Page 21 - The Alchemists Way
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was simply no way to avoid the big constant buzzing inside of me. It was 

only many years later that I would begin to understand the natural regulating 

mechanisms of the body and how to support them. I was also to learn how 

to allow my body to release the huge energy stuck inside of me and the big 

buzz eventually quietened down.

One day, as part of ridding myself of my fear of heights, I went to the 

highest diving board at the Ellis Park swimming pool. I stood at the edge of 

the board looking down and froze, unable to move my legs. After twenty 

minutes of standing on the board I managed to jump. It was exhilarating. 

hat jump—a step into the abyss—opened the door for me. Within three 

months I sold my house, cars and business, practically everything I owned, 

and left South Africa. I was twenty-nine.

I travelled and started to regain my health. In Israel I worked on a kib- 

butz and cleaned loors, windows and toilets. In one month I cleaned enough 

to make up for all the years other people had cleaned for me. Having cleaned 

enough, and unused to working for someone else, I only stayed on the kib- 

butz a month. I went to Egypt, where I ate well, got it and lost weight. I 

meditated on the beach in Dahab every day and began to read spiritual and 

personal development books, which provided motivation and ofered tech- 

niques for changing behavioural patterns.

In Southeast Asia I devised a plan for giving up smoking—slowly but 

surely. I started to only smoke in isolation, never socially. Also, I knew that 

after eating I wanted to smoke, so I would wait for at least half an hour before 

having a cigarette. After a cigarette, I always wanted something to drink; so 

I wouldn’t allow myself to drink for another ifteen minutes, which soon 

became half an hour. In this way I created increasingly longer gaps between 

cigarettes. Of equal importance, I began to smoke more consciously. When 

I had a cigarette, that’s all I did. I sat and watched myself inhale and exhale 

smoke. It was my ‘smoking meditation’, and I quickly realised what a hor- 

rible habit it is: the taste of the burned tobacco, the burned throat and dirty, 

stained ingers and the chronic cough.

My stop-smoking plan went on for a month and then, in Bali, I climbed 

up a clif where, below, waves were smashing into the rock face. In a per- 

sonal, sacred ritual, I asked the ocean to forgive me for polluting it and then 

threw my pack of Camel Filters into the water and never again took another


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