The Privilege of a Lifetime is Being who you are.

The Privilege of a Lifetime is Being who you are.

I have always valued the work that I do but in the world we live in and faced with the recent Covid situation and now Ireland going back to stage 3, it seems particularly important. It helps me truly value my health, myself and my life irrespective of what the circumstances are. Whether things are going the way I want, or things aren’t quite going as planned, all is well. I can bring acceptance to that with more ease. That doesn’t mean I don’t have to work on and improve certain things, of course I do. We all do and that is part of life but I can do it with more ease and even ultimately enjoy embracing transformation. So much treasure lies in you embracing all of you. In the past, I would give more of my power and happiness to other people. If certain people were there, I was happy. If they weren’t or something didn’t work, I was unhappy. When you step more fully into your serenity, your power and your happiness you begin to see how much joy can come from just you embracing more of you and connecting with others from a space of freedom, authenticity and not looking to others to fulfil you. You need less and you can embrace yourself more. That doesn’t mean that you value people less, if anything you value them more and make space for those where there is truly mutual respect, truth, authenticity and freedom. None of us are here to waste our time or have our time wasted. Life is far too precious and an absolute gift to us all. You can spend your whole life thinking the latest fad diet is the solution, the latest motivational speaker is the solution, the latest fashion is the solution, the latest money investment is the solution, the latest business venture is the solution, the latest holistic therapy is the solution but the truth is…you are the solution. No one can truly give you what you need but you and life is all about balance. You can do different things to explore more of you and to connect with more spirituality and divinity but ultimately healing is less about changing and more about embracing you exactly the way you are and loving all of you, even the parts of you you deem ‘unlovable’ (and yes we all have things we don’t like about ourselves). Sometimes you are looking in the wrong places and chasing the wrong things as opposed to valuing just how precious you are and connecting with things and others that truly nurture you from more of a space of authenticity. During the Women’s retreat on October...

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Empowered, Serene and Inspired.

Empowered, Serene and Inspired.

24th and 25th of October Take time out for you during the October mid-term break to really nourish yourself and restore health and satisfying wellbeing. Over Saturday and Sunday, we will start each day with gorgeous mindful yoga and a deep and delicious, full body relaxation. There will be a particular emphasis during the retreat on strengthening lungs and the large intestine inspired by shiatsu and Chinese medicine practices. After a break, you will then engage in some group coaching where you will look at strengthening your boundary and getting crystal clear on a wellness vision and plan to help you towards your best life. Later on in the day, you will engage in some beautiful qigong (mindful movement which builds healing energy in the body) and shiatsu self massage to really support, strengthen and loving nourish your body. We will end off the day looking at foods and lifestyle choices that nourish your organs from a Shiatsu and Chinese Medicine perspective.   From a Chinese Medicine perspective as a Shiatsu practitioner, I honour the transition within Autumn as a time to embrace change, come more inward and really value the metal element. Moments of transition related to the change of seasons or other changes can offer new and satisfying possibilities. Autumn can teach us about how beautiful it is to let go and embrace change with courage. The lungs and large intestine are associated with the metal element linked to this time of year and are related to our courage, strength, empowerment and dignity. This is where our focus lies over the two days. The metal element is about clarity and respecting the preciousness of your body and mind. If you think of a beautiful ornate sword for example a good symbol of what the metal element represents, it is not wishy washy. A sword needs to be sharp and clear. Good boundaries are essential. By really valuing the metal element through getting clear and making good choices about exercise, diet and lifestyle choices, we begin to value, appreciate and respect our health and wellbeing more fully.   The metal element is linked to the lungs which are described as “office of Minister and chancellor” in Chinese medicine, helping the emperor heart with the regulation of energy or ‘qi’ and an efficient dispersion of fluids so we don’t have health issues and a build up of phlegm or mucus. The lungs job of effective respiration is assisted when we breath in a more relaxed manner. Slow, nourishing, deep breathing and mindful practices which encourage this and nourishing shiatsu self chi massage are really beneficial to our health and wellbeing in body and mind. Over the two days, we...

