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
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:
|Care||What have I truly cared about at work this year?In hindsight, were these the right things?|
|Courage||Where have I needed to show courage this year?On a scale of 1-10, how courageous was I?|
|Curiosity||How have I been curious this year?How did that curiosity add value (or not?)|
|Compassion||Where have I extended compassion to others this year?Where have I shown myself compassion?|
|Connection||When 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?|
|Creativity||Where did I bring creativity into my work this year?|
|Contemplation||Where 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:
|Care||How will showing care be important to me in 2022?Where do I need to show care and to whom?|
|Courage||If I was truly courageous in 2022 what could I achieve?Where will it be most important for me to show courage?|
|Curiosity||What am I already curious about in 2022?How do I need to continue to be curious?|
|Compassion||How 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?|
|Connection||What connections will bring me joy and/or fulfilment in 2022?What steps can I take now to ensure those connections happen?|
|Creativity||If I am at my most creative in 2022, what is possible for me?What excites me about these possibilities?|
|Contemplation||How 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.
|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.
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.
|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
|Remembering who we really are is the first step in awakening to our spiritual path.|
Throughout the journey from birth to death, many people choose to question life, strive for improvement, seek out knowledge, and search for the divine. Simply put, this is the essence of spirituality.
One’s spiritual practice can take on many forms, because embracing the spiritual is a very personal pursuit. While many people do relate their spirituality to a God or Goddess, this quest for the divine, or oneness with the universe, always springs from within. It doesn’t matter where you find your spiritual path.
We are all fundamentally spiritual beings and the essence of that lies in knowing one’s true self and finding a peace that comes from within rather than the outside world. It is in remembering this that we awaken to our personal path.
The spiritual path springs forth from a daily routine that reaffirms our personal connection with a purpose or a way of life. Practicing compassion, gratitude, appreciation, forgiveness, generosity, meditation, and taking care of one’s wellbeing can all be a part of one’s spiritual life. If you are new to exploring your personal spirituality, remember that this is a process. You may want to spend a few moments each day giving yourself a spiritual gift. Try a new form of meditation, visit a sanctuary, or explore a specific deity.
Accepting the importance of spirituality can be a healthy decision, because a spiritual practice tends to include habits that promote healthy living. Take the time to carefully determine the action, thought, and ritual that most speaks to your soul.
Remember that your most profound spiritual experiences may also come from the simple intricacies that make up your life. See the interconnectedness of all things.
As you explore your “inner work,” you will be walking your spiritual path and feeling your oneness with the universe.
When we sincerely give our thanks—telling others, “We appreciate you”—the message delivered is, “You are loved.”
And it’s a gift that goes both ways. As we express our thanks, we are uplifted—often as much as the person being appreciated. Indeed, true gratitude is one of life’s most precious treasures.
Here are some thoughts:
· The gift we never return. We’ve all had this experience: giving someone a gift and waiting for the wrapping paper to be removed and the box opened. Nervous and a little uncertain, and even to hedge our bets, we whisper when no one’s listening, “There’s a gift receipt at the bottom if you want to take it back.” Not so with the gift of pure, unadulterated appreciation. There are no receipts, no strings attached. This is not layaway for some future obligation. It’s all gratitude. People should not need to read the tea leaves in an email or a text—anxiously interpreting the emoji or discerning the meaning of a period after “thank you” instead of an exclamation point. When we are truly thankful, there should be no doubt about it. Others can feel it, in our words and in our actions. This gift never gets returned.
· Class is always in session. We never really get out of sixth grade. Think about it—we still want to be liked, to be accepted, to get picked for the team, to be appreciated. And there are other lessons from elementary school that continue to make an impact: Just because a child sits down when a teacher tell them to, that doesn’t mean they are sitting down in their minds. It’s the teacher’s job to help them make that choice. It may be the same in the workplace today. And the key to unlocking motivation and discretionary energy is expressing gratitude for what people do. The lesson: leadership truly is a matter of the heart—and we always need to be learning the language of appreciation.
· Our attitude is always our altitude. When one person says thank you, it can set off a positive chain reaction. The reason lies in emotional intelligence (EI): When we develop and express our EI, we transmit more positive feelings such as gratitude than negative ones. It’s like a spark that ignites as others respond. Moods shift and positivity elevates everyone. Then our attitudes truly become our altitude.
· The power of one. A quotation from Edward Everett Hale, a 19th century social reformer and minister, reads: I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. Over the past year, these words have taken on so much meaning about the importance of one. No matter how powerless we may feel, no matter how big the problems in the world, we can still do that “something” that we all can do. We can show genuine caring and gratitude.
Gratitude is a a life-changing attitude/ skill/ intention/ state (whatever you may want to describe it), and also a world-changing force.
Based on text by Gary Burnison
We all have a story to tell, whether we publish it or keep it for just ourselves or family; allow yourself to be heard.
Everyone, at one time or another, has wanted to express his or her story.
Writing a memoir to read privately, share with family or friends, or publish is an emotionally satisfying way to gain perspective on your experiences while sharing your unique voice. We’ve all experienced feelings and events in our lives that we are longing to write down. Giving in to that urge can give you an outlet for purging any frustration, anxiety, or long-dormant feelings.
No one else has to read it. You may even want to write your story without reading it right away. Satisfying the need to tell your story is not predicated upon your writing ability. It does, however take effort to write down the truth in detail. Your memories, captured on paper as descriptive scenes, sights, sounds, and scents, may at first seem disconnected or incomplete. But rest assured that you possess the ability to shape your recollections into stories.
Everyone wants to be heard. Reading your story to others can meet that need. Writing your story can also help you understand your life experiences. And when you finish writing, you may be surprised at what you have accomplished. Your story can encompass as much or as little of your life as you prefer. You may surprise yourself with new insights, or you may find yourself exploring your roots, your identity, and your future through your words. Allow your writing to guide you and write as truthfully as possible. Don’t worry about what others will think of your personal journey, your style of writing, or your words.
As you write, remember to have compassion for yourself, particularly when writing about traumatic events. If you are a young person, you can add to your life story as you grow older. Your writing may help family members know you better, or they may understand themselves more through reading about your experiences.
More importantly, you are expressing yourself in a permanent way, giving a gift to yourself, and letting your voice be heard.