Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 12

I guess the problem with getting up at 6:30am every day is your body clock gets used to waking at that time of the day. Every day. Including Sundays. So wide awake, I grabbed my phone and decided to take a deeper dive into zen meditation, with the idea that if I would try to look for additional pearls of wisdom to help me (postures, poses, mudras etc), rather than getting up and doing my daily meds.

I’m a big fan of wiki, but until Sunday morning was not aware of such a thing called WkikHow, which based on the subject entered, gives you the low down on how to do stuff. I found loads of cool stuff and learned of a few tricks that I would look to adopt during my next morning ritual. Here for my future reference (and others should anyone read this post) are links to such cool stuff:

Sated with new nuggets, up I got prepared breakfast and waited for the other to rise. The wife and I went shopping for some provisions for Sunday roast, but before we got out of the car she talked a while, stating that she was seeing some of my old ways creeping back in, with me being really short with her, biting. My initial reaction was of complete shock. Since my Level Two started and my new early morning ritual had began, I’ve felt that start of the feelings I had last summer. She advised that for work purposes and internal stress levels that was fine, but externally I was submitting a negative vibe. Granted there had been a few instances where I had reacted over the last few weeks, but I was simply not aware. I listened to what she had to say and took it on board as something I would look at immediately. I think I understand women to some extent, I also know that certain lunar cycles also have their impacts, but if I was sending out bad karma, I would look to cease that immediately.

After shopping we both took the dog for a walk and I was quite quiet, reflecting an what was said earlier. I like constructive criticism, I don’t like it when people bottle things up or don’t say anything, it’s a recipe for disaster further down the line. The good thing we have now is communication. Connection. We have the ability now to present things in a logical and rational way now, whereas before we did not. Everything I am doing under the bracket of “hippyness” has to be internal and external. There’s no point in having inner peace and a oneness with the universe if to others you are a complete and utter ****.

The inlaws came around for a the Sunday roast, and a fine British Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding and peppercorn gravy it was too…

Retiring for the evening, I again decided not to do my meds, instead finding solace under the sheets.

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 11

The weekend starts here. After working rather hard this week, I decided that it was in my best interests to have a lie in and park my morning meds until later in the day, perhaps later on in the weekend. So at 9:00am (which is a monster lie in, in our house), I decided to once again pick up my paint brush, a bold and brave move after last weekend’s debacle. Today’s task was to paint the radiator cover in the dining room which had remained in its original rickety MDF form for the last four and a half years. There’s procrastination and there’s me. Before we moved to Malaysia, I was very handy in the house, rebuilding the kitchen twice, tiling the bathroom, decorating and redecorating the house several times over. After our return, I found it really difficult getting certain connections again, certain friends, the UK in general and sadly our home by the sea. Working away in London every week, home at weekends was a killer and I almost paid the ultimate price for putting the corporatation before my wife.

Still, that’s all well and truly in the past, and instead of extreme obstacle racing or marathons, I now have a new challenge, a difficult challenge. Repaint the whole house by the time we fly to the US in late May. So between now and then, I will be spending one day every weekend doing exactly that. I’ll need / demand a medal at the end as I cross the Dulux finishing line. By 11:00am it was done, just 2 hours to complete a task that took me 40,000 hours to get around to doing. The wife was very happy with the outcome. Nice.

Feeling good about my deed, I jump-started the Jeep and headed over to the inlaws house and loaded up the boot with an old mattress and deposited it at the local tip. Feeling good about my second deed of the day, I was all done by midday, noting that meds and doing things for others really does give you that feel good factor. Buoyed by my mood, we headed off for a spot of retail therapy and a trip to “Ms” and “Ds” house to see how the extension on their house was looking (as well as a long overdue catch up betwixt our little daughters). My word, incredible. They have opened up their living space and kitchen and extended out into the garden, a really great space for parties I added, and when was the first one. Spoke to “D” for a while and asked her about her return to yoga post-delivery of sproggling number two, and she said that she went back after seven weeks, fitting it in when she could. She was loving it and I commented that the open space they now had overlooking the garden was an awesome way of starting the day, Ra beaming down his (or her) UV goodness through the new Velux windows. I told her about my morning ritual and that I was going through my Level Two Reiki at the moment, she said she would be interested in having a session at some point in the future, no doubt when the time is right I’ll do just that.

We also talked about mudras and that for her, meditation was difficult (her mind unable to focus on nothingness, kids and shopping lists invariably nipping in there for a focus meeting), but she has found that if she wakes up in the night and struggles to get back to sleep immediately, she focuses her thoughts on the third eye / anja chakra, zones and resumes her kip pronto.

After bidding our friends a fond farewell we headed back down the motorway to home base, the wife and I talking rather randomly about reincarnation. Our eldest “J” is mature for his age, very mature. I hear stories about others kids his age drinking, getting wasted, loosing focus (just like I did at that age), but our “J” is the polar opposite. Here we have a 17 year old, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, up for Student of the Year award in the first year of his engineering apprenticeship, going for a world title shot at this years Mauy Thai Kickboxing Championships in Italy and now learning how to drive at his earliest convenience. Awesome, two very proud parents. The wife is convinced that he has been here before. Before my mind was opened to such possibilities, I would have probably ripped her for such a ridiculousness, but more recently and with many more reading hours under my belt, I have a different point of view. I commented that maybe he has, in that taking the teachings and preachings of Siddhatha Gautama (Buddha) as an example, the soul is engaged in an eternal return, until such time as the soul reaches true enlightenment and Nirvana, the point at which it no longer has to return to human form. New age guru Anthony Peake also backs this up to some extent by his ITLAD theory, which states that there is a virgin birth (i.e the first time a soul is incarnated into human form) and from then on, at the point at which we die, there is a panoramic life review and we live our lives over and over again, and it is in this state that we have the ability to change decisions of our previous experience (an explanation – albeit a far out one – for phenomenon like déjà vu, synchronicities and breadcrumbs) and evolve spiritually and consciously/sub-consciously/super-consciously.

We also went on to discuss the likes of Peter Sutcliffe (The Yorkshire Ripper) and Ian Brady (The Moors Murderer) and agreed that if there is some sort of eternal return, maybe they are at the start of their journey, menaced souls way off the true path to enlightenment, learning what it takes to be a virtuous soul the hard way, experiencing universal rights and wrongs sadly in the most extreme ways possible. If we are all souls that exist in a different place or plane of existence (experiencing ourselves subjectively through human form) then some of us have a long way to go, many future incarnations. On closing I said that the more we approach and try to understand our super-conscious state / higher self, the more we possibly expedite our journey to Nirvana and eternal peace (whether that “human” form is different from a Buddhist perspective, or the same form from an “ITLADian” perspective).

The focus stayed on “J” for the rest of the day, sadly not all positive. After so much discussion about him earlier in the day, I received a phone call from him whilst dining at another friends house many miles away saying that he had left the one and only key in the house (after losing 2 keys earlier in the week) and that him and the dog were outside in the wind and rain. Only half way through our meal, we submitted our sincere apologies to our host and made our way back home to work out how we were going to get in. All windows were closed, but thankfully our backdoor is made of wood with many glass panels (everything else being uPVC and double glazed), so I popped a pane and in we went.

I was quite irate at the time of the phone call and said some “not very Buddhist” things into the mouthpiece, but after I had calmed down a bit and we were in the house and drying off, I told him that these things happen, and the he would have to pay for the repair of the window and replacement keys, giving him a lesson in accountability where it hurts the most, his wallet…

Throughout the day before, I had a strange sensation in my ears, it was a bubbling / popping sound. Every 30 minutes or so, I would hear invisible imps playing the bongos on my eardrums. After 10 hours of it I was getting a little concerned but hoping that all was required was sleep and today I did not experience any reoccurrence which was good.

