Enjoy Fall…And Don’t Feed The Monsters!

Fall is such a beautiful time of year. Halloween is a part of it, although we aren’t quite sure yet how that will look in 2020!

Halloween is also all about ghosts, goblins, and monsters. They are generally pretty fun, on and around October 31.

Monsters, however,  are not fun when they take the form of distressing thoughts in your mind. And when you feed them by focusing on them too much, or suppressing them too quickly, they get stronger and stay longer.

One area of distressing thoughts occurs when you compare yourself to others. ‘How come he is doing so much better than me in business?’; ‘Why can’t I find cool clothes like she does?’; ‘Why am I envious of that person; what is wrong with me?’

First, remind yourself that distressing thoughts are normal. We all have them from time to time. Next, practice a strategy to manage those distressing thoughts without ‘feeding’ (magnifying) them.

Tara Brach teaches a method known as RAIN:

Recognize what is happening:

The first step is simply to recognize that the thought, emotion and behavior is occuring. Just notice.

Allow the experience to be there, just as it is

Allowing means simply that. Allow the distressing thoughts, emotions, feelings and sensations to be there, without trying to fix or avoid them. You can even say something to yourself like ‘It’s ok.’ Allowing creates space to pause and go deeper.

Investigate with interest and care

Be curious. Direct focused attention on your present experience. Ask yourself questions such as: What most wants attention? How am I experiencing this in my body? What am I believing? What does this vulnerable place want from me? What does it most need? This will be most useful when you bring your primary attention to the felt sense in your body. Then simply say say, ‘Hello, I know you are there.’

Nurture with self-compassion

Be kind to yourself, and that part of yourself that is hurting. Try to sense what the wounded, hurting part of yourself needs, and then offer a gesture of active care. Does it need a message of reassurance? forgiveness? companionship?love? Experiement with what gesture might soften and open your heart. You might mentally whisper,  “It’s going to be okay. You are okay. This is a challenging time right now. I love you, and I’m listening. Trust in your goodness.” Practice with a hand over your heart, and envision being bathed in warmth and light.

Check out Tara Brach’s RAIN meditation here:

 

Strategies for Successfully Working Remotely

What follows are a few strategies to enhance your experience, productivity, and well-being while working from home:

  • Set up a work station in your home that is for work only, if possible. Keep all of your work-related items (laptop, files, pens, etc.) in your ‘home office’.
  • Manage your time as you would if you were in the office (as much as possible). Optimal performance is achieved when you work in 90 minute segments, then take a break.
  • Move away from your work area – to another location – during break time. Maintain comforting rituals that help you relax and refresh, before returning for your next 90 minute segment.
  • Continue with regular Check-Ins using the your organization’s performance mangement/team development process, to ensure that you continue to:

               Create Clarity.

                                Generate Energy.

                                                 Deliver Success.

  • Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Engage regularly with your manager and with your team. If your situation is such that you cannot maintain regular working hours, or if you expect to be distracted by family or other obligations during certain times of the day, let your manager know. If your situation is untenable, consider taking vacation days so you can focus your attention where it needs to be.
  • Use video platforms whenever you can. For your regular Check-ins using the TDP, for conversations throughout the day, and for team meetings. Use good meeting protocol for video exchanges: have an agenda, come prepared, make commitments, agree on actions to move forward, and take minutes.
  • Schedule times for fun, non-work related conversations – just as you would ‘around the water cooler’ or in the lunch room back at the office.
  • Share tips and strategies on working remotely. If you have discovered something that really works for you, share it with the team. If you are struggling with something, reach out and ask for strategies from others.
  • Keep your wellness regime in place. Eat well, exercise, think positive thoughts, learn, get outside, connect, meditate, sleep….do all those things that you have always done that help you to feel well (while keeping a healthy social distance).
  • Remember, successful performance systems are built on a foundation of appreciation. Be sure to let your department team, your manager, or any member of the organization (or it’s stakeholders), know what you appreciate. And, appreciate yourself for each new strategy you learn and use during this temporary challenging time in our world.

Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! A TEDx Speaker, Author, and Organizational consultant, Deri works with organizations who want to create happy and healthy workplaces for increased positivity, productivity and prosperity!

 

 

Answer These Two Questions to Get More, Live More, Be More

The two most important questions in life are:

Who Are You and What Do You Want?

Both are positive questions and both move you TOWARD creating the life you desire.

“Who Are You?” helps you to instantly focus on your highest values, on those things that are most important to you, on your legacy even. “What Do You Want?” helps you to focus on the things that you want to attract, to manifest, in your life.

Here is a quick process that you can follow to begin to answer these questions:

1) Write your eulogy. Yes, you read that correctly. Take a few minutes and write out what you’d like the important people in your life to say about you when you leave this world. How did you impact them? What do they remember most about you? What key words would you like them to use as they describe you? If that is too morbid, think about what you’d like people to say about you at your retirement party. Or, think about what you’d like people to be saying about you right now. What would you like them to be saying about you when you are not there? You might want them to describe you as caring, positive, thoughtful, warm, courageous, adventurous, smart, creative, playful, inspiring; you might want them to describe you as a leader, a teacher, a role model.

2) Create a vision board. Think about and note what you would like to attract into your life. It might be more patience with your children, more presence at work, more focus in meetings, more calm in interpersonal exchanges, better health and a greater state of fitness, more energy, more happiness overall. Cut out pictures and/or words that reflect what you’d like to attract into your life. Arrange them on a poster board or sheet of paper. (You can read another excellent resource about online vision boards from Design Wizard here“.)

3) Move. Decide what you will DO, in order for people to describe you in the ways in which you want to be described (1 above), and in order for you to be able to attract the kinds of things you want to attract into your life (2 above). You might decide that you will begin thinking differently about yourself and the impact you have on others (you might clean up some limiting beliefs you have about yourself, and embed some new positive beliefs); you might decide that you will meditate each day to calm yourself and focus on what is important to you; you might decide that you will start a gratitude journal and record three things each day for which you are grateful (this is the #1 happiness strategy, by the way); you might decide to smile more, to engage in conversations with others more, to take the lead to reach out to people in your life with whom you have experienced conflict.

4) Focus. Keep your words from 1) and your vision board from 2) nearby. Look at them each day. Ask yourself questions like “After that conversation that I just had with my mother, would she describe me in the way that I want to be described?” “As I head out the door today, what one thing can I do to be more patient with my staff?” “Before I walk into my home at the end of the work day, what can I think that will help me have more connection with my family?”

Life is complex and busy. These simple questions help you to keep anchored in creating your best life every day.

So, Who Are You and What Do You Want?

Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! A TEDx Speaker, Author, and Organizational consultant, Deri works with organizations who want to create happy and healthy workplaces for increased positivity, productivity and prosperity!