WONDER WHAT’S ON THE OTHER SIDE?
Ever had the experience of where you realize that something you that used to make you feel good …an outfit, a place or even a person…don’t seem to fit right or feel as good as they once did? What happened to it while I wasn’t looking?
I have been having that experience lately.
When this happens, I usually try to deny it or try to make it work by putting in lots of effort to recapture what I am losing. I will make it work, I say…which of course is just asking for more frustration but then, I’m a slow learner.
Often I felt naked & vulnerable as it feels like things that have changed things are the things make me feel secure. I resent that I didn’t have a choice that my “blankness “ are going w away.
With lots of resistance...
It started to happen last fall when I had some health challenges and was advised to slow down some and not work so hard. I knew it was good advice and although difficult to put into practice, I liked the idea. And thought it would be great to have more time for myself.
So with some (lots) of resistance, I began to let go of some projects and obligations.
When winter came, I enjoyed some hibernating but still kept my long list of “to dos”. The quiet voiced kept asking me, ” Who would you be without all the doing?” It was scary to think of that.
But by spring, I began to get restless and felt “fenced in” by all the “musts & shoulds” I had built around me.
With reluctance, it began to occur to me all the “duties “ gave me some identity as well as kept me very busy with no time to look around.
The “safe places “ no longer fit or felt as good.
And while that was very good for a long time, I could also see that it also kept me in one place. My protection “fences” had, in some ways, became barriers. The “safe places “ no longer fit or felt as good.
I began to see that I needed to slow down so I could pay attention at first. But now I needed to clear some room to grow…. I needed more wide-open spaces and fewer fences.
If every day is filled, it leaves little room for creating & exploring.
What would my life be like if I could let go a little and open space for new and old dreams to appear? And if I could allow myself to feel unsure and naked a bit, maybe I could take down some of my “fear fence”…and I might have a great new view!
So now as I take baby steps in exploring some new areas, I like playing the old cowboy song, ” Don’t Fence Me In “ and the Dixie Chicks wonderful song celebrating “Wide Open Spaces” .
They remind me that it is only in outgrowing our fences, that we are truly free
“People are like stained glass windows.Sparkle & shine when the sun shines but when it is dark, you only see the beauty if there is light within.” Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
History is really on my mind now with Black History month just passed, Women’s History in March this month & in own birthday coming up soon. All of these make me reflect what history and heroes really are. In the midst of living our lives we don’t often see the things we are doing with much appreciation of they really mean.
For many of us, when we think of our own history, it appears to be a story of missed opportunities, wrong turns and failures.Yet when we learn about others people’s history,we often see their struggles as very important parts of the story. But of course, living thru those challenges doesn’t seem very inspiring at the time.
Just doing what needs to be done.
Just doing what needs to be done seems very ordinary when you are the one doing it but very important to the people it affects. Rosa Parks said she just wanted to sit down on the bus after a long day at work. Betty Friedan just wrote a book ( The Feminine Mystique ) about housewives like herself that help to start the Women’s movement
Her “cloudy lens” story.
Recently a client gave a great example of how our own views are often cloudy.
She had quit her unfulfilling job to start her own business when her husband was laid off. She tried to keep her business going but soon realized that it was not going to support her family and the stress was causing lots of problems. So she went back to her previous profession to get some money coming in and put her dream of her own business on hold.
Like so many of us, she felt she was just “doing what needed to be done”.
Yet, as she told me her story, it was filled with self-criticism of what she should have done and the mistakes she felt she had made. She was crying as she told it.
I suggested that she was seeing it thru a “cloudy lens” ‘and that she could
re-write her story to focus on the effect of what she had done…saving her family. And that is a very big deal to them.
My own history and inheritance.
I know this story very well as my mother did the same thing. She went to work for the first time at age 42 and eventually opened a business as a way to support us when my father became ill. Her courage and willingness to do “what needed to be done ” are the best inheritance I have.
A New Story
As I retold my client’s story, from new point of view, her tears stopped and she begin to smile.
“What a gift…and a relief- to see it thru other eyes. I never thought of it that way. I think I’ll change my story,” she said.
This long-term effect is huge…. Rosa Parks just sat on a bus, Betty Friedan just wrote a book, but both of these ordinary acts changed our lives.
What Heros Are
Hero are not born, I think, but are often ordinary people who just do what needs to be done and in doing that, give the rest of us a much different and better history.
So I hope you will write yourself a new story.
I’d love to hear it.
So that’s my story and I ‘m sticking to it.
And I hope you will too.
“What are some of the most common mistakes job seekers make?
The 3 H’s: Handshakes, Hugs & Help:
3 Key Ingredients in Finding Work
Coach Jeannie Says:
“Let me explain…”
All job seekers I have met work very hard on finding work…it is just that they sometimes put their energy into places that don’t produce much results.
