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Another video blog on where do you go when you need a break!

20120103-093014.jpgIt’s the third day into the year, and already a number of New Year’s Resolutions have bit the dust.

I have not been one to put a lot of weight into making resolutions as it seems like people think this is the only time of year that they can make changes to their lives, and I like to encourage everyone that we can make a new life for ourselves at every moment. That said, it is a great time to reflect on things and see how you want to move forward in this moment.

I was lucky enough over the New Year’s weekend to have taken a few workshops at Easton Mountain, namely in gratitude, attraction, and mindfulness. They overarching message to me in these leanings was one in intention. Too often in our busy world, we are doing things that we have trained ourselves to to without thinking. While that serves us well in some fields (like driving a car) it’s not as good when we are trying to have a conversation with someone or packing for a trip. I have personally experienced many a time when I had to clean up or take extra time when I did something unmindfully.

Another concept that I’ve picked up from my recent studies in Tantra is the concept of intentions vs. goals. I’ve spoken to the idea of goals here many times and I still think that there’s a great use for them, but also have discovered that sometimes it’s better to have an intention about something. To really mix metaphors, I also have realized from my study of GTD that there’s a difference between a project and an area of focus. A project is one where there’s a clear end point (e.g.: re-tile the bathtub) where an area of focus could be something you’re responsible for, but you can never really say is ever completed (e.g.: keeping a healthy body). A goal works for a project, but not as well for an area of focus.

Therefore, I don’t have a resolution (goal) for this year, but I do have intentions. If I were to have a goal, I’d succeed or fail. I want to be more present all the time towards an intention instead. For most of my life I’ve been very goal oriented (and will never be without goals!) but I’m realizing done areas of my life need me to be more mindful in each moment and striving toward something, and intentions seem to be a better fit for that.

My intentions for 2012 are to be more present in each moment and consider what is in my best interest. As you can tell from this, I can’t have this be a success or failure; it’s just a continual striving.

So, what are your intentions for 2012?


Happy New Year to all of you! I’ve just gotten back from a New Years Retreat at Easton Mountain, and I’m both exhilarated and tired! It was a great weekend with some great workshops. We meditated 2012 in, and then danced! It’s a great way to start the year. I have the feeling it’s going to be a good year!

I got lots of ideas about future articles and spoke with a few possible guest bloggers here, and I’ll be writing out that more in the near future, but I wanted to take the opportunity to check another town off the list in the Meditate Mass 351 Challenge. As I dropped off my friend Steven in Ludlow, I was looking for a town around there that I could go to on the way home. Wilbraham seemed the best option, and it was a town that I had never been to before. It’s best known as the home town of Friendly’s Ice Cream, but I didn’t managed to see the original store.

As I’m sure will happen in the future, I don’t always get there at the best time. As sundown was about 4:30, I got there right as it was getting dark, and didn’t have the best lighting to take pictures, but I’ve got something to show for it. I parked near Wilbraham & Monson Academy (a private school that I remembered hearing about sometime in my past), and walked the little town center. Most of the commercial businesses are up on Route 20, but I like to see what the spirit of the place is without strip malls. This had a nice little park with a really cool World War II monument, but it was too dark then to get a picture of myself there. I had to do the best that I could with things that were lit, which left me with the Police department. At least it’s proof!

So, what are you doing to stretch yourself this new year?


Broom Flowers at Easton Mountain

Here in the US, we are just about to celebrate the Labor Day Weekend. Regardless of what it is astrologically, this is effectively the end of the summer. The academic year for colleges (and the deluge of students that move in the Boston area this weekend) and schools really starts in earnest on Tuesday, and the whole spirit and pace of the land changes.

Just like squirrels scurrying around to gather enough food for the too-soon-coming winter, the pace quickens here with professional meetings starting and theater and musical organizations seasons opening (Do you have your season tickets?). The days are getting shorter at an increasing rate, and we’re having cooler mornings greet us as we get up and start our days.

I feel like I still need about another month of summer to really unwind. We had a sort of abbreviated summer with a cool June, and there are many things that I’d still like to do.

I’m going away to Easton Mountain for their Labor Day weekend program, and my goal is to read, take pictures, lie in a hammock, and just be. I’m going to extend this summer as much as I can, and squeeze every drop out of it.

