On the Player

Alive on the RTÉ player for another 19 days. Go Watch!

Here is the link http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/10264021/

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Tonight!

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We Need to Talk About Ireland

 

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It has whirlwind of a few weeks.  I’m exhausted, I’m excited, I’m slightly overwhelmed. I think it is time to talk about Ireland.

‘We Need to Talk About Ireland’ our next Trailblazery event, is on a scale we have never done before. On March 17th, St Patrick’s Day, we will be beaming the event across the world, live from The Mansion House in Dublin via RTÉ player and The Washington Post.

Between speakers, crew, designers, choirs, performers, technicians, and sound there are over 250 people involved. We are creating a 90 minute experience involving music, poetry, spoken work to re-tell the story of Ireland, and help to re-vision where we are going.

Last few days of preparation. Deep breath.. here we go…

Please help to spread the word… we would love as many viewers around the world as possible.

..

The Trailblazery 
present 



We Need To Talk About Ireland 

17 March 2014

Dublin | Ireland

#IrelandTalks

St. Patrick’s Day, Monday 17th March 2014  

We Need To Talk About Ireland is a 90 minute creative celebration of Ireland’s past, present and future which will take place in front of a live audience from The Round Room at Dublin’s Mansion House on St Patrick’s Night, Monday 17 March, 2014. 

The brainchild of independent Irish collective, The Trailblazery, this innovative cultural event challenges some of Ireland’s brightest innovators, thinkers, artists and creative entrepreneurs to explore what it means to be Irish in 2014.

Featuring inspiring TED-style talks, interspersed with music, comedy, poetry, film and a large-scale choral spectacle, We Need To Talk About Ireland is produced by The Trailblazery in association with RTÉ Arts and will be streamed internationally on RTÉ Player. As well as being streamed internationally and available on demand for 21 days on the RTÉ Player, We Need to Talk About Ireland will also be streamed on The Washington Post www.washingtonpost.com

Participants include:

Colm O’ Gorman {Director Amnesty International Ireland}, Martin Hayes {Traditional Musician}, Noeline Kavanagh {Artistic Director Macnas}, Justine McCarthy {Journalist, Author} Manchán Magan {Author, Broadcaster}, Eleanor Tiernan {Comedian}, Ruairí McKiernan {Presidential appointee to Ireland’s Council of State, Hitching For Hope},Grace Dyas {Theatre Maker / THEATREclub}, Dylan Haskins {Broadcaster, DIY Activist}, Bryan Delaney {Playwright, Screenwriter},Pat Collins {Filmmaker}, Patrick McCormack {Rural Philosopher,} Crash EnsembleNina Hynes {Singer/ Musician} Iarla O’ Lionáird { Singer/ Musician, Daithí O’Drónai {Musician/ Loopstation Tweaker} St. Brigid’s Childrens Choir {NS Cabinteely},  The Discovery Gospel Choir with other special guests to be announced…..

Over the 90 minutes of the event, the speakers and performers will tell the story of Ireland, from our ancient past to our potential future. The vision of the project is to evoke a new cultural storyline about our social, political, cultural and spiritual evolution on this island and beyond, and aims to re-imagine the kind of Ireland we want to fully participate in.

Partners & Sponsors include: Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council, RTÉ and The Washington Post.

Contribute to the discussion: #Irelandtalks #pureirish

 

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Dublin as Springboard

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After wonderings and wanderings Dublin has called me back, or I have wanted to be called back. The city feels alive with character, potential and an undercurrent of creative energy. On good days I can feel that pulse tromping through the streets, moving in and out of the crowds, through the trees which are preparing to come into bud again and in the snippets of conversation I snatch from passer-bys.

Circumstance and grace have conspired to land me right back in the bam of it all, living now in the heart of Dublin’s city centre. I’ve found a lovely home to live in with open fires, high ceilings, beautiful artwork, not to mention wonderful housemates. I’m grateful for it all and enjoying tending to my new nest. (The quote above was on a card given to me by my new housemate when I moved in… it felt apt!)

Not having a base when I first got back to Ireland threw me a bit. I wondered what I had done and I partly regretted moving out of my last home. I was also was missing Greece, the landscape, the animals and the wild openness. So for a few days I was feeling very wobbly and was feeling both lost and that I had lost it. But I realise that the path was just a bit unclear for a while and step by step I navigated with trust, putting feelers out and fairly quickly finding my new abode. My home now and Dublin again feels much like both a base and a springboard. It is still mid-January but I have a sense of spring coming and Imbolg soon (the new season in the Celtic calendar) and soon after the trees in leaf. Home has taken on new dimensions.

