The ‘Why?’ is sorted (probably)

BLW The Last Judgement

The Last Judgement (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well here’s a start.

Maybe this is the introduction.  Very much a first draft, but feedback would be welcome.

Apologies for the western slant. Perhaps it will not hold so true for readers with other cultural references (but I’d be fascinated to know how much of it does…).

So in place of a proper blog post this week, please accept and comment, if you wish, on this extract, while I get back to the matter of the book.

Why am I writing this book?

Because for many centuries people have been persuaded by religious leaders that, one way and another, they’ve failed miserably at being human, which means that a very nasty afterlife awaits them (unless of course they are either incredibly saintly and prepared to die to prove it, or obscenely rich and able to buy their way into Heaven via generous gifts to said religious leaders).

Because over the last few generations humans have largely stopped believing the Hell story and more-or-less let go of the Heaven one too.  They’ve settled for the RIP version, where we just doze off for eternity.  It doesn’t sound great, but is at least preferable to the Day of Judgement, when all those skeletons in the cupboard could begin rattling nastily.

Because given that there doesn’t seem a lot to look forward to, humans have invested a massive amount of time, energy and money into trying to cling on to life – to staying human for as long as possible.

Because the current attitude towards death is deeply weird.  On the one hand, we fill our television channels with police dramas, hospital dramas, whodunits and tales of autopsies, with news reports of starvation, wars, fatal accidents and murder.  We play video games in which killing is not only commonplace, but usually the entire point.  We conduct wars in which the technology enables ‘push button death’ with any emotional attachment carefully removed; a soldier no longer needs to see the whites of his opponent’s eyes in order to kill him.  WMDs and IEDs abound.  And yet… Death is a taboo.  We avoid discussing it wherever possible. We change the subject with a nervous laugh.  “Yes, well, shall we talk about something a bit more cheerful?”

Because when we hear that someone is terminally ill, we don’t know what to say.  When friends are bereaved, we don’t have ways to comfort them.  We maybe send a card with a bunch of white flowers or a vaguely ecclesiastical-looking gateway on it and tell them we hope they’re getting over it now and that, after all, life must go on.

Because those who feel the need to know that something conscious remains of those they have lost will turn to mediums and spiritualists who, apparently, have polite queues of departed souls waiting to reveal themselves as someone on the mother’s side who had a problem with her knees or a military man who smoked and had breathing problems. Not, please understand, that I’m suggesting the mediums themselves are charlatans.  It just seems strange that Great Uncle Cedric should be hanging about for eternity, waiting to reveal his penchant for growing prize vegetables to a great niece who had been hoping desperately for news of her recently departed mother.

I’m writing this book because none of the above sounds particularly healthy to me.  Death casts a long shadow, and I’d prefer it not to.  I’d prefer ‘life’ to be something wider, richer and stronger than inhabiting a physical body for a while.  I’d like it to encompass what came before and what comes after, with death as simply one of the transitional states that lies within it.

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Guidance…

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?

Probably.

 

Thinner than Blood 2: Waiting for Proof

That’s what I’m doing – right now.

I’m sitting in my little cottage in sleepy Somerset, waiting for the proof to arrive.

The proof I speak of is a slim, modest paperback proof-copy of William’s words.  It’s travelling from the United States and should – the publishers assure me – be here today.

I’m excited – quite stupidly so.  I know The Words almost by heart now, having formatted and reformatted them so many times.  They are words I collected and saved over nearly twenty years – childhood scribblings and conversations, strange visions and apparent prophecies delivered by a puzzled adolescent boy, emailed articles and comments sent by a young man cut off from most other contact by the anxiety that now surrounds his life.

Formatting

Formatting

As explained in a previous post, I had the idea of collating many of his words and presenting them to him as a birthday present.  Then I asked if he’d like them turned into an e-book and made available to others.  He wasn’t sure.  He needed to think that through.  Did the most private person you can imagine want other eyes poring over his thoughts and ideas?  After what felt to me like an eternity, he decided.  Yes.

Thus the Kindle edition of The Words of William was born.  To begin with, he was cautious about the whole enterprise.  Within a few days, though, my texts telling him another copy or two had sold received an instant response:

“Where?  Which country?”

