renewal

Spring is often a time of change.  With the changing seasons, the melting of the winter’s snow, many of us look to spring as a time of change and renewal.  A fresh beginning.  We have spring cleaning which revives our homes. The sun coming up earlier gives us more energy to tackle life’s challenges, and maybe even for us to set new goals and plan for achievements.

I know for me spring is all of those things.  I look towards the future and see what I might like to change.  I review my five year plan, my finances, and see if my goals are still in line with my personal outlook on life.  Sometimes it is, but sometimes it isn’t.  When it’s not, I adjust the goals to match my current philosophy or state of mind.  Life events change how we view things.  We maybe realize that having that Mercedes isn’t as important as it once was.  Maybe we see the value of striking out on our own and creating that dream business.  Maybe we stick out our necks and try to publish that book that was a private labour of love.

Whatever spring may mean to you, I hope it is fruitful and joyous, as life is meant to be.

rediscovering passions

Everyday life sometimes gets between us and our dreams.  We work to pay the bills but there is oftentimes an underlying passion that sits there.  An unrealized dream.

Sometimes things happen in our lives to make us remember these things.  They send us down a path where we face them again and again, re-sparking that passion that was lingering with a slow burn under the layers of drudgery that is daily life.

When that happens, we are almost forced to listen.  We see it there, hazy like waking from a slumber, where it is all but forgotten.  That is when you know you need to pay attention to those dreams.  To determine how you can make those dreams a reality.  To set goals to achieve what it is you’ve always wanted.  Don’t back down now.  Something out there is calling to you.

You live this life once.  Don’t let your opportunities pass you by.  Find your way.  Find your happiness.  Because when you do, you won’t have regrets at the end of your days.  Live your dream.

emotional intelligence

Managing people is a delicate thing.  Knowing how to interact with people.  Read people.  Be able to effectively communicate with people not only verbally, but with body language and the eyes.

To have a higher level of emotional intelligence is key to success.  One of those soft skills that makes a leader good at their job.  But what happens when those oh so soft skills are lacking?

Mistakes happen.  People are not treated with the dignity or respect they deserve.  They are treated like a number.  Employee satisfaction decreases and high turnover exists.  There is no such thing as it’s just business.  People are business.

It is a sad situation when the employee has a higher EQ than the manager.  When it can be clearly seen and understood by the employee.  But does it make it acceptable just because the supervisor has a lower EQ?  Absolutely not.  These are things that need addressing.  Skills that need to be present if the manager is to be good at the job.

This is not a new topic anymore.  I studied it a good decade ago during one of my degrees.  It made sense then, still makes sense now.  It would be a very good tool to be assessed when hiring people for these positions.  Success hinges more on EQ than it does on IQ.

Food for thought.

spring

Spring is here, relatively speaking.  There is still snow melting, but the days are longer, and the sun is feeling warmer as it peeks through my windows.  It’s a time for regeneration.  Spring cleaning has already begun in my house, although I find it rather unfair to call it spring cleaning since I attempt a deep clean every season, and often get ahead of myself when I am waiting for spring to arrive.

Spring is that time of year where I feel like second chances are possible.  Perhaps it is a time to rekindle a friendship that didn’t weather through the winter very well.  Or it can be a time to reinvent my style at home, redecorate or rearrange the furniture.  Maybe a time to reinvent myself just a little bit.

Spring brings me happiness.  I love the green grasses that start peeking out.  My first tulips that seem to be in a hurry to show their faces to the world.  I love the Easter feel of renewal; the pastel colors and fresh beginnings.  I love that the bikes can come out of storage and wake up from their sleepy six months of snow inhibiting activity.  There are more people out walking their dogs, and you can see neighbors that have been hibernating for months just as we have.

In just a few short days, April will be here.  With April brings a concentrated writing camp that I am looking forward to participating in.  This is just another piece of my personal growth, and I am very much looking forward to it.  It is one more way I plan to grow this year.  I hope you will enjoy your spring as much as I intend to enjoy mine, and I hope you find ways to grow yourself.

soul sisters

There is something spiritual about having friends who are like-minded.  Ones that can finish your sentences just because they know exactly what you want to say, or ones that can read you in an instance and just know that all you need at that exact moment is a hug.  Until I experienced it, I did not know it existed just like that, and it amazes me how quickly that bond can develop.  It’s as if something was lined up in the stars to make it all happen.  Sometimes it makes me miss my beautiful, dearest soul sister even more because we have that same bond even with two thousand miles between us, but to feel it almost every day is a blessing.

There is something to be said in sharing each others joys and sorrows.  The pains and celebrations.  The unspoken words and language that can be said only with that look in one’s eyes.  This is the joy I had been missing all of my married life.  I am grateful for my new beginning.  My freedom from that controlling, manipulative man I now call my ex.  My free spirit that was once just a ghost in a dream has been given permission to come out to play, and she has found more soul sisters to be with.

And I am, for the first time in a truly long time, happy.

what’s your story?