I’ve been doing a lot of self-development work on trying to be present in each moment. I’m too easily distracted by the great drama that continually plays in my mind. I’ve found that if I pay attention to that instead of what’s in front of me, I feel like I’ve missed out on summer and any other event that I’ve enjoyed. I’m hoping that by being present even when it’s not summer, I can live in that retreat/non-rushed feeling a little while longer. It’s an experiment, but one that has very promising outcomes.

I hope you have a great, relaxing weekend.

So, what are you doing to have a retreat in your mind this weekend?

Here are the most interesting stories I’ve found this week! Enjoy!

So, what’s gotten your attention this week?


Summer is a time for fun, and I’d like to contribute to that by having a contest that will get you to take more action, think more about your life’s direction, and let your friend’s know more about the issues that I think are important to connect your career, spirit and passion.

The prizes are:

So, how can you get these great prizes? Here are the rules.

  1. First, register that you are in the contest by filling your contact information on this form.
  2. Accrue points by subscribing, sharing, and commenting.

Contest starts on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, and will end on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at midnight.  The person with the most points will get the first choice of prizes. Second place will get choice of the two remaining prizes and third place will receive the remaining prize.

Good luck everyone! Share with your friends!

*Note: The Easton Mountain prize is only available to people who have never attended a program at Easton Mountain before.

For the second year in a row, I’ll be delivering a career exploration workshop at Easton Mountain called “Finding Your Calling: Making Connections Between Your Spirit and Your Work” and this year I’m offering it on March 18-20, 2011.  If should be a great opportunity for those people who are interested in finding out more.

Easton Mountain Logo

For those of you interested in participating, here are the homework exercises that I ask everyone to complete before coming to the weekend:

  • List, Ten People You Think Have Cool Jobs: Think about ten people who you know of (but may or may not know personally) who you think have really cool jobs, and list some of the reasons why you think their jobs are cool.
  • List, Ten Organizations You Think Would Be Cool To Work At: Think about ten places you know of (but may or may not really have a great understanding of) where you think it would be really cool to work there, and list some of the reasons why you think it is cool.
  • Essay, Perfect Day in Your Perfect Job: Write an essay (anywhere from one paragraph to three pages) of your perfect day in your perfect job.  Include as many details as possible.  Examples: When do you get to work?  Who do you work with?  What is the result of your actions?  Answer as many “who, what, when, where, why, and how” questions as possible.  You do not need to state the title of your job, they company, your particular duties, etc.
  • List 10 Successes of Your Life: List 10 situations in your life that you consider a success.  It does not matter if anyone else thought it was a success, but you felt proud of it.  For each situation, notate:
    1.      The Situation that you encountered,
    2.      The Action you took to change that situation, and
    3.      The Result of that action.
  • Pluses & Minuses of Current and Past Jobs: Look at the last three jobs that you’ve had, and make a list of at least five things you’ve liked, and five things you haven’t liked, about each position.

If you’re not sure if you want to come, you might want to start thinking about these exercises that might get your mind going.  We’ll be going over them and much more in the workshop.  Let me know if you have questions.  A complete description of the workshop is available at the Easton Mountain programming page for the workshop.

So, what are you doing to get what you want in life?

I’m riding the train this morning with a whole bunch of other people heading into the city, and I’m scanning their faces. Some look quiet and serene. Some look focused and tense. What is similar with all these people is that they are all heading somewhere for a purpose. For most, the purpose is to get to work.

The question of what gets you up in the morning is what motivates you. The word motivate makes me think of a car engine starting. It’s that initial spark that that initiates all other actions. For many, that spark is missing and coffee fills the void. Usually, what gets you going is something that answers one if your core needs. It could be the need to help another, complete a task, or to have motivated others to make a change that affects the world. We are all very individualistic in our motivations. That is why we gravitate to certain areas if work. I’m motivated by making a difference in people’s lives and having them acknowledging that with me. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be motivated in the field or architecture or engineering.

Many times when I work with clients, the issue of motivation if central to them feeling stuck. They can be successful in their current careers, but it doesn’t get them up in the morning. My sign in identifying that is what subjects make them talk more excitedly and get them to smile more. And it’s not just that they want to do those things, but the reasons behind them. This is another opportunity to work in your own personal power.  What do you want?

So, what gets your heart racing?

