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I’ve spent a lot of time on planes this month and I board with a plan. I hope to take a nap, followed by working, eating, and reading. As a last resort, I may watch an inflight movie. To execute the plan, I need to know what music puts me to sleep. I bring one meal and several snacks. I have plenty of water with me at ALL times. I know what I like to read and what type of work tasks to focus on.

Those are the things I plan for. But here’s just a few of the things I can’t control:

  • Who will be sitting next to me and will they want to talk?
  • Will the people seated around me need to get up and potentially wake me?
  • Will I have a chatty flight crew that is on the overhead speaker frequently?
  • Will there be a crying baby behind me (or next to me), a kid kicking my seat, or even grown-ups being loud for no good reason?
  • How often will the seat belt sign be off so I can go to the bathroom?
  • Will the wifi work for the entire flight (even over the mountains) so my emails will go through?
  • Will there be turbulence that makes me too dizzy to work, read, or watch a movie?

So you get the picture, it’s a decent plan but there are a ton of things that might derail it. This happens to me on long flights, but also in just about every area of my life—from daily logistics to parenting to work. I’m a planner, but my plans don’t shield me from surprises and disappointment.

Your existence is more important than any failed plan.

This week’s intention

When my plans aren’t working out (especially important personal or professional plans), I tend to blame myself. Yet, that is neither productive nor a realistic assessment of how life works. Planning is a key part of preparation, but life is ultimately beyond our control. On the occasions when life rejects my plan, I’m learning to sit in my discomfort and accept it. I know that I tried my best and my challenge is to let the plan go without feeling like a failure. I have to surrender to the lessons I’m here to learn and the experience I’m having.

My intention is to be kind to myself when life is not working out as I planned.

So this week, we are going to set an intention to be compassionate to ourselves when our best laid plans don’t work out. We are going to work to limit the mental anguish we inflict on ourselves, making a bad situation even worse.

Next week, we’ll talk about how to rebound and start again. But for this week, just pray and meditate on your intention to be kind to yourself and know that as long as you have life in your body, you can and will bear this disappointment. You will get to the other side of whatever failure you might be enduring right now, learn a few things, and have time to plan again.

Take care and see you next week!


Learn more about Simply Service, my work and me at Purpose and Kourtney’s story.


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When loss strikes close to home, I find myself waking up from the fog of routine life and remembering just how precious the people around me truly are. Over the past week, I’ve been walking through the world more connected to my heart than usual. This feeling prompted me to spend time during a snowy weekend at home going through old pictures and cherishing each memory. Some of the people in my pictures are no longer living which made those memories more meaningful, and painful at times. But my yearning for the past also reminded me that I still have a huge opportunity to love.

Reflecting on the past can remind us to appreciate the opportunities of the present.

This week’s intention

I won’t get another shot at directly expressing love to my grandfather, that childhood friend that died tragically, or countless other people I’ve lost. Our only opportunity to express love is with the living so we have to take our chances while we have them. Oddly enough, the private and personal act of expressing love impacts our work life as well. Everything in our lives will be better and more powerful when we are loving as hard as we possibly can, to include our work.

My intention is to use the present moment to express love.

This week, take a moment to cherish your loving memories. Notice how pure they feel. Notice how precious routine interactions in the past are to you now. And take that understanding into the rest of your week. Reach out to the people you love and tell them how you feel. Don’t wait and don’t consider it a waste of productive time. Love fuels the human spirit from creativity to capacity to stamina. Adding loving tasks to your to-do list will be time well spent.

See you next week!


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Sometimes it’s hard to know what to expect from a spiritually-centered work life. Should it help us be at peace with our current situation or should it inspire us to take on new goals? I used to think that having clarity around a calling was the only sign that I was on the right path. I thought I was meant to pursue goal after goal, without ever taking a significant pause to incubate a new understanding and seek clarity on where to go next.

But what’s more important–the plan or the execution of the plan? Obviously, both are important. Yet, I found myself so ready to execute that I didn’t want to wait for the vision to fully take shape.

Seeking clarity takes time.

This week’s intention

Seeking clarity may sound like an easy task, but it is only realized when we strengthen our ability to patiently wait. And waiting is hard work. Working with a strong spiritual vision (even when pursuing a difficult goal) will always be easier than waiting for the fog of discernment to clear.

There is an almost addictive thrill in setting and achieving goals, but we are not meant to live in constant pursuit. Seeking clarity tests our ability to be still and live in peace. Do you believe that your highest work is worth the wait?

My intention is to wait patiently for inspiration and direction.

This week, meditate and pray on your ability to seek and wait for clarity. Journal on the following questions:

  • Do I trust that clarity will eventually come?
  • Do I believe that my waiting has a purpose?

See you next week!


Learn more about Simply Service, my work and me at Purpose and Kourtney’s story.


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Know someone else that needs peace and inspiration in their work life? Please share.

 

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If your social media feeds are anything like mine, you’ve spent the last week watching everyone you know live their very best lives. You’ve seen some of the happiest families imaginable, gorgeous holiday decorations, scrumptious food, insanely adorable children, people getting ALL the gifts, couples relaxing in exotic locations, and warm wishes filled with gratitude.

