Dreams as Career Development Guides

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultant
Photo via Unsplash

Reprise: I’m dropping down to one new post per week between now and giving birth in March 2017, so enjoy this repost!

As a young Psychology student in college, I was taught that researchers still don’t really understand dreams, but the predominant theory was that they’re just how your brain processes information from the day – tossing out what’s useless and keeping the knowledge you’ll need in order to function tomorrow. No hidden meanings, no prophetic qualities – just an overnight update like the one your computer makes.

I felt sad and conflicted to learn this, and yet, I believed it for a very long time. I’d have dreams and hardly even pay attention to them because I figured that they were just nonsense.

That’s unfortunate, because I think I could have avoided a lot of pain and heartache had I paid attention to this vast resource that we have access to every night. 

I don’t believe that every dream I have holds some major “aha!” moment, but for me, it’s this amazingly easy, simple way to stay aware of what’s going on for me at a level below my consciousness.

Carl Jung, one of the most incredible thinkers (and feelers) of our time, believed that dreams were the process by which you become conscious of unconscious thoughts and feelings. He taught that dreams reveal much more than they conceal, and that their interpretation is highly personal – no one can tell you what your dream does or doesn’t mean for you.

I think this is why we’ve poo-pooed dreams in our modern culture. Since we couldn’t categorize, measure, and standardize their meanings, we tossed them aside as neurological waste.

That’s nonsense, and I believe it’s high time we included dreams in our personal and professional development work.

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultant
Photo via Unsplash

Since I’ve reconnected with my own dream life, I’ve been able to understand personal changes I’m going through, have gained insight into my business, and have been able to process old pain that was keeping me stuck, all of which is pretty amazing.

At this point, I should note that for some people, dreams just don’t really resonate with them, or they never remember their dreams when they wake up. That’s totally fine, and those people have other ways to access their subconscious, intuitive sides. Jung taught that even if we don’t remember our dreams, they’re still working their magic and helping us become aware of what’s going on beneath the surface.

If you’re curious about the dreams you have and are wondering how you can start tapping into their wisdom (your wisdom), I’ve got one trick that I’ve found incredibly helpful.  

The technique is attributed to Carl Jung’s dream analysis method, but I wasn’t able to find any hard evidence of that online (fear not: I’ve reserved almost all of his books at the library and will let you know what I find out later). Luckily, papa Jung encouraged people to just figure it out on their own and not overthink this, so here goes:

My version of a “cut to the heart of the symbolism in your dream” analysis technique:

Step one: When you wake up from a dream, it’s helpful to do something that solidifies it in your consciousness since so often we fall back asleep or go about our day and forget the details that were so vivid while we were sleeping. Some people write in a dream journal that they keep by their bed, put a note in their phone, or just try to remember it once they’re awake. Do whatever feels easy and light to you.

Step two: As you remember the dream, take any symbol or character from it (it can be a person, animal, stone – whatever interests you) and pretend you are that symbol.

As you take on that symbol’s persona, pretend that symbol has a message for you, the dreamer. What does this symbol want you to know? What does the symbol say? What is that symbol trying to make you aware of?

That’s it. That’s the trick. And it’s revolutionized the way I understand my dreams.

I’ll give you an example that helped me understand where I was getting stuck in my business:

A few months ago, I had a dream that I was in charge of a downtown revitalization project, and one of the larger art pieces for the downtown square was an iron sculpture of an Orca whale. I watched sadly as workers welded on its rusty fins and tried to make it appear alive and majestic even though it was a sorry representation of the whale’s true beauty in its natural state.

That was basically it – the rest didn’t really feel important to me, so when I woke up, I just focused on that image of the steel Orca and how sad it made me feel (we don’t have to conduct a 5-hour analysis on our dreams, we can just take the snippets that really speak to us).

As I sat remembering the dream, I pretended to be that iron Orca. I pretended it had a message for me, and the message came through clearly: the Orca represented my worklife, and while it wanted to be wild and alive, it was becoming a mechanical, stiff shadow of its real nature.

Message received: it was time to loosen the reins, step aside, and stop trying to force my career into a small, lifeless box. This totally resonated with me at the time, and it was exactly what I needed to be made aware of.

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultant
Photo via Unsplash

Now, on another day, maybe the Orca would have meant something different to me. Maybe Orcas represent something else entirely to you. And that’s all fine and well. You can scoff at this entire idea – part of me does sometimes, too – it goes against what we’ve been taught about external, “objective” truths, and it can feel silly to try and bring our dreamlives into the professional arena.

But give it a try – even if it’s just once. Play around with analyzing a part of a dream you had and see what you find.

Learning how to remember and interpret your dreams is a skill, but it’s not one you need to fret over or feel any sense of “not good enough” about.

Your dreamlife is yours, and it’s simply a resource that’s available to you if you want to tap into it. It will always be there, and if you can just be soft and playful with it, you’ll gain the insights your consciousness needs. Trust yourself with this process – whatever feels like the right interpretation is the right interpretation…with one big caveat:

The right interpretation, the one stemming from your intuition, will feel good – it will feel peaceful, clarifying, and calming, even if you get the sense that you need to make some changes, like I did with my Orca dream. Interpretations that make you feel afraid, bad about yourself, or fearful are coming from your ego – the part of you that hates any kind of change.

So trust the sense you’re getting, but try to make sure it’s from your growth-oriented deeper self, not the fearful part of you that wants to stay exactly who and where you are forever.

I hope you’ll give this a try if it fits for you, and I would love, love, LOVE to hear from you if you gain any insights about your career by using this technique!

Final Warning: How to Receive Posts in the Future

Hi lovelies,

I’ve transferred over all of the content from this blog to its new home, http://www.meganleatherman.com/blog!

Without signing up for my email newsletter, you won’t be able to receive posts while I’m away on maternity leave starting next week or posts in the future when I’m back at the keyboard sharing all my new motherly wisdom (that happens, right?).

To make sure you don’t miss out on content going forward, you can sign up for my email newsletter here.

If you think you’re already signed up but want to make sure, go ahead and sign up again – you won’t receive duplicate emails, it will just update with any new information.

As always, thank you for reading, and let me know if you have any questions!

-Megan

Heads Up: I’ll Be Transferring This Blog to a New Site Next Week

Hi dear readers,

I wanted to let you know that this website will be getting migrated over to my main site, www.meganleatherman.com, and it’s scheduled to happen next Monday, 2/27.

Fear not – assuming everything goes as planned, you’ll still have access to all my past and future posts, and the domain you’re used to visiting (theintegratedworkplace.com) should also transfer, so you can keep that bookmarked if you’d like.

