Expressing Myself.

Expressing Myself.

When we are in a relationship where we feel listened to and understood, we count ourselves lucky because we know how rare that experience is. We reserve our most intimate selves for the people who, along with us, co-create an open space where we feel free to express ourselves and listen without judgment. 
These relationships, which thrive on open communication, can mean the difference between existential loneliness and a deep sense of belonging. We all long to feel heard, understood, and loved, and clear communication makes this possible. 

Sometimes problems arise in the process of expressing how we feel, and it is always worth it to do the work. Even in our less intimate relationships, expressing ourselves honestly is essential to our sense of well-being. 
Whether at home with family or in the outside world, successful communication requires some forethought; otherwise we risk blundering through our relationships like the proverbial bull in a china shop. However, too much forethought can stifle us or cause us to pad our words so extremely that we end up saying nothing at all or confusing the matter further. 

The good news is that there are many methods that can come to our rescue, from meditation to visualization to journaling. 

If the person we need to communicate with is open to sitting in meditation together for a set period of time before speaking, this can be invaluable. When we are calm and centered, we can count on ourselves to speak and respond truthfully. We can also meditate on our own time and then practice what we need to say. 
A visualization in which we sit with the person and lovingly exchange a few words can also be a great precedent to an actual conversation. 
If writing comes easily, we can write out what we need to say; it may take several drafts, but we will eventually find the words. 

The key is to find ways to center ourselves so that we communicate meaningfully, lovingly, and wisely. In this way, we honor our companions and create relationships in which there is a genuine sense of understanding and respect. 

Based on text by Madisyn Taylor

			
My Wellbeing Is My Priority.

My Wellbeing Is My Priority.

Well-being is having a moment. What was once considered a soft-news lifestyle topic has, thanks to our collective experience of the pandemic, moved to the center of the conversation about work and life. And as a Chief Well-Being Officer, I’m certainly glad to see this shift (even if I obviously would have preferred a different catalyst). 

Still, when I’m asked questions about well-being, as I often am, I’ve noticed a troubling trend. Very often, well-being becomes just another stress-inducing item on our to-do list. So as we continue to prioritize our well-being, we also need to shift our mindset away from viewing well-being as work. Because well-being isn’t a benchmark we need to hit. It’s not another guilt-inducing metric to measure ourselves by. The whole point of bringing more well-being into our lives is to lower our stress, not add to it. 

With that in mind, here are six ways to prevent well-being from becoming just another item on our to-do lists.

Stop glorifying busyness

We often have this idea that busyness and productivity are the same thing. We wear our busyness as a badge of honor, believing that we should exist in a state of perpetual motion. For many of us, this extends to well-being, which becomes something we must do — that is, just another form of being busy. But well-being isn’t a moment, it’s a mindset — and one that’s an antidote to the mindset of busyness. Well-being is a way of living and working that can only happen when we leave busyness behind.

Define well-being for yourself

If well-being begins to feel like a checklist of things you’re supposed to do, that’s a pretty good indication that you’re subscribing to an idea of well-being that’s been defined by someone else. But well-being isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s different for every person, so it’s essential that we define it for ourselves. 

That starts with thinking of what’s important to us and defining our non-negotiables. Some people like to meditate, some don’t. For some, well-being might involve an activity. For others, it can just as easily be about doing nothing. When we focus on what truly makes us thrive, it will be a lot easier to integrate our specific version of well-being into the fabric of our daily lives.  

Start small

Prioritizing well-being isn’t about overhauling our lives, and it doesn’t mean we have to make huge changes. It’s not all-or-nothing. Thrive Global is all about Microsteps — starting with the smallest steps possible to build healthy habits. Maybe you don’t have time to work out for an hour a day, but can you get a few more minutes of movement in? You don’t have to cut out gluten or meat or foods you like, but can you add a piece of fruit as a snack? When we make these steps small enough, they become easier to make into habits.  

Be intentional about setting boundaries 

Having a set of well-being non-negotiables doesn’t do much good if we don’t make time for them. To make sure I make time for mine, I add them to my public calendar, which all of my co-workers and team members can see, and then I stick to them in the same way I do everything else on my calendar. This sends the message — both to myself and others — that the ways I’m nurturing my well-being are as important as any other meetings or appointments on my calendar.

Accept that well-being will change 

If we’ve learned anything over the past year-and-a-half, it’s that life is about constant change. Well-being isn’t a destination. As we move forward on our life’s journey, our conception of well-being is likely to change. When we accept that, we’ll be able to continue finding new ways to bring well-being, joy, and renewal into our lives that don’t feel forced.

