What makes a good relationship?

What Makes a Good Relationship


MAY, 2020

Celtic Soul Essence

We love and we grow through our relationships and the unfolding love stories of our lives.

The essence of every good story, no matter what genre, according to Shawn Coyne is the necessity to have obligatory scenes.  In a love story we have two people and we know that they are in love because of the obligatory kiss or scene which describes their love.   Of course, there will be the challenges and the character’s internal and external triggers to be overcome along the journey through their love story.

And in order for the story to work we want to see change in the characters because that is what compels us to turn each page in the story.    We are willing them on to take a certain action and if they get so close but then let go due to fear we feel their sadness and sense of frustration. Perhaps there is a surge of jealousy when they realise that they made the wrong choice and see their lover with another.  We will them on to have the courage to make amends and let the other person know how they really feel.

Our personal love stories can be quite similar, there is as object of our desire, we have challenges and obstacles to overcome and growth to happen in order for manifestation of what we want.

We often sacrifice things to support another and sometimes the sacrifice is in letting go.       

Our relationships are what challenge us most in our lives and allow us real growth whether these relationships are with our parents, our siblings, our lovers or our children.  It is said that we hurt the ones we love the most.    And the reason we do this is because of the invisible “space” we know is there for us to be ourselves, to be vulnerable and to just be with those closest to us.

A child who behaves well at school may come home after a day mentally exhausted by the effort it has taken them and let all the pent-up energy held in during the day out.    It may erupt like a volcano and leave havoc in its wake.

In that situation there is growth for the other family members.   Don Miguel in his book the Four Agreements tells us not to take things personally.     This is something most of us struggle with in some form or another, it may not be in every part of our life but just the part that holds a wound.     Its like this wound gets pierced when someone takes their frustrations out on us and we take it personally.

An essential ingredient in any relationship is support.

Whether or not support is present is crucial to any love story.    True emotional support in a relationship allows for the other to grow in whatever way they require in order to fulfill their purpose and reach their full potential.

While I write this Venus is in retrograde in our skies.   Venus of course is the ultimate Goddess of Love, and those who track her journey through the skies describe how we feel this in our personal myths.    When Venus disappears from our skies during her journey, we may liken this to the mythological journey to the underworld of Inanna.

We can see this panning out in our own personal love stories when we too may find ourselves being stripped bare of what makes us happy, we may feel as if everything we know is being taken from us with or without our consent, we may feel we have to sacrifice too much.

However, no change happens without loss.

This loss may be dropping our limiting beliefs that tell us we will never find the man or woman of our dreams.    We may feel real wounding around this belief because if we have never felt real love in the past.      As a child we may have felt unloved, unseen and unheard and carry these beliefs into our grown-up relationships.     However, just as Venus re appears back in our skies and Inanna comes back from the underworld, we too can rise up from those stories refreshed and renewed.

We may have had the courage to strip back the layers of story that kept us stuck in our own underworld, time and time again getting the same old results from the same old stories, getting into relationships where we feel unloved, unheard and unseen.

“I offer you a chance to re-write your love story and ask yourself”

I offer you a chance to re-write your love story and ask yourself

  • What love story do you want to rewrite now?
  • Who are the characters in this story or who do you want them to be?
  • What do you know you need to shed in order to fulfil these desires?
  • Do you need to allow yourself or another space to grow?
  • Do you need to allow yourself follow your desires regardless of how the other person reacts remembering in a true love story each person allows the other to be supported and nourished in order for the relationship to flourish?
  • What story will you shed?
  • How do you want to appear to the world through your relationships? Do you want your relationships to reflect true love and intimacy and allowing?

What can hold us back from writing our personal love story is that the prospect of loss can be far more powerful than the potential gain.  This is why we need stories, to help us realise we can grow, we can change and we can rewrite the love stories of our lives.

As always the first step is become aware of the personal love story we are in and decide if we are living to our fullest potential in all of our relationships.   

I invite you to join me for a week of rewriting your personal love story, subscribe to email list for more details over the coming weeks and to get my weekly inspirational, empowering email.