I also posted pictures of gingerbread houses and smiling faces. I enjoy seeing the happy times my friends and family are experiencing. My concern is with the perception social media can create that lots of people (most people) have everything they ever wished for, when the reality is that nobody does. The person with the smiling kids, may also be mourning a missing loved one. The person that is at the beach this year, may be struggling with infertility. That new car in the driveway with a bow on it, may be a last attempt to save a marriage or a way to ease a spouse’s long commute to a boring job.

We won’t get everything we want, but our greatest power comes from choosing to enjoy our lives anyway.

This week’s intention

My only wish for you this week is for you to set an intention to find joy in the life you already have, in spite of how the New Year tends to magnify our desire for change. There are things I wanted in my life that, unfortunately, I don’t have yet and may never have. I’m guessing the same is true for you. But one thing is for sure, this final day of 2018 and this new year ahead will bring both an opportunity to focus on what we lack OR an opportunity to focus on the things that bring us joy. I hope you choose joy, because choosing joy will give you the capacity to work with purpose and have a greater impact on the world in 2019.

My intention is to find joy in the life I lead.

That’s it, no questions this week unless you want or need to revisit our end of year reflection posts. I’ve placed their links below.  Also, my winter newsletter comes out tomorrow filled with a key seasonal exercise along with video, book and podcast recommendations to support you and the discovery of your most meaningful work. I hope you enjoy it! Visit the connect page and sign up to receive it, if you haven’t already.

See you next week!


2018 Reflection Questions

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4


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I hope you’re taking a break this week to enjoy family, fellowship and rest. In the spirit of pausing, there are no new questions this week. If you would like to catch up on any of the previous end of year posts, here are the links to week 1, week 2week 3, and week 4’s reflection questions. This is the perfect time to get caught up.

See you next week!


Learn more about Simply Service, my work and me at Purpose and Kourtney’s story.


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Know someone else that needs peace and inspiration in their work life? Please share.

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Moving slower is rarely considered a good thing in business, but some of the best things in my life happen at a slower pace. (Insert pause while I thank God for my crock pot.) If your life is anything like mine right now, your pace is speeding up – not slowing down. It’s the week before Christmas and I’m getting a lot done, but this pace leaves little room for renewal and creativity.

The pace we move determines what we see around us.

This week’s intention

The view is different when I’m looking out the window as my car speeds down the street than if I’m taking a leisurely walk in my neighborhood. At a slower pace, different things draw my attention and the world inevitably feels more detailed and beautiful on those walks.

A slower pace is essential to cultivating inspiration and discernment which guide us to our best work decisions. This is why I want to encourage you to stop and consciously assess the pace of your life before heading into 2019.

My intention is to set aside dedicated time for reflection.

I hope you’re making the time for reflection and the promise of your work in the coming year. Here are the links to week 1, week 2, and week 3’s questions if you need to catch up.

This week’s questions are:

Did the pace of my life in 2018 leave enough room for inspiration, creative flow, and rest?

AND

What changes can I make in 2019 to further optimize the pace of my life?

We do have a say in the pace of our lives, but only if we stop long enough to notice the speed we’re traveling at and make adjusts where needed. Are your weekends restorative or rushed? Are you in need of a wind down routine before bedtime or dedicated spiritual practice in the mornings? What things should you do less of next year to slow the pace of your life?

This post hits close to home as it is obvious to me that I need more downtime in 2019. The hard part will be finding the space for it. What am I going to stop doing or do differently? That’s probably enough to think on for one week.

See you next week!


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I spent way too much time on my phone last week. It was constantly buzzing with shipment notifications that I kept checking while in meetings and on calls. Tracking my holiday deliveries has become a regular part of my workday. The line between my personal time and work time is blurry.

For the next few weeks, many of us will be experiencing a noticeable shift in focus from our work lives to our personal lives. While we keep physically showing up to work everyday, our hearts and minds are at home making holiday plans and worrying about our to-do list. But that’s how it should be, because while I have a job that matters to me, I also know that I am more than a professional title.

We can’t know what we want until we know who we are.

This week’s intention

This is the third post in our series on end of year reflection. Each post has two questions to help you focus on what you truly want from the year ahead. Week 1’s questions explored meaning and curiosity. Week 2’s questions focused on habits and talents. For this week, you will be accessing how you’ve changed in the last year and who you want to be in 2019.

My intention is to set aside dedicated time for reflection.

This week’s questions are:

Are there any parts of my identity, image, or professional brand that are not authentic or true to who I am right now?

AND

What parts of myself do I want to express more fully next year?

These are hard questions to answer, perhaps harder than any of the others. When I sit down to think about these questions, I have to be honest about how I am showing up in the world. I have to dig deeper and ask myself:

  • What used to be true about what interests me, what I think, what I enjoy, or how I feel that is no longer true? Am I willing to show up in the world as the new me?
  • What am I revealing and/or holding back that creates a warped or slightly less than genuine portrayal of who I am?
  • Am I ready to fully bring my gifts into the world?

