PAUSE – 16.17 – Clear The Decks And Lighten The Load

Heavy LoadReflection: 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. Read More…

Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines

PAUSE – 16.16 – Time And Time Again

StarPhoenixClock72-Posterwith text & border-300w


My Thoughts:  April, May and June are ripe with birthday celebrations in our family. I’ve noticed there’s nothing that marks the passage of time quite so clearly as those annual celebrations of our arrival on this planet.

This quote suggests, “You can’t turn back time, but you can wind it up again!” There’s some truth in that. A good night’s sleep, for instance, tops your tank and gifts you with a brand new day at sunrise.

A fresh interest that challenges you and brings you joy also has a way of ‘turning back time’. It makes you feel more energetic and engaged in life and – if not younger – at least more youthful in spirit.


Your Thoughts: What experiences wind you up again? And are you making time for those things in your life?

And, when was the last time you tried something new or different? Could today be that day?


News Notes:  Engagement Series Final Session Still Has A Few Open Spaces

I’ve really enjoyed delivering the first two sessions in a three part Series on Engagement through the University of Saskatchewan Edwards School of Business.

Session One focused on Fueling Enthusiasm. We had a full house of very enthusiastic participants. Some organizations brought several people to the session so they could support each other in applying the ideas back in the workplace.

Session Two focused on Boosting Energy. It was a treat to see how well attendees engaged with those ideas. I know that applying what they learned will pay off for themselves and those around them, too.

Session Three will be focusing on Tapping Passion – Moving Beyond Mid-Life Malaise. It is just around the corner, and will be delivered on the 9th of June here in Saskatoon. There are still a few seats available in the program.

If you’ve been interested in the ideas I’ve been sharing on this topic, here’s your chance to engage with them first hand – to see how they might fit into your own life, and to become a more effective support to others who find themselves in danger of rusting out.

Here is the link to the program details and registration information. Hope to see you there.


Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Pause E-zines, Pause Poster Message

PAUSE – 16.15 – Get to The Root Of The Matter

RootsandRocks-wReflection: One of my favorite features in our backyard garden is a pond and stream nestled under the giant Scots Pine. I love watching the goldfish glide through the water and the songbirds splash in the stream.

That pond has also been a source of great consternation. For the last few years, keeping the water level up has been a challenge. As you might guess, the idea of fish out of water – literally – is not a pretty thought.

Over time, I’ve attempted a lot of different fixes. I wrapped the hose that carries the water from the pond to the top of the stream in a vinyl liner so any leaks would funnel back into the pond. I sealed around the spout at the top of the stream so the water no longer splashes over the edges.

I adjusted the pump and filter to control the flow of water in the stream. All were temporary fixes at best. At the end of the season last year, the water level in the pond still dropped six inches every single day.

This spring I decided a major dismantling of the streambed was in order, and that’s how I spent last Friday. I took the whole thing apart – stone by stone – and as it turned out, root by root.

Apparently the Scots pine that shelters the pond had claimed the stream as its own private drinking fountain. In three separate places, one-inch diameter roots had crept over the bank and into the stream – sending out smaller rootlets both up and down the waterway.

It took me four hours of steady work to rid the stream of a four-inch thick mat of roots and to free the rocks and stones held captive within. I traced the big roots back and cut each of them as far from the stream as possible.

I’m sure they’ll move in again, but this time I know to watch for it and will hopefully catch them sooner rather than later.

The fix was not easy – and it may not be permanent. But, at least I’m feeling more confident that this time I actually got to the root of the matter. Time will tell. Read More…

Posted under Life in General, Nature, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines

PAUSE – 16.14 – Lighten Up & Relax



My Thoughts:

There is certainly no shortage of advice on how to improve our lives and workplaces. Heck, I’m sharing some with you right now!

At times, the sheer volume of ‘how-to’ messages can overwhelm us: Do more of this. Do less of this. Remember this. Don’t forget about that.

When I stumbled across Pema Chodron’s message featured here (Maybe the most important teaching is to lighten up and relax), I immediately felt a weight lifted from my shoulders. And that brought a smile to my face.

