Need a Break?

(Preparing for workshop)

There was a slight chill in the air this morning. Does that mean it’s autumn? Then it must be nearly time for us to get back on the road.

But first… my crafty pal, Linda and I are running a weekend workshop in the gorgeous Bobbio center near Magheramore beach, Co.Wicklow on the last weekend in August. There’ll be nature, crafting, swimming (in the sea!) and loads more but mainly it will be about slowing down in natural surroundings. We are calling it a retreat but it’s not a religious retreat, more a retreat from busy and stress, a retreat into nature. A retreat with play. We are really enjoying this planning stage and can’t wait to share it.

(Magheramore Beach)

We would love you to join us. There are some places available and you’ll find all the details on (click to have a look!)

Back to painting, Mairead.

I’d rather not tell you…

(I’ll be making cards this time. I’ve been practising)

I’ve checked the calendar and there are just three weeks left until we board the ferry at Cherbourg to come home…and the weekend after that, 17th November,  I’m going to be running a Mindful Crafting Workshop with my friend Linda. (Details at So I need to start telling you about it. There’s just one small problem, I’d rather not tell you…


I realised something about myself earlier this year – I have a habit of giving up on things that I really want to finish. Mainly it’s due to fear. I have a natural pattern even when I’m not afraid to wander onto a new thing before the one I’m on has finished. I get distracted easily and there’s so much beautiful stuff in the world I want to experience it all. But, I also want to experience that delicious feeling of finishing. For example, I love ironing – not enough to do it regularly – but, when I do iron I leave the ironed bundles of clothes and sheets sitting around for days. I do this because I feel great when I finish and want to remind myself that I did it!

(Even more…)

Writing the blog is perfect for me because it gives me the two things I love most –  a place to wander off to and a place to finish up. When I get up in the morning I have a blank slate, yesterday’s blog post is gone, I have to start again, start something new. I’m positively encouraged to wander off. When I finish writing today’s post I’ll send it off and I’m finished. Pressing send used to hold loads of fear for me. For years Denis had to read every blog post before I sent it. To be sure, to be sure of… of what I don’t know but fear can be like that, unspecific. Now, Denis reads the posts the same as everyone else when they get into his email and I have no fear of sending a finished blog post… mostly. There are some blog posts, I am afraid of sending…

(Ok sorry about bringing Christmas up before Halloween…)

I’m afraid of sending the ones that I think might make people reject me. I’m afraid of rejection. Hilarious really… (not actual hilarity, more demented hilarity) as those blog posts are the ones with my most precious message. The positively mind scrambling part of all this is that my most precious message, the one I keep hidden in a safe part of my heart, in case of rejection, is mainly about letting go of rejection! My message to me and to you is that if we pay attention to our thoughts and fears about rejection they will hurt us more than any outside force. Paying attention to my thoughts and fears about rejection, immobilises me. I’ll say that again, it’s the thoughts and fears that immobilise me, not the rejection. Funny thing (again not actual funny): I never get rejected. Do you know why? It’s because I rarely do anything that might get me rejected – I’m too afraid! I will only be able to share my message about rejection when I stop believing in my thoughts and fears about being rejected. I can still have those thoughts and fears I just can’t be paying attention to them. That’s where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness teaches us how to notice our scary thoughts but not believe them.

Are you still there? Do you have any scary thoughts and fears you might want to stop believing?

(Peace and joy all year long… not just for Christmas…)

This has turned into a blog post Denis will have to read a few times. And he hates these ones. He much prefers the funny ones. Or the stories about the people I meet. Or the pictures, he laughed out loud looking at me in the hairdressers. I love when he laughs. I love when you laugh… if I make you laugh you won’t notice my fears.  …and Linda is going to kill me (again, not literally) this blog post is probably going to frighten off anyone who was thinking it was just a bit of fun… sorry, Linda. The MindCraft Workshop is a place where we can share our message through the medium of crafting. One of the places we learned to think about rejection as a child was at the art table, when our creativity wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, attractive enough, up to standard, as good as your sister’s art/ brother’s work/cousin’s grade…. With the help of mindfulness it’s also one of the places we can learn to stop believing those scary thoughts and fears…

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Ok. So, if I didn’t believe my scary thoughts and fears, this is what I’d say:

I would love you to join us on the 17th of November at the Old Stable Studio, Killruddery House, Bray, Co. Wicklow where we will have fun (it’s definitely fun!) be mindful and stop believing our scary thoughts and fears. All the details are at

What would you do if you didn’t believe your scary thoughts and fears? Mairead.

PS Really, tell me, what would you do?