EuroTrip Day 34: Visiting Syd Banks’ Edinburgh

Day 34, Sunday, May 24, 2015

Today was video interview day, in preparation for the Scottish Parliament event. Jacquie Forde interviewed Dean, Jen, Judy and me.
I felt pretty good about mine, talking about a subject I’m very comfortable with: prevention and the promotion of well-being from the inside-out. I focused on what I will focus on at the Parliament, that we have been missing the two most essential variables that lead to change in people’s lives:
1) No matter how wonderful the evidence-based programs we put in place, if people’s thinking doesn’t change, they will not, and in fact cannot, change; and
2) when people are guided by their wisdom they will not, and cannot, engage in the problems we’re trying to prevent.
The Three Principles focuses directly on these two most critical and neglected points of change, which outside-in prevention and public health completely neglects.
Jacquie and Judy dropped Jen and me off at the famous Rosslyn Chapel, which is a very old (c.1500), fascinating, mysterious and beautiful place. It’s the place Dan Brown made famous in his book,The Da Vinci Code, as the last clue led there, and the end of the movie with Tom Hanks was filmed there. Intricate rock carvings of weird faces and angels and pagan figures, no two alike, adorn the Chapel and are hidden in its nooks and crannies. Very interesting.
Then Jen and I each walked down the hill to the Rosslyn Castle, now mostly in ruins but a very magical place. You walk straight into the ruins of this castle, but then look over the wall and you suddenly realize you are very high up. How did that happen? Then I took a path and walked down below. Magical.
Duke Street Edinburgh

Acknowledgement: John Gray, Stenhouse, Edinburgh: November 14, 2011

Last but not least, after we got picked up and then dropped Jen off to have dinner with some friends, on my urging Jacquie drove us to the Leith section of Edinburgh, where our tour guide, Judy Banks showed us where Syd [Banks] grew up on Duke Street, which starts at the end of Leith Walk. She was fuzzy on the exact tenement building in the row, but the poor conditions he grew up in became clear.

Then we saw the Lochend Road Primary School where he went to school. Then we drove to Kings Street in Portabello section, near a North Sea beach, where Syd moved as a mid-late teenager or young adult.
There wasn’t time for me to do what I wanted to do: get out and say a prayer of thanks—absolutely tremendous gratitude. I did have the thought that Syd was just another poor, adopted kid walking the streets, and no one could possibly have predicted what happened to him. No one can ever predict any child’s future, and this is why all children should be cherished and nurtured, no matter what they present to the outside world.


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EuroTrip Day 33: Westies and washing

Day 33, Saturday, May 23, 2015

A nice, mellow catch-up day. I was supposed to have a day-long training, but it didn’t materialize. Except for the money part it’s probably just as well. I did my laundry; ironed my one good shirt to get ready for the Scottish Parliament.
Jen, Jerry and I took a little hike or big walk up a fairly steep hill overlooking Edinburgh and around a little pond with a bunch of baby swans, which I had done with Jerry last year, and this time it was just as nice.
WestieSaw my first Westie (West Highland Terrier) actually in Scotland. They all look like Amy’s very cute dog, Charlie, whom I lived with for the last 6 or so years, and whom I will miss.
Later that day Dean and Merryn arrived and we had a really nice talk and dinner all together.

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EuroTrip Day 32: Edinburgh meeting and all that jazz

