It is 3.20 p.m on a Sunday afternoon and I am in a London hotel where one of the tv channels is a fish tank with music playing! Is this enforced relaxation?
I am guest of Salon Success who run training for some of the dynamic hairdressers in the UK. Each year they have their main symposium. Two years ago Clive spoke to them and I had 48 hours of texts and emails telling me what a great bunch of people they were. They had an 'all white' event which blew him away. He told me he was telling them all about me. This time last year he was invited back and I was invited to join him. We stayed at the De Vere Reading Wokefield Park hotel. Ironically I stayed there with my family the weekend before Clive died and reminisced what fun we'd had. When we had arrived in the afternoon we joined a small gathering of Ken West and his team in the lounge area for drinks, which lead onto supper. It was the first time I had met these charming people and enjoyed their company. Eventually Clive stood up and announced to the whole group,
'Well thank you for your company but I now need to take my lady to our room and pleasure her!'
Blooming heck! I am a bit of a prude when it comes to bodily functions and intimacies are not usually shared in such a public manner! However, the group appeared to like his comments and off we went, me with a rather embarrassed face!
Next morning was the 'worse' when I was greeted by a sea of smiling faces, raised eyebrows and expectation! 'Well?'
I admitted that the truth was that when we'd got back to our suite the sofa area was inviting. We snuggled under a cuddly blanket and watched Braveheart!
I was duly accepted into the fold!
Clive and I had been looking forward to the event again this year especially as one of our good friends and speaker colleague's Molly Harvey was due to speak too. With Clive's sudden death I could have declined the invitation to attend but Ken was supportive for me to still come. I am to say a few words about him at dinner tonight.
I had a leisurely morning at home, still giddy that my Internet was working. Michelle ran me into Leeds for the train. I asked her to please ask me some favours back when my life settles down. She replied that there was no need as her philosophy is merely to do for others what you would like them to do if the boot was on the other foot. As a nurse she said that she nursed how she would want to be nursed. Perhaps if more people had this approach to life the world would be a happier place?
I was very proud of myself as I walked into Leeds station as this is a venue Clive and I have been to on many occasions. I once had commented at how one of my little wishes was for someone to meet me off a train with some flowers for me. You guessed it - he listened! We would be one of those couples who embrace with only each other in mind. The whole platform could be packed but for us we'd hug and kiss and the rest of the world was a blur. We had often either dropped one another off here or best of all, met. One day I surprised him when he was returning from London by just appearing at Leeds station. I had text like I was at my Mum's - but no! He scooped me up in his strong arms until I felt I could not breathe. We loved to surprise one other and be spontaneous.
Today I pictured him EVERYWHERE in the station - at Starbucks, walking up the ramp, at the ticket barrier. Oh how I wish and wish he was really there. I was amazed that today I did not cry. Instead I smiled at the memories. There were a few couple embracing at the platform. I wanted to tell them to savour every touch, every kiss, every glance, wink, stroke. I wanted him to be with me. I wanted to feel his strong, tall body close to mine. I just remembered.
On the train I chose to read the book 'The Power of Who' by Bob Beaudine. I have never met him or even heard of him until a copy of his book arrived on my doorstep from Texas a couple of weeks after Clive died. Inscribed in the front is 'Elaine, You make a difference! You got 'Who'. I think the connection came via Facebook.
When it first arrived I tried to read it but could not concentrate. Today I soaked it up like a sponge. It was like it was written just for me! Bob's basic message is that we already know everyone we need to know and rather than keep on spreading the net to help us to succeed that we should be more aware of our closest circles and how they are the best positioned to help.
He writes about when 'unexpected change can be overwhelming'. He suggests we avoid hiding when this happens as this makes it worse - get out there and ask for help.
I like his approach that instead of us networking in the traditional business sense of passing clients, etc. that we focus on helping our closest circle of friends and if we all do the same then it becomes a 'pay-it-forward' scenario. We help because it gives us joy to do so.
I admit that a couple of things made me quiver:-
'Some people enter our lives and leave almost instantly. Others stay and forge such an impression on our heart and soul that we are changed forever'.
Clive has done that for me and I know by the messages I have had, that I am not alone.
Then Bob's comments about not recognising what we already have brought a tear as it mentions diamonds and I looked at my ring from Clive.
'Look around at the landscapes of your life. Are there valuable treasures that perhaps you've been overlooking? Because diamonds seemingly last forever they're a symbol of eternity. Too often we allow the temporary to eclipse the eternal. The true and lasting treasures of life are those key relationships that have been given to us gifts.' p 46.
I truly believe that of Clive. He often told me a completed him. I just received a stunning comment on my previous post about his Vapour Trail messages. I am told that I now am growing. I feel I am.
So many of Bob's lines have struck a chord with me. He stresses the need to love oneself. He writes about being in 'free-fall', the importance of going on a Wilderness Journey (perhaps that is the key for me to take some time for me to really decide on my direction?); the value of a journal and not to quit! Blimey - are you sure Bob that you didn't write this solely for me?!
He encourages us to do what we are good at and love.
By this time the train had arrived at Kings Cross. I have been to London many times on my own for my talks, etc. It occurred to me that today the destination was the same but I had come a different way. I tend to come down from Cheshire on the NW line, today it was NE. Maybe that is where I am going now? Same destination but a different route? I love to be on a platform. I love to help people make choices to improve their happiness in life. I had been planning on doing so with Clive, as a team. Now it’s just me. He really disliked me EVER saying ‘just’ me! He would always say ‘there’s no ‘just’ about you. You are amazing and I adore you’. I guess I better remember that.
