If it feels like you have less leisure time and fewer unstructured “play” hours in your life, you’re not alone. Consider these statistics:
The late A. Bartlett Giamatti, former president of Yale University and one-time commissioner of Major League Baseball said, “You can learn more about a society by observing the way they play as opposed to how they work.”
Our high tech life with its accelerated pace has fostered a culture that seems to be always working, always rushed,...
Silence is no longer golden.
In today’s world, “white noise” suffuses our office buildings; music, news and sports broadcast in public places morning to night; leaf blowers scream; cell phones track us down with their insistent rings. Our homes offer no refuge either: On go the TVs and stereos as soon as we walk into the house; the computer hums an incessant, tuneless number; we talk constantly.
We seem to rush to fill up the silence, to cover it with some sound or another.
And yet, only in silence can we hear the voice of our heart.
“Silence allows us to open the door to our unconscious mind, feel the yearnings of our heart, follow the wisdom of our intuition, probe the origin of our aversions and understand the truth of our experience,” says Richard Mahler, author of Stillness: Daily Gifts of Solitude, Simplicity and Silence. “We at last get in touch with our deepest secrets, strongest passions, fondest wishes and...
Do you struggle with productivity? Are you always striving to get your task list accomplished but end up constantly moving tasks to the next day? If this describes you, here are a few tips for making your day more productive.
Create a To-Do List the Night Before
Instead of waking up in the morning to make your to-do list, make your list the night before. This way you can go to bed relaxed and confident for the next day. You also wake up in the morning knowing exactly what you have planned for the day. You might also consider planning on Sunday night for the upcoming week. Then when you wake on Monday you have a plan in place.
Take a look at the tasks on your list. What tasks offer the largest return? What tasks offer the most value and achievement? For example, answering email or paying bills isn’t a task that offers a large return. However, making a sale or meeting with a client is a very productive task. Put your most profitable or results-oriented tasks first on...
As the year speeds to its end, we begin to mentally prepare for next year. But don’t forget to take time to assess your personal and professional challenges and accomplishments THIS year. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Are your decisions based on urgent demands for your immediate attention?
Do you find that your intuition is speaking but you’re not listening?
Do professional demands overshadow your personal well-being?
5 Guiding Statements to Help You Mind Your Business and Busyness
Guiding Statement #1
Awareness helps me make thoughtful, purposeful decisions based on my inner wisdom.
Contemplation and discovery:
What will help me deeply connect with my values and life’s purpose?
How can I better listen to my inner wisdom?
How can I remember to connect my choices with my purpose and values?
Guiding Statement #2
As I learn to wait, watch and be guided by the wisdom from each moment, I am more comfortable with the unknown.
Contemplation and discovery:
Knowing that change is natural and inevitable, how could I welcome the continuous flow of new experience and information?
How could I expand my capacity to practice present moment awareness in order to reduce stress?
How can I begin to give up...
If trying to maintain balance in your life makes you feel like a tightrope walker, you’re not alone. Most of us have so many demands on our time and energy that life can feel like a three-ring circus. Take this quiz to see how well you are meeting responsibilities, while also recognizing and fulfilling personal needs and wants.
True or False
____1. The best way I can successfully manage my life is to take care of myself spiritually, physically and emotionally.
____2. Nurturing myself enlarges my capacity to help others.
____3. I eat healthfully and exercise regularly.
____4. I get check-ups, go to the dentist, and take preventative precautions.
____5. I set aside personal, quiet time for myself, whether I’m meditating or simply letting my thoughts drift.
____6. I experience the gifts of each season: skiing, bundled-up beach walks; gardening, hiking, more time outside; camping, swimming, barbeques; harvesting the bounty, gathering wood, spending more time inside.
There is no more effective marketing than powerfully delivering your own message to a rapt crowd.
And yet far too many solopreneurs shy away from presentation opportunities due to a fear of public speaking, a fear of putting themselves “out there” before an audience of people that may or may not receive them warmly.
Fortunately, there are effective ways of conquering those fears and putting a presentation to work for your business.
Follow these tips for each of the three stages of a great presentation to have a successful, confidence-building experience when you speak.
Preparing Your Presentation
Start as early as you possibly can—months in advance, if at all possible. There’s a reason the list of tips for this section is much longer than for the two sections that follow it. That’s because when it comes to presentations, preparation is everything!
The holidays of winter often bring to mind the image of a full table—and a full stomach. We gather with friends and family and feast merrily on pies and potatoes, turkey and ham and all of the fixings that many of us dearly enjoy.
There is another side to that pretty picture, however.
What if our extra consumption of calories during the winter is fueled not by good cheer and companionship, but by anxiety? And, further, what if it’s not the gathering of loved ones that we most look forward to, but the food that we can’t get out of our minds?
Also, while we may welcome gatherings with friends and family, they do bring with them extra stress and preparation. Add to the mix the anxiety caused by a sputtering economy, and many of us might find ourselves reaching for “comfort” food.
An anxiety-provoked behavior, such as overeating, is an attempt to cope with that anxiety, but as with most such behaviors, it can become a problem itself. Overeating can become a...
“Be joyful even when you have considered all the facts.” —Wendell Berry
Jennifer has recently been through a painful divorce and she’s not sleeping well. She’s having difficulties with her children, who blame her for the divorce. Her work life is rocky as well, and sometimes she’s unsure if she’s in the right career.
What she thinks: Yes, life is rough right now, but every life has difficult times. Really, I am so grateful to be alive, for my children, for my home, my good health, all that I have.
Robert has lots of everything—a nice apartment in the city, a well-paying job, new car, nice clothes. But he didn’t get that last promotion at work. His last vacation was a disappointment, and no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t save money.
What he thinks: I just don’t understand why things are going wrong. It just doesn’t seem fair when I work so hard. People don’t appreciate me and I...
Have you ever noticed how GOOD it feels to be really listened to? It’s impactful, particularly when the listening goes beyond just the words you’re speaking. That kind of artful listening conveys respect and value to the speaker, and promotes positive relationships of all kinds.
And, like any art, it takes practice.
According to widely referenced statistics by Dr. Albert Mehrabian, known for his pioneering work in nonverbal communication, only 7% of communication happens through a person’s actual words (38% through tone and 55% through body language). That’s why it’s important to hone our skills to listen at deeper levels.
A good place to start is by understanding the three listening levels described in the book Co-Active Coaching, by Laura Whitworth, Henry Kimsey-House and Phil Sandahl.
Level 1—Internal: We hear the other person’s words, but our focus is on what it means to us—our thoughts,...