Tag Archive | connections

Taking Steps


Today seems to be an auspicious day around here. Retirement day has arrived for so many of my colleagues. Due to some company restructuring this is the final work day for a varied collection of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.  Some have celebrated their accomplishments and milestone quietly with family and close friends and others are having wide sweeping parties. We had a dress-up Groovy 70’s party to celebrate one person today. It was so fun to see the happy atmosphere and what a great way to take advantage of the timing.  The journey for them has led to an introspective review of my own journey.

For the most part I have spent my career in this one company. I have worked part-time, full-time, and for a brief stretch as a stay-at-home mom. All have their advantages. But it’s the trip down memory lane that we took with my friend Carol that has touched me. I left this company once before when we relocated to another state. I left “kicking and screaming” as they say as it was not part of my personal plan. And yet the experience was great and ripe with personal growth and irreplaceable memories with my children. Then when we returned to Cincinnati, I reluctantly returned to work here knowing it was what my family needed financially. Since then I have approached work so much differently. I no longer cling to or run to a role based on the work or advancement opportunity alone. I approach the changes knowing that there is someone where I’m going that I am destined to meet. Some personal or spiritual connection that is lining itself up with my path. And it has come true in every case.

As I look at my friends who are retiring, I can feel the call of change beckoning me as well. Not to retire (just yet) anyway. But to come to another area of the business. There are people to meet, and connections to make that are critical for my life’s journey. I am open to the change – with one step on the path of excitement and one step on the path of longing for that which is familiar. It takes courage to take the foot off that last step and reach for the unknown. I feel my courage growing.

I encourage you to step out on your path … and be blessed!

Thank You


Where I work we have a relatively new process for informal thank you’s. What I love about this program is that it creates an atmosphere of appreciation AND connection.

Here’s how the program works:  When you receive one of the official thank you cards you drop it into a common box. Once a month we have drawings from the box and the prize is a free lunch for both people involved – the person who thanked them and the recipient. This has a two-fold benefit. First, the program rewards the appreciative behavior. Secondly, it creates time together, in an informal setting. The pair benefits both on a professional/business level as well as on a social/networking level. The program is a great success. The thank you’s are sincere and thoughtful. And the whole process changes the tone of the business. We are now a group of people who are more aware and more vocal in our appreciation of our co-workers. Nothing changes a person’s perspective quite like a little appreciation. They feel valued and noticed for their hard work or going above and beyond.

I share all of this because I see it making a shift in the “smell of the place” as they say. Even in times of uncertainty; even in days of intense business pressures and changes, we feel and build the positive connections. It’s one more reason why I love the Company I work for and the people I share my days with.

I challenge myself and my readers to thanks someone today. But don’t just say it – write it. It’s powerful to have those tangible kind words to remember and review on off moments. And … if you really want to make someone’s day – take them to lunch as well.

Be grateful and be blessed!

 

Value of One Word


We all know that a picture paints a 1000 words. But what picture does one word paint?

We are multi-dimensional beings and have many gifts to bring to the world. Our lives have a purpose and we are on the path to the fulfillment of our greatest self and our journey home to the Divine.

If you were to quiet your mind today, what is the one word about yourself or your journey that is coming to the forefront for you? Whatever word comes to mind FIRST is the one you should notice and share. It’s the one that is calling out for your attention.

For me it’s:  CONNECTIONS

Be you and be blessed!

Uncertainty


In my work as an HR professional, in my life as a Mom, and in my study of human nature, I have many opportunities to observe people. It is infinitely clear that human beings do not “sit well” in situations of uncertainty. Some handle it better than others but very few master peace in the midst of the storm.

Along the way I have learned a few coping mechanisms that seem to help.

> Focus on the things you can control. For example, if there is uncertainty about your job security the things you can control are your preparedness if the loss occurs. Do you have a resume? Are you connected to your industry or networks? Do you have a mentor? Are you living within your means? Do you have financial support if things get tight. All of these, and more, are things that you can control in your readiness and reactions. And no matter what area of your life the uncertainty is attacking from, there are always things you can control. If nothing else, what you can control is what you learn about it. Information is power. And if you have a plan for the worst case scenario, you know you’ll be able to handle anything of a lesser degree.

> Learn stress management techniques. Even being prepared doesn’t mean you won’t be under stress during the uncertainty, as well as after change is known. Stress is the underlying cause of so many things that go wrong with our health. Do you know how to breathe differently to alleviate stress? Do you exercise and eat well to fuel the body that needs to take you through it all? Are you aware of when you hold your breath or tense your muscles and how you can, in just a few seconds, relax your body? Do you ground yourself in faith or community as a means of venting and seeking support? By having a way for your body to thrive vs. breakdown under stress you can minimize the physical effects and maintain, or heal, if necessary.

> Follow your passion!  When things are all up in the air it is so helpful to redirect your energy toward things that fan the flame of your passion. If uncertainty lies in health, work, relationships, etc., knowing what brings your soul alive allows you to progress by learning, sharing, teaching, participating, planning, and doing things that you love. Be it writing, art, music, volunteering, creating of any kind, whatever you enjoy doing, it can help you. Look for ways to do something related to your passion at least once a week, if not more.

