Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August, 2018

I was listening on Audible to The World According to Mr. Rogers. If you haven’t been learning more about him in light of the recent documentary, now is a good time to do so. One of my favorite things he shared in his book was this thought:

He was discussing how it can be difficult when we see so many terrible things happening in our world. We see it and hear it everywhere. TV, radio, email, social media, real conversations. We learn about all the terrible things that people can do. Mr. Rogers’ advice, which was given to him by his mother, is TO LOOK FOR THE HELPERS. Every terrible thing is followed by someone rising up to help. Focus on the HELPERS. Focus on what they do to help. Decide to be a HELPER yourself.

Thank you, Mr. Rogers. That is excellent advice.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

A version of this post first appeared here at Attorney at Work.

two multicolored slinky toys

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

We know that free-play is important to the development of children. But it’s also really important in the life of an adult. You may think that you don’t need to play, that you don’t have time to play, but there are good reasons to incorporate play into your life in order to be successful in life and in work.

What is play?

Brené Brown, researcher and author of Daring Greatly, describes play as anything that makes us lose track of time and self-consciousness. In other words, something that you experience as fun! Researcher Stuart Brown, MD (who is not related to Brené Brown), describes play as time spent without purpose. Unfortunately, I agree with Brené Brown, when she responds to this idea with “this sounds like the definition of an anxiety attack. I feel behind if I’m not using every last moment to be productive, whether that means working, cleaning the house or taking my son to baseball practice.” Agreed. I mean, I barely have time to do all the purposeful things I need to do. Why would I waste time doing something that has no purpose!? Because play is important.

  1. The importance of play.

Play itself – meaning the activity in which you are engaging – need not have a purpose in the sense that it is not directly related to your productivity, not related to getting things done, and not related to achieving your financial or career goals. But it does have a purpose: creating the space in your mind where ideas can be born, perspective can improve, and the self is nurtured. In other words, play refreshes your mind and body, increases energy and prevents burnout, triggers creativity and innovation, and helps you see problems in new ways. But that’s not all.

  1. Play is directly related to your success.

Research shows that “playing” relieves stress by triggering the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. As we know, success at work is highly dependent upon the quality of your work, not just the quantity. And the quality of work is dependent upon your well-being. So, ultimately, play is vitally important to your success, in life and in work.

  1. Wanna come out and play?

Play is different for everyone. It should be something that you enjoy such that you lose track of time. It could be an organized sport, like basketball or tennis. Maybe it’s brain-games like chess, crossword puzzles, or Sudoku. It could be a creative endeavor like painting, drawing, or scrapbooking; or performing arts such as an improv or dance class. Or maybe it’s something that gets you moving but is more meditative, such as snorkeling, yoga, or hiking. The possibilities are endless.

  1. Incorporate playfulness into your work.

Your work is serious, but that doesn’t mean that you need to be serious all the time, even in the office. When you hit a “glitch” in a matter or project, take some time out to “play” to reset your mind and come back with a fresh perspective on problem-solving. A small basketball hoop could help, or an air-hockey table in an extra conference room. Ask a colleague to join you, as playing with colleagues encourages teamwork and builds comradery.

  1. But what if it’s been so long since you played that you can’t remember what you like to do for fun?

Never fear. Even if you haven’t engaged in an activity simply for the fun of it in a really long time, most likely there was a time in your past when you played. Think back to that time – maybe it was when you were a kid – and make a list of all the things you enjoyed back then. Which still sound appealing to you? Coloring? There are lots of great adult coloring books available. Playing pretend? Maybe try an acting class, or go see a play. Playing with your family pet? Perhaps volunteer at a local animal shelter. Photography? Pull that camera out and get out in the world and take some photos. Playing board games? Organize a monthly game night with friends. LEGOs? There are some seriously awesome LEGO sets available. Get creative. Try something you liked in the past, or try something new.

In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” When was the last time you played? No matter how long ago, make today the next time you play!

Read Full Post »

Earlier this week, I posted about how meditation sucks … initially. In other words, the process of meditating is really not enjoyable in the beginning, but it gets better when you stick with it, and even if it never feels good, you still reap the benefits of doing it anyway.

exercise female fitness foot

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Running is like that too. For me, at least the first half mile, and sometimes the first FULL mile, are really not enjoyable. I think all kinds of terrible thoughts, usually something like: running is dumb, why do I run, why am I doing this, I hate running, Patrick [my running coach] is crazy, etc. But, just like meditation, I keep doing it. And eventually, it starts to feel good. My mind relaxes and my body gets into a rhythm. Sometimes, the entire run feels bad. I can barely put one foot in front of the other. But, just like meditation, even when I “fail” at running, I reap the benefits by simply finishing the run, no matter the time it took or how it felt.

