Una’s Blog

24
Oct

by Una Hearne. It is a seriously bad idea to label yourself with a 'weakness' and then carry that as if it is who you really are. 'My problem is I always/ I never...' 'I am a terrible...' As if the way you think and behave is fixed in every situation and for life. The specific problem with viewing characteristics as strengths or weaknesses is this: every strength can be a weakness and every weakness can be a strength. It totally depends on the situation. For example you might be sensitive and see ...

24
Sep

by Una Hearne. Those of us blessed (Eh?*!?*!?) with a chronic illness are forced to develop a high level of expertise in budgeting our very limited energy. But it's not just we who need these skills is it? It's you too. Not even the highest energy people can do everything they want to nowadays. There are endless possibilities in  work, home, social life, leisure, study, travel, etc. No one can fit into one lifetime everything that is available to do. Does your life feel in balance? Do you experience peace and happiness every ...

24
Jun

Una’s little world 42. Toxic culture

by Una Hearne. With our relative wealth and health in the developed world, we should all be happy and fulfilled, right? But no, we are increasingly stressed and anxious. Why? Why are we dealing with increasing levels of mental and physical illness? What is going on in our society that is so toxic to us? Given that different things stress different people in different ways, it is notoriously difficult to research stress and how it relates to health. Yet we all know stress can be the killer ingredient in any illness. I have much ...

24
May

Una’s little world 41. Living with M.E.

by Una Hearne. May is M.E. awareness month so I'm writing this to raise awareness of what it's like to live with. Living with any chronic illness is different for each person - this is my personal story. Please note I am not looking for sympathy, I believe everyone has sh*t to deal with in life, this is just my sh*t. :-) And I'll explain the picture at the end... History I have had M.E. since a bout of Glandular Fever (Mono) age 16, I'm now 55. Historically M.E. has been dismissed as a ...

24
Apr

        by Una Hearne. 7.8 billion and rising. That's a lot of people - and still you are unique. There never was and never will be another you. Each and every person brings unique gifts to the world. Many gifts. They might be things you do, talents you share or simply who you are as a person - the energy you bring. Whatever gifts you bring, your job in life is to be the best and wildest expression of your unique spirit. This is your work of art. You know when you are doing it ...

24
Mar

by Una Hearne. Covid 19 doesn't respect country borders, it uses humans to travel across the world freely. Nothing in nature recognises human borders. The air and water we depend on circulate around the entire planet. The destruction of our environment is not contained within country borders, in either cause or effect. Nature will not discriminate in its response. Our actions could be ensuring our own extinction. Chief Seattle said 'Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man does not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand ...

24
Feb

Una’s little world 38. PLAYTIME!

by Una Hearne. So my latest craft supplies arrived and I decided to experiment with my new invisible thread (it's like a fine fishing line). I went to thread the needle and discovered the problem with invisible thread... :-) Playtime is not just for children. As adults we think we must give up childish things when we take on the responsibilities of life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Playtime is time spent doing something you enjoy and is not work to you. Sometimes we do have it in our lives - we just don't call it play. Sports, running and walking are all ...

24
Jan

Una’s little world 37. Long Covid

  by Una Hearne. You'll have heard of it by now - Long Covid. It is not being called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME or CFS) yet but the similarities are alarming. Long Covid is being taken seriously by some doctors but unfortunately not all. There are even medical professionals with this illness facing the same scepticism - from their own colleagues - which people with ME/CFS have faced for decades. Centuries actually. The whole issue with ME/CFS scepticism is the historic assumption that any illness unknown to medicine at that particular time ...

24
Dec

by Una Hearne.   Love yourself unconditionally - you are fabulous.   Trust your inner wisdom. You always know what is best for you.   You, as an individual, and the society you live in are equally important to your quality of life. Balance your choices accordingly.   Treasure the people you love. Including yourself.   Listen well and speak your truth.   Be kind to everyone. Especially yourself.   Forgive everyone - for everything. Especially yourself.   Look for the gifts in every experience, especially bad experiences.   Appreciate everything you have. You have a lot.   Keep your environment ...

24
Nov

        by Una Hearne. How much of your time and energy do you waste worrying about what other people think of you? Do you agonise over everyday decisions, trying to make the 'right' choice, so other people will approve? If somebody criticises your choice, does that ruin it? Do you need approval from other people before you can feel good about yourself? In other words are you giving other people the power to make you feel good or bad? Just let that sink in if you need to. Other people do not have power over ...

