Welcome to the Saturday edition of the Author Book Reading and Interview at the Cafe and today my guest is Brigid P. Gallagher. Brigid was born in Scotland but relocated to Ireland in 1999. Her career path took a different turn when she realised that she had a special gift for healing and this has led her into the fascinating field of alternative medicine as a practitioner and teacher.
Here is Brigid’s official biography.
My name is Brigid P. Gallagher – I have included the P (for Philomena) as there is another Brigid Gallagher writing out there!
I have a passion for gardening, and learning to slow down has been one of my major life lessons, hence the title of my blog “Watching the Daisies.” I have also written a memoir and self help book called “Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow.”
I was born on 8 March 1955 (International Women’s Day) in Stirling, Scotland, and aspired to becoming a doctor but God had other plans! The first thirty years of my life were (mostly) spent following my head, into a career in Life Assurance.
In 1985, I had a major wake up call, accompanied by the realisation that I had natural intuitive and healing gifts. Thus, I began to follow my heart into a new career in Natural Medicines.
Colour and Crystal Healing were my first new learning experiences, followed by full time study in Acupressure, Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Nutritional Medicine and Dr Bach Flower Essences.
In 1988, I set up a Natural Medicines practice in Edinburgh, and soon after began to facilitate a wide variety of self healing classes, which eventually included Stirling University Open Studies and Summer Schools.
In 1995, I gave birth to The Scottish School of Holistic Healing, which provided a two year professional training in hands on healing skills.
My thirst for knowledge continued with further studies in Electro – Crystal Healing, Radionics, Spaceclearing and finally Emotional Freedom Technique!
In 1999, I followed my heart once again, relocating to Donegal, Ireland – the home of my ancestors. Unfortunately, my health deteriorated suddenly in 2003, and much soul searching followed. After a two year hiatus, I retrained in Organic Horticulture, which led to teaching part time under Ireland’s “Heritage in Schools Scheme.”
I have recently retired from teaching and I now write full time.
In 2010, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and possibly rheumatoid arthritis was offered. My knowledge of Natural Medicines has allowed me to embrace a number of therapies and self healing tools to aid my well being.
My self healing journey has also inspired me to write my blog and my memoir.
About Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow
Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure.
In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on:
The busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease
Stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms
Entering a new life of SLOW
Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing and integrates a variety of self help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Carcassonne and Bali…
Brigid learns many insights about LIFE on her journey, the most valuable being:
“First learn to love thyself.”
One of the reviews for the book
A very enjoyable biography from Brigid, who experienced childhood tragedy in the loss of her young mother and went on to become one of the first champions of alternative healing in Scotland.
Her story takes her through her childhood in Kippen to the smorgasbord of natural therapies and healings in which she trained, through to her own serious health struggles with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. She finds healing in many travels and immerses herself in her love of gardening where she learns the joys of slow and “watching the daisies”.
Like “Eat, pray, love” Brigid’s is a spiritual journey, the insights from each chapter were lovely. I recommend this book to anyone who has struggled through poor health. The book carries a message of hope as Brigid perseveres with her search for both spiritual and physical healing
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Brigid-P-Gallagher/e/B01N8UCYYD
It is now time to ask Brigid some questions to discover more about her life and work and she is looking forward to answering yours too.. please leave in the comments.
Welcome Brigid and can you tell us about your blog and your main features. With a link to what you consider best sums you up as a blogger.
My blog is Watching the Daisies and I blog about:
- Natural medicines – Dr Bach Flower Essences, creative visualisation, healing baths…
- Gardening – I used to teach Organic Horticulture in schools and my garden was featured in the Donegal Garden Trail for 2012, 2013 and 2014.
- Walking – another great FREE natural therapy. Donegal was recently voted “The Coolest Place on the Planet” by National Geographic Traveller (UK), and I include LOTS of photographs of my homes rugged beauty.
- Gratitude in “52 Weeks of Thankfulness.”
- Travel – I love to explore new places,
- Small Steps Up Mountains – other peoples healing journeys…
Here is a post about Brigid’s garden that she has lovingly cultivated to be a showpiece for annual visits. The Healing Power of Gardening…
“There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.” Minnie Aumonier
I was given the keys to my current home back in September 2010 – an incredibly JOYful day!
The garden (seen above) was a blank canvas, and pretty soon I had a plan in place for a system of raised beds and gravel paths, a pond, several seating areas and a screen to camouflage my bins and oil tank.