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Freeing yourself From Negative Bias.

Freeing yourself From Negative Bias.

It is so important in life to live your life in happiness, in serenity and more in alignment with your values, whatever they may be. It so important to let yourself be free in changing your mind and really loving yourself throughout the process. Sometimes you try something out and realise that it’s really not for you. This can apply to anything. Are you able to be kind enough to say “I tried this out and I thought it was for me. It isn’t what it seemed to be and I want to honour who I am and step away from it or to find something different that is more in alignment with my values and that honours me more”. Are you able to do that without getting into a negative story about it and allowing yourself to realise that ultimately all is well? Are you able to see that one door closing opens other possibilities and opportunities up? Life is all about perspective. I have had a couple of realisations like that of late and I find that life is opening up for me in a different way and that I’m coming into a new depth and appreciation of my life and of life in general. You could easily get into a negative spiral when something in your life is changing because we are creatures primarily of habit and negative bias. You realise when you train in health and wellbeing coaching, our minds are kind of hardwired that way. You tend to think in terms of negative to protect yourself within life. This was definitely essentiel for our evolution during the Stone Age for example but perhaps not so useful in your day to day life. However, when really look after yourself, work on yourself and open up to the possibility that a certain situation may not mean what you think it means, possibilities open up that you may not have even considered previously. Life begins to feel full of beauty, possibility and pleasant  surprises once more. When you really trust yourself in life and within the process of change life feels satisfying. When you let other peoples actions be their actions. When you have good boundaries and take responsibility for being honourable and focusing on yourself, life feels empowering and inspiring. You can reach out then to others from a more nourished and authentic space. I’m doing a short course with the Poet David Whyte at the moment and by coincidence a similar theme is running through his work, Autumnal change is in the air I suppose! He speaks in his work about the importance of  allowing silence to find you and to allow yourself in life...

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Are You Finding Transition Towards Autumn Difficult?

Are You Finding Transition Towards Autumn Difficult?

Albert Camus comment that ‘Autumn is like a second Spring with every leaf a flower’ is one of my favourite quotes about Autumn. The truth is Spring is my favourite times of the year and I love the elements of Autumn that remind me of Spring. The transition towards colder weather, shorter days and less sunlight however just doesn’t excite me as much as Spring, I have to be honest. I definitely do know however that there is something to be learnt from each season and such things are always an inner job and mindset. There is great strength in surrendering to the power and depth of Autumn and the changes and inner journey it brings. Autumn offers a different flavour to life and it’s good to accept it as it is because it is how it is and we learn different things in every season and moment of our life. There are definitely things that we can do to help with this transition. Its important that we continue to get good exercise and add things like garlic, organic veg, sprouted seed, protein and foods that nourish our lungs to our diet to keep cold and damp from negatively impacting upon our bodies. As a shiatsu practitioner, I look at these things from a Chinese Medicine perspective and the transition within Autumn is associated with the element of metal, the lungs and large intestine and the characteristics of courage strength and dignity which are associated with the archetypal father. In really facing and accepting  transitions (however difficult they may be or whatever they may relate to from a change in season to more difficult life changes), we can harness more of the strength of the metal element and the courage and strength of what  good ‘father energy’  teaches us. None of us like to go through difficult things within life, however you can get support within such moments and difficulty can also make us better people if we let that be the case. If you really think of your strongest and possibly even your kindest qualities within life they were most likely developed in coming successfully through a difficult transition in time. The old adage of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger really does ring true if we decide to learn from life’s experiences and if we don’t let ourselves be hardened by them or take them too seriously but instead see them as learning opportunities. Shiatsu and the different therapies I offer can help with this. The metal element is linked to the lungs which are described as “office of Minister and chancellor”in Chinese medicine, helping the emperor heart with the regulation of energy and an efficient...