Here’s how things will work on the new site:

  1. You’ll always be able to view the latest posts at meganleatherman.com/blog.
  2. To subscribe and get the latest posts in your inbox once a week, you’ll want to sign up for my email newsletter if you’re not already. This is the medium I’ll be using for blog posts and updates going forward.
  3. You’ll still be able to comment, like, and share posts just like you do now 🙂

Am I missing anything?

I don’t think so, but feel free to comment below or email me (megan(at)meganleatherman.com) if you have any questions! Thank you for engaging with my writing – I’ll see you soon over at meganleatherman.com!

xo,

Megan

Are You Digesting Life Properly?

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultant

Have you ever had something come up in your life that feels eerily similar to an issue you’ve dealt with in the past?

A while ago, I entered into a business partnership that was all wrong, and while my intuition was sending me alarm signals the entire way, I chose to ignore them. Sure enough, the partnership had to end, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

Something came up recently within a completely different context, but it had the same icky texture. Since our brains like to find commonalities and make sense of new experiences, my brain immediately declared, “This situation is just like that other one was, which means it’s horrible and you need to get out!”

In some ways, this is really helpful – I was noticing some of the same intuitive signals, and I’ve learned my lesson well enough now to pay more attention to them.

But something else was happening: it became clear to me that I hadn’t fully digested the first partnership, and without doing more emotional work there, it would shadow opportunities to collaborate with others in the future.

I wasn’t able to determine whether this new opportunity that came up was actually right or wrong for me without revisiting and dealing with the old one.

angel Kyodo williams is a Zen priest, writer, and visionary who recently spoke at the Sister Giant conference. While there, she shared an analogy that really stuck with me. She said that people who don’t meditate are going around eating and consuming life, but they’re not digesting any of it.

That is the truth.

Without consciously digesting our experiences, we end up having spiritual diarrhea, constipation, or all sorts of maladies in-between.

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultantOur bodies are amazing, aren’t they? We consume food throughout the day, our bodies take what they need in order to nourish us, and then they eliminate whatever’s left over and ready to go.

Most of us don’t even have to worry about this process – it just happens automatically, and it gives us the energy we need to enjoy life.

Digesting our experiences is just as important as digesting our food, but many of us have to learn how to do this – it’s not always something we’re taught.

But how do we digest intangible experiences and the thoughts and feelings that come along with them?

When I realized that old pain was informing how I felt about this new opportunity, I got quiet and asked myself some questions: what was the old story I was telling myself, what still hurt, and what was I ready to let go of?

Then I journaled about it so that it got out of my body and onto paper, where I could see it more clearly. This is the digestive process that works for me, but here are some others you could try:

  • Create rituals of processing and releasing. Maybe you write something down on paper and burn it, hike up a mountain and imagine releasing that thing at the top so you’re free on the way back down, or you toss rocks into a lake.
  • You could burn sage or incense after you’ve examined what the experience(s) meant to you, what they taught you, and what about them can be eliminated.
  • You can process things out loud with a loved one or support person.

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultantWhatever you do, I hope you’ll just start by being more aware of your emotional and spiritual digestion, because it’s so important.

When our bodies don’t digest things slowly enough, we can’t absorb the nutrients we need. When our bodies digest things too slowly, we get stopped up, which causes pain and an inability to take in any more food.

So it is with the things that we experience in life. We need the time to process and draw out lessons from what goes on in our lives, but we also need to release them and move on in time to receive new experiences.

If there were a continuum between “Digests Experiences Too Quickly” and “Digests Experiences Too Slowly,” where would you fall?

Is your spiritual body in balance, able to take in and eliminate regularly?

If not, consider what you might be holding onto that’s ready to go or savor your next experience and see what nutrients can be drawn from it.

Transcending Fear: Rabbit Medicine

 

photo-1433769747000-441481877cafIn honor of being authentic and bringing some spiritual wisdom into our worklives, I want to share a story that’s adapted from a book I love: Medicine Cards by David Carson and Jamie Sams.

In their book, they define “medicine” in the traditional Native American way, which “is anything that improves one’s connection to the Great Mystery and to all of life.” It’s a much broader definition and goes beyond just fixing what’s broken in our bodies.

I’m not Native American and don’t lay any claim to the story below, but I want to share it because I think it’s such a helpful reframe for those of us in the working world. This is about Rabbit and how Rabbit became the Fear Caller:

A very long time ago when the Earth was young, Rabbit was a fearless and brave warrior. Eye Walker, who happened to be a witch, was a friend to Rabbit. They spent a lot of time together sharing and talking about all sorts of things. They were very close friends.

One day Eye Walker and Rabbit had walked a long way and decided to sit down for a rest. Rabbit said, “I’m thirsty.” Eye Walker picked up a leaf, blew on it, and handed Rabbit a gourd of water to drink. Rabbit drank but said not a word of thanks. Then Rabbit said “I’m hungry.” Eye Walker picked up a stone, blew on it, and turned it into a turnip for Rabbit to eat. Rabbit ate the turnip with relish and still remained quiet.

The pair started back on their walk and ended up in the mountains. Near the top, Rabbit fell and rolled almost all the way to the bottom. Rabbit was in very sad condition when Eye Walker got to him. She tenderly applied some of her magic salve on his little body to relieve his pain and to mend his broken bones. Rabbit said not a word of thanks to Eye Walker.

After a few days, Eye Walker was looking for her friend but could not find him anywhere. She finally gave up her search and went on with her daily activities. One day, quite by accident, she ran into her little friend. “Rabbit, why are you hiding and avoiding me?”

“Because I am afraid of you! I am afraid of magic,” answered Rabbit, cowering. “Leave me alone!”

“Oh I see,” said Eye Walker. “I have shared my magical powers to help you and now you turn on me and refuse my friendship.”

“I want nothing more to do with you or your powers! They frighten me terribly. I hope we never meet again!”

With tears in her eyes Eye Walker said, “We were once companions and great friends, but no more, Rabbit. I have the power to destroy you but I will not. Instead, I lay a curse on you and all of your tribe. From this day forward you will call your fears and they will come to you! The sweet bonds between us have now been severed.”

photo-1455869434262-b664819692f5Now Rabbit is known as the Fear Caller. He goes out and shouts, “Eagle, I am so afraid of you!” If Eagle doesn’t hear him, Rabbit calls louder, “Eagle, stay away from me!” Eagle, now hearing Rabbit, comes and eats him. Rabbit calls bobcats, wolves, coyotes, and even snakes until they come.

