This was written for a bridge publication but takes a spiritual slant and is thus appropriate for this blog. Much of this has appeared in recent blogs and it is quite lengthy so be warned.
I learned bridge in university at Saskatoon in the late 1960’s. The university had a sanctioned bridge club and I began to play duplicate but most of my university bridge and there was a lot of it were money games or just pass the time games. Duplicate was a great way to measure your skill and see how you stacked up and after one particularly rough ride with an abrasive partner I decided to learn the game. I bought a drugstore bridge book and read it cover to cover before again trying duplicate. A very good way to learn anything is to read books written by experts and my game was immediately much improved.
When I graduated and moved to Flin Flon in 1971, I was an experienced bridge player but had less than a handful of masterpoints since I had not become a member of the ACBL during my university days. Bridge was important to me and I joined the ACBL and started a non profit bridge club in Flin Flon in the fall of ‘71. There were a lot of bridge players in the community and the club was an immediate success. A group of us began traveling to tournaments and having success. I formed a serious partnership with another engineer named John Munson and by 1976 we were Life Masters. We went over together by winning a Regional Open Pairs event picking up more than thirty gold points in the process, the first of many regional wins we had together.
After about a decade of travel, most of the Flin Flon players grew weary but not me. Bridge was my passion and I would travel alone to tournaments mostly in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, but also Alberta Regionals and began playing with out of town players and continued to have success. I loved everything about the game and most of my friends were from the bridge playing community. Bridge was time away from Flin Flon and also a great social life with parties and stories to share with my many bridge friends from all over western Canada.
I separated from my first wife in 1987 and she moved with our four children back to her roots in Saskatoon. I continued to play bridge as before and met my second wife, Lynn who then lived in Regina, at a tournament in Winnipeg in the fall of that same year. We began a courtship and by the summer of the following year she had moved in with me in Flin Flon. We married in 1990 and a few months later, my work took me to the Toronto area as the general manager of a subsidiary in Brampton, just north of Toronto.
Bridge continued as my avocation and I made a whole new set of bridge friends in the Toronto area. Lynn and I played together a lot during the first few years of my nearly twenty years in Toronto and I also formed various partnerships with other Toronto based players.
In 1994 I started a management consulting company and ended my more than twenty year employment with the Flin Flon based mining company. The consulting company flopped and Lynn began to take jobs as a bridge director to bring in extra money. By the turn of the century I followed suit and began earning money from bridge based opportunities. Lynn hired on with the ACBL and began directing at tournaments in addition to her directing jobs at local clubs. I also directed at local clubs and began to play professionally, both in local games and in tournaments. Bridge had become both my avocation and my vocation.
2004 – A Turning Point
In January of 2004 Lynn had a heart attack, medium grade. She had no risk factors and no premonitions, just something seemingly out of the blue. Her hospital stay was ten days or so and she could not drive for a month. Emotionally it was a very tough time for both of us and a part of what I targeted in the aftermath was to deepen our communications. I began to request dialogue on various issues as they arose and Lynn was cooperative. In dialogue we targeted to understand each other’s point of view and accepted that the other got to decide what they chose to do about something once they understood. In other words, we targeted understanding rather than agreement.
We both learned a great deal from these dialogues on a wide variety of subjects. One of the things we learned was that we had very different life objectives. I wanted to do what I was born to do, even though I had only a hazy idea of what that might be, and Lynn wanted to retire and live out our remaining years enjoying life together doing what retired folks do. When the time came for us to part in 2008, our love for each other had grown but our compatibility had declined. We wanted different things out of life and staying together no longer served either of us.
I regularly competed in the Canadian Team Championships and often made the playoffs but never won the event. The last time I played in this event was in 2004 and uncharacteristically, I played poorly. Something was up.
In June of that same year I made a commitment to my spiritual development and began to spend time in spiritually oriented activities such as meditating, walking and writing. I did not consult Lynn in so doing but keep her appraised of what I was doing and was generally more visible in her space instead of downstairs where the computer was located.