On Line Self Paced Chakra Course

Coaching Galway


Importance of Self Talk for Our Emotional Health


of Self Talk


MAY, 2020

Celtic Soul Essence

You can listen to this episode on my Podcast.

Why do we find positive self-talk so hard?

I often ponder why self-care is so hard for us?    When it comes to looking out for others especially those closest to us, caring comes naturally for most of us.

So why doesn’t that follow on to how we care for ourselves?   Are we hardwired with the missing link to that part of the brain that feels that self-care is ok?

When I coach women one of the areas I cover with her, are her values. Our self-talk brings us to the core of our values. Time and time again I see how those value systems are totally cross wired.   AND all too often we find that we are plugged into someone else’s value system.   Imagine how that sounds when we say it out loud, it almost seems impossible.

Today I want to talk about self-talk as an element of self-care and invite you to challenge yourself on how good you are at self-care.

I invite you to record everything you say to yourself each time you talk to yourself, over a period of a week.

Here are some prompts to help you.

  • Keep a note of the first thing you say to yourself every morning, that means writing it down each day.
  • What does your self-talk say when you look at yourself in the mirror for the first time in the morning?
  • After you put on your clothes?
  • When someone complements you.
  • When someone challenges your power.

After a couple of days see if there is a pattern forming around your self-talk?

Compare what you have written down with what you might say to a friend who looks tired.  You might counsel her, “You look tired, maybe you should take a rest”.

Consider to yourself whether you ever say those things to yourself?  Do you ever invite yourself to do something that would benefit your mental or emotional health?

If you were entertaining your best friend would you feed her with whatever is the handiest or with something past its sell by date?

Treat your own body the way you would treat your best friend

Stop, pause and ask yourself often what does your body needs right now?

Perhaps it’s as simple as a drink of water?

If you saw your partner staying up late working or bingeing on a TV series even though he was exhausted and had an early start in the morning would you gently nudge him and ask him if maybe he should go to bed for his own sake?

We always have a choice and often we forget that we have a choice as to how we treat ourselves.

“We can tune in and ask ourselves what we really need in order to feel happy, to feel well or at peace”.


One simple way to get back in touch with ourselves is to take a walk in nature.  Nature has an ability to bring us balance, WHY?  Because nature does not complete it just is.

Wildflowers and nettles grow side by side with no judgement from the trees. Weeds grow proudly beside a beautiful rose bush.    It just is.

The sounds of nature bring us balance because they have no malice, they are melodious, rippling and peaceful.

Nature of course can remind us of her strength when she kicks up a storm and purges.

But she comes back after and renews herself. Season after season she knows her place, she doesn’t hide herself from the depts of darkness of Winters, she knows things will get brighter, they always do.

Nature can teach us to pull back the falseness we put on to be something we are not.

It’s renewing to stop the nonsense we put ourselves through to this end.  Pause, listen and purge what doesn’t fit you and await the rewards life brings you.

What is Vulnerability?

What is Vulnerability


MAY, 2020

Celtic Soul Essence

For the most part vulnerability can get us breaking into a sweat and saying

“Me, no I don’t do vulnerability”!

Maybe that is because the first definition you get when you look it up says that “it is a fear of being attacked either physically or emotionally”.   And of course, none of us want that as it taps into our basic fear around our survival.   Feeling safe is a non-negotiable need.

The kind of vulnerability I am speaking to is the one that makes us fear other people really seeing us, really knowing us, or really hearing us.   We put on masks to hide our real selves in order to appear somehow different to who we really are.     Often, we don’t realise we do it.   But often times we do and choose to do it anyway.

It comes down to how we value ourselves.

We might not feel good enough, bright enough, thin enough, educated enough or whatever enough.

This might be in a work situation, with friends and even sometimes we may find that we struggle to fit in with our family.    We may look at our siblings and wonder where we came from and question how unlike them we are.    And so we mould ourselves to try not to be so different, we pick up on clues of what makes us not stand out or get us picked on.   This is the first step of course to dimming our light and hiding who we really are.

We may adopt the values of what we are told are acceptable and unacceptable and in so doing we are not living congruently with our own authentic core values.

