This is a creative writing exercise from 100 Word Prompt, provided each week by Julia Skinner, a former headteacher and present School Governer.
If you want to develop your creativity muscles, this is a good exercise to use, I've done it a few times now, and each time I do it, it teaches me something new about writing.
I recently experienced some turbulence in my relationship, I thought I was communicating clearly what my needs were, but my boyfriend didn't seem to care.
As it turns out, I wasn't communicating what I thought I was, but I only discovered this by talking through with my Minister. I'd mentioned that I thought the compassionate communication workshop that New Unity had hosted recently would have really helped the quality of my relationship. He gave me a brief summary of what it was- "aim to communicate to the other person that you understand their perspective, their feelings, their situation etc."
About a year ago I decided that as I still hadn't found a religion that I felt suited my own experience of spirituality and god, I would create one!
A few of us met to discuss what it would be, and we began our research, during which I discovered New Unity, a Unitarian Church, in Islington/Newington Green, and felt that their ethos was similar to my own. I intended on going to a church service but didn't get around to it, and as with life, things happen, and, over a year later after becoming quite ill, and at the end of a relationship, I was looking for somewhere I could connect to, be a part of an existing community. I remembered the research I'd done, and decided I'd finally go to the service. Today was that day. The first time since I was 10 years old, I attended a church service that wasn't a funeral, wedding or christening.
The service was led by Andy Pakula and had the title Slow down! New Unity Church is Unitarian and has particularly liberal views, welcoming agnostics, atheists, jews, muslims, Buddhists and anything in between.
I joined in the singing, although that isn't my strongest skill ever! And I was delighted to see a beautiful ritual as part of the ceremony; anyone who wishes lights a candle for a
joy or a sorrow, or both and if they chose they can share with the congregation what they are lighting it for.
There were some beautiful joys shared, and some touching sorrows. One lady cried as she was sharing, so much so that I couldn't make out her words. The words were irrelevant, what was important was that she was heard by the congregation and I loved that a space like that was available. That here is a space where it's ok, it's accepted to experience human grief, no need to "stuff it back down".
What this said clearly to me, is that all of me, no matter how joyful or sorrowful is welcome in this church. It was a touching moment; there were certainly tears in my eyes.
There were a few minutes silence for meditation, more singing and a reading, then a story. The story made me smile, very much so :)
It was about an MBA educated man explaining to a poor fisher man how catching more than he needed and selling it would provide him with great fortune, so that he could live a relaxed life and enjoy time with his family; something he already had by only catching what met his families' needs.
The sermon wasn't preachy, it reminded me of many of my own blog posts, a mixture of sharing from experience of how as a mere human being doing our best and learning is enough, and adding wisdom and knowledge from other sources.
The opening asked about how often do you do one thing at a time? Not very often I thought! Commenting on how we are taught that being busy is valuable. How so many of us live as though we are never going to die, and then we die without ever having lived.
And in finishing up, a reminder that the worth of what you are, is greater than what you do. I liked that phrase so much I wrote it down, on the little pamphlet that accompanied the service.
This is a warm congregation, a warm, friendly and loving church, the values of which are community, spirituality and love. There was no hell or damnation, no judgement or dogma. Just a gentle, warm loving acceptance of all whom were there.
I felt at home here. I felt inspired by listening to the readings and Andy's sermon. His way of communicating touched people today, left an impact, added value, it made them think about how valuable they are as people.
It made me think, it affirmed my recent choices, to slow down, concentrate on regaining my own physical health. Attending the service today made me feel warm, connected. I felt at home, like I've never felt in a church before.
I suspect I probably will set up a church of my own at some point, whether I call it a church, or a community, I'm not sure, but for now, I feel New Unity is somewhere I can go to feel at home.
Yesterday on facebook I posted:
"this afternoon I walked through a gate near my place, and a guy with a bike asked me to hold it open for him. I had to apologise and explain that I was ill & the gate was really heavy & I couldn't hold it open for him. HE said sorry to me. I walked away, feeling guilty for not helping him. How silly is that?"
A kind friend posted a comment, suggesting that if I said that I was ill then I would create that I was ill, and in fact thinking as if I wasn't ill might help me a lot more.
This is my response:
I have experienced symptoms of my illness for over a decade, and have been told on numerous occasions by the medical profession that there was nothing wrong with me, because none of the
usual physical indicators were present when they did their tests. I went about my life as normal, not allowing the pain & weakness prevent me from doing anything I wanted to do. The
result was that I made myself even more ill. I thought and behaved as if my body was fully healthy.
Today I choose to accept reality as it is. My body is weak, and I need to take responsibility and behave in ways that takes care of it. The reality of my illness is that my mitochondria in my cells are unable to release energy the way they did, (I was eventually diagnosed by the doctors a year ago) so making a decision not to stand and hold open a heavy gate, which would result in my experiencing pain and discomfort in my body is a healthy choice.
