Zen and a Honda CBF1000.

cb1000f 1

This will be longer than normal and an intention for it to be better…

Forgive me for I know there is repetition in certain ideas and concepts but most of what I write is not fully formed until it is dictated.

Get on with it.

Let’s begin with the idea that our external world is an out picturing of our internal world. I’ve yet to find an explanation of how significant external events fit into this. I don’t need to list “significant events.”

0-60 in 3.7 seconds.

An example. My cat dies. Has nothing to do with me, in fact the cat has been given a wonderful life through my intervention. And if I could change things the cat would live as long as me. I suffer grief; my “lens” on the world becomes clouded. I find it difficult to smile and appreciate everything I normally appreciate. The world is a miserable place and I feel miserable. My “vibration” lowers. I am mired in five sensory “reality.” Any psychic and mediumistic abilities are muted and closed down. I attract more “negative” events and people to me. Things that would normally lift my spirits, raise my vibration, are lost. They are still there but I cannot perceive them.

But part of me doesn’t want this. I don’t want this misery; I want joy, beauty and happiness. But I must grieve…?

When I was 42 I enrolled on a NLP Practitioner course in Manchester, England. I had attended a half day “taster” during which I experienced a huge revelation and it shook me to the core. It related to my origins on this planet, unresolved emotions surrounding my adoption. Really big stuff, for me at least.

Catharsis. I rather like this definition:

An experience or feeling of spiritual release and purification brought about by an intense emotional experience.

Riding my new motorbike to Hereford a couple of hours earlier today, I had a huge grin on my face. Throwing a 1000 cc motorbike at speed down country lanes is a fabulous experience. My Honda accelerates quicker than almost all cars on the road except “supercars” and Teslas. My reflexes and sensory processing are insufficient to ride this bike at its maximum. Accelerating in top gear from 40 miles an hour to ** miles an hour creates a visual blur. It is intoxicating, risky and possibly illegal. A friend of mine has another bike, a stupidly expensive Ducati, which has twice (over 200 HP) the power of mine. The only place he can safely ride it is on a race track.

I’d been carrying “stuff” (anger, frustration, grief, loss, guilt, inadequacy, arrogance) around since I was born. A series of events, one notably when I was eight, hung over me like a cloud if ever I decided to pay attention to them. And often one or more of these emotions would just “pop-up” without any obvious cause.

Do you remember the halcyon early days of therapy? When it was okay to admit to feeling vulnerable, to feel motivated to release persecution, betrayal and victimhood? You don’t? But then why should you? It was the 60’s and 70’s I think. Mostly from America.

My blog post The Most Difficult Path explores the whole “We need to experience pain to grow” set off against therapeutic intervention to release past traumas, emotions and hurt.

There is a wonderful NLP process called “Looking Back and Laughing.” You may guess what purpose it serves. With some exceptions, there is always a time following grief or loss that we can look back and laugh.

Wandering round Hereford I heard the haunting sound of John Barker playing his trumpet. I came across John two or three years ago in Gloucester. The theme tune from Les Miserables (Bring Him Home) was choking a few hundred people up with emotion in the city centre. This man can play the trumpet. I think he will forgive me for including his performance royalty-free below:

Hearing John again I looked back and felt a mixture of emotions. I went over to him again, and given the fact he must’ve met thousands of people since, he vaguely remembered me buying a CD from him. I bought another CD. I remember that day in Gloucester, only the second time I’ve been to the city and I got lost. It has a fabulous cathedral but the town centre is depressing. Fleetingly today, speaking to John again, the emotions of being moved by his playing (sadness?), getting lost (anger, frustration?) followed by elation and then going home (love, pride, feeling special). Aren’t these a typical range of emotions you might feel in varying degrees during a “normal” day? Are you likely to go through the rest of your life dodging sadness, anger and frustration?

I parked the motor bike on the pavement next to dozens of cycles. I’ve just ordered a new mountain bike. When I was in Skiathos, Greece, a wonderful bloke I met (Kelwyn) had hired a bright orange Cube Analog “hardtail” from a hire shop in the town. A couple of days later I hired one myself. Kelwyn recommended a particular journey around the island which involved normal roads and tracks. I’m reasonably fit for my age and a good swimmer. But I haven’t ridden a bike any distance for some months. Getting my excuses in for what follows. I must’ve pushed the bike for about half the distance of the recommended mountain track. Something told me my newly found friend had ridden his bike the whole way. Of course he confirmed this later. And he is only a few years younger than me…

You know what bike I’ve ordered. Using NLP terminology the bike has created “anchors” of elation, perseverance, mild frustration, determination, warmth and philoxenia. Riding a bike also induces mild to severe grief if I consciously choose to recall the times Vanessa and I went for rides. She loved bike riding and one of the first things she had to give up, owing to her condition was this.

