May 2014

March 2014


December 2012

This month I did a talk for the TedX Belfast Women event. Quite a bit outside my comfort zone but all in all another great learning experience. In the talk I describe why I set up the Lighthouse Centre and share some thoughts drawing on the Zen saying – Leap and the net will appear.

November 2012

candle light candleThe joy of giving …the secret to a happier life (and cheaper than a year’s counselling! )

“every person I have known who has been truly happy, has learned how to serve others.” Albert Scweitzer

I  would like to give a big shout out to everyone who has gathered around the community cafe at the Lighthouse Centre. This cafe is just at the early stages and already it is obvious that it is a space where people will find connection and craic in equal measure. Here’s a snapshot of what is bubbling there:

  • we have a great volunteer team now of 12 people who each in their own way are Paying It Forward at the cafe
  • Collette Mc Dowell and I have completed training with 7 and another session planned on Saturday 24th from 12 – 200 so everyone gets all the info they need to shine their lights in the cafe
  • we are working with students from BRA who as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award will be volunteering for the next few months to bring knowledge of Pay It Forward to as many people as possible – you guys are really at the leading edge of Pay It Forward Ireland!
  • We are about to build on our partnership with the fabulous Root Soup by building a veggie garden out the back – to raise funds Brian Lynch is doing an Evening of Mediumship on 14 December. Every Tuesday the Root Soup guys and us will work together on building the urban garden which will provide veggies for the cafe and Root Soup
  • Ronnie our Thursday volunteer wants to show a movie every month to older people in the area where they can come , have lunch and enoy the company and a good movie- he suggests Mamma Mia for the first one – what do you think?
  • Siobhan Pettit and the Two Rods helped us launch the cafe at a great music session earlier this month -check it out on this sweet wee film kindly made by Anto Fitzpatrick..feel the love 🙂

Thank you so much everyone. All of this is growing out of kindness and the willingness of so many people to just give for the joy of giving. It is all a great reminder of the ancient wisdom teaching that whenever we feel sorry for ourselves or burdened by our own problems, a great prescription is to move from self pity to a place where we are helping others. This is karma yoga in action and the surest way of raising our energy to a more positive state.

Simply put, you give, you get back.
That’s not to say that you should perform some act of kindness simply to receive something in return. It doesn’t work that way. It must be given freely, with no thought of repayment. You might also know this principle as ‘pay it forward.’ You give to others, possibly because someone else gave to you. Keep it going, keep the abundance flowing outward, and it will always return to you.
The Barefoot Doctor

Thanks to everyone and if you want to get involved or have any ideas about how we can use this space to build more and more community connections please do let us know.

September 2012

Row your boat, gently down the stream!

So what another great month for our Pay It Forward Community Cafe. The highlight was definitely the visit from Shirley Potter who shared her amazing artistic talents so generously for three days last week. We all watched in amazement as two gorgeous murals appeared before our eyes. The visit was made extra special by all the visitors who popped in to offer encouragement and add a few daubs to the walls.

Esther and Gerry Hicks note how the main mistake we make in trying to attract in good things is that we point our boat upstream – we think everything has to be a struggle and so we work and effort. The fact is according to Abraham, that all we want lies downsteam and if we just turn our boat around and go with the flow more, we will find life can be less of a struggle than we think necesary.

It’s not your work to make anything happen. It’s your work to dream it and let it happen. Law of Attraction will make it happen. In your joy, you create something, and then you maintain your vibrational harmony with it, and the Universe must find a way to bring it about. That’s the promise of Law of Attraction. — Abraham

The Community Cafe is growing a bit like that- without any financial backing day by day we move effortlessly towards opening day.
We will officially fling open the doors on Saturday 27th October – we will have aone pot wonder menu – every day a fresh soup and pot of somthing – stew, chili, curry- whatever depending on what is fresh and available to us that day, along with some home baked bread.

