I have been pondering recently the steps needed to move onto another chapter of my life. I first want to celebrate a closing chapter, the I Love Bipolar platform, which has enabled me to publish 100+ blogposts over 3+ years. During that time, I have also written for Jesuits Ireland, A Lust For Life and Thinking Faith, presented on Dublin City FM and RTE Radio 1, and published Bursting Out in Praise. However, the huge emotional investment being associated with bipolar on a continuous basis has called me to open my heart to something new.
I have also developed an interest in contemplative wisdom through my practice of Ignatian Spirituality and Zen Buddhism. From Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), Ignatian Spirituality can be called a way toward ‘finding gratitude in all things’. It includes imaginative contemplation (a central stillness exercise involving the imagination, feelings and senses) and discernment (a form of awareness leading to good decision-making). Zen Buddhism can be described as a meditative way toward the infinite emptiness leading to a life of direct experience. It enables you to see the ‘bursts of loveliness’ in each day and invites you to a newness that is based on concrete reality.
My inner movement and emerging interests have resulted in the launch of a new website, Gratitude in All Things, which appeals to a world crying out for a new way of seeing reality. The essence of gratitude is to be tuned into what we have in a loving way. Focusing on what is missing – an ‘impressive’ accomplishment, a great adventure, what we ‘should’ do – eventually leads to a dead end and sense of failure. When we realise the many gifts that are showered upon us, we want to journey with others and to respond with a full expression of our giftedness. Welcome to this new chapter!