As the sun crosses the Equator heading south…the season of balance of light and dark.
Chris and I are just back from an adventure in New York City and Ireland. For me, it was a retrospective: revisiting my childhood roots, sharing them with Chris, who had never seen NYC [“It’s like Toronto on steroids!”] Ireland was about exploring ancestral roots: both my dear mother’s parents emigrated from Ballybunion, County Kerry.
Now how Oyrish is that I’ll be askin’ ya!
NYC is kinder and gentler than I ever remember; younger and more vibrant. It feels more integrated: African-
Americans seem overall more prosperous and a part of the middle-class fabric. Martin Luther King’s “Dream” is becoming reality for many, though not all.
Ireland feels ancient, gentle and soft. Dublin is both Old World and New. The skyline is low and timeless; streets are bustling with Europe’s strongest economy, thanks to IT. Downtown felt oddly familiar, easier to stay oriented than NYC where I grew up, and quite comfortable. Like the rest of the EU, it is now an amalgam of many cultures. It was comforting to see so many Irish faces that could be kin, and also sad to see the cultural roots of my family’s alcoholism. The pub is still the focus is Irish social life, and Guinness is the staple beverage. The puzzle: How can you cross “Publin” without passing a single pub? Answer: go into every single one! That’s a bit of black humour: the late night streets are a messy drunken brawl. But rural Ireland is truly pastoral. The guest house owners were wonderfully motherly and kept immaculate homes, helping me remember my dear mother’s wonderful ways. Most memorable moment: the morning we landed, we wandered Dublin streets, and stopped into Christ Church Cathedral. Sitting in the stone stillness with organ softly playing, we both had tears well up: the prayerful presence of a thousand years’ devotion was quite palpable, and wonderfully grounding in this timeless land. The very best part of travelling away from Vancouver for me is coming home; I love living here! After this holiday of looking back to my roots, I am looking forward this fall to adding a new skill to my professional menu: Personal Life Coaching, which I began studying and practicing early this year. For twenty-five years I have been enjoying helping people lead healthier lives with relaxation skills, yoga, meditation, and holistic massage. Now, in addition, I will be facilitating people making positive changes in their lives through focussed explorations of their desires, values, and creative inspirations. The profession of Life Coaching is still fairly new, and is based on recent insights in psychology and neurology, which build on what I learned twenty years ago doing my Master’s in East/West Psychology. Because it is usually conducted by phone, I can coach people anywhere. I hope you’ll look at GrowingFulfilment.com and tell anyone you think may be interested.