Archive for the ‘Pay Attention: Masterful Noticing’ Category

3 Ways to Get Ease. Literally. My book is here!

November 18, 2013

Note: This was first published on my Big Cheese Coaching blog

I just received my first hard copies of my new book, Ease , last week! I’ve had many people share with me they were looking forward to reading Ease so here I am with the good news:

It’s Ready. Come and Get It! (please and if you like 🙂

This is so very exciting for me. See the pic below of me signing my first book for Terry Fallis* who has so generously provided some publishing savvy tips and guidance to me — and took the time to read Ease and offered some advance praise.

Terry Fallis shows Eileen the tricks of the tradeTerry Fallis shows Eileen the tricks of the trade*Terry Fallis shows me the ropes – how to properly sign a book! Terry is the award-winning author of The Best Laid Plans and cofounder of Thornley Fallis Communications.

Ease is now available to order from several major online book retailers. In the weeks and months ahead, Ease will be available at thousands of online retailers globally. Right now, many of the major retailers are posting it. See links below.

There are three formats: hard copy (my favorite); soft cover and e-book. Currently not all online sites are posting the e-book just yet (but more will in the weeks ahead).

If you go to a site directly, rather than searching for ‘Ease’ type in “Eileen Chadnick” and it will take you to the Ease page if it’s posted. Better yet, check out these links below and they will take you directly to the Ease page. Note: pricing varies so look for the best deal!

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

i-Universe

Books-a-Million (Bam)

There are and will be more availability in the weeks ahead. Do check out my book website ‘buy’ page for more details on retailers and delivery timing (especially if buying Ease as a holiday gift).

Would love to hear your feedback! Please share and help spread the word.

Here’s to a TGIM work life with abundance and Ease.

Eileen

Small Rock; Big Tumble; and Bigger Questions

June 23, 2011

Who knew such a small rock can instigate such a big tumble – not to mention even bigger questions?!

The background: Very early this morning, I set out on a little run before work. It’s been a while since I felt like running because I’d been fighting a cold, feeling tired and a little off my ‘mojo’ of late. But in the last couple days I felt a return to my old self. With some deliciously-renewed energy and enthusiasm I headed out for a run. Ahhh, all was well and I was feeling great.  As I ran (super slow), I noticed the birds, gardens and my mind blissfully wandered…until I tripped, crashed and fell. Ouch.

In a nano second, I was on the ground, the world spinning, nauseous and with an aching ankle and a bloody knee.  What the  @#@# (expletive)! That was my first reaction. I looked over and saw the culprit: an iddy biddy pebble. That little, modest thing somehow got under my foot and tripped me! Such power! Stupid, bad rock! Stupid me for not seeing it! Now I’m going to miss my golf, not be able to run….yada, yada, yada….let the whine’n’worry fest begin!

I heard my little (coaching) voice inside me whisper: Is that all y’a got? Maybe there’s  another way to experience this?

Y’a think?

I had no way of going back and reversing that fall. But I did have a choice in how I’d deal with it – right then and there. So yeah, I decided to look at this tumble in a new light. Accidents happen (and thankfully this was just a small one).  Recently  I’ve been paying more attention recently to a more soulful and spiritual way of approaching my work and life. Well, no better time than now to apply that philosophy. I reminded myself that I can do better. How I look at ‘the stuff that happens’ in my work and life has much more impact on how I actually experience my life  than the actual events and circumstances.  Living and working a meaningful (tgim) life means we have to navigate these ‘tumbles’ and falls in a moment by moment way.  The tough part is remembering to do that in the moment.  But I did, kinda.

You see I’ve just started to tune into a powerful series of teleseminars put on by Jennifer Mclean. Jennifer has interviewed 24 of the world’s most renouned experts on topics related to living and working more soulfully, joyfully and authentically (yummo!).  James Redfield, Dan Millman, Wayne Dyer, Marshall Goldsmith, Sonia Choquette, Hale Dwoskin – to name just a few.  Chock full of tips, lessons, wisdom, these sessions remind me of the choices we have and lessons to be learned in our ‘moments’. I just listened to the first few this week, so fresh in my ears I looked at this tumble in a new light and with new questions.

