22 May 2022

Derry woman who achieved the 'American Dream' reveals why she now wants to give something back to her home city

Cliona O'Hara to set up a mindfulness centre in Derry

Cliona O'Hara

Cliona O'Hara left Derry for the US when she was 18.

My distinct accent is a tell-tale sign that I have been on a journey from one land to another.

Born and raised in Derry until the age of 18, I always had a calling for adventure and opportunity, and it was at this stage in my life I took a huge leap of faith and went in chase of the 'American Dream'.

A little Irish girl lost in the big city of New York awaiting my immigration papers is where I learned so many life lessons and character building.

At the age of 27 I stumbled upon a movie 'The Secret' which would eventually change my life and my direction.

This movie for me was a 'beginning', an 'awakening' if you will.

I had opened my eyes to a whole new world of self-belief, ambitions and possibilities.

At the age of 29 I opened my first business which was a Health Care Call Centre.

Alongside this I worked for a healthcare administration business which was family run and set up by my mother in New York.

Whilst I found great business acumen and skillset in my work, it took its toll on me.

The corporate pace and stress fuelled environment was not my fit so I sold my shares in the family business and sold my own business.

This was an important and pivotal moment for me in my life where I would embark on a journey of self-discovery and promise.

From the beginning of life as I know it until now, I have never known fulfilment like being a mom.

Being wife to my husband, Dr Frank Dos Santos, and mother to our gorgeous and amazing children and brought me happiness like no other and for this I am eternally blessed and grateful.

The life we share together is precious and I value this every day.

There came a point for me personally, where I had reached that feeling of fulfilment and happiness and these feelings are what I embrace and evoke everyday in life.

Drawing on my previous experiences and knowledge of 'The Secret' as well as the process of life which had led me to this point, spurred me on to find my true passion in life. Helping others.

I thought, what if I can pass on these feelings that I’m feeling?

What if I can help others to feel joy, hope and happiness whatever their environment or circumstance?

So, in 2019, alongside my business partner Chiara I set up a company 'Joy In The Workplace' whose sole aim was to bring and implement productivity and joy into the workplace.

This was my fit.

The gratification and sense of fulfilment in helping others became a part of me.

I knew I could do this, loved doing it and I did not want to stop here.

I knew that feeling of being in a corporate environment and feeling stressed, overworked and unfulfilled and being able to approach and work with individuals and groups who were in the same position and offer them a road to productivity and happiness in their role was life changing.

I wanted to do more.

In the Secret; Bob Proctor was the clear definitive practitioner for me.

I got in touch with the Proctor Gallagher Institute and trained in becoming a PGI Consultant

The programmes set by Bob Proctor and Sandy Gallagher are some of the most effective and efficient I have ever seen and I was thrilled to become a part of it and be able to offer coaching to clients in both the U.S and Ireland.

I recently was promoted within this company to Senior Coach and Account Executive which now enables me to offer some of the most elite personal development programmes PGI has to offer.

Working alongside these esteemed colleagues has been a huge ambition of mine and I have learned so many invaluable skills and ideologies that I cannot wait to share with more and more clients whether personal or in a group setting.

As my journey to date describes, I have achieved some great things and I am still achieving and believing every day.

But there has been for quite some time, a feeling of wanting to offer something back home.

I often would hear stories in the news, and reports from my hometown Derry in Ireland of the suicide epidemic which has been playing on my mind for quite some time.

It is with such sadness and despair that I have felt the strong urge to help in some way.

Derry is such a beautiful town steeped in wonderful facts of history and monument but there is a huge cry for help and I simply cannot and will not ignore this.

In understanding these facts, I have purchased a building in the city and will be hosting mindset workshops for both adults and children in the near future.

It is never too early to implement positivity and to teach the importance of life and its value.

In addition to this my foundation for suicide prevention is well underway as I have been working constructively with a team of like minded professionals from the city in order to structure and further develop and implement this project which I know in my heart will instil a new light of positivity and hope for those going through tough times and needing some guidance.

My connection to Derry has been growing as of lately and I have found myself travelling back and forward trying to help in various ways.

Myself alongside Catrina Crilly (principal of Oakgrove College) have set up “Bee Me LTD” which is the first children’s personal development company of its kind.

We will be launching a child friendly app and host Bee Me Camps which will have a fun and friendly environment where children will learn about self-image, empowerment, positivity and how thoughts create things.

We’re excited about this project and cannot wait to see it develop.

My journey has come with its teachings, its blessings and its life changing moments and I for one would not change any of it.

I am at this point in my life where I am seeing my dreams come to reality.

I am helping others to see THEIR dreams and make them a reality.

My work is not work for me anymore, it is my passion and I feel incredibly lucky to wake up everyday to the life I have and to be able to share my teachings that will help my clients achieve the life they too want.

It is my pleasure and my honour.

The world is ours and we can think it into whatever we want it to be.

And together, we are making it happen.

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