When I first read this, I laughed out loud, because the image of me running around like Rabbit was crystal clear. I pictured myself hysterical in an open field yelling out all of the things I’m afraid of. I could see myself as a magnet for eagles, bobcats, and wolves.

What kinds of predators do we call in with our fear? I can think of a few examples from our worklives: “Rejection, stay away from me!,” “Layoffs, we are so afraid of you!,” “Change, keep out!”

Our days are often guided by fear and urgency, not by what’s actually important. The organizations and professionals who will thrive in our complex, changing world are those who transcend their fear and put their Rabbit tendencies aside while they do the work that is meaningful.

photo-1444465585361-21136b9b6430Rabbit helps us remember to take responsibility for what we call into our lives.

If you feel like you’re constantly surrounded by predators, or fear, you have some things to consider:

First: what are you currently calling in? Are you running around like crazy complaining about how there are no qualified candidates for your open positions? Are you frenetically responding to angry emails from customers who don’t understand you or your product?

Stop. Instead, find a way to focus on building the things that matter: recruiting practices that are human-friendly and sustainable…products that speak to the people you’re actually trying to reach. Choose to transcend your fear and call in something different. Choose to call in the future you want instead of the one you’re afraid of.

Second: Is what you’re afraid of really a predator? Eye Walker scared Rabbit, but she never intended him harm. What things in your life feel scary, and is it right to reject them and their power? Maybe you have a gift you’re ashamed of or not sure how to use. Is stuffing down your ability to draw/design/sell/caregive/etc. helping you, or are you turning your back on a powerful ally? Is your competitor really a competitor, or is there an opportunity for collaboration and mutual benefit? Is going out of business really a failure, or will it allow you to travel and start your life anew?

Consider the power behind what you fear.


Know someone who might enjoy this story? Pass this post along and share the love!

10 Non-Creepy Ways to Show Love at Work

In honor of Valentine’s Day (and every day, really), I want to share some ideas for how you can demonstrate care to those around you without looking like you’re trying too hard. Whether you want to use these tips on a love interest, colleagues you normally can’t stand, or your office BFF, they’re guaranteed to give you and the recipients the warm and fuzzies.

You’ll see them in list form, but I’ve also included a fun infographic below that for your viewing pleasure!

10 Non-Creepy Ways to Show Love at Work

  1. Be present. Stop making a grocery list in your head while Debbie from Payroll is trying to talk to you. Take a deep breath and actually be present with her – focus on her words, her demeanor, what she’s asking of you. When we know someone is truly present with us, we feel seen and connected, which is ultimately what it means to be loved.
  2. Bring treats. This one’s obvious. Pastries, lunch, sweets – eating yummy things releases oxytocin in our brains, which makes us feel relaxed and cared for.
  3. Remember something they said or did. You know how it feels when someone brings up something you said or did that seemed inconsequential to you but that touched them enough that they remembered it? It feels amazing – you feel meaningful and like your existence matters a little bit. Do that for someone else today.
  4. See them in new ways. Our minds like to put people into tight little boxes and then go find information that confirms what we already believe about someone. Pay attention to the stories you have about those colleagues that really irk you and choose to let go of them. Allow yourself to see the people around you in new ways.
  5. Smile more. Even when you don’t feel like it, smile. It tricks your brain into feeling happy, and it’s uplifting to others.
  6. Notice when they’re really trying. It sucks to be a newbie at something, and most of us are newbies in one way or another – we’re learning a new system, trying out a new skill, or working to make personal changes. Notice when someone is trying to improve and tell them privately how much you appreciate or admire their efforts.
  7. Give more. Hone in on one person you work with and ask yourself what you could do today that might lighten their load a bit. Find one small thing and do that for them.
  8. Be specifically grateful. We throw “thanks!” around like it’s nothing. Instead, thank someone for something specific, like “I really appreciated how quickly you got this report back to me” or “Thank you so much for helping me unload that box of papers – it was going to be too much for me to carry on my own.”
  9. Ask them questions. Be genuinely curious about people. Use your ability to be present to really see them and be inquisitive – what do they think about this situation? What’s it like to be them in this job? What’s on their plate that’s getting them stuck?
  10. Radiate love. Did you know that you actually radiate a certain kind of energy depending on your mood and the level of “stuff” you’re carrying in your chakras? When you take care of yourself and choose to be loving, you make those around you feel good without even trying. 

And now, in infographic form!:

10-non-creepy-ways-to-show-love-at-work

If you’d like to download or print this infographic, click here

Reclaiming What it Means to Be “Professional”

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultant*Reprise: I’m winding down to one new post per week between now and Baby Integrated’s arrival in March 2017. Enjoy this repost!*

I recently held a webinar with a new software system that I wasn’t totally comfortable with. It was time to start the webinar, and I could see that people were signed in, so I went ahead and switched it to “live” and started talking. I knew the chat function wasn’t working, but I didn’t know how to fix it, and while normally I like to get confirmation that people can see and hear me, I decided to just move ahead since we were recording.

So, I’m talking, sharing my slides, doing my thing…for about twenty minutes. Twenty minutes, so like, almost half of the time I’ve set aside for this thing.

After this chunk of time, I check back into the editor window, and someone was able to submit a message to let me know that no one could see or hear me. I had been talking to myself and presenting my audience with a black screen for almost half an hour.

Panic.

I’m pretty sure I dropped some f-bombs…I was sweating…I couldn’t believe this was happening. Finally, I got it working again, and almost everyone who had signed in originally was still there with me, despite it being a total mess.

Once we were back on, I didn’t even pretend to stay “polished.” I don’t usually have such major technical issues, and this one just threw me flat on my ass. I apologized profusely and, interestingly, I felt this amazing wave of relief – I didn’t have to pretend to have it all together for these people, because clearly, they already knew I didn’t.

They were so gracious, and afterward, I was reflecting on how freeing that felt – despite the whole thing being kind of a disaster.

What does it mean to be “professional”?

In my case, I thought it meant making the technology work seamlessly, appearing put together but friendly, and maintaining an air of distanced expertise.

Instead, I probably came across a little bit frazzled, rushed, and 100% human. And that felt really good.

To me, being “professional” simply means having integrity. Integrity looks different for each person, but it’s essentially an alignment between your inner and outer selves. The formal definition of integrity is all about morals and virtue and whatnot, but that feels too cloudy to me.

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultantI think my definition of integrity is simpler: does your outer persona reflect who you really are inside?

Even if that inner and outer matching means that you swear a lot, cry easily, express anger, need rest, take time to process, or make crass jokes, if that’s what it means to be in integrity for you, then I think that counts as being “professional.”