24
Oct

Una’s little world 34. Making memories

        by Una Hearne. This blog was supposed to go out back in March - obviously events overtook that plan! But it's relevant now as we settle in to our second lockdown. The point of this blog is that we need to make sure we have good times. A lot of our life needs to be routine, to get the day to day stuff done without too much thinking about it. But if it's all routine, time passes in a flash. Years and decades condense into one blurred grey memory. The good memories you have from ...

24
Sep

by Una Hearne. We naturally compare ourselves to others as a way of monitoring how we are doing in life. It's tricky though - there is a difference between a general sanity check and beating ourselves up for not being as good, successful, thin, fit or rich as the next person. It is a terribly destructive habit to compare one aspect of your life to one aspect of another person's life. It is madness to feel you are lacking because you don't have this hair, that job or the other relationship. You can't ...

24
Aug

by Una Hearne. So I've been thinking about how the world has had to adapt to significant changes and losses because of Covid and how I came to terms over the past three years with changes and losses because of ME/CFS. Happy to report I am now at the point where I am at peace with ME/CFS. Not saying anyone else should be or needs to be. Just that I needed to get to this point, to stop losing energy in resentment and sadness. How I would love to report that it was a swift and peaceful process. That I gracefully accepted my new ...

24
Jul

by Una Hearne. So I have this friend Mary and if I listed all the challenges she has faced in life so far - well the truth is you wouldn't believe me. You would think it was a rejected soap opera script, you'd probably start a go-fund-me page for her. Her attitude, humour and fortitude are a constant inspiration. In the early days of our now 25 year friendship we fell into a common trap - of automatically comparing our problems. As if in competition to be the most understanding. We said things like: ...

24
Jun

Una’s little world 30. Control Freakery

by Una Hearne. Control Freakery is the attempt to make the world work and other people behave the way we think they should. As a recovering control freak - I get it. I really do. It would be so much better if everyone acted in a rational and civilised way. What drives control freakery is fear. Plain and simple. Fear of what will happen when it all goes wrong. Or more accurately (as Susan Jeffers explains in the best book ever written on fear 'Feel the fear and do it anyway'): All fear boils ...

24
May

Una’s little world 29. Stress

by Una Hearne. Isn't it wonderful when you are on the very edge of your last nerve and someone tells you to 'Relax' or 'Calm down'. So helpful. So we all know the feeling of stress. Covid-19 has raised the stress level of the entire human race all at once. That's never happened before. We are past the initial high stress of shock and we are now dealing with a lower level, but ongoing stress. Stress shows up mentally/emotionally as anxiety and/or depression and/or anger. If stress continues it will show up in our ...

24
Apr

by Una Hearne. And so the world went quiet. We heard the birds again. We noticed nature again. The air was clean. The people came out for walks. There was an explosion of creativity and kindness. People pulled together. Suddenly we had time to think. We discovered how little shopping we actually need to do. Irish people discovered that life continues even when every pub is shut. Who knew? And who knew a frantic pace of life isn't necessary? (I am acutely aware that this does not include the people on the frontline, busier ...

24
Mar

Una’s little world 27. Life in captivity

by Una Hearne. Welcome to the world of self-isolation everyone! Most of us with chronic illnesses have lived for years in partial or total self-isolation, so I thought I'd share some random tips and thoughts to help you in this new adventure. First, for your mental health, accept this new situation totally as it is right now. Decide to learn to become comfortable with uncertainty. These are daily practices and not one-off decisions. The sooner you get these down, the less energy you will waste in resistance and worry, neither of which help ...

24
Feb

by Una Hearne. Ok, Ok, I do advocate and practice positive thinking. But - and it's a big butt - there is an extreme end of this positive thinking lark that really gets my goat. It's explicit in the book 'The Secret' and appears in many other books and courses. It's this idea that if you banish all negative thoughts from your mind - never allow one in even for a second - then you can manifest anything you want including perfect health. For example a quote: "When a person has manifested a disease ...

24
Jan

by Una Hearne Too late? You did? How's that working for you? You probably know by now they don't usually work. And then they make you feel bad about yourself. What a terrible way to start a new year. Here's a better idea. Get yourself a cuppa, a notebook and snuggle up in your favourite chair. Now: Write down all the brilliant things you did and that happened to you last year. Ok I know, you immediately think of all the bad things that happened and failures. Don't worry this is normal. You can't not ...

24
Dec

Una’s little world 24. Kindness

        by Una Hearne. One Christmas, many years ago when a friend of mine was a boy, let's call him Freddy (since that's his name). Freddy lived in Ballyfermot with his family. They were poor, properly poor, and the St Vincent de Paul sometimes helped them out. That particular Christmas there was no money for presents and the kids knew it. Freddy, being the oldest, felt bad for all of them. On the day, the VdeP arrived at the door with a present for each child. Freddy was amazed. He thought about somebody ...

