I recently asked Life Coach and Poet Anne Tannam how she manages to balance her busy artistic and business life.
“The biggest difficulty is to use my time wisely whether in my artistic or business life. And the older I get, the less I see those lives as separate. Both lives complement and inform the other.
“ For example, as a poet, apart from the serious business of writing and developing my craft, I need also to network, to make strategic decisions regarding what workshops or festivals to attend, run or perform at, where to submit the work etc.
“Equally, in my business life, there is the day to day running of my practice, and all that entails, but the coaching process in and of itself, is a collaborative creative process which at its best, is an art form,” said Anne.
Anne who has lived in Dublin 12 all her life, has a background in teaching, and qualified as a Life Coach in 2009. In 2011 she left her teaching job and began working part-time as a strategic brand researcher for Brand Development company Islandbridge,
Anne is now taking more time to focus on her writing and building her coaching practice, and this year she will gain her Accredited Coaching Course (ACC) accreditation from the International Coaching Federation.
“I never thought to be a writer when I was growing up. I read but the idea that I could write literally never crossed my mind. Even in college, studying English, I always thought of writers as a breed apart.
“It was only after a good friend offered to coach me, as part of her training as a Life Coach, that I discovered this burning desire to write. Up to that point, I did not believe I could write, or that I’d have anything important to say.
“So the year I turned forty, I committed to turning-up for an hour every day to write, and that’s what I did. For one year, I got up early in the morning, turned on the computer and wrote. Slowly and tentatively at first, and then with more confidence as I found my voice,” added Anne.
Anne said she does find that her Life Coaching influences her poetry and vice versa, “The writing of poetry is all about deep listening: to oneself, to others, and to the world as it breathes in and out.
“At the heart of the core, coaching competencies is attentive listening. It’s often the silences between words that tell a deeper truth. The process of coaching and the process of writing require a slowing down, a willingness to be open, to lean into uncertainty, to trust what’s unfolding. At their heart, they are both expressions of a deeply lived life,” said Anne.
What drew Anne to Life Coaching was the simplicity and clarity of the process, she said people are wired for progress and coaching provides a solid framework to explore what people really want from life, she enjoys helping others set out, step by step ways to achieve their goals.
“When I turned-up to writing eleven years ago, I had no idea how my life would be transformed by the simple act of committing to a course of action, despite having no certainty about the outcome.
“The act of creating art through my poetry has brought immeasurable pleasure and satisfaction into my life. There’s the obvious satisfaction in having my work published and appreciated, but equally wonderful is finding a world-wide tribe of people who share the same passion for words.
“As a coach, I get to witness others finding their passion and purpose, in all areas of their lives, and that privilege is one I’ll never tire of,” added Anne.
Fáilte Ireland has developed a ‘Know Limerick’ Local Experts Programme, to support those involved in the tourism sector and the local community who welcome and engage with visitors to Limerick.
At the core of the programme will be a network of local people coming together to share their local knowledge in order to to help visitors make the most of their visit to Limerick.
The programme will also feature a number of annual events, social media initiatives, a Visitor Attractions pass and opportunities to network with other tourism businesses.
Visitor Engagement with Fáilte Ireland Niamh Mannion said, “Limerick’s historical buildings and towns, its stunning landscapes and world class sporting events and festivals are brought to life every day by the front line employees and volunteers.
“Visitors not only seek out local people and their advice, they trust it. This programme aims to build on the good work already happening on the ground and inspire all front line employees and volunteers to turn every visitor interaction into a truly informative and positive experience.”
The National Tourism Development Authority are calling on people who have B&B’s, work in hotels, restaurants, retail stores, taxi companies, or if you are active in your local community and are involved in any visitor-facing employment or are a local volunteer to attend.
The free event at Thomond Park will begin with a three hour interactive workshop on what there is to see and do in Limerick, and will take place on June 19 at 1pm, and 5.30pm and then on June 20 at 9.30am.
