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PAUSE – 19.07 – How About Being More Spontaneous?

July 3, 2019

Reflection: I grew up on a farm on the prairies at a time when people lived far enough apart that a visit was something to be treasured. Neighbors often dropped by unannounced. And when that happened, the work was set aside and a fresh pot of coffee went on the stove.

If friends or family dropped in around mealtime, we added a few more potatoes to the pot, and set a few more plates and chairs around the table. We called it prairie hospitality. It came naturally – was just the way you lived and were.

These days our lives seem far more scheduled and crowded. I’ve seen people spend ten minutes comparing calendars and commitments in an attempt to find a shared open space for a visit, a coffee, or a lunch at some future place and time.

A series of recent events reminded me of the joy of spontaneity. (more…)

Rekindling Their Spark – Can You Be A Guide On The Side? (Spirit)

March 28, 2017

Is there someone in your world who is uninspired, apathetic, disinterested? Seems dissatisfied and less than engaged? Shows signs of rusting out, coasting on autopilot or being stuck in the swamp?

Maybe you feel concerned, and you’re not sure how to help. Rest assured, there are things you can do.

The first thing to know – and share – is that malaise is a common and often recurring life experience. At first, each new venture seems fresh and exciting. Eventually it becomes old and familiar.

Understanding that this ‘loss of luster’ is a normal part of the ebb and flow of life reassures those who find themselves mired in the mud.

In a recent survey, 95% of respondents reported they had experienced malaise in their lives. 57% in their forties. 53% in their fifties. 39% in their thirties. And even 20% in their twenties.

Many people experience a dip in satisfaction part way through their lives as they come to terms with unmet expectations. Although life may be ‘good’, it may not feel ‘great’. Some feel discouraged by a loss of passion. They’ve run out of dreams and goals; or they’ve become creatures of habit and stopped learning new things. Others question whether they are really creating the kind of legacy they had hoped to leave along the way.

Sometimes all that’s needed is a sense of possibility. – Rachel Remen

Beyond normalizing the experience, here are other actions you can take to support people as they set about rekindle their enthusiasm for life.

  • Reach out to connect and open a conversation. Let them know what you’re noticing. Ask what they think and how they feel about their situation.
  • Listen in a deep respectful way. Sometimes what others need most is an opportunity to give voice to what’s going on inside. They may not need or want someone else to step in and try to ‘fix’ the situation. They simply need to hear themselves say out loud the ideas that may be rolling around in their minds or drifting through their subconscious.
  • Offer encouragement. Perhaps there is a first step they are already considering, and they could use a cheerleader at the starting line. Letting others know you care about their situation and will be there as they move forward is one way to lift their spirits.
  • Share other perspectives and fresh ideas. Maybe you have wrestled with malaise and moved through it in your own life, but not yet shared that story. This could be the time. Or, you may know of friends and colleagues who have publicly shared their journeys. Some of those experiences might have relevance to the person you are supporting.
  • Extend an invitation to try something new. Novel experiences can help people jump their ruts and set off in a more promising direction. Sometimes being exposed to new possibilities is all it takes to develop a fresh and invigorating point of view.
  • Express appreciation for who the person is and what they do. When suffering from malaise, people can easily tilt to the dark side and color everything in their lives as negative and problematic. Most periods of stuck-ness are temporary. And ‘all or nothing’ thinking and an exaggerated sense of catastrophe add unnecessary weight to the situation.
  • Deliver honest feedback and straight talk. If you know the person well, you may be in a position to kindly question some of their assumptions in ways that will help them get a clearer grip on problems and possibilities.
  • Model engagement and renewal in your own life. In all things, we give greater credence to ‘what people do’ over ‘what people say’. Pay close attention to your own well-being. Stay as engaged as possible in your own life roles. When you model a pro-active approach to re-invention and re-direction it gives others hope and courage to step out in new directions of their own.

And finally… a cautionary note. Stay alert to the difference between malaise (a temporary fog that comes and goes) and depression (a dark and heavy cloud that feels like it will stay forever). Although your support will always to be important to someone who suffers from depression, that more serious situation calls for professional expertise. Help them access that sooner rather than later.

 

© Patricia Katz, MCE CHRP HoF, is a Canadian speaker and author who works with organizational leaders to ease the load and fuel the spirit. This best selling author of 6 books shares her wisdom regularly with thousands of readers of her e-zine, Pause. Sign up for Pause, and learn more about easing your load here on this site. Contact Pat for programs and publications at info@patkatz.com or 306-934-1807.

 

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.

 

PAUSE 16.04 – PAT ANSWERS VIDEO: Malaise – Who Cares? Why Does It Matter?

February 24, 2016

Welcome to the second 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 – Who Cares? Why Does It Matter?

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 #2-400w

 

Watch for upcoming PAT ANSWERS Videos in this series:

  • Episode #3: Malaise – Isn’t it just an ‘old folks’ problem?
  • 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 first episode in the series, you can catch up here:

 

NEWS NOTES

New Art Website In The Works:  If you enjoy the art from the Pauseworks Studio, you might be interested to learn that I’m working on the design for a new fine art website and blog, featuring new works as well as stories from behind the scenes.

I’ve been challenged as I navigate the wordpress software. But, heh, a little stretching and a lot of learning can be very good things. I’ll let you know when it goes live.

Last Call: Are you one of the 134 Pause readers who have already entered your name in the draw to celebrate my 30 years in biz? If not, you’ll find the scoop on the three prizes and entry details at Celebrating The Leap. Draws will be made February 29th.

 

PAUSE 16.02 – PAT ANSWERS VIDEO: What Is Malaise Anyway?

February 10, 2016

Welcome to the first 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 Is It AnywayOther 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 SERIES Malaise Episode #1-400w

 

Watch for upcoming PAT ANSWERS Videos in this series:

  • Episode #2: Malaise – Who cares? Why does it matter?
  • Episode #3: Malaise – Isn’t it just an ‘old folks’ problem?
  • 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?

 

NEWS NOTES:

Engagement Series – I’m partnering with the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan to deliver three spring sessions as part of a brand new Engagement Series. Sessions include: Fueling Enthusiasm, Boosting Energy & Tapping Passion. Sign up for one or save a bundle by registering for all three. This link takes you to the Engagement Series Info.

 

Pick Me – Are you one of the 94 Pause readers who have already entered your name in the draw to celebrate my 30 years in biz? If not, you’ll find the scoop on the three prizes and entry details at Celebrating The Leap.

 

PAUSE – 15.25 – It Only Take A Spark

September 9, 2015

Spark c text border-w

 

My Thoughts: “It only takes a spark to get a fire going; and soon all those around will warm up to its glowing.” That’s the opening line of a tune by Kurt Kaiser that may be familiar to many.

Once upon a time, in a life long ago, I adapted those lyrics in the form of a friendship song for a summer camp that I directed. From time to time, that tune still shows up as an earworm in my brain. I don’t mind. The words still ring as true today as they did back then.

When you are excited about something in your world, when you have a light in your eyes and even a most modest fire in your belly, the impact (on you and others around you) is both positive and contagious.

 

Your Thoughts: What’s lighting up your life these days? And if things are feeling just a tad dark and chilly, where and how might you find a way to strike a spark? (more…)