Give yourself some grace 

We’re all human, which means we’re perfectly imperfect. The last thing our relationship with well-being should be giving us is guilt or a sense of failure. What’s more, self-acceptance — in this case, accepting the fact that we’re not always going to meet our own definition of well-being or find the time for it — is itself a great well-being practice. So let yourself off the hook, give yourself some grace, and when you do, you’ll be adding a powerful tool of well-being to your life. 

Based on text by Jen Fisher

Closing 2021 and Opening 2022

Closing 2021 and Opening 2022

The 7Cs, as described by Elaine Patterson in her book  “Our Humanity@Work” Working with the 7Cs, are our innate human capacities for care, courage, curiosity, compassion, connection, creativity and contemplation. They enable us to be mindful of how we bring our humanity into work and into leadership; they help those of us who may be naturally focused on driving for results, on efficiency and on process to ensure that we do this through our relationships with people and people-centred behaviours. At a time when there is uncertainty as organisations transition to hybrid working, face into restructures and redefine themselves to meet changing consumer demands as a result of the Covid era, your team members need a style of leadership that pairs care and compassion with courage and creativity. To bring these more to the fore in your leadership and management, start by looking back:

Reflecting on 2021

Take 10 minutes to consider your responses to the following questions:

Reflection Question
CareWhat have I truly cared about at work this year?In hindsight, were these the right things?
CourageWhere have I needed to show courage this year?On a scale of 1-10, how courageous was I?
CuriosityHow have I been curious this year?How did that curiosity add value (or not?)
CompassionWhere have I extended compassion to others this year?Where have I shown myself compassion?
ConnectionWhen have I felt a deep connection with someone or something at work this year?What effect did that have on me, them or on an outcome?
CreativityWhere did I bring creativity into my work this year?
ContemplationWhere have I invested time to take stock in my work this year?How have I checked in with myself or others this year and acted on what I have learned?

Sparking ideas for 2022

Take 10 minutes to consider the following to help you set yourself up for a good 2022 at work:

Future-Focused Question
CareHow will showing care be important to me in 2022?Where do I need to show care and to whom?
CourageIf I was truly courageous in 2022 what could I achieve?Where will it be most important for me to show courage?
CuriosityWhat am I already curious about in 2022?How do I need to continue to be curious?
CompassionHow can I extend my compassion to others in 2022?Where do I currently feel I will most likely need to show myself compassion in 2022?
ConnectionWhat connections will bring me joy and/or fulfilment in 2022?What steps can I take now to ensure those connections happen?
CreativityIf I am at my most creative in 2022, what is possible for me?What excites me about these possibilities?
ContemplationHow might I need to make time for reflection and contemplation in 2022?What do I see as the value of doing so?

I’ve found the time taken on these questions to be a great investment in enabling my learning as well as giving me motivation and excitement about what is possible in 2022.

HAPPY 2022!

Declaring Our Intentions.

Declaring Our Intentions.

If you’re feeling stuck in life and are ready for change, take time to declare to the Universe that you’re ready.

There comes a point in most of our lives when we feel ready to experience a change we’ve had trouble carrying out. Maybe we’ve been stuck in a home, a relationship, job, or a town that hasn’t felt right for a long time, but we’ve been unable to shift our circumstances in the direction we want to go. At times like this, it can help to declare to the universe that we are ready for a change.

Think of it as informing a helpful friend that you need her assistance to move to the next level in your life. If the time is right, the universe will respond with opportunities and offers designed to help you create the change you wish to see.

You can begin the process of making your declaration by getting clear within yourself about what exactly you want to change. Whenever we ask anyone for help, they can assist us that much better if we are specific. The universe also appreciates our clarity and has an easier time answering a direct communication than a vague yearning.

When you are clear on what you want, write your declaration on a piece of paper and place it on your altar, if you have one. If you don’t, you can also place it under your pillow or in a box on your nightstand. Set aside a period of time every day to be silent with your wishes for change, repeating your declaration like a mantra. This lets the universe know that you are ready to change and will be receptive to its efforts.

Feel free to continue to refine and redefine your declaration, and remember to be open to the many different ways in which the change you seek might come to be. Remember also to be active in your own efforts, taking opportunities that come your way, watching for signs, and always taking responsibility for your intentions.

If you continue your conversation with the universe, declaring yourself clearly and openly, you cannot help but experience the magic of changing and being changed. 
Expanding Viewpoints.

