Are You Still In The Game?

 

It’s been almost four months since I began individual training sessions at my gym. While my commitment remains, I noticed that other responsibilities were creeping in, causing rescheduling of my sessions and threatening my rhythm. I was concerned because I know that after 12 weeks of any specific activity, I can become bored. Was this the reason that my scheduling was becoming difficult? I mentioned this to a friend who said, “Maybe you should try something new.” I felt a slight pang of fear, imagining me floundering without my training sessions. No way could I allow that to happen! Then it occurred to me. Add something else to boost the impact of my individual sessions. So I decided to participate in 2 ongoing group classes conducted by my trainer. Though I did not feel major concern, I did note that most of the class participants were about half of my age. Nonetheless, I embraced the opportunity to see what I could do. What a wonderful experience it was to observe my capacity to be fully engaged and performing well above the bottom level in the class. I was holding my own…still in the game! Now I will tell you, some of the moves required significant effort and, as a “new comer” in the class, slight variation in movement. Amazingly, I was able to challenge myself to do moves I had been fearing and to see my potential for doing even more. My plan now is to keep attending the individual sessions while participating in group sessions. I plan to work toward my best level now rather than focusing on what my best level was years ago!

So…

  • Have you challenged yourself recently or are you plodding along in your activity and not acknowledging or addressing your need for something new?
  • Are you testing your level to ensure you make progress toward greater goals?
  • Are you measuring yourself and assessing your success against unrealistic goals?
  • Have you continued your commitment to yourself?

Remember the statistics about how many people stick to New Year’s resolutions. Maybe it’s because they have not addressed these questions. If you need to get back on track, answer these questions for yourself and stay in the game!

 

Until next time…

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Get Onboard…

I’ve had the opportunity to speak to more than 100 women over the last two weeks, most recently at a tea/luncheon that included a fabulous fashion show! The women were professional, beautifully attired, impeccably groomed, and clearly had paid attention to all details of their appearance. During the course of my remarks, I asked many of the questions I’ve been asking you. Had they recorded information about their health history? Had they been sharing that information with their children in an organized way? Had they been engaging their physicians around the concerns they had or seeking second opinions in instances where appropriate? Had they assessed their resources with respect to friends or were they relying upon job and membership acquaintances? Had they adequately planned for their lives and for the lives of their families in the event of an untoward incidence of their illness or in the event of their demise? Were they seeking help with figuring these issues out? Were they aware of the impact of their mindset on their actions or lack thereof? Did they realize that all of these categories of action fell into the It’s All About Me (IAAM) category of activity? Were they thinking that the hair salon, the nail salon, and the clothing store were more important than organizing their health and wellness, their personal resources, and their fiscal or estate legacies? So few of these woman who spent time, effort, and money on assuring the perfection of their outer appearance had made the investment in assuring that they were taking care of the other critical issues in their lives. By so doing, they would be freed from the anxiety I saw on their faces as we talked about these issues. Could it be that they just did not know that there was a way to be supported as they gathered the information in an organized way and explored these anxiety provoking issues?

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So I say to you, if you are not investing your time, and effort, and money in assuring these aspects in your life…join the wave of organizing your life, one issue at a time! Know that there is a way to be supported in doing so!

Contact me to find out how I can help you and/or your friends.

Until next time…

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Confront Life’s Challenges and Let Your Pansies Grow all the While…

I have several friends who approach life in a similar manner. Confronted with life changing physical injury, one friend always has a smile for others. The other, when confronted with the significant responsibility for the care of a loved one and complex legal matters to contend with, prepares a special meal for a newly engaged couple. A third friend literally finds the interest and positive attribute in every person she meets. Another helps others to explore their genealogy. Yet another creates beautiful glass art pieces while supporting others in living their dreams. I actually could write about the outstanding attributes of all of my friends and I am so fortunate to have them in my life. They are my “posse”. But I digress…

My friend who prepared the meal for her newly engaged friends has a way of approaching life I have had the chance to observe over a long period of time. She takes every opportunity to make good of a difficult situation. When, throughout her career, she was sent to isolated, potentially barren regions of the country, she found the richness of folk art created by people she did not know but whose talent she embraced. When she has had to act as a caregiver in a town other than her own, she finds the best of what may be available to visit, participate in, or enjoy in that town even if her time is limited. An avid reader, she gets joy from the stories she reads as she waits in the emergency room, the waiting area, or at a bedside on behalf of others. She has been known to redecorate an entire house without purchasing one new piece of furniture while waiting for news about a loved ones’ health. But, for me, the most poignant has been watching her create beautiful gardens…the first one in response to her mom’s failing health. After her mom’s passing, she continued to build on her gardening and like another friend who is a musician, is observed to be transformed when doing her gardening. Winter is her least favorite season and spring her favorite yet I never hear her complain about winter. She simply talks about how soon spring will arrive and anticipates it with gusto. Recently, as the snow blanketed her sidewalk, grass, and driveway, I listened to her talk about having changed her closets to her spring wardrobe and having just put her pansies out on the deck. I reflected, “She’s got it right…winters do come as do life’s challenges…One can choose to wallow in the season you do not like or you can get ready for what is to come and plant pansies!”