So, I have moved into 2014 with a sense of newness. In reflecting upon a word I would choose for my year ahead, I mulled much and have reverted to a word that I chose a few years back, one which had a transformative effect that year. I carried it with me in all encounters, guiding me into myself and into life in a deeper, more engaged way.
There are many words 2014 could have rested upon, but EMBRACE loomed large again, calling me back into venture. This time however a few additional words were circling around it and, after more mulling, have stuck. They are discernment, support, challenge and maybe most importantly, love.

As I write this selection of words, I am reminded of way markers; those gentle signpost along a journey to help keep track and signal an onwards motion. So, once again I have embrace tacked large and now the posse of discernment, support, challenge and love following suit, like little ducklings in a row, resolute in their movement. They feel like fortification and nourishment for the months ahead. (I am grateful to Susannah Conway and her ‘Unravelling the Year Ahead’ workbook which was, once again, a useful reflecting and planning tool).

Embrace has already got to work. As a home has materialised so too has a new instrument. Grace and circumstance have also brought a cello, and cello lessons into my life, and to put them into direct use I have also joined a community orchestra, starting to learn music from scratch.

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I’m embracing having a beginners mind which I realise is a wonderful, if somewhat challenging, thing (I did ask for challenge after all). I have no expectations of being perfect and I realise that making mistakes is all part of the process. With enough mistakes I may actually improve!

What I certainly do realise is that I am on a course of practice, and much like my yoga path, my music one is about showing up to the learning and the act of engaging in the process. In doing so new parts of my brain are coming alive and a whole other aspect of myself is being set to work. It feels liberating and enlivening.

The orchestra, The Offbeat Ensemble,  is a community based group set up by my Trailblazing colleague Ciara Cavanagh and her husband Nathan. Both musicians and teachers they wanted to give adults who have not had access to music the chance to learn. It makes for a wonderful mix of people, about 80 of us, who are all learning a string instrument, many for the first time. My first concert is in May at a local festival. I better get practicing!

So, aside from nesting and music my head is aswirl with ideas and plans. January has been about planting and rooting, laying the ground for new growth. As I re-launch lots of my on going activities and business ventures – photography, yoga teaching and retreats- I also move into a new phase with The Trailblazery. We can’t announce anything yet but there are plans a hatching- so watch this space.

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Speaking of relaunching, I have decided to revamp my photography site and have created a new website and platform to showcase my imagery. I’ve spent the last few days immersed in the last few years of my visual work- sorting through thousands and thousands of images to curate the site.

Sifting through the images I am completely struck by the opportunities my camera has opened up for me. It has brought me into incredible encounters, in some incredible places, and has helped me to see things more clearly. When I feel ungrounded, my camera helps to ground me. When I feel lost, it helps me to find my way again. Wherever I am, no matter the circumstance, my camera points me back to the light again. I know our adventures are not over yet.

So, with that in mind, my new site is: www.claremulvanyphotography.com and I also have a new facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/ClareMulvanyPhotographs
Come say hello.

So the unfolding continues to unfold. I’m inviting grace and bravery into the mix too and calling my posse of 2014 words along with me too. I am looking forward to the weeks ahead. Until soon all, Happy January-ing.

Clare x

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70 years in the making: A poplar, a legacy and a willing to die for.

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This fire is 70 years in the making.

It burns wood which comes from the land at Axladitsa. It was a poplar tree, planted by one of the previous owners of the site about 70 years ago, circa 1943.

The tree had stood the test of time but had died in the last few years. It grew in a place of silence and calm, the lowest part of the land, where a dried river, or rema, runs through. It was the tallest tree at Axladitsa, holding up its height like a great mast, standing firm as an anchor point amidst the whirl of wind and the barrage of life. Whether wild or still, for 70 years it stood firm.

But it was time to fall. It was felled with a few feet of a stump remaining. Now, in its stead, a table has been constructed and some beautiful stone seating around its base. Evolved into a new form, it remains a place of contemplation and has become a spot to gather and take pause. And still life grows. At the base of the trunk, new plant life has taken seed; some ivy and wild mushrooms have harvested themselves on its bark, coiling themselves in evergreen patterns around the seat. Life, even in the wake of death, goes on.

