Just one more…


(Am I too close?)

Apologies, there’s one more story….

Last Monday night I went along to a church hall in Greystones where Molly, from the previous team had created her dream – a group of therapists providing low cost therapy for the community. The money donated by the recipients goes to charity. I arrived at seven and the therapists were swinging into action, setting up plinths, lighting candles, pouring jugs of water and smiling, there was a lot of smiling.


(More pretty Irish clouds)

They have been gathering once a month since June. Before June, this was just an idea in Molly’s head. Now it’s real. How did that happen?

At her first team meeting Molly said she wanted to spend more time baking. The team were quite excited about that, expecting they might be eating some of the baking. At her second meeting she wanted to set up a center in Greystones where the community could avail of low cost holistic therapies. That got the team even more excited! (Even as they realised there would be no baking….. ) She admitted that this had been a dream of hers for a while, but there were lots of obstacles that made it seem impossible. No funding, no experience of speaking in public, no helpers, no computer experience (yes I know…but for Molly this was important), no administration experience.


(No moving parts…. just the sun)

The simple answer to how this happened is, Molly held onto the vision of her dream becoming a reality and she did the work. And the impact of Molly’s dream on others? Come along on the second Monday night of each month to St Patrick’s Hall, Greystones and see for yourself. But get there early, it’s very popular!

I think this is the last one, Mairead

Team Stories 5

(If you think this picture is tilting to the left…… you may have problems… but not with your sight)

Last Success Team story today. Kalliope is a Greek Goddess, muse of epic poetry and the name given to this story’s young woman by Juno (from Team Story 2). When Kalliope came to Success Teams she was very clear about what she wanted. A dog. In fact lots of dogs and horses and a ranch, where people could come and nourish their spirit. Her obstacle…. her living circumstances didn’t allow for one dog, let alone lots of dogs, or a horse, her financial circumstances didn’t allow for a ranch. The team gave Kalliope suggestions to overcome her obstacles, but she felt stuck.

(Eilish’s dog, Millie)

After week three Kalliope’s dream had hit the ground, in a good way…. it had become grounded. She had been to a concert in Manchester during week two and had done what she always did. She wrote poetry, for the performers and even some of the crew, fourteen poems in all! Her poetry is uplifting, very nourishing to the spirit, quite like her dream really…..

So… after all these team stories you might expect something funny to happen? Well, something funny did happen……

(Scooter the cat, having a little rest)

As Kalliope walked up to the reception of her hotel in Manchester, she noticed a group of people chatting. Looking over she realised that not ten feet away stood at least four of the people for whom she had been writing poetry. Although Kalliope had been inspired by these people, she had never met them. So in that moment she had a choice, dream about the possibility of handing her poetry to them or walk over and hand her poetry to them. Kalliope took a step toward her dream, and handed over her poetry.

(Momma duck and her ducklings)

She was ready to light up the world! Since she was a toddler Kalliope had been playing with words, putting them together, taking them apart, adding tone and volume, using computers to create pictures and stories. Whatever else she did with her life she also, always, wrote. So on week four she announced to the team that she had found a way to publish a book of her poetry for very little money. At the idea party she passed around a copy of her book and took orders!

As I write Kalliope is house-sitting two dogs, three cats, several goldfish and a frog. Her dream draws her forward in everything she does….. every practical step brings her dream closer to reality.

Kalliope wants to move to America. San Francisco would be perfect. Any ideas?

This isn’t really the last team story, there’s another Success Team starting in September…. so the next one I write could be about you!

Watch this space, Mairead.

Team Story 4

(Lusi’s copper beech)

This next Success Team story is about a woman we’ll call Brigid. Brigid didn’t know what she wanted. She had attended a previous idea party and something about the feel of people together supporting each other’s dreams appealed to her.

