Change: The Joys and Challenges of Life

 

cherry pathI was heading home after a busy Friday. Seeing the traffic ahead, I decided to turn right into a street I very rarely use.

And boy, was I glad I did!

Barely had I gone down a few hundred meters, when I got welcomed by these wonderful, bright pink, cherry trees, many in full bloom.

Just last week I had written a post on the unexpected little joys of life.

The bigger two trees in the corner were full of tuis (NZ bird) ‘tuiting’ away, absolutely lost in the moment and in ecstatic delight of the honey nectar. It is as if, amongst the branches and the blooms, they were having a music and rhythm festival all of their own!

One of the neighbours, similarly enthralled, along with the cat came outside and we started chatting.

We stood there, very much in the moment, admiring the magical, colourful bounty and the blessings of nature.

cherry treeSeasons and change

Here in New Zealand, our Spring season has just begun. It really is a delight seeing all the lovely magnolias, cherry blossoms, sweet-smelling Jasmine, daffodils, early cheers amongst others, appear, after the dull winter.

It got me thinking – we welcome the change of seasons but are we as welcoming of the inevitable changes in our lives? Read more »

Authentic Leadership: Have you had a defining moment?

reflection

reflection

Last week, as part of our authentic leadership programme, my colleague and I invited the participants to explore their leadership stories.

These are stories that have formed and informed us and make us the leaders that we are. The exploration can be grounding, revealing and empowering.

So what about you?

Is your story something you have given much thought to?

Or perhaps, like many others, you have put your story aside, perhaps seen it as a tad mundane and bearing little significance?

Or perhaps because of a few “bad” experiences, you have been seen these as best ‘forgotten.’

Our Crucibles

Many of us have had defining moments in our lives and these have consciously or unconsciously shaped our beliefs, values and attitudes. Read more »

7 Ways To Take Back Control Of Your Life

mojo image

Are you in a job that you feel is long past its use by date?

The fun, excitement and passion for what you did are long gone.

Monday mornings are a dread with that sinking, ground hog day feeling as you think about the week ahead.

You feel frustrated, stuck and angry, as right now, you don’t even have a vision for what else you could be doing. Or what you would like to be doing feels so impossible and not one that would pay the bills.

For comfort and distraction, maybe you binge on food, alcohol and drugs or other ‘blotting out’ fixes.

But you know deep down that this is not the solution.

Before you get too hard on yourself, let me say, you are not alone and many of us have been through this feeling of being stuck and not being able to see an alternative future.

But wait – all is not lost as you might think! Read more »

13 Actions for Creating Greater Balance at Work

woman in office with childA well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your step as you walk the tightrope of life.”
-William Arthur Ward

Creating a fulfilling life quality, wellness and resiliency are things we strive for in our hectic lives.

The following are some tips and reminders about creating a positive work  experience.  What do you resonate with the most?  And what else works for you which you might like to share?

Work balance tips

  1. Differentiate between what you can control and what you cannot. Do something about that you can control – let go of the other
  2. Delegate – team members are often keen to progress to “meatier” projects. As a leader, encourage development and create these opportunities for team members
  3. Do a reality check on your expectations. Do your projects have adequate resources, are deadlines realistic and your priorities correct?
  4. Do you need to manage upwards better?
  5. Negotiate to work in ways that suit you e.g. having a day away when you work from home
  6. Get feedback from your colleagues and boss.  This could give you the needed missing perspective
  7. Review and critique your current commitments in line with your priorities. Do you have to be involved with those special projects at work, while serving on the school board of trustees and coaching junior soccer?
  8. Learn or do something which develops you which you enjoy beyond the known, operational tasks
  9. Have regular breaks including time out for lunch. “Little and often” is a good formula to remember. Take a longer weekend from time to time
  10. Build in mental bonuses – things that you can look forward to as rewards to keep going now
  11. Schedule some fun time with your team e.g. a slightly longish Friday lunch every so often. This is not only good for team morale but a forced time to just hang together
  12. Watch your internal chatter and work on keeping an upbeat frame of mind. Your outlook determines your experience of any circumstances, “good or bad”
  13. Make a commitment to your well-being. You are only as strong as the weakest link in your chain in your system. Though it requires conscious awareness and effort initially, it is a lot easier to implement balancing strategies than to deal with the aftermath of burnout.

Read more »

The Gift of New Beginnings After the Ending

sunriseFacing endings

Endings are a natural, inevitable part of life.

Whether these endings come about in our jobs and careers, love and family life or other aspects of our social, recreational and community life, there is an inevitable emotional reaction. Life as we have known is no longer and there is a consequent feeling of being in transition or as a colleague put it – “total limbo land.”

Of course, it is much easier to deal with change when we are the originators of such endings but this is not always the case. Endings and change get forced upon us and sometimes we do not even see it coming. In these instances, the shock factor and coming to terms with the new situation can take time.

Coming to terms with endings

Endings are not something we typically talk about except perhaps with those closest to us. And indeed the message from well-meaning friends and colleagues can be to “just get over it” and “move on.”  Move on –  we do –  but coming to terms with the ending and or loss is something that has its own timing and rhythm.  Depending on our individual makeup and the level of support, we do arrive at and make peace with the new circumstances but typically in our own time. Read more »

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