About Me

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I still feel like a teenager on the inside, unfortunately my children do remind me how old I am!! I have lived for 20+ years as an Irish expat in The Netherlands. My favourite city here has to be Amsterdam.

Writing, reading, authentic living. It's all here at The Writing Process

Welcome to my blog. Let me start by telling you that I love writing. I love the sense of vitality it gives me. I love that it helps me to make sense of the world and to the people in it. I love that it helps me become wiser, more intuitive, empathic, and most of all autonomous.

All aspects - reading, writing and observing - are what make the process complete. The essence is storytelling, and learning about
life and yourself.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Shift - from ambition to meaning

A film about the spiritual teachings of Wayne Dyer.

Starts with enchanting music played on the piano, and the words, spoken by Wayne Dyer “thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life. Worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition that our truths and our ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning”. 

The film then goes on to explain and illustrate this beautiful quotation.

Wayne Dyer, himself a successful writer of self-improvement books such as Pulling your Own Strings, and The Sky’s the Limit while in the morning of his life, felt his own shift into the afternoon of life and his calling to become a more spiritual writer and teacher. The result is the well-known, The Power of Intention and Change your Thoughts, Change your Life – Living the Wisdom of the Tao. His latest, The Shift, Taking your Life from Ambition to Meaning is the basis for the film.

The structure of the film is simplistic, easy to follow and thus appealing to a wider audience.  In brief, a film making team come to a beautiful seaside retreat to film Wayne Dyer as he speaks about The Shift. This interview is punctuated with secondary storylines, two or three individuals, couples and families who are also staying at the retreat and who, coincidentally illustrate Dyer’s theories. 

If you can get past this uncomfortable set up, then what Dyer tells us, and how this is illustrated in the secondary scenes is actually really inspiring, more so because of its almost childlike simplicity. 

In his studies, Dyer has discovered, both in men and women, that the morning of life is filled with striving to achieve external goals, ambitions, the need for recognition, monetary reward, social standing, though exactly how these goals are chased differs significantly between men and women. Then, as we approach the afternoon of life, these goals are replaced with more intrinsic ambitions. Internal satisfaction, deeper meaning to life, spirituality and self-realisation become the new drivers. Suffering is caused when we try to live the afternoon of life with the same program we applied to life’s morning. 

The characters in the second layer of the film, illustrate the different forms this transition can take. A mother who relinquishes some of her nurturing tasks to create space for her own creativity. The film maker who, having been fired from his job at a commercial network, has a light bulb moment and knows he has to make more inspirational films and the company executive, who takes a step back from his corporate ambitions and chooses for family. 

But, the most significant personal shift comes from another character entirely, and if you want to see who and how, then you will have to watch the film!

As I mentioned earlier, this is not a film filled with deep, intellectually challenging metaphors and symbols. It is designed to reach everyone. Wayne Dyer’s presence throughout the film, his gentle tone, and succinct way of explaining his discoveries were pleasant to listen to and for me at least, the lessons sank in. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Art Shop Presents: Guy Olivier Le Printemps

Once again I was privileged to be invited to opening of The Art Shop’s latest artistic exhibition – Le Printemps series from Guy Olivier. On a hot and sunny Monday afternoon I strolled in and was met by a wall of colour and passion. 

It’s manga, it’s burlesque, it’s decadence and opulence. It’s Toulouse Lautrec in the 21st century. But more than that, it’s a feast for the eyes and brings a smile to the face. 

With an almost perfect combination of colour, nonchalant composition and generous use of “straight from the tube” oil paints and stencils to create even more texture and depth, all applied in a seemingly effortless fashion, Olivier captures the “dangerous liaison” Parisian atmosphere so prevalent in the France of old.
Buxom ladies with scarlet lips drink wine and flutter eyelids behind elaborate masks, men wear bow ties, subtly drooling at the sight of almost naked breasts. 

Texture is enhanced by the stencils and thinner layers of paint just visible under the explosive top layers, applied in some places transparently thin and in others protruding thick.

The collection, exhibited as a whole against the wide expanse of the whitewashed wall, with plenty of floor space to stand back and take in the total effect, is tantalising, seductive and humorous. 

Well worth a visit. Thanks Maurice van Leeuwen for bringing this to Alphen aan den Rijn.