Note: To discover more about your motivations, consider coming to my career exploration workshop at Easton Mountain, Finding Your Calling: Making Connections Between Your Spirit and Your Work on March 18-20, 2011.  Please let your friends know about it!

I’ve been lucky enough to be interviewed on three different shows over the past year where I can share my thoughts about career development and how it interacts with the other aspects of people lives, and I thought that many of you might not have heard these and would like to get a better sense of my approach. Take a listen to these and let me know if anything resonates with you!

  1. In March 2010, I was the guest speaker on the Getting Things Done Virtual Study Group (GTD-VSG) Podcast where I talked about “Utilizing GTD in Career Development“.  It was a great time with some great questions from the audience. If you don’t know anything about GTD, it’s a productivity philosophy developed by David Allen and I highly recommend it to anyone who is feeling overwhelmed and wants to get control of your life (or at least feel less anxious about it.) Listen to it directly.
  2. In December 2010, I was interviewed by Harry Faddis on “The Quest of Life” radio show out of WRPI-FM in Troy, NY, where I discussed “Connecting Your Spirit & Your Work“.  Harry asked me question about how people make decisions about where their careers are going and how you can make choices that serve you better.
  3. In January 2011, I was again a guest on The Quest of Life, and here I discussed “I Could Do Anything I Wanted If I Only Knew What It Was“. A big part of my work is helping clients with career exploration and assessments, so this was to clarify what people can do to help them get more clarity on what it is that makes them happy and how they can increase their chances of working in areas that make them happy.

Note: The workshop that I mention in the last two interviews (Finding Your Calling: Making Connection Between Spirit and Work) has been rescheduled to March 18-20, 2011, so you still have a chance to register!

I have a great time doing these interviews and am considering doing a podcast/audio/video blog to answer questions that people would have.

So, what questions would you like to ask me?


I have many people who come to me to ask me questions about their resumes and how to make them better.  From this, I’ve especially noticed that most people have a lot of ideas about resumes that I usually have to debunk before we can actually get to the real work of improving it.  Here, for your benefit, are the five main truths about resumes that I tell my clients. As with everything I (or anyone else) says, your mileage may vary.  It’s only right if it’s true for you.

  1. A Resume is More An Art Than a Science: There is no one right way to write a resume.  It’s the opportunity for a document to speak for you when you’re not there to talk for yourself.  If you have someone who says that a resume can only be a certain way (e.g. must have all bullets, must be in Times New Roman 12 point, etc.), don’t believe it. Take the information and see if it works for you.
  2. A Resume Is Not About You: A resume is about the person reading it and what they need to know about you in order to make a good decision about talking with you further.  There’s no one right way to word your resume, but think about who the audience is.  Write in the way they write.
  3. A Resume Is An Advertisement for You, Not a Short Story: No matter how well the resume is written, you will never be able to relate your entire life in a resume. Don’t try.  It’s job is to just get them interested enough in you to want to bring you in.  Tell me enough to get me interested (Note: most people’s resumes are boring and not interesting), but don’t overwhelm me with details.
  4. A Resume Shouldn’t Be Like a Buffet: Don’t throw everything you have at me and force me to figure out how you can help me.  Know what’s important to me and just give me that.  Think about it more like a plated dinner.  You’re being served just what you need, but let them know there’s more in the kitchen if needed.
  5. A Resume Is a Better Confirmation of Who You Are Than a Calling Card: Most people lead with their resumes (sending them into posted jobs and hoping they get called).  No matter how well your resume is written, you are more persuasive and can speak to your value.  It’s best if people hear about you and your resume confirms that you are all that.

These are just a few things that I say.  I’ve got a lot more! ;-)  Keep coming back and reading my thoughts, or better yet, join the Spirit-Work Connection Fan Page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.

So, How does your resume represent you?

Note: My career exploration workshop at Easton Mountain, Finding Your Calling: Making Connections Between Your Spirit and Your Work,  has been rescheduled to March 18-20, 2011.  Please let your friends know about it!

Ken Mattsson

Ken Mattsson

Ken Mattsson

I am a career consultant who specializes in the connection between what your spirit wants to do in the world, and how to marry that to the work that you do in order to support yourself. While I work with people in all fields, I specialize in working with "creative entrepreneurs" and the LGBT community.

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