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PAUSE – 18.06 – How Is Your Situational Awareness?

June 6, 2018

Reflection: We’ve just returned from a month of travel in Europe where our adventures included visits to Barcelona, Rome, and Venice. These cities are densely populated to begin with, and they each host tens of thousands of tourists a day.

The streets are packed with bodies in motion – both locals going about their daily business and tourists trying to see the sights. Many people were thoughtful and considerate – others not so much!

One of the things we noted repeatedly was a significant lack of what my husband calls ‘Situational Awareness’ – a mindfulness around the impact that our behaviours have on others. Here’s how that played out. (more…)

PAUSE 16.06 – PAT ANSWERS VIDEO: Malaise – Just An ‘Old Folk’s Problem?

March 9, 2016

Welcome to the third in a six part series of short (3 minute) videos that explore the new topic I’ve been developing: Rekindling The Spark – Navigating Mid-Life Malaise.

Today’s focus: Malaise – Isn’t It Just An ‘Old Folks’ Problem?

Other topics in this series will be released in the weeks ahead. For details on what’s coming up, see below.

Just click on the image below to access the video for this episode. Enjoy!

 

Pat Answers Malaise Episode #3-400w

 

Watch for upcoming PAT ANSWERS Videos in this series:

  • Episode #4: Malaise – How do people deal with the challenge?
  • Episode #5: Malaise –  What can you do to find your way through?
  • Episode #6: Malaise –  How do you help those caught in the grip?

If you missed the earlier episodes in the series, you can catch up here:

 

NEWS NOTES

New Art Website Now Live:  For those of you who follow my art adventures, I have now launched my new Pauseworks Studio fine art website. It features a Blog, an Events and Projects section, and a Gallery with familiar links to my images posted on the Fine Art America site.

You can check it out at: www.patkatzart.com.  In the footer of the home page on the new website, you’ll find an invitation to subscribe to receive email notices of updates to the art blog. I hope you’ll sign up so you’re sure to get the latest news.

Also, stay tuned for further details on the ‘Simple Pleasures’ Art Event scheduled for the afternoon of the first day of Spring, March 20th. You’ll be able to take part in person – or virtually. Complete details will be posted to the new art blog.

To whet your appetite, here’s a short 30 second video preview of a few of the featured works.

 

Reminder – Pause Plan 2016: In case you missed the earlier memo, for 2016 the traditional format Pause ezines will be delivered every second week. In alternate weeks, I’m presenting a series of projects (like this video series) that I hope you’ll find of interest.

 

PAUSE – 14.33 – Are You Owning It?

November 5, 2014

own it-wReflection: Every once in a while, an experience rolls around that lifts us up – if we let it work its magic. A few years ago, I was named to the Canadian Speakers Hall of Fame. Arriving at the podium after my name had been called, I struggled to pull myself together so that I might offer a few words of appreciation. A colleague on stage behind me leaned forward and whispered two words in my direction: “Own it!”

It was such a powerful phrase, uttered at such an emotional moment, that I’ve never forgotten it. That idea allowed me to step into the honor that was directed my way and to try it on for size.

Artist Owen Swain notes that many people have developed the habit of downplaying their abilities and contributions. He observes: People who are artists kill or stilt the gift by endless comparison. They say, “If only I drew/painted like you. So and so has a big blog following, is selling at Gallery Fancy Schmancy, or has a CV the length of Highway 401. Me? I just make scratches in my sketchbook.”

It’s not just creative types who are susceptible to minimizing their success and downplaying their contributions. I’ve seen this behavior put in an appearance in many different occupations and roles. Maybe you are that person, yourself, or perhaps you know someone who has developed this dispiriting habit.

 

Action: We live in a world where life experiences can wear us down – leaving us feeling overwhelmed or undervalued. ‘Owning It’ can be a helpful, uplifting counterpoint.

Try owning your skills and owning your offerings. Own what you have done in the past, and what you are doing now.

Take pleasure in your contributions. Enjoy the fact that you are able to put some of your best skills to work in the service of others – or simply able to use those abilities for the sheer joy of it.

Encourage those around you to do the same. Let them know how you see them, and how you value what they do and who they are.

When you help yourself and others ‘Own It’, you’ll see how that practice builds enthusiasm and confidence for what comes next.

 

Quotes Of The Week: We can’t stop comparing ourselves to others by trying to stop. We can only fall in love with our own adventure more. – Tara Mohr

Own who you are. – Owen Swain

 

Resource Of The Week: If you stress yourself with feelings of inadequacy because you don’t seem to be living up to the ideal you have in mind, you might find an idea or two to address that challenge in Tara Mohr’s article: If you Find Yourself Comparing Yourself To Others.

Incidentally, Mohr has just released her new book titled, Playing Big. Looks like it might be an interesting read.

 

Readers Write: In response to the recent message, Doubting Your Value? Know That You Matter, Pause readers JM writes: Your pause made me think about the movie, Midnight in Paris. The main character magically travels back in time to the 1920s during the time of Picasso and Hemingway, seeing that as the best time. When we are nostalgic for a time other than our own we are not celebrating our life currently. We wish for a time when we think we might be more special, happier, acknowledged.

Your Second Pauseworks Postcard Pick Of The Week

July 9, 2014

Prairie Rustbucket PW Postcard-wHere it is! The 2014 ‘Summer Sketchbook Special’ – the second of nine chances to own a piece of original art at a sizzling price of just $49 (plus applicable taxes and $10 for shipping).

Prairie Rustbucket is the second in the series of Pauseworks Postcards.