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In front of the fire today, 70 years in the making, I am thinking about that endless cycle of life and death. With all its inevitability it still holds such great mystery. I am reading such beautiful words about Nelson Mandela’s passing and fire that his legacy burns. The words are voluminous, powerful and rightfully honouring a man who, through the wild and the still, stood tall and steadfast, resolute in his fight for freedom, justice, equality and beyond all of that, to stand in the dignity of love. He too was a mast, signaling a way forward, and an anchor, grounding his determined struggle in a humility and grace which he shone through the essence of statesmanship. He was willing to fight. He was real. He was human. He was imperfect. He held aloft a piece of humanity for humanity to see itself reflected back. The world looked on and took note.

As much as Mandela is a beacon, can his death also act as a beckoning, calling in the questions to bring us to the depth of our own humanity, and back out into the world again with an offering that only we can bring. In asking myself, what would I be willing to live for and die for, I am reminded of some words from the activist Tamsin Omond, who referring to the 27 years of Mandela’s struggle, also, poetically, beckons the very same questions…

Tell me what you stand for. Tamsin Omond. from SituationsDirector on Vimeo.

What, we wonder, would we be willing to risk our lives for, survive for, resist for? And to all those other things for?

What, it leaves me wondering, would I be willing to really LIVE for?

This fire is 70 years in the making and now, in its death, it offers new life, through its flame and the possibilities of a new becoming. Mandela’s legacy will live for a lot longer than this tree, or his life, this fire or this heat. It seems that the world has a longing for such. It is begging the question, ‘What are we willing…?’

Right now, down at the river bed, where the tree was felled, a new poplar tree grows. It is the daughter of the original tree and rises up to meet the headline of the horizon, just as its parent did. It is not there yet, but still it has time. It is not yet willing to fall.

As I am sitting by the fire I am thinking of this tree, this man, of the hands which planted the tree and all the seasons of change that they stood through. I am thinking of the legacy of theses pillars: this tree, this man, both giants. I am thinking too of the people who can come here now and sit at that table, 70 years in the making, and dream a new dream or plant a new seed, and ask themselves too, what would they be willing to live for. The seasons spin, the next generation of trees grows, the next generation of leaders rise and the fire burns, 70 years in the making. It is what is it was willing to die for.

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Everything is waiting…

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Your great mistake is to act the drama
s if you were alone… To feel abandoned is to deny
 the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely, 
even you, at times, have felt the grand array; 
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
 out your solo voice…

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into 
the conversation….All the birds
 and creatures of the world are unutterably
 themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

These words, by the poet David Whyte echo true.

Here in Axladitsa I am alone. I am alone is a very limited sense of the word, for this place, this land, is hosting the swelling presence of a quiet intimacy and the questions which arise when space emerges.

The more I am here the more I am becoming acquainted with the individuality of the place- the distinct rise and fall of the landscape, the twist of each path and the array of wild beings and vegetation which are held in beauty and truth to it.

I love, in particular, observing how the trunks and branches of the olive trees have been sculpted by the wind, rain and heat to reveal distinct characters. They assert a presence like a great sinewed ancestor, holding out with a tenacity that would weather any storm.  The more I am here the more I am seeing the differences in their frames and the shadows that they cast. They are stoic and graceful and so symbolic of the life of this region. The olive tree has been the lifeblood of rural Greece, their branches pulsing with fruit each year to keep its economic heartbeat alive. The trees are indeed, ‘unutterably themselves’.

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Every day I bring Freddie, the resident dog, for a few walks, each time noticing the changes which the season is bringing. Mushrooms have come and gone and the deciduous trees are ever more threadbare, moving from red through orange, onto brown. Time, I witness, is moving fast and soon I too will be moving on.

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There is a book on my reading list by Chet Raymo called The Path- A One Mile Walk through the Universe. I started reading it once when I was staying in the author’s summer house in Dingle but I did not have time to finish it on that occasion.  The memory of the pages I did read however have been walking here with me, alongside the weave of Whyte’s words, ‘Everything is waiting for you’.

For 40 years Raymo took the same one mile walk to work, from his home to his college campus in Massachusetts, chronicling the story of the universe with every step. He draws upon, among other disciplines, biology, astronomy, botany, architecture, history and literature to reveal that any path, and each step along the way, can be a portal to universal understanding and insight. He writes, drawing too upon his love affair with the landscape of Ireland:

“In my daily rambles along the path, I have been inspired by a famous observer of the Irish landscape, the early-twentieth-century naturalist Robert Lloyd Praeger, who walked over all of Ireland ‘with reverent feet,’ he said, eschewing motor transport, ‘stopping often, watching closely, listening carefully.’ And although I have aspired to Praeger’s pedal reverence, I know I have fallen short. Another thirty-seven years walking my path would not do it justice. The contemporary writer and cartographer Tim Robinson, another close observer of the Irish landscape, defines something he calls the ‘adequate step,’ a step worthy of the landscape it traverses. The adequate step takes note of geology, biology, myths, history, and politics, says Robinson in Stones of Aran. It also includes the consciousness of the walker. And even all of that, he states, is not enough. No step, or series of steps, can ever be fully adequate. ‘To forget the dimensions of the step is to forgo our honor as human beings,’ he writes, ‘but an awareness of them equal to the involuted complexities under food at any given moment would be a crushing backload to carry.