There are lessons in everything that comes our way in life (the good, bad and ugly). As I brushed myself off from the tumble I wondered what the lesson was from this fall. I reflected on this as I hobbled home. I noticed I could walk but couldn’t run. Was the universe telling me to slow down? Maybe.  More lessons started to bubble up as the day wore on because I stayed in the question (and particularly, as I write this post – writing helps us reflect!).

Being of service to others — people can be generous and kind and it feels as good to give as it does to get.  Well, it was a quiet street but one gentleman who was tending his garden saw me lying on the ground. He came to offer help. I was okay (ish) by then but was so grateful that someone was there to offer help. I told him so. We had a nice chat as I tested out my ability to walk. Two strangers connecting and some gratitude shared. I think we both felt better for it.

There are no coincidences: I asked this gentleman his name. He said it was Patel. Hmmm. My “patella” (knee) was bleeding.  Coincidence? Perhaps? But James Redfield (Celestine Prophecy) says there are no coincidences in life so if that’s true, what was the significance of this? I don’t know yet, but as I look at my knee in the next few days I will be thinking about this and I have a hunch it won’t be about the bruise, scab or swelling. I think there might be something more here at work….those lessons perhaps, still unfolding?

All we have right now is the present:  It’s good to make plans and to have goals. I’m a huge advocate of that. But if we only focus on what’s next, we miss the ‘now’.  I started off worrying about my future golf, running, mobility, etc. But I quickly shifted to focus on what I could do ‘now’: to ease the swelling of my ankle;  AND to reframe my thinking so that I can be resilient from yet another potentially ‘mojo threatening’ event, ruining my day. The result was much better. Not only did I take care of the ankle (less swelling), my mojo is just fine!

My Take Away: Today’s tumble reminded me that I have the power to choose how to be with the seemingly irritating stuff that happens. Today’s accident wasn’t about the fall at all. Today’s accident was a metaphor for all the other stuff that bugs me in life or appears to set me back  such as the work deboggles, the lack of time, the unforeseen challenges – and more.  It’s not always the big things that are going to derail us. The small stuff can – if we let it – take us away from experiencing the good in life (it was such a small rock afterall….and just a little fall).

So to echo the teachings of James Redfield (Celestine Prophecy) and others – there are no coincidences or accidents in life.

So thank you to “Patel” for his generosity and Jennifer and her panel of experts for her series. And mostly, to that little rock for pretending to get in my way and reminding me how to see the bigger picture.

To a TGIM work and life

Eileen

Back to TGIMWORKLIFE home page

Ask the Coach: Assertiveness at Work

January 21, 2008

Here’s one of my latest “Ask a Coach” columns published in CA Source – the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants  (CICA) online newsletter. It’s about a theme that I encounter a lot……the issue of assertiveness at work.  Perhaps this will resonate with you or someone you know. In any case, if you have a question of your own….bring it on (see “Coaches Corner” on this site).

Q. I just had my annual review and had hopes of being promoted. Unfortunately I was bypassed — yet again. My boss said I have a lot of potential but need to work on some leadership abilities. He said my functional skills were great but I should focus on becoming more assertive if I wanted to move into a leadership role. I’ve never been a particularly aggressive person and can’t envision changing my whole personality. But I don’t want to stand still in my career either. Any advice?

A. I’m sorry about your disappointment in not being promoted. The good news, however, is that assertiveness can actually be developed — with some practice, self awareness and a dose of courage. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. Well, sometimes that’s true in life too. Those that assert themselves have a better chance of getting more of what they want at work and in life. The key, however, is to “squeak” appropriately. Assertiveness is not about being aggressive — nor does it require you to change your personality. Rather, it’s more about being authentic, self-expressed and standing up for yourself when it’s called for.

Defining assertiveness

Assertiveness is a core competency within the spectrum of emotional intelligence (EQ).  According to one definition,* assertiveness can be described as: the ability to express feelings, beliefs and thoughts and defend one’s rights in a non-destructive manner. It’s comprised of three elements: 1) the ability to accept and express feelings; 2) the ability to express beliefs and thoughts openly even when it is emotionally difficult to do so (I call those courageous conversations!); 3) the ability to stand up for personal rights without being aggressive or abusive.

