shutterstock_1083971615

July is the best summer month in my opinion. The cold winter is completely wiped from memory, outside activities dominate, and none of the back to school work has started.

I write more in the summer because my day job and home life are less demanding. I use a lot of my free time to write, and while it’s technically work, I experience the flow of doing something just because I love it.

What do you love to do?

And are you doing it often enough?

This week’s intention

When we engage in work that we have a deep spiritual connection to, it can offer a similar experience to prayer or mediation time.

Specifically, I know I’m in flow when:

  • My mind clears of the non-stop internal chatter. When I’m focused on work I love, I’m also enjoying the rare mental silence that allows my heart to awaken to “being” and not just doing.
  • I find my place in the world. When I write, I feel part of a system that connects us all at our core. I know I’m doing what I’m called to.
  • Peace comes over me. This one is hard to describe, but I feel no doubt or second guessing about where I am and what I’m doing. I just relax in gratitude.

My intention is to spend more time in flow.

How often do you experience the things I described above?

If you aren’t in a state of flow as often as you’d like to be, spend this week journaling on how you might invite more flow into this summer (and your life overall).

What activities put you in a completely different state of mind? Is there a way for you to do more of the work you love (even if unpaid)? How are you spending your free time and would you benefit from making changes?

Think on it and I’ll see you next week!



Working Whole is available on Amazon and all major online book retailers.

WORKING WHOLE: How to Unite Your Spiritual Beliefs and Your Work to Live Fulfilled 

#workingwholebook


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.

 

shutterstock_1021503517

I didn’t enjoy when people asked me to help work on their resumes. Friends asked often and it became a burden to find time to work on them all.

At least that’s what I told myself.

But honestly, I can work on a resume quite easily; it doesn’t take me much time at all. I’m not sure why I felt so much hesitation to do it.

It’s funny how the talents that come easiest to us are often the hardest to give away.

This community is for those navigating the intersection of spiritual life and business – two things that often seem in conflict with each other.

How do you balance making money with getting paid in love, respect and legacy?

Should you work to support those who need you most or those who can afford it?

These are real and constant dilemmas as we work to bring our full spiritual selves into our work lives. And there are no easy or simple answers.

This week’s intention

It’s hard to figure out how much of your time and labor to give away for free. This is especially compounded if you run a business of your own.

So this week, we are going to focus on this dilemma and how you craft an answer for yourself. There are no exercises but just a few questions to spend the week reflecting on.

Think about your gifts and your livelihood:

  • Should you be sharing your talents for free? If so, which ones?
  • How much is enough?
  • How much is too much?
  • Is money the main way you feel compensated for your time? If not, what other things bring you value?
  • What do you think is expected of you based on your spiritual beliefs?
  • Do you want to change your behavior in any way?

These are hard questions so take your time. See you next week!


Working Whole is available on Amazon and all major online book retailers.

WORKING WHOLE: How to Unite Your Spiritual Beliefs and Your Work to Live Fulfilled 

#workingwholebook


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.

shutterstock_573855649 (1).jpg

We all want to be of service. We want to make a difference.

Yet service can seem like an out of reach goal that is only achieved through long hours of volunteering and great sacrifices.

But it isn’t the enormous undertaking we tend to think of. Service is a spiritual decision to use our lives to improve the experiences of others and it doesn’t have to feel like work.

This week’s intention

Last week, we focused on sparking new thoughts and starting the journey out of a rut.

This week, I want to stay on the idea of new experiences, but focus specifically on reminding ourselves how much impact we can have on the world.

My intention is to serve others and create new thoughts.

Below are 10 easy ways to serve this week in 5 minutes or less. Choose a few and set a goal to get them done. Journal about the thoughts they spark in you.

  1. Tell someone a joke. Laughter is good for the heart.
  2. Save someone from a work conversation they aren’t enjoying. “Hey I hate to interrupt, but can I borrow you for two minutes”.
  3. Contact an elected official via social media to quickly advocate for a cause you believe in.
  4. Actually take your reusable bags or coffee cup into the store with you.
  5. Text someone a specific compliment. (e.g. “I admire the work you do.”)
  6. Plant something.
  7. Pray for someone.
  8. Make a small unrestricted online donation to a grassroots charity you believe in.
  9. Teach someone something. Anything.
  10. Give someone your undivided attention.

It is often the smallest actions that point us in a new direction. Before you can make your next career steps, it helps to remind yourself that you have the power to change someone else’s world. This will help you discern how you want to use it.

See you next week!


Working Whole is available on Amazon and all major online book retailers.

WORKING WHOLE: How to Unite Your Spiritual Beliefs and Your Work to Live Fulfilled 

#workingwholebook


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.

 

shutterstock_2759707

My youngest son turned 15 last week. He inspires me by the way he welcomes each new year with fresh excitement. His joy is the opposite of being stuck in a rut.

I’ve counseled hundreds of people that feel stuck in their careers. They know that they aren’t experiencing the anticipation for life that they once had, but they have no idea how to move forward.

I tell them to start by simply sparking new thoughts.

This week’s intention

I’m sure you’ve seen this quote before:

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” –Lao Tzu

The quote illustrates how our thoughts lead us to the outcomes in our lives. Yet often when we feel stuck in a rut, we seek to free ourselves by immediately making changes to our actions or habits, without first doing the work to change our thoughts.

My intention is to rekindle my connection to joy and spark new thoughts.

This week, I want you to try one or more of the activities below. Each one will help shape your thinking and help get you going in a new direction.