A crushing backload, indeed: fiddlehead ferns, downy woodpecker, pickerel, granite flake, Canada mayflower, moonrise, bluebirds, spring peepers, monarch butterflies, glacial scratches on bedrock, and, of course, the human history of my path, which in its transformations over the centuries encapsulates in many surprising ways the history of our nation and of our fickle love affair with the natural world. Step by step, year by year, the landscape I traverse became deeper, richer, more multidimensional, always overflowing the mind that sought to contain it.”

I do not have the scientific knowledge of Raymo, nor the cartographic skills of Robinson, but I am being attentive to this land by walking with the aspiration of bringing reverence to my feet. I too will admit to falling short, but knowing there are still more steps to take, I walk with the knowing that each one is bringing me deeper into the intimacy of my surroundings. Everything, I am trusting is waiting for me. That I’ll have the openness to see, the mind to absorb and the heart to expand is my wish. And if I get lost, I’ll always have Freddie to guide me, for he is a knower of these things, and the owls too, which call as I type, offering some mystery into the mix, crowding out the solo voice with the most haunting of sounds. Everything is waiting.

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The In-Between, via Greece.

Autumn at Axladitsa-7878

As I type, dusk falls in Axladitsa. The sky is smoked with a light haze and the early evening sounds are starting to rise- birds chirp as they make their roost for the night and, as the wind drops, the last of the autumnal leaves find a new quiet. As night descends, the silence of the wild is more acute. It is a silence filled with nature’s song, cut through with the sounds of a crackling fire and the occasional bark or miaow. Along with a multitude of wild beings, from hedgehogs to boar and owls, I share this place with fourteen cats and, at the moment, three dogs- two of whom just recently showed up and do not want to leave. I can understand why.

I have been here in rural Greece since mid-October, returning to the home of my good friend Maria Scordialos, who has opened her doors once again with her remarkable generosity. She opens the door to many, stewarding Axladista- a living learning centre which I first read about in Walk Out Walk On. It is a 24 acre olive farm, situated at the base of the Pelion peninsula, overlooking the islands of Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos in the Aegean Sea. In other words it is stunning, inhabiting its own variant of wild, beautiful and raw. Axladista is also the current base of  The Living Wholeness Institute, an organization which experiments in a ways of working and explores patterns of living which evoke learning, growth and transformational change at an individual and collective level- work which I have been diving into and learning with.

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This is my third time here and in many ways Axladitsa now feels like my second home. This time it has been a rich experience of letting go, letting come and engaging with the way life is showing itself to me; textured, simple and nuanced all at once. More than ever my time here seems to be taking on a life of its own.

In Greece two versions of time are commonly referenced, chronos time and kairos time. Chronos time is the time of the clock, the fixed rhythm of how we regulate our days. It is chronological and sequential, paced and predictable.  Kairos time, however, is the time of deeper rhythms, the time when we can get lost, the time in between. It is here where the cycles of the seasons emerge and where we tune into the deeper pulse of our days and beyond them. It has longitude in its frame and a sense of space. Since arriving here, I keep finding myself saying, ‘Where is the time going?’ I wake up in the morning and before I know it, night is falling and the day retreating into itself. Kairos is here, breathing and making itself know through the daily tasks and conversations, in the routine of living with the light and the dark, and in between, all the in between. It is here that perspective is emerging.

It has been a long time since I have written. The silence has come not from lack of desire to write but out of this kairos time. Something in me has been needing to sink into deeper pace and rhythm and to sense into my own season of change and transition, for there has been much change and there is much transition.

It has been a monumental few months. September and October brought the end of our Trailblaze Rites of Passage programme at the Dublin Fringe Festival, a Be Retreat, moving out of my home of the last 5 years, clearing out my belongings and coming here to Greece. While here I have co-hosted a ‘writing in resonance’ retreat, helped with the olive harvest, and also, rather spontaneously, helped to host a group of 11 young people from a self-designed educational programme called ‘Classroom Alive’, which has involved them walking from Sweden to Athens. You never know quite who shows up at Axladista- it is one of the joys of this place. So far in weeks here there have been visitors from Ireland, Zimbabwe, Belgium, Israel, Germany, Canada, USA, Portugal, France, and of course, Greece.