I’m on LinkedIn a lot (p.s., let’s connect)and lately I’ve been seeing comments from people who seem to have taken on the role of “LinkedIn Professionalism Monitor.” They’ll comment on more personal-ish posts that people share and say stuff like “Please leave this kind of post for Facebook” or “This is unprofessional clutter – doesn’t belong here” as if it’s up to them to determine what’s professional enough to post on there.

You know what happens when we enforce silly rules about what it means to be professional and shame others who don’t fit into that mold? We all end up looking/acting/talking/behaving in the same way, which is exceptionally boring and dangerously intolerant.

I would much rather encounter people who are genuine, honest, and authentic across their lives than work with people who are trying to fit into – and force others to fit into – some stuffy, bullshit way of being at work.

And what about you, dear one?

Are you essentially the same person at work, home, and in-between? Are you feeling pressure to act a certain way or fit into a suit that doesn’t work for you?

If so, what can you slough off that isn’t yours? What’s not you? Get rid of it.

Add in the messiness, the color, the complexity that’s missing. You’ll feel better, and you’ll give others the permission to reclaim “professional” for themselves, too.


Feel like debriefing this or discussing other creative ways to be more you at work? Join our Facebook group, A Wild New Work!

 

Three Ways to Embrace the Unknown

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultantMost of us have an aversion to the unknown. We’re uncomfortable with whatever’s unplanned, mysterious, or hidden. A lot of us were raised to believe that things should be known – that if we don’t know something already, we need to learn it, measure it, shed light on it, etc.

There’s an air of desperation behind this belief, and it can drive us to create a false sense of knowing and control through excessive planning and worry. 

But the unknown isn’t inherently bad. It’s not a problem that we don’t know what will happen tomorrow or in five years – it’s simply how things are.

All of us are constantly in a state of change, but some of us – especially in the United States – are experiencing massive upheaval. The unknown future can feel grim and scary, and in response, we might cling to old habits or fears that make us feel safe but that actually keep us stuck.

I can share an example from my own life:

I’m about to become a mother, and sometimes that is really fucking scary. For a while, I resisted the change as much as I could – I sort of pretended like I wasn’t pregnant, I committed to things I knew I was too tired to do, and I tried to control every aspect of my environment. It got to the point where I was in full-on panic mode because I couldn’t pinpoint what life will be like once the little guy or gal is here. Because of my fear of the future, I was clinging to my habits and routine with a white-knuckled death grip.

My brilliant therapist pushed me to consider another way: to actually start doing things that are new.

To try out swimming even though I’ve never swam a lap in my life (at least not on purpose). To take a nap instead of writing another blog post. To try yoga nidra and ditch my regular morning meditation.

My instinctive brain freaked out at first: “I’m nesting and feeling extremely fragile and you want me to start trying to do things that feel unfamiliar?!”

But I trust her, so I did. And you know what? It really helped.

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultant
A snapshot from my first day at the pool, via my profile on Instagram (@mleather)

I got a swimsuit that fit my much larger figure and went to the pool for a swim.

I napped.

I did yoga nidra and got lots of insights that my busy mind had been getting in the way of.

I also accepted the fact that motherhood is a great unknown to me and that it’s coming – whether I’m ready or not.

I was watching the livestream of an amazing event called Sister Giant the other night, and the organizer, Marianne Williamson, was fielding questions from the audience. A woman stood up and expressed how angry she was that Donald Trump is President. She asked questions like “How could this be?” and “How can I accept the people who voted for him?” I loved Marianne’s two-fold response:

First, stop judging and being so self-righteous, because it’s getting in the way of your ability to make change in a loving way, and secondly: it’s time for us to be adults and accept that this is what’s happening.

Embracing the unknown is a very adult thing to do.

We have to grow up and accept that we can’t control and plan for everything.

Now, of course this is easier said than done, but it is something we can get better at through practice.

Here are three ways that we can skillfully embrace the unknown:

First, get grounded.

The unknown is much, much scarier when your limbic (instinctive) brain is on hyper-alert for threats in your environment. None of this will work without some sort of meditative or contemplative practice. I’ve sort of tiptoed around this for years, but I’m done: the point is that you just have to meditate daily, in some form, for any of this to work.

Second, let your inner vision guide you.

Embracing the unknown isn’t about not caring what happens in the future. In fact, visualizing outcomes that make you feel the warm and fuzzies is part of what makes the unknown less scary to your brain. Spend time each day imagining things from the end. What do you want out of this job interview? How do you want to feel after getting coffee with that friend? What kind of home do you want to be in next year? For some practice, check out a little recording I did called One Act That Will Transform Your Next Meeting.

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultantFinally, let go of anything that comes from a place of worry or obligation.

Like I said earlier, I was clinging to old habits out of fear – fear that if I let go too much, my world would come crashing down around me. My resistance to this major shift that’s happening in my body and in my life manifested as a desire to control every minute of my day. But that meant that my old habits, like my regular meditation practice and other routines, had become stale. I was just doing them on autopilot.

Chances are, we could all use some letting go of old habits and routines. By doing so, we train ourselves to embrace newness and change. We can actually practice embracing the unknown in small, manageable ways that show us that the world is a friendly place.

The unknown isn’t our enemy.

It’s okay not to know what you’ll be doing for work in one, three, or five years. It’s okay not to know what the next few months will look like. If you can get yourself grounded, visualize what you want, and then let go of tired old patterns, you’ll be well on your way to embracing the mystery.

I still don’t know what exactly life will look like once this baby is here, but you can subscribe to my email newsletter to stay up to date on me and my work (and see a photo of the sweet babe once they make their appearance 🙂 )!

 

A Vision for the Future of Work

*Reprise: I’m winding down to one new post per week between now and Baby Integrated’s arrival in March 2017. Enjoy this repost!*

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultantWe need a new vision for work – a vision that’s more alive and more vibrant than the mechanical environments that most of us are offered in our jobs today.

Many of us still believe in old stories about work, stories that tell us things like: “you need a boss,” “what matters is the bottom line,” or “once you get to the top, you’ll be happy.”

Even if we know those things aren’t true, we still cling to them and strive to fit into stories that don’t serve us. We’re hungry for something else, but we aren’t quite sure what that is.

Our stories are outdated, and that’s causing dissonance for people who want more depth and meaning in their careers.

David Korten, the author of a book called The Great Turning, wrote, “When the stories a society shares are out of tune with its circumstances, they can become self-limiting, even a threat to survival. That is our current situation.”

