Category Archives: appreciation

pause

In meditation we discover our inherent restlessness. Sometimes we get up and leave. Sometimes we sit there but our bodies wiggle and squirm and our minds go far away. This can be so uncomfortable that we feel’s it’s impossible to stay. Yet this feeling can teach us not just about ourselves but what it is to be human…we really don’t want to stay with the nakedness of our present experience. It goes against the grain to stay present. These are the times when only gentleness and a sense of humor can give us the strength to settle down…so whenever we wander off, we gently encourage ourselves to “stay” and settle down. Are we experiencing restlessness? Stay! Are fear and loathing out of control? Stay! Aching knees and throbbing back? Stay! What’s for lunch? Stay! I can’t stand this another minute! Stay!”
― Pema Chödrön

When was the last time  you stopped what you were doing to do nothing?

What was the last time you stopped to take in a deep breath just to feel the air filling your lungs?

When was the last time you stopped to watch the sky change colors?

What was the last time you dipped your hand into a stream?

Busyness crowds out living.  Being busy and doing things is what most people are trained to do.  People are trained to start moving at sunrise and to stop moving when there is no energy left to move.  Tomorrow crowds out today.   Life is filled with anxious moments of pleasing others.  Am I good enough?

Take time to put life on pause.   Just stop for a few moments and watch your thoughts.  What are your thoughts telling you?   Do you really want to know?

Put yourself on a diet.  Stop doing so you can start being.  Most people are “doing” and that is like eating fast food for every meal.   Too much doing crowds out the nourishment of being.

It’s time for a pause.

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do more great work

“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
― William Shakespeare

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Are you held back by your own doubts?   Doubt cripples the ability to do great work.   What great work do you want to do?

For some people they are driven to do something great with their life and push on those thoughts everyday, taking action to make things happen.  Others, sit in a cubicle and wish they were doing something else, something that was exciting and used their skills and talents fully.   Are you using your talents fully?

There are those that do have great jobs, great pay and are admired by others but some of those people are plagued with doubt, “Am I good enough to do this work?” or “Is the work I am doing appreciated by anyone.”    I’ve heard stories of people wondering if the work they are doing really matters.    Are you one of those people who is wondering if their work matters?   When I ask them if they have talked to their manager about their work they say, “No, my manager doesn’t have time” or “I’m not sure I should talk to my manager.”   If your manager doesn’t have time to talk to you how would you know how you are doing.   If you feel unsure about talking with your manager then what type of relationship do you have with your manager.   A manager should be serving you and helping you to be your best so that you can do “great work”.

If you aren’t doing great work what is stopping you?

the best place to work

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.”
― Marvin J. Ashton

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Do you work for an organization that would be characterized as a “best place to work”?   Do you feel motivated to come to work?  Do you feel like there is a clear path of advancement?   Are your skills and talents being used?   Is the company ethical in all aspects?   How would you describe your place of work?

Great places to work don’t just happen, they are created, they require great leaders.   Great companies have great cultures.   Great cultures reflect great values.   If your values are not in complete alignment with the values of the company there is going to be some cognitive dissonance that you’ll experience and that may impact your ability to thrive.  Do you own the values of the company as your own?  Do your values fully align with the company you work for?

Great places to work value people.   Leaders recognize the value of relationships and nurture and foster opportunity for growth within the staff.  People who can stretch and engage all the talents you bring.   In a sense a great place to work is going to have an environment that is consistent with a coaching culture.  A culture that enables the best out of each person on a consistent basis.

A coaching culture works by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system which leads to better performance.   Imagine a culture which is committed to your success and developing and improving your social and emotional awareness so that you could develop professional and personally.  In that type of environment employees would feel empowered to speak with honesty and candor about significant issues.  Organizational transparency would exist and  lead to less conflict, less withholding of information and better engagement.

In a sense the best place to work would be an environment of compassionate understanding with high performance objectives.   It would be an environment with excellent performance objectives that challenge and require the best of everyone and with a culture of compassionate understanding people would want to perform.   That is different from a culture that “needs” to perform.

What kind of culture does your place of work encourage or discourage?  How do you feel about going to work each day?  Are you working in a place you’d consider the best place to work?

Is this the best place to work?

activating personal peace

“Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

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When was the last time you experienced personal peace?    In our high tech, high results world we tend to experience more stress than peace.

More and more people are in the grips of stress and it is affecting their health, their outlook on life and it is affecting their emotions.   You’ve probably have seen people who are too stressed, too angry and depressed.  Those people aren’t experiencing much in terms of personal peace.

It is hard to cram all of what life demands into a 24 hour day and yet people try.   They take shortcuts on their exercise, their diet, and their sleep and wonder why they have a short temper, are gaining weight and feel physically ill.

