Troubled Waters – Will YOU Sink or Float? 🌊

Life is sadly full of ‘Troubled Waters“. Some waters are undoubtedly more rough and deadly than others but one commonality is that we all must sail/swim in stormy weather at some point. Nobody escapes. 

What happened in Grenfell was heartbreakingly unfair. A freak accident that killed so many people, left many injured and many homeless. Sail/Swim? Sure they had no choice. How will the families left with enormous grief and loss cope now? How will they cross the bridge to having hope in life again? Some events like this one seem completely and utterly incomprehensible and there are no answers as to WHY. I love to believe that “everything happens for a reason” however in stories like this, where is the reason? 

Recently there have also been so many attacks linked to Islamic State. The dreadful explosion in Manchester and attacks carried out in London. The world seems to be going crazy, people are not thinking straight, they’ve lost their minds and power/violence is the root of this evil. What can conquer this evil?

Having lived in the UAE for 18months, witnessing first hand a Muslim culture and working alongside Muslims, I learned a lot about their faith, their beliefs and their way of life. I too could say it was probably one of the countries I’ve been to where I have felt extremely safe and crime rates are low. What I admire most about Muslims is the importance they place on the family unit. They honour and value their families, celebrate their family and spend quality time with their relatives and friends. For a country that has wealth, the newest and the best of everything they have not forgotten the value and attention that must be given to family life. 

I will never forget having a deep and interesting conversation with a local Principal while there. She was explaining their faith, their routines and how religion plays such a central role in their lives. This is evident while visiting the UAE. The call to prayer is heard five times daily and it is not unusual to see people praying on their knees at the side of the road/in many public places during these five times. In each shopping mall/school/most buildings there are prayer rooms for their faith to be practised. Currently it is their time of ‘Ramadan’, a time of fasting and prayer. This is commendable in my eyes as if you’ve been in the UAE in the summer months when temperatures rise to over 40degrees, this is no easy task to abstain from food and drink during daylight. The conversation I had with this woman was mainly about religion. She openly discussed how the Bible and the Quran have so many similarities. Certain stories are practically the same and the morals/teachings behind many stories are the same. The people that are carrying out the attacks are NOT living in faith and are not true to their religion/people.

Sadly in Ireland faith is dwindling and can be non-existent in so many families. What will you turn to during troubled waters? Who/What will be the bridge to help you cross those tough times? I for one know how I could not live without prayer and faith in my life, it has helped me overcome so many struggles and challenges in the past and it continues to be a strong and important aspect of my life. 

Faith is Found 

Not Within a Group 

A Church or Community, 

It lies Within a Single Person

Who Sees the Value, feels the Strength and Unity! 

What’s your Bridge in Troubled Waters? 

To help you Float when there is No boat! 

(Deirdre Ward) 

Fight or Flight? 👊🏼✈️

Lately I have been feeling frustrated with life, situations I find myself in and I have definitely felt like jetting off somewhere to escape and sadly it has resulted in me ‘fighting’/falling out with those closest to me. It is always those that you love the most and that are closest to you that you end up lashing out at/fighting with isn’t it?

I have felt angry and afraid. Two emotions that we all experience whether we like to admit to it or not. While working with children the past few months with my “Be Free” Programme it has opened my eyes and quite frankly terrified me to some of the conclusions. So many believe that anger is wrong, anger should not be shown/expressed, its ‘bad’ and wrong to scream. Their fears are frightening, children as young as 8 years of age fearing that they will become a ‘nobody’, fearing death, afraid that they will have no friends in life. Do we talk about these emotions with children, explain that it is NORMAL to feel this way and that it is ok? 

I grew up believing anger was wrong and not allowed to be shown. If we don’t show and express anger, sadness or fear these feelings stay locked up inside of us and manifest in ways that are much more serious and detrimental than if we had screamed or cried. 

Somebody told me some advice recently that is so very true. He said anger is a gift. We need to feel anger and that it is our body’s way of telling us that something is not ‘right’ within our body, our mind. If I didn’t ever feel angry I would never know if something has upset me, if a certain situation is right/wrong. Think about a scenario that made you feel angry. If you didn’t have those feelings of anger how would it have been different? Would the outcome/response have been different? Let me give you an example to try to explain this further. I felt angry before when somebody ridiculed me for not being competent/capable at completing a simple instruction from them. The problem was not in fact about my skills or expertise at the required activity but it was a deeper emotion within that person that felt threatened and somewhat inferior/jealous. If I had not felt angry about the way I was spoken to and treated I would have taken this abuse and allowed this person to treat me with disrespect. In response to the anger I felt I knew it was wrong, I knew I deserved to be treated better and I knew I had to take action to remove myself from that toxic situation. Does this explain the point I’m trying to make more clearly? We need to feel anger, we need to feel sadness to unlock deeper feelings within and let them be released. These emotions help us make decisions that protect us, that put us first and that teach us to not allow anybody to abuse us. 

I am also an example of what happens when we don’t feel these emotions and when we do keep them tightly locked within us. For too long I would suppress anger, I would hide my sadness and hurt but it in fact was hurting my mind and my body more. It literally does ‘eat’ at you from the inside out. It still happens me at times, I run from various feelings, I avoid facing them or the situations/memories that have triggered them. However what I have learned is to notice the warning signs that this is happening and then I take some measures to avoid it manifesting. 

For me I begin to feel exhausted, my skin breaks out, I feel irritated by the smallest things, my gut gets knotted and choosing ‘healthy’ options for food is absent. Once I start to notice these signs I do try to stop, slow down, take a look at what is really going on in my life and inside my mind/body. Does it suddenly change and do I miraculously feel happy and joyful? Definitely not! It does take work, it takes a determination and a want to change certain behaviours in your life and to want to free yourself from those emotions that are causing you pain. 

