Galway – City of Tribes has The Vibe

Being a bit of a Nomad, I have free licence of where to call home. I was born in NYC, the Bronx to be exact . From the Bronx to the midlands of Ireland was more than a culture shock, it was a different planet!

Planets needed exploring so a time came and I took off to London, New York, Arizona, Dublin and finally Galway. With Galway, I fell in love, it has a vibe unique in itself. You see the beauty and it sucks you in, a city without harshness, it has the beauty of the sea and mountains, and on a clear day if you pick your spot, you can see all these natural beauties in a wide panoramic view. With Galway, you don’t have to choose, you have it all!

Galway is always alive, but during the summer it becomes a living heartbeat. The City breathes life back into each individual that is lucky to walk it’s streets. I love walking through the streets of Galway any time of the year. The Meyrick Hotel overlooks Eyre Square and is the oldest hotel in the City. The beautiful building pulls you in and with the addition of the new Gaslight Brassiere, it is almost impossible not to head in for a coffee & scone, lunch or dinner or just to sample one of their divine Strawberry Daiquiri’s. *sigh

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From there, I wander down towards Shop Street with it’s beautiful cobbled stones and Street Entertainers to make you pause on your way. McCambridges is a frequent stop of mine – a family owned Deli with Fine Foods to make your mouth water and their coffee is one of the best. Sitting outside and watching Shop Street come alive is one of my favourite early morning occasional treats. Also, there is nothing more amusing than watching an unaware person. Think of that, next time you are walking down a street .. There is always someone watching!!

On I go, if it was evening, the beautiful pub Neachtains, near the Spanish Arch would draw me and I might even bring in a bag of McDonaghs chips if I was hungry, the staff in Neachtains don’t mind and the mixture of salty, vinegar chips and a glass of Guinness is indescribable – I actually dream of it sometimes!

I end up at The Spanish Arch which stands on the Bank of the Corrib River, with it’s stone walls and sheer beauty against the water, it is it’s own type of gorgeous.

The River Corrib flows through Galway to Galway Bay. During the year, it is popular with local whitewater kayakers and is much used by several rowing clubs. But The Beauty that sails this river from May to September is The Corrib Princess. It is a luxurious all-weather 157 passenger boat, travelling along the River Corrib and onto Lough Corrib with spectacular views of Castles and various sites of both historical and cultural interest. The Corrib Princess also entertains with award winning Irish Dancing and The Best Irish Coffee, and why would you not induldge!

The meandering of The Corrib Princess down this river is so relaxing. I had the pleasure recently and I couldn’t stop taking pictures – the boat, the water, the banks and the sky was a cocktail and a little bit of Heaven.
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Many visitors over the summer sail on The Corrib Princess, the cruise is a highlight for many visitors who come to enjoy some of the best festivals that Galway has the pleasure of hosting. The Galway Film Fleadh, a six day international film event held every July welcomes a diversity of filmmaking from around the world. It shares the wonder of cinema between audiences and filmmakers and attracts directors, actors, cinematographers and various artists whereby everyone interconnects and shares their love, questions and opinions of the movies shown. This was my first year attending and I was blown away, I loved it – absolutely.

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Following quickly is The Galway International Arts Festival, Irelands largest Arts Festival from 14th to 27th July and collaborates with artists and companies throughout the world to produce and present an international programme of theatre, spectacle, dance, visual arts, music, literature and comedy involving hundreds of artists and performers. The Festival Big Top in the spectacular setting by the banks of the River Corrib can be seen whilst cruising on The Corrib Princess, adding to the excitement of all Galway has to offer. Singing and laughter, the beauty of Art and Artistic Expressions makes you live in the moment .. and feel!

Not breaking the festival momentum .. The Galway Races begins before anyone can take a breath and runs for seven days. It is the longest of all the race meets that occur in Ireland, with ‘Ladies Day’ being one of the main events and the ladies as good as any Catwalk Model sashaying the streets!  The Oyster Festivals will be next on the Galway circuit for all the Foodie Lovers!

Who hasn’t arrived to Galway to experience One or All of these amazing events, and enjoyed our fantastic Hotels, Restaurants, Pubs and Clubs. Our Walking Tours and Boat Cruises (Corrib Princess), our People and the Rugged Beauty of the Burren and Connemara.

I have adopted Galway as my own, when the song ‘Galway Girl’ plays, I am a little jealous that I cannot totally own it. So to all Galwegians born & bred, you have a Rocking City and I am so happy to have a place in it … there is nowhere else I would rather be!

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I am part of The Tribe!

