Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a novella first published by author Richard Back in 1970. It was and still is an immensely popular and iconic book. It’s the story of a seagull who loves to fly for the perfection of flying in itself rather than as a simple means to finding food. It’s a story for those who follow their hearts, who live in the flow of their life, who are tuned in to the impulses prompted from an inner world that cannot be seen, heard or touched, only sensed within…
Her name was Christine, I was 15 years old. She was a good person, so good I could only aspire to be that good. Different. No gossip, no malice, but happy to help those less fortunate and focused on her studies. I had glimpsed it in others from time to time, but none were as consistent as her.
I knew about pursuing excellence, at the age of ten I had chosen swimming as a competitive sport, I knew the discipline of getting up in the cold light of dawn (not enticing in the Scottish climate) to head to the pool, and back again after dinner at night, day after day pounding up and down the lanes. I knew all about applying myself at school, I got into university and felt it would be good to get a degree since I had no clue what else to do. Nothing resonated, nothing stirred inside.
At university, a friend said one day “don’t choke on your halo”. I can’t remember what it was even about, perhaps I was being sanctimonious. ‘Good’ was not valued. I was finding my way. Religion held nothing, in fact it stopped me exploring my spiritual world for some time as I wrote about in an article last year. The fourth part of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, missing all those years but published recently, resonated strongly.
At the point at which I arrived at the end of the natural course of schooling and study, I still had no clue what I wanted to do or who I was. I longed to travel, but it wasn’t common in those days and I had no real money; I was also too scared to do it on my own. Then, still in my early twenties, after a particularly unhealthy relationship, I developed panic attacks. At that time, the mind-body connection was even more lost on the medical profession than it is today.
After being tested for everything from a chest infection to HIV, and being pretty much house bound since every venture outside seemed to lead to collapse, the doctor finally sent me to a psychiatrist, who pronounced “generalised anxiety and panic attacks”. I bought a book, Panic Attacks by Christine Ingham, it taught me the physiology of what was happening to my body and the mind-body connection so – now understanding I wasn’t about to die – taught myself how to overcome them.
During that time I had met a guy who was to become my first husband. He lived some distance from me, so we would write long letters to each other almost every day. Writing has always been a natural way for me to express and sort out my innermost thoughts and feelings. Such a natural part of my life I would never have really thought about it as anything special.
My twenties then became defined by the personal development attached to a network marketing venture my husband and I got involved with. While, ultimately, 7 years on I had decided neither the venture nor husband should remain a permanent part of my life, I had grown enormously. Inspired, learning about ‘dream boards’ and goal setting, the power of the mind in manifestation (though that is not a term I’d of known then). Words from mentor’s stories resonating still “If you’re going to be somebody then stand up and be somebody”.
Moving into a new career and new relationship, I found a place to thrive for a while. Winning several national awards in customer services and finding my ‘strategic self’, I still felt dissatisfied. A car accident – the third in which I had sustained a whiplash injury – eventually led me to massage therapy, and conversations that opened my inner world.
Thoughts turned again to travel, and emigration, and the long process of applying to live in New Zealand began. Throughout that time I began to explore more of my inner world, gently, through guided meditation. As my second marriage began to break down, more space opened up.
Finally arriving in my new country in 2006, happily single and living alone for the first time in my life, I was introduced to a lady who is a pychic remedial psychologist. The word ‘psychic’ was a bit off-putting, but I was in a new space, open minded, and our conversations always resonated and left me with a sense that I had bigger plans for my life, there’s more to discover.
Around the same time I watched the early version of “the Secret”, and first heard Abraham Hicks. I had no idea what ‘channeling’ was in those days, I just knew I had never heard such wise words as I was hearing from the mouth of Esther Hicks.
Then I met my now partner, and the next block of my life was consumed in having children (my beautiful daughters are pregnancies 5 and 6). The journey to having children taught me a lot about the process of allowing rather than resisting in retrospect (as I recount in another article). At the time though I was simply surviving, finding no satisfaction in the corporate world.
