By Leona Thomas
Whilst it is true that I have a super power - the ability to turn down the volume of the sound track playing all around me in the everyday theatre of life in Kathmandu - that magical city has a good sense of humour too and always manages to pull a surprise or two out of its hat when you least expect it!
The noise begins in Kathmandu at around 4am and adds layer after layer of sound tracks as each new element comes to life. By 8am the cacophony is in full swing and does not ease off until after 7pm when the micro buses stop running.
One day I was in my kitchen making a cup of tea when I heard a noise from the Lazimpat main road that was so astonishing I nearly dropped my drink!
For the first time ever I could hear something unbelievable in the middle of the afternoon in Kathmandu. Actually I would go so far as to say it was an impossible sound.
And yet there it was.
I came out on to the roof terrace and I switched off my super power. I decided to let in the full volume of Kathmandu.
Yet I could still hear the mysterious noise. I was flabbergasted.
What was it that stopped me in my tracks?
Well it wasn't a noise as such. It was the absence of noise...
In the middle of the afternoon at the busy noisy Lazimpat main road the only thing I could hear was the sound of silence!
Impossible AND unbelievable!
Yet my ears were not deceiving me.
I peered over the edge of my roof. My eyes had never seen anything like this at 5pm in Kathmandu!
The main road was empty!
A traffic policeman was stood in his usual place but all the vehicles had been forced off the main road and were wedged into the side roads leaving no space for anyone to pass.
What on earth was going on?
The silence was deafening.
Eventually a cavalcade raced down the centre of the empty main road.
I had seen government limousines in the past. But there were normally just 2 fancy cars and the police would radio each other along the route and pedestrians and cars would have to stop briefly to let them pass.
This empty street was a whole new game.
Now that Nepal had a Maoist Prime Minister there was money to be spent on looking fancy and important.
First came 6 motorbike policemen riding in pairs, in full dress uniform complete with white helmet and white gloves....
Then a series of cars preceded the Prime Minister's limousine. Behind them were more cars and finally a huge truck full of armed police!
Then the silence reasserted itself.
If I hadn't seen or heard it for myself I would never have believed anybody who told tales of silence on the busy streets of the capital. Yet here were Nepali motorists (apparently) patiently waiting silently for permission to continue their journeys.
Another cavalcade raced down the centre of the empty road. More fancy uniforms, more cars and a Nepali President on the move. Another truck full of armed police at the rear.
Then a street dog began running down the middle of the road and a policeman chased after him, blowing his whistle and waving his stick. The dog seemed to enjoy the space.
A final cavalcade raced through the Lazimpat neighbourhood. More white gloves and helmets, guns, cars, flags. And in the fancy limousine was the President of Sri Lanka.
Then a whistle from the traffic policeman and a frantic waving of arms signalled bemused drivers that they must unblock the side roads immediately and continue on their way...
It's a funny thing but you do get used to the noise in a busy Asian city. The silence was unsettling, like some terrible disaster had befallen the capital.
Luckily for us, within 5 minutes life in Lazimpat returned to normality. Chaos and cacophony reinstated themselves and were a welcome relief!
I reinstalled my Mute Mode super power and returned to my kitchen to make a fresh cup of tea...
By Leona Thomas
In 2010 I worked in the Nepali town of Damauli. Many ex Ghurkha soldiers live in the area so the cost of living is high. There are no taxis because most families have at least one car and several motorbikes.
It is super hot in Damauli in the summer. They say it's like having 3 suns in the sky. They're not kidding! It is not a good idea to walk far in the heat even with a parasol for shade...
But I was a visitor with no transport of my own so I was waiting for a ride.
When the school accountant arrived on his motorbike I began to look for my shoes. They had been outside the house because the culture does not allow anybody to wear outdoor shoes inside a house.
In fact, my shoes had been propped against the wall for about 2 weeks. As I went to put them on I remembered an incident from my time in Thailand.
I told the accountant how I had been volunteering at an animal rescue centre. We would ride the elephants into the jungle where we would leave them overnight and then we had to walk home.
It was a journey of many miles and I couldn't wear flip-flops because they hurt my feet... so I was carrying my shoes in a plastic bag.
One day I tipped my shoes onto the ground and was astonished to see a huge frog sitting in one of the shoes! He jumped out and escaped into the bushes...
The accountant and I were both laughing about the story but it didn't occur to me to check if there was anything hiding inside the Nepali shoes...
You see, back then I still was learning about how the universe communicates with me. My angels and guides were trying to get my attention but I was enchanted by the story so I missed the message.
We set off on the motorbike- down the dirt road, over the small bridge and then onto a tarmac road climbing steeply up the hill... it was slow work with two adults on the bike. Nepali motorbikes are not very powerful. There are no Honda Goldwings or Harley Davidson's in Nepal...
All was well until we neared the top of the hill.
Suddenly I felt something wriggling around my toes inside the left shoe!
I yelled at the accountant to stop the bike and managed to get off safely despite the steep slope.
I tore at my shoelace, untying it as fast as I could. Then I yanked the shoe off my foot and bashed it hard on the floor.
