30 Nov 2015 – Summing it up

WP_20151122_009Barry sent me this photo he took of Cilly and I during a weekend walk in our local area. He wrote on his message to me “this sums up things for me these days.” I knew in that moment it would be the next blog. I wrote back to him, “Thank you.  It’s like we are, photographer, mother, child, all watching the pure white beautiful swan as a being always there but no longer in human form.”  The buggy sits empty. The child and mother hold each other closely. The swan is among many ducks. They all drift by, out of reach, in their water home. The swan, a snowy white beauty that is present yet leaving us to be in our stillness.

I have had a lot of creative energy, angry energy and grief lately. Triggered by a chest infection that is doing the rounds as this year’s illness. It made me stop. I had to rest. I had to be still. It is when stopping happens that the body surrenders to all of the emotions within. So sure enough there was plenty that came up! I started reflecting on my work and the role I want to play in my job as a psychologist, reflecting on how we approach suffering in our health care system, listening to what I have heard a lot of people in distress (me included) say about healing, then of course all of the world events and what they are trying to teach us all…

No one can heal the world but we all play a part on the big stage of life. We can easily divide us and them, me and you, we can put a boundary there to make us feel more comfortable with all that goes on around us. For me, that isn’t healing. That is dissociating. We heal from the heart. We heal through love. We heal when we feel part of something meaningful. We heal when we feel meaningful. We heal when we connect to our own truth and when we live by that truth. We heal when we completely surrender to what is. It is amazing what I have found within this deep pain.

So I continue to surrender. Christmas is coming. There is no getting away from how utterly heart wrenching that feels right now. I never used to get how Christmas was a difficult time of year for many. My only associations with Christmas up until this year have been of cards, presents, mad frenzied shopping and not having a clue what to get people as Christmas day creeps up way too quickly, of rather too much mulled wine, singing cheesy but nice carols, watching really bad TV, decorating trees with tack, mountains of food, family gatherings, weather conditions, planes over to England, generally being busy, catching up with friends and the magic of seeing our two boys meet Santa, open their gifts and bring that special magic to Christmas that only children can.

In a heart beat, all that I knew to be Christmas fell apart, like so many other things, the day I knew our son was going to die. I stared into the matrix that day and the bubble of life as I knew it burst. Now I know the experiences so many people have at this time of year. The person who will be freezing and begging on the street, those living in war zones constantly afraid of their lives, those forced to live as refugees coping with trauma after trauma, those who live in starvation and poverty, those who are alone, those who lost someone they dearly loved. All different experiences of the same one thing: suffering. This time of year intensifies the pain. I feel it in every part of me. OISIN WILL NOT BE HERE. We go through it without him. What is Christmas without our boy. I remember the delight on his face at every Hot Wheels car he opened, at every Lightning McQueen car he opened, his delight at seeing Santa, the fun of decorating the tree. I will never see that incredible look on his face ever again. There will be one less chair at the table. One less the whole time. With every passing moment.

Then after Christmas, it is the anniversary of his death. Then after the anniversary of his death it is his 5th birthday. The dates come one after the other. I have no idea what strength will carry us through. Well actually I do. LOVE. And TRUST that we will just get through. What does “getting through” even mean. Different things to different people. For some it is managing to get out of bed and see some of the day. For some it is downing 15 pints, putting on a silly hat, wearing a smile and crumbling into darkness for a few days before the mask goes on again. That’s it. No magic formula. The bottom line is you just have to go through the pain, over and over and over again.

What do I think gets a person through it? PERMISSION. SELF LOVE. ACCEPTANCE. Permission to be as you are. To Love yourself enough to know when to say no to others and to compassionately be with your experience. Acceptance of feeling whatever thought or feeling you feel – whether it is a dark thought, a feeling of rage and fury, a feeling of terror, a deep and hollow sadness or elated joy and peace. They belong to you. They are yours. Own them. Be with them and give them compassion. Accept without any GUILT or feeling that you SHOULDN’T feel or think this way – that’s when you run into trouble. All these secondary feelings are the guys to toss out! Mr GUILT and Little Miss SHOULD and Mrs SHAME and Mr HOW DARE YOU THINK SUCH  A THING and Ms JUST PICK YOURSELF UP AND GET OVER YOURSELF. Get them out the door and get back to your PERMISSION to feel whatever way you want to – feelings and thoughts in themselves do not harm. You can be with them in the most silent and still ways. You can be with them just in your breath, in your tears, in your creativity. But these secondary guys – they can cause trouble. And they are usually the voices of others, voices of the past, voices of a culture. They are NOT YOURS. Let them out. You have enough on with this one single experience that you are just trying to be with.  Just trying to “get through.” Okay so there’s my rant and on we go….

