Monday, 22 February 2010

Interesting times

So here I am, 6 days from Move day.

Actually, I booked the van for 6 days time, but have to be out in 8 days. Phew! When you put it like that it seems like forever!

Because I still haven't got a clue where I am moving to.

Somehow, in the next 6 days, I have to find a home for the following:
  • An American Queen sized bed base
  • Two 7ft x 3 ft bookcases
  • A two seater sofa
  • A fridge freezer
  • A coffee table
  • A cheap dining table
  • A 26" flat screen TV (plus TiVo recorder, DVD and Video Recorder, DVD player, Freeview box...)
And possibly:
  • Two chests of drawers
  • Two canvas wardrobes
  • 4 boxes of items currently not selling on eBay.
Oh, and Me.

So it's interesting.

I went to view a place the other day, made my best effort to charm the landlord (who lives in the flat) and am due to hear back today whether I am The Chosen One out of all of the people who came to view. The room is part furnished. It would fit my stuff. It is perfectly located. He is very jovial. I think I might be lucky.

Plus when I visualised my Perfect Home and put in my request to the Creator, the house had a modern flushing toilet, amazing shower, and a 5 ring gas hob. Oh, and the landlord has the same taste in wooden furniture (although I didn't actually mention that in my request, but, nice touch - thanks). So it's all just meant to be. Isn't it.

Isn't it? Oh crap.

So I have spent the last couple of days working out how to arrange my newly whittled belongings in to his spare room. Instead of focusing long and hard on finding as many suitable places that I can stay.

So here is where my Certainty comes in to play - I've already booked the van. And if push comes to shove and I have nowhere to go, then it's not going to be that hard to rent some storage for a week or two, let's face it - somebody will let me sleep in their spare room whilst I am still looking.

As for the packing and clearing and moving, the only items actually packed at the moment are the ones posted on eBay, so that they are good to go. If they sell. Everything else is still almost in its place. The reason for this is a dread of the pending chaos - once you start to pack and sort, there are going to be boxes all over the place. And in the middle of all of this, the Lettings Agency keep bringing people round to view the place, reminding me that I have yet to find somewhere to live.

I have only been in once when they have brought people round to view. For one thing, the schoolboy who came to show them round (what, is he on the Youth Training Scheme or something?) didn't bother to knock to see if I was in - just opened the front door and turned bright red when he saw me sitting there. The 'interested' party followed him round the house talking in hushed tones, peering in to cupboards, afraid to say what they actually thought whilst I was sitting there. I could see that the place wasn't for them as soon as they walked in - they're not the Old, Victorian, Crumble-Down, Tumbly-Up House type. They wouldn't last a day with that toilet, which makes all of the valiant flushing sounds in the world, but achieves very little with 9 litres of water. (Don't you know, Mr Toilet, that there are people in the world who are crying out for that 9 litres of water that you are wasting?!)

And it's a pain having people round to view the place - not so much because of the interruption, but more the reminder that I haven't actually found somewhere to live myself, and perhaps instead of going through my bathroom junk to see what I can throw out, I should be surfing the net on the lookout for flatmates??

Anyway, I've finally started. Last night I cleared out 6 bin liners full of junk, which currently has no place to go and is sitting in my living room in front of other things which I have now decided to take to the dump. So I'm going to be tripping over that all day.

And the good news is that there will be no more visitors - they have finally let the house, so the only person to be tripping over stuff will be me.

Of course, I'm taking this as a sign that I will receive a positive call from my new landlord later today.
Or that the Universe is about to kick my butt for being so complacent and putting all of my eggs in to one basket...

I'll let you know which....

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Hearing the hard messages

The past few days have been spent trying to make some sense of my belongings. Trying to work out what to sell and what to keep, and separating the two in to piles so that a) I can see some floor space and b) I can avoid doing anything truly productive.

On Tuesday I made a huge effort to clear some space and at the end of the evening I was tearful and tired. Why is this so hard?

Yesterday I was working from W's house and still feeling slightly fragile. Unluckily for me, she is the kind of person who doesn't mince her words. Luckily for me, she has the ability to see straight through my actions and work out what is really going on.

It's not easy to hear things that you don't want to hear, although I am grateful that these messages are being delivered by people who truly care.

