Tag Archives: Wake Up!
Video

The Real You By Alan Watts

11 Feb

Gratitude

3 Dec

sunriseOver the past few months I have presented a number of talks to various groups either adults or students. Some of the talks are based around different topics positive mental health, happiness or inspiration. There is one thing that links all these together and that is something so simple and so uncomplicated that most of us never bother to practice it. It is a simple yet beautiful word and action… it is simply …Gratitude.

The world revolves at just the right speed the sun rises to greet us each day without us asking and the moon lights our way through night and provides the tidal cycles that are so important to the earth and its climate. Our environment is enriched with air which freely allows us to breath with most of us never understanding how this combination of  21% oxygen,  78% nitrogen and 1% other gasses formed to provide the most essential element that keeps us alive. The earth spins and night turns to day. While nature and the seasons work in harmony to provide us with food and water to keep us alive and colour to bring us joy. Our bodies work like a vast industrial complex pumping blood and fluid around our vessels , regulating temperature, blood pressure and our heart rate while manufacturing skin, hair and new cells whilst repairing what is out of balance…..it’s just amazing.

We turn on taps and clean water flows through them when others lie thirsty. We jump in the shower and we have instant hot water when so many in this world have never experienced the cleansing of a warm shower. We cool food in fridges and cook meals in ovens  from food on our tables as others go hungry. We have roofs over our heads and blankets on our bed when so many in this world are homeless. With health in our hearts we can run, jump feel the wind and sun on our faces when so many will never know what is to be able to walk or run. Swim in the sea and feel the waves wash over our faces when so many have never even had the ability to dip a toe or hand into or even stood and witnessed the might and beauty of the ocean. We are surrounded by radiant colours that change with seasons and beautifully dance with the rays from our Sun when so many have never been given the gift of sight.  We dance and hear music that lifts our moods and soundtracks our lives when so many have never experienced what it is to feel or hear that joy. We share touches with hugs and sneak kisses with lovers when so many would love to know what the warmth and love and caress from another human feels like…just once. We have friends that enjoy our company who revel in our smiles and share in our laughs when others have no one….not a single hand to hold. We can feel our heart sing as we express what we truly believe to be right when so many are too afraid or never allowed to speak out…………

We live on a dot spinning at 167o kms an hour surrounded by infinity and consisting of miracles. It is, a gift to be a part of this incredible world.

So what ever falls your way today… remember all the gifts that have been given to you, that so many others on this tiny dot we call “Earth” never get to experience… and simply or silently say

” Thank You “.

A Wake Up Call.. | TragedyandHope

25 Sep

I have not posted in a while. I have spent my summer walking the Camino across Northern Spain. It  was beautiful and I wanted to share this with You regarding our beautiful world.

A Wake Up Call.. | TragedyandHope.

Gratitude HD – Moving Art Movie

27 Feb

Gratitude is something I have talked about many times before.

From the moment that I Wake up to the moment that I fall asleep I am constantly being grateful for what I have in my world.

This little film is wonderful.

via Gratitude HD – Moving Art Movie.

Wake Up! to the sound of nothing

18 Feb

Doolin wavesLast week I was so lucky to have a couple of days to myself. I decided to drop in on one of my favourite places in the world Doolin, Co Clare. Specifically to the Rainbow hostel where Carmel and Mattie Shannon provided  warm and welcoming hospitality in their homely hostel.

The real reason I was down was to buy a Surfboard and catch some surfing in nearby Lahinch. I managed to get the surfing in which was a beautiful Wake Up! while enjoying thew February Atlantic. As the Danish say “There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes“.

I never purchased the Surfboard as the surf assistants unwillingness to haggle cost him a sale. Even a 5% token discount would have got him a happy customer and a sale at a time of the year when things are slow. Not great business sense …but there you go.

The two days down by the Atlantic where so therapeutic. Surfing by day and watching the waves crash against Doolin pier  and surrounding rocks at high tide each evening was a form of meditation. As I walked up the country road to the hostel at night the sky provided the clearest views of the stars that I had ever seen. Beautiful and silent with just the sounds of the crashing Atlantic in the distance as I walked. Inside Carmel’s hostel the log stove in the front room provided warmth in a room filled with nothing but the wind from outside as I sat reading and connecting with the wonderful stillness of the present moment.

The experience that you get in the Rainbow hostel is not found in any Hotels that I have visited. maybe it’s the warm welcome from Carmel the scones in the morning or just the simple solitude. Whatever it is it works.

Nature is beautiful yet we rarely make enough connections with it as we fleetingly move from distractions to distractions that never provide lasting imprints on our memories. As the world turned and the Pope abdicated while share prices rose and fell and rose again none of this seemed to matter as the silence and pleasure of the now in a small remote town on the western coast of Europe took over.

Happy Days.

When was the last time you turned the world off.

23 Jan

Apologies to all . I have been so busy providing positive mental health programmes that I have not had the chance to connect with my wonderful blog.

I came across this today from my good friend Jo Burke.  As I am enjoying the first evening off in such a long time I thought it was a perfect time to share this with you.

Make 2013 your year.

Happiness Is Contagious

18 Oct

Happiness feedback

Some days are better than others and some weeks follow the same vein. The past few weeks have ben filled with wonderful positivity and happiness from the Happiness Workshop at Mental health week to the inspiring programmes with Teens from Carlow Vocational school and Colaiste Eoin Hackettstown.

There was something Magical about the three weeks just spent with 5th and 6th class kids that was so heartwarming.We talked about all the things we loved about life and what and who we were grateful for. We also looked at how wonderful we unique every single one of us is. The response from the kids was filled with enough sunshine to warm a Spanish Summers day . The goodbye that I was given from the St Patricks 5th class through an archway of joined hands and cheers like a newly married couple experience leaving a wedding will stay with me forever.