In anticipation of a very difficult Christmas ahead, Barry, Cilly and I are travelling to Norway. We have some friends there who we are in gratitude to, for offering us their home and kindness. We will have an overnight stay in Roros, a beautiful mountain village where we can do some fun stuff like dog sledding, and hang out with Santa’s reindeer. More than anything, I just want Cilly to feel some Christmas magic glow in his beautiful brave heart. I want it for us all, of course, but so dearly want it for him as he goes through Christmas without his brother.

I have such a beautiful and sad memory of the day it snowed in Ballymore-Eustace last year. Oisin wasn’t walking. He was in Daddy’s arms and I was standing with them in the conservatory. We were watching Cilly, Granny and Uncle Bren outside. Then they rolled snow balls and started throwing them in the window to us for Oisin. Barry helped Oisin to throw the snow balls back out. Somehow we managed to make a snow ball fight and form a beautiful moment between us all. One I will remember. One that made me seek out a snowy place to throw snow balls again this year – and feel the breeze of Oisin on our faces, feel his energy in our throws, hear his laughter in the bitter Nordic wind.

We are in deep gratitude to all of our friends and family who have supported us through this year. Even when I have needed to be alone, I have always felt you with me. We are making plans to combine our donated funds with the hard working, lovely family of people who set up the organisation, Brain Tumour Ireland . For those of you who are friends on facebook you may have seen the fund raising 10k run/5k walk they held in Dublin on Nov. 1st. We hope to continue our connection to this group, and give our inputs into where to focus the funds. Thank you again to all of you who donated and have done various fund raising initiatives.

Peace to you all this Christmas. Hold your coldest experiences with the warmest compassion. Permission. Self Love. Acceptance.

Sheila xxx


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Wednesday 4 November – Plushy time again!

Today Cilly wanted to make a dragon fly “plushy”. Here it is!


Then later this evening I had a look at what we were doing this time last year. Strangely enough we were also making plushy’s with Maeve, who taught us how to do them!! It was our first trip back to Cork since Oisin was diagnosed. Here is an exerpt..

“Today we spent the day by the sea at our very favourite places, Myrtleville  and Crosshaven. The sun glistened and the boys kicked off the shoes and socks and seemed to run so freely and happily in the sand and water. We met up with Suzanne for brunch in Crosshaven and then called up to Maeve’s house who was there with the girls. Oisin and Cilly loved seeing Albert again, the tortoise with attitude, and I think Maeve and I had the most fun of everyone with the “plushy” making!  Boys went to bed very early after their day, but not before enjoying the treats Orla left for them. We had our final  visitors, Jo and Philip, stop by and now the hatches are firmly battened down on another emotional, beautiful, tiring day. Words can’t always accurately describe the personal impact of our experiences. We simply continue on, like riding the ocean waves, and its all we can do for now. Good night all. xxx

It was a sad day gain today. I noticed how the disbelief of having our incredible little boy gone from this world, can still rise from within like a volcano.  xxx

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October 2015 – As he moves through the open heart


A doodle I did on phone whilst in Yoga Borgo!

My final week at Yoga Borgo

I am just back from Yoga Borgo in Italy.  Our final week saw us all emerge as butterflies on earth, ready to spread our wings and share this yogic energy. I feel nourished and cleansed. The intensity of the second week has become much more integrated. I did the usual early morning practices, we did gong meditation, we did a kriya that focused on emotional release, we did a two and a half hour meditation and all of it seemed to pass through me in a way that felt contained and balanced. I could simply be with the experience and I felt joyful at the change within me.

Yoga has given me a way to balance my whole system: mind, body and soul. The emotions arising this time were of love and peace and deep gratitude to my teachers, Sada Sat Singh and Sada Sat Kaur, who have guided us all very skilfully and lovingly along our journey.

