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 – 19.03 – Make It Meaningful To You To Make It Matter More
March 6, 2019
Reflection: I love it when ideas collide and spark a fresh insight. That happened for me this morning as I pondered my Pause message for this week.
The first inspiration came from today’s Dilbert cartoon. Pointy Haired Boss is discussing Asok’s ‘less than ideal’ employee engagement results. Boss counsels Asok that he should show a higher level of irrational enthusiasm for the endless string of thankless tasks – AKA his job. He also suggests that he expects Asok to show an unnatural preference for work over leisure. Don’t you just love that line of thought??
The second inspiration came from a poster quote that appeared in my social media feed. This quote by Francine Jay read, “My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.” I laughed when I read it and immediately forwarded it to a group of friends who share these kind of messages.
As quickly as I had I shared it, I realized it doesn’t quite paint a complete picture. (more…)
PAUSE – 18.09 – Did You Know You’re Retroactively Useful?
September 5, 2018
Reflection: I seem to be encountering a lot of people from my past these days. In the course of our conversations, more than a few of them are sharing how something I said or did influenced them years ago and continues to be meaningful in their lives today.
Sometimes it was the way I handled a challenging situation. Other times it was a piece of advice or a way of looking at or thinking about things that was important at that moment. Often those insightful tidbits have become reference points or touchstones for them as they go about their lives today.
It moves me to hear that my contributions, both intended and unintentional, added meaning to their lives. That prompts me to be even more active in extending my appreciation to others whose examples have been important to me. And…it causes me to feel more satisfied about the contributions I’ve already made in my life and work.
Action: The desire to be purposeful and of service to others does not diminish with age. In fact as people grow older, they often start to think more directly about leaving a lasting and positive legacy.
Here is a seasonal Trio of Wishes for you and yours. May the year ahead being you love hope, joy and blessings in abundance. Thanks for being an ongoing part of the Pause community. See you in the new year.
Reflection: Do you find yourself wondering if you’ve made a difference, or struggling with some of the slights, oversights, and regrets in your past?
Earlier this year, I read a book by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi titled From Age-ing To Sage-ing. In it, he suggests that one of the challenges we face as we move through life is making peace with our past.
Although he focuses mainly on late life, I believe the opportunity to make peace with the past is always available to us, no matter what our age or stage or page of life.
It occurred to me to share these ideas with you now, because late December – after the holiday uproar settles down – can be the perfect time to reflect on the year gone by.
Three actions are at the core of this practice: harvesting, reframing and forgiving. (more…)
PAUSE – 17.14 – What Motivator Might Bring You More Of What You Want?
October 25, 2017
Reflection: The young CEO of a manufacturing company had a reputation for keeping long hours and working endless weekends, until…a brand new baby entered his world.
In short order, he found creative ways to get most of his work done during regular business hours and to claim his evenings and weekends for family.
A long time public servant found herself at her desk late into the evenings, struggling to find time for exercise and companionship, until…she brought an energetic young puppy into her home.
Now she had a compelling reason to leave work at 5:00. If she didn’t, she’d arrive home to unhappy accidents and a house in shambles. Most key tasks at work were accomplished during regular work hours. Turns out it had been her need to feel completely caught up at the end of every day that had kept her chained to her desk.
For years, a career homemaker spent all her time tidying, cleaning, cooking, and managing family affairs, until…she connected to a volunteer cause she cared deeply about.
She cut back to a lesser standard of home care and freed time and energy to devote to her new-found passion. (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…)
Yeah, you! If you’re the one with the endless list of things to do. The one who always volunteers for that last minute job, chairs the committees, works the extra shifts, hauls the kids, hosts the socials, and generally goes the extra mile!
Yeah, you! If you’re the one who puts yourself at the bottom of those lists in invisible ink. The one who makes sure everybody else leaves on time, remembers their vitamins, books their vacations, and gets those pats on the back.
Might you be feeling just a tad overwhelmed by all you’ve undertaken or a tad under-valued from being taken for granted?
Well, stop right there! It’s time for a glance in the mirror and a heart to heart chat!
Whether you realize it or not, you matter! And not just because of all you do in support of those around you. You matter simply because you are who you are and you’re here. And, by the way, in case you missed the memo – you are enough!
Whether you hear it from others or not – you do make a difference in the lives of those around you. Just don’t be making that contribution from a feeling of lack, an overactive sense of duty, nor at the expense of your own wellbeing! Take care of you, too! Take time to be with you, too.
PAUSE – 16.19 – Might You Need to Recalibrate Success?
June 8, 2016
Reflection: Funny creatures we are – us human beings! Sometimes me thinks we thinks too much! Cogitating on this! Judging that! Setting implausible expectations!
A speaker colleague of mine, Ron Culberson, recently observed in his blog post on significance that he feared his Success Meter was not calibrated properly. (Read more about his observations in today’s Resource of the Week link).
By way of example, he reports feeling like he’s failed if, by end of day, he hasn’t done something that registers somewhere between noteworthy and stupendous. I’ve been there myself. Have you?
Last week I spoke for the Spiritual Care Association of Saskatchewan. This is a group of people who face really tough situations every single day.
They provide support for individuals and their families when the prospects for a long life or a speedy recovery are just not there. It’s emotionally demanding work – often with no practical, tangible way to ‘solve the problem’ or ‘make things right’.
In many of those tough, end-of-life moments, it’s simply their presence that they can offer. There’s nothing to be done except be there and be available. And, you know what? That counts a lot.
Action: Are there days when your expectations take a crazymaking tilt? Are there days when you stomp on yourself for falling short of your aspirations? (more…)
PAUSE – 16.17 – Clear The Decks And Lighten The Load
May 25, 2016
Reflection: Life’s been busy these last few weeks with program design and delivery, travel, visits with family and friends, and springtime in the garden. All good things – yet challenging, too.
And so it felt good over the long weekend to experience the positive impact of tidying up. Not in a Marie Kondo ‘tossing things out’ kind of way. The experience was more about making things right – which in turn made things light.
On Friday, my last act in the office (which happens to be in my home) was to clear the desk and stash the miscellany. Everything done? No way. But without visible piles and papers, there was nothing calling my name each time I passed by.
On Saturday, I moved the lawn, trimmed shrubs and weeded a few perennial beds. Finished? No. But a whole lot better than before.
On Sunday, I transplanted flowers sheltering in the garage into pots and planters around the garden. Complete? No. But the garage is empty and that feels great.
On Monday, I tackled many loads of laundry, while dusting and vacuuming the house. Through neglect and spring doings, the place was a disaster from one end to the other. Perfect? Hah! Nothing will ever pass the white glove test in my world! But good enough – with no more garden grit underfoot.
And so, as I write this on Tuesday morning, I’m feeling grounded for having brought a bit more order to my world, and I’m ready to welcome the tasks of the week ahead. (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.