So, do I create a list of all the anchors, positive as well as negative, and avoid the latter like the plague? Or do I go to the other extreme, and relive the intense experiences I miss most to allow me cathartic release? It must be bl****** obvious that what I’m saying here applies to any kind of loss, in particular relationships. What constitutes avoidance or distraction?

Back to Hereford. There was a really old bloke playing the spoons to reggae music, crouched down against a wall in a busy shopping street. In terms of playing spoons he was as good as John was with his trumpet. No CDs. He was dressed like a tramp and his white hair and beard stood on end. His keks (trousers) were ripped, old and dirty. I hadn’t got any change and I knew he didn’t do contactless. Another smile on my face. A fleeting thought of the injustice of the world. A talented man, nearing the end of his life, God knows how he got there. It was clearly all his fault.

Anger and frustration? Yep. All I needed to do was stoke up the fire about Vanessa’s (premature) passing and the still raw emotions. I could create a spectacle and put a hat down in front of me for coins. Not sure that a motorcycle helmet is the right kind of hat. It doesn’t suggest poverty or homelessness. Nor am I sure what kind of spectacle would ensue. An unlikely “pensioner” having a cathartic release (with a dance?) in Widemarsh Street would no doubt create a “dead zone” of avoidance and attract the men in white coats.

My ration of laughing and smiling has probably been exceeded today. Did you know there is the idea or myth, depends on your point of view of course, that a year must pass before you can start to live again. Not for me it doesn’t.

I’m sufficiently attuned to spirit to know that those closest to me want me to be happy. Wallowing in grief and misery is not something they would recommend. In the three readings I have had since Vanessa passed humour has been ever present. If you study the whole connecting with spirit process you will realise that for you to connect with a loved one you have to raise your own vibrations and being down and depressed doesn’t cut it.

We are moving around a bit today are we not? Malvern, Manchester, Hereford, Gloucester, Skiathos and Nosso Lar… Manchester beckons. It took me eight weeks to pluck up the courage and find the right opportunity (the NLP course ran for 10 months, one weekend a month) to have my cathartic release. Part of my reasoning was that the release would be so dramatic, so intense that I would have to be taken out of the room in a wheelbarrow.

Well it wasn’t. I wasn’t. Emotional, yes. Tears, a few. But what a release. Changed my life. Forever. Had I or have I fully, 100%, processed and let go of all emotions surrounding my adoption. Of course not. I met my biological mother in 2006. My biological father may have died before I got in touch. It is all a bit vague. Either he and/or his family don’t want to know. I have forgiven him. Part of me is blessed by being brought up by my adoptive parents and created and conceived by my biological parents. So there are a few emotions washing around. Are they destructive? Not anymore, and is the acid test that I can talk about this issue without getting upset? If it is I’ve passed it.

I’ve been to Hereford many times. With Anne a couple times, and with Vanessa at least six. Vanessa’s favourite cafe in Hereford is All Saints Church. I went there today. I leave it to you to guess or rather reflect on your own similar experiences whether or not this was a good thing. It would be nice to have heard John’s trumpet playing, but the Muzak in the church was more than acceptable. The cappuccino and the date slice were fantastic. The poor old spoon player would have looked a little out of place. But aren’t churches places of refuge rather than vegan quiches and free trade coffee?

Coming to the end now. I’ve had a great day. Riding a powerful motorbike when you are distracted or emotional is not recommended. It doesn’t take much to enjoy the experience, it drags you out of a negative state. Being in an embryonic good place, internally and externally is also therapeutic because the old you (assuming you’re not a miserable old sod) starts to emerge and feel powerful again. Background grief is background grief. Try and get your head around the spectacle of two amazing musicians, one playing the spoons the other trumpet to the sound and spectacle of an unconstrained cathartic release. I’m sure it will happen one day, no doubt when X-Factor meets Jeremy Kyle.

Or look back and laugh before the year is out.

Namaste, the light grows brighter.

Jack Stewart, October 2, 2019.


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