In case you haven’t heard of the concept of The Great Turning, I’ll share my understanding of it: it’s essentially the idea that humans are at a pivotal crossroads in terms of our consciousness and the actions we take based on what we believe is true in the world. Many people are living and working as though things are fine, the same as always – “There are plenty of natural resources,” “If I just work hard enough I can get ahead,” “Our world is not falling apart,” etc.

But for those of us who are awake to the destruction happening around us – the devastation of our natural environments, the curse of affluenza and consumerism – we have a choice to make. We can either choose to be crippled by fear and continue living like everything’s fine, or we can be a part of the shift: The Great Turning.

We can turn toward community, toward stewardship, toward a new economy based on wholeness instead of emptiness.

The Great Turning absolutely applies to our worklives and the stories we tell ourselves in our careers.

Things like the push for paid parental leave, a new awareness of self-management in the workplace, and a greater desire for work life integration are all signs that people are choosing a new vision of work, which gives me all the feels and makes me so excited.

So what is that vision? What would work look like in a society more interested in caring for ourselves, one another, and our planet than with shareholder profits?

Frederic Laloux, whose work I respect immensely, writes about three components of organizations that are pushing the envelope toward this new vision of work:

  • Self-management
  • Wholeness
  • Evolutionary purpose

These are concepts in his book, Reinventing Organizations.

Here are some ways that self-management might show up in the future of work:

Organizations that have come out of The Great Turning will be living, diverse ecosystems, not the behemoth machines that we have today. These organizations will be made up of peers who have agreed upon a certain mode of functioning and self-enforce the rules and structures that they’ve created. Teams within these organizations will be like fully functional cellular organisms, equipped with what they need to support one another and do high-quality work. Ongoing, in-depth training on group dynamics, vulnerability, and conflict resolution will ensure that these self-managing organizations can focus more on the good work they’re doing than on politics and in-fighting.

What about Laloux’s concept of wholeness? How might that become part of the future of work?

Thanks to the work of Brené Brown and many others, shame and vulnerability have become more acceptable things to talk about, but there’s still not enough room in today’s workplace for us to show up fully human. From where I sit, many of our workplaces are hyper-masculine environments in which you’re expected to have a forceful approach to problems, compete with your peers, and scramble to the top. In any living system, whether it’s our bodies, ecosystems, or the earth itself, we need balance.

Our workplaces need a balanced dose of the feminine. In organizations that move toward and value wholeness, feminine attributes such as intuition, cooperation, and care for the community will be just as important as profit, action, and meeting goals. We need both types of energy, and when in balance, they enable us to be whole ourselves and to create organizations that are spacious enough for integrated adults.

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultantFinally, I want to talk about Laloux’s concept of evolutionary purpose and add my own twist:

Laloux talks about evolutionary purpose in terms of organizational purpose and the idea that if an organization is a living system, its direction cannot be controlled. In the future of work, perhaps organizations start out with one set of goals, but over time and through the work of their self-managing teams, new goals arise – goals that could even change the entire focus of the company. The idea here is that we will learn to let things arise and move with them instead of sticking to old stories or outdated company mission statements.

I want to add another idea to this concept, though, and that is about interconnectedness. Part of The Great Turning is a change in Western consciousness from individualism to a deeper sense that we are part of something larger. So many people are sick in this culture because they believe that they are separate. They believe that they are alone in this world, disconnected from others, from the earth, from life itself. If you believe that you are separate from everything, it’s much easier to cause harm – to yourself, to others, and to the earth around you.

But we aren’t separate, are we?

I love this quote from the poet Rabindranath Tagore: “The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world.”

In the future of work, I imagine people coming together to create organizations that monitor, act, and celebrate stewardship of their people and their impact on the natural environment. Profits are most definitely a part of that, but in this evolved future, profits are put in their rightful place: alongside – and no more important than – people and the earth.

When we realize that we are connected to everything around us, we can 1) wake up to the pain of what’s going on in ourselves and to the earth, and 2) choose to be a part of The Great Turning.

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultantIt is possible to have a society full of organizations that contribute to the well-being of the world instead of deplete it.

The future of work can be one that is joyful and colorful and supportive of each of us and the gifts we bring to it. We all have a unique part to play in this pivotal time, and if our bodies and hearts are diminished after each 40-hour workweek, it’s difficult to see what that part is and how to play it.

No matter where you are in the world or what you do for work, I encourage you to believe in this vision if it resonates with you. Shed that old story that tells you that work is about taking and keeping up and defeating others.

Choose to believe in a story that invites you to be bigger and dive deeper.

We need this vision to become real, and I believe that process is already underway. If caring, brave individuals like you can come together and support one another as they make real change in their own worklives and in the lives of others, then this vision will become real much more quickly.

One such community of these kinds of people is the Facebook group I facilitate called A Wild New Work. Click to join us and choose a different path.

What Will You Do to Prepare for Spring?

megan leatherman career coach human resources consultant work imbolc springTomorrow is officially the Celtic holiday of Imbolc, an ancient celebration marking the shift from Winter to Spring. It was a time when herding animals like sheep were beginning to give birth, little wildflowers were popping up, and the sun was lingering in the sky for a little longer each day.

Even if there’s snow on the ground, frost on our windows, or if the darkness still feels oppressive, something in us is stirring. We know deep down that Spring will inevitably come again, and soon.

Spring surprises me every year. One day I’ll wake up and be astonished at all of the blossoms on the trees, or by the daffodils popping up along the sidewalk. It’s a gift, really – that capacity to continue to be surprised by the Earth’s natural rhythms and change.

For many of us, January has been a tough month. 

The holiday season was full, the pace of New Year’s was rapid, and the return to “normal” could feel like a total slog. In the United States, we also inaugurated Donald Trump as our 45th President, which has felt disorienting and heavy to me and many of the people I work with.

Amidst all of this, the Earth still turns.

Spring still marches toward us, and if we choose to do so, we can celebrate her return this week.

If you imagine Spring as a season in your career, what comes to mind? How might your worklife blossom and be renewed with this sweet, courageous energy?

Where is there potential stirring beneath the frozen ground?

No matter how you feel about your career these days, there is always potential. There is always room for growth, leverage, and blooming. Something that looks dead to us could very well be germinating and gathering strength for an amazing showcase of color and beauty when the time comes this Spring.

We have to honor this potential by giving it space to come forth. 

megan leatherman career coach human resources consultant work imbolc springThings like toxic thoughts, the mistreatment of our bodies, or an overwhelming schedule can be like Round-Up sprayed directly onto a bed of tulip bulbs. Despite their potential, the tulips die off because of the hostile environment created around them.