To better understand how your own level of assertiveness might be factoring into your career experience, here are some questions to reflect on:

* Can you identify specific instances in your work where you felt held back because you haven’t asserted yourself? What was the cost of not asserting yourself in those situations?

* Generally, when you have an opinion and/or feelings that differ from others, do you tend to shy away from voicing these opinions or do you take a stand and articulate what is important?

* How do you feel about speaking up on issues that might involve some conflict?  Does that give you anxiety? Do you worry that others may think less of you?

* Are you able to set and enforce boundaries for yourself in terms of how you want to be treated and respected?

* When you need or want something that is important to you, do you proactively and directly make requests for it?

* Do you find yourself frequently saying yes — when you’d rather say no?

* How do you validate your own feelings and views? Do you acknowledge them or tend to dismiss them and instead defer to other people’s views?

Developing new habits of assertiveness involves courage, self awareness and various communication skills. For some people, these skills come naturally; others have to work at it. Here are some steps you can take to develop your own assertiveness.

1. Tune into your inner game by owning and acknowledging your feelings, ideas, beliefs One of the key elements of assertiveness is having the ability to acknowledge and accept your own feelings and beliefs. Without validating your own perspectives with yourself — how could you confidently express them to others? Start paying attention to those moments when you have an opportunity to assert yourself — perhaps you have an opinion, idea or challenge that either differs from others or isn’t yet on the radar. Take a few minutes to reflect on why this matters; what it’s about; what’s at stake if you don’t express it. The idea is to check in with yourself first to clarify and own your beliefs so that you can more confidently express them to others.

2. Identify any limiting beliefs that might be preventing you from being self-expressed
If in those moments of opportunity you find yourself hesitating, take a moment to explore what’s really holding you back. Often it’s our internal voices of self-doubt and limiting beliefs that keep us stuck.  Perhaps you have a belief that if you speak up something negative will happen. Do you have an inner critic that says:  “Don’t rock the boat!” or “Who are you to speak up?” or “You don’t have the credibility.” We all have our inner critics — the key is to acknowledge and manage them.If the voice of the inner critic is holding you back, try on a different perspective.  Instead, listen more closely to your own empowering voice of reason and wisdom. Remember, you just explored that in step #1.

3. Before speaking up, think about how you want to show up in the conversation.  Remember, being assertive might involve voicing your opinion — but in a way that doesn’t violate others.  This is where execution counts.

Here are a few tips:

* Choose your words wisely: Assertive communication involves being direct and open — but not brash. Choose your words carefully before you communicate.

* Tone is as important as words: Of course, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. Pay attention to your tone which includes language, voice and body language if communicating face to face.

* Speak directly and with clarity: Don’t beat around the bush. Say what you need to say but do so sensitively and diplomatically. It’s important to speak with clarity. Being vague, hinting, or just implying — can be counterproductive.  It can also sometimes appear manipulative.

* Communicate empathetically: Even if your views differ from the other person(s), show understanding and compassion for their viewpoint and/or situation, e.g. “I know you worked hard on this and put a lot of thought into it and I appreciate that. But I have another perspective that I feel strongly about that I’d like to share.”

* Practise, Practise, Practise…Developing habits of assertiveness takes practice and ongoing reflection. Situation by situation, moment by moment — each will give you an opportunity to practise, learn, reflect and adapt accordingly.Developing assertiveness not only calls upon courage — it builds courage!  Stretching yourself to be a little more assertive will increase your self confidence over time.  

* Enlist support:
There are a lot of ways to enlist support to help you develop yourself in this area.  Hire a coach who is skilled to work with you; take a course or enrol in groups such as Toastmasters; actively get involved in pursuits that will stretch and challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and/or provide you with leadership opportunities (e.g., perhaps within a volunteer endeavour).It’s an ongoing journey, but it’s worth the effort. Remember, appropriately assertive people get more of what they want in work and life; it helps them to feel more authentic and self-expressed.

*Assertiveness as defined by the BarON EQi system and Connective Intelligence.

BACK TO TGIM WORK-LIFE HOME

Tips: Manage stress in the last stretch to year-end/holidays

December 13, 2007

Sigh. Catch my breath. Running, racing….doing, doing, doing. It’s the final stretch of the year….and just a week and half or so to the holidays.  Lots to do. Thought I’d share some tips and ideas from my experience in navigating the demands of this busy, busy season.

