Being in between

Spaciousness.  Free-time.  Why do I crave it so?  And why is it that the character of time can change depending on the circumstance?

The wisdom in between (1)

On a recent trip to British Columbia I rediscovered a quality of spaciousness that had long eluded me.  The kind of spaciousness I remember from my childhood where summer days seemed to last at least three days each.  Time was stretchy.  There was a sense of having enough time, time enough to do whatever I wanted and needed to do.  And time enough to do nothing at all and feel no guilt whatsoever. I found my sense of being… in between.

It was the space between all the doing that expanded.    And in that space I rediscovered the ability to be present.  In my newfound capacity I was fully present to what I was doing, who I was with and where I was.  I was tuned in with my body, my mind and my spirit.  Just being was enough.  I didn’t have to do anything or to strive to deserve my sense of contentment. I found my way back to whole-heartedness.

Glimpses of this type of contentment and spaciousness had peeked in and out of my consciousness through the years.  Fleeting attainment would simply whet my appetite for more.  My studies pointed me to do the inner work of meditation and contemplation.  My busy, monkey mind needed more activity to combine with these practices.  Labyrinth walking, contemplative walking of any kind, pottery, poetry, dancing, etc. all allowed me to come into the moment with a sense of presence and alive-ness.  These activities created spaciousness in my heart and in my mind.  This spaciousness enabled me to see the ways I was living my life that left me feeling fragmented and even broken hearted.  The imaging that was needed to find my way, out of my own way, was also found in this space.

I wonder if you also crave this type of spaciousness.  Do you find yourself needing to step away from your day to day activities and create some space for yourself to simply be?  And in that space perhaps to reconnect to your deeper sense of self, your sense of purpose and most importantly to regain your sense of whole-heartedness.  All is well, all will be well.

A new retreat offering – 

Are you ready to find some time between all the doing?  Come to the beach!  How fortunate I am to live near the beach where I can walk while listening to the wind, the waves and the shore birds all singing their songs and soothing my soul.  I’d like to share this special place with you and create a space for you where you can get away and tap into the silence.  Nature will be our collaborator along with our creative spirits.  Retreat & Reconnect is a retreat for Women in Leadership.  Read more about how you can come and find the refreshment you need to re-enter your work with a whole-heart.  Read more about it:  RETREAT & RECONNECT

Let’s visit –

 

Me time – Your time!

LI post

I know a lot of hard working women.  And most of those women are “heart-working” as well.  They are women who lead from their hearts.  They work hard, they work smart, they forge on despite their own fatigue, despite challenges all the challenges they face day in and day out, despite the toll it takes on their families, their bodies and their general well-being.

It’s time to take care of your heart or better stated, take care of your whole-heartedness.

RETREAT & RECONNECT is designed with women who lead in mind.  Take some time away from your every day activities, the endless To-Do list, the meetings, the emails, and all the various deadlines and commitments.  Make a commitment to yourself.  Retreat to the beach and away from your everyday pressures.  Be soothed by the beauty of your natural surroundings as you are inspired by discerning conversation, poetry, music and art-making.  Reconnect, remember or reimagine who you want to be in the world.  You’ll be glad you did.

Find out more  – RETREAT & RECONNECT

Integrity – Inward Orientation – Outward Manifestation

Integrity is an inward orientation that demands congruency between our closely held values and our thoughts, words and action. 

You can’t fake integrity.  We’ve all heard the breezy sayings that give us a sense of what integrity means behaviorally; “walk the talk,” “say what you mean, mean what you say,” “do what you say you are going to do,” and my personal favorite, “do the right thing even if no one is looking!” Having integrity is a positive attribute often associated with honesty, trustworthiness and soundness of moral character.

To live and lead with integrity is a choice.  Once integrity is chosen there is a cascade of other behaviors that will naturally follow such as accountability, transparency, and consistency.  So, it’s easy to see how having integrity is foundational to all your relationships and daily life transactions.

What may be a somewhat unexpected behavior is the willingness to be vulnerable.  When someone says, “I don’t know” or “I was wrong and don’t know how to make it right,” they are also exhibiting integrity.  They may have totally messed up or are afraid they are about to mess up and are raising their own red flag of distress.  There is a kind of courage found in vulnerability which is rooted in the virtue of integrity.

And because one of the hallmarks of integrity is consistency, it demands practice.  You can get better at it; here’s how.  Start with your primary relationship – the one you have with yourself.  Cultivate self-knowledge so you can create trust with yourself.  Question your own motivations, fears, aspirations and beliefs.  Be fearless in your self-interrogatory.  That said, also approach it with self-compassion.  Then take the next step.

Review your behavior.  Have you ever done or said something that didn’t align with your personal beliefs or values?  Let’s face it, most of us have at one time or another.  And when we do, we are, in that moment, lacking integrity.  We regain our integrity when we dig in and figure out why and then take steps to remediate the situation.

