About what matters

Writing about what really matters

Tag: work

Bath nirvana

I just took this bath last night after a stressful week at work, and–combined