Pause Blog On Overload, Overwhelm & Life In General

PAUSE – 14.34 – Need A Real Alignment?

Alignment-wReflection: Sometimes our best intentions and our everyday actions are not that well aligned.

A few cases in point:

  • We say, ‘To make a long story short…’ and then we make a short story long.
  • We feel virtuous about stocking up on healthy fruit and vegetables. But, do we eat them? No, we just let them waste away.
  • We buy new running shoes and set up the treadmill, and then let them collect dust in the corner.
  • We repeatedly show up late to appointments because there is always ‘something unexpected’ that gets in our way.

I recently led a training session for a group of leaders. They started the day by sharing how much they had been learning about the importance of being present to their staff – listening and attending with care. Many of them then proceeded to spend a big chunk of our time together flipping through messages and texting on their smart phones.

At the root of the issue is the quality of our self awareness – the ability to see ourselves as we really are. It’s an essential skill, but one that can be tough to cultivate.

Because we’re privy to our intentions – spoken and unspoken – we cut ourselves a LOT of slack. We credit ourselves with points for our good intentions and don’t deduct points for our less than ideal behaviors.

What really matters most, though, is our actions. And it is those actions that build or destroy our health or our relationships and establish our character – both on the inside and through the eyes of others.

 

Action: How do you get better at self awareness and alignment? Read More…

Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Pause E-zines, Wellness

PAUSE – 14.31 – Doubting Your Value? Know That You Matter!

FlamboyantFallColor-wReflection: In life’s daily give and take, slog and grind, tug and pull, it’s easy to question whether what you do or who you are really matters. Many times I’ve felt discouraged or hopeless or useless and found myself asking, ‘What’s the point?” Maybe you have, too.

Along the way I’ve learned that fostering a sense of significance – believing that we do, in fact, matter – is very much an inside job. Others cannot fill a hole in our hearts or a need in our lives that is of our own making.

 

Action: In those dark moments of self-doubt about self-worth, here are a handful of tactics you might find helpful in shifting from dismay to delight. Read More…

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

PAUSE – 14.30 – Success Can Lead To Excess

Virgina Creeper Welcomes Fall-wReflection: Our pursuit of success has both an upside and a downside – a bright side and a dark side.

The very same impulses that drive us to success (a commitment to showing up, the ambition to get ahead, and a desire to make a difference) are the very same impulses that can drive us to excess (taking on too many things at once, working ourselves to exhaustion, and driving ourselves and those around us crazy in the process).

In our pursuit of success and significance, it’s far too easy to lose our focus and to lose our way – to end up feel overwhelmed and overloaded.

Trying to handle the situation with traditional time management tools only makes a small dint in this experience. Goal setting, prioritizing, delegation, and techno efficiency will only take us so far.

If we want to be sustainably productive, we need to concern ourselves with other equally important elements of productivity:

  • Maintaining perspective
  • Developing presence
  • Tapping into peace of mind

 

Action: Pay close attention to perspective, presence and peace of mind as you make your way through today:

  • Remember why the things you are working on matter.
  • Take satisfaction as you move projects forward – even if they aren’t yet complete.
  • Be present to the people who share your world and your work.
  • Tune in your body and your thoughts; and answer the call when they signal what you need.
  • Tap into that invisible ‘river of peace’ that flows at your feet every moment of every day.

 

Quote Of The Week: Could we stop measuring our days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence? – Yours Truly

Our entire society can be changed by one person’s peaceful presence. – Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

Resource Of The Week: You might find this article by Lori Deschene of interest: Productivity & Happiness – Why Are We So Busy?

 

 

Readers Write: In response to last week’s message, What Can You Learn From A Toddler On Overload, Pause reader JO writes:  “I am not sure who said this or coined it but if I have an important meeting or event it’s important to HALT and do an internal check. Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired (HALT)? If so I take care of it prior to that important event or meeting!”

