I went on a meditation retreat this New Years with the intention of really nourishing myself in the here and now, giving thanks, getting clear on how I want to move forward and sharing time with others who have a practice of and really value meditation. I wished to embrace and welcome the year forward in a serene, authentic, relaxed and positive way. I had done a New Years retreat previously and found I embraced the New Year feeling so fresh and clear in myself. I definitely intend to make it a habit going forward in my life- it is such a beautiful way to embrace the year ahead. Meditation is about welcoming the present moment, being alive and awake to what is, embracing it with as much acceptance and non-judgment as possible. Things are how they are or ‘this is it’ as meditation teaches us. Often in life our suffering can come from not accepting situations or people as they are, reacting and wishing things were different. It is understandable that certain situations will be more pleasant than others and therefore will be viewed more favorably by us. However, a practice of acceptance and trying to make peace with whatever situation we find ourselves in can offer a great source of serenity. Of course there will be things in our lives that we wish to change and need to change but sometimes the sheer acceptance of what is or how people are-even if its challenging, of really embracing what is can offer a profound shift in our consciousness that is in itself deeply transformative and can make change easier. We are not accepting things to look to transform them however, we are accepting things to learn how to calmly embrace whatever happens in life and nourish our serenity. Certain things in life are within our control and certain things are beyond our control. Sometimes in life difficult moments can be accompanied by very happy moments or happy moments can be accompanied by sadness. Learning to accept and not to react but how to respond can offer a profound sense of wellbeing. It is wise in life to make peace with whatever is in order to be happier in the now. Practicing deep self-compassion is a source of peace both for yourself and others. Self-compassion is not about accepting and loving yourself because you are ‘perfect’ or because you have achieved certain things or you are talented in different ways or because certain people like you or because you do a lot for other people…. self-compassion is about embracing ourselves just as we are with both our qualities and our flaws whatever the circumstances. Self-compassion is about accepting yourself...Read More
This time of year in Shiatsu and Chinese medicine terms is linked to the element of water. It is a time to find ways to really replenish, rest and gently stimulate ourselves in nurturing ways during the colder weather. The organs associated with water are the kidney and the bladder. Kidney energy would be seen to be strongest during the winter months. The kidney is the source of both yin and yang in the body-that balance between control, stillness and going with the flow. The kidneys in Chinese medicine terms are considered the foundation for good health and vitality, essentially the root of everything. Kidneys are responsible for fluid balance, waste elimination, regulation of blood PH and mineral balance. They also play an important role in red blood cell production. Kidneys govern life force in the body- our drive and our motivation for life. Kidney energy in shiatsu terms is related to survival, reproduction and curiosity. This energy goes towards life and people who are full of life and are quite driven generally have strong kidney energy. This is a good thing as long as it is really balanced with rest so we don’t burn out. Too much stimulation of the kidneys without balance over time can lead to adrenal fatigue. We learn so much from both stillness and movement. Life is all about balance. When kidney energy is healthy and in flow, life feels adventurous, spontaneous and we can embrace the energy of the now with curiosity and openness. If we feel anxious in some way, we will deplete our kidney energy so it is important to deal with our inner fears so we don’t block spontaneity. Face your fears to overcome them. The book ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ is worth recommending. Blocking spontaneity blocks kidney energy and embracing spontaneity and playfulness by not taking life too seriously, being lighthearted, finding things that we love and bring us joy supports our kidneys. Keeping a perspective on things keeps kidney energy healthy and flowing. There is a sense of going with the flow, which is what water does. When we have healthy energy, it’s a bit like a river flowing… we move along and embrace change. The river may have slower, stiller points or points with more movement but it always embraces change and goes towards the sea- this is the nature of our lives and a good metaphor for it. If a river becomes too stagnant or gets too stuck, that can result in a lot of stagnant, murky energy and is when illness occurs. As we age, weakened kidneys will result in reduced energy, declining hormone levels, impaired brain function, bone weakness, hearing loss,...Read More
