Acceptance, Career, Habits, Happiness, Life Enahancing, Meaningful Work

Showing up for work, showing up for life! 

Showing up for work
Image by: Bartek Szewczuk of Getty Images

If I asked you if you were happy at work, felt engaged, challenged and fully involved in your job – what would you say? The chances are that you would say ‘no’ since research shows that over half of the working population are unhappy with what they do.  Just think about that for a moment, one in two of us would rather be somewhere else!

Given how much of our life work takes up and the knock-on effect that such dissatisfaction will have on our personal relationships, this is a very dim picture indeed.  When we fail to ‘show up’ at work, we are also failing to ‘show up’ for life. We are checking out at key points in our day and our week, to the extent that we are failing to be truly alive.

Showing up is about bring our whole self to a situation. Our mind, our body and our energy. When we are fully present, we can take the time to observe deeply and get a much greater understanding of our situation. We can also learn to actively listen and stay grounded in the present moment when work pressure builds.

When we do a job we love, it’s easy to show up for work, putting our best foot forward, a smile on our face and enthusiasm into our tasks.  We feel in sync with our work and enjoy the time we spend at it. The cost on our time and lifestyle is offset by the benefits we receive doing something we love.

When life is in sync in this way, we find everything is lighter, more enjoyable and easier to achieve. Stress is merely fleeting moments, that pass when we achieve our goals and we are able to see the benefits of bringing our whole self to the workplace.

Yet if we feel out of sync with our work, unappreciated and under-valued, its far harder to show up in that way. We find ourselves becoming resentful, disengaged and unwilling to do the tasks that our job requires of us. Whilst our instinct is to withdraw, perhaps become surly or simply check out, all that does is make a bad situation worse.

We can fall into misguided thinking, such as believing that when we fail to show up and when we become disengaged, we are hurting our employers.  In reality the only person who gets hurt is ourselves.

Organisations rarely feel the benefits of such resistance and we create some very unhelpful habits in our working life that can have a corrosive effect on our personal lives. Resentment has a way of seeping into all of our interactions and leaving a bitter taste for others to swallow.

The importance of showing up for work is more about one’s own self esteem, than it is to do with the work situation we find ourselves in. If you are stuck in a job that is not satisfying or no longer suits you, not showing up for work will not change that fact, but it will certainly make it feel harder.

The benefits of showing up for work include:

  • Putting your best efforts into your work each and every day will help you to reach a level of satisfaction about your own skills and experience.
  • Having a healthy work ethic and maintaining good interpersonal relationships, even in a poor work climate, means that you can show up for interviews with prospective employers in a positive and engaging frame of mind
  • Showing up for work allows you to act with integrity, think clearly and navigate through difficult situations in a way that supports your long term growth and career goals.

 

Some simple ways you can show up for work, whatever your circumstances:

 

  1. Smile.  This is one of the simplest and easiest ways to build strong and effective relationships.  Even if others around you are not given to smiling, greet everyone every day with a smile.   You’ll find it’s contagious.
  2. Be a problem solver – not a problem creator.  Every time you come up with a difficult situation, take it as an opportunity to learn new skills and be creative. These are great life skills and will serve you well in any work setting.
  3. Do what you do to the best of your ability. Even if your work is boring, or you have outgrown your role and are feeling undervalued, focus on what you can do, rather than allowing your ego to take you down the garden path of ‘should be doing this’ or ‘could be doing that’.  The magic of doing what you can in the present moment is that you will get noticed for being a conscientious and reliable person.  Great traits to get you promoted, or to demonstrate to a new employer.

 

Remember that the driver of your career is you, so taking the time to see the value in every day will help your real skills and abilities to shine through.  If you would like to see more tips and tricks, visit www.findyourjoyfullife.com, where you will find many more tips and tricks.

Career Reframe is a unique program to allow you to transform your career into a life affirming adventure and get paid for your unique skills. If you would like a free consultation on your career email mary@findyourjoyfullife.com.

Emotions, Essential Self, Habits, Journalling, Radio interview

Simple habits make a big difference – Radio Interview with Phoenix FM

karinridgersI recently has the pleasure of joining Karin Ridgers on Phoenix FM for an interview on how to live a happier and more harmonious life.

During our conversation I talk about the three principles that underpin all of my writing:

  • Understanding our energetic nature (our soul) helps to understand the ever changing nature of our lives
  • Separating our sense of self from our thoughts- which are mostly random and at best distracting.
  • beings first (souls) and physical beings second
  • How we can transform our lives by observing our thoughts and emotions and making conscious decisions on how to change them.

