Diving for Pearls with Maggie Kay
Losing a Gem
The phone call came out of the blue. It was a Saturday morning, the 10th March 1990, and I was at home in my community in London enjoying the beginning of a spacious weekend. It was my first love’s father on the phone and he told me he had some bad news. Bad news? More like earth shattering, life changing, stupefying news. My first love was dead. My John was dead.
In a confusion of shock, I found myself stumbling out of our Victorian terrace house, past the park gates and down the treelined street towards the London Buddhist Centre. My dazed, autopilot trajectory continued towards the market where the florist was. We often frequented this little shop to buy flowers for happy occasions and to decorate the shrine rooms in our businesses, community homes and the Buddhist Centre itself. I bought some white flowers, and took the shortcut back to the park gates and home.
The shrine room in our community was on the top floor overlooking the back garden, directly above my bedroom. I took the flowers up there, clearing away the old ones, and began creating a fresh shrine display around the Buddha statue in its usual place underneath the window. The special shrine room atmosphere, a profound meditative ‘hum’ of silence, seemed to deepen in reverence as I cleaned and arranged the sacred items.
I was joined by two or three other community members when it was done. Having heard the news and knowing John from the life story I’d shared and recent visits, they gathered to support me with a special ceremony. We meditated and I read out some words from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, speaking to him of how to navigate this transition through the bardo, or intermediate state, of death.
Farewell First Love
In the days and nights that followed, I dreamt of John often, my psyche reeling as I tried to come to terms with the reality that this exceptional young man, love of my teenage life, had suddenly departed this earthly plane. In my dreams John was communicating with me, explaining what he was experiencing. In one dream, his spirit flew down from the sky and took my hand, intent on taking me back up to the heavens with him. “No!” I screamed at him, shaking my hand free, and dropping to the ground again, terrified and determined to stay alive. In another, I was attending John’s funeral when I saw him in the crowd, a ghostly apparition looking upon his own coffin. The impossibility of it blew my mind, and left me gasping in horrified paralysis.
Only six months before his death, John and I had connected closely again. Although we hadn’t been together as a couple for five or six years, we had stayed in touch. Periodically, we sought each other out, needing to experience that special mind, body and spirit connection again. Since our teenage relationship, I hadn’t found any others even remotely comparable to the intensity, passion and true meeting that John and I had enjoyed.
I was frustrated by the compromised romantic relationships I was experiencing within Triratna. Being with John was such a contrast to the noncommittal, polite, herb tea dates I was having in London. During one of my visits to Scotland, John met me at the airport in his red shiny MG, roof down under the moon. He whisked me off to his high tech pad where a champagne accompanied bubble bath was waiting. The man made me feel alive!
In recent months, however, I made a decision that it was finally completely over between us. Soon after we last hooked up, he met a wonderful new girlfriend and fell in love, proposing to her in some John-ish, hugely romantic way. I felt genuine happiness, but also relief. It was as though I could finally put him down and let another woman carry him now.
Yet, John had his deep troubles. After a bout of flu he was preparing to return to a new job he hated. No one saw him or spoke to him that night. It was before the days of mobile phones and his fiancé had been involved in a car breakdown and couldn’t ring. His mum was due to phone but had got caught up taking a relative to the hospital. The next morning, she called round to his apartment and found him dead. It seems he took his own life.
So that was it. He was gone. John – sparkling, mad-eyed, hilarious, beautiful, generous, super-energetic, mega-intelligent, larger than life John – was gone. He was just 26 years old.
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.
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Thrivecraft with Maggie Kay
Wisdom. Inspiration. Self-belief.