I explained what I had been up to, that I had been sorting through things but was still stressed because I was moving in just over a couple of weeks and had not found anywhere to live - I hadn't even really started looking, because I just wanted to sort out my stuff.

"No." she said. "You have plenty of people who will come and help you pack your stuff and move you when you find somewhere to live. Think of all of the time and effort that you are spending trying to sell things - to be honest with you, the £400 or so that you will raise is not worth it. You might as well just give it away - it's not worth the effort. You need to focus 100% right now on finding somewhere to live, and much as you don't enjoy sorting through your stuff, it is still easier for you to sit amongst your tat than it is for you to go out and find a place to live"

I sighed. "I guess the fear of moving in to a shared house is bigger than I thought and you're right - I'm afraid that I won't find a house with people I can get along with, or a house where the people like me. I don't want to face that rejection, hence why I am hiding away"

"So whilst you are sitting worrying about all of the things that you don't want, you aren't getting anywhere" she continued "Focus on the great fun you will have, the new life you will be living - never mind your 'stuff', you can buy that all again. I think you'll find that 'Life on the Other Side' really isn't as scary as you think it will be - it's just your imagination"

I wanted to cry - just for the sheer build-up of emotion over the past few days. But I didn't. I started to look on room sharing websites and facing the fear that with the number of unfurnished rooms available, I may have to get rid of more than I had initially planned.

Later in the day, I met with my teacher. I told him what W had said and he seemed totally unconcerned at the limited amount of time I had to find somewhere to live - which boosted my belief that anything and everything is possible. I then told him about my trip to see my Dad over the weekend and the various emotions that arose - not seeking approval, but wanting it all the same, the lack of understanding as to what I had been through which came from a disapproval of my current situation.

The energy of the week is that of Mishpatim - reincarnation. The questions we should be asking the Light are ones of 'show me where the events or relationships in this life have come from past lives' and so I wasn't looking for sympathy or counselling, just an idea of what the issues with my Dad could have meant. And my teacher didn't know, but said that there would be a reason and that I should keep asking.

I said that my Dad kept returning to one subject again and again and again and I couldn't keep him off it. My teacher said "well, once you have the message you need to find a way of dealing with him, of saying 'okay, let's not discuss this now, can we change the subject?'

I laughed out loud.

"What is so funny, you cannot tell me?" my teacher asked.

I took a deep breath. "Okay, so my Dad believes that if you are good at something and can make money at it, then you should do it whether you enjoy it or not. I know he loves me dearly and he worries about me, but he's not interested in me finding something that makes me happy. And I'd told him of my plans - I just need to focus on moving and get everything ready and then I can start looking for work - but he just wouldn't stop. Every five minutes he said "I just think you need to get a job"....

My teacher looked me straight in the eye. "Your father is perfectly correct." he said.

WHAAAAAAAT?????? Run that by me again??

"If you are good at something then that is the Light that you need to bring to the world - it doesn't matter if you enjoy it or not"
"What about fulfilment? What about being happy?" I asked (rather cross at this point).
"Ah, fulfilment is just the Ego. The real fulfilment comes from the Light. The challenges come from the work and that is how you transform. You don't agree with me, no?"

I said that no, I didn't agree. It wasn't what I wanted to hear.

"But this is good" he continued "Whatever your reasons that your father had for saying the things that he said, it doesn't matter whether he knows about spirituality, or has any understanding that this is spiritually correct - he was delivering a prophecy. He was an angel for you at that time. That is why he repeated himself over and over. Whether or not you have heard the message before, and whatever your situation before, I think that if you now go back to doing what you were doing before, things will open up. It is waiting for you. I am so excited about this. Are you not excited? This is wonderful for you!"

My teacher was grinning with glee. I have to say, it was infectious. Although I still didn't like what I was hearing - that he didn't really care either whether I was happy or not, just that I got a job. I considered giving him my Dad's phone number - they would get along so well.

But when I stop to think about it, the things that I was good at in my last job were also the things that I enjoyed. And those same tasks are applicable to what I have recently been doing voluntarily, supporting web site content.

So yes, I am starting to get excited about my new life.

But first I will be focusing on finding somewhere to live...