As Patrick would say, you can’t be a runner if you won’t agree to be uncomfortable sometimes. I think that’s true of life too: you can’t really live life if you can’t be uncomfortable sometimes.

If you haven’t tried running, give it a try. If you’re not in a place physically to run, start with walking. Find a buddy. Find a coach. Join a group. It could change your life for the better! xo

Read Full Post »

Meditation Sucks… Initially

You may know that I advocate meditation for everything. It may not be the remedy for all ailments and problems, but it can be part of the solution to every issue. So you may be surprised to hear me say that “meditation sucks.” What do I mean?

amazing balance blur boulder

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

I told my seven-year-old daughter that I was going to meditate, and that I’d be back in the living room in about 15 minutes. She knows that I meditate (nearly) every day. She said, “You really like meditation. I don’t like it.” (They have meditation starting in preschool at her Montessori school — love that!). And I thought, actually, no, I don’t love it. In fact, I don’t enjoy it most of the time. The process of meditating is painful. It is doing so many of the things that I don’t like: sitting still, being quiet, not working on anything, feeling unproductive. So why do I meditate? Because it’s not about what happens during the meditation, but the benefits that follow after the meditation.

“It’s not about what happens on the mat, but what happens off the mat.” That quote is attributed to lots of people, so I’m not sure who said it first. But that is the point of meditation. The first 3-10 minutes are PAINFUL for me. But I stick with it until I get to that place of calm. Of course, some days, I am a complete “failure” at meditation because I never get to that place of calm. But I do it anyway, and that means that I succeed because I reap the benefits, even when I don’t do it “right.” Try it.

Other posts about meditation:

The Importance of Quieting Your Mind

Be Great: Learn to Relax

Too Busy Not To…

Read Full Post »

Tal.Sherry.BDay.Owl

Friends at The Owl, New Preston, CT

I saw a quote today on the pages of my Gratitude Journal. (As an aside, I really recommend a gratitude journal to help you increase your gratitude for the good things in life, especially in light of not-so-good experiences that we all inevitably have.) I like the quote, so I’m sharing with you.

“Gratitude among friends is like credit among tradesmen: it keeps business up, and maintains commerce. And we pay not because it is just to discharge our debts, but that we might the more easily find lenders on another occasion.”

–Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld (1613-1680), French writer, moralist

I am grateful for my friends and try to tell them. For whom are you grateful?

Read Full Post »

Recycle001.svgI can’t be the only person in my town interested in recycling plastic bags and wrap. In fact, I know that I am not. If you want to start a program in your town, like I want to start in my town, Plastic Film Recycling has a great step-by-step plan called the RoadMap to WRAP.

Read Full Post »

So I’m trying to find a place to recycle plastic that cannot go into my curbside recycling bin. I’m having a hard time, and maybe you are too. Here’s what I’ve found:

At Plastic Film Recycling, I can recycle the following things.

Please recycle only clean, dry plastic bags and film. Remove receipts or any other items from bags.

Examples include:how-2recycle

  • Retail, carryout, produce, newspaper, bread, and dry cleaning bags (clean, dry and free of receipts and clothes hangers)
  • Zip-top food storage bags (clean and dry)
  • Plastic shipping envelopes (remove labels), bubble wrap and air pillows (deflate)
  • Product wrap on cases of water/soda bottles, paper towels, napkins, disposable cups, bathroom tissue, diapers, and female sanitary products
  • Furniture and electronic wrap
  • Plastic cereal box liners (but if it tears like paper, do not include)
  • Any film packaging or bag that has the How2Recycle Label shown at right

I really try to not buy these things, but I do sometimes buy paper towels and toilet paper wrapped in plastic as well as cases of prescription dog food wrapped in plastic. And I have my suits dry cleaned sometimes. So this will be helpful to me, though I won’t be recycling lots of items. I first choose “reduce and refuse” over “recycling.”

There is a location drop off finder at the website as well. I am reducing my waste. Hope you’ll do the same!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: