Longing

It’s been a week of a nasty viral bug that has knocked my energy for six and sent me crawling back to bed and sleeping the sleep of the dead. It’s only to be expected; the change of seasons, children back at school bringing home all manner of snot and phlegm encrusted germs.

Today is a teacher training day and so the children have a day off and I have promised them all a ‘jammy day’ at home. That includes me. We will get out to walk the dog early, then bring duvets down to the sitting room and stick movies on for the rest of the day. I’ll make soup, popcorn, maybe bake some wheaten bread. We’ll light the fire. We won’t budge for the day. Bliss.

So when it comes to desire I’m not that aflame with it this week. Desire speaks to me of fire, passion, something active.  I’m low energy, sore with headaches and stuffed sinuses. This week I thought I’d focus on ‘Longing’.

Longing speaks to me of an ache, a wound that has not fully healed. Longing speaks to me of missed opportunities, regrettable choices, lost chances that all build to leave us with a sense of a life not lived or half-lived. Longing speaks to me of time stretched thin, troubling dreams that hang on through the daylight hours, reaching back for what might have been and unable to see beyond a fog of melancholia.

Living in a state of longing is living in a state of unmet need and it can make us collapse in on ourselves. Like I said last week, when we don’t acknowledge our feelings, our sense of longing or desire, then we cut off a vast store of energy for change in our lives. Very often we don’t even know what we’re longing for. Just something, different to what we’re experiencing, somewhere, other than where we are. But if aren’t clear on what we’re aching for, then how can we take steps to move in the direction of our soul’s longing.

Here’s how I long to feel; strong, abundant, wild and free.

It has taken me a long time and good deal of patience to figure this out. I came across The Desire Map a couple of years ago when I was in the aftermath of a breakdown.  I had attempted to anaesthetise myself with activity, with lists of ‘to-do’ and even longer lists of ‘to-be’ and the heavy feeling in my chest was all I wanted rid of. I didn’t know how I wanted to feel, but I longed to stop feeling shit. It was utterly exhausting to be in a constant state of ‘not enough’, lack, scarcity, on a hamster wheel running from the truth of my own emptiness. I ached. I ached to the soul. The body can only take so much. My body broke down.

I was reading back over a journal from a year and half ago when I was six months into rebuilding following my breakdown. I was gifted with the opportunity to spend some time with friends in California to write and rest for a week amongst the redwoods. The journal entries from that time are full of longing; I was a mess of achey need. I couldn’t however identify the path through the fog.

On my return home, I bought the digital version of The Desire Map. I had read Danielle LaPorte’s White Hot Truth and found her no-nonsense, grounded approach to wellness and personal development refreshing. I loved that she poked fun at her own search for meaning and the various permutations of spirituality she had tried on for size. I loved that she called Jesus her ‘homeboy’.

I’m not going to lie and say I did the Desire Map process and it changed my life overnight, no. But it started a path that helped me understand why, when I seemed to have everything I still felt empty. It helped me begin to see that I was often chasing goals that were not the ones that truest to me and why my ambition felt so in conflict with my spiritual life.

I was going for external results, things that ‘looked’ like success but that felt like lack. I needed to turn it inside out.

Over the past year, I’ve changed my focus with the help of The Desire Map. I’m far more in alignment with my True Self, my Spirit. I’ve been able to let go of things I was clinging to and in the space has entered so much more than I could have hoped or dreamed.

I’m still very much at the start of the journey, but I’m excited about where it’s taking me. And I’m excited that I get to share the process with others now. The ache of longing has been replaced with a spark of joy, it’s been a healing process. I am profoundly grateful.

Desire

It’s a word that makes me instantly uncomfortable. 

Perhaps it’s because of my evangelical Christian upbringing. Perhaps it’s just my Irish DNA. Perhaps it’s the reinforced message from the patriarchy that to be a woman and to desire is a bad thing. 

When I first came across Danielle LaPorte and The Desire Map, all my alarm bells rang. What was this woo woo shit that she was spouting? Feelings? Desires? Goals with soul?

Listening to her soothing Canadian drawl on podcasts was very alluring though and I was enamoured with her down to earth approach to ‘wellness’ and ‘light work’ (those phrases though! Ick!) But feelings? Desire?

