Before I die, I want toBefore I finish the sentence – Before I Die I want to, let me tell you a little bit about myself.

To begin with, My Name is Marie Therese. I’m Irish and proud of it.

Ireland is a country full of wise healing men and women, whose knowledge and deep understanding of life is not outwardly expressed, but whispered softly in some practical advice, remedy or cure.

Throughout my life it has been my privilege to meet many of these healers who live in this beautiful wild country of my birth. My mother was the first one I met, although I did not know at that time.

She used to say ‘You will never miss me until I am gone’ I never took her seriously. Truth be known she suffered from bouts of anxiety, the roots of which stemmed from her childhood.

I am not a great person for dragging up the ‘sins’ of the past. As my friend Ita says

‘It is what it is and no amount of reminiscing will restore   yesterday’s burnt dinner!!’

I need my friend Ita, she is the rock that I cling to when the storms of life hit me, as they sometimes do.

Together we have drawn up a positive must do ‘Bucket List’. This list will be posted under the heading, ‘Before I die I want to…’ It will help us to do something that is;

• Major • Huge • Enormous • Unique • Wonderful

One step at a time, bit by bit, becoming stronger day by day, until we reach that point which is Beyond:

•Beyond pride in who and what we are. • Beyond all doing and all activity.

Until we reach

•The point of stillness. • Our ‘True Selves’.

STEP 1: BEFORE I DIE. I WANT TO OBLITERATE ANY PREJUDICED IDEAS I HAVE ABOUT PEOPLE.

In life, I believe that I have many preconceived ideas in my mind about people that I know and I am in no doubt whatsoever, that you do as well.

Take the fictitious Mr X for example, let’s say he is a middle aged man who works in an office, has three children ages ten, twelve and fourteen. He lives in a town house with his wife of the past sixteen years. So straight away I have a set of assumptions in my minds who Mr X is and I interact with him according. If I believe that Mr X is ‘a boring stuffy old boot’ I will avoid his company and if the reverse is true and I think he is hilariously funny, I will actively seek to join him in a crowded room.  I firmly believe, when we are unaware of our thoughts and actions, we can do this all the time.

It is a scary realisation.

The sins of ‘omission’ my mother used to call it.

So today, we will allow ourselves to be mindful of others no matter who they are, or what we believe them to be.

THE FOLLOWING MINDFUL PRACTICE WILL HELP US TO DO THIS

•When you meet someone you already know, pretend to yourself that you are meeting that person for the first time

•Take your time, slow down and really listen to the conversation that is taking place between you.

•You can shut off the running commentary in your head by listening to the sound of the person’s voice and by paying attention to their breathing.

•Listening to another breathing, allows you to hear the emotion in that person’s voice.

•Extending that attention- without making it obvious, enriches the presence you to bring to the encounter.

When we are mindful to others, the communication between us reaches at a deeper level beyond words.

Our prejudices, our pre conceived ideas, our beliefs about people’s worth or lack of it, drift away into oblivion. The people we once avoided now become our friends.

In the words of my Indian guru and good friend Fr. Korko Moses

‘May all beings be happy’ Bhavatu Sarva

Or as my darling mother used to say as she quoted the unknown lette r of St Jude in the New Testament ‘May mercy, peace and love abound in you’ (Jude 2).

And on that positive note I wish you well until we meet again on Step 2 where we will start each day with a firm resolve to focus on the present moment, if only for ten minutes each day.

Marie Therese Shelly,

Daily Zen.

Author Bio – Marie Therese is qualified Reflexologist, Psychologist, Nurse, Midwife, Counsellor and Trainer and a Patron of the National Register of Reflexology Ireland.

As the sole director of the Galway Institute of Wellbeing, she designed and provided programmes Relaxation, Mindfulness, Reflexology and  Positive Self Awareness and is now sharing this information in her blog Miraculoussearch.

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