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Sunlight & Shadows

I did the walk with Pieta House – Darkness into Light for the first time, last week. I wasn’t planning to do it, my Aunt died during the week after a relatively short fight against cancer. Family funerals leave you tired and drained but also strangely reminiscent because you meet up with people that you don’t see too often, memories are shared and love is expressed. The emptiness and loss is substituted with people enforcing their joy at seeing you – as funerals are prone to encourage, and that is a good thing, re-connecting and feeling the love is what life and living is about.

The Pieta House Darkness into Light walk was at 4am the next morning, and my daughter and I spontaneously decided to do it just hours before kick-off. I showed her pictures from Bondi, Australia and we were hooked! The symbolic message of ‘Darkness into Light’ is so powerful and emotional driven that it strikes the very centre of your being. It was amazing – from the moment we walked into the Leisureland Complex, the buzz was electric. Organisers busy handing out T-shirts and bottles of water and a band playing all the happy dance music … so uplifting … www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPUmE-tne5U (Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves) and www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Sxv-sUYtM – (Happy by Pharrell Williams). Such goodwill was being promoted and embraced within the hall.

The walk itself was, despite the cold, wet, harsh biting rain, still enjoyable, the vibe with everyone was upbeat and with candles lightening up some of the journey, you did not for one minute regret doing it. One could say that because of the weather conditions that morning, ‘Galway Supporters’ symbolised more strongly, the emotions people who suffer with depression have to battle every day.

And that brings me to a story from someone very dear to me. With her permission I am going to share her story with you …

Definition of Depression : severe, typically prolonged, feelings of despondency and dejection.

The only thing is, in her case – she didn’t wake up one morning and decide that she had depression. People who don’t suffer depression have no yardstick to measure how ‘low you can go’. John Watters very controversially stated that ‘There was no such thing as depression’ that it was ‘a cop out’. Like anything, unless you experience it, you can’t imagine it.

The analogy my friend made was that ‘Each Individual’ is built with foundations, some emotionally stronger than others, but nevertheless, if lightening strikes and hits any foundation in the right (or wrong place) then everything crumbles’. Everyone has a story she says, and when you get under the facade, that’s when you get to know the real person. The thing with suffering from depression is that on a lot of levels you make a concerted effort to hide it. The reasons are multitude – *you don’t want to bring people down, *Embarrassed that you are in a black hole, *Feel that society will judge you / label you. A range of motions for emotions leads to a way of thinking that can block a person getting help the right way and in time, to cope and grow.

For people who are living life in ‘the sunshine’ and dealing with life’s peaks and troughs as they come across them, are even more at risk of becoming engulfed. They are not expecting such a landslide – and because they are historically ‘Copers’, it is alien for them to seek out help in any shape or form.

My friend, who we will name Helen (for warrior), said that for her, it was gradual; she didn’t know she was in the thick of depression until she found it hard to function on any level. In her ‘sunshine life’ she had peaks and troughs and worked through them but then the catalyst that cracked her foundations was the day her son got badly hurt, he nearly lost a limb.

Through the hospital days that followed, she kept going, coping, pulling it together – stoic, and as time passed and she jumped one hurdle too many after another – she began pulling inside herself to cope. Mornings she could barely open her eyes, without the thought ‘Jesus, another day to get through’. At night, she lay down praying that it would all be okay. Then of course there was the emotional side – there wasn’t one. She felt nothing. Her kids would laugh and she would smile, not because she found anything funny but because that was what they expected from her. She would, when out driving by herself think about crashing hard and fast into a wall. She met with her friends, good friends, but wouldn’t tell them how she felt – she just saw them functioning normally and felt even more desolate and alone and embarrassed and like a failure.  

One morning she got up and found herself at the GP’s – and he was fantastic. She laid it all out and cried a river. She got help. It wasn’t overnight and it took time but gradually she felt a difference.

Her emotions came back. Whew, that was the biggest relief – To Feel. To watch her kids do something and laugh with them and feel it. She met with her friends and she was part of the process – not outside her own body looking in, dissecting how everyone else seemed normal apart from her. She still had times of panic, and dark days but the seasons were coming back into her life. There were still shady times but times of sunshine balanced it out and then the autumn feeling of not doing too great, but seeing the light in the distance was something – and then spring … the spring feeling of hope – that she would revert to something of her formal self was a gift waiting to be received.

Slowly and gradually it started to happen – knockbacks sure, but the support was there and that made a difference. Still she told nobody close to her how bad things had been, she kept focussed on going forward and when she was slipping back into the muddy pool, she knew who she could talk to professionally.

Today, she is a ‘Coper’ again. She is not without scars and she is not foolish to think her foundations can withstand anything. She looks at people in the street and she wonders what their story is, because everyone has one. She recognises people of negative or nasty disposition (because she came across them in her raw state and they were not kind) and she distances herself from them. That was a positive lesson to learn – surround yourself with people who are good for you.

