Thursday, 1 July 2021

Learning to read the moment.


Literacy isn't what they said it is. Sure enough, the alphabet is really key to know, words, vocabulary and sentences relevant to recognise, and text, context, author, purpose and place all necessary to determine what's meant in any communication. 

Ask anyone what it felt like to learn to read, and you'll have a point of contact to know what it's like to read the moment. 

In the moment, anything is happening. The miracle is, your brain is capable of grasping the moment. The pity is, it seldom does. 

The open door of each moment is usually slammed shut as it opens. 

That's not natural, that's human-inspired. 

The heavy-handedness, intellectual clumsiness and emotional stuntedness of humanity are not good teachers. 

Be comforted: there's a perpetual, really good teacher within: a natural, cosmic voice and presence that defies description. 

It offers you your own language of truth, an imperative of kindness that's all about the moment. 

Do you kill spiders spontaneously? Consider for a moment: does that make you a bad Buddhist or a normal survivalist? 

You can see where this is going: in the moment, there's, data, desire, choice, decision and action. Also totally, really totally unconscious neural activity, which is the actual basis for the action in the moment, conscious or unconscious. You can't escape biology. 

There's a process and a story to this: the moment is a bridge between the decipherable and the indecipherable, and consciousness is key. 

Unfortunately, there are no hard rules to this literacy. The art is more than the discipline. 

But how do you read your own consciousness which is the bridge, key and cargo?

Here are the steps:

notice, articulate and know your subtle emotions

allow your obvious and immediate attitudes

test the range of your choices

decide on the personal acceptability of possible actions

scale your influence of acting

reflect on each step you take. 

Reading the moment has become a literacy of real importance, with not many knowing how to do this. Hence the plethora of coaches, most of whom are learning their own self-literacy, and not so sure how to pass this on without a well-founded sense of humility well-disguised by words and attitudes that don't quite cut it. Leadership? Don't make me laugh. You got there randomly. 

The moment is yours. 

It's a quiet, tall, immense moment, quite cruel, really, unless you sense presence greater than your own. 

How is it to be read? 

So the learning is the actual process and purpose of the moment. And the core aspect of that organism you recognise as yourself. 

I'd offer these new ABC's of reading the moment: 




truthful communication


Closure is important. The timing and honouring have to be right. That's a whole literacy in itself. 

The moment is fluid. 

You have to be quicker than that. 

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Leaving the country.

 The four words are really inadequate: I've left the country. 

But I have. 

The Covid 19 was the main cause, wiping out our hospitality business, yet the Covid canal, like the Suez and Panama, can experience ships going sideways rather than forwards. So there are more reasons to leave the country. 

Take a thief, a scoundrel and a stupid person like Zuma, protected by the ANC. 

Take a hollow, expensive suit, like Ramaphosa, protecting the ANC. 

Take the electorate, the subservient, uneducated, impoverished, unprotected, ill-advised supporters of the ANC. 

And then take into account the crumbling national infrastructure: electricity, education, water, municipal delivery, post office, deeds office, and each national office you can think of. 

The formal, legalised national-speak has changed from my growing up years to the present. If I had published this blog in the seventies or eighties I would have been arrested before blogging off. 

Not now. The ANC and its leaders really don't care, so long as their pockets are kept full. Their reputation and honour mean nothing other than internal party political manipulation for the sake of power-survival. It used to be called petty cash, and it was possible to steal this, in petty ways.  But the national cash cow is  the main target, and it will be eaten alive. No bull. 

That's my swan-song in connection with the political rubbish. The NP leaders were bullies, the ANC leaders are supremely greedy and the next lot, no matter the party, will be ruthless. 

But that's not about leaving the country. That's about the country leaving itself. 

I will remember running along Cape Town streets, train journeys to Johannesburg, learning to learn in what used to be schools and universities, which is what I've loved most, apart form the steaks, Cabernet Sauvignons and my old Volksie, the city and its styles, the sky-scapes, mountain-scapes, and my solitary walks on Kommetjie beach, in the sun and in storms, coming back to the warmth of whiskey and a cigar.

I will remember all of this and so much more. 

My homes, the wind, rain and wishful thinking, and the mountains: Table Mountain, Twelve Apostles, the Amatola and the Cederberg. 

And Devil's Peak. 

And how love, conversations, scrutiny and care have followed me in my path in that country, thanks to so many, many people. 

I have left the country, yes, and am amazed to find out how much has not left me. 

I understand very little about love, but its stickiness, like honey, is difficult to wash off. 

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Where does my story start?

 I grew up with the given idea that biology explains everything. You start at conception, you do whatever you can to live a healthy and well-lived life, if something goes wrong, the doctor will fix it, and eventually the body fails because of something organically malfunctioning, and then you die. 

