Reflection: Today, as I often do, I started my day with a morning walk along the river. It was chilly, breezy, and snowy out there. All the better to clear my head!
It seems, no matter what the weather, when I walk outdoors, my mind putters. It dusts off the cobwebs, rearranges the shelves, empties the garbage, beams a light into the back corners of my brain, generates new ideas, reminds me of things I’d forgotten, and generally puts things in order.
This morning, as I walked, my mind was on you – my Pause readers. Some of you are new to the fold. Some of you are have been following my ramblings right from the beginning of the ezine some seventeen years ago. And some of you joined in at other points along the way.
No matter how long you’ve been with me, what I realized this morning is that I am exceedingly grateful for your presence in my world. You see it’s in my nature to notice things, to think about life, to make connections between A and B and C. If I didn’t have you to share my observations with, I’d probably be walking along the river just mumbling to myself. BTW – that still happens on occasion any way!
So what I really want to say to you today is this. (more…)
PAUSE – 16.13 – Collective Gratitudes
April 26, 2016
Today’s Pause message is given over to the collective voice of Pause readers.
You may recall, back in February of 2016, I celebrated 30 years in business. As a way of marking the milestone and expressing my gratitude I invited readers to enter a draw for three give-aways. To enter the draw, Pause readers were asked to share a few lines about something they were grateful for in their own lives.
The responses were amazing and inspiring. I thought you might appreciate them, too. And, so I asked contributors for permission to share their gratitudes with the Pause community.
With thanks for the gift of permission from those who said yes, that collection appears here. I hope you find these reflections as insightful and uplifting as I did. Thanks, Pause Readers. You rock!
Pour yourself a cuppa coffee and dive into this pool of Collective Gratitudes.
GF writes: I’m grateful for connection. To those who came before me who held me in their arms. To those I walk beside, with hand folded into hand. To those I break a path for, unknown, imagined, loved.
SM writes: I am grateful for becoming more content and accepting of what I bring and contribute to the world.
JCwrites: I am grateful to be alive and healthy. I am grateful to be a mother, wife, sister and daughter, and I am grateful to have insight to recognize that I do the best I can everyday.
MS writes: I’m thankful for so many things; good health, good friends, a wonderful job and a loving family. I am also thankful for unanswered prayers as the song goes. Many times over the course of my life I have tried to head down a particular path because I thought I really wanted or needed to do that; but the universe had other plans for me. Of course I was disappointed and discouraged because I felt that I had somehow missed a huge opportunity. In hindsight the direction my life took was exactly right for me. What I thought I wanted would not have been nearly as fulfilling as where I am now. In spite of myself, I have ended up exactly where I need to be.
I’m feeling the spirit of the season, and delighted to pass that good will – and savings – your way with the Take A Bow Seasonal Bundle.
To celebrate the booklet’s success and its third printing – and to help you celebrate this season of light – I have packaged up 12 bundles that each contain the following:
100 copies of Take A Bow
One bonus copy of each of my other four publications: Take A Break, Press Pause…Press On, Press Pause…Think Again, and Sketches of Saskatoon
Plus a bonus original PKatz watercolor painting surface mounted on a 6×8” mat ready for framing
Take A Bow is the perfect gift of encouragement for colleagues, employees, clients, friends and family. It offers simple, doable ways for people to feel better about who they are and what they do.
Take A Bow retails at 6.95 for a single copy. However, in the TAB Seasonal Bundle, it will be priced at 2.65/copy – its lowest price ever. Cheaper than a greeting card – with much more value and staying power. The bonus items (books and painting) are included at no extra cost for you to enjoy yourself or share with others. All told, it’s an $850 value.
The Take A Bow Seasonal Bundle is priced $294 (includes shipping and tax). The fine print?
Only 12 bundles on offer.
Only available in Canada.
Order before December 24/2015.
Order your bundle today and delight others tomorrow!
PAUSE – 14.21 – What Do You Want To Do As You Grow Old?
