It’s not lethargy. Far from it. Too much to do, too little time. Perhaps. I have always said life is a ‘prioritisation table’, and it’s a case of how one chooses to rank items of importance to both ourselves and others. I should know the value of getting it right after getting it so wrong over the last couple of years. However, the previous me would have always said that there were always winners and losers, and I guess it’s who shouts most who tends to win out in the majority of cases. After taking reiki over the past few weeks, my outlook has changed somewhat. In principle the prioritisation table still remains, but the amount of pieces to rank has diminished.
Although it is quite difficult to think this way, I feel at this point that I must. I mentioned the other day that one of my new mantras is ‘“I don’t regret my past, I just regret the time I’ve wasted with the wrong people”. This is true, and it is for this reason that my table is more barren these days. There really is no point in trying to change things or other people that you either have no control over or no way of reasoning with. So irrespective of who these people are, whether they be lovers, colleagues, friends or family, if they constantly bring that negatively charged black cloud of doom with them, then it’s time to turn them away. I am choosing this path now, much to the loathing and disgust of some, negative influences were having a negative effect on me and those which were high up on my ‘prioritisation table’.
I remember whilst in Malaysia, there was a construction site at the bottom of our Malayan Jalutong, and on the protective boards which were erected to keep the danger in, was a poster of Oprah Winfrey, with the words ‘Only surround yourself with positive people’. At the time I thought this was very arrogant way to look at things. Now I see the true meaning behind this, the law of attraction. Obviously, bad shit will always still happen, but from here on in it’s about wisdom. it’s about maturity, it’s about how I deal with those negative situations turning around the negative energy into something positive for either me on the projector. That is the real challenge, and over the past 7 days I have been truly challenged.
I guess it was quite portentous that the mood I woke in the day of my once monthly trip to London would set the scene for the following seven days. Sleeping in past alarm resulted in a mad dash for the bathroom, resulting in rising stress. Once cleansed, I then realised that there was a load of stuff I had failed to pack the night before. More stress. After closing the front door, I’d realised that I had left my ATM card in the house, and had to knock up the wife to get it (knock up in the actual sense, not the more pleasurable version), much to her annoyance. Add to that the closure of the Liverpool Loop (and rail replacement service – not bus replacement service) and it was possibly one of the most dire starts I’ve had to a day for some time.
I had work to do on the train, but my crumbling state of mind could not concentrate, so instead went on to do some research Falun Gong (the style of Tai Chi as mentioned last night). Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline first introduced in China in 1992 through public lectures. It combines the practice of meditation and slow-moving qigong (Tai Chi style) exercises with a moral philosophy. Falun Gong emphasizes morality and the cultivation of virtue in its central tenets of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance and identifies as a qigong practice of the Buddhist school, though its teachings also incorporate elements drawn from Taoist traditions. Through moral rectitude and the practice of meditation, practitioners of Falun Gong aspire to better health and, ultimately, spiritual enlightenment. It is quite interesting reading both sides of that coin. The Falun Gong views (as seen on leaflets in Copenhagen) is that their movement is suppressed by the Chinese Communist Party, and they are persecuted, arrested, imprisoned, tortured and worse, whilst the CCP categorise Falun Gong as a cult which goes against Marxist ideologies and threatens to destabilise the country. Further slightly lighter research brought me back to my sitar playlist adding a few more tracks to it. It’s really coming along now.
And so to work and then to dinner, which rather oddly brought about a conversation about the origins of the swastika which is coincidentally the centrepiece of the Falun Gong movement. I sat back and listened to the debate and the edgy comments thrown into the mix. I guess all folks at times make references to such close to the bone topics like the holocaust and Hitler, but most are in poor taste just like today. I gladly added my two pence worth and my worldly knowledge about the true origins of the swastika and what it was meant to represent (Indian in origin, a Sanskrit word broken up into several parts “su” meaning “good” or “higher self”, “asti” meaning “to be,” and “ka” meaning “soul”. The swastika literally means “to be a good soul” or “being with higher self”).
