“What does your true self love doing?”
Founder & Director of Phoenix Alchemy Ltd
There are many things I love doing. I love the buzz of a trad music session that is really clicking. Actually, I am writing this the morning after playing in a fantastic session at a music festival in Louisburgh, Co. Mayo. We stopped playing at 5am! It was one of those sessions when you just don’t want it to stop! My normal sense of time goes out the window – it is just the buzz of playing this tune or song that matters.
I also love when I am working with people who choose authenticity and openness over scepticism and guardedness. That is the quality of engagement that leads to insights and breakthrough moments. That, for me, is privileged work!
I feel connected when I’m here, when I’m exploring, when I’m lost, when I’m making money, when I’m creating, when I’m laughing, when I’m chilling at the ‘penthouse’, being with friends, making people laugh, when I’m listening to music, when I’m travelling, when I’m in a circle, when I’m getting a hug, when I’m dancing, scoffing ice-cream, running, fighting, when I’m following synchronicity and when I’m following my passion… Pleasure begins with our feet on the ground.
Food is always a reason to smile. Having something tasty in your mouth is like looking through a photo album. Memories and emotions are like mixed spices. However, what makes me really satisfied and complete is cooking. Knowing that there are so many associations, so many ways food could be ‘read’, makes the process of creation very special. I could lose myself for hours in the kitchen just playing with tastes, textures and colours of ingredients. Especially when I know the people I’m cooking for. I love to make little pleasures and serve food they will enjoy. I love to exceed their expectations, even if they are not really aware of them. Seeing delighted faces over the table makes all the effort worth it.
For me, cooking / eating is a holistic activity which wouldn’t be complete without passion, love, friendship and knowledge about us. Having a happy and stuffed crowd in my kitchen brings me joy and inspiration, which helps me to connect with my ‘true self’.
I think everything I do connects me with my true self, except I’m not quite sure what my true self is. I am true when I am content and I am true when I am miserable. I have many selves, each as true as the other, Mia the big sister, Mia the artist, Mia the detached observer, and so on, a constant flux.
Maybe connecting with my true self through action means finding a medium in which I can express and develop my qualities. Right now that means directing films, before it meant being a psychologist, a teacher, a performer. The beauty of directing for me is that I can tie together all the strands of my character and my history. I get to be the big sister, the artist, the observer, the psychologist, the teacher and the performer.
The first and most obvious way I’ve found to contact my self is through working with clay, which is what I’m passionate about. I am very lucky because I have spent 40 years (this September) working with clay, and to still be in love with it is marvellous. But also, more importantly, to have it totally combined… to become my spiritual journey, makes it even better. I suppose when I’m really contacting the real me is when I’m deeply immersed in making… or when I’m talking with somebody and they’re connecting to some of the insights that have been shared with me. And that’s really the real me.
I like doing all good stuff. I like helping people. I like playing with people and meeting new people. It’s really fun to meet nice children. It makes me feel kind of secure.
When people are down, I like helping them feel happy and making them feel secure themselves. It makes me feel like they’re really happy that I came and helped them.
When I’m older, I want to be a Doctor and a Teacher because I think teaching is really good. I want to be a good teacher, not a mean teacher. It’s really bad if you’re a bad teacher because, when you’re shouting at the children, you’re actually shouting at yourself as well. And it’s really bad because if someone shouts at you then you might shout at another person and then another person. If you keep on doing that, you might even upset someone really important to you.