To top an eventful day off, my wife was convinced that there was a presence in our bedroom. She has experienced things in the past, witnessed things before. She is very spiritual, and her grandmother was as much. She has been to see small mediums, largely over the last 10 years. There is one in particular who has it has to be said, been very accurate in the past and shared things many years before I had even met her (she told my wife that she would live in South East Asia, she would have three children, and she would be married three times [technically twice to me with our up and coming vows renewal]). As I tidied up the shards of glass downstairs, she had retired for the evening, and with closed eyes lying on the bed, she felt a presence right next to her face, thinking it was me sneaking up on her. She opened her eyes and to her surprise saw nothing, but felt that something was not right, something less than nice, almost malign was in the room. She has always said that one should be more afraid of the living than the dead. Turning the lights off we were both hoping she was right…

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 10

I was trapped and could not get out. I had a vivid dream about being imprisoned in an endless, cyclical dream. My “primary problem” kept coming into focus again and again, from room to room, beckoning anger, aggression and negativity towards me. Eventually the vision lifted and I came out of my subconscious state and back into the desert of the real.

I looked at my watch and it was exactly 5:20am. And at that exact point, my daughter opened the door of my bedroom and climbed into our bed for a snuggle, something she had not done for quite some time. Why though? Was it that I was talking or shouting in my sleep? Was it that we have a connected consciousness (sub or super consciousness) and she knew that something wasn’t right? Was it that she just a part of my projected subjective human experience and does not even exist in the first place, other than to be a reminder, a breadcrumb to keep me on my path to enlightenment.

I tell you what was real though, “K” being the filling of a parent sandwich, kicking and nudging her way back to sleep. As a result, I lay there and started to think about something I had read about recently in terms being resilient in social occasions. It was a step-by-step run down of how to kick start conversations, how to stay hydrated, how best avoid people of negativity (energy vampires) and how not to end up with a hangover in work the next day. The reason for this I guess was that I was the self-elected party organiser for next week, my colleague “N” leaving the company to go get married back in her motherland before she emigrates to the US. The plan is quite good, time for social drinking, time for eating without alcohol (halal restaurant) and time for cocktails. I have decided to allow myself alcohol for the first time in a month, on the principle that if I stick to one drink an hour, have plenty of food and even more water, then even if it does mean me losing the “Bladder Stakes” early, I’ll be able to function almost properly the next day (“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an men, gang aft agley”).

All of this plan was mentally noted, but at 5:50am and no sign of sleep near, I decided to go downstairs for my daily dose of dharma. After reading up a little about zazen meditation yesterday, I decided to adopt some postures and practices, sitting in the half lotus position, my mudras deployed into cosmic mode. I started off by doing the yoga breath of fire twice and then brought my focus upon the rise and fall of the breath. When I was again calm, I hit play on a Spotify playlist I have had for a while now and not given any attention to. Titled Solfeggio Frequencies, they are tunes / compositions which resonate at certain frequencies. I’m not sure what each frequency is meant to signify, but I’ll find out over the coming days. One thing is for sure, I found it helped me to get deep, get with the rhythm, seemingly it entered my core and sang a merry duet with my tinnitus.

All of a sudden I felt a significant intensity of energy, surging around, lifting me up almost. It was then I “saw” something, a something as before, not by way of a vision but a feeling, a presence (but not spirit), an experience. I had the feeling I was in like a tunnel-type environment. It sounds very cheesy and clichéd but that was what presented itself. It wasn’t how others have experienced though, a shining light at the end full of “peace, love and understanding” (to quote Elvis Costello), it was just a tube. Maybe it was because I had a solitary mood candle on, and my hypnogogic state under closed eyelids had given me a false experience, I wasn’t quite sure. Either way, it was quite something. The experience then drew back and fell away back into the void, replacing itself with total blackness, almost as if to say there is something here matey, stick around, stick to what you are doing and all will be revealed.

After the vision had subsided, I decided to trace the Level Two symbols and put myself in a calm place mentally and emotionally for the day. Two Cho Ku Rei either side of the Sei He Ki symbol. In an instant I realised something, the reason why I was doing all of this. Like a great many things in life, if you do things by the book, then that is not really empowering one to make their own decisions, find their own way. In that brief instant, I had decided that even if I attain Level Three Reiki at some point in the future, I’ll only be doing it for myself. From my understanding so far, Level One is all about self-treatment. Level Two is about “powering up” and treating others. Level 3 is about the final stage and training others. But. And it’s a big but. I’m not doing this for others (just now). I’m doing it for myself (just now). Me (just now). And only me (just now). If as a bi-product, I become wiser, calmer, more spiritual, more approachable to others, then that is how they will benefit from my practices in this thing. I will continue to read the “Reiki for Life” manual, but I will adopt my own practices, I will create my own approach, my own “book”, a book which draws on yoga and meditation and zen and reiki and holistic therapies and self-hypnosis and new age theories and quantum mechanics and of course skateboarding. There may come a time where I offer up services (paid or otherwise) to others, but that will present itself when and if it is ready. That time is not now.

The final thing I realised before my meditation was over, was how I dealt with and continue to deal with my “primary problem”. That, now, is very clear to me. When it was a waking problem for me, it manifested itself in the conscious state. It manifested itself into physical ailments. It manifested itself into dark clouds of rage – hurting those close to me. What I have done now is compartmentalised my “primary problem” and filed it away at the back of my subconscious, super-conscious even. There it will lie dormant. I acknowledge that it exists only during the hours of sleep and every now and again it will be unleashed from Pandoras Box in the dream-state, only for me to round it up again with my virtual sheepdog, putting it back in its pen. I have tried to deal with it in many ways over many attempts in the waking reality, but I have failed every time. Some things are just not meant to be and are what they are. I do know that some day (sooner or later) that it will re-present itself, and I will have to deal with that, but not yet. I will wait until it is pushed to me and deal with it then, safe in the knowledge that what I do know is preparing me, giving me techniques and an angle to deal with such matters as they arise, with minimal impact on my kin.

Quite a log to cram in at 5:50am in the morning, but I felt good about things, the momentum I have just now is great. The rest of the day was spent busying myself with tying all my loose ends up at work as I had a long weekend coming up, planned day off Monday with wifey…

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 9

Not every day is the same as the last I recall blogging yesterday, I guess life would be very boring if it was. Every day brings its own challenges. Every day brings its own hurdles. It’s how we approach or choose to tackle such challenges and hurdles that makes us what we are.

Today I had early morning calls, combined with feeling quite sleepy due to my early morning rises (not “risers” – that jokes getting old now), I decided to postpone my dawn-tide meditation session until the evening. I didn’t faze me though which is the good thing. The old me would have been really negative about it, thinking to myself “oh here we go, three days in and the rot is already starting to set in”. Not this time. The momentum I have had since starting my Level 2 journey is gaining pace (although it was a bit turbulent for the first few days), I’m in a really good place right now, everything in the universe appearing at present to be operating in perfect synchronicity. Fully confident that my present state of mind would get me through the day, on went the clobber and away I went.

The good thing about being busy on a project is “Tempus Fugit”. Looking at my wrist-clock, in the blink of an eye it was already 11:20am, almost lunchtime which today involved a haircut. It has been said that I change my look more frequently than I change my underpants (which isn’t that far from the truth to be fair), but looking in the mirror this morning made my mind up. It has also been said that I am quite vain, which I guess I have been in the past but as I have (*ahem*) matured somewhat over the last 18 months, the way I look has had a much less importance than the previous primadonna me. That said, my reflection today told me to get my locks off, my fine hair lank and having the look of two badly drawn curtains.

Coming back refreshed and cropped the afternoon session at work also flew by fast, and I’ve finished what I had needed to do by 4:30pm, so time to scribe the daily entry for the day before. Upon entering the ASCII code into the Google-box for “seated meditation” images, I stumbled across a picture of the British comedian Russel Brand, who I have long thought was a bit of a **** to be honest. That was until about three months ago when I saw him being interviewed on the BBC (by the oaf Jeremy Paxman) regarding the state of global politics/economics. The interview was absolutely superb, and probably the most thought provoking and real political/economic debate I had heard for a long time. So my respect for Brand grew in an instant, no longer a narcissistic tosspot (well no longer a tosspot).

