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Spark/Malaise

PAUSE – 19.11 – Bringing Who You Are To What You Do

November 6, 2019

Reflection: About a year ago, I joined a local artists group. We meet weekly to make art. We challenge and support each other. And, we show together annually.

Over the years, I’ve been a part of many groups at work and in the community. Rarely have I seen a group as cooperative and supportive as this one.

When a task arises, there’s no sitting on hands, avoiding eye contact, hoping someone else will take it on. There is an eagerness to volunteer – to step forward to make things happen.

Yes, there is a high degree of commitment to each other and the purpose of the group. But, underpinning all there’s a desire and willingness to bring who we are and contribute what we can in the service of the whole.

We vary in our interests and skills. Within the group we have: social media whizzes, creative photographers, skilled organizers, those with financial savvy, talented foodies, fine writers, imaginative thinkers, thoughtful listeners, and jokesters who brighten the mood and lighten the load.

Everybody is not expected to do everything. People step forward in areas in which they are skilled and have an interest; they pass on others. And, somehow it all works out.

 

Action: How well are the teams and groups in your world functioning? (more…)

PAUSE – 17.11 – Are You Ready To Take A Chance?

May 31, 2017

Reflection: Do you ever feel like your life hasn’t quite worked out the way you imagined it might? That there is something missing from the mix?

Do you ever feel like you’re being held hostage by your commitments? Show up at work, manage life at home, contribute to the community? Or whatever your version of the daily grind may be.

It’s a sure bet that ignoring those twinges of discontent is a first step on the road to bitterness and resentment.

There may never be a better time to take a chance on something new. Something that fuels your spirit and feeds your soul. Something that puts a spring in your step and a light in your eyes. (more…)

PAUSE – 17.10 – Wading Your Way Through The Waiting

May 17, 2017

Reflection: How comfortable are you with waiting? I’d say as a society it’s not one of our strengths.

From the small things – like waiting for our coffee, waiting for software to reboot, or waiting our turn in line. To the big deals – like waiting for test results, waiting for the perfect job or partner, or waiting to figure out life’s purpose. We want the result and we want it now.

We don’t like sitting in confusion. And we stress ourselves out when we’re stuck in uncertainty – when progress seems slight.

However, we can experience less angst and stress when we find ways to become more comfortable with waiting, and when we allow whatever process needs to unfold the luxury of time to do just that.

 

Action: How then to wait with greater grace and ease? (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 – 16.29 – Can You See Yourself As A Perennial?

November 23, 2016

generation-diffs-wReflection: Traditionalists, Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and Millenials are all labels assigned to groups of people of a certain age.

In a world where we look for easy answers and ready-made explanations, this pigeonholing has gained a lot of traction. However, oversimplifying can build barriers instead of connections.

Each group is portrayed as having predictable motivations, values and behaviours. Those characterizations are not always accurate. For each generalization, most of us could cite an exception to the rule.

In truth, many of us share common values and aspirations despite the fact that we were born and raised in different times.

For these reasons, I was intrigued to read a recent article by Gina Pell, who notes that there are individuals of every age who live in the present, connect to world developments, and relate to others of varied ages. They stay curious and relevant, keep learning and growing, and consistently try new things.

Her tag for these folks? (more…)

PAUSE – 16.27 – Regrets? How Do You Make Them Fewer?

November 9, 2016

regrets-wReflection: If you’ve been following some of the work I’ve shared over the last year with respect to Spark & Malaise, you’ll recall me mentioning Bonnie Ware’s findings on the regrets people express near the ends of their lives.

In her research, the number one regret Ware heard repeatedly was that ‘people wished they’d had the courage to live a life true to themselves instead of the lives that others expected of them.’

That top finding is echoed in more recent research by Kathy Caprino.

In Caprino’s survey of those at an earlier stage in their lives (middle age and mid-career), she found the following top five regrets: (more…)

PAUSE – 16.23 – Coloring Outside The Lines

September 14, 2016

hillside-village-100scriptborder

 

My Thoughts:

The inspiration for this image was the Provencale village of Gordes. Although the buildings of Gordes do sprawl across the hillside, they’re built from neutral colored stone with pale weathered terra cotta tiles. They’re nothing like the bright colors you see here.

One of the things that painting has taught me is that you don’t have to stick with what you see or what you know. You don’t have to be locked in to ‘do this-don’t do that’ rules.

You can step out in new directions, color outside the lines, and things will be okay! Or, surprise, even better than okay!

 

Your Thoughts:

What lines and rules might be holding you back?

