Funny side up
I grew up with very funny brothers. I have a few very funny friends. My children tell funny irreverent stories.
I can’t tell a joke or make a pun, but I am the first to laugh if you deliver a funny one-liner or a good funny story. For me, humor keeps things in perspective and creates bonds between people as they share the “joke”.
After a recent difficult conversation, I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I wanted to make sense of it and took to writing as a way to explain my thoughts to myself. Before long, I was belly laughing and lightened up considerably.
The value of humor (besides being so entertaining!) is how effective it can be in reducing tension. It provides another perspective, uncovering the irony, the nonsensical and the absurdity of life. It also helps us cope with challenging situations and the unwelcome inner dialogues we carry in our heads.
Difficult personal circumstances are not laughable. But when we find a playful way to think about our problems, we have a better chance of clearing up some of our confusions, contradictions and mixed emotions. Using humor to understand and explain various predicaments can be a masterful creative force in reducing the distress and unhappiness we naturally encounter.
When we laugh at ourselves and use humor to view a current problem it:
If somewhere along the way, you lost your sense of humor, I will help you find it.
Keep you posted,
ROI that matters
I was once known as a star fire-builder, from Lake of the Woods to the Bay of Fundy. They called me "the torch." But I have strong competitors in my family and don't hold this title any more.
Building summer outdoor fires and indoor winter ones, is for me, one of the best time-wasting activities. For me, doing nothing but staring into a fire, listening to the crackling, adding logs and moving embers and hot coals around while time passes, is a great pleasure.
Growing up we were taught that wasting anything - food, water, intelligence, talent, potential, resources - was sinful. I'm sensitive to waste in general and particularly about how I use my time or how my time is used. Time is my highly-valued resource that I take care to spend where I get the greatest return on investment (ROI).
I aim for a high ROI, with time wasting as well as highly productive activities, actions or thoughts. So I ask myself, did the time spent:
While I need to do things each day that don't necessarily meet the above criteria - such as paperwork, bookkeeping or talking to my internet provider - I do aim to indulge in time-wasters with a high personal ROI. Get the benefits you so deserve and need.
What are your favorite time wasters?
If you need coaching on how to improve ROI of your time, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep you posted,
Come rain or shine, snow or sleet...
“Rain or shine, snow or sleet,” I’m proud to say, has been my winter walking motto for years. When friends complain of the cold or nasty weather and turn their backs on a walk, I am quick to make a remark about a lack of inner determination, spirit or hardiness.
Without a car, I walk, use public transport or Communauto - a local car share program. This means that I'm outdoors a lot and need the right combo of clothes to battle the frequent changes in temperature and conditions within a day.
Well, how the zealous fall! As the wind blows colder this November, I can’t stop complaining about:
“Your rants on being cold are a bit tiring," my husband remarked. I asked for his patience and said, “I need a few more weeks of griping and then, I’ll have a handle on it."
The idea of granting myself a short-term and time-limited break to work my way up to a more positive state of mind seemed like a smart idea. I wasn't ready to give up whining just yet.
If you need a bit of time to:
I’d say, go for it!
A planned break used wisely can kick-start you back on track, set you straight and give you the wherewithal to make a new choice about how you want to be and feel.
If you feel you’ve been making excuse after excuse about why you can’t do something you want to do, it’s time to take a short term, limited break and regain control over your thoughts.
Keep me posted,
Tick Tock, Tick Tock
Do you have high expectations with a strong drive towards productivity? Do you feel badly if you don’t accomplish a laundry list of to do’s?
While not everyone does, many people do feel stretched to their limits, yet unsatisfied with what they were able to accomplish professionally and/or personally on any given day or week. This pervasive dissatisfaction contributes to feeling guilty with added stress from not attending to the things that are important: this can be eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising, seeing friends, doing hobbies or doing a better job at work.
I’m excited about a new workshop I will offer in Jan 2014 that addresses this need we have to exercise more control and choice around how we carve out time to satisfy so many of our competing needs, expectations and goals. Whether you are a University student, a stay-at-home mom, a professional at work or recently retired, there is a desire for peace of mind about leading a balanced, productive and accomplished life.
I’ve offered 10 suggestions to help kick-start the thought process about some obstacles to using your time.
1. Have a few goals that give you something to strive for and focus your energy, talent, enthusiasm and creativity.
2. Keep your personal goals and intentions private. Why? Some research suggests that once you tell and someone acknowledges your goal, the brain gets tricked into believing you have already done it.
3. Do you regularly overextend yourself to family, friends or work? “Just do it” is the empowerment of YES. And, YES can feel really good. But if you feel pressured to say YES, when you want to say NO, you stray from your own goals. Your self-discipline is compromised. Over time, you lose sight of your own best interests. Never mind, that you can also feel resentful, taken advantage of, or under-appreciated.
4. Do you hate saying NO? If you are a people pleaser, afraid not to be liked, worried about disappointing or hurting others, afraid of conflict or of being perceived as selfish, saying NO is difficult.
But, saying NO also:
6. We have conscious and unconscious ideas about what our ideal self should be doing and tend to pursue the things that fit this image. Ask yourself, am I really satisfying something I want to do or what I think I should be doing?
7. Ask yourself whether your current behavior and the choices you make are working to get you what you want. If not, how hard is it to make different choices?
8. The only person whose behavior we can control is our own. Exercise this control!
9. If you have a perfectionist streak, you might tend towards an all or nothing approach to getting things done. Consider testing out doing less than your "concept" of perfect. It’s better than nothing.
10. Add up the amount of time you fritz away doing things that give you no real pleasure or value. Swap this time for things you really want to do.
Do you care about time? Is productivity, efficiency or effectiveness a concern? Does it matter to you whether you get through a list of to-do's? How do you cope with feeling bad, stressed or guilty? What time-management techniques have worked for you to get things done? Please share.
Contact me if you you belong to an organization that is interested in a workshop on time-management.
Keep me posted,
My family, relationships, movement, nature, flexibility of mind, exploration of alternative perspectives & openness are central to my life.