Brand is a practitioner of meditation, a self-confessed former heroin addict who now operates on the positive plain and he is (although quite crude at times) good to watch in stand-up, much better when he taunts interviewers and politicians.

The image when clicked in the Google-box took me through to an interesting page on Zazen Meditation. So it appears that my morning meditation ritual was in fact Zazen or Zen meditation in practice. As wiki explains:

“In Zen Buddhism, zazen (literally “seated meditation”) is a meditative discipline practitioners perform to calm the body and the mind, and be able to concentrate enough to experience insight into the nature of existence and thereby gain enlightenment

Zazen is considered the heart of Zen Buddhist practice. The aim of zazen is just sitting, that is, suspending all judgmental thinking and letting words, ideas, images and thoughts pass by without getting involved in them.

The posture of zazen is seated, with folded legs and hands, and an erect but settled spine. The hands are folded together into a simple mudra over the belly. In many practices, the practitioner breathes from the hara (the centre of gravity in the belly) and the eyelids are half-lowered, the eyes being neither fully open nor shut so that the practitioner is neither distracted by, nor turning away from, external stimuli.

The initial stages of training in zazen usually emphasize concentration, by focusing on the breath at the hara, often aided by counting. This counting meditation is called susokukan, and has several variations. Through this practice one builds up the power of concentration, or joriki. At some Zen centers, the practice of mentally repeating a mantra with the breath is used in place of counting breaths for beginners. In some communities, or sanghas, the practice is continued in this way until there is some initial experience of samadhi or “one-pointedness” of mind. At this point the practitioner moves to one of the other two methods of zazen”.

Ok I had my own slant / spin on zazen by incorporating reiki, but I think I have hit on something, even if that something is personal only to me.

Further insights into the methods for zazen can be found on wikihow.

After work it was time for celebration. My eldest is now seventeen, making me feel momentarily more mature than I would have liked. We had a nice meal, a few laughs, an amazing cake from his girlfriend and it was back to base to slob out in front of TV for an hour before bed. After taking his girlfriend back home, I collapsed into bed, mindful that I had not kept to my promise of an even-tide meditation session, but even more enthusiastic about tomorrow mornings session…

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 8

Not every day has to be magical. Not every day has to be enlightening. Sometimes just being a human with spiritual feelings or in fact a spirit experiencing itself subjectively through human form is enough.

I have just recognised that fact, and just because I don’t have intense moments or other worldly revelations does not make this day any less special than the last.

For the second day running, I woke early and went downstairs to do my morning meditation / self-reiki-treatment. I really like the feeling it gives me during that 30 minutes, but moreover the feeling it gives throughout the rest of the day.

I see it as a mix between meditation, reiki and tai chi (not that I have ever practised the latter). Sitting in a semi-lotus position on my bean bag chair, moving my hands in, out and around the central chakra, all to some deep and meditation sounds coming from the magic-music-box, is quite magical in itself.

I’m reaching an intense period in my project but I am coping rather sublimely / resiliently with the stresses of it all due to my new dawn-time regime.

Even when the wife gets up out of the wrong side of the bed and lets rip with vitriol and a volley of verbal abuse, the negativity bounces off me right now which is ace.

As wifey was in college tonight, watched a film on the sofa with the kids after work, all snuggled up with those that matter most to me, in harmony with my sprogglings.

Late on, I opened my mail to find a flyer from the Liverpool Empire which included the latest shows to be released. Normally I only have a look at the overview of such things to see if there is anything specific that catches my eye. For the whole of 2014, there was only one that did. Lord of the Flies, the only book I read in school which kept me interested.

I decided to flick to the Lord of the Flies page and found with interest that they were looking for kids aged 10-25 to apply to be in the show, so instantly applied for my son who is looking to tread the boards later in life.

Our subconscious / super-conscious states do guide us to do things in life, we just need to be attuned to them and listen carefully, then act on our instincts / invisible directors. Right now I am in tune (unlike my vocal abilities on the kareoke)…

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 7

Seven days. One third of the way through the cleansing process. Time to check those vital statistics:

If I’m honest in a state of flux. I’ve started a new phase in my project at work, and as such there are of course work pressures to deliver. There have been work-related thoughts creeping in to my mind where (and more to the point when) they should not creep in. My mood has gone from complete and utter relaxation to tense depending on the day. Not that I’m bi-polar in anyway (but I am a Gemini so maybe from an astrological perspective I’m always going have that split), but no two days are the same just now. I have started a new daily practice though which is already starting to bear fruit.

Overall Rating: Fair.

No alcohol. No caffeine. Spot on my target weight. Plenty of exercising (gym, running, swimming, RipStik-ing). No physical ailments to speak of (besides the minor bruising on my right heel from my calamitous ceiling-painting session at the weekend).

Overall Rating: Excellent.

What happened at the college last week was quite profound, I’ve not had such a spiritual moment like that for some time (perhaps ever). What will happen on the beach in two weeks (weather and tides permitting) will be as spiritual I’m sure, if not more so. I’ve not had any other moments like that since that episode last Thursday, and it’s effect has diminished over the last few days as other things in my brain have begun to take priority.

Overall Rating: Improving.

After what can only be described as a day to forget yesterday (maybe it was because I am alcohol free just now and all of the leprechauns and Irish folks were drinking my quota of the blackstuff), last night going to bed I had a plan. I have two alarms set on my iPhone, as does my wife. Mine are set for 6:30 (to wake my eldest son up) and 7:30 (to wake my two youngest from their deep slumber). Similarly, my wife as set hers to 6:00 and 7:00 for the same reasons.

My new daily ritual is to rise up at the sound of the 7:00 alarm, and go downstairs to our living space, pull out my yoga/meditation/reiki bean bag chair, strategically place two mood candles and a carving of Buddha in front of me, all accompanied by my Spotify playlist.

Getting into the zone, I meditate quietly for a few minutes and then starting pulling the energies in to my heart chakra and sending them off on their merry little way. I have found that the advice given to me by the tutor last week is helping actually. Instead of placing hands on, I hover my hands over the centre of my chest in like a butterfly shape but without hands touching, pulsing in and away from my chest, really seems to work. After about 15 minutes, I get on to my feet and do a few energising yoga moves and I’m ready to start the day. So that is my plan from now on, the rest of the day today was a particularly good one, no doubt placed on track by my settled mind.

Towards the end of my session this morning, my little princess came into the room and asked what I was doing, so I told her. Her little face lit up and she asked if I could do reiki on her (as-was broken) leg. I of course obliged and got her to sit in a lotus position with her index and thumb circled (like the picture below), asked her to close her eyes and think of having a perfect little leg and off we went. After 5 minutes, I stopped and asked her if it was feeling better, she of course replied that it was and that I was magic. Nice.

Just, as I stopped the reiki, I heard an almighty scream coming from upstairs. I ran up to see what the to-do was and my wife was looking startled as the lightbulb in the bedroom had exploded (thankfully we had an uplifter shade which prevented that glass from going all over the room), sending sparks flying everywhere, scaring the be-jesus out of her. Surely my energy wasn’t that powerful…

Had a meeting with some senior managers early morning which went remarkably well due to my positive frame of mind. At lunchtime I took my step-dad (who has dementia) swimming for our regular Tuesday session, and he advised that today he had a pull in his leg so only managed about ten lengths. If there is one person to call me a woo-woo over reiki it would be him, so I didn’t feel the need to extend an invite to him for a session.

Some minor traumas in work in the afternoon (not of my doing but annoying nonetheless) were soon forgotten as my son and I went down to the lamp-lit promenade down on the sea front to commence on our joint journey to be RipStik skaters. I guess this could be seen by many as a mid-life crisis (Forty-One year old dad learns to skateboard for the first time), but we had a blast (quite literally – the wind was strong down on the front so gave us the boost we needed for our first outing).

