The May Queen

An extract from my novel Beyond The Two Doors

The tradition of May Day celebrations stretched back several centuries at the Maybury Estate. Every year, the parkland was transformed into a child’s paradise with colourful stalls selling candy-floss, ice-creams, candy sticks and lemonade. A merry-go-round, swing-boat and donkey rides all had queues of children waiting a turn. In the centre of it all, there stood a giant maypole.

In the evening, there was a procession, lit by lanterns, leading to a ring fort where once stood a stone circle. A few stones remained with the rest pilfered long ago. Local folklore said it had been the site of a great battle between the Celts and the Romans. The May Queen resplendent in a golden gown wore a headdress made of newly unfurled leaves. She made her way to the hill fort just before sunset to reclaim her throne from the Old Man of Winter.

Clara arrived just as the pageant was about to begin. Low clouds covered up the evening sun and lanterns lining the path of the procession seemed to glow brighter. A hush descended on the crowd as the May Queen emerged from her horse-drawn carriage. Local children dressed as wood nymphs scattered leaves and petals in her wake. Squeals of delight pierced the hushed atmosphere as young and old alike delighted in the spectacle. The May Queen led the procession to the hill fort as the crowd pressed forward to watch the combat between winter and summer.

The Old Man of Winter emerged like Pan from a copse of trees, dancing around the remaining standing stones, claiming all the seasons for himself. There were gasps from the crowd and children held their breath, hoping the fairy princess would not die. Old Man Winter reached a large wooden throne decorated with garlands just as the May Queen climbed to the top of the fort. A fire eater danced around them, adding to the drama and spectacle. He blew fire above their heads as they locked arms in a battle for the Throne of Summer. A troop of dancers emerged from the copse, breaking into two groups to represent summer and winter. They joined in the mock battle for the throne until finally a crescendo of music saw the Old Man of Winter fall to his knees and renounce the throne. The May Queen took her rightful place on the Throne of Summer amid much applause and shouting. And just as she seated herself on the throne, the setting sun broke through clouds as if nature itself had liberated summer from the grip of winter.

An extract from Chapter 15 of Beyond The Two Doors.

Click on photo for link to bookshelf on Amazon.com

BEYOND THE TWO DOORS

After three years, my novel Beyond The Two Doors is finally published on Amazon. For lovers of history, spirituality and exploration of mind, this book will appeal to you. The book image below is linked to my bookshelf on Amazon.com. The book is also available on Amazon.co.uk and all in all other countries.

Book Cover

Beyond The Two Doors explores the mysteries of life as we follow the story of a man and woman across different timelines. From modern day Britain to post-war Asia, the story takes the reader on a historical journey to the Celts of Britain and Ireland, tracing the roots of the Celtic cultural and spiritual ancestors to an ancient tribe who lived on the Eurasian Steppes.

After leaving her husband, Clara Lewis moves back to Gloucestershire to complete her PhD in archaeology. During her research, she stumbles upon a photograph of a mummy taken by an explorer in the 1940’s during an expedition to the Altay Mountains. Her curiosity about the Jade Mummy and the explorer who found it, takes her on a journey through time where she discovers not only the ancestors of modern day civilisation, but also provides her with a portal into her very life essence.

From the ancient Silk road to the stone circles of the Neolithic, this adventure sweeps through deserts, mountains and plains until it arrives at the very heart of humanity and the quest that underpins our existence. This story will not only take you on a journey through human history, but it will open doors into the invaluable nature of your soul.

Collette O’Mahony

May 2022

Avoidance Strategies

When love arises, it clears anything unlike itself. All fears, worries, false beliefs rise from the subconscious. Feelings of turmoil surface when fearful emotions and self-sabotaging thoughts start to arise in your awareness. Emotional pain can be acute causing you to use behavioural strategies to avoid difficult thoughts and emotions.

