Pause Blog On Overload, Overwhelm & Life In General

PAUSE – 14.13 – Had Any Epiphanies Lately?

New Directions-wReflection: Epiphany:  A moment when you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way.

Ariana Huffington had an epiphany. She fell asleep at work, hit her head on the edge of her desk, sliced open her cheek, and came to in a pool of blood. One hospital trip and several stitches later, she set about changing her habits and adopting a saner, healthier way of being in this world.

Some years ago, I had an epiphany of my own. As a young Mom, I left the house on a deep freeze of a winter morning. Burdened by tote bag, gym bag, child’s backpack, briefcase, and clamping a wriggling snow-suited toddler in my arms, I tried in vain to lock a reluctant front door.

In the end, the entire load, including screaming daughter and me dropped to the step. Freezing tears streamed down our faces. In that moment of overwhelm, I knew there had to be a better way, and set about discovering what that might be.

Fictional news anchor Howard Beale had an epiphany. In the movie Network, he punctuates his on-air rant about the state of the world by declaring, “I‘m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”

Maybe you’ve had an epiphany or two of your own. Or maybe you’re working up to one at this very moment.

Epiphanies are rarely unheralded. If we pay close attention as life unfolds, we might notice the small occurrences that signal a need for change. But, heh, we’re busy, we’re preoccupied, and we’re on a roll! We get in a groove and it morphs into a rut that’s not apparent till it trips us up and down we go.

 

Action: The challenge is to tune into our ‘epiphanettes’ – those small wake up calls that surface day to day. Read More…

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

Pause Reader Reactions To ‘Where Is Everybody? Where Are You?’

Quill pen-wSome messages seem to touch more of a nerve than others. Many ezine and blog readers responded to the recent Pause message about disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with humanity.

In case you missed it or might like to refresh yourself on the content, here is the link to the original message: Where Is Everybody? Where Are You?

Here’s what Pause readers had to say about their own experiences with this issue:

 

LL writes: I started to leave my phone upstairs when I go to bed at night. I used to use it as an alarm clock but not anymore. I just felt like this was starting to be a heavy bedroom partner and got rid of it! My husband is now my alarm clock!

 

LC writes: I know what you mean!  It’s not just the young people anymore either.  Yikes – I think we are caught up in the hype and the allure of technology.  The most likely response is that the makers of the devices will ensure they can be smaller so people can’t see when you’re on them. It’s going to be a long time before this pendulum swings back the other way I fear.

 

Read More…

Posted under Life Balance, Overload & Overwhelm, Technology, Wellness

PAUSE – 14.09 – Umbrage – Take It Or Leave It!

72dpi-scowling manReflection: Why this? Why me? Why now?

Do you ever find yourself reacting this way when things go sideways in your world?

It’s no surprise that stuff happens. You know it. I know it. We all know it.

Cars don’t start. People don’t finish. The weather blows. You find yourself out of patience, out of milk, or out of time!

Although the universe may be unfolding as it should (or so the Desiderata would have us believe), it’s not always unfolding as we think it should or as we hoped it would.

And so we’re left to deal with our reactions to what can feel like a stealth attack on our expectations.

 

Action: What to do?

Read More…

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

This post was written by Pat Katz on March 5, 2014

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PAUSE – 14.08 – In Praise of Puttering

Hands Free!

Hands Free!

Reflection: When preparing to deliver a conference presentation or seminar for a group, I’ll often interview a sampling of attendees ahead of time to find out more about their workplace stresses and satisfactions.

In a recent series of interviews for an upcoming conference, I asked about successful strategies for coping with high demand, stressful times. I heard a predictable assortment of suggestions: adopting time savers, planning ahead, taking time out, celebrating successes and having some fun.

However, one unusual response stood out. This particular fellow described his stress reduction strategy as ‘puttering’. He explained that when life and work grow demanding, he narrows his attention and focuses only on the high priority items.

But, after several weeks of that high level focus, he finds he has sidelined a whole pile of lesser tasks. These smaller, less important bits and pieces build up to create a pressure all their own.

At that point, he devotes a day to puttering. No major projects and no big decisions are allowed. Instead, he putters around clearing away the small stuff.

He calls A, repairs B, stores C, answers D, files E, replaces F, cleans up G, and so it goes.

As he moves from one small task to another with ease and a meandering spirit, he fuels a sense of accomplishment and feels a sense of relief. Read More…

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

PAUSE – 14.07 – Step Back To Step Ahead

Beach Walking-wReflection: If you happened to view any of the three short videos I shared while the regular Pause ezine was on hiatus, you would have caught one or more messages about the value of stepping back to step ahead. Just in case you missed it or them, today I’m sharing a ‘summing up’ and a link to the complete article.

I have come to understand that nonstop action is a dead end strategy for success. When we nix time-outs, we just hit the wall – not the mark. Sometimes we really do have to step back to step ahead. Making the most of our days involves building strategic pauses into everyday experiences.

When we step back, stand down and chill out, we tap more readily into renewal, appreciation and perspective.

 

Action: Here are nine (3 x 3) pause practices that will help you generate more energy, enthusiasm and insight. Read More…

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

PAUSE – 14.03 – Heh! Where’s My Coffee?

 coffee-wReflection: I don’t know about you, but I like to start my day with a hot cup of coffee. Well, truth be known, I like to sip coffee all day long. Decaf – for the most part – so I’m not jangling from a high wire by high noon.