At her first meeting she talked about hands-on work, possibly with special needs. By the third meeting Brigid had became very aware that this was a practical team, it wasn’t just a support group where everyone sat around talking about their problems. This team expected you to do something and they would support you in any way, shape or form they could to do that… But Brigid still wasn’t clear about what she wanted.

(Sweet crafts from the Yarn Room)

For a long time Brigid had been hiding her gifts. She was working in an area where she had thought her gifts would be ideal but instead she felt safer keeping them hidden and this was causing her huge discomfort. Sharing with her team she realised the work she was doing was interfering with her quality of life…. but how would she survive financially without it?

While she was considering this dilemma Brigid was also reconnecting with her gifts, in music, in healing, in dance. And, as Brigid reconnected, a funny thing happened….. previous teachers started to reconnect with Brigid. She began to sense there could be a way to share her gifts in a safe way.

(Cute card from The Yarn Room)

At the idea party, one of the invited guests needed someone with organisational skills, Brigid recognised very quickly that this role could surround her with like-minded people, in a space where her gifts would be highly regarded. Brigid was quick to volunteer. Luckily she now had plenty of time to volunteer…. because Brigid’s workplace had just that week, given her a perfect opportunity to leave, by making it impossible for her to stay.

(Chocolate biscuits… yum))

Brigid had a sense from the first idea party that there was something more she wanted. Even though she didn’t know what that was, she stayed awake and present to the outside clues and hints that surrounded her, watching for what might nourish her. Then, she bravely moved towards what felt right and she was soon rewarded with more hints and clues. Step by small step Brigid is moving towards what she wants….. and what she wants is drawing her forward towards it.

Now Brigid is looking for her perfect job, one that will allow her to nurture and share her gifts, because she’s not hiding them any more. Any ideas?

Last story tomorrow, Mairead.

Team Stories 3

(Pretty thistle)

Another story from the Success Team. This one is about Pandora. In fact, Juno from yesterday’s story gave each member of the team a Goddess name, so I’ll use those from now on. Pandora came to Success Teams because I made it sound like a good idea! Unfortunately, the timing was bad for her and she would only be able to make the first or second night due to holidays. So she came along to check things out and maybe join a team in the future. She never left…..

(We have minature strawberries growing among our weeds!)

On that first night Pandora told us she wanted to have the freedom to live and work for a portion of each year in Lanzarote (a Spanish island). By the second night she had included a man in Lanzarote in her wish! And on that same night the team had changed the day we meet to allow Pandora attend. Week three she was on holiday in Lanzarote and via Skype she was also at the table with her team.

(Are you open to help?)

I won’t go into the personal details but Pandora’s journey has been bumpy, she has compared her emotions to the volcanos of her Spanish island, but she is doing the work. She has had to let go of strongly held beliefs about herself which were not useful. She has had to be strong in the face of opposition from others. She has had to make difficult decisions and while she did all this she also did her homework! She read the chapters, she trusted the process, she took support from her newly created team and she has survived, in fact she has thrived.

(Happy Bee)

On one occasion we had just listened to a long list of things Ellie had completed that week, then it was Pandora’s turn and she said “I feel so bad I’ve done nothing, just turn up here.” Her team gave her the loudest applause and encouragement. They recognised that sometimes turning up is more than enough.

Pandora is still in Lanzarote, she attended and contributed to the idea party via skype and had the party laughing out loud at her story. When you can tell your hard story like that you are a success. Each member of the team held out a helping hand to Pandora, and she gave them the gift of accepting their help. Help is out there but it takes courage to ask and to accept. Pandora is a courageous woman.

More stories on the way, Mairead.

Team Stories 2

(Willow Heart)

Ok time for another story from the Success Team. Let’s call the next person Juno. She came to Success Teams because she wanted to set up a distribution company to sell her chosen brands of natural beauty care products. Juno had been to a previous idea party and so she knew she could dream big and she made it clear her products would be sold in the best shops on Grafton Street.

She had brought along her obstacles too, they were… no staff and no funding.

