It's been over 4 years since I started this blog... It’s hard to believe
that so much time has passed. In many ways it feels like only yesterday that I
was sitting on the couch here in my mam's place in Arklow, with my backpack
waiting for me at the front door and a plane ticket to Australia
folded neatly in my hand luggage. It was the 24th of April 2009. I
was heading to Oz for the second time. Even though it wasn’t a first, it was a
huge step; I’d just finished my therapy and I was only newly opening the door
to the outside world, after months of isolation, cleansing, counselling,
refuelling, writing and setting my self free from an addiction that had
controlled me so intensely. As I sat on the couch that day, filled with new
life and ready for adventure, I wondered what name to give the fresh new little
writing place here in cyberspace. A Distance Beyond, came to mind. And it
At that point in time, this blog was like my springboard, I guess. I
literally felt I was about to dive into an outside world with a changed
perception of reality, and I didn’t have a clue what was waiting for me. I didn’t
know if I was strong enough to cope with life, without resorting to old
behaviour in order to stand strong in this world. I was putting myself to the
test, well and truly. But I was following my feelings and they were taking me
away from this particular place where the cleansing, clearing and re-creating
of new ways had started to take place. In many ways I was still so frail and
vulnerable. But I made a promise to myself, to cherish the lessons I'd learned
throughout recovery. I'd taken a vow to never neglect myself and to ONLY look
towards myself for the answers without seeking validation from the surrounding
environment. I knew such an approach would keep me floating freely and
in-tune with my inner guidance.
Looking back now, I can only say that I've had periods of time when I was
diving deeply yet staying safely afloat, happy to just be with my own self.
Balanced and open. On other occasions there was no depth and in my attempt to
dive, I'd hit a wall and feel as if I'd been smacked in the face by life, with
solidity all around me... no floating, no flying, no diving. Simply... stuck. There
are no regrets though, for how certain choices came to plan out. There’s simply
full acceptance of the different levels of awareness I practised, the different places and
cultures I needed to experience, the different people I was destined to meet and
the different lessons I needed to learn.
When passing through Australia, Thailand, India, Ireland, China, India and onwards
to Ireland once again, I can only say that every part was equally amazing. My
journey has been perfect and will continue to be. The perfection is found in the
meaning behind those events. Purpose and meaning have always been brought to my
way in the moment I'd choose to connect with the world here on this particular
blog and NOT to isolate my moments of either immense joy or dazed confusion. (And the size of the world I'd connect with has never been determined by or limited to the
amount of visitors that have hopped onto this blog ;).
When I came up with the name 'A Distance Beyond', I truly was setting the
intention and creating space for that unknown and untouchable destination to
come join me on this journey - even though it may not have always seemed to be
so, on the surface level of life.
How grateful I am, that I've taken to creating in such a manner that the
writing does the title justice.
From this week on however, I'm moving my writing to another place. Things
have changed so much since I first created this diving board 4 years ago and
now, for them to keep on moving and expanding, I'm almost (happily) forced to change
places. The name will change to ‘best
face forward’ and it’s a part of my new site (www.niamhkeoghan.com). I can only hope
that this title too, just like A Distance Beyond, sets the intention for my
writing to be a platform from which I can project my best face forward out into the world, no
matter what the journey may bring. (I guess in this very instant I’m setting
the intention for it to be just that!)
So, I’d like to thank all the visitors who have popped upon this blog over
the past years. And I hope you continue to follow me from my new place. I’ll be
sure to keep sharing my posts on Facebook too. Sending love and light always.
In the evening we sit, and reflect on the journey of just
Everyday has the potential to start off on a high note. In
the same sense, everyday has the potential to start off on a lower one. By being
honest about how we find a balance between the bright and dark, we raise understanding
for the process and this understanding increases our ability to move towards
the light. It also brings home how we ourselves participate consciously in
fuelling either shade of life, and thus that we ourselves have the personal
choice to give fuel to the light, or fuel to the dark.
Moving from dark to light is only real, if it’s experienced
(as with all things in life). Otherwise it remains just a
concept that’s never fully
In just one day, I saw how going from dark to light was made
possible by stepping out of the mind and moving towards other individuals. (Something
I’ve experienced in the past, yet I needed to be reminded of
its importance and its elevating effect.)