Fáilte Ireland is the national tourism development authority which was established in 2003 to guide and promote tourism for the Irish economy. According to Fáilte Ireland tourists spend €7.1 billion on tourism and hospitality, and there are an estimated 235,000 people employed in the industry.
To register for the workshop email firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow on Twitter @Fáilte_Ireland
Having endured back pain, headaches and discomfort from Scoliosis for most of my life, I recently jumped at an opportunity for innovative treatment.
Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curvature of the spine. I have found that staying mobile, walking, yoga and receiving Osteopathic treatment helps me manage the discomfort better.
Eoin Flynn who has been my Osteopath for a number of years, recently suggested that since I had whiplash trauma in my teens I would be a candidate for atlas alignment treatment.
The atlas treatment involves the use of two systems. Firstly, a scan with the FCE Scan Motion laboratory which creates a 3D image of the spine, pelvis, legs, feet and their function.
Then the treatment part of the therapy involves the use of a machine that creates a pulse and vibration to the top of the neck, it is not invasive, and does not involve spinal manipulations. Once the treatment is completed the scan is performed again, in order to compare the differences and to show the improvements in the biomechanics of the spine.
It was a fascinating experience. I stood in my bare feet on a walking machine and the scan was taken from behind me, then I had to walk to see how everything was moving. Then to see the image of my spine on a monitor and see the improvement after the treatment was incredible.
According to Head of Diagnostics Shane Hassett, the FCE Scan Motion laboratory operates by using anatomical landmarks of the spine and pelvis to recreate a 3D image of the spine and pelvis using technology that has been certified as being as accurate as an x-ray.
It was invented about 25 years ago by Helmut Diers, who at the time was working for Phillips developing MRI’s, when he met a professor who through his studies found higher levels of breast cancer in scoliotic patients due to the breast tissue absorbing radiation from continuous MRI scanning.
“It was from this research that Helmut decided to invent the current system, as he wanted to come up with a method to reduce the risk of cancer but still be able to produce the spinal information from the scan.
“From here, Helmut linked up with Wim Lambrechts, who was developing his own foot and gait analysis system. They decided to merge the two together which is now the 4D Motion lab that we have,” said Shane.
Shane who has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Science and a Masters of Science in Sports Performance said, “We can analyse how clients function when standing or moving which is a huge advantage as the majority of scans only assess the body in a static position. The system also assesses the feet and legs using specialised technology. With these functions, it can identify, but is not limited to, spinal position and degrees of scoliosis, pelvic position and movement, ankle stability and gait cycle parameters.
“As our system is radiation-free, clients with scoliosis can monitor the progression or regression of their scoliosis more regularly. We provide the client with an analysis of their degrees of scoliosis which is very beneficial for them and their treating practitioner or GP. We also provide a very efficient service without waiting lists, so you can be diagnosed quickly and early diagnosis improves prognosis.”
Shane said the system can be used by anyone who wishes to book an appointment. A wide range of patients have already availed of this service, including children and adults with scoliosis, people with recurrent back problems, ankylosing spondilosis, foot problems, back pain, shoulder pain, hip pain and many athletes have used it to help prevent injuries they have sustained and to improve their performance.
The Limerick company was formed by a group of professionals who are working in private health care, with the aim of providing state of the art diagnostic scans in the physical health care field. They decided to base the initial system in Arthurs Quay House in Limerick city because of the city’s technology base, the proximity of the University of Limerick and the city’s future development plan.
Shane said, “since opening we have seen great benefits as it provides local practitioners with fast, accurate and reliable diagnosis of their patients. This allows them to see a greater number of patients in their clinics each week and it’s a very simple way of monitoring progression following their treatment. To the clients themselves they can rest assured that the treatment protocols being administered to them are working, by comparative scans post treatment if they wish.
“The system analyses whole body biomechanics to accurately pin-point the source and monitor an injury. The method is also beneficial to assess function pre- and post-surgery. It produces accurate data and removes any guess work to provide a greater patient and practitioner experience,” added Shane.