So, for over a decade I chose to focus on the positive, of what I COULD do, and I pushed my body way beyond what it could do. And this has resulted in my getting progressively more and more ill.
Today, I chose to see reality as it is, and take positive action towards creating the reality that I want.
For example, I choose not to give my body extra stress that it doesn't need. I bring awareness to negative emotions such as feeling guilty for taking care of myself, so that I can release them, as they no longer serve me. EFT (Tapping) is a useful technique I've found for letting go of them, as and when they come up.
I also am extremely careful about what I eat, taking appropriate supplements, I don't eat foods that do not serve my body; instead I choose to eat foods that create health.
Being in a fuzzy state about my illness up until a few months ago, where I believed I would get well, I believed that if I just focused my mind I'd be able to do what I wanted to do, did not produce positive results.
The reality is that although I still believe I will heal, I have to deal with the reality first. Right now, I need to behave in a gentle way when expecting my body to perform tasks for me. And choosing not to do certain things, is a very healthy, loving and compassionate way to treat myself, of which I am very proud.
So, when given a choice- positive thinking, or choosing behaviour that is loving and kind & supportive to my body, encouraging it to recreate health, I chose the latter, any
Do I believe I'm going to be able to hike up mountains again? Absolutely, can I do it today? No. Would saying that I can be helpful to me? It wouldn't be true, and if I were to hike up a mountain it would expend the energy that I do have on getting up the mountain, and I'd prefer it to be spend on repairing the cells in my body, so that they're restored to health and able to perform the way they used to perform. First things first, once my cells are healthy, then I'll climb the mountain. Until then, I'm quite happy being honest about the reality of what I'm not able to do, and focus on what I can do: being honest about the limitations of my body, and encouraging health in my cells.
So which produces better results? Thinking that I am well and healthy? Or being honest that I’m not and taking appropriate action to create health?
My Smiley Sharkey- how can you look at him and not smile? It's infectious, his big bobbly happy shiny eyes and huge happy grin, they are symbols of the joy he is brimming with.
Even though you know shark's teeth are razor sharp killing machines, you know this sharkey- My Blue Smiley Sharkey Sharkey is a friendly sharkey.
What’s even more cool about Smiley Sharkey is that he came to live with me as a gift from a friend. My friend Mr Llama whom I've never met in person, because we're twitter friends. We regularly converse, chat, joke, laugh together online while being hundred's and sometimes thousands of miles apart. And when I needed a key ring I asked Mr Llama if he had one to trade, "No" he said, "but I’ll send you one anyway" Awesome!
Another really cool thing is that his daughter intervened at the purchasing stage and made sure Mr Llama bought the Blue Smiley Sharkey for me, not the pink (ughh!) key ring he was about to buy! Yayy!
My Smiley Sharkey is not only a joyful happy friendly sharkey; he also represents those elements in my friendship with Mr Llama.
His big cheesy grin couldn't be any wider, even if he tried real extra hard & held his breath and wished and wished and wished, his smile is already at maximum capacity.
His eyes pop out too- when you squeeze his belly. Seeing his eyes pop out makes me feel happy :) (see pic below)
[Mr Smiley Sharkey was not harmed in the process of popping his eyes out, but kids please don’t try this at home]
As I look at my Smiley Sharkey now, I notice that he is holding my keys (He is after all, a key ring, as well as a very happy Smiley Sharkey). As I notice him holding my keys, I have a moment of insight- happiness holds the keys to success.
There is no point, no rhyme, nor reason to why Mr Smiley Sharkey is happy, he just is, and he does his job well, and often brings a smile to my face when I retrieve him from my bag to open the door. (Mr Smiley Sharkey makes it SO easy for me to find my keys)
All there is for Smiley Sharkey is joy. He's just so happy to be alive; it's just his natural state of being. He hangs around, swimming about a bit but he's the one that hold the keys- the key to his success is Happiness.
So, I ask you this, for it is an important question to ask oneself:
What are the Mr Smiley Sharkey's in your life, the things that bring a smile to your face?
Today I was registering at a new Doctor's practice, I moved to Camden a few months ago & I'm finally getting around to doing this, prompted mainly by the fact that I wasn't feeling particularly healthy at the weekend.
I was required to complete a form. The questions were the usual ones, but I hadn't filled out a form like this in many years.
I was startled to find myself writing down a list of ailments my family have suffered, including the following:
- My father died of a sudden heart-attack, aged 52
- My mother died of early onset Alzheimer’s aged 64
- My Nanny had skin cancer (Melanoma)
- My Grandfather died of Alzheimer’s
- My Aunt had MS & Diabetes
- My sister had Bowel Cancer
- My other sister had another kind of Cancer
And these were just a list of the MAJOR illnesses in my immediate family! There are many more others- including M.E, Chronic back pain, including curvature of the spine, chronic fatigue, etc. etc.