Sounds like a lot of work?  Maybe.  But over time you will find that you know yourself better and better.  You will learn what triggers cause you to behave without integrity and can create strategies to avoid them.

It is a choice to live and lead with integrity.  It is a choice not everyone makes.  Know that people of integrity contribute mightily to our society.  In an era, fraught with trust issues, living and leading with integrity is needed more than ever.

Need some help?  This is what I love to do!  I work to help people understand their core values and facilitate the necessary alignment to create integrity and ultimately… success.   My mission is to empower individuals and groups to work with joy and intention.  Let’s get started!


 

Striking a Balance: Technology & People

Big data.  Interoperability.  Integration strategies.  Organizational effectiveness.  Buzz words that can make your head spin.  Over the years, I have seen the rise of computer utilization in medical practices.  Yep, I just dated myself big time!  I have listened to the promises made by each new generation of software and I have witnessed the practical day-to-day challenges of implementation.  Just like in sports I have witnessed glorious victories and the agony of defeat.

Computers are really great at processing data and I think they should be utilized to do what they do best.  That said, the promised time savings for both provider and patient have not consistently yielded a better patient experience. The realities of flat reimbursement schedules and rising practice costs lead many practices to take whatever saved time they realize and reduce staff rather than returning any saved time to the patient.  This reality is understandable but it is not sustainable for the practice or for the patient.

People are really great at relationships and providing health care.   And I think they should be used to do what they do best. Your computer kiosk in your reception area may be efficient in checking in your patient but it does nothing to create relationship or foster trust between the provider and the patient.  It may well do the opposite.

As a master of the middle way, it is my recommendation to focus on balancing your strengths.  Have a robust computer system that enhances your communications and ability to process data.  At the same time, have a robust team of dedicated individuals who are present to the patients in all the right ways.  To welcome them, to listen to them, to educate them, and to treat them.  And like your computer system, your staff should also be provided the opportunity to upgrade their skills and abilities.

Creating good, clear and effective communications will save more time (and money) than just about anything else you can do in your practice.  Communications between the patient and the practice, between the practice and other practices, facilities and insurance plans, and let’s not forget about communications between staff members  – all of these communications affect your ability to render care effectively.  Good communications in all those areas will enhance the care and enhance your relationship with one another and all the stakeholders.  Ineffective communications will create a negative ripple effect that adversely impacts patient care.

If you are one of the lucky ones who have found a product that saves you and your staff time and energy – fantastic, keep it working for you!  Now take that time savings and invest in your relationship with one another and with your patients.  I have been consulting healthcare practices for over 25 years and it always comes down to communication.

Communication skills can be learned, they can be strengthened and they can be used to positively impact every interaction.  Do the math on that – every interaction made more positively impactful.  Imagine how that will change your day!

Ready to regain your balance? Contact me now!

Appreciation vs Valuing

Everyone appreciates being appreciated, it’s only natural.  And offering appreciation is easy and it needn’t cost a penny.  Valuing someone and their contribution is a higher level of appreciation.  It also doesn’t necessarily require a financial outlay – but it does require more thoughtfulness.  By that I mean you need to not only know what you value but what they value.

Move from simple appreciation to the deeper act of valuing by invoking the Platinum Rule, “do (give) unto others what they would like to be done unto (be given).”  Often appreciation comes under the guise of the Golden Rule and it bears the likeness of what we value and how we like to be valued.  Let’s be honest, that is just easier!  And that is why valuing someone may takes more time and thoughtfulness.  What motivates this person?  What do they need?  Want?  What can you do to tap into that motivation?

Perhaps it’s time for an example.  You have a staff member who has shown good judgment in a difficult situation and you really appreciate it.  In a staff meeting you state your appreciation of this person and feel good about praising in public.  What perhaps you didn’t know is that this person really wants to be included more than applauded.  What would really get them jazzed would be for their good judgment to be honored by asking for more of it – perhaps including them in a decision-making process, a special work group or task.

Moving from being a good manager to being a great manager can hinge on these seemingly small differentiations.  It requires that you get to know your people, see them as individuals with strengths and preferences. Listen to them, get to know them, take note of conversations where they show excitement and energy and those where they discuss challenges and obstacles.  The next time you are amazed by their contribution and want to show that you not only appreciate it but value it – put that knowledge to use!  Gift them a long lunch, tickets to a comedy show, a gift certificate for a massage, or perhaps an invitation to participate in a leadership circle – it just depends on what you know about what they value.

Give it some thought.  Who in your life is doing a great job and probably needs some affirmation of their value?  What do you know about them and what they value?  Start valuing the good work you see in your life, at work and elsewhere, and see how it will motivate them to even greater heights.  Being truly seen, known and valued for who you are and your contributions is a tremendously powerful gift.  Be generous!

Are you and your team are struggling to be generous with one another and find your way to valuing one another? I am committed to helping you you find a pathway to greater generosity of spirit and positive regard for one another.

Contact me now!