All that I can say is it is so true….Happiness is contagious. The wonderful feedback from all the kids involved was a testament to the awesomeness of our existence. Pictured above is proof that yes….Happiness is spreading.

3 is a Magic number

5 Oct

This week was a busy week spent visiting and talking with school students . This week I facilitated workshops for over 400 students excluding the 60 students that came along to watch the Happy Movie on Tuesday.

A wide range of students from primary school students ( age 10-11) all the way up to degree students. How lucky was I this week to meet such a diverse range of students. Every group had their own dynamic and I thoroughly enjoyed every single one. How lucky am I, that I can spend my days talking to people about what is great about this world and what life has to offer.

One exercise that I use with students and practice myself each day is 3 great things. We talk about the importance of remembering by writing down or thinking of 3 things that went well in our day.

It does not have to be events like winning a trip to Disneyland. It can be the simple things in life that make us reframe the way we look at the world.

I put a 21 day gratitude diary for the 10 and 11 year old kids to focus on over the next 3 weeks I am with them. So the students could get an understanding of how this works. I said I would write on the board the 3 things that I would be putting on my list tonight.

I began to write on the board

  1. Run( I explained that I was going to go for a run tonight because that makes me healthy and it also puts me in a good mood. I am also so thankful for my health)
  2. Hot Chocolate ( I explained to the students that sometimes I like to treat myself, Today that treat is going to be a hot chocolate because I have not had one in such along time- Yum)

I started to write my 3rd nice thing and heard a gasp from behind me in the class…. followed by a chorus of “ooh that is so nice”…

My  number 3 was simply….. How lucky I was to meet every single one of you today.

What a beautiful experience…. I shared my gratitude with the kids for being a wonderful part of my day and they in turn shared their appreciation for feeling that they really matter…. and they do.

Happiness is not complicated it is not somewhere else , it might be hard to find sometimes but… when it is shared…. it is wonderful.

Happy

21 Sep

The word “Happy” in itself creates a warm feeling some words just sound like they look or provide the feeling that we get from experiencing it. “Balloon” is another example of that “Jelly” is cool and “Bubble” too,We could go on.

Well to stick with the word “Happy” something we all love as you know. I came across a documentary about happiness in our world that asks the questions.

Does money make you HAPPY? Kids and family? Your work? Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being? Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution?

Roko Belic, director of the Academy Award® nominated “Genghis Blues” now brings us HAPPY, a film that sets out to answer these questions and more. Taking us from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

I thought it would be nice to watch it at our local theatre  at the Art Centre here in Carlow.

So I contacted the producers and with the support of Michelle de Forge from Visual Carlow I am bringing Happy to Carlow.

In conjunction with My company Wake Up! and Carlow Mental health We are bringing some sunshine to Carlow on Sunday the 30th Of Sept at 8 pm.

It is a chance to forget the worries and stresses of this recession hit world and join some upbeat like-minded people for an evening of happiness.

Look forward to seeing some smiling faces there.

Lessons for Living- Wow! your world

12 Sep

As Summer comes to a close we can feel a drop in the temperature in the mornings. This is a time of year that I love. You can almost feel the change of the seasons in the air like a clearing or a cleansing.

I love the Summer but there is something wonderful about accepting and welcoming the Autumn. We are lucky in this part of the world to experience seasons. Four times a year we get to welcome change and that is good.

It is a times like this that I really appreciate summer. We may have not had the driest or warmest of summers but what can you do. We live on a rocky green Island in the North Atlantic ocean it’s never going to be the Maldives. You have to learn to adapt and we are good at adapting.  The Atlantic seas of West Kerry and Clare this summer were full of people in wet suits swimming, surfing and jumping through waves in temperatures and weather conditions most people wouldn’t consider leaving the house in. We have realized it is cold in the Atlantic. Yet we are blessed with beautiful beaches and surf how can we spend longer in the water simply purchase a wet suit and the day is yours.

The people of Iceland always amaze me too. If we think we have it bad in Ireland just look at Iceland. A volcanic, treeless rock in the far northern Atlantic ocean,with dark cold winters and not very warm grey summers.

Yet Icelanders have a great outlook to life. They recognize that where they live is exactly what I stated but they understand that it is their home and they accept that they cannot change it. Iceland is another country that rates quite highly on the happiness index. Many of them call it the “Beast” because of Iceland’s strange but wondrous beauty.

Icelanders do not spend time thinking about where else they could be. They live with what they have. Icelanders read more books than any other population in the world. They have a keen interest in the arts with at least 87 music schools. Not bad for a population of 320,000. They are also blessed with the highest birth rate in Europe. So you can see they keep busy in the cold winter months rather than twiddling their thumbs looking out at the snow.

The happiest countries in the World, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden are all harsher countries than most to survive in (just ask the Vikings) but have an abundance of people who love where they live.

Where am I going with this.Life is all about appreciating what you have and what is around you. Something we fail to do for most of waking lives. One thing I love to do on my courses is a WOW! walk. Here we take 10 or 15 minutes with the group and go out into nature and look at our world with a positive lens. We point out all the wonderful scents we might have normally failed to notice or the colours of a church stained glass window or flowers in a garden. We look at architecture in a different light and even the sky seems more beautiful not matter what shade of colour it is.

Autumn provides us with beautiful colours and a chance to prepare for the winter and bright clear beauty that it often provides.

No matter where you live it’s the mindset of the Irish in wetsuits surfing the winter seas or the Icelanders singing their way to happiness that will transform your view of the world you currently inhabit.

What should you do!. Embrace were you live and take a WOW walk at least once a week,allowing you to embrace…. rather than run from the wonderful changing seasons and world you live in.

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