(Wheelbarrows use physics to lighten the load)

When Juno came back the second week something had shifted. When the time came for her to speak, what she said and how she said it moved everyone present. She told how, while she had been doing her homework, (reading sections of the book Wishcraft) she came across a section that said it was ok to ask for help. “I didn’t know that!”  She thought she had to do everything herself. This was different.

Up until now Juno did very well doing everything for herself, she is a very talented successful woman, she gets things done, she reaches her goals, she hits her targets… This was different. This dream was too big for one person, even someone like Juno.

(Succulent… lovely word)

When Juno sat at the table with the team and told them what this meant for her, the impact on the other people was enormous (biggest word I could think of… although epic is good too!). In that moment the team built it’s foundations. They were in this together. From that moment they took responsibility for supporting each other to get their wish. The first practical demonstration was when they told me we would have to change the day we meet for the following week because one of the team couldn’t make it! This group had never met each other before the first night. I don’t know about you but this has never happened to me before, where a group take the responsibility for themselves equally without looking to one person to make decisions. In that moment I knew Success Teams worked! My dream was becoming a reality.

By week four Juno had an even bigger dream. She wanted to create a center to empower women externally (beauty) and internally (personal development) in a beautiful location. I know she will do it!

(A Rake…. for gathering willow branches)

Juno also no longer sees obstacles but she does want people (particular people) to help her practically, if you think that’s you or if you want to find out more, let me know.

Today Juno sent me the following….

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho

Another story tomorrow, Mairead

Team Stories 1

(A dog called Belle)

Well, the Idea Party is over and it was great, but I may be a bit biased! I got some permissions so I can start telling you the stories.

The first one is about a woman, let’s call her Ellie. She has loved animals all her life and she had recently completed a couple of courses, and had gained lots of skills but she seemed to be stuck. She wasn’t moving forward. She came to Success Teams because she wanted to work with animals and share her skills with the world. She saw plenty of obstacles in her way… among them, she had no time and she had no money. She did have plenty of determination, though and a big heart.


By the third week Ellie had set her sights on a horse! If she had a horse she could practice her skills and increase her area of expertise. She still had no money and no time… but something was changing…..

She knew when she spent time with her friend Alan and his horses she felt great. The experience always lifted her and afterwards she was able to deal with everything else. So, she made going to visit Alan and the horses a priority. Everything else had to fit into the time left over. But a funny thing was happening…. because she was setting herself up to feel better, the rest of her life started to get easier.

(Our house…)

Each week Ellie did the work. She studied. She visited Alan. She did the housework. She did her “bread and butter” work. She organised her follow-on courses. She searched for ways to purchase a horse. She bought a lottery ticket! She did her homework. She encouraged her team mates. She noticed other areas in her life that were improving, almost effortlessly. She also noticed and accepted the encouragement she was getting from her husband. And she got on with her life.

And then she was given a horse!

(A horse but not the horse)

Yes, free gratis, for nothing. Someone had a horse who needed a good home with someone exactly like Ellie to care for him…. it was a no brainer really.

Because…. Ellie is living her life. Her perfect life and that has an impact on the people around her. They want to give her what she wants! But more than that, living her life has an impact on Ellie, on her confidence, on what comes to her (including time, money and horses!) on what she brings to the world. She brings herself. She brought herself to the team and will continue to do so since they all intend to keep meeting after the eight weeks are up. I am hugely grateful for the impact she has had on me.

I did say I might bring some obstacles for you to brainstorm, but Ellie no longer sees obstacles in her way! She does want a horsebox, though…. so if you have one you know what to do……

More stories tomorrow, Mairead.

Idea Party

(The floor is washed)

It’s week seven of the Success Teams and the week of the Idea Party. That’s where the team invite two or three people each and we all sit down with a cup of tea and pot luck (whatever people have brought) and we listen. We listen to the story (so far) of each team member’s journey towards their wish, their goal, their dream. Some may have obstacles and if they do the entire party gets eight minutes to brainstorm a solution to their obstacle. Then the next person gets a go.