Late on in the evening, my wife gave me a full body aromatherapy massage as her new oil set had been delivered. Awesome it was too, her techniques improving by the day. As there was some lemon/lavender mix left over, I offered my hand to her and gave her a special blend of aromatherapy and reiki. By all accounts, I was pretty awesome, and she went on to say that when I retire at Fifty-Five, instead of being an IT Consultant when it suited me to work, I should get to reiki master and supplement that with massage.

Sounds like a plan, and a real good one too…

Reiki Diary Level 2: Part 2

And so to Reiki Level 2: Part 2. In the hours leading up to my next session I was feeling great, very energised. I managed to get a good amount of work done, squeezed in 14 lengths of the local swimming pool and went for a 3km run with my son. With feelings of positivity flowing down each and every meridian, I excitedly took the keys from the bowl (no not one of those parties), fired up the Jeep, and off I went.

Going into the session, my consolidation of the power symbol (Cho Ku Rei) was ok. I had self treated two or three times, and gave the wife two sessions. My sessions were quite intense, one in particular was rather powerful. Last week I had to go to London for some meetings, and recalled on the way my darkest days of 2012. I used to loathe and detest the place. Each week, every Tuesday I would rise up out of bed at 5am, catch the local underground followed by the fast red eye train south. As the city approached, my consciousness filled up with negativity and angst as each invisible mile marker passed. Last week’s experience was very different. I guess this had a little to do with the fact that I had not been there for three months, but as my outlook on life had changed and together with my newly acquired skills of self-perpetuating healing and inner calmness (through reiki), it left me feeling very positive about the trip. Ten minutes before arriving at London Euston, on went the “Reiki-Zone” playlist and closed went the eyes. Drawing a Cho Ku Rei in each hand, I closed my palms together, got lost in the music and mantras, and drifted off albeit briefly to another time and place. As the second song on the playlist finished, I opened my eyes just as the train was coming to a stop on the platform. The rest of the day was great, no stress, no issues, peaceful.

The two reiki sessions I conducted on my wife were very different. The first one was very calming for her, bringing her warmth, relaxation and a fuzzy feeling of peace inside. The instant her head hit the pillow she was gone, and had the best night’s sleep she had had in months (I have that effect on women). The second session however was a polar opposite (quite literally). She said that every time I touched her an icy blast coursed through her body. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, whether I was doing something different.

So I got to “L”s house and as per usual was greeted with a warm smile. As we were going in to her treatment room, I caught a glimpse of her hard copy of Reiki For Life book, and I quickly gave her update on my progress in the book, telling her that it encompassed a lot of theories and ideas I had read elsewhere, and that this book could very much be my Reiki Bible.

She beckoned me to get straight on the bed which was a first, and within an instant she was gripping my feet, grounding me on what was to come I guess. I could feel a connection pretty quick, and a warmth journey up my legs. For some reason her nose started running, which I said was quite an odd coincidence as my legs were running an hour earlier down on the promenade with my son. It was strange though, I could feel the energy flow but we were still chatting as normal. Whenever I have had reiki before it has always been in a meditative state, eyes closed zoning out to esoteric tunes and wandering off into myself. A very different approach but good to note nonetheless as it proves that reiki works in all environments irrespective of postures and states.

As the grounding was taking place (I believe that was what she was doing although it could have been something else, I didn’t ask), I began to tell “L” about my experiences of the last few weeks and of my friend “M” who was starting to get into lucid dreaming. I gave her an intro into lucid dreaming, and more specifically the lucid light device.

From what I can make out, the lucid light device is a strobe type instrument which when viewed (with eyes closed) can allegedly help to produce (or help the pineal gland to) endogenous DMT (Dimethyltryptamine), and it is whilst this is happening that the viewer has the ability to ‘travel’ to or view other places, other realms (whether it be into the subconscious, super-conscious and astral plain is not clear). Either way, it can bring forth moments of enlightenment. Intrigued by this, literally hours before my session I found that there was a ‘light studio’ in Finsbury Park, North London which has a couple of these devices and you can book a session (taster session being only £10). I took an action to try and get some of my southern friends to accompany me in April.

On the point of DMT, “L”s recent trip abroad nearly became just that. She had met some folks who offered her some, which she declined, but went on to say that these guys had had some amazing experiences on it, not taking it to get whacked off their bonces, but to expand the mind, be closer to God.

It reminded me of days long ago, when I was at a party and some friends of mine at the time had all clubbed together and bought a strobe light, and proceeded to drop acid, the results apparently were very ‘far out’. I was never tempted by psychotropic drugs as I’ve always been a little afraid of not being in control of my faculties for a number of hours, hallucinating. On that basis I never did partake, but the lucid light device is different. You are ultimately in control of the immediate stop (or panic) button by opening your eyes, so can cease the light at any time (should you want to). So that is now my intermediate quest, why take drugs or alcohol when you get high on light, maaaaaaan…

On the subject of alcohol, I told “L” that my alcohol days are over. Last week after my great day, I had the most awful day. I went out with the lads from the office for four beers after work to watch the England game on TV, a small amount really over several hours. I felt so crappy the next day, and didn’t perform well in work. Same at the weekend. On Friday night, I had four brandies whilst watching Dallas Buyers Club (awesome film that is) and the next day I was awful. Dehydrated, grouchy and short with the kids. I felt poisoned, so pretty much made up my mind that besides the special social occasion, I’m done. “L” said that she doesn’t drink anymore on the same basis, and that reiki and meditation can give her natural highs without having to take alcohol, and it was free. “I’ll drink to that” I said…

And so to the attunement. After we had caught up, this time she got me to sit on the chair and asked me what tunes I wanted to put on. The attunement was only going to take five minutes so I kindly asked her to put on Metamorphosis by Anoushka Shankar, my favourite zone out track just now. On it went, on the energy went. Intense does not describe it. It was probably the most powerful attunement I have had to date. My whole body was coursing with energy, my waking R.E.M was going off the scale (as were my flaring nostrils most likely). Incredible experience, I felt at that moment that I had been empowered with something special. I would recommend this stuff to anyone, but go in with an open mind.

After a pause in proceedings (“L” once again holding my lower legs to turn down the immense amount of energy in the room) it was back on the bed, where we continued talking whilst she went around my chakra points doing her stuff. I think that “L” and I are quite similar actually, in terms of wanting instant results. I recall that during the last session she had predicted (rightly) that my head was full of information and that I was for some reason in a desperate hurry to find “enlightenment”. I often come across new things which I throw myself into which I think is the best thing since sliced bread, only for me to go off it or not get the hang of it and inevitably  in the bin it goes, often at great expense (drum kit, electric guitar etc). For some reason, my frustration needs immediate answers, as was the case when I started yoga, meditation and reiki. “I demand immediate enlightenment please”. I told “L” that when I self treat or treat others, I must have certain music on, certain lighting conditions in order for me to feel the full power of reiki or else I’ll feel that it hasn’t worked, or I was no good. Rightly (again) she said I was trying too hard, and maybe my intensity was blocking the very nature of reiki, which did make a lot of sense. So I took a mental note not to be so mental next time.

On the subject of visions, again I announced my frustrations of not ‘seeing’ anything. I was slightly concerned about that. “L” asked me what is was I was expecting to see, and I said that when my eyes were closed doing reiki, I was expecting a projection on to the blackness of the back of my eyelids, whether it be shapes, figures or vistas presenting itself to my consciousness. She told me that the visions she has (and others have experienced a similar thing) was like memories. At this point, she asked me to recall my very first memory, which was of me sitting on a moving sofa, getting carried down the street to my new home. My recall of that first memory (which was when I was only 18 months old) was not a physical manifestation before my eyes, more just a feeling although I could describe it in detail. And that was it, that was a vision – a feeling of an experience rather than seeing something. I got it there and then. She said that the energy in me was very strong but I needed to back off a little and let things flow more naturally. So I took another mental note to take that step back from the intensity and such things may then present themselves, at some point, but not to be disappointed if they did not.

