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Welcome to the Pause Blog which features strategies for boosting energy, fueling enthusiasm, inspiring insight, rekindling spirit – and my reflections on life in general.

PAUSE – 17.08 – Appreciating What Shows Up In Your World

April 19, 2017

Reflection: The last two weeks have delivered quite an eventful ride here at the OK Corral.

Health issues landed me in the ER for eight hours and hospital for a couple of days. I’ve been tested, scanned and scoped with no specific diagnosis other than the possibility of a virus. However, I am feeling better and back to functioning once more.

My 91-year-old father moved from their home (where Mom with nursing support had been looking after him) into palliative care. He passed away after a week of further decline concluding with three days of around the clock bedside support from members of our family. A celebration of his life, funeral service, and burial were held last Thursday.

My husband, Dave, is retiring from his work with the Government of Saskatchewan on the very day this message is published. Over Easter weekend, we marked the occasion with a family dinner and a Friends And Family coffee party – both planned by our two daughters. Dave is looking forward to the freedom of his future days; and I am happy for him.

However, since my business office is also at home and I’m accustomed to having the space all to myself, I’m just a tad apprehensive about being together all day long. (more…)

PAUSE – 17.07 – Stretching Can Be Good For What Ails You

April 5, 2017

Reflection: How excited are you and your colleagues about your career and your work? And what fuels that sense of engagement?

These are the questions I’ve been asking LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses) as I prepare to speak at their upcoming provincial conference.

  • Here are some of the practices they described:
  • Paying attention to the good they are doing
  • Actively mentoring new nurses – in both the technical skills and the ins and outs of professionalism
  • Taking advantage of symposiums and upgrading events to keep up with new practices
  • Arranging to work alongside knowledgeable colleagues who are skilled at sharing what they know
  • Volunteering for assignments that stretch their skills
  • Taking on admin and leadership tasks to test their abilities in new areas
  • Thinking beyond the status quo and proposing changes that would improve service to patients and clients
  • Saying yes to opportunities to serve the professional association

(more…)

PAUSE – 17.06 – Is Busy The New Rich And Famous?

March 22, 2017

Reflection: What do you think? Is a crazy busy life with no time to spare the new status symbol in North America?

Sadly enough, that just may be the case! Several recent pieces of research found that we now admire and hold in higher esteem those who present themselves as overloaded and run off their feet.

In one experiment, participants read letters from a fictional friend. In Letter A he complained about being crazy busy with no time to relax and watch TV. In Letter B he described himself as relaxed, spending time watching sports on TV. Readers ranked the busy friend twice as high on a scale of wealth and social status as they ranked the more leisurely friend. (more…)

PAUSE – 17.05 – It’s Never Too Late To Appreciate

March 8, 2017

Reflection:  Last Friday, March 3rd, was Employee Appreciation Day. Did you note it? Did you mark it? Or, did you miss it?

If you marked it, good for you! If you missed it, worry not! You now have a 51-week head start on planning a thoughtful gesture or two for next year’s Appreciation Day.

People love to be celebrated on ‘their’ special days. That’s true whether you are an employee, a volunteer, a boss, a mom, or a dad. However, cards, treats, lunches, and bouquets of flowers once a year only do so much. It’s what happens on the other 364 days of the year that determine whether people truly feel appreciated. (more…)

PAUSE – 17.04 – Focus In The Face Of Distraction

February 22, 2017

Reflection: Focus in the face of distraction! That was how a group I recently worked with described one of their most frustrating challenges.

They’re not alone in this. We live in an age of distraction. One research survey found the average time between interruptions in the modern workplace to be three minutes.

Not all of our distractions are created by others. The same survey noted that 44% of interruptions were self imposed. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies. We allow our grasshopper minds and our desire for novelty to lead us from here … to there … and there … and there, too!

 

Action: So, how do you make more focused progress in the face of distractions? (more…)

PAUSE – 17.03 – Choose High Alert for Things Gone Right

February 8, 2017

Reflection:  Things going right or things going wrong? To what do you pay more attention as you make your way through your day?

Are you on high alert for slights, missteps, and errors of omission or commission?

Are you quick to criticize, and eager to pounce on any infraction against the way things ought to be – in the world according to your Inner Judge?

Or are you tuned to signs that things just might be going well, open to receiving life’s everyday gifts, and prepared to be pleasantly surprised?

Are you quick to appreciate, and keen to focus attention on life’s joyful developments?

And beyond assigning labels of ‘bad or good’ to the experiences of the day, how open are you to the possibility that something first thought ‘wrong’ might just end up being ‘right’? (more…)

PAUSE – 17.01 – Where Will You Be This Time Next Year?

January 11, 2017

Reflection:  Happy 2017 to you! It’s a new year and a fresh start. How are things going so far?

For many years now, I’ve set aside a couple of days at the beginning of January to look back at the year that was and forward to the year that lies ahead. It’s a great way to mark progress – and, let’s face it, sometimes note the lack thereof!

A couple of years ago I also started the practice of tossing notes in one of two jars throughout the year. One jar holds notes about things I hope will come to pass. The other jar holds gratitudes – notes about experiences and people I appreciate as the year unfolds. It’s fun to flip through both before starting afresh each January. (more…)

Happy New Year

January 5, 2017

Happy New Year to one and all. I hope you were able to enjoy a few days of relaxation with friends and family to close out 2016 and welcome the year ahead.

I don’t know how you started your year, but I spent a couple of days in planning – one looking back at the year that was and another looking forward to 2017.

I find that taking the time to do this helps me set a more intentional direction for both my work and personal life.

It’s not too late to tackle this for yourself. If you’d like some guides to the process, here are few that I’ve found useful over the years: (more…)

PAUSE – 16.33 – Wishing You All The Best Of The Season

December 21, 2016

For the last few years, I’ve devoted the final December Pause message to one key idea. Peace, joy, love, hope, kindness, grace, presence, gratitude, and contentment have all taken their turns in the spotlight.

This year my choice is happiness. There has been a ton of research done on happiness, and more than a few words printed on the subject. Launch a web search for happiness, and you’ll be rewarded with more than 400 million results. Trying to wade your way through that might wipe the smile off your face!

Some of the guidance on happiness suggests it’s something to be vigorously pursued. Another common point of view suggests happiness is a natural by-product of achieving things and contributing to the well-being of others.

What resonates most strongly for me is the idea that happiness already exists in our lives, and that we’d experience it more often if we only paused to pay closer attention.

So that is my year-end wish for you – that you find the space and make the time to savor those bits of happiness already enriching your life and your world.

Below you’ll find a sampling of quotes on happiness (quite a few by the prolific freelance writer, Robert Brault). (more…)

PAUSE – 16.32 – Could What You Have Really Be Enough?

December 14, 2016

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My Thoughts:

My father-in-law loved a good meal. Joy spread like his grin – from ear to ear – every time he carved the first slice from the end of a fresh baked loaf of bread.

He liked his tea scalding and his soup steaming; and was known to return both to the kitchen for a reheat if they weren’t to his liking.

But what I remember most clearly is how he punctuated every meal by settling back in his chair, patting his belly, and declaring: “My sufficiency has been suffonsified!”

He always appreciated what he had received, and affirmed it to be enough. (more…)