Our winter issue is out now. Regular contributor and community catalyst Davie Philip reflects on the present-day relevance of Aldous Huxley’s final novel, Island. Dive on in to find out more…
Mind, Body and Spirit: The Unique Fitness Approach of Universal Space
Looking for a new approach towards fitness: one that nurtures you on all levels? In our new Autumn issue, we had an opportunity to learn about the principles of inclusiveness, respect and body positivity that guide Universal Space Studio. Founders Mark Logan and Jody Kennedy have a unique aim of uniting mind, body and spirit, in an approach that promotes wellness on all levels of our being. Enjoy our feature below.
We are thrilled to announce that we have arranged a new Positive Nights Zoom event with Amandha Dawn Vollmer, who is an acclaimed Herbalist, Reiki Master, and a Naturopathic Medicine and Holistic Health Practitioner. Amanda holds a bachelor of science in Agricultural Biotechnology from the University of Lethbridge (2000) in Alberta, Canada and a degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (2008) in Toronto. For most of her life, she has taken an interest in botanical medicine: self-educating on the topic many years before beginning her formal medical training.
Having developed many of her extra senses with martial arts and dance, she realised a natural gift for sensing illness and a laying on of hands. She soon sought answers via the energetic healing arts and became a registered Reiki practitioner and teacher, among other modalities.
After much scholarly and independent study, her passion for the elegant and effective sub-molecular medicine known as homeopathy, brought her to study in South India under Rajan Sankaran. She also volunteered for a month-long intensive medical program in Northern India, shadowing cardiologists, obstetricians, Ayurvedic practitioners and homeopathic doctors.
Amandha has since assisted many people and animals to heal all kinds of acute and chronic diseases. She is the proprietor of Yummy Mummy Emporium & Apothecary in Minden, Ontario, Canada, where she supplies natural solutions for detoxing and healing disease. She is a gardener and wildcrafter, creating powerful herbal blends, as well as developing all natural, botanically infused body care (creams, salves, oils, etc) that are extremely effective. She single-handedly makes over 100 small batch remedies.
Amandha has many interests including orthomolecular medicine, German new medicine, vibrational therapies, gemstone therapies, permaculture gardening, wildcrafting, crochet arts and the natural care of babies and children. She is also the mother of a marvelous, high energy 8-year-old.
She is available for holistic health consultations anywhere in the world, including distance Reiki sessions, Rife machine services, cold laser treatments and more.
Our event with her will explore the topic of natural remedies, as well as her stellar work in the natural healing arena. It will take the form of a 45-minute interview, followed by a Q & A session with the audience.
This event takes place via Zoom at 7.30 p.m. IST on Thursday May 28th. All ticket holders will be emailed a day before the event with login details.
Places on the event are available via a €5 or €10 donation, which would be gratefully received. However, a free option is also available, for those who cannot afford anything at this time. Click here to book your tickets.
New Zoom Event: Exploring Natural Remedies With Amandha D. Vollmer
We are thrilled to announce that we have arranged a new Positive Nights Zoom event with Amandha Dawn Vollmer, who is an acclaimed Herbalist, Reiki Master, and a Naturopathic Medicine and Holistic Health Practitioner. This event takes place via Zoom at 7.30 p.m. IST on Thursday May 28th. All ticket holders will be emailed a day before the event with login details.
We Recommend: DAWNCLOUDS Mental Health Support Groups
If you are experiencing mental health challenges and seeking support, we recommend the amazing DAWNCLOUDS support groups, founded by Colin Devereux. Read on to learn more!
The Art of Assertiveness: When to Say Yes and How to Say No
In a world where it can sometimes be difficult to stand in our power and be assertive, Dawn Cartwright offers her advice on how we can clearly communicate ‘our true ‘yes’ and our honest ‘no”. This article appears in our Autumn 2018 issue – to pick up a copy, just check your nearest stockist or subscribe to the magazine today.
The Art of Assertiveness
When to say yes and how to say no
by Dawn Cartwright
According to researchers at Cornell University, we make 35,000 conscious decisions each day. That’s thirty-five thousand opportunities every single day to move closer to, or farther away from, our dreams. Our decisions create our future. The clearer we are about when to say ‘yes’ and how to say ‘no’, the more likely we are to be true to ourselves and create a life that reflects who we are.
