Build a team

Andrea Cullen Health Solutions

It is hugely important, when you are having issues with complex and chronic health problems, to build a team. One that can support you in mind, body, and emotions.

For example, my team are my doctors, Dr Pip Cullen and Dr Tom Pierce whom lately helped me, my osteopath Eoin Flynn, Dee O’Connor energy healer, and Dan Sainsbury tranformational coach. And not forgetting my fitness health where Annchen Clarke of 3YO coaching and and Adrian O’Brien of OBF fitness support me.

My biggest support however is MY SELF, followed in close second by my amazing fiance Garron, my cousin Vikki, my closest friends and family. I believe a support team is crucial at all times for me regardless of where my health is because of the work that I do with people.

Who is in your team? Do you have a team? Please have a listen; especially if you…

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Let the day guide you….

Happy Monday morning everyone.

Ok, so here is a challenge for all of you busy bees who like to take the day armed with a list of have to’s, should do’s, and must do’s from work chores to food and exercise, etc.

Can you let the day guide you?

Can you be open somewhat to letting your body and soul dictate (where possible) some of the things that you will do each day over the coming days? Can you let the universe whisper in you ear and guide you to the places and people who call?

This is easier said than done!

We all like to have a degree of control on the spaces between the ticking hours on a clock, not many of us are good to simply flow with the nudges of heart and soul and the compass guiding us from the deep wisdom calling us.

Many of us are actually scared of the quiet spaces and so fill them up, not only this we aren’t happy until we stuff them so full that we don’t even get a chance to listen to the whispers from within. Then when the soul starts to yell, we have no idea what this is; it feels like anxiety.

I am striving to create this silent listening space; I didn’t think I was bad at it before to be honest; but I see clearly how I do actually like to write lists and force the day rather than embracing each day with the sunrise.

The past year has been focused around structured training and race preparation. I wrote about this here. Things changed, and my focus currently is allowing the body to heal while I seek answers and solutions and letting the body “be” is actually harder than we all think. We like to plan, and to just listen and act from there isn’t actually that simple at all.

My friend Andree sent me this early on Saturday morning. She had stopped to take in the morning; a few silent moments to guide her day.

So I am asking you to test yourself a little; when the time is right, see can you be guided by the day. This challenge is aimed at those that like to have a plan, that control the day and the week and are always striving to fill the spaces with busyness. This task is not for those that are the other side of the spectrum (and aimlessly moving through the day – you folks need to jump in at the other side with challenging yourself to set more goals and try to plan time better!!).

So, have a think……you will know when the time and space is right to challenge yourself in a similar way. Life flows in chapters; some chapters are busy and require dedicated planning and commitment, then there are weeks when you must slow down and take stock. Let the day guide you, let the wisdom in. These are the weeks that allow you to grow from the previous weeks and set up future productive weeks.

Can you see the silver lining in the clouds? Sent to me by Jenny – my soon to be mother in law. Excited!!

Me? My intention over the coming two weeks as I allow myself time and space that I have not given myself in the four years since I started structured training for triathlon races is (OK, can you see how I am already trying to control this with a 2-week deadline. You see what I mean? It is human nature to strive to control things. This is another level that I will delve into now that I have awareness. We like certainty; that’s ok. Keep peeling the onion!!):

  • let the body decide what training (movement and play) she wishes to do, if any, each morning. To not plan my week ahead and then follow the plan without letting the body have her say. I am listening – I trust my body to guide me.
  • To invite in more from the universe to guide me in my creativity: writing, making, being, doing….
  • To listen to where I am supposed to be in relation to my work with the land and rivers and streams.
  • To honour where I am called in relation to people; family, clients and loved ones.
  • Eat even more intuitively; no planning (again this is counter to what I recommend for most that need MORE planning. Some of us however that like to keep control on things when training and busy can benefit from going with the flow and being more body and appetite aware.)
  • I believe that practicing the above will only add to my skill set for life, work and training – sometimes it is good to LET GO… as much as it is to become the queen of planning and structure.

Simple? Let’s see but this space I believe is where my mind and body will find the answers to guide the next steps… in health, in purpose, and in passion.


This is where I was called on Saturday; to the river Shannon at Castleconnell to spend some time listening and sending healing and gratitude into our water.




Heads up – you know my little rambles about my own life are merely the prompt for you to reflect on your own life?

And so to failure:

I threw two fistfuls of dog nuts on the grass to entertain the dogs this morning; they found one or two and then ran back in to the kitchen looking up at me as if to say “more please”; that is quitting in my book!

Spoilt much-loved doggies 🙂

These two ejits

If life keeps handing you everything on a plate then it is too easy to ever need to stretch yourself to be/ learn/ do more. We need challenge or at least some element of difficulty to encourage persistence. And with persistence comes skills and success (failure and resilience).

