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We’ve all been hearing a lot about this Winter Solstice being the end of the long range Mayan Calendar, and many are interpreting this as being “the end of the world”. I don’t know that many actually believe this are are doing apocalyptic planning like we’ve seen with so many religious zealots pronouncements before. I think that it’s been the impetus for more End of the World parties than anything else. We have our calendars that we put up on our walls every year, and we don’t think that it’s the end of the world every year. Imagine if you had to carve your calendars out of stone! You’d surely only make it so big, especially if you were dealing with as long a calendar as the Mayans were.
I saw a picture earlier on Facebook that had a man with the sign “The Beginning is Near”. I really like that one, as it focuses more on the fact that you can think of this as the start of something, and we all tend to like the possibilities of new things (why do you think we are always shopping so much and hoping that new shirt/house/car/spouse will finally bring us happiness?) There have been many more people that I’ve been seeing that are using this time to envision a time of a new vision of life, and I think that we’re seeing that in the world in general. Granted, there are many who are scared at things changing and are doing their best to hold back the tide of change (our most recent election and the reaction of many is proof of that.) As many of us know, it’s usually the resistance to what is that creates the most pain, and I think that a lot of the fear and pain in our society comes from people who want things to be one way when they are actually another. Look at how much money is being poured into voter suppression and marriage equality efforts. That’s coming out of a fear-based standpoint. These people are so attached to their own position that they can’t see the reality of what’s in front of them.
As I think most people are pain-averse, it would be actually easier to just accept what’s going on, and see what we can do with it. One group that is doing something more positive is Birth2012, and they are designating December 20-22 as Three Days of Love. How can we try to view everything and all people we come in contact with from a loving standpoint? While that sounds pie-in-the-sky, it does speak to are we really intentional about what we’re doing and thinking, and can we actually approach people with best intentions. I’m trying it, and would encourage you to also. What could be so bad about that?
So, what are you starting new this epoch? Bright Solstice to you all!
A number of years ago, I was at an organizational development workshop where we brought in an improvisational comedy troupe to give us some training on improv techniques. I remember is being very cool and somewhat freeing, as the whole thing was about “Yes, and..”, which is sort of the equivalent of playing verbal hacky sack. You’re trying to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible, and it’s very light hearted. Also, you have to be very present about where you are and what’s going on, as you don’t know what’s going to come next and be ready.
As I have been doing my own personal development (as well as professional development) work, I’ve noticed that this concept can help you in all sorts of areas. One thing that I’ve said over and over is that I’m a firm believer in reality. I wish I were six feet tall, but I’m not, so what can I do with what I’ve got. I’m not going to be 25 again, so how can I be the best middle aged man I can be. You can’t deny what’s here, but it’s best to play with what you’ve got. It’s also accepting the personal power that you have within the situation. You are powerful if you have control over your own actions in the moment, and don’t give them away to others.
I was thrilled when I found the YouTube video of Jane Lynch‘s Address at the Smith College 2012 Commencement. In this, she expands on the topic of “Yes, and..” to state that we have to accept what we’ve got, and see what creative opportunities we can do with. I invite you to watch the video and see how you can think about including more spontaneity and possibility in your life.
So, when was the last time you said “Yes, and..”?
Hello blogging world!
I know, I’ve been a bit AWOL for a while. I’ve had an amazing summer where I was traveling a lot and had a lot of adventures. I went to New York State, New Brunswick, Provincetown (yes, there will be the Meditate Mass 351 Challenge post for that!), Kentucky, and New Mexico. I have not tended to be a big traveler, but this year was different, and I was trying something new. It has been a great experience with new learnings, and you will be seeing comments and pictures about them on this blog.
That being said, I’ve let you, and most importantly myself, down by not keeping up with blog posts. Writing down my thoughts and comments on spirit, passion, and career is not only a way to put my thoughts in concrete form and promote my ideas to you (and any potential clients), but also a spiritual practice. In the zen practice of every action you take can be mindful and promote your spiritual health, I’ve been blogging to keep myself focused and active in mind. I’ve been more active in body this summer with all the traveling, and I have gotten better with being more consistent with my yoga and meditation practices. That is a good thing, and I’m happy for that.
I can’t change the past, and it does absolutely no good to get down on myself for avoiding this, as I won’t be a better blogger now because I have a judgmental voice in my head. I can just be kind to myself and move on forward.
