Blog words of hope and encouragement

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Autumn – Season of Harvest and Transformation

Autumn – Season of Harvest & Transformation

“Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing,
There is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in the grass,
The world is too full to talk about
ideas, language. Even the phrase each other
Doesn’t make any sense”.
(Rumi)

Following on from the East Facet of self  I would now like to invite you to spend two days looking at the West facet of Self which is characterized by words including romance, sunsets, sunrises and imagination. Writer and Wilderness Guide Bill Plotkin situates this dimension of our inner selves in the season of Autumn, the evening of the day, a time of dying and reaping the harvest.

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Featured

Listening to our Ancestor Stories

Listening to our Ancestor’s Stories
Accessing the gifts and healing the wounds of our inheritance

Tue. Sep. 11th. Evening – Sun.16th. 2018 till 1pm
(on ever ancient, ever new Achill Island, County Mayo)

Guides: Peter Devlin with Sheila McHugh

Cost: 690 Euro
This includes guide fee and five night’s accommodation: €200 non-refundable deposit secures a place. Numbers are limited to 10.  Book before 31st May 2018 to avail of early bird discount (€630).

Humanity is built on the bedrock of our desire to belong. That we are part of a particular family and family tree is an indisputable fact. How we are in this world, how we live, how we react to the events which life presents us with, and rear our children, is no doubt deeply influenced by the family and tradition we come from.

Continue reading “Listening to our Ancestor Stories”

Introduction to Focusing

This weekend course will provide an introduction to the skills of focusing where you will learn how to pay attention to the wisdom of your body. Inner wisdom and emotional healing are two of the most important results of this skill. Focusing teaches us to trust our inner authority offering an alternative to the long learned habit of looking to outer authority for direction.

This skill helps us to understand our body’s sensations, some of which are familiar and yet hard to pin down. Decision making, dream understanding are two of the many other benefits of knowing how to focus. Focusing can be used to address a wide array of issues. When we feel upset and agitated, we typically turn to our intellect to solve the problem. This works well… until it doesn’t. Life’s toughest problems, especially those involving emotions and other people, can’t be solved this way. Do you feel stuck? Like you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked? It’s not that there’s something wrong with you, it’s that the way our culture is set up leaves us cut off from our bodies, a powerful source of wisdom.

Previous workshop participants have said…

”It really helped me to be with my grief.”

“I find the practicing of focusing amazing.”

“For me the skill of focusing is to listen to my gut and puts structure on a simple but powerful process. I’ve been using it alongside mediation as a way of getting a sense of where thing are at and teasing out thigs I am not sure about.”

“For over 40 years I listened to my head and became accustomed to thinking in a particular way. Focusing is so completely different. It centres me. It provides the opportunity to listen to the quiet whisper that can simply drown out the louder, shouting voice in my head. I have learned that the whisper is me, the true me.”

“Through focusing I have discovered, deep within myself, a well of peace and calmness where I go to re-energize and get perspective.”

 

CPD points : 12

For further information about focusing, follow this link: http://focusing.org/newcomers.htm

Teas an coffees will be provided but bring lunch with you to the workshop

Please contact me if you need any further information

140.00Add to basket

 

What is your Soul Gift? Your Task in this life

 “Stillness is vital to the world of the soul” “The recovery of soul in our times is vital in healing our disconnection”

John O’Donohue
“This is the first, wildest and wisest thing I know…That the soul exists, and that it is built entirely out of attentiveness”

Mary Oliver
“By ‘soul’ I mean the vital, mysterious and wild core of our individual selves, an essence unique to each person, qualities found in layers of the self, much deeper than our personalities.”

“Soul is what is most wild and natural within us”

Bill Plotkin

Mark Twain informs us that the two most important dates we humans have are the day we are born and the day we realise why we were born. For what purpose did I come into this earth?

Often in my work as a workshop and retreat provider and therapist, I am asked for my views on how one can discover their purpose in this life?

My view is that each of us have been chosen for a special role in this universe. We only have a limited amount of time. Our task is to discover our particular purpose, and find a way to deliver it.

The clue very often is in our wounding. This demands inner work, courage, patience and hunger. Each of us carries a wound, most often formed in our childhood. The wound will always remain but it can be transformed and used as a gift to the world.

This weekend retreat held in the beautiful area of Mullaghmor Co. Sligo, will help us to begin to be attentive to our beautiful soul, to begin to search with guidance as to what our particular task is in this life and to consider how we can best facilitate our soul in doing the work it wants to do.

We will do this with fellow searchers, as we connect with the soul and spirituality of this special area. We all have ways of connecting with soul, for me it is in the outdoors but I will offer guidance in other ways which include delving into our dreams, the art of journaling, the use of art and imagery, and dance.

