Census of the Heart

Census of the heart Dublinhomeopathy.ie PaulineO'Reilly

How do we feel?

What a brilliant idea the “Census of the Heart ” is !

This idea, a simple one at heart attempts to get to the heart of the matter on the emotional heart of Ireland as an nation. Looking beyond our age, nationality, sex or status , it asks us whats on the inside ? How do we really feel ?

This project was born out of an idea by Kathy Scott and Mari Kennedy from the farthinking Trailblazery team  noting that our  National Census only gave a brief overview of our lives on the outside, how we are feeling is left out of the picture.

The Census of the Heart attempts to give us another layer of the person and was conducted over a few weeks in April 2016.  It offered more choices in general when answering questions. In the question on gender it offered the choice of Male, Female and Other and people chose to write various answers in accordance to how they see themselves .

In the question on Sexuality the choices were “Heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, straight, asexual and other.”

Although not a completely accurate barometer of how the whole nation feels as only a small percentage of the population repsonded to the online participation. It is however a taste of how a portion of us feel and it’s getting us talking and at the least asking us how do we feel.  It is interesting  that of all 11,708 respondants the highest group to complete the survey were women and most were aged between 31 and 40 years of age .

This is the age-group  that took the time to respond and its no surprise to me that this is the group that decided to respond.  I am very familiar with this age group of women. Like the census of the Heart I would say Just over 70% of the people who  walk into  my homeopathic practice are women between the age of 31 and 45 . They are ready to talk ,they want to express how they feel and mostly they want to change some aspect of their lives.

These people are ready to open their hearts and are willing to explore their personal emotional landscape.

I witness this unfolding of emotions daily . Maybe some aspect of the self has been curtailed, they are not quite themselves since a disappointment, a disception, a miscarriage, a grief, loss of health and maybe are having difficulty moving onwards to a better emotional place . 

‘I might appear to be ok but actually the truth of it is I am struggling.’

Many are living lives overuled by what they think others think of them . They may look at themselves as though through the eyes of others. How do you see me ?

In the Census of the Heart positive emotions overall ranked higher than negative .The highest ranking negative emotion for all genders was a feeling of being ‘overwhelmed’ (30%) followed closely by ‘lonely and the highest ranking positive emotion was ‘grateful’.


In my Homeopathic practice the feeling of being overwhelmed is a daily topic . Looking beyond the word ‘overwhelmed’ and  ‘Stressed’ into what this means for people personally. This is what I hear.

People speak about feeling they should be achieving more in their life.

Feeling a pressure to perform to their best but feeling overwhelmed and undermotivated .

Feeling that their workload is never-ending ,doing the jobs of two people and how can I do a good job in this situation ?

Feeling the pressure to have a partner and a hopelessness that there is anyone out there that’s for them.

Feeling pressure to have a baby and that time is ticking and panic and anxiety setting in.

Feeling that their work / family life is unbalanced and neither are thriving .

Feeling pressure to keep the staus quo and not move out of their box for fear of upsetting anyone.

Feeling a stifling of emotions.

A Feeling of being  incomplete, frustrated with life and disappointed .

Feeling pressure to look beautiful/perfect , image conscious.

Self denegrating ..’it must be my fault’,  lack of self worth , low self esteem with negative attiitudes of themselves.

Yet there is enormous courage and a desire for change both emotionally and socially. 

“A striking feature of the qualitative responses is that over and over respondent’s statements reflect emotional states that are contradictory and dualistic. Most responses held both positive and negative states sometimes in the extreme.”  ( Findings of  The Census of the Heart)

This of course is not surprising as it one can feel lonely yet loved, overwhelmed yet grateful ..happy  and yet unhappy . I hear time and again words in my practice, ‘I feel so grateful for my family and our health but I am so overwhelmed by the constant treadmill of caring for them … where am I in all of this ?’  …..  

In the homeopathic consultation when I take a person’s case I am always on the look out for the duality in the case , I look for the opposing states in the person exactly as mentioned in the findings of the Census of the Heart ‘  statements that reflect emotional states that are contradictory and dualistic ‘.

We have two sides regardless that one may be on show a lot more than other. When I find the duality within the case I know I am on the right track and closer to finding the right remedy for the individual.For example these words come from the same person and reflect the duality within the person ,‘I cannot bear people looking at me…  I feel invisible to my family and in society in general..’ .The homeopathic remedy must contain both aspects of the person in order for it to work effectively and create positive changes.

When respondents to Census of the Heart were given the option of writing more detailed descriptions in  question 38 they often gave 50% more than what was required of them.

Q.38  We were inspired to make Census of the Heart to influence and shape our future history. Imagine someone is reading this in 2116. Tell them in 50 words or less what it really feels like to be alive in Irish society in 2016.

In their conclusion of the report…

” It could be surmised that there is a need to provide a platform such as Census of the Heart to ask deeper questions that relate to the human experience so that people can fully express themselves and their life choices.”

And here we come to the heart of the matter . 

There is a desire and movement towards  expressing  fully what our heart feels and what our heart desires when given the space to do so . One word in a census form does not adequately express how we feel or who we are. There is a need in us and a desire in us to express our emotions if we feel safe enough to do so.

If we’re given the opportunity and space to go deeper into our emotional landscape we will finally begin to get to the heart of the matter and change happens.

Its time to be  heard ! 

If you would like to share your story with me and get to the heart of what matters to you.

You can contact me here  for a homeopathic consultation in Morrison Chambers, 32 Nassau St, Dublin 2.  Skype Consultations are also available.

 or Call  Registered Homeopath Pauline O’Reilly @ 087 6297708

If you would like to read how others have experienced the benefits of  getting to the heart of the matter with a homeopathic consultation  see Testimonials .

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