Acclaimed Irish author Andrea Hayes is holding a launch event for her new book, Mind Body Soul Journal, in Lillies’ bordello on Thursday January 17th at 6.30 p.m.
By Anna Cole
My sister and her nine-year-old son have just been staying with us. They have left Australia to live in Sweden in order to support her brother-in-law whose wife died tragically. So while we were delighted to spend time together, in the background was this profound loss and the tensions felt by the grown-ups about how to make sense of this too-early death. On our last night of their long weekend visit with us we decided to all play ‘Beetle’. It’s a silly, no-skill, dice game, perfect we thought for all ages. As it turned out, my ten-year-old son’s luck was out. When it was his go, he rolled and rolled the dice but his numbers just wouldn’t come up. After a quite a few rounds of this losing streak my son began to moan: “How come I’m always last?” His big sister is very often leagues ahead of him at school and in most other activities so, for him, it’s a familiar feeling. His moans turned into a bigger upset, and he eventually ran off from the game, crying.
I’ve practised the Hand in Hand Listening Tools for nearly ten years, and have experienced over and again the positive effects of a compassionately listened to emotional release in children. That didn’t stop me from silently wishing, that he’d ‘keep it together’. Especially with emotions running high just under the surface for all the adults in the room. In these situations, it can be so easy to slip up and give the frankly sexist message that “big boys don’t cry”, or shame the child with a careless “hey, don’t be such a sore loser”. Nor does a flippant ‘we win some, we lose some’ fit the bill. Instead we must really listen. It’s never the easy thing to do, but with lots of practice, it does become easier. Calmly, I acknowledged his dice hadn’t come up, that he didn’t like losing, and I listened closely and warmly while he cried. After around five minutes or so he was done, the rainstorm of tears was gone, and he was back in good spirits for the rest of the evening.
Later that night at bedtime, my nephew, who had been stoical but a bit tense all weekend about the big changes in his life, got upset about having to relocate from Australia for the year and start a new life in Sweden. My sister stayed and listened, and when she needed a break, I sat close to him on the bed and acknowledged it felt hard right now, but I knew he’d get through it. My son who was sharing his bedroom with him listened too and, when his cousin had stopped crying, warmly talked with him of the snow he could look forward to in Sweden and the new friends he’d make. A couple of days after they’d left my sister rang to say her son had gone off to his new school in great shape, with a bounce in his step and an eagerness to get started. She did say he’d had another couple of upsets about it in the run-up to his first day of a new school and that she’d listened. She said it was like: “he got it all out so he could look forward to it when it happened.” That’s what we at Hand in Hand Parenting call Staylistening. Try it yourself! Next time one of your children gets upset, move close, make warm gentle contact and listen with your heart open. You might be surprised at how your child shines afterwards.
STAYLISTENING – The Hows and Whys:
- During Staylistening you want to be doing at least 75% listening with just a bit of talking here and there. A child who is crying or having a tantrum is not in their ‘thinking, verbal’ pre-frontal cortex.
- The basic message you offer is simply: “I care.” “You are safe.”
- If your child has been scared: “I’m right here, I won’t go away.”
It’s worth remembering that the prefrontal cortex, the seat of verbal reasoning, takes around 21 to 25 years to fully develop in a human, whereas the limbic brain comes ‘on-line’ when your child is still in utero. Emotional responses reside in the limbic brain, which sits behind the pre-frontal cortex. While your child is growing and developing he or she will respond more to your non-verbal signals of warmth and care than to lectures, no matter how well thought out they may be. Open your heart and your mind to the tears as much as to the smiles and see how that warms your relationship with your child.
Anna Cole, Phd is a researcher, writer and parent educator with Hand in Hand Parenting. www.handinhandparenting.org. find her on Facebook (Hand in Hand Parenting with Anna Cole) to find out about her in-person and online classes. Anna is planning a Hand in Hand Parenting workshop in Ireland in the Spring.