It made me think, to be honest it brought a tear to my eye, because I needed to work out how old my Mum had been when she passed away, and today was the first time it really hit me at how young she was.
My Mum suffered from early onset Alzheimer’s, the worst kind of "In-Between" you could possibly imagine. (Tears are rolling down my cheeks as I type). She was hospitalised for 14 years of her life before she passed away which is why I'd lost touch with how young my Mum actually was.
My Mum, as I knew her wasn't really with us any more, not for about 13 years of her life, it was difficult to be completely powerless while watching someone I love so much, slowly, painfully pass away. I was 19 the last time my Mum spoke to me & knew who I was.
There are other types of In-Between, I've experienced some of those, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and stresses, to name a few. All states where I had blocks on being able to function, to enjoy life on life's terms, I was seeking ways to avoid painful experiences & those ways were numbing & paradoxically painful all at the same time.
I don't recommend any of them.
So, that's the In-Between.
I just came across a YouTube video of Will Smith, where he was described as "One of the most successful people on the planet".
It made me think- I mean I like Will Smith, I've been watching him since Prince of Bel Air, and I love his more recent work too. I also deeply admire his positive mindset, and how he embraces and acknowledges being a role model in our society. And he uses that mindfully & for the benefit of others. But is he really one of the most successful people on the planet? I question this because I think that most people would consider him successful because millions of people know him & are entertained by him, or because he's earned millions of dollars- hundreds of millions even.
But WHAT is success? I'm aware of plenty of movie stars that, although they have fame & glory I would not consider successful in life at all. They are deeply unhappy, and disturbed, they are lost and confused. Is this success?
Not for me, for me success is waking up in the morning & wanting to be alive (I've had mornings where I didn't-where I was filled with dread & fear).
Success for me is....
- Catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror & smiling, because I'm happy to be alive
- Doing my yoga, even when I don't feel like it, because it makes my body feel good & my mind focused & energised.
- Appreciating being able to swim in the warm tropical sea (At least while I'm in Koh Lanta!)
- Being grateful for the friends I have around me
- Enjoying laughing with my friends
- Supporting people who are passionate & committing to creating a life of their dreams
- Singing because I feel like singing
- Crying because I feel like crying
- Being able to listen, truly listen with all my heart, to those around me.
- Being able to forgive myself for the big & little things
- Learning from each experience I have in life & building on my successes- no matter how small.
- Being able to enjoy a beautiful clip on YouTube
- Connecting with like minded people around the globe
From what little I know of Will Smith, (the bits he chooses the public to see) by my values he seems somewhat successful- he appears to be happy, deeply loves his family, and understands that life can give you whatever you want- if you put the effort in to get it.
In what ways are you successful in your life?
Please share with us in the comments below, I'd love to hear the different ways we're all successful :)
My mini Christmas Greetings Video for you- Merry Christmas!
As many of you may have heard me mention from time to time, I'm writing a book- 365 ways to change your life. I came to my tropical paradise island to take time for writing, and a few days ago I wrote a particular piece on forgiveness for my book. I wanted to get some feedback so I tweeted looking for volunteers & I also asked on facebook. I was overwhelmed with the positive responses I received & I realised that this little exercise might prove to be a nice little gift to send at Christmas.
So here it is; Merry Christmas:
I've been bursting to write this blog post all day, since I woke up at 5.50am, ready for my yoga :)
I've been in Thailand for almost a month now and each day keeps on getting better and better! I'm with one of my closest friends in the world, I'm living on a tropical island, I'm able to work online from here & continue to coach clients around the other side of the world!
Today has been the best birthday ever- this is my first birthday in the sun, and I'm beginning to suspect that last years birthday in the European winter might just be the last one I ever have in the cold.
I woke and the first words I heard were "Happy Birthday" from my yoga buddy. I received a beautifully written note from her, which touched my heart, but that wasn't all- the card also contained a voucher to get a Thai massage from the local massage girls we've gotten to know. I had that massage an hour ago, and it was the best massage I've had EVER! When it was finished I wanted to lie there for another hour & a half and get it all over again!
My friend Magnus hired a limousine for the day- to bring me wherever I want (see the pic below). He brought me birthday present shopping where I got myself a lovely white board to help keep me organised & a laptop fan to keep my laptop cool in the tropical heat. Then I went on a hunt to find a bikini- I've never worn one ever before! Sadly there wasn't any in a design I liked in my size, but that led me to explore the clothes a little more...
And gave me an excuse to return to the beautiful blue traditional Thai trousers I'd seen the day we arrived. I did the customary haggling and got 150Bhatt knocked off the price (Yayy me!!)
Just over a month ago I was having a conversation with one of my closest friends via Skype IM. I was sharing the challenges that I was encountering in my personal life & in developing my business. My friend casually asked "Why don't you come with me to Thailand?" Last winter he worked on his online business from Thailand- enjoying the sun, sea, sand and cheap cost of living.