  1. Be still and quiet. Notice that I didn’t say pray. Prayer is speaking to God. Stillness is allowing time to listen.
  2. Cook for someone. Sure you can eat some too, but cook with the intention of serving and nourishing another. Any recipe will do.
  3. Spend time with children. There is something about a child’s energy that neutralizes defeat and rekindles possibility.
  4. Find art that moves you. I consider my favorite books to be masterpieces. They remind me that humans are capable of beautiful and extraordinary work. Sometimes I really need that reminder.
  5. Take up someone else’s cause. We all have struggles that are unique to our position in life. Help someone else with theirs. Embody the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
  6. Help someone in the way that only you can. If you aren’t sure what that is yet, refer to #1 on this list.

More on new experiences next week!


Working Whole is available on Amazon and all major online book retailers.

WORKING WHOLE: How to Unite Your Spiritual Beliefs and Your Work to Live Fulfilled 

#workingwholebook


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.

shutterstock_1091247692

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a saint.

When I look across my life, despite an enormous amount of grace and joy, there are things I regret. I’ve hurt people and, at times, failed to be the person I thought I was.

But that’s not my whole story, and I hope it won’t be my legacy.

I’ve also loved deeply. I’ve been fiercely loyal. I’ve encouraged and protected. And I am working to use my life to help you find greater meaning in yours. That is the legacy I am trying to build.

What legacy are you working to build?

This week’s intention

People are a complex mix of good and bad. All the things we do (and have done) are part of who we are. It has taken me time (almost 40 years) to be at peace with that. I’ve worked to forgive some of my past faults and focus instead on my current actions.

My intention is to point my actions toward the legacy I want to leave.

“Legacy” appears as just a word, but embedded in that word are a bunch of questions.

  • What will I use my skills and talents for?
  • How will my life make a difference?
  • Who will I serve?
  • How do I want to be remembered?

This week, I want you to sit with these questions. Pray and journal on your ideal answers to them. It’s OK if you don’t know the answers yet, but asking the questions will awaken your journey.

Wishing you a peaceful week. See you soon!


Working Whole is available on Amazon and all major online book retailers.

WORKING WHOLE: How to Unite Your Spiritual Beliefs and Your Work to Live Fulfilled 

#workingwholebook


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.

 

shutterstock_530760535

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!


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.

2014There is a natural synergy with the holiday season and the spirit of serving others, but January tends to be a month when we take on self improvement, self development and other individualistic pursuits. This year, I’d like to challenge you to consider adopting a service way of life instead of restricting service and philanthropy to November and December. Below are five ideas meant to get you thinking about ways to weave the spirit of service into a glorious start to your new year.

Consider trying one or two, but please don’t try them all. This will be a great year and I want you still with me come February.

  1. Take the time to notice the people around you. Many people are especially lonely following the holidays. Start in January to take more time noticing and engaging with the people around you and not treating those moments as mere transactions. This is something I often fall victim of as I can get caught up in my own thoughts and schedule. The smile, word of encouragement, or simply valuing their presence may be the only positive interaction they receive that day. Often people with numerous loving personal relationships tend to assume that everyone else has them with equal abundance – they don’t.
  2. Share your story. The New Year tends to bring on goals, aspirations and pressure to achieve perfect lives or perfect versions of ourselves. We have all been through some measure of difficult times and have failed to meet this ideal. I was an overweight adolescent, struggled with the early years of surrendering my life (and sleep) to motherhood, and still battle shame from a failed first marriage. It is important to share our failures with others just as it is important to show success to the world. People need to know they are not alone and more importantly that perfect lives do not exist. Don’t hold your story back if an appropriate moment to share it as a service to someone arrives.
  3. Try to burst out of your bubble. I consider myself a “glass half full” kind of person which in the past prompted me to turn away from topics that brought with it inherit negative emotions. I filtered my news consumption to just enough to be aware of what was going on in the world, but not enough to draw me in emotionally. I was concerned that if I knew too much I’d be emotionally engaged, but unable to help in ways that mattered or on the many things that might need my attention. In some part, this is exactly what happened when I started opening myself up to more information. I do give more financially now than ever before. Still, I know there are limits to how much I can do and for how many different things. But caring is also an act of service. This January, make a commitment to learn more about the world and how your actions (or lack of action) impacts that. I can’t and don’t serve all the things that move me, but I can align things like my consumer spending and political affiliations with my beliefs. If you are like me and hiding in a safe and uninformed bubble, spend this month making small or large steps to let the world in.
  4. Get active. Do you really want to go to the gym in January? We all know it’s going to be like a crowded zoo that will be cleared out significantly by February. I know there are many gym promotions in January so feel free to join now, but don’t start going until February. Spend January getting active in your community. We all have different passions so I won’t tell you how or where to serve, but use the spirit of the new year to push you forward and get you active. Let one of your new goals be to serve your community in a tangible way. Set a specific amount of time to volunteer and commit to it. I can promise it will be a lot easier to achieve this goal than your average New Year’s resolution.
  5. Out with the old and in with the new. This January you probably have many new gifts and toys around the house which has left some great quality items that have been replaced for newer models. Consider drawing a line in the sand and declaring your home a place where you have ENOUGH things and don’t need any MORE. That doesn’t mean that you never get new things, it just means you commit to donating things with every new purchase or gift. Do you have enough in your home? If so, spend January gathering things for donations and choosing the organizations you want to give them to.

What are some other ways you plan to focus on service in January? Tell us below. You know you want to. Happy January and serve on!