A retreat participant asked me if I’d have time to view a video. ‘Unlikely’, was my response. A reply that was taken very badly indeed and which had huge repercussions throughout the week, although all part of the ongoing process of living out the chart. ‘After all,’ she said when we worked through it later, ‘all you were doing was wandering about with a cup of coffee in your hand.’ She assumed that my ‘wandering about’ was pointless and aimless. In actual fact, I’d been setting up the space, both energetically and physically, and was taking stock. Three other participants had already commented that ‘as you’re having a couple of hours off in the afternoons, you’ll have time to do face to face work with me.’ Wrong assumption.
At 73, faced with a twelve hour day, I need time-out. Not only to restore my own energies but also to assess and process what is going on in the group and plan for the next stage. I’ve learned that I need to manage my time and my energy to be the best that I can be. Going flat out and giving my all without regard to my own well-being is counter productive, as with so much in life.
I was reminded of this when reading an article in The Author, the Society of Authors’ magazine. It was titled ‘Not I? Amanda Craig on why fiction is not autobiography.’ It was from that article that the title ‘presumptive assumptions’ derives. She says ‘We live in a post-truth era in which the division between fact and fiction, truth and invention, has become negligible.’ Amanda was discussing the fact that readers tend to instantly assume that what they are reading is based on the author’s life. No matter what the content and context. Ethnicity, gender, creed. All are ignored. ‘The assumption is even stronger when it comes to sex and relationships.’ So it will be interesting to see what assumptions are made when The Alchemy of Night comes out – you’ll have to read it for yourself to see why! But let’s just say my agent suggested I write it under a pseudonym.
People constantly make assumptions about me. What I’ve said, what I meant or intended. That I’m a walking encyclopaedia who knows everything, or that I do no practical research at all. In fact, all my work, whether written or in workshops, is based on solid academic research, training and long, long experience of being with crystals. I’m by no means infallible though. I can make ‘mistakes’, although I prefer to call them learning experiences. I can change or expand my mind. What I believed I understood yesterday may well not be what I understand tomorrow. I am a Sag with a hefty dose of Gemini in my chart after all. Which makes writing books that instantly set things in stone somewhat challenging. New information is always coming to light. So yes, what I say in one book may appear to contradict what I’ve said in another. I look on it as offering alternatives and all part of the process of moving on. People at different stages of development need different information. There’s no one size fits all. I can generalise about zodiac signs, but I know that each individual birth moment subtly alters that basic sign.
People tend to do the same with crystals too though. Without asking or checking whether it’s the right one for them, they demand that a crystal heal them ‘because Judy Hall (or some other hapless author) says it will.’ I spend my life encouraging people to check things out for themselves. To go back to primary sources and confirm what was actually said, and by whom – so many myths abound, especially around crystals. To discover crystal properties by working with them, not by following a book – although my publishers won’t be happy to hear that, they require their author be authoritative and definitive. And also to uncover the world views, patterns and assumptions on which they, and their ancestors, are operating. Because, if not we all develop blind spots.
So, it’s New Year. That time when we are traditionally encouraged to make resolutions – and often experience a miserable sense of failure when they crumble within days or weeks because they are what we feel we ought to be doing instead of what’s actually best for us. So make this year different, look at your assumptions instead. Challenge yourself. Have a personal revolution. Resolve to ask rather than assuming. To listen to the other person rather than the script already running in your head. To look good and hard at what you assume will happen, and open a space for something new and wonderful to manifest instead. As Alan Alda put it ‘scrub your assumptions off or the light won’t come in.’ You know what they say about the definition of madness, ‘its doing the same old same old and expecting a different outcome next time.’ Question a crystal as to what it can do for you, and the world around you, rather than demanding ‘do this…or that.’ Your life will blossom!
Don’t let your own personal recycling centre become like this one in Corfu. Immaculate(ish) on the outside but empty and not fit for purpose. Make this the year that you toss out all your ingrained assumptions and preoccupations, and open your eyes to what truly is. There’s an amazing world out there to explore. This redundant centre was only a few steps away from the marina and the last remnants of a glorious sunset. Out to sea was grey and stormy, but I only had to turn around to see a very different picture behind the mountain.
I would be delighted to welcome you to the new members' community section of my website and to have the opportunity of sharing my many passions with you.