In a world where there’s pressure to conform and fit in, decisions are often made based on expectations, rather than the truth we feel inside. We lose ourselves. We slide into accommodating others because it seems easier. We avoid the less familiar emotions, and the closeness and bonding that comes from facing and working through them, to maintain an illusion of peace. We feel our true ‘yes’ and our honest ‘no’ and we second guess them, or push them aside. Yet we long to be intimate. We long to be accepted. We long to be loved as we truly are.
How do we get in touch with our innermost feelings and thoughts? What does it mean to be someone who says ‘yes’ and ‘no’ honestly? How do we express ourselves truthfully, with kindness? How do we create a life filled with possibility, intimacy and freedom? How do we become who we are capable of being?
In 1943 Abraham Maslow introduced Positive Psychology, the scientific study of the positive and elevating aspects of human behaviour. Maslow believed that every human being has a strong desire to realise their full potential, to be who they are capable of being. He created a model called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, providing a map to becoming who we truly are. This map is useful in our quest to know when to say yes and how to say no.
When To Say Yes
- The Basics: Do you have shelter? Clothing? Food? Clean water? Are you meeting your sexual needs? If not, the stress of these unmet needs will interfere with your inner compass. Meet these needs and you’ll create a strong foundation. You’ll begin to recognise when you’re saying ‘yes’ because you’re depleted, cold, tired, hungry, thirsty or sexually unfulfilled, and when you’re saying yes because yes is what you truly feel.
- Safety: Our vigilant brain is the part of the brain that registers a threat and prompts us to say ‘yes’ to keep us from harm. Human beings have a natural desire for a predictable, orderly world. Having a daily routine like a morning walk or an evening meditation is a great way to create stability. Meet these needs and your ‘yes’ will be grounded in safety.
- Belonging: Humans are tribal beings. The need for togetherness is probably one of the most important and least met needs in the world today. Create healthy friendships. Engage in group activities that are meaningful to you. Meet this need and your yes will no longer come from a fear of being abandoned. Instead, yes will boost your feeling of belonging.
- Self-Esteem: A healthy sense of self is essential to being and becoming who we’re meant to be. When our self-esteem is low, we say ‘yes’ to gain approval. When self-esteem is high, we align with our core values no matter what. Know your core values, make a list.
- The Peak: Be truly you. That’s when your yes to others matches the yes you feel inside.
How To Say No
- The Basics: Fill your own cup. If you’ve had enough sleep, food, water and sex, chances are you’ll be more in touch with your natural generosity. You’ll be alert, relaxed, open and present, this in itself is a gift. Turn toward the person you’re saying no to, put both feet on the ground, relax your body, feel your generosity and say ‘no’.
- Safety: Pace yourself. Create a pace in all your relationships that makes it possible for you to maintain connection with yourself and with the other. Create emotional stability and safety for yourself and this will translate as emotional stability and safety for the other when you say ‘no’.
- Belonging: Be tribal. When we’re afraid to say no, we disappear and abandon the other person emotionally. Stay connected to your own heart. Stay emotionally connected to the other. Build a bridge of togetherness when you say ‘no’.
- Self-Esteem: Share your values. Believe in yourself. Believe in the other person. You are resilient! They are resilient! Self-acceptance makes you trustable and compassionate. Open your heart, be respectful, say ‘no’.
- The Peak: You are incredibly you. When you have fulfilled all your needs and you are consistently being and becoming who you are meant to be, your no is as positive as your yes.
Dawn Cartwright is a Tantric visionary, sacred writer, world traveler, and innovator in bio-energetic Tantra fusion. You’re invited to join her in 2019 for The Red Tent: Women’s Sacred Sexuality, April 12th – 14th, Be Fully Alive: Level 1 Tantra Immersion, April 26th – 28th, in the Wicklow Mountains and Weaving the Beloveds: Couples Tantra Retreat, May 3rd – 6th, in Lower Rosses, Sligo.
Healing, Courage and Honesty: How cancer set me free
This article appeared in our Summer 2018 issue, available now through our stockists or via subscription.
Healing, Courage and Honesty
How cancer set me free
by Keith Cullen
When I started chemotherapy at the start of this year, it took me a while to sort through my feelings: the layers of fear and disbelief, the desire to ignore reality (I am well known for this). I finally had to admit to myself – and I am able to say it out loud now – that I have stage 3 bladder cancer.
