The Holiday Season

Although we have yet to begin the month of December wreaths have been hung, lights have been lit and Christmas music is being played. I however, am having a hard time getting into the ‘Christmas spirit’. I feel like it is being sold to me so forcibly that I am dubious to endorse it.

Every year the decorations are on display earlier and earlier. The retail industry is in a constant state of selling a future that seldom arrives as advertised. Most people feel the pressure of getting the house cleaned, gifts bought and food prepared. Everyone is rushing and racing, talking about how stressed they are and how much they need to do. No one really seems to enjoy the lead up to this one day. (I speak of Christmas, however I know there are many other December celebrations. This one just seems to have the best press.)

In it’s earliest form Christmas wasn’t about Christ at all. It was about the sun, not the Son. December 21st is the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year for those in the Northern Hemisphere. Thousands of years ago it was a celebration called ‘Yule’. This centred around the idea of light and rebirth, the darkest part of the year was behind them.


Now we have people spending thousands and feeling overwhelmed about what presents to buy for people they don’t really know. When at the core of this holiday – that so many celebrate without asking why – is about the joy of life. We have survived this far, made it through a difficult part of the year and kept going. We know the sun will shine on our faces once more.

If everyone were to stop and ask themselves what is their favourite part about Christmas, I doubt it would have anything to do with commodities. I did a quick search and the what most people enjoy: Sitting in front of the fire in their pyjamas, curling up to read a book or watch a movie, seeing excited kids and the atmosphere. We all also love having a few days off, knowing that you have been giving permission to slow down. Yet every year we are sold the idea that those moments must be bought, that the perfect present is what makes the perfect Christmas.

This year I offer an idea. When you have those quiet moments of joy on your own or with others, you register it deeply within you. Breathing into that feeling and recognising that all of us just want to know that the sun will shine on us again. That at our core, the moments that matter most have nothing to do with products purchased.

“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” – Roy L. Smith

Having a Rough Day?

It’s grey and rainy out there. It makes me want to stay in bed, read, drink tea and bundle up. I would prefer to feel all warm and fuzzy and counteract the chill in the air outside.

Here’s some nice stuff to make you smile and to warm you from the inside out.

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Check out this young little empath.

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If you are having a hard time, it’s okay, keep going. You’re on the right track.

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“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

The Human Connection

Last week I had the opportunity to take part in the World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment here in Dublin. The goal was to get people to ponder the human connection and where it has gone.

Although advertised as making eye contact for 1 minute there were no timers and no one was counting down the seconds. It was more about being present and experiencing what it is like to sit across from a stranger and connecting. It’s rare we sit in silence staring so deeply into the eyes of someone we do not know. It’s rare we do that with those we are familiar with.

Eye contact removes the ego, you can’t hide or pretend to be someone you aren’t. When we have walls up the thought of someone seeing the real us and accepting that seems terrifying. But fear wasn’t what I sensed that day. The energy that surrounded those participating was palpable, it was calming and incredibly grounded. There was an openness to the experience which lead uneasy bystanders to take part, leaving looking noticeably different.


Although at the top of one of busiest pedestrian streets in Dublin, a relaxing presence seemed to surround the area. The activity of the world around us faded away, leaving a warm and friendly atmosphere. There were smiles, hugs and tears exchanged.

When everything else fades away all we have is connection. Connection to each other and connection to ourselves. You don’t need to wait for something like this to come your way. You can start connecting more fully today by putting down the phone, meeting in person, getting out in nature, starting a conversation with a stranger or looking yourself in the eye and telling yourself it will all be okay.

This experience once again reminded me of why we are all here. We are here to love and we can’t do that without connection.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – Mother Teresa


What does success mean to you?

We can put a lot of pressure on ourselves. It can be hard to accept yourself for who you are. There is usually a long list of things we want to accomplish before we feel like we’ve ‘made it’. There’s nothing wrong with setting goals, that is something I would encourage. However, what can often happen is if we don’t reach certain goals at certain times we beat ourselves up.

Sometimes the goals we have in mind aren’t ours. We feel pressure from others to be a certain way. It’s important to ask yourself – How do you measure success?

Everyone will measure success differently, look what you value. Around the world what matters most is:

  • Life satisfaction
  • Health
  • The environment
  • Education


Most people would say they consider being happy in their lives the ultimate goal but how many actually chase that? Are you doing what makes you happy? Society would have us believe wealth and fame is what we should be striving for. Until you decide what is important for you it’s hard to know if you are living the life you want. Take time to choose your own path, then choose what makes you happy.

“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” – Herbet Bayard Swope

Don’t Bite

There are times in our lives when we are surrounded by people we feel connected to. Over the years these relationships can change. The ones that affect us most are usually the ones within our family. In most cases, no matter what whey will always be in our lives. However, not everyone feels safe within the family environment.