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Comfort in times of uncertainty and change.

Comfort in times of uncertainty and change.

Change is an integral part of life. To a large extent, you are the deciding factor in what change means within your life. Some changes in life you will want, others you won’t. Change isn’t always easy. We may be at a point in our lives when we are fed up with a particular situation, a particular pattern or habit that we have. However, as much as we want some change at times and we might want certain things in life to be different, most of us if we get really honest may not want what change also entails which is a certain amount of risk and uncertainty. Any type of change within life, wanted or unwanted, entails some level of risk and uncertainty. When you learn to befriend risk and uncertainty more, you harness and live your courage. Within risk and uncertainty also lies opportunity for newness and when we gradually get a little bit more comfortable with risk and uncertainty, we can perhaps see that change isn’t such a bad thing after-all and offers advantages along with some level of initial discomfort. Even if it is just the newness of coming through an experience in life with a different perspective or of being much stronger and more confirmed and confident  in your own truth and value. Change can offer great opportunities to grow and to really come into your own strength and power. Sometimes a painful realisation can cause you to change something within your life. This is hard, but pain is also a great teacher. From pain you can be reminded of what works for you and what really does not work for you, get clearer on what your values are and are not and you develop more wisdom and alignment as you journey through life. Your own self truth and value are absolutely invaluable and one of the most precious things you can truly own. Change isn’t always easy but if it means a better outcome for you, a life where you value yourself more and say a clear ‘thanks but no thanks’ to untruths, time wasting or things you don’t want to live or subject yourself to, then it is always worth it. There are also changes in life that are very unwanted. For example all of the changes within this recent COVID world have been largely unsollicited by most of us. I don’t know many who find mask wearing and being able to socialise with less freedom a lot of fun but to some extent, we can choose how we deal with this unwanted change. We are aware that at the moment, it is necessary. Social distancing really means physical distancing and does...

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Honouring the Hearts needs-the importance of balance.

Honouring the Hearts needs-the importance of balance.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. A sedentary lifestyle, food which doesn’t nourish us and smoking can all be real culprits. Chinese Medicine would also say that heart disease can result from too much excitement and excess which leads to the disturbance of heart energy. Its good to look for the middle way in life and find balance without excess or deficiency. Coming back to gratitude and simplicity can help and learning to know when you have enough is also helpful to the heart if you have a tendency to overdo it. Sometimes less is more if you have a tendency towards excess. If you have a tendency towards deficiency you will need to nourish your heart more through connection with what and whom we love, openness and focusing on things that nourish your heart and bring it joy. If the fire energy burns too bright, we may become agitated and anxious. Conditions such as high blood pressure and hypertension may result. An excessive fire can also lead to burnout and ultimately a state of deficiency where low blood pressure and fatigue results. This shows us the importance of balancing fire energy and really nourishing our hearts and listening to our hearts needs. Our fire energy should feel like a warm, comforting and cosy fire. The kind you can happily sit around and really rest and find refuge beside. You don’t want a fire burning too strong! Equally if our fire energy is too weak and it feels like sitting around embers that are about to extinguish that is not what you want either. Some passion, joy and a bit of “joie de vivre” in life is good without overdoing it. Aim to find balance in life. When fire and heart energy is balanced it feels open, comforting and warm. The “emperor” heart (the heart is referred to as the emperor in Chinese medicine) can then rule as it should with ease, flow and without complications. This is very helpful to your body and conducive to good health. It can be helpful to write about things or call to mind things that bring your heart joy. Drop down into your hearts knowing and feeling to do this. It’s not so much an exercise that is thought as felt. Take moments to pause today and savour things that really bring your heart beauty and joy. Take time to open and savour connection with what and whom you love and brings...

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The Hearts Calling-Honouring your Hearts Needs.

The Hearts Calling-Honouring your Hearts Needs.

