Linda O’Grady, Yoga Teacher
In 2008, I acquired some ‘down time’ giving me an opportunity to reflect and digest the experiences in my life. I lost everything; my business, my home and my practice. I gravitated back to practicing yoga intently, meditating and subsequently embarked on Yoga teacher training. My practice is teaching me to come to terms with my humanity and to rely on my internal barometer to discern inspired desire and take positive action.
My philosophy is that taking time out to tend to the soul, mind and body is essential to gain an understanding of oneself. Also, remaining flexible and adapting to our new needs as we develop and grow is a practice in itself. My practice supports me, grounds me and helps with my awareness. I am dedicated to it and grateful for the changes and growth that continually happen.
Katie Culliton, Gardener & Café Owner in Training
When I’m older I would love to live in the country, in a small cottage, in the middle of a small town with a very big garden where I can grow trees, flowers and food. I will own my own café and serve food that I make myself. We had an allotment and I really enjoyed growing things. I grew the biggest marrow my Mam and I had ever seen. I’m also learning to cook from my Mam who is great at baking.
When I’m not practising these things, I like to ride my bike, it makes me feel free and happy. I also like looking at my collections. I collect money from different countries and old money. My religion is called the Bahá’í faith and I have lots of good friends in it. Whenever I feel angry or sad I say a special prayer and it helps to calm me down. I love the Bahá’í faith, it makes me feel special in all the good ways.
When I open my café I hope to see many of you there!
The earliest memory I have in this life is of staring into the water at the edge of a pier. I have no memory of falling in or making any effort to resist the will of the water, just of floating towards the bottom with a feeling of belonging, oneness with the water and blissfulness. An undoubtedly well-meaning arm dragged me back to the surface to go on living and learn the lessons I had been born to learn but the calmness I experienced in the water has stayed with me.
I owe much of my happiness to water for its part in teaching me that to be happy, I just have to stop trying so hard to be something I am not, stop thinking so much and trust my feelings. It has showed me how to concentrate my mind and observe, relishing in the joys of life, while understanding that they will not last forever and remembering to smile at the obstacles it throws up.
Sparkle Kriselle Antoine, Student
Being Caribbean born, but now living and having twice moved within Europe, has had a huge effect on my life. I grew up on the small island of Trinidad and Tobago. Having never travelled before, sitting on a flight as a child, to an entirely different part of the world was a dramatic change and something I resented. It meant parting from a large part of my family and everything I knew. I resisted change then.
Now that I’m older, I realise how blessed I am. I’ve had the opportunity to live in hugely different parts of the world, met different people who are now very significant in my life, learned about new cultures and had many unique experiences.
I think you should always look at what can be gained from change, instead of what you believe you may lose. Change can teach you something if you’re willing to learn from it. It can make you a braver person and change your outlook.
Dave Rock, Spoken word artist, poetic celebrant, teacher
My dream life is one where I can feed the moment through raw, authentic poetry and stories. Happily, this is reality for me much of the time. I ask myself, “How can I feed the moment what it wants?” This has led me to endless co-creation. In all my work, whether it’s a gig, a wedding or a workshop, my intention is to allow myself to speak the words the moment most wants. The words that are alive in the space, between us all. I want things raw, open-ended and beautiful. I let go of the idea that I know what to do or say, or that what I say even matters. I put energy and intention into opening myself up to be in resonance with everyone and everything around me. It’s vulnerable, it’s scary and it’s mind-blowingly alive.
Abbas Ghadimi, Homeopath
In 1984 I had to leave my home country due to religious persecution and spent over a year in a refugee camp. I hoped to go to Africa as I always wanted to work with people in need there. An interview eventually came up to make arrangement for temporary asylum in a European country and after a few weeks, I would be transferred to an African country. The time of the interview was 4pm and the journey was 30 minutes. I started out at 2:30 to give myself plenty of time.
I took a bus and after a few miles it broke down. So, I took another bus and that broke down too. The third bus got a puncture. At 6pm, I arrived. I was anxious and went to the office to explain. A gentleman interviewed me and asked if I’d like to put my name down to go to Ireland. Ireland was willing to take 25 people and they had received the news just 10 minutes before I arrived! I asked him to give me a few moments to pray. After prayer, I understood why there were so many breakdowns. I learned that sometimes arriving late can mean that we are really on time and not the other way around. A few prayers brought me to my true destination.