24 May 2022

COLUMN: 'Go to the quiet place and let out the biggest lion-like roar known to man'

Cathal O'Reilly writing in this week's Nationalist

Tipperary Tipperary Tipperary

Many of us lose our ability to truly express ourselves on this journey we call life.

This may be because of negative experiences in our past that prevent our ability to take that chance again. We may possibly be afraid to take that risk and jump into the unknown.

But when is enough, enough? At what point do we draw the line on our fears and worries and start to live the life we are destined to live?

A life that is full of passion, energy, creativity, abundance, potential and ultimately a manifestation of your true and ultimate power.

To reignite and find the passion that we once had, or perhaps are yet to experience, the journey starts from within - the relationship we foster and nurture with ourselves.

Like a plant, we must first start to care for ourselves as we tend to our self-care in a nurturing, positive and nourishing way.

A common hurdle people often struggle with overcoming is the conversations we have with ourselves. The conversation between the ears. What is going on for us in this “conversation”? Do we have thoughts that some may call “crazy” or “mad”?

Of course we do. We wouldn’t be human otherwise.

But it’s about creating an awareness around what they are - merely thoughts. They do not define us, however our thought processes, if given concentrated focus, can have an effect and influence over our emotions.

Are we in control of our thoughts? I would say that we are, but only to an extent. I would argue that a positive environment such as a healthy relationship and habits such as meditation, exercise, healthy, balanced diet and a sense of community or involvement (just to name a few things) would have a healthy influence over our thought processes.

I say “to an extent” because often thoughts arise from nowhere that are random in nature and lack any real practical explanation. When you become a mere observer of your thought process, you exercise more control over the patterns that emerge.

By becoming an observer, you merely notice what thoughts do emerge. Maintaining a healthy curiosity about your thought process you may find that you find humour, surprise and an inquisitive mind where you say “that’s an interesting thought” or you may find yourself in hysterics laughing!

But the key to this new observer I encourage you to become, is to first slow down the thought process.

It would be very difficult to become an observer of racing thoughts as you grapple to take stock of what is truly going on.

How do we slow our thoughts? We slow our body process.

How do we slow our body process? By moving our bodies more mindfully.

This entails a more conscious and deliberate movement, be it walking, driving, running or yoga-ing.

By becoming more deliberate we slow the whole process down which allows for concentrated focus on what is happening for you, moment by moment.

The most powerful tool of all, I have found, is meditation. Traditionally when people thought of meditation, the vision of a Himalayan monk perched on the side of a cliff singing “hummmmm” may come to mind.

However meditation is finding something, whatever that is, that allows you to become more conscious of your breath and ultimately your thought process. Meditation does not have to be a disciplined activity where you spend 30 minutes sitting down in silence.

I would encourage you to challenge the modern thought on meditation.

Do you find calmness in listening to music? Gardening? Walking? Boxing?

Or maybe you find calmness when you go to the quiet place and let out the biggest lion-like roar known to man!

I particularly like that idea, however, I have not had the privilege of this hunter-gatherer form of expression, yet!

Cue hairy chest and thumping on said hairy chest like that giant gorilla in that movie with Jack Black.

What was it called again?

Cathal O’Reilly is an author, coach, musician and entrepreneur. He holds a National Qualification in Health, Wellness, Exercise and Fitness.

He is also training as a mental health coach and gestalt psychotherapist. To work with Cathal, please contact 087-1724261

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