Though we may not always be in a position to relax, there are a lot of situations in which we could lighten up and not take life and our selves quite so seriously.


Your Thoughts:

With respect to a burden or two in your world today, where could you lighten up and relax?


News Notes:

As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, my plan for 2016 is to publish the traditional Pause format every second week. In the weeks between, I’ll be experimenting with a series of projects.

The first project was the six part video series on Rekindling Spark – Navigating Mid Life Malaise. I hope you enjoyed watching the series and sharing them with friends and colleagues.

If you missed any of the messages, you’ll find links to all of them in this recent blog post.

For the next couple of months, alternate weeks will feature a series of Pause Posters – like the one you see here today.

I enjoy partnered ideas and images that make me stop and think. Some that you’ll see are created by others and some I’ll pull together myself. I’m excited about sharing them with you – along with a couple of brief thoughts and a question or two for reflection.

Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause Poster Message, Wellness

PAUSE – 16.13 – Collective Gratitudes

Grateful-wToday’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.


JC writes: 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.


Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Pause E-zines

PAUSE 16.12 – PAT ANSWERS VIDEO: Malaise – How Do You Help Those Caught In The Grip?

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.

Today’s focus: Malaise – How do you help those caught in the grip?

Just click on the image below to access the video for this episode. Enjoy!

Pat Answers Malaise Episode #6-400w


If you missed the earlier episodes in the series, you can catch up here:



Helpful Publications:

New subscribers are always joining the Pause e-zine list, as readers share these Pause messages with their friends and colleagues, and as I speak at seminars and conferences.

On occasion, I find it’s helpful to remind longstanding readers and inform new subscribers about print resources that I have created over the years.

So, here is a recap of the books and booklets on offer in the Pause Shop. They relate to the areas I speak about most often: balance/wellness/renewal and encouragement/appreciation/recognition.

You’ll find two collections of previous Pause messages, and two handy quick-read booklets – each jam packed with practical ideas.

  • Press Pause…Press On – Bringing Balance & Perspective To Work & Life
  • Press Pause…Think Again – More Balance & Perspective For Work & Life
  • Take A Break – 67 Ways To Pause When You Absolutely, Positively Do Not Have The Time
  • Take A Bow – 67 Ways To Pause For Applause, Celebrate Your Success, & Keep Your Spirits High

Click here for the complete listing where you will find excerpts from each publication, details on discounts for quantity purchases, and links to purchase your copies online.


Posted under Life in General, Pause E-zines, Spark/Malaise, Video

PAUSE – 16.11 – What Can You Do To Renew You?

Renew-wReflection: It’s been 20 or 30 years since we first started talking about work-life balance. The main challenge in the early days seemed to be that work ate up an inordinate share of our time and energy – squeezing out space for life’s other jobs and joys.

Over the years, the way we talk about this issue has changed. We’ve gone from balance as a distant objective, to flex as a decent workaround, to harmony as a desirable possibility, to integration as a reasonable compromise, to flow as a utopian ideal.

Although the language has changed, so has the culture and the technology. Expectations continue to grow, techno tools multiply, and multitasking runs rampant. The core challenge remains. There’s still not enough of US (that’s ME and YOU) to go around.

Here’s what I have noticed. We’ve become very good at injecting work tasks into what we previously referred to as ‘off-hours or down-time’. We check email while we tend the stir-fry. We fire off a text while keeping half an eye on the TV or the kids.

We’ve become better at wedging personal needs into our ‘working hours’. We take a mid-day break to ferry a parent to a doctor’s appointment. We leave work early to catch a youngster’s soccer game.

Sadly, we still fall short when it comes to working our own needs for R & R (relief and renewal) into the equation.


Action: Whether you pursue balance, flex, harmony, integration or flow, here are three strategies that are essential to sustaining yourself along the way. Read More…

Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Technology

PAUSE 16.10 – PAT ANSWERS VIDEO: Malaise – What Can You Do To Find Your Way Through?

Welcome to the fifth in a six part series of short (3 minute) videos that explore the new topic I’ve been developing: Rekindling The Spark – Navigating Mid-Life Malaise.