1) Time to Triage (when prioritization just isn’t going to cut it): Prioritization may work during the regular course of the year but at this time of the year everything is AMPLIFIED! Learn lessons from folks who work in emergency rooms. While everything might seem like a priority – you don’t have the luxury to address and do everything at once. So be extra diligent in discerning what must be done first and what truly needs to call your attention right now.

2) Save your brain cells (and energy) and write it down! It takes a lot of energy and focus to keep everything you need to do in your head.  Write it down. Keep a list with you…and save your brain cells to focus on what you really need to focus on.

3) Learn to say “No”. With so many requests and demands this time of the year, it seems impossible to say yes to everything. This is another way to practise your ‘triage’ strategy. Say yes when you truly must or want to — but discern and learn to say no when and where you can. For future reference on this topic (when you come up for air) — see the article I wrote in October (“Are You Addicted to the Yes Habit“).

4) Save Some of the Fun for January/February: Everyone tries to squeeze in the celebrations and get-togethers in December. How about saving some fun for the Jan/Feb blahs? I do this with one of my clients whom I work with regularly (a team of great folks). We plan our ‘December’ lunch for after the holidays in January when everyone can truly enjoy themselves instead of feeling like it’s just one more of the gazillion holiday events squeezing the calendars. Besides, we all need a little something in the new year to beat the January and February blahs. 

5) Take Care of Yourself! With all the running around and extra stress, who needs to get sick? This is the time to self nurture and ensure you are doing all you can to prevent getting run down. Eat well, sleep well, dress warm! Whatever it takes…

6) Be Mindful of Your Attitude. This is just as important as the other ideas above. For more on this, see the post I wrote on Sunday: “T’is the Season of Rush

If you have any tips of your own – pls write and share! 

In the meantime – tnx for stopping by. Means a lot to me this time of year when we are all so time-crunched.

To a TGIM worklife and happy holiday season!

Eileen

T’is the Season of……RUSH!

December 9, 2007

Busy these days? Madly trying to complete projects before year-end? Is your December to-do list filled with shopping lists, work-related (and other) party planning/attendance/organizing — and more!?

 (photo courtesy of SophiMuc on Flickr)

 Ahhh yes, well t’is the season…to rush, rush, rush

How’s that working out for you? Feeling joyous? Or overwhelmed with too much to do? Feeling a little….

Seasonal Angst…?

Where’s the joy? True, we are a society used to being busy (even addicted to it), but December ‘busy-ness’ tends to take on a whole new dimension. 

I know for myself, if I don’t pay attention, I end up on a crazy treadmill of stuff to shovel off my to-do list.  I caught myself recently feeling so weighed down by it all that I was missing the fun that I know could come with this time of year. A lot on my list is stuff that typically would provide meaning for me. Work that I do enjoy; holiday festivities that are lovely….cards to make; gifts to buy (for people that I do want to express gratitude to); etc.

But instead, I found myself ploughing, ploughing my way through “The LIST”. From one task, thinking and planning the next. Productive and busy…..but not really present.

 Until I remembered to….

“Pay attention to what I’m paying attention to”.

Notice I didn’t say ‘stop doing’ or ‘do less’. I still have a lot I want to do and need to do and will do in the weeks ahead leading up to the December/New Year break. But I reminded myself to pay attention to my inner game.What was going on internally (my inner conversations around all this ‘doing’)?

Who was I being in all my doing?

Well I realized I was defaulting to a worried grinch with myself and giving too much energy to the negative thoughts of worry…….”yikes I have too much to do…I’ll never get it done…..how am I going to manage it all? What if I fail….Where’s all my free time gone….this is a pain….I have to do x, y,z….then a, b, c….don’t forget blah, blah, blah.”

By focusing so much on the limiting beliefs (the time that I don’t have, doubt….and all kinds of negative self-talk) — I was energizing a negative mindset. And hence, feeling weighed down.

Do you ever do that? Who doesn’t from time to time? We all do. Part of being human. When on the ‘doing treadmill’ we can easily forget who we are. How resourceful we are; what is most important; and what it’s all about anyways.