Often I hear them say that they have sent out lots & lots of resumes but have little response. Sending out lots of resumes is sort of like buying a lottery ticket…great if you win but your odds are not very good!
Job seekers often only try to connect with people who are advertising jobs. They don’t seem to realize that since 80-90% of jobs are not advertised and are filled by someone who is knows someone, they need to spend 80-90% of their time in getting known.And only 10-15% of time in sending resumes for jobs on the internet.
The old “6 degrees of separation” works hugely in this area.
Here is one of the ways to do this:
Take advantage of the many job seekers groups available….not only to polish up resumes & interview skills but to connect with others who are also looking.
They can tell you about opportunities that you cannot know about because they are in places you don’t go. They also have their own “network” that they can refer you to; you never know who they know.
It is like having your own job help army. They can be your “job scouts”.And you can do the same for them.
But you do have to attend the groups regularly and get known there. Share your own knowledge & your network freely. Also volunteering to help set chairs, make coffee, etc. lets people see that you care and are responsible as well as visible.As other get to know you, they can recommend you.Reaching out to others means a lot.It may take a while but it sure beats sitting in front of the computer until your buns & brains are numb.
Social media has a place in job seeking but NOTHING replaces personal contact & a reputation as a reliable & helpful person. Yes,it sometimes “takes a village” to get a job so its important to get to know your neighbors!
A hug or a handshake is one of the most important thing you can do to find a job.
And it feels good to the
giver & receiver…and it is free.
“ Loving yourself is the greatest gift you can give someone else ”
Yep. It’s the “luv’ month and all the ads saying how buying jewelry, candy and flowers is the best way to show your love to someone. And it sure is important to let other know you love them. I even have an annual “Make a Valentine “ party where we create valentines and eat chocolate so I’m all for that.
But it seems to me one of the people we often leave out of the “Love List” is ourselves.
Yes, I know this not what we usually think of because we have been taught that loving ourselves is selfish and self-centered. When in fact, it is the opposite is true. Babies and even plants all thrive more when they get positive energy.
And I know this is true for me. When I feel good about me I am not so interested in finding fault with you.
But most of us don’t even like ourselves much and treat ourselves much more meanly that we would treat anyone else. Regularly. I hear friends and clients say things like “I’m so stupid, so fat , so laziest .” And advertisers want to convince us that we cannot get love until we are much better. …Slimmer, smarter etc.
We seem to have the Marine boot camp view that we have to tear ourselves down before we can built ourselves up…Only we never get to the building up part and seem stuck in tear down.
When Do I get to Perfect?
We think that we can’t be loving to ourselves until we are perfect…. and that day never comes. Yet we often love others who have annoying flaws …but we care about them still. Why not us?
And as I am writing this one of my dogs comes by and stops for her expected pets and praise. And I am happy to give it to her…not because she is perfect (my chewed up shoes and flower beds will attest to that) but just because I love her.
A Wild Thought
And then a wild l thought comes to me…what if I gave myself as some of the appreciation and affection as I give my pets? I could certainly use some more pats and praise not to mention treats and play. And lots of “Good Girl” and other goofy things I say to them would be fun to say to myself.
How about “ Good Woman” instead of “Good Dog” or “What a fine person you are! “ You are so precious” and other silly but loving phrases. I ’m getting the hang of this… it could be a whole new vocabulary.
Smiles & Chuckles
Just thinking of doing this makes me smile and even chuckle. It feels very good.
And when I feel good, I am much less critical and cranky…
And surely, that’s a great gift to others.
And so to answer the question, ”What’s Love got to do with it? The answer is everything!
Please pass the chocolates.
Former recruiter: Find balance between seeking job, living life
By Bobby Sisk
Posted: Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011
Watch Bobby Sisk weekdays at 4 and 5:30 p.m. on the Observer’s News Partner, WCNC, NewsChannel 36.
Jeannie Fennell is optimistic by nature. She is also realistic when it comes to the energy it takes to search for a job. She encourages job seekers to find a balance between looking for work and still living their lives.
Fennell is a former recruiter, employment manager and college career counselor. She now operates her own company called Lifeworks.
“I do this whole talk about making sure you have some things to do that have nothing to do with the job search. Learn something new, do something fun, get rest and get exercise. That is so critical because looking for a job is very stressful and it is very draining,” Fennell said.
In her practice, she is seeing some good trends. “First thing people want to know is are you seeing more people getting jobs?” Her answer is yes. “It definitely is a slow growth, but it is a growth. Just the other day someone e-mailed me and said, ‘I’ve been unemployed two years and hardly gotten any interviews and now I’ve gotten three.’”