The Classroom Alive visit for me was particularly inspiring, witnessing a group of young people set out on a journey, at the pace of walking, to figure out big questions along the way. They are aware that the future is an emergent phenomenon and how we, as individuals and collectives, engage in creating it is critical to our common humanity. The walkers are between 20 and 25 years old, and step by step of the way, are also figuring out how to craft their own paths. Crafting, I realize is key. These young people, like me (who now realizes she is no longer 25!), see, feel and sense the huge global challenges ahead: environmental, social, economic, political and personal. They realize that the answers to these issues are not going to found in classrooms or traditional structures, nor are the solutions going to be easily revealed. What they do realise however is that in order to craft the future they want, it will require a reordering of how they live, engage and participate in creating that future. And, like any craft, it is a practice that gets stronger over time.

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This epic walk for them has been their practice as such. They have been experimenting with group decision making, money, educational formats and practicing what it means to be in relationship with the unknown, all through the currency of friendship and trust. They are earnest and eager and simultaneously wet, tired and, quite frankly, a bit stinky. But they have been meeting this dirt and grime, this cold and uncomfortable, knowing that the journey holds information and transformation.  So while they know it is not easy, they also know they are onto something.

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Having a sense you are ‘onto something’ is both a wonderful and mind wrecking experience. The clarity of what this ‘something’ is comes, I realise more and more, not from waiting for answers but by stepping deeper into the journey, following our intuition and hunches to figure out our next bold moves. In coming here to Axladitsa, I have been trying to do just that, listening my own intuition and inner voice to get a greater sense of the bigger ‘something’ I am onto and my own ‘what next’. My friends here have been a mirror (thank you Vanessa, Maria and Bini), and my journey like the code breaker.

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Rites of Passage, I know, was certainly something. We at The Trailblazery, found ourselves tapping into something powerful and passionate with an edge, mystery and a magic that was beyond the sum of its parts. It was a full on blast of potential. Kathy, Ciara and I were blown away by the content, people and the whole experience, one I will carry with me for a long while yet.

Interestingly, on a personal note, it also left me a little overwhelmed- both with its power and with the sheer scale of the issues we face as a global community. After years of social activism, movement and doing, I came to a point where my inner batteries needed some recharging. I now also see that this was not a physical tiredness as such, but an emotional one which has been accumulating over time. I am certainly not unique in what I notice, but like so many others, I see so much disintegration around us. I see systems that are crumbling and security dissolving. I see people everywhere questioning the way forward. I feel the pain. I have been a witness to the suffering. So even though I had been so fired up after Rites of Passage and so inspired, when I arrived here it all suddenly felt a bit too much and my brain went to mush. I knew it was time to move inwards.

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Overwhelm, I believe, is not an excuse for in-action. Instead I believe I have a responsibility to deal with my own dirt and grime and find my way through, even if it is just a little step at a time. The issues are too great, the time is too short and the opportunity too beautiful- it is not one I want to miss out on. Thankfully the last few years have given me some tools and resources which are like battery chargers. So I have taken to my yoga mat, I have meditated, I have walked these wild natural paths, I have swam in the waters, I have spent time with the animal beings, I have engaged with the questions and in doing so, I have been allowing kairos time to teach me a few things. It has not all been pretty, or easy on the people around me, but that is the lesson too. We all need some in-between.

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A very dear friend of Maria’s, Gillian Kean, passed away suddenly this year. She was a woman who I wished I had met. By all accounts she was an amazing lady who led her activist life in very subtle and conscious ways, showing up to make a difference all around the globe, offering friendship, trust and presence. She was a woman of hope and optimism, bringing together people of all nationalities for conversation, connection and a sense of solidarity. Gillian had just returned from the Syrian boarder when she was involved in a tragic accident. She was 70 years old. Her passing and memory is a reminder to me that we can never really know or understand the ripple effects of our actions. I had never met the lady, but here I am, walking this land with her memory and the pieces of the advice that she has shared:

  • Follow the cues & clues
  • Don’t take it personally and
  • Keep your heart open

So, as my remaining weeks unfold here, I am following the cues and clues, attempting to show up with presence and an open heart, grateful, ever grateful for the opportunity, the questions, the journey, the place, to Maria and Vanessa, to Trailblaze and even to the 11 stinky young people who came to show me a thing or two. And of course, to Gillian, who by all accounts had the most open of hearts. And this, I believe, is one of the most beautiful aspirations, wherever the journey is to take me. And who knows, I may walk to Athens yet!

