Heard this today, “I’ve never begun anything important for which I felt adequately prepared.” Good lesson on just taking action :)

“If we wait until we believe in ourselves we’d never get anything done.” So take action now.

I’ve decided this month is my full immersion in joy. Those around me would consider me to be a lighthearted, easy-going, fun person but there is another part of me that can be quite serious as I wear the ‘all-business’ face and demeanor.

I’m also a ‘do’-aholic and often in this addicted frame of mind.

The other 40% of the time I’m ‘doing’ in joy, like now, as I write this post. But as my Outlook calendar reminded me six times  during the week to write this blog post, I was in the other 60% of over-worked, over-whelmed and running through life part of my life. Yes, that’s right, I was getting stressed about writing a blog about joy – oh the ridiculousness.

So I’ve decided to explore, expand and revel in joy. You would think it would be easy, but I’m finding it a challenge!

My learning mind tells me I could read books on joy, ask others for their experience or just fumble along in my pursuit. But since I discovered meditation I truly believe all the answers we need are within. For those of you have attended my seminars you’ll also know that I ask a lot of questions because I don’t believe in prescribing my way of living to those who attend. Because my way, works for me, and may not work for you.

So I decided to take my own advice and go within during a mediation where I asked my higher-self about how we can become more joyful in our lives.  Here is the message I received:

“How can we achieve more joy in our lives?

You must elicit joy from each and every aspect of you day. Joy is not something to look forward to, to reminisce about, it is a current reality that you are experiencing moment by moment.

How do we increase our connection with joy?

You must create space within your lives to be mindful of joy, to elicit it, to feel it, to acknowledge that is it here. Too often you race through life, busily doing one task after the other. You are so overwhelmed and this energy squashes out joy.

Slow down, do not over commit yourself, create space.

Start by making a list of things you thoroughly enjoy and immerse yourselves in them at least four times a week. In those moments, take the time to feel and experience the joy of what you are doing. It is now time to grow that process into other areas of your life.

Even when you’re doing things that may be ‘ordinary’ in your life, joy is just a perception. Just as those with a seemingly wonderful life lack bliss and those with perceived hardships can have effervescent, joyous smiles that light up themselves and the world around them.

Consider your last week and identify when you were joyous. You will often be surprised at what makes you so happy.

Sit for just a few seconds and take the wonderful excitement from those other experience and implant it into the current situation.  Start by doing this.

Ms Elizabeth can do the same.

This is one of the last aspects of your development that you will embrace and live. We are most pleased with your progress and are excited at the essence of you.

Anything else?

All is well in your world, please take time to rest and be easy and free with yourself.  You know there is a great amount to do, but in a world such as yours where there is much manifesting, it will never stop. So take the time to relax and not feel as though you are missing out on anything.  It is an abundant world and all the rich blessings are there for you at anytime.”

Next post I’ll share the four things that make me joyous and what I what I discovered made me happy this week…you’ll be surprised, I know I was!

This post is part of the ‘Enlightenment Experiment’, in May 2010 my intuition served up five words in response to my desire to live a more fulfilled and happy life. Those words were: trust, knowing, love, peace and joy. I’m embodying these concepts until the end of the year to see if my intuition has handed me the key to personal enlightenment. Feel free to play along and comment below. Discover your own words or embrace mine!

There comes a time in most people’s lives where they reflect on their journey to date. In my case I’ve been reflecting since the year 2000!

The good news is, I feel like I’ve come a long way. For the most part I’ve:

- silenced the inner critic
- stopped sweating the small stuff
- realized I always have choices
- let others enjoy their journey without my interference
- embraced meditation
- stopped being so judgmental (that one was a biggie!), and
- developed and followed my intuition

to name just a few life improvements.

And it’s this last point that inspired me to write this blog post. There are certain times in my life where ideas and intuition have come through loud and clear, it’s usually in the shower or when I’m walking in nature with my dogs. The inspirational gem I’m going to share with you now occurred during one such walk.

At the time I was thinking about what a good life I have. I have a great husband and we enjoy our little fur-family of a cat and two dogs, we live in a lovely house overlooking the water and have nice family and friends. I knew my life was great but I wasn’t feeling the pleasure.

