Have I mentioned that I love taking road trips?

At the end of September, I loaded up my car and headed for Minneapolis! My assistant and most excellent friend, Abby, came with me and we made several stops along the way. We had lunch with a friend in Abilene, spent the night with some other friends up in Kansas, and finally made it to our destination on Thursday.

I’m a noob!

This is the first conference I have attended of my professional organization; the Alliance of International Aromatherapists. I have been asked why I chose this organization. My answer?

I want to be a part of something bigger. God’s plans for me are unknown; if those plans include living in another part of the world I want to be prepared.

The values, mission, and vision of the organization and the opportunities for continuing education are top-notch!

As an Aromatherapist, I have felt completely alone in San Antonio. Most people I come into contact with do not understand what I do. I feel like I’m swimming against the stream of misinformation and it has been exhausting. I recently became the Central Region representative for the organization and have enjoyed pioneering my vision for this position. That vision centered around creating community among the region. As a result I orchestrated several opportunities for the regional members to connect throughout this conference season and it was fabulous to sit back and watch it all unfold.

Speakers, vendors, and friends! OH MY!

The conference itself was fantastic! The first full day we heard some amazing lectures on topics like

  • Aromatherapy in the Context of Holism; Homeostasis, Terrain, and the individual
  • Nourishing the Body; an Aroamtherapist’s Approach to Food and Herbs
  • A Conversation about Conservation; working together to protect and preserve aromatic medicinal plants (more on this in another post).

Day two and three focused more on Aromatherapy in a clinical setting, specifically how it is helping in oncology. Topics like pain management, wound care, using Aromatherapy in an Acute Care hospital setting, looking for non-drug options in care, Aromatherapy for Breast Cancer, and more.

I am telling you, this conference was off the chain! The organizers worked tirelessly to make it amazing and it was! The speakers were some of the most sought after in the industry: Amanda Lattin, the keynote speaker Jane BucklePeter HolmesJessie Hawkins, and more.

Also, the wellness expo was in full swing the whole weekend where I was able to meet some of the people whom I have been in contact with for quite a while but hadn’t connected with yet. Many essential oil distributors (Be Kind BotanicalsNatures Gift, and my friends from Korea- Latiff) were on hand letting attendees sample their products.

There were raffles to partake of, a silent auction, and AIA was holding a fundraiser to raise money for the artisan distiller essential oil producer support program.

Connection, connection, connection…

The best part of the conference, for me, was the connection. I met other regional representatives, other state representatives, other vendors, made new friends, solidified burgeoning friendships, and hopefully, I was an encouragement to all of them!

I cannot express how important it is to be an active member of an association that supports your career and/or business; one that provides educational opportunities and community. When you are a small business owner, one that fills a very definite niche, connection with others is paramount.

If you’re interested in learning more about any of the aforementioned topics, Aromatherapy in general, or the organization, please feel free to message me. I will be delighted to share more with you.