Can you live ‘in the bother’ of it all and ‘be with what is’?

“I can live my life now ‘in the bother of it’… I can live in the uncertainty of things and know that uncertainty is not a place of fear and it is o.k to take time to figure things out in that space of uncertainly” Orin Saunders, business man from New York City at the International Black Summit in Ottawa, August 4th, 2013. Part of his life experience is in my previous blog.

I have thought about this and I realize how often we want to fix things,get things right, look perfect, give more than we have, get upset if it does not work out according to how we planned it… But what if we just accepted to live in the bother of it?

Yesterday, I planned to meet a friend after work. On my way to our planned meeting place, I got a text that said something important came up and she could not make it. The first moment left me completely upset because I had rushed through my workout at the gym just to be able to meet with her. Then I reminded myself to “be in the bother of it.” and that everything would be fine.
What triggered my upset? I was looking forward to seeing her and I had given up something important to be with her.
Did I complete my part to be with her? YES
Was there anything more I could do about the situation? NO
Did it make the relationship any less special? NO because even though I was not a priority for some reason now, does not mean it has been like this. Further more, I don’t have all the facts to make a judgement on why she cancelled.

And so a smile broke on my face after I had cleared my head with my feeling of disappointment. Suddenly I heard a squeal and right in front of me was a friend I had not seen for about 8 years whom I had thought of for the longest while. I had lost her contact information and only knew her by her first name. We were so excited to see each other and kept on hugging each other over and over again. We had a lovely spontaneous dinner together…it was a beautiful evening.

Maybe ‘living in the bother’ does not always manifest itself into something that instantaneous but I know that from my own personal experience, “being with what is” and “accepting what is” no matter what is going on in our lives, creates a deep trust within our hearts and souls to be at peace with ourselves. Life speaks to us through all the ups and downs in our lives. If we can live and be perfectly comfortable with ‘the bother’, we will continue to trust life… all will reveal itself in time.

TuneIn today to our own ‘bothers’. What triggers them? Is there something we need to take to completion? Maybe or maybe not. Can you StepUp and be with what is, without needing to fix or solve it?

Love,
Magdalene

How To Destroy Opportunities That Can Give Us A Career Break, A Better Relationship….

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It is easy to destroy opportunities that could give us a great career break, a promotion or a better chance at having a great relationship with a co-worker, friend, neighbour, child or partner. Even though much of world has gone digital, the human connection is still at the heart beat of making or breaking us. I take a deep interest in observing human interaction around me and very often I see situations that I think could have been dealt with differently, if only we are a bit more aware. Sometimes we think that how we behave at home is different from work but I think it is hard to separate the core of who we are. A happy person will carry that feeling of happiness everywhere they are. An angry person will carry the energy of anger whereever they are, even if they are dressed in the best garments.

From a soul perspective, I know that our souls are longing for expansion, advancement and to be filled with light. It longs to feel good about what we do on a day to day basis.

This list is not inexhaustible but here are a few things that can make or break the deal:

a) Not paying attention to who has influence and power to make or break you.

A few years ago, in the middle of a work crisis, a wise older woman wrapped her arms around me and said, “Magdalene, pay attention to every single person in the company. Acknowledge the smallest worker, for he or she has influence which is bigger than you may realize”. How true that was! Shortly afterwards, the person who opened the door to a specific opportunity for me was the cleaner who got to know more about me and was connected to the head of another organization who was looking for a person with my skill set. I was very surprised at the turn of events in this specific case. Sometimes we think that only our boss has the power to promote us – WRONG! Think of all the people who can talk to your boss or partner or child about you! I have seen cases where so much negative information was fed to the decision maker that it ruined any possibility of promotion for the worker, even when he had all the skills and could do the job. I have also seen people get promoted simply because others spoke about them in such a positive way. The more people who you have good relationships with – the better!

b) Lack of self-awareness:

Sometimes we have no idea of how our actions, body language, words and general energy comes across. I once interviewed a woman who looked so tired that even though she had an impressive resume and I believed that she could do the job, her low energy level simply drained me. Another time, someone else was so bubbly and excited that she too drained me because it was hard to keep up with her extremely high energy. I was once interviewed and did not get the job because I came across as being too confident! Since then I have learnt how to be a bit more humble and to also match my environment so that I fit in and not to stand out in the “wrong” way. Now, from a cross cultural perspective, this is very sentitive as behaviours from one country may be completely misunderstood by another country. It is important to educate yourself about other cultures, ask lots of questions if you are not sure of how you come across and be observant about how business is conducted around you.

c) Insecurities:

People who are insecure in themselves feel that others are constantly against them or attacking them. This results in a constant inner battle which makes them guard against others to the destruction of establishing productive and positive relationships. If you are constantly complaining about everyone or feeling attacked by others, it is likely that you need to do something different to change that around. Exhibiting “smart-ass” behaviours, making rude remarks or making statements that put another person down sets a RED alarm, makes others feel inadequate and immediately begins an upspoken “battle”. I recently watched one person rolled her eyes and exchanged a dirty look with someone else, while their colleague was speaking and even though it was not targeted at me, I immediately developed a dislike for the person’s behaviour. I could not help but wonder if I worked with these people, whether I would be treated in a similar way.

d) Lack of gratitude for the simplest to the grandest things:

By nature, human being like to be appreciated and the more we can say “thank you” to others, the more we attract positive energy our way. By simply not acknowledging the good in others, we diminish the light around our own soul. Find ways to show your gratitude to others. Send a card, call to express your sentiment, send an e-mail, treat a person to lunch or coffee, buy a small gift… I try to express gratitude to at least one person each day and it always creates an uplifting energy!