This is where vulnerability comes in.     We feel we cannot let the real us be seen because we think we just doesn’t fit in and we come to accept this as our truth.   But as you can see it’s a made up story and it’s not our real story.

A caveat here, we all do this and sometimes we did it for our safety or as a defence mechanism to just get by.

But living authentically or in other words living in accordance with who we are, requires us to embrace ourselves fully, warts and all!!!    Being authentic is not just looking at what we perceive good about ourselves, it is also being brave enough to look at the parts of ourselves that we may consider more negative, the part that made us be laughed at when we were younger or ridiculed by a family member.  Remember here that the person who ridiculed us had their own story and maybe they ridiculed you to make themselves feel better.

We can allow ourselves become vulnerable enough to look at ways we can integrate these parts of ourselves to ring them back to the light and embrace them!

We are all born unique and we each have our strengths.   What may have been deemed “inappropriate” for us as a child may be the thing that gives us the most joy.     It’s our uniqueness that makes us shine.   Even in business we are told to find our unique selling point in relation to what we are selling because it’s the uniqueness that sells.  It’s the realness of the product or service.

Fear of rejection and isolation will likely try and stop us from remembering our vulnerabilities.   A popular saying,

The Devil you Know, is Better than the Devil you don’t know.”

can have us staying stuck in relationships that don’t do us any good.

Of course we may not even know our true self anymore because we have hidden it for so long.

The first step is the hardest but its also the bravest.

When we start opening the lid on our real self its quite magical and of course a little scary.   Some old stories may arise with the associated emotions that surface, but being brave enough to delve into them is where to start.    AND you don’t have to share this journey with anyone if you don’t want it.   Take some time to get to know who you truly are yourself.  Become playful with memories of times when you were being you and were happy.   Memories will surface when you to look for them.

We may realise how we spent maybe an entire lifetime trying to fit in or trying to gain acceptance.   It’s such an act of self love and self care to delve into our heart’s desire and along the way find our own tribe of like minded people where we will feel a true sense of belonging.

There is no push and pull when we feel like we belong.   It is like reaching a safe, peaceful destination on the shore.

Being vulnerable takes courage.

We always have a choice of course and it does require us to muster up the courage to make the changes.

An old fear of being afraid to speak up when you were young may have been manifesting in your life as a fear of standing up in public to speak at events?  You may have been suffocated with this fear your whole life.

Perhaps you were laughed at when you stood up in first grade at school and vowed to never again go through that humiliation.

When you  embrace the fact that you have a right to be heard you embrace the vulnerability that this first grader felt.   You speak to the “old wound” or “old story”.

You can ask yourself – What now do you at this stage of your life need to embrace in order to make that first grader feel less vulnerable?

Perhaps you decide to record yourself reading out a paragraph of your favourite book, even if you never share it with anyone.  Or maybe you go one step further and do a Facebook Live telling people how you are overcoming your fear.

This is what facing your vulnerabilities is like and you realise you are not going to be attacked either physically or emotionally.

Little by little you are taking back a part of yourself, and taking back the driver’s seat of your life.

You have learned to let go of giving your power away to others.

In conclusion embracing our vulnerabilities is empowering but not always easy.  We may need to learn tools to help us navigate this tricky terrain when our head screams no but our heart and soul aches for a yes.   But we can learn to give the ego some time off and allow ourselves grow and thrive.

We can learn to put up boundaries, ground out emotions and stand tall in our authentic selves where we find peace, joy, and tranquillity.

The first step is always the hardest, but the end journey is worth the work.


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How to get out of your comfort zone?

How to get out of your comfort zone?


February, 2020




One word … courage.

You can access your inner wisdom to support you get out of your comfort zone when you have the courage to start the journey.   It doesn’t matter how small your actions are, small actions built upon, lead to big breakthroughs.

In astrology Leo’s symbology is the mighty lion which represents sovereignty, rulership and courage.  You can only be free when you adopt the attributes of the lion which are outside your comfort zone, they are parallel states of being.   When you stay small, obedient and powerless you can shrivel up and dry out.  This can manifest in many forms.  You may feel useless, worn out and lack self-esteem.   If you are being powered over by another the only way to gain sovereignty is to release yourself from its grip.