Following more work, it was time to meet up with my German friend (you couldn’t make this up) and Norwegian pal on the South Bank for a catch up as I had seen them for a few months. Several Peroni and Thai Pad Ped noodles later, it was check in time at the hotel…
Although it was a good laugh seeing the boys last night, the black cloud of doom followed me in the lift down to breakfast. The waitress advised that breakfast was not included. I advised back rather shortly that it was included, always had been included, that I was a Gold Member, and that I worked for Shell. Pretty nasty stuff. It wasn’t helped by the fact that it took me around 25 minutes to check in due to my Gold Member Priority Points Club card not existing on the system anywhere even though I had the card in front of me, and worse still that all of my previous stays at Stratford Holiday Inn were also unallocated, lost in the either. So I had to sign for breakfast, a paleo one at that (huge mound of bacon only) and I was on my way. When I got to the office, I had found that our wonderfully random travel service had booked me into the hotel without breakfast, giving me that fist in mouth moment, rather embarrassed and sorrowful apropos my attitude at the hotel.
The rest of the day was spent slogging it out in workshops and some email time, but after two point five years of upgrading our IT systems globally, today was the final day followed up with a cook your own tea and make your own cocktails event after work.
I had a great time actually, even though my new mullet/Pat Sharp hairstyle seemed to be the centre of attention to most. We were all split up into teams and our team was missing one player, thankfully the ‘He-who-should-not-be-allowed-to-contract-for-our-company’ did not turn up. And there was much rejoicing. Thankfully, we cam well and truly last, and as a result, we were given silicone spoons which were neat. As He-who-should-not-be-allowed-to-contract-for-our-company’ was absent, I quickly took his spoon by some way of karma-compensation and swapped it out for an Italian Cookbook from one of the winners. So I never got any stars in the cooking completion, but I ended up with a winning and losing prize. Over at the cocktail bar, “P” and I were becoming expert Mixologists, and the guy behind the counter beckoned me forward, so I duly took up the challenge to teach six colleagues how to make Mojitos.
Following on from the event, it was time to head to the pub for more than a few nightcaps (not sure Guinness can be classified as a night cap) and it was back to the hotel for a whisky, club sandwich and bed… I did tell some folks of my quest to search for the universe’s natural flow of energy, but at that stage of the night, accompanied by my Chuckle Brother hair doo, only laughter was heard as the life doors closed…
I don’t remember too much about day 25, other than it was a long one, there were no bizarre dreams, and there was no talk of reiki. Consider the tardiness of my arrival at bed last night, I felt surprisingly ok, considering the different amount of drinks mixed and the abject lack of food. Maybe the Guinness / Tia Maria / Club Sandwich night cap sorted my out.
What I do recall however, was listening to Anathema on the train. I mean really listening. To every lyric. Every single lyric. Since turning ‘prog’ they really have started to resonate with me. I was reminded about my quest by Messers Cavanagh:
One has to come to term us with one’s own mortality.
And you can’t really help people who are having problems with mortality,
If you’ve got problems of your own.
So you have to begin to sort things out,
And I thought I had sorted things out until I saw this excerpt from this book,
Of certainty I shall remember what it said:
“Life is not the opposite of death. Death is the opposite of birth. Life is eternal.”
And I thought that it’s the most profound words I have ever heard about that issue and it really put me in peace.
(I felt it was a wonderful story.)
And that’s it.
What else is there to say?
Life is eternal.
Surely the opposite of life is not the death, but life is eternal.
There is no opposite.
And so, what happens is, I suppose,
(and isn’t it a raging or outrageous)
State of pure consciousness, stillness and silence?
Yeah, what we are looking for now,
We are searching for and we have been searching for,
Now we’ve become closer it and now we know it’s already there,
Is there forever to seek,
And it’s going be there,
All the time,
Only you can hear your life
Only you can heal inside….All words giving me a temporary peace…
Blogging diary entries several days after the event is not recommended. All I recall was being ever tired. Tired from work. Tired from (not of) life.