We open our eyes in the morning, we don’t really
appreciating the new day and the sunlight, we feel the world is a dark place
with heavy clouds in the mind. Our eyes are closed to our experiences and
the ‘worries of the world’ weigh heavily on our stiff shoulders. It feels
massively out of character, daunting, unfamiliar, and, at the same time, it feels
so sluggish and draining. We can’t ever imagine to feel ‘normal’ again, to feel
naturally on top of the world, invigorated with energy, focus, drive and a
passion to do. In feeling and seeing our clouds, we’re aware of how powerful
our bad thoughts are and how debilitating it can be to fuel them. In the same
sense, we know how powerful our good thoughts are and how liberating and
energizing they can be when we consciously source them.
In a desperate attempt to save the day, with our
clouded perception of the world, we secretly pray, hope, wish, repeat mantra’s
and ask for guidance - from whatever force we believe to be present in our
lives – so we can be led into our lighter and brighter frame of being once
Trying to simply BE at ease with those moments of pressure,
stress and haziness, is the hardest thing. But the emotions that come as a
result of this negativity, are necessary; the emotions hold a meaning… and
their reason for existing are often to remind us to simply BREATHE through life, appreciate our very breath and
let-go of what’s festering. Yet, so agitated the mind is and we push for peace
instead of breathing in to peace. In that pushing, peace will never come. Then we
ask ourselves: ‘How will this haze ever pass?’ All within the space of only
minutes, since waking up to the literal light of day but the figurative
darkness of the mind, we’ve become lethargic and low as a result.
Then it’s time to ‘simply’ let-go of the push for peace, to
relax into our present haze and trust that the wish, hope, prayer, mantra, or
whatever guidance we’ve requested, will be answered.
In the process of letting it go, the daily routines unfold, chores and tasks are seen to; it’s time to open up to world around us (even if it’s not as bright, ‘perfect’,
stimulating or inspiring as one would hope). The requests, prayers, wishes and
hopes we’ve sent out into the universe can only be answered if we open up to
the world around us; only then can we let the outside world in. Even if it’s painful
to be honest, open and present in our daze, even if we feel we’re not worthy to
be seen, to be spoken to, to be connected with, it’s the only way for our
wishes to be granted.
We ask for something so we must place ourselves in a
state of receiving gracefully that which we’ve requested.
Feelings of self-loathe become irrelevant in the grand
scheme of things. Our worries and clouds never ever bring another soul to look
down on us the way we ourselves, in our darkest hours, look down on ourselves.
Opening up is the only way we can witness just how the world outside STILL will
respond to us with kindness, support, love and help – even when we’re at a very
low point, even if we’re not being kind, supportive, loving or helpful towards
Stepping away from withdrawal in those moments of daze and
CONNECTING is the key that turns the lock to the door we temporarily closed… be
it the door to our heart, the door to our inner potential, the door to the
outside opportunities and connections. When those doors are locked, we’re
stuck. There’s no flow, there’s no movement.
The negativity that has arisen
isn’t shifting if we remain in our isolation. The secret of negativity’s
presence is that it NEEDS to be let-go of, otherwise it festers, we feed it, we
‘nourish’ it, and we drag ourselves down in the process. Only by connecting
with the world and the people in this world, can we actually let in all the
goodness we’re in need of, all the goodness that reflects just how good we are.
In that way, the negativity can clear and we learn we’re ‘not so bad’ afterall…
Step by step, the day unfolds and one connection leads to
another and we’re given the opportunities to share our inner worlds with these
understanding and loving souls. We move slowly from dark to light and our
request and wishes are granted, in that very movement. We slowly come to
witness that we, ourselves, aren’t JUST ‘not so bad’. Instead we, ourselves,
are amazing. Just as amazing as the people are who we’ve opened up to, the
people who support us, the people who never turn away, the people who don’t
judge us in the same manner as we judge ourselves.
Isn’t it amazing how we can find love for ourselves, on days
when we can’t EVER imagine we’ll love ourselves again, not nearly as unconditionally
as we do on our ‘naturally high flying days’…
What a lesson, after simply one day of reflection.
I’ve truly learned how the power of connecting gets us into
the flow of life. And it’s a wonderful life… to say the VERY least.