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An  announcement:

We are releasing the Trailblaze Rites of Passage videos weekly on our YouTube Channel and via mailchimp. The archive is growing and can be viewed here.

You can also sign up to our newsletter here, for further announcements and happenings.

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Posted in Education, photography, trailblaze | 1 Comment

Taking a Leap…

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It is indeed the season of change. Today, as I was cycling through the city I noticed a shift in the seasons. The leaves are transitioning into autumnal hues and the air has a fresh crispness to it. The year is turning once again and despite my longing for summer days to linger that bit longer, I know the year must turn. It is natural. It is inevitable. It is the nature of time and cycles.

In parallel there is a season turning in my life too. We kicked off Rites of Passage last Sunday to a powerful and potent surge. It was so very special and having worked so hard over the last few months to help make it happen, there is something so fantastic when the ‘play’ button is pressed and it all starts to roll. Right now it feels alive, real, raw and rich. I’ll never forget the sight of 50 kids singing their little souls out to the tunes of Nina Hynes. And what’s even better, that was just the start. We have two more days of it- 15th and 22nd September with hedgeschools in the afternoons and stage two & three of our Rites of Passage Trilogy. We also have a little surprise in store (stay tuned to our social media channels for that @trailblazery on twitter and here on Facbeook) All the other information is on The Fringe Festival website, including booking details. HERE>  

Soon it will be time for change again. There is much of it right now. I have just bought my ticket to go to Greece, I have handed in my notice to my landlord, I’m finishing up my classes in Samadhi Yoga, and I know that there is a huge leap underway. Greece is calling me, BIG time and while there I will be creating space to plan and scope my next creative project. I know I am jumping into the unknown, trusting my gut instinct and releasing, releasing, releasing.

There is a part of me that thinks I am crazy. I love my life here in Dublin. I’ve a lovely home, a fantastic community of friends and collaborators, and much of my daily life is accessible by bike. But my friends and community will still be here, and if anything, will expand with the leap. I know, because I have been here before- leaving for Tonga, China, UK, and across the world in my past life to venture out. Each time I have done that I have never regretted it, and the more I do it, the more I feel connected to a wider community and networks of intersections- forging bonds, insights and rich learning which I can take with me wherever I go. I will also have my camera, pen and yoga mat with me and skills which I intend to offer along the way in exchange for food or a bed for the night. This venture feels a bit different from the last ones. I know I am on the hunt for teachers and it feels like I will be an apprentice to the next stage of my career.  So here I go again, donning that trust belt, holding fast & tight, off to venture into the wide and open world.

But not quite yet.  I’ve a month left in Dublin- a busy one. With Rites of Passage and our next Be Retreat from 4-6 Oct which, fortuitously is all about change & transition. I’ll also be downsizing my belongings, giving away most of what I own (which feels great). And then I’ll be back and forth then over the next year, between Ireland, Greece & beyond, keeping Be Retreats & The Trailblazery evolving with my incredible collaborators, while growing my new projects.

Crazy? Maybe? But life feels ready for it right now, as too do I. And so I will leap. Where exactly ‘the other side’ is, I have yet to find out. But this time, my gut is telling me that the lessons are in the leap itself and less about the where. I’ll keep you posted, from that place beyond, wherever that may find me.

In the meantime, if in Ireland, be sure to get yourself to some Rites of Passage events. Bookings are still open also for our Be Retreat. Onwards, inwards and upwards…

And to end-  some photos from Sunday night, thanks to the talented Eoin Kirwan.

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RoP_1_EoinKirwan (95 of 216)

 

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Upcoming-ness: Rites, Retreats & Greece

Life, my friends, feels big and rich and busy and busting and exhausting and enriching and oh so dame alive.

There is much happening. There is deep learning. There much news. There is an edge I am about to leap across.

This blog is going to be filled with happenings and upcoming-ness. Prepare for information download central. Before you read you may want to activate your forcefield, with a little aid from this random Dublin traffic light which I passed by yesterday!