The heart from a Chinese Medicine perspective is related to the season of the summer and the element of fire. The nature of the power of fire is seen in its ability to transform and nourishing your heart and small intestine is very transformative work. Your fire element is nourished through many things including connection that stimulates us through our love of friends, family, community, a loving partner and discerning what we love to do and what makes us happy. At its deepest level, your heart is nourished through its relationship with the divine. Love doesn’t necessarily mean romantic love. A love of life also nourishes your heart. Openness is an important quality of the fire element. The heart is linked to what the Chinese refer to as our “shen”, awareness or divine spirit. When the heart is clear, divinity shines through, authenticity and sincere qualities are present. Presence in the moment is the deepest expression of human shen. Meditation is deeply nourishing for your heart. The Chinese see the heart as ultimately reflecting our relationship with the divine. When this is in flow, everything else flows. The heart is obviously strongly connected to the blood and when blood is strong, the shen or spirit is strongly anchored which is conducive to being calm and getting good, quality sleep. The heart is nourished through connection and also finding some space, quietness and moments to pause and savour for yourself. Nourishing the stomach and liver are also important in nourishing the heart. The heart needs to connect through openness and connection but also has a necessity to be protected through the small intestine (which governs how we absorb and assimilate nourishment from food and things around us), the pericardium (akin to a shield that protects heart) or heart protector and the triple heater (akin to a thermostat which regulates the three main areas of the torso: the abdomen, solar plexus and chest). Because the hearts job is so important from a Chinese medicine perspective, these three helpers are essential. The heart is considered in Chinese Medicine as the “emperor”. It is said that it should never be touched directly. Its job is to govern and to have the ability to face difficulty while staying open to all that is beautiful and good. The heart is capable of embracing paradox in life whereas the mind seeks more certainty. I guess how we would phrase it is that the love of the heart is all embracing. The heart gives the capacity to receive all of the experiences of life and to integrate all of these experiences. It seeks to integrate from the five senses and generate appropriate internal response. When the heart...

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The Power of Simplicity

The Power of Simplicity

Less is more. We can hear that and appreciate that but to embody it is a lifelong journey accessed only through enjoying the process, love and acceptance of what is. As we are human for any of us…..it’s always going to be a process. There is an art of effortlessness to savouring more serenity that cannot be reached through striving, it’s about the quality of our presence. It’s more about allowance and appreciation of what is than about striving to do. A lot of what brings me joy in my life is reached through complete simplicity and valuing my heart. I live in the countryside and connecting with nature, knowing nature to be part of me and me to be part of nature is very satisfying. Sunrises, sunsets, elderflower bushes in full blossom, the sight of foxes and playful rabbits all nourish me deeply along with many other things that are satisfying and simple. I think of what John O’Donoghue said about the joy of finding a spot in nature and just letting something unfold. The joy of becoming a complete observer in what you witnessing within nature and being held deeply within that beauty. It is really wonderful to let yourself be consumed by such moments. I appreciate that life and work is busy for all of us and that there are always things to do. That is just a fact of life and its important to be in flow with the rhythm of the day, the week and the seasons. However, I think rather sometimes than wishing for more time, its interesting to notice the quality of presence that you are bringing to what you are doing. I wonder at times even in the midst of being busy, we can bring a quality of presence to what is and let ourselves find that little pause, appreciation or breath more deeply and serenly within the moment adn notice the difference that makes. I wonder if that deeper serenity can be somehow accessible irrespective of what we are doing, even if it’s just to momentarily touch it throughout the day. I suppose in truth we can sometimes bring a deeper state of awareness to our day, that gives us back some of the time that we are seeking. I do know this to be true in my own life and savouring simplicity can be helpful. Here is a poem I wrote that relates to savouring simplicity. There Will Always be Dishes There will always be dishes- the chopping wood and carrying water of day to day life. Washing the last plate, I feel my body release in pleasure and relief that “they are done now, its over”. My selective...

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