Having a positive energy flow at times of uncertainty helps put things in a different balance of perspective. And reminding yourself that “this too shall pass” is a great way to prevent a fatalistic attitude.  Even in the midst of the unknown we know it won’t last forever. It is a season amongst many ebbing and flowing seasons.

Frankly, none of this is rocket science. Most people know these things intellectually but don’t often practice what they know. The hard part is, if you are not putting coping mechanisms in place before you need them, you might struggle more than you have to in the midst of the chaos. The best thing we can do for ourselves is really understand our options before we need them.

What are some other ways that you deal with uncertainty? We can all learn from each other. Be blessed!

I can just be me


It is true that time heals all wounds. Of course, it goes quicker and smoother if you participate in the process. I haven’t always known that.

For me, some of the healing has taken over 40 years, mostly because of my resistance. The biggest resistance was to my birth mother and all that she represented. It not only put a physical, emotional, and mental distance between me and her, but it also kept me isolated from my siblings. The resistance was fueled by harsh memories, broken promises, blatant lies, and evil acts. So it was by choice that I resisted.

I have come to realize there were blessings which were delayed because the healing was delayed by my resistance. Now, as I let go of the anger and hurt, I find the ability to open my heart to the possibility of merging my birth identity with my adopted identity. Just making that statement brings my heart to the brink of both fear and peace. Can it really be so? Imagining a life that is converged vs. the before and after orphanage lives I’ve been living for many, many years has a great appeal.  This healing brings me face-to-face with the others who lived through the unraveling of a family. I can now see them differently and separate them from the pain of the past. In that separation I am gaining connections. One-by-one and little-by-little I am merging my history with my present. The healing continues …

Because of my faith, and my maturing, healing heart, I can let these connections in so that we all might be whole. Leonard, Theresa, Shirley, Jimmy, Charlotte, Lynnette and William deserve the healing too. The future looks different to me today. I don’t have to give up one identity, to gain the other. I can just be. I can just be … me.

God is good, his timing is perfect, and I am blessed. Be blessed too!

God came to lunch today!


I had a most unexpected and gratifying experience today. While having a lunch meeting with a colleague the subject turned briefly to common work friends, and work decisions and ironically, to my book. I’m now growing accustomed to this happening from time to time. As usual, when he asked, I gave a short answer that it was a book chronicling a spiritual experience I had. I’m always conscious of the “line” between speaking my truth and delving into a topic that could make someone else uncomfortable in the workplace. Then we breezily moved on. That’s normal. Then we talked business – yep that’s normal too. Slowly he danced his way back into asking about how I wrote and what I wrote. He was curious. Okay, that’s normal.

Then suddenly, without a blink or a turn signal, it happened. It sounds cheesy but it was like in the movies when the lights go down around and there’s just this spotlight on two people engrossed in  meaningful conversation. There was no cafeteria. The other diners faded into the distance … and God came to lunch. I could feel it. I knew this moment was a powerful one. We had a verbal dance from one topic to another. There was no preaching. There was no religion. Just connection and wonder and questions. How do you hear God? Has he come to you in other ways? Do you get messages? Can I tell you about my wife. And I know people who feel things – like my mother who “felt” when a family member was dying 200 miles away. The conversation swirled and twirled and I sensed it was bigger than just the two of us – it was somehow complete.

This man, who I had only known a few short months, who came from a land across the sea, was sitting here now, making a deep and spiritual connection. In that moment we were kindred spirits with no hierarchy, no cultural difference, no language barrier, no time constraint – just Spirit. There was a heat, an energy and a light that emanated briefly from our table and then – fade to black. And as the moment passed and the cafeteria came back into view, I knew, on this day, with this person, the universal truth of connection had come to life.

I have been blessed … be blessed too!

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Girl Talk


I just love days like today. Typically they come around from time to time with my daughter who is very close to me but racing quickly to her independence. Right now she’s off galavanting and learning in her fashion design co-op job in NYC for the quarter. She’s not here to chat with and I had my heart appropriately on hold for her hiatus. I miss her … alot. And I’m thrilled for her opportunities and the zest with which she is taking advantage of them. She knows who she is, we all do and she’s off becoming that woman.

But today I got a gift – a true and precious surprise gift. My son’s fiance was around today. She’s a perfectly sweet, quiet, smart girl. I’ve had passing conversations with her over holiday meals or the occasional quick exchange while she’s in town between school sessions. I like her. She’s good for my son and I believe he’s good for her too. And today I feel like I got a chance to get to know her.  Just Becca and me.

While my son was at work and not monopolizing her attention I got to sit down, have a meal, watch a movie and partake in some honest to goodness girl talk. It wasn’t planned which is why it was a surprise. It felt easy and I’m grateful for that. We talked about what she studies and what she wants to do for her career. We talked about the craziness of college life and work and how she feels (and we agree) about some of the drama going on with some friends. We laughed, brainstormed, commiserated about and complimented that boy (oops, man) we share. We got to talk about wedding dresses and fun stuff like that. Yep. I like her. And growing more and more – I love her.

Thanks Becca – I feel blessed for the bit of girl talk.

Be blessed too!