Adept is a word that I’ve always enjoyed when I’ve read it and this is the first time ever that I’m using it myself. It’s a word that is used to describe someone who is proficient at what they do, or an expert, or who has reached the highest level possible, a real boffin or fundi.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book called “The Outliers” he gives examples of people or groups, such as Bill Gates and The Beatles, who became adept’s after having done something for 10,000 hours. His theory being that to become really good at something you need to practice for 10,000 hours or, once you have practiced or repeated something for 10,000 hours then you will be really good, or the best – like The Beatles with all the playing they did in Hamburg before they became famous, and Bill Gates with all the hours he spent programming as a student.
So I’ve been thinking, and I did a little calculation. Since 22h00 on the 3rd August 2002 I have been single or going home alone every night or without a partner or companion. In doing my calculation though I thought it would be only fair to exclude a period of all of 5 weeks when I was in a relationship with a lovely lady in London, Mercedes, and also a period of about 8 months when I was in a relationship with another lovely lady in Cape Town, Anita. Whilst I was still living alone during these times (not every night ) I did have a companion and partner, I was not alone.
My calculation reveals that I have been on my own for 82,319 hours as at 15h00 on Wednesday 23rd May 2012. Which means that more than 8 times over I am an expert, extremely proficient and most definitely an Adept.
I suppose the reader out there can come up with a whole host of answers to that question. I’ll bandy about just one …
I’m an Adept at being alone – hmmm, and why, pray, does one become or does one need to become an Adept at something that one hates?
Aaaah everything happens for a reason – splendid, please don’t stop, do continue …
I’ve attracted this aloneness into my life – did I, really? Okay, let’s move on then and I’ll just unattract it – here I go, I’m thinking positive thoughts, I’m smiling, I’m being friendly, I’m cheerful and looking on the bright side of life, and I’m happy and bouncey and … ummm, ooops, nothing’s happening, and another year goes by, of aloneness, but I’m getting even better at it clocking up all these extra hours.
We create everything that happens to us – now there’s a thing, a combination of masochism and what they call these days being bipolar (psycho was always good enough for me). So I’m a masochistic psycho who has focused my last 82,319 hours of my life on ensuring that I do something that I hate.
I could have a partner but I’m too fussy – righty ho then, why don’t I just accept anyone, anytime – there we go, now I’m in a relationship with another lady – sorry, pardon, what was that; attraction, connection, spark, love what are those things please?
Don’t worry there’s someone out there waiting for you, you could bump into her tomorrow. Right on, good on yer cobber, I’ll just hang around a bit longer and continue being patient – you try it!
The Universe will provide – so this dude is chatting to God and he says, hey God tell me, you’re the Creator and all that and you always existed so how does time work for you, I mean what’s a couple of hundred million years mean to you? God replies and he says, oh well there’s no time out here in the spiritual realms of the Universe so a couple of hundred million years is like a sminute to me. The dude nods his head in understanding then he says, ok God I’ve got another one for you, I know that money means nothing to you so how do you regard a hundred million Rand? And God replies, oh that’s just like a few cents to me. So the dude says, ok God then please can I have a few cents, and God says sure, just give me a minute.
In my next book I shall be writing quite a bit about a few of these ideas and about “patience” and what it really means. In the meantime I shall just …
This is a true story, not my story, of a lady who once went to a party. After getting home from the party she felt empty [and quite possibly a tad irritated and frustrated]. So she wrote down some thoughts [to understate things just a little]. I have a deep and huge amount of respect for someone like this lady who has both the insight into people, relationships and life, as well as the writing ability to so clearly and, I’m sorry I’m going to have to use a big word, profoundly describe what should be. Read what she has said, it is amazing – it is the way people should be with each other and feel about each other, if only we all would behave this way. She is so right!