A fat black beetle, about 1 inch long, fell out and then scurried off down the road.
I hope he was grateful for the ride. I must have saved him many footsteps. But if I had been paying proper attention to my guidance I could have left him at home in his own neighbourhood!
By Leona Thomas
When I realised in 2006 that my Spirit team wanted me to live in Kathmandu, Nepal I was horrified!
There were so many things about Kathmandu that were different from the life I was accustomed to in England - food, language, clothes, customs, religion, architecture, vehicles, driving habits... but the one thing that stood out for me the most was the noise!
I was sensitive to noise. How on earth would I cope with the cacophony from the streets of Kathmandu?
It turned out that I needn't have worried.
No, Spirit did not disengage every beeping horn or divert those vehicles down a different road (there would have been just a few bicycles in the street if they had done that!). They didn't nobble people's vehicles and neither did they offer bribes if these noisy Nepali drivers would kindly change their ways.
They had a much easier solution and it worked like a dream...
When I flew to Kathmandu on 8 January 2007 on a one-way ticket from Thailand they simply turned down the volume in my head!
I suppose you could compare it to playing a CD at full volume and deciding to turn it down so you could hardly hear anything.
I could hear conversations but I blocked out most of the background noise successfully.
To give you some perspective, my flat was on the top floor of a building right at the junction of the Lazimpat main road (opposite the Blue Moon supermarket and Hotel Gangjong) and a side road leading past the Danish embassy and into the main part of Lazimpat. So it was super busy.
One day a visiting friend stood on my roof terrace and she was horrified at the noise levels. "How can you stand it?" She asked. She was used to staying in the tourist hub at Thamel but my rooftop was a whole new nightmare for her!
Still, I was astonished to hear my friend's complaint. 'What noise?' I thought. So I turned off the mute setting in my head and listened to the real volume.
Good God! It was LOUD!
I calmly reinstalled Mute Mode and told her, "You get used to it!"
My mute setting was so efficient that I was walking home down the Lazimpat main road one afternoon when I became aware of a very quiet beeping sound way off in the distance somewhere behind me.
I was enjoying my walk, approaching the French embassy on the opposite side of the road. I noticed that I could still hear the very faint noise off in the distance somewhere far away.
Eventually I stopped walking and turned to see what was going on.
I was astonished to find a motorcycle right behind me on the pavement!
He had a legitimate reason to be there as it was the only way to get to a motorcycle repair shop just ahead of me. But what astonished me most was that my mute setting was that effective!
It turns out that I have a super power!
And I wouldn't go to Kathmandu without it!
By Leona Thomas
So many people I know talk about being in the flow but it can be frustrating when nothing seems to be working out right! If everything seems to be going against you, you might be wondering what does it mean to be in the flow?
Let me share something personal to illustrate being in the flow.
I had been praying and taking actions in my life yet things were definitely not going smoothly. It all came to a head after an overnight camp trip ended in disaster. I needed a hot shower and a good sleep by 11am. My body was aching and I could barely stand up but it was 6pm before I got my shower and bed for the night because I was mostly in charge.
Finally I gave up. I told my Angels they would have to do everything for me in my life now because I really couldn't do it my way anymore. I admitted that I just didn't know how to make things work and I gave in to complete surrender and handed over the reigns to my God.
Suddenly new things began happening.
I met people in hostels who wanted to pay me for healings or to do massage. It became easy to pay for my room. I was invited out for dinner again and again. People gave me things I needed even though I had told nobody about it.
When I was told at one hostel that I couldn't go there anymore, somebody else told me where I could get a private room and I had the cash for it too.
But that private room was too hot. So next time I got led to a much better private room with air conditioning and my own bathroom and a balcony!
Friends generously fed me, and supported me emotionally, and even stepped in to sponsor me for training for my work!
The synchronicities have been astonishing and very easy. Friends and strangers have stepped in to help when I need it so I now feel safe and provided for. People have let me borrow all kinds of things I need and have been so generous and kind.
I have discovered that the universe adjusts itself to match what I am asking for. Sometimes I pray formally and sometimes I just clearly state what I need to the universe...
For example, recently I had been camping because I needed to be alone in nature but after 2 consecutive nights on the land, sleeping on a mat, I told my God that my body couldn't take the cold. I said, "I need the nature but I also need to sleep on something soft."
The very next day a man asked me if I would take care of his house and his dog for 2 weeks because he had to leave to do his work. The house is in the heart of the hills so I am in amazing natural forest but without the camping!
Just today I was feeling upset about something and was sobbing.
It was time to pray on the mat. (I prayed and fasted for Ramadan this year and discovered that my heart wants me to continue to pray to Allah.)
I began the prayers and my crying got worse.
But Allah knows me and knew why I was upset.
As I stood with my hands on my heart speaking the opening prayer Allah showed me a vision. My crying stopped immediately and deep peace descended upon me. He showed me the same vision again and again during the prayer session. Now I have strength again.
Being in the flow is different for each of us, of course, because we have individual needs and desires. But when the universe responds quickly and efficiently to surprise and delight you, you can be sure you have found your flow!