May 28, 2014
Spring On The Trail
Reflection: We’re pretty quick to ask young people about their futures: “What do you want to be when you grow up? What will you do after graduation?”
However, once we step through that portal of adulthood and into a career, a family, and responsibilities of all shapes and sizes, those ‘imagine your future’ questions are often sidelined.
You make a choice. You set out on a path. You’re headed in the right direction. All is well. Or is it?
I recently delivered the closing keynote for a conference of career planners and employment counselors. My message focused on connecting them to the hidden value in what they do and how they are.
The conference planners asked me to also build in a message for those in their mid to late career years who might be faced with: waning interest, lagging energy, or a once raging fire in the belly now faded to glowing embers. And, so I did. Here are a few of the ideas I shared that I thought might also interest you. (more…)
Pause Gem #22 – Good News Question
July 24, 2013
Reflection & Action: I caught a ride on a beautiful fall day with a cab driver who could easily have taken the grand prize for the world’s darkest outlook on life. In response to my comments on the freshness of the morning, the beauty of the autumn leaves, and the glassy calm of Wascana Lake, he responded in turn, “Frost last night – gonna make the harvest tough! Just reminds me winter’s coming! It’s never like that when I go fishing!”
I’m sure if he won a hundred thousand dollars in the lottery, he wouldn’t waste a minute celebrating. He would launch right into a litany of complaints about the uselessness of a prize that small!
Our mindset has a lot to do with our experience of the day. It is possible to shift from pure pessimism to a more optimistic response to life. It’s a matter of attention. What do you notice? What do you hang on to? How do you start your conversations with yourself and others?
As day’s end nears, and you shut down your computer, pull on your coat, or jump in the car to head home, ask yourself this simple question: “What went well today?”
Ask the same question of colleagues as you close up shop, and of family members as you gather for the evening. Yes, you’ll eventually get to the complaints, but at least the good news of the day will hold center stage and pride of place. That’s all it takes to start the shift of focus.
Quote Of The Week: “The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” – Eric Hoffer
Pause Readers Write: Pause Reader, Myrna B writes: About 6 months ago our family was struggling to accept a very serious health challenge for one of my siblings. At the same time a marriage was falling apart for another sibling. My parents were so focused on the problems that they seemed to be spiraling down a vortex of negativity. Some of us were feeling they had lost site of what was wonderful in the world.
My 74 year old Dad had just purchased a computer. In a conversation with Dad, I asked him to take a step back and think about what he was grateful for and what was wonderful in the world and then to email it to me.
You know, he emailed me the next morning. He emailed the morning after that …and the next…and the next. My Dad emails me every day to share what is great and wonderful in their world. I now have a journal with this collection that I can share with everyone. It contains many memories and important events that my family may have forgotten; and it’s all about all of us as a family. I treasure this because it’s given so freely, honestly and sincerely. My parents believe this commitment to share the positive has changed their lives.
PAUSE – 12.25 – Take A Bow
October 3, 2012
Reflection: It’s October, and the geese are marshaling along the river. In the pre-dawn of my morning walk, I hear them long before I see them. Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk! You’d swear you were approaching a major traffic jam on a morning commute in a congested city anywhere in the world.
Until, that is, the birds take to the air. At the break of dawn, one by one the gaggles of geese leave the river heading for greener pastures and points south. As they lift from the water, wave after wave of syncopated wing beats sound just like a powerful ovation at the end of a fabulous performance.
It was one of the passing regulars along my walking route who brought it to my attention. In the midst of an especially long ovation, she greeted me with a cheery smile and this comment, “Nice of the geese to applaud our exercise program, don’t you think?”
This made me smile and wonder how often we take our own accomplishments for granted, and whether we might be missing other opportunities for small celebrations of things that are going right in our world.
You may find, that some days it’s tougher than others to keep on keeping on: to get out of bed in the morning, to tie on a pair of shoes and get some exercise, to tend to the relationships in your life, to deal with yet another set of challenges at work or at home. And yet most of us do what we need to do – day after day after day – often taking our own contributions for granted.
