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WALKING MY TALK

It’s been a long month. resilience

On the 2 March, we were granted permanent residence in Australia, my husband got some tough news at work, and Bendelta were awarded an amazing project (for which I’d put heart and soul into the proposal).

That was the start …

During the next week, a crazy-busy wonderful week spent in Singapore, whilst I was so far way from her, one of my best friends told me that her cancer was back (after an 8 year remission). Back home, after weeks of feeling ill, one of my sons was diagnosed with an awful colon infection, work went into warp speed – and some amazing new opportunities presented themselves. And I’ve just realized that in two week’s time, we’ll be on holiday in South Africa. And the month’s not even over yet.

I feel like I’m living my life inside a washing machine.

And I feel like I’m a walking advertisement (maybe that should read guinea-pig), for the work I’ve been doing over the last few months which has been to integrate neuroscience, resilience and mindfulness. It’s an area of leadership development that our Australian clients are requesting, and we see evidence through our coaching practice what a difference conscious resilience practice makes.

Indeed, whilst in Singapore I had caught up with one of my clients who works at an organization going through tremendous growth, with 3 huge new projects online (one of which is planning for 2026 and is a classic mega-project). With all this change and increase in scope, I asked how they are helping their people develop resilience, and was particularly concerned when it emerged that it was not something they had given thought to. The assumption is that people should ‘just get on and do it’.

But how do you just ‘get on and do it’ when the load becomes too heavy?

To prevent burn out, and maintain effective performance you have to balance the load with lightness. What that lightness is differs from person to person, but the classic model I use for resilience training, The Corporate Athlete, informs us that we have to create rituals in 4 areas of our lives : physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. These rituals and the oscillating effect of load and lightness (stress/de-stress) is what enables us to last the distance .

I am reminded of the value of staying the distance as I watch how my 17 year old sons prepare for their final year of school and year 12 exams. They are fortunate enough to go to a school that offers tremendous support and really encourages the ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint’ type of preparation. (I’ll let you know how that goes as we get deeper into the year …)

So that’s the resilience piece – what about mindfulness ? Apart from the obvious benefits of quieting your nervous-nelly mind, I find it really helpful to be mindful that all we can do is to work with the hand of cards we’ve been dealt. Sometimes, it’s a really tough hand – one that requires simply putting one foot in front of another until the journey is done. At other times, the hand allows us to live life as nothing more serious than which cocktail to enjoy at sundowners. And if during these times, we fill up with light and gratitude, we’ll have more to sustain us during the heavy times. Because we all get them both … and they’ll both pass.

So, it’s been a long month. We’re all still here. We can all still laugh. We can all still hug.

And we’re going on holiday soon – now there’s something to lighten the load.

Happy almost April everyone !

 

 

 

 

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I’M BACK

It’s been 2 years and 4 months since I wrote my last blog post*

I now live in a different city, on a different continent, in a different culture.

I work in a different organization. Boy is it different !! Like awesome different. I need to tell you all about it. My husband works at a different advertising agency. L-o-n-g story there … one day perhaps I’ll share his journey. And our boys go to a different school. Don’t even get me started on that story …

But I digress … back to my blog … It was my intention when I started writing to share stories, insights and experiences that inspired me.

By applying simple logic, can we assume I’ve been uninspired for almost 2 1/2 years. Am I such a miserable sod ? I don’t think so, in fact I’ve always thought of myself as positive. Not like in an artificially contrived ‘Facebook life’ kind of way (Thanks Lianne for the depth of understanding in that term) but like deep down in my soul.

I guess I’ve questioned that over the last few years. Yes, we’ve left a lot behind – and although there is so much ahead of us, I’ve been pretty pathetic at finding pure happiness in the now. Part of my PNI training involved studying the effect of emotions like guilt and regret (from the past) vs fear and anxiety (for the future) on our neurochemistry and physiology.

I know theoretically what affect not living in the now has on us. And guess what, I’ve fallen right into the trap of wishing … wishing things were different. Instead of finding joy in the now. It’s a sure fire way to be miserable.

So I went back to my iphone. Gotta love technology. I write down random thoughts in ‘Notes’ (Yes, I know I’m weird). Here’s what I found. These notes are totally unedited. My last note as we were waiting to fly out of Singapore after living there for 3 ½ years, and my first note when we arrived in Sydney.

Thank you Singapore 22.4.2014 (1)

Thank you Singapore 22.4.2014 (2)

Thank you Singapore 22.4.2014 (3)

The first 24 hours 23.4.2014

Ironically, we started a jar in January to celebrate 2016. Originally it was called the ‘achievement jar’. Then it morphed into a ‘gratitude jar’. Here it is …

The Gratitude Jar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s going to be very full on the 31 December 2016.


 

* can you tell I went to a Catholic school ?

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