Pause Blog On Overload, Overwhelm & Life In General

PAUSE – 15.11- Can You See It Now?

Paints&BrushesPosterBorder300w

 

My Thoughts:

Kazantzakis suggests we already have at hand what we need to create a more ideal future.

Could it be that our own lack of vision or lack of action are all that may be holding us back?

 

Your Thoughts:

What’s your vision of Paradise? What’s already at hand that could move you in that direction?

What’s your next step? And, when will you take it?

 

News Notes:

Uninspired. Unsettled. Uneasy. Lifeless. Restless. Joyless. Stuck. Have you been there?

I’m talking about malaise – that generalized feeling of being ‘out of sorts’. It grinds away and wears us down, robbing our lives of spirit, energy and joy.

As I mentioned in last week’s Pause, I’m doing some writing and programming on the subject of malaise.

Experience tells me that the more deeply I understand a phenomenon, the stronger my work, and the more helpful it will be to others.

To that end, I’m inviting you to weigh in with your thoughts and experiences. This link will take you to an online Survey on Malaise that will take 5-10 minutes to complete.

I’m most grateful for your help. A thousand thanks for sharing your insights and wisdom.

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

PAUSE – 15.10 – How Do You Know What’s Right For You?

Goldilocks 3 bears-wReflection: I expect you’re familiar with the story of Goldilocks.

You’ll recall Goldilocks entered the house of the three bears and set about finding what was right for her. Porridge: too hot, too cold, or just right. Chair: too big, too small, or just right. Bed: too hard, too soft, or just right.

Goldilocks’ search for the right fit makes her an interesting role model for balance (break and enter aside).

We’re all familiar with the ’too hot, too big, too hard’ side of this equation. That’s the world of overload and burnout where we find ourselves on fire, racing at top speed, flat out, overcommitted and overwhelmed.

We may be highly engaged, but we’re just as likely to be exhausted. Things are just not right. This overextended phenomenon of ‘too-much-ness’ gets a lot of attention.

From time to time, many of us also experience the ‘too cold, too small, too soft’ scenario. This is where we’ve outgrown one or more elements of our lives and our everyday patterns no longer fit as well as they once did.

We may feel restless, pinched, diminished, bored, joyless or adrift, suffering the dis-ease of finding ourselves under-challenged or under-engaged. Things are just not right. This malaise phenomenon gets much less attention even though it, too, causes distress.

 

Action: I’ve experienced malaise myself, more than once in my life. At those points, it’s not that things are all wrong, it’s more like they’re not all right any more.

It was a recent round of malaise that first pointed me in the direction of painting – as a way to light a spark in the areas of learning and creative expression. And, boy did it ever do that for me!

Rest easy! I’m not advocating painting as a panacea for everyone. But, I can suggest an approach that might help you find your way to a better place – or help you guide others who may find themselves stuck. Read More…

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

PAUSE – 15.09 – Create New Ways To Carry On

Pick Yourself Up Orange-w

 

My Thoughts:

I love this image, because it’s so unexpected – just like many of life’s events that trip us up and bring us to our knees.

And, I love this image, because it’s so creative – just like some of the best reactions to challenging situations.

 

Your Thoughts:

How about bringing a little extra-orang-inary thinking to your world this week?

What’s been tripping you up lately?

And, what creative responses might help you pick yourself up and carry on?

 

News Notes:

The warmest of thanks to all of you who took part in the Pause Subscriber Challenge. I so appreciate your taking time to extend a special subscription invitation to your friends and colleagues.

From last year’s Pause readership survey, I learned that – next to having heard me speak at a conference or seminar – the most frequent way that people come to join our jolly band of readers is through an invitation and recommendation from a family member, friend, or colleague.

That’s the power of ‘word of mouth’. So thanks for valuing and speaking kindly of my work. Do keep forwarding the messages that resonate most to others who may appreciate them, too.

As promised, I’ve drawn a name from the list of those of you who let me know you invited others to subscribe in these last two weeks of March. A bundle of Pause goodies will soon be on its way to Tara Zrymiak, an engineer with SNC-Lavalin Inc.

