Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happier and Healthier Gift Giving Throughout the Year

Our Presence is a Present: Giving Gifts of Ourselves

Although Christmas and the major gift giving holidays and 2016 are coming to an end, it is important that we consider extending the spirit of joy, love and peace into the next year and not limit these positive attitudes and generous behaviors to a brief season.  As we approach 2017, let us continue to practice spreading a positive spirit and sharing ourselves as part of our everyday lives.  This may help us redefine gift giving in ways that decrease commercialism and increase our spiritual value.

This post is an extension of last month's focus on "The Power of Our Presence". That message encouraged us to recognize, reflect on, appreciate and enhance our character qualities, abilities, talents and strengths. Let's take our realization of our best selves and allow our presence to be felt as we utilize it to contribute to the world in a positive way.   Below are are examples of ways to share our selves and be present to others  that can have significant, meaningful and long ranging impact.

Gifts of Our Time
  • Volunteering our services toward a meaningful cause
  • Helping some with a task
  • Providing someone a break; Doing a chore; or Running an errand
  • Spending time doing something special and fun with someone
  • Hosting a fun filled gathering
  • Visiting someone, who is sick, shut-in, incarcerated, lonely, etc.
  • Writing a note, letter or sending a card to convey thinking about someone
  • Expressing appreciation to others, who do nice things for us

Gifts of Our Talents
  • Using our culinary skills to prepare a special dish or treat 
  • Babysitting for someone to give them some free time
  • Teaching someone a skill
  • Using our creative or artistic talents (i.e. photography, sewing, entertaining, etc.)
  • Sharing our expertise (i.e. resume writing, appliance or auto repair, public speaking, research, etc.)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

There is Power in Our Presence

The Power of Our Presence
Many of us take for granted the power of our presence.  We are all here on this planet for a purpose.  Our mission is to discover it, embrace it and live it.  It is also important to value our presence.  This entails the recognition and appreciation of our skills, talents and other positive attributes, which includes personality and character qualities. Not only is it okay to feel good (not become arrogant or conceited) about one’s assets and strengths, it is imperative to a healthy sense of self, identity and self-esteem.  This places us in the best position to be self-determining and intentional about ways to express and utilize aspects of ourselves. As a result, we can achieve personal fulfillment and self-actualization.

Recognize Our Presence by:

  • Stopping to notice when we feel good about something we have done or accomplished

  • Practicing self-reflection and introspection, quieting, centering and meditative activities

  • Listening to our inner voice, trusting our gut or some level of discernment to direct us toward our passions and paths

  • Reflecting on and recalling instances of receiving positive feedback about some quality, talent or skill we possess, which feels accurate and resonates with what we know

Embrace Our Presence by:

  • Allowing ourselves to feel good in response to compliments and positive feedback

  • Incorporating our positive assets and qualities into our description and self-perception           Example: When asked about our strengths, we are able to readily identify them

  • Determining and being intentional and proactive about how we wish to utilize our presence

Live In Accordance with Our Presence by:

  • Expressing and demonstrating our best qualities with consistency

  • Bringing our best selves to situations that allow us to have impact

  • Intentionally being present to and for others in ways that may be helpful or influential in a positive manner

Monday, October 31, 2016

Doing Work You Love and Loving Work You Do: How to Pursue Your Career Passion

Identifying and pursuing one's passion starts from within.  By nurturing and pursuing work you love, you will feel empowered  and in charge of your career life. 

This article provides some ways to explore and get in touch with what you  feel called to do.  Here are ways to recognize that you may have a calling or a passion.  This will help inspire your motivation to move toward your life's work.
  •       Is there something that you have felt a burning desire to do, but have not tried?
  •       Do you spend a lot of time doing something, wishing it was your job?
  • ·   Is your current job, something you have outgrown or is not a good fit? 

How To:
Determine and Nurture Your Passion
Ask yourself:  What activities do I enjoy?  What would I love to do? What activities make me feel happy, energized, successful, engaged and with a sense of   importance and purpose?  What have I dreamed of or have always wanted to do? What have I thought about exploring on more than one occasion?
Identify and Nurture Your Strengths, Abilities and Talents
Ask yourself:  What am I good at doing?  What things come easy for me?  What are the skills for which I often get praise, compliments and positive attention? What do my achievements and accomplishments reflect about my skills and talents?
Recognize What You need to Function Well in and Feel Good About Your work (your personality and work style)
Ask yourself: Under what physical conditions do I enjoy working? What workplace interpersonal environment contributes to my enjoyment of work (i.e. warm, collegial, team oriented atmosphere vs. distant, and more reserved atmosphere; What kinds of workplace interpersonal interactions enable me to do my best at work (i.e. with managers, with co-workers, with customers, etc.)?
Distinguish Between A New Career Calling and A Hobby or Avocation
Ask yourself: Is this something I wish to do only for my own personal enjoyment? Is this something that I desire to make a primary source of my income? Am I comfortable meeting the demands and expectations of others that may accompany doing something I love to do as an occupation?
Overcome Fear and Take Reasonable Risks to Pursue Your Passion
Ask yourself:  What is holding me back or interfering with my pursuit of my work related passion?  What is the negative self-talk that is fueling my fears to move ahead? In another year, do I want to feel as though I got stuck or let myself down, by not pursuing my dream?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Work - Life Balance at Work

Creating Balance in Your Work Life

  • Are you refreshed and ready to get back to work after a, hopefully, relaxing summer?

  •  Are you looking forward to doing something different and exciting?

  •   Are you seeking ways to cope more effectively with the demands of your current work?

  •   Are you aiming to make your work more fulfilling and enjoyable?

Let’s examine mental strategies to put you in control of your well- being at work.  The following guidelines may result in overall increased sense of satisfaction and contentment and a reduction in work related stress.  

Set Reasonably High and Positive Performance Goals

  •  Be clear about and adhere to your job description and range of responsibilities on which you will be evaluated
  •   Long Term: Set annual performance goals in line with your job description and employer’s expectations
  •   Short Term: Take time to plan and prioritize your work on a daily basis in line with your long term goals
  •   Determine ways to measure your progress and accomplishments
  •   Reward yourself when you achieve your goals

Recognize What You Can and Cannot Control
If a distressing work related situation is truly beyond your ability and power to change, one option is to determine how you may be able to adapt to the situation in a way that enables you to reduce the stress and function well.

  Remind yourself that:

  • The situation is limited to work and do not allow it to infringe on your personal life
  •   You can manage if the situation is temporary, until you leave or when a planned change in the workplace takes place
  •   The situation is external to you and does not define you. Therefore, do not internalize an unhealthy workplace situation.
  •  You have a right and responsibility to stand up for yourself and what you need to do your best work

Foster Positive Relationships and Effective Communication

Do Your Best To:

  •  Identify co-workers, who may serve as a resource and support system in your workplac
  •  Promote  positive interactions with colleagues and supervisors
  •   Seek to engage in cooperative problem solving
  •   Clearly communicate your needs in an assertive (not aggressive) manner

Keep Work in a Healthy Perspective 

Remember that:

  •  Work is what you do, not who you are
  •   Work should not occupy the bulk of your life; Create balance outside of work in your personal life

Determine when it may be in your best healthy self-interest to leave

Recognize when:

  •   The impact of a negative situation results in health problems, significant mental stress (i.e. anxiety and / or depression) and difficulty functioning at your best
  •   You have outgrown the job and may be ready for upward mobility and greater challenge


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