I did a little sleuthing on attribution, JO, and it seems this acronym is most strongly associated with treatment programs for chemical dependency. The thought here is that when we are in weakened states (as in HALT) we are more likely to make poor choices. When you recognize and take care of those needs, you improve the likelihood of making more thoughtful, healthy and sustainable choices.

 

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

PAUSE – 14.28 – Keep a Promise To Lighten Your Load

Blossoms To Go-wReflection: One of the ways we add to the mental and emotional overload in our lives is by making promises we’re unlikely to keep.

For example, you run into an old friend or an ex-colleague on the street. You’re both super excited to see each other. You spend the next 20 minutes swapping news and bringing each other up to date.

At the end of the exchange, you say, “I’m so glad we ran into each other. This has been great. We should get together soon for (pick one) coffee, a drink, dinner.” Your friend agrees, smiles and nods, and you go your separate ways.

It was a great visit. That’s true. But, now there’s a ‘thing’ between you.

What kind of thing, you ask? A promise, a commitment, a spoken intention to act. And the central question is whether you will or whether you won’t follow through.

Sure, your intentions were good, as they are in so many instances. But, time is limited, and we’re easily distracted. Before you know it, days, weeks, months, even years go by – and the thing – that unmet promise still hangs in the air and follows you around.

Multiply the number of ‘things promised but not delivered’ in our lives and the weight of expectation grows heavy.

What’s equally problematic, is that our integrity takes a hit in the eyes of others. We become that person who talks a good line but rarely follows through.

 

Action: What to do? Read More…

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

PAUSE – 14.27 – Is Speed Truly The Holy Grail Of Happiness?

Kapasiwin Kabin border-wReflection: We’ve become far too accustomed to stuffing our days from end to end with task after task, trying to accomplish as much as possible as quickly as possible.

We latch on to shortcuts as if they might lead us to the holy grail of happiness. We grab fast food and we leave quick notes. We ask quick questions. We share quick hugs, and we send quick texts.

We literally cut ourselves and each other to the quick as we speed off to…what? What, exactly, are we trying to make of our lives? Where are we headed at such a breakneck pace? And what do we end up experiencing along the way?

Consider for just a moment, what might happen if every once in a while you: Read More…

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

PAUSE – 14.26 – How Do YOU Cultivate Contentment?

Tea & TunesReflection: Here it is the beginning of September, and I see Summer waving goodbye in the rearview mirror. I’m surprised at what seems like an early departure.

Despite the luxury of time that is July and August, there are so many things I didn’t accomplish. I didn’t go golfing or biking. In fact, the clubs and the bike are still hanging on the wall in the garage. I didn’t attend any events at Saskatoon’s Jazz Festival, Children’s Festival or the Fringe. I didn’t get the carpets cleaned or the fence replaced. And, I didn’t make my way through even half the books I’d hope to read.

I did, however, enjoy my morning walks along the river and lunches on the back deck. I shared some great visits with friends and family, and spent time with family who came here from away. I was tickled to spend several fun filled days with my seven-year-old grandson, Ethan. I sketched and painted and tended the garden.

I helped my Dad total up the grain he’d grown over a lifetime of farming and translated the bushels of wheat, durum and barley into loaves of bread, bowls of spaghetti and bottles of beer. (Amazing totals those!) I worked on the design for a new business offering and arranged for the second printing of my latest book.

Still, in the richness and muchness of life, it’s easy to feel like I haven’t done or been or given … enough. Maybe you feel that way, too! Read More…

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

Pause Gem #36 – Can You Be Here Now?

BeHereNow-wReflection & Action: Race to the shower Race to the closet. Race to the coffee pot. Race to the car. Race to work. Race to a meeting. Race to lunch. Race to the dentist. Race back to work. Race to another meeting and then another meeting. Race to the dry cleaner. Race to the supermarket. Race home. Race through dinner. Race youngster number one to soccer practice, youngster number two to a music lesson, and yourself to a community meeting. Race home again. Collapse into bed. Wake up tomorrow and start the race all over again.