He became fascinated by the thought that people were buying and borrowing his little book around the world.  He started to keep a tally.
“So that’s 1 in Spain, 4 in the UK, 6 in the US, 1 in Canada..?” he would text.  “Have I got all those right?”  and eventually, “I’m certainly happy with it and thank you for my birthday present.”

Every kind comment and wish from readers of this blog, the five star review on Amazon’s Spanish site, the messages from friends who had enjoyed it were duly passed on to him, and I could feel his confidence, self-esteem and trust in others growing by the day.

Result!

Christmas present wrapped with a gold bow and ...

Now how on Earth was I going to match that success with a Christmas gift?

Then it came to me.  “Would you like your book turned into a paperback for your Christmas present?” I asked.  “Several people have said they’d rather buy it like that than as an e-book.”
The reply was instant: “Yes please.”

Sorted.  I emailed a friend in the States who had recently published a book with Amazon’s Create Space service.  She came back with a host of useful hints and tips.

I can’t pretend it was easy.  The formatting and cover had to be totally redone and there were contentious bits like the ‘About the Author’ page.  William strongly disliked my first attempt at that, but then amazed me by re-drafting much of it himself.

So now, I sit and wait.  Within the next few hours, the proof will arrive – proof that The Words of William are out there in print, and I simply couldn’t be more proud 🙂

 

 

Hopefully, within the next week or so, the paperback edition of The Words of William – Volume One will be available here and on Amazon in the US, UK and Europe.

Free E-Book for five days

I’ve mentioned my full length book, LIFE: A PLAYER’S GUIDE, in several posts recently and sales are jogging along nicely.

But for anyone who would just like to dip a toe in the waters of my philosophies, so to speak, Amazon is givinlifeisagame-coverg away FREE downloads of my mini Kindle book: LIFE IS A GAME: YOU CREATED IT from Monday 1st to Friday 5th June.

Here’s the blurb:

A very short mini E-book to introduce readers to the ideas in Life: A Player’s Guide by Jan Stone.
It looks at questions about ‘Life’ such as ‘Why am I here?’ ‘What’s the point?’ and ‘Why is my life so rubbish so much of the time?’

I hope the promotion works outside of the UK – always struggle to understand the small print on Amazon deals.  If not, it would cost you $0.99 in US, or equivalent.

The price returns to normal from June 6th onwards, so grab it while you can.

If anyone who reads it would like to post a review on Amazon, that would be very welcome, as it doesn’t have any yet, although there are some lovely ones for the full length book on Amazon UK.

Click THIS LINK FOR THE FREE DOWNLOAD on Amazon.com during the next week.

Click THIS LINK FOR THE FREE DOWNLOAD on Amazon.co.uk during the next week.

Otherwise just enter the title on your local Amazon site and it should appear.

Hope you enjoy it.  🙂

Analogy 2

In my last post I compared life to a funfair ride and several people mentioned how that analogy worked for them.

Screenshot of ERD - Estrada Real Digital, A So...

So here’s another…

Imagine our souls/higher selves/eternal beings or whatever you wish to call them as a group of eager adventure gamers.  Maybe it takes a bit of imagination, but bear with me.

These eternal aspects of us are addicted to a game called Life.

It’s not surprising.  The game is a totally immersive experience.  To play it, you put on a skin suit and become a character in a drama that you have helped to script.  That doesn’t mean you know what’s going to happen.  As in most action games, you get to choose your character.  You also select fellow players who will act out the parts of the heroes and villains in your game.  You sort out with them before you start the roles each will play, so that you can all gain the most experience from the game. (And yes, that does mean they are not terrible, bad, unkind people, but eternal souls made of light who have willingly agreed to take on these roles – act out a part – to enable you to have adventure, challenge and gain new experience.)
Your avatar starts off as a very young and inexperienced character, because part of the skin suit’s purpose is to give you temporary amnesia: You forget – or almost forget – that you have a life beyond the game.  You forget all the other versions of the game you’ve played as other characters.  As you work through the levels you gain experience and, if you’re playing mindfully, you start to remember that you’re more than just this game character and find yourself able to draw on advice and inspiration from the ‘real’ you.
Of course (as you’ll have noticed) it’s a hugely complex game and I’ve only scratched the surface of it here.  There’s a far more detailed Player’s Guide available in Kindle or paperback editions, which I try not to plug too often, but maybe once in a while is OK, especially at a time of year when many people are buying gifts or looking for ways to spend vouchers 🙂 .

