Sing Hallelujah to her magnificent blessedness.
John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933) was named ‘blessed’ at a ceremony in Saint Francis Xavier’s Church, Dublin, on 13 May 2017. He was a man deep in words and deeds, someone with quiet charisma (influenced by his father who became lord chancellor of Ireland) and strong faith (influenced by his mother who was of Catholic stock from Cork). From being dubbed ‘the best dressed man in Dublin’ in his earlier days to travelling the roads of Kildare and Dublin caring for the sick and dying, John grew and developed in a holistic manner. His psychology can be understood from one of the few quotes attributed to him. He said: “Take life in instalments. This day now, at least let this be a good day. Be always beginning. Let the past go. Now let me do whatever I have the power to do.” In modern language, we could refer to his philosophy of life as both mindful and heartful in its practicality. Continue reading “Blessedness”
“Yes to her eyes filled with pureness.”
Psychologist Maureen Gaffney says that the accumulating negativity in our day, e.g., a niggling worry, frustrating interaction or unwelcome bit of news is constantly being balanced by the flow of positivity, e.g., a reassuring thought, pleasant encounter or bit of good news. She says that since “bad is stronger than good”, we need a minimum of three positive experiences to one negative experience (3:1 ratio) just to stay well and manage life in an average way. But in fact we need five positive experiences to one negative experience (5:1 ratio) to trigger the upward spiral characteristic of flourishing lives, flourishing relationships and flourishing organisations. Continue reading “Pure eyes”
Yes to your blissfulness, your heavenly mindfulness.
Psychologists talk about the importance of spending time in our own company, of being alone and quiet, of being at peace with ourselves so that, for example, we will have a better sense of direction and purpose. It can be hard in the beginning, but there are gentle ways of entry into silence. There is the Three-Minute Breathing Space meditation in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) where a person observes their experience (thoughts and feelings), focuses on their breath, and attends to bodily sensations. Overtime, this practice helps us to develop self-compassion and to build inner strength. Continue reading “Bliss”
Do you desire a relationship in your life like a mother and child within the womb?
Psychologist John Bowlby (1907-1990) came to realise through much research the significance of the early days of a mother-child relationship. There used to be the belief of a certain toughness that the child needed to develop, and so it was not unusual to leave a child cry away on their own. Bowlby understood that the first year especially is a time for attentiveness and nourishment where the child develops a healthy, secure attachment. This view, supported by research, remains influential today. Continue reading “Soft gaze”