This lady that I am referring to (and I hope she doesn’t mind this piece of mine and my referring to her this way) spent some time with the North American Indians, and they gave her a name. her name is Oriah Mountain Dreamer and the piece that she wrote is called The Invitation
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, And if you dare to dream of meeting Your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool For love, for your dream, For the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, If you have been opened by life’s betrayals, Or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, Mine or your own, Without moving To hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, Mine or your own, If you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes Without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself, If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. I want to know if you can be faithless and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty Even when it is not pretty every day, And if you can source your life From its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, Yours and mine, And still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, Weary and bruised to the bone, And do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand In the center of the fire with me And not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you From the inside When all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone With yourself, And if you truly like the company you keep In the empty moments.
This is a true story, quite a longish one, of the experience of a man who’s life until pretty much the age of 45 was built upon the foundations of:
A strict religious upbringing – burning incense would have been regarded as being punishable by eternal damnation with only the fires of hell to look forward to.
An inability to trust others and a need for proof before believing anything.
A competitive and aggressive spirit based upon the desire to look good in the eyes of others, and to not look or be made to look a fool and be laughed at.
The tenet that “there is only one thing in life that counts, and that’s family:.
And, the tenet that “the saddest word in the English language is – alone”.
This my story.
In the story going forward I have used italic text to show what my thoughts were at that time, and I have used normal text in bold to show what I now believe. The first part of the story that follows may seem unnecessary or irrelevant to you, but I have shared it with you so that you can understand more clearly the type of person and mental state that I was in when I experienced my first brush with Kinesiology, what this story is about.
Jenni Halkett is a Kinesiologist, amongst many other things, and to put it mildly. I had no idea what this profession was nor did I even know that the name existed. All I knew, for a long time, was that people would go and see Jenni “for a balance”. I heard this term quite a few times because my daughter, Kim, happened to be going out with Rhett, Jenni’s son.
Being an avid sportsman as well as a fitness fanatic I had many aches and pains. I also developed quite a mental condition over and above the slight stress of not having any work. Rather coincidentally on the 3rd August 2002 Kim went to a party where she met Rhett for the first time from which their relationship developed. That same evening my wife of 21 years of marriage came home and told me she was leaving me for another man; no warning, no affair, she had only met him a few weeks earlier. She continued to live in the same house with me for 4 months whilst she pursued her new man and direction. During this time, on the 1st November 2002, my Dad died – he had an aortic aneurism condition and due to the stress of my situation (he had stopped eating and sleeping, I did not know this at the time) it burst and he died 10 hours later. And then at the end of November my wife drove away to her new life taking our two daughters with her.
So – read my “foundation in life” bit again and you can work out for yourself what sort of condition I was in (it took me nearly 6 years to recover). Fortunately I had 4 people who took care of me, my two daughters, my Mum, and my twin brother Tim. Tim arranged for me to go and see a psychologist. I went to see Robert every week for a few months and after he was satisfied that I had been rescued from my condition of needing to make sure that I realised the need to carry on living and would do so, I then saw him once every 2 weeks, and then progressed to the group therapy stage. (I will never be able to say thank you enough to my Mum, who died in 2006, Kim & Debs, and Tim for what they did for me, and still do for me today).
During my hourly sessions with Robert which always consisted of my talking about the week that had passed, and crying for all of these 45 minutes, he would then build me up and give me direction during the last few minutes. The most telling and mind blowing understanding to come out of this therapy was the realisation that throughout my childhood and throughout my marriage I had never been allowed to be the real me, and I distinctly remember Robert using the words that “I had never been given the choice to be who I really am”. My parents had wanted me to be like my twin brother (he was very studious and good – I was naughty and a show off), and my wife never allowed me to have any say, pretty much we did what she wanted and I just went along with it to avoid conflict. (I will never be able to repay Robert for what he did for me.)
So now here I am one step removed from a zombie and a vegetable, mindlessly going through the motions in life but still putting on a brave and ego face of self respect, some show of being a father to my daughters, and following my usual path of escape in extreme amounts of physical exercise, and in the many alone and lonely hours, tears. The mask that I thought I was showing was probably completely see through to those around me – I remember one friend at the time telling me that my eyes had gone dead. And so one day after a number of gentle suggestions from Rhett and Kim, I went to see Jenni for a balance. (I will never be able to repay Jenni, and Celia, for what they did for me then, and all the years since.)