So, how are you being kind to yourself and acknowledging your past shortcomings?
I just had a great time in New Brunswick and Mount Desert Island, Maine on a trip to find some family roots. I had a lot of plans, and was recommended by a good friend (Thanks Scott!) to be more in the moment. Here are my thoughts on that in video form.
So, have you gotten a great opportunity just because you were present to it?
It’s past Memorial Day, so in these parts it means that summer is officially in session. I know that many people have a reading list for the summer. I have not been one of those people. I don’t tend to read books as a “start here, finish book, start the next” type of reader. I tend to pick up about four or five books and read them spottily and sometime finish them, sometimes not.
My bookshelf has been crammed with books that I thought would be great to read, but I’ve never gotten to them. In the quest to be more intentional and to actually do things that I say I want to do, I’ve decided to publish my summer reading list and write a review of each book after I’m finished. I don’t tend to read fiction and as you’ll see most of them have something to do with spiritual, career, or productivity matters (or all three at once!) I wish I liked to read fiction, but as you see they are all non-fiction
Here are the books that I’ve decided I want to try to finish this summer:
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield: This book has been suggested to me more times that I can imagine from so many people, and I understand this is about how we can be with our creative selves.
Transitions by William Bridges: Career development is all about changes, and this is the standard book in my field. I’ve never read it before, so this is sort of my “good medicine” that I really need to experience.
- Embracing Your Inner Critic by Hal Stone & Sidra Stone: I, like so many, have some internal issues to work though, and this book was recommended by my friend Elsa (a mental health counselor) as a good resource for looking at this issue.
- Planets in Work by Jamie Binder: Another recommendation from Elsa. I have been researching archetypes, and I’ve been looking at how those show up in astrological readings. This looks at how astrology could be used in career development decisions.
- A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle: This book was given to me by Casey Miller and he read this many times on his cross country bike trip. I’ve seen videos of Tolle speaking, but never read any of his works. It’s about time.
- Awakening in Time by Pamela Kristan: I was at a presentation Pam gave at the Theosophical Society of Boston, and Pam’s work has to do with the intersection of productivity and spirituality. As you can imagine, this is right up my alley. I had to see how I can incorporate her ideas into my work.
- Living & Loving Well by Joseph Stuczynski: Joe presented at Easton Mountain a few years ago, and his work focuses on getting clear with our values in order to make good decisions in our lives, especially about our personal relationships. This is more of a workbook to clarify your goals, so this should be a quick win in getting it done!
- Mastering Respectful Confrontation by Joe Weston: Joe is an amazing human being and presenter, and I have been to numerous workshops that he has done, and this book puts done in words what he preaches. Joe’s main concept is that the concept of power in our culture has gotten to be connected more with physical strength and power over others, and he bases his alternative vision on Easter philosophy as the power within and with other people, and how we can have conversations that empower everyone and don’t deny our own needs. This is great stuff!
- Making It All Work by David Allen: I have been a “Getting Things Done” (GTD) fan for a number of years, as David Allen’s philosophy about personal productivity is all about how to free yourself from the stress of life and having a “mind like water” so that you can easily accomplish things in your life without fretting about them. I was lucky enough to attend a seminar last year that David personally taught, and Making It All Work is the continuation of those theories.
- How to Eat, Move, and Be Healthy! by Paul Chek: In 2008, I was part of an online weight loss challenge through RealJock.com (which I won!) and DIAKADI Body was the exercise consultants on this. Though continuing to follow their great advice, I found out about Paul Chek’s work, which integrates the concepts of health, exercise, and nutrition with a more holistic & spiritual sense that really attracted me. I don’t know it so well, but have liked what I’ve seen.
- Mindfulness by Ellen Langer: This book was given to me by my boss back in the early 1990′s, and while I’m obviously interested in it, I never finished this book that was one of the first on the subject. It’s time. Thanks Dave!
- Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert: Dan’s research into what makes us really happy (as opposed to what we say makes us happy) has been really enlightening to me, as I work with people to get at the core of their happiness.
- Eating Free: The Carb-Friendly Way to Lose Inches, Embrace Your Hunger, and Keep Weight Off for Good by Manuel Villacorta: In the aforementioned weight loss challenge, Manuel’s crew at MV Nutrition in San Francisco was invaluable to giving me the knowledge to eat better and lose weight. This is a new book that just came out last month, and again, I need to read it to remind myself of all the knowledge that I’ve learned (and maybe forgotten!) I highly, highly recommend that you pick up this book!
