Last year we took the journey of a lifetime when my wife Christiana and I traveled to Ireland for our one-year anniversary. It was a trip that by all logical accounts we should not have made. At the time we were still recovering financially from the move to our new home. Energetically we were wiped out as we both were still grieving the recent death of our dear friend Richard. From a time management standpoint we had so many things on the agenda that we could little afford to spend two weeks on holiday. Somehow though we both had an inner knowing that this trip needed to happen. As a result of that knowing, we threw logic to the wind, used long saved up frequent flyer miles to book our airfare and let our intuition take charge. Little did we know at the time how much that decision would alter the course of the rest of our lives.
Our trip to Ireland followed our first ever exposure to the program Infinite Possibilities as taught by Mike Dooley and his team. Christiana and I attended the seminar called Train the Trainer in Chicago in August of 2014. In that four-day seminar we learned about Mike’s approach to the Universal truth that thoughts become things. For many years we had both studied and practiced this concept. In fact much of our being together is the product of visualization and the law of attraction, but that’s a different story for a different day. During our two-week trip to Ireland in September of 2014 we spent many of our hours in the car listening to Irish music and chatting about what we wanted our lives to look like when we returned home from our transformational journey. Clearly a Higher Power was already stacking the deck in our favor.
Here now is one of the best of the many stories about our Ireland trip. It is a story about following your intuition. It is a story about not over managing the current of life. It eventually is a story about a remarkable 24 hours in our lives in a remote village called Mountshannon in County Clare with a population of 72 people. Mostly it’s a story about a man named Robert Hayes who was the teacher in waiting when we two students were finally ready to hear the lesson.
One of our goals in our two-week trip to Ireland was to try to operate without a plan and without deadlines. Aside from the first two nights in Dublin, we did not pre-book any of our lodgings. At the onset this concept was terrifying to me. Somehow I had created the limiting belief that every room in the entire nation might be booked at some point in our trip and we would find ourselves destitute and sleeping in our car. As ridiculous as that seems now, these are the things that happen in the brain of an over achiever and over planner. What can I say? I’m starting to recover from a lifetime of micro management. It’s a process.
Now back to beginning of the trip and our two nights in Dublin. Let’s just say after two nights we decided we had a fine time but were anxious to get out into the countryside and see the Ireland that Christiana had visualized in her dreams. We wanted to smell the smell of peat burning in the damp air. We wanted to see thatched roofs. We wanted to feel the scratch of Irish wool on our skin as we walked along the shore wearing our Aran wool sweaters. We wanted to hear music being played and sung by locals in a small one-pub town. With that in mind we cancelled our last night in Dublin and drove about an hour to a town named Kildare to meet up with one of Christiana’s grade school friends who lives in Ireland. After a visit, some remarkable photos and a wonderful dinner we drove through the night to an area referred to as the Boyne Valley, which would be our home base for the next few adventures on our trip.
Our purpose in visiting the Boyne Valley was to check out a site that I had learned about only days before our departure. In the week leading up to our trip I formulated the idea that it would be wonderful to seek out some sacred energy sites in Ireland. I knew absolutely nothing about what I might find so I went to Google and started typing in a few keyword searches. On one of my searches which was Ireland’s Energy Vortices I got a hit of a short Youtube video filmed by a couple at a place called the Hill of Tara. In the video it shows two people walking around a shoulder high piece of stone that quite frankly looks like a penis. The stone is at the top of a small hill and the video is clearly in the middle of winter because it was snowing. It caught my eye both because I honestly didn’t know that it snowed in Ireland and also because I found myself curiously attracted to the idea of visiting this remote, non-touristy site.
On the morning of September 18, 2014 Christiana and I arrived at the Hill of Tara visitor’s center and tearoom. The car park had about a dozen cars and it clearly was not a major attraction. After a series of hilarious missteps we finally began our exploration of the Hill of Tara shortly before noon. The best way I can describe the energy of the Hill of Tara is to say that it’s like realizing that your are sinking into quicksand yet you have no fear and no desire to save yourself from the outcome. As soon as you set foot on the grounds at Tara you know something unique is happening. You just don’ know what it is yet. The energy lures you in and seduces you slowly, but when it gets its hooks in you be prepared to wish that you would never have to leave.
In our four hours at the Hill of Tara we lived in a moving mediation that overwhelmed all of our senses. We finally began to see the Ireland of Christiana’s dreams. We earthed ourselves on the ground in the grass under the sun. We visited with Hawthorne trees that are said to be portals into other dimensions and times for pixies and fairies. We quite literally had to ask asked permission to enter the tree’s energy space to take a photo. Attached to the tree were coins, ribbons and notes that people had left behind for the fairies to grant. We found and old wishing well that lured us in by chance even as we almost left and missed it entirely. I was tempted by and collected a stone from that wishing well. Everything about Tara has magnitude. You can quite literally feel the energy, the wishes and the dreams of millions of souls.
As we got ready to leave we poked around in the small gift shop and tearoom looking for the perfect souvenir but found none that did the moment justice. I could write for hours about the things that we experienced while we on the Hill of Tara, yet I still couldn’t begin to describe the sense on inner peace I felt while we were there. In short, I have been to no other place in this lifetime where I have felt more content, closer to Source, closer to God.