That said, there is still one major area where Fennell says many job seekers need to focus: “Most people say, ‘I’ve been really looking. I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes.’. And I say, ‘Wrong.’ What people don’t understand is there are more jobs out there but it is just like it’s always been and more so. Eighty to 90 percent of all jobs are filled by somebody who knows somebody.”
In other words, get out and beat the bushes. And most important, never underestimate your connections. You don’t know who your friends or former colleagues know until you ask. “They may find something for you. Or at least someone for you to talk to,” Fennell said.
I’ll give you an example. A co-worker recently mentioned she was writing a letter of recommendation for a friend who was applying for a job. Ends up, I knew not only the applicant but also a member of the board that oversees that employer. Again, this is proof that in your job search, it can end up being a small world.
Fennell is also seeing more of her clients finding contract work. Others, she says, are starting their own businesses. Whatever direction you decide, she reminds you to strike a balance: “At the end of the day, when you’ve had just one more rejection, it really helps to say, ‘I’m going to do this tonight. Have something to do.’”
Learn more at www.lifeworksonline .net .
Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/02/13/2055636/former-recruiter-find-balance.html#ixzz1EK9vWSPk
Have you ever gotten a gift that you didn’t know exactly what to do with? You know it could be useful if you could just figure it out.
That’s just what I felt when I awoke to a snow filled world on Monday.
The world had stopped…
Of course I had heard it was coming but the reality that the world had “stopped” was different.
Suddenly I had a whole day or more open with all my plans put on hold. No places to go and nothing to do. It really felt strange but somehow exciting. What could I do with this gift of time?
I thought about all the many times I had complained about having too much to do and all the times I had wished I could go back to bed. How often had I said that I didn’t have time to do something? I have often felt like I didn’t have enough time.
Yet when “free time “was given to me, I was a little lost. But on vacation. I could easily do little all day and feel great about it. Why was this different? I know I could fill it up with household chores but that didn’t seem right. It felt like a time to do something different that would mark this special; not just marking time until I could get back to life as usual.
This was a gift that I wasn’t sure how to unwrap.
And then I remembered a friend who was a high level manger who regularly scheduled a “Pajama Day”.
She didn’t get out of her jammies all day and did only things that were relaxing- no guilt & no chores. She said those days made it possible to continue with her otherwise hectic life.
So what would it be like to have a “mini-vacation’? How about a nap at 11:00 or lunch of cookies at 3:00? What if I only did things that felt good even if I was “wasting time “?
What a radical idea!
So a little awkwardly, I proceeded. Some of the ”shoulds” lingered but they left when I got excited about doing something different even if was to just prove I could. It was amazing how easily my day flowed as I just asked myself. ”What so you feel like doing now?” Some of the answers were surprising like when I decided to watch some daytime TV…but all opened up some pocket of permission At the end of the day, I felt really good…renewed and relaxed and ready to make this a habit.
So now part of my New Years Intentions is to have more “Snow Days/Grow Days” even if it summer!
I think I’ll buy some new pajamas to make them official.
” If the only prayer you ever say is Thank You , that is enough.” Meister Eckhart
This is just to say thank you for being in my life….as friends,clients. or maybe someone I have never met.I do consider everyone on my address list as a friend…even if you are people I have not met face to face.
I am grateful to have you in my life.
This year, I have had the privilege of working with many people going thru major life transitions and their courage and resilience has been an inspiration to me.I think one the great gifts of living a while is to realize that we do have the strength to get thru tough times.. we have done it before.
We are all going thru times of change but remember we all come from hardy stock.I am reminded of our relatives who certainly went thru many times of difficulty and passed their strength on to us.I think of my grandmother & my mother who both found themselves having to make a living for themselves & their children when they had never done so before.They did what they had to do with grace and lots of sweat! And were always grateful for the life and love that they had and shared with others.
How can we not do the same?
I’m sure you there are people you know who are like that too.
Surely,we all have a heritage that has both survived and thrived & so can we.I am grateful to remember that.
Sometimes the gifts I get from a “growing experience ” are the ones that really last,
although I usually can’t see it at the time!
I have always really liked the idea of Thanksgiving.It is special to me not only because I love to eat but because it seems very wonderful for a nation to set aside a special day each year to give thanks.So wherever we come from, we can take a few minutes to be grateful for all we have and all those who touch our lives.
And so I want to let you know that I am grateful to you for staying on my list,for reading what I send to you and for giving me feedback.I am also very grateful that you ask me to support you by becoming a client,a workshop participant or taking the time to write a comment to me.
So, just know that you are appreciated and valued.
Thank you for enriching my life…and pass the turkey!
