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

Gratitude

 

 Giving thanks for abundance                                                                     is sweeter than the abundance itself                                               Should one who is absorbed with the Generous One                        Be distracted by the gift          

 Thankfulness is the soul of beneficence                               Abundance is but the husk                                                                       For thankfulness brings you to the place                                      Where the Beloved lives                                                         

Abundance yields helplessness                                         Thankfulness brings alertness                                                           Hunt for bounty with the net of gratitude

Giving thanks is a wonderful thing. When have you last been for a thanks walk? I have just returned from a beautiful walk on magical Streedagh Beach in North Sligo. I have the place to myself. The moon is almost full, it lights up the night rocks, propping up the silent sand dunes. The tide has gone out fully. I walk on the soft sand where hours earlier  deep water dominated.

The stars shine, the moon moves serenely, sea, sand, stones, sky, stars, all surrender to its magnificence.  I cannot but give thanks for this abundance, free to walk, sing, shout, cry out. I am overcome with gratitude. So appreciative of my health, that enables me to walk here, while my two daughters sit quietly in their rooms, revising and revisiting the material of recent months in preparation for Monday’s exams. My wife has gone for an overnight visit to her good friends, Oisin my 11 year old son enjoys a sleep  over in the house of family friends, a birthday gift voucher redeemed and enjoyed. He will be spoiled, and made special.

This gift to him tonight is God’s gift to me. No responsibility for others, the world continues as  people watch TV, visit friends, go for a drink, a meal, visit a sick friend, fight, feed,  follow.  I enjoy the extraordinary in the ordinary. What renders the ordinary extra ordinary surely is the gift of gratitude, time to stop, listen, feel, smell, taste, and be thankful.

I walk tonight with intention and attentiveness. My intention is to offer this time to my soul, to listen and afford it the opportunity to be heard. My attention is on how I feel, what I see, hear, smell, taste and feel. This is an adventure. I don’t know how long the walk will take, what will happen on the journey, who will I meet, from the living and the dead, truly an adventure!

Lucky, our dog, is so enjoying the freedom,the space of this moon drenched space. I become aware of my parents Vincent and Mary at my side. They walk in solidarity, support and delight in me. This is a my life.  A time to give thanks for health, family, friends, work, the Streedagh surroundings, the magnificence of a December winter moon lit night. I sing. I stop and listen. I pray. I reflect, I am grateful.

Why not take a little walk yourself soon? Let it be with gratitude. It is a rewarding companion, as it communicates joy, returning a hundred fold. Thank you for gratitude.

Three consecutive nights, Streedagh beach to myself and Lucky my dog. Tide out. Empty beach and full moon. All for free, providing peace, reassurance, calm and delight – what a joy.

 

What do you want to say to the world?


WE celebrated Christmas in Newry this year at the home of my wife’s family. So where will I go to have Mass I asked myself in the days leading up to this great feast. I decided it would be Hilltown, the parish where i grew up, the big church overlooking Clonduff football field, a place where i spent many a happy, sad, wining and losing hour.

 

As the priest began the ceremony, the church was packed to overflowing and we were so fortunate to have a seat, I asked myself the question What would I like to say to this congregation tonight? Imagine having a captive audience, so alive  alert and full of anticipation, and being entrusted with an opportunity to welcome, enthuse and inspire them.

I had no idea!  The answer came to me the next afternoon, Christmas day. I sat on a seat reserved for soccer subs overlooking an empty pitch. I had the place to myself and wanted to write in my journal, a way that I have discovered to honour my soul.

“What a deep silence as i write this, yes some distant traffic interrupts the powerful serene presence of this special day, crows announce their arrival, a tractor and farmer bring Christmas cheer to a few captive cattle in a nearby yard with a grab of silage. Clouds drift harmlessly in a light grey sky, the green fresh grass continues to thrive in the unusual warm weather and the country air offers itself as another gift to me.

 

Fields of sport deserted of participants chuckle in quiet amazement at this older human, armed with his green and white copy book, blue pen and blue overcoat. He writes with enthusiasm and delight, trying to capture in words the experience of stillness and the magic of this moment. What a welcome guest. Surely we all love encouragement and praise!!”

Now i know what i would have liked to say to the packed house, I would like you to take some quiet time today in the midst of doing, working, playing , eating, drinking , laughing, crying and fighting , take some time to stop, notice, give thanks and praise. Sounds simple I know but does demand taking your slice of alone time, however short, however where.

If you found this interesting reading , perhaps stop now, look, listen, feel, smell a little and taste the gift of now.

 

What would you like to say to a packed congregation on Christmas eve 2019? Begin now to think about that and don’t wait a year!!

The skill of Focusing-Introduction and The Next Stage

Focusing Level Two

Date: 19th and 20th January 2019

Time: 10am-4pm

Venue: Holy Hill Hermitage, Skreen Co.Sligo

Cost:  €140

CPD: 12 hours

Facilitated by Peter Devlin

Hi all Focusers,

Hope you are continuing the skill of Focusing and finding it helpful. If you continue to practice and are interested in developing the skill, I would like to invite you to this weekend of training. Set in the beautiful environment of Holy Hill Hermitage, Skreen Co.Sligo. Participants will be invited to refresh the basic skills and by Sunday evening will have learned how to listen to another and to listen to themselves using several steps.

You will be guided through these steps and have an opportunity to practice in two’s, to listen to another and to have yourself listened to by another. Your questions and difficulties will be addressed as we go through the two days. There will also be an opportunity to do some focusing in the outdoors weather permitting.