The Amazon Kindle 2

So, here come the plugs:

The link to my US Amazon page, which has details of how to buy either version, plus the cheaper-than-chips Kindle taster is here.
If you’d like to see the UK version, which also has all my reviews and star ratings (Amazon won’t put UK reviews on their US site, and no one in the US has reviewed it yet) go to this link.
If you’re an Amazon hater and would prefer to buy direct from my publisher, head over here.  Oh, and if you follow this link and leave your name and email, you could even win a free copy of the paperback: http://feedaread.com/p/3493/
Available in paperback and Kindle editions

Available in paperback and Kindle editions

Thirteen and on crack

One of several versions of the painting "...

‘So here’s the deal,’ I told the kid.  ‘I’m going to take a huge risk on you.  I’m not going to tell social services or your school at this point.  I’m going to gamble that, as you’ve chosen to tell me, you want help to come off and stay clean.  I’ll do everything in my power to get you the help you need, to support you and to stand by you, but you’ve got to promise me, right here and now, that you’ll go along with everything I suggest, no matter how hard it is and no matter how tempted you are to use again.’

‘Okay,’ he said.

Nobody had written the book on how to react – far less what to do – when a 13 year old kid you’ve known since he was knee-high, a kid you’ve watched growing up, a kid you thought you knew inside out, tells you calmly that he’s been using crack for a while now.

That’s quite lucky – that no one had written the book, I mean.  If they had, I’d probably have gone by the book and I’d probably have lost him in the process.  As it was, I had no choice but to go with my heart.

No point blaming.  No point getting angry or whining that I was disappointed in him.  I knew I had to start from where we were.

Oh it was not easy.  It was easily the most not-easy thing I’d ever done.  I’d given my word, so I couldn’t call on support from friends or family.  Even the guy on the helpline (I needed information – fast – loads of it) did that sucking breath in through his teeth thing more usually associated with garage mechanics.
“Thirteen?? How long’s he been using?”
“He doesn’t know. He’s not been keeping a record.  A while.”
“And it’s definitely crack?”
“Yes.”
“There’s not a hope. I mean I’m really sorry but we have to be realistic here. There’s no way you’re going to get him to come off. The highs are so intense…”

I stayed calm.  I didn’t scream or swear.  I’d had quite a bit of practice at staying calm over the last few days, after all.  I gently reminded him of the purpose of his helpline.  I told him I didn’t have time or space for negativity.  I told him I needed him to behave as if there WAS hope – masses of it.  I told him to give me every shred of information and every contact number and address he possibly could and I told him that this boy was going to make it.

And he did.

Cover of "Junk"

This was the most desperate battle I’d fought in my entire life, but having decided on how it was going to pan out, help started to arrive exactly when and where it was needed.  I found him a counsellor.  I somehow got him to break away from his parasitic dealer.  I spent hours listening to teenage angst on the phone every night.  I bought him a copy of Melvin Burgess’ brilliant book Junk and above all, I cared.

A year or so later, when all the dust had settled and life was on a far more even keel, I asked him whether he’d be happy for me to write the story as a discussion workbook for the 10 and 11 year olds I was then teaching.  They were about to start secondary school where – I knew – the temptations would be all too similar to those he had faced.  He seemed to quite like the idea.  We changed names and a few biographical details but everything else was as authentic as I could get it.

For several years, the story of ‘Josh and Stuff’ was shared, analysed, discussed and sometimes wept over by successive year 6 classes.  At the end, the kids wrote messages to ‘Josh’ and I always passed them on.

I always thought drugs were just something everyone did.  Your story made me stop and think very hard.

I’m not going to do drugs because of your story.

Hope you’re OK now.  Thanks for sharing what happened.

I wish I could have been a true friend to you.  You needed one.

Last week I finished working through the book with another, slightly older, group of kids.  I’d honestly forgotten just how powerful the message was.  This page reduced almost the whole group to silence for a long time:

Josh decided to tell the teacher about his habit.  

He was shocked that she seemed so upset.  He didn’t  realise people cared that much about him.