No, no, no Miss LaPorte, we Irish women don’t have feelings. We learn from a very young age that you cannot do anything substantial if you base it on a woolly thing like feelings.

There are rules. There are morals. There are lines in which you firmly stay put. Feelings muddy the water. Feelings are messy things that spill over and affect other people if you’re not careful. If you have a lot of feelings, you’d better find something productive to do so that you can avoid them or at the very least keep them contained.

Here’s the thing. Feelings are messy but as anyone who has dealt with depression or addiction knows, feelings that aren’t felt and carefully dealt with can become toxic, even carcinogenic.

As women, particularly if you have been brought up in the Christian church, we’ve been told to sublimate our feelings, to sacrifice them on the Altar of Everyone Else. I think this is why as Irish women, we have a very special, very powerful super power;

Passive Aggression.

There’s an old joke that I think is funny but painful at the same time.

How many Irish mothers does it take to change a lightbulb?

‘Ah sure, don’t you be worrying about me, off you go and have fun,

I’ll just sit here in the dark.’

 (c) Anne Taintor

Feelings that aren’t felt and expressed in a healthy way become resentments. Feelings that are ignored and denied become anger.  Feelings are messy but as anyone who has dealt with depression or addiction knows, feelings that aren’t felt and carefully dealt with can become toxic, even carcinogenic.

Behind every desire is a feeling and feelings will lead you to your soul.’

Danielle LaPorte

But what if you could choose how you wanted to feel and in choosing how you wanted to feel, you were able to make choices in your life that lead to deeper sense of fulfillment.

This is where The Desire Map comes in and I’m looking forward to sharing more about it with you in the coming weeks.

If you’d like to hear more, then why not go here to get information on when I’m starting workshops delivered straight to your inbox.

I’m back…with a woof!

Hi there,

I know, it’s been a while. I’m not even going to go into the whole ins and outs and the whys and wherefores of why I’ve not been blogging or vlogging or podcasting. Suffice to say, life.

I wrote the last post ‘How to survive the summer’ and felt really pleased with myself for how I was going to nail creativity and parenting and be able to share my amazing success come September.

Then we added a puppy into the mix…

Everyone told me that having a puppy would be like having a new born baby and I did that scoffing sound (pshaw!!) you make when you’ve already had 3 babies and how could a dog be anything like that. I mean, I won’t be breast feeding for goodness sake!

Yes well, they were wrong. It wasn’t like having a new born baby in the house.

It was worse.

Because a new born baby doesn’t nip and chew and wee all over the floor and run away from you when you know she’s got a piece of lego in her mouth and she’s determined not to let you have it.

Summer 2018 will be forever remembered as the summer we didn’t go anywhere because we couldn’t leave the puppy. It was the summer that the ‘real’ children found the cuteness wonderful until her tiny, innocent, playful puppy teeth grabbed their flesh. It was the summer when all my plans for getting them out of the house and in to nature on lovely walks with the dog were dashed and they spent more time on screens than ever before. Gah!

In fairness, the puppy is fab. She’s a little clever clogs and she’s settled in really well. Yes, it took a lot of adjustment. Yes, some plans had to be shelved but all in all, it was the best idea to get her when we were all at home to mind her and teach her.

We found her through Sophie’s Dog Foster Rescue who don’t have a centre as such but rather a network of foster carers who look after the dogs until their forever home can be found. Our wee pup was found in a hedge with her young mum and 3 siblings when she was two weeks old. A fabulous woman in Antrim took the whole family in and cared for them until the pups were big enough to find homes. We met all four of the litter and our little miss was a firm favourite. We’re delighted that every one of the family have found loving homes. A true happy ever after.

Sure, this all sounds like ‘my dog ate my homework’ but hey, it’s true.

And now we are back into the autumn term with a bang and I have lots of fabulous things to share and one big announcement which subscribers of my newsletter will hear first – so if you want to get ahead of the crowd, sign up!

The children are back at school which means I’ve more time on my hands than I’ve had in nearly 8 years!

I’ve sooo much to share. Stay tuned!