Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Resolution Revolution!

Many of us sit down at the beginning of the year and draw up a list of New Year's Resolutions.  These are personal resolutions and more often than not we fail at keeping them.  Interestingly enough the most common excuse for our new year's resolutions failing is that we didn't have the time.  We were too busy with work and responsibilities.  Let's face it we spend most of our waking hours at work so it is no wonder that it seems to get in the way of us being successful at our personal resolutions. 

What if we changed the way we look at our resolutions and found ways to incorporate these into our work day?  Imagine that you are no longer trying to find time but that the time you are engaged in work activities is actually supporting your resolutions.  Here are some of the most popular resolutions and a few innovative ways to keep them.

Reduce Stress:  One of the major causes for stress in the workplace are the relationships we have with management and our colleagues.  Be willing to listen to another point of view and actively engage in communication, don't just listen to reply.  If you are unfortunate and you work for a company that has poor management and you are unclear of what is expected from you, call a meeting with HR or with the appropriate person within your company and get it resolved.  Nothing creates more stress than continuously feeling like you don't know what you are doing or supposed to be doing.  Being open to new ideas and change reduces stress. Be Teachable! Don't take things personally check your ego at the door.

Time Management:  Why do we fail at time management?  Because everything we know about it is geared towards managing "clock time" and what we should really be managing is "real time".  Real time happens in our heads we create it and anything we create can be managed.  The first thing we have to know is how effective are we at using our time.  Jot down every thought, conversation, task or action you take for one week.  At the end of that week look for the places where you are wasting time on unproductive things that don't produce results .  Now you have the information to Organize, Prioritize and Schedule.  Make sure that 50% of your scheduled time is spent on activities that generate results and schedule time for interruptions.  Block out distractions, not every e-mail needs to be responded to immediately.  Remember that it is impossible to get everything done in a day and be okay with that, tomorrow is another day and that is why you are prioritizing.  The good news is that 20% of your actions will generate 80% of your results so if you are concentrating on the things that matter, you are way ahead of the game!

Pay Off Debt: In today's economy more people are trying to reduce their debt load as there seems to be uncertainty everywhere.  Improving your position at work could lead to an increase or a promotion which in turn can help with getting rid of your debt sooner.  How do you improve your position?  Engage actively in meetings and show your enthusiasm for your work.  Make sure you know what the company goals are and work towards those.  Avoid negative individuals and be open to new ideas and change.  Better still bring your own ideas to the table.  Make yourself indispensable.  Most of all enjoy what you are doing, it shows in your efforts and rubs off on others.

Learn something new: This could tie in nicely with the point above.  If you are thinking of learning a new language, how about learning a language that can help you in the business world.  Chinese is a good option but if your company has a German or Japanese holding company consider that language.  Perhaps one day when there are visiting officers from head office you can be an interpreter.  Take a course that can improve your skill set or join an association that supports your career.  Don't want to do anything work related, that's okay too.  Any personal development will allow you to bring a new perspective to the workplace.

Balance Home And Work: With more of us working from home we often don't know where to draw the line.  The biggest problem of our time is the Glorification of Busy!  Somewhere along the line we have become convinced that if we can't say "Oh I am sooo busy!" we are not pulling our weight and we give the impression that we are not committed to our jobs.  Turn that around, work smarter not harder.  Don't over-commit learn to say No!  Turn off the computer, get plenty of rest and play with your children, spend time with your spouse.  Do something that makes you happy.   Meditate, do cross-word puzzles or quietly sit in thought for a some time every day.  It is proven that time spent in silence strengthens your ability to problem solve.  Once you let go of the idea that busy is better and allow yourself to be present in the moment, whether at work or home, balance will find you!

Good luck with your resolutions and remember to be present... stop worrying or projecting - things hardly ever look they way you expect them to.  Plan and take action!

Love & Light

Monday, 7 December 2015

Loss and grief...

This month I attended the funeral of a young man aged twenty four.  He died in an industrial accident at work.  Even though I did not know him well I know his younger brother very well as he is my youngest son’s best friend.  It was one of the saddest funerals I have ever been to.  It seemed to me that all the young people in our town were touched by this man and his loss in our community is heartfelt and runs deep. He touched many hearts in his short life.

It hit me hard when I saw his Mother whom I also know well.  She had fallen apart and could hardly speak.  Her grief was tangible.  She cried against my shoulder and all I could do was hold her.  I knew my words would sound hollow so I just held her and allowed her grief to flow through me.

I have been to many a young person’s funeral - my own brother in-law died at around the same age and many friends were lost when I was young.  Even though I remember being there for my sister I don’t recall being so affected by the pain I felt coming in waves off this Mother.  I have never felt another’s grief so acutely. 

I am a Mother to two young men and like this Mother I did everything in my power to keep them safe growing up.  In fact she and I are the only two Mother’s I am aware of that had strict rules in place about where they went, how late they were out and needing to know where they were at all times.  I think that is why she allowed her youngest to hang out at my house.  It seems so ironic that we raised them with such care only to have this terrible accident happen.  But I guess that’s life… and that is why we need to live every day to the fullest. 

I believe the reason I felt the grief so deeply is because I know that anything can happen at any time; there but for the grace of Spirit go I.  We have children for various reasons but mostly because it is in our very DNA to continue our blood line.  Our children are the manifestation of our belief that life is sacred, our insurance policy that we shall live forever through our seven generations. 

Here is what I know.  Looking at that Mother I don’t think all our neat boxes about grief will hold water.  There are no stages of grief for her, the so called… denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance… I saw her go through all of those simultaneously.  I know there is no time period for grief and everyone heals at their own pace.  I ask myself; how do you heal from the loss of a child, the loss of the life you carried in your womb and brought into this world with a primal roar. 

What have I learnt?  That death can be a teacher and that no matter what I should count my blessings.  Life is precious and sacred and it needs to be protected at all costs.  I need to ensure that I build a strong bond with my children so there will never be any regrets or unspoken truth between us.  I must open my heart to all around me; a simple smile will heal deep wounds.  Hold space for others and allow them to feel and experience what they need to in order to heal by just being there… no platitudes can make up for compassion felt deeply in silence. 

Lastly… live life with my whole being and make death my friend because it is a beginning not an end….

Love & Light