Today’s focus: Malaise – What can you do to find your way through?

The final video in this series will be released two weeks from now.

Just click on the image below to access the video for this episode. Enjoy!


Pat Answers Malaise Episode #5-400w


Watch for the final PAT ANSWERS Video in this series:

  • Episode #6: Malaise – How do you help those caught in the grip?

If you missed the earlier episodes in the series, you can catch up here:




Engagement Series:

The first module in the Engagement Series that I am delivering for the University of Saskatchewan Edwards School of Business is already sold out with a waiting list.

There may, however, be a few spots left in modules two and three. Check here for details on the programs and registration info.


Travel Cost Savings:

In addition to speaking at programs in and around Saskatoon, I now know that I will be presenting at events in these locations in the months ahead:

  • Toronto (late April)
  • Leduc (May)
  • Edmonton & Regina (June)
  • Calgary (October)

If you might be needing a speaker for an event or a professional development program in one of those locations around those times, give me a call (306-934-1807). I’m always happy to save on travel time, and share travel costs between clients whenever possible.


Posted under Life in General, Pause E-zines, Spark/Malaise, Video

PAUSE – 16.09 – Ain’t Brain Science A Wonderful Thing?

creative-brainReflection: I recall from my childhood that whenever someone did something my Dad deemed stupid or thoughtless, he’d declare, “That boy oughta have his head examined.”

Flash forward several decades, and lo and behold (love that phrase), having your head examined is a reality. Access to MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) has opened up the whole world of neuroscience.

Now we can see what actually happens in the brain as we experience the ordinary challenges of life. Each day, research sheds more light on mind-body connections.

A collection of findings on the neuroscience of happiness recently caught my eye. It suggests four actions we can take to create a more positive upward spiral of happiness in our lives.


Action: Here they are:

  1. Ask yourself what you are grateful for. You don’t even have to find an answer to the question to experience a positive effect. The simple act of searching for something to appreciate has the same impact on the brain as a dose of antidepressant. It boosts the ‘get happy’ neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin.
  1. Label negative feelings. Use a word or two to give these rumblings of discontent a name. Consciously recognizing negative emotions reduces their physiological impact and calms the mind and body down. It’s far healthier than trying to suppress them or pretend they don’t exist.

Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Wellness

PAUSE 16.08 – PAT ANSWERS VIDEO: Malaise – Meeting The Challenge

Welcome to the fourth in a six part series of short (3 minute) videos that explore the new topic I’ve been developing: Rekindling The Spark – Navigating Mid-Life Malaise.

Today’s focus: Malaise – How do people meet the challenge?

Other topics in this series will be released in the weeks ahead. For details on what’s coming up, see below.

Just click on the image below to access the video for this episode. Enjoy!


Pat Answers- #4-400w


Watch for upcoming PAT ANSWERS Videos in this series:

  • Episode #5: Malaise –  What can you do to find your way through?
  • Episode #6: Malaise –  How do you help those caught in the grip?

If you missed the earlier episodes in the series, you can catch up here:



Presentation Topics:
This reminder is for those of you who may be planning professional development activities and serving on conference planning committees.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been featuring a lot of the ideas from the programming I’m delivering on the Rekindling The Spark/Navigating Mid Life Malaise topic.

In addition to that topic, I continue to provide keynotes, concurrents and workshops in these two areas:

  • Wellness/Stress/Balance/Self Care/ Renewal
  • Appreciation/Encouragement/Recognition

Do keep me in mind if you have needs or interests that fall in any of these areas. At several upcoming conferences, I’m delivering multiple sessions on different topics at the same event.


Simple Pleasures Art Show Update

The Spring Thing Art Show & Sale held March 20th was a great success. Half of the images in the series found new homes – either with those who attended in person or those who made offers at a distance.

If you missed the event, know that it’s not too late. The remaining 13 images are still available. You can check them out at this link.

Thanks for all the live and virtual support for my art.


Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Pause E-zines, Spark/Malaise, Video

This post was written by Pat Katz on March 23, 2016 Add a Comment »

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