Embodied Presence


Embodied Presence 4


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A year long focus in compassion positivity & resilience
Dublin 2017-18

embodied brain/embodied presence
a year long focus in
compassion positivity & resilience
with Caitríona Nic Ghiollaphádraig

Price: €1,075. Deposit to secure a place is €200. €125 payment at each module.

To book please go to our Bookings page



“It’s hard to put into words how the Embodied Presence course has changed my life.  Caitríona’s presence and teaching, in a gentle and profound way, using movement, music and dance, has helped me to understand and change my fundamental beliefs and ways of being in the world, to become more joyful and authentic, to have compassion for myself and others, to live my life more fully, and to appreciate the science behind our human potential for growth and change. There’s no going back :)”   B


“I loved every minute of this course. It was so well designed and paced, informative, experiential and resourcing. Caitriona creates an environment which is spacious, warm, easeful – in fact I’m not sure I’ve ever taken a workshop where I’ve found it so easy to stay present and involved and taken away so much She created a group which was supportive, compassionate and real – and fun! Caitríona has a rare skill as a teacher in being able to keep a confident and authoritative hold on the group without separating herself. Her kindness from the very start of the group helped me through a very challenging part of my life.”   N


“I feel grateful for this opportunity to discover my inner voice. Before the course my soundtrack was not more than whaling sounds and burps. It took courage, compassion for the inner child and a lot of self compassion to hear the soft whisper of my inner voice. The instructions during the course guided me step by step on this journey.  The sharing in small groups helped me to keep in focus and to contemplate with kindness. Every module contributed to this integrative journey through the sea of possibility.”   C


“My experience of Embodied Presence – I am delighted to have had the opportunity of participating in these ongoing workshops.  For me it has brought together movement/dance practice, working with different forms of meditative practice opportunities for self-reflection within small circles of participants and teaching on the latest contributions and knowledge from neuroscience research into the brain/mind and body.  It has been very helpful in highlighting and working with some old embodied patterns and habits, offering tools for changing these over time – practicing new possible patterns and habits.  All this, within a safe and supportive working environment and contact with a small group of other participants between modules.   It is opening up the potential for creating a new and different path in life.  I can see it is always possible to try out new and more positive ways to act move and view life rather than be blindly guided by the old patterns and to choose a more loving and compassionate approach to self and to others.”   M



Dear Caitriona,

The title of the course “Embodied Presence” drew me. I knew there was more to me that I wasn’t accessing. I could feel thrown into disarray very easily – a seemingly solid place and sense of me could crumble and I’d be scrambling to find some foothold. This could happen with a certain look from somebody or not being looked at, a conversation or a lack of conversation,  a row, a meeting where I said something (or didn’t say anything) group gatherings, family gatherings; outing myself or being ‘outed’ and…….. the list could go on and on!! The common piece in all of these would be falling into that sense of there being something wrong with me. That’s where I’d always end up and it was a hard and cold place where I could feel very shut off and shut everybody out.  I think I may have named something of this in the application and it became clear very early on in the embodied presence course that this was the habit I could work with. This was something I really wanted to change and I thought that ‘really wanting’ change in this was a pretty good starting point. Actually in hindsight it was perhaps the key.

Getting to know the habit in my body was an extraordinary experience! This could never have happened without the precise and encouraging guidance from you Caitriona AND your willingness to be so transparent. “Just like me” was a thread running throughout the entire year that encouraged and brought the hope that I needed, to commit to the ‘habit challenge’! The awareness of MY part in it was such a revelation – the ‘holding on’ to old ways of being and feeling, not because I necessarily wanted that for myself, but because it was habitual and out of my awareness. I felt deeply that I didn’t want to do this to myself anymore. The embodied awareness of shame & constriction, followed by the invitation to make contact and both offer and allow contact with others through the dance was powerful.

