A Review by Colin Whitby
When reading Number Woman it is easy to forget that this is a true story, the twists and turns of Hilary’s journey to discover her connection to St. Thomas A Becket and the places she visits have a ‘Dan Brown’ feel about them (especially when she visits the Vatican). She not only lives through numbers but when they guide her to distant places she uncovers all kinds of seemingly unconnected facts and only towards the end, like any good thriller, do we discover with her the true nature of her adventure.
Hilary uses numbers like we would use Google, when something is feeling a little strange she will look to see if there are any numerical signs to guide her. The fun thing is that the real Hilary is exactly like the one in the book, using numbers to connect events or information to great effect. Often she goes against her own thinking mind, bypassing the ego, to find herself living somewhere many of us would simply say ‘no, not there’.
When I first met her she was living in Watchet in Somerset where much of the action in the book takes place. At the time she had nearly finished her adventure but was still ready to leave at a moment’s notice if the numbers dictated. She had a feeling that she would be moving when she had been there 333 days – a number that crops up frequently in Number Woman (you will have to read the book to understand just how significant a number that is).
Another number that appears for Hilary is 11:11 and it was no surprise when she posted a Facebook picture showing the train timetable for the first train out of Watchet into Minehead, it departed at 11:11 every day. (interesting that now Hilary has moved from Watchet the train leaves at 11:14).
Recently I knew I had to contact her when just after I had the thought ‘I wonder what Hilary is doing’ I glanced at the clock and it was 11:11 – that meant, ‘give her a shout, something is up’. It just works that way.
I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did, it has the pace of a good investigative thriller yet tells a real life adventure.
Read our interview with Hilary An Interview with Hilary Carter
By Hilary H. Carter - Review by Colin Whitby
I believe this book works on a number of levels, each one will find a home in you for different reasons. Perhaps you found this review through searching the internet for answers to a question, perhaps you read reviews before purchasing books to see what others have to say and maybe you have an unresolved issue that seems to be stuck with seemingly no way out.
There’s another level that Hilary is working with too, and that is following her inner knowing and writing from the heart about something that has quite clearly had a big impact on her.
As you read the stories you will soon become aware of the desperate situations that the people she met at the New Life Foundation in Thailand have been through, their descriptions are frank and open and leave nothing to the imagination.
So often our society discards people with problems, especially when they do not seem to be able to pick themselves up out of them (we judge so readily – they aught to…)
So it is heart-warming to know that out there somewhere is a place where people can go to learn they are loved and that there are ways of helping and being helped that can bring them out of their current situations.
Rather than describe the situations themselves I’d like to skip to the end of some of the stories to find the beautiful nugget of hope, the flowering of something new, encouraged and nurtured by this unique environment.
‘There’s a lot going on in my life at the moment, lots of difficult and challenging stuff. All that I have learned about mindfulness is helping me through it though. I try to remain present. Sitting with fear and anger instead of letting it spin out of control. I’m rolling with the punches with a slight Buddha smile. I still see 11:11 and every time I see it I smile because I know it is a wink from God’.
‘The biggest thing, the most important thing is what goes on inside us, not what’s going on outside. I have the power to change what goes on inside me. Looking at emotions in meditation and accepting them actually takes the power out of them. That’s the thing I’m learning here’.
‘I have learned so much about myself here at New Life. The main thing I have learned is that we are all looking for love but all we need to do is to break down the barriers that we build against it. The love is already there. I am now open to love and I’m not going to deny myself love. Despite the pain of the loss that I have experienced, I know that my blocks have been released so now I can love again’.
‘Alcohol had power over me. I realize that. I haven’t touched anything for 100 days, the longest I have ever done. I have reached this point and it’s a watershed moment. I can’t be complacent about it though. Complacency is my biggest obstacle, my biggest enemy. I need to stop myself going out and having a drink to celebrate the fact that I haven’t drunk for so long…’
At the end of the book are some simple exercises that describe Mindfullness and some techniques for clearing the mind which I found demystified meditation so that it is easy to understand.
The great thing is that Hilary is offering the profits from this book to the New Life Foundation to help them continue this wonderful work, so let’s all make this a best seller, order your copy today.
A Review by Colin Whitby
Each chakra has it’s own chapter with a repeating format and structure. It can be used as a reference book and dipped in and out of or, if you intend to work through your energy centres one at a time, you might choose to read it through from cover to cover.
There is clear guidance on how to recognize if each Chakra is balanced and, if not, how to clear it. Whilst reviewing the book I came to the Third Chakra (solar plexus) and found many of the descriptions of imbalance applied to someone in our family. We immediately set out to get more yellow in her life (as the text advised) along with some of the affirmations (I am worthy to receive) on paper around the house. Interestingly there was some resistance to the colour (I’ve never liked yellow) which could slow things down but seems to show where our focus need to be.
‘An imbalanced third chakra is either going to show itself as the fearful, insecure person or the overbearing, domineering bully. Some people swing between the two extremes. The bully and the victim are simply the opposite ends of the same energy spectrum, depending on whether the chakra is overactive or underactive’.
We spent so much time on this chakra I’ve only just moved on to the heart chakra, I think this reflects where much of our attention needs to be as so many of us have challenges with fear or tension that need to be cleared from our energy.
Hilary has created an excellent read which is both a reference text and a structured healing handbook. It will be a great addition to anyone’s library and particularly useful when offering help to others.
By Elliott Robertson
Two of my favorite books of poetry are The Forbidden Rumi: The Suppressed Poems of Rumi on Love, Heresy, and Intoxication, from Inner Traditions, and The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry, from HarperCollins, which includes several poems by Rumi. The poems in both books have served as seeds of inspiration.
Praise to the emptiness that blanks our existence. Existence:
This place made from our love for that emptiness!
Yet somehow comes emptiness,
this existence goes.
Praise to that happening, over and over!
Rumi, The Enlightened Heart, Translations by Stephen Mitchell, page 63.
SWEPT OUT THE WINDOW
Imagine God’s delight when the words I had written
were all swept out the window
onto the slanted roof. Now I was free
to stand in the moment. Now I was free
to drink in the emptiness within my house.
My silly words about existence, something
about roses sending their fragrance to the sky:
All these words swept out.
Only the sweet scent remains.
Words don’t serve to tell me who I am.
The lamb may learn something about her nature
and her soul when she bleats.
The cat may also find her I AM when she meows;
horses when they neigh.
These languages beyond syntax and word live in the flesh
and cells. They bubble from the heart
much like a cry.
Imagine God’s delight when I learned the language
of the lamb, no longer stumbling over a need for words
to understand. God knew my heart
was drinking in emptiness and light,
no longer roped in the small world
of subjects, objects, things.
God knew I was now free to smell the rose.
He embraced me like his own soul.
My doubts and ill feelings left me.
He put his beautiful face on my shoulder.
Rumi, “He Embraced Me Like His Own Soul,” The Forbidden Rumi, Translations by Nevit O. Ergin and Will Johnson, page 43.
TAKE ME TO YOUR GARDEN
O lover of my soul,
please place your face upon my shoulder,
please feel the longing for your presence in my heart.
Take me to your garden,
let us tumble in the grass --
I want to know I’m not alone.
Pour a glass of water for the two of us to share,
soothe me with clear sight and true sounds --
I want to see my soul just as she is.
Take from my heart the veils that deceive me,
hold me near the brilliance of your light --
I yearn to know only one thing:
You are the Root, the Giver of Life, for the tulip and the elm --
you are the Source of glory in each blade of grass and in my soul --
with every breath I take, you say my name.