March 2016 GROW in Ireland Newsletter
This piece on Step 3 of GROW’s 12 Step Program, “we surrendered to the mystery of life and love”, was kindly provided by Stan.
Image courtesy of Vlado at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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- We sing about joy. Give me joy in my heart. Joy to the world. What is it? The Oxford Dictionary describes joy as “A feeling of great happiness…a person or thing that causes you to feel very happy”. This take on ‘joy’ does some justice to its meaning but does not fully satisfy.
- Joy is more a unique experience. It’s not achieved. It’s received. Not manufactured, not fabricated, not earned. A gratuitous gift – a moment in and out of time. One would need to be an artist like a poet or musician to hint at a flesh and blood meaning of joy in song or verse.
- The life story of C.S. Lewis might serve as a concrete example. An intellectually convinced atheist he describes the shape of his early life in a book entitled “Surprised by Joy”. He said a young man who wants to be a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. He tried so earnestly not to believe but reading and reflection proved a sort of trap that ensnared him. He wrote “In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in and admitted God was God and knelt down and prayed, perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.” In this soul journey the term or word he used to describe what happened to him was ‘joy’.
- “I call it joy” he says. It’s not fabricated nor manufactured. It comes without warning. “I call it joy to be distinguished from happiness or pleasure”. Obviously different and deeper than craic.
- It has one characteristic and only one. “Anyone who experiences it will want it again…would not exchange it for all the pleasures in the world…but then joy is not in our power, pleasure is.”
- In the roughness and density of life joy is a kind of remembering and desiring. It is never a possession; ‘always a desire for something longer ago, or farther away or still about to be’… In Joy ‘all is well and all manner of things is well’. (Julian of Norwich) She lived through a plague that claimed thousands of lives; she lost members of her own family and suffered debilitating bad health. Yet her ‘Joy’ transcended all.
News from the South East
During February, Councillor Liam Brazil, with the support of Waterford City & County Council, hosted a weekend conference at The Park Hotel, Waterford: "Supports and Developments in Mental Health Care". GROW South East Regional Chairperson, Gertrude Howley, was one of the keynote speakers at this event, alongside Kenny Egan (Olympic boxer), Dr. Mark Rowe (author), Alan O'Mara (Cavan GAA player) and Caroline McGuigan (Suicide or Survive).
Congratulations to GROWers from the region who completed the Leadership 1 Course (Mary, Sibeal, Kathy, Bernie and Cathy). They were presented with their well earned certificates at McLeary's restaurant in Waterford by GROW area co-ordinators Mary Walsh and Caroline Crotty.
News from the Eastern Region
The Eastern Region is now providing a free presentation to workplaces entitled “Stress Management in the Workplace”. It has been given to Family Carers Ireland, Smithfield and St. Augustine’s School, Blackrock, to date. Six other workplaces will be catered for this term. They are divided between the Northside and Southside of the city. Many thanks to John and Leo for giving the presentations.
The Eastern Regional weekend is taking place in Glendalough Hotel from 6th to 8th May. This year, the Midlands Region are joining up with the Eastern Region.
News from the Midland Region
GROW in Ireland, Midland Region, will host a Community Education Programme entitled “Understanding and Minding Your Mental Health in St. Patricks Hall, Delvin, Co. Westmeath for four Mondays evenings starting 29th February from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. They will also host the course in Mountmellick Development Association, Mountmellick, Co Laois, for four Mondays starting 4th April form 7.30pm to 9.30pm. All Welcome. Contact 057-93 51124 for further information.
Please check our website to keep informed about all our upcoming courses.
News from the Northeast Region
We are delighted to welcome Kathryn Corrigan to GROW. She starts her role as area co-ordinator with the Northeast Region on 1st March.
Also, a huge thanks to the Tour de Force Charity Cycle who presented Martin Cadden with a cheque for GROW at a ceremony in the Capitol Bar, George's Street, on 12th Feb. GROW was one of the charities to benefit from their 2015 charity cycle along with ISPCC Childline and the Laura Brennan Charitable Trust. The Make a Wish Foundation is the main well deserved charity which is set to benefit from their 2016 cycle.
As we say in GROW: "Each person's recovery or growth aids the transformation of the world". No doubt some of you followed the journey of RTE's Operation Transformation Leaders. Limerick's Claire Scanlan outlines how the experience has been "life changing" for her. In fact, we were inspired to pen a few Limericks during the series - we hope you enjoy them!
A wonderful creation
Losing a pound
Inspiring a nation.
Got plenty admiration
No need for acrobatics
Just some healthy habits
To form a good foundation.
One of the great things about the series is how they tapped into the parkrun initiative - which facilitate free 5km timed runs/walks at 9:30am every Saturday morning in about 50 locations throughout Ireland.
Want to get fit?
Even a bit?
Join a parkrun
And have some fun
Whatever your kit.
News from the Midwest Region
The Mind Ur Health Exhibition is taking place again this year in the Strand Hotel, Limerick, on Sunday 13th March 12 noon to 6pm. GROW had a stand at this event in 2014 and 2015 and we are looking forward to the 2016 event which promises to be bigger and better than previous years. The event is organised by Anna Gibson-Steel of the The Holistic Centre of Excellence as part of their extensive Outreach Program. Tickets are from €5 (students, OAPs) to €10. Further details available on our website. For a flavour of the event, you can check out the Irish TV footage from last year.
GROWers in the region are looking forward to the Midwest Regional weekend on 23/24th April in the Falls Hotel, Ennistymon.
GROW is also hoping to have some input into the Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival in April. Details in our next newsletter!
It's not too late to register for the Great Limerick Run which takes place on Sunday 1st May. Once registered for the 6 mile, half marathon or full marathon event, just contact the GROW office on 061-318813 and we can arrange sponsorship cards and a special GROW running top. It is a truly wonderful event, as past participants can attest. The GROW office is close to the start point and serves as a handy location for pre and post race refreshments!