So…

  • Do you have ways of managing life’s “winters” or do you wallow in the “horror” of your fate?
  • Are you even aware of your opportunities to find joy while dealing with difficult situations?
  • Do you play the role of a “martyr”?
  • Are you surrounded by people who can also join you in “planting pansies”?

Share your thoughts below.

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Until next time…

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When is Enough…Enough?

If you are like many people I know, you are the optimal friend, family member, employee, and employer. You will “go to the wall” and further for those people and/or projects you care about. You are committed and willing to protect those you care about, to share information that helps others, to overlook mild infractions because, after all, “We are all human!”. Then you begin to observe the signs. You notice that reciprocity is not part of the relationship, whatever it is. You find that you are uncomfortable as your needs, feelings, and input are ignored or belittled and…clarification of these is not able to be explored. You may find yourself taken for granted, the “butt” of needless jokes, not appreciated or belittled for your contributions, placed in untenable situations, confronted by the judgments of others on your actions without clarity of expectations(the “gotcha” approach)“, etc. The relationship or situation, whatever it is, has become toxic.

The truth is that your comfort in any relationship is your responsibility. When the situation goes awry, it’s up to you to determine if and how you might try to resolve it. It is not in your best interest to play the victim. Needless to say, exploring any role you played (including accepting negative situations for too long or not accepting the fact that sometimes situations will not change even in the face of mounting evidence that change is needed) is a necessary step toward your resolving the situation or “saving” yourself. What is also true is that the impact of toxicity in your life is damaging. It affects your mindset, your overall energy, and your health. Often, fear of losing the relationship keeps you from taking the actions you need to take to protect yourself and to be more productive for you!

So…

  • Have you noticed changes in your relationships that make them toxic?
  • Do you find yourself losing energy or passion in certain situations?
  • Do you play the victim when things are not going well?
  • Do you know when to say, “Enough is enough.”?

Share your Comments Below.

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Until next time…

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Observations And Reflections

On a recent trip, I spoke with a woman who shared while we waited to travel that she had retired from one field and was currently working in another field before being able to fully retire. She was well spoken, engaging, and well dressed, though she appeared weary. She limped onto our vehicle and as everyone settled in for the trip, we all took seats separately as the cabin was rather empty. She sat behind me. I heard her make several phone calls. The first conveyed that she was in the middle of managing a legal situation. After multiple requests, her representative apparently came on the line. The woman gently and in an assuring manner (yes she was assuring the lawyer) dealt with this representative who appeared to be stalling on action on her behalf. The next call was to the person who might have been scheduled to pick her up once we reached our destination. Again gently, she discussed that person’s problems for the day and again repeated her anticipated time of arrival. The third call was striking. She called someone who required that she repeat the same information multiple times, that she assure the person that what the person was envisioning was not so, that she promise to deal with the imagined situation when they saw one another and on and on. She was a resource to every person she spoke to, even the lawyer who was supposed to work on her behalf.

As I reflected upon what I’d heard, I hoped that the woman had her own resource network and I wondered. Did she have someone who spoke to her in gentle reassuring terms? Did she have anyone to just pick her up from travel without the need for her comforting? Did she have anyone who would look after or care for her should she become emotionally or neurologically unable to care for herself? Further, would she even chose to have a massage or to have quiet moments to herself? With all she appeared to handle, had she “lost herself” in the process? It is amazing what you can read into a situation without knowing the facts. The truth is that while I do not know what I supposed to be the full truth, the questions engendered are no less important. These should be considered by all of us as we stand in our own reality.

So I ask you…

  • Who is…and what do you believe should be…in your resource network?
  • What services do you need to keep on top of your health?
  • When is it time to discharge a person who should be serving as your resource (lawyer, doctor, trainer or other) because they are no longer responding to your needs?
  • If you care for others, or if you are over taxed at work or home, do you ever allow yourself downtime?

