Pause Blog On Overload, Overwhelm & Life In General

PAUSE – 16.16 – Time And Time Again

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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 – 16.13 – 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 – 16.07 – Simple Pleasures

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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 – 16.01 – It Doesn’t Have To Be Forever

ExperimentsReflection: I’ve noticed that one thing that keeps me from saying yes to a new opportunity or direction (be it a volunteer request, work task, or membership) is the feeling that having signed on, I’ll be locked in F-O-R-E-V-E-R. The prospect of forever gets heavy in a hurry!

And, so, I’m playing with the idea of looking at life’s opportunities more as a series of projects – or experiments – each with a beginning, a middle and an end.

For example, I gifted myself with a pair of Nordic walking poles to start the new year. And, I set myself a project goal of taking them out for a hike on each of the first 28 days of the new year. Not forever – just for 28 days. And, so I did! And so it’s done. Not that I won’t do more…but it’s an option – not a burden.

I’ve set myself the goal of creating a series of 12 paintings under the umbrella theme of ‘Simple Pleasures. I’m halfway there, and enjoying the fact that experimenting with these images is neither a life sentence nor an endless commitment. It’s just plain fun at the moment.

This year, I’m planning to continue publishing Pause in the traditional format (like this) every second week. To spice things up, in the weeks in between, I’m going to play with a series of projects. First up will be a series of six short videos under the umbrella title, Pat Answers. They’ll explore questions readers have raised about the challenges of malaise and rekindling life’s spark.

What projects and experiments will follow remains to be seen. But there’s one thing I know for sure. I feel lighter already! Read More…

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

Celebrating The Leap

Big 30This month marks my 30th year in business – as a speaker, writer and artist. When I stepped away from a regular salary and hung out my shingle in 1986, I took a leap of faith. I had no idea if my business would survive and I certainly didn’t expect it to last this long.

It’s been a great adventure to captain my own ship. And, I could not have done it without the trust of clients, a network of colleagues, and the support of family and friends.

To mark this milestone, I’m sharing my gratitude through these three give aways (one for each decade):

  • A bundle of 30 copies of Take A Bow (for you to share with those who support you most)
  • An original ink and watercolor sketch (inspired by your photo of a place that matters to you)
  • A hundred dollar donation to a charity of your choice

To enter the draw, just send an email to pat@patkatz.com. Use the phrase, Pick Me, in the subject line, and write a few lines about something you’re grateful for in your life over the last 30 years.

Deadline for entries is February 28. I’ll be making all three draws on February 29th in honor of all who find the courage to take a leap!

 

Posted under Appreciation

PAUSE – 15.39 – How Happy Can You Be?

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My Thoughts: 

I don’t normally use family photos in my Pause messages, but today I’m making an exception. Pictured here (with his and his parents’ permission) is my grandson, Leon, who is closing in on three years of age.

This boy LOVES machines of all kinds – from juicers and coffee grinders to garbage trucks, diggers, and front-end loaders.

As he recently helped his Mom turn fruits and veggies into juice, the goofy grin on his face never wavered. He gave voice to his glee proclaiming, “I’m so happy my face hurts!”

How amazing to be so present to the thrill of the moment, and to find the words to express that joy!

 

Your Thoughts:

This could be the season to practice those skills!

What makes you so happy that your face hurts?

And, how can you make sure you are present for those simple moments of delight? Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Communication, Life in General, Pause Poster Message, Wellness

PAUSE – 15.38 – Try Being More Curious And Less Certain

Being Curious-wReflection: Sometimes it seems to me that the more we ‘know’, the tougher life gets. Our certainty about situations can lead to a hardening of the ‘heart-eries’, and ultimately more stress and frustration.

Certainty says: This is good and that is bad, or I am right and you are wrong.

Certainty can lead us to repeat the same actions with greater force and speed, exhausting ourselves as we create ever more disappointing results.

If you’ve ever been stuck in a snowbank and continued to step on the gas, certain that just a few more spins of the tires will be sure to get you out, you know what I mean. It doesn’t work. You simply dig yourself a deeper hole. Things get worse, not better.

A more helpful way of ‘c’-ing can be to substitute curiosity for certainty.

Curiosity leads us to look more closely at what’s happening or not happening and invites us to experiment in new ways with the potential for better – or at least different – outcomes.

 

Action: The next time you find yourself rooted in certainty, try being more curious about other ideas and ways of being. Read More…

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

PAUSE – 15.37 – Me & Fred & A Date With TED

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My Thoughts: Well, truth be told, there is no Fred. It just rhymes so well, I couldn’t resist!

However, there was indeed a date with TED. On October 24th here in Saskatoon, I delivered a TEDX talk titled: Lighting A Spark – Navigating Mid Life Malaise.

My gift to you today, is the link to that message. A click of either the image or the title will take you to the video.

What’s it about? Causes of malaise, common responses, a three-step process to help you navigate your way through life’s transitional fog, and examples of others who are making their way to what comes next.

Grab a coffee. Take a look and give a listen.

 

Your Thoughts: I hope the ideas in the video help you think more deeply about rekindling your own spark when your fire grows dim.

I welcome your comments, reactions and insights. Fire away!

 

News Notes: Since delivering this 17-minute TEDX talk, I’ve expanded the message into a 60-90 minute keynote. With more time, I’m able to explore how this issue plays out in organizations, how we can support others as they attempt to rekindle their sparks, and to share more real life examples of ways that people restore excitement and engagement to their lives. Read More…

Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Pause Poster Message, Wellness

PAUSE – 15.25 – It Only Take A Spark

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My Thoughts: “It only takes a spark to get a fire going; and soon all those around will warm up to its glowing.” That’s the opening line of a tune by Kurt Kaiser that may be familiar to many.

Once upon a time, in a life long ago, I adapted those lyrics in the form of a friendship song for a summer camp that I directed. From time to time, that tune still shows up as an earworm in my brain. I don’t mind. The words still ring as true today as they did back then.

When you are excited about something in your world, when you have a light in your eyes and even a most modest fire in your belly, the impact (on you and others around you) is both positive and contagious.

 

Your Thoughts: What’s lighting up your life these days? And if things are feeling just a tad dark and chilly, where and how might you find a way to strike a spark? Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Life in General, Pause Poster Message, Wellness

PAUSE – 15.23 – Small Things Can Be Big Deals

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My Thoughts:  Do you resist breaking into your happy dance – or cracking a big old toothy grin – until something REALLY important and UBER COOL happens?

If so, you’re missing out on a host of everyday opportunities to celebrate life’s good stuff as it marches on by.

So much is easily overlooked; but once noticed, it’s just as easily appreciated. I noticed these beauties perched on a shelf while waiting for lunch in Café Arabe in Marrakech. BUT, you don’t have to go halfway around the world to get the point or the picture.

 

Your Thoughts:  Why not get on it today? Right where you are!

Train your mind and your eye to catch and celebrate life’s small and beautiful – actions, things and experiences. They’re right here – right under your nose.

Now go ahead. Don’t be shy! Let loose your grin and your happy dance! Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Life in General, Pause Poster Message