Embrace chance

Posted on: 3rd November, 2014

Category: Image

Contributor: Louise O'Dwyer

The official dictionary definition of ‘serendipity’ is the occurrence and development of events by chance, in a happy and beneficial way — in other words ‘a pleasant surprise’! I firmly believe that embracing serendipity and also the sometimes ‘not-so-good’ things that happen is the key to having a peaceful life. I keep hearing words like ‘dreaded’ and ‘looming’ and ‘pressure’ and then ‘Christmas’ or ‘ageing’ in the next breath and it has made me realise how many of us live in fear of tomorrow or pain from yesterday and sadly, how few of us actually live in ‘today’. Christmas I will deal with later. Yes, ageing is not always fun, but it is a true privilege. Having worked with clients of all ages, the more mature category will always say that it is easier to get older if you are happy doing something meaningful and the only way you can do that is to ‘define your passion’. Have you found your passion in life? Maybe you have found someone to be passionate with but the two are worlds apart! Have you ever taken the time to reflect and let your mind explore the concept? Or do you spend more time moaning about how much you hate what you are actually doing? You are never too old to ask yourself ‘What do I want to be when I grow up?’ Look at all the people who sign up for personal development courses because they find life a struggle and wonder why it comes so easy to others. It’s not that it comes easy to anybody; some out there just know that they are continually in a phase of development and it begins when you take the time to have the first vision of who you can be. When you identify that, you become self-motivating and it is in those moments of inspiration comes great change. I believe that success is really defined as peace.

Of course I am very well aware of how life can often burn us out, or indeed people can, but look at what some of the celebrities have to put up with and they have to contend with the added downfall of their lives being so public. I know that I might be coming on very heavy with all of this but in order to live a full life you need to feel absolutely great about yourself — the looking good part will follow. We are a nation of critics and gossipers and for the most part we are guilty of bystander apathy. While I definitely promote constructive criticism, the other kind (and you know very well what I mean) is despicable and every so often I am reminded of those very witty words ‘when you are pointing the finger at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you’. Is it any wonder that so many women suffer from low self-esteem or lack of confidence? So when you are thinking about your New Year resolutions over the next while try to incorporate this into your special one — stop judging yourself, rating yourself, being critical or hopeless and start inspiring yourself and watch the benefits unfold. Look at your life as your own personal development movie script. When you look at others, all that you see is one scene in their movie, yes, it might look like they are on top of things, but that’s all it is — one scene, so let go of comparing yourself to everyone else and ‘stay in your own movie’.

Getting back to Christmas, I’m saddened by the fact that rather than bring a smile to everyone’s face, most women see it as a terrifically pressurised time. Will you all just go away and get over yourselves! What is wrong with you? Christmas is magical and it is your responsibility to enjoy it! If you don’t have money to buy a load of presents for people be creative or most importantly, be generous with your time, that is the best present of all. Spend the holiday season with people you are comfortable with, stop pleasing everyone for a quiet life and follow your heart to a Christmas dinner table wherever! People are already asking me about any new gift ideas that I might have to share. How about this — have you heard of the waterproof company called ‘WE DO SAFE AND DRY’ — if you haven’t Google it. We live in a country where it could rain for over 200 of the 365 days in the year, yet most houses are ill-equipped with rain gear. I love this company because it does what it says — 100 per cent waterproof gear while also being highly visible with the added touch of a bit of funkiness. Just take a look at the kids’ waders or the camouflage thigh waders. ‘We Do Safe and Dry’ should be on everyone’s present list this year because it’s a practical gift and we are living in times where practicality is of the utmost importance.

Hats are making a big splash at the moment and I love them — what a way to create a signature style. Have you ever had a hat made just for you? Well, Elizabeth Christina Design is exactly where you need to go to have a bespoke headpiece created lovingly for you. Owner Tina Coyne, Kinsale-based, won best milliner of 2014. Tina has the incredible gift of combining high fashion trends with traditional millinery methods, the result — a unique piece that evokes elegance and style. This is a wonderful idea for a gift for someone who deserves a real treat and the price is very acceptable — Tina will work with your budget. Go on, spoil yourself rotten or spoil someone else rotten, life is short!

Be gentle and kind to yourself, stop worrying, paint your toe nails, take some quiet time, inspire yourself, give himself more than a cuddle and ‘stay in your own movie’!

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Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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