The body keeps the score

 The emotional traumas of a lifetime quite often have no words to speak other than the imprint they leave in our bodies. I am currently reading a book on this very subject (photo below), which cites yoga as a way of working effectively with trauma. DSC_0266With all the work I have been doing on myself, what I have noticed during the week in Yoga Borgo, is how emotionally cleansed I feel, as if I have cleared out a lifetime or more of emotional debris and grief. It is like there is a deep undercurrent of love and peace flowing through me that can keep my emotions moving freely along the way.

I haven’t had those feelings of grief so much lately, but when I have cried, the tears have come along with a feeling of love and gratitude for the memories that Oisin has given me. He blessed us all with his life and his incredible soul.

When I left Cilly for Italy, I had to say goodbye to him until my joyous return to his big smiling face. I will have to say goodbye to him many times during his human life. With Oisin, I never have to say goodbye again. He is around me and within me always.received_10207701997567393

Sharing what we learn can help us all

If there is one piece of wisdom I want to share from all the experiences of the last year it is to not let it take something this big to experience what I have come to experience. The road to well being and fulfillment is for all of us, without exception.

Along my way, I have learned that we don’t heal through anger, through judgement, by intellectualising everything and staying up in our heads. We heal when we get into our body, open our heart to love and learn to let go of all of the things we never had. We all go through loss from the moment we are born.  We all mourn that loss in various ways. We all have that in common. It is our own responsibility to let go and forgive. Not someone else’s.


I’m gonna let that little light shine!

It is frightening to let go. We need to trust that when we jump into the darkness we will find the light. That is our true self in there waiting for us. When we find it, we shine out to everyone and everyone will see it. They will be attracted to your light because we all want it. We all want the light.

I have experienced that true well being is not about being happy, sad, up, down, excited, nervous, good times or bad times. It is simply about being with a moment. It is about trusting that every moment dies into a new one. There is no need to be this or that. All is just as is. Whatever it is-  good, bad or indifferent.


Yogis in the kitchen


Another Yogi caterpillar on her way to metamorphosis!

 I have arrived at the end of Kundalini Yoga teacher training knowing that I can share what I have learned and experienced with others, be this as a mother, a daughter, a wife, a friend, a yoga teacher or a psychologist. It hasn’t made me a saint by any stretch (my husband will verify that!). It has simply made me a human “being”.

“We are not physical beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.” ― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Love and light ,


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Tuesday 29th September – A Memorable Month

Oisín Going Up Hill

Oisin in the fallen leaves at our first house in Cork


A year ago I began this blog writing about September. I wrote the following….

“September has always been a memorable month. Barry and I got married in September. Our youngest boy, Cillian, has his birthday in September (he has just turned two and is emerging as a fiesty, funny and chatty little boy). Forever in our memories now will be the day we were told that Oisin had a brain tumour,  30th September 2014.

WP_20141130_046We have arrived here again. The autumn leaves are changing. It is a time for new beginnings. It is a time for transitions. This time last year we entered the chrysalis. Our lives were never to be the same again. What we witnessed in Oisin transformed us all and we continue to grow from this experience. Now I look back a year on and I find myself painfully reliving this time. It is a time of reflection and a time where I seek to remember Oisin, as our human boy. I remember how we started to see him change around the time he began pre-school. I recall the early signs of his illness, and the quiet voice in the back of my mind telling me something was wrong, something neurological, as I watched him running around and not keeping up with his friends. I recall the first days in hospital, the tests and scans and the waiting for the results, with no fear in my mind that whatever it was couldn’t be nursed back to health. The remembering just happens in me. The crying and disbelief that we really went through this – just happens in me. I don’t know any other way than this way. It is the way of my heart. I don’t run. I surrender. Why? How? Because it feels real. There is a beauty to all that we went through…. the beautiful agony of this time with Oisin and his journey towards his butterfly being.

The picture above shows Oisin in the autumn leaves, on a trip back to Cork following his diagnosis. He was quickly losing the ability to walk. In the photo he has just been to football match in Pairc Ui Caoimh with his Dad. It wasn’t planned. We were just heading out for a walk and a match happened to be on. Barry knew he had to take Oisin and experience the magic of watching a match at a big stadium. This is one of my favourite pictures of him during this time. It captures the transitional time of year, his joy to be in the leaves on the ground, that incredible smile of his, a knowing look, his Lightening McQueen coat;  and also the clear signs of his tumour, his weight gain, that he is sitting and not running around in the leaves, and the way he holds his left hand. It’s all there in that one picture. That one heart breaking picture.