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Rites of Passage

Where to begin? I feel very at times very fortunate and very crazy to be doing this work! But our Rites of Passage programme is looking, well, epic.  This is by far our most ambitions project to date. We have three large scale Trailblaze nights in the mix, a series of International Hedgeschools and are working with 100 children and musican Nina Hynes to create a very special choir or the occassion. Speakers are flying in from US, Iceland, Greece, Austraila and Canada. We will be in the funky Fumbally Cafe for the first two Hedgeschools and then to The Pepper Canister Church and Trinity Exam Hall for the Rites of Passage Triology. We are creating a beautiful booklet with artwork and illustrations and will be recording all talks to share on an online hub. I did say this was big, didn’t I…

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It is one booming collaboration and I am amazed and blessed to have such a great team of supporters, funders and cheerleaders who are rallying to make this happen. THANK YOU.

At the core of the programme is the leading question: What does it mean to take a country on its own Rite of Passage? We have found it to be a very powerful question, leading us into our ancient past, our tumultous present and creating space to inhabit the future we collectively wish to create. There is magic in the making. This I know.

The programme is on The Fringe Festival website and tickets can be bought here. Tickets for the trilogy can be bought as a package and are sold individually for the hedgeschools.

Come!

Be Retreat: Changing Seasons

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I’m delighted to announce our next Be Retreat from 4-6 Oct taking place in The Old Rectory, Donard, Co. Wicklow. 

I have teamed up with the wonderful Mari Kennedy and Jenny Dungan to create another weekend of celebrating, creating, cooking and connecting. We will be diving into the season, exploring the transition from summer to autumn. Jenny is already conjuring the menu and I know we will have some serious YUM in store.

The weekend includes:

  • Yoga & meditation
  • Diving deep to explore your creativity, passions and purpose
  • Yummy autumnal vegetarian Food
  • Time in nature
  •  Celtic wisdom

This will be our fourth retreat we have hosted together and loving it more and more. More on our facebook page here. 

Come!

Next Moves

So, I’ve been in the process of making BIG decisions in my life and have decided to take a  leap and plan some new creative adventures. I will be packing up shop in my lovely Dublin home and initially moving to Greece for 6 weeks. (Yes, moving to Greece!)

Then, over the course of next year I’ll be back and forth between Ireland, and beyond. The ‘beyond’ is unfolding with a new project (which will be revealed) and I will be coming back to Ireland to continue my work with The Trailblazery and Be Retreats. I’ll also be hosting pop up yoga workshops. Change is in the air, BIG TIME.

 So over to Greece

Lots of adventures happening in now what feels like my second home, Axladista- the official home of The Living Wholeness Institute. Situated on a 24 acre olive farm it is wild, simple and wonderful. For much of October and November I will be situated there doing the following things which I love.  I’ll also be reunited with Freddie, the resident dog who fills my being with joy… I am a happy camper

Writing in Resonance Retreat. 25th-30th October

I’m over the moon delighted to be teaming up with my soul sisters Maria Scordialos and Vanessa Reid to host a Writing in Resonance Retreat.

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this is what we are up to:

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Writing in Resonance Retreat: A 6 day exploration with writing, yoga and creatives practices. 

What resides in you that is longing to be written – a lived story, a dream, a calling?

What does it mean to be in ‘resonance’ with yourself, the place in which you find yourself, your true purpose and your calling?

We all have a story to tell- many stories. But what if we were to make the way to the pen through our deepest selves, our soul? What happens when we are supported and inspired by the wildness of the land, the wisdom of our bodies, practices that open us to our inner guidance and are invited into a deeper engagement with our inner resonance?

Over the course of six days we will traverse our own inner terrain to access our wilderness and creativity – to discover the words our pen wants to capture.  We will do this in the beautiful setting and wild land of Axladista, Greece. You will have the space to explore your own creative resonance in the company and space of others through a sequence of yoga, bodywork, writing practices as well as cooking, eating and living together. These are all elements of the living wholeness pattern, a way of living life that invites us to move through the landscape of the individual and collective, the visible and the invisible so we may uncover the many hidden treasures that wish for expression.

This retreat is for those who do not yet know what they are wanting to write as much as for those already engaged in writing projects who are seeking some new perspective or a fresh set of questions to help dive into their project further. We invite you to access the wild in our souls that wishes to speak, sing, write, share, express itself!

Daily Schedule: 

We will offer a beautiful combination of structure and spaciousness. This will include practices and exercises to loosen the grip of our critical minds, as well as with what emerges.

  •  Daily yoga & body movement
  • Space to write & create
  • Cooking and eating together

 

And there is more:  Olive Harvest: 31 Oct- 4th November

YUM. Following the Writing in Resonance Retreat we will be opening the gates of Axladista to helping hands. It is olive picking time, and we will be harvesting- both on the land of Axladisata and helping in the local community. This will be my first Olive Harvest and I can’t wait to learn more about the process, be out in the wild and then taste the first olive of the season.