Expanding Viewpoints.

Seeing the world from another perspective can introduce us to all sort of hidden treasures.


The ocean can look very different, depending on whether you are standing at the shore, soaring above in a plane, or swimming beneath its waves. Likewise, a mountain can look very different relative to where you are standing. Each living thing sees the world from its unique vantage point. While from your window you may be seeing what looks like a huge shrub, a bird in its nest is getting an intimate view of that tree’s leafy interior. Meanwhile, a beetle sees only a massive and never-ending tree trunk. Yet all three of you are looking at the same tree.  

Just as a shadow that is concealed from one point of view is easily seen from another, it is possible to miss a fantastic view. That is, unless you are willing to see what’s in front of you through different eyes. Seeing the world from another perspective, whether spatially or mentally, can introduce you to all sorts of hidden treasures. The root of the discovery process often lies in finding another way of looking at the world. The common human reaction to insects is one example. Spinning its web in a dark corner, a spider may seem drab, frightening, and mysterious. But seen up close weaving silver snowflakes between the branches of a tree, they can look like colored jewels.  

Sometimes, there are experiences in life that from your vantage point may seem confusing, alarming, or worrisome. Or there may be events that look insignificant from where you are standing right now. Try seeing them from another point of view. Bury your face in the grass and look at the world from a bug’s vantage point. Explore your home as if you were a small child. Take a ride in a small aircraft and experience the world from a bird’s eye view. Just as kneeling down sometimes helps you see more closely when you are looking for lost treasure, so can standing back help you appreciate the broader picture of what you are looking at. In doing so, you’ll experience very different worlds. 

Earthbound!

Earthbound!

Our bodies are living, breathing expressions of our consciousness and we may opt to treat it (us) as such. We can leverage gentle moves and breathing, to tap into the powerhouse of our bodies, and live in them (not despite of them).

Striking the right balance between our physical and spiritual aspects is one of the most challenging aspects of existence. We are dual beings by nature, spiritual entities bound to earth by physical bodies. In our lifetimes, we are charged with the duty of nurturing and tending both with equal devotion and love. Yet while both aspects of the self are deserving of honor and respect, there is a tendency for people who are more spiritually focused to ignore, avoid, or dismiss their bodies. Similarly, many individuals are entirely ensconced in the carnal realm and pay no attention to the needs of the soul. In both cases, an adjustment is in order.


We are whole only to the degree that we embrace both sides of our beings.

If the soul is the inward manifestation of our consciousness, the body is the living, breathing expression of that consciousness. The physical self provides the home in which the spiritual self takes root and flourishes. Just as we must tend to the seed of the soul to ensure that it grows strong, so, too, must we care for the protective shell that is the body to make certain it is capable of playing its role in our development. Though there will no doubt be times in our lives when we feel more comfortable focusing on the spiritual self or the physical self, denying the fundamental importance of one or the other can lead to ill health, emotional distress, and a sense of incompleteness. Both facets of the human experience play a vital role in our well-being.

The body and the soul are the yin and yang of our current reality. They are, at this point of human evolution, irreparably bound together, and many spiritual teachers agree that the body is one of the greatest vehicles through which to access the soul. In fact, many believe that our spirit has chosen to be embodied as an essential part of our spiritual development.


It is each of us responsibility (and honor!) to forge a marriage between the two, so that these diverse and distinct aspects bring out the best in each other, creating a vibrant, dynamic, and enjoyable whole.


Based on text by Madisyn Taylor.

Go For It!

Go For It!

There are times in our lives when all the signs seem to be pointing us in a particular direction.


Our thoughts and dreams are echoed in the songs and stories we hear and the media we see. Maybe the message we are getting from the universe doesn’t even make sense in the “real” world, but somewhere inside, these urges feel right. Maybe you feel you are being told to move to a new city although your life where you are is just fine. Or maybe you feel the desire to pursue a new direction in your career when it never really interested you before.


When we spend time getting in touch with our higher selves, our intuition sends us directives to lead us to become our best and most fulfilled selves. And when we are open and listening, the next step is to take action and go for it. Once we make the decision to pursue our inner urgings, the universe sets into motion the means for all sorts of details to fall into place.

A sense of peace will come over us, because we know that any questions will no longer make us wonder if our dreams are possible, but how to make them happen. Instead of deterring us from our goal, these questions only serve to clarify our focus to move us forward.

