Pause Blog On Overload, Overwhelm & Life In General

PAUSE – 14.20 – Stop Trying So Hard

Don't Push-wReflection: Stop pushing. Stop forcing. Stop trying so hard. That’s the message I’m getting from a couple of activities I’m enjoying immensely these days: word play and painting.

I confess to a new addiction to solving the Jumble Puzzle in our daily newspaper. The challenge involves turning five sets of random letters into five words, extracting the circled letters from the solutions, and turning that subset of letters into the answer to a question posed in the accompanying comic vignette.

What I’ve learned from solving the Jumble is the value of soft focus. When I stare at those letters, trying to force them into the proper order, I’m frustrated. However, when I glance at the letters and let my gaze drift away, my brain plays with the possibilities and out pops the answers.

Same thing happens with my painting. When I stare intently at a scene trying to make sense of shapes and values, it’s a struggle. However, when I approach the challenge with a softer, more relaxed focus and less intensity, my mind makes sense of it much more quickly and surely.

 

Action: When you next meet a problem that tries your patience, try softening your focus. Start with an overview of what you know and what you see. Then step away. Back off.

Stop pushing for an answer. Cool your jets. Let your subconscious take over.

When you stop forcing an answer, and take a softer, calmer, more ease filled approach, you just might be surprised at how effortlessly solutions rise to the surface,

 

Quotes Of The Week: Flowers do not force their way with great strife. Flowers open to perfection slowly in the sun. – White Eagle

Trust in the inexhaustible character of the murmur. – Andre Breton

The quieter you become, the more you can hear. – Ram Dass

 

Resources Of The Week: Here are a couple of interesting reads for you.

Bethany Butzer shares a few idedas about effort and ease in her article, Stop Trying So Hard.

In the article, Ten Signs You Need To Stop Trying So Hard, Minda Zetlin writes about the pressure of pushing and forcing results in an article based on Todd Patkin’s book, Finding Happiness.

 

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

PAUSE – 14.19 – Five Ways to Perk Up Your Life

Sunny Smile With The Blues-wReflection: Back in January, a local TV station asked me to share a few ideas to help people cope with Blue Monday. That’s the Monday of the last full week in January – what is referred to by many as the most depressing day of the year.

While the Blue Monday pedigree is questionable, everyone has blue days and they don’t limit themselves to the month of January!

There’s no need to hold in reserve the strategies you can use to perk up your life when you’re feeling low.

 

Action: Here are five actions to perk up your life any time you need a boost: Read More…

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

PAUSE – 14.18 – What Do You Think Matters Most?

wise owl-wReflection: Places to be. Things to fix. Stuff to do. The lists grow long and the burdens grow heavy.

That’s why, every so often, it helps to pause and step back from the fray – to tap into a fresh perspective on the countless should’s and pressing have-to’s of our lives.

In my presentations on balance and renewal, I often challenge participants with an exercise that invites them to generate their own life wisdom and insights. I invite you to take ten minutes and give it a try yourself. Here’s how the exercise goes.

 

Action: On a blank sheet of paper, write the date and year of your 80th birthday. (Hopefully you won’t need a calculator to figure it out!)

Next, bring to mind a ten-year-old boy or girl sitting at your knee looking up at you with admiration. Give that child a name – real or fictional. Imagine the youngster saying, “You’ve lived a VERY long time. What can you tell me about what really matters in life?”

Your task is to put pen to paper starting with the words:

Dear (insert his/her name), You’ve asked me to tell you what really matters in life. Here’s what I’ve learned so far…

Give yourself ten minutes to jot down every idea that pops into your mind. Read More…

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

PAUSE – 14.15 – Are You Dazed? Try A Doze!

napping-wReflection: When a busy toddler grows weary, he or she simply lies down and falls sleep. Doesn’t matter where. Doesn’t matter when.

When an elderly person grows weary, he or she simply nods off in the middle of a visit or the middle of a sentence. Doesn’t matter where. Doesn’t matter when.

As for the rest of us somewhere between toddlering and doddering, when we grow weary, we shake the cobwebs from our heads, grab another cuppa java, and will ourselves to wakefulness.

We power on. We don’t power down. Pressing …pressing …and rarely pausing. Because, after all there are important places to go, people to see, and things to do.

Sadly, this ends up working against us instead of for us. While we may be nominally awake and at work – it is with diminishing capacity and diminishing returns! That’s why, in a wearied state, so many things feel tougher and take longer. We’re neither fresh nor focused.

Now I’m not suggesting nodding off in a middle of a business meeting would be a good thing. However, I am suggesting that ignoring the body when it calls for rest can be a bad thing.

A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a nap improved performance by 34% and alertness by 100%. Although you and I may not be flying jets or spacecraft, how much more effective might we be if our performance and alertness improved that much because we took a rest when we needed one?

 

Action: What to do? Read More…

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

Spring Special

Take A Bow CoverCropLooking for a tangible way to encourage and express your appreciation for others in your world?

The Take A Bow booklet (67 Ways To Pause For Applause, Celebrate Your Success, & Keep Your Spirits High) makes a great gift.

It has a much longer shelf life than flowers, and, unlike chocolate, it won’t add unwelcome pounds on the hips!

You’ve always been able to purchase individual copies and bundles of 30 or 100 at reduced prices.

For the month of April, you can take advantage of a Take A Bow Spring Special and pick up  bundles of 10 for 39.50.

Just click here to place your TAB Spring Special order.

PS – They make great gifts for Administrative Professional Day.

Posted under Appreciation

This post was written by Pat Katz on April 10, 2014

Tags: , , , , ,

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

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 – 14.11 – Put A Little Spring In Your Step

Stairway Through Paradise-72Reflection: I’m an inveterate reader – always on the lookout for new ideas or unique expressions of old ideas stated in fresh engaging ways.

Today I flipped through my collection of recent blog posts and articles by other writers who focus on the importance of stepping back and taking time out.

I’ve picked three articles to share with you. You’ll find them in the Resources Of The Week section of this posting.

Think of it as my ‘Welcome to Spring and Fresh Ways of Doing Things’ gift.

 

Action: The articles are all great. But here’s my anti-overwhelm suggestion. Read More…

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

PAUSE – 14.10 – A Little Can Mean A Lot

Van Gogh Seascap-wReflection: In painting, there’s a guiding principle loosely referred to as “A lot of this and a little of that.”

The concept in the art world is that all one thing can be boring, and that even equal measures of two separate elements may not be that engaging. To create a work of art with a more satisfying sensibility you need a ratio of elements that is often less than equal.

For example, a great work of art may feature:  a lot of warm color and a little bit of cool, a lot of light values and a little bit of dark, a lot of sharp edges and a little bit of softness.

Here’s how the principle could be applied outside the world of art to create a more satisfying balance in our everyday lives:

  • If you find yourself swamped by a whole lot of work, even adding a little bit of play can shift the experience in a more satisfying direction.
  • If your diet has you filling up on a ton of veggies, even adding an ounce of chocolate can sweeten the scene.
  • If you’re heavily involved in other-care (whether children or elders) planning a personal ‘just for you’ adventure could improve your outlook.
  • If you find yourself wholly office bound (suffering from filing cabinet fever), a coffee elsewhere with a client or colleague could lift your spirits just a little.

 

Action: What are you experiencing a lot of in your world these days? Read More…

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