She told him all the stuff he already knew, but some new things, too.

She told him that when he was on a ‘high’, his heart really started racing.  It went so fast that at any point he could have a heart attack.  If he was using in his bedroom, his Dad could walk in and find him dead.  If he was using outside, someone would find the body, call the police and they would knock on his parents’ door.

 She reminded him about his baby brother.  If Josh died now, he probably wouldn’t remember him – just have a photo of the big brother who died because he was a drug addict.

 She asked him to think how he missed his Mum; then to think how his family would miss him.

 She told him that, if he was caught, he’d be put on the child protection register.  Social workers would come round to check up on him, or maybe take him into care.  She told him about juvenile courts and about custodial sentences.

 She asked if a 20-minute high was worth all that.

 Then she said she’d help him come off, if that was what he wanted.

 

Take a bit of time to look back at Josh’s story.

 What if he’d known all the things this teacher has told him when Andy first offered him crack – would it have made a difference?

 

It was the quietest lad in the group who spoke.  His eyes were blazing.
‘Yes, of course it would,’ he said.  ‘That’s the sort of thing the teacher should have told the class.  Not just the slang names and how drugs are used and what the effects are.  If he’d known all this he’d never have done it.’

I’ve thought about that boy’s comments.  It all comes down to this:  young people would be far less likely to engage in risky behaviour if they realised how loved they are.

If  ‘Josh and Stuff’  has helped another group of kids to realise that, it’s done it’s job again.

 

Josh and StuffCopies of ‘Josh and Stuff’  – a discussion book for 9-13 year olds  – can be bought from Lulu.com here.  It is also available in PDF format as ‘Paul and Stuff’ – the same story, but with discussion prompts geared towards classroom use.

 There are other books there which deal with issues such as cyber bullying, under-age drinking, shoplifting and relationships, all of which have been tried and tested in the classroom.

 

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Aside

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Just wanted to let my WordPress readers know that Amazon.co.uk is running a very generous Countdown Promotion on the Kindle edition of my book LIFE: A PLAYER’S GUIDE next week.

It works like this:
At midday GMT on Saturday 7th December, the Kindle version of LIFE (that’s the full length book, not the short summary) will go on sale for the ridiculously low price of 99p!
If you order fast, you’ll get it at that price. As the week progresses, the price will gradually rise by £1 every few days, until it returns to the normal list price at midday on Friday 13th December.

Ideal reading matter for anyone who’d like to spend the dark winter evenings cogitating about what ‘life’ is, exactly – especially if you were intrigued by ideas in the freebie I gave away a few weeks ago or have been enjoying the ‘Janonlife’ take on various aspects of what being here and being human might be about! 

Here’s the link to my Amazon Kindle page, where you can read all my lovely 5 star reviews while you wait for the offer to appear.

Enjoy 🙂

Very Special Offer on my Book…

Creating Your Own Reality

Creation (47/52)

Creation (47/52) (Photo credit: Suus Wansink)

You the Creator

What have you made lately – a model; a cake; a piece of furniture; dinner; a mess…?  I’ll bet you’ve done quite a bit of creating over the last week or so.  And how did you do it?  You got some stuff; you changed it in some way – maybe shaping, or cutting, heating or cooling; you probably mixed it with, or joined it to other stuff and carried on changing or modifying it until your creation was complete.

OK, so you might be protesting that all you did was take a ready-meal out of the freezer, pierce the film lid and put it in the microwave, but you still created a hot, steaming meal out of a frozen lump.  You created something by changing stuff.  Hold that idea.  Hold it nice and tight.  We will return to it.

Dr Frankenstein, I presume?

Humankind has a tendency to blame itself for everything that goes wrong.  Once it was religion that prompted perfectly pleasant, law-abiding people to clamber bare-footed up the longest, steepest, rockiest slopes they could find, wearing nasty, itchy hair shirts, to get forgiveness for what they believed were their terrible sins, and to spend their entire lives in terror of the everlasting torment they felt was more or less inevitable after death.

To the rational scientists, and the philosophers who adopted their way of thinking about life, humans appeared to have all the most brutal and ruthless characteristics of the animal kingdom, without, apparently, any of the grace, wonder and beauty.