Day 32, Friday, May 22, 2015

On to Edinburgh by train. Then the adventure really began. I had neglected to let Jacquie Forde know when I was arriving, but had realized that and emailed her just before I left. Unfortunately, I left before I got a response. So when I arrived in Edinburgh I figured there was a 50-50 chance she would be there. She wasn’t.
I didn’t know whether she just wasn’t there or whether I was supposed to meet her someplace and she was looking for me. I wandered the station and outside for a while looking to no avail. This was not a real problem, I figured, because I could just call her since had her number in my little black book from last year’s European Tour when I stayed with her. Except when I looked in that book she wasn’t in it—the only one I stayed with last year who wasn’t! Then I remembered it was an impromptu arrangement last year that landed me at her house—so although I had everything else at my fingertips, I didn’t have this. No Jacquie, no phone number, no address, no way of getting in touch with her.
I consider myself a very resourceful person, so I was not really fazed. I could just use my smartphone to send her an email. Well, my smart phone has a very stupid operator, making it a stupidphone. My email didn’t work, and I didn’t know why. So I figured I’d call Christian McNeill in Glasgow, figuring she might have Jacquie’s number. I couldn’t get phone service. I started kicking myself for being so stupid not to have had everything arranged before I left.
Okay, my last chance was to find an internet café, so I could get on line with my laptop and email her. I asked someone in a train station store if they knew where there was an internet café close by. They looked one up on their smart phone and said it was a few blocks away. On my way out I bumped into an information booth for tourists. I went in and asked if it was possible to use their phone book to look up an address. They said people can opt out of having their number in the phone book, but he looked it up for me and found a J. Forde at a certain address and phone number. Okay! I figured if worse came to worse I could take a taxi to that address and hope it was her and her husband Jerry’s. Both Js. Before I did that, though, I figured I’d get to that internet café. But as I was walking I saw a cell phone company across the street. I asked them for help with my phone, but they said they were associated with Verizon and couldn’t help me because I was associated with AT&T.
I walked many blocks to the café and either I passed it or it was no longer there. Instead I saw a computer repair company, so I walked in and asked for help. They couldn’t help me because it was an Apple company, but they pointed me down a block to another company. The guy in there was so nice! He got me phone service and internet service, and told me I could use their service in the store (Some small consolation is that he didn’t have an easy time figuring it out either.)
I called Jacquie and got an answering machine. I finally got on line and saw a message from her that she was busy today and would pick me up at 6:25 when she was also picking up Jen Lucas, and have fun in Edinburgh until she arrived (4 hours later). Whew! Relief!
So I wandered—my backpack was getting really heavy by this time—over to the National Scottish Museum and looked at some of the exhibits, then went over to the public library because I needed to get my pack off, go to the bathroom, and sit down. I don’t know about you, sometimes, Jack.
It was pure luck that I bumped into Jacquie and Judy Banks as I roamed around the train station looking for Jen. Again I was wondering what I would do if I didn’t find them. But now it was Jen that was missing.
After about a half-hour, just before they were about to leave, I said, “Just let me run and check up at that exit up there (there were many exits), just to be sure she isn’t there.” I ran up and there she was, waiting and hoping someone would show up!
That evening Jacquie picked up the greatest fish and chips (second only to the one I had with Amy in Wales), and Jen, Judy, Jacquie, and Jack (wow, all Js) went out to hear a jazz band Jerry was playing bass in. I really liked them, but when I complimented Jerry and other band members on it, they all kind of pooh-poohed it as if they didn’t think it was good at all. Funny. Sorry, guys, you were good! I thought the clarinet player was the best. Soft jazz must be the most laid back kind of music to perform that there is. They even had an 84 year-old playing the tenor banjo, forcing me to see that there’s hope for me yet. I got to bed WAY too late!

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EuroTrip Day 30: Healing in Camden

Day 30, Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I spent the day with Sylvie Wallis, a healer I had met last year in the French Alps at the same time I met Kay, and she was now in London visiting her parents. Sylvie had given me a powerful healing a year ago that had gotten cut short because I had to run to catch a train, and now she gave me another. By the time she got through with me I felt more grounded, more solid. I highly recommend her; so what if you have to get up to Morzine, France in the Alps to get to her?
Anyway, we had a healing great day together and it was great to be with her. We spent a good part of the day in Camden, which is sort of like the Greenwich Village of London. They have the all-time great framers-market-type place there; tiny shops and food stands upon tiny shops. But I spent the night in Camden in a real hole–I had to stay in a place that cost very little because all presenters only volunteer at the conference and my training got cancelled in Edinburgh.
I’m definitely ready to go home after being overseas for a month now; then I realized I have no home to go to. I do have a condo in Florida that I have to move into, and all my stuff is in Vermont. But with my more solid feeling now (meaning, more solid thoughts—thoughts at a higher level of consciousness), I feel like I can handle it. I’m still feeling gratefulness. At least that’s the way I feel right now.

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EuroTrip Day 29: Third day at Tikun

Day 29, Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The third day of the conference was as good as the other two. Dicken Bettinger began the day as Chip had left it off. He was the best I’ve ever heard him.

The second to the last event at the conference was something like Reflection sessions. And the presenters were asked to lead or facilitate them. But no one had told me anything about them. I heard the names of each presenter being called, but not mine. It’s amazing what thought can do. I went into WTF mode. How come everyone else has been asked to run one and not me? My ego got bruised.

Just then I heard my name called to lead the last group with Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt. Talk about feeling sheepish. I’m embarrassed.

The last session was a video of Syd Banks. I had seen it before at the 3PGC conference, but it’s so great to see him again. We are so lucky to have that legacy captured on video.

That night we were all moved from The Grove to the Pillar hotel. Wouldn’t you know it; it was a place I had stayed before with Amy when we both did a seminar at Tikun many years ago. Memories.

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EuroTrip Day 28: The second day of innate health conference

Day 28, Monday, May 18, 2015

Day 2 of the conference was as good as Day 1. I chaired a panel on Stress and Productivity, with my old buddy Chantal Burns (she always says I was her first), and two business people I’d never met, both of whom were great, Steph Wilson, and James Layfield, who used to be managing director of Virgin. It went well, but I didn’t feel like I, personally, was totally at my best. Okay enough, though.
And then we did an impromptu lunch session on research, with Chantal again and Janet Lindsay, and I did feel totally great about this one. The room was so packed we had to give up our chairs to attendees, and there were still people standing. The last session of the day was Chip Chipman, and he left the room in such a great feeling. It was all very impressive.
These conferences are the only place in my life I feel like a mini-celebrity, as so many people come up to me and tell me how much they appreciate my books, my videos and my trainings they’ve attended. I have now made so many friends overseas.
Therapy dogErika Bugbee, George’s daughter, told me Kara had sent her an online article about a therapy dog named Pransky who lived in Middlebury, Vermont. It was a mystery until I read the first line of the article and saw that the owner is actually another cousin of ours; in fact the wife of popular environmental activist, Bill McKibben.  I definitely have to get my picture taken with this dog!