There are also some simple tips such as:

  • How to make your day a great one by investing 5 minutes in a morning to set your intention.
  • The value of journalling to help to understand our deeper intentions and make positive changes in our lives.

 

Listen to the full interview below.

Acceptance, Essential Self, Habits, Life Enhancing, Personal Power, Self-love

Three ways to connect to your inner life force

For many years my life was my battleground, until, I decided to stop allowing it to be one.  This was not some overnight transformation, but something I learned over time, through clear intent to do something different, to see life differently, to respond to life’s challenges in a more positive and mindful way. I believe that this is possible for everyone and that was one of the main motivations for writing about it in my first book.

I was born to Irish Catholic parents in Birmingham.  The youngest of 4 surviving children, with a neurotic mother, an alcoholic father and a sister with Autism; we lived in a chaotic and highly charged family home. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I started to see that there might be alternatives to the way I was living. I could make choices not only in how I lived, but also where I lived.  I made the decision to leave Birmingham and my childhood influences and took a live-in position at a country hotel in the Cotswolds.

It was there I was to meet the love of my life. Despite considerable resistance to our relationship and having to deal with the disapproval of my parents, the loss of my live in position and being shunned by friends, because my partner was also female, I never once doubted the choice I had made. It taught me some incredibly important life lessons about facing difficult decisions with courage, being open and authentic about who you are and learning to accept yourself with love and compassion.

Later, after having a very successful career as a consultant, I was suddenly struck down with a serious illness whilst in Africa. It was another moment in my life to take stock, observe and choose my response. After innumerable doctor’s appointments, hospital visits and tests after tests to define what was wrong with me I became exasperated that I would never feel well again.  Until one day I realised that nothing was wrong with me.  Not in the most essential level of my being.  With the help of a doctor who was also an energy healer, I started to realise that healing and harmony are as much about state of mind as they are about our lifestyle choices.  When I could accept that at my most fundamental level, at the centre of my being, all was well, the healing of my body could take care of itself. Through my own healing journey and the road back to health, I learned to connect with my inner life and connect with the energy which is the life force inside of me.  I saw the illness as a lesson in how to slow down and appreciate life more.

 

Three powerful practices to connect to your inner life force

Three very powerful practices have helped me in dealing with my life’s challenges. If you do nothing else but these, you could find that your life goes through an extraordinary transformation in a matter of weeks.

The first practice is meditation. This is incredibly powerful as it helps us to observe our thoughts, slow them down and even turn them into more positive inner dialogue.  When we are feeling that life is against us, we often create a victim voice in our mind.  We will say things like ‘this is always happening to me’ ‘why do I always feel so tired’ ‘life is so unfair’.  This kind of dialogue is life sapping and sends signals out to the universe to deliver more of the same.

Through the regular practice of sitting quietly and noticing your thoughts, you can become aware of the messages that you might be giving to yourself and sending out to the world.  Doing this on a daily basis, even 5 minutes per day can make a big difference.  Over time you will learn to quieten the constant chatter of this incessant and negative voice.  The art and the practice of putting distance between you the observer and you the internal saboteur is the first step towards raising your awareness and choosing your thoughts more wisely.  It was the late Louise Hay who said ‘Change your thoughts, change your life’, and science is finally catching up with her and proving this to be true.

The second practice is equally simple and brings enormous benefits if done on a regular basis.  Journaling involves writing down your inner thoughts and observations. It has some similarities to meditation and can be practiced alongside or as an alternative approach.  It too allows you to express your thoughts, emotions and ideas in a very concrete way.  Sometimes the very act of writing something with no set idea of what it might turn out to be, allows our sub conscious to communicate with us in a way that our talking voice never can.  We don’t know why this is the case, but it is another powerful way we can learn to notice our thoughts, connect with our dreams and passions and learn to release negative and blocked emotions.

The third practice is gratitude.  When we are grateful for the many good things in our life and are thankful when we see the little blessings that come our way, we open the door for more of the same to come our way.  If you are struggling financially, but learn to say thank you when a bill is less than you expected, or you get a great discount on something, you are sending out positive vibes about money.  This can help you change a difficult relationship (with money) into a positive one. You can do this with just about any area of your life: your health, your body, your relationships, your career.  All you need to do is start the day by declaring your gratitude for all the things that you have in your life and close your day by being thankful for all the things you experienced.  You shouldn’t have to look too hard for little blessings or gifts that made your day go well and the more you do it, the easier it is to live from a place of gratitude.  There is nothing more powerful than gratitude to turn your fortunes around.