 

About our outdoor work: To facilitate outdoor work please bring the following;

  • wet gear
  • layers of clothing
  • a head torch
  • a flask
  • a lunch box.

    About the Star of The Sea venue: Visitors will enjoy beautiful sea and mountain views, individual room en suite and all meals are provided.

  • If you play a musical instrument, please bring along if possible.

Cost:   Early Bird: 230euro by Oct 17th          250e after Oct 17th

Secure a place: Send a non-refundable deposit of 100e by Oct 17th 2019

Balance due by: November 19th 2019

CPD Points: 21

For further information and details you can contact Peter

In the unlikely event that the retreat is cancelled, a full refund will be returned.

250.00 230.00Add to basket

A Parent and Teenager Day

As a parent of three teenagers (12, 14 and 16 years of age), and someone who works with parents and teenagers, and who was once was a teenager himself, I know a lot of the pain, difficulties, fears, joys and hopes which parents and teenagers experience in their lives together. Real listening is very rare.

I wish to invite parents or guardians to spend a day with their teenage children on the land on North Sligo weather permitting. There will also be an indoor venue in the adjoining area.

We will address the following questions:

  • What is it like to be a parent of your teenager?
  • What is it like to be a daughter or son?
  • What do parents remember of their teenage years?
  • What do my teenage children want me to hear?

It promises to be a day of learning, listening and loving. What you need is an openness to adventure, a reasonable level of fitness and a willingness to tune in to the wisdom of the surrounding area. A measure of courage, calmness and care for one another will be necessary ingredients to make it a memorable, meaningful experience.  Human nature has so much to learn from wild nature. Teenagers and parents have so much to learn from each other.

Please dress in layers of clothing, wet gear and wear suitable walking boots. Please bring lunch and a hot drink. Meeting point will be arranged at the time of booking.

Venue: Knocklane Promontory Fort

Deposit due by: Friday 4th October, 30 euro

Balance due by: 13th October

CPD Points: 6

For further information and details you can contact Peter

70.00Add to basket

Psychotherapy in The Outdoors Training weekend

This three day course will be mainly experiential and will be conducted for the most part outside.  It is designed for practitioners who either work outdoors with clients or who would like to do so. Thus psychologists, art therapists, counsellors, and care workers might be interested in such an event. This event would also serve as a retreat for people who wish to spend guided time in the outdoors, learning ways to enhance their own personal healing in a beautiful, tranquil and mysterious setting.

 

I come into the peace of wild things
Who do not tax their lives with forethought
Of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
Waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free

Wendell Berry (2008)

 

I qualified as a psychotherapist in 2000 and began seeing clients outside in 2010. Moving into wild nature in the pursuit of healing and awakening to an inner power, was very natural for me. I am a person who thrives in the outdoors and it is the environment that feeds my soul.

Over the years I have had many enquiries from students who are writing about therapy in the outdoors. Invariably I invite them to experience an outdoor session with me.

The outdoor environment is a very non-traditional setting for what can be a very powerful experience in working with issues including anxiety, depression, unhealthy anger inner child work and working with our dreams. Spending guided time in the outdoors, can open a person’s ability to learn ways of enhancing their own personal healing. Please see my articles in the I.A.H.I.P journal “Inside Out” Summer 2013 and Network Feb/March 2015 issue 92.

While time will be given to emerging issues, it will include the following areas:

  • The therapeutic rationale for workdoors
  • The role of nature in the work
  • Potential approaches to the work
  • Issues in relation to boundaries and safety
  • Client assessment and safety
  • Attending to the contract
  • Developing a practice working in this way

Participants will also be given an opportunity to facilitate an outdoor therapeutic exercise. There will also be solo time allowing space for personal reflection and time alone in nature, time to connect to the land and to oneself.

The location will be in the coastal mountain environs of North Sligo. Participants will meet in Benwiskin Centre where a number of places have been reserved. Accommodation costs are not included. Numbers are limited to 10 so early booking necessary. Please contact the Benwiskin Centre at 071-9176721 to book accommodation. There will be evening work on Friday and Saturday.

Meals will be prepared communally. All ingredients will be provided. In the unlikely event of cancellation, a full refund will be provided. The cost does not include a bed in the Benwhisken Centre.

Cost:   190e

Deposit of 90e due by August 30th 2019.

Balance due by: Friday 13th September 2019.

CPD Points: 22

For further information and details you can contact Peter

190.00Add to basket

What is your Soul Gift? Your Task in this life – Nov 15-17

Mark Twain informs us that the two most important dates we humans have are the day we are born and the day we realise why we were born.

We only have a limited amount of time. Our task is to discover our particular purpose, and find a way to deliver it.