I had absolutely no idea what “a balance” was or what to expect but, I felt safe and I was comfortable going – Kim is my daughter, and Rhett and Jenni were friends, and I trusted them. I don’t think Jenni said much to me as an introduction to the session, after all at that time she probably intuitively knew me better than I knew myself so what could she say! I’m pretty sure Jenni also knew what was going on in my mind too.
So I lie down on the bed fully clothed (different but no problem, I’ve done this before, I’ve had many massages on a bed like this, but fully clothed, hmmm I wonder what’s going to happen next).
Jenni elevates my right forearm to the vertical position and I’m told to resist (I have difficulty not thinking and behaving like a weightlifter and resisting with all my might and muscle power, but pretty soon I get the hang of it).
Jenni does a little bit of pinching/grabbing around my bicep whilst she’s softly saying all sorts of funny stuff (okey dokey, let’s just lie here and see where this goes, I’ve got no idea what this is all about but Jenni is a friend so I’ll say nothing and go with it for a while).
Jenni launches into the muscle balance as her starting point (I suppose this is the standard and safe place to start with new people especially the likes of me)
So now I’m lying there and having to resist all sorts of pulling and pushing, and over onto my stomach, and a little touch here and a little touch there, and then there’s some other stuff going on as well.
Unbeknown to me Jenni is nearing the end of the muscle balance and the things that are being done to me and what I’m having to do are really weird – a pinch to my cheeks, a rub on my head, rolling back around my ears and hair, and then put your tongue out this side and move it to that side and she’s saying stuff like “in the light” and “in the dark” and … (what on earth is all this muck, this is all a lot of baloney, there’s no flippin ways I’m coming back for another one of these sessions, how is this supposed to help, for heaven’s sake this is garbage – but okay I can’t be rude to Jenni and Rhett and Kim so I’ll just see it through to the end and then I’ll make excuses for not coming back – flip I can’t wait for this to end and to get out of here!).
Jenni has now finished with the muscle balance and has done some or other tests and is now reading up some stuff in her book (I am trying seriously hard not to be both irritated and to giggle – oh my word what a lot of absolute codswallop this is!).
Jenni comes back to the bed, looks down at me and she tells me that the results of the testing that she has done and what the book says is [that I have a mental state and condition related to] the words “no choice” (I go very still and I’m gobsmacked – wow, what a coincidence, can you believe it, that’s exactly what Robert my psychologist discovered. But I recover quite quickly – hmmmm, okay, that’s interesting – but I’m not coming back for one of these sessions anyway, I’ve made my mind up on that –I suspect that this is the point where the first barriers to my mind and my awakening first started to weaken and give way).
Jenni tells me that she is going to correct that for me, or maybe she said she’s going to put the correction into circuit, or something like that – I can’t quite remember (I’m still a little unsettled by those words “no choice” that Jenni has come up with so I’m a little quieter in my mind and receptive to just lying there patiently for Jenni to carry on, without being so eager to have the session end and get away).
Jenni holds up her pointy finger, middle finger and thumb gripped together above my head and tells me to follow her fingers with my eyes and whilst she’s tracing a circle around my head for my eyes to follow I must constantly say the words “I have choice” (I am feeling a little foolish at having to say these words out loud, it’s a bit embarrassing,I don’t know why I found that embarrassing, and I’m still thinking that I’m happy to go along with what Jenni is doing, even though I still think it’s a lot of rubbish – I was still thinking that it was all garbage).
I’m not sure which direction Jenni traced a circle with her fingers, whether it was clockwise or anti-clockwise to begin with, and I’m pretty sure that it was when her fingers reached the top right hand corner that my eyes wouldn’t go there (I didn’t know this at the time, Jenni told me afterwards – I distinctly remember Jenni making a “hmmm” sound/exclamation).