Each 4” x 6” postcard features the Pauseworks Studio 2014 postmark in an upper corner.

Each will be surface mounted on a coordinating 6” x 8” mat board ready for framing or display as is.

To claim your PW Postcard, just send me an email with the words ‘I’ll Take It’ in the subject line.

The first reader to call dibs on each week’s mini masterpiece takes it. Enjoy … and may the early bird snag the sketch.

BTW – if another early bird beats you to the draw, and you’d like to order a print or prefer something in a larger size, here’s the link to make that happen: Prairie Rustbucket.

Note: Only the original bears the PW Studio stamp.

You can always check out this and other images on my Fine Art PauseWorks Studio Gallery Website.

PAUSE – 14.24 – Tune Out To Tune In

June 18, 2014

Reflection: I’ve been thinking recently that I wouldn’t mind being listless for a while. I don’t mean in the traditional sense of the word: lethargic, apathetic, or weary. Nor do I mean without a list of things to do – although that would be welcome on occasion.

What I’m actually referring to is the proliferation of lists that circulate on social media and grace the covers of books and magazines everywhere. Here are a few recent examples:

  • 14 Things You Should Do On Your Lunch Break Every Day
  • 17 Things Extremely Happy People Say Every Day
  • 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently
  • 22 Quick Habits to Add To Your Daily Morning Routine
  • 30 Things To Start Doing For Yourself – or its sister list: 30 Things To Stop Doing To Yourself

Add ‘em up. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

I know these lists are published with the best of intentions – mostly to energize or inspire. And I grant you there is valuable advice in many of them. Heck, I’ve even created a few of these types of lists myself.

But here’s my challenge. When I spend too much time paying attention to these lists, I find myself in Tower of Pisa mode – tilted and off balance. I feel less effective and more inadequate because I’m not doing more or behaving differently.

You, too, might find yourself listing just a tad under the weight of what the advice aggregators believe we could or should be doing.

 

Action: With all these voices whispering instructions in your ear and putting ideas in your head, it’s hard to hear the one still quite voice that counts the most. That would be your own. (more…)

Results Of 2014 Pause Readership Survey

April 14, 2014

survey-says-wConsider this a heartfelt thank you to all who responded to the 2014 Pause Ezine Readership Survey.

I so appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts.

It helps a great deal for me to know what Pause means to you, and how you think it could be improved.

For those who appreciate it when feedback loops circle back around, I’m happy to share this brief overview of the survey results.

 

First, the facts: (more…)

Edam

October 4, 2013

54D89A15-83D0-468F-A364-BAF6F36E453DInteresting to see these trees in the Dutch village of Edam espaliered in what can best be described as the shape of a fly swatter. Not sure why, but they certainly are curious.

 

 

F6CAD9E3-7B30-43EC-82FD-B370BDC50185This banner displayed on the side of a shop in Edam encourages a more positive outlook on life. Made me smile.

 

0A929EFD-6528-4B66-922D-709777E2D79CLooking for a cheese ball for your next party? Look no further. Your prayers are answered.

Amsterdam

September 30, 2013

  1. 558FF500-BDEC-4378-9587-BE27D7630C7D

Love the buildings in Amsterdam – leaning every which way but straight. Many were intentionally built to lean slightly forward so that the hook on an outcrop at the top could be used to haul furniture and other property up and in without bashing the front of the house. If they’re leaning sideways, though, you’ve got a problem. Here are a couple of my sketches of the architecture of Amsterdam. I will say that the leaning left right and forward does take the pressure off having to draw things square!A9DBDBB7-9F3C-4F18-A752-A239F2C5549D

PAUSE – 13.27 – Is Stress Your Friend Or Foe?

September 11, 2013

Stress-wReflection: Stress…is it your worst enemy or your best friend? Given these recent studies, it may be time to rethink the relationship.

Study #1: People who experienced significant stress in the previous year had a 43% increase in risk from death – but this was ONLY true for those who believed stress was harmful to their health. Those who did not believe stress was harmful (even if they did have a lot of it in their lives) were no more at risk than low stress subjects.

Study #2: People who were trained to see stress symptoms (like pounding heart and faster breathing) as signs that their body was simply ‘taking care of business’ by responding in a way that could help their performance were less anxious and more confident. And, what’s more, instead of constricting and increasing the risk of heart disease, their blood vessels remained in a relaxed state (similar to someone responding with courage or experiencing joy).

Study #3: Each major stress event in a person’s life increased risk of death by 30% – except in the lives of those people who reached out to others. People who reported a lot of stress in their lives, AND who also spent time in the company of friends and family, or helped neighbors and others in their community, showed no increase in stress related death.

 

Action: So, are harmful effects from stress inevitable? (more…)

Pause Gem #26 – Lift Up Your Eyes

August 21, 2013

Pause Gems-wReflection & Action: The motto of the University of Calgary (where I studied for my Masters degree in Continuing Education) reads  “MO SHUILE TOGAM SUAS”. It’s a Gaelic phrase taken from one of the psalms. Translated, it means: “I will lift up my eyes.” What an inspired call to action!

Participants in the seminars that I lead tell me their overloaded days are often spent heads down – not eyes up. With noses to the grindstone, preoccupied with tasks and details, they wade their way through each day’s responsibilities, fretting about the details.

If that’s true for you, try shifting that practice just a smidge. As you move through your day, take a moment here and there to lift up your eyes. Step out of the car – lift up your eyes. Step out of a meeting – life up your eyes. Tune in to the bigger picture and the reason you are about to pursue the tasks at hand. There is always a broader, higher, deeper purpose. (more…)