Formerly titled “Astral Travelling, The Avatar and Me”.
Renamed “The Amazing Journey” and officially relaunched July 3rd 2013.
Have you ever experienced conscious astral travel? Author Richard F. Holmes, in his book “The Amazing Journey” has documented many of his incredible and deeply personal experiences with astral travel.
One of the most incredible of those early journeys was when I was transported to a house. I was dropped off outside and I remember stepping through the door and finding myself in a place that was dark. Whenever I recalled this experience I always referred to the house as “the dark and dingy place”. I seemed to step onto a landing and I was just standing there when all of a sudden my right hand felt warm. I looked down, and to my amazement, there was a small black child holding my hand. I recall at some stage that a rather rotund black lady appeared on the scene. I understand that I was being shown this house as a place that I was connected with in a previous life. It was a house where children suffered but the large black lady and I did our best to help these children.
The Amazing Journey is a book aptly described by it’s previous title, “Astral Travelling, The Avatar and Me”. The book begins with Richard relaying his many documented conscious astral travel experiences. Along with Richard’s interesting and well articulated accounts, we glean insight into his inner life and lessons, as well as some of his more memorable experiences culminating in Richard’s pilgrimage to India and Sai Baba’s ashram.
Richard shares some of his innermost thoughts and beliefs …
…There is only the here and now, nothing else. The here and now is all there is. However there are many aspects, many facets of the here and now (in the kingdom of Heaven there are many mansions so to speak). We are eternal, Divine beings of light; facets of that Universal Super-Consciousness we call God. With this in mind, it would be fair to say that we are all tiny droplets of The Universal Absolute, The Ocean of Life; tiny droplets of God, or little Godlets if you like. The only thing is, we don’t know this, or to be more precise, we have forgotten. Because of this we are on a journey (the spiritual pathway) of re-membering. Not learning but remembering. We are all Divine; therefore at our very deepest and purest level we have infinite knowledge, and as such, cannot learn what we already know…
Richard’s accounts of his time in India at Sai Baba’s ashram are heart warming and insightful. His pilgrimage occurred after his mothers passing. Sai Baba shares this about our mothers.
…He (Sai Baba) also emphasised the importance of not forming relationships on the basis of the body and to always focus on the in-dweller, or spirit within. Baba then explained to the students the importance of loving and respecting the earthly mother, “Never forget your mother, treasure her form in your heart. We come from the heart of our mother, and mother should always be in our heart. Therefore your mother never leaves you and you should not leave her. Mother and children are united with each other forever…”
The Amazing Journey is a fascinating and well written account of a man’s amazing journey of learning and inspiration through multidimensional experience. Once I started I couldn’t put it down. Richard has a refreshingly captivating writing style and I highly recommend this book as an entertaining and informative read!
My latest astral adventure, like the other two, may not have been that spectacular, but it was equally as significant. It was very short in fact, but it had a lot of meaning for me. I was laying in bed this morning at around 08:10 trying to squeeze the remaining dregs out of a bit of a lie-in, fully awake but with my eyes closed, when all of a sudden my third eye became illuminated. When I say illuminated, I do not mean in the same way as during meditation where it is quite common to see images etc, and I shall explain for the benefit of those reading this who have not read my book The Amazing Journey.
Since about 1999 I have not only been having the most incredible astral adventures, but I have also been experiencing what I can only describe as an awaking, or illumination, within my third eye. This illumination sometimes occurs as an isolated incident or it may be the forerunner or aftermath to an out-of-body experience. What happens is that my third eye lights up and I see uncannily vivid activity being played out “before my very eye”, if you’ll pardon the pun, rather like a film show. Sometimes these images are very powerful and highly symbolic and sometimes I simply see people whom I do not know. My third eye has also been known to simply light up with the most brilliant and beautiful white light.
So there I was, laying in bed minding my own business, when all of a sudden my third eye became active. I could see quite plainly four young girls, dressed in bright clothes, just standing there doing nothing in particular. Knowing that the time was getting on I was thinking how unusual it was for me to be having a third-eye-experience at this time in the morning. As my mind was daring to think that I might just also be about to be blessed with an astral journey, I felt the familiar feeling of being lifted from my body.
I did not see my companion but the journey was the most smooth and professional yet. That’s not bad considering I have been having these experiences for the last 14 years. As usual we moved at speed through darkness, but I felt fully surrendered to the situation, which is something that does not always happen. After what seemed quite a short time I could see that we were inside a building. Now forgive me for what I’m going to say next, but I don’t know how else to describe it. We appeared to be in an inside-out castle. Yes, you really did read that correctly. But it was a castle that was no longer being used as a castle. The interior reminded me of those grand old buildings that you quite often see in English towns that were obviously fortresses in their day, but in modern times are owned by the local authority and being used as council offices. In the part where we arrived at the corridor was on a bit of a slope and there was a lovely 1960′s style banister rail fixed on one side.