Jenni tells me that she going to do the same with her fingers but in the other direction and I must carry on saying “I have choice” all the time she is doing this (still a feeling of foolishness and feeling that this is achieving nothing but I’ll go with it and do it anyway – and I still distinctly remember feeling that this was all muck).
Jenni’s fingers get to the top right hand corner again, and I’m saying I have choice, I have choice … and I burst into tears and cried uncontrollably for at least 10 minutes – huge wracking sobs, I was broken. (this came out of nowhere, not even a gap or a fraction of a second’s thought about possible acceptance of Jenni’s therapy, from being a total unbeliever and a sceptic to breakdown).
And a huge pathway for healing had been opened, and an even bigger pathway to understanding and acceptance of not only myself but of life in general and other people as well.
I have told many people in the past and tell everyone again – I am living proof that Kinesiology works, that there is a mind body connection.
Here are some extracts from a longer message written by someone called Ralph Marston about Positive Thoughts:
you’re immersed in a universe of limitless, growing abundance.
accept that your life is destined for meaningful and unique fulfillment.
see yourself as a powerful agent of the positive possibilities.
stop and remind yourself how powerful you are.
whatever you most consistently think, is where your life will surely and steadily go.
The other day whilst I was driving I watched the people next to me in their car. It was a family. They were driving a beaten up old Toyota and they were laughing and looked like they were happy and having fun. And I thought two thoughts:
Yes, these people are happy with their lot in life. They expect no more and are happy with where they are and their situation of being relatively poor. And in this acceptance, and not expecting any more in their lives, i.e. greater wealth, they are happy. Good for them.
But – they could expect more. They are entitled to more, why not?! Everyone on the planet is entitled to more, and everyone can have more, because the Universe has limitless abundance which is available for everyone. It is not that we deserve this, because we have been good or any similar type of condition, it is a simple matter of this abundance being available to everyone and it is also the right of everyone to have it. The Universe makes no distinction, every single person on the planet, irrespective of age, colour, gender, or creed is equal. And therefore we may all have this limitless abundance in our lives.
So why don’t these people, and everyone on the planet, have it?
Another insight that I’d had a few weeks ago, was that I need to “raise the level” of everything that I do. I was applying this to a few things, physical type stuff, like eating junk food, spending too much time at my computer, exercise, dressing smarter, having a haircut etc. But it didn’t really sink in properly until this weekend. Here’s a story to illustrate the revelation that I’ve had on this point. I used to be a reasonable cricketer and I used to play with Peter Kirsten, who was a good friend of mine, the captain of the club team that I played in, plus he was captain of Western Province (now called the Cobras) as well as the SA side (now called the Proteas). Towards the end of my career I started to come into my own as a batsman, batted no 3 for the team, and was lucky enough to bat with Kirsy a few times. I made quite a few 50’s and even a few 80’s – but I never made a 100. I asked Kirsy one day what the thinking was behind making a hundred; how did I need to think and behave, and what did I need to do to get myself beyond the 50’s and 80’s and make a 100. His answer was – I can’t tell you what to think or what it feels like, it is something that you will only feel and understand once you get there one day. I never did score a hundred. I realised this weekend that this is exactly the problem that I have had, and the people in the Toyota, and many, many other people have, when it comes to visualization. We pretend to visualize and see ourself out there in this advanced state, or with this abundance, or whatever our visualization is – but we don’t actually believe it. Because we’ve never been there! We don’t know what it’s like to actually be where it is that we are visualising, so we don’t believe that it will happen; we pretend that we know, and we pretend that we believe, and we hope, but we prepare for the worst, and we don’t believe it, and it doesn’t happen.