About a year ago, I started intentionally collecting and creating ideas for how we might do a stronger, more consistent job of celebrating some of our own success. And today, I’m delighted to announce (cue the geese) the launch of a brand new booklet called, Take A Bow – 67 Ways To Pause For Applause, Celebrate Your Success, And Keep Your Spirits High. You can read more about it in the Resource Of The Week section below. (more…)
29 Days …29 Gifts
February 1, 2012
As February unfolds I will be giving away 29 copies of Press Pause…Think Again. One book a day. These books will go to people YOU want to inspire and encourage.
You probably know that February is heart month. It’s not only a time for people to tend to their physical heart health, it’s a time for us to tend to the emotional heart health of those we care about. I want to help you with that cause. Here’s how it works.
Think of someone in your circle of acquaintance who may be struggling or disheartened – someone who could use a little more balance, perspective or appreciation in their everyday life at work or at home. Email me that person’s name and postal address along with a thought or two about why they could use a lift and a gift. Put these words, 29 Gifts, in the Subject line. You can find my email address in the Contact Us area of the Pauseworks Website Home Page.
Each day I will draw the name of one lucky recipient from the entries received. When your nominee is chosen, I will mail your honoree a personalized complimentary copy of Press Pause…Think Again as a gift in your name – and let you know it’s on its way.
Send as many entries as you wish. All entries received will be included in the draw bucket right through to the end of the month.
I’m excited to be helping you help others to ‘Press Pause…Think Again’. A Happy Heartfelt February to you all.
PAUSE -12.03- Can You Shine A Little Light In The Dark?
January 24, 2012
REFLECTION: In the last few weeks, the media has been very generous with coverage of my latest book, Press Pause…Think Again. A couple of morning TV shows, and several newspapers ran features. Many clients, colleagues and friends sent along their congrats.
However, one of the most treasured comments came from my Mom, who by phone and via Facebook made a point of saying, “We’re proud of you.” Even after all these years, hearing those words from one of my parents still has a profoundly uplifting effect on me.
I’d hazard a guess that appreciative comments have a positive effect on you, too. Especially so, when they come from someone whose opinion you value.
There is something validating and uplifting about others taking an interest in what is happening in your world, shining a little light in your direction, and taking the time to let you know you’re on their radar.
Research supports the positive impact of showing an interest in others and expressing appreciation. (more…)
PAUSE – 11.39 – Extending Compassion
November 1, 2011
REFLECTION: There’s a first time for everything. It’s a trite but true saying that packs a lot of impact.
I was thinking about that idea this week as I prepared to deliver a session on appreciation and encouragement for a group of corporate trainers.
To an experienced presenter, another day in the seminar room might be experienced as ‘business as usual’. However, for some of the first time learners, being in a classroom may be far from their everyday experience. Although a change of pace and a chance to learn something new may be exciting for them, it may also feel risky. And if their past experiences in learning settings were not exactly supportive (like long division trauma at the Grade Five chalkboard), they may be worried about whether they will measure up, be embarrassed, or even be able to understand what’s going on.
Think back to a few of your own experiences along the way: starting grade one, first day of high school, beginning a brand new job. Although you may have been all smiles on the outside, chances are good there was a major case of nerves brewing on the inside.
It’s not just education that delivers the first time jitters. Healthcare: first time you undergo surgery. Finance: first time you sign your name for a major loan or a mortgage. Parenting: first time you realize this helpless creature is entirely dependent on you.
REFLECTION & ACTION: The motto of the University of Calgary (where I studied for my master’s degree in continuing education) is “Mo shuiles 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!
My seminar participants tell me their overloaded days are often spent with their heads down-not eyes up. With their noses to the grindstone preoccupied with tasks and details, they wade their way through each day’s responsibilities, always 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. You’ll find a broader, higher, deeper purpose. (more…)