Musing in Miniature

This isn’t a covert way of publicising my tiny cottage industry.  You’d need to head over to my other blog for that.  It’s just that most of my days at the moment are spent transforming, upcycling and creating tiny objects of various kinds from what most people would regard as junk, and it gives me an absurd amount of joy and satisfaction.

reject purchaseBack in the summer, I picked up this little 12th scale (that’s one inch to one foot) figure from a reject box at a miniatures fair.

Not difficult to see why he was a reject.  He wasn’t, at first sight, the most promising of specimens, with his vacant stare, twisted legs and stringy hair, but I knew his day would come!

In some strange way, discovering the hidden potential in what others consider rejects is what has always given me the greatest pleasure.  I remember the scruffy, fidgety boy I once taught who auditioned for a part in our school production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.  I remember my pure delight as the clearest, most beautiful voice drifted across the room.  The head teacher and I glanced at each other and smiled – Joseph!  True, he took up many, many hours of rehearsals – far more than one of the bright young hopefuls who had expected the part would have done.  True, I had to tape the complicated words of Close Every Door to Me to the floor of his prison cell, because he’d never have learnt them, but it worked perfectly and the pleasure of watching that kid revel in his hour or two of fame has stayed with me forever.

It was the same with the shy, quiet, dumpy little girl who produced a beautiful piece of writing.  Before I handed back the class’s work, I read out this one piece and they were all staring round the room, wondering who had written it, mouthing, ‘You?’ to the high fliers and looking puzzled.  That simple act, and then handing the work back to the young author with the words, ‘Superb work – well done’, was enough to raise that child’s self-esteem and status within the class to a ridiculous degree.

upcycled doll by Jan StoneSadly, my little porcelain doll had no esteem for me to raise, but when I decided I wanted to make a replica of one of my idols – Nikola Tesla – he was the one I chose.  I looked beyond his defects to the long face, the high cheekbones, the firm chin and the centre-parted hair.  The face was removed as easily as a spot of nail varnish and painted anew, the hair was cut, styled and recoloured.  A tiny shirt, trousers and jacket were cut out and hand stitched.  The dodgy leg was re-wired and, once dressed, Mr Tesla looked as proud as a small piece of porcelain, foam and wire could hope to.

room box by Jan StoneAnd now, when I look at him sitting calmly in his experimental station, gazing at the coils and equipment I’ve been patiently wrapping in copper wire all week, I feel proud too!

This is what we all do – take something rough and unfinished and inject enough energy into it to allow it to transform it into something so much better.

 

Back to Belief

More musings about ‘reality’ – whatever that is…

IMG_20150915_220735Sitting on the desk in front of me here as I write is a crystal.  I believe in it.  I can even post a photo of it, so that you will believe in it too.  There.

The thing is, I don’t know where it came from.  I’m not even sure what the possibilities are, because they range from the ridiculous outwards into that fuzzy place where nothing works the way we expect it to.

 

Monday morning:  A heating engineer was coming to measure up for my new wood burner, so I made sure to give the fireplace a thorough clean.  This fireplace has been used over the last year to light countless fires.  The brick surround has been rendered and painted.  The chimney was swept a couple of weeks ago and I had just vacuumed the whole fireplace with my very powerful little cordless cleaner.

The engineer duly arrived.  He was on his knees measuring the fireplace.  I was sitting on the sofa watching.  Then, quite suddenly, he reached down to the tiles in front of the hearth – the just-cleaned tiles that had been empty a moment before – picked something up and said, “Oh!  What’s this?  You’ve got a crystal or something here.”

He handed me the crystal that’s now sitting on my desk.

So let’s start with rational possibilities.

  • I own quite a few crystals, so it was one of mine that had fallen there.  –No.  I know all my crystals and this wasn’t one I recognised.  In any case, it would not have evaded my mega-powerful Dyson.  It’s sucked up quite a few crystals in its time, which I’ve had a messy time retrieving.