Set your intention to become aware of the avoidance strategies you employ to suppress feelings. It may be unhealthy habits such as overeating or food obsession, overspending on clothes, accessories or household items. Dependence on harmful substances such as drugs and alcohol are often used to mask emotional pain. Control issues such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or escapism into fantasy are attempts to numb the feeling body. Whatever your avoidance strategy, it affects your behaviour and those around you. Perhaps you are not aware you are using avoidance strategies. In many cases addiction is used to avoid your inner truth. Addiction is not the root of the problem, it is a symptom. The stronger the addiction is, the greater the pain beneath it. Guilt and shame compound addictions. Identifying with your habit or addiction strengthens its hold over you to the point where you are not even aware of it. Ask a trusted friend to help you identify your avoidance habits. Deeper issues such as substance abuse require the guidance of a professional. Once you see your avoidance strategy, set your intention to break the habit. Know that it is a learned behaviour pattern, it is not who you truly are. It is a temporary mask to cover the real you.

As fears come into your awareness, it takes vast amounts of energy to avoid them. Through ego, you use all kinds of distraction to avoid seeing truth. You want to avoid painful feelings arising from your past. Each time you identify with shame or guilt, you lock up the feelings energising them. Memories charged by fear, anger, or guilt have been shut in the emotional closet for too long. With positive intention and commitment to creating a new reality, avoidance habits rise into your awareness. When a feeling reaches the universal field of awareness, it can no longer operate in you through unconscious habits. You receive an inner nudge when you are reaching for another slice of cake or pouring one more glass of wine. At this point you can no longer blame your habit; you have an opportunity to make a choice to align with your intention for healing. You can ignore your behaviour or use the prompt to sit with arising feelings. Choose the present moment to overcome fear, expand your vision and create a new reality.

When you commit to being present, feelings associated with the past can be felt and released. Each time you acknowledge your avoidance mode, its grip weakens. Whether you feel attachment or guilt to the behaviour pattern, remain present to the feeling. Distracting yourself from the feeling only serves to strengthen it. To dissolve difficult feelings of guilt, shame, jealousy or anger, allow it to be present in this moment. Through your presence, these feelings can be absorbed by the universal field of awareness and transformed into free-flowing energy.

Collette O’Mahony

An extract from my book In Quest of Love

Click on image for availability.

In Quest of Love by Collette O’Mahony

Journey into Spring

I

Houses and fields, houses and fields

Crows on the wires, like a string of black beads.

A whistle blows, my destination it looms

Lost in my thoughts, it arrives all to soon.

II

I step on the platform and straighten my skirt

My phone starts to beep with a string of alerts.

I exit the station and hop in my car

a train carries on stopping near and afar.

III

The countryside glows with the promise of spring,

the mowers are mowing and the songbirds sing.

Bleating young lambs add to the sound,

daffodils trumpet, woodpeckers resound.

IV

Crocus and primrose make gardeners proud,

village greens full of these glorious crowds.

Buds on the trees seem to whisper and hush,

magnolias show off and camelias blush.

V

Joy is a fling with the nature of spring,

smiles that come from the simplest of things.

Open the windows, let in the light

there is hope in the air, ready for flight.

Poem by Collette O’Mahony

2021

Trial by Social Media

The divisiveness that plagues our society is perpetuated by leftist and rightist social media coverage, journalism and a host of movements. Daily, we seem to be frequently pitted against one another. At best, to express our opinion on the political, social or moral issues of the day, and at worst, spoon fed opinions on how to think and react. Whether it is capitalism, environmentalism, wokism or vaccines; the general public digests the current topic in the media and decides if they are ‘for’ or ‘against’ it. Surveys are taken across the demographic and the tide of public opinion is delivered. All any of these media partisans and vocal protesters only serve to drive a wedge between families, communities, races and nations.