Today, we blame ourselves endlessly and exclusively for messing up the planet, despite the fact that climate change and species extinctions have been happening since long before matter started forming itself into humans.

Perfect Flower

We can find beauty and perfection in a flower, a snowflake or a sunset, but give us a mirror and we see only faults.

Maybe it’s just that we sense the hugeness of our own creative powers – and find them very scary.

Without doubt, our skills at creating have been quite awesome.  As you might expect when a few trillion holographic parts of God formed into something with tremendous curiosity, drive and intention – not to mention imagination – the creation really went into overdrive.  From the wheel to the microprocessor, people have created some pretty amazing new stuff.

What have you done?

Musician

Let’s move on now to some of the other things YOU created.  Quite definitely, you created sounds.  You might be a musician, who has recently composed a wonderful new song or symphony.  But then perhaps you hummed or whistled a tune or sang along to the radio; that’s still creating sounds.  Of course, your sounds might not have been musical.  There could have been a scream, a sob, a sharp intake of breath or spoken words.  Because we do these things all the time, we take them for granted, but once you stop and recognise how you manipulated and co-ordinated your breath, your tongue, your lips and your larynx to make each single speech sound, you can begin to appreciate what is going on here.

If you’ve used words, it’s more than likely that you have used them to create a situation – a persuasive argument, an angry outburst or an inspiring suggestion, for example.  Any of the above will almost certainly have created feelings – yours and other people’s.  Perhaps you ‘made’ someone happy, wistful, amazed, miserable or furious.  You might have ‘made’ yourself stop and think.

I hope you’re beginning to see by now just how creative you are, even as you jog along doing fairly mundane daily tasks.  You The Creator, as well as making physical stuff, interesting sounds, textures, tastes, and most certainly smells, are also creating ideas and thoughts, feelings and moods, fears and doubts, wishes and hopes.  You are creating them constantly in your own mind, and – by the things you say and do – you are helping to create them in other people’s minds, as well.

How do you do what you do to me?

So let’s stop for a moment and see if we can figure out what is going on while we are creating.  We’ve already discovered that we manipulate matter in various ways to make objects, sounds and smells.  We also recognised that we could create what are commonly called ‘states of mind’.  So what are we actually doing?

Well, all this creation involves using intention, does it not?  Perhaps things didn’t always turn out the way we expected, but we intentionally put the process in motion and caused things to happen.  We also used energy.  It takes energy to create a painting, a compost heap, a brilliant idea or a quarrel.

The way I understand it (and I’m no scientist, remember, so apologies for any bits I’ve got slightly wrong), while they are left to their own devices, the tiny electrons or photons inside your atoms have the potential to be either particles or waves.  Once the scientists start to observe them, though, the wave function apparently collapses; that is to say, they just start behaving like particles.

Dispersion relation

Let’s go over that one more time.  You start with minute little bits – tiny, tiny pieces of something that whiz about in very unexpected ways and have the potential to be particles (stuff) or waves (ways of transferring energy).  That potential remains intact until scientists use observation.  As we know, scientists are very keen on using observation.  They use physical senses and 3D measurements like distance, time and space to see what happens.  It’s not really surprising that their electrons all become particles – things that have mass and can be measured – is it?

Now let’s consider what might really be going on down at that sub-atomic level.  To do so, we need to return to your creative abilities.

Right.  So you are The Creator.  You are playing a Virtual Game which you have created.  By making choices, you are constantly creating your game as you go along.  You are also helping to create other people’s games.

Sometimes you create stuff – physical things made of atoms, which – of course – contain those minute electrons.  In other words, you intentionally move particles of that potential energy around.

Sometimes you create thoughts and ideas; ‘I’ve had a brainwave!’ you exclaim; or, ‘I was caught up in a wave of nostalgia’; or ‘he was overcome by waves of grief’.  You see?  Sometimes you create non-physical stuff – like feelings, desires or fears – by manipulating waves of potential energy.

Scientist using a stereo microscope outfitted ...

So there you have it.  You have two creative functions available to you.  You can use particles of stuff as building blocks for physical creation – making stuff, or you can use waves of energy to produce thoughts.  Those hard-working scientists can observe for all they’re worth, but by staring down a microscope they’re not going to find emotions, ideas or dreams.  There is far more creative potential in those tiny chunks of energy than they have been able to find.

