This Thursday, we are hosting the amazing ‘natural rebel’ April Danann at Positive Nights, for a revolutionary talk on climate change, ascension and shifting our consciousness. We are marking the occasion by sharing this short but beautiful piece she wrote on the nature of love, which appeared in our Winter 2019/20 issue. To read the full magazine, pick up a copy or subscribe.
short & sweet
By Alison McEvoy
I began seeking out a healthier lifestyle in my early teens. Reheated stew was my weekly fare and my family relied way too heavily on canned and frozen food that I just couldn’t stomach anymore. Almost overnight, at fourteen years, it dawned on me that I had the power to choose.
Much to the consternation of my family, I turned vegetarian, began a yoga practice that has stayed with me through thick and thin for the past seventeen years and decided to go organic – venturing into what health stores I could find and pestering my father (which he secretly loved) to drive me out to farmers’ markets on Saturday mornings. It was on my travels back in 2005 that I first came across Ayurveda. The word mysteriously hung in the air when I spoke it to myself, beckoning me into deeper discovery. In 2016, eleven years and much googling later, I joined the first Ayurvedic Studies Diploma being taught in Ireland.
The intelligence and simplicity of Ayurvedic knowledge feels like home. It gives me a world-and-health-view that I can feel the truth of. The more I learn, the more appreciation and gratitude I experience, for the perfect potential harmony that exists between Mother Nature and her human child. It is amazing to learn how the food and herbs provided by the natural world are so attuned to our body’s requirements and needs, and about how to come back into rhythm with our body’s nature which is itself a part of Nature as a whole. The journey continues as we delve into year two…. wish me luck!
By Orla Bass
James French is the founder of the Trust Technique, a simple technique derived from the understandings of Animal Communication and Reiki healing, that he and his partner Shelley teach to animal owners and rescue centres around the world. James’ dream is that all humans learn to treat animals with mindful regard, using trust rather than fear as their point of connection.
The Trust Technique recognises that animals and humans share feelings, and is based on the belief that through mindful interaction, anyone can learn the simple skill set to communicate with their animal and create a peaceful, confident and trustful relationship. James’ connection with animals began at an early age. He admits he was incredibly fortunate to have had a challenging childhood. His family experienced a lot of pain and upset. However, for James, this meant that he discovered a healing connection with the animals that surrounded him on the family farm. These animals were his lifeline, supporting him during those turbulent times. He now believes that the Trust Technique was first shown to him by the compassionate support of the animals through these childhood connections.
Our emotions impact theirs, and their behavioural issues can result from a lack of understanding of their needs. The Trust Technique is about teaching people to help their animal. For James, “you can’t just go and mend an animal. If you don’t change the environment, the animal will revert to its old behaviour.” They have a saying that “sensitivities never leave but they can be transformed.” Through mindful regard and unconditional love even the most troubled soul – animal or human – can find solace.
By Aisling Cronin
Kevin Griffin’s therapeutic journey began under the guidance of his brother Tom, and explores the unconscious mind’s role in creating blockages within our lives and our bodies. Now, both brothers practice bio-energy and a special healing technique called Hidden Mind: Tom in Mayo, and Kevin in Dublin.
Kevin explains that a new client will typically attend four sessions with him, to address imbalances within four different areas of their life: physical, emotional, nutritional, and energetic. He says, “The energy field holds a picture of our optimal state of health. For example, your subconscious mind knows what your liver’s 100% functional state should be, or whether you are impacted by trauma, and the Hidden Mind technique involves using a dowser to access the client’s subconscious.” The therapy incorporates both touch and non-touch hand techniques (to manipulate blockages in a client’s energy field).
After the sessions, clients are provided with corrective sounds and affirmations to help them maintain equilibrium. One client says that the Hidden Mind therapy completely changed her life and the lives of her family members. “One of my sons, aged four, has always been prone to aggression, and we tried everything to help him,” she explains. “When we took him to Kevin, he discovered that a bone in his head was out of place, and fixed it without even needing to touch him. After that, my son became very calm. His teacher remarked that he was a completely changed child!”
By Orla Bass
Kim Lee’s holistic journey began in the 1990s with the birth of her youngest son. He spent the first few years of his life constantly ill, depleted, and on antibiotics. Deciding there must be a better way to help him, Kim began researching alternatives. Her wake up call came when she stumbled across a book by Harvey Diamond, which explained how certain foods create an inflammatory response in the body. Through trial and error, she discovered that her baby suffered from dairy intolerance. Her son’s dramatic transformation from ill health to vitality was enough evidence for Kim to begin her studies in the field of nutrition and health.
Currently a master medical herbalist with a background in nutrition and living foods, Kim practices from her own health food store, Nature’s Cure, in Skerries. She believes that setting up in Skerries was so easy, it was meant to be, and is grateful for the incredible loyalty of her customers. Her core philosophy is simple: “Let your body do the talking, as no one knows how you feel better than you.” Kim has noticed that in the last five years, Irish people have become more and more conscious of their health, and are beginning to embrace healthy choices that work for them. She maintains that good health is about listening to your body and taking control of how you feel by putting balance back into your life, through a holistic approach.
By Orla Bass
Very few of us would make the association between illness and our teeth, but one man who does is holistic dentist David Hefferon. Based in Dundrum Dental Surgery, David has been practising holistic dentistry for nearly thirty years. He believes there can be a direct correlation between our overall health and wellbeing and the health of our mouths. Bite, posture, breathing, gum disease, or toxic exposure due to leaky mercury fillings can all affect us.