No one is likely to go through life without the odd challenge.  Life’s knocks help us to become stronger, build our resilience and teach us valuable lessons along the way.  I learnt to appreciate every moment, live in the present and express love and compassion all around me.  When you connect with your inner self and that wonderful reservoir of happiness within, then I know you will too.

If you would like to attend one of my workshops, find out more about up and coming dates here

You can find many tips and exercises to hep you in my book Coming Home to You, Available at Amazon and other booksellers.

Acceptance, Change, Emotions, Grounding, Habits

How to choose and anchor your emotional state

Emotional resilience is not something we are all born with, but it is something we can develop with some simple habits and techniques.

Have you ever had a day when you have woken up feeling happy and vibrant only to find that it disappears after a few moments in the office? Or perhaps after a few moments talking to your mother on the phone?  Our emotions can feel like changeable things that are at the behest of others and our situation. But that is only a story we tell ourselves.  We often believe that our emotions are something that we have very little control over, yet when we consciously choose to be calm, happy and peaceful, we find that this will remain the case for as long as we make that our choice.

 

In this short video, I demonstrate a simple technique to enable you to anchor your emotional state.  It’s very quick and easy and allows you to have an immediate and quick way of reconnecting to your chosen emotional state, rather having one imposed on you by circumstances.

Give it a go and see what you think.

 

Acceptance, Gratitude, Habits, Happiness, Life Enhancing, Personal Power, Personal Transformation

Starting a happiness habit

 

When you hear the word habit, I bet your mind automatically starts to think about all of the bad habits that you have developed and how difficult they are to break.  Well let me bring you some good news.  You don’t need to dwell on your old habits.  If you want to make changes in your life, you can focus on creating new and more life-enhancing habits instead.

Many of the habits we form are to make our life easier and to stop us having to think about endless choices.  They tend to be actions with little conscious energy attached to them and therefore are the easy option.  But if we do not review our habits regularly and question whether they are serving our best interests, they can become our prisoners, stopping us from being able to move on and find new ways of expressing ourselves.  We can consider a habit as bad for us, when we know it leads to feelings of unhappiness, worthlessness or dissatisfaction.  Whatever the reason for the compulsion to follow an unhealthy habit, we need to find the will to create new ones to take their place.

What new habits could you start today?

The good news is that habits can be very easy to create.  We need to focus less on the effort of breaking bad or unhealthy habits and more on creating new ones, which will no longer be compatible with the old ones.  This is a much gentler and supportive way to bring about change without using a negative or judgemental inner voice, which is often applied to ‘break’ bad habits.

Ask yourself what one thing can you start to do for yourself today, which will make a big difference to you and your life?  If it is achievable and you can see a definite reward in doing this habit, set your intention to start it straight away.

Whatever area of your life is asking for your attention, commit to a new habit to support it for three weeks. If it hasn’t worked, don’t get disheartened or give up; simply try a different habit! Keep going until you find one, which works for you and when it does work, stick to it. Over time you will see that crowding out the old habits with the new habits is the best form of change you can make.

Here are some simple habits that will help you

  • Write down your goals. This simple act of writing something down gives it a solidity, that we cannot achieve by merely thinking it.  In the same way as we might write down goals for work, we need to write them down for life.  Target 2 – 3 goals that you would like to achieve over the next three months.
  • Start a gratitude Journal. Being grateful for the little things in life, opens us up to receive much bigger benefits.  We don’t know exactly how it works, but the theory runs something like this: if we give out the frequency of gratitude to the universe, it responds by giving us more and more things to be grateful for. Now what greater incentive for a new habit do you need?  This one is a win/ win.
  • Start your day as you mean to go on. One of the most influential times to set our thoughts, emotions and habits in train for the day is when we first wake up. Just as we transition from dream state to our waking state, our ego mind wakes up and starts babbling lots of thoughts about what we should, could or will do for the day. Instead of allowing your mind to go on to auto-pilot in this way, stop, breathe and set your intention for the day.  Intend a positive day by repeating a phrase such as:  ‘Today is going to be a great day’ or ‘I will take every opportunity to make this a happy and positive day’.

 

If you’d like a little more help in developing some new life-enhancing habits, download the worksheet below that will help you on your way.