So it got me thinking, what could I do to truly embody happiness and appreciate the life I’d carefully crafted?  No sooner had I asked myself this question when five words immediately popped into my head: trust, knowing, joy, love and peace.  Sure they were ‘interesting’ words but I didn’t consider them to be the awe inspiriting answer to my question so I just let them go and continued with my walk.

But something was trying to get my attention as a three ‘coincidences’ occurred and the word JOY was like a neon sign. First I had a conversation with a friend and we decided we needed more joy and play in our lives. Next, I was throwing something in the garbage bin and noticed a piece of paper with ‘joy‘ written in large words, a few hours later I received a new subscriber to my email newsletter and her name was Joy.   ‘Joy’ was obviously the word of the day.

So I’ve decided, until the end of 2010, I’m going to embody these words and see if my intuition has handed me the key to enlightenment.  I plan to explore the essence of these concepts, live them and generally just roll around and have a really good time with them.

I’d also like invite you to be part of the Enlightenment Experiment, play along with my words or check-in with yourself and ask your intuition for your own inspirational ideas to create and live your best life.  Let me know how you’re going by posting comments below and sharing our thoughts with others by passing on this link.  It would be exciting to see the progress of everyone’s Enlightenment Experiment.

Most readers will consider ‘joy’ the focus of this post, but I really see it as ‘trust’ and ‘knowing’. Trust that the five words are meant for me to explore and having a deep sense of knowing that embodying these words will truly make a difference to the way I live my life.

Let the journey begin!

Tiger Woods recently visited Australia to play at the Australian Masters. There was great fan fare around his arrival and the locals seems to be genuinely pleased that he was playing….but of course there were also the nay-sayers.

A picture of Tiger flashed on the TV screen and a relative I was visiting said, “Oh, I hope he doesn’t win the tournament.” When I asked why they didn’t want him to win they responded by saying that they were sick of him winning all the golfing prizes.

A few days later I was at a party and overheard a conversation which followed the same lines. “I hope he doesn’t win.” They gave no reason why, they just wanted to put the kibosh on his success.

These comments made me wonder – do we live in a culture that believes – “enough is enough, it’s time to give someone else a go at the top spot”?

After all, why would we want to deny someone their success considering they’ve no doubt invested blood, sweat and tears to develop their knowledge, skills, expertise and talents. And even if their rise was an easy one, who are we to say they don’t deserve the accolades?

Or, perhaps there’s a belief that if someone is successful there’s less success for others. Sure there can only be one ‘winner’ in a tournament. But in life, there can be more than one successful person in any arena.

So ask yourself:

- Am I stingy when it comes to the success of others, do I become jealous or try to find fault in them?
- Do I make judgments and criticisms about people in the public eye, even though I don’t know them personally, they have never affected my life and my only access to them is via the media?
- Am I more focused on putting others down than investing the effort in developing myself?

Often the most successful people live by the adage:
“If you knew how little people thought about you – you wouldn’t worry about what they thought”

They just get on with achieving their desires. What about you?

Article Comment – ‘The Sister Act’, by Shelley Gares, January 31, 2009 Article from: The Australian: It’s the corporate stereotype – the ruthless alpha male. But is the real bullying going on among the women in the office?

I just finished reading the above feature article on women bulling at work. Plain and simple, they’re just grown-up “mean girls”.

The story mentioned “a young features editor who had been working in a magazine office where one of the higher-ups had taken a dislike to her. The superior deliberately started excluding her colleague from the information loop. She organised office drinks or lunches but didn’t include the young editor. Others would be invited with an admonishing shush: don’t tell you-know-who. The young woman, whose desk was placed so that her back faced the office, used to sit at her computer and silently weep, thinking no one could see her. She sat there for another six months. When I first heard this tale, I felt terribly sorry for this young woman. I was repelled by the cruelty and that it had happened in a workplace supposedly devoted to helping women enjoy being women. But there was also a tiny bit of me that thought … well, she was an adult. It was a few women being immature, but she had her job. All she had to do was get through each weekday until 6pm and then she’d have her”

There’s a sentence later in the article that really got me:

“I wouldn’t go as far as saying I was suicidal but I was a nervous wreck,” says media and events manager Niki Waldegrave, who ended up in hospital from stress fallout after what she says was a relentless daily diet of ostracism and game-playing. “Later on, someone told me it had been like watching a puppy get a kicking every day. But at the time you think you must be a failure.”