24
Nov

Una’s little world 23. Your Tribe

by Una Hearne. I love the idea of 'Tribe'. It's as relevant today as it was when there was only a few thousand of us on the planet. Tribe matters. We need to belong to other people. It's built into our DNA and it protects us. Tribe used to be relatively simple - it was the extended family you were born into and only changed if maybe you left and joined another tribe. It's a little more complex in the modern world. For a start, we are packed into cities and towns, rarely isolated ...

24
Oct

          by Una Hearne. So many people indulge in self-beating. It breaks my heart. We do it naturally because we have a conscience (the purpose of which is to help us avoid harming others and to live peacefully together!?). However we are not meant to beat ourselves up all day every day. It not only hurts us and undermines our self-worth, it also depletes us and means we have less to offer the world. Over the years I have noticed various levels of self-beating and I'm setting out the qualification structure here so ...

24
Sep

Una’s little world 21. Gifts

          by Una Hearne. So, if there are no good or bad events, just life events and the labels we give them, am I at the point where I can honestly say I'm grateful for having ME/CFS? Hmmmmmm. Obviously the fact that it has taken my ability to do the work I want, my social life, hobbies, holidays... OK that's all a bit crap. It would be understandable to wallow in misery, but that's not a life I want either. Since I believe our super power is our ability to choose our thoughts, it ...

24
Aug

        by Una Hearne. You know that situation where someone close to you is dealing with something big? Bereavement, divorce, job loss, illness... You want to help, you really want to say the right thing. But either you have no idea what to say, or anything you say seems to be wrong and makes things worse! There is no magic answer. Sorry! Everyone is different, needs different things and you are not psychic. And that's OK. Some of us want to talk, some don't. Some want to melt down and sob, some want to ...

24
Jul

Una’s little world 19. Balance

        by Una Hearne. We all want balance in our lives, it's the modern holy grail. Today I want to talk about the balance between positive and negative thinking, and what we all think we do - 'realistic' thinking. When we say we are being realistic we are usually being pessimistic. Whenever I did talks about positive thinking I asked my audience if it was 'realistic' to say it would rain tomorrow (statistically more likely to rain). Everyone's hand would go up, after all, it's always raining in Ireland! However this is not true on ...

24
Jun

        by Una Hearne. Following from last month... Day two of our survival trek The increasing awareness that the wind battering us was going to be in our faces on the way down was a little distracting on the way up. By the time we reached the top, which we knew because we reached a rock - there were no other clues in the darkness and dense low cloud - the sun was rising. We inferred this from the grey light which began, surprising rapidly, if dimly, to illuminate the ground. The organisers wisely decided not ...

24
May

      by Una Hearne. In a blatant act of self-care I am saving myself writing two blogs this year and instead recounting an epic adventure from 2013 in two parts. Enjoy... My friend Sinead and I (joint name Shinuna) have been on many roadtrips - generally to Spas to be pampered. In May 2013 we thought we'd do something different and raise money for the Red Cross by signing up for the Sunrise Challenge. A stroll up a mountain, fresh air and the mystical splendour of sunrise. Lovely. I'm not sure what caused this ...

24
Apr

Una’s little world 16. Celebrating

      by Una Hearne. For years I have been advocating the importance of celebration. Celebrating success certainly, but more importantly celebrating the action you take and the effort you put in to life. This builds real, lasting confidence. (See blog 10 Count a Victory for more on this.) Imagine my surprise when I discovered I wasn't practising what I preach? Yes - no surprise at all :-) Back in 2017 I was doing some counselling to help me come to terms with having a chronic illness (practising what I preach about getting the help ...

24
Mar

Una’s little world 15. Fighting

          by Una Hearne. We talk in terms of fighting illness/ obesity/ drugs/ redundancies etc. Fighting can be a brilliant frame of mind. I have a friend who had cancer and approached it as a battle. With military efficiency she fought, she won and we couldn't be more pleased and proud of her. However, fighting is not always the right frame. It depends on the situation and what works for you as a person. For me, facing ME/CFS, I find the most useful frame of mind for me is the very opposite of fighting - ...

24
Feb

Una’s little world 14. Guilt

          by Una Hearne. If you did something wrong or hurt someone deliberately - Ok go ahead, feel guilty. On the other hand if you are indulging in Ridiculous Guilt, pull your chair in closer and pin back your shell like... Ridiculous Guilt is inappropriate or misplaced. It is self-destructive and a huge energy cost. Guilt is directly related to how responsible we feel and while taking responsibility is obviously a good thing... it can become Ridiculous. Mothers, for example, from the moment of birth seem to gain an unlimited capacity for Ridiculous Guilt. Like: "My ...

