Appearances can be deceptive. Always remember that. When I first pitched up at Lifehouse, I confess my heart sank. It had a wonderful setting (planted in 130 acres, including twelve acres of historic listed gardens) but the building looks like a series of white concrete boxes. The layout is a bit wonky and the decor is decidedly airport – striped carpets, blond wood and colour blocks. And, hmm...actually that’s what Lifehouse does, rather cleverly. Scratch under the surface and there is some pretty amazing stuff going on.
Pete Cohen, the man who was apparently going to ‘sort out my life’. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be ‘sorted’. I’m not a parcel. And, actually, I have a pretty clear idea of where I want to go (workwise at any rate). But, bless him, he just asked sensible, pertinent questions and he listened to my answers. And we laughed a lot and swapped stories about big-headed bores and talked movies and got all excited about a lot of spiritual stuff.
‘You know where you’re going, don’t you?’ he said. ‘And you’re very nearly there.’
Interestingly, en route to our meeting, I had pretty much made the decision that rewriting my YA book, Samael, was making me miserable and that I should just call it a day. Pete suggested I reconsider. ‘Get the bastard out the way,’ he said. ‘Just do it. Then you can move on to the next book. Don’t give up.’
My health consultation was with a naturopath who used to work at Chiva Som. Sue Davis didn’t just take my blood pressure (‘absolutely perfect’) and go through my diet and lifestyle (‘sickeningly virtuous’) but she offered to give me an Australian Bush Flower remedy reading and treatment.
I had to pick out the flower images that I loved and those I loathed. The results were fascinating: about finding self-approval and acceptance; about releasing deep fears; about being willing to try new concepts, new ways of living, about unblocking creativity. The bottom line? ‘Don’t give up,’ she said. ‘Never give up.’
Sensing a theme here?
And as I wandered into the juice bar I found a woman in a bright purple top in front of me. ‘Hello,’ she said. ‘I’m Moon.’
Well, of course she was.
‘Shall we sit down and have a chat?’