Her prayers now are not said out of desperation, but with thanks for the normality that is her life and to say thanks for each day that brings some joy and laughter in it. Every night she ticks the box that ‘Today was a good day’.

She wishes more people; especially those who gave into the darkness would know that there are people at hand to help. Pieta House, The Samaritans, GPs … they are there, just take the step. The work that Pieta House does is phenomenal and all the Support Groups who bring Sunshine back into the Shadows of People’s Lives are miracle workers – they make people whole again.

As for me, the 5km walk from ‘Darkness into Light’ will become a family tradition. On a final note … remember, everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

Be kind.

Falconette x

BIZ PARTIES AND SCRIBBLES

Was quite a while since I attended a conference, of any kind. I remembered them to be pleasant affairs. Instant rapports built up, people open and welcoming. But the drum roll leading up to the #irishbizparty had the excitement building and I seriously felt I was going to a party ……. only it was in the morning … and without the cocktails.

We arrived at The Green Isle Hotel, registered our arrival and got our name tags. Displaying names meant we could greet everyone by their first name and have the actual illusion we knew each other longer than the second before making a connection. We had a right old time chatting and laughing, all buzzed up for the day ahead. ‘What’s your deal’, was quite a common punch line question of the day. The first person that asked me that, I was feeling a little unsure how to make my pitch.  I batted the ball back ‘You first’, and so I met LoveBuzzVibes.ie – that was a conversation breaker, look him up! After talking to the brave Paul, I wasn’t apprehensive by meeting anybody else!

The entertainment line up .. Sorry – the Guest Speakers were ‘Out on their Own’ … so motivated and inspirational. They all had unique stories and approaches, not only to their business but to how they evolved personally and by extension, how their business grew. Not all the stories were built on hardship or at times – raw fear, but the speakers that experienced this were a little bit more heart touching – and you could feel a thrill in the room that they had succeeded.

Samantha @tweetinggoddess, and ‘Goddess of Conference Organisation’ gave an account of how her idea came to fruition. It has become such a phenomenal networking tool and so many people I spoke with said they just pick up the phone to Samantha on a ‘low’ day or just to shoot the breeze and she is always on the other end, with a listening ear and an armful of encouragement. It was a pleasure to meet with Samantha in the ‘Real World’ and she is a gorgeous lady and her successes are well deserved. Rock On Tweeting Goddess!!

I’ll give a quick overview of what flying like a falcon thought as she swooped around …

Felicity McCarthy @sparkfelecity gave an insight into Twitter and Facebook, traffic usage and penetration (sounds naughty and nothing to do with LoveBuzzVibes.ie!). Annnyways – how to promote your business with these two social media frameworks and how to track and target the people you need, to grow your business with credibility and engagement. We know how engaging FB and Twitter is and the social element that comes with it. If managed correctly they can be so beneficial. Food for thought.

Simon Chapman @thequotefish – instantly engaging with his Australian accent and the Irish love story that brought him to our rainy windy shores. The Sharing Economy, Matchmaking Services and the ‘Feel Good Factor’ for helping and redirecting really touched us, the core emotion of human nature. Sharing, giving, helping all makes us feel better about ourselves and others. Simon increased the ‘feel good’ vibe and helped lay the foundation of positivity that enveloped the day.

Anita Whyte from dolledup.ie built up two completely different businesses and compared the difference between online and offline selling. Two different approaches but ultimately people based at the other end. People buy into people. It was interesting and eye opening, lateral thinking in motion.

Adrianna Mannix, @eat4life was a *Wow* for me.  She focussed on physical and psychological health. Mindfulness and meditation – attitude changing. Dismiss negative views from others and being resilient. Self belief, confidence and being comfortable with yourself. Being authentically ‘You’, and loving it. This lady was so engaging, full of logical engaging positive messages. I would invite her to be my BFF, because she has the exact qualities to cover the job. I’ll send her an invitation on twitter! Look her up, she will enhance your life – but remember I have first dibs at the BFF title!

Aine Bermingham from Utter Digital gave a great talk on Blogging. The barriers and using fresh ideas. Building relationships. Being aware of what you want to write and keeping the style conversational and to the point. Follow Aine, she has great tips and direction for keeping your material interesting.

Pat Kelly (Life Focus) gave an immediate visual of how to keep focus of the values in your life. Personal effectiveness was a topic that hit a core in me – Setting boundaries, protecting time and energy and having a sense of who you are and valuing that. It is so easy to give away your power to someone else, to someone who doesn’t deserve the energy you give them. In conversation at lunch, I heard a great name from one of the girls at my table .. Snollygoster. It’s the Snollygosters you need to watch out for! Results vs Reason … control your emotions and be empowered!