>If you’ve come here thinking that you’re going to read about a dog – sorry, my mind is on another track, again. I am referring to men though, because I’m not too sure how this applies to women, and what their reasoning and thinking is behind this one (or anything really, not so chaps ) Us boys do a fair amount of drinking; we have braai’s, watch sport on TV at home or with our mates, go to pubs etc. and always we are very keen to imbibe, and I’m going to use beer as the beverage of choice, for simplicity, and because it is quite a favourite. There are other times in our lives when we also drink, but we drink other things, like coffee, or tea, or a Coke, or maybe even water. In the pub we will order a beer, and drink it, and usually even before that one is finished we will have ordered our next one. And we will continue doing this throughout the evening. Sometimes, with some people, the same applies to coffee and tea. We drink copious amounts of the stuff, one after the other, throughout the day. So what? The thing is - after I’ve had my first 500ml of beer I am most certainly no longer thirsty. We do after all drink stuff because we’re thirsty don’t we? So why do I have the second, third, fourth … ? Now with my tea addiction an answer to this poser immediately comes to mind – but then I suffer from another condition that not everyone else may do – I live alone. Often I will wander off in the direction of the kettle and make another cup of tea as a gap filler: a break between some work that I’m doing, because I’m bored and don’t know what to do with myself etc. Many other people also use food as their gap filler, and quite often this gap filler is an emotional one, a sad or depressed one, and out comes the comfort food – for me that’s sweets. Back to the beer. Clearly we are not thirsty, so there must be another reason why we want a second one. Maybe we like the fact that we are now on the road to getting pissed and we like it when we are pissed. We love the way that we get loud, and argumentative, and some guys get aggressive, and we can’t stand properly, and start to slur our words, and we struggle to get home, and often do so quite literally taking our life, and the lives of others, in our hands, and the way our body responds with foul breath, bloatedness, belching, farting, unhealthy and fat bodies, hangovers, not being able to get out of bed the next day, feeling sore and uncomfortable, staying in bed while most of the beautiful day outside wastes away … any other results that I’ve missed? And surely the answer to this question has to be – I don’t think so! Okay then, we’re getting there, we’re not thirsty, we don’t really like to get pissed – so why do we do it. Well imagine standing around in a pub with all your mates talking all sorts of garbage and ogling the chicks all night long, and you have nothing in your hands – what do you do with them? It’s also a bit like me telling my Navy and sporting buddies that I thought that the last rugby test match that I watched which the Boks won and played really well in was “jolly nice” – do me a favour, of course I’d say that I thought it was “effing great”. Then again, I have in the past done the almost unthinkable and spent many weeks going to my local and standing there with a tall glass of lime juice and water in my hands all night long – tough, but doable. And, like most guys will say, I do enjoy the taste of my first beer and often look forward to it – but then again I might also actually be thirsty then.
And I shall conclude these thoughts by being inconclusive – why then do you do it?
>The nearest star to our little old planet Earth is called Proxima Centauri, not Alpha Centauri as some might think, they discovered another little fella in the same group that is slightly closer – and don’t get clever, apart from the Sun. This little fella is 4.5 light years away – a light year is actually a measure of distance, not time. This distance is how far a beam of light, travelling at the speed of light – I suppose light does actually travel at its own speed – will go in one year. And now I suppose you’d like to know how far that is, okay it’s: 9,500,000,000,000 kilometres. Cool, so if that little star is 4.5 of these away then it is – work it out yourself if you want to. But obviously we can’t travel at anywhere near the speed of light. Let’s then consider something that can – a space shuttle. You may not know that the space shuttle travels at 28,000 km/hr in order to stay in orbit. So if we send a space shuttle off to go and visit our neighbour Proxima and it poodles off out there travelling at its usual speed, then it will take how long exactly to get there? – 4,180,111.5 years -not sure who’s going to be flying the thing, and can’t see anyone hanging around long enough to make it, do you?
So all of this we know. We also know that apart from our little neighbour, Proxima that we can’t even hope to consider getting to, that there are millions of stars out there in our galaxy beyond Proxima. And there are millions of galaxies out there beyond the Milky Way – that’s the name of our galaxy. And there are millions and millions of stars in all of those galaxies. We know all this.
What we don’t know though is – why is it all there?