I described the building as an inside-out castle because the walls were black, and they reminded me of the kind of black backdrop you would find on stage in a theatre to depict night-time. The grey outlines of castle battlements and windows were superimposed on the walls; it was indeed a pleasantly strange sight. I had a feeling that this was going to be a short one, and I was right; we did not even land before I found myself drifting back into my body.
It was a very pleasing and significant experience because of the smoothness of the journey; and I hope an indication that life could be about to get very interesting over the coming months.
Kindle Editions available for purchase and download. If you click on these links you can select a paperback option if preferred.
This is not the post I was intending to write today; in fact, the post I was going to write was not the one I originally intended either. However, events have dictated that I am now writing about what was a most unexpected and extremely pleasant experience I had this morning. What was it I was saying recently about expecting the unexpected? (See link below).
So, out-of-body experiences… Just like waiting for a bus really; you wait for ages, seemingly in vain, and then two come along at once. And so it was; I seemed to go for an eternity without having an astral adventure of note, and just when I thought I would never have another one, I have two in the space of a few weeks. This particular one, although not spectacular, was in fact quite significant. I awoke at about 05:50 relishing the fact that I did not need to be up early, and duly turned over and went back to sleep. I don’t know how long I was asleep, but in what seemed like a short space of time, I felt myself being lifted from my body and then the familiar feeling of travelling through the darkness. As usual, I sent out my thoughts of gratitude to whomever my companion was.
After a short journey we landed in a place that I took to be of this earth; for some reason I had a feeling of a town or city in Northern England. I’m not saying that this is so, but that was the feeling I had. We seemed to have landed in some sort of cafe, although we were not actually in the cafe, more like a covered yard to the right of it. I also noticed that my companion was a young man who looked rather like the young soul from my previous adventure.
Although not very communicative he was an enthusiastic participant in whatever it was we were supposed to be doing. There was several people milling around in very close proximity to us but it was obvious that they could not see us. It seemed that the young soul was trying to show me something about his life; it was as though he took me to this place because it was somewhere that he’d visited regularly or even where he’d been an employee. Now the significance of this journey was that from the moment we landed I felt that I was in complete control. I’d never experienced being in control whilst out of my body to this extent before, and I got the impression that even though the young man had brought me there, he was looking to me for guidance. The next bit is not 100% clear but I seem to remember being inside the cafe and it was the kind of place where the waitresses would have worn some sort of traditional dress; rather like a tea rooms. Anyway, just as I was starting to enjoy myself the inevitable happened.
I felt a backward pull and in no time at all I had returned to my body; slightly disappointed that I didn’t get to see more. Yes, it was just like waiting for a bus, but one of these days I hope to do the complete mystery tour; watch this space!
Kindle Editions available for purchase and download. If you click on these links you can select a paperback option if preferred.
A ridiculous statement really; how can you expect something that is unexpected? But, the unexpected did happen to me during the early hours of this morning. I call it the unexpected because it was something that I came to expect, as it was a semi-frequent occurrence, but then ended up wondering if it was ever going to happen to me again. Anyway… I’m aware that I’m rambling; I am, of course, talking about an out-of-body experience. Yes, apart from two very short excursions into the astral realms in the past nine months or so, I have been pretty redundant in that department. I chose not to write about the two aforementioned experiences because, aside from being quite short, they were also quite strange and I had a job getting my head around things. So, I took the decision to confine them to the archives of imaginary time.
My experience of this morning was also a little bit of an anti-climax but I am still going to share it with the world. Hey, can you believe that? I went on an astral journey and I’m describing it as an anti-climax. My, how times have changed. I remember how it was when I first started to experience this phenomenon; and now it would appear that I am turning my nose up if I am not suitably stimulated during the proceedings. How ungrateful can a man get? In truth, I have experienced so much over the years that I am fully aware that I have a much different reality to most people. Anyway, on with the story.
As is the case 99% of the time it started with a dream; then all of a sudden I realised I was out of my body, wide awake and on the move. For the first time ever I found myself being carried from the front. I sent out thoughts of gratitude to my companion and waited with bated breath to see what was going to occur. I was aware of entering a very old building and could just about make out some really old brick-work as we entered. I was still very much in the dark at this stage but I got a short but very clear glimpse of a building that would not have been out-of-place in an old black and white horror film. I should add here that this is simply my way of describing it and at no time did I feel that I was going to meet my doom, and I never felt threatened in any way. As we emerged from the darkness my companion set me down in a kind of narrow corridor. It was then that I got a good look at my young friend. In earthly terms I would describe him as being in his late teens to early twenties, he was wearing a yellow top and was quite fresh-faced.
We made our way down the corridor and my friend allowed me to lead the way. To the right I noticed a small room without a door and there was a very strange-looking character in there crouching down as though he was doing some kinds of exercises. I also noticed a rather flat looking dog laying on the floor of the corridor as we continued down. There was another room with no door a little further down on the right where I glimpsed two more strange-looking characters. My first thought was to think that these souls really needed help. But when I pondered this later on I came to the conclusion that I only thought this because in my human-ness I have great difficulty thinking outside the box, and it is a common human failing to believe that something or somebody may not be as it should be simply because it or they do not fit our idea of what is supposedly normal or right.