This is such a rich and exciting time if we look closely. Spring is coming, and that can absolutely be true for your career as well – it can mean more growth, exciting change, or healthier beginnings.

Where is there room to make more space for Spring’s potential today? 

What feels toxic or heavy to you at work? What can you do to either manage it differently or move it out of your environment?

Where do you feel overwhelmed? Can you cancel, reschedule, or renegotiate to create more time and space for yourself?

Pretend it’s time for Spring cleaning in your career. What needs to go, what can stay, and how can you create more space for what’s to come?

Like I said, I’m always surprised by Spring, but that doesn’t mean I have to wait until it’s here to prepare for what could show up.

We don’t have to know what’s brewing beneath the surface in our worklives.

All we have to do is trust that something is there, warming and growing, and then make room for its beautiful, inevitable bloom.


Know someone who could use a reminder that Spring is coming? Pass this post along and share the love!

“Am I Doing It Right?”

*Reprise: I’m winding down to one new post per week between now and Baby Integrated’s arrival in March 2017. Enjoy this repost!*

I grew up as the oldest of five kids. Our family of seven was…bustling, to say the least.

As the oldest, I thought it was my job to minimize the stress on my parents as much as possible, and so I got very good at being obedient (until my teenage years, anyway – but that’s a post for another day).

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultant
My mom and one of my sisters sitting sweetly as I look on suspiciously.

I was a pretty mellow kid and didn’t get bored easily, and my siblings were fairly similar. One thing we heard over and over again at church was “you kids are so well-behaved!”

Picture five little blonde kids all in a row in a pew, angelically coloring quietly or singing along to the hymns. We’d smile sweetly as adults would pinch our cheeks or tell us how mature we were in the fellowship hall after the service.

It’s easy – and natural – for kids to pick up on the cues from adults, especially the cues that let them know how they can be “successful” in their environment.

In school, at church, and everywhere in-between, I learned that I would get praise and love if I followed the rules and did things “the right way.”

Color inside the lines. Glue the macaroni in just the right spot on the paper. Write my name in that corner. There was so much to do correctly, and everyone saw what happened to the kids who had trouble with or refused to fall into line – their macaroni art looked like shit.

One question loomed large in my childhood, as it does for many kids, and it was “Am I doing it right?”

This question got lodged deep into my brain, and it’s no wonder that it continues to show up in my adult life. Since it’s in me, it’s easy for me to see it in others, too, and the question permeates so many of my interactions with my clients. They wonder if they’re going about their job search wrong, or if they said the right thing to a co-worker, or if they’re just doing life completely backward.

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultantThey wonder if they’re missing the “right” path, and the fear that they’re getting this all wrong causes them so much stress.

But our journey to create a life that we love isn’t some step by step coloring exercise. There are no lines.

There’s no one right way that you’re supposed to do this. There are a million right ways, and the trick is to find the one that works for you.

Here’s a question I like a lot more than “Am I doing this right?”:

“Does this work for me?”

Does the macaroni face I just made work for me? Does this organization work for me? Does my obsession with money, status, appearance, prestige, etc. work for me?

You are the only one that can answer that question, but if you’re going to break free of the pressure to do more, faster, and by someone else’s standards, you have to.

Does your life right now work for you?

Does your work work for you?

If it doesn’t, that’s okay – it can change. If you’re willing to choose to live according to the things that work for you, it becomes easier to recalibrate and get back on your own perfect flight path.

megan leatherman a wild new workStarting 2/4/17, working women have an opportunity to create space for a worklife that works for them in whatever beautiful way they need it to. I’m offering a three-week online series that will dive into these issues, so if anything in this blog post resonates with you, I’d encourage you to join us.

If you’d like to learn more and sign up, you can click here.

I hope you’ll try to let go of “Am I doing this right?” and embrace “Does this work for me?” instead.

You’ll feel about 1,000,000 pounds lighter and be well on your way to a life that is full of beauty.

What to Do in a Job Where You’re Not Valued

megan leatherman career coach human resources consultantI’ve been hearing from a lot of people lately who feel completely undervalued in their jobs. They use words like “under-appreciated,” “replaceable,” “a cog in the machine,” and their hearts are heavy.

It’s a pretty depressing state to be in. You know you’ve got good ideas, you know you can contribute more, but you feel stifled. Overlooked. Dismissed.

The creative energy you had when you started the job dwindles over time, and soon enough, you notice that you’re complicit in all sorts of silly practices and policies that you scoffed at when you first came on. You stop trying. You figure no one will listen anyway.

It breaks my heart to hear from people who are in this situation, because I can see how disempowering it is. It makes them forget that they’re gifted, that they have agency over their lives, and that things can change.

When I think about this issue, two questions pop into my mind:

Is it true that you’re not valued? and…

What beliefs and behaviors have gotten you to this point?

These are the questions I want to answer today in this post, and I offer up these thoughts from a place of wanting to leave you, dear reader, empowered.

I want to remind you that you are inherently valuable, no matter what, and that you are a badass grown-up who gets to decide where, how, and why you contribute your gifts.

So, question number one: Is it true that you’re not valued?

It might be.

There are a lot of organizations looking for modern-day factory workers who will simply put their heads down and do the work. In his book Linchpin, Seth Godin writes:

“Most white-collar workers wear white collars, but they’re still working in the factory. They push a pencil or process an application or type on a keyboard instead of operating a drill press…But it’s factory work.

It’s factory work because it’s planned, controlled, and measured. It’s factory work because you can optimize for productivity. These workers know what they’re going to do all day – and it’s still morning.”

It could also be true, however, that you’re looking for appreciation when it hasn’t been earned. If you’re like me, then you grew up in a generation that was praised constantly. If we took a shit, we got a gold star.

megan leatherman career coach human resources consultantThat messes with our heads over time – we start looking for validation and accolades instead of focusing on the work and just enjoying it for what it is.

It may be that you’re very much valued in your organization, but that you have different expectations for how an employer should demonstrate their care. If you’re feeling that desperate urge to get the gold star, hold your heart for a second and take a deep breath.

Instead of focusing on what you’re not getting from your employer, consider what about the work you enjoy and spend your energy there.

All that said, if it’s clear to you that you are considered by the organization to be a factory worker and you want more, then it’s time to go somewhere with people who can see and celebrate your strengths.

Question number two: What beliefs and behaviors have gotten you to this point?

A lot of people, myself included, believe that our outer lives are reflections of our inner lives.

If you believe you’re not valued by the organization you’re a part of, then I would challenge you to ask yourself if you value yourself.

Do you take your dreams seriously?