I thought about it, seriously thought about it, what I would need to do to make that a reality, what value I would get from living in Thailand in the sun over the winter. After 24 hours I was certain that I definitely wanted to make this work, within 48 hours I'd worked out the logistics of everything. It would be a tall order- I had 10 days to pack up everything (I'm not returning to the same apartment on my return). It was a challenge, a real challenge.
I flew out of Dublin on Nov 18th, I didn't have everything wrapped up 100% perfectly, but I got enough done to make this wonderful opportunity a reality.
Now I'm here, on a sunny tropical Island. The week before I flew out I talked to my friends at every opportunity about how I would be swimming in the sea every morning. I said it with pure delight in my voice, the idea of swimming in beautiful warm sea to start my day off was blissful. And now that's exactly what I'm doing. Every morning I wake up at 7am, usually before my alarm goes off. I phone my friends- an early morning wake up call & we all meet on the beach at 7.30am, do yoga for 45 mins, wrap up with pranayama & meditation then go for a swim in the sea. I finish my morning routine by eating breakfast on a sunny tropical beach.
Yes, this is bliss.
Today I walked from Christchurch to Ballsbridge in Dublin, stopping off to chat with my friend Tony in Starbucks on Dame St. It was a beautiful sunny day- just like summer should be!
As I walked along I decided to enjoy walking, relax, take my time, soak in the sights, and sounds of the city. (The smells weren't that great, so I'll skip over them!)
I wandered up a dead end alley way to start with & retraced and found my way again, passed the bottom of Duke St & onwards towards Merrion Square. I've often seen the displays of art along the railings of Merrion Square but this was the first time I hadn't been rushing on my way somewhere.
I walked passed the many varied works of art & one caught my eye as I passed, I didn't stop at that one because that would have meant turning back around, instead I kept going on but slower- so I could stop before going passed the next interesting piece.
It was beautiful, really stunning & very unique- I stopped an admired it, noticing the beautiful details- it was a torso painted in blue on a circuit board and it was stunning. The juxta positioning of the soft gentle curves of flesh painted over the harsh linear lines of the circuitry was simply beautiful.
The next painting I noticed was even better- it was a beautiful woman's body- soft gentle curves- but the way the artist had created the 3D effect was ingenious- it was as if he'd cut away sections & hollowed out the beautiful woman.
I am so grateful to everyone on twitter & facebook that helped me find Sasha. I received so many suggestions & kind words I was overwhelmed.
Some of the suggestions included posting on websites that I never knew existed-
and of course I rang the DSPCA, local vets, Garda stations etc but no one had found Sasha.
I honestly didn't think I'd ever see her again and I just hoped that she'd been found by someone who would give her a nice new home & that she was safe.
Friday I had to travel to Cork to deliver a "Tweeting for Business Success" twitter training and then after I was meeting up with some of the girls I've made friends with on Twitter for a #twineup (Tweetup with wine!)
On my way to the #twineup I received a phone call from a lovely lady called Brenda who had a little brown & white dog who'd been found in the Phoenix park. She asked me did Sasha have a collar, and what colour was it? I told her green leather- I'd bought it in Italy for her last summer. So sorry, said Brenda this collar is black- best of luck finding Sasha.
I was really disappointed, but there wasn't anything I could do.
5 mins later Brenda rang back- her collar IS green :)
I was delighted, I couldn't believe it!! Sasha had been found!!
I can't remember the last time I was so happy about hearing some news!!
Sasha had been found in the Phoenix park very muddy on Thursday morning, near the President's residence & one of the members of staff knew Brenda and knew that she had been looking for a dog so they called her.
Brenda & her 2 teenage children then set about seeing if anyone had lost a dog, because Sasha was obviously someone's pet - not a stray.
They got onto the internet and found her on www.lostdogs.ie and rang me. :)
They had taken her to the vet to get her checked out, she got a clean bill of health & the vet guessed she was only a year old- because of the good condition of her teeth (She's actually 3). She also is chipped, apparently the breeder chipped her as a pup so I just need to register it now!
If it wasn't for twitter & the amazing amount of help & support that I received - and people telling me about the websites for lost dogs I would never have found her.
I am SO grateful, thank you everyone who helped find Sasha. I am so delighted that there is a happy ending to this story!
I use twitter to post links to various things & I use a service www.short.ie that tracks the number of clicks links get- by Friday afternoon Sasha had got over 1,500 clicks from people helping to find her!
I am amazed & overwhelmed at the good spirit and generosity of people who don't even know me or Sasha.
As you can see from the picture she is very happy to be at home again. When I picked her up on Saturday I've never seen her so excited & delighted to see myself & Goldie. She doesn't understand how well known she is- this morning on our run someone shouted over to us across the road that they'd seen her in Phoenix park & glad to see we'd been reunited!
Lets hope she's learned her lesson- I certainly have, she's not getting off the lead again at night I can tell you!