This is heavy stuff. I’ll be sitting with the two main questions all week and I hope you will be too. Your answers are worth the effort. Knowing how you want to show up in the world has a major impact on the work you can get done in 2019.

We’ll have more questions next week. See you then!


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My holiday party agenda is separated into three distinct phases – arriving, enjoying and leaving. When I arrive, I place my attention on greeting the host and finding the food. Next, I find a place to settle in and start enjoying the people around me. I grab a glass of wine and generally stay in the same location all evening. I’m an introvert and prefer fewer, but deeper, conversations with a handful of people.

Eventually, it’s time to shift into the leaving phase. It starts with the recognition that I’m ready to leave. I survey the room to see who I need to say goodbye to and sometimes exchange contact information with. I locate my coat; I find the host and thank them for having me; and I quickly head to my car. I’m not one for long goodbyes. Once I make a decision to leave, all of my actions align to quickly get me from the party to my home.

Leaving is a state of mind that releases one experience and transitions us into something new.

This week’s intention

Last week, we set an intention to prioritize reflection as we move toward the end of the year. If you missed that post, you can find it here.

For the next four weeks, our weekly intention will remain the same, but our reflection questions will change. I encourage you to prioritize end of year reflection in the same way you would leaving a party. Each week, the first question helps you look back and gather the things you want to take with you into the next year. The second question helps to reveal your desires and align your actions toward where you want to go next.

My intention is to set aside dedicated time for reflection.

This week’s questions are:

What habits served me well last year?

AND

Which of my talents and gifts do I want to use more frequently next year?

I’m journaling more than usual these days and I’ll continue to pray on one of last week’s questions (what topics do I want to learn about next year?), as I haven’t settled in on my answer. Please feel free to connect with me and let me know how your reflection time is going. How are you designating time for reflection? Which questions are hardest for you to answer? What questions should I add to the list?

See you next week!


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I’m blown away by the creative genius involved in marketing for the holiday season. Yet despite all the clever and cheery commercials, I know that the reality of our lives during this time of year is often quite different. We don’t spend our days singing and dancing in the aisles of stores. If anything, we may find ourselves less content and focused than usual with added pressures that tax our time, patience, emotional fortitude, and finances.

In the mist of all that the last five weeks of 2018 may bring, we each have a unique opportunity to create space for reflection and spark new ideas. This process takes time because often we don’t know what we want until we spend time reflecting on it.

It takes work to figure out what we truly want.

This week’s intention

If we aren’t careful, we can end up allocating all of our mental energy over the next five weeks toward completing holiday tasks instead of reflecting on our desire to live year-round with joy, purpose, and meaning. We can look up five weeks from now having only found great shopping deals, decorated our homes and attended social events – charging into the next year without being any closer to knowing what we want from it.

My intention is to set aside dedicated time for reflection.

Instead, I want to encourage you to be deliberate about shifting your energy toward reflection. Commit to spend the next five weeks reconnecting with the truest parts of yourself through joyful activities and cultivating inspiration for what next year could bring. This week, start with two simple questions:

What brought meaning into my life this year?

AND

What topics do I want to learn about next year?

I realize that journaling is not for everyone. I recommend writing out your thoughts if you can, but if not, simply set aside time to think on each question during your commute to work. Pray about them or ask them aloud just before starting your daily meditation. Hold each question in your spirit as you take a walk outside and see what answers come up for you.

We’ll have more questions next week. See you then!


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I hosted Thanksgiving last year for over 30 of my closest friends and family. The day was full of gratitude and joy in many ways. But, it was also a whole lot of work.

If you’re reading this from the US, you are likely preparing for a holiday week ahead. For some, that might mean extra rest, but for many it will be just as (if not more) mentally and physically taxing as the average week. So the focus of this post is on being deliberate about managing our energy and planning for rest.

We have to prioritize getting what we need to stay spiritually full.

This week’s intention

This week will bring something different for each of us because Thanksgiving experiences are so varied – retail workers barely have a holiday at all, many of us deal with mentally and emotionally challenging relatives, traveling can be physically draining, and even the most excited hosts among us can succumb to fatigue by the time the last guest leaves.

My intention is to make time for rest and renewal.

Before you jump into all the planning, cooking, shopping, working, hosting and traveling that this week might hold, take a moment to consider how and when you will make time for rest.

Journal on the topic of rest and be as specific as possible. Ask yourself:

  • When will I be able to rest this week? What days and for how long?
  • What do I want to do during my rest time (e.g. read, sleep, watch television, mediate, take a walk, all of the above)?
  • Can I rest when I am around others or do I need to be alone?
  • Who do I need to discuss my rest schedule with in advance?
  • On days when no downtime can be found, how will I steal a few moments to reset (e.g. deep breathing exercises in the bathroom or praying silently for stamina)?
  • Is there anyone else I should or could help find time to rest?

I pray you have a pleasant holiday and I’m grateful for our time together. See you next week!


Learn more about Simply Service, my work and me at Purpose and Kourtney’s story.


Meet me here to connect more often.


Know someone else that needs peace and inspiration in their work life? Please share.