Irene, my ex and the mother of my four children died in October 2004 after a nearly three year battle with cancer. The funeral visit was heavily influenced by my choice in June to devote time and resources to my spiritual development. The funeral took place during my ‘acting as if’ period. This was about one hundred days, when I acted as if spiritual progress was my priority. Six weeks after the funeral, at the end of November, I was transformed into the person I was acting as if. No longer was I acting as if; I was now a person whose priority was my spiritual development.
Competition began to feel hollow to me, without meaning and without substance. My guides began to be very active in discouraging my participation, especially during tournaments. A summary of their message would be, ‘This is not what you are here to do. Use your time more wisely.’ A poignant memory is of writing in my journal in the wee hours at the Toronto Easter Regional in 2005 sitting on the toilet in our hotel room so as not to wake my wife and discovering that I was to quit what I called recreational bridge, e.g. playing for fun with the best partners I could find. I honored my existing playing arrangements but did not book any new bridge dates except professionally.
A couple of years later, I ended my professional bridge dates and when I left Toronto in May of 2008, my directing career also ended. In four short years I had transformed a life that revolved around bridge to a life without any bridge at all.
When I got serious about developing spiritually, I knew I would need like minded friends and took the intention to bring such people into my life. Within a few months they began to appear and one thread led me to meditation retreats. These were ten day retreats dedicated to meditation. The first one I attended was in May of 2006 and I went on five of them over the next year and a half along with many weekend retreats. That became my focus and my recreation.
I discovered a rich inner world and an inner focus on service to humanity. In this process, competition in all its forms looked less and less appealing. The roots of the word compete include ‘by agreement’ and I was no longer agreeing to compete; competition had become an empty activity and something I no longer wanted to do.
Life after Bridge
In May 2008 I began a new life without bridge, leaving Lynn and leaving Toronto. My intention was to make myself fully available for the consciousness movement and play whatever role was given me within the larger picture of major change initiated by the winter solstice of 2012. This change is called Ascension and humanity or at least a portion of humanity will be shifting into a higher dimension where life will be very different and much improved from what it is today.
The first year and a half of my life after bridge was an education as I learned the lay of the land in order to be an informed participant.
Essentially humanity has three groups of people. A small but powerful group I call the ruling elite who control world affairs. They want things to go on as they are and obstruct Ascension processes in a wide variety of ways. This group controls the major media, except the internet, and keep themselves out of the headlines while controlling world politics and elected leaders. Their ways are unsustainable and are leading to doom and destruction.
The second group is the uninformed masses, the great majority of people. Those in the third world live at the subsistence level, and have little voice, living as pawns, often with corrupt leaders who do the ruling elite’s bidding. Those in the first world live in relative luxury and largely believe the misinformation fed them by the world’s media under the control of the ruling elite.
The third group is a loosely knit team bringing beautiful and beneficial change to humanity. One name given these people is Lightworkers and they see through the illusion as constructed by the ruling elite and are working to bring truth and healing to humanity and to our planet. I am a member of this small but growing third group, I am a Lightworker.
Once my education was far enough advanced, I began to play a more active role. The center piece of that role is the blog I write called Freedom for Humanity and you can check it out at https://freedom4humanity.wordpress.com. I began writing the blog near the end of 2009 and intend to continue at least until the end of the current era at the winter solstice (December 21) of 2012. The blog continues my education with every entry. I make an entry most days, except on those days when nothing is given me to write. What I write goes into the public forum and is available to anyone who chooses to read it.
I do a lot of walking as a way of integrating the energies coming to me and to the planet and also meditate regularly and have an active life in cyberspace communicating with a wide variety of like minded people from around the globe.
Writing this article is the first contact I have had with the bridge world since leaving Toronto in May of 2008. I wish all bridge players the very best and much success however that may be defined for them. My choice is to continue to pursue my chosen path as a Lightworker and do whatever is given me in terms of bringing Ascension to humanity and to this planet in the most beneficial and least disruptive ways possible.
Perhaps when all that is done I will play a few hands of the greatest card game ever invented, but until then, I will do what I came to do.