Does anything about that race sound familiar? How much of your day do you spend, meeting yourself coming and going?

In the hustle and pressure of daily life, it’s so easy to be anywhere else but present. We find ourselves trapped in regreats about yesterday or filled with anxiety for tomorrow. Yet this place – this moment in time – is really all we have. If we’ve missed it, then it’s gone forever.

The challenge for each one of us is to be here now. Post-race and post-haste, here’s a simple way to settle down and be more present.

Try this: Stand or sit still for just a few seconds. (Yes, you can spare ten seconds. It’s your life after all.)

As you breathe in, draw the word here into your mind. As you breathe out, bring the word now into your mind. Repeat three times.

Pause to check: Are you here now? Take every opportunity to shift your attention from hurry to here.

Read More…

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

Pause Gem #35 – What’s The Message You Need To Hear?

May Spray Floral4-wReflection & Action: When I bought myself a bunch of flowers, the florist asked if I wanted a gift card to go with them. I declined, saying they were just for me.

“All the more reason to add a card,” she declared. “I always write myself a card when I buy myself flowers.”

When I asked what she wrote, she replied, “Well, it depends on the day. Sometimes it’s: ‘Thanks for being you.’ Other times it’s: ‘Wow! You’re smart and gorgeous, too!’”

We shared a chuckle. I left with the flowers and a card in hand.

It was a simple reminder of an important lesson. The florist knows how to fill her own wellspring of appreciation. With her own spirits freshly topped up, she’s in a much better position to share her goodwill with others.

Do you take yourself for granted too often? I do. If we don’t show ourselves some positive attention from time to time, who will? Most of us don’t have our loving mothers following us around moment by moment, applauding our courage, cheering our sense of adventure, or delighting in our presence. This is true in our work and personal lives. And if it’s true for us, it’s true for others as well.

What would life be like if you extended a bit more appreciation in your own direction more often? What would it be like if you encouraged others to do the same?

What would you write on your card today?

Read More…

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

Pause Gem #34 – Do Your Rituals Serve You Well?

Tea Cup-wReflection & Action: Rituals are powerful. Hello/goodbye, good morning/good night kisses are an everyday occurrence in my marriage. Leave takings with our daughters—by phone or in person—are punctuated from both sides with the phrase, “Love ya.” Our dinner grace includes a “today I am thankful for …” comment from each person around the table.

As with brushing your teeth in the morning, these actions and phrases have become second nature. That doesn’t make them meaningless. Each exchange expresses deeply held values of love and appreciation.

Rituals bring our values to life. If you value your health, turning a lunchtime walk into an automatic ritual breathes life into that value. If you value family, the ritual of a weekly phone call with a parent or sibling keeps the connection alive. If you value the beauty of nature, the ritual of placing freshly cut flowers on your desk or your table keeps nature in the center of your everyday life. You get the picture.

What kind of rituals are already working for you? What other rituals could you create to shift more of your deeply held values from intention to action?

Tie those practices to a specific time or place. Build them into your daily or weekly routines. Watch the impact!

 

Read More…

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

Pause Gem #33 – Can You Move Things Forward?

Choices R Us-wReflection & Action: Many of my mornings begin with a walk along the beautiful South Saskatchewan River valley, just two blocks from home. My route winds past a giant boulder on the bank. It’s the perfect perch for a moment’s rest and meditation.

I recently headed out on my morning stroll, anticipating a peaceful journey. As I turned the corner and headed to the river, I discovered that some aspiring street artist had selected our fence as a perfect canvas. We’d been tagged and I was furious! Now I needed that walk more than ever.

I arrived at the river—still smoldering over the graffiti—only to make a second discovery. “My” rock had also been hit by a crew of performance artists. Broken beer bottles were their media of choice. So much for the peace of the morning. Now I was really ticked off! The nerve! The disrespect!

After two days of intermittent fuming, it finally occurred to me that I could choose another response. Read More…

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

This post was written by Pat Katz on August 6, 2014

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