Cilly’s way is very different to my way! Cilly welcomed September in with a healthy obsession for blackberry picking and putting mummy’s nerves on edge with all the big jumping and climbing he has been doing!

Cilly’s bouncy birthday


Cilly turned 3 on 12th September. He continues to be a fiesty, funny and chatty growing boy! Of course he wanted to spend his birthday with Granny and Grandad in Ballymore. We decided to keep it small, tempted as we were to gather all our usual friends from the area and over Dublin way. It had to be for Cilly and Cilly only. So a sunny day, a bouncy castle and some nearby friends were just the right balance for a bouncy, happy day (thanks Jeremy and Fiona for the bouncy castle). The chocolate caterpillar cake was a hit once again this year as it was last year (no, I didn’t bake it)!! Great to have Reuben visit us in the evening to make a fun and magical end to Cilly’s day.

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Cilly has become his playschool name, “a grasshopper!” He jumps off everything he can climb up and is getting higher, so much so it has now caught the attention of our mum friends here in Cork. As we watched him climb up to the top of the safety nets in the local play centre, and “let go” as his way of getting back down again, we starting to consider ways he might channel this love of jumping – perhaps gymnastics or climbing!



Very special moment at convent grounds near our house. I saw two butterflies together and then a grasshopper all around the old disused fountain. Cilly happened to pop his head into this butterfly shot at just the right moment.

I have taken on the role of mother and what feels like stand-in big brother and play mate to Cilly. He still seems to be in the role of younger brother. He needs to have an older person to feel secure before he will go to the slides at the playgrounds, explore in the play centres or be comfortable playing with other children. At playschool, he tends to stay close to the teachers but he does seem to be making friends within his own limits. Playing with him is a chance to learn how he is getting on emotionally. His play is full of magic and bringing toy animals to life. He is quite the dramatic artist!

The other night Cilly and I were reading a bedtime story. He got to a part in the book that talked about being lonely. Cilly piped up, “Granny is lonely when me and Tom leave.” Then he looked sad and said, “I miss Granny…. Do you miss Granny?” I said I didn’t really misoisin dragons Granny too much because we can visit her but I said I did miss Oisin. I asked him if he missed Oisin. “No,” he said, “I still see Oisin.” I asked about this some more. He described seeing Oisin as a purple dragon and that I could see him too if I had lots of “love, love, love.” He told me he saw him when he touched the “love tree” at the gates of his playschool and he also saw him when the blinds were up out of his bedroom window. He said to me, “keep trying mummy.” We printed out a dragon picture today. This is one he picked out that most looked like Oisin to him.

First day of School

September is the month children begin school. Oisin would have started junior infants with his friends this year. Cilly continues to meet with the friends he and Oisin made, every Thursday in a play centre. We didn’t go on the Thursday they all started their new schools. Instead, Cilly and I went off to the beach where I often brought the boys. We could feel him all around us. I was terribly sad that day. I’ve moved through it again. I’ve managed to ask a little more about how Oisin’s friends are all getting on. I was surprised when I heard about all the academic books they were having to pay a small fortune for and the homework some of them have to do. DSC_0157But it was when we were talking about what the children were now drawing that it hit me how much I had become frozen in time. In my mind 4 and 5 year olds are still drawing scribbles. One boy gave Cilly a birthday card. Inside he had drawn a beautiful, sophisticated scene of a jungle. I could identify the creatures he had drawn. How quickly they have moved on already. I imagine Oisin’s wisdom is beyond any need for school now. I imagine that he is with each and every one of his friends as they make this big transition. But as much as I can comfort myself with what I imagine, the reality is that he will never be doing any of this.  I will never get to see the delighted smile on his face as he brings home his art work for mummy to see. I will never get to see him looking smart in his school uniform on his first day of school. I will never get to gush with delight at all the new friends he is making and all the new things he is learning, watching him go through all the ups and downs of settling into “big school”. I will of course get it all with Cilly – but that isn’t a reality that exists for me right now and I never know what tomorrow brings any more. I have only now. We all do. 


