Pause Blog On Overload, Overwhelm & Life In General

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 #32 – You Can Laugh It Off To Lighten Up

Laughing ColorfulReflection & Action: I chose a poor day to renew my driver’s license. That day, problems with the phone lines made credit and debit card transactions impossible. Customers dug for checks, scrounged for spare change, or dashed down the block to the cash machine.

The cashiers did their best, but progress was slow. A fellow who arrived just moments after I’d entered the queue didn’t appreciate the delay. Like a bull in the paddock, he shifted from foot to foot, snorting and pawing the ground. Jingling the change in his pocket and rustling the papers in his hand did nothing to calm his jangling nerves. Neither the repeated checks of his wristwatch nor the disgusted glares he zinged at the cashiers brought him relief.

A few minutes after his arrival, a newcomer fell in line behind the restless rustler. In the loudest possible voice, the raging bull cautioned her that he hoped she’d brought a book and planned to spend the day because he’d been waiting in line all morning!

In less than five minutes, it was my turn at the counter. I leaned in close to the cashier and told her I hoped she had 911 on her speed dial; I thought our friend, the raging bull, was about to pop an artery. She chuckled and rolled her eyes, clearly relieved to connect with an understanding customer who showed a sense of humor.

Life is full of delays and detours. Read More…

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

Your Fifth Pauseworks Postcard Pick Of The Week

Vermont Road PW Postcard-wHere it is! The fifth of nine chances in the 2014 ‘Summer Sketchbook Special’ to own a piece of original art at a sizzling price of just $49 (plus applicable taxes and $10 for shipping).

Backroads Of Vermont is number five in the series of Pauseworks Postcards.

Each 4” x 6” postcard features the Pauseworks Studio 2014 postmark in an upper corner.

Each will be surface mounted on a coordinating 6” x 8” mat board ready for framing or display as is.

To claim your PW Postcard, just send me an email with the words ‘I’ll Take It’ in the subject line.

The first reader to call dibs on each week’s mini masterpiece takes it. Enjoy … and may the early bird snag the sketch.

BTW - if another early bird beats you to the draw, and you’d like to order a print or prefer something in a larger size, here’s the link to make that happen: Backroads of Vermont.

Note: Only the original bears the PW Studio stamp.

You can always check out this and other images on my Fine Art PauseWorks Studio Gallery Website.

Posted under Artwork, Nature, Travel

This post was written by Pat Katz on July 30, 2014

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Your Fourth Pauseworks Postcard Pick Of The Week

Greek Door PW Postcard-wHere it is! The fourth of nine chances in the 2014 ‘Summer Sketchbook Special’ to own a piece of original art at a sizzling price of just $49 (plus applicable taxes and $10 for shipping).

What’s Behind That Door? is number four in the series of Pauseworks Postcards.

Each 4” x 6” postcard features the Pauseworks Studio 2014 postmark in an upper corner.

Each will be surface mounted on a coordinating 6” x 8” mat board ready for framing or display as is.

To claim your PW Postcard, just send me an email with the words ‘I’ll Take It’ in the subject line.

The first reader to call dibs on each week’s mini masterpiece takes it. Enjoy … and may the early bird snag the sketch.

BTW - if another early bird beats you to the draw, and you’d like to order a print or prefer something in a larger size, here’s the link to make that happen: What’s Behind That Door?

Note: Only the original bears the PW Studio stamp.

You can always check out this and other images on my Fine Art PauseWorks Studio Gallery Website.

Posted under Artwork

This post was written by Pat Katz on July 23, 2014

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Pause Gem #30 – Answer The Good News Question

Count Blessings-wReflection & Action: I caught a ride on a beautiful fall day with a cab driver who could easily have taken the grand prize for the world’s darkest outlook on life. In response to my comments on the freshness of the morning, the beauty of the autumn leaves, and the glassy calm of Wascana Lake, he responded in turn, “Frost last night – gonna make the harvest tough! Just reminds me winter’s coming! It’s never like that when I go fishing!”

I’m sure if he won a hundred thousand dollars in the lottery, he wouldn’t waste a minute celebrating. He would launch right into a litany of complaints about the uselessness of a prize that small!

Our mindset has a lot to do with our experience of the day.  It is possible to shift from pure pessimism to a more optimistic response to life. It’s a matter of attention. What do you notice? What do you hang on to? How do you start your conversations with yourself and others?

As day’s end nears, and you shut down your computer, pull on your coat, or jump in the car to head home, ask yourself this simple question: “What went well today?”

Ask the same question of colleagues as you close up shop, and of family members as you gather for the evening. Yes, you’ll eventually get to the complaints, but at least the good news of the day will hold center stage and pride of place. That’s all it takes to start the shift of focus. Read More…

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

PAUSE – 14.14 – Are You Using The Three S’s of Appreciation?

Three S-wReflection: I so appreciate the fact that spring on the prairies is finally putting in an appearance. It seems that the month of April offers no shortage of opportunities to appreciate a variety of things and people.

This very week in Canada (April 6-12) is National Volunteer Appreciation week. A quick glance at an online calendar of special days reveals that’s not the only special day on this month’s agenda.

April also brings you National Siblings Day (10th), National Librarian Day (16th), Volunteer Recognition Day (20th), and Administrative Professional Day (23rd). You’ll find a host of whacky days on the calendar, too. Feel free to celebrate jelly beans, scrabble, and rubber erasers to name just a few!

In today’s everyday busyness, it’s easy to think that celebration and recognition are not that important – that appreciation is just icing on the cake. However, that’s just not true.

Many employee surveys show that a lack of recognition, appreciation and acknowledgement are a major workplace issue and a significant source of disengagement. It’s such a shame, because it’s such an easy challenge to address.

 

Action: What to do? Focus on small daily appreciative actions like these. Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Life Balance, Pause E-zines, Wellness

Home For Frosty

Frosty The Snowman-wAs many of you will know, near the end of December I held a little contest to find a Home For Frosty.

The Frosty in question is the sketch you see to the left of this post. He was the inspiration for the ‘learn to paint’ exercise that I did with the CTV Morning Show team when I introduced the new Sketches of Saskatoon book in an interview before Christmas.

53 Pause ezine readers offered up a home for Frosty. One lucky reader had her name drawn out of the hat, and Frosty is already on his way to hang his hat with her.

This short video clip, recorded first thing in the new year, brings you a lively New Years greeting and shares the inside scoop on the results of the  Home For Frosty contest.

I do hope you are staying warm wherever you happen to be, and enjoying the best of a brand new year.

Posted under Artwork, Video

This post was written by Pat Katz on January 7, 2014

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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 – 13.26 – 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