I truly believe we teach people how to teach us. So if you’re being bullied it’s because you didn’t set boundaries or communicate what is or isn’t acceptable to you early on. But I also know that if you don’t stick up for yourself after the first or second incident, your self-esteem is eroded after each bullying episode and you’ve basically taught your bully to treat you like crap.

If you’re at the stage you’re going to need professional help. Check out the links on my post below:

Bullies – from politics to the world of modelling « Madisen’s World: “Bullying is extremely serious, so here’s some information on bullying in the workplace and how to manage it:

http://workplacebullying.org/

http://www.dignityatwork.org/advice/what-is-bullying/default.htm

http://www.worksmart.org.uk/rights/what_can_i_do_if_i_am

http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:0vw0_62ALEIJ:www.bullying.com.au/docs/workplace-test.doc+am+i+being+bullied+at+work&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=au

http://www.reachout.com.au/default.asp?ti=1666″

>> The Harassment Stops with You

But I want to talk about the “Like watching a puppy get kicked everyday” comment. If you’re watching someone get bullied and you don’t report it, you’re as bad as the bully.

You’re probably thinking, “That’s a bit harsh. It’s not like I’m the one being a tyrant.”

You can just add that to your list of excuses. And I know you probably have a million reasons as to why you shouldn’t get involved:

  • they’re my boss, I don’t want to get into ‘trouble’ or ‘fired’
  • if I say something the bully will then turn on me
  • I should just mind my own business, it will get handled
  • as mentioned in the article, they’re adults, they can sort it out
  • it’s a small industry, I don’t want to be known as a troublemaker, I’m not their parent
  • ADD whatever excuse you can think of to convince yourself that the behavior you’re witnessing is OK with you. In fact, you’d even be OK if it was happening to you…

The victim doesn’t have the strength, esteem or confidence to help themselves right now. So they need someone to step in, and here’s what you can do:

  • talk to the victim and let them know they need to take control of the situation and report it to the HR Manager, their boss or any other person they feel comfortable with, given them this information on how to handle bullying or these great tips from Blogger Stephanie:

For individuals

  • Wherever possible, express your feelings to the individual, in a calm manner, without getting too close, tell them to stop.
  • Immediately say it’s not ok – once behaviour is established it’s a lot more difficult to remove. Not only do people get used to behaving that way, but they may think you feel it is okay, and wonder why you are ‘suddenly’ complaining.
  • Log all incidents of bullying, whether you experience or witness the act
  • Keep copies of all annual appraisals and letters/memos/emails relating to your ability to do the job
  • If you cannot confront the bully, try writing a memo/email to make it clear why you object to their behaviour. But wait a couple of hours before you send it, to give yourself time to ensure you have expressed yourself clearly and not said anything you will regret. Sometimes just writing it down can help you to get a better feeling about what needs to be done.

For organizations

  • Have a clear policy and procedure (formal and informal) to deal with all cases.
  • Protect everyone (especially both the complainant and accused). That may mean moving someone in the short term – make sure it is the higher level person who is moved.
  • Train all employees to recognise bullying, deflate, deflect and avoid the conflict escalating.
  • Be seen to be fair and consistent – often the target gets moved. You cannot risk a culture where even some bullying is allowed. On the other hand, managers must be trained to be able to tell people to do their job without being accused of bullying.
  • Communicate your policy and the values it represents. Use it. Monitor its success. Review regularly to ensure you are achieving your aims.
  • if they can’t do it, you can take action, using the same advice outlined above

There’s nothing else to say, the solution is that simple.

If you’re fearful of the reprecusions of speaking up, then the environment isn’t a healthy one for you either. And no excuse or negative situation is worth robbing you of your worthiness, confidence and personal power.

Complimenting 2 employees at her bank. It’s possible that banks are great…because their people are. Where else can I see ‘the good’ today?

It was December 23 and I just picked up my mother to take her grocery shopping. The parking lot was frantic, but we easily got a parking spot (I’m ‘lucky’ like that). I sent my mom to start the shopping and I popped across to the pharmacy to stock up on Omega-3. As I was searching for wild fish options a man in his 50s approached me and asked, “Is that for you and baby?”

