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Michaela

Personal

CHILDHOOD
Michaela grew up in Denmark and Norway as the oldest of 6 children. She moved around a lot due to her father's job in the airforce. When she was 18 she went to France to live in the l'Arche community where she lived as a volunteer in La Petite Source, which was the home of 5 intellectually challenged women and 3 other volunteers. She loved the community life and work in the fields but felt there was something missing for her.

L'ARCHE COMMUNITIES
After a year she was offered to try out the l'Arche community in Haiti where she went to spend six weeks in Port-au-Prince in a little community taking care of rejected children in a very poor area of the city. Michaela had dreamed of living in the developing countries helping people who were less fortunate, but that all came to an end as the heat had an adverse affect on her health. She had also approached Mother Teresa in Calcutta who insisted that there was a greater need in Scandinavia due to the 'spiritual poverty' which she thought worse than material poverty. In fact, Michaela experienced a lot of happiness amongst the Haitians in spite of their poverty and lack of opportunity for education and work.

SEARCHING
At the age of 20 Michaela was back in Denmark working in a school for children with learning difficulties. She visited various communities and spent time praying for enlightenment as to where to commit herself as she for some years had felt that her calling was to live in a celibate community that was dedicated to living and sharing the awareness of a God of love and compassion rather than of punishment and self-righteousness.

AN IRISH COMMUNITY
It was then she met the Irish based community the Servants of Love that invited her to spend a year in Ireland getting to know the community life and work that they did. She found the discussions on positive thinking, facing up to personal inadequacies combined with manual work very inspiring. When the community moved to Roundstone in the West of Ireland she became involved with fishing, driving a JCB and dumpers in the process of building roads on the land and eventually in writing and acting, as the community became involved with the production of educational movies.

MOVING TO WICKLOW
In 1991 the Servants of Love moved to Wicklow where Michaela became more involved with the local community. She later on produced some Life-skill DVDs for Secondary Schools on Self-Confidence and Relationships which are used for discussion and education. She has a keen interest in promoting positive life-skills at an early age. She describes her teenage DVDs highlighting common sense that she wish she would have known as a teenager struggling to find her way.

SOCIAL CARE DEGREE
Recently Michaela finished an Applied Social Care Degree which she found very helpful in accessing new material and international research in the area of positive mental health and positive psychology. She believes that the individual has tremendous power to create a caring and happy life for themselves and others through positive psychology skills and meaningful engagement in something that challenges their personal development and connection with other people. She is currently pursuing a MSc in Applied Positive Psychology.

MASTER DEGREE IN POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
details to follow

Positive Mental Health Lecture in RDS 2009Pondering on my next projectThe Front Door of St Patrick's College in CarlowGraduation

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