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White Open Spaces – Yeah Or Nay?

May 20, 2022

“What’s this?” you might ask.

A social media posting goof up by yours truly?

An all-white painting by pop artist, Robert Rauschenberg – marked sold with the proverbial red dot?

Both good guesses – but you’d be wrong.

It’s White Space – AKA yesterday’s square on my calendar. And as you can see, it was completely empty.

What it meant is that there was no place I need to go and there was no one who was expecting me to show up. I could have declared it an all-day pajama day if I were so inclined. And, in fact, I did treat myself to an afternoon nap on a rainy afternoon! (more…)

From Ho Hum To Woohoo

April 22, 2022

‘Rekindling Spirit – Moving Through Malaise’ is the title of a seminar I’ll be delivering next week to a group of financial folks as part of their upcoming professional development event.

Every time I work with this material, I’m reminded of the wide range of options we have for getting ourselves unstuck – shifting our experience from ‘ho hum’ to ‘woohoo’.

As part of the program, participants will be invited to reflect on their past – from childhood pursuits and skills sets to bold imaginings and deferred dreams.

The idea is to take a look backwards at things we used to enjoy and interests we may have discarded along the way – to see if there is something that might add a spark of joy and excitement to our lives today.

Along this vein, yesterday I helped my octogenarian Mom hang a newly framed cross-stitch that she recently completed. It was and is an epic piece of work.

Mom first started working on this piece of handwork in the 1980’s. As life grew busy in other areas,  (more…)

Making It Personal Pays Off

February 11, 2022

When it comes to appreciation, one size does not fit all, and a generic thank you falls short of the mark. This is a point that I often stress when I speak and write about how to boost the impact of appreciation and recognition.

Today, a prime example of this idea arrived in my mailbox.

For several years now, I’ve been a member of CARFAC – the association representing Canadian professional visual artists. Each year I pay my dues and in return I receive my membership card, a receipt and a letter pointing out the benefits of belonging to the association. Pretty standard and a tad ho hum.

This year, I found something extra tucked into the envelope. (more…)

Wishing You The Best Of The Season

December 30, 2021

As the calendar turns on our second year of the Covid 19 Pandemic, we know more and we’re protected some; but the virus and our understanding of it keep changing. If there was ever a time for resilience, this would be it!

With the introduction of vaccines throughout 2021, some of life’s normal activities returned. Even being able to do simple things like meeting for coffee or sharing a meal were greatly appreciated.

In our world, all but the most modest of travels were curtailed. What took on great significance for me were short visits with nearby family. I had missed them so.

In recent years, I’ve made it a practice to sum up our family’s year in photos. As you will see from the Katz Family Christmas Letter 2021 included here, we continued to find joy and pleasure in spite of the various restrictions of our times. We’re especially grateful for blessings of good health.

May this message find you well and looking forward with hope to life as it will unfold in 2022.

Warmest wishes to you all, Pat

Take A Walk With Gratitude

October 24, 2021

Thanksgiving has come and gone and as I took my morning walk today, I remained thankful for all kinds of things. In particular, I noted how grateful I am to have my mind and my memories.

What prompted this line of thought was the news that beloved children’s author, Robert Munsch (I’ll Love You Forever, Mortimer, Thomas’ Snowsuit, The Paperbag Princess, and so many more modern classics) has been diagnosed with dementia.  This means that eventually his many memories and the stories he has created over the years will be gone to him.

This made me sad, and it made me appreciate my own memories even more. Many of my earliest recollections involve  (more…)

Are You Giving Yourself Time To Play?

September 8, 2021

I could not resist! Driving home recently from a late afternoon appointment, I cruised by the kiddies’ rides in Kinsmen Park and thought to myself, “Why not?”

It was a stellar September day – sunny, calm and warm as could be – a beautiful day for a ride.

I pulled into the parking lot, bought myself tickets and hopped on a horse. When the merry go round rolled to a stop, I took to the skies on the Ferris wheel.

I ride carousels everywhere we go on our travels, and I hadn’t been on this one yet – this year!!!  I’m glad I took that little detour and a timeout to play.

When I posted these photos and reflections on my experience to my Facebook page, I was struck by the dozens of responses I received. (more…)

Climbing Back Up When You’re Feeling Down – A Talk Reel Conversation

July 26, 2021

I so enjoyed this 45 minute conversation with Stephanie Staples and Barry Green recorded in early July as part of their Talk Reel series of engaging conversations.

We covered a few topics – but most especially the subject of malaise. We shared lots of info, insights, and plenty of laughs along the way.

So, when you next have a moment to put your feet up and enjoy a cup o’ java or a glass o’ vino, I invite you to tune in Talk Reel Episode #12 for a look and a listen.

I hope you find something that helps you traverse those moments of malaise that show up from time to time in your life.

 

Transitions Can Be Challenging

March 5, 2021

Transitions can be challenging.

Last week marked ten years since my parents left the farm that they had lived on all their lives to take up residence in a condo in the city.

It was a massive transition that had its pros and cons. (more…)

PAUSE – 20.12 – Are You Searching For Glimmers Of Hope?

December 1, 2020

Reflection: Those of you who have been Pause followers for some time may remember that from 2004 through 2007, I ended each year’s messages with a set of reflections on one of the four jewels in the season of advent: peace, joy, love and hope.

If there was ever a year that we needed hope, 2020 – the year of the pandemic – would be it. And so I dug back into my files and pulled out that earlier message about hope.

I thought you might find it helpful as we wind down this year and look to the new year that is just around the corner.

For 2021, may we dare to hope for a reduction in the spread of Covid, the speedy delivery of an effective vaccine, and the return of those valued things we have set aside in our attempts to keep ourselves and others as healthy as possible.

Here’s that 2007 message on hope, one more time:

I’m sure you’ve learned a thing or two about hope over the years. You’ve probably hoped for positive test results on an exam (medical or academic), for a soulmate with whom you can share life’s joys and worries, and (from the sublime to the very practical) for a primo parking spot when you’re late for an appointment.

We know a lot about hope where I live here in Saskatchewan.

  • Farmers seed the land every spring in the hopes of a bumper crop.
  • Mining companies prospect and drill deep in hopes of finding oil, potash, diamonds and uranium.
  • Roughrider fans hope every year for their team to make and take the Grey Cup.

Sometimes those hopes and dreams come true, and sometimes they don’t.

Here are some of my favorite quotes on the powerful uplifting life force that is hope. Tuck some of these words in your pocket so they may lift your spirits in the days ahead. (more…)

PAUSE – 20.11 – Order From Chaos Revisited

November 4, 2020

Reflection: When I first launched my business – almost 35 years ago – I was focused on improving the lives of women working outside the home. Many of us were juggling career and family responsibilities and struggling mightily.

‘Order From Chaos’ was one of my most popular seminars. It zeroed in on dejunking and organizing the physical clutter of life and creating systems to manage endless responsibilities. There was something very satisfying about finding ways to feel more in control of all that was coming at us from every direction.

In the midst of a global resurgence of Covid cases, we face the prospect of a long winter of restricted movement and limits on activities for our selves and our families. Toss on top of our virus anxieties a list of ongoing concerns about economic uncertainty, rascism, social inequities, and a host of other issues. Once again – or perhaps still – many parts of our lives feel chaotic and beyond our control.

In the midst of it all, it may be time to resurrect some of those ‘order from chaos’ practices that helped us through earlier times. (more…)