Date: March 4th, 2017
13:45pm – 18:00pm
Location: Yoga Village, Dalkey, Dublin, Ireland
Louise Lynn Hay is an American motivational author and the founder of Hay House, she has authored several New Thought self-help books, including the 1984 book, You Can Heal Your Life. Plenty of us have benefited from her wonderful talks and workshops that have put us in the path to a better life. Our very own Grainne O’Kane is bringing these incredible Heal Your Life workshops. We also have a wonderful audio interview with Louise. If you want to hear more about her click here to listen.
In her own words: “The Heal Your Life book by Louise
From our Winter 2015/2016 issue. Be the first to read the next issue of Positive Life in print – Subscribe.
By Samuel Bishop
At a time when regional towns and cities have really struggled, creative projects tackling vacant space have provided an uplifting and refreshing boost for communities and I have been so inspired by the work of Edel Tobin and her collaborators in Waterford. First came New Street Gardens, a crowd-sourced park in the city centre on a derelict piece of land, followed by Waterford Walls, a three day street-art project that flooded the city with colour.
New Street Gardens
Edel, a primary school teacher with no experience in gardening or horticulture simply had a vision to convert a privately owned wasteland into a thriving community park. Its aim was to bring greenery, activities and life back into a disused space. A team of volunteers came together to build the garden in 2014 and although originally planned as a temporary project, it appears it will stay open for the foreseeable future, or until a planned shopping centre is eventually built.
The gardens are situated on a piece of land that is part of a collection of sites earmarked for a shopping centre postponed due to the crash. Entire streets were bought to be used in the original scheme. So Edel and her team first had to convince all local stakeholders that this was a project worth having. Apart from Granby Park in Dublin, there were no real examples of people-powered parks in regional towns, but once she had gained enough promises of assistance from local businesses, organisations and the community, support from the council followed.
These types of projects capture people’s imagination, build pride in the community and provoke thought and discussion. They challenged the status quo, and shift the conversation within the community and the cultural narrative. Edel was delighted to hear “I can’t believe this is part of our city” on numerous occasions.
Waterford Walls brought 24 talented street-artists to Waterford, including some well known artists such as Joe Caslin, DMC, Louis Masai and James Early. Edel teamed up with artist and curator Louise Flynn and together created a small team. The challenge with getting Waterford Walls off the ground was the lingering perception of graffiti or street-art as a form of anti-social behaviour and vandalism. In the end, this concern turned out to be unfounded as the community completely embraced the event and the artworks. Waterford Walls exceeded expectations with great feedback from businesses, the community and the council and they’ve already begun planning for 2016. Most of the 24 murals still dot the Waterford landscape so Edel urges you to visit them before they fade or get painted over!
Edel claims these projects could be replicated in any town or city in Ireland. That’s the beauty of them.
“It’s all about having a vision. You need to be able to point at a space and see what’s possible in a very clear way. It’s important to acknowledge that each place is unique and different and special. Identify the real needs of your community.” They didn’t require huge funding, investment or experience. But she stresses the need to get clever with your resources and be willing to put in a huge amount of work. “Don’t let money and permissions and people get in the way. They will come. You need a vision for the place. Imagine it.”
Samuel Bishop is coordinator of happenings.ie and streetfeast.ie. Street Feast is the nationwide day of street parties which next takes place on Sunday 12th June 2016. Connect with Sam on Twitter at @Samue1.
Permission To Be Totally Yourself
By Mary Berkery
A client came to me after noticing a pattern in her relationships. She would commence by giving much but later resent that she was doing more of this than the other person. People either started to take her for granted, become angry with her or she would pull back or create arguments. In exploring this, we looked at her vulnerability and what could she share of this, instead of her usual habits.
A young man came to ask for help with his girlfriend. She would spend hours getting ready to go out. She was insecure in how she looked and would try on lots of clothes and make-up options to cover up what she thought were her flaws. “She is so beautiful and cannot see it,” he told me.
