Pause Blog On Overload, Overwhelm & Life In General

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

292-Katz-BreakCover2.indd

 

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:

 

NEWS NOTES

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 – 16.09 – 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:

 

NEWS NOTES

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

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PAUSE – 16.07 – Simple Pleasures

Spring Returns -w-210

Reflection: When my dear Aunt Eileen moved from her large home in Edmonton into a small assisted living apartment here in Saskatoon, I took her a small bouquet of flowers – just a couple of blossoms in a tiny glass vase.

She loved that vase and it held a place of honor on the coffee table in her new living room.

On my regular visits I brought fresh blossoms to replace the ones that were past their prime.

That vase and its flowers were a Small Treasure that delivered a Simple Pleasure.

I learned the value of small but wonderful from my parents. Each year my father made a pilgrimage to the patch of prairie where he knew the first blooms of spring would appear. Each year he placed a small bowl of fuzzy purple crocuses on the kitchen table – a gift to Mom from Dad and Mother Nature.

As spring turned into summer, and the flowers in the garden burst into bloom, my mother regularly harvested handfuls of blossoms (nasturtiums, calendula, poppies, pansies).

She placed these nosegays and posies in small vases scattered on counters, shelves and window ledges throughout the house. More small treasures that delivered simple pleasure!

Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Artwork, Life in General, Nature, Pause E-zines

PAUSE 16.06 – PAT ANSWERS VIDEO: Malaise – Just An ‘Old Folk’s Problem?

Welcome to the third 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 – Isn’t It Just An ‘Old Folks’ Problem?

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 Malaise Episode #3-400w

 

Watch for upcoming PAT ANSWERS Videos in this series:

  • Episode #4: Malaise – How do people deal with the challenge?
  • 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:

 

NEWS NOTES

New Art Website Now Live:  For those of you who follow my art adventures, I have now launched my new Pauseworks Studio fine art website. It features a Blog, an Events and Projects section, and a Gallery with familiar links to my images posted on the Fine Art America site.

You can check it out at: www.patkatzart.com.  In the footer of the home page on the new website, you’ll find an invitation to subscribe to receive email notices of updates to the art blog. I hope you’ll sign up so you’re sure to get the latest news.

Also, stay tuned for further details on the ‘Simple Pleasures’ Art Event scheduled for the afternoon of the first day of Spring, March 20th. You’ll be able to take part in person – or virtually. Complete details will be posted to the new art blog.

To whet your appetite, here’s a short 30 second video preview of a few of the featured works.

 

Reminder – Pause Plan 2016: In case you missed the earlier memo, for 2016 the traditional format Pause ezines will be delivered every second week. In alternate weeks, I’m presenting a series of projects (like this video series) that I hope you’ll find of interest.

 

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

PAUSE – 16.05 – We’re All In This Together

ThanksReflection: This Friday, the 4th of March, is Employee Appreciation Day. Of course, exchanging appreciation ought to be an everyday experience. Still, a focused reminder can’t hurt and it might even help.

I recently came across an organization where all who work there are referred to as co-workers – neither bosses nor employees. That title, co-worker, reinforces the idea that we share responsibility for our everyday work experience.

When it comes to appreciation, we are all in it together. I’ve often heard employees say they wish the boss would recognize their efforts. In fact, a recent Harris poll reported that the top complaint of 63% of employees surveyed was that leaders don’t recognize employee achievements.

Not to let leaders off the hook, but all of us, as co-workers, can share that responsibility. Encouragement isn’t limited by rank or status.

And, what if we universally extend this concept of co-workers beyond the walls of our organizations? Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Communication, Life in General, Pause E-zines

PAUSE 16.04 – PAT ANSWERS VIDEO: Malaise – Who Cares? Why Does It Matter?

Welcome to the second 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 – Who Cares? Why Does It Matter?

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 Malaise Episode #2-400w

 

Watch for upcoming PAT ANSWERS Videos in this series:

  • Episode #3: Malaise – Isn’t it just an ‘old folks’ problem?
  • Episode #4: Malaise – How do people deal with the challenge?
  • 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 first episode in the series, you can catch up here:

 

NEWS NOTES

New Art Website In The Works:  If you enjoy the art from the Pauseworks Studio, you might be interested to learn that I’m working on the design for a new fine art website and blog, featuring new works as well as stories from behind the scenes.

I’ve been challenged as I navigate the wordpress software. But, heh, a little stretching and a lot of learning can be very good things. I’ll let you know when it goes live.

Last Call: Are you one of the 134 Pause readers who have already entered your name in the draw to celebrate my 30 years in biz? If not, you’ll find the scoop on the three prizes and entry details at Celebrating The Leap. Draws will be made February 29th.

 

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