Me doing “Hast Kriya” in Dingle, one of my 40-day meditations!

One more week of Kundalini Yoga

I am preparing myself for my final week of Kundalini Yoga teacher training October 8th, in Italy once more. I am so excited about it. It feels like a home for my soul when I go there. I notice how much my practice has grown. How easily I move into the practice now. How my life has become so flowing and synchronised. What used to overwhelm me is much more integrated. It continues to open my heart and I let it. I just keep letting go. It has become part of who I am and I am so incredibly grateful for it in my life. Grateful too for the people I have met because of this journey. It is a compassionate, authentic, healing and accepting community to have in my life. I have been teaching Yoga to others as part of my training requirements. It is always met with a lot of positive interest. I was even invited to share it with a men’s group at work and it comes into a group I do on the ward all the time. It seems to be connecting with others very naturally. Thank you to all those who have participated so far. I look forward to more. Tomorrow I will be marking Oisin’s diagnosis day with morning yoga and meditation with my colleagues and friends. The following week, before I head back over to Yoga Borgo for the final time, I am giving a full morning sadhana (yoga practice) and aquarian mantra meditation practice to a group of colleagues who are based in Cork city. How fab you all are for getting up so early. It starts at 6.30am! I am also teaching it to a group of mums next week (thanks Bethan). I really enjoy sharing this practice, knowing how much it can help and heal.

I practice 40-day meditations as part of my training but much more because I get so much from them. Funnily enough, I will be finishing a 40-day one this evening. I didn’t time it to be on the eve of 30th but there you go. I might try this one “meditation for a grateful heart” next.  http://www.spiritvoyage.com/globalsadhana/heartofgratitude . This meditation is a global sadhana where people all around the world will be doing this 40-day meditation and receive an emailed link to a video each night. There is a forum to share experiences. The music that goes along with it has been in my head for weeks so it was no surprise to then see it had just started up as the latest global sadhana, such is the flow of life these days. I invite you all to try one!

More healing connections

Along with the yoga I have been forming more connections with others in the well being and healing world. Upon a recommendation from my friend, I decided to take Cillian to a kinesiologist called Tony Galvin. I tried to time it with Cilly’s end of nap in the afternoon but as it turned out Cilly was still fast asleep in the car when I arrived at my appointment. I woke up a grumpy Cilly, took him to this strange man’s house and Cilly was having none of it. He cried and cried then made a dash for the door and right out of the house! We took the hint. That was Cilly in general for a while. It was like he was just saying, “leave me alone. I just need to have everyone back off for now and let me be as I am with this. All you need to do is love me and I’ll do this in my own way and in my own time.” Days after the session Cilly decided it was time to take off his nappies, marking another transition in his life. He has been able to use the toilet for months but was just too afraid to take off the nappy. Cilly will always do things his own way, in his own time. I’ve learned to trust his wisdom – because he seems to have so much  of it!

As it turned out,  I discovered that Tony and I have a lot in common. We have both lost a child. We have both been on an extraordinary journey ever since. Tony is further along that journey and he tells me how life changing his daughter’s death has been. His life is now dedicated to helping others through kinesiology and he too has made some nourishing connections with others who have helped him along his way.

Nirinjan Kaur

Nirinjan Kaur

Beautiful Concerts

Recently I went to a Nirinjan Kaur and Matthew Schoening concert. She is a very beautiful singer and kundalini yoga teacher. The concert was powerful for me. I found myself sitting on a yoga mat in the front row, directly in front of her. The first part of the day was a yoga workshop with her. The meditation she chose at the end of the yoga set spoke right to my heart. It was a meditation I had done a few times when I returned back to Cork – a meditation for a broken heart. It wasn’t the only time the tears flowed during her concert. During a song called “waves”, I closed my eyes and felt the words move through me. I was transported to a beach where the waves of the sea splashed over my face. As I sat there surrendering to the healing power of each wave, Oisín appeared beside me and I became aware of the loving presence of the whole room around me. Thank you Nirinjan Kaur.