We truly did not want to leave the Hill of Tara but we had other sites to see, so we tore ourselves away and moved on in the direction of the Newgrange passage tomb. I was sad. I wanted to find a way to spend more time at the Hill of Tara. Over the next day or two I began to devise a plan on this trip to Ireland with no plans. My plan was to try to get all the way around the little island nation and wind up at the Hill of Tara on the last day so we could end our journey in the same place that it truly began energetically. I made no mention of this plan to Christiana. I failed to mention it to her partly because I wanted to surprise her and partly for fear she would point out to me that I was over managing the trip!
Over the next week and a half we visited Bangor, Belfast, the Titanic site, County Antrim, The Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills, Donegal, Knock, Sligo and Galway. We set our sites next on Dingle and Cobh and I had my little trick up my sleeve of the return to Tara for the last day of the trip. The only problem at the moment was that in order to stay on that schedule I was going to have to drive about four hours through the night to get to Dingle and I was spent. About a half an hour into that drive I turned to Christiana and told her that I didn’t think I could make it to Dingle that night and then I began to tear up. I could tell that my emotion surprised her and she said, “It’s no big deal Jim. We’ll just pull up Air B&B and find a place to stay in the area.” She had no idea that by admitting to myself that I couldn’t execute that drive that night that I was taking my desired return to Tara off of the table on this trip. In my heart I was privately devastated!
What happened in the next hour would forever change our lives not just because it reminded us that sometimes you have to let go of your attachment to you dream to achieve it, but also because it would lead us to a serendipitous meeting of an inspiring new friend.
When we pulled up a listing of nearby Air B&B listings one particular listing stood out. I remember specifically that it said, “Bright house with stunning lake views and full of light. Your host Robert is a massage therapist and healer…”” After ten days of staying in perfectly fine, but often dark Irish rooms I was very much looking forward to staying in a place that was full of light. We sent a request for booking, got a quick response and set our GPS for the little village of Mountshannon, County Clare. On the way we drove through roads so narrow that tree branches dragged along the sides of our tiny economy size rental. At one point we drove through a field of wild horses and we stopped so Christiana could feed one of them an apple. I felt a growing sense of anticipation as we neared the Mountshannon harbor; a sense that something magical beyond our comprehension was about to happen.
We arrived in the harbor at Mountshannon as the sun was going down in the west across Lough Derg. Our host for the night, Rob Hayes, was waiting for us so he could lead us by car up the hill to his home. He walked up to us wearing waterproof khaki pants, a boating vest and a outdoorsman’s hat with an eagles feather sticking out of the hat band. He would become not only our host for the night. Rob would become our teacher, our friend and eventually our partner.
When we arrived at the house at the top of the hill shortly before sunset, yet the house was indeed still entirely full of light. In fact this place had one of the brightest energies I had experienced in my entire 50 years in this lifetime. There was a sense of calm that permeated the entire space. Scattered around the living area were stones, crystals, carved wood, pictures of angels and celtic artwork. There was a peat fire burning in the fireplace. Off the back of the main room was a terrace that looked down across a series of farms running down the hills where sheep and cattle grazed. At the bottom of the hill was the shore of Lough Derg and behind Lough Derg stood range of majestic mountains underneath creamy white and blue skies.
Rob helped us get settled and showed us to the room we would be sleeping in for the night. After we dropped our bags we started to decide what we might do to secure some food for the night. My guess was that we would drive back down to the village and find a pub for a quick meal and a pint of Guinness or two. Back downstairs Rob had set out some Irish biscuits. He then offered to put together a meal for us using leftover stew, bread and salmon. He said there was no need to go back to the village unless we wanted to. We were spent from a long day so we graciously accepted the offer.
There are always a few highly significant moments in ones lifetime when the lesson is delivered if the student is willing to open their eyes. Christiana and I set out on this trip to Ireland attempting to operate without a plan so we could truly experience the current of the moment; so we could trust our hearts a bit more and stop using our heads so much. I did my best to honor that intention, yet all the while though I had a plan in the back of my head that I would return to the Hill of Tara and make it a part of our journey once again. What Rob said next served as my forever reminder that once you set an intention on a destination, you MUST let the current of life tell you HOW it will happen. Here is what Rob said:
“Would you two like to have a cup of tea while I’m preparing dinner. I can brew some Hawthore tea. It will open up the heart chakra. I have some wonderful Hawthore leaves that I picked myself from the Fairy trees on the HILL OF TARA last week…”
With gratitude I say, “Message delivered Universe!” We spent the few next hours chatting, eating, drinking tea and a bit of wine and whiskey. We started to build a bond that all three of us had a deep sense of inner knowing was way more significant that one night in an Air B&B. Before we turned in for the night I said to Rob, “Hypothetically, if we stayed on tomorrow would you take us on a tour of the lake and Holy Island?” Rob replied, “I pretty much knew that was going to happen the minute you two walked in the door.”
What an adventure that next day would be. It started the process of an adventure that is yet to come. For Christiana and I it was the launching pad for the rest of our lives…