“L” also said that it was not perhaps reiki that was going to give me my moment of enlightenment, it was something else and that something else was massive (hope she didn’t mean early death!), although she could not predict what that was at this point. She did say to keep an eye out for energy spikes (either a buzz or my tinnitus peaks), to become more aware of signs and react on them. She then told of a time when she was being empowered with the Level 3 Reiki Master Symbol and from that moment on she experienced heightened frequencies from time to time. At certain times, such frequency changes would kick in and things would happen. There was a time when she was at the store and the frequency peaked big style, as her vision stopped and centred on a book on the shelf behind the tills. The book was about Angels. At only three pound, she bought it. When she opened it for the first time on a completely random page, the heading at the top of the page read Angel Signals: High Pitched Frequencies…

After the reiki had finished, we sat back down on the comfy yoga chairs, getting ready to discuss the new symbol (Sei He Ki) she shared with me during my attunement, when all of a sudden “L” got totally spooked out by something coming in from over her left shoulder. She thought it was my phone on vibrate, so I checked, nothing had come through. As I reached out to pick it up, it went off, it was a message from “M” giving me instructions on how to install the lucid light app on my iPhone. After recently finishing her speech on signals, she said that it was more than likely a sign for me to follow. I stated that my mission to North London had just upped its position on my ‘priority table’. “L” then shared the harmony reiki symbol with me and gave me my homework for the next two weeks.

After booking myself in for my final Level 2 reiki session in April I said my goodbyes, but not before two more ‘signals’. Outside her house she has a light with a motion sensor. The light was on, and as I walked past it, it actually went off not on and would not come back on when I waved at it. “L” waved and said the word “Bing” and oddly it came back on in that instant. As I walked back to the car, I went past the lamppost at the end of her driveway and looked directly at the light, as I did so, the light temporarily flickered like my newly acquired Super Mario Power Up was interfering with the electricity. So to quote Darth Vader in relation to me this time: The force is strong with this one…

Reiki Diary Level 2: Part 1

I’m not sure why it took me so long to decide to book myself in for a reiki session. Thinking of all of the negative influences and situations which have manifested themselves from the start of the year, it should have been obvious. From chickpox pox, to cellulitis, to broken legs and various coughs and sniffles, things started off pretty badly for my family in 2014.

That said, besides my week of sitting on the sofa, my mind was still in tact and the frustrations around me were not really driving me to dispair (where they would have previously).

During my time on the sofa, I had a fair bit of time on my own to reflect about a great many things. One of the key things was the recollection of last summer, a time when I truly began my quest for personal resilience, “other worldly” knowledge and enlightenment. On the subject of resilience, we now have a ‘Resilience Programme’ in work, which has been launched to tackle workplace stress and actively getting staff to ‘Be Well’. I recall it was during a presentation last year in front of some quite senior staff, that my personal resilience was shared with othersd, in that I expressed that my resilience was very strong as I often used yoga, meditation and reiki to combat stress and bring me as a person inner peace, not afraid of being called a woo woo at all through the meeting.

Recently, I have been craving to have those feelings again, the feelings I had last year. During my armchair isolation, I tried to look for meditation groups in my area, and had some success.

Looking back at my ‘year in yoga’, I had convinced myself that of the two sections of each class (the first hour being postures and the last fifteen minutes being relaxation and meditation – including a six week course in autogenics), I missed the meditation part the most. I guess the rationale for this was that although the postures were no doubt great for the body, it came second to the fact the meditation could actually one day lead to enlightenment, which was my ultimate goal.

So there it was, scribbled on the calendar for the 10th February, that I would attend my first Buddhist Meditation session. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and although there were some pearls of wisdom shared, it wasn’t really what I as looking for. Two ten minute seated and fully clothed (coats, scarves and hiking boots) meditation sections either side of a one hour talk didn’t really do it for me. I came to the conclusion that what I was really looking for was a ‘new age school’, a group of like-minded individuals interested in meditation, alternative thinking / theories and eventually, enlightenment (in whatever way shape or form that would take), who would meet up regularly to discuss matters universal and share thoughts and energy (via reiki).

Sometimes one can look too hard for something and when one takes a step back to focus, all becomes clear. Not long after I got back to the house after my one and only trip to the Buddhist Centre, I messaged my reiki master (“L”) and asked her if there were any sessions available. My message was responded to almost instantly and almost instantly I was booked in for a session in one weeks time. I had never had a one-to-one reiki session before, and although I was pretty sure what it was about, I was still a little in the dark on how proceedings would go.

After spending a hectic day in the Trafford Centre with the kids, I dropped everyone off at house and made my way over for my session. In the message that “L” sent before I left the house, she had said that if I was willing, that she was going to start me off on the Reiki Level 2, which involved her attuning me to the reiki power symbols rather than just a normal session. I said yes, although there was a part of me which thought it was a little fraudulent as I’ve not really had much focus or time to do reiki of late. That said, if it gave me a Super Mario “Power-Up” then I wasn’t going to complain.

I got to “L”s house around 6.30 and as was met as usual with a Cheshire cat smile. She is probably one of the most positive people I’ve ever met and incredibly easy to get on with and share information and emotions. It’s no surprise that she is also a life coach and a bloody good one too.

I’d not seen “L” since we last had a reiki share at her house, which involved the both of us and also my wife. That was a cool night, as we talked for hours of life and shared many experiences, and laughed how one common element of negativity was shared by all three of us. We then had a shared reiki experience, during which “L” had said there was something in my right leg. Not to my knowledge. Not to my knowledge then should I add. It was not too long after the reiki share that I developed cellulitis, in the very same leg she predicted that I had a blockage on.

We got chatting about our experiences since we last met and I shared that over the last couple of months I had started to do some research on new age theories, consciousness studies and the likes. I mentioned that I had also been watching a lot of films of late (Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Inception, Donnie Darko, The Matrix etc) and expressed my personal view (shared by millions no doubt) that there are key messages in these films. Key moments of truth which are unseen by the docile masses. She agreed.

I told her that most if not of my negativity to my “primary problem” had now gone away. Although I’ll not share my “primary problem” on here, I’m a firm believer in Fear, Love and Indifference. I think there is a line in Donnie Darko actually which goes along the lines of “Hatred, aggression and negativity are all products of fear, and the only way to overcome fear is positivity and love”. By and large I’d agree to that, but I’d would add in indifference. As with my “primary problem”, fear and negativity has now subsided and given way not to love, but to indifference and I’ve done that through meditation and reiki. Once one is indifferent to someone or something, negativity and negative thoughts dissipates, fades away. Once again she agreed.

“L” mentioned that when we meditate and self treat reiki, we become much less aware of the ego (conscious state) and more open to both our super-conscious (higher self) and subconscious states. It is whilst in the medation zone that we are able to to relax, tap into the invisible enrgies of the cosmos and tackle those feelings of fear.

She also mentioned something quite special. She said that when she was younger she had had a moment of enlightenment whilst in a group hypnotic session, and explained that for a time she didn’t feel anything, and then all of a sudden she saw and experienced something quite remarkable. A bright vision, a warm place, full to the brim with love and positivity. She recalled that she saw glimmering symbols and shapes she could not subsequently describe. She also mentioned the time dilation factor (which I have been reading about a lot), in that she was only out of the ego/conscious state for a split second, but whilst in the “other place” was gone for minutes, hours even.

After almost and hour and a half of talking, I popped myself up on the table and closed my eyes and relaxed into the accompanyting music as she did her thing. The feeling I felt during Reiki Level 1 was incredibly intense, I would describe this session as more maturing and subtle, rather than lightning bolts. One thing I did note (and we smiled about it afterwards) was flaring nostrils. For some reason, during the entire session, my nostrils were flapping like the Jupiter Mining Corps’ Chief Chief Chicken Soup Dispenser Technician Arnold J Rimmer. I asked “L” afterwards and she said she didn’t notice but would look out for it next time for sure!