This morning I set the coffee to drip as usual, and went about getting my day started elsewhere in the house. Hearing the beep that signaled the coffee was ready, I returned to the kitchen to pour my first cuppa java. What I discovered was an empty pot and a kitchen counter covered from one end to the other in a slick of steaming brown liquid. Apparently the flow-through flap on the pot lid jammed, and the coffee had nowhere to go but over the top.

Cleaning up a swill-spill was not how I’d planned to start my day – especially before my first cup of coffee. I muttered a few choice words as I mopped up the mess.

I also recognized the situation as one of life’s moments of choice. I could feed my frustration, let the annoyance overflow, seeping into the rest of the day like the coffee itself; or I could take things in stride and let it go.

 

Action: At the root of our frustrations about life’s unexpected challenges lies a quirky little belief that we’re somehow entitled to a world that runs smoothly all day every day. In fact, speed bumps, detours and breakdowns are a normal part of life. The real challenge is to keep it all in perspective.

Here are five ways to let it go and sidestep a frustration hangover that can set a downer tone for the rest of the day. (I used all of these this morning!) Read More…

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

PAUSE – 13.36 – Presence

Frosty The Snowman-wWith the new year peaking around the corner, it’s so easy to suffer whiplash – as we intently scan the past year and eagerly anticipate the next. But, as the infamous Yogi Berra once observed, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

And so, my invitation to you for the remainder of 2013 is to be as present as you can possibly be to the people and experiences that cross your path in the closing days of the year.

Presence is an awesome gift, one that’s far more valuable than any presents that may come our way in this the season of giving. When we find ways to be present we’re much more likely to appreciate the delights of each moment as life unfolds around us.

I hope you enjoy reading a few of my favorite quotes about presence. Read More…

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

This post was written by Pat Katz on December 18, 2013

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PAUSE – 13.33 – What Would It Take To Be More In The Moment?

liveinthemoment-wReflection: It’s just another day in the flow of a busy life, but in the midst of it all ….

  • I pull the morning newspaper from the mailbox and take a deep draw on the crisp November air.
  • I sip my coffee as the sun paints the sky – first gold, then pink, then blue.
  • I laugh at a story a colleague shares, and thank my lucky stars for his awesome sense of humor.
  • I wait at the supermarket checkout tickled by a cart-bound toddler sharing a lively game of peek-a-boo with the next shopper down line.
  • I play a board game with my grandson and marvel at the fierce concentration that plays across his handsome little face.
  • I stand in the midst of a funeral gathering and watch the eyes of one old friend light up at the approach of another.

Life flourishes in these simple moments of presence. The cares and preoccupations of the everyday world fade into the background, shifting from front and center to the sidelines.

 

Action: What’s the nature of your experience these days? One giant blur or crisp sharp moments of presence?

These experiences are present every single day, but are we? The moments are all we really have. Don’t let them pass you by – unnoticed, unmarked, unappreciated.

Set an intention to be as present as possible as often as possible. Pause.

 

Quote Of The Week: Our true home is in the present moment. To be in the present moment is a miracle. – Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Resource Of The Week: Here’s an interesting article from Greg McKeown: Reduce Your Stress In Two Minutes A Day

 

Readers Write: In response to last week’s message, Go Ahead…Make Your Day, Pause reader MW writes: Your question as to how did I start my day was most timely to read. I usually start my morning swimming laps at 7 a.m. That is a great way for me to start my day even when it is -28 C outside. Last night, as I was setting my alarm clock, I debated about going swimming today. To do so I would have to be at the pool shortly after 6 a.m. to meet my other commitments for the morning.

But, I decided to go swimming early and am so glad I did. I do my most creative thinking as I am swimming laps and I had a brainwave for a creative project I am working on. Plus the swimming always revitalizes me and gives me the energy to get through the busy and stressful times.

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

PAUSE – 13.28 – All Will Be Well

Reflection: Perspective is a wonderful thing. One of the gifts of growing older is that you’ve seen a few things, experienced a few things and, hopefully, learned a few things along the way.

And, so it was with interest, that I watched the answers roll in to a question posted by a friend on Facebook. She was marking her 50th birthday with a bit of reflection. Looking back she pondered what kind of advice she might have given to her 20 year old self and invited her FB friends to share their suggestions

There was no shortage of responses to this ‘If I’d known then what I know now kind of question’. Here are some of the suggestions:  Stay present. Stay fearless forever. Stop and think before you act. Have fun. Take more risks but don’t be impulsive. Don’t worry about others opinions of you -your opinion of yourself is the most important. Never settle for anything less than you deserve. You’re not gonna believe how great it’s gonna be. Buy nicer underwear!

Although there were a handful of possibilities that came to mind for me, in the end I settled on: ‘All will be well!’

‘All will be well’ reflects these life lessons I’ve learned along the way: Read More…

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

PAUSE – 13.26 – Can We Talk?

Ethan tenting-wReflection: One of the many pleasures of this summer, was a night spent camping out in a tent in the backyard with six year old grandson, Ethan.

This is the second year we’ve done this. Last summer Ethan wondered why we couldn’t bring the TV or the ipad out to the tent. This year, that idea didn’t even come up.

Still he wanted to know what we’d do – besides eating a giant bag of cheese puffs, which apparently has already become a tradition.

I suggested we’d mess around with the flashlights, read some books, play a few games, make up some stories and well, just talk. We did all those things and more.

One of the sweetest moments of the adventure – and there were many – was when Ethan turned to me late in the evening and declared, “You know, this talking is a lot more fun than I thought it would be.” And, indeed, it was! Read More…

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