Photograph via Unsplash

Your values can become compromised when you give them up, trade them in for another’s love or worse still for the breadcrumbs of their affections they throw at you when it suits them.

How deep and for how long you allow yourself be in this state is often outside of your control.   You may find yourself thrust into the mythological underworld through illness or stress where the only way out is to peel away the layers of falseness until you are reborn.  This can be a painful process and you may feel striped bare of everything you once knew and cared about.  You can lose friends and allies who feel they no longer recognise you, and the truth is you may no longer recognise yourself.

“However, you can appear again in your full juiciness, reborn to your authentic self and gain true allies who support you.  You meet the ones who resonate with you and who may themselves have traveled a similar path.”

You have gone outside your comfort zone, triumphed and reclaimed your sovereignty.  You are free.  You are living life on your values, and you won’t allow anyone compromise them.

You have stepped into a place where magic happens and that’s the other side of your comfort zone.

If you find yourself standing on the edge coming from a compromised place know that you can begin to find a crack that will allow some light in.   Maybe this is an awareness that there is more for you if you have the courage to dig deep.

Until next time .. keep the faith,

Dolores Andrew-Gavin


Reiki in Galway

About Reiki in Galway

My name is Dolores Andrew-Gavin, Owner of Celtic Soul Essence.  I have been practising Reiki for the past 9 years.  I am based in Knocknacarra 7 minutes by car from Salthill on the West side of Galway City.

Medical Reiki

I am also a Certified Medical Reiki Master having trained in Glastsonbury with Raven Keyes, Founder Medical Reiki International 

If you would like to know more about Medical Reiki you can check out an interview I did with Raven Keyes as part of the Emotional and Mental Health Summit I ran in May 2019.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a hands on healing therapy that supports us to manage our stress by lifting our mood thereby improving our confidence and self esteem.  Reiki helps us lift off old patterns by removing stagnant energy from our energy body.

Reiki is a key to health.

Why I practice Reiki

We live in such a busy world being more connected on line than we have ever been but, with many people feeling more disconnected than they ever have from others and most importantly from themselves.

I have found that my Reiki sessions offer a safe space for people to re-connect back with themselves and support them with their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing.  Reiki does this by shifting blockages of energy that can build up in a person’s energy body.   And it is important to note that any of us can have energy blocks and that can be caused by several reasons;

  • Feeling anxious about our life.
  • Holding onto fear, sadness or any other emotion that holds us stuck in a past event.   We don’t have to remember what the original block was or why we held onto it, we just want to hold the intention to let it go.  We develop beliefs around ourselves when we are young and these beliefs are tied up with emotions e.g. we may have been ridiculed for standing up in class and vowed to never again feel the shame we felt.   So we hold onto this story and the shame in our energy body until we let it go.   Energy work like Reiki support us in releasing these past stories and the energy and emotions around them.
  • Feeling stressed about our life whether that be a relationship, family issue or work matter.
  • We may have a physical injury and worry about how we will cope.
  • We may be undergoing treatment for a medical issue and hold onto fear around the outcome for us.

No matter what our life situation is Reiki can support our health and wellbeing.

What happens during a Reiki session?

During a Reiki session I work with the chakras of a person’s body to see where a client most needs to release stress from their body.

During a session energy flows where it is needed anyway.    For example a symptom of a headache may direct me to where the source of the headache is coming from e.g. if a person is holding a lot of stress in a certain part of their body it may manifest as a headache.


Exercise to Work with Energy?

If you are a complete novice to energy work here is a simple exercise to allow you experience energy for yourself.

1.                 Raise your hands in front of your face with your palms facing each other and about a foot apart.

2.                 Slowly push the palms towards each other until they are about 6 inches apart, then bring the palms back to their original position.

3.                 Repeat this several times until you can feel the build up of energy between your palms.  When you are trying to bring your palms together you should feel some sort of resistance from the energy between your hands.

See you are an energist after all!