You have a beginning, a middle, and an ending, as stories are supposed to. 

There's a lot to be said about this, but let's pay attention to the start, the beginning of your story. 

By way of a preamble, your body and your being is more like a story than anything else.

Some pointers before we begin: emotional imprint, genealogical predisposition, historical context, natural communication. "Natural communication" means that neurons behave as neurons in spite  of anything else. 

If you're able to grasp that you're part of a cosmic process rather than an individual person, you're more than halfway to knowing that your story has no discernible beginning. To make it easier I could say "as well as an individual person" but this individuality is more of a hindrance than a help. 

Sure, your body was conceived, gestated, born, grew up, and here you are. 

It didn't do that in any individual way. Bodies look individual because they can move about on their own, but that's as far as it goes. Not even thinking is really individual. 

The emotional imprints from mother to foetus, historical context to formation of attitude, and genetic predisposition to physiological conditions, and the way your neurons get set up, all add up to the mystery we call consciousness. 

So you can decide where your story begins. 

Mine is cosmic, but I would advise a smaller nest than that. It's better to know your mind than to get lost in it. 

In Story Clinic we suggest that you begin spontaneously. Don't start formally with "I was born....etc, etc."

Attention is crucially important, probably the most valuable attribute of humanity, in focusing cosmic capability. So we would ask, what does your attention seek right now? Let's slow down out of the normal stuff of dailiness, and allow your body to speak and attend to what's being communicated or required to communicate now. 

"I'm hungry."

"I'm tired."

"I'm angry with..."

"I'm frustrated with..."

"I'm enjoying..."

"I'm thankful for..."

Or we could allow for some moments of imaginative reflection, and begin with a spontaneous memory. This is a fruitful kind of beginning. The neurons are good at doing it for themselves. 

So your birthday is a milestone, not a definitive beginning, and the Akashic records are a library, not a book. 

And the Alpha of the alphabet was an invention, not a discovery. So even the language that you use to decipher yourself is not a totally adequate tool, although helpful. 

Your story starts where attention engages. Where it engages is up to two things, as I perceive it, what your imagination presents, and what you choose to do about it. For Tolkien, it involved a ring, for C.S. Lewis a lamp in a snowy world where animals spoke, and for Emily Bronte, a rattling at the window, and a haunting dream. 

If you give your imagination that same gift of attention, a unique, strange, strong and valuable beginning is very likely to emerge. 

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

The Waterman Practice and Story Clinic.

Everything is a story, so here's the connection between The Waterman  Practice and Story Clinic. I thought hard about what I'd like the rest of my life  to mean, and I took the things I've built: qualifications and experience in homeopathic medicine;  qualifications, training and experience in energy medicine; a doctorate and a lifetime of dealing with stories, what they are, what they mean, how to listen to them and tell them and understand them; and qualification and practice in poetry therapy. 

I've spent sixty-five years living and being both patient and impatient, and now, quite frankly, impatience wins. 

For now, let's look at The Waterman Practice umbrella and Story Clinic. The Story Clinic is older. 

Stories gripped my entire being before I could read or speak. I grew up in the Christian meta-story, and my soul recognised the currents of reality that the close people couldn't articulate. People need to believe stories to work out their practical ways through life. The vast majorities of these stories aren't true, just vague approximations of journeying. 

The work of the Story Clinic is about the balance between respecting and challenging deeply held stories. From gender to ethnic to faith to scientistic stories, people hold to what they think they can tell themselves, because they feel they can't go further. 

Of course they can. And one's health is more dependent on this than you realise. 

The Waterman Practice is about approaching healing, health and wholeness through contact, connection, communication,  clarity and comprehension. 

These are more like feelings than concepts, and the feelings that your stories articulate reflect an underlying reality rather than the superficial chatter.

We seldom give ourselves the time and space to examine this. 

There are many, many approaches and stories out there to grip your attention because you have a need for better health in one way or another. They all clamour for attention. 

The Waterman Practice is different because it pays attention to your attention. That's challenging because that's the very thing that's baffling. You want attention because you don't feel well with your own attention? 

But I don't want to get complicated. 

The Story Clinic is about listening to your own language, telling your stories, realising your limits, chosen and unchosen. 

If you want borders, you'll stop there. If you need passports, they can be obtained. And if you require new languages, that's possible. 

Awareness of your evolving story is a magical thing. 

So The Waterman Practice shows you how to move from being an unconscious author to a purposeful narrator. Your voice, biological and metaphoric at the same time, is able to say much and in many ways. This is just one of the basic tools of the Story Clinic. 

There's a lot to put to good use in The Waterman Practice.