What has this got to do with failure? Well sorta kinda.. and I am getting there. My two doggies didn’t even get to the point of failure as we know it because they quit before they tried. They could make the excuse that they were only looking for one dog nut each rather than admit that they would rather have found the twenty or so nuts that I chucked in the garden (which trust me the crows will find later!).

Failure is something that people fear; like they will be found out as the impostor that cannot do something 100% perfect every time; in other words that you are being judged and that judgement is that you ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Fear of failure leads to people not trying, self sabotaging, and making epic excuses.

I am sorry to say but people just don’t want to hear your lame excuses; we want to hear how you got back up and made each failure count. Did you remain strong, did you try again, did you get back up, did you persist until you succeeded? Then based on the above you aren’t a failure (but may have failed the first, second…. one hundredth time).

Every successful person has failed, over and over and over, and guess what they got back up over and over and over, and that successful person was invisible for a long time until they took every failure and made it a part of who they are and integrated it into the journey to how they became seen as successful. Their success was nothing without failure; it is just that we often don’t tend to hear about it. We (want to?) see perfect and the reality is that perfect is built on many building blocks called “I failed once or twice or a gazillion times”.

If you ask me, the stories about their failures and how they made these into success is what makes people fascinating. The perfect people are rather boring; they often don’t take chances OR they are too scared to show us their imperfect side.

Having a good old rumble around with your failure is where you learn the lessons to succeed.

Failure breeds humility, gratitude, and a fire to try again.

I failed:

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Pushing the limits….

Why is breaking yourself almost to the point of death considered more heroic than caring and healing yourself in our current world?

Take a look at the extreme limits people are pushing themselves to these days regarding their physical health and well-being all for the kudos of being seen. If it wasn’t for modern medicine putting them back together or technology saving their asses would they be dying right, left, and centre as a result of the extremes they are striving for? In times got by survival was more important…

Is the warrior in us confused about where to channel our energy and skills?

We have people going beyond all reasonable balance in terms of sport, business, and life all around us and social media is a feeding frenzy as a result of it.  It appears that pushing your mind beyond balance, your body beyond health and function, and your nutrition into unsustainable imbalance is what gains us attention and kudos thumbs ups. What purpose is this serving for people?

Well they get seen; and it seems that stupidity gains more attention than sense. Because being sensible and smart is often invisible; it doesn’t always get you the same likes and attention.

Are you comfortable in seeing yourself for who you are? Can you strive to grow and challenge yourself and face fears and go to bed at the end of the day recognising what you did and not needing others to? Can you quietly feel good about who you are as you continue to do your best?

Why is it that we applaud the extremes; the broken athlete, the crushed entrepreneur, the person going one step beyond because it grabs sensationalist headlines?

Why do we need to be seen so much these days? The validation from social media requires that we do things that are not truly in agreement with our inner selves.

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Can you make real sacrifices for what you believe?

Can you answer the call? Truly can you?

I spent time on retreat in 2016, in Sedona, and my guide Clint asked me one day:

“Are you prepared, when called, to drop everything? Because there will come a time and you may have to make great sacrifices for what you believe in.”

And I said yes, while thinking to myself, sure I can. After all making a difference is what matters to me. I am passionate about helping people and I am passionate about my planet. This was why was I in Sedona after all, making great financial sacrifices to learn how to better listen, to hear the messages of spirit, the vibrations of the human body and nature to become a better healer and channeler of wisdom. I was ready to just be me and put myself out there on a ledge where people may not fully understand me and expose myself because making a difference mattered more. “Of course” I thought to myself, “at any opportunity I WANT to make a difference; hell yes I can answer the call”.

Now think about it, can you drop everything when called to action?

What is it that matters to you? Where is your soul called? I am asking you to think about it….. not merely read my story example…..

Are you called to be a leader in your family, or community?

To be an honest game changing professional in the corporate world with different morals and ethics and actions, a leader and influencer and not just a talker and to make dents in creating sustainable change in our planet?

Are you a healer with gifts …?

Is there something special that you can teach people about themselves, their community, their ancestry, protecting their environment or to deepen their wisdom about this planet and all of us on here.

Think deeply, what are the things that really matter because these probably fall into one of two categories: people and our world/ planet/ environment; in truth they are both connected.

Now think about the things that you have planned on your list of wishes and dreams; things that our affluence and the opportunities in our lives give us. Sport, travel, education, food, nice cars, a nice house, etc etc. Yep we all have them….
Now think about the things that you do every day; that lead you to be “to busy to….”

