3 Beginning Steps Out Of Career Pain

Pain is definitely not my first desired go-to for information.  Upon first glance, I would much rather enjoy other forms of communication- a light suggestion, a brief nod, even an encouraging word!  And yet, as an athlete, I can, in fact, resonate with the concept of pain as part of my feedback loop.  As part of that history, I quickly got in touch with the good pain/bad pain reality.  Of course, good pain was when I would push my body to its limits, knowing deep down that I am strengthening it within a larger process.  And, the bad pain?  Well, I can more directly appreciate that message today when I turn in the midst of a yoga pose and immediately feel a shooting pain that simply screams, "oh, so wrong!"

But what about in your professional career?  I have certainly known the pain of not wanting to go in to the office - whether the desire to avoid an interaction with a difficult colleague, blatant contradictions between value-based messaging and leadership actions, or not finding the potential for growth and development that could keep me stimulated and energized.  It really doesn't matter which direction you profess, "live to work" or "work to live", pain is pain.  

So, what does one do?  There are the "simple" answers.  Just leave!  You know, get out!  The next answer, just bury your head, do your job and, when the clock strikes the designated hour, bolt like lightening.  Both of those responses can certainly hold truth or serve as a temporary placeholder.  In all honesty, I have lived into those answers myself.  But what I found in doing just that, the pain didn't go away.

So, where do you begin when the pain feels excruciating and You. Just. Want. It. To. Stop!  The following are beginning steps forward.

Step 1.  Start by bringing your emotional thoughts into the present physical moment.  Begin with your breath.  Breathe and allow yourself to feel the oxygen entering and exiting your body. Why?  Because that action brings you into the physical present rather than swimming circles in the pool of your thoughts.  Do this multiple times to practice being in the here and now.

Step 2.  Engage in self-reflection.  Move your thoughts from your head to paper.  Through journalling, you begin the process of releasing a block in your life.  And, it can be done in whatever way resonates.  Possible ideas are bullet points of current situations, key word capture or story telling. Just get them out of your head.  

Step 3.  Give yourself space to open to the awareness that comes from reflection.  Patterns, connections, the emptying of the mind to create room for possibilities can all begin to emerge. 

These steps can move you from hanging over the precipice to standing a distance away and taking in the view.  Allow this to be a beginning, your beginning, as you use pain as guidance and input rather than merely a scary voice from which to hide.

Two Ways To Move You Into Life Balance

The other night as I was leaving a parent meeting at school, I shared a quick exchange with another mom that I hadn't crossed paths with in a while.  "You know," she said, "I hate that word life balance.  There is simply no such thing.  I hardly ever see my friends or anyone socially and all I do is work!"  And, yes, I could definitely sense a thud to the exclamation mark at the end of her statement challenging me to even try to counter with any alternative view.  However, I was curious if she was enjoying her own business.  She shot back with how completely busy she was without anytime for anything or anyone in her life, upon which she turned and began a conversation with someone else.

Life balance is a powerful concept.  The pain of the concept comes when we load it up with the expectation that our lives are components of inanimate objects to be picked up and placed on an immovable scale.  In fact, Martha Beck says that any "deep-seated, long-lasting, intractable emotional pain is always evidence that we believe something false". 

So, what is life?  Life is simply the existence of change.  And change is ever constant.  Adding the concept of balance actually adds deep beauty if you recognize balance as simply presence. Presence allows for acceptance in what is in the moment.  That awareness offers compassion and love, if you let it.  

So, you are probably saying, "come on now...life balance is awareness of constant change opening into compassion and love?!?"  Oh, ya, baby, you've got it now!  So, let's bring it down to the everyday.  A couple of ways to do that... 

If life is change, then check in with yourself.  What are you feeling?  Self-awareness comes with self-reflection.  So do it!  Ask yourself.  And, if change is constant, consider making it a habit.  That feedback can be amazing content in your forward movement. 