In 2014, I truly awakened to what Jonathan is saying, I awakened to a life much bigger than the one I had recognised before.
It was a series of smaller things, an accumulation of tiny steps over the years, beginning to see the unhealthy patterns in my life for what they were.
Then my osteopath told me about a book she’d read when we were talking about channeling one day; Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss. It’s the true story of a well respected ‘mainstream’ psychiatrist, his young patient, and the past-life therapy that took them both by surprise and changed their lives. What struck me about that book was that much of the ‘constructs’ and ‘principles’ that my psychic friend had referred to about the non-physical over the years, that I had put to one side as I let everything else she said wash over me, suddenly clicked into place and made more sense.
Then I went to watch Lucy, a film about a young woman who is captured by drug traffickers, who forcibly sew a bag of mind expanding ‘new-to-the-market’ drugs into her abdomen. While Lucy is in captivity, one of her captors kicks her in the stomach, breaking the bag and releasing a large quantity of the drug into her system. As a result, she begins acquiring increasingly enhanced physical and mental capabilities, such as telepathy, telekinesis, mental time travel, and the ability not to feel pain or other discomforts.
At the end of the movie, as the drugs have allowed her to fully transcend her mind, she evaporates. Her friend rushes in to save her and shouts “where’s Lucy” and a text appears on his phone “I’m everywhere”.
I just cried. My partner looked at me “It’s only a movie”. “I know it’s not a true story” I replied, “but it’s the truth”. I was awakened. From there my spiritual growth has been rapid, I’ve taken in more of the context for the basis of life and I have awakened to the lessons Jonathan learned and taught.
Around the same time my psychic friend had a message “teaching columnist”. I remember it distinctly, where I was sitting, what I was looking at. For 8 years I had longed for just a straight answer about what I should be doing with my life, what my purpose for being was. Now here it was, the next step anyway.
It made sense, I liked to teach and I liked to write. But how? At the time I was the main breadwinner of the family and could see no way out. Of course, I know now that ‘how’ is not my question to answer, I just needed to be open to the serendipities that would take me there.
That came just a month or two later. After attending a yoga workshop with Kim Eng, Eckhart Tolle’s partner, an afternoon of just being continually and gently brought into the present moment, my vibrational energy had shifted. Two days later I had manifested a healthy redundancy package that bought me time.
Changes to My Life
It changed everything. We sold up and moved away from the hefty house prices of the big city, to a town with great feeling energy. It’s been an interesting couple of years. I’ve gone from an empty, high flying corporate life, to one where I’m more me than I’ve ever been.
I published my first blog article last year and have continued to publish at least one each week since. Recently I wrote an article, who are you not to follow your dreams, motivated by others who have felt inspired by something I’ve written and then contact me, sharing their own lack of confidence. I write for the joy of it, the deliciousness of getting into tune with myself and letting my fingers loose on the keyboard to begin to answer whatever question has been inspired from within.
It’s not about the writing of course, it’s about the ongoing focus and practice of being in tune with the real me. Being out of whack with my higher self feels so intolerable now I know all this, yet I’m still more out of step than in alignment than I’d like to be. The feeling when that alignment occurs is like nothing else, and I understand the possibilities that Jonathan lived, transcending space and time.
I now understand why Christine made such an impression at school, she was just in her own flow, she was so ‘good’ because that was what made her feel good. I have no idea what life holds, I just know it’s going to get better and better, and I keep practicing tuning into the impulses life sends so I can keep going with it as it unfolds.
Knowing I’ve helped in some way through my writing means a lot - I’d love for you to like, comment on, or share these thoughts with others, or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’m always happy to help if I can. To be the first to receive these posts, you can also subscribe to my newsletter and, as a special thank you, you will receive the link to my video 3 Steps to Becoming You.
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