If I had worked with her, we would have explored ways to practise being her true self in group situations and how her make-up and dress can be in harmony with this. A mentor, Faith Nyquist asked me a question when I embarked on beauty training, “When is a woman most beautiful?” “I do not know,” I answered. “When she is totally herself,” she replied. Carl Rodgers, the famous psychologist, said after years of working with clients “What is most personal is most universal.” What you think is your personal shortcoming, when shared, you realise others have similar fears and concerns. Rene Brown in her TED talk ‘The Power of Vulnerability’, says “What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.”
Mary Berkery works as a professional life coach and speaking educator. firstname.lastname@example.org
To read Andrew’s article in the Spring issue when it first comes out, make sure to subscribe.
Stillness of Heart
A time to focus on what you truly love.
By Andrew Smith
Our Light’s annual dance rhythmically spirals in a thrice fold repetitive sequence, taking us on a journey of inspiration (Fire), which is then needed to be brought into manifestation (Earth), before being shared with those around us (Air), and subsequently allowing us to deepen our soul connections with those we love (Water) as we return to the Source seeking replenishment and renewal, as the Light moves back into Fire.
Between the 24th November and the Winter Solstice on the 21st December 2014, it is the turn of Fire to spread itself through your consciousness. This particular Fire time is about sharing and spreading your light to all those with whom you come into contact with as you are a living newspaper – your stories, your values and beliefs serving to open up the awareness of others.
Everyone contains this moveable Fire consciousness therefore each soul has be ability to share their light. Within this interconnected universe, each of us, in turn, will come into contact with someone else’s light. If the message of Sagittarius (Moveable Fire) is that we are spreading our light, therefore our consciousness, AND we are receiving someone else’s light, the question must be what is it that you are disseminating?
Becoming conscious of what you believe and what you are subsequently spreading is especially important this Winter Time since Saturn, the “manifesting and creator-matrix” planetary archetype enters this fiery realm on the 23rd December, where she will stay for two and a half years. During this time I will hold a space that fear will be met and understood; inner peace will be reached and consciousness will be purified within this mutable fire.
An invitation to review the actual reality within which you currently reside will be offered to you as the Sun crosses the gOd-realm gateway on the 21st December, illuminating the Earth element until the 20th January 2015.
The Earth is literally the framework wherein the alchemy of consciousness finds form and is the agency through which the creation of our soul’s imagination is shaped. Whilst the question of what reality have we created, reflected in the condition of our socio-economic and spiritual lives, has been the focus of both our collective and personal awareness over the past five years as our consciousness has been both simultaneously awakening and deconstructing, the illumination of Elemental Earth by the winter Sun reveals how our Light is actually being expressed within matter. The Solstice lunation on the 22nd December will afford you the impetus to take action to ensure that what you truly believe is held consciously within the energetic conditions of your extant reality as the final throes of this titanic cosmic wave builds towards the 15th March 2105, something that even our fluoridated, comatosed, Irish apathy cannot ignore! The winds of change call for your creation, full attention, participation and inventiveness as you ride this immense Cosmic wave.
But it is the Aquarian state of consciousness, or Fixed Air, that dominates the energetics of the start of 2015 (until March 13th). As the solar vibration turns inwards (fixed) upon your own thoughts (air) on the 20th January, joining Mercury who entered this realm on the 5th January, it would be useful to pause and reflect upon the nature of the persistent thoughts that underlie your actions. Do those thoughts originate from a positive and conscious place? Are they influenced by some external factor – like your parents; your culture; your gender; your age; your education; your diet? What purpose are they serving you? This reflection is most apt between the 21st January and the 11th February, as Mercury makes the first of his three retrogradations of 2015.
Mercurial retrogrades periods are merely times of stillness and deep reflection, moving out of your mental body and into your heart. And stillness of heart is all that is needed, as through it you can start to find your way out of the dark and into your heart energy. But stillness is often hard to find. Aside from your psycho-spiritual complexes that form attractors, drawing into your Field people, ideas and circumstances that ‘help’ you on your soul journey, your opinions are reinforced by ‘supportive’ opinions originating from those who makes sense to you; who ‘appear’ to have worked through their stuff or who have wisdom; or who ‘appear’ articulate or brilliant.