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

I just think you need to get a job x1000

So here I am, in the throes of preparing to move. There feels like so much to do and I cannot think straight. So much so, in fact, that on Friday night, my brain was buzzing with it all and on Saturday I felt completely wiped.

I am surrounded by a distracting amount of clutter that I cannot see through - things I want to sell, things I want to donate, things I want to keep - all piled up, all messy, no space on any floor. But I was keeping my Certainty - everything is fine, the right place will come up at the right time. And the more apparent resistance I receive, the more I feel as though it is truly going to happen.

Until my Dad came to pick me up Saturday afternoon.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love my Dad to bits and I can see that he loves me. The only reason he gives me a hard time is because he worries about me and wants to know that I am sorted. And to a greater extent, with the exception of everything else that has brought me to where I am today, part of the delay in my decision to change my line of work is due to knowing that my Dad - with his staunch Protestant Work Ethic - just wanted me to 'stick with what I am good at' (because that's what you should do) and earn an honest crust. I have a need for his approval.

He doesn't get the whole spirituality thing. He doesn't see the need for counselling, or positive thinking, or understand the energy of the Universe or all of that fluffy stuff. So for the past 3 years his only line of conversation (when he is not dragging me in to an argument about the European Union - something that he is passionately against) has been around whether or not I have a job.

In fact, one time he even rang me up and stated "Hello, Have you got a job yet?" as his opening line. Hey Dad, I'm very well, thanks, how are you? I replied.

When he arranged to come and pick me up, I explained that I was focusing on moving and doing the work for W, building my CV, ready to earn once I have moved, etc. "You can explain all of this in the car" he said.

So I did. An hour of telling him my plan for the next 3 weeks and my focus thereafter. I said that the aim was to get all of my ducks lined up and as soon as I have moved I could start taking action on finding work - that if W wasn't able to pay me by then I would be going to the agencies. He even took the longer route back to his house so that we could talk more, and during that time I explained briefly how low the last 3 years had taken me, and what state of mind I had been in after the New Year.

I told him what my preparations were for looking for work. Yes, I need to get work. Yes, I need to have income. Yes, I will be looking for work just as soon as I have moved. I was agreeing with him. Yes, Dad, I will be sorting out my finances. Everything is going to be okay.

It made no difference. My Dad just couldn't leave it alone. Here are some extracts of his line of approach over the next 24 hours:

"So tell me more about this Business Gym then."
**KR explains without too much use of the word 'Spirituality'**
"When are they going to start paying you? Couldn't you get a job with them?"

"So you are still going to the Kabbalah Centre. Tell me what that is about"
**KR does her best to wrap Kabbalah 1, 2 and 3 in to a nutshell, to a man who believes that humans are no different than cats, based on the super-intelligent (read: manipulation) of his own cat, without getting in to an argument, and failing**
"Yes," he eventually says "But can't you get a job with them? You spend so much time there, when are they going to start paying you?"

"So what is W's new business all about?"
**KR explains with enthusiasm, even though this was all covered in detail in the car**
"But when is she going to start paying you?"

I think if I had told him that I had taken someone's dog for a walk the other day, he would have asked whether the owner was ready to sign me up for a proper contract, or whether the dog had any pocket money.

Eventually I was on the verge of losing my temper, after not being able to make my point - or rather, I was on the verge of losing my temper because my plan for the next 3 weeks relied heavily on Certainty and Trust, but what he wanted was Evidence. And as I couldn't provide that, and he continually asked for it, I could feel my Certainty being slowly chipped away.

Even after I had finally snapped and shouted "Argh! Dad! Will you just STOP bloody going on about me getting a job! Enough is enough! Let me just bloody focus on moving! Jeez!!" he paused for a couple of seconds, slightly injured at my outburst and said: "Weeelll... I still just think you would be best off finding a proper job"


There is only one way to do this. Get through the next 3 weeks in one piece and prove to him that I knew what I was doing.

It's going to be a long 3 weeks.

Funnily enough, I have not been able to get this Harry Enfield sketch out of my head since he dropped me off at home. (Cannot find it on YouTube - so cannot embed...). Ah, the power of humour...

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

What do you mean, "nice, bah" ?

Visiting the Kabbalah centre introduces you to all kinds of Hebrew phrases. Phrases which eventually become part of your own vocabulary.