Everyone has a story inside of them just waiting to get out.  I truly believe that.  We may not all feel like authors, but we all have a story to tell.  The question is, how will you tell the world your tale?  Will it be a written novel? A short story?  Poetry?  Will it be through dance?  Or do you tell a story with painting or other forms of visual art?  Perhaps your story gets told traditionally, being passed down through generations by word of mouth until someone commits the verbal word to text.

No matter how you choose to tell your story, take the opportunity to do it your way.  Every story is worth hearing.

body and mind

With the days getting longer, I can feel spring is just around the corner.  The sun is almost cresting the horizon as my alarm calls me to wake in the mornings, which makes it easier and more pleasant when I start my day.  I am sure that many others feel the same way.

Winter can take a hold on us.  Seasonal Affective Disorder makes it harder and harder to get through the day for many living in the northern hemisphere.  I have discovered how it truly can affect our mood and outlook.  It’s like a seasonal depression that you can feel being lifted with the longer days and warmer temperatures slowly returning to us.  I have also found that taking the time for self care and physical exercise also helps quite a bit.  It gives me a bit more energy even when I think I’m tapped out.

I take that as a reminder that looking out for our physical health is a key factor in our mental health also.  It is a natural anti-depressant that helps me to keep going.  So do what works for you.  Go for a run, take a class, lift some weights, join a yoga studio.  Meditate.  Breathe.  Accept yourself and carry forward.

do more of what you love

I have had a week where I was able to spend time doing the things I enjoy.  There were still things that needed to get done, like take the little ones to school and make dinner, but I did these things in a way that I preferred.

We walked to school, which is a convenient 5 minute walk.  We brought the dog both ways.  We didn’t need to use before and after school care this week, and that made a huge difference in how much time we had to do things together and the free time they had without having homework or meal time.  Our days suddenly gained a lot of time.

We made meals that were fun and delicious with organic whole foods that were deliciously vegetarian.  Dinner became a joy instead of a chore.

It’s amazing how the simple things take on more enjoyment when you have time.  Less stuff means less to clean.  Less to own means less to owe.  This gives way to freedom.  The less you need to work to pay the bills for the stuff you need to clean.  Seems pretty straightforward, no?  With less, you can do more of what you love.

second chances

How do you decide who is worthy of a second chance in life?  How do you deem the worth of one’s value?

I know this is far too broad a topic, and extenuating circumstances will change the outcome for many people, depending on what the situation looks like.  But in general, are we programmed to cut people off or to continue to give them chances to succeed?  Where do we draw the line for our own mental or physical security?

This has nothing to do with past relationships that are creeping back in, although I know that is often where people tend to consider the second chances coming into play.  I am taking this as a much broader topic.  Think about reformed drug addicted individuals, gamblers who no longer gamble, military personnel who have come back from deployment with severe PTSD, or the teenager who has tried to take his/her own life.

It seems to me that the majority of the topics that I have considered have a mental health component attached to them.  Whether it is an addiction, or there is something else happening that causes mental unwellness, the bottom line to me is that it is an illness.  There are so many stigmas attached to mental illness, and that in itself is a hurdle to conquer.  Mental illness needs the same care and attention as physical illness.

Do people suffer the same lingering prejudices if they had pneumonia, broken bones or even cancer as those who have ADHD, bipolar disease or schizophrenia?  Generally, no.  Why?  Because if it is a physical ailment, people can visually see that the individual is better.  But with mental illness, it takes trust and a leap of faith to believe that the individual has healed or is under control.

Trust.  Faith.  Support.

Everybody is worthy of a second chance.  Particularly those who have realized their need for help and sought it out.  Why should they be shunned for this higher level thinking?  Because they have identified their own need?  It could happen to every one of us in some form or another.  Life is full of second chances.  You may be that second chance for someone who needs it.

my tribe

I have been fortunate enough to allow my heart to open and find people who seem to resonate at the same frequency as I do.  It’s interesting how when life seems to be working against you, that truly, the Universe is aligning things for you.

Less than a year ago, I was competing for a position that I was certain I wanted.  I worked endless hours, focused so intently on what I was doing to make that job happen.  Even those I knew thought I was the best candidate for the position, yet it didn’t happen.  I decided for extra insurance, I would apply for another position that came available at a different institution.  Just in case.  It was a similar job, but I still felt that this was maybe not as good as the original one I was vying for.

I succeeded in landing the second job.  I can see now, in retrospect, how this was always the better choice for me.  This is where I am happy.  I feel my work is meaningful.  I have the ability to celebrate accomplishments in a way the other institution didn’t accommodate for.  I have met some incredibly amazing people that I would never have met before.  These people have become a part of my tribe.  I feel that I have been given permission, in a way, from the universe to be myself.  To allow the true me to shine through.  I hid behind the persona that I thought I needed to have.  But in the end, it did nothing for me.  I kept searching for the thing that was supposed to make me happy, yet I could never seem to find it.  It wasn’t until I allowed myself to shed that protective layer and truly allow my own inner self to bare its soul that I found happiness, and others that share similarities with me.

So, thank you, Universe.  I have never felt happier in my life.