I continued down and paused to glance back just in time to see my companion disappear down through a bolt hole on the left hand side. This is quite normal; I’m assuming that my astral helpers are only permitted to accompany me so far for “reasons of the soul”. I did however manage to thank him again and say goodbye before he disappeared.
The next bit is quite difficult to describe but I shall do my best. I carried on and soon came to a point where the corridor veered off at a slight angle to the right, and in front of me, up above there was a gap between the wall and ceiling which was covered by a flap that looked like a piece of basic white sheet. I could see through the gap between the wall and sheet and it looked like an old fashioned barrack room on the other side. I now had to make a decision; do I carry on down the corridor or do I float up through the flap and see what’s beyond. Strangely, without making a conscious decision, I simply floated up and through the white sheet. On the other side, immediately on the right, was a couple of old-style army-type bunk beds. I should also add at this point that the whole complex of corridor and barrack room seemed as though it was underground.
I just floated on past the bunk beds and realised that the whole place was open plan and quite huge. There was a lot of souls wearing military-style uniforms, but they did not bat an eyelid as I floated past above their heads. I realised too that the area where the bunk beds were sited was actually quite small; probably a rest area, and as I made my way out into the open space it seemed more like a huge workshop, or even an aircraft hanger. Even though it looked decidedly military I was not surprised to note that there was not a single gun in sight; astral weapons simply don’t exist. Of course, my assuming that this was some kind of military area could also have something to do with not being able to think outside the box; this is simply how it looked to me.
Just as I was really looking forward to exploring I got that all too familiar feeling, and within what seemed like a micro-second, I was back in my body. So, as far as astral adventures goes it wasn’t that eventful. Did I really just say that? You must think I’m REALLY spoiled… well I am… AND extremely lucky.
Kindle Editions available for purchase and download. If you click on these links you can select a paperback option if preferred.
If you take a close look at the statement “Nothing Has Changed” you will see that it is not simply declaring that “nothing has changed”; it actually contains a much deeper and profound message. If you now read the same statement as “nothing HAS changed” you will be well on the way to understanding the hidden meaning.
In the early 1970′s rock guitarist, Pete Townshend penned a song called Let’s See Action. Within that song is the line nothing is everything, everything is nothing is. Pete is a life-long devotee of the guru, Meher Baba and many of his songs over the years have had spiritual overtones; and for me, that lyric in Let’s See Action is one of the most significant lines ever written. You see, everything REALLY is nothing is. The world of form (everything) emerged from the formless (nothing), and will one day merge back, thus completing the cycle. Because all form is ultimately an illusion, all that really exists is nothing (or particles of nothing), hence everything is nothing. Which brings me back to where I started…
Because creation, as particles of nothing, is constantly in motion, its very nature is change. So we can safely say that nothing most certainly HAS changed. In fact, nothing is in a constant state of flux.
Life has a way of being so completely and utterly mind-boggling; but in such a truly wondrous way.
Image is from the coast of Mandria, Cyprus …. where rumour has it Mr Richard Holmes has been recently seen 😉
The Vedic sound of Om, also known as Aum and Pranava, is considered to be the most powerful and significant of all mantras. It is The Sound Of The Universe, The Holy Spirit of vibration holding the entire creation together. It is pronounced in the same way as the “om” in “from”. Even though it is a single syllable, it has what I can only describe as three sub-syllables; A – U – M. It is for this reason that Om is sometimes incorrectly chanted as “orm” or “awm”. The letters A – U – M are, in fact, highly sacred and symbolic in that they represent the three “states” of being for humans encased in flesh, having a physical experience; namely waking state, dream state and deep-sleep state.
“A” represents waking state; because it is considered in the Vedas to be the first state of consciousness. “U” represents dream state because the “U” is next to the “A” in the order of sounds and dream state is considered to be the second state of consciousness; lying in between being “awake” and “asleep”. “M” represents deep-sleep state because it is the closing sound of the Om and deep-sleep is said to represent the final stage of the mind in rest. When chanting the Om there will inevitably be a slight pause between each single chant, and it is this brief period of silence, known as the “turiya”, that completes the cycle and does itself have a highly sacred and symbolic meaning.
Om represents the “Self”; encompassing the Self as a whole. The A, U and M represent the realm of the relative, the world of form or the illusion, whilst the turiya represents the formless, The Universal Absolute or God. Because all is God anyway, the Om as a whole represents the totality, the Oneness and the simple truth that “All and Everything is God”. Sound only exists because of silence, so the Om emerges from the silence, moves through the sub-syllables to the M where it reaches its peak. It then subsides into the silence; the state of perfect bliss; thus symbolising the world of form merging once again with the formless.
Since ancient times the Om has been used as an aid to meditation and medium with which to connect the spiritual aspirant to God. It is also called ‘Pranava’, meaning, that it is something that pervades life, or runs through prana or breath. There is a passage in the Vedas that states “In the beginning was the word and the word was Om (Aum)”, thousands of years later this ended up in the Christian Bible as “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God”. Om (Aum) is also the origin of the Christian “Amen”.
We can never understand life unless we understand death, and we will never understand death until we see it for what it really is. Death is an illusion; only existing within the mind. Like all illusions it will only hang around for as long as we give it credence. The dissolving away of the illusion of death will represent, not a door closing, but a door opening; revealing a previously forgotten truth. The truth that there is indeed no such thing as the afterlife; there is only life itself. Life in all its glory; experienced in one single and equally glorious eternal moment.
Today I am welcoming Writer Moyra Irving to my blog. Before we have our chat here is a little bit about her.
Moyra is a storyteller and artist who has been involved in healing and spiritual growth work for over 30 years. The foundation of all her work, both artistic and practical, is ‘Soul-centred living’ and the recognition that we are all divine. Her stories are modern-day parables, all based on one theme: Coming Home to Your Self.
Through personal retreat she has created two sets of Guidance Cards, ‘Take Me to the Mountain’ and ‘Fiery Love,’ and six meditation and healing CDs for those wishing to retreat while living and working in the world. Storytelling provided the inspiration behind her charity The Extra Guest (Food for All), an end-hunger charity that supports food-aid and sustainable living projects around the world. Please contact Moyra on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/moyra.irving or visit http://www.theextraguest.com/
Thanks for coming all the way down from Stoke-On-Trent Moyra for tea, twiglets and witty banter… So, what actually made you start writing; was it some kind of inner pull?
My pleasure Richard. Well, I love reading and I suppose I’ve always been a day-dreamer so ideas for stories come easily. I enjoyed English at school, especially learning about the structure of language. Some people have a natural ‘feel’ for language and write flawlessly without ever having to think whether something sounds right or not. However, for most of us I think it helps to know the basic rules of one’s own language whether writing factually or exercising the imagination. The two go hand in hand for me. Once the ‘rules’ of writing are mastered they can be put aside or skilfully ignored in order to create an effect. Some people think that grammar and spellings don’t matter – but imagine a composer attempting to create a symphony without any knowledge of music or an artist with no knowledge of colour or perspective or basic drawing skills. With the right tools at our disposal we can eventually go beyond them and allow our imagination full rein. Perhaps only then we begin to create something worth reading. Oh dear, are you still there? I think I went off on one for a while…
I haven’t gone anywhere Moyra, I’m hanging on to your every word! It seems to me that ‘The Extra Guest’ has a hint of autobiography in there, is this true?
Ah yes, the story. Thanks for bringing me back! It’s actually based on a novel I began in 1995. The ‘Extra Guest’ excerpt came to me while I was enjoying a bath. Most ideas come to me then – and often while I’m driving, walking in the countryside or, best of all, sitting on a train. Although Myrrnah, the character in the story, is very loosely based on me, she has actually directed the current phase of my life (and not the other way round). It was because of her that I decided to set up a charity similar to her own.
Tell us about your other projects, including The Extra Guest charity?
Other projects? How much time have you got, Richard? I’m slowly completing a novel, ‘Hunting the Hart,’ which weaves together my interest in art, spirituality and human love, I’m working on two non-fiction pieces too: ‘Take Me to the Mountain’ and ‘Fiery Love.’
Two years ago, with the support of a group of friends, I set up ‘The Extra Guest’ charity: www.theextraguestcom In recognition of the ‘extra guest’ at our table – that is to say, anyone who has little or no access to food – we promote the practice of ‘ethical dining.’ We work with restaurants that are willing to support our cause and diners are encouraged to make a donation at the end of their meal. All donations go directly to fund food-aid and sustainable living projects around the world and we can proudly claim that nothing whatsoever is lost in administration. People are quite suspicious of charities these days and so we feel it’s important to reassure them that their money (100% of it) goes directly to those most in need. We all work as volunteers, covering overheads ourselves, and in less than two years we have raised over £20,000.
I’m also a healer and counsellor and eight years ago I set up (together with a small group of friends) The Centre for Spiritual Growth and Healing in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. As part of this initiative we offer a monthly Free Complementary Healing Clinic for the local community. We run entirely on donations and provide a ‘heart centre’ where people can come for inspiration, spiritual companionship and healing.
You are also an artist, I understand? Tell us something about this aspect of your work?
Yes, I almost went to Art School at sixteen to study graphic design but ended up staying at school to finish my A levels in Modern Languages instead. In my first few years as a teacher I taught both art and languages.
Although I always loved to draw as a child – Life Drawing and Portraiture in particular – I am now inclined to more esoteric, abstract work. As a student in Paris I loved the French Impressionists’ ability to paint ‘light’ and I think this may have influenced my work, although in a more abstract way.
What are you working on at the moment?
In my head, quite a few themes. However, time doesn’t allow me to paint and write so for the moment writing is my focus.
OK, I am an alien, I’ve just landed on Earth, and you are the first earthling I meet. What’s my first impression?
That’s for you to decide, Richard! (Hmm … do I really want to know your first impression of me?) Actually, I’ve always felt like an alien myself, especially when younger, and my attempts to ‘fit in’ had varying success. Fortunately, the older one gets the easier it is to be oneself. I’m a very friendly alien anyway – like the Space Brothers, just ‘here to help’! (With apologies to Gerard Aartsen, author of a book by the same name).
What was the first record you ever bought?
Bill Haley’s ‘Rock Around the Clock.’ I was very young so can perhaps be forgiven! My taste has changed a lot since those pre-teen days. (Surprised you owned up to that one Moyra! Ed.)
Who is your favourite band and have you ever seen them in concert?
What a difficult question. There are so many – but I definitely can’t leave out The Who. I never tire of hearing them but didn’t get to see them live. However, I did see the Beatles and the Stones (both in Paris during my student days) and later, Leonard Cohen and Eric Clapton whose earlier stuff I like very much. I don’t have a current favourite but enjoy rock music, though not exclusively. Off the top of my head I’d include: The White Stripes, Guns n’ Roses, Florence and the Machine, and Calvin Harris. Please don’t ask me if I like James Blunt or I may have to be rude … (Some great bands there Moyra… and my lips are sealed with regard to James Blunt! Ed.)
What is your claim to fame?
I make no claim to fame – infamy perhaps but not fame. I suppose the sort of answer you might be interested in would be this: Mick Jagger was one of a group of friends and he did my Maths homework for me. He is a few years older than me (we girls weren’t interested in boys of our own age). He used to play tapes of his own music at parties and we’d all shout, ‘Take that rubbish off, Jagger!’ Two years later he was on the radio with a hit single ‘Route 66.’ For some unknown reason he decided to send me his Rugby football shirt for my birthday one year. He was, as you can imagine, very narcissistic, very sure of himself. And I, (very young, very innocent), tried desperately not to feel flattered and therefore sent it back, pretending to be piqued. It was maroon and gold and had his name stitched inside. Shame, it probably would have fitted me perfectly. Had I only known then – I could have auctioned it and would be a rich woman today. (Wow! Sir Mick Rubber Lips himself! Presumably it was his mum who sewed his name into his rugger shirt so he wouldn’t lose it? Ed.)
And finally… one more question. As the world holds its breath… Marmite? Love it or hate it Moyra?
Marmite – definitely a reason to hold one’s breath! Love it, but don’t indulge.
Marmite lovers are always welcome on my blog Moyra! Thanks once again for joining with us!
Today I welcome back to my blog actress, artist, author and radio host Nancy Wait. Nancy kindly agreed to an interview… and here it is!
Hi Nancy and thanks so much for whizzing in from New York to join us.
Haha! Thank you so much for inviting me to share. I really appreciate it.
So, Nancy, I know that you are actually a former actress, but I’ve never had a real live actress on my blog before so I hope you don’t mind me listing you as such here.
Not at all. In fact my short-lived acting career in the UK is still my only claim to fame thus far.
I have to ask you Nancy, actress or drama queen?
Actress, please! In fact I was very serious about my career until I discovered that others did not take me seriously. That was my fault of course. I can be so dense at times! I thought that others would see me as I saw myself inside, but of course a lot of people just look at your exterior—especially in the performing arts. When I was young my interior and exterior were at odds. It made me feel I was born into the wrong body! I bet I’m not alone in that feeling either. But as I’ve gotten older it’s all come out in the wash as they say. And I’m certainly more conscious of what I project. (I hope so!)
Initially, I was ultra serious about “the art of acting.” I was sent to acting school as a child because I was what was called “painfully shy,” never speaking up in class, and the teachers complained to my parents. My father had been an actor at one time, and he had a great love for the theatre, so off I went to Saturday morning classes to learn how to pretend to be an extrovert. Very good training it was, too!
They say that underneath every introvert is an extrovert. Perhaps not someone as flamboyant as I turned out to be, but there all the same. I continued to study at a special high school in Manhattan, then at Carnegie-Mellon’s excellent drama department—but I was never what you would call a drama queen. I think being one of five children gave me the need to be recognized and set apart from the crowd, so to speak. But I wouldn’t call myself a drama queen, as that conjures up an image of someone filled with a sense of their own importance—and that was quite the opposite of yours truly! The confidence it took to go out on stage or in front of the cameras was just as much of an act as the part I was playing.
I know that you lived in London during the 1970’s and you were also involved in the British film industry…. So would we have seen, circa 1976, a scantily clad Nancy running from the clutches of a lecherous Syd James in Carry On Camping?
I don’t think so! Though I did do something of a similar nature, Au-Pair Girls, directed by Val Guest in 1972. My professional name was Nancie Wait, as an astrologer told me it would bring me more luck. Though whether it was good luck or bad is a debatable!
Ahhhh never mind, so what brought you to London?
Such a long story! It goes back to when I was a child in New York and my mother was in her “English” period. I have English ancestry from Yorkshire, and she began with buying Yorkshire antiques and cooking English food, then reading Wuthering Heights aloud to us. Then along came the “Swinging Sixties” and the Beatles and so on, and because I was studying acting at the time and going to Broadway plays—many of which were English—a dream was born to study at Rada. We had no money of course, but I met and fell in love with a boy at college who had the same dream I did, and he brought me to London with him.
It’s actually a bit more complicated than that, having a great deal to do with my eagerness to leave home as well as live in another country, and I tell the whole sad story of that in my book, The Nancy Who Drew.
Were you a diva? Did you demand salami on rye to be flown into Shepperton Studios from your favourite deli in Manhattan?
Honestly, Richard, I think you’ve seen too many movies! I was a working stiff like most actors were and are. It’s funny really, because when I was dreaming up my life as a young teen, I decided on acting as I was hungry for “glamour.” And then what a shock to find the profession was 95% hard work like anything else.
The only time I ever worked at Shepperton was when I was hired as an extra for The Great Gatsby. It was Myrtle’s party. The film with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. And what a treat it was being put in Redford’s dressing room the week before he arrived. I had to share it with two other actresses, but still—what a luxurious dressing room compared to what I was normally used to!
Believe it or not I was in a theatre company once and I’ve performed Shakespeare (didn’t understand it though); have you ever trodden the boards? If so what was your favourite production?
My best performance and favourite production was actually a play I did while still at Rada. A Streetcar Named Desire. I played Blanche. Opportunities in the professional world—at least for an American in London—were few and far between. But I did an American play at the Traverse up in Edinburgh, and then The Country Wife at Oxford, which we took on tour. I played the Cockney maid (Cor blimey guv’nor Ed.) —and didn’t do too badly with the accent I’m told—haha!
I was actually getting called for more auditions at rep companies when I decided to chuck it all in and come back to America. I loved acting at one time, but I found “the life” didn’t agree with me. That can happen, you know.
What made you get into writing?
My father was a writer and I had a love for books. I put writers up on a pedestal. But though I wrote long letters to friends and family, I had no confidence that I could write stories myself. After I gave up acting I took a class here in New York, and the instructor used me as an example of what not to do! Looking back, it’s so clear to me that I wasn’t able to express myself on the page because I had so very little knowledge of who I was in those days. I was aware of my inner life, but I had no confidence in my ability to reveal it to anyone else. I found later that good writing depended so much upon that over-used expression—high self-esteem. You have to think well of yourself and believe that what you have to say is interesting, otherwise you’ll never stick with it. So I let go of the idea of becoming a writer—and took up art instead.
Can you tell us something about your book The Nancy Who Drew?
Well, I’ll tell you this—it took fourteen years to finally get it out there. I spent five of those years going back to college and then grad school to learn how to write. Then another five years revising it and finishing it on my own. Then some time passed looking for an agent and a publisher. Then more revising. But two things were going on in my life at that time. One was that I was raising a son with Asperger’s. He had a mild case, but it was still something to deal with. The other issue was my indecisiveness whether or not to include the idea of reincarnation as the backbone of the challenges I had faced as a young person. I put it in and took it out several times. I patched it onto the beginning and the ending, but found it didn’t really work. The problem was that I was being totally honest in relating the events of my life, and here was this idea of reincarnation I didn’t have any tangible proof for. I felt it was true, but I didn’t want to make assumptions I couldn’t prove.
So I had to get over that. I had to trust myself and believe in myself and my perception—in the clues I’d been given, the knowledge that had come my way—and just go for it. Finally, when my son left for college and I had the space in my head to do it, I just sat down and said this is it! This is my story and I’m going to tell it like it is—and to heck with asking an agent or a publisher for approval. So I self-published last year, 2011. What a relief to finally finish and get it out there!
What writing projects do you have planned for the future?
Well, I ended the story in 1977, when I came back to the States. I had been gone for seven years. My next book is the sequel, telling the story of how and why I became a painter and the tremendous change it wrought in my life. I’m in the process now of making revisions, and I plan to bring it out next year sometime.
Do you want to tell us something about your work as an artist?
Sure. One thing a memoirist doesn’t lack is the eagerness to talk about herself! I studied drawing because I wanted to draw and paint realism. It enabled me to earn my living as a free-lance artist in the 1980s—before scanners and digital cameras and Photoshop became ubiquitous—because there was a market then for architectural renderings, or building portraits as I called them. I also did a fair number of portraits of people. I’ve had some gallery shows of my other work from time to time, but they never really took off or connected with people, which is one of the reasons I feel impelled to write about them. It’s a series actually, called Journey to the Deep. Then a while back I was one of the founders of a group of artists here in Brooklyn called Brooklyn Visions, and we had many group shows. But the most pleasure I got out of it was the series of interviews I did of nine of the artists which we then published in pamphlet form. See how I tend to want to combine writing and art?
I mostly stopped painting after I got into writing, except for a series I did called Little Man. But that was a narrative too. I created a story around him and posted the video on you tube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6udkw0odOY4
I find I’m having a resurgence of the urge to draw though, which is good because how can I continue on with the story of The Nancy Who Drew—with a Nancy who stopped drawing?
I’m going to put you on the spot now Nancy… writing, acting or painting; and why?
You know, everything we’re drawn to do or compelled to do I might say, is for a reason. If it’s creative work, then we have a need to express something. And we must keep searching and exploring, and through trial and error, find out what it is and then do it. Give it all we’ve got.