Do you trust your intuition?

Do you honor your strengths?

What are your answers to those questions, without any bullshit?

On the other hand, do you value the organization you’re part of? Do you value the people around you and see them in their giftedness?

I’m not trying to spread guilt or admonish anyone for feeling undervalued, but I also don’t buy into murky limiting beliefs that are more about us than they are about how we’re treated by others.

The truth is that what we’re looking for is usually something that we’re withholding from ourselves or others. 

It’s actually not your organization’s responsibility to make you feel valued. You’re the only one that can accept and foster that inherent sense of self-worth. If it’s not already anchored within you, you’ll grasp for it from external sources that can’t ever truly fulfill you.

If you’ve been feeling really overlooked or under-utilized at work, the steps forward are relatively simple:

  1. Make sure you’re demonstrating your belief that you and those around you are inherently valuable. Appreciate and show kindness to yourself, your co-workers, and anyone you encounter;
  2. Give the work your all and then let go of what you can’t control;
  3. If it’s clear to you that your gifts simply aren’t welcome in the organization you’re in, don’t stay stuck in a cycle of complaining. Go out and find a community that’s happy to pay you in exchange for the sharing of your strengths.

megan leatherman career coach human resources consultantWe have to become what we’re seeking.

We have to become people who reject the industrialized model of working and who contribute work from our hearts – that’s what’s valuable.

You are so capable, friend. It may just be that you’re buying into beliefs that are keeping you stuck. Or it may be that it’s time to up-level your career and move on to a community where you can really blossom.

Either way, you are already valuable – absolutely, inherently, simply by being born onto this Earth.

4 Easy Ways to Discharge Workplace Stress

*Reprise: I’m winding down to one new post per week between now and Baby Integrated’s arrival in March 2017. Enjoy this repost!*

Have you ever watched two dogs fighting with one another who separate, shake it off, and then go about their day as if nothing happened? Or how about one of those National Geographic videos of a herd of wildebeests escaping an attack, slowing down, and resuming their search for grass to eat?

megan leatherman career coach human resources consultant workplace stress
Take a cue from the animal kingdom and shake it off.

Doesn’t it seem like they get over that cheetah attack a little too quickly? That’s because animals – humans included – have instinctual methods of discharging stress and trauma almost immediately after it happens. They literally shake it off.

Before the human species developed its robust thinking mind, we would experience stress or trauma, shake it off, and move on. Now that we have these hyperactive minds at our disposal, when we experience stress, we create a story about it. When our coworker disagrees with us in a meeting, our bodies are sent into a stress response, which instead of just dealing with and shaking off, we turn into a story about our worthiness, our coworker’s intentions, et cetera.

The energy that’s created by a stressful response has to go somewhere. It will either stay in your body and make you sick, get displaced and hit those around you, or, ideally, be intentionally released in a healthy way.

Our workplaces generate a lot of this energy. Many organizations foster feelings of competition, unworthiness, and insecurity, and most of us simply absorb that energy into our own bodies or use it to attack those around us (either accidentally or intentionally).

We’re often completely unaware of how we’re feeling, what those feelings are doing to our bodies, and how we deal with the energy behind those emotions. We’re all walking around with the stories that we use to explain the presence of this tense energy, which don’t actually help us release it.

Our workplaces would change dramatically if we simply learned how to be better stewards of this energy.

We have a choice in how we react to our environments, and taking notes from the animal kingdom seems like a great place to start. Our natural response to stress is to discharge it quickly and without attachment.

While many of us are used to creating a story around the stress (e.g., “Jane disrespected me and is a bad person,” or “Larry isn’t talking to me anymore because I’m incompetent”), we can change that behavior and choose a different method instead. We can hit “pause” on the story and discharge the stress so that it doesn’t become toxic in our bodies or to those around us.

megan leatherman career coach human resources consultant workplace stressI should note that hitting “pause” doesn’t mean that you don’t deal with the external situation or simply walk away after someone causes you harm. It does mean, however, that the impact from that event is contained and released so that you can think clearly about the right action(s) to take in response. This way, your response can come from a place of ease and detachment instead of insecurity and threat.

Below are some quick, easy ways to discharge stress that comes up in your workday (or any day, really). Animals shake off stress multiple times a day, and you should feel free to do the same if you need to!

No matter what you do next, start by getting present with the stressful feelings. You can’t discharge stress if you don’t know that it’s happening. Notice it and just accept that it’s happening inside your body. Notice how it feels and where in your body it’s showing up. Your jaw, neck, or shoulders might be tight. You might feel like you have a knot in your gut or chest.

Once you’ve noticed it, you can try the tricks below or any that you come up with on your own. The most important thing is to process the energy through movement of some kind, and to do it as soon after the experience as you can.

  1. Literally shake it off. Close your office door or the bathroom stall and imagine all of that ickiness coming off of you as you shake your arms, torso, legs, hands, feet, head, etc. You could also do this by dancing in the privacy of your own home (or in public!) to a song that you love.
  2. Flick it off. If you can’t writhe your entire body, flick the negative energy off with your hands. If you’re in a meeting that’s totally stressing you out, you could get present with the stress, imagine it flowing like water down your arms, and then flick it off onto the floor.
  3. Wash your hands. Water is a great reminder to release and let go of stressors. If you just had a stressful experience with a supervisor or co-worker, you can head to the bathroom to wash your hands and just imagine all of that sticky energy spiraling down into the drain. Maybe you even dry your hands by shaking the water off.
  4. Breathing exercise. On an in breath, get present with the stress that you’re feeling. Envision the frustration, fear, or anger in your body expanding in your lungs. On the out breath, release all of it out into the ether. Feel it leaving your body and stretch and expand as it does. Try this 1 – 3 times. Imagine peace, presence, and calm taking the place of the stress that was originally there.

If these techniques seem totally weird to you, that’s okay. We’ve been disconnected from our instinctual natures for a long time, and reconnecting with our bodies can feel really foreign and silly.

That said, most new habits feel inauthentic at first, so I hope you’ll at least give this a try and see if it starts to feel normal again. It might even help to tell your partner or a friend about it and see if they’re open to trying it with you. Chris (my sweetie) and I have used the shaking technique from time to time, and it completely shifts the energy of the situation. We feel stupid when doing it, but it always works, and we feel better afterward.

I hope that if nothing else, you feel encouraged to release some stress in a healthy way today. Maybe you flick some negativity off before pouring that glass of wine after work. Or maybe you release some energy through washing your hands before you reach for that cigarette.

Whatever you can do, wherever you’re starting, is just perfect.