This is the Poster Lorraine Larkin kindly created for me to help find Sasha - if you're in Dublin I would really appreciate if you could print off a copy, or several and post in your local area.
As the poster says- she's likely to be travelling at high speed so she could be anywhere- even miles from Christchurch, including possibly Balbriggan where we've just moved from!
Thanks to everyone again for all your help, I appreciate it so much.
Sasha is my beloved 3 year old Brittany Spaniel.
She's hyper, really, really hyper- I call her my adhd dog. Last night when I was walking her & Goldie before going to bed I did what I rarely do- let her off of her lead. She has so much energy I wanted to let her have a good run.
I've recently moved into Christchurch (Dublin City Centre) from a seaside town 20 miles to the north of Dublin where we used to go jogging on the beach 3 times a week- there I could safely let her off the lead.
Last night I felt sorry for her that she hadn't run free in a few days, and because it was late & there was no traffic on our street I unleashed her. She instantly ran off, into the nearby apartments. Fine I thought, she'll come back in a minute. I kept my eye on the entrance she'd run down, thinking that she'd ran into a dead end.
After 10 minutes she still wasn't back, so I walked after her. It was then that I discovered there was a way out the other side. The way out led to a busy road- near the Quays of Dublin City Centre, even after midnight there is quite a bit of traffic.
I walked round & along the river with no Sasha in sight. I looked into the river Liffey, it was flowing fast. Sasha has a tendancy to run straight into things before looking. Only last week she jumped down a 6 foot drop without even batting an eyelid. I hoped she hadn't decided to jump into the river chasing birds- that's what she did a few nights ago when walking her in Phoenix park. She discovered a pond with ducks & I spent 20 mins calling her before she finally decided to stop chasing the ducks & come back to me!
I spent nearly 2 hours looking for her, waiting for her to find her way home. I heard her barking in the distance a couple of times but she didn't find her way back to me. I finally went to bed at 2.30am.
This morning I tweeted about Sasha going missing on twitter and I was overwhelmed with the supportive tweets & the ReTweets helping me put the word out.
I got about 200 RTs from people helping me find her, it was amazing. I got people as far away as Japan & America RTing her- just in case any of their followers were in Dublin or knew someone who was.
I received so many useful suggestions- where to post online about lost dogs, who to call & tweets reassuring me that she'd find her way home.
I also posted on facebook & several people shared my post- asking their friends to keep an eye out for her too.
She's the most adorable little dog, difficult to handle because of her abundance of energy but I love her. I miss her. I feel sad that as I sit here & type her bed is empty.
I'll go and look for her again in the morning and hopefully I'll find her, or find out that someone has taken her in and that she's safe.
I've had so many messages of prayers & positive vibes it's very touching.
Thank you everyone that's helped, asked about her, & offered ways to help find her.
If you haven't already- please pass on the word- she was last seen on Wednesday 2nd Sept around midnight near Christchurch, Dublin 8.
Let's hope this story has a happy ending. I'm trusting that everything happens for a reason & that she's safe & sound somewhere being taken care of.
Soul Mates are 2 people that are destined to be with each other in a romantic/ intimate/ loving relationship - they are 2 halves of one whole and that without each other they don't quite function fully, they are not complete. Often Soul mates have known each other in previous lifetimes, and find themselves inixtricably drawn to the other person, despite their logical side knowing that it doesn't make sense. It is a strong and powerful bond which can seem very much like an addiction.
Now does everyone have a Soul Mate that they need to find in order to have a satisfying, fulfilling relationship?
Personally I think not. I have had more than one relationship where I was totally in love with the person I was with, and completely believed I had found the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. It's a trully challenging experience realising when things don't turn out the way one expected. I've had 2 relationships where I believed I would spend the rest of my life with that person. One relationship I spent five and a half years in, the other was one and a half years. At the end of both I realised & gained clarity about what I had learned from those men. Both were learnings of not accepting unnacceptable behaviour- about me learning how to stand up for myself assertively & ask for what I truly deserve- a loving respectful relationship.
Is there only one Soul Mate out there for everyone? I think not- for me Soul connections can happen with more than one individual in a lifetime- I've felt that kind of connection even with people that I never had a committed relationship with. I've experienced powerful connections that didn't make any sense logically, practically, perhaps they could be called physical attraction, but that wasn't the only level there was a connection on. I felt drawn, like a magnet, I seemed to have no power to keep myself away, despite any negative side effects being with the particular person might bring.
Everytime I've experience this kind of connection I've learned something about relationships- learned something about myself, and I've healed something that hadn't been resolved from my past.
It's my experience that I attract people into my life for a reason. Logically I might know that it's not the best thing for me but somehow going through an experience is where I learn how to love more- the other person and also me. Also at the start of relationships I always believe in all of the wonderful possiblities.
The biggest learnings have been that I am NOT responsible for all of the difficulty within the relationships- I'm only responsible for 50% of it!