And sure, there are lots of other practical strategies that we can employ to help us navigate the seasonal demands of work life (being organized, saying ‘no’ when you need to; prioritizing, delegating, etc. ).  But this post isn’t really about all that….it’s about…. 

 The inner game and paying attention and managing your self (and yes, so very ‘EQ-ish” if I might add).

Here’s a helpful equation to keep in mind: 

Our thoughts impact our emotions which impact our choices (and actions or non-actions) which impact our results.

If you check in with that equation –it will help you become more aware of how your mindset is impacting how you navigate any given situation. While you can’t control everything, the good news is you can actually control more of how you ‘be’ with any given situation. Start with becoming more aware of what’s going on internally…your thoughts, beliefs (limiting and/or empowering) — because those are significantly influencing factors in how you’ll feel…and what you will choose to do or not do.

How you experience the lead-up towards and within this holiday season (and any time for that matter) begins with your mindset.

So a few questions to help you pay attention mindfully:

  • What are you thinking?

  • What judgments are you applying to whatever situation you are in this time of year?

  • Do you have ‘evidence’ that these judgments truly hold true (e.g. “I’ll never get this project done on time “) — or are they exaggerated voices of doubt?

  • How’s that internal voice working for you? Feeling joy, peace — or angst?

  • What are some new perspectives you can consider? What’s the voice of reason saying? The voice of inspiration? Try them on….

Feeling a little lighter yet? I know I am….even though that ‘list’ still beckons.

To navigating your work-life with more holiday joy this season!

Eileen

Back to TGIMworklife home page

If You Attended Today’s CICA Webinar….

October 29, 2007

Thank you to everyone who attended the Webinar I presented today at the CICA exploring TGIM worklife with Emotional Intelligence! It was a great turn-out (more than 400 attendees!) and based on the questions I received at the end – a very enthusiastic group indeed.

I thought I’d post the links to some of the articles I mentioned that might be of interest (rather than having you search for them). So here are a few:

1) Emotional Intelligence at Work — an article I wrote for HR Reporter that provides an at-a-glance summary of some of the concepts I explored today about EQ.

2) The Lizard who wouldn’t eat…. About using your Signature Strengths to feel gratified at work.

3) Tips to Make the “Bigness of Monday” Just a Little Bit Lighterwhen you could use a little boost. And the Globe and Mail article “Thank God it’s Monday“.

4) Finding Flow: Intense Work but Without the Struggle

5) Is HR Prepared to Keep the Keepers — another article I wrote for HR Reporter on employee engagemeng for high performers and high potentials.

6) Employee Engagement – Respect

AND….there was one participant who asked about self employment as a career option…so for those that might be interested, my reflections starting my 10th year in biz

AND…there’s much more so I invite you all to have a look at the blog…and visit again! Also – I did mention that I’d be introducing a tele-class program in January for leaders who want to develop more resilience at work (to navigate and deal with the ever-increasing load and work-life hurdles we talked about).

More about that later but if interested, please let me know by email or a call and I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop as I confirm the details (with no obligation of course).

Of course, if interested in exploring how you can learn more about developing a TGIM worklife for yourself and/or others you work with….please do get in touch! I’d love to hear from you.

To a TGIM worklife!

Eileen

Are You Addicted to the “Yes Habit”?

October 28, 2007

How often do you find yourself saying yes when you really want to say no? Can you take on this extra project? Would you join our volunteer committee? We know its last minute but can you organize next week’s meeting? Would you like to get together with so and so (someone perhaps you’d rather not)?

Obviously there are many times when these kinds of invitations delight and deserve a resounding ‘yes.’ And of course there are also those times when we simply have to suck it up and step up to our responsibilities. The distinction I’m making here is to consider how often you say yes when you really do have a choice, a desire — and a right – to say no. Instead, you say yes because….

Because why?

(more…)

To Things That Matter….

October 12, 2007

NOTE TO SELF….WAS INSPIRED BY MY CLIENT YESTERDAY….MUST BLOG ABOUT IT…

Well, today’s post is indeed inspired by one of my coaching clients. I don’t usually share details of a coaching conversation …..but I will share a post that Michael (my client) has written on his own blog about some insights he had from our conversation and his subsequent reflection. So add this to your ‘to do list’ and read Michael’s post Getting Things (that matter) Done” on his blog. Very inspiring, entertaining and well worth a read.