Lissa Rankin has written a book about her personal question for personal peace.   One of the remedies getting free of the stuff that creates a lot of stress.   For Lissa it was getting away from a stress producing job and creating a less stressful way of life.

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Lissa’s process can help you manage stress in your life.  Healing starts with a lifestyle that is less hectic.

Because stress impacts our ability to think and keep our emotions intact, here’s another resource that can provide you with information to improve the quality of your life.

Increasing compassion in your life will help you improve your ability to relate and develop relationships with others.   Being more generous sends a positive message to others and reduces tension.  Kindness will do more good in a tense situation than staying angry.  Take charge of your emotions and become more compassionate.  Express kindness and see if it increases cooperation with others.

Imagine shifting your language to get better personal and professional results.  Perhaps your interactions with others is stressed and it feels uncomfortable.  Maybe the relationship with your co-workers or associates isn’t what you want it to be.   There are ways to build better relationships.  One way is with the words you use (take a look at the short video clip below).

Another way to increase personal peace is through meditation.   Just spending a few minutes each day meditation can bring about positive emotional health benefits.   To learn more about meditation practices take a look at “How to do Mindful Meditation”.

Learn how to activate personal peace in your life, to reduce stress, increase emotional well-being and to live a happier life.

how do you deceive yourself

“Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.”
― Jane Austen

What do you believe about yourself?   What is your real truth?   Below is a video about people who describe themselves in one way and others describe that same person in another.   How we think of ourselves matters.

How we see ourselves impacts our ability to be our best.    Our best may be exaggerated a bit, more positive or more handsome or beautiful.   We want to believe we are somewhat better than we really are because it pushes us in some way to be that person.   If we believe we are more negative than we really are we don’t believe we can do the things we could otherwise.

We deceive ourselves for a number of reasons.  If we believe in that deception does it help us live a better life?

What do you think of yourself?   Who do you think you really are?   Are you the person you want to be?   Are you the person that others see?   What is your answer?

 

the common man

“I am no one special. Just a common man with common thoughts. I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but in one respect I’ve succeeded as gloriously as anyone who ever lived. I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul and for me that has always been enough.” ― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

Today I have a guest who wrote the following  poem  it is written by a man who lives in Christchurch, NZ.   Let James tell you the story of the common man.   Do we really live in this type of world?

Common Man  by James Wilkes

We’re all different and we’re all the same
Life, living, loving, it’s not a game.
We have one world, one chance and if we don’t change this could be our last dance. The rich strive for more and more, the poor do with less and less….what a mess.  We’re all different and we’re all the same. Why can’t we change, it’s such a shame.

We arrive and leave through the same door, it’s just some of us get so much more. How did this happen I hear you pray, we’re the same aren’t  we, that’s what I heard you say. Maybe George did have insight; some of us are more equal by birth right?  If I’m here and you’re there, surely we both breathe air. We’re all different and we’re all the same. Why can’t we change, it’s such a shame.

You ride in a Rolls, I ride on a bike and some others I know, they just hike. As silly as it sounds we’re all going the same way; it will just take some longer than others on this day.

We all step on the planet, we all look up at the sun, it just seems that some have all the fun.  It’s not hard to share and it’s not hard to care, all we have to do is just dare.  We’re all different and we’re all the same. Why can’t we change, it’s such a shame.

Creativity is key, imagination is free, we can do something about all this, just wait and see.  We learnt to fly, we went to the moon, surely we can manage to get some food on a spoon.  Black and white, yellow and brown, we’re all in it together so come on down.  Feel inside, feel around and look up, not down.  We’re all different and we’re all the same. Why can’t we change, it’s such a shame.

 

Experience magic moments

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonize.  The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ― George Eliot

Take a moment to reflect back on something that was a magical moment for you. Perhaps it was taking the time to look at the splendor of autumn, or perhaps it was something else. Whatever it was, remember it and then remember the feeling you experienced at that moment.

Those special moments which may happen many times in a day are caused when dopamine is released into the brain.   That dopamine creates a feeling, a feeling of satisfaction, joy, happiness, pleasure, tingling, or something that just makes you feel good.   Our brain likes those small rewards and they can be small moments, perhaps the taste of a great cup of coffee or a great meal at your favorite restaurant or just getting something done for the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we are able to do something or experience something positive the brain gives us a small reward of dopamine.     Video gamer’s are constantly being given small dopamine rewards as they accomplish small victories in the game and that might be the reason games can be do addictive, lots of small rewards and that sensation can become habit-forming.

The idea is to find those things that produce those moments of joy.   Create work that can provide moments of joy.   The people who have found work that is integrated with their strengths may have many small moments of success, small dopamine moments that push them on. If you’re not experiencing moments of joy in your day then perhaps you aren’t fully living the way you want to be.

What would allow you to experience more joy in your day?