Shabbat Shalom (peaceful shabbat)
Chodesh Tov (Good month)
Chag Samear (Happy Holiday)

These have been sliding off my tongue as though part of my native language for several months now. But recently a few others have started to creep in - those not related to moments in the calendar.

When I hear a phrase often enough I eventually ask what it means, rather than drop it in to my sentences in ignorance (something that I have a tendency to do with English! - like "Oh, he's so vacuous!" - I know what I think it means, and it sounds right, but if asked to define it I have no idea...)

One of the phrases is Baruch Hashem! (or 'Praise God!'). Easy enough to remember and use.

Last week, however, I received an email from W which kind of confused me. Her dog had been sick and I'd asked how he was. She replied "He's still in pain but improving. BAH! He'll be fine" and I thought that this was maybe a Yiddish version of the dismissive "Pah!" Pah! Whatev! He'll be fine!

Then this morning I rang my Lettings Agency. Let me make this clear: I am determined to move. I know that this will happen. I don't know how it will happen, or who I will live with - there are still so many questions unanswered and still so many things to sell before I have a 'house share' number of possessions and logistically it does not seem remotely possible - but I am focused on removing all doubt. I'm moving. So I plucked up the courage to call up the agency to give my one month's notice.

"Okay, well you can let us know that you want to move, but we cannot accept your notice until the 25th of February - because you are on a monthly contract and so everything has to be based on the full month. Plus it becomes complicated if you leave partway through the month because then we have to work out the number of days to charge you"
My little internal voice gave a deep sigh of relief. Phew! I cannot move until the 24th of March! I have 3 extra weeks to sell all of my stuff - that's far more realistic! Nothing I can do about it! They can't possibly divide my rent by the number of days in the month to work out how much I owe...

No, no, no, no, no. I have to move. I have to start my new life.

"Okay, well, here's the situation" I said "My financial situation is sooo not good, that if you tried to take a month's rent on the 25th of February, the bank would reject it because the money simply won't be there. So if there is anything that you can do..."
"Let me have a word with your landlord" she replied.

Ten minutes later she called back to confirm that I could leave by the 2nd of March, that there would be six days of rent to pay, and if there were any issues, this could be taken out of my holding deposit.

I emailed W to tell her what I had done. She emailed back:
"BAH! I am so proud of you! Your actions will bring such Light BAH!"

What? BAH!? I am so proud? So is she proud or mocking me? I didn't get it.

And then it clicked - she was abbreviating a term I had started to hear and use on a regular basis:
Bli Ayin Hara (pronounced 'Blee Ein Ha-rah') which means 'No Evil Eye'

It is a phrase of protection which is used (oh so frequently) whenever you put something out there in words that could be jumped all over by any negative forces (which, obviously, are just hanging around waiting for the perfect opportunity to stamp all over your hopes). The last thing you want to do is to tell somebody that they are about to bring such Light, or that everything will work out fine, or they are bound to get the job, or the event is bound to sell out, and have some nasty little gremlin grab hold of the words and stomp all over them, ruining whatever chance they had.

So saying "Your actions will bring such Light! Bli Ayin Hara!" is basically keeping the positive statement true.

And she was also not mocking her dog.

An hour or so later I emailed my teacher to give him an update of how I was getting along - how I felt after the Mikveh, that I was still scanning the Zohar for 30 minutes a day without the need to stand on my head or listen to music, and the certainty I had grasped with the Lettings Agency earlier in the day. I didn't expect a response, but received an email in reply which simply read:

"Nice, bah"

Oy vey, Baruch Hashem that I worked that one out beforehand....

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Vessel all sparkly clean

Well, almost.

I had a bit of a jam-packed day yesterday, but it did indeed end on a high note. Or is that a wet note? I don't know.

After working all day on fixing the issues with a website, I left W's house just after 4pm to go house hunting with a chap, 'R', who also wants to share a house. He had arrange a tour of 3 properties with an estate agency so that we could see the area, so I set off across London with my laptop bag slung over my shoulder, feeling as if I 'could use a little more energy'.

The estate agent, L, was rather bubbly and young, but very honest, and R was in top form - very keen and full of questions, with his notepad to hand. I let them get on with it.

As we drove to the first location, R started to ask lots of questions - what references do they need? what sort of tenancy duration works best with the landlords, how long had she been working with landlords, how many deals does she seal a week, etc.