This weekend retreat will help us to begin to be attentive to our beautiful soul, to begin to search with guidance as to what our particular task is in this life and to consider how we can best facilitate our soul in doing the work it wants to do.

More details available through my Events Page.

A Parent and Teenager Day – Oct 13

As a parent of three teenagers (12, 14 and 16 years of age), and someone who works with parents and teenagers, and who was once was a teenager himself, I know a lot of the pain, difficulties, fears, joys and hopes which parents and teenagers experience in their lives together. Real listening is very rare.

I wish to invite parents or guardians to spend a day with their teenage children on the land on North Sligo weather permitting. There will also be an indoor venue in the adjoining area.

More details available through my Events Page.

Psychotherapy in The Outdoors Training weekend – Sept 27-29

This three day course is designed for practitioners who either work outdoors with clients or who would like to do so. Thus psychologists, art therapists, counsellors, and care workers might be interested in such an event.

This event would also serve as a retreat for people who wish to spend guided time in the outdoors, learning ways to enhance their own personal healing in a beautiful, tranquil and mysterious setting.

More details available through my Events Page.

Good Friday – Easter Sunday 2019 Events

Good Friday

In her amazing book, ‘The Choice’ Edith Eger writes of her experience of survival having been imprisoned in a Nazi war-camp. A key part of her recovery was grief work. We all have our losses in life. Francis Weller describes five gates of grief which include, loss of someone/thing that we love, the places in us that have not known love, the grief of the earth, what we expected and did not receive, and ancestral grief.

This Good Friday, I am organising an event which will give you an opportunity to name, feel and express your grief in the company of others. We will do a slow walk around Mullaghmore Head in solidarity with one another, in silence, and in sharing our stories if we wish. This environment has unfortunately known a lot of suffering and loss. The wild Atlantic waves, the rocky beach, and the grassy fields will be our witness and source of healing. 

Please contact me by phone or email if you would like to take part. 

Meeting Point: Outside Pier Head Hotel.

Time: 2pm to 6pm

Cost: Thirty euro

Please dress appropriately for the weather on the day. 

Easter Sunday

For those of you who fancy an early start on Easter morning, you are invited to join me at Streedagh Beach to celebrate new life and new beginnings. We will meet at 6am and light a fire together. Then we will greet the big fire, namely the sun, which will arise to heat and welcome us around 6:20. The event will include time alone, time to be with what is being born in us at this time, time to celebrate the gift of wild nature and fellow humans. You are invited to bring along something for breakfast which will conclude our ritual at 8am. Over the years this event has proved so memorable, so energising and totally engaging. 
If you need further details please feel free to contact me. 

Growing into our innate potential and true destiny

Hi friends

Hi friends, I hope you are well and have survived the last kick of winter. I just want to let you know about a special day next Saturday 13 April. The theme of this day looks at the  ways in which we adults live our lives using strategies to survive which belong to our own days of childhood.  These include the need to belong, to be safe, to be free from conflict, to fit in to the expectations of others.  Understanding ourselves, and discovering healthy ways of belonging, overcoming harsh self-criticism will be at the heart of this retreat.

During this day we will look at the concept of the loyal soldiers who work to protect us but have the adverse effect of keeping us small and thus depriving us of realising our true potential. This way of behaving manifests as our inner critic, inner flatterer, and the lion tamer. As Bill Plotkin reminds us ” the critical parent criticizes other people similar to how the inner critic self-restrains and the lion tamer self-doesticates.”

The day will include input, group sharing and time alone to experience ways of cultivating a more compassionate and genuine care of self, others, our relationships and this beautiful temporary home known as earth.

In the event of adverse weather conditions, we will move to a warm welcoming indoor venue.  Please dress in several layers and bring waterproof jacket and trousers if possible, and bring a notebook, pen, lunch and a hot drink.

Details are as follows:

Date:  Sat 13 April 2019

Time :  10am-4pm

Cost :     70 euro

CPD:      6

VENUE:  Meet at my office Cloonaghbawn, Ballinfull, Co Sligo. Weather permitting the day will be spent on the slopes of Benbulben

Please contact me if you need further information. To book a place please call or e mail me. 086 3663276 [email protected]

Thank you

Focusing Refresher and Development Training

This 2-day training event is intended to help people improve their ability to focus on their inner well-being.

Day 1 & 2-10:00am to 4:00pm

Participants will be invited to refresh the basic skills of focusing. In advance of coming I will be contacting you to hear any particular areas you want discussed. This will form a major part of the first day.

The workshop will continue with input on using focusing with dreams and decision making. You will have an opportunity to practice in two’s, to have someone focus with you, and you focusing with your partner.

It’s important to remember that focusing includes a sense of nourishment and good feelings in your body. Thus, there will be a opportunity to do some work in the outdoors.

CPD 12 hours