I do NOT agree that there is only ONE true soul mate- and I see that people give themselves an awful difficult time because they're unsure is this the "One"? The one you're with now is the one you're "supposed" to be with! How do I know this? Because that's the ONE you ARE with NOW- and everything happens for a reason.
Our spirits/souls draw to us the people that we need to learn, to heal, & to grow, these are the people that we're meant to be with, and they may change frequently, infrequently or not at all... everyone is different, each of us is unique.
There may well be friends and people that we know who are in Soul Mate relationships that are successful and loving and have been for years- if we're not in one of those relationships, that doesn't mean that we haven't found "our soul mate" it just means that we need something different on our own path of love, growth and understanding.
Soul Mate or not- you are complete & made in the image and liikeness of God- exacty as you are right now.
When is now going to be a good time to start loving you?
I've just heard that Michael Jackson is dead and I don't know how to feel about it.
This will be one of those moments where a lot of people will remember where they were when he died. For me I was babysitting for my friend, she'd just come home & was in the kitchen I rushed in to tell her what I'd just heard on the news... couldn't quite believe it..
I was never a huge fan of Michael Jackson, love some of his music for sure, really love the Jackson 5.
What I DON'T know is what really happened with those kids. I've seen interviews of people (celebrities) that were totally convinced that nothing had happened, that it was all press hype but frankly I can't make a decision because I'm not in full possession of the facts.
I do know that MJ certainly seemed a troubled person & I do think, that whatever happened he'll be at peace now.
Why am I writing about this? Because I've experienced sexual abuse as a child & I know the effects of it... devastating damaging effects that last for a VERY long time. I feel angry that people can so easily dismiss it as if it didn't happen, because all too often that is exactly what does happen when abuse has occurred... people can't handle it so they deny it.
I don't know, as I said I'm not in full possession of the facts. I know the MJ's music has had profoundly positive effects on millions of people, and I know that many people will be affected by his death.
Whatever did or didn't happen I understand that abuse comes from deep seated pain, & agony that just can't be resolved that easily.... I believe in forgiveness because forgiveness resolves pain...
Michael Jackson, Rest in Peace
I think this speaks for itself.
Last night I went to Funky Seomra it was awesome! I found out about it through twitter- a few weeks ago I came across a friendly person called @funkyseomra and when I looked at his website I was really excited- an alcohol & drug free dance club in Dublin Wooo Hooo!!
I LOVE dancing, but when I made a decision that my life was better without alcohol back when I was 21 I was dissmayed at the lack of acohol free entertainment venues that were available. I still go out dancing to clubs, and enjoy dancing, but getting drink spilt on me on the dance floor is not my idea of fun! So when I heard about Funky Seomra I was delighted- over a decade after I'd wished for a dance free venue here it was :)
I wasn't quite sure what to expect I met a friend for dinner before hand and both of us discussed what to wear- neither quite sure of what the "norm" of a venue like this was. I'd already decided on jeans but had a last minute change of plans when i changed my top.
On arrival at the RDS we were greeted with a smile & with free sweets & cloakroom!! 3 things I've never seen in a "normal" venue! (btw I LOVE jelly babies!)
The atmosphere was really nice- relaxed- friendly-free! Giant Budda Bags were strewn around the foyer and Shiatsui massages were available for €10! We bumped into some people & chatted before finding our way onto the dance floor!
It was awesome- there was SPACE to dance!! The room was vibrant & energised- plenty of atmosphere but we weren't packed in like sardines! That gets a HUGE thumbs up from me! We jived & funked and danced and bounced the giant balloons above our heads until we needed a break to catch our breaths.
When resting we discovered games! Childhood games! Fun games! There was operation, Jenga, and Buckaroo to name but a few. I played Connect 4 while the beat of the music vibrated through my body & loved every second of it!
We soon headed back to the dance floor and that's pretty much where I stayed until the end of the night. The last dance spontaneously saw the dance floor turn into a spinning merry go round- everyone dancing around the floor in the same direction! It was beautiful :) I skirted round the edges and danced free form, as is my want & I even managed to throw in a few cartwheels in too for good measure! (Cartwheels always make me feel great to be alive!)
Sincere heartfel thanks to David Mooney for orgnanising this event- there was such an accepting atmosphere which gave people the freedom to express themselves through dance without fear of judgement or ridicule- no need for alcohol to calm the nerves in this venue :)
To be happy in life we need to find the things that make our heart sing, and I am delighted to say I've discovered another one of those :)
What fun activity do you have in your life that makes your heart sing?
As a general rule I don't listen to the news on radio, or watch it on tv, and very seldom do I read newspapers. I don't do these things because invariably they are filled with negative, traumatic, harrowing or simply frustrating stories! I prefer to focus my thoughts and attention on the many, many wonderful things in my life and in the lives of those around me.