We went to another very special concert as a family, in Dublin’s fabulous National Concert Hall. We went to hear the angelic voice of Orla Fallon:
IMG_1427    IMG_1429

You will recall that Orla sang and played harp at Oisin’s funeral. We have kept in touch ever since. The concert was intimate and relaxed, with many songs dedicated to family and friends in the audience. We too had a song dedicated to Oisin and our family, which had me crying throughout. Orla if you are reading this you will enjoy me telling you that my parents are also very inspired by the music and folk of Tennessee. They have been there themselves and have become friends with the Oakridge Boys. My Dad, especially, is a humongous fan! The song you dedicated to us, “In the sweet by and by” (this is a link to Dolly’s version) is a song my Dad and I strongly associate with my childhood and with Grandma. We used to sing it often, along with another song that my Dad has of my Grandma singing “Peace in the valley.” One of Dad’s comments on this blog was as follows, “During this time, a song that I love kept playing in my mind and gave me great comfort (it’s amazing how music has this ability). The song ‘PEACE IN THE VALLEY’ is the only song I have of Oisin’s Great Grandmother Wilton singing and is one that she recorded not too long before she died also.” “Down by the Sally Gardens ” was another song Orla performed and was one I used to sing when I was a child long before I met Barry and then Ireland, two great loves in my life now! When I first arrived in Ireland I noticed that everyone had a party piece that they would stand up and sing at weddings or long nights out! I loved this idea and went in search of my own party piece. Well, the second song Orla chose that night was the very party piece I learned, the beautiful Scottish folk song “My love is like a red red rose.” How remarkable that she chose those songs. Another very special synchronicity. I am sure she felt Oisin whirl and twirl as much as we did when she sang that evening. Thank you, dear Orla Fallon.

A link and a message from Barry….

Barry returned to Barretstown for a family event whilst I was at the Nirijan Kaur concert. Like the one I described in a previous blog, it was a day for families who have loved and lost a child. It was much the same format as last time only this time Barry got a chance to speak with the CEO of Anam Cara, Sharon. This is what he shared…

“Here is some information on a support group for bereaved parents called Anam Cara (Irish for Soul Mate), who have been very supportive to us. The founder, Sharon Vard, is a great person and inspiration to us. Her daughter, Rachel, passed away 11 yrs ago from DIPG. I was talking to her last Sunday at Barretstown, and she’s the first person I’ve spoken to who went through the trauma of having to face the loss of a child to DIPG.

A link to an article ” Sharon Vard, CEO Anam Cara, “In the beginning it rips you apart. Parents discuss losing a child.

September is also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and our thoughts are with all the children and families going through this major ordeal, filled with uncertainty.

Sept-Childhood Cancer Awareness

So, as I close the blog and post it up this evening, I share with you a prayer that I was given that I have placed on my windowsill in the kitchen. It is a Catholic prayer to all who have to face days like the one we face tomorrow. Symbolic days. Days where that little bit more strength and courage is needed just to get through….

Prayer for Strength

Every day I need you Lord but this day especially, I need some extra strength to face whatever is to be. This day more than any day I need to feel you near, To fortify my courage and to overcome my fear. By myself, I cannot meet the challenge of the hour. There are times when human creatures need a higher power to help them bear what must be borne. So dear Lord, I pray, hold on to my trembling hand and journey with me today. Amen.

– We sometimes replace “Lord”, with “Oisin”

May you all have a peaceful, reflective day tomorrow.

All my love and blessings,


P.S. Text written in blue are links you can click on, to video clips and websites you might find of value.

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12 July 2015 – 6 months later….


Butterfly on the lavender, Yoga Borgo, Italy


It is 6 months since Oisin’s death. My relationship with him has changed over time. Whilst my memories of him as our child are still so strong and painful, my experience of him now is of a bright, sparkling and vast energy. He is never too far away, dancing and twirling around. He makes himself known in so many different ways and through so many people. It helps me to stay open to this kind of relationship with him.

This blog has become a story of what this one incredible little boy gave to his family. To me, his human mother. To Barry, his human father. To Cillian, his human brother. It ripples out to all. I get one shot at making what he did for us really count. That’s why I keep my heart and soul open to all of the experiences I am having along the way. At times, the path has been going at such speed I have felt very afraid and I often wonder if I will keep writing this blog in such a public way. What we are going through is so personal. I don’t want this to be all about me and Barry and Cilly. I want this to be about how these experiences can shape the whole course of our human life in the most profound way. Suffering is without doubt, very cruel, and yet it can be the one thing that can shake us into a much more conscious existence. A much deeper understanding of who we really are. This is my experience. Everyone goes through the same journey in their own way.







I have just returned from Italy where I did my second week of Kundalini Yoga training. It was a similar pattern as last time. The start of the week was difficult. I missed my family and felt particularly raw this time. The yoga practice helped me to bring up some very deep emotions, more than just grief. Painful as it was it was liberating to move through them and emerge out of the other side with a more solid sense of who I am. It’s like shedding layers of old selves that no longer serve a purpose any more. The yoga was so powerful this time. I experienced a lot of energy moving through me during the practice. It was a surprise to discover this energy can actually move around the body in this way, but in the surrender to the experience of it the feeling is utterly beautiful and quite beyond any words. I noticed how much more strength I have gained in the practice. I returned from Yoga Borgo feeling much more in balance with myself. The challenge, as always, is maintaining the practice.


“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Yogi Bhajan

Flowers on the hillside

Flowers on the hillside


A room with a view


A place to sit



Stella. A yogi cat.

Stella. A yogi cat.

4 July BBQ - The Sada Sats are American!

4 July BBQ – The Sada Sats are American!







When I returned,  Barry and Cilly had gone to Dingle for the weekend to join Barry’s family. Barry sent me some gorgeous pictures of Ventry Strand. We have taken a holiday in Dingle every year for the last 3 years and will be there again in August. Oisin really loved going. It sounded like an emotional few days for the family. Barry told me Oisin’s presence was felt everywhere. Looking at the pictures, I can see why….

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butterfly being quote


My dear friend, Julie, who I trained with in clinical psychology, has launched a web site. It is called www.butterflybeing.com. She is offering group and individual work, acting as “a facilitator and guide to work with you (or your child) to elicit and cultivate your own innate power to move towards wholeness and to transform what is ready to be discarded in your life, both internally and externally.” (taken from Julie’s site).  She writes on it that Oisin was her inspiration in bringing the concept together. I will add her details on the help and support section of this blog. It is a very beautiful site and I wish her well with her work. I share with Julie a vision of well being coming from the unification of body, mind and spirit to bring true, deep, lasting healing to people of today’s world.

Peace to all. Love to all. Light to all.


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Sunday, June 28th – A Mindful Walk for Barry’s Birthday


Seefin Passage Tomb, Co. Wicklow

Today Barry turned another year older. It was an emotional day. He chose this day to connect with the heart,  bringing family and friends together for a silent and mindful walk up Seefin, his favourite walk in the Wicklow mountains. The sun shone brightly as the people walked along their way. Barry set the tone of the walk and tuned us in to our “heroic journey” with the following words….


Oisin walked his with grace and beauty

                 The Heroic Journey 

(adapted from http://celtic-spirituality.net/)

“Ancient Irish stories tell us about the hero or heroine who is ‘called’ outwards from the familiar place to experience something completely new. These stories teach us that it requires courage to step outside of the familiar and to follow the call of the heart. This is why it is “The Heroic Journey”. This heroic journey has much to teach us about our own life journey.

The heroic journey often leads the traveller into difficult and testing situations, but he/she returns from the journey a changed and more compassionate human being to share their gifts of wisdom and insight. The journey is also about the discovery of YOUR GIFT. The word in Irish is DAN – which means both your poetry and your destiny – for your destiny is interlinked with the practice of your gift in this world. Because we are all individuals, no one can offer your gift to the world in exactly the same way as you can.

This walk will take us on a personal journey and enables self exploration to uncover your giftedness and to hear ‘the call’ to the most exciting journey of your life – the Heroic Journey.”

Caim (Encircling) Prayer for the journey.

Circle us with peace – keep light and love within, keep danger without.
Circle us through this day – keep childlike trust within, keep fear without.
Circle us this night – keep health and peace within, keep dis-ease without.
Deep peace of the quiet earth, deep peace of the flowing air, deep peace of the ocean’s depth, deep peace of the God of peace. Amen.”

Cilly went up on the shoulders of his Daddy and Granddad and was perhaps the most mindful little hero of us all, taking in the energy of the nature around him and of the people as they walked. Here are some pictures of our climb…..

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At the top was a Neolithic tomb, a gift from the ancestors. The living gathered with the dead to take in the message of  Barry’s heart felt readings, which are shared below….

Tiny Footprints

– Authour Unknown

These are my footprints,
so perfect and so small.
These tiny footprints
never touched the ground at all.
Not one tiny footprint,
for now I have wings.
These tiny footprints were meant
for other things.
You will hear my tiny footprints,
in the patter of the rain.
Gentle drops like angel’s tears,
of joy and not from pain.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in each butterflies’ lazy dance.
I’ll let you know I’m with you,
if you just give me the chance.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in the rustle of the leaves.
I will whisper names into the wind,
and call each one that grieves.
Most of all, these tiny footprints,
are found on Mommy and Daddy’s hearts.
‘Cause even though I’m gone now,
We’ll never truly part.

I Don’t Mind

-Line of a song from album by Harnam Singh

Your heart will break from time to time
And hurt will creep inside,
But a heart that breaks is open wide,
Whatever happens I don’t mind

We took the climb down beneath a warm, bright sun and gathered at the end for a BBQ in the Kippure Estate Holiday Village. Friends and family chatted and children ran around. Here are some pics…



An emotional day for Barry as he turns another year, knowing his butterfly son will be forever young. But Oisin, as we know him today, is a wise old soul and seemed to me to be dancing and laughing around us the whole day. His little buddies here on earth must have heard his gentle whisper in the breeze of the evening, and they all gathered around Barry and sang him the  sweetest Happy Birthday. Barry was left in tears, his heart wide open, a perfect example of the poem he had read at the top of the mountain.


Across the seas in England, two other walks took place in tandem with our own, at 2pm (one in Regent’s Park, London and the other along the North coast near Whitley Bay) . Thank you for your love and support, Louise, Jenna, Holly, Helen, Graham and all of the family and friends who walked with them. I know many others took a mindful walk in tandem with our own and we thank you for sharing a heart space with us.

Link to Jenna’s DIPG Fundraising webpage that will support the Lylsa Nsouli Foundation.

Link to the radio interview we gave on the John Murray Show on RTE Radio 1

Infinite Blessings to all.

Sat Nam (truth is my identity)


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Sunday June 21 – For Daddys. Our Heroes.

A father’s day tribute to Barry and to fathers everywhere


Oisin with his Daddy. The beginnings of a very special bond.

This is a difficult day for fathers who have had to say goodbye to a child. You go through every father’s day with a pain in the heart.  As a tribute to you all, I bring to you once more the blog post that captured how a father is seen through the eyes of a child……

One evening I was massaging Oisin’s feet and he said, “Why does the penguin sing the lovely song?” We realised he was talking about a film we saw called “Happy Feet 2″ over the Christmas period.  The scene Oisin is referring to is when a little boy penguin, maybe Oisin’s age, sings a heart felt song . He is asking the giant elephant walrus to help reunite a stranded part of their penguin colony. Daddy looked the song up on you tube and played it to Oisin as I massaged his feet ….

“After all you have done

You really deserve better
Nothing makes sense in this world
It’s all a big pile of crazy
And the kings are all fools
Where is the honor when a solemn promise
Is just a pretty lie
And the mighty mock the courage
Of the humble
Although he’s just an ordinary penguin
My daddy taught me
You don’t need to be colossal
To be a great heart
You don’t need to fly
To be awesome
My Hero
My father…

–Erik’s Opera, “Happy Feet 2″

I wept as I listened and rubbed Oisin’s “happy feet.” Only a few weeks ago Oisin picked out a Superman t-shirt to buy daddy…….  How extraordinary that Oisin guided us to the song in that particular moment. All of my boys (great and small) are heroes to me, especially Oisin.”

To my beautiful husband and father, Barry. To my own “great heart” father. To father’s everywhere. You are the heroes for your children. You don’t need to be colossal. All you need is your great heart. May your children always see the heroes that you truly are.   We LOVE you. 

Sheila x

I thank you Oisin again for your guidance in this tribute. The way you always bring to us such wisdom in just a few simple words. It touches my heart deeply, beautiful butterfly boy.

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