Happy New Year


(Way too much chocolate….)

Is it morning already? I’ve been away in the land of Christmas and I have jet lag (or… sleigh lag.) So just enough time and energy to wish you a Happy New Year – it’s 2013 – and encourage you to consider your hopes and dreams and wishes this year. For a start scribble something you really, really want on a bit of paper and stick it in the back of your purse or wallet. Don’t look at it again until 2014.

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(Way too much food…)

Or if you’re really brave…. send your bit of paper to someone who will encourage you; or send it in an email to lots of encouraging some-bodies; or do what I did and set up your own team of people to encourage you! That’s why I’m off out the door now to draw and paint at this un-holy hour (well 8.30am…) instead of lying in bed. And even though I’d rather be lying in bed at this moment…. I am very glad I started this journey.

Happy 2013 and start scribbling, 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.

Start at the end…

(Like a bird on the wire……)

I was reading the book Do the Work by Steven Pressfield while we were on holidays and I’ve been thinking about it again today. The part I’m remembering is the bit about Start with the End. We do something similar in Success Teams.

(Big stones turn into little ones….)

The idea is, you ask yourself what you want to be true at the end of a project. So let’s say the project was… the printing I was doing yesterday. What do I want to be true at the end? At the end I want a hand printed piece of material that could be hung on the wall. That’s the external reason. But there’s also an internal reason.

(The stream flows to the sea…..)

So I ask the question –  what’s it all about? What is it about this finished project that grabs me? What is it that makes me glow, or sparkle or shine or sing! That’s when the internal reason appears. For my printing project…… I wanted to create repeating patterns. I wanted to use paint because I love the way it starts like a blob and then flows. I love the way you can roll it onto a piece of wood and the wood becomes wet with the paint. I love that pressing the painted block onto the cotton material leaves an impression……. And then repeating it makes a pattern and I sigh…. that’s it.

(And the waves roll in and out… )

Going into this much detail with the ending makes a lasting impression on your unconscious, so that it’s almost as if the project was already done….. and it was… in the future! And that draws you towards it… compels you towards it. Imagine if the thing you wanted was drawing you towards it? It would become possible. The thing you want is possible….. how cool is that? Then, you can take the first step…..

The end,  Mairead.

Success Teams Blog

(Continued from yesterday… Five Lives.) The kind of story I want to be in is one where every day I’m involved in something that lifts my heart.

You see, down in the everyday “stuff” of life it’s easy to get stuck and think you’re not worthy or that your ideas are useless or that you’ll make do with a life you find boring. Because…. it takes a lot of courage to do the things that you love, to share the ideas that you have, to go for the exciting (to you) things. It takes courage to lift your voice up and say “this is what I want.” It takes courage to wonder “what do I want?”

Fortunately, it doesn’t take much courage to lift your heart. It lifts on its own every time you are involved in something you love….. in sport, art, writing, walking, cooking, riding your motorbike (he, he)…. what is it for you?

(Nice cup of tea)

When your heart is lifting….. then you can make up a new story, of a new life.

When I finished the Wishcraft book and wanted more I searched the internet and found that Barbara Sher had devised Success Teams. A team doing the exercises in order to find out what you wanted and then encouraging you to go for it….. But there wasn’t one in Ireland.

I’d have to set it up in Ireland.

Oh, my goodness the FEAR……I’m not worthy, this is a terrible idea, I’ll make do with reading the book again. But it wouldn’t go away. So bit by bit I started telling people and something about my passion for the idea grabbed them too.

They joined me in my story and now we’ve completed the eight weeks course.  Each of us has our own project to lift our hearts. Each one of us is at a different stage. Each one of us feels the fear from time to time and then we meet and the team keeps us going. Going towards what we want.

And the amazing thing to me is…. it’s not about what we want at all…. it’s all about the journey towards it.

Thank you, (in alphabetical order, women!) Ashleigh, Frieda, Julie, Marion, and Molly – my team mates, for lifting my heart when I couldn’t! And now I’m going to do it again.

(For the Wicklow team who played today – Burn the Boats but Keep the Passion!)

Want to build a team to lift your heart when you can’t? Send me an email (mairead@hennessynet.com) or ring (086 827 2332) and get on the next team!

To your soaring heart from mine, Mairead.

Five Lives

(Bren’s Birthday Sweet Pea)

So, yesterday (Come on Wicklow) I was giving an example of one of the exercises in Barbara Sher’s Book, Wishcraft. It’s called….Five Lives. In it you imagine you have five lives and what would you do with each one? So, she helps you by saying if you could be YOU five times and explore a different talent or interest or lifestyle, what would they be?

(My patchwork tiled table – hasn’t fared well in the cold and wet winter, it needs some help)

Well…. I was off in dreamland with that one. But if that wasn’t enough she goes on to tell me (in the book, I’ve never met her!) what Gene, a 47-year-old mortgage banker, wrote for his five lives.

Gene’s Five Lives: 1. Head of Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2. A fishing guide. 3. A novelist. 4. A radio announcer for major league baseball (Gene is probably American…..). And already I start to realise, anything goes – Gene didn’t even have five lives on his list and he made it into the book! Gene is picking crazy things…… and that’s ok too…..

(Tea and courgette plants at Laura’s house)

And that’s what comes out again and again – it’s your story. YOUR LIFE is your story to make up as you go along. You can choose how the story goes. And the exercises help to find out what kind of story you want to be in….

(Summer’s here!)

You might want to try the exercise for yourself? Or not? Either way I’ll continue the story tomorrow.

What’s the story? (A form of greeting in Cork…. or is it Tipperary?) Mairead.

Come on Wicklow!

(Wicklow are playing hurling in Croke Park on Saturday… Yes, imagine, Wicklow made it! – Story soon about one of the players…)

About a year ago I was reading a blog, there was a reference to the book Wishcraft – How to Get What You REALLY Want. The blog was American and it seemed this book and it’s author (Barbara Sher) were famous there. I’d never heard of it or her so when I realised the book was free to read on the internet I started reading.


Very soon I was hooked. It’s the kind of book that has exercises. So, you read a bit, then you do the exercise and you read some more. I finished the first two chapters in one sitting, and went on to finish the book over the next two weeks. Then I wanted more.

(Found a voucher for the Art and Hobby shop and bought some kit…. love that shop)

I love reading non-fiction books but what I love most about them are the stories. Other people’s stories, and this book had lots of little stories about John or Mary or Kate who had a dream to do such and such but they thought they couldn’t and “look, here’s the way they filled in this exercise”. So you feel like John and Mary and Kate were going through the book with you (well, I did!)

(This is what “Come on Wicklow” sounds like when said with PASSION at a Hurling match)

So for example, one of the exercises is called….

Ok, just realised this is going to be too long and I promised shorter blogs, so I’ll continue tomorrow and I’ll tell you about the exercise. In the meantime, enjoy the sun (you know it’s up there, ALL the time, even when it’s cloudy?) and have a great weekend.

Come on Wicklow! Mairead.