The reason I'm happy to do this is because when important news happens the people that are around me talk about it- as happened this week in Ireland. A report was produced on the Child Abuse that had been inflicted over decades on Irish children by the Catholic Church In Ireland quite frankly the bits I did hear about on the radio news made me sick to my stomach.
The worst is not because the abuse occurred- but that it occurred in an institution of the Catholic Church In Ireland an institution that was given the responsibility by the Irish people to care for and protect their children. The fact that the abuse was covered up by people whom professed to be living a spiritual life while delivering such horrendous abuse; the complete opposite to what they "talked" about from their pulpits and their confession boxes. That is what really makes me feel sick, literally to the pit of my stomach.
The Catholic Church In Ireland have been shown to be one of the worst perpetrators of child abuse that I've had the misfortune to hear about, and what is the government’s response? To discuss the monetary value of the findings of the report. Uggh! This really does give me a very unpleasant feeling in my stomach, and anger and outrage!
Where are the discussions about how these children (now adults), can heal from the years of abuse in the childhood? The discussions about what help and support they need to be able to heal from the trauma & shame that has lived with them all the years of their lives?
Where are the discussions on researching the behaviour that not only allowed these atrocities to occur, but that actively HID them!
Where are the discussions on hiring psychologists/ psychiatrists to analyse the abuse- so that we can identify the root causes- and find solutions to ensure that these things can NEVER happen again?
Where is the research on Irish Society? - The effects it's had on the people of Ireland? The numbers of those abused is so great it surely has had a widespread effect. Don’t we need to find this out so we can heal it?
I haven't heard answers to these questions, and until we start asking these questions I suspect that nothing will change.
How many of the perpetrators are still in positions of power within the Catholic Church in Ireland? When are these people going to be addressed for the abuse they inflicted?
This is a grave moment for Ireland- the Child Abuse Commission report has brought into daylight something which has festered for decades in the dark- but what are we going to do now to start healing?
I'm thinking that the more people that read this report the less likely this is to happen again- follow any of my links "Catholic Church In Ireland" to read it.
The action I took was to write this blog post- it was inspired by Damien Mulley's suggestion, thanks Damien :)
What action can you take to help Ireland heal from this violation by the Catholic Church in Ireland ?
There is NO MAGICAL CURE! No SEMINAR, NO personal development GURU, or life coach, NO ONE will ever be able to give you something that creates happiness & joy every minute of every day.
In a nutshell, that’s it…
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!!
YOU ARE NOT BROKEN
I CANNOT FIX YOU
There will ALWAYS be times when you don’t feel good, you might feel angry, or sad, frustrated, depressed, you might feel paralysed by fear, overwhelmed, anxious….
ALL OF THESE ARE NORMAL HEALTHY RESPONSES TO THE EXPERIENCE YOU ARE HAVING
They are VALID, they are PERFECT exactly as they ARE, they do NOT mean that you’ve done something wrong, that you haven’t been diligent enough in doing the suggestions that you read in your last self help book, the sooner you accept that sometimes you will not feel 100% positive, the sooner you’ll move beyond them, bearing the gifts of learning and inspiration these challenges bring.
Please whatever you do avoid thinking you must be doing something wrong, you are not! You’re doing something exactly as you are meant to. You ARE PERFECT the way you are, love yourself, especially in these times, surround yourself with others who will be able to love you when you find that a challenge, because from time to time it will be!
NO ONE is perfectly HAPPY all of the time! Well, maybe GOD ;) or maybe that’s what is meant by enlightenment… I’m not sure I haven’t gotten there yet!
When are you going to cut yourself some slack for being human? Start embracing the down times, they’re meant to be unpleasant! It is simply cause and effect- having these experiences teaches us what the causes are, and gives us the opportunity to make better choices in the future. Judging yourself for them only prolongs them and makes them even more painful. These challenges are blessings- they are the only reason that we as human beings evolve and grow- without pain why would anyone ever change their thoughts/behaviour/actions?
You have invited these experiences into your life for a REASON. When are you going to TRUST that your spirit, your soul knows exactly what it’s doing, and get out of its way by loving it unconditionally, even & especially when it’s in pain?
When are you going to accept that you are made perfectly, exactly as you are right now?
Now, before I start this I'm assuming that you have heard of twitter, for those that have not yet heard of twitter, it's a social networking platform, described as micro-blogging- “tweeps” have a max of 140 characters to tell their "followers" what's going on in their world, in some aspects it is similar to the Facebook Status Update tool, if you haven’t yet heard of facebook… well I’ll write another blog about that some other time! (From here on in I'm assuming you know about twitter- be warned, explanations end here!)
So… I recently created a twitter account and after 4 weeks of using it I've increased my traffic to my website by 120% and I’ve tweeted with lots of interesting people around the globe
exchanging valuable information, as well as having quite a few giggles. (twitter may even be the reason you're reading this right now!)