What I said, “Ah no, they’re for my husband and I”.

What I thought, “Do I LOOK pregnant???????”

He then went on to say he was from a particular religion and added, “I don’t have much time, but I’ll tell you quickly.” He acted like his time was very important, but he’d carve some time out of his busy schedule to ‘tell me something’.

He then went on preaching at me, telling me how the world is going to end and the environment we live in is like hell.

As I stood there listening I realized that I was becoming more and more annoyed and I considered why:

  • he made a lot of assumptions I didn’t appreciate:- I had children, or in fact I looked pregnant (!!!); I had time to listen to him; and he had no regard for my point of view – he just wanted to be heard.
  • he  was talking ‘at’ me, not ‘with’ me
  • I felt hi-jacked, I went to the pharmacy to buy supplements, not religion
  • I have my own opinions and beliefs on this topic, and I have to say, our beliefs weren’t aligned at all
  • I’m not  open to doom and gloom conversations

What I said, “I think life is pretty wonderful.”

What I thought, “Buddy, I didn’t buy a ticket to your show – so I don’t want to hear your monologue!”

As I was planning my escape I was thankfully saved by a phone call from a friend.

So what does all this have to do with work?

I am a big believer in using your emotions as your well-being barometer. I was uncomfortable and frustrated in the situation – and my barometer has allowed me to honor how I feel and as a result I knew I didn’t have to sacrifice my happiness to make a stranger more comfortable than me.

The barometer is a wonderful way to live a fantastic, positive life a majority of the time. If you’re happy, do more of it, if you have a negative emotion, don’t do it, or do less of it and consider the following:

  • What can I do to transform this negative feeling into a positive one?
  • I need to stop doing what is making me unhappy and focus on another more positive thought / action / behavior
  • Is there fear that’s making me feel this way, or is this situation genuinely not aligned with my desires

Assess your work in the same way and skip the excuses of, “But I have to do things I don’t like because…” – No you don’t, you can always choose another choice, thought or behavior. I can remember driving to work and crying as I pulled into the parking lot because I really, really, really, REALLY didn’t want to be there and I was struggling and make myself sick.

You may think I’m simplifying things, but it is simple. We create the suffering and unhappiness because we tolerate things that don’t make us feel good. This applies not only to work but all life situations.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season! Remember to look for ‘the good’ in everything and in the rare moments you can’t find it, trust your emotional barometer and do what’s great for you.

After all, life is meant to be fun, and easy.

My friend Aaron recently left his organization. Prior to being an employee he was a customer for over 10 years. During his employment he was entitled to a free online newsletter subscription (which he previously paid for as a customer). As soon as he walked out the door the CEO told the Marketing Manager to put a stop to Aaron’s subscription.

Now, this ‘subscription’ was just a glorified newsletter (I use the term ‘news’ loosely) filled with company self promotion, it reality it had no real value.

Aaron couldn’t believe it, “I was a customer for years and the CEO made a big deal of canceling a crummy newsletter. Wouldn’t it have been better to keep it coming and have me engaged in the company even after I’ve gone? There’s no way I’m going to become a customer of that place again!”

Consider this, how many employees leave their company and are positive advocates for their former employer?  Hmmm, I don’t see many hands raised.

Universities and colleges are great at creating long term relationships. By developing alumni programs for former students they maintain relationships, build their network and (hopefully) create positive word-of-mouth.

Why don’t organizations do the same? It’s hardly a lot of effort and there are benefits for both sides.

Why not create a ‘Good-bye, Good luck and Stay In Touch’ package for each departing employee? Let them leave feeling good about the company. I know I would have loved to have received the following when I left a company:

  • Provide product / service discounts to previous employees and turn them into long-term customers
  • Continue to send them newsletters (maybe even do a version aimed specifically at ex-employees) that keep them connected to the business and encourage them to pass it on
  • Give them a free subscription to a company publication or online service, it costs basically nothing, but the perceived value is huge
  • Use social networking to stay in touch, set up a Facebook group for an organization, or encourage LinkedIn networks to keep everyone in touch. Group members could opt-out whenever they like

The list is as long as the imagination and wouldn’t it be refreshing for an employee to sing a company’s praises instead of saying, “I’m so thankful to have left that place, it was a nightmare in a cubicle!”

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