We see with our eyes but we feel with our hearts. We should give ourselves credit to know the difference between outer appearance and our gut reaction. In other words, just because a person identifies with a specific gender, race, political party or movement does not make them any less of a human. In fact, all shades of behaviour, all skin tones and all genders belong under the umbrella we call humanity. Each member is a reflection of our combined psyche. Every facet of behaviour, every shade of prejudice, every cornerstone of morality resides in all of us, because if it presents itself in one part of the human race, it is present in all. Railing against another section of our community or nation indicates, not only the deep divide between humanity as a whole, but a chasm within the individual. It is this gap between understanding and compassion that we need to bridge within ourselves. When we blame, accuse or publicise our opinions against another person(s) under our human umbrella, we are levelling blame at our own shortcomings. It says ‘I cannot forgive, so therefore I must blame.’ Perhaps, this is the crux of our social divide, a lack of forgiveness and understanding for our human flaws. Revenge and retribution sit side by side in the jury that condemns our fellow human. I am not talking about heinous crimes here, but the lesser crime, albeit destructive, of judging and blaming others because we are unable to process our reaction and emotions to any given situation or event.

It is our duty to actively contribute to the evolution of humanity as a whole. If we are not to self-destruct, we must take responsibility for our emotions, including our anger, guilt, judgement and arrogance. We must seek out what unites us rather than what divides us. If we read or hear something that someone has done to upset us, feel that feeling fully. We need to allow our inner response mechanism to surface in an emotionally intelligent way. We must own the feeling rather than projecting it onto those around us, or using the social media’s story of the day to vent our inner frustration. By taking responsibility for our emotional reaction in any given situation, we are not only displaying emotional intelligence, but we are contributing to our evolution of consciousness as a species. The world, and our precious planet will be all the better for it.

Collette O’Mahony

12/03/2021

Relationship Myths

When we develop an intimate crush on a person, we see only fragments of who they are. The gaps are filled in by our imagination. Two people seeking an ideal partner, meet on a crossroads of desire and expectation. Any small sign that indicates the person fulfils one or more aspects of our mental criteria is enough for us to label them as the ‘one’. The rest of our wish list we project onto them. When we see someone as an ideal candidate for a relationship, we create little fantasies in our head about the future. We expect the desired person to slot into this role.

Investing in a fabricated story of a relationship ties you to the outcome, so that when a split happens, it feels like tearing strips of fiction from your skin. The pages of the relationship come undone when you realise that your partner is not the person scripted into the story. One or both of you awaken as complete strangers, and in some cases enemies, from the love story.

If you pay attention to people and really listen to them, rather than using interpretation, it allows their true essence to shine. After all, it is the initial feeling that attracts you to a person. Rushing in with needs and desires places a big expectation on a partner. Expecting someone to fulfil a role you place on them is a form of emotional blackmail. If they have low self-esteem or other emotional issues, they can feel love is only shown to them when they meet the conditions placed upon them. Many of us are conditioned from an early age to believe in romance and fairytales. Yet the experience for many is of hurt, betrayal and disappointment. When we are unfulfilled in love, we are constantly waiting for the fairytale to work out, choosing illusion over reality. Taking responsibility for your emotions frees you from blind romance and chasing after impossible ideals. When you see a person for who they truly are, accepting their light and shade, they start to blossom, just as you begin to blossom when you are accepted exactly as you are. People grow in the light of acceptance as the natural characteristics of a person begin to shine through.

Someone who you find attractive usually has qualities you wish to emulate. They serve as catalysts for undeveloped emotions to expand and grow. An emotionally inexpressive person may find they are attracted to a nurturing, caring person who encourages free expression of feeling. Someone suppressing shame and guilt about their physical body may find they are attracted to a sensual person who encourages them to embrace their sexuality. The quality you admire in others indicates the part of you that requires expansion and growth.

As you mature emotionally, any suppressed emotion within you tugs at your feeling body and impresses pain upon the mind. This energy is reflected in the dynamics of a relationship. Therefore, a loved one can simultaneously exhilarate and frustrate you. They push your buttons to release knots of energy that may have remained dormant for many years. This is the purpose of an authentic relationship, to help you grow and mature in love. We enter relationships to share information and experiences that enhance our journey, and the feeling of extending and receiving love. Not all relationships last forever, but the experience we gain from them does.

Extract from my book ‘In Quest of Love’ – A guide to inner harmony.

