Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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

Himalayan Life

From March 2015 until September 2018 I lived in the Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh in India. I went on a six-month visa to expand my horizons, and hoped to gain perspective and wisdom. The Buddhist towns and villages high up in the Himalayan foothills were a perfect place to remove myself from the demands of living in a capitalist society, and the accompanying thought patterns. The sound of mantras, the smell of incense and the colourful prayer flags imbibed calm on an overworked western mind, allowing a deeper connection to the elusive realm of spirit.

The journey that began as a three to six month sabbatical, ending up as a three-and-a-half year life changing experience. With intermittent return journeys to the UK and Nepal for visas, life in the main was lived simply among the people and creatures of the Himalayas. It was not an easy journey from the outset, my conditioned mind patterns tripped me up at every turn, nagging me about comforts, or lack thereof. The ego doesn’t welcome change unless it’s on terms it understands. Being thrown into a completely different culture with reduced conveniences does not bode well with the ego. The haranguing inner dialogue often kept me awake long into the night demanding to know if I had a death wish, doubly so when I had to side-step a scorpion on the way to the bathroom.

Relationships were also tricky. Trying to interact with Buddhist, Hindu and Sikhs from a western framed mindset leads to more than just a confusion of language, but an emotional frustration when the ego-self is met with a calm shoulder shrug or bemused head wobble. Navigating a relationship with a man brought up in the Tibetan-Buddhist tradition was a real challenge for me but also an immensely rewarding one for the soul, as time and time again, it had to make several leaps forward to overcome the ego’s sabotage of love. Humility alone, was the one saving grace for my fledgling soul as it bowed its head to the long list of wrongdoings levelled against it while under the duress of the ego. Living an authentic life is not for the fainthearted.

Meditation and retreat does not guarantee an immediate blissful transcendence into inner peace and love, true it provides an opening, but for me the journey was both turbulent and humbling as I faced my human flaws in the mirror of self-reflection.

Long periods of self-isolation and reflection in the Himalayas prepared me for my current circumstances during UK lock down. As I sit and reflect on our current situation as a national and global community, I am eternally grateful for the self imposed quarantine of my ego in a Himalayan village. It gave me the tools to face any situation with equanimity. The old ego pattern still has its say, but it fades quickly without the energy of unresolved fear. Lifting the lid on old behaviour patterns revealed childhood fears of lack, abandonment and inadequacy. Facing past pain released me from slavery to an ego formed from circumstance and necessity in order to cope with unresolved emotions. I felt tethered to a role that I was sick of playing, and its continuous rehearsals playing out in my head. Casting aside my role has been the most challenging and liberating experience of my existence.

I hope you use this time of self-isolation to face some of your unwanted behaviour patterns and kick them into touch with the help of humility and kindness.

Collette O’Mahony 13/04/2020

The Himalayan Caves where Padmasambhava gave his Buddhist teachings in the 8th Century.

The Soul in Words Poetry Book

I am very excited to tell you that my poetry book ‘THE SOUL IN WORDS’ is now available to purchase in Paperback. It contains 16 full-length poems and 144 verses set against a backdrop of love and loss, light and shade, and the forces of nature. If you’d like a sneak preview, follow the link below. Collette x

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Soul-Words-Collection-Poetry-Verse/dp/1916007910/

 

An Invitation to Believe in Better Times

This is an invitation to believe in better times.

Believe in crimson sunsets and sparkling azure seas.

Believe in towering trees with leaves unfurling in the spring sunshine.

Believe in walks in the park holding hands with your loved ones.

Believe in the simple pleasure of sipping coffee

on the pavement outside a café.

Most of all, believe that the earth is waiting for you

and longs for the touch of your footsteps once more.

Collette O’Mahony 07/04/2020