(The chairs are all in a row)

My obstacle at the moment is I have to get my house ready and that requires housework which is not my favourite thing to do. But…. as continuing to facilitating Success Teams is what I want to do then I am making the housework a priority (for today).

(There’s some crackers and cakes)

I’ll tell you tomorrow how it went and if I get permission I’ll tell you some of the stories. Maybe I’ll share an obstacle or two and you can brainstorm from afar?

What do you want? Mairead.

Lazy and Selfish

(Kate and Liam’s unusual sunflowers)

For the first time in my life I went to a cafe with my laptop. It was last Saturday. I had a green tea and an egg sandwich (yes…) first. Then I wrote for thirty minutes, without even noticing the time pass. Now I’m imagining myself going to a cafe to write every day as being normal, and I feel quite excited. In fact I’m starting to talk to myself (I admit it, I talk to myself…). How great would it be to have a portion of every day assigned to sitting writing in a cafe? and I answer myself…. That would be really great!

So what’s stopping me? The thing that’s stopped me before were all those other voices in my head (yes, I also hear voices….) saying “what a waste of time”, or “you have nothing to write”, or “how incredibly lazy and selfish of you”.

(Wood for the fire)

Then I noticed a funny thing happening in the Success Teams…… I’ve been watching these people! They turn up each week, they share with the team what they want and then they go for it. In the beginning it was difficult for them to fit new things into their busy lives. But to get what they want, some stuff needs to be done….. So they started giving priority to the things that are part of their dream wishes. They began doing these things first (even if they might be considered unimportant or selfish) and letting the rest follow. And the funny thing? When they do that, everything (everything!) else is easier! And the important stuff gets done, too.

(Charlotte, Aidan and Rory’s new cat)

As I’m all for easier I’ll be adding cafe mornings to my weekly schedule from now on. If you see me, remind yourself you too can make your wishes a priority, but don’t talk to me!

Do not disturb, Mairead.

Little Chick’s Story

(A perfect seed ball)

Once upon a time there was a little chick who went in search of adventure. She travelled to the sea shore and found a beautiful turtle shell. She put it on and wore it everyday for months. Everyone she met said how lovely she looked and little chick was delighted with the attention.

(I’m heading for…)

But deep inside little chick was tired and weary and fed-up. The shell was heavy and it was hard to see where she was going so she often bumped into things. One day she decided to take it off….. but as soon as she did she felt naked and put it right back on again. Then she sat down to cry, “now what’ll I do?”

(At the Natural History Museum, a pearl from Galway)

As she was crying an old hen who was passing came over to little chick and asked “What’s wrong little chick?” Little chick explained that she didn’t want to be in a shell anymore, but when she took it off she felt naked. “Oh that’s not a problem, let’s go down to the lake and sort this out.”

(Happy orange juice)

So the two birds waddled down to the lake, said a quick “Hi!” to the other animals and found a quiet spot. Then the old hen said “Ok, little chick, look into the water, what do you see?” Little chick looked in and said, “A beautiful turtle shell.”

“Great, now take off the turtle shell and look into the water again.”

(Sailboats off Greystones… rocks)

“No, no I can’t look, I’m naked.” squeaked the little chick. But the old hen insisted and when the little chick looked into the water she couldn’t believe her eyes. In the water she could see a beautiful yellow fluffy chick, powerful in her chickness! She twisted and turned to see herself from every angle and smiling she asked old hen, “How can this be, I’m beautiful?”

(I have no idea what these are?)

Old hen said “You’ve been wearing that old turtle shell for so long it felt like home but it wasn’t. It was covering up a beautiful you. Just because you feel naked doesn’t mean you are naked! Now, off you go and live the life of a beautiful, proud, powerful, smiling little chick!”

And little chick did just that.

Happy Bank Holiday Monday (Ireland), Mairead.