The Perfectly Imperfect New Year

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. 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’…. 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 even when you don’t feel like doing that, it is about embracing all of your emotions and how you are just as you are. It is something that takes time and really has to be embraced daily to become more of a natural way of being. It is always a process as life is a process. If we are still alive to life, we are always learning and growing. You don’t need a little self-compassion to accept yourself or change anything about yourself- you need a lot self-compassion, great patience and to give yourself lots of time.

I really trust people with a lot of self-compassion. When you can have great compassion for yourself, you can have great compassion for others. When peoples own self-compassion is nurtured and can extend to others- it is incredibly healing for all. Practice of such self-compassion can enable us to offer others compassion easily, even to those who we may have an issue with for whatever reason. Self-kindness, knowing that everyone is imperfect and that is part of our shared humanity (sorry perfectionists no you are not perfect and you don’t need to be) and mindfulness are the three main components of self-compassion. Self-compassion doesn’t say I’ll love you when you are like this, when you are ‘perfect’ and when you have achieved this and behave like this…self compassion says I love you just the way you are. Such love is incredibly strengthening and really builds your resilience in life. Self-compassion says whatever may come in life even when I’m finding it challenging to love myself- I will still commit to loving myself. Self-compassion says I’m not afraid of others flaws because I’m not afraid of my own flaws. Self-compassion says what can I do to help? How can I support you? Rather than how can I change you. This is very healing. Self-compassion is more about just being yourself and letting others fully be who they are, loving them in a way that they feel fully seen and free rather than feeling the need to ‘fix’ anything. Self-compassion is about authenticity not pretense. When you can fully bring acceptance to yourself or others- that enables a beautiful allowing, blossoming and unfolding. It allows truth to shine forth. This is so strengthening, healing and such a blessing.

The whole retreat was incredibly nourishing. I feel so grateful and I am embracing the New Year in such a positive way with a renewed and deep compassion for both myself and others. Offer yourself deep self-compassion, non-judgment and notice how you feel in yourself this year going forward. Yes this also means loving the parts of yourself that you have deemed ‘unloveable’ for whatever reason. In accepting ourselves just as we are even if we might find that challenging, we bring great peace to ourselves and to what is. If the therapies I offer might be of any assistance to you in your journey towards self compassion- I’m here for you and just a phone call away. Every blessing for the New Year ahead and don’t forget to believe in your unique magic as a person, flaws and all. Your unique presence here in this world cannot ever be replicated or repeated. Don’t ever forget that -you are here to live your truth. You don’t need to be anyone else but yourself. You don’t need to look for the acceptance of anyone else- you just need first and foremost to accept yourself. There is such peacefulness in the acceptance of the perfectly imperfect and ourselves just as we are.

Some tips for Self Care and Self Compassion

-Take time to tune into your needs and to give yourself what you need.

-Take time to tune into ourselves during the day to tune into and be nourished by our breath.

-Take time to tune into your own suffering, place your hands on your heart and allow yourself to be nourished by your breath as you hold that suffering with love, almost as you would hold a crying baby. A crying baby needs to be loved unconditionally, cared for and soothed. Bring complete acceptance to your suffering and to yourself knowing that we are all perfectly imperfect and lovable just as we are.

-Take time to dream a bit and think about things that bring you joy and really nourish your heart. Do those things. When you are a source of joy to yourself, you are a source of joy to the world and you will naturally want to extend this joy out to others in a loving way not out of a space of obligation or people pleasing.

-We can be very talented in life at imagining the worst outcome to things. Dare to let yourself dream and visualize the best possible outcome to things. Bring lots of light and love into that visualization. Do that visualization a few times a day and call it to mind before going to bed at night so that your subconscious is nourished by it.

-Please find some information below about two talks I am giving on Stress Reduction in Galway. You are most welcome to come along- just email to book:

Talk on Stress Reduction and Shiatsu
Dr.Clare’s Clinic, 9 Sea Road, Galway.
January 18th at 7.00pm
Email: to book

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Free Talk on Stress Reduction,
56 Central Restaurant
5 Shop Street,
January 10th at 7.00pm
Tel: 083 4631710
Email: to book

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The end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of sunshine in our lives…

Posted by on August 24, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of sunshine in our lives…

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 it.

Dealing with Anxiety: 20 Effective tips to help you.

Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Dealing with Anxiety: 20 Effective tips to help you.

Dealing with Anxiety: 20 Effective tips to help you.

Anxiety consists of an excess of fear and worry that interferes with daily life. Anxiety often leads to inaction as people are too preoccupied by fearful thoughts to take the actions they want to take in life.

When someone is anxious they tend very much to live in the future. They find it difficult to concentrate or to focus. Immediate needs become all important to the person suffering from anxiety and they lose sight of the bigger picture.

Anxiety can impact a person’s confidence because they people with anxiety tend to question too much what they do or say. Decision-making can be difficult and potential solutions might be rejected as being ‘impossible’. In this mood thinking is pessimistic and negative.

If anxiety continues over a prolonged period of time, it can give rise to exhaustion, depression or more serious mental health issues. It is important to address it in its early stages and to talk to someone who can help you.

Anxious people may suffer from abdominal pain and bloating, indigestion, dry mouth, palpitations, a range of aches and pains in muscles, poor skin and posture and muscle twitches. The long-term effects of prolonged stress and anxiety can lead to heart attacks, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer and other diseases. It is definitely something that requires your attention and there are many effective things that you can do about it.

Anxiety affects the way you see the world. Just as too much confidence can mean that people overlook important details, too much anxiety means that a person spends too much time thinking about certain details and can often lead to inaction. In this mood, you are unlikely to take risks. A healthy amount of anxiety means disasters are avoided and things aren’t overlooked but too much means people get too held back in life and miss experiencing new things in life or stepping into their true power. I can help you overcome anxiety and lead a happier and more fulfilled life. Contact me at

Here are some short- term strategies for a quick physical lift. Pick a few of these ideas that appeal to you. Get in touch for a consultation with me, I’d love to hear from you and to help you lead a happier and more fulfilled life.

  1. Slow down your breathing. By mentally controlling your breathing, you physically calm your body. If you take care of your body, you are also taking care of your mind.
  2. Get wet….Water has therapeutic qualities and can help you calm and relax. Swimming or taking a nice hot bath with Epsom salts/pink himalyan salts (which draw out toxins) can help you relax and rest.
  3. Take a power nap…a quick 10 minute snooze can re-energize you for the rest of the day.
  4. Exercise and Strech! Your body will thank you for it.
  5. Get barefoot! It stimulates our feet, improves the relationship between our bodies and electrons in the earth and increases antioxidants.
  6. Power move: dance, shake, find a movement which helps your body to feel empowered and free.
  7. Eat well and bin the junk. Good food makes a huge difference and food is your first medicine so your diet is an essential part of your health and wellbeing. Try to cut out processed foods as much as possible and notice the change.
  8. Learn to look after the health of your gut. There is increasing evidence to suggest a vital link between the health of your gut and your mental health. Consider eating lots of fiber, omega 3, flaxseeds, or perhaps taking a probiotic if your gut is unhealthy.
  9. Take up body brushing! You can buy a body brush relatively cheaply (preferably with natural bristles). Make motions brushing the skin in the direction of the heart. It has a nourishing, calming, & meditative effect.
  10. Stand up tall. Good posture is essential. If you are not standing/sitting correctly you are putting undue pressure on your body.
  11. No more toxins….honor your body and don’t overload it with alcohol/cigarettes. If you have difficulty kicking the habit, give me a call.
  12. Rest and relax. Find things to do that help you unwind. Write a list of things your love to do and make a point of doing at least one each day.
  13. Focus your mind. A healthy mind is a fit mind – one that does what you want rather than being distracted by every whim.
  14. Get a good nights sleep….at least 8 hours sleep a night.
  15. Spend time outside. Getting outside to see the sky, get fresh air and spending time in nature is very important.
  16. Tidy up! Clutter does not help anxiety and calm surroundings free of distractions can help one feel much better.
  17. Listen to music you enjoy. Music can change the mood dramatically in an instant. Music without words is thought to be particularly restful.
  18. Talk about your problems. Talking about your problems helps you realize that you are not alone.
  19. Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Saying ‘I love you’ to yourself regardless of what you are feeling can be incredibly healing.
  20. Anytime you get caught in worrisome thoughts, try to catch yourself and say to yourself without judgment ‘thinking’ and move onto something else or come back to your breath.
Soulful Living
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