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Pain wants to make you stronger

You know when you injure yourself and it hurts how you notice it because it hurts? So you pay attention to it, and do what it needs, so that it can heal and grow stronger. And then it heals; perhaps with a scar but it heals nevertheless.

Our emotions are a bit like this. The wounds we carry from life. They want to heal and help us to grow from them. They want us to get back living.

It is said that we come into existence to learn great lessons in our life. To overcome, to become, to thrive.

Growth comes with growing pains – some of us are more aware of this than others and this is ok. Some days feel like a veritable shit-storm but if we stay there too long we miss the rainbows.

We all have different experiences in life and some occur at significant times in our development (early years) that can lead to deep wounds, and some of us are more resilient than others, or better at blocking it out and building a giant wall to contain the pain wound. Some of are so sensitive that the world of people can create great misunderstanding and emotional trauma. You are not weak, they are not necessarily cold callous strong – it is just a case of different thresholds, different experiences, different nurturing at crucial times to build attachment, skills and resilience.

Life is a gift, of this there is no doubt; it is often hard to shed light on the deepest wounds because they hurt and then we feel ungrateful even giving them a voice. And awareness can cause us to focus so far inwards that at times it can feel like we have just opened Pandora’s box to victim-hood and feeling sorry for ourselves. Yet without looking in, we cannot put love into the emptiest of places, we cannot ask questions about what all this means, we cannot have awareness of what that pain feels like or how it drives our actions and behaviours and then we cannot find solutions and strategies to live to our full potential.

No, we must sometimes look in, to start shining out. Healing doesn’t always make it go away; but it teaches you to face and over come fears and limiting beliefs. It shows you that it is worth braving life in all its wonder.

The pain triggers we each hold can be very different, and how these express through our actions and words and walls or physical pain can be so different between us all that there is no right or wrong. It just is. But to run from or ignore the wounds and the inner child can sometimes hurt us even more. You will know your best strategy. Not every one of us needs to open that box; some of us don’t need to understand or unravel it and find that the best solution is to leave the box closed and move on in life.

Respect how one another wants to deal with things; but don’t reward people’s bad behaviour.

We all have to ‘grow up’ at some point which essentially means growing through our experiences and understanding that this is a process asking for patience and curiosity.

We cannot throw the pain out as anger or control or other negative patterns at other people… this isn’t fair and it isn’t being responsible; nor can we throw these negative emotions inwards in self-destruction.

Let the process unfold…

We are all far stronger than we believe; and although deep hurts can leave us feeling alone, abandoned, isolated, scared, fearful, anxious, depressed, angry and so on there are many ways to release these emotions and replace them with new focus and goals and more importantly compassion; compassion for ourselves and for all humanity.

Feeling alone and unsupported is a trigger for me. Some days I feel desperately alone feeling the world and her pain. I feel emotions from within and coming at me from externally. It then triggers many irrational thoughts around letting people close, trusting, fears over the people I love leaving and feeling alone and separate in my family. The fears manifest in my body with anxiety and unrest and tummy issues and my head starts to go a million miles into the conflict of emotional feelings versus physical feelings. Words not related to the trigger but that I experienced from my past surface. It all becomes a bit of a mash. I push people further away, I forget my support team of spirit world that are there holding me safe. I doubt my capacity to help people and do what drives me in the world because I don’t feel strong enough. All triggered from my childhood and experiences through life and yet so so powerful that the best I can do is to continue growing from them and being better as a person.

Nature world fills my cup and heals me

It’s a slippery slope and yet the world around me thinks that I am strong….. hilarious really. Also I am highly aware of the tools that help me, the skills I have learnt to shift my focus, the powerful healing that surrounds me in Mother Nature. The strong man by my side believing in me. You see, I too scramble around in this mess of pain, because I must understand it to do the work that I do and understand you. If it was simple to just snap out of it all then I would have zero compassion.

I KNOW many big scary and overwhelming feelings and emotions because I have been there too. I understand more than anything how badly you want to feel seen, and heard, and safe and supported.

I get it that some days it all feels too much.

I also know that to shift focus into a better feeling space is possible; and to see yourself as the beautiful caring individual that you are is also possible.

You didn’t come here to stay stuck; you came here to emerge and fly………..

You aren’t mad, you aren’t daft and you aren’t selfish…..acknowledge the feelings and start to see your story as a journey towards something great and the greatness is in every step.

The story of your life…. you can write everything after chapter 1.


PS these words grabbed my attention this week; I think from A Note from the Universe!

Those who are needy of attention, Andrea, hide from themselves their greatness.

Those who are needy of opportunity, Andrea, hide from themselves their power to create.

And those who are needy of love, Andrea, hide from themselves what’s already there.