All the signs were there, telling me my health was unraveling, but it took a medical emergency before I was ready to listen. This I don’t recommend and this is why I want to share my experience will anyone who will listen. Last year was the best year I’ve ever had. I experienced some big personal awakenings, my career was on the rise, my love life was finally worth talking about, the schedule was full, and the lessons I was learning along the way were inspiring me in all the right directions. I was even prepping to attend the Grammys, for a big showcase and for my album.
During that hectic time, I started to notice blood in my urine. I thought I had some sort of infection. Eager to stay on schedule and keep up with the recording, I did the whole “mind over matter” bit, took advice from health experts and finally saw my local doctor.
By December, my symptoms worsened, and while I was on a trip in Sydney, I sought medical help again. Jessica, an Australian doctor I visited for more antibiotics, required me to have an ultrasound instead. That led to another specialist, which led to a CT scan, which led to my laying on the operating table in Sydney. December 8th will be a date I won’t forget, as they removed a large tumour from by bladder, not really knowing the full extent or nature of how the cancer had spread.
I’ve experienced every different type of emotion possible this year, from ‘WHY ME,’ to ‘I got this,’ to ‘I’m okay,’ to ‘This sucks balls.’ I’ve learned to be okay with not being okay.
I’ve been learning the difference between reality and fantasy, and how to be positive within my reality, rather than ignoring it in order to stay positive. I can be happy and have cancer. I can be whole and also sad about my circumstances. I can be afraid and still courageous about what is happening.
‘It takes a lot of strength to share yourself with someone else’ – a lyric of one of my songs written five years ago is back to remind me why it was written!
Being new to cancer and to chemotherapy, I hadn’t imagined it would force me to be so brutally honest and reflective as I currently am. Each decision I make now has meaning and the value attached to survival, and being a source of good has never been stronger at the forefront of my mind.
I’ve been gracefully broken and now am focused on rebuilding a stronger, more knowledgable, kinder Keith who surrenders to my new path and will continue to keep my arms wide open to life’s opportunities, whilst doing some good along the way.
Everyone is different regarding their journey. Please feel free to share yours with me. Just reach out at any point: Keithcullengm@yahoo.ie
Health, Wellbeing and Natural Therapies Expo to Hit Dublin Next Week
Keen to learn about new holistic therapies, book a psychic reading, or receive some much-needed healing, all under one roof? If so, the Health, Wellbeing and Natural Therapies Expo is for you. On Saturday April 28th and Sunday April 29th, Hall 4 in the RDS, Dublin, will be buzzing with the many talks, workshops and special events of this wonderful Expo, including a visit from the famous “gazing guru”, Braco. To learn more, visit the website or Facebook page of Body Mind Soul Events. You can book your tickets through this link.
The aim of the Health, Wellbeing and Natural Therapies Expo is to empower people to understand how they can care for their health in the most positive way possible. On the Body Mind Soul Events website, the organisers explain the intricate connections between our bodies, minds and souls, and how they influence our overall well-being:
There are components of the body, mind and soul that contribute to the flow of energy at each level. And there are ‘bridging mechanisms’ which contribute to the overall balance and flow of energy between each level. In other words, there are things that we do in each moment that facilitate or go against our natural flow.
The body, our outer shell, is a product of both the mind and soul and how it is cared for on a daily basis. The body’s magic formula for survival –sleep, diet, environment and exercise – can be used to prolong life or shorten it.
The next level is the mind, the interactive mechanism between the body and soul. The mind registers and filters emotion (the language of the soul) and registers nerve impulses generated by the body. The degree of communication between the body and mind, and soul and mind depends on your ability to manipulate your mind to work for you. When the mind is functioning as intended, it is self-aware, focused and quiet as required. So the mind has two choices: to block out sensation or to listen to it. If the mind is smart, it listens.
The soul is ultimately responsible for giving the body its life force. In subtle ways, it guides and directs our behaviour and actions in the physical form. When the soul chooses to leave the physical body, the body perishes. The soul is driven by wisdom, love and universal service.
The Health, Wellbeing and Natural Therapies Expo is set to be a truly heart-expanding and enlightening weekend, with something for everyone. Body Mind Soul Events report that “the energy emanating from our events is always amazing and many have commented in the past of how good it made them feel.”
The Expo is set to take place in Hall 4 of the RDS, Dublin, from 10.30 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. on Saturday the 28th, and 10.30 a.m. to 6.oo p.m. on Sunday the 29th of April. Go to their website or Facebook page to learn more.