 

This post is an edited extract from LIFE: A PLAYER’S GUIDE by Jan Stone available from Amazon, from Feedaread.com  or through book shops.

 

 

 

 

 

Along Came A Spider: Manifesting for arachnophobics

spiders wallpaper

spiders wallpaper (Photo credit: jelene)

Notice the picture.  There’s no way I could bear to put an actual photo of a real spider up here.  Even this one makes me ever-so-slightly jittery.

So why am I writing a post about spiders, if I’m so terrified of them?

Good question.

It’s actually a post about manifesting and how easily it can go wrong.  All will become clear…

A few weeks ago I read an interesting blog post by a lady called Pam Grout.  I found that she appeared to share my take on life and had written a book called E Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.

Well to be honest, I don’t think I’d have bought a hard copy, since my tiny house is already in imminent danger of subsiding under the weight of volumes it contains, but there was my dear little Kindle sitting beside me, all light and portable, so with that all-too-easy one click, Pam’s extravagant claims were zooming through the ether into my machine.

I’m about half way through it.  It’s an interesting book.  The genre is midway between Wayne Dyer and Spirituality for Dummies; the style slightly High School Musical in places (I’m trying really hard not to judge the use of  ‘Daddy Alby Einstein‘, and failing so far) but there’s some excellent stuff in there and a brilliant range of quotes by all my favourites – William James, Fred Alan Wolf, Amit Goswami, Peter and Eileen Caddy and many more.

So, true to her word, Pam offers a series of simple-to use ‘energy experiments’ designed to banish any lingering doubts about the Law of Attraction.  I’m already a convert, but I decided it would be fun to work through them.

Number 1 involved finding evidence for what she calls the FP – an overarching consciousness of some description.  I had to give this FP a set amount of time to provide me with something great that incontrovertibly appeared out of the blue.  Sounded good, so I put the intention out and waited.

At the start of day two, as if by magic, I woke with not just the title, but the entire layout of my new book lodged in my head.  Neat – as Pam might say.  I rushed off to scribble it down and returned enthusiastically to my Kindle.

Number 2  was close to my own heart and something I’d written extensively about in Life: A Player’s Guide – the idea that you see exactly what you expect to see.  The method was slightly odd.  I was supposed to focus on seeing sunset-beige cars.  Beige isn’t a colour I readily associate with sunsets, so I was finding this one rather tricky to visualise.  Also I’m not a driver and struggle to take any interest in cars, but on the second day  I did have to step back hastily when a boy-racer in a beaten-up old car of a rather sickly beige hue came zooming round the corner as I was preparing to cross the road, so I counted that a success.

Number 3 was fun.  True, she called it the Alby Einstein Principle, but there was a very clear and well-written account of energy fields and the chapter culminated in using dowsing rods in a way I’d not tried before.

Nederlands: zelf gemaakte foto

Then came Number 4: manifesting.  So now I was on familiar ground.  Feeling smugly confident, I read the chapter, nodding and smiling as I went.  Yes, this all made sense.

All was going brilliantly until I read her anecdote about a friend who had been so irrationally terrified that one day she would reach into a drawer and close her hands around a huge spider, that one day it actually happened. She’d used the ‘s’ word!  Worse yet, she’d used it in the context that whatever we give our attention to, we draw into our lives.

I started to remember how almost exactly that fear had dogged me when I first moved out of the family home and went solo, in my mid fifties – leaving behind a husband and two brave sons who had always done the spider-removing bit while I trembled pathetically in a corner.  Now it was down to me.

For the first couple of years, an inordinately large number of great hairy eight-legged beasts would appear in the bath, on the white tiled floor and – once – in my bed!
‘Of course,’ I nodded sagely as I read, ‘I was giving attention to spiders, so spiders appeared.  Then I got relatively used to removing them, the terror and attention started to subside and, well, I haven’t had one in the house for around a year now.’

Patting myself on the back, I read on and set about deciding what to manifest within the given two day deadline.  Recalling that book sales had been a bit flat recently, I decided to manifest three sales of ‘LIFE’ – paperback or Kindle edition – within the allotted time.

