlife trust and using that as a base for educating.

Good grief!  What did I write in that book?  It’s been a long while since I read it, so I take it off the shelf and have another look.

It most certainly isn’t about education, or how to educate.  It does have a rather teacherly style, though.  Re-reading it makes me wince slightly.  Did I really explain a multi-dimensional universe by instructing the reader on how to make a paper model?  It reads like the script of a 1980s episode of Blue Peter, for those who know what that is.  And yet it kind of works…

English: 42, The Answer to the Ultimate Questi...

What I was trying to do, when I put it together, was to write a book about the meaning and purpose of Life, the Universe and Everything which avoided all the wafty new-age psychobabble, mystical ramblings and cliches, (How DO you insert an acute accent on WordPress??) that were so prevalent when it was published in 2012.

The video game analogy is hopelessly overworked; the style (in an attempt to draw in a ‘youth’ audience) veers much closer to patronising than I’d now wish, yet it still has a sort of raw charm and honesty, I suppose, and a few ideas and insights which I haven’t seen expressed anywhere else.  Not a complete waste of time, then.

So how the young man discovered it and chose to read it, I’ll probably never know, but I’m all about encouraging everyone, myself included, to move out of the comfort zone and into newer and greater experience.  That appears to be – so early indications are suggesting – what 2016 is all about.

And what is the message for me?  There definitely is one; it says so in the book:

These synchronicities act like a sort of mental sticking plaster and are strong enough to hold the two of you together; to keep you talking and interacting until you both get the information or experience that you need…

Is this episode telling me to stop faffing about and to get on with writing the next book… and making it better?



12 comments on “Guidance…

      • Dear Jan:

        Something is really up in the air, or probably it is just plain ‘get on with the work you need to do and the pressure will be off’ sense-inducing message that I once heard from one of the Awesomeness Fest with Mindvalley Academy. I got to limit blogging and get on more with my clinical work because of the building pressure, and the pressure itself came from having started voicing my real thoughts on the blog (remember the Each of us are unique ..and not blog?), not that I did not voice otherwise but did not dare to voice my ‘people will think I am weird/bats if I voice this’ kind of thoughts – the core-wrenching stuff. Turns out my clinical baby needs a lot of such stuff from me.

        Wish you the very best, Jan. Something is really up in the air! {though do continue to boom every now and then on wordpress for this space is a platform too – you do make a difference that makes a difference. You certainly got me voicing and moving inspite of my expressive aphasia/semantic aphasia or whatever it may not be, and there is nothing in the world that is better than having me show up as a consequence for the clinical work that is my baby! 🙂 It does make the world a better place to live in so show up! …..that last bit is an injunction from an insistence that pulses on the back of my head}

        Much love,

      • Dear Bitha,
        I couldn’t turn my back completely on blogging! I’m too fond of my ‘blog family’ and I love the instant feedback, with new ideas to spark me off.
        I think, though, that rather than heading off on streams (or light beams, perhaps) of consciousness, as I’ve been doing lately, I’ll be using this as a way to test and expand ideas that could work within After Life.
        I see you’re at a similar point and I wish you all things good with your ‘baby’. It sounds so wonderful. I only wish I wasn’t on the other side of the world, so that I could experience it at first hand.
        Please keep writing too, though, when time allows or Spirit moves you to give voice to your ideas. Whatever limitations you feel that you perceive in yourself, to me you are one of the clearest and most insightful writers I know and I deeply value your words.
        With love,
        Jan x

      • It is words such as yours that nudges and encourages me to foray a bit further and ‘try out’ a space outside of what I thought is my lot, not knowing until then that I lived within those confines (picture that! not knowing that I live within boundaries!!). I have no doubt there have been scores of people out there in the world who have been benefitted and influenced by your presence in their lives at various points in their lives. I have often come to thinking that the Universe works in mysterious ways and that there are no accidents in life. It is a very alive Universe we live in (full with soul, body and the whole works that makes a living organism a living organism) and consequently it may not have been a mere accident that we have come to interact over time. As expressed time and time again, I know I have been benefitted, and I believe in some ways you have been too, for the waves of the ocean cannot not be moved in some way once they come into contact, and we are all different waves in the ocean of consciousness.

        I will write on wordpress. It seems like writing is coming to importance again along with my clinical work but in a new vigor. By the way, I tonsured my head today to sort of egg me out of my shell (along with other collateral benefits, as I imagine it). I am getting raw and beautiful, as I imagine it! Hehe.

        Wish you the very best with your work. The best is yet to be, and the best is in the making.

        Much love,

      • I certainly have benefited from our conversations, Bitha, and the number of synchronicities point to the fact that meeting up this way was certainly intentional, on some level.

        Thanks – again – for your lovely comments.

        with love,
        Jan x

  1. I love synchronicities. Whether they point me in a new direction, let me know I’m on the right track, or connect me to a bit of information that I needed at that moment, they most definitely serve a purpose. And to answer your question about an acute accent in WP, at the top bar in my editor, there is a “special characters” button. I have bookmarked and use the old editor, and the button shows up on the second line with an omega sign on it. I don’t use the new editor. If you don’t see something like that, do what I do when I can’t find any other way, copy it from the internet (just find a word that already has it) and paste it into your blog.

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