Posts tagged Balance

Thursdays are for Kindness

Research has shown that when you offer a kindness to someone, your seratonin levels (the “feel good” brain chemical) rises. The person who has received the kindness, their level rises as well. Best of all: anyone who witnesses or hears about your kind act, their level goes up, too. One act of kindness can ripple out and impact others far beyond yourself.

Don’t believe me? Go on the internet and find a heartwarming, “good news” story. Notice how you feel before and after reading it. You will notice the warm feeling in your tummy (or is that the tacos you ate for lunch?)  Maybe you will have a smile on your face or find yourself suddenly wanting to sing Walt Disney’s favorite song, Feed the Birds, from Mary Poppins.

Now imagine, if just reading about a kind act can create this kind of “buzz,” imagine how you will feel if you are actually the provider of the kind act. It doesn’t have to be grand, even a small gesture can reap big rewards.  So feed the birds, open a door, come over and do my ironing…small acts add up to a seratonin surge so big that you may even find yourself dancing to Chim Chim Cheree.

Wednesdays are for Gratitude

Adopting an attitude of gratitude is the quickest way to improving the way you look at life. Whenever I am in a funk, I start to list all of the things that I am grateful for until I feel better. Here is a sample list: I am grateful for: a good hair day, my electric toothbrush, my dog that makes me smile, having a car to get me places because I could never walk that far, a day without rain, a warm coat, a good friend, frozen yogurt with toppings and Gilligan’s Island.  By the time I get to Gilligan, I am starting to smile and to find the blessings that are so abundant in my life.

Start a gratitude journal and write down three things that you are grateful for. If not every day, then at least on Wednesdays.  Don’t save giving thanks for Thanksgiving. Every day is a holiday, if you count your blessings and know that “grat is where it’s at.”

Weekends are for Chocolate!

Chocolate days are ahead of us every weekend. Time to rest and take in all of the rewards for our weekly efforts. Hot fudge, Hershey Bars and a cup of Hot Chocolate are at the ready.  How about a long hot bath, coffee with friends, sleeping in, working out or reading a good book?  Those are also chocolate moments.

You see, chocolate really refers to indulging yourself. Not just in the high calorie, high fat,, but totally worth it tasty treat. Indulging yourself means losing yourself in those things that make you feel good. Really good. The kind of good that allows you to truly exhale, relax your shoulders, dance a jig and chillax completely.  Yeah, that good.  Now that is a chocolate moment.

Fridays are for Forgiveness

Yikes! This is the hardest day of the week. To forgive myself and others is not the easiest of tasks. To carry a grudge – easy peasy, but to let it go and forgive, well that takes an entire day of practice. My favorite quote about forgiveness is by Mark Twain, who wrote, “Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet leaves on the heel that has crushed it.”  Pause- take a moment to re-read that sentence. It is powerful and profound. Are you that violet? I’m not, but I am trying by practicing crushing non-living things, like crumbs and cotton balls, under my shoe and then seeing if it forgives me.

Yet we know that to carry a grudge does nothing but poisons us. The bitterness eats away at our soul and keeps us from feeling the true joy in life.  Forgive and forget? Well, I may not forget, but I sure will practice forgiveness on Fridays.

Tuesdays are for Flexibility

Flexibility is not just for yoga practitioners. If you want to stop stressing, start practicing being flexible. No need to put your leg over your head like a pretzel. No plan to stick to. Just let the day go and let it flow. When others intrude on your day, let them. When computers stop “playing nicely,” take a breath and then tackle the issue.  When the dog wants to go out and play, go out and play.

If you resist the way the day is going, you will only create stress in yourself and you will accomplish less on your “to do” list. There is no reason to let a perfectly good day pass you by.  By practicing flexibility, you may be surprised at how the day turns out when you are finally ready to lay your head down on your silk pillow (after eating the chocolate left there by your “turn down” service.)  Sweet dreams….

If You Want to be Happy

Everyone wants to be happy. In fact the Declaration of Independence gives Americans the right to pursue happiness.  It is not guaranteed, but we can chart our own path to joy.  At times when our work becomes overwhelming, or in this economy underwhelming, we may feel stressed and unable to rise to the level of cheerful delight.  However we all know people that no matter the circumstances always seem to have a smile on their face and a joie de vivre. How do they get there and how can we achieve this same satisfaction in our days and allow this feeling to spill over into the work we do? Happy people have three qualities that other people don’t have: they know it, they show it and they grow it. (more…)

Ten Steps to Reducing Tension

It sneaks up on us at the most unexpected times. It doesn’t take much to send us there: an inappropriate comment from someone, too much to do and no energy to do it or a sudden flood of emotions welling up.   Your day is going smoothly and suddenly, when one thing throws you a curve ball, you begin to feel yourself getting tense.  The stress begins to build and your mind begins to look for ways to get out and lay on a beach somewhere.  While thoughts of Tahiti may be appealing, the reality is that you have only two choices – stress out or seek relief.  Try any of the steps below and watch the frustrations melt away. (more…)

Business FUNdamentals: Putting Laughter to Work

Oscar Wilde wrote that, “Life is too important to take seriously.”  This is a concept that resonates with most of us in our industry.  Every day we are challenged to meet the emotional needs of our clients while balancing our business and financial needs.  We are pushed to tend to the piles of paperwork which seem to grow each time we pick up the phone.  At the same time we must truly practice the art of presence each time we meet with a family.  Our double edged sword is the knowledge that each day may contain the unexpected.  This keeps our professional life from becoming routine, yet also creates situations where having a plan for the day is impossible.  Many of us have experienced periods of stress where the workload of the gotta-do’s are not going to get done unless we stay late or get to the office early.  We work in an industry where the time clock is never punched and there is no such thing as a true day off as long as you remain in your city.  And the strange thing is: we would not have it any other way.  This industry gets into our blood.  There is immense satisfaction in knowing that we are able to help our clients at the worst moment of their life.  We work in a field that most people avoid even thinking about, much less face each day: death.   Yet, for us, there is simply no better way to make a living.   (more…)

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