As I listened to their conversation in my silent haze, I started to feel the fear grow. They want 3 references, including bank statements and pay slips, committing to a tenancy exceeding 12 months works best with the landlords, then as she started to ask R what he did for a living I could feel my inner voice screaming to be let out of the car. Please don't ask me what I do...

We arrived at the first property, still occupied with tenants in the process of moving. It made my house look tidy and clean by comparison. R 'oohed' and 'aahed' at each of the rooms, said that he loved the kitchen, said that the living room was great, but as soon as I walked in the door I knew that I couldn't live here. This wasn't what I had in mind.

Finally R asked for my first impressions.
"Well, the triangular shaped living room would drive me crazy" I said "and the house feels small. Nice bathroom though" I lied.

We were already running late and halfway towards the second property L discovered that she had a flat tire on the car. Oh good. She dropped us back off at the tube station and I made a 'Note To Self' to get R looking at the properties posted online, to see what bang he could really be getting for his buck.

R and I chatted on the journey back to the centre, and he questioned my need to move before I got a job. The questioning had me confused. I felt as though I had the plan in my head - let go of belongings, move house, continue to volunteer for my friend, build my CV, land a job or a contract. It's all so simple in theory, but when someone questions it, my certainty starts to evaporate. I started to wonder whether handing in my notice on my existing place right now was such a good idea. Perhaps I should wait. Maybe it's not enough time.

At 7pm I helped to register the attendees for the Zohar class - a Zohar class with a huge attendance list solely because it was being delivered by Eitan Yardeni. My head was still in a bit of a whirr, not least because I'd had a conversation with one of the girls when I arrived 12 hours early for the Mikveh to say that she didn't know whether she would be able to lead me through the process because of the big Zohar class. Hence not knowing whether I would have to wait another week.

And I really wanted to do the Mikveh, but I also didn't want to leave Eitan's class, given that he is usually based in New York. I adore Eitan's energy. There is something about it that my soul wants to absorb like a sponge. But not only did I have the Mikveh to contend with, I also knew that sitting on registration meant that I would miss the start of his class too.

I had a lot of letting go to do.

And so I did. As the place began to fill with people, I let go of my doubts. If the Light wants me to do the Mikveh, that is what will happen. And it will allow me to hear whatever message I need to hear from Eitan, no matter how much of his class I miss.

As soon as I let go, my teacher appeared.
"So you are booked for the mikveh tonight, yes?"
I explained the situation - the earlier conversation I'd had, not knowing whether anyone would be free.
"Someone will be free" he said "I'll have a word and make sure of it"

Okay, cool. Bob's your uncle, and Fanny's your aunt, and Kabbalah Rookie is going to the Mikveh tonight.

Ten minutes after the class started, myself and the other girl on registration were told that we could go in. Two seconds after that, we were told that, actually, one of us had to stay outside. Once again, I let go, and volunteered to stay outside. Eitan started talking. I couldn't hear him. I would miss the whole class. I felt the sadness rising, but then let it go.

Instantly one of the other Chevre said that she would take care of registration, and I could go in. Well, how's that for answers?

And the wonderful message from this week was all about Romemut - total appreciation that everything comes from the Light - all of our challenges, all of our blessings. And that the only time we really start to hear the messages is when our Romemut for the Light is high. As soon as we start to believe that the good things that happen are through luck, or another person, or through our own capabilities, or that the healing properties of herbs actually come from the herbs themselves (when it is the Light that provides the healing properties to the herbs - interesting concept) then we lose our Romemut for the Light and head down the path of false idol worship. At which point we stop hearing the messages.

I thought about the situation with moving - how I felt challenged by the financial requirements and work situation from L, how I felt that R didn't really have the same idea of moving as I had, how I questioned my need to move first and start a new life after. It's all irrelevant. The perfect house is already there, the third flatmate is waiting to be discovered, the money to cover the deposit will be found, and there are ways of getting rid of my belongings if I need to change my plans and move in to a shared house with a furnished room.

I will set my focus, take action, and the rest will come from the Light, challenges and all.

