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ABOUT ME My name is Marie Therese Shelly and I am fondly referred to as Sister Mary Theresa by some, which I find hilarious, because my spirituality is disguised by a sense of humour and a grounded earthiness. I am a child of the seventies which makes me young enough to appreciate the stresses and strains of modern living and old enough to remember the spiritual healing ways of my Irish childhood.   Ireland is also a country full of wise men and women, whose knowledge and deep understanding of life is not outwardly expressed, but whispered softly with the wind or included in some practical advice, remedy or cure. Throughout my life it has been my privilege to meet many of these Learned Ones. Some, I met unexpectedly a chance meeting, while others I met through the  formal channels of education in psychology, nursing, midwifery, reality therapy  and reflexology.   This blog is an accumulation of all the ideas, theories practical advice, remedies and cures that I have acquired over the years.   I was a child when I had my first encounter with one of the Learned Ones. The person in question was my aunt, carer and friend. Everyone called her Auntie Mother Mary.   Auntie Mother Mary was a small round woman with a big heart, hardworking hands, a full larder and a happy smile. When she married my father’s brother Bennie, she moved into his family home, known locally as ‘Dunmore House.’ It was the custom at the time and still is today in many parts of rural Ireland, for a young bride to leave her home on her wedding day and move in with the in-laws for better or worse. My aunt was no exception! When she married she went to live in a large, rambling, nineteenth century farmhouse which she shared with her husband Bennie, his sister Mary and his aunt Ellen. My parents, three brothers, two sisters and I stayed there so often that we believed it to be our home as well.   My aunt had no servants to help her and as a result she never stopped cleaning and cooking. All were welcome, given nourishment, support, encouragement and guidance. As children we were unaware of how difficult this must have been for her and instinctively we knew when Auntie Mother Mary was around, we were warm, our bellies were full and we felt safe.   I was ten when I first became aware of her special powers. On the day in question, I called out to my aunt to come and look at a baby bird which lay flapping its tiny wings at my feet. When my aunt saw the tiny bird, she eased her big frame slowly down beside it and gently encased it in her  heavily lined worn  palms. ‘This little mite is just like you and I’ she said, ‘sometimes we fall out of the nest and we are lost. We feel frightened and do not know what to do.   Remember pet’ she said with great tenderness ‘ you will always find your way home, if you eat well, think clearly, and let go of fear’.   Some forty year later and I’m still trying to eat well, think clearly and let go of fear. There are times  I do not succeed and I get lost.   I stumble and fall.   And, with Grace I start once more to find a way home.   My trials, tribulations, excitement joy and travels have taken me far and wide and recently it has brought me to India   And, I hope to blog this journey over the next couple of weeks in this the year of 2014!     .

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