A big shout out this month to all those who helped make sure the cafe boat continues to float on downstream so happily – Tom and Anto for hanging and building,the Two Maries and Seana for the great fundraising night, Charlie Johnston for the Pay it Forward bracelets, Jane Talbot and Angel Blu for raffle prizes, Lynda, Anne, Phil, Sean and Collette for directing on our Advisory Group:-); Kate Connon for lovely gifts; Noleen for Soul Library books,Shirley for just being amazing; all our mural painters; Root Soup for their very generous offer of providing the food on opening day- love that; and last but very definitely not least a massive thank you to Peter who has offered to do our building work on installing the kitchen. Unbeliveably Peter is offering his work free! We are so very grateful – call in and offer him your support when he starts the work on Monday 1st October. And for those who we may have forgotten- thank you!

So how about you think about where you might effort less and dream more? Try feeling how you will when your dream comes true – focus on that feeling and see how the Law of Attraction makes things move in your direction. Nothing to lose?
Row, row, row your boat , gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream…

July 2012

Practice the Attitude of Gratitude

Over the last month there have been countless times

when I have been simply blown away by the many kindnesses of the friends and supporters who have gathered around the Lighthouse Centre. Every day it seems there are occasions to be deeply thankful for the blessings flowing towards the centre and what we are setting out to acheive. So much so that I have set up a special Thank You page on our website-feel free to add a comment about anything that you are grateful for to keep the buzz flowing.

It has been brought home to be how practicing gratiude every day can be one of the most nourishing assignments for raising our spirits. Many research studies have shown how feeling a deep sense of gratitude on a regular basis  contributes to improved mental and physical well being. However it is a bit like exercising the body- practicing gratiude has to be done on a regular basis if we are to fully benefit. Ths can be a challenge if we let it! Often we can fall into the habit of letting our awareness rest on what is wrong or what is missing  in our lives. Then we need to instal a new habit – actually practicing the attitude of gratitude!

If we make this a daily practice it is amazing how our experience of living shifts from the day to day trials and tribulations to a sense of wonder and awe at the blessings and opportunities that surround us. This in no way denies that life can throw up challenges and difficulties. The attitude of gratiude practice just calls on us to choose where our attention will focus moment to moment . Focussing on things to be grateful for gives us a sense of hope and optimism.

I remember years ago being given an assignment  during a challenging time to write out each day 3 things I was grateful for. I struggled at the start- after digging deep and long on the 1st night I was able to record; ” I am grateful that I am breathing, for my children  and that the sun came up today”. However as I continued the homework it felt great to begin to spot so many things to be thankful for, within a week the challenge was to pick which 3 things of the dozens I had spotted that I would record!

Give it a go!
Ths month why not exercise your attitude of gratitude – here are some ideas to start you off….

•  At the end of each day write  3 things for which you are grateful in a gratitude journal.  Read over segments of the journal from time to time.

•  Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.

•  Practice gratitude around your home or work – just taking the time to notice when a friend, colleague or relative does something that you can express thanks out loud to them for.

•  When life throws you a lemon, try making some lemonade!  Hunt for the hidden blessing or opportunity in every apparent setback or obstacle .

•  Remember that your words have power- watch out for when you slip into complaining and negativity and see it you can switch to appreciation or gratitude. You may be amazed by how quickly you get to feel better.

•  When I’m weary and cannot sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep. Programme your subconscious by recalling things you are grateful for in the final moments before sleeping – you will be asleep for 6/7 hours- it is much better to feed that time with uplifting and positive thoughts than all the wasteful anxious stuff that we so  often stir up before sleeping.
Share your stories

I can guarantee you that if you practice these steps for a month you will feel an inner shift . You may be pleased to to discover how much more joyful and optimistic you begin to feel. That  isthe power of the attitude of  gratitude at work. Please do hop onto our website and share your stories- shouting out loud how thankful you are increases the positive vibes and hikes up the power of the practice big time!   I hope to see many of you over the summer in the Lighthouse Centre. Until next month -THANK YOU

In love and light

June 2012

The dust is finally settling on the aftermath of Flourish Fest and the three Belfast workshops that we arranged with Harshada Wagner. Bringing Harshada  to Ireland was a great joy and feedback from many participants has confirmed how life changing his teachings are. All these events were magical in many ways and well worth all the hard work! It was great to see so many people  sharing together in such a special way. Having promised myself that I would never again take on something like Flourish Fest, I have completely back tracked because of the positive feedback and we will be doing Flourish Fest 2013 on 17- 19 May 2013, next year.

Watch this space…