24
Jan

Una’s little world 13. Judgement

        by Una Hearne. Beth had two goals for the year. She set them the day she was diagnosed with cancer and told that her full time job for the year would be treatment. Her goals were: 1) Beat cancer 2) Spend as much time as possible with her sister who was getting married in September. They had always shared everything and Beth was not going to miss out on this. In between Chemo days, when Beth was well enough, she and her sister spent days planning, discussing and giggling. They went dress and ...

24
Dec

          by Una Hearne. Like that hug when you feel utterly safe and loved. Or that moment when someone stands up for you and you know they will always have your back. Or the belly laughs you share with your best friends over something daft. The little things really are the big things. Which they can't be bought. Just saying. Thinking about belly laughs brought a couple of incidents back from the distant past. They happened because of two ME/CFS symptoms, which just goes to show - silver linings! Not that I'm making light these symptoms ...

24
Nov

by Una Hearne. I've noticed a certain weariness when these subjects come up. We have heard rather a lot about them recently, much of it on the evangelical side - which can be a turn off. In an effort to rescue their reputations as simple natural practices, I'd like to point out that we already practice mindfulness and meditation all the time. We might not use those names or conform to specific rituals - and while we can learn from great teachers and masters (personally I'm grateful to Oprah, Deepak Chopra and Eckhart ...

24
Oct

        by Una Hearne. Here's a universal law: What works for one person won't necessarily work for another. In all areas of life there is common sense stuff that works for most of us but- there are no absolutes and no guarantees. You are the world expert on you, nobody knows you like you do. You are the only person qualified to make life/ relationship/ work/ health choices for you. You're welcome/ I'm sorry! Beware of 'experts' selling you answers, especially when there is no science behind them. In the ME/CFS world there are plenty of ...

24
Sep

Una’s little world 9. The Status Trap

            by Una Hearne. In a break from me and M.E., (was that a hallelujah from the chorus?)(Rude!). I want to talk about limiting beliefs, specifically, beliefs around status. Two people I know - pioneers and my heroes - were successful business owners and professionals. The recession brought an end to both businesses some years ago. Both people felt at a loose end for a while and then both took jobs well below what would be perceived as their former status and abilities. It is the equivalent of a doctor retiring after 30 years ...

24
Aug

Una’s little world 8. OK – New Plan!

        by Una Hearne. (Every time I talk about plans or visions or goals I feel the need to preface it with this: Don't get caught up in the words - if you don't relate to the word Vision, substitute in your mind whatever word works best for you, dream, strategy, objective... OK? Thanks :-)) So you put the work in and figured out what you want in life. You have a big Vision and a Plan. You are barrelling along making your dream life / job / relationship happen when, wham, all of ...

24
Jul

      by Una Hearne. There's this old zen proverb: Once upon a time there was an old farmer who had worked his land for many years. One day his horse ran away. When the neighbours heard they said sympathetically 'Such bad luck!'. 'Perhaps' said the farmer. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it two wild horses. 'What great luck!' the neighbours exclaimed. 'Perhaps' replied the farmer. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the wild horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The ...

24
Jun

Una’s little world 6. Who loves ya baby?

by Una Hearne. That title is for my generation! Sorry to all for whom it is a mystery, I couldn't resist. :-) So, I was pasted to my couch on a bad ME/CFS day, feeling sorry for myself. 'What exactly,' I thought to myself 'is the point of my life if I can't do the work I love. Of what use am I to anyone?' Unbidden, an image of one of my heart friends popped into my mind. I saw her lying on a couch and this question came to mind: 'If she ...

24
May

Una’s little world 5. Self-care

      by Una Hearne. Proper self-care is a necessary life skill. You need to put yourself first on your list. If you can't accept that on the basis that you are a fabulous human being and deserve it - then at least accept it on the logical basis that it is better for you and for the people around you. Here's the logic: We experience the most joy, reward and sustained happiness when we contribute our best to the world and share with other people. (Check this out with your own experience). We can ...

24
Apr

  by Una Hearne. Boundaries exist in every relationship in the world. Usually unspoken and often unclear. Yet we know for sure when they are crossed. We feel it. Everyday we face boundary choices in relationships. In a conflict, how do I know who is right? Should I help every person who asks me? Is it ok for me to ask for help?  Is this behaviour acceptable to me, in this situation, with this person? Should I compromise? Always? Never? NEWS FLASH... You own your own life. You get to make these decisions for yourself. You're ...

