I'm Niamh, mum to Fay and Luke, wife to Paul and a creative director of my own design company. I set up Designers Ink almost two decades ago and since then we have had good days, bad days, and those want-to-run-away days!
I have been lucky enough to have designed some well know brands such as Munster Rugby and Kildare GAA and went on to win national and international awards for some of those branding projects. This led me to restoring a 300-year-old building and turning it into an office, a project that became a labour of love that I undertook with my husband as the business expanded.
Each role has taught me important life lessons - but one invaluable lesson I have learned is that life is moving quickly and sometimes we all need to slow down. Recognizing the need to slow down is crucial. Learning how to is the hard part.
When I was 10 years old, I was diagnosed with Scoliosis - a curvature of the spine and I had to undergo two major back surgeries, one which involved two titanium rods being fused parallel to my spine. I never left this slow me down or deter me from living life to the full. However after further injuries in my life, I was encouraged by my excellent physical therapist to explore Pilates which was the start of me slowing down and learning to Breathe.
While Pilates was starting to work for me I faced a set back two years ago when I woke up one morning with a loud ringing in my ear. I was soon told by my doctor that I had tinnitus which should go after a few weeks once I took the medication the doctor prescribed - no biggie right? As the weeks went along with the tinnitus I also discovered that I was deaf in the same ear. I visited consultants, had hearing tests and MRI scans but received no answers. While ultimately it was a relief that this wasn't something serious I still felt slightly frustrated that I couldn't get an answer as to why I had this and why it wouldn't go away.
After one of my meetings with Deaf Hear, Limerick, it was suggested to me that I explore Mindfulness to see if it would help me manage both the tinnitus and deafness better. I had only heard about 'being mindful' through a friend once but other than that I had never tried it. I was normally too busy running here and there juggling the variety of roles between work, the kids, my pilates, physio, the house and everything that life throws at you. I hadn't taken the time to think about something else.
This is how my Mindfulness Journey began. It's funny as sometimes I really feel as if people come into our lives for a reason. I knew Donna Curtin personally for many years so when I heard that Donna was running a course called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programme (MBSR Programme) I knew that I had to give it a go and I can honestly say it is the best thing that I have ever done. The programme is run over 8 weeks and the impact it has had on me has been fantastic and thus had such a knock-on effect on my husband and kids. I can honestly say it has changed my life and under no circumstances am I exaggerating when I say it has also helped with my hearing as just one of the many things that Donna has taught me is how to embrace my tinnitus and my deafness.
Life is all about how we deal with things and that is how MoMe was born. I wanted to share some of the things I had learned with my family and friends, and with a creative mindset that wasn't used to slowing down easily, I realised that if like children we were taught to learn some of these quotes then they might just sink in if we take the time to appreciate them. I wanted to create straight forward messages that are tangible; that you can stick anywhere you think you will see them. I have one in the mirror in my bedroom, one on my dressing table, one as a bookmark in my favourite recipe book. Place one anywhere you think you will notice it.
I gave my MoMe cards a test drive with my family and the feedback was very positive and it means a lot to know MoMe is helping other people. It's amazing how we get caught up in all the complexities that life throws at us but if you look at a simple message every day like: "Don't be too hard on yourself, you're doing the best you can" just while you're drying your hair, you'd be surprised at just how fast it will start to sink in.
I hope you enjoy your MoMe Cards and that they help you get through moments for you each day like they've done for me.