Local frontline worker contributes to new wellness book

Earlier this year, local woman Rose O'Connor was asked if she would contribute to a new book about wellness. The request came as a surprise, and she was reluctant at first.

"Initially, I thought no, but on reflection I felt it would be a worthwhile distraction to focus on writing a chapter, especially when I knew it would benefit others," she explained.

"At the time, the incidence of Covid-19 was beginning to rise in this country and there was a lot of uncertainty and fear around."

Originally from just outside Ferbane, and currently living in Moate, Rose works as nurse in Tullamore Hospital and is also a practitioner of Bowen Therapy.

She is now a co-author of the book, 'Awaken Your Wellbeing - Transformational Stories of Courage, Hope and Healing' which was launched at the beginning of this month.

All proceeds from the book's sales will go to the Galway Simon Community in an effort to help prevent homelessness.

"I love everything that this book stands for. I am one of fourteen co-authors who have gotten together to share our own stories," said Rose.

"We have written this book to help raise awareness of how, when things are tough, there is help out there. The book provides many tools and techniques to help people help themselves through challenging times."

The book was the brainchild of Galway woman Sharon Fitzmaurice, who enjoyed success with her first book - 'Someone Please Help Me, So I Did' - in 2018.

Sharon has known Rose for the last six years and approached her last March with the idea of contributing to 'Awaken Your Wellbeing'.

Rose was one of six children born to Peggy and Josie B. Keenan. Her mother was a national school principal and her father was a farmer.

"Sadly, they are both deceased now, and are with my sister Tessie in Heaven. I would like to think that they all had their part to play in supporting me as I wrote this, and that they are very proud of me for being part of something so wonderful," said Rose.

Her chapter in the book is called 'Thank You For The Gift' and is about her involvement with Bowen Therapy, which is a holistic approach to improving health and wellbeing.

"In my chapter I tell my own story, which I haven’t shared before now. I talk about Bowen Therapy, what it is, how it works, what it treats, and how it has benefited people over the years in my practice.

"In this chapter, I also discuss what to expect during and after a Bowen session. I have included some testimonials from people whose lives have been changed for the better with Bowen Therapy."

Rose said the pandemic has made this a hugely challenging year for frontline workers such as herself and her colleagues in Tullamore Hospital.

"The last seven months have been very traumatic for all of us, mentally, physically and emotionally. As frontline staff, we never thought we'd be working in the middle of a pandemic.

"It has been a tremendously difficult year, and it continues to be. We would ask people to respect the frontline workers by following the rules. We are all in this together, and it is in our hands. Do what you have to do. It is very real."

Rose wanted to thank her family and friends for their support. A mother of three teenage children, she is married to Owen. Their eldest daughter, Hannah, recently started college in Queen Margaret University in Scotland, where she is studying speech and language therapy.

Their son, Owen Jr, is in his Leaving Cert year while Ellen, the youngest of the family, is in Transition Year.

* 'Awaken Your Wellbeing - Transformational Stories of Courage, Hope and Healing' by fourteen authors, including Rose O'Connor, is out now and can be ordered from Amazon in kindle, paperback or hardback format. It can also be ordered from Irish businesses - Charlie Byrne's and Kenny's bookshops in Galway - or from Sharon Fitzmaurice's website: sharonfitzmauricemindfulness.com

Alternatively, the book can be purchased from Rose in Moate, and she can be contacted at 086 4187436.

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