Sunday, November 16, 2014
Recognize the cycle. They say that "forewarned" is "forearmed". And stress at work is one of those elements of the cycle. It doesn't seem fair that multiple projects are due around the same time. But it does happen. And once you have seen it occur in your work, and you know that it will happen again, maybe there is a different way to look at the situation, a perspective that will place you more as the tour operator instead of a helpless victim. The tour operator knows the landscape and potential positives and challenges of what newcomers will perceive. And the tour director's expertise allows her / him to anticipate those issues with contingencies. Does the director go without food and sleep? Sometimes, but that isn't the ideal tour.
So it goes with the multiple work demands. Once you can anticipate the worst of the workload, you can find the time to hydrate, eat and sleep, even though there may be interruptions. And that is why I've tried a new technique that gives me more control after the stress. I've built in debriefing time, as though I was the CEO of a crisis management team. I don't take on anything new for a certain period (even if that is just a few hours), and I spill out notes on the multiple projects. Especially if I feel that I've done a good job, I take that time. I used to spend it on chatting with colleagues, or eating out. But neither technique was getting me closer to my goals for well-being. The project debrief does get me closer, and I actually feel better for adding those kind of finishing touches, the closure that some kinds of projects never seem to have.
Recognize the cycle, and choose to be the tour director / CEO / tour operator. You'll be driving out of stress - ville into work on your own terms.
Friday, December 27, 2013
How do you know that you are making progress?
One way that I can tell is the freedom and joy that I feel in practicing yoga. When practice is calm, steady, and continuous, I am in a zone that celebrates the balance of effort / ease, challenge / reflection, heat / cooling. The practice is not really about the poses -- it is a dedication to the lives and efforts of those who brought yoga practice to individuals beyond their families, far away from their backgrounds. It is a tribute to the sacrifices they made in time, in humility, in reframing in order to communicate the practice and make it accessible.
So I practice the same basic poses. But they feel so different, and they settle into the practice space in a totally different way. When I practice in a class setting, I have both awe and a newfound respect for the variations and unity that yoga practice embraces. I feel less pressure to look like a magazine cover, and I glow in the realization that teacher and participants are there to honor our common humanity, irrespective of physical giftedness.
When I practice away from my usual yoga studio, the capacity to discern the tone of the instruction, the environment created by the class participants, is a special experience -- truly a sign of the times. Have I positively contributed to that atmosphere of discovery, ease, and thoughtfulness? Have I accepted what others have brought as a gift of sharing?
The practice is less about me, and more about how it reminds me to be of service off the mat, to look out, and to respond to "the signs of the times."
Saturday, December 07, 2013
There's music in the air... what's your tune?
Whether you live alone or in a family unit, you can choose, as an individual, how you will interact with those with whom you have contact. The power of choice is a privilege that humankind has, even in the most troubling circumstances.
In the lifestyle / wellness goals, I shift my focus at this time of year, because I ask myself to do things beyond my comfort level - in time, in the stress of the unknown, in responding to others who are part of a shared unknown. (Yes, this description is cryptic, but just accept that for what it is.) So I don't aim for weight loss - no expectations of improved body composition. Instead I aim to stay true to myself, to focus on sustaining the basics of day-to-day. And with that, that is enough.
The tune I sing is: I accept who / what I am today, without the expectation for drastic change. I will forgive more than I ask to be forgiven, because I will choose to overlook minor (and even, major) oversights and indignities.
The tune I sing brings happiness and light to a greater good. And I spend nine weeks each year, at this time of year, to achieve that better world for those around me.
To those of you who can still re-double your efforts to sustain and maintain your progress to goals, I congratulate you, and wish you the best. I will maintain as best as I know and rejoin you in with more focus on my own goals at a time in the near future.
What's y o u r tune? There's music in the air!
Sunday, October 27, 2013
What does it take to get the motivational juices flowing? Sometimes all it takes is seeing someone and realizing: "That's what will happen to me unless I am pro-active about lifestyle choices." I saw someone, with the accompanying: "Do you mind if I sit down while I'm _________? I'm getting too winded to keep standing." That's what an extra 80 pounds will do to you. It was all over that person's body. Face, arms, body core, legs, just everywhere. I knew who was supposed to be in front of me. Even the voice was just not the same. So in that moment, I decided to kick myself - hard. And stop making the excuses. And I did something two days later to show that I meant business. And I did something the next day to gladly help with a task, even though I didn't know I would be doing it. I just said to myself: "More steps gets me closer to my goal."
I don't follow through well when my goals are publicly stated. But that doesn't mean I can't go public about the process and the impetus of the motivation to try again, in a different way.
Thanks, Spark Friends.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
H.A.L.T. an acronym for too hungry, too angry, too lonely, too tired, signs that you are at risk of slipping into lack of self-control. I don't why that came so strongly in mind recently. But I recognized that the larger significance was to look at the concepts behind those words.
Have you nurtured yourself with nutrition, including water and balanced food choices?
Are you paying attention to how you respond to your world, to the things that "just come", beyond personal control? The response is the main part of your next steps.
The right companionship can put a different slant on many situations, including lifestyle change. That's why the SparkPeople community is such a powerful force for good. Share, and you'll feel the difference. Look around, and you'll see others who are on the path -- some coasting, some struggling, all wanting to make a difference -- in the affirmative.
Even the most intense and active need a balance, and rest and variation are key.
HALT - not just for 12 step programs.
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