A few years ago, I was working at a community college in the financial aid department. I called my job “the dream killer.” I had to meet with students who were struggling both academically and financially, look them in the eye, and tell them they were not going to get financial aid, to pay their tuition or to cover the costs of living while in school. These students had one thing in common—they needed help, real help. Continue reading
A workday is often filled with one distraction after another. At least once a day I’m lost in some chaos of not knowing what to do next. Not only does my mind tend to wander off on this or that thought, but I’m reactive to coworkers being late, projects not going right, not being able to find something, the mail not being delivered on time, and a slew of other unfortunate occurrences. But I can use the support of my body to help me be present at work.
No matter how busy my day becomes, when I remember to register my body breathing, I have the means to stay focused and on track. If I stay with the movement of my fingers as I’m typing on the keyboard, there’s more energy to stay motivated. When I’m moving around the office, I can be with each foot touching the ground. If someone calls on the phone, I can have body-mind connection while I’m talking to them. By staying with the activity of the body, there is a foundation that can hold the weight of a day filled with an ever-growing list of to-dos and responsibilities. When I am connected and supported, I don’t feel drained and scattered—I feel inspired and fulfilled. Being busy is a regular feature of my day and with a little reminder being present can be too.
If there’s one thing I experience on a regular basis at my job, it’s knowing when I’m ‘on’ and when I’m not. But how do I get the creative juices flowing if I’m just not inspired that day? This has been a big question for me throughout my career. At times the innovative spark may be immediately available to me. At other times, I struggle to move an inch in any direction. Over the years, I’ve had a chance to see a few things that greatly impact the amount of creative energy available to me at any given moment. Continue reading
A friend was recently having a hard day. He had just found out that his dad needed surgery and that he would be responsible for months of aftercare. In communicating his frustration via text, he made a comment that sparked an emotional reaction in me. I reacted with such immediacy that it surprised me. It was clear to me that I was not responding to the circumstances in his life but reacting to something in mine. I saw myself in that moment. Where was I? Was I even engaged with what he was communicating? I wasn’t.
When I looked at what was bothering me, I saw I was upset from an earlier conversation with my mother. I had a wish to be available for my friend, and yet I was caught in my thoughts of past and future. I took a breath and wrote something that I thought expressed sympathy, but I saw that I was still in an emotionally reactive place. Then I put the phone down and just sat there for a moment. I remembered my aim was to be present, and to live my life consciously. Continue reading