However, due to the existence of Fixed Air, your own opinion is as equally valid as anyone else’s. You have the ability to anchor your ideals within your soul; to hold stedfast those truths that resonate for you; and to question the origin of where those thoughts arise. You may need to recognise that everyone, no matter how luminous they may appear to be, is here on Earth and on a journey of self-discovery, learning and experience. As such we all have underlying scripts we are attempting to heal, transform and move to a less unconscious relationship with (a higher vibrational perspective), and that that psycho-spiritual process drives our choices, perspective and understanding, moulding our egoic mind and shapes the why and who in our life.
Consequently it is important to choose wisely who you listen to; who you read; who you allow ‘infect’ and inspire your mind-space! Imagine what your world would be like if you stripped away the layers of external thought forms that influence your reality and focused only on what you truly feel, think and believe!
Highlights of Winter’s cosmic activity
- Dec 3rd Test of Self Control as Saturn Trioctiles Uranus
- Dec 12th Dionysian Liberation as Uranus squares Pluto
- Dec 21st Winter solstice
- (Capricornian Ingress and New Moon)
- Dec 23rd Restructuring Beliefs as Saturn enters tropical Sagittarius
- Jan 20th Aquarian New Moon
- Jan 21st Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius
- Feb 11th Mercury Direct in Aquarius
- Feb 18th Second Aquarian New Moon
- Feb 27th Extensive Cleansing as Jupiter quincunxes Pluto activity
Andrew’s private practise is in Blackrock, South Dublin. Email him on email@example.com for further information on consultations, workshops or classes.
Jump for January
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” Eckhart Tolle
We could jump for joy – but that requires thinking about if there is something to be joyful about. Should I jump for joy? Am I joyful? Is the joy big enough to be leaping about it?! But if we jump for January, then we’re jumping for what we’ve got. Jumping for when and where we are because we’re choosing to see that as delightful, instead of wondering what joy we have we should be jumping for. Let’s just ask how high?
View the rest of our January newsletter here and/or subscribe for a monthly does of positivity in your inbox here. (Below magazine subscription option)
Let Life Flow Freely
Moving forward in happiness.
By Trish Banks
I can say with confidence that Reflective Practice Training (RPT) can change your experience of life because it did so for me. RPT can be broken down into three component parts that when combined actually make up a practice that is so much more. The three elements are; a context for general unhappiness, a simple technique for dis-identification and a format to follow for positive and lasting change.
The first is the kind of unhappiness you experience when everything in your life is going great, you’ve achieved what you set out to achieve and have the wealth and possessions you wanted, yet you still find something is missing. It’s the loneliness you can feel in the midst of a loving relationship and the quiet feelings that can’t be explained away by any external circumstances.
The identifications we all have to our roles, our status, our intellect, our bodies and even our emotions can mistakenly be assumed to be who you are. RPT teaches you to first see where you’ve placed your sense of self and step back into a deeper place that is the authentic self.
Lastly, being able to instigate positive change, this comes from having a new perspective and following a formula that applies to any aspect of your life you want to change. It’s a simple formula but not necessarily an easy one. First comes awareness, then comes will. But RPT helps you understand where your will gets stuck and what steps can be taken in order to free it. It’s as practical as it is mystical.
Green with Envy
Nutritional beauty from the inside out.
By Mary Berkery
Cosmetics work optimally when your inner care is in place too. The word cosmetic comes form the Greek word “Kosmeo” which means to harmonise and balance. Part of getting that balance and harmony right is making sure you’re putting the right nutrients into your body. It’s so important to look at what you’re consuming to fully understand it and to see how it can enhance a glowing complexion and a healthy and flexible body.