Where could you step around, hop over, or slide under a line to add more freedom and energy to your world?

 

News Notes:

Add Spark To Your Next Conference

I’ve just booked another keynote and follow up session on the topic of Rekindling Spark – Navigating Malaise for a spring 2017 provincial conference of nurses. This topic is hitting home for many different people in many different walks of life. The experience of ‘rusting out’, feeling ‘meh, bleh, blah’ seems to know no boundaries.

 

I’d love to bring my strategies for dealing with this issue to your professional association, too. Do keep that possibility in mind and pass the idea along to those in charge of professional development activities for your association. This link gives an overview.

 

Plein Air Show

During the month of September, you can see samples of the work of various Saskatoon artists who share an interest in painting in the great outdoors – including three pieces by yours truly. You’ll find the show gracing the gallery walls at HUES Art Supply, 1818 Lorne Ave here in Saskatoon.

 

PAUSE – 16.20 – Are You Standing Up & Stepping Out?

June 15, 2016

Abstract - Time To Start Something New-w

 

My Thoughts:

As I grow older, I seem to become less concerned about knowing how things will end before I commit to a start.

Maybe I’m more confident in my ability to handle whatever comes up.

Or maybe I’ve realized that imagining I control the outcomes is mostly an illusion anyway.

I do know that I’ve been around the block enough times to realize that the sheer act of beginning something new opens doors and invites possibilities that are never apparent when you’re hunkered down on the sidelines wondering, ‘Should I…?’

 

Your Thoughts:

Are you toying with trying something new? Why not find a low risk way to stand up, step out, and test the waters?

Let yourself be surprised and amazed. And, let me know how it goes!

 

 

News Notes:

It’s just over a year since I stood up and stepped out to explore the challenges of mid life malaise. Some of you will remember responding to a survey on that topic in early 2015.

Since then, I’ve used the results of that research to craft a variety of programs on Rekindling Spark – Navigating Mid Life Malaise. Over the last six months, I’ve designed and delivered a Ted Talk, a conference keynote, a follow up breakout session, and a half day seminar.

There’s nothing like stepping out and testing new material to see if it makes a contribution and a difference. And, this most certainly does. (more…)

PAUSE 16.12 – PAT ANSWERS VIDEO: Malaise – How Do You Help Those Caught In The Grip?

April 20, 2016

Welcome to the final episode in this 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 – How do you help those caught in the grip?

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

Pat Answers Malaise Episode #6-400w

 

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

 

NEWS NOTES

Helpful Publications:

New subscribers are always joining the Pause e-zine list, as readers share these Pause messages with their friends and colleagues, and as I speak at seminars and conferences.

On occasion, I find it’s helpful to remind longstanding readers and inform new subscribers about print resources that I have created over the years.

So, here is a recap of the books and booklets on offer in the Pause Shop. They relate to the areas I speak about most often: balance/wellness/renewal and encouragement/appreciation/recognition.

You’ll find two collections of previous Pause messages, and two handy quick-read booklets – each jam packed with practical ideas.

  • Press Pause…Press On – Bringing Balance & Perspective To Work & Life
  • Press Pause…Think Again – More Balance & Perspective For Work & Life
  • Take A Break – 67 Ways To Pause When You Absolutely, Positively Do Not Have The Time
  • Take A Bow – 67 Ways To Pause For Applause, Celebrate Your Success, & Keep Your Spirits High

Click here for the complete listing where you will find excerpts from each publication, details on discounts for quantity purchases, and links to purchase your copies online.

 

PAUSE 16.10 – PAT ANSWERS VIDEO: Malaise – What Can You Do To Find Your Way Through?

April 6, 2016

Welcome to the fifth 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 – What can you do to find your way through?

The final video in this series will be released two weeks from now.

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

 

Pat Answers Malaise Episode #5-400w

 

Watch for the final PAT ANSWERS Video in this series:

  • 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

 

Engagement Series:

The first module in the Engagement Series that I am delivering for the University of Saskatchewan Edwards School of Business is already sold out with a waiting list.

There may, however, be a few spots left in modules two and three. Check here for details on the programs and registration info.

 

Travel Cost Savings:

In addition to speaking at programs in and around Saskatoon, I now know that I will be presenting at events in these locations in the months ahead:

  • Toronto (late April)
  • Leduc (May)
  • Edmonton & Regina (June)
  • Calgary (October)

If you might be needing a speaker for an event or a professional development program in one of those locations around those times, give me a call (306-934-1807). I’m always happy to save on travel time, and share travel costs between clients whenever possible.