Chimney sweep in the 1850s

  • Someone who lived here before me had lodged it in the chimney and it had just fallen out.  –Highly unlikely.  It was so clear and clean – no soot, no tar, no cobwebs, no fingermarks even.  It was pristine.  In any case, surely the chimney sweep would have dislodged it.
  • The heating engineer had been carrying it in his pocket and it had fallen out.  –He really didn’t seem to be a crystal-carrying type.  Anyhow, he seemed as surprised by it as I was and assumed it was mine.
  • A passing magpie or jackdaw dropped it down the chimney at that precise moment.  –Believe it or not, that’s the closest I can get to a rational explanation.  Odd that the engineer didn’t see it fall and neither of us heard it clink as it hit the tile, but still.

Now let’s try the irrational.  That evening I consulted a few of my crystal books.  The first one I opened said something like this:

Crystals will reach their owners when they are needed.  Most commonly, people are drawn to buy a particular crystal in a shop.  However they can be received as gifts, found or they may just appear in the owner’s house.

IMG_20150915_220944Several of the other books and many internet articles spoke of crystals simply appearing and disappearing, as if this is really quite commonplace.  Certainly I’ve had crystals that have mysteriously disappeared, but then that happens with socks, books, notes…

I look again at my crystal.  Which is more unbelievable – the thieving magpie or the spontaneously quantum-type appearance from somewhere, um, non-local?

Whichever I choose to believe, this crystal has suddenly and strangely manifested in my life and I’ll treasure it, for as long as it chooses to stay around.

 

 

The Iron Gate

I don’t know where this story came from. 

I know I’m the one who wrote it, many years ago, but what dream-maker or muse placed the images and ideas in my head I can’t fully understand or explain.

I wrote it for a friend, but now I see I also wrote it for myself.

Just maybe, since coincidence doesn’t exist but synchronicity does, you have come to the story because it was also written for you.  Please open to that possibility and enjoy, because it is sent to you with love.

jap_garden_maple_tree

Once a man was walking along the street, when he noticed a beautiful garden behind a high iron fence.  The man was overcome with a great desire to go into the garden.  It looked irresistible.

He could smell the slightest hint of perfume from the flowers, but he knew that if he was in there, the scent would be overwhelming and he’d be able to drink it in for as long as he wished.  The grass was soft and waved gently in the breeze.  He ached to be there, laying in it and staring up into the trees.  There were secret corners and paths he could not see from the street, and he longed to be able to follow and explore them.

No one else seemed to be in the garden, or even to notice it.  He felt strangely certain that this garden was there especially for him – if only he could find a way into it.

shut the gateHe followed the fence for a long way, but it was far too high to climb.  Eventually, after turning several corners, he came to a gate.  This too was very high and made of iron, but the man was filled with hope.  Perhaps the hinges were weak; perhaps the catch was rusty.  He stepped back and took a run at the gate, throwing his full force against it.  It barely moved, and the pain was excruciating.  His shoulder was bruised and his wrist was sprained.  He had jarred his leg badly and his whole body felt battered.  Despite this, though, he smiled.

“That must have weakened the gate,” he told himself.  “Next time I’ll manage it.”

A few days later, when the swelling and bruising had died down, he returned to the gate and, once again, threw himself at it with all his might.  As before, it stayed firm and he was battered and injured by the experience.  He refused to be put off, however, always returning and enduring the same pain, just for the chance of entering the garden.

“After all,” he reasoned, “Such a beautiful, enchanted place is worth all the suffering.  I should have to go through pain if I’m to reach that perfect garden.”

As time went by, he began to think about the necessity for the pain more than about the garden.  It had become a ritual he had to endure.  He felt proud if he made himself suffer more frequently, or if the bruising was worse than usual.

“That’s got to be good,” he said.  “That takes me closer to my goal.”

 

Finally, the inevitable happened – he ran at the gate so hard that he banged his head against the metal bars and knocked himself out.  He lay, motionless, on the pavement.

White feather on rust

White feather on rust (Photo credit: Marius Waldal)

Slowly, a perfect white feather floated from high above down through the sunlight and landed beside him.  He could not have heard any sound and yet the motion made him stir.  He tried to sit up, but felt dizzy and disorientated.  Someone seemed to be beside him, but perhaps he was not yet fully conscious.  The figure appeared to be very tall.

The man felt the softest of touches to his shoulder.  His pain seemed to subside.  He was not sure whether the figure had spoken.  He didn’t remember hearing any sound, yet there was a question in his head, as if someone had just asked it.