Since having the scan and Atlas treatment, I have been waking up without headaches, I have less back pain and discomfort and parts of my body like my knees, where I always had pain have realigned, and I feel much better, though I still have to make sure I keep active.
For more information see below.
In 2016 following some life-changing decisions, my former classmate Marion Kiely became an entrepreneur when she established her innovative company Upstream.
Upstream is a Health and Safety consultancy with a difference, because it also focuses on employee well-being and on how to bring about positive changes to the way work is carried out within an organisation.
“Recently while in Amsterdam at a Health and Safety conference I was asked ‘I see you have well-being in your tagline, how do you incorporate that into your business?’.
“Ultimately, the goal of any health and safety management system should be to protect, and even promote, health in employees and others engaged with the business. This adds great value to the overall businesses we serve, and sparks innovation and engagement when embraced and supported by leadership teams within organisations,” said Marion.
Just four years ago, Marion had to take five months off work as she became sick, exhausted and burnt out due to working in excess of 60 hour weeks.
“I hit a right low in my life. I had to stop in order to recover. As someone who is usually very independent and doesn’t like to ask others for help, it forced me to reach out to family and friends, and seek their support to get through that very difficult time. I’m lucky to be here today if I’m to be totally honest, it really was a tough time.
“The whole episode led me to question everything about life. Why was I living where I was living? Why was I working where I was working? Why was I investing time in relationships that didn’t yield a good return? So many why’s. In hindsight, I’m thankful that I went through that difficult time, I see it as a wakeup call. As the saying goes, ‘the darkest night brings the brightest stars’,” added Marion.
Attending the Pendulum Summit in 2015 changed Marion’s life. “During a short meditation Dr Chopra asked us to tap into what our life purpose was, a resounding ‘to bring about positive change’ was what jumped out at me.”
Following on from this Marion took part in an online course with Pat Divilly called ‘Be Your Own Hero’, “that really brought my dreams into reality. It dawned on me at this time that were I to reach the end of my days, if I didn’t take the leap afforded to me now, I may well end up bitter and resentful for not having taken this opportunity. It became clear to me that I was more afraid of staying in my job of fifteen years and ending up that way than leaving and taking a gamble on the unknown.”
Prior to this Marion was a Behavioural Based Safety (BBS) facilitator at Pfizer pharmaceuticals. The seed of an idea for her business was planted when she was invited to present at conference for the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
“After the conference I received many enquiries from occupational health nurses wanting to know where they could avail of services to help them roll out a programme like ours. There was no service provider in Ireland that could deliver our approach. This got me to thinking that there was a market for such a service.
“It was something I felt I had to do. While I was half afraid to take the leap, leaving the security that came with having a permanent job, I knew deep down inside I wanted to make the move from corporate life to working for myself,” said Marion.
Since embarking on her new career Marion travels to clients, schools and universities delivering mental health and well-being talks, she also lectures in Middlesex University has been a guest lecturer in University College Cork (UCC).
Though she has a very busy lifestyle, she has learned from past experience and ensures she takes time out for meditation, walks, social events and she consciously prioritises meeting people daily.
“That was a steep learning curve I can tell you. The fact that I had burnout in the past is now standing to me. When I feel pressure coming on and the inclination to park the walks and meditations, that’s my trigger to refocus. It isn’t always easy, and sometimes I need to pick up the phone and get out and meet a friend and air whatever it is that is adding to my pressure. When you love what you do, it is hard to park it for a while and prioritise social events when busy. I have had to ban myself from reading scientific research and articles outside of my work time, as I found I was constantly at it and I was getting no down time.
“Letting go of perfectionism is something I have had to get comfortable with as well. I’m the type that can spend oodles of time perfecting something, when sometimes good enough has to do,” added Marion.
Marion has an MSc in Occupational Health from UCC, among many other qualifications and regularly travels to Holland and the UK for Master classes.