I might not get them all finished by Labor Day but it’s an intention (not at goal!).
So, what are you reading? Do you have any comments or experiences with any of these books?
Like probably many of you, I’ve had a busy and rough spring, and with the coming of Summer (yes, it’s coming!), life is starting to slow down a bit. I’ve been joking that I didn’t need a Mental Health Day, but a Mental Health Week. I was feeling so frazzled that I really needed some reflection time.
Beware of what you ask for. Last week after a major responsibility, my whole body just seemed to collapse with a flu. It started with just exhaustion, but soon moved into the stuffy head and coughing fits. It’s been about a week, and I’ve been forced to really stop my regular schedule of events and work and just stay home and take care of myself. It’s really been about pressing the reset button for me. This has been a pattern for me in that I run myself into the ground, and then am not available to do anything for a while. This time, I tried to see this as a gift (what other choice did I have?) Instead of just laying about and bemoaning that I was so sick, I looked to see what I could do different this time and listen to my body to see what I could do to help it heal.
I’ve been doing a lot more journaling, done a lot more sitting quietly instead of browsing online (which is a lot easier now that I have an iPad!), and just listened more and thought about what could really benefit me. I got sick for a reason, and I have been trying to see the underlying patterns that have gotten me sick, and questioned if those are good for me right now. I feel like I’ve uncovered some things about myself that are good lessons for the future. Rest assured, those things will probably come out in future blog posts.
I’m almost well, but am going to try to keep these learnings in my day to day life. While I can’t take three hours to get ready every morning to go out (how I wish!), I can see what aspects of them I can take and incorporate into my daily routines. More work to do.
So, have you ever had a time that you were forced to stop, and what did you learn from it?
A lot has been going on here, and I know that I haven’t been posting much lately, but you’ll soon be seeing a whole bunch more postings here. I promise.
One of the activities that has been keeping me busy is that I completed a video for the Spirit at Work Creative Video Contest, and I need your help! Please watch the video below (or go to https://vimeo.com/groups/spiritatworkcreative/videos/39671085), and click on the “Like” button that’s shaped like a heart in the upper right hand corner of the video. There are 35 videos in the contest, and the 10 videos that get the most Likes before June 2, 2012 will be judged for a grand prize of CDN$7,500.00. There are many good videos in the context, but mine is the only one that is dealing with the issues of career and spiritual development. It might not be as flashy as some of the other videos, but I think that you’ll like the content.
Please share it with your friends and get them to “like” it to! Thanks for all your assistance!
Resumes can be a pain. People stress about writing them. Hiring managers are always trying to decypher them to figure out if the candidate has what they need. I say that most people seem to think that there is a secret formula to writing resumes that nobody will tell them about.
My simple answer is that you need to think about who is reading the resume and then write like your audience. It’s really that simple. Resumes are just the information the hiring manager might need to have in order to take the chance to bring you in and talk with you more about the position without wasting everyone’s time.
In order to do that, you have to give a clear picture (in words) of what you actually did. This might seem simple but so many people miss this. I read hundreds of resumes a month and I’ve found three words that are endemic on resumes that don’t do anything to bring that clarity. I cross them off almost every time I see them (granted, there are always exceptions).
Here they are.
- Assisted: This can mean anything from “I got coffee” to “I did my boss’ job and didn’t get credit for it”. When I see it, I assume coffee, not executive. If I read this, I’m making up stories in my head about what you actually did. They may not be what you wanted me to think.
- Helped: See above.
- Worked: Were you in the fields or the mines? This brings visions of either someone under a vicious task master or someone just hanging out waiting for something to happen. Either scenario doesn’t encourage me to think of you as a self starter.
So, what can you say instead? Well, what did you actually do? If I were watching you while you were there, what would I see? Researched 5 new clients and wrote a summary for your boss? Reorganized the inventory system? Produced and assembled 100 press kits? Tell me that!
Using vague words like helped, assisted, and worked will put more questions into the reader’s mind than will do you good. Be clear and detail what you have done to your best story telling ability. If you can’t be clear on your resume, do I think you will speak clearly to me and my customers?
So, what did you actually do on that job?