The question was so obvious; he couldn’t see how he had not thought about it before.

“Why not?” he asked himself, and reached up to turn the handle of the gate.  It swung open easily.

He stood, wondering at the lack of pain, and walked through into the garden.  It was as beautiful as he had imagined – more so, in places.  He felt peace and warmth and happiness flowing through him.  He’d had no idea that life could feel this good.

 

When you reach your gate, why not simply open it and go through?

 

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.

The battle of the brain – an in-sight

Ok, so I live alone and I’m a writer. Those seemed two very good reasons to take it seriously when I noticed that the vision in my right eye had become noticeably cloudy and blurred over the last week or so.

My brain began its battle. One side was telling me, “You create your own reality, remember – so you can fix this. Just focus on getting rid of it.”
The other side was just as insistent: “This is your SIGHT we’re talking about here. Get it checked out. Get round to the doctor.”

After several days of mood swings and brain battles, I finally decided yesterday to make an appointment with my GP. To my amazement, he saw me that morning. I told him my symptoms and suddenly he looked very serious. Within seconds he was on the phone to the hospital, telling someone there about suspected retinal detachment.

Half an hour later, I was in my friend’s car as she skillfully negotiated her way around detours and diversions (Somerset still has some lakes where there used to be roads) and got me there for my emergency appointment.

Several hours of stinging eye drops, excruciatingly bright lights being shone into my eyes and even the insertion of a lens (which gave me great sympathy for all those Star Trek actors who had played Borg – it looked just like theirs and was very uncomfortable) I was given the diagnosis.

My retina was still firmly attached. The problem was a small but unfortunately placed cataract. Because of its position and type, removal would involve 2 or maybe 3 long operations under local anaesthetic. It might get worse or it might stay as it was for many years. I could opt for an operation there and then, or I could leave it until my sight was badly impaired. It would make no difference.

Then the doctor looked at me. “You know I deal with eyes all the time,” he said. “Compared to most people I see, you have excellent eyesight. I accept that you have noticed a deterioration, but it’s not huge.”
With that, he sent me away to decide what to do.

Last night I slept for 12 hours straight. I fell asleep almost as my head hit the pillow, but not before the battling sides of my brain finally reached a truce and gave me their joint response:

Stop trying to focus on what you can’t see. Celebrate and enjoy the vision you have. Put your focus there from now on.

Now I understand why I had this whole experience. So much of my life is spent wishing I could understand more, grasp ideas and find solutions for this and that problem. I’ve given relatively scant attention to what I HAVE learned and discovered; to what I now know and can do.
Time for a shift in emphasis, I feel.

How to manifest your favourite meal!

I want to introduce you to Elijah.  He’s ten years old and one of his major preoccupations at the moment is conscious manifestation through belief.

Not that many adults know how to do that, but kids are less cluttered.  They need very little encouragement – usually just an older person, maybe, who accepts the possibility that they can really do what they say they can do.  Well it just so happens that I’ve recently published a book on this very subject, so he knows I’ll listen.

“It’s really working!” he announced with a huge, happy grin as he bounced into my study last week.  “THREE times last week, I sat and imagined what I wanted for dinner until I could smell it and see it and taste it, then when I went downstairs I got exactly what I’d imagined!”

He’s ten years old!  So what could be more important than getting what you really, really want for dinner that evening?  If Elijah keeps going like that, what will he be manifesting by the time he’s twenty?  World peace?  An end to famine?  Or will he by then have stopped believing, and so lost the key to manifesting his dreams?  That depends on the rest of us really.  Will we help him – and the masses of kids like him – to keep the belief alive?  Sadly, it only takes a few people telling an impressionable kid he’s talking rubbish to extinguish that belief.  That happens a lot.

If you’re skeptical, good!  It means you’re thinking about it.  Why not give it a try?  If the future is a quantum soup of possibility, and if – as the scientists tell us – we as observers form reality from that soup… why not use belief and imagination to conjure up your favourite meal?

(Or you could check my book for more details: Life: A Player’s Guide by Jan Stone on Kindle or paperback from www.feedaread.com)