 

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

PAUSE – 15.08 – Could You Use More Breathing Space?

Broadway Roastery

Broadway Roastery

Reflection: It never seems to go away. This idea that our lives are so much better when we jam twice as many tasks into every minute and hour of the day.

Just last week, an article in the Globe and Mail proposed saving up to 20 hours a week by doubletasking instead of multitasking. Isn’t double is just a subset of multi?

The suggestions in the article? Catch up on email or social media while you watch TV or a movie. Study while you shave or shower. Listen to a podcast or watch a video while you exercise.

I must admit I’ve experimented with these combos myself. Just last month I took myself and a podcast for a walk along the river. I soon discovered that as soon as I tuned in the audio, I tuned out myself, nature, and the world around me. Instead of returning from the walk refreshed and relaxed, I had simply gone through the motions while someone else’s words rolled through my brain. The net result: a distracted splintered experience.

Here’s what we miss when we take this doubleheader multitasking approach. Breathing space, for one. Connection, for two. Creativity, for three.

One of the reasons we have original thoughts in the shower, for instance, is precisely because we’re not driving the ‘must think up something new’ bus while we’re cleaning up. We just engage in one task, the mind wanders at will, and surprises us – or rewards us – with original thought! That’s something that can’t be forced, but can be encouraged when we leave space for it in our lives.

 

Action: Yes, there are times when we can do more than two things at the same time. But let’s resist giving ourselves or others carte blanche to cram an unlimited number of activities into our already crowded days.

Be vigilant and thoughtful about your choice of combos, And know for sure that breathing space is a legitimate partner for many of your actions. Read More…

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

Pause – 15.07 – Will You Leave Them Smiling?

Reason Someone Smiles-w

 

My Thoughts:

So many of our everyday exchanges are predictable, dull and matter of fact.

What if we made it our business to add a bit more warmth or life to our conversations?

A smile. A compliment. A light hearted remark. A genuine expression of concern.

Each effort on our part could make a huge difference to someone else.

 

Your Thoughts:

What could you do or say that might leave someone smiling today?

What will you do?

And who are those people with the goofy grins on their faces as you walk out the door?

 

News Notes:

One of the reasons that I write these weekly Pause messages is that I know they bring a touch of sanity to an overwhelming world.

Many of you tell me how much you value Pause as a breath of fresh air in the middle of your week.

I’m eager to extend the impact of Pause, and would appreciate your help in growing the list of subscribers. Read More…

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

PAUSE – 15.06 – Cool Down To Calm Down

Yikes-wReflection: In a recent Pause message, Could You Be A More Reassuring Presence, I shared a few ideas for supporting others when things go sideways in their lives.

But what if it’s an event in your own life that’s giving you grief? How can you avoid getting unnecessarily bent out of shape when life sends a mind-bending challenge your way? How do you handle your own reactions when things go wrong?

 

Action: Here’s a five-step approach to bring relief and help you find your way back to a more even keel. Read More…

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

PAUSE – 15.03– Could You Be A More Reassuring Presence?

Sails At Sea-wReflection: Skinned knees, broken hearts, failing health, cancelled projects, empty coffers. It’s always something, and in this world of ours there’s no shortage of ‘somethings’. So, how to help?

A toddler who falls and scrapes his knee needs a band-aid and a hug, and our reassurance that things are going to be all right.

A friend who is reeling from a challenging health diagnosis needs us to hold steady in the moment of crisis, acknowledge the fear and uncertainty, and reassure her that we’re there for the long haul.

In the face of excessive loads, overwhelm and setbacks, our colleagues at work need reassurance, too – just not in a hug and band-aid sort of way.

They need us to acknowledge their distress and express confidence that somehow we’ll get through this together – that we’ll be all right.

All right doesn’t mean perfect or stress-free. The present may well be painful, the road forward rocky, and the outcome less than ideal. All right means that we trust we’ll have the resilience to make it through, and the strength to deal with whatever comes up.

