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Insights With Dr. Niamh Clune: I Wish Someone Had Given Me That!

“The only journey is the journey within.” (Rilke)

Give to others what you need the most! This  simple truth is like Ariadne’s thread leading me through storm, conflict, or choice.

Obviously, none of us received much attention in my large, Irish, catholic, very dysfunctional family of ten, unless it was negative. I was never good at clamouring for a few scraps. Only the loudest voices were heard, the bullying, violent or hysterical. I spent my childhood reasoning with ogres, being diminished by screams of, “Look at me, look at me! I’m much more important than you.”

Etching by Niamh Clune

Etching by Niamh Clune

I carried my yearning to be seen and valued out into the world. The more I needed recognition, the more it eluded me.  This constant ache clawed at my soul.  I could either remain a victim of my family’s madness, thereby, allowing it to define me, or I could try something else.

Something else ~ what might that be? As a child, I was aware of a light within me. I also had a powerful imagination that enabled me to escape my harsh, everyday life and find solace by exploring other realities. As I grew, I was able to make the journey within ~ to shadow realms where I came face-to-face with all that I am ~ light as well as dark. Among other family members, I met my father within me ~ the violent, raging, frustrated spirit, which in him was so misdirected, and which later became my best friend.

As a starting point, I decided to give to others what I could not have myself, whether a kind word,  or recognition of talent. This changed the course of my life from needer to giver. I became a healer, a Doctor of Psychotherapy, a social entrepreneur, an environmental campaigner. I travelled to Africa during the war-torn nineties, where I was fortunate enough to work for Oxfam, UNICEF, and World Food Programme. I lived among those who gave their all with true modesty. The spirit of giving was the mucilage that held Aid and Development teams together. We were free to open our hearts to those much less fortunate than ourselves. I was happy then.

These days, I write children’s books in celebration of the brilliance of childhood imagination. A well-developed imagination can literally save us from all manner of tragedies.  So, here’s to childhood imagination!  

I write other stuff too ~ self-help/spiritual psychology for all the adult, wounded children out there. After all, the greatest journey is the one we make within, into the deepest recesses of our soul-world. It’s wondrous what we find there ~ all manner of insights that help us not to pass on negative, destructive bloodline issues to the beautiful future.  So, here’s to all of you who overcome against all the odds. I wish you all a fulfilling 2014!

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamh.co.uk

10 comments on “Insights With Dr. Niamh Clune: I Wish Someone Had Given Me That!

  1. Patricia Tilton
    January 7, 2014

    Childhood imagination is a powerful thing. And, I think I think the saving grace for so many kids. Thank you for sharing. It’s your past that sent you searching withing. I agree that the journey within and knowing the self as one with all life, is the most important journey. Very lovely post. I hope your 2014 is one of inner fulfillment.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      January 7, 2014

      Thank you, dear Patricia. You too! Have a great New Year in every way.

      Like

  2. Deborah J. Lightfoot
    January 7, 2014

    Beautifully written, Niamh! As a recently widowed woman, I’ve found that one of my practical needs is for help with internal combustion engines. I have learned to change the oil, the fuel filter, and the air cleaner on my riding lawnmower. Next, I’m taking a course on DVD on basic auto mechanics so I can learn to maintain (possibly even repair) my car. When I get comfortable with my abilities, I’ll be offering help to my girlfriends and others — giving to others what I need. It’s a beautiful concept. Thank you for sharing your insights.

    Like

  3. Miss Min
    January 8, 2014

    Such a beautiful and insightful post…it really spoke to me. It’s difficult to be the odd one out in a world of ‘gimme, gimme, look at me, look at me’ when we are built for inner journeys. I would love to share your post on my new website if that’s okay with you.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      January 8, 2014

      Miss Min, thank you for your comments. It is more than alright. 🙂

      Like

  4. thiskidreviewsbooks
    January 9, 2014

    Well written, and said. This gives me something to think about – giving others what I need. Important point!

    Like

  5. Darlene
    January 12, 2014

    The world is a better place because of individuals like yourself who turn negative situations into positive actions. If only there were more like you. I wish you and your family a fabulous 2014 full of much love and many joys. I wish you continued success with your wonderful little books.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      January 12, 2014

      Darlene, that is a really lovely message. I wish you and yours a wonderful 2014 also.

      Like

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