(Photo courtesy of Ebby on Flickr)

Our conversation and his subsequent reflection related to the topic(s) of how one organizes themself, their day/time/tasks, etc. To do a ‘to do list’ — or not ‘to do’? What goes in; what stays out; how do you stay accountable to your goals and intentions?  How to find a system that works for you…..

For those that have been here before, you’ll see this builds on a previous post I wrote a few months ago (“Oh yeah, that balance thing…when I have time).  

So rather than recreating/re-writing it all….I invite you to check out both posts…

…if you have time, of course:)

To things that matter — and to a TGIM worklife!

Eileen 

Back to TGIMworklife home page

In the Spirit of Gratitude…

October 5, 2007

This is the season to be thankful….it is (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend afterall. But is gratitude really meant to be seasonal?

(courtesy of Mary on Flickr)

Personally, I think gratitude is in style all year round. And it’s not just the right way to be in terms of good manners. It’s downright good for you! Your ability for gratefulness is deeply connected to how you experience your life…your work….your personal wellbeing. Your ‘mojo’ – your heart and soul! The whole kaboodle. And yes, verrrrrry connected to your ability to experience a TGIM worklife:)

I am blessed. Gratitude happens to be one of my top Signature Strengths, according to Martin Seligman’s assessment on the Positive Psychology website.  Even before taking this assessment I always knew I had (at least) two sets of gifts: one set represents all the good stuff I have in my life (my wellbeing, family, friends, my skills/aptitudes/talents/abilities, work opportunities, etc, etc, etc…..loong list).

The second set of gifts is the ability to recognize all of this – and appreciate it all….and express thanks, internally and to others. That is indeed a gift. That is what puts the wind in my sails.

Afterall, if you can’t appreciate what you have and who you are — how can you want more?  How can you become more?

The Via Signature Strengths assessment says about gratitude: You are aware of the good things that happen to and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express thanks.

The thing about gratitude is you don’t have to be in ‘a good place’ to exercise your gratefulness. In fact, it doesn’t even have anything to do with your ‘luck’, circumstances, wealth or any other measure of ‘the good life’. Research has revealed that many people who are dirt poor are still able to be grateful…..and they are happier than many of their wealthier counterparts.

And the good news about gratitude is that even if it doesn’t come naturally to you (yet) — it is an aptitude that can be developed. It is simply about creating the habit of gratitude. And I say it’s a habit well worth exercising each and every day!

So how about you? What are you thankful for this season and for today? In your work life? In your personal life? About your own unique gifts, qualities and circumstances? No item is too small to mention!

Here are a few ways to exercise gratitude and develop that ‘grateful habit’:

  1. Daily (or at least a few times weekly): write down or at least express in some way at least 3 things that you are grateful for….in your work-life (and personally too). Nothing is too small for this list. Nothing is too ‘corny’. Acknowledge anything and everything. Don’t stop at 3 items….if you like, acknowledge anything that comes to mind. And don’t be shy to repeat things on your list…..it’s okay to be grateful for all the things that are part of your life each and every day:)

  2. Express your gratefulness to others: Sometimes I think “thank you” are the most under-rated words.  Pay attention to  how often you say thank you — or don’t. Are there opportunities to express appreciation to those you work with and/for? For work well done; for one’s effort and attitude; for anything…… Small opportunities and larger ones…they all count.

  3. Notice how you feel when  you do take the time to say thank you — and how you feel when receive a ‘thank you’ from someone else. Again, this isn’t just about good manners. It’s about making a difference to your own ‘joie de coeur”…not sure if I spelled that right…but your own ‘heart and soul’ — and that of others.

  4. Remember to acknowedge not just the good things outside of yourself…..but also your own inner being qualities. Do you have special ability to laugh and to make others laugh? That’s a gift. Acknowledge it! Do you know what your talents, gifts, abilities are? Perhaps some….but I bet if you spent a bit of time reflecting you’d realize there’s much more to be grateful for. We tend to get so busy we sometimes lose sight of who we are…..reconnect, remember and give thanks.

  5. OTHER IDEAS? I’m sure you’ve got a bunch of other ideas….I would love to hear them and I’m sure others too. Please email and/or post a comment.