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EuroTrip Day 27: First day at the Tikun Conference

Day 27, Sunday, May 17, 2015

Somebody Should Have Told Us! by Jack PranskyToday was the first day of the Innate Health Tikun Conference, and what a day it was for me! First thing when I got there, while I was standing in the registration line (or queue as they call it here), before even stepping into the main room, this guy came up to me and told me his mother, who is 84, had said to find me and tell me that I had saved her life, as a result of reading Somebody Should Have Told Us!. I was so touched. Tears almost came to my eyes.
Then throughout the day at least 5 other people said to me my books had really affected them, too. That’s is so humbling to me. My books change some lives! It’s such an honor. I am so grateful.
I did my talk on the root of change and 3P research. I had prepared so much I felt surprisingly comfortable and it really went over well. I was surprised, because of the topic, at how many people came up to me and told me how much they got out of it.
But the most important part of the day for me was how healing it was for me to be there. Yesterday I had been really feeling in despair again, forgetting everything I knew, and just being in that room with those beautiful people and listening to all the great speakers reminded me of what I really know inside that has been so easy to forget during this entire journey of losing the love of my life. Suddenly I only felt supreme gratefulness giving me the very best 10 years of my life. How could I ever not be completely grateful for that?! Thank God for the understanding of the Three Principles. I know, I remember now, that I don’t need this relationship to survive, because of my innate health. At least that’s what I feel right now.

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EuroTrip Day 26: A quiet day

Day 26, Saturday, May 16, 2015

Today was a day of catch-up—so much work had backed up on me—a day of quiet, a day of solitude, a day of dealing with Amy with new insights, a day of cleansing. I didn’t want to see any of these wonderful people who I’m sure arrived. I stayed in my room all day, except for a long walk and a long swim in the beautiful, large Grove pool, and in the sauna. I needed it before the onslaught tomorrow.

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EuroTrip Day 25: The last nine years

Day 25, Friday, May 15, 2015

Yup, wisdom proved wise again. Rudi had a chance to video-interview me, both to maybe put another interview with me on their 3P Movies site (I was their first and as of now I’m their last) and to possibly get some clips for the 3P documentary feature movie he is about to start working on. This movie is ultimately going to be so important to the spreading of Three Principles understanding! I’m very excited about this possibility.
And then, knowing I am now about to move to Florida, Rudi and Jenny and I decided to put together a Three Principles Facilitator Training Retreat in Florida in February. I am psyched for that! So much for retiring.
And then I walk back in the house after taking a walk, and Dean and Merryn are there, freshly in from Australia. It was about 9 years ago that Amy and I did a big training in Colchester, where they and Rudi and Jenny (who was unable to utter a word at the time, she was so shy), Sue Pankiewicz, Peter Anderson, Tanya Kennard-Campbell, and more all attended, and it is so wonderful to see the incredible ripples from that and from the training Roger Mills did before me here, with all the great and solid work all these people have done since, and spreading into Australia and New Zealand through Rudi and Jenny all around the world. It really, really warms my heart. So much has happened in 9 years!
Anyway, Amy and I had stayed at Dean and Merryn’s when we were there, and then they had taken us for a little tour of the UK, driving us to Stonehenge, Glastonbury, Wales and more. It was a really wonderful trip and seeing them again brought back such great memories. Amy and I had first met them in the White Mountains in New Hampshire, when they had first come over to the States to visit.
And then Jenny’s sister drove me to The Grove, where a new chapter awaits as I prepare for the Tikun conference.

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EuroTrip Day 24: The Raw Jack Pransky Reflection Tapes

Day 24, Thursday, May 14, 2015

At first my plan was to go to Rudi and Jenny’s for the night. But they’re all the way down near Colchester, so especially after talking with Janet I thought I’d better rest instead and stay put, because I was exhausted after having to be “on” so much. But Karen Raimbault and I are doing a project together and it has to do with sending big MPEG files my computer couldn’t send, and Jenny had told Karen that she could help us out with that if I showed up there, so before I knew it I was on the road again.
Wisdom did a battle on that one, rest vs. practical necessity, and the latter won. It was hard leaving Janet. We have such a great time together. She has been so wonderful to me, and she and Marcellus were such great hosts. But then again, there I was heading off on a bus to stay the night with the equally wonderful Rudi and Jenny.
Despite my exhaustion they did help me out enormously with my project (which I hope will eventually turn into the [working title] “The Raw Jack Pransky Reflection Tapes,” which are various musings of mine talking into my voice recorder mostly while walking along a beach last summer when I was preparing to write my new book, and which were never supposed to see the light of day, but I listened to a few of them and said to myself, “Hmm, I think people might be interested in some of these.” Karen is editing].
Plus, Rudi helped me with my files for the Somebody Should Have Told Us! audiobook I’m doing (thanks to Ken Matzner and my publisher). And people wonder why I seem to be so busy all the time…

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