If balance is about presence, then take some time to introduce yourself to yourself!  Take yourself out on a date and give yourself time to yourself.  Do you know what you like?  Do you know what makes you happy?  Peaceful?  Excited?  Find out!  Living in the moment is a sensory explosion of an amazing magnitude.  Check it out!  As you do, you might find the power of you and the real blessing that you are to the world.

So go for it.  Life balance can be a lot of fun, if you allow it to be what it is...awareness of constant change opening into compassion and love.  Bring it on!

5 Bad Habits You Need To Quit In Order To Claim Your Joy

Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr

While this isn’t “hide-and-go-seek” per say, your own personal rendition seems to be playing quite nicely in your life…you hiding from the very life you are seeking--a life standing firm in joy. Imagine that!  Check yourself to see if any of these resonate…

#1.  When you pause for a half second (forcibly for a bathroom break) you feel exhausted from head to toe, but the list is so long that well, you will look for a slow down period sometime next month!  In a moment of midnight honesty, it is feels like you are slipping down a drain with no way up. Join my Career Joy Journey to learn how to capture the time, your time, right now.

#2.  If you were to stop and examine where you mentally spend much of your day, you find that it is spent thinking about the “What if’s”, the “Shoulds”, the “If Only’s” and any other fear, hope and fantasy that crosses your path (which is, on average, every few minutes.)  It feels comfortable, but it comes with a numbing sensation and empty feeling that you don’t quite understand. 

#3.  Any time you start to want something…you know, really ache for it, voices surge in screaming quite loudly that “you’ll never get it, so why try?!?” or “You are just being selfish” or better  yet, “You are simply not good enough!”  Each voice keeps you safely tucked in tight, but can you breathe? I can teach you how to silence this voice. Better yet, how to hear it, but hold it separate from yourself while you embrace your joy.

#4.   The blaming of your mom, your dad, your older brother, your younger sister, even the mail carrier coming in the morning rather than the afternoon feels much more comfortable and safe than the possibility of accepting responsibility and opening you into your own creative power.

#5.    You are absolutely clear that 2016 will be the year of moving forward with your big idea, as soon as you get a little more financial security under your belt.  That said, you have been saying it for the past five years and you never seem to get any closer…let 2015 be the year you make the change. Let me help you claim your joy, in your life and career in 2015!

All these reasons…no, let’s be honest, bad habits must be faced to claim your joy.  These five habits hold you back from playing in the worlds of stillness, truth, desire, creativity and risk.  Yet each of these worlds is a natural human state of play deeply desired for your growth and development.  Open the door to yourself by stepping into yourself.  You will find that JOY has been there all along! If you're ready to take the first step toward becoming the you - that you're supposed to be, click here to join my Career Joy Journey - and learn how to quit these bad habits and start living the life you want.

Need Help Shedding Bad Habits? We're starting the Career Joy Journey: A Course On Claiming Your Path With Eyes Wide Open beginning January 26, 2015. 

As we embrace the New Year, we create the opportunity to open to our deeper self, claim the mosaic of our life and discover our journey to joy.  While those ideas seem quite lofty and maybe overwhelming or untouchable in the everydayness of life, why should our journey be anything less!?!

This journey is the finding of your joy as you learn to ground yourself in your deeper beauty of yourself that can enable forward movement.  Come, dive in and play for 6 weeks! You and a small group of women will discover their journey to joy in the “career” of their life.  Career, in its broadest sense, is the course of action a person takes over a lifetime.  Tapping into your joy enables the process of opening yourself to this much bigger, deeper place of career. 

The Answer Is: Nothing...

Really?!?  But there is so much to be done, reports to write, decisions to be made, meetings to be had, kids to transport, dinner to grab....stillness, really?  And, yet.  When you take a moment in the midst of the frenzy, it can feel delicious and painful at the very same time.   There lies the truth-the fact you can actually -- feel.  That ability to feel is your direction sign inward to the answers that you are really searching for-the ones that lead to your Wisdom, your Truth.  There is deep wealth always there to be discovered.  Claim your Adventure!