I recall her drawing symbols on my hands and then moving my hands, palmed, into various positions like she did during the Level 1 attunement. In all I was very relaxed, felt some real energies throughout, and felt so sleepy afterwards.


“L” said she saw visions of a shepherd whilst treating me, symbolic of my current strong relationship with my two boys, perhaps in some way a dichotomous position to my own.

After the session, we sat down and she said that I would need a further two sessions to become fully attuned to the symbols of Level 2, and for the time being she would share the first with me and give instructions on how to use it. I took a little double take when she drew it out on paper, as the symbol itself reminded my of the direction and spinning nature of Leonardo Di Caprio’s totem in Inception (something we had discussed not an hour ealier), but even more coincidentally that two of the said totems had turned up on my doorstep earlier in the day from China, a purchase I’d made for my son and I two weeks earlier.

I thanked her for the session, booked myself in for a follow up and off I went, now super charged if not ready for bed.

That night I dreamt I was in a hippy commune, with a David Koresh type character taking charge of the proceedings. It was a rather posh hippy commune though, as we appeared to be sat on a grassy knoll with a hugh stately manor as a backdrop. I recall being dressed in Woodstock hippy garb, very floral and far out, surrounded by likeminded space cadets. As “he” began to speak as someone next to me passed me something to smoke, which he said contained DMT (DiMenthylTryptamine) and that I should try some. As I did then dream faded and I awoke. Or did I….

Breadcrumb Diary: Week 9

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#1 Breadchums
The redoubtable Ruddo and I oft have discussions on all things odd, peculiar and unexplainable (ourselves mostly). Late last year on the night of the Nick Harper gig in Chester, we discussed a great many things ‘new age’, from consciousness studies, through déjà vu (vecu) theories and on to quantum mechanics, until the point at which Peroni rendered his mind/vocal chord coordination temporarily inoperable.

I recall (although it’s more than likely he doesn’t given his advance state of inebriation) that we discussed my breadcrumb theory and the recent (then) coincidences both he and I had had. It was at that point in the evening/early hours that I set out a task for us both to monitor such instances until the years end, to see how many synchronicities and coincidences we could capture and subsequently report back to each other. Sadly it was forgotten about (maybe I didn’t bring it to the ‘priority table’ next time we met).

I know he reads my blog, so I thought it was only right to include one of his very own breadcrumbs that he posted to Facebook today, and a good one it was too. Paste Verbatim:

Breadcrumbs… You want breadcrumbs Mike?? I’ve got a whole loaf here…

We were getting the extension built on our house, and the geezer wot came round to do the doors and windows is Dave Paton, of Paton Glass fame, in Spital.

He’s a handsome lad, all long, curly brown hair, hairy face, chubby of cheek. In fact, every single person who came round here to do jobs, plasterer, plumber, electrician etc, they all thought I was Dave Paton come to do the doors, rather than the customer.

Oh how we chortled.

Still, that’s old news now, life has moved on. Anyway, this morning I was out and about, going about my business, with a car packed tightly with cardboard, polystyrene, plastic etc, remnants from the new kitchen, and I was on my way to the tip to deposit said rubbish there.

Spital is on the way to the tip. I’d been there for about 5 minutes, when I took the latest armful of cardboard boxes up to the relevant container (hey, I’m no reckless miscreant), and a completely random bloke I’ve never met before, also depositing unwanted cardboard into the giant receptacle, said “Dave…”

I ignored this, momentarily, assuming he was talking to somebody else. But, knowing how strange this world can often be, I turned around and said “Sorry mate, were you talking to me?”

“Sorry mate” he said, “I thought you were Dave Paton!”

How I chuckled once again. Then chinned him shouting “that’s my bloody car, you cheeky get!”.

No, of course I didn’t do that. We laughed and went our separate ways.

It really, really IS a very strange world sometimes!

That it be, Ruddo, that it be…

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#1 Only I guide, my inner self
Last summer I experienced probably the most enlightening experience of my life so far (from a spiritual perspective that is) when I was ’attuned’ by a reiki master to Level 1 Practitioner. Words can’t really describe what went on that day, but from that day onwards I was a different person, still an agnostic (for the time being anyway) but closer to my inner self and higher self (if such a thing exists) than I had ever been. I remember last summer so fondly, being completely carefree, stress levels at absolute zero, loving my wife, children and friends more than I had done in many a year.

People have asked me to describe reiki and the experiences I have. It’s difficult. The way it happens for me is like an energy rush but not like adrenaline. I typically find a calm place, away from noise and light if possible, find a comfortable position (depending on my environment) and hit play on my ‘Mikey Bee Zone’ Spotify playlist, those tunes that resonate with me most (mostly sitar/Indian mantra based).

Once prepared, I then start my breathing and grounding exercises and the energy starts to flow in. It usually starts on the crown of my head and almost as quickly, the pineal gland (third eye) is activated joins in for company. From that point, my upper body starts to flood with a tingling sensation, the energy descending my spine and sending offshoots down the meridian lines to each limb. My experiences seem to come in waves as opposed to a constant ‘always on’ feeling. Sometimes these can be quite intense although I can control these now (although it did freak me out at first). One amazing thing though is that my tinnitus helps not hinders. As reiki is, so is tinnitus. They are both frequencies, both products of energy. I have found that when I want to get a ‘natural buzz’ I have the control to turn my tinnitus up to 11 and the power and energy rush that flows within me (and out to others when I practice on them) intensifies, especially when the Hindu mantras kick in.

So last week I started my Level 2 training, whereby my reiki master started to attune me to the reiki power symbols, which from what I can understand so far, increases the energy flow for the practitioner, allowing them to also start to send out energies beyond the immediate vicinity.

Part of my homework was to download a book on the Kindle called ‘Reiki for Life’ which I did and started to read on the train today. The first few chapters were great, even included how reiki ties up with consciousness theories and quantum physics.

Whilst reading the first few chapters, I had a vision/thought of a friend of mine who was going through a bit of a rough time. We talked at the weekend and I had said to her that I would book her in for a reiki session. The spooky thing was that as I was sending a Facebook message to my reiki master to arrange a session for her, a new message came through at that exact moment from said friend, thanking me for listening to her and for giving her some of my pearls of wisdom…

#2 Try what alone
Continuing on with both my train journey and my new reiki manual, I went on to read with interest the writers theories on how our consciousness can manifest itself in the physical realm and that there was a direct connection between the mind, soul and the body.

In the book she cites the example of someone suffering from stress often suffers flu/cold like symptoms, and the more the person operates in the negative space, the higher than chance of illness. She also explained that physical manifestations may also be a sign from the higher self; an ‘other worldly’ message advising us to take a step back and analyse whether there was a specific reason (cause) for a particular ailment (effect).

At that point I briefly stopped reading. My last physical manifestation (January) was ‘allegedly’ cellulitis, a queer affliction in which the flesh becomes enflamed, irritated and swollen, resulting (in my case) to a trip to the doctors to get some antibiotics to reduce the swelling and ease the immediate pain. Over the next week or so, it did improve (aided with some self-reiki in between), and gradually my leg returned to being a leg (although even now there is a small hard mass left at the epicentre of the infection which no doubt will disperse over time).

The reason why I stopped reading was because of the significance. Before the yuletide activities kicked in, I had decided that in 2014, I would do a triathlon, that would be my next physical challenge. So I busied myself with preparatory tasks, which included buying magazines, cancelling yoga in favour of a gym card, and creating a 22 week intense training plan. So today, after reading those words, the realisation, my moment of epiphany was that my cellulitis was a sign, my physical body (or more to the point my subconscious or perhaps higher self) was sending me a message not to do it. But why?