Tea and coffee will be provided, please bring your lunch. To secure your place, please send a non-refundable deposit of 60 euro to Peter Devlin Cloonaghbawn, Ballinfull, Co Sligo by Monday 7th of January.

 

Introduction to Focusing…Finding the Wisdom Within

Date: 9th and 10th February 2019

Time: 10am-4pm

Venue: Holy Hill Hermitage, Skreen, Co.Sligo

CPD: 12 hours

Cost: €140

Deposit of €60 due by January 25th 2019

Facilitated by Peter Devlin

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 things 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.”

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

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

Feel free to contact me with any questions or any other issues that you wish addressed on the weekend.

Sincerely,

Peter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soul Wednesdays

It’s never too late to say “enough”. To put down the load we are carrying, and try to create new patterns of relating that are more appropriate and balanced. ( Myla and John Kabat-Zinn)

 

Reflecting on my work as a psychotherapist and workshop/retreat provider for the past 18 years, I have noticed several themes emerging from the inner work and exploration of participants.

We are all part of this wonderful, complicated universe and as such share many difficulties. Even in the best of childhood days, we all have been wounded in different ways. The “here and now” is always related to the “there and then”.

We carry limiting and sometimes destructive ways of behaviour into our everyday adult lives, into our relationships such as those with spouses, children, colleagues and wider communities.

These six days, at two week intervals will offer participants training, reflection time and space in the service of awakening to their human potential.

It will also be an opportunity to meet like-minded people, develop ones support system network, replace loneliness with laughter, and become increasingly aware that I am not on my own.  We can all learn well when there is a deep listening, confidentiality, fun and safety.

The venue offers comfort heat and intimacy. Participants will be afforded access to the beautiful outdoors, a location set in the shadow of the Ox Mountains. Walkways, trails, gardens and majestic trees offer themselves for our healing, joy, wonder and awe. Tea and coffee will be provided. Please bring lunch.

 

Venue: Holy Hill Hermitage Skreen Co Sligo.

Dates: 7th Nov, 21st Nov, 5th Dec 2018. 9th Jan, 23rd Jan and Feb 2nd 2019.

Time: 10am to 4pm.

Cost: 390 euro. The balance is due on the first day of the course.

Booking: To secure your place please send a deposit of 65 euro to Peter Devlin, Cloonaghbawn, Ballinful, Co-Sligo before Friday 2nd November.

C.P.D: 36 hours.

 

 

 

Topics:

  • Caring for self – awareness of our inner resources.
  • Befriending our emotions, naming feeling, expressing and using them in a creative life giving way.
  • Speaking your truth in an assertive way. Awareness of how we can be passive or aggressive.
  • Listening caring and responding to our soul.
  • Transforming our deep wounds into empowerment.
  • Befriending our dreams as a way to continue our journey of healing.

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.

Continue reading “Autumn – Season of Harvest and Transformation”

Ancestor Retreat – What was it like?

Ten people completed the Ancestor Retreat in Achill, Sept. 11- Sun. 16th. 2018. The venue was a beautiful house: ‘Achill Shore View’, situated very near Achill Sound.

The theme of the week was accessing the gifts and wounds of our Ancestors. One participant described it as followed:

Peter, thanks for the deep stirring days in the amazing beautiful landscape. When I say stirring, that’s what I mean, stirring outside and stirring within. I am so grateful for your gentle encouragement. Something in me was pulling me back and something was moving me forward.  Now I can say, it was richer beyond my expectations. Peter, may you have the health to continue your mission of awakening. Blessings galore, Anne

Resilience

One of the most difficult tasks of parenthood in my experience is teaching our children resilience. I want to share with you a poem entitled ‘Nettles’ by Vernon Scannell, which captures this theme. Hopefully you find some encouragement and grounding in this lovely poem. Good luck with the going back to school phase.

Nettles
My son aged 3 fell into the nettle bed
Bed’ seemed a curious name for those green spares,
That regiment of spite behind the shed:
It was no place for rest. With sobs and tears
The boy came seeking comfort and I saw
White blisters beaded on his tender skin.
We soothed him until his pain was not so raw.
At last he offered us a watery grin,
And then I took my billhook, honed that blade
And went outside and slashed in fury with it
Till not a nettle in that fierce parade
Stood upright any more. And then I lit
A funeral pior to burn the fallen dead.
But in two weeks the busy sun and rain
Had called up tall recruits behind the shed:
My son would often feel sharp wounds again.

 

 

Information to Reflect on

Dear Reader,

I would like to recommend an excellent book by Mark Wolynn entitled:
‘It didn’t start with you’ – How inherited family trauma shapes who we are and how to end this cycle.

The following are some quotes from this book, that you may find useful as you reflect on the gifts and wounds of your ancestors.

  • Sometimes pain submerges until it can find a pathway of expression or resolution.
  • Studies performed on offspring, for example, have shown that traumas, such as the stress of maternal separation causes gene expression that can be traced for three generations.
  • When I work with families in my practice, I often see recurring patterns of illness, depression, anxiety, relationship struggles, and financial hardship, and always feel compelled to look deeper.
  • The notion that we inherit and ‘re-live’ aspects of family trauma has been subject of many books by the renowned Germany psychotherapist Bert Hellinger. Hellinger teaches that we share a family consciousness with our biological family members that come before us.
  • The vast reservoir of our unconscious appears to hold not only traumatic memories, but also the unresolved traumatic experiences of our ancestors.