David emphasises that individual patients’ results can vary, and there are no guarantees of improvement. However, several patients have reported dramatic improvements. This includes one woman who can now climb stairs unaided after years of reduced mobility. On her last visit, she reported, “I just feel amazing.”
David’s journey began via the conventional route of dental training. After initially working in Northern Ireland, he moved on to private practices in Germany, London, and Sydney, where he nurtured his interest in a more holistic way of dental care. He travelled around the world educating himself about the human body and learning more about the connection between oral health and general health. He believes in looking at the body as a whole, not simply a set of teeth. He now works alongside other holistic practitioners such as acupuncturists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and nutritionists, in order to help his clients maintain optimal health. He is the only dentist in Ireland to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.
By Louise Kleu McEvoy
When I began my Lomi Lomi journey seventeen years ago in South Africa, I didn’t imagine I would go on to be a teacher and I certainly didn’t imagine it would lead me to establishing a Hawaiian massage training centre in the southwest of Ireland.
Through the twists and turns of my life, it has never ceased to amaze me how sometimes, despite all efforts, things do not turn out the way we planned; and yet at other times, we are gifted something extraordinary that we never believed we could possibly create or achieve. This is part of the magic that becomes our story. It reminds me of the Hawaiian principle Pono, that effectiveness is the measure of truth. When you are “in alignment” with your thoughts, words and deeds, then your truth can manifest in your life. Aloha House is not just a centre for Hawaiian healing – it is a space open for all lightwork, a space for classes, workshops and retreats. Aloha means “unity, harmony, togetherness, interconnectedness, the joyful sharing of life energy in the present moment.”
We chose this name to represent our intention to cherish community, open-heartedness, compassion and friendship. I’m so grateful to the guardians of this land who have opened up a space for me to truly anchor myself here, to create roots for my family and share my vision of perpetuating the spirit of Aloha here in Ireland. Mahalo nui loa! Go raibh mhaith agat!
By Rebecca Campbell
Do not let the energy of these times cause you to flee or freeze. This is the time for action. Do not stay in the frequency of overwhelm. Use the energy. Let your mind and body be moved.
If you are angry, ask yourself what you can do. Rage, frustration, disillusionment, grief, fear, despair: all of these emotions have the potential to be transmuted into something positive. Passion is so often anger turned into action. Anger transformed into something good. Rise up. Stand up. Act up. Just move your body. You don’t need to want to save the planet to transform energy into something positive.
Use it whichever way you like. It is these times that the most beautiful and moving art is created. It is in these times that quantum leaps are made possible. It is in these times that we can cause a shift in the critical mass. Let the times we are living in move you into action. It does not matter which action you choose. Whether you protest, paint, love or activate. Whether you write or declutter or dance or speak. All that matters is that you do choose something. Choose to use all of this energy, this fear, this aggression, this sadness and this complacency for good. We are the creators of this new world. We are in the crucible of the fire. We can use the heat. We can transmute it into something good. If we all do this, the shift that is possible is beyond comprehension.
By Paul Congdon
Break those busy patterns. As the old saying goes, ‘if you are too busy to meditate, that’s when you really need to meditate’. After a rest, you return to your tasks with a clearer mind. You get a lot more done and your brain is in much better shape when it’s had a break.
Nap, walk in nature, try Gravity, you name it. Busy has had its day. Rest is the new buzzword.
With this in mind, I head to Creacon Lodge in Wexford, a stone’s throw from Dublin by car. It’s a holistic centre with a unique vibe, founded by Derek O’Neill.
I was welcomed with a lovely raw juice, and listened to Derek tell his story of how he set up this wonderful sanctuary. It reminds me of the Tao Garden, in Thailand. A little piece of Thailand in Wexford! Go figure.
There is a very pleasant sense of peace that pervades the centre from the meditation hall to its quirky library bar (no drinks, only books).
Creacon Lodge has got something for everybody, from mindfulness classes, to a range of body treatments including acupuncture, deep tissue massage, there’s something here for all your needs. They’ll leave you relaxed and ready to get back in the groove. There’s a ‘heart energy’ here, plus for those who like their comforts, the rooms are really lovely. Remember to keep taking those mini-breaks. They work. And if you start here, you’re on to a winner.
Meet and Eat Without the Meat
At long last the amazing talent of Sova Vegan Butcher has found its forever home in Dublin City. Since opening this restaurant on Pleasants Street, our dining experiences at Sova have been above and beyond ‘pleasant’.
With a selection of three starters, we first sampled the king scallops with beurre blanc sauce on dill potato cakes which was an elegant mix of textures. We recommend starting with the refreshing watermelon and zucchini tartare. This comes with coconut polenta, tarragon balsamic and an avocado mousse which is to die for! There is an unbelievable variety of main course options but our top recommendations will have to go to the chia burger and seitan steak, neither of which could possibly leave you in want of anything more. The burger with red onion marmalade and jalapeño mayo is a filling and flavoursome unique twist on a classic. The scandalously smokey steak is partnered with a hearty potato gratin. No matter what you order, it will surely be paired with exquisite sauces and salad.
For dessert, you will have the choice of raspberry cheesecake and, our personal favourite, coconut panna cotta. This sweet note ends the meal beautifully. For any vegans living in Dublin, you certainly won’t be disappointed with this three-course experience in a charming new location. For those looking to try something new, you’ll simply have to try this menu to believe it.