Now as I get ready for my Thanksgiving weekend, I am going to spend some time making my ‘list’ of gratitude. Specifically, I am going to focus on all that I am grateful for as it relates to my ‘tgim worklife’. I know it’s going to be a very loooooooooong list so I better get started.

Till next time – have a happy, healthy, wonderful Canadian Thanksgiving!

Yours in gratitude!

Eileen

BACK TO TGIM WORKLIFE HOME

 

Beat the “Back to September Blues”

August 20, 2007

UPDATE (August 24, 2011): I originally wrote this post a few years ago but I think it is still quite relevant and thought I’d share it again. Here’s to new beginnings! Well, that’s one way of ‘reframing’ the end of summer and beginning of the fall season, isn’t it? 🙂

Can you hear it? Smell it? Feel it? It’s undeniable. It’s September.

Fall leaves

(Photo courtesy of Rune T from Flickr)

And it’s making its way back into town. Nudging out the lightness of summer…and imposing a little bit of its heaviness…its urgency….the workloads…and with all the seriousness of that familiar and earnest “back to school/work’ mentality”.

Arrghh. Already? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard (and said myself): “The summer is going by way too fast“. Notice how we never hear anyone say these things in February or March: “Winter is going way too fast….darn, before you know it will be spring”.

August is like Sunday: I think the end of August is akin to what Sundays are to Mondays.  They can bring a little bit of resistance in us. If there was a way to delay September (or Mondays), many of us would!

That resistance seems to be a naturally ingrained habit.  We automatically start to dig our heels in a bit deeper as we get ready to do the heavier lifting that comes with fall.

But here’s the thing (if you’ve been reading my blog – you know there’s always a ‘thing’:): The worry and resistance — albeit may be a bit ‘automatic’ — is wasted energy and definitely not good for your ‘mojo’ (another word in my TGIM vocabulary….i.e your ‘joie de vivre). The worry and regret puts us in either the past or future…and we miss the present! And it takes away the lightness of being that can come with any season — with the right perspective.

Fall is coming – nothing we can do about that. But we can do something about the perspective we hold in these last days of August.

Here are a few tips to beat those “Back to September Blues”:

1) First let’s give summer the farewell it deserves and celebrate it! You can do that literally (party anyone?) or mentally by reflecting on what you loved about your summer this time round. Distinction: This is not about dwelling…it’s about acknowledging. Too often we focus on what we didn’t get around to doing this summer…e.g. didn’t travel enough, take enough time off; etc. That mindset is filled with regret and definitely not good for your “mojo” and TGIM perspective.

So take out a list…and go for it! Nothing’s too small to mention if it gave you a bit of joy. My list includes things like: cycling days, golf, summer cooking, entertaining, etc. I was delighted to make strawberry jam and homemade applie pie for my first time this summer! And in the last weeks of summer I’ll be enjoying the fruits of my gardening labour (literally – tomatoes anyone!?)

2) Now make a list of what you have to look forward to in the fall. Focus on both your worklife and life in general in autumn. I did this and realized that despite my sadness that summer is over, I actually remembered how much I do love fall. It’s a great season. For instance, for those that live in four-season climates, we have the fall foliage; if you like fashion, you can’t deny that fall is the season for new clothes! A new TV/Movie season starts – and in Toronto, one of the world’s best filmfests ever.

On the worklife front, I’m lucky in that I have projects and client work that I’m looking forward to. Yes, lots of work coming….but when I put it in this light…well, it’s much more enticing.  How about you? What are you looking forward to in your worklife and ‘life’ in general?

3) Lifelong learners – take a course! It can be work related or anything. Last fall, I got back into my Second City courses. Back to school isn’t just for kids….T’is the season to learn something new just for you!

4) Pay attention and notice what happens as you create your list. I don’t know about you but I’ve been working on my list today and have noticed a marked difference in my energy. I’m now actually looking forward to September! I can almost taste it….and it’s okay!

How about you? Any thoughts/ideas to share? In the week leading up to September it would be great to share some more tips and ideas. Bring ’em on!

Till then, here’s to a TGIM worklife,

Eileen

BACK TO TGIMWORKLIFE HOME PAGE