Olive Harvest

‘Artist in Resonance’ Programme: November 2013

November the pace shifts a little. I’ll be a core host at Axladista, engaging in some of my own artistic work and hosting the ‘Artist in Resonance’ programme. Here is more information.

Artist in Resonance Nov 2013

Axladista is such a beautiful place just to be and a wonderful one in which to create.  November 2013 Axladista is dedicated to hosting artists-in-resonance.

For the month we are opening its welcoming doors to those who would like space & time to connect with their own creative practices & potential. Whether a writer or photographer, a poet or painter, your creative outlet will have space to roam and expand. You will be an Artist-in-Resonance…

While at Axladista you will also have a chance to learn more about The Living Wholeness pattern and practice, share meals together with other participants.

Together will tend the land, the animals (dog and cats) and we will create our meals together in the outdoor kitchen with fresh produce from the garden.

Save the Dates

I’ll be back in Dublin over Christmas and the New Year. We are planning to host another Be Retreat during that lovely quiet time 28th Dec- 1st Jan.. so watch this space for more details.

Meanwhile in Dublin

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 Granby Park, created by the amazing UpStart Collective is up and very much running down. It is a sheer amazing feat of volunteerism, creative spirit, innovation, collaboration and magic. The UpStart team have done an amazing job and if you are in Dublin over the next month, be sure to pop in. There are lots of free events and gigs coming up.

And this weekend- who is going to the Electric Picnic? 

I’ll be wandering, mostly in The Body & Soul area and The Global Green. Say hello!

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Herein ends this public service announcement. Thank you for listening.

 

 

 

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The shape of ‘it”

These have been big days, big weeks. When I say big, I mean in their feeling, their weightiness. There is a surge, a quickening, a rising tide, a swelling curve. There is a calling, a beckoning, an opening, a cry. I have lived enough years now and taken enough routes off path to recognise the sounds of it.

‘It’ is taking shape the more I listen in. Among other emergences, ‘it’ has been our Trailblaze Rites of Passage project and ‘it’ has been amazing so far. Our Fund-it Campaign felt like a growing round of cheers. From New Zealand to Canada, from Australia to Cork, we had shout outs, pledges, whooops and wows. We reached our target with three days to go, and in the end raised 113% of what we asked for. AMAZING.

Rites of Passage Image thanks

From the deep of my depths I say thank you. It was a huge thing for Kathy and I to put it out there. I felt a bit exposed, a bit vulnerable- putting our dream on the line and asking for people to not just back it with their words but with their money too. It was so special for me to see the names on our supporters list grow and grow, particularly knowing that for many people who pledged, money is not in great supply right now. It all means so much and has given Kathy and I an extra kick to our boost.

With the surge of support we have since decided to create another event next summer. We dived into the dream pool again and emerged with an idea which has been spinning for sometime but now feels right and ready to pop- an idea to host an International Summer School in a beautiful rural setting in Ireland. (We have an incredible venue in mind, but can’t disclose yet!)

The school will be a 5-day experience bringing together a range of artists, social entrepreneurs, activists, performers, pioneers and transformational educationalists to help activate the next generation of global social and cultural leaders. It will be designed as a deep learning journey for participants to find new ways to connect and together strenghten their own practices and processes. We’ll be hosting talks, salons, hedgeschools, performances and forest walks. We’ll have local, seasonal food and some midnight swims and we we’ll be filming the talks and putting them online to share with a global audience.

It feels right and we feel ready. But we need support again to help make it all happen.

We have just submitted the project to The Arthur Guinness Projects and are calling out for votes. The more votes we get the better chance we have to be shortlisted. You can vote once a day. Here is the link and our video…

https://www.arthurguinnessprojects.com/arts/trailblaze-summer-school

 

 

I’m very aware that we’ve so recently put a call out for Fund-it and are now asking again- but it is just the nature of the deadlines and the timing of things. So we’d love your voting support, whether you are in Ireland or not. Thank you, thank you.

‘It’ in other ways is evolving too. There is lots more yoga, retreats and creative ventures on the cards. I’m still taking bookings for one to one photography lessons and have slots later this month and in September. Yoga classes continue in Samadhi on Tuesdays and Thursdays and in St. James’ Hospital on Wednesday mornings. I’ll also be hosting more Be Retreats over the coming months and have a few lovely surprises up my sleeve. There is big change in the air… so stay tuned!

And that’s about the shape of it…. save a few photos from a recent hillwalk with my little four-legged friend, Buster.

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