Time for Growing....Time for Learning...


I love this time of year, the mornings beginning to brighten, the birdsong getting louder. I’m full of new intentions for early morning walks and digging the garden. I’m ready for new experiences and new learning.


With new learning comes the Natural Family Health Conference I’m organising with Niamh O’Connell, ‘Urbanmama’. I met Niamh in September and we floated this idea of an event with speakers from different natural health fields. We are both mothers of young children and have spent the last number of years using natural remedies for the everyday sicknesses at home. We’re both interested in healthy nutrition and work in the area of natural health, supporting other parents who are determined to do the same. The idea for the conference came from looking at people we’ve been inspired by and a shared vision of getting them together in one place.


Last summer I read Stella O’Malley’s book ‘Cotton Wool Kids’ and found it inspiring and practical at the same time. I then bought ‘Bully Proof Kids’ and read it with a highlighter to hand. As a mother of two young kids I find her approach liberating and so helpful for building the confidence in myself to let my kids become more independent. Since reading her books, my kids aged 10 and 8, are walking home from school regularly, making their own snacks when they do get home (scrambled eggs, sandwiches etc.), clearing up afterwards, making their own school lunches and generally doing more jobs and growing more responsible and independent by the day. I needed that extra push to see the places where I was over-mothering and step back.


Niamh introduced me to Fiann O’Nuallain, botanist and author. We met to talk about his passion for natural plant remedies and everyday household cures. I could have listened to him talk all afternoon, notebook in hand. He is a veritable mine of valuable knowledge. I can’t wait to have the luxury of sitting and listening to him pour out tips and practical advice.


Then there’s Norah Finn, from here at Alethea. I’ve spent the last four years doing as many courses as I can with Norah. I’ve learned more than I can express here, on a personal and professional level. Norah specializes in Family Constellations work, which allows you to explore patterns of behaviour and relationships in the family, going back generations. It’s some of the most profoundly healing work I have done in my life and has benefitted myself, and my children in countless ways. Every time I listen to her speak I learn something new.


Michael Lawlor got in touch and came on board when he heard about what we were doing. He runs Monkstown Natural Health Clinic, a busy practice, using nutritional support and a special form of acupuncture designed for treating children. He ended up on a quest for natural health options and changing career when his young daughter was struggling with health problems. It shows how many of us come to these things in a search to make better choices for our children.


Dearbhla Reynolds I knew years ago before the launch of her fermentation business which I’ve followed avidly online. I am so impressed by her relaxed manner and easy to follow instructions for fermented foods, kefir and gut enhancing, bug-defending potions. She has so much information and practical advice for creating a super healthy diet with some basic tools.


Niamh and I decided to speak ourselves to share with each other and the rest of the audience how we are making the natural health journey with our own families. In my case I’ll be looking at how homeopathy can be helpful for so many families, the types of situations I come across in work and what we can do at home. Niamh has worked with many new mothers helping them devise self care programs for themselves and making natural healthy choices for their children so she will be sharing some of this knowledge with us all.


We are excited to have embarked on this journey, creating an event that brings these speakers together to explore how we can make healthy, natural choices for ourselves and for our children, who are, after all, the bright and not so distant future.