5 lessons I learned from the Irish

by | Mar 11, 2013 | Mindset

By Barbara McNally, author of Unbridled

5 Lessons I learned from the Irish

Barbara McNally, author of Unbridled
Photo: Courtesy of Ms. McNally

Carma’s Note: When I saw this article, I knew I had to share it with you. Take note of the five important life lessons Barbara shares — they are key to having a successful book-based business!

5 lessons I learned from the Irish

By Barbara McNally, author of Unbridled

Ireland has always been in my blood. Growing up, I remember hearing stories about my Celtic Irish heritage, but the tales seemed like another world away. It wasn’t until I embarked on a life-changing trip to the land of my ancestors that I truly understood what it meant to be Irish.

Ireland changed my life — it’s where I learned to be free. After the death of my so-called ‘perfect marriage,’ I set out on a journey to rediscover myself. I realized that I knew very little about who I really was, and Ireland seemed like the perfect destination to find out. It was during this trip that I took my first steps to becoming the independent, confident, and passionate woman that I am today.

Every time I visit Ireland, I learn something new about the people, the culture, and myself. During my adventures on Irish soil, I’ve communed with Wiccan priestesses, danced with horseman, explored the passages of an ancient castle, and enjoyed a Guinness alongside strangers in a countryside pub.

The lessons learned along the way have been numerous, but here are a few of the most important ones that I carry with me every day:

  1. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Embrace freedom, individuality, and self-expression. Learn how to empower yourself, and don’t expect others to do it for you.
  2. Live life with passion. A good debate is almost as good as good sex.
  3. The past never dies. I’ve seen history come alive on my trips to Ireland, visiting sites like the National Famine Memorial, Saint Brigid’s Well, the graveyard in Aughavel, and the memorial of the fearless pirate queen of Ireland, Grace O’Malley. History truly makes up the tapestry of the country, and whispers of the past are everywhere. I learned that sometimes, all I needed to do was to listen.
  4. If you can laugh at yourself, you’ll never want for humor. Don’t take yourself so seriously, because no one else does.
  5. Live until you die Life is for living, after all. There truly is no greater joy than the adventure of discovering who you really are and living that life with purpose.

For the past twenty years, I’ve been Barbara Abel — the name I married into. Recently, I changed my last name to McNally, a very old family name. It suits me. It’s who I am, and who the Irish taught me to be. I never imagined that my divorce would empower me with the opportunity to rediscover myself. I thank Ireland for helping to show me the way.


Barbara McNally
About the Author
Barbara McNally is a mother, author and philanthropist living in San Diego, California. She is the founder of Mother, Lover, Fighter, Sage, a foundation inspired by her own journey and dedicated to providing women with opportunities for growth and self-discovery. Her new memoir, Unbridled, is set to be released later this month, and chronicles her journey from a stifled, predictable housewife to independent and joyous living. Visit her website at unbridledfreedom.com.


A few more things from Carma:

Taking risks is an important part of entrepreneurship and Authorpreneurship. Embrace it.

As an author-entrepreneur, you have to live your life with a passion…and that includes your business. Creative people wither without a passion for what they do.

Yes, your past “failures” may haunt you, but don’t let them stop you. Reframe them so that you are empowered by the lessons they revealed to you.

I know it is a cliche, but laughter really is the best medicine…especially for those days when you don’t love your business so much…those days that it rains (or snows) on your book big book-signing day so no one shows up but your mother, those days when you realize you made a spelling mistake on your order for 500 flyers, those days when things just don’t seem to go your way. Make sure you laugh, heartily, at least once a day! Things will turn around.

Embrace life in all that you do…home, work, whatever!


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