When I was growing up I was so frightened of the world. I felt like an alien soul among the savages! I was crippled, in a metaphorical sense, like Laura in The Glass Menagerie. As retiring and shy as a little mouse! Like Isabelle Huppert’s character in that 70s movie, The Lacemaker. So the acting training was the best thing that could have happened—in order for me to become the person I wanted to be—and am today—someone who could host Blog Talk Radio shows for instance. (Opening her now big mouth when the situation calls for it!) But as I mentioned, the acting life was difficult for me, as it is for many sensitive souls—and naive young women I should add! With painting, I was able to not only connect to myself on a deep level, I was able to access an inherent power I didn’t even know I had. Painting can be quite physical when you’re standing at an easel for hours on end. And then there was the power of creation. One of my favourite titles is Rollo May’s book, The Courage to Create.
Writing is different. I can see how beneficial it’s been for me to save it for my later years. Because now I have the opportunity to put it all together, to try and salvage some wisdom from the chaos and confusion I’ve lived through. Writing things down for other eyes forces a kind of clarity we wouldn’t otherwise labour to employ. Which is something I’m sure you have found also, in your work, Richard.
And last but not least, there is this over-powering urge for communication! For sharing. For saying to people, can you relate? Do you see what I mean? Has this ever happened to you? And so on. Because we know how it is that often we don’t know what we’re even thinking or feeling until we witness someone else thinking or feeling that very same thing. And so it brings us together. We identify. And we know we’re not alone. Someone else has been there too. And the very act of writing our own stories, painting our own pictures, makes us more whole.
Well all that remains is for me to thank author, actress and artist Nancy Wait once again for joining me on my blog today. Before you go Nancy I just want to ask you one more thing. You are obviously a very inspirational and creative person, so do you think you could delve into the vastness of your inner being and leave us with some words of wisdom? Thanks again and do come back soon…
The “vastness of my inner being!” Oh, you do have a way with words, don’t you Richard. Well, I’ll tell you what comes right away to mind—because I’m also a writing coach, is the importance of self-revelation through any creative means. It doesn’t get any better than Socrates phrase, Know Thyself. We are all of us composed of a vastness of riches that lies in wait, as soon as we’re ready and willing to tap into it. The new world we’re entering into is one of Conscious Creation. Whatever artistic field we go into will sharpen our senses and give us a fuller sense of life and who we are in it. Music teaches us to hear. Art teaches us to see. Writing calls on us to observe and describe what we see and feel. Acting calls on us to walk in another character’s shoes, to be them for a while, and so it teaches us compassion. And the Dance! I don’t want to leave out dancing. None of us should want that. Whether we dance with sorrow or joy, or have to sit in a chair and only dance with our eyes, we mustn’t forget the dance of life and love and everything in between—and keep on keeping on! Thank you so much Richard. It’s been a pleasure!
You can find out more about Nancy’s work by clicking on the links below; and why not follow her on twitter?
I once read a great quote by Albert Einstein describing relativity and I want to share it with you as a preamble to what will be my first actual blog article for many weeks. I will be sharing with you in another article soon as to why my blogging has been at a premium lately, but first it’s over to Albert.
“An hour sitting with a pretty girl on a park bench passes like a minute, but a minute sitting on a hot stove seems like an hour. That is relativity.”
And so with that quote in mind I want to share with you my experiences from a night in April 2012, which contained one of the longest 90 minute periods of my life. It may seem that I am about to embark on a lamentation of doom and gloom. But actually some very positive conclusions were drawn from the experience.
Last Saturday I received a phone call from a lady wanting to book me for an evening of clairvoyance at a pub in Shurdington, just outside Cheltenham. My first thought was to turn it down as I do not like working in pubs. As far as I’m concerned anywhere where alcohol and spiritual work cross paths is a no-no for me. I have worked in pubs in the past though; in situations where people book function rooms and hold clairvoyant events. In truth, I never liked doing them, especially before the smoking ban came into effect. Even though people were not allowed to smoke in the function room for the duration, you still couldn’t stop the stench of cigarette smoke wafting throughout. I should also explain that especially in the UK, pubs have history; in many cases they are 100′s of years old and the energies within these establishments can be very negative to say the least. Indeed I remember the last time I worked in a pub around four years ago, it wasn’t an evening that I remember fondly. But nonetheless I did take the booking for Tuesday April 3 at 7:30 p.m.
I turned up at the venue and it was apparent that the people running the event, who also happened to be the proprietors, did not have a great deal of experience in organizing such events. But when I got up in front of the small audience and started speaking I knew straight away that I was in for a hard night; what I didn’t realize though was just how hard it would be. I should also point out here that I’m not a great lover of clairvoyant nights in general. I don’t feel that clairvoyance has got anything to do with spirituality; all you are doing is communicating with the astral planes, which will be at various degrees of ease or difficulty depending on the energies in the building and the receptiveness of the audience/congregation. Without wishing to sound judgemental, these events tend to attract people who have no particular interest in spirituality, but who simply want a message from the medium. Generally speaking they will only respond to stuff they want to hear, so when I stood up to do my preamble and I felt the coldness from the audience I knew immediately that it was going to be tough.