The Mikveh process was interesting - I felt slightly rushed and as a result came out of the pre-Mikveh shower realising that I hadn't focused for one second on what negativity I wanted to cleanse. It was strange to be naked in a pool with a Chevre standing at the side talking me through the prayers and meditations. But in the midst of questioning whether I had just screwed up the process by not being 'in the zone' and even questioning the process itself, I remembered Romemut and I also remembered the power of the New Year's Eve burning - what I was tapping in to. And as I ducked under the water, I allowed the Light to do its work.

So I may not have heard everything that Eitan had to say, but I definitely heard what I needed to hear.

And despite being awake and having such a busy day, I travelled home on the train with a buzz of serenity.

Everything is going to be just fine, after all.

Monday, 1 February 2010

I'm trying to do the Mikveh, honest!

A month or so ago when my mood hit its all time low (was that after burning too much stuff or after taking mind-blowing pills? I can't remember) my teacher advised that the best kabbalistic processes to follow at this moment in time when my vessel is limited, blocked and full of crap (not that he actually used these words of course, although he wouldn't look me in the eye when he used the words "small vessel") was to scan the Zohar for 30 minutes a day, and start performing regular Mikveh to cleanse.

Now, I've followed the Mikveh process twice before. Once in a local swimming pool and once at the natural pond in East Hampstead - but now that I have been given full advice on how to perform the Mikveh, I feel that I can truly benefit.

My teacher was very interested in telling me everything I needed to know about the consciousness of using the Mikveh and gave me as much information as he could.
  • The Mikveh is open to women on a Monday
  • You need to remove all jewellery and be wearing no makeup, deodorant, etc
  • The first immersion should be performed with the eyes and mouth open
  • The consciousness should be one of re-birth - returning to the embryo state, oh and requesting before entering the Mikveh that your Ego is left at the door.
Men and women do not discuss the technicalities of the Mikveh as a general rule - it seems to be a very private thing. Probably because it also requires consideration of the menstrual cycle - and we all know how much men love to discuss periods. (And I know that this was wrong, but when my teacher said "And of course you cannot do this when you have your period and you don't need to discuss this with me - you can discuss this with one of the girls if you like" I was so tempted to say "Oh I don't mind, really, let me give you all of the detail..." just to see the look on his face.)

Anyhow, so for the past few weeks my teacher has been tentatively asking whether I had booked the mikveh and what with one thing and another, I said no. And then when I said that I planned to do the mikveh next Monday (i.e. today) he asked me whether I had already booked it. Book the mikveh? Nobody told me this before. He also suggested that perhaps for the first time one of the women from the centre should come in with me (in to the room, not the mikveh) and walk me through the process.

I thought that this was a very good idea. And it gave me the opportunity to ask all of the questions that I had really been itching to ask, like:
  • Do I need to bring my own towel?
  • Are there hairdryers?
  • Is the water in the Mikveh cold?
Honestly - nobody thinks to tell you these things.

So, anyway, I booked the Mikveh for today. I was offered 8, 8:30 or 9. Probably 9 was the best time, because it takes an hour and a half to get in on the train, after which I could head to W's house to work for the day, so I booked it.

After a lazy day yesterday I couldn't get to sleep. Must get up early. Must get up early. My head ran through the checklist one last time:
  • Laptop bag packed: check.
  • Make-up bag packed: check.
  • Clothes laid out ready for the morning: check.
  • Belly-button ring removed for the first time in 13 years: check.
  • Contact lens case and glasses packed (so that I didn't lose my lenses during the first immersion and have to grope my way home on the tube): check.
  • Alarm set for 6am: check.
I looked at the clock: 2:30 am. *sigh* Only another 3 1/2 hours to SLEEEEEP-why-can't-I-SLEEP?!.

Surprisingly I woke feeling reasonably refreshed at 6am, got up, showered, washed my hair and dried it without adding any product. Left the house without make-up. Patiently waited for the delayed trains to arrive. Marched swiftly down to the centre just in time for my appointment. I was ready.

There was just one tiny little detail that somehow had escaped me. At no point when I asked all of the stupid questions or booked my appointment did I think to check one crucial point:

Is that 9 in the morning? Or 9 at night?

I was 12 hours early.

If I am lucky, I will get to visit the mikveh tonight. And if not, then this dirty, small, contaminated vessel might have to wait another week.

Oh well - you cannot say that I wasn't willing...