I know why. The last time I set my self such a physical challenge was the Spartan Race Series in 2102. I had it in my head that if my body was fit, then the probability of me living longer life was a lot higher than the previous beer-swilling, pie-eating me. So I took it upon myself to selfishly book myself on the series challenge which involved 6 obstacle races across the length and breadth of the UK (at great expense). Sure at the end of it I was physically fitter. Sure it was a hell of an achievement finishing 88 out of 130,000 Spartans worldwide. But what I had failed to realise was the lack of focus on the truly important things in life. I was blinkered, a man on a mission, not seeing that his marriage was falling apart, and it so very nearly did.

So in a moment of clarity today, on a train heading back down to the place which started out my spiritual rot and path of selfishness, I realised that I would not take part in the triathlon, I would delete the Excel file with the 22 week training programme at my earliest convenience…

#3 Not the 9 o’clock News
TV in the UK is crap. Official. There I was sitting in a hotel room flicking through the channels on the TV, endlessly flicking through the channels on the TV, finding nothing on every channel on the TV. Bored, I decided to start to read my reiki manual again. For some reason I could not concentrate, could not get back into it at all, even though it was a fascinating read.

I had no idea of the time. I may have been sitting on the bed in the hotel for days, weeks even. A wave of sadness came over me at that point, not being there with my wife who I had not been apart from (with work at least) for 3 months. I reached over for my phone (still not realising when it was we last contacted each other or what time it was) and as I did so, just before my fingers made contact with the screen, my 9 o’clock alarm went off. As it does every night to the sound of Dean Martin’s voice crooning out the lines from “That’s Amore”, my daily reminder to kiss my wife wherever I was on our little blue dot. Today being no exception, instead of a physical connection, and emoticon of a pair of lips had to suffice…

#4 A Brief History of Time
I had a job interview on Monday, and in preparation I created a slide deck with some bullet points on, reminders of what I had done over the course of my career. On the opening page, it had my name on and a strap line underneath which said “A Brief History of Time”. So after sending my wife a kiss via the Vodafone network, I closed my reiki manual and launched the Netflix app on my Kindle and started to browse for something to watch. I could have picked anything. Comedy. Drama. Stand up. Horror. Although I had seen it before, I decided upon Donnie Darko, as the Directors Cut had recently been added to the UK collection.

On it went (and for the record it’s no better than the silver screen cut but it does add some interesting snippets) and back I sat, all pillows plumped. I instantly recognised that the opening track (my favourite Echo and the Bunnymen song “The Killing Moon”) had been replaced by INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart”, which I couldn’t fathom out why as it added no extra significance in my mind.

Half way through the movie, Donnie (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) talks to his science teacher (played by Noah Wyle) about the possibility of time travel. A short while later after some discussion, the teacher gives Donnie a book called “The Philosophy of Time Travel” which was penned by an old hermit woman in the town. As he does so the camera pans left to reveal a copy of Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” sittng on the teachers desk.

“What if you could go back in time, and take all those hours of pain and darkness and replace them with something better?”…

Breadcrumb Diary: Week 7

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#1 Stockard Channing held sway
Grease is the word it may seem. A rather bizarre and totally random breadcrumb today. My son (the budding thespian as previously blogged), has been appearing in his school play this week. We went to see him last night and he was magnificent, a fearless and superbly executed performance from a mature young actor only 12 years old. His performance aside, the wifey and I were both in violent agreement (yes these synchronicities, albeit rather rare, do also take place…) that the stand out performance (including an incredible vocal) was from a girl who played the character Rizzo, played by Stockard Channing in the film.

What was a coincidence was about an hour later, one of my friends (known affectionately as “Totally Random Man”) posted a link to a picture of Stockard Channing to the Half Man Half Biscuit (Wirral based rock/folk band of awesome genius) fan page on Facebook, as it was her 70th birthday.


What was becoming ridiculous was that after we had picked up my son from his evening performance, we retired rather exhausted to our bed, and before we turned in watched an episode of The Good Wife, who pops up as Alicia Florrick’s mother? Yes you guessed it, Stockard Channing…

#1 Pussy galore
For some reason I still haven’t quite fathomed, I decided to push my still-wheelchair-bound daughter up the hill to school in a force 8 gale, carrying her homework and also her golden zimmer frame. Easy pickings for an octoped perhaps, not homo erectus (which I must have resembled by the time I got to the top of the 45 degree slope in hurricane winds). On the way up, we passed by the church on the corner of our road where my wife and I committed to our never-ending story, which we do most days (go to scholl, not getting married). Today, as we did, I saw a black cat sitting in the middle of the path way to the church door, staring. Staring right at me, it’s eyes not leaving mine until I lost the stare-out competition upon reaching the soon-to-be crossed road.

A short while later, I got back to the house and collected the refuse from all of the internal bins and transferred them to the outdoor ‘wheelies’ as it was collection day. As I opened the door, sitting right next to the Jeep was a black cat. I don’t believe it was ‘the’ black cat, but a black cat nonetheless. Stranger, I stared at it much in the same manner, and it reciprocated as its predecessor did, with aplomb. I turned my vision for only a split second to lift the lid of the wheelie bin, and on turning back the cat was gone. Odd. I even looked under my car. Nothing.

Continuing on with the cats theme, my son came home from school with a bit of a glum look on his face. I asked him how his day went and to his disappointment, he found out that day that the summer play (of the performing arts group he attends) had been chosen by the artistic director. Cats. Of course it was. He went on to show me one of the songs he would have to sing and already you can see that his heart just won’t be 100% in this one. I recalled that there was a quite a famous song in the show called ‘Memories’ by Elaine Page. ‘Wow, was she in it?’ he said, ‘I didn’t realise that she did plays, she doesn’t look old enough’. Confused, I said that Elaine Page must have been 60 odd, he thought I said Ellen Page (she of Inception fame – another breadcrumb reference). What rounded off a truly feline-frenzy day was that evening, as I read on the BBC news feed that Ellen Page had declared her sexuality to the world and came out as a lesbian. Not Elaine Page, coming out at 66 a bit late in the day…

#2 Yeah I’m the Taxman
After my successful ascent of ‘Mount Atherton’ and dropping the little one off at school, a random thought popped into my head dating back to 2009. When we all returned from Malaysia I recall filling in a lot of tax forms through Deloittes most user-unfriendly web portal. I remember getting several notices saying that I was missing one form in particular, although the system gave me all green ticks. Over the years I have had several terse emails reminding me penalties and the like, all of which I wholeheartedly ignored. I guess I must have been thinking about that missing form in particular in light of the corporation upcoming bonus transaction to the account of yours truly.

Mid-morning, busy working away trying to get everything done before my week of with the family, I get an email. From Deloittes after I think years of nothing. It detailed (in a much clearer and precise fashion) a request for information in lovely little bullets, dictating what I had to put in each box of the form. I quickly sent a note back asking why it was after all this time I needed to complete it, and the most welcomed of responses stated that my employer and I are due a rebate for the last 6 months of 2009. Result! My rebate may be 68p, but it will be my 68p.

I tried to daydream of the winning lottery numbers for that evening, but alas it appeared that I was all out of breadcrumbs for that day…

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#1 My anathema
First day of my holidays, yay. Hmmm perhaps not. Weather was pretty shocking truth be known so I decided to clean the house for the week, do the shopping and act as a stand-in carer for my wife as she was attending a college course on hot stone massage. Not sure what had been in the air over the last week or two (and in particular today), but a greyish cloud was hanging overhead. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, whether it was me or whether it was her or whether it was external forces at play. Nonetheless we had ‘several words’ on the way to the college, which left me with a feeling of melancholy. I quickly put that aside and got on with my household / carer duties, but something was still niggling at me. There was still an atmosphere when I picked her up, and quickly after getting back to the house and pulled my hiking boots on and took the dog down to the beach and gave him a good run out, but whatever was hanging over me was still there. My mood was as black as the clouds above, a feeling I’d not had for quite some time, one of those dread feeling back to the dark days of 2012.

I avoided the customary new age podcast on this day. Dark days require moody vibes, resonating tunes, liberating lyrics. One band that has all of that in abundance in Anathema (Liverpool born and bred, which I have a very tenuous personal link to). On approaching the crest of Mount Atherton, I casually glanced up at the sky which had been covered in grey pillows all day, and as I did so a small slither of sky opened up before me and revealed the orange glow of a helio-sphere 92 million miles away from our little blue dot. At that exact moment (whilst listening to Untouchable Pt 2 from the album Weather Systems) the line ‘I had to let you go. To the setting sun. I had to let you go. And find a way back home’. It was a sign for sure, of what though, I wasn’t sure.


On listening to the song and seeing the vista before me, there was an immediate respite from the gloom, so I took this as a sign to go back and talk to the missus. That I did and the mood was lifted. Later on in the evening, she was trawling through her Facebook news feed and found that those previously close to me (now ex-communicated not through my choice) were having a family get together that afternoon, under monochrome cloudscapes. That was the sign…

#1 Dogs of War
Many people know that I’m a kid at heart and can spend days on end creating and destroying and creating again, animate and inanimate objects made of Lego. I recently took the family to see The Lego Movie and decided that our first trip of the week would be to the Lego Discovery Centre in Manchester. Being out for most the day, Charlie our pooch was destined for a day of solitude. After getting ready, I told the significant other that I was going downstairs to have a dog-of-war with him (actually a tug-of-war; he has a ‘Linus’ type blanky which he plays with from time to time, dragging it from room to room, and every now and again I pull one end as he pulls the other). I looked in each room upstairs, no sign of him. I did likewise downstairs, still no sign. The last room of the house was the kitchen, I crept in and there he was under the breakfast bar, watching me creep into the room, his blanky in his mouth already, waiting for war, knowing I think that he was about to be left on his own for several hours…

#2 Holding back the ears
After leaving Charlie behind, on went the Apple Maps app, postcode dutifully inserted. We made our way without incident to the M56 motorway and half way down it, my son asked us to turn the radio down as he had found a particularly amusing anecdote on the web. The channel of choice that day was Smooth FM (and English radio channel which plays a lot of Tamla Motown, various hits from the 70’s and of course smoothies tracks as the name suggests), and currently playing was ‘You make me feel brand new’ by The Stylistics. So as instructed, I turned the radio volume down to zero and he ran through the funny, and it was.

After he had finished, it was time to turn the volume back up. As I reached for the dial, everything slowed down, almost to a stop. I knew what was about to take place. I looked up to see that I was in the outside lane of the motorway and inside me were two heavy goods vehicles, one overtaking the other. In an instant, I had total recall of an incident relayed to his readership by new age theorist Anthony Peake. I’ve pasted in his words below from a forum posts many years ago as his diction is far superior than mine:

The M62 motorway links Yorkshire with Lancashire. This freeway goes through some pretty barren moorland and weather conditions in late November can get quite bad (remember the movie ‘American Werewolf In London’? – I am sure that the ‘Slaughtered Lamb’ pub is located not far off the M62).

Anyway, I am driving along in pretty crappy driving conditions. Rain and hail are blasting down and the traffic is both heavy and fast. I have my Archos MP3 playing away through the car stereo. Now for those who do not know the device, Archos players are “super ipods” with massive memory storage. For example this machine contained over 14,000 MP3 tracks. Now when driving long journeys I have the Archos on random play. With a 1:14,000 probability the chance of any one specific track coming up is remote in the extreme.

As I was driving along a lorry comes out in front of me with a load of crash-barriers on the back. They looked fairly securely tied so I was happy to drive a short distance behind it. Suddenly a new track comes up on random play. It is ‘Round of Blues’ by Shawn Colvin. Now there is a history to this particular song. Way back in 1992 I had first heard this track on a free CD that came with a UK music magazine. From the first few bars I knew that this song would be important to me in some strange way that I could not describe. a few days later I bought the album with the track on it (Fat City). For some strange reason that I only now understand I said to my then (common-law) wife that this was the song I wanted played at my funeral. As the words came out of my mouth I remember thinking ‘where on earth did that come from’. So strong was this feeling that I continued mentioning this over the years. When I met my present wife I again found myself stressing this self same instruction. I remember once playing the song to her so that she would remember it.

So you can imagine my shock when this track suddenly appeared on my car stereo. I knew it was a warning. For some reason I put my breaks on and moved my car from the middle lane into the slow lane (my car at the time was a beautifully responsive Mazda RX-8 (as if you wanted to know that) so I was swiftly out of the way of the lorry in front. A split second after I moved, with Shawn still singing away, the barriers detached themselves and crashed down onto the motorway, landing exactly where I would have been. I would have hit them at sixty miles an hour. There is no way I would have survived. Fortunately because I moved no cars were close enough to be involved and the traffic easily negotiated itself around the obstruction.

If this is correct then the very last thing I would have perceived in my last life would have been the song ‘Round of Blues’. It is as if I had a deep past-life memory association with my death and that song. This is why the message of Fat City equals funeral. But this saved my life this time “round” as well because I knew that death was close!

But do you want to know what has really just freaked me out – I recently looked up the lyrics which I have never really done before. I more enjoyed the tune and its bouncy guitar sound. What I just read made my blood run cold:

Here we go again
Another round of blues
Several miles ago
I set down my angel shoes
On a lost highway
For a better view

and later:

We lost a lot today
We get it back tomorrow
I hear the sound of wheels
I know the rainbow’s end.

Scary isn’t it – just how relevant are the words “Several miles ago I set down my angel shoes on a lost highway” and “I hear the sound of wheels, I know the rainbow’s end”.

It wasn’t that my family and I were in any immediate danger from the two goods vehicles, nor that any Audi/BMW was about to plough into the back of us at breakneck speed. It was simpler, but no less of a shock. My wife and I have this long running radio feud, in that whenever R.E.M or Morrissey comes on the radio, she has the right (I have this clause embedded in our pre-nup) to do a pretend yawn accompanied by a pretend stretch, allowing her outstretched fingers to turn down the volume on the radio to zero, without me noticing (she has never succeeded). I have the same agreement with one band in question, the band I loathe the most.

So imagine my surprise as my outstretched fingers turned the dial clockwise to reveal my precognitive revelation that not only would Mick Hucknall be ear-achingly crooning a the top of his voice, but he would be doing so to the very track I hate the most and correctly predicted, ‘Holding Back the Years’. In an instant, the whole of my being filled with a wave of energy, recognition of the precognition, and every hair stood to attention. I was officially freaked out…

#3 The Magical Quest
So to Legoland. After the tricky M56/M62/M602 evil junction was successfully manoeuvred, the domes of the Trafford Centre came into view. Car parked, Starbucks Coffee in hand we joined the queue and waited patiently to enter. The wife had already dropped hints that it would be a shame to come all this way and not to have a look around the shopping mall, and although she never came out and said it, inferred that it would be a nice gesture for me to postpone my reiki session in the evening. Granted, it would have been nice to have a shop and perhaps dine out with the, so I gave this some serious thought and pondered sending my reiki ‘mistress’ (the feminine of master of course) a message.

Further down the line 10 minutes later and a familiar face came into view. If I ever there was something to persuade me not to cancel my session in favour of ‘Sketchers and Steak’, the face in the crowd made my mind up for me. H was on my reiki course last year (along with seven others) and she spotted me and we spoke. I keep bumping into her in the strangest of places, out of town shopping malls, at the beach, down on the farm and now Lego Discovery Centres. We chatted for a short while and I told her that it was so odd that today of all days in such a remote location, that I bump into her.

Taking that as a sign, we left the Trafford Centre (after Sketchers but not Steak) in ample time so that I could drop off the clan, and make my way to my ‘mistress’…

#4 Yes the universal’s here, here for everyone
See Reiki Diary: Level 2 (Part 1) for more details on an entire cacophony of coincidence…