I should also point out here how clairvoyance works and explode a few myths. Firstly, these events tend to be called “clairvoyant nights” because clairvoyance is a word that people understand. It comes from the French, meaning “clear seeing”. In reality mediums generally work with three faculties; clairaudience (clear hearing), which is a like a silent voice in the head, clairsentience (clear sensing), which as the name suggests means working with your sense of intuition, and clairvoyance. When a medium links in to those realms of higher vibration, those who wish to communicate will give the medium their information using one of those three methods or a combination of all three. The medium then has to interpret that information and pass it on to the sitter via the voice. Bearing in mind that literally everything has a vibration, this also applies to the information supplied to the medium and the medium’s voice. The sitter then needs to respond to the medium, also via the voice, which in turn also has its own vibration. It’s the coming together of the three vibrations that create the harmonious link between the two worlds. To many a medium’s frustration, no matter how many times you say this to people, you still get those who do not respond, or who respond in a negative way. When this happens the medium has to work extra hard to get the information across, and if they are not experienced in dealing with negative responses they can die a death right there and then. So, with ten years experience under my belt I died a death last night. I have never before experienced such negative and non-responsive people; and just for good measure I had a group of teenage girls giggling and talking among themselves virtually all the way through. Before I get to the nitty-gritty I should explain something else about mediumship.
To say that mediumship is important is like saying you would cause an impact by removing a single grain of sand from the Sahara Desert. We only think there is something “mystical” about it because we have lost sight of the “Self” (who we really are) whilst in these physical bodies. We are all beings of light with unlimited potential; no limitations whatsoever, except the ones we impose on ourselves, therefore we are all mediums. To think about it logically, why should we not have a link back to where we came from? I’m not even a great lover of calling myself a medium either, because by doing so, I’m putting myself in a box and giving myself a category that somehow limits me.
So, there I was, waiting for the ground to open up and swallow me; but wait…… surely there is a positive to come out of this negative? Of course there was, and in many ways, I am so glad for that most awful of experiences. Firstly, I cast my mind back to how the old me would have dealt with it. I would have shown my frustration and eventually I would have probably stopped, sat down, and told those being disruptive that I wouldn’t continue unless they left. I may also have reacted with a slightly aggressive tone and become very impatient. It’s also true to say that any decent medium doesn’t mind getting a “no”, it just means we have to do bit more work, but the absolute worst part of the evening was the horrendously long periods of silence when I lost my link completely; a silence intermittently broken by the giggling of the teenage girls. But I realized that I have evolved quite a lot over the last few years. I was very aware of my reaction, and even though I was not exactly best pleased at being in that situation, I saw it as a challenge that needed to be met. I also realized I was being tested and I shall explain.
Here I am, someone who has been guided by Eastern philosophies and who calls himself a devotee of Sri Sathya Sai Baba; I even have Baba’s quotes on my stationary, “help ever hurt never”, “love all serve all” and Baba’s teachings are very precise; “see God in everyone”. He also very often reminds us that “hands that serve are holier than lips that pray”. I’ve also read Paramahansa Yogananda, Eckhart Tolle and Neale Donald Walsch, so I am more than aware of the importance of letting go of the ego in order to realize the “Self”. So, was I really going to succumb to my ego and pass judgement on those who clearly did not know any better? Was the evening about me and my image or was it about doing God’s work? Was I really going to forget all the wisdom that’s come my way over the past few years for the sake of my ego being knocked? I’m just so thankful that I had the vision to see what was really happening from a spiritual perspective. Another thing that I’ve learned recently is that it is not our circumstances that depend on whether we are happy or sad, it’s how we deal with them. I’ve also learned that the universe is in constant flow and that it has been created as a paradox. So within the realm of matter’s ebb and flow we are not always going to have circumstances that we like. But what we can do is accept that they are the only set of circumstances we have at that moment and deal with them in the best way possible and to the best of our ability. So, all these things were going through my mind and I simply got on with the job. The old me would also have immediately blamed my angels and guides for not doing their job properly, but I understand that it was only because of the hard work and support of those “unseen forces” who work with me that I was able to see it through. It was such a relief when it was all over, but it all ended on a positive note.
I was very surprised that some of the ladies in the audience came up to me afterwards and shook my hand and thanked me for their messages. Some others were also apologizing for the behaviour of those who had been disruptive and said how disgusted they were. They informed the pub management who also apologized to me and informed me that the perpetrators would be barred from attending any future events. In reality the energy in that room was the most negative I have ever encountered; that was the crux of the problem. The giggling girls didn’t exactly help, but in the years I have been working as a medium I’ve encountered a lot worse. I explained to all those who offered apologies that they were not necessary and that we should try not to judge those who disrupted; they clearly didn’t know any better.
I wasn’t booked at that venue by coincidence; I was booked in order to be tested. I’m very grateful for the experience but I wont be working there again.