The most helpful form of reassurance is far more than a blithe and condescending: “There there, you poor thing. It’ll all be better soon.” Instead, it comes from a deep sense of presence, a genuine feeling of care and understanding, and compassionate expression.

 

Action: There are many ways to be a more reassuring presence in the lives of others at work and at home. Here are four to get you started: Read More…

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

PAUSE – 14.40 – Contentment Is Highly Underrated

Santa Sleigh Cropped600-withsig-wReflection: I’ve been thinking a lot about contentment. You may recall that I first wrote about this concept back in September, in a Pause message titled How do YOU Cultivate Contentment.

What is it? Mainly a state of satisfaction, an ease of being, a peace of mind. That makes contentment the antithesis of envy, striving and anxiety. It’s a state of mind in which we find a way to be at ease and at peace – perhaps even happy – with our lot in life at the moment. It’s an inward disposition – a mindset – and it’s not a choice that someone else can make for us.

In a world of overwhelm and overload, contentment is an oasis, an island of tranquility. While the feeling may or may not last long, in the moment it soothes, uplifts, and brings us joy.

You’ve probably seen contentment in the sleepy milk fed expression of a baby nodding off to dreamland. You’ve maybe seen contentment writ large across the faces of doting elders in the presence of their grand and great grandchildren.

It seems that those of us in the busy years between new life and nearer death lose touch with both the idea and experience of contentment.

My wish for you as this year winds to a close, is that you find ways to tap into contentment – wherever you are and whatever your state. It ‘s not necessary for all to be perfect, done, or as we might wish it to be. Simply appreciate who you are and what you have in the moment, and know that a sense of wonder and a spirit of gratitude are afoot.

As the new year approaches, with its new resolutions and fresh intentions, consider adding cultivating contentment to your list of goals, and see how it enriches your world.

I’ve been collecting thoughts and quotes on contentment to share with you as a way of closing out 2014. I hope you enjoy reading and reflecting on these thoughts.

May you welcome contentment into your world with open arms. Blessings to you all.

Holly210

 

Thoughts On Contentment: Read More…

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

PAUSE – 14.38 – What’s It Take To Feel In Charge?

Pile of Books-wReflection: For several decades now I’ve been a student of productivity, effectiveness, balance and other things related to living ‘the good life’. As you may have noticed, there is no shortage of info on this topic.

Each time I hear about a new book in this area or see a magazine with a related article, I find myself drawn to check it out. I’m always hoping that there might be a new technique, a new idea, a new strategy– an insider secret that would be helpful to me that I could share with you.

At this point in my research I often find myself more disappointed than delighted. New expressions of longstanding ideas is often the best I can find.

And that leads me to consider that what we need may not be more information, but more execution. We need to act on what we already know pays off. And that thought led me to consider, ‘What is it that works?’

 

Action: To boil down 30 years of digging around in this area, here is my shortlist legacy of learnings about leading a productive, balanced and meaningful life. Read More…

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

PAUSE – 14.37 – Good Health Nothing To Sneeze At!

sneezer-wReflection: Well, it’s been a very quiet week here – literally! My world was hijacked by a particularly nasty virus. It robbed me of my voice and left in its place a congested chest, muddled brain, hacking cough and world class case of lethargy.

I have experienced laryngitis before, but never a bout that lasted an entire week. As you might imagine, not having a voice is a significant loss for anyone, but especially for a speaker. When the problem persisted, I started to consider a possible future as a Stage Whisperer.

Eventually I was able to muster a bit of volume – but the screechy crackling sound quality sent small children running in fear and caused animals to cower in the corner.

I appreciate the valiant effort of my body in defending against this viral attack. Things are slooooowly returning to normal, and for that I am most grateful.

 

Action: Despite our best efforts to take our vitamins, get our exercise, drink water, eat well, and get our sleep, when an unexpected virus comes a-callin’ our health can take a beating while our bodies go down for the count! And, when good health takes a hike, our world closes in. Read More…

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

This post was written by Pat Katz on December 3, 2014

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