“Education is one of my core values, and I am constantly looking to learn from the latest research and trends that are out there. It is my belief that I’ll be learning until the day I leave this planet, there is so much to learn we can surely never know enough?”
On building her brand Marion took inspiration from her favourite quote, “‘Even dead fish go with the flow’. My brand shows resilience, going against the current, not just going with the flow for the sake of it. The thinking is that by tackling problems at source (upstream) we prevent them becoming even bigger problems downstream. It is very much in line with the upstream analogy in public health, which is centered on primary intervention.
“In my logo the fish symbolises the ‘Salmon of Knowledge’, a story from Irish mythology, and that represents my core value of education. The salmon also represents resilience by going upstream to spawn. The heart represents health, and it is at the centre of it all. Without health the rest falls asunder, and the colour and vibrancy goes. The ripple of water represents well-being and for me symbolises mindfulness. The logo in itself is about nature, an ever-evolving complex adaptive system, and that represents the view I believe we need to take of our organisations,” said Marion.
As for the future, Marion would like to make a real difference to the health and well-being of the nation, “ I foresee this happening by influencing those in a position of power to do what is ethically right, and prioritise the enforcement of legislation in the area of identifying psychosocial hazards within workplaces and putting preventative measures in place to limit the harm that may arise from them.
“I also envision Upstream being recognised as the go-to experts in the area of improving work efficiency by means of providing a top notch safety service based on the latest scientific theories and research, and practical implementation of same. Business leaders serious about becoming the best in their field, who want their employees to be innovative and engaged, will seek out our services and if they are willing to be challenged and have potential to flourish. To meet this demand I foresee the Upstream workforce expanding,” added Marion.
Niamh and Niall Hogan are innovative entrepreneurs who have made their love of cats and dogs into two successful business ventures, Cat Minders at Home and Brian’s Dog Grooming.
The couple’s first pet together was a ginger cat named Brian, who had a bad heart condition. After much care and attention from Hugh O’Callaghan at the Crescent Veterinary Clinic, the couple had to make the heartbreaking decision to put Brian to sleep, at just age seven.
“Brian’s Dog Grooming was named after my cat, he was my best buddy and he has been an inspiration for us having our businesses now. I thought it would be nice to keep his name alive,” said Niall.
A fully qualified dog groomer, Niall trained with Perros Sí in Almuñécar in Spain, an intensive course where they teach one student at a time. He set up his business in 2015 and since then, it has grown from strength to strength. As well as having his own grooming parlour in Dooradoyle, he will soon be working one day a week in the Crescent Veterinary Clinic in Castletroy.
“My only regret is that I never did dog grooming when I was younger. I Love working with the dogs, it’s very therapeutic. You start cutting a dogs hair, two hours just disappear and there is a nice sense of achievement out of it,” added Niall.
Niamh who is qualified in cat care and training, dog psychology and has a diploma as a Veterinary Support Assistant and is Garda vetted, started her Cat Minders at Home business in 2012.
“I started the business because I had been looking after family and friends cats and I thought, I quite enjoy this. And also, cats are different to dogs, they are very territorial. We had put cats into kennels before, and when they came out they just weren’t themselves, so I thought there must be something better than kennels, that’s why I started the business,” said Niamh.
Niamh loves playing with, cuddling and feeding her furry clients, and can use her cat psychology on the most timid of pets.
“Most cats relax straight away, I think they know if you are a cat person. With some really timid cats and it could take a couple of visits. I usually leave them come to me, and I talk calmly, in a gentle voice to them,” added Niamh.
Niamh’s cat and dog psychology come in very handy in their busy household, where the couple have 6 rescue animals, a Great Dane, Labrador cross, wire haired Terrier and 3 cats.
“It works because we both really love animals. It’s nice to be able to make a bit of money out of something that you really, really like to do,” added Niall.
www.catmindersathome.com 086 3717050
www.briansdoggrooming.com 086 3276735