Diving for Pearls with Maggie Kay
A Move to the Country
“Totnes is full of single mothers and hardly any single men,” my new friends in Devon told me. “I hope you’re not expecting to find a partner here!” But I wasn’t moving to Devon to find a partner. After 16 years living in a Buddhist community in London, it was time to move on, and my longing for a rural lifestyle could no longer be ignored. But most importantly of all, Jamie, now nearly seven, deserved a gentler upbringing – more than a city could afford.
Despite the good reasons, however, there was also an element of strange magnetism I couldn’t put my finger on. In many ways I was leaving a great situation and jumping into who knows what, but there was a compelling force drawing me on and I had a daring, inexplicable knowledge that this was absolutely the right move. So, one sunny September morning in 2001, I packed my little grey Peugeot car with our belongings, strapped Jamie in the front beside me, and set off for our new life in the country.
My heart was soaring when we got out of the car to stretch our legs at the ancient standing stones of Stonehenge. What an awesome monument to mark the halfway point to Devon! The sky was blue and the stones seemed to be humming with affirmation that we were doing the right thing. We weren’t in dirty, frantic, complicated London now. Here was the gateway to a whole new magical realm.
When we arrived, there was a lot to do – a home to find, school for Jamie, money to earn, new friends to make. I was fully occupied and completely excited by the experience of making this beautiful place our home. But by night I was lonely and reeling from all the enormous changes in my life. Sometimes the grief and disorientation were almost unbearable. It would have been so comforting to have someone to share all this with, a manly chest to snuggle into. For a few months I dated halfheartedly, but nothing got off the ground.
I knew that this was because I still had some healing to do, and at last I decided to cooperate with the process. I needed to do what usually has to be done when recovering from one relationship and preparing for another: to stay in the gap for as long as it takes and be with myself for a while. I was overdue to complete some unfinished emotional business: to understand what had happened and why; to let go of hurts and fears; to reassess who I am now; and establish what kind of relationship would be good for me next.
As a meditator I already had an invaluable tool at my disposal. Meditation gives emotional space and opens up a bigger perspective that allows us to face challenges positively. Along with regular chats with insightful friends and family, my meditation practice gave me the resources to navigate my way through the stormy emotional waters.
So did my continued practice of 5Rhythms dance. At my weekly class and in the privacy of my own home, this wonderful form of free expression accessed and gave full voice to the stories and emotions stuck in my body. I danced and roared and stamped and cried (a lot!) and laughed and gave thanks and laid the ghosts to rest. Over the weeks I became clearer, free-er and more peaceful.
In early February, on the pagan day of Imbolc, I attended a sweat lodge held by a lovely local shaman, Carlos Glover, down by the river Dart. In the dark, eerie beauty of a winter forest, we ceremonially heated huge stones in a roaring wooden pyre. Once ready, the hot stones were brought into the lodge one by one and sprinkled with sage water. We sat in a circle inside the lodge, naked and in total darkness, sweating and singing and praying.
It was like being inside a womb of pure spirit. We spoke aloud one at a time, each prayer seeming to come from infinite consciousness and be sent out into the entire universe. My prayer was spontaneous and ardent, “Please help me let go of the past and allow me the time and space I need before I get involved in another relationship.”
Making an Invitation
During one of my more contented evenings and inspired by Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s poem, The Invitation, I did some reflective writing. In a deep, prayerful way, I wrote about what I longed for, the kind of loving partner that would be ideal for me.
It was almost sacrilegious to be so honest about what would be utterly wonderful for me. I had never given myself permission to state these things before. But once it was down on paper I found I was moved by the quality of person I was describing in those two dozen short paragraphs. And somehow, having committed my vision to paper, this man began to take on a tangible existence. It was spooky. It was as though I had begun to create a reality, or at least, call a reality towards me.
Having read widely about metaphysical principles since then, I know that this is exactly what is occurring when we make things conscious and decide to move towards them. As Sangharakshita used to say, “It’s not so much that man wills, but that will mans.” In other words, our will manifests into form not the other way around. We become what we wish for. We create our reality from our thoughts and feelings and expectations.
Now, in my work as a life coach, writing about ideals is an exercise that my clients use with unremittingly powerful results. But back then, I somewhat innocently placed my writings on my meditation shrine and forgot about them. Little did I know that I had planted a seed which would invisibly grow and suddenly blossom into the love of my life.
Known as the Inner Wisdom Coach and formerly an ordained Buddhist, Maggie specialises in meditation, mindfulness, law of attraction, metaphysics and spiritual intelligence for life, love and business.
As well as coaching one-to-one, she trains accredited Thrivecraft life coaches and meditation teachers and runs retreats and workshops for soulful entrepreneurs, coaches and well being professionals.
In 2016, with her son Jamie grown up, Maggie established Thrivecraft Home Hub, a riverside country retreat in Cornwall, UK, where she lives with her soul mate husband, Patrick.
Her new book – Diving for Pearls: A Wise Woman's Guide to Finding Love (O Books) – is a highly readable true love and spiritual adventure story laced with tips and teachings on meditation, Buddhism, inner wisdom and relationships relevant to all.
Maggie's vision for the future includes taking Thrivecraft worldwide via a new online academy; continuing to mentor coaches, well-being professionals and meditation teachers to grow and prosper their businesses; producing audios of her full range of guided meditations; and writing further books to inspire and support everyone to create rich, happy and fulfilling lives.
Buy Diving for Pearls on Amazon.
Thrivecraft with Maggie Kay
Wisdom. Inspiration. Self-belief.