The positive shift in our energy affects everything around us. Like a rush of water, it goes ahead to clear debris from our path so that we can go forward. Our new attitude also attracts likeminded people. Sometimes even the most unlikely angels arrive to help us along our way with the information and support we need. Wherever your dreams are pointing you today, take a step.

Take action and manifest your inner urges and soul whisperings.


Based on text by Madisyn Taylor.

Expressing Through Poetry.

Expressing Through Poetry.

The creation of any kind of art can be as much a form of meditation as a vehicle for self-expression. Energetically splashing colors of paint onto a canvas can be like casting the weight of the world off your shoulders, while raising your voice to hit the high notes of a song can inspire you to release your fears so you can reach new heights in your own life. And then there is the act of meditation that can take place when you create poetry.

Sculpting your thoughts into a poem can take you on a journey where your conscious mind is momentarily cast adrift, and you focus the energy of your message in few words that paint a story.

Like other forms of meditation, writing poetry requires that you stay fully present during the process, rather than focusing on any outcome. In doing so, you release any inhibitions or ideas of “what needs to happen,” so that your thoughts can flow freely through you. When you write poetry, you are able to see the reflections of your innermost self imprinted on a page. 

Don’t think about what you are going to say next, and don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or logic. Instead, be as descriptive, visually precise, rhythmic, or lyrical as you want to be. When you feel complete, put the pen down, and read over what you’ve written.

Appreciate this work of art you have created.

You may even find that thoughts and emotions you had repressed before are now making themselves known so you can process and release them. Writing poetry as a form of meditation lets you slow down your mind long enough for you to get out of your own way, so that your soul can freely express its deepest yearnings.

Slowing Down.

Slowing Down.

Life can often feel like it’s zipping by in fast forward. We feel obliged to accelerate our own speed along with it, until our productivity turns into frenzied accomplishment. We find ourselves cramming as much activity as possible into the shortest periods of time. We disregard our natural rhythms because it seems we have to just to keep up. In truth, rushing never gets you anywhere but on to the next activity or goal.  

Slowing down allows you to not only savor your experiences, but also it allows you to fully focus your attention and energy on the task at hand. Moving at a slower place lets you get things done more efficiently, while rushing diminishes the quality of your work and your relationships.
Slowing down also lets you be more mindful, deliberate, and fully present. When we slow down, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves to our natural rhythms. We let go of the “fast forward” stress, and allow our bodies to remain centered and grounded. Slowing down is inherent to fully savoring anything in life. Rushing to take a bath can feel like an uncomfortable dunk in hot water, while taking a slow hot bath can be luxuriant and relaxing. Cooking, eating, reading, and writing can become pleasurable when done slowly. Slowing down lets you become more absorbed in whatever it is you are doing. The food you eat tastes better, and the stories you read become more alive. 
Slowing down allows you to disconnect from the frenzied pace buzzing around you so you can begin moving at your own pace.

The moments we choose to live in fast forward motion then become a conscious choice rather than an involuntary action. 

Learning to slow down in our fast-moving world can take practice, but if you slow down long enough to try it, you may surprise yourself with how natural and organic living at this pace can be.

Text by Madisyn Taylor

My Special Gift.

My Special Gift.

We all have a genius within us and when one of us doesn’t develop or use our special gift, a cosmic void takes place.

Each of us is born with a specific genius that was bestowed upon us so we can do our part to make this world a better place. All of us have a role that we’re uniquely suited for. Imagine our planet without trees, oceans, or clouds. In this same way, when one of us doesn’t develop or use our special gift, a cosmic void takes place.

This unique talent or ability may be hidden from your own sight like a golden treasure buried under shifting sands. Often, we spend so much time dazzled by the talents of others that we can overlook our own gifts. It may even be that our unique ability is something we view negatively. Perhaps we find it difficult concentrating on any one subject for long; meanwhile, others are thrilled by our ability to weave various ideas throughout our conversations. Or, you might think of yourself as “frivolous,” when it’s likely your charming approach to life casts a light of inspiration that others can’t help but follow.

It’s important for all of us to try to find our special gift and discover how we can best express it. Ask others to name what they think is your most overlooked talent or character trait. Their answers may change your life.

Explore these riches that are yours to express, and you may find yourself helping others discover and develop their own blessings. Acknowledge and appreciate the gifts you see in those around you. Tell your neighbor that loves to garden how much her green thumb enlivens the whole block. Thank your coworker for always greeting your days together with a smile. Tell your close friends that their ability to listen makes your world a better place.

Our unique gifts are like golden rays of expression that can encircle the world with light.