Day 5: ri-con-eck-chun

August 6, 2008

I finally fucking finished ‘Affluenza’! More on this in a bit.


I’d like to begin somewhere near the end – that is, recall an event which happened just an hour ago – me fighting back tears on the tube. Mike, my friend from our course, emailed me last week or the week before, and mentioned that since Florence House, he had become much more receptive to emotive things like music and opera. I didn’t really know how to react, really, except to think ‘well, why haven’t I experienced that?’


Well, now I have. And sadly, my state of upset was not caused by anything as sophisticated as opera; rather, John Mayer, ( a person I would normally despise, not because he is particularly bad, but because he could potentially be another Josh Rouse, ( Ben Gibbard ( or Conor Oberst. ( – that one’s for you, Lorna!)


I should correctly credit Lorna as the source for much of my musical taste. Neil, if you’re reading this, it was Lorna who introduced me to The Album Leaf.


Hopefully, you’re still with me and not playing on Wikipedia. Occasionally, John Mayer makes decent music, but moreover than not, he makes pointless pop rubbish masquerading as something entirely different. I am not sure which of the categories this song falls into, but I guess the lyrics are particularly poignant to me at the moment, so, I present to you John Mayer’s ‘Split Screen Sadness’.



This morning, I finally finished ‘Affluenza’, Oliver James’ book about how we, as a world, are obsessed with money, possessions, and our confusions between things we ‘need’, and things we desire. All of this is told through narration as Oliver James tells us his wonderful ideas about nurturing our children correctly as he hops, skips, and jumps his way around the globe for 500 pages of case studies, leaving his wife and apparently young daughter at home. (Did you see what I did there? Did you?)


I actually only bought the book because Oliver James is a huge fan of the process I have just done, and I wanted to see what his thoughts were on it. After about 480 pages of… I don’t want to say boredom, but it was certainly hard work at times, he finally mentioned it for all of about 3 paragraphs, and then, a further 20 pages later, this morning, I finished the book.


Ok, so it wasn’t my favourite book ever, but the fact that I had the concentration and attention span to complete a 500 page book is a remarkable turnaround, and a cause for hearty celebration. Now, I need something a little lighter, so I will be reading Stephen Fry’s autobiography ‘Moab Is My Washpot’. I have no idea what the title means either.


The theme of today’s blog, dear readers (51 again yesterday!) is reconnection. I wonder, and this certainly is worth asking of people on my course, what have you done to reconnect since you came out of Florence House? Have you emailed friends, or called a family member? Perhaps today, your act of self love could be to call a friend you’ve always kept at a distance, or email someone from your past, and try and reconnect in some way – you certainly have a good opening story!


I myself have been reconnecting with various people since I left The Hoffman Process, none more so than yesterday.


After yet another boring day at work – sadly – I met up with my friend Alex. Alex and I have known each other a little while, perhaps 2 years, and we met through our mutual love of Tottenham Hotspur. He was someone who used to take my spare ticket (I used to have 2 season tickets) and come to games with me. Over time, we became ‘friends’, though, really, we were what Oliver James would call ‘the blurred line between friends and business acquaintances’ – we would never talk about anything other than football. Not surprising for two men in their late twenties (me) and early thirties (him), but it was more deliberate than that.


Though our offices are separated only by the Selfridges building, Alex and I would always make arrangements, but nearly never see each other outside of football. Last night, that changed. I told Alex all that I had been through in the past month; about my history that led me to Hoffman, and at the end he told me ‘I actually feel like I know you now.’ It was tremendously gratifying. It says a lot about my sincere interest in our friendship previously that I didn’t even know he has been engaged for 18 months. Oh, and we had the most sensational Chinese food in Soho, on Alex’s recommendation, because, quote, ‘all the Chinese people eat there, so you know it’s good.’


My reconnection that night continued – with Gemma, someone I have known for over 10 years, but barely speak to, despite considering her a close friend. I am seeing her next Tuesday. (To which her phone call ending statement of ‘ok, I’ll see you next Tuesday’ raised giggles from us both) With Ali, (a man I call ‘Rabbi Rehman’, Rehman being his last name) my former work colleague – a man child of 40-something, full of laughter and life. He and I will be reconnecting next Sunday when he is here from his new home of Leicester.


These new slants on old situations really are one of the great triumphs of the Hoffman Process. In speaking to Gemma last night, as she commented on it, I became acutely aware of how different I was in speaking to her – so much calmer and more sincere. Authentic, Oliver James would call it. I am slowly but surely building those bridges which kept me an outsider from those things I so wanted to be a part of, and it fills me with joy to know that I am fundamentally changed.


This evening, I begin another period of reconnection – one I consider perhaps the most crucial of all.


I am no philosopher, nor do I have all (or indeed, perhaps any) of the answers, but I will leave you with a phrase that has been rolling around in my head all of last night.


‘Connection breeds connection.’


That is, by openly connecting with people or situations, you are allowing the floodgates of connection to yourself to open. Remember that whole ‘you have to be able to see a quality in yourself to see it in someone else’ thing? It’s kinda like that.


I hope your connections to yourselves remain strong and true.


Love and light to all,

Closed Box







4 Responses to “Day 5: ri-con-eck-chun”

  1. backandtothefuture Says:

    If you’re reading this, I wish i’d have written ”a connecting rope has two ends”.

    I like it better.

  2. Mike Says:

    ‘If you’re reading this’ – very Zen!

    [In case you’re wondering how I came across this, I still have an RSS feed for comments to your blog.]

  3. backandtothefuture Says:

    And still hiding those bands I see…

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