Imagine if each one of us took individual responsibility to touch everything we do with gratitude, generosity, good intentions, love and sincerity. The best part of it all, is that the moment we become aware of the behaviours that can cause destruction in our lives, we have the power to change it around. Our soul loves nothing more but to expand and grow in a positive light.

TuneIn to what is causing destruction in your life and StepUp to make the change required to attract amazing opportunities.

Love,
Magdalene

“I Am Off To Travel Across The World” – Her Dream Came True!

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“I am off to travel across the world with my husband and two sons,” she told me excitedly. She explained how the last few weeks had been hectic as they tried to rent their home, arrange plane tickets and accommodation and all the logistics required for the trip across several continents.

Her story intrigued me. “What inspired this great plan?” I asked. I had just met this woman a few hours before and we connected instantly. We were having lunch together and this came up because she was explaining why she could not take part in one of our work initiatives.

“We have planned for the last two years,” she said. “It has taken a bit of savings – I worked an extra evening job – but it is happening.” She told me that they had been learning Spanish as well and learning about some of the various cultures that they would be experiencing.

Her story was a true Valentine story of love at first sight. She met her husband at a bar several years ago and he asked her what her dream wish was. She told him that she wanted to travel across the entire world. He told her right there and then that he would make it happen if she married him. She laughed at him at first because she had just met him and thought he was joking. They got married three months later and travelling has been a huge part of how they chose to live their lives.

This story affirms that we have the capacity and intuition to make important life decisions quickly if we are TunedIn to who we are and what we want. There are several myths about life that dictate responses to our situations and we must be aware of those myths that hold us back. For example, “Do not talk to strangers” – Well everyone starts off being a stranger. I met some of the greatest people in my life right off the streets as strangers. We attract similar energies to our own regardless of where we are. Another myth is “It takes time to get to know someone” -I think we already know all to know about someone within seconds of meeting them. Time only confirms more specific things about this first gut feeling which most of us ignore because we have no evidence to prove why we would be drawn or not drawn to someone.

What is your dream wish? Can you say it out loud?

How do you choose to live your life?

Is the life you are living now the one of choice or the one you think you have to live because there is no other way?

If a stranger came off the street and could make that dream wish come true for you, would you grab the opportunity and look at it as a miracle? Or would you start doubting and think that the stranger has ulterior motives – that this is too good to be true? Look back at your life and see how you have embraced the “illogical” things that have happened to you and see if you also missed a great opportunity because you did not have the courage to act quickly.

Our heartfelt dreams inspire the way we chose to live our lives. This woman had a dream to travel the world, she met a partner with the same interest; they chose to live a lifestyle of travelling and then started propelling their dream forward by acting on it.

Maybe more of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to dream and to OWN our dreams. When the dream ignites our soul, life presents the opportunities to make them come true. We too, must have the courage to TuneIn to those opportunities, StepUp to take our own risks… and live our dreams.

Revisit your dreams and dream wish – some dreams die simply because we don’t OWN them and are not willing to take a risk.

Love,
Magdalene

Are you being treated as a door mat?

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“I feel overworked most of the time. I need to find a strategy to make my supervisor realize that I am not a doormat.” Sheila said quietly.

By that she meant the everything was being dumped on her – she had become a welcome place for all types of problems. She did not know how to say NO and could never prioritize. She felt undervalued and “taken advantage of”. She could feel the mental and emotional toll it had taken on her over the last year.

In my 20+ years of managing programs/people plus what research shows, this type of feeling from a staff manifest itself in various forms which can create hostile work environments. It is manifested in passive-agressive behaviours, low performance, constant “unspoken” battles, resentment, gossip, and lots of frustration. I have allowed others to treat me as a door mat and I learnt how to be more self-assertive. I coach people to discuss it instead of avoiding it because the problem is not just about you being treated like a door mat in the work environment. You are probably being treated as a door mat in your other relationships as well and most of it stems from a need to please others and to be liked. You can’t change your manager or team but you can take ownership for the situation and approach it sensitively.

Note that there is a difference between working hard and being treated as a door mat. Hard work which is aligned with your belief system fuels you to excel even greater!

Here is one approach that you can use if you feel overworked and feel treated as a door mat.

Try this:

Have a conversation with your manager about setting a list of priorities for a week/month/year. Be calm, smile through the conversation and go prepared with a list of items that are already on your plate. At the end of your discussion, type it up, share it with your manager and put it where you can see it to keep you focused.

Try this script: (Use the word “I” and NOT “YOU”)

Asian Women Chatting over Coffee<

“I feel  bit overworked over the last few months and my objective is to reduce my stress level so I can work more efficiently. I would like to work with you to help me identify our priorities over the next little while, so that I can be more effective with how I use my time and support you in meeting our team goals.”

By using this strategy, you are taking ownership. You demonstrate professionalism and can measure your progress based on your priorities. If new tasks pop up, you can negotiate what to give priority to, seek support from your manager in re-assigning some of your tasks and be in charge of your workload. You will gain respect and feel that you are taking control of the situation and not the situation controlling you. You can also take some other courses in self-assertiveness or try a sports program like kick boxing that help you bring out the assertive side of you.

TuneIn to what you have control over and have the courage to Stepup to create a good work/life balance. The first time you do this will be hard but eventually, you will master it and it will become second nature to you.

Love,
Magdalene