Learn to Manage Your Wellbeing at Work With This Beautiful Retreat
Dzogchen Beara, a stunning Tibetan Buddhist retreat centre in Co. Cork, is offering a special retreat weekend from Friday May the 18th to Sunday May the 20th with Maureen Cooper, a meditation teacher and the founder of Awareness in Action. The title of the retreat is ’10 Ways to Wellbeing at Work’. Maureen will be offering guidance on how you can cultivate a sense of tranquillity and ease in your working life.
Our careers are major components of our everyday lives, and our attitudes and sense of wellbeing at work have a huge knock-on effect on our overall sense of happiness. As a highly experienced professional coach, mentor and meditation teacher, Maureen is passionate about addressing and resolving the cause of stress that can come up in our working lives. She wants to ensure that you leave Dzogchen Beara recharged and renewed, with a selection of 10 easy-to-practice methods of caring for your wellbeing at work.
Those who have visited the tranquil setting of Dzogchen Beara before (and witnessed its spectacular ocean views) will be well aware of the amazing impact that its environment can have on your state of mind. To arrive in Dzogcehn Beara is to leave something of your worries and problems behind.
It is the perfect place to take time out, explore the ways in which you approach your work, and identify where your working habits are causing frustration and stress. During the retreat weekend with Maureen, participants will explore ten comprehensive ways to enhance their wellbeing at work.
A wide array of meditation and compassion techniques will be utilised to help participants reassess how they are working and reconnect with what is truly important to them: the reasons they originally chose their career path to begin with. They will also look at compelling scientific research to back up the explorations that will be undertaken during the weekend.
A personal workbook will be provided to each participant. The relaxed weekend schedule will also allow each participant ample time for space and time for discussion, interaction, and quiet contemplation.
The retreat begins on Friday the 18th of May at 8 p.m. and ends on Sunday the 20th of May at 4 p.m. Dzogchen Beara’s website is dzogchenbeara.org. The booking link for the weekend retreat with Maureen Cooper is available here.
From Our Friends: Alison Canavan Brings Her Full 360 Tour to Athlone
The wellness coach and author Alison Canavan is currently bringing her fascinating health tour, The Full 360 Series, all over the country. On Sunday, February 4th, the latest leg of the tour is set to take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Northgate Street, Athlone. Tickets cost €109 and can be booked at alisoncanavan.com/the-full-360. To avail of a 10% discount for Positive Life readers, just use the discount code ‘positivelife’ when purchasing a ticket.
Alison Canavan’s Full 360 Series has made its mark in Dublin twice: first in September 2017, and again in January. The Full 360 tour aims to empower attendees to take control of their own health by showcasing a large variety of natural products and simple everyday self-care tips. The tour has also hosted many expert exhibitors and speakers such as David Gilna, Jennifer Rock (a.k.a. The Skin Nerd) and Miriam Kerins.
If you missed the Dublin shows, the good news is that there are three more scheduled events set to take place in Athlone, Cork and Kilkenny over the next few months. The Athlone show is just a few days away, on Sunday, February 4th. This short video will give you a taste of what you can expect at the event.
People who attend the event will receive a nutritious lunch, a goody bag of natural products worth over €100, and the opportunity to learn a wide range of wellness tips that can help them to lead more productive and positive lives. There will also be a wide variety of talks on subjects such as gratitude, meditation, mindfulness, healthy eating, and stress reduction.
“People are more stressed and busier than ever,” Alison explains on her website, “and we all put enormous pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone, often treating ourselves quite harshly and negatively. It’s time to practice self-care to cope with the demands of our busy world. The Full 360 is about joining the dots with our health and wellbeing and having fun along the way.”
Event sponsors include natural make up company Couleur Caramel, Eskimo-3, Wild Nutrition, Dr. Bronner’s, Dr. Coy’s, Pukka, and the Eden Beauty Group. These companies, and many more, will be present on the day to display their amazing products and offer their guidance on how customers can enhance their health. If you cannot make it to the Athlone event, don’t worry: two further event dates are scheduled for Cork and Kilkenny later this year. These dates are below.
March 25th at the Radisson Blu, Little Island, Cork
April 15th at the Lyrath Estate Hotel & Spa, Kilkenny
Visit alisoncanavan.com/the-full-360 for tickets and booking information. Tickets for the Athlone show are €109 each. Early bird tickets, which cost €99, are still available for the events in Cork and Kilkenny. To avail of a 10% discount for Positive Life readers, just use the discount code ‘positivelife’ when purchasing a ticket. You can find out more about Alison’s work at becomplete.ie.