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.

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!!

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.

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.

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Vision Quest

Carrowkeel, Passage Tomb, Co. Sligo
Date:  Fri. 20th. July 11am – Sun. 22nd. July 2 pm 2018

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not ta 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 the time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
(Wendell Barry)

A vision quest is an ancient rite of dying, passing through, and being reborn.

Wilderness fasts have been a part of human culture for many thousands of years. Writer and wilderness guide Bill Plotkin, who has revived this ancient tradition as part of his work in Animus, describes Vison Quest as: ‘Honouring a fallow time in our spiritual lives, an emptiness into which something utterly new and generative might enter. It is to create an open vessel capable of being filled to overflowing by the sacred Other”.

The basic, universal elements of a vision quest are: a remote wilderness setting, fasting from food solitude (no other human companions), direct exposure to the forms and forces of nature, attention focusing and consciousness –shifting ceremonies, prayers, and practices, a significant period of time.

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Addiction Days – A new Beginning towards Healing

Spring – An opportunity to begin the journey of Healing

Two days with a difference!

Details and Dates:   Wed. 16.5. 2018, 10am – 4 pm  +   Wed. 30.5.2018    9am – 4 pm
Venue:             North Sligo Area.  The sessions will be conducted in beautiful wild                          areas of North Sligo.
Price:              130 Euro for both days

The breeze at dawn has something to tell you,
Don’t go back to sleep,
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the door sill
Where the two worlds touch
The door is round and open.

As we enjoy the season of spring delayed, but nevertheless welcome, I would like to invite you to this event, which is designed for those who struggle with addition, big or small.

Both days will include input, time alone and an opportunity to share where appropriate. The event will be conducted in the outdoors provided the weather is suitable. Wilderness informs us that wholeness is not about perfection.

Confidentiality is stressed and we will take solace that we are not alone in our human condition.

Continue reading “Addiction Days – A new Beginning towards Healing”