Share this column with others using the link below…If they would like to receive it regularly, have them forward their names and email addresses to pam@nomoreworkplacedrama.com also available below. Let me know how you feel about this column and the others you’ve received.

Until Next Time…

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Turn On Creativity, Passion, and More

This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the American Craft Council Baltimore Show “where more than 650 top contemporary jewelry, clothing, furniture, and home décor artists from across the country gather under one roof.” The artists displayed incredible creativity and talent. Most striking, aside from the beautiful materials and colors, was the passion (not the Fifty Shades of Grey variety ) the artists showed as they described in intricate detail the genesis of each item they created whether large or small. Rarely are employees within the American workforce described as passionate. In fact, surveys of the 100 million Americans employed full-time in 2010-2012 revealed that 70 million of them either hated their jobs or were simply “checked out”. The Gallup pollsters say that Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward. Not Engaged employees are essentially “checked out.” They’re sleepwalking through their workday, putting time — but not energy or passion — into their work. So if this is so, are you spending your time in the “engaged” or “disengaged” group? Do you assume that it is other than your responsibility to find your passion? Are you afraid of doing so? Did you know that as a member of the not engaged, passionless group, you are more likely to experience emotions like worry, stress, and pain?

Ken Robinson says in his book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything  that the issue of disengagement stems from people not having found the thing that they naturally do well and that also ignites their passion. He calls this “the element”.  Finding your element is essential to your well-being and ultimate success and, by implication to the health of our organizations. The thing is, very few people even try. Pursuing one’s passion and creativity may not be valued, but if you want to be “checked in”, it is your personal responsibility to try. It is an IAAM (It’s All About Me) activity! By the way, this does not suggest that you will always find your element at your job nor does it imply that you should quit your job if you don’t find your element there, but it is very likely that if you pursue it and try to integrate it into your activities frequently, you will be happier and more productive in all aspects of your life.

So…

  • Are you settling for a passionless life without creativity?
  • As you look at your life plan, have you considered figuring out “your element”?
  • Have you given up on creative pursuits thinking they are “a waste of time”?
  • Do you believe all work related activities must be “serious” and “not fun”?

Until Next Time….

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By the way, I’ll be speaking at two events in March! If you’d like me to speak to your group, email me at the address below!

Do You Have an IAAM trainer?

Friday was my 19th visit to the gym since the beginning of 2015. One of my “It’s All About Me” (IAAM) commitments this year is to stay in touch with, and to focus on, my physical fitness. Not only have I joined the gym, but I’ve signed up with a trainer who is right for me. As a former gym enthusiast, I have worked with other trainers, many of whom were invested in themselves…trying to “break” their trainees rather than to “engage” them. I came `to my first session prepared. I provided my training history, pertinent medical history, and I asked questions. It has been so encouraging to work with someone who listened to me, evaluated and reevaluated my capacity, started my training with what I enjoyed, helped me to advance to more difficult steps, even on my less favorite activities, without the “drama” of some of the television examples of training we see, shaped my training to avoid injury, and ultimately kept me on my IAAM path.

While at the gym, I met a woman who was about to sign up with the same trainer. As we talked, she shared the story of seeking help from her doctor. She had been experiencing a multitude of symptoms including sudden weight gain, hot flashes, low energy, depression and more. Upon consulting her doctor, she was advised, “You’re young, don’t worry!” No tests were given or recommended, no further advice was given, no family history was taken, and the woman was sent home with no sense of hope as to the genesis of her symptoms or the possibilities for treating them. The doctor who should have been her IAAM “physician trainer” neither listened to her, nor did he appropriately evaluate her, nor did he properly advise her. Obviously, this woman should find another physician but the question is whether she will have the psychic energy to do so.

Many have confronted this type of situation. Are you among them? So…

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• Do you have IAAM trainers in your life?

• Do you have any idea what evaluations should be conducted or recommended at your doctors’ visits?

• Do you have your questions organized before your visits?

• Do you know how to pursue alternatives to your current doctors if needed? What considerations should be taken in choosing alternatives?

In the coming weeks, Dr. Pam will share information about her coaching program options…Stay tuned and as always feel free to comment below.

Until next time…                                              red20arrow20pointing20down

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Are You Aware Of New Year’s Resolution Statistic’s?

Original  post from January 7, 2015

As the independent, organized, focused professional you are, you’ve probably made your New Year’s Resolutions. Are you in the 8% or the 92% category?

According to surveys and studies, of those who make resolutions on New Year’s Day, 8% will manage to keep them and 92% will fail to keep them. 80% of the people who make resolutions have failed by January 20th.