Around 10:00, my office door (aka the door to the dining room) opening and in walked a smiling wife with a letter from Uganda. This was the first correspondence we had received from “G”, a child we sponsor via Isaac’s House. I guess when ones tired, emotions are heightened. That said, I’m not looking for excuses for the water rising and falling from my eyes. Totally humbled by the pictures she drew. Totally humbled by the words, sentiments and hope she has for her own future. On a negative note, my previous efforts for the NSPCC and Cancer Research went unnoticed, all due to the size of the organisations I guess but it did leave me feeling a little dejected. Isaac’s House keep it real. Really real. A 1-2-1 relationship with a little girl 3,000+ miles away, getting updates from her progress and letters and pictures of thanks really makes a difference, makes it more worthwhile. I do hope to get over to Uganda in the next few years to help out on the next projects over there, and to meet (hopefully with the family) “G” in person.
Still no reiki…
Day 27 / Day 28 / Day 29
Reiki-free Saturday. Reiki- free Sunday. Reiki-free Monday. That is all. It’s all looking a bit grim…
Final day of my planned Reiki Diary. On reflection, the first 2 weeks were full on, awesome experience. The second two weeks, life got in the way. Or did it? Was it the ‘prioritisation table’ kicking in. Was it lethargy? Was it both? Probably.
Quite ironic that today was the last day. The main reason for taking the reiki challenge was what started from an operation 18 month ago. It was my wife’s first cancer treatment, and it symbolised a change in dynamics, a slippery slope into the void. It was following on from that day that things for us took a nosedive, until that day in September where temporarily my world began to crumble around me. With Year Zero now behind us, things are good. Very good in fact. Knowing your wife as a lover and friend is one thing, finding a spiritual connection is another, and that’s one thing that I’ve learned over the past 4 weeks. As close as we are, and as in love that we are, the quest for spiritual bondage continues (reverting to ‘normal’ bondage as a backup plan).
Every 6 months brings back the headache of where it all started, in more ways than one. Today my wife went for her periodic head graft reduction. I think on reflection, my mood over the last 7 days can be put down to this event. I hate to see her suffer in the run up to these things. Although these are more common events on our calendar (all too common for our liking), it doesn’t stop that black cloud of doom entering into our vista. She becomes short, she become highly irritable, she becomes tense. All natural reactions of a person who loathes general anaesthetics and has an intolerance to pain killers. All we as a collective can do is take whatever she throws at us calmly, and bear some of the emotional pain and stress, far less than of course she is going through herself.
And so to Arrow Park and the trusting hands of Dr “J”. As I was off from work and the hospital do not let day patient family members hang around, I decided to take “K” off to Tam ’O’ Shanters farm for the day so prepared a picnic for her. She had a great time, off playing with other kids and empty spaces, just general happy in “K”World. Not so good news came in from the hospital however, as the surgery before Nicky had turned into an emergency one and they were overrunning by several hours (a fact well known to us as I recalled the agonising wait for information during her first operation as the 45 minute surgery turned into 4 hours after they found the tumour was quite literally the tip of the iceberg.
Just as we were leaving the farm for home, with my wife still not in theatre, I bumped into one of the girls from my reiki attunement session “H”, a reminder that today was the last day of the 30 (although at the time due to my mind being on other things I was not aware). Not stopping to chat, I headed back to the homestead to find that the absence of message and iMessage read receipts meant that she was finally getting operated on.
Still, it was taking a while, longer than I had anticipated, which could have meant two things, either there was a problem, or hopefully Dr “J” was removing more than he planned to removed. With “K” playing in her room and the boys out, I took it upon myself to send another ‘Where are you up to?’ text as I hit the play button of my reiki playlist, relaxed, and tried to send some positive vibes her way.
Call it coincidence and not artistic license for it wasn’t, but during the fade out of the last track and me coming back into reality-state, I received a text from the wife asking me to come collect her, which I duly did. To our delight, the reason for her second delay was the Dr “J” has in fact taken a third of the graft away, which should hopefully leave just 2 operations left and not the planned four. She was of course still groggy from the morphine and uncomfortable, so I whisked her home, sat her down in front of the box and made her a full English breakfast, her road to recovery already starting.
So here we are at my last entry. I’ve been a little disappointed in myself for not consolidating properly what I have learned, but life has priority at times for the search for our inner self. Maybe the last two weeks are actually part of that plan, realising that there are times for others and times for oneself.
Once the wife has made a full recovery, I will recommence my pursuit of mind, body and spirit, after all, I have until my forty-second birthday to sort my shit out 😀