Know someone who needs to shake it off? Consider passing this post along to them.

 

Is Your Emotional Frequency Making Work Harder?

megan leatherman career coach human resources work emotional frequencyThis post goes out to all you spiritual woo-woo types who, like me, are finding ways to blend ancient wisdom with modern-day professionalism. I’ve got my flower child headband on, my kombucha to sip, and my Birkenstocks are close by in case I need to run out and hug a tree.

Here’s what I’m proposing today: your energy (or vibe) might be making work a lot harder than it needs to be.

It’s something I think about and am attuned to personally in my work, and I want to expand upon a scientific concept that I learned about on Jess Lively’s podcast, which you can check out here.

The concept that got me thinking about all of this is quantum mechanics. On Lively’s podcast, she tells us about a groundbreaking experiment that Einstein did that I’ll attempt to put into very simple lingo below:

  • He wanted to find out what got electrons moving
  • He used light and found that the intensity of the light wasn’t what got things working – it was the frequency
  • If the light was of a low frequency radiation, it would take way more intensity to get the electrons to move
  • But with a high frequency light, he only needed a little intensity

Now, for this to make sense or even matter to us, we have to buy into the belief that all matter emits vibrational frequencies. To quote physicist Don Lincoln, “Everything—and I mean everything—is just a consequence of many infinitely-large fields vibrating.”

megan leatherman career coach human resources work emotional frequency
David Hawkins created the Scale of Consciousness

This includes you and the emotions that you feel. Using techniques from the field of applied kinesiology, David Hawkins demonstrated that different emotions emit vibrations of varying frequencies. You can see his “Scale of Consciousness” in the photo to your left.

Are you still with me? 

Do you wanna smoke some peyote and dance under the full moon? I kid. Mostly.

If it’s true that everything – including our emotions – vibrates and that low vibrational frequencies are less effective in creating movement than high frequencies are, then it could also follow that approaching our work from a place of shame, anger, and fear is a recipe for suffering.

This has been absolutely true in my experience, and I can share a little anecdote in case it’s helpful.

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, Let the Pain of Not Knowing Lead You, I went through a pretty rough patch in my worklife last year. Business was slow, I didn’t know what I was doing, and I was really worried about money. I definitely wasn’t at my best.

Everything with work felt hard. I felt like I was trying to force something that just wasn’t meant to be. I looked at job postings online. I almost signed a contract gig even though it gave me the heebie-jeebies all over. I felt desperate and lost.

Here are the two primary factors that got me out of that awful, no-good place:

Admitting how bad and ashamed I felt that my business wasn’t really working, and…

Raising my emotional frequency by having fun and taking care of myself.

megan leatherman career coach human resources work emotional frequency
The view from our cabin in the woods

Nearing my 30th birthday, I’d had enough and decided to splurge on a trip to a cabin in the Mt. Hood National Forest with my sweetie. It was right along a river, had no internet connection, and it was quiet. So quiet.

I really enjoyed myself there – I read, we cooked, I laid in the hammock listening to the river bubble by.

And when I checked my email the day we got home, I’d made more money than I had in the past three months.

This hasn’t proven to be an anomaly, either, I promise. My work resonates the most, whether it’s through sweet emails from blog readers, workshop sign-ups, or opportunities that cross my path, when I a) set it up from a place of wholeness and inspiration and b) check out to go have more fun.

I never, ever, get the most exciting opportunities when I’m bummed out, desperately checking email or forcing the work.

There’s a major difference between worn-out, raggedy ass hustle and aligned, intentional flow.

If you’re finding that the electrons in your life aren’t exactly moving in the right direction (or aren’t moving at all), I’d encourage you to consider addressing your emotional frequency.

When you’re focused on the thing you’re trying to activate, whether it’s a career you love, an intimate relationship, or anything you really want, notice how you feel.

Do you feel desperate? Do you feel angry that it’s hasn’t landed in your lap yet? Do you feel ashamed that you’re so torn up about it?

Or do you feel excited about the idea? Do you feel like you can just assume it will show up? Do you feel light about it, even if it requires a lot of planning or action?

megan leatherman career coach human resources work emotional frequencyYour body knows the difference between forcing and creating. And luckily for us, we can change our emotional frequencies so that our actions are actually helpful instead of being rooted in those low vibes.

Here are five effective ways to amp up your emotional frequency so that you can do less pushing and more enjoying no matter what it is you’re trying to make happen.

  1. Meditate. I know I harp on this a lot, and every guru in the world is telling us to do it, but there’s a reason. If we can’t get disciplined in our mind, it’s harder to notice and shift our emotions. One of my favorite meditation apps, which all of my clients love too, is Headspace. It’s free for the first 10 meditations. Try it out.
  2. Have more fun. I don’t know what counts as fun for you, but having fun is absolutely the responsible thing to do. Do more of it. Most of us don’t get enough.
  3. Treat your body right. If everything emits a frequency, and if higher vibes are generally more effective, how do you think that box of Pringles I just ate is gonna help? It’s not. We’re more able to do better work, quantum-leap work, when we’re well rested, our gut is balanced, and we’re moving our body regularly.
  4. Fast from social media and email from time to time. It’s almost like there’s an inverse relationship between how well my work goes and how often I’m online. At some point, the scales tip and all my fastidious checking and browsing becomes detrimental. Step back. For at least a few hours, or a day, or whatever you can manage. I promise it will up-level your vibe.
  5. Be careful about who you hang out with. Only the most “enlightened” among us can be surrounded by complaining, negative, toxic people all day and not be impacted. The rest of us are very sensitive and pick up all sorts of stuff from the people we’re around. If you want to keep your frequency high, try to limit the amount of time you’re with people who make you feel like shit.

Those are five of the things that have worked for me consistently and that continue to nurture my soul, work, and relationships.

Try some of them out the next time you feel like work is unnecessarily hard, or like you’re pushing for something that’s just not budging.

I bet you’ll notice the movement kick in – movement that’s graceful and light and that feels so easy you’re not sure it’s real.

If you’re a working woman who wants more of this kind of ease and flow in her career, I’d invite you to check out my upcoming series of mini-retreats, A Wild New Work.

 

 

 

One Act That Will Transform Your Next Meeting

Today, instead of a traditional blog post, I’m sharing an audio recording about how to make meetings better, for ourselves and for those we’re sharing the space with.

One of my commitments to the blog this year is to play around with a few new mediums like audio and video. This helps keep my writing fresh and it also allows readers like you to engage with content in new ways!

It’s a quick 5-minutes that I’m hoping will feel really supportive and teach you a practice that you haven’t tried before.

Check it out below!