I hate cutting grass, so my garden was designed to be grass free!
In 2007, I worked in the gardens of Glenveagh Castle as part of my Organic Horticulture work experience. I was very blessed to attend the launch of the Donegal Garden Trail, http://www.donegalgardentrail.com and I decided there and then, that one day I would have a garden in the trail too.
In July 2012, my wish came true and I opened my garden to the public for three summers in all – the proceeds going to my favourite animal charities.
Read the rest of the post and see the other transformational photographs: https://watchingthedaisies.com/2016/08/24/the-healing-power-of-gardening/
Which four famous guests would you ask to a dinner party and why?
I would invite Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy, for his charisma and his musical genius. Thin LIzzy are my favourite band of all time. I saw them live 7 times.
I would also invite Nelson Mandela whom I saw speak and dance, many years ago in George Square, Glasgow. I am a great admirer of his wisdom.
I love Meryl Streep and Mamma Mia is among my favourite films.
Finally, I would invite Dame Judy Dench for her wit and joie de vivre.
I think these guests would make it a fun dinner party with some joyful dancing, singing and good conversation.
What are your plans for 2017 for your books and blog?
My plans for 2017 are to get my book published in paperback form, and to find the best distributors. I plan to do book signings and talks to self help groups around the country. I will be posting less often on my blog as it now has a good foundation.
You trained in a number of healing therapies. Could you tell us more about E.F.T or Emotional Freedom Technique
E.F.T. or Emotional Freedom Technique, is a therapy sometimes referred to as “tapping”. I first saw it demonstrated on a TV show called “This Morning” many years ago, when someone with a severe phobia was shown how to tap gently on a number of acupuncture meridians, while repeating positive affirmations. These affirmations released the fears that were behind the phobia and allowed the client to leave it in the past.
Tapping helps me enormously, particularly with insomnia which plagued me for 7 long years, when I first succumbed to fibromyalgia.
Tapping is particularly useful for PTSD, and there are a number of FREE resources available online.
In relation to your own fibromyalgia.. Which of the alternative therapies have you found the most useful.
I was not diagnosed with Fibromyalgia until 7 years after its onset, thus I took a multi therapy approach in the early stages. Once I had a diagnosis, I found Herbal Medicine incredibly helpful, but it took around two years to really see the full benefits. I would also recommend Acupuncture and Kinesiology as well as E.F.T which all work to balance the Acupuncture meridians in the body, and in turn rebalance the emotions, mind and spirit.
You enjoy travelling around the world. Have you any trips planned that you can tell us more about?
I love to travel and I have visited many countries worldwide. I hope to return to Bali which I have visited twice. I am booked to visit Amsterdam this spring and look forward to seeing the famous Keukenhof Gardens and the flower markets – a joy for me and my camera. I anticipate taking LOTS of photographs.
Brigid is going to do a book reading from Watching the Daisies. Rome – March 2009
I had visited the Vatican gardens, Museums and St Peters Basilica the day before and returned the following day – 8 March, in the hope of a Papal birthday blessing in St Peters Square. However, I mistakenly entered the wrong queue…
I was ushered through to the front of St Peter’s, where I found a small space near a large pillar, among a group of other latecomers. I could see the choir to the left of the main altar, but little else. I looked for a better vantage point, and good luck prevailed. I could now view the celebrant, who was dressed completely in white. Is that the pope saying mass, I wondered? No, I thought, he doesn’t look like himself, for this man appeared thinner and somewhat severe. Besides, would the pope saying mass not be advertised!
It was time for Holy Communion, and I dutifully queued before the priest. He was now joined by a man in a suit, who looked like a member of Special Branch (I had witnessed SB before on my political jaunts – they all look alike, grim-faced and suited with don’t mess with me looks)
More ridiculous thoughts surfaced. Could this indeed be the pope?
I received communion and delighted in finding a vacant seat near the altar. Mass ended and I floated outside, in anticipation of my papal birthday blessing. I still wondered about the man in white, so spying two handsome young priests, I enquired of the celebrant’s credentials:
“Do you know if the pope said mass just now?” I enquired.
“Yes, I believe he did” was the unexpected reply.
I was shocked and more than a little overjoyed. I had actually received Holy Communion from the pope on my birthday!
Connect to Brigid.
My thanks to Brigid for joining us today and she will be delighted to answer any questions that you might have about her life and work.