Years ago a friend gave me a small towel with that motto on it and it hangs in a place of honor in my bathroom.So when I heard about
“GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS”,
I had to check it out.
And I was totally hooked when saw their quote:
“Time & trouble can tame an young woman but an advanced old woman is a uncontrollable by any earthly force”.
And having come from a long line of “uncontrollable women ”
I knew exactly what they meant…and maybe you do too.And maybe you are one,I hope
So meet “Some Old Broads” who are getting things done & making a difference in the world.
GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS
is a national grassroots organization that uses the voices and activisim of “elders” & others to protect & preserve wilderness.They work to preserve roadless public lands & other areas.
In Oct. they helped to create a new wilderness area in the Cherokee National Forest & avocated passing the first expansion of the Tenn. Wilderess Act in 24 years.They have been active in land preservation in almost every state by hosting “BroadWalks” camps where they eat great food, laugh a lot and
support the preservation of local wilderness areas.
They really know how to poke fun at politics and have some too.
Check out their antics in D.C.
Having Fun + Making a Difference
Regardless of the name,you don’t have to be older or a woman to join or support this amazing group.
After all, places to have wonderful experiences is about all we can we can truly leave to those that come after us.
I am so fortunate in my work and life because many people I meet are making a difference simply because they have purpose and passion…and love to share it!
Part of my business is coaching entrepreneurs, some in the beginning of their dream & others who are growing their business and their life. And, SOULO,the entrepreneur mastermind group I have been facilitating for 8 years, has introduced me to many more of these purposed passionate people. These people may not always get the spotlight, but they shine a bright light all around. I think you would like to meet them.
Carolyn Cook, a great example of taking your knowledge and making life better for others, created LiveSmartDesign to modify houses for people with physical challenges to stay in their homes. Sometimes people can’t sell their homes or don’t want to move, yet their houses are no longer safe or functional for them. Carolyn helps change their situation with her business.
Carolyn was a senior designer for an architectural firm when she was laid off at the same time as her husband. It was a scary time, but she decided that it was the perfect time to launch her business idea. She took courses in business & green building, got her Aging In Place Certification, and attended many meetings to learn what was needed in our community.
She also joined SOULO and shared her experiences. Now she teaches a course on “Aging in Place Design” for Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC). Carolyn is wonderful example of a woman who refused to be put on the shelf and is making sure to share her experiences so others have the same opportunity.
Another person who turned her layoff into a new service with purpose and passion is Rev Ellizabeth Hyland She was a Presbyterian Chaplin working in a large medical center when she was laid off. She experienced firsthand the stress, isolation and depression that a job loss can generate. She began to do something about it by organizing the inspirational, “From Stress to Success” seminars. These were very successful and helpful to unemployed folks. (A gift to me was sharing in the experience because I was one the speakers.)
Then she wrote a book, Surviving The Unemployment Roller Coaster: From Stress to Success, about her experiences and now is a spiritual coach for job seekers. You can get her book & lots helpful hints on her website: Elizabeth Hyland webbiste
Elizabeth, with her example and her work, is changing the lives of many.
And people with purpose & passion inspire me to do the same…thank you..
LifeLearnings…Musings and Perspectives on our changing times
Remember what happened to Alice in Wonderland?
She fell down a rabbit hole into a strange land where the rules didn’t make sense and the all the signposts were backwards.
Alice kept asking for help to find her way but got confusing instructions. The queen of the land threatened to take off her head if Alice didn’t follow orders, but the orders were impossible to execute.
Over the last year or so,I have been feeling like Alice. The world seemed crazy. And I know many who feel the same. We have fallen down a hole and can’t get out. The signposts don’t make any sense. The landscape is different. What we are “supposed” to do is impossible and real directions seemed hard to find.
But as I have stumbled around myself and have helped others navigate through their changes, I have found out something very helpful and comforting.
That something is my essential self.
What’s the essential self? Our heart and our soul — those parts of us that are our character, are the same. They have not changed, no matter what else has. The essential self is as distinctive as the shape of our head or the way we walk. Whatever happened externally, the inside is much the same. On the inside is our values, our integrity and yes, our quirks and eccentric ways. Whatever made us valuable and unique is still there and usable, even if dented and scratched.
Whew..Realizing that was a great relief. I can count on those things within me that I have honed over my lifetime…they are not going to desert me. I can feel safe. I have only lost the outside stuff, not what is really valuable.
Realizing this, a quiet joy began to emerge because while everything else can be replaced or discarded, I, the essential me, will never go away.
And while I’m not grinning like the Cheshire Cat, I am smiling more and that’s a good sign. And yes, as the song says.”Still crazy after all these years” and I refuse to lose that.
And I hope you are the same.
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