Green Suits Everyone
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of including greens in your daily food intake. Genetically we are very similar to the chimpanzee and they eat 70% greens in their diet! Greens are highly alkalinizing and can be taken in the form of green juices, smoothies and salads. Have that morning shot of wheat grass and make a mid-morning green smoothie or juice your new habit. Your body and skin will love you for it and thank you by looking radiant and glowing. The nutrients will also satisfy food cravings so you won’t need to look for quick energy boosts from processed foods and drinks that cause acid build up.
I’d also encourage you to include green food with each meal. Green foods don’t have to be limited to lettuce leaves and kale, and without going into too their amazing phytonutrient properties some great examples to keep your greens varied include: cucumbers, celery, parsley, courgettes, Chinese greens, baby bok choy, chards, broccoli, brussels pprouts, green tomatoes, okra, green beans, green snap peas, fennel, leeks, peas, edamame (also high in protein), sunflower sprouts and sprouts of all varieties, rocket and all mixed salad greens. When it comes to herbs, incorporate more basil, mint, bay leaf, sage, thyme, rosemary and coriander. And of the fruits; kiwis, watermelon, honeydew melons, green grapes, green apples and avocados. For an extra boost, super food greens to add to your smoothies or juices include wheat Grass, barley Grass, chlorella and spirrulina.
READ THE REST OF MARY’S BRIGHT GREEN NUTRITIONAL BEAUTY IN THE WINTER ISSUE OF POSITIVE LIFE. PICK UP A COPY IN ONE OF OUR STOCKISTS ALL OVER IRELAND. OR SUBSCRIBE HERE TO HAVE A COPY DELIVERED DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR.
Show off who you are.
By Mary Berkery
What do you wear to show who you are in the world? Are you aware that the clothes you wear give an impression of who you are in that day or time of your life? As relaxed, sporty, as male or female, as comfortable in your skin, business-like, cared for, creative, bohemian, natural and approachable.
Recently, I had the privilege of visiting Drimbawn house in Mayo. It’s owned by the Wilson Family and the grounds open for two days each year as part of the Clew Bay garden trail. While there, we were taken on a magical journey through rose, woodland garden and shrubs. I was stuck by the beauty and grandeur of it all. While looking into the centre of plants, I could see that a flower has no inhibitions, no sense of being small or tall or less or more than another. They truly show off who they are, from calendula to iris to exquisite rose.
I believe that we are the only beings on earth that have a choice about what we wear each day. Maybe Adam and Eve had a part to play by feeling shame and covering themselves! However, our clothing can truly enhance the human form in the way it drapes the body. Colours chosen can highlight eye, skin and hair colors.
For this article, I was asked to write about how to dress for an important date or a first date. So instead of making rules on what to wear or not wear, I have put together some guidelines to take into consideration when dressing for any occasion.
Overdressing vs. Underdressing
Many people under or overdress. You probably want to look well but at the same time not appear as if you have been preparing all day. I suggest something that you feel comfortable and relaxed in with some color added in a bag or shoes. And men, make sure to polish those shoes and have a crisp shirt or t-shirt under that jacket.
Wear Your Size
A bigger shirt will hide the shape of your body and a smaller one does no justice either to your lovely curves. For larger female bodies a website called goldenspiderweb.ie is worth looking at. They sell online and have very nice relaxed and feminine pieces that would suit any occasion.
Know Your Colours
Make sure your outfit does not clash. This doesn’t mean that there are wonderful colour blends. Often a cool color is good with a warm color for example, compliment red compliment with purple or blue with yellow … however red and yellow do not go in the same way. There are some good sites on color co-ordination and wikihow.com/coordinate-colors provides a helpful guide.
Get an opinion from a friend or professional you trust when it comes to finding what suits who you or when purchasing a new garment. When buying, a good rule is to get good item per year or as per your budget. This could be a nice jacket or pants or dress. This can then be mixed with less expensive pieces. Do not bow to what fashion dictates either. Check out local vintage shops and see what ageless gems are hiding there!