The grave yard shift was kicked off by Joanne Sweeney-Burke @JSMediabox, and by no means were we falling asleep. Joanne was on The Apprentice and showed us a clip of her time on the show. She was a strong contender and her strength and confidence showed on screen – she epitomized what Pat Kelly had just talked about. She held fast to her values, had boundaries and kept believing in herself. She had low points on the programme but that added to her character. Not only has she built up her own business, she has experienced her own personal tragedies and got through them – she is a true inspiration.

Finally, Jason O’Reilly from Pride Watches, he rocked the house! He had everyone laughing, on the verge of tears and clapping him on for his eventual success. I couldn’t even give you a synopsis of his story because I wouldn’t do it, or him justice. He was on dragons den for investment for his watches, you can watch it on Youtube. Jason, I am still laughing when I think of your story, not that it’s laughable, I actually want to cry but the delivery was unique. A bit like being tickled, you are laughing but you know it’s not funny seriously. So glad you reached the top of that mountain!

To say the #irishbizpartyinspires was a great day is an understatement. It was like no other conference I have attended and I can’t wait for the next one. I have taken away so much from the event, and made new friends. The three main points I hold close are :

*Courage            *Determination                *Positivity

If I moor myself to these words, it will be the foundation to build upon.

Thank you @tweetinggodess #irishbizparty and #irishbizpartyinspires … You have planted the seeds to grow us SMEs!

Very Best

Falconette

 

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Friemistry Chemistry

Observations of life and ‘people watching’ is one of my favourite things to do. In my opinion, most events and services stems from the interaction among people. The chemistry among people is invisible, yet emotionally tangible. Positive or negative chemistry is the bases on whether friends or frenemies are born.

Chemistry can be described in many ways ..the “invisible, unspoken and energetic” connection among some people. Or simply the ‘igniter’ – the catalyst for the relationship.

Close friendships have been proven to aid good health and when you are younger, friendships are formed easier. You have more time to give to people and mingle, your social life is ‘an actual reality’ rather than a distant memory or something you aspire to enjoying again in the future. Once on the ‘kid train’, the people you socialise with are not necessarily of your chemically chosen pool but the ‘crowd’ that are going the same circuit as you – school, sport, community activities. If you are very lucky (and thankfully I am), there will be a few tight Allies who, regardless of the ‘jail state’ of your circumstances, you would have been friends, had you met them anywhere else. ‘Jail State’ is an exaggeration, but one that will be familiar and easily understood by worn down whip-lashed parents. I’ve borrowed a word from the Japanese called ‘Kensokus’ – means family in Japanese and this term is inclusive to friends that become as close as family – where time or distance has no affect. The loving and the genuine affection is there forever. So if you want to understand the chemistry in friendships, just think of your ‘Kensokus’ and immediately you will feel like smiling and get that ‘warm loving feeling’ … that is chemistry among friends – Friemistry!

Freimistry is inclusive among cross gender friendships as well. I avoided saying among the opposite sex, because then all we do is think of *sex*. So shake your head, and concentrate! This is Blog 1 and I am hoping it will be an interactive blog, where you and I can share our stories for the love of procreating positive feelings and supporting one another. Seriously, I’m not ‘kidding’.  (pun intended) !!

Cross gender friendship .. the age old debate of whether it can or cannot be. I say it can! I have (in Kensoku terms), as many male friends as female friends.  I do realise friendships between men and women take on a different chemical vibe. Psychologists say the benefits of mixed gender friendships are tremendous, and multi-fold. Men get to share a certain intimacy that they can’t elsewhere, while women get undemanding companionship and a sense of playful camaraderie that they don’t get with their female friends. The chemistry is probably different, but thinking about it, each friendship you have with same-gender friends is different and your affection towards each one is measured differently also – this is where the debate can get confused. And let’s face it, showing off a good looking friend adds to your pride .. as quoted nicely by William Shakespeare “There is Flattery in Friendship”

‘Flying like a Falcon’ was formed to share Life Occurrences which is predominately people driven, which in turn is a whole pile of Chemistry and out of that mix we will have fun sharing the explosions and celebrating the highs. Daily, there can be irritants that can send you into orbit  and if you are feeling isolated it can have a whole other impact. Through *Flying like a Falcon  our aim is to prevent getting into a *Flaf (Flaff) about life or situations .. sharing is letting it go and looking at it in a more comical way.  Nobody is getting out of this life alive so lets not take the journey too seriously.

Lovely to connect with y’all.

Falconette