We ALL Fight,

We ALL Flight, 

Then there comes some Insight! 

Take a closer Look

Perhaps you’ve been a ‘Closed Book’ 

Your Story Untold

What will Unfold?

Remember, You’re Never too Old

Your Life you can Remould! 

(Deirdre Ward) 


WAR-What Are the Reasons? 

WAR

Seeing this image last night, I am sure like so many others around the world, a deep sense of sadness, heartache and unfairness rose within. 

Memories flood back to the image of the three year old Syrian boy who was washed up along a Turkish beach back in September while he and his family were being smuggled from Sryia to Greece. These people are desperate to flee their war stricken country in a bid to live in peace and safety. They are willing to risk their lives and that of their families because the reality is their lives are already at risk by staying ‘at home’. 

HOME – perhaps a word we take for granted at times? While sitting here in my own home I can’t but feel guilty for complaining recently about being ‘unhappy’ and ‘fed up’ at times of living back at home after seven years of being away. Have I really got a rationale to complain? Is my ‘home’ really so bad? Have I a place where I feel safe and at peace? This image has grounded me once again and made me aware of the gratitude I feel for my Home. 

Recently I have complained about it being “too quiet” at home, that there’s nothing happening for a young woman like me etc Presently I am trying to imagine how these people & families would feel if they were in my Home right now – would they complain and think it’s too quiet? We know the answer to that! 

I’m sure these people would envy the life a lot of us have, the homes we live in, the safety and peace we feel. Being envious of another is not a nice trait to possess and can do you no good. Yes there have been times in my life where I have envied others, whether it was a materialistic item, a relationship, wealth, a career, a status etc What I have come to learn is that one should try to be happy for another and wish them well. Make your own dreams happen instead of begrudging others. If you allow envy to boil within, it will fester and cause more ill thoughts and feelings.

Perspective is a powerful tool. No matter how ‘awful’ your situation is or the problems you face you can guarantee somewhere on this planet there is some unfortunate soul in a worse off state and facing problems just as horrendous if not worse than you. At times I forget to ground myself and to step out of my shoes and take an inward view. I have a LOT to be grateful and thankful for. It really is the little things in life that make all the difference. 

“Are you Green with Envy?

Do You not already have Plenty?

Be Careful, this may leave you feeling Empty” 

(Deirdre Ward) 



Ask, Seek & Knock


It’s horrifying what is happening in our world today. The violence that seems to be a daily occurrence is terrifying. News alerts are delivered to us upon wakening each morning with stories of total bloodshed, heartache and utter barbarism.

I found it most upsetting to hear of the French priest who was murdered yesterday morning while in his church celebrating mass. A sacred place of worship. A 19 year old boy carried out this brutal murder. On Monday a 21 year old killed a pregnant woman with a machete in Germany. Yesterday a 26 year old stabbed 19 people at a disability facility near Tokyo. This morning a car bomb kills 31 people in Syria.

What I cannot understand is why these young men and women in their teens/early adult lives feel that it is OK to take another person’s life or that their lives are so dreadful/unworthy that they carry out these atrocities. Some of these attacks yes are ISIS linked but some are not.

From having spent 18months in the UAE (a Muslim country), having communicated and became friendly with a number of Muslims in my time there and having seen firsthand their customs/Islam being taught to their youth I am still left confused and frustrated. One cannot connect ISIS with every practising Muslim in the world. We cannot generalise them into one category. It is NOT about religion. These people are extremely devout, practise their religion on a daily occurrence, hold some wonderful beliefs and have values that are in common with all religions in the world. While in Abu Dhabi I had the pleasure of meeting and working alongside a wonderful woman who spoke openly about her Islamic religion and how it coincides with and reflects so many other religions. She spoke of ‘Allah’ being the same God that I too believe in, she spoke openly about Christians and Muslims having similar stories in the Bible and Quran.

The difference lies WITHIN each and every person NOT between religions. 

In my opinion the problems reside in the individuals. For someone to attack another person, to brutally murder another, to release a bomb, to suicide bomb and so on is a reflection of ‘lack’ within that person. I believe there is an extreme lack of LOVE, some wrongdoing had to have happened to them in their life, they are desperately seeking attention/acceptance in their world. Sadly in some perverse way they believe that these actions are the answers to these underlying problems/lack that they have and feel within themselves.

The reason I am so passionate and utterly determined to make my book/initiative work and be a huge success in Ireland and further afield is exactly because of these problems we are hearing, experiencing and seeing in the world today. If we begin with LOVE, see the love that is within us, do not need external recognition/acceptance and if we accep ourselves for WHO we are, see the love within us&everyone else, it is my belief that a lot of this violence, bloodshed and terror will be eradicated. That is my hope!

To conclude with a favourite quote of mine:

“Ask and it will be Given to You,

Seek and You will Find,

Knock and the door shall be Opened to You”

Ask ourselves what are we lacking, what problems are we facing at this moment in time, what issues do we need to face? etc

Seek the answers by self reflection, talking to others, receiving the help we need, reaching out to others for support but ultimately helping oneself.

If you carry out these first two steps and ‘Knock‘ at these problems within oneself, the door of truth, of love, of acceptance etc will be opened and I guarantee you that by opening this door a greater release will be felt within and a sense of freedom.

If everyone in the world could carry out this little procedure of asking oneself where the problem lies, verbally admitting it, identifying the problem(s) and taking the necessary actions, again I believe there would be a lot more harmony in this world.