I walked off the train and along the platform at Kings Cross. Again I saw and felt Clive all around. In the lounge we had once waited. I could see him in his smart, navy coat he wore for business train trips. He would always travel First class because he ‘was worth it’. That is one habit I perhaps should cultivate. I am so in tune with vouchers, special offers and bargains! We compromised in that Clive had sussed that if you booked early enough sometimes you could get first class cheaper than standard. I aspire to first class travel. I decided to walk the two miles to the hotel.
I feel calm today. I think the Brian Tracy CD yesterday encouraging positivity and ways to deal with negativity have helped. Bob’s book has reinforced it. As I walked along Euston Road I had a sense of sadness but not tears. I used to get a buzz coming to London, especially in my early years of speaking. I still do. Clive and I had some wonderful visits down here. One of the highlights was going to ‘Sing-along-a-sound of Music’. We just delighted to each other’s company that night. A bus went passed and I recalled how on our last visit here I had taught him the advantages of the buses (inspired by my parents use of the Oyster card here!). I had shown Clive that it was more fun to ride on the buses than the Underground, which we both disliked. He used to use taxis but once I had shown him the ease and value of the bus and it was better to spend on tasty food, then he was persuaded! We both loved people watching and on a London bus the whole world is represented.
Next I spotted an advert for ‘Mamma Mia’. That brought a big smile to my face! It was the first film we ever went to together. He used to be greedy at the cinema and have the biggest bucket of popcorn! He was like the the testing arms on chairs at IKEA – you know where they have a counter to show how many times it can be used? His arm was like the mechanical arm – up, down, up, down. As time went on he would share it with me – apparently that was the highest ever honour he could give to another human being! I have never enjoyed films or shows with anyone as much as I did with him. He had a childlike enthusiasm in watching. If he was bored everyone knew it! He’d fidget, look at his watch, check his phone. If he found something funny his laugh was infectious. If he was scared the ‘arm’ would stop midway and I’d know he was really, really scared! If he was moved he wasn’t afraid to shed a tear – or bucketful! In ‘Mamma Mia’ he was ready to get up and dance! He used to say one of his values was enthusiasm – I can vouch for it.
As the hotel came into view it dawned on me – Clive and I had been here before! Uh oh. It was for a Professional Speakers Association meeting a couple of years ago. At the time I was facing surgery and a tough time in life. Clive was feeling that his beloved speaking world was becoming focused on money and not on the passion and privilege of making a positive difference for others. We only were here for the day and it did not upset me to return.
I was earlier than the 3 pm check-in but returned the smile of the charming receptionist and we chatted about my walk. There were bottles of water and glasses on the reception counter. What a great little touch! I thought of Michelle’s value of ‘treat others like I’d like to be treated’. As I checked-in I smiled as both of us were reciprocating. When she told me there was a double room reserved and did I need two keys I could have burst into tears and yelled ‘NO!!!! I will never, ever need two keys again!’
.... but I didn’t. She didn’t need to know that my heart is broken. That my soul mate left 4 weeks and a day ago. She was only asking a question which didn’t warrant my history thrown at her. Instead I smiled and thank her for my single key. I reflected how easily I could have embarrassed her and myself. I did not lie, but maybe sometimes withholding the truth is kinder to others and yourself.
I let myself into the swish bedroom and made home. Clive used to think I was very cute doing this! I like to empty my bag even if just for one night. I like to hang up my clothes and put my underwear (yes, it matches) in a drawer. I like to ‘appreciate the room’. Settled with a drink and cosy on the bed I finished Bobs’ book. Wow! He writes of creating magic moments for others. That’s exactly what happened at Shayne Ward on Tuesday night! My ‘Who’ had asked for me; Shayne’s ‘Who’ made it possible and I in turn made a Magic Moment for Lisa to meet him. The sheer joy I got from giving was immeasurable. Lisa’s smile and mascara running down her face have kept me smiling just at the thought of it! Elderly Isobel in the cafe that I hugged and kiss when I was with baby and Sophie earlier in the week was hopefully a magic moment for her. Clive created many, many magic moments for others.
At Clive’s celebration some of the hairdressers that will be here later attended. One of them told me how there are some children in Africa who are having Magic Moments due to kindness that Clive showed. He touched people across the world.
The ‘K’ in my Hanzak principles is kindness. I feel that the last 24 hours I have surrounded myself with some ‘new’ learning which has merely reinforced what I knew and am instinctively doing.
I am now waiting for my hair to be blow dried for me because I asked! I can’t go down to a room full of hairdressers without being suitably attended to, can I? Thanks in advance Barrie.
In Bob’s final chapter he quotes Zig Ziglar, one Of Clive’s influences ‘You can have everything in life you want if you will just help others get what they want.'
So how can I help you?
Today I have learnt:-
• The value of getting up earlier than I needed to – I felt calm and organised as a result
• Life-long learning and the value of reading a proper book instead of a glossy magazine – I have an office full of them! Use them!
• That a smile instead of a tear at a memory IS possible
• That sometimes withholding the full situation is beneficial
• That listening to relaxing music and a fish tank on a television is relaxing!
Now I have to go and wash my hair.