“Every day the world will drag you by the hand yelling, “This is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day it’s up to you to yank your hand back put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.” I really love this quote of Iain Thomas. Our hearts and our truth are completely invaluable but we can at times be disconnected from that realisation. How often in life do we let ourselves be swayed in every direction or influenced by others opinions rather than to be true to what our hearts really desire? How often in life do we care more about what others think than what we ourselves think and value? How often in life are our decisions governed by ‘the latest trends’ or what ‘everyone else is doing’ and not by what our heart’s truly desire? How often in life do we limit ourselves saying ‘I couldn’t do that’, ‘I’m too busy to make changes’, ‘its too late to do anything about it’ and whatever else our mind will come up with. Its good to know we can listen and accept what the mind will come up with, but we don’t have to believe or feed into it- what a relief! In life, there will always be so many things that you can make so much more important than you: the car needs to be serviced, your boss needs that report, that bill that needs to be sorted, the house needs to be tidied, friends want to see you, your in-laws feel neglected, your partner needs help, we need to watch the news, we need to help others…. I’m not saying these things are not important or valid but what I am saying is that finding time to tune into yourself, listen to your heart and looking after yourself is first and foremost- the most important thing. If we don’t make space for ourselves, if we don’t make what we truly desire a priority, we can end up feeling so drained or fall ill. Doing things we don’t really want to do or to people please causes suffering. When we are tuning into our hearts and ourselves more, we are operating less from a ‘headless chicken’ reactive space and more from a centered heart ‘this is what I really want and choose to do’ space. The energy is completely different. We tune into our peace, relax and life becomes much clearer and easier. In general in life I have found when I stop trying to do so much, I get so much more done. Less is really more. We can choose to make...Read More
Don’t get too busy making a living that you forget to embrace you, your heart and your life. In a society that constantly tries to convince us we need to be more, buy more, work more, fight more, do more- its understandable that many of us can feel less than adequate, others the need to be so ‘busy’ or some left with the need to prove themselves. In a world where we are fed photos of models that are air-brushed, bums or breasts that are padded or liposcutioned, where skin can be whitened or sprayed with fake tan, where the latest celebrity gossip or trashy novel is celebrated and glorified, where its more about image and distraction and less about what we truly feel and value-its understandable that at times we can feel a bit lost or frustrated. In a world where we are constantly given messages of how to be ‘better’, sometimes we can feel not good enough. All of that does not give us the deeper nourishment that our hearts deserve and desire but it is possible for us to give that to ourselves. We are often conditioned to think more about what others think of us than what we think of ourselves, sometimes valuing more what we do for others and forgetting ourselves in the process. What is important about this? We rob ourselves of something important in the process- the ability to get real about what it is we truly need and to give that to ourselves and others from a more authentic and loving space. Don’t most of us want an authentic life where we can fully be themselves and truly valued? In order to have this we can firstly begin to fully accept and value ourselves as we are. Ram Dass once said ‘Your problem is that you are too busy holding on to your unworthiness’. The truth of it is that we can accept ourselves just as we are with our perfections and imperfections and know that we are worthy. It takes a lot of courage to authentically love yourself, say ‘enough’ to the world, call bullshit at times, press the pause button and take time to truly value and come home to you and your heart. It is so important to make our hearts a place of resting and to have faith and believe in our hearts and their unique desires and expression. Why would you and that be any less important that everyone and everything else? Is that a truth or something you have chosen to be your current truth? What if you were to call for a beautiful revolution of self love, kindness and self compassion that you...Read More
How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?
Love, love, love these wise and powerful words of the wonderful Anaïs Nin. “How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself? Whether a woman is married, has a partner, single, divorced, a mother, has no children or whatever other ‘category’ you want to put a woman into….how true and valid are these words for all of us. Happy International Women’s Day to all. Love and gratitude for all women everywhere. Lets live our lives with the knowing that every day is or can be ‘Women’s Day’ if we make that choice. What a wonderful gift women are to the world. As my Dad who won the Oireachtas twice for his beautiful Irish poetry once said in his poem celebrating the women of Ireland: Women are ‘illuminating the world until the end of time.’ Enjoy celebrating the woman that you are in whatever way you can. It’s not anyone else’s job to make you a priority- it’s yours. Love yourself just the way you...Read More
j The end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of sunshine in our lives…. As the days get shorter and the cold, dark evenings approach, we may feel less energy and our sleep may be affected. We may have difficulty concentrating or making decisions. Some of us dread going back to work and begin to feel unwell. However, the end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of sunshine in our lives.The truth is our inner sunshine is accessible whatever the circumstances. I can help you get to a different place, a place where you feel lighter and have more energy. Feel free to drop me an email and I will give you a call to talk to you about my work. I will be taking clients from September onwards. I look forward to helping your light shine more brightly. Yes, you are most definitely worth...Read More