24
Mar

by Una Hearne. Human beings are hardwired to dislike uncertainty. Our Amygdala triggers our Fight/Flight/Freeze stress response when it senses a threat. And it assumes anything unknown is a threat. This was useful in prehistoric times when the unknown could be an immediate and deadly threat. Nowadays, we don't often face deadly threats. Yet the pace of change in our world means our future is ever more unpredictable - unknown - and our brains often settle into a permanent stress response. I was lucky enough to experience this fairly intensely when I worked in Anglo ...

24
Feb

by Una Hearne. 'IT'S NOT FAIR!' 'IT SHOULDN'T BE HAPPENING TO ME!!'  You wouldn't blame me for thinking this since I am currently obliged to spend 20 hours a day lying down and I can only do a fraction of the things I want to. I wouldn't blame you for thinking the same about problems you might be facing: money, work, health or relationships ('THEY SHOULDN'T BE TREATING ME THIS WAY!') Understandable thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately, this is called resistance. Resistance to the reality you find yourself in. It's the opposite of ...

24
Jan

by Una Hearne. You know when the train of your life derails and you are picking your way through the wreckage, trying to figure out what happens next? Welcome to Una's little world 2018! I started Una's Little World blog in February 2015 to share the story of turning Visions (goals/ dreams/ plans) into reality, using examples from my own life. It has only been available to email subscribers up till now, but I'm making it my main blog this year so it will be available publicly as well. It has been great sharing successful visions. ...

24
Dec

88 The biggest mistake in job hunting

by Una Hearne. So many clients, so many times I've heard 'I don't have time to figure out my Vision, I need a job NOW!!' People in terrible jobs, desperate to move on, people not working and panicking about getting any job. I totally understand this thinking - been there myself.  A few times. The problem with this thinking is it leads to slow progress and is very often unsuccessful. It seems counter intuitive, but putting the time and effort into identifying clearly what you actually want is a much faster and more successful way to get into ...

24
Nov

87 Judge much?

by Una Hearne. Judging and criticising other people comes from deep insecurity about ourselves. Now, I'm not talking about judging people appropriately for violence or abuse, that's a different matter. I'm talking about judging and criticising others for stuff that's none of our business to judge them for. For example: their opinions; thoughts; looks; habits; choices; background; actions... Ringing any bells? I noticed this with a group of mothers recently. I'm not picking on mothers, it's an example of something which is rampant across all our lives. So this group of moms discussed every aspect of child rearing and what their ...

24
Oct

86 What doesn’t matter?

by Una Hearne. How much money you have. How many friends you have in reality, or on facebook. Failure. Success. Your qualifications or experience. Your children's achievements. What you look like. How nice your home or your car is. What other people think of you. How long it takes you to do anything. Whether you are in love and/or have a partner. Your holidays. Your work. The state of your health. How many obstacles your perceive and overcome. Your level of confidence and self belief. Whether you have a dream and whether it manifests. I could go on...   Are you arguing with me in your head? Have I upset you? Excellent, read ...

24
Sep

85 Forgive everybody – for everything

by Una Hearne. The title is a quote from Iyanla Vanzant from her forgiveness course. (Excellent course, not for the faint hearted! Available through www.oprah.com). Forgiveness is one of the hardest lessons we have to learn in life. It is also one of the most rewarding to master. Here's what I've learned about forgiveness so far: Forgiveness IS NOT for the benefit of the other person (or people). It is for you, it gives you back your power, energy, peace of mind and freedom. Forgiving someone does NOT mean you are condoning or endorsing their behaviour in ...

24
Jul

84 Can you have it all?

by Una Hearne. Well... NO! Sorry, but we have to stop this nonsense. Superwoman and Superman are cartoons not role models. The fact is, it is not possible for one person, certainly in the developed world, to avail of all the opportunities, to do and have everything potentially available to them. We have such a range of choice and opportunity now, we can study anything, set up our personal lives any way we want, have multiple careers, indulge in a huge variety of leisure interests, volunteer in any number of roles... It's fantastic and not ...

24
Jun

83 There’s nothing wrong with money

by Una Hearne. Our beliefs about money and ourselves are reflected in the state of our finances. Our abilities to earn, spend and save. (Oh no!!!) A large part of our belief system comes from the family and culture we were brought up in. We will often follow patterns that we have experienced around us (or rebel and do the opposite). For example, if you believe rich people are inherently bad or horrible people, you will subconsciously prevent yourself from becoming one of them. On the other hand, if you believe poor people are ...