I was happily tweeting away and I came across a very interesting tweet from AffirmationSpot "How if at all, do you think twitter is shifting human consciousness, and the way we interact?"
It really set my mind going… particularly about interaction- twitter is all about connection isn't it? Tweeps communicating with each other and staying connected throughout their day, no matter where they are, or what they’re doing, connections/communications are quicker, and are shared amongst a much wider audience: twitter holds the potential to speed up the law of attraction, minimising the time delay that exists between intention and manifestation. Twitter is fast tracking manifestation!
The other aspect to the question concerns consciousness, when I am conscious I am aware of my spirit as well as my body and mind. :) so for me twitter has definitely had a positive effect on my consciousness, following people that tweet positive, spiritually profound and humanitarianly uplifting tweets lifts my soul.
So what effect could twitter have on us as a race? Could twitter be the tool that raises our consciousness globally? Yes it sure could. There is a catch, there are of course lots of people that don’t use twitter to spread uplifting, inspirational, or humorous things, there are plenty that use twitter as a means of communicating things quite the opposite. Which will win out? Well that’s the same question regardless of focus on twitter, and isn’t that the age old battle we’re all familiar with – good v’s evil- that is if of course you believe good or evil even exist.. and that’s a whole other question!
Twitter therefore does have a huge potential to have an impact on consciousness & the way we interact, and just like anything, it is theintention with which it is used that is the key determinate of outcome. How will you use twitter?
You are the one that has the power to determine what twitter will become- the power truly lies with the “tweeple”
We've all heard about comfort eating- getting out the ice cream and chocolate when we're feeling blue as a way to deal with our emotions but for many this can turn into a habitually damaging activity (Just look at the numbers of obese children & adults we have nowadays).
However, eating can make you genuinely happy, in a positive way without any of the side effects caused by being overweight.
The key is to listen to your body, pay attention when you eat -you are fueling your body- notice how your body performs on the fuels you use.
When you eat chocolate and sugary foods & snacks, how does your body function, how does it effect your mind, your emotions? Do you get irritable when you're hungry? Feel great when you've eaten sugar, but an hour later need more?
What does it feel like when you've eaten breakfast (A light but healthy breakfast is fine if you're not a morning eater- remember the key is to listen to your body).
What does it feel like when you ate lunch on time?
Dinner early enough so that you're not sleeping on a full stomach? Did you feel better? Did you have more energy? Were your moods more stable? Were you calmer? Happier?
You don't remember? Now is the time to become aware of the effects that the foods you eat have on your body.
One way to do this is to write down at the end of each day what you ate and what your mood/energy levels were like during the day.
Doing this regular is a really effective way of cultivating new positive healthy habits- if you've seen for yourself exactly what they effects eating certain things have on you it's far harder to convince yourself, that it doesn't really matter if I have that 2nd chocolate bar today, it's only a bit of chocolate, what harm can it do? Because you'll be aware of exactly what the downsides are of eating that chocolate (Or whatever it might be).
Being realistically Aware of what you eat is the first step to being able to take positive action, creating your life the way you want to live it :) We really are what we eat :)
Welcome to Life Matters blog , I created Life Matters as the means by which I can reach you- to support and love and guide you into living the life of your dreams :) Why would I want to do this? Because I love it! There’s nothing I enjoy more than being in a one 2 one or group coaching session, or speaking in front of large audiences about my passion- ways to make people happy, healthy & wealthy.
This website is in its early stages of development, hang around and you’ll soon see a huge variety of resources to support you on your personal journey of self fulfilment. I have big plans, and huge dreams, and I am extremely confident that all of my dreams will come true. :)
In 1996 I experienced a life changing moment, which started me on a voyage of self discovery, self improvement and happiness.
I know what it feels like to have an unfulfilled life, I know what it feels like to be lost, depressed, hopeless, chronically lonely, crippled by anxiety, blocked by procrastination, to be struggling never seeming to make progress. I was at the lowest I could possibly be, I was in so much pain, lost and lonely, I was hungry for something different, hungry for self improvement, hungry for knowledge so I read, read, and read some more- self development, spirituality, psychology, you name it, if I thought it would help me I read it, I attended courses, I made friends and I’ve lost friends, I found peace and lost peace, and got it back again, and amidst it all I grew and grew and grew, I’ve tested so many different ways of resolving issues that I’ve lost count.
Why am I good at what I do? Because I’ve experienced the reality of life, I've made big mistakes and I've learned huge lessons. I use the knowledge and experience I’ve gained over the years of my own personal development journey with you who want to live a life of their dreams because its my life purpose and I love it :)
I love coaching people, I get to witness the breakthrough moments, moments that make a real difference to people’s lives. I want to help you in whatever way I can in being the happiest, most fulfilled person you possibly could be :)
Welcome, I’m looking forward to get to know you on your journey on creating a life of your dreams, please feel free to contact me, or leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you, and learn about how I can help you live the life of your dreams :)