You can be a complete novice with energy work to start on a path of Reiki and you may just have a desire to improve your life in all areas.  It is with practice that we get more in tune with both ourselves and our clients.  We learn to trust ourselves and to work more intuitively, again intuition is something we all have and need to just trust and believe this.   It is also good to know if you are a complete beginner that there is nothing you can do wrong in a Reiki session so long as your intention is pure and for the highest good of the client!


How to Book a Reiki Session with me

A Reiki session will typically last around 50 minutes, please leave an hour for the duration of the complete session.  I am based in Knocknacarra, Salthill, Galway.

If you want to check availability or have any questions please do get in touch via the contact form below.

Namaste Dolores

Master The Skill Of What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger To Be Successful

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger


JUNE, 2018

Celtic Soul Essence

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.   In my opinion saying this to someone who is going through hell and back with a situation is like showing a red rag to a bull, it just doesn’t help.   There are times when we need to consider not throwing around such popular sentiments.  We would be better off to hold our tongue and be a space for someone to just be.

At times we can feel like we are literally being killed in a situation we are going through and in one way we are going through a sort of death.   This may be symbolic in its nature for example we may feel like we are shedding an old skin, an old way of being.   Perhaps we have stood up to an abuser and said “NO, enough is enough”.  This act represents the death of an old way of being, a standing in our power and embracing our free will and sovereignty.

Of course, going back to the sentiment of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, this killing of an old pattern or a shedding of a skin does make us stronger and we can look back with pride that we have gone through and made a change in ourselves for the better.

The way in which we shed old skins or patterns can be different for everyone depending on what story is unfolding for us.

It might even be so subtle that we don’t notice or it may feel so overwhelming that we feel we will never rise again.

Here are some things to think about if you feel like you are going through a crisis in your life.

Is the change necessary for your personal growth?   Again, if you are in the depths of a crisis you may not have a definite answer to this question.  How will your life change?  Will you have to develop courage and strength to walk alone in life?  If so what feelings does this bring up for you?

If you are further along your journey you may be able to look and see the good that came from a situation which seemed life crushing at the time.  Maybe you came away from a marriage in which you were a co-dependant and realise now that you are stronger than you thought, you are managing fine on your own because you have developed an inner strength you didn’t even know was there.

Maybe you met another partner and you find you are an equal in this relationship not a co-dependant waiting for the crumbs of life to be given to you or avoiding situations that you knew would bring the other’s wrath upon you.

“When we have found courage we have suffered pain, when we feel illuminated we have known the darkness”

This is the healing in the crisis situations that are sometimes thrown at us along our journey.

We develop a strength beyond all our imagination, we embrace courage because for some we had to grasp onto something in order to keep afloat.

Maybe you got over a fear you didn’t even know was keeping you stuck.

The journey to where you are now or the journey you may still be on, may seem unfair, unjust, unpleasant and unnecessary but curve balls are our life lessons.    They not only make us stronger they also help us help others who are going through similar situations should we feel inclined to tell our story.    Its hard to have true empathy if you have never known hardship just like its hard to describe a food you have never tried.  We can of course imagine what it would be like to try the food we can use all our senses and conjure up a story.

We may not have voluntarily opened the door to allow the suffering in, but we can certainly close it behind us when we can stand and look back at how far we have come in our personal journey.   We may have dreams that remind us what life used to look like, maybe there is still a bit of us stuck back there in the past story, but we know we can change that too.   Our dreams will often give us these vital clues.  Recently I had a dream about packing up my clothes.  Some of my clothes were in my old bedroom from childhood and some of the clothes I picked up I felt I had never seen before.   I was surprised to find a light coloured new outfit that I was going to wear on my last night of holidays.    It reminded me of a new way of being, a lighter way, not suffocating the real me under layers and layers of un-necessary and dark clothes.

Once I see the hidden gem in this I can make the decision to shed any ways of showing up in the world (symbolically shown as clothes in my dream) and decide to adopt a lighter approach that shows me for who I am to the world.

I have a weekly Women’s empowerment podcast and if you would like to subscribe on Soundcloud if you want to keep updated, you can do so here.

Until next time keep empowered.

Dolores Andrew-Gavin, Soul Care Therapist, Empowerment and Assertive Coach, Energy Therapist, Author and Mum.