Moving between the habit and the embodiment of an alternative – courage, confidence, kindness etc, both opened the door to grief AND new possibilities. The homework that followed the weekends always supported the learning – creating a physical representation of the habit to let go of; The reminder/invitation to mindfully change how I was physically holding myself, or introduce something new/different into how I was thinking. It invited me to expand my experience of myself and my day.

The questions – who/what inspired you? What made you happy? When did you feel balanced and well? – As I practiced these I found myself becoming more mindful of these experiences as they happened throughout my day.

The year’s work culminated on the most recent weekend in something sublime – the actual contacting through the inner child work, a part of myself I felt such an authentic and profound fondness for. I felt deep grief once again, followed by the experience of standing firmly in my own corner with self compassion and really WANTING this for myself. The loving kindness meditation built on that embodied experience of compassion/self compassion. And I now have this as a real experience that I can go back to! It’s hard to put it into words – I still feel sort of surprised that I could and can do this.  I continue to be able to feel it:- When I bring mindful attention to what’s happening in me and ask the question ‘how can I bring self compassion to this?’; When I enter a loving kindness meditation; when I use the little movement I used in the inner child meditation on the last Sunday, where I gently stroked my little chubby hands and realised that actually a stroke of my hand, cheek or just noticing my own touch, soothes; when I bring to mind the vivid image of that little me, and can return initially to the edge of warmth. As I stay with this edge, I begin to feel the smile grow on my face and the warmth towards myself beginning to fill me up. I have NEVER felt that before and I’m a long time on this inner journey!

Since that weekend and yesterday something happened that could have triggered a spiral into shame. It didn’t, because I made the choice for it not to! It took a while to soothe myself. Bringing self compassion to each step of the return to centre, required putting in the effort to self soothe and again &again asking the question “how can I bring self compassion to this?” But the difference was that I wanted to put in the effort! I now know the reward for the effort – a warmth and tenderness in myself and for myself that I now have an embodied experience of, know is possible and want back. I also can feel the impact this has on how I feel in relationship to others – it opens me up to BEING in relationship with others and life rather than hiding from it – Expanding rather than constricting.  There is a choice – I have a choice!

So THANKYOU for facilitating the journey to this new place that I now have it in me. I also have the tools to get there. What an extraordinary and precious gift to have been given by you! You have a great gift Caitriona and I feel lucky to have been at a place of readiness in myself, to receive what you offer on this Embodied Presence experience.

Safety grew Caitriona, as I saw how you structured each module with skill and precision. I clearly saw you had an experiential knowing of what you were teaching and facilitating.  I experienced the holding that you, Carla and Colette could offer and began to trust this more and more. I saw and felt the safety building in the group and trusted that too. There was nothing to fear outside of myself – the threat came from inside. I began to see and feel that as a reality – the inner terrorist! That inner terrorist is still there AND NOW so too are the tools to disarm it in a compassionate way. As I continue to practice this, it will grow to become the new habit.  The best part is I actually believe this now. AND I now really get the piece of knitting!

The structured teaching in the lectures was fascinating, but my favourite was the incidental and spontaneous teaching throughout each day, arising from a thought or idea of yours that fitted perfectly into the theme or the moment and ALWAYS felt like it was just what I needed to hear!  The structure of the weekends and the progression into depth  through movement & bodywork, inner child work, processing/contact through the dance and time for stillness and integration was in my experience both healing AND AWESOME! That’s not an ego stroke, it’s just the truth. Before every weekend I felt such resistance to turning up. My body just didn’t want to go there, my thoughts “too tired, too busy, I need a weekend off, I don’t want to go”………. always played around for the few days before each weekend. This I know to have been just a resistance to going into those depths that each weekend would very gently guide me, despite myself! Because it wasn’t easy!!!! Would I do it again though…Yes yes yes! 

Short Afterthought! :  I’m also feeling fierce proud of myself Caitriona for the work that I put in during the year, for the commitment to change AND finding my way with your guidance into that safe internal space – I came home to myself!!