At the end of day 1, I checked to see whether any sales had turned up on Amazon.  Nothing so far, but there was another day to go.  I kept focusing on the sales.

Day two arrived.  Still nothing.  Then I went downstairs.  Sitting on the front door mat, grinning up at me was – you’ve guessed it – the most massive, full-bodied, terrifyingly angular looking spider I’d ever encountered.

Cursing the Law of Attraction, I fought to control the panic and brushed it out of the door.  Then I stood and shook for ten minutes.

The book sales didn’t appear, which taught me about where I’d actually been putting my energy: every time I thought of manifesting the sales, I thought of Pam’s book and that made me think of memorable parts of the book and that made me think of manifesting spiders…

I’ve probably ruined all hope of manifesting positive experience for huge numbers of arachnophobia sufferers now, unless, like me, they are able to use this as a salutary lesson in how often we allow our attention to rest on precisely what we DON’T want to bring into our lives.

I’ll plough on with the second half of Pam’s book, having learned a valuable lesson.

And by the way, I’m not too bothered about the two day deadline, so if anyone would like to purchase a copy of my entirely spider-free book on the purpose of life and manifesting your own reality, please feel free to use that handy one click and bring it into your life!

Available in paperback and Kindle editions

Available in paperback and Kindle editions

Wishing to be your writer

The Dreamtree

The Dreamtree (Photo credit: Thorsten Becker)

This morning my dream became my reality.  This morning I discovered that a lady in California – someone I’ve never met or spoken to – has placed me on her personal list of Inspirational People.

Now wouldn’t that be a coincidence, if such things existed?  They don’t.  So it’s what Deepak Chopra would call ‘synchrodestiny‘.   It’s a perfect example of the power we all have to attract what we focus on.

Earlier this week, on the most bitterly cold day Somerset could muster, two friends came to my door bearing gifts.  As they struggled in my tiny hallway to remove backpacks, winter coats and boots, they began to thrust these presents into my hands – some vegetable spaghetti gourds, a beautiful framed photograph of a toadstool, a tub of home-made cake, and a book which, they told me, I ‘needed’.

I thanked them, made steaming mugs of tea and we settled in the living room to chat.  I’ll call them Frank and Iona, these friends.  Both are warm, wise and very special people.

Our conversation moved to the intentions and aims we were putting out for the future.  Iona seemed happy and settled in her chosen path.  Frank seemed suspended between exhilaration and consternation at the huge range of possibilities stretching before him, given his multiple skills and talents.  I was wondering which direction to take too.  Since publishing Life: A Player’s Guide last year, I’d been plied with much advice on how to publicise it, take it forward, move into other media and so forth.  Much of it felt uncomfortable, tacky or inauthentic.

My friends gave me another gift.  They listened gently and reflected back to me my own wishes and dreams.  Frank summarised:

You don’t want to become famous, like the American Mind-Body-Spirit superstars who are blocked and shielded by their media machines from their readers.  You don’t want your output to be priced in hundreds of dollars, so that only the rich can access it.  You want to keep writing.  You have more to say – particularly about the special, and often misunderstood, young people on the autistic spectrum or with other so-called disorders.  You want, above all, to get your message to all the people who need to hear it.

That was all it took.  No marketing strategy was required.  I set my intention and knew that the Universe would do the rest.  It always does.

The story doesn’t stop there, though.  Not quite.  You see for this method to work, we need to be very specific about what we are intending.  That message has come through loud and clear over the last few years from a wide variety of sources.

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull (Photo credit: mortenjohs)

The evening after Iona and Frank had visited, I picked up the book they’d handed me.  It was a novel by Richard Bach.  I smiled, remembering how Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by the same author had shaped my life when it first came out – how it had changed and expanded my perception and helped me to find aspects of myself hitherto unimagined.

That led me to thinking about ‘my’ other writers – those who had helped to shape my life with their words:  Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Jane Roberts’ incredible Seth books…

I felt a deep inner glow as I remembered them, and a deep longing.

THAT was what I was wishing for – to be one of your writers!   I would love to write the words that will enable you to find deeper and more wonderful parts of yourself.

Maybe I’ve already done so.

Maybe those words are yet to be written.

I’ll keep writing and I’ll keep focussing on my intention.  If my words are meant to reach you, they will, because both you and I will have intended that.