Joyful January and other things


My thanks to Susan Netzger for the photo

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I have just taken part in a very enjoyable event called Joyful January.  The aim was to find something every day which gave you joy and write about it:  a description, a poem, add a photo, whatever.  This practice made me really focus on my days throughout this rather gloomy, rainy month interspersed with brief spells of sunshine.  By the end of the month I really did feel much happier and – self congratulatory, I have to say.

One of my practices is meditation, and I know some of you are interested in this.  Meditations vary, some are good, some not so good and one has to take the rough with the smooth. This morning, the first day of February, was a particularly good one.  I went into a very deep space, no thought, body calm and balanced, it felt totally peaceful and as though I were at one with everything. There was no emotion, no feeling, no bliss. Reflecting on it, it felt as though every cell in my body was in alignment with the whole earth. I wondered if this was how the animals are, without thought apart from their physical needs. All I can say is:  it felt good.  In these states I feel I can go on meditating for ever.  Though I don’t!

I know how a good meditation can affect my whole day. We are told that meditation can also affect everything around us, creating ripples that extend far beyond, so I like to think that my meditation practice is not only good for me but for my environment as well.

As the purpose of my writing this blog is to create interest in the book I am writing about my life, I am including here the synopsis of my story which I read to to my writing group. Although I say that there will be a sequel to the book, I may decide to put the whole story into one book.  More on that later!


I was born in the south of France, my mother was unmarried and I never knew my father. In 1932 when I was four, my mother lost all her money in the Depression and we became penniless. Whilst my mother found work, I lived with Catholic nuns for three years, which profoundly influenced me.

We moved to Jersey, then England. Here I received my education in several different schools, ending up at University with a degree in languages. I had become extremely shy and nervous.

Too late, we discovered that I was stateless, my birth never having been registered. I was classified as an ‘alien’ and given an Aliens Certificate, which enabled me to travel.

I had a chequered work career until I applied for a job with NATO in Paris. Fortunately, through the auspices of NATO, I was able to become a naturalised British citizen at the age of thirty one. I stayed with NATO for thirty years.

As a result of the tensions in my life and an unfortunate relationship I had a nervous breakdown when I was 36 and suffered bouts of depression after that.

I had a difficult relationship with my mother, but she lived with me all her life. It took me a long time to realise how my development had been affected by not having a father.

In 1970, we were now in Brussels, I found a spiritual path after many years of searching. I had given up belief in a god when I was fourteen.

In 1976 my mother died, which brings the first part of my story to an end.

These are the bare bones of my story. They cover my relationship with my mother, my search for an identity and my search for a spiritual identity. What followed after my mother died will be told in the second half of this book.



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