The same issues can arise within our friend groups, work or any situation that involves interactions with others. Above all else you should feel safe and grounded. If you have begun to recognise there are certain people that make you feel very ungrounded or uneasy I invite you to trust that feeling. Begin working towards what you need to feel better in yourself when you are around this type of energy.

Bridging Gaps Between People, Processes, + Data.

What can you do?

  • It’s important that you acknowledge these feelings and if you can, try to understand what they are connected too.
  • Before meeting with these people take a few slow deep breaths and envision a bright light emanating from your heart or stomach. With every inhale and exhale it gets brighter and surrounds you.
  • This light will project from the things they say or the things they don’t.
  • Don’t spend too much time in their presence.
  • Stick to your boundaries. Only give them the amount of time you can without leaving you overly effected.
  • Don’t bite the hook. Without trying there are many people who know exactly how to draw us in. Allow them to fish all day without you biting and that will help stop the cycle of reactions.

You will being to realise that in most of these interactions it is both parties that causes the cycle to continue. You can only control you. Stop allowing them to have the power and choose to feel grounded and centred in yourself.

“Standing up for yourself doesn’t always involve verbal confrontation. Sometimes it’s about not wasting energy on people who are negative.” Sherry Argov

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Autumn Course: Changing Negative Patterns

Our brain loves patterns and the familiar. Sometimes patterns had to develop to help us deal with difficult situations. However, once those situations have changed the patterns can still remain. This can result in carrying anxiety, guilt and anger from the past into present day. Your worries may have helped motivate you in the past but now they just keep you up at night.

These negative patterns can have a huge effect on your life and happiness levels. Are you tired of feeling negative/guilty/anxious/angry? Do something positive for yourself and participate in this six week course.

Above is an outline of the subjects being covered, from insecurities to how to cope with these difficult emotions. The only person we can change is ourselves and the only things we can control are our reactions. When we are better equipped to understand where these reactions are based we can deal with life in a calmer way.

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Past participants have said:

“Excellent content, very clear, positive and engaging. I would highly recommend this course.”

“I now see within my family that I have to change myself and not allow them to control my life. I need to let them deal with their own issues.”

“I came to this course with one particular problem. The six weeks have enabled me to sort out what was happening and why I felt like this ‘problem’ was running through my head, as if on a loop. Glad to say I am well on way to dealing with this and I know I will get there.”

“It helped me face some difficult situations. Something that I thought was a problem, now doesn’t seem so bad.”

Further Information:

  • When: Tuesday’s beginning October 13th and running for 6 weeks, from 6:30pm – 8:30pm.
  • Where: Siochan Counselling, 9 Fitzwilliam Street Upper, Dublin 2.
  • Cost: €15 a week which includes all supplies, tea, coffee and snacks.

If you are interested in joining please contact me immediately as spaces are limited                           at: 085 133 6644, or by email:

“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” – Rick Warren

Draining Energies

Have you ever spent time with a friend or acquaintance and felt exhausted after a visit? Some people in our lives can make us feel energised, while others can make us feel drained. It’s the people that drain us that we need to be weary of.

I have heard the term ‘energy vampire’ in the past. Although a good description of what it feels like to be in the presence of someone like this, it’s not entirely fair. Mainly because a vampires goal is to suck the life from you, for the most part the individuals that drain us are not doing this on purpose. In many cases they are completely unaware. Which is why you need to watch yourself around them.

It’s often this lack of awareness that causes the drain. If you aren’t aware of your own process (journey/struggle/ability to make sense of why you’re here) then you may get stuck in a ‘poor me’ cycle. Where instead of learning the lessons the universe keeps throwing at you, you complain that the same things continue to happen. Often insisting that everything needs to change but not starting with yourself.


For those of us that are caregivers this type of person can very easily pull us in. They are looking for an outside source to rescue them, while the carer, in turn is looking for someone to rescue.

Are you being drained? Here are some things to note.

  • They are taking more than they are giving: if you feel drained that means the energy is going only one way. Healthy friendships and relationships are a two way street.
  • Some people love to be the victim: there are times in our lives when we are going to be miserable. Grieving, feeling sad/angry/fed-up are all normal parts of life. However, anything can become a pattern, that includes wallowing and feeling victimised. Some people begin to feel they only get attention when being the victim, you don’t have to be a part of that cycle.
  • You choose to give your power away: you have to decide what treatment is okay, that includes how much of yourself you give to others. Boundaries are important in all relationships.


If you have a friend who’s feeling like a drain these days and just needs extra support than make sure you’ve protected yourself. Follow the steps above and imagine there’s a strong force field that surrounds you before you spend time with them. Imagine it keeps you grounded and protected.

If until this point you had never noticed how you felt around others then start checking in. When you’re with your best friend, partner or work colleagues, take a few slow deep breaths and notice how you feel in your body. You are more than a well of energy for others to take advantage of. The more tuned in you are with yourself the better you will know where there are imbalances in your life.

“You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.” – Joel Osteen