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 Most of the resolutions made are in the IAAM (It’s All About Me) category. The most popular IAAM ones have to do with self-care (lose weight, get fit, and get adequate sleep). Within weeks of making the resolution, you find yourself slipping into old patterns, usually giving up your plan and goals for the needs of others…your family, your friends, your boss. By the way, as the independent, organized, focused professional you are, you are likely to make sure that, if you have anything to do with it, the plans and goals for others are met.

So what is your pattern? unnamed2

  • Do you make IAAM resolutions year after year and find yourself unable to keep them?
  • Have you decided to change this pattern?
  • Have you thought about why you have not had the success the people you support have with their plans and goals?

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Here is the thing. Those around you have built in support…YOU! They have someone to help them decide on their plan and their goals…to map out strategies…to prompt them when their resolve to stay on target weakens…to help them readjust their effort when needed and to see them through until their goals are met.

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So what about you? In 20015 will you continue to stand alone and fail to take care of you? Or, will you seek the support you need to take care of you…Remember to care for yourself and Embrace your IAAM needs.

More to come…

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Fell free to leave comments and/or experiences below.

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Thank You

Paying It Forward

Paying It Forward…

I will admit it. I can be greatly affected by movie themes. I walked out of “Saving Private Ryan” to the amazement of my friends (who still tease me about it to this day), upon seeing a soldier walk across the sand carrying his arm. I had not known what the movie would be about and the reality of that scene was just too much for me. I generally go to or watch movies for pure entertainment, not for “deep messages”, having dealt with so much of that in my “real life”.  I am criticized for this, but guess what, it works for me and for the people and situations I am able to “be there for” in “real life” because I protect my need for what I appreciate as humor, for what I consider entertainment, and for what I experience as fantasy. By the way, some of the movies I enjoy, do include violence and mayhem.

There is one movie that I did not walk out on though, and believe it or not, with all of its syrup, the movie touched me deeply (Yes, I cried.).

That movie was “Pay It Forward” the plot for which is captured by Jim Beaver as follows:

“Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother’s alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward–repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor’s efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him.”

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Here’s what I think. First, I truly believe in the concept of “getting beyond your own fears” and thereby “healing yourself” by being concerned about the needs of others. This concept does not mean neglecting your own needs. It actually implies, getting your own “act together” so that you can be “there for others”. Second, I believe small acts, unknown to others, can have huge impact. The movie actually teaches even more, including messages about the fact that those in teaching or mentorship positions can play life changing roles in children’s lives and that healing can come in many forms. Though I would consider myself to always have been a giver, I was sometimes self-critical when I was only able to make small contribution to a situation that might help others. I think the movie made me more aware of how, even if I could not give on a large scale, I could help on a small one. In fact, I gave up membership at an organization that pressured its participants by making public display of what people contributed.

So, I wonder in honor of Valentine’s Day:pif2

  • Do you recognize and acknowledge the small instances of giving by others?
  • Do you know and value what moves you emotionally and protect yourself from what negatively affects you?
  • Do you accept that you may have large impact upon the world regardless the size of your action?

Please “pay it forward” by sharing your comments below.

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Until next time…

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Going The Distance…

It is always enlightening to observe champions and what influences their mindset…that is their belief about whether they can succeed and what contributes to their success. After winning the Australian Open, her 19th Grand Slam, Serena Williams (now over 30 years of age) talked about how her mother spoke to her about life after age 30. She told Serena that, “You get better after you’re 30.” Clearly, this is a continuation of the messaging Serena received early in life…the confirmation that she could be a champion and that she could “go the distance”.

It is likely that the mindset that she could succeed was already in Serena early on.   Serena’s parents, unlike many people who have influence over children, reinforced Serena’s internal knowledge about herself through their messaging early on. Many believe that the way we address situations and challenges in our lives is “hardwired” by age 3…with input from others either affirming or making us doubt our belief that we can achieve what we desire. And so, even in the face of the statistics and sportscasters’ predictions of “doom and gloom” for Serena as she confronted age, illness, and a downturn in the number of games won, her mother’s words reminded Serena of her “mindset”. Serena, recruited a new coach, retrained herself, and successfully pursued what she desired.

So here are the questions you might consider:

  • Are you aware of your mindset and how it connects to your ability to reach your goals?
  • Do you have people in your life who (historically or currently) affirm you or predict doom?
  • Do you know the steps you will take and the resources you will need to set your course toward success?
  • Are you stopped from pursuing your desires because of age, resulting in your not “going the distance”?

 

How do you feel about mindset? Comment below and if you need help with the impact of mindset in your life, contact Dr. Pam.

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