Collette O’Mahony

Authenticity

Our level of thinking is directly related to our authentic self. The more we think, the less authentic we are and the less thinking, the more authentic we become. It’s a conundrum. How do we lessen our thoughts without overthinking it? Some people are masters at switching off and allowing their flow of thoughts to gently drip at a slower pace. Others find that the more they try to turn off the thinking tap, the more gushing and muddied the waters become. Meditation is generally cited as the best approach to quietening the mind. However, it is not a quiet hat to pull over your thinking cap to silence all your thoughts. It takes continuity of practice.

The road to authenticity begins at the point when we can no longer live with our conditioned self, the self bound by tradition, beliefs and expectation. We may come to this point through a personal crisis, or perhaps we might come in contact with an authentic person who ignites the flame of the authentic self within us. In my case, it was a combination of both. If we do not undertake this journey, we will continue to struggle and blame others for our shortcomings and frustrations. Worse still, we will project our dissatisfied self onto the people around us. Life is a mirror, it will reflect and attract the many facets of our character. Everyone is living a life created by their thoughts and these thoughts are generally caused by early conditioning, limited beliefs and expected achievements.

We must allow the emergence of our authentic self, we must encourage it, water it with conscious exercises such as breathing. Read the words of spiritual masters. Practice mindfulness, not only through meditation but in mundane tasks also. Become present to whatever it is you are doing in this moment. Otherwise, we will become misanthropes, at odds with ourselves and our fellow man because we cannot bear to see our limitations reflected to us through their thoughts, words and actions. Every political leader, celebrity or friend will become a mirror which we will want to crack from top to bottom because of the feeling it evokes in us.

Authenticity is a kind of inner rebellion. The true self struggles to outgrow the tight bud of ego, and to bloom in all its glory. After all, it is a seed of the cosmos. No less a star than those spilling forth from any cosmic nebula, straining to make their mark in the galaxy. We are star seeds, planted by the governing principle of the cosmos. To bloom, we must allow our conditioned self to wither, and watch as our authentic self flowers and brightens up our corner of the universe.

Collette O’Mahony

18/02/2021

Evolving as a Species.

The embrace of loved ones, moments shared in a busy café, or the joy of driving to a favourite beauty spot for a bracing walk are all simple pleasures put on hold for almost a year now. Loneliness, illness and death have shadowed our communities and our nations, and the coping mechanisms people employ to deal with stress, anxiety and grief have been stripped away during successive lockdowns. Social distancing, a term in itself that seems to contradict the purpose of society, has caused a secondary impact that will reverberate for years to come, perhaps changing forever our habits and rituals as a society.

We were cautioned about the catastrophe that awaited us if we didn’t adapt our ways and reduce our carbon footprint on the environment. Scientists and environmentalists issued a chorus of warnings about the perilous state of our planet. Our planet was in danger and we, humanity, were the cause. It seems to me that we were always the ones in danger, the planet existed millions of years before us, it knows how to rid itself of threats to its continuance. Maybe it is an arrogance in humans that we felt we must save the planet. We must save ourselves from the reaction of the planet if we continue to abuse its energy supply. The planet has its own intelligence and will deal with us in its own way. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for ignorance. We cannot ignore the fact that we do not own the earth’s resources, we are guests here. If a guest entered our home and started pilfering our belongings, or littering our living room carpet with plastic and rubbish, there’s no doubt we would show them the door. The intelligence that guides us also guides the planet. It too, shows unwelcome guests the door.

Evolution has been happening on the planet for billions of years. The fittest survive, and thrive. Humans have thrived and multiplied to the detriment of other species. There is an imbalance. We must evolve as a species. This doesn’t mean we need to grow an extra thumb or expand our lung capacity. On a physical level, we do need to develop immunity against new viruses, however, the real shift must be an evolution in consciousness. We must develop an innate intelligence that connects us to the governing principle of the planet and the cosmos. If we continue to rely on the opinion of scientists and politicians to guide our path, we can readily ignore their opinions and advice. If we have a direct connection to the governing principle of the cosmos, we shall act accordingly, in harmony with every other living thing on the planet.

We must adapt and learn to interact with each other and the planet in a more conscious, harmonious way. Perhaps then we can return without guilt, or fear to our favourite beauty spots, cafés and bars.

Collette O’Mahony

09/02/2021