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


Building Blocks for Emotional Health

What is emotional health/emotional intelligence?

Having good emotional health or intelligence as it is often called, is our ability to deal appropriately with situations in life while allowing ourselves to feel each emotion that comes up in any given situation.  No emotion is negative, in fact what emotions are, are pieces of energy which have a message for us.  When we realise this, we can use this to our benefit.

Antonio Damasio defines emotions as “Energy in motion, e-motion”. We are all made of energy and our emotions are pieces of energy that flow through us when we feel something.   Our words carry the energy of our feelings and influence the person they are directed at.

If we speak in a loving manner to a child for example when they are feeling ill, they will feel nurtured and loved.  On the other hand, if anger gets triggered inside of us by something someone does we may respond in an angry tone and may even spit out our words infused with rage.  Rage, as an emotion, is anger on fire and the energy of these words will have an energetic influence on the other person.

Of course, there are times when someone may do something to us or say something to us that is not right, and we may be justified to feel anger towards them. However, learning to harness this anger may have a better result for us in the long run.

This does not mean we have to accept what the other person did or said to us, it just means we are emotionally intelligent enough to respond in a way that serves US best.

Skills to become an emotionally intelligent person

Being assertive is a more intelligent way to approach a situation like this, saying what we mean in a way that the other person realises we don’t accept what they have said or did.  We really stand in our personal power when we do this.   Of course, it is not always easy to do this, but for our emotional and mental health it is a skill that is very empowering for us!

Learning to not take things personally is also a huge lesson for us to learn as is learning the skill of being resilient.

Learning these life skills helps us realise that another person’s outburst is coming from their story not yours.

“Not my monkey, not my circus”. 

Anger and what it has to tell us

Let’s take a lot at anger as an emotion and how we can use it in an emotionally intelligent way.

Anger tells us our boundaries are being attacked, our personal power even.  When we feel anger, this may trigger in us a sense of “how dare they invade my personal space”.

This may be because it is triggering a past story when our personal power was taken away from us; perhaps we were told to sit down be quiet or suck it up.

Another person may not get triggered in the same way as they may be comfortable with their personal power and so they will not react with anger, it may just wash off them.

We are all different and we all react differently to what others say to us depending on the stories we hold and the emotions that are wrapped around these stories.

What is our fear telling us?

Fear tells us instinctually that something is about to happen or could happen to us and is a very necessary emotion, but one we want to learn to let flow through us, just like all the emotions. We don’t want to stay in fear of everything as when we hold onto fear it can turn into its’ higher spectrum of fear which is anxiety.

As with anger above we can learn to work with emotions like fear and anxiety and understand what they are trying to tell us.

Energy therapies

Energy therapies work well with emotional issues and stuck emotions in our energy body, because we are dealing with like for like.  A therapy like Emotional Freedom Technique (which you can learn free at my website) is a great tool to help us unravel our emotions from the stories we hold onto.   And more importantly we begin to see what emotion is there and what story is attached to it.   This awareness allows us break free from emotions we no longer need nor want to hold onto.

EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique is a tool that once we learn it, can be used anytime one of life’s curve balls hit us.  We can also use it to deal with another person’s emotions towards us or another person’s projections on us.

We can all learn skills to help us be more emotionally intelligent and in so doing take back control of our life and manage our emotional and mental health.

Dolores Andrew-Gavin, Author, Soul Care Practitioner, Speaker, Podcaster, Energy Therapist and Mum.



The Ancient Art of Yoni Steaming

The Ancient Art of Yoni Steaming

The ancient art of yoni or vaginal steaming is a ritual using an herbal remedy that has unfortunately been lost in our modern age. 

We have also for the most part, lost touch with the creative potential of our womb space as a place to co-create our reality from our life force within.   Thankfully there are a growing number of women re-membering these ancient rituals and helping us to get back in touch with the natural rhythms of our lives.

Red Tent woman’s circles were traditionally the way these rituals were passed on from generation to generation and young girls got to know about their own cycles and embody a sense of respect and understanding around them.  Unfortunately for many young girls their cycles are not something that are discussed openly, and a girl’s cycle may be seen more as an inconvenience rather than realising the important phase of life that she is being initiated into.   

Often in life as women we try to push through at times when our body is not at its optimum strength.   Other times we are energised and full of ideas but may fail to follow through or even write down our ideas dismissing them as whims of our imagination. 

But when we learn to tune into our own cycles on a monthly and in fact a daily basis we can glean so much important information on working with our body’s wisdom and not against it.

Yoni steaming affects us on many levels and most especially helps us to tap into our root voice, the essence of who we are.    When we can ground ourselves firmly in our root chakra (if you are in a seated position now you are sitting on your root chakra!!) we will be able to become more rooted with life.   We will find that any trust issues we may be harbouring will come to the surface for healing.   We feel more like we belong when our root chakra is balanced. This does not mean we feel we belong to where we live now but, we feel a sense of belonging to something or somewhere rather than an empty feeling of not belonging anywhere.

As well as may physical ailments like support for the symptoms of hemorrhoids Yoni steaming also offers support at an emotional level.

Our second chakra located about 2 includes under our belly button is home to our pelvic bowl and our womb.   When we use yoni steaming the herbs support many ailments including uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, uterine prolapse & endometriosis.

It also assists with regulating menstrual issues including cramps, back ache, bloating and general discomfort.

Since our second chakra is our emotional centre yoni steaming helps support us at an emotional level to release old wounds and traumas that we may be holding onto unconsciously at times.

Here is a list of the herbs I use.

  • Rose

Rose is a cleansing tonic for the uterus and supports those with heavy menstruation. On an emotional level Rose can help with wounds of the heart that cause our womb area to become blocked, there may be fear of new relationships and an unconscious unwillingness to truly surrender to another.  Rose balances and comforts and supports a healing of these wounds and opens the door to unblocking our sacred womb centre.

  • Lavender

Lavender soothes the emotional and physical body.  It supports our central nervous system and helps us find calm in situations where calm is required.  In this way it is a great herb to add to the yoni steam for any energy blockages that may have built up in our chakra system.  It also supports an individual to speak their truth or let go of something they feel unable to swallow. 

  • Rosemary

Rosemary is a wonderful soothing herb and is used for in this remedy to support painful menstruation. 

  • Motherwort

Motherwort has long been associated with supporting women with symptoms during PMS such as anxiety, digestive disturbances, nervousness and cramps.

Many herbalists recommend it like Rosemary to relieve painful or suppressed menstruation.

  • Yarrow

Yarrow is used to support excessive menstrual bleeding.  Traditionally during birth, midwives and herbalists use yarrow for hemorrhage. Yarrow is also used to prevent painful clots.   Yarrow is used for both initiating menses and for stopping excessive flow. The ancient Chinese say that Yarrow “reconciles opposing forces and brings balance.”

How to use your yoni steam herbs.

Put the dry herbs in a saucepan of hot water for 10 minutes and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Pour the water and herb mixture into an appropriate bowl or basin that is heat resistant and supports you to sit on top of.   Find a quiet place to relax for about 20 minutes.  Ensure that the steam is not too hot to avoid burns and keep yourself warm with a blanket.  It is a good time to listen to your favourite music or to do some journaling.

Last thing at night is a good time to do it as you are in a restful state, but you can fit this routine into any part of your day that best suits you.

Avoid using yoni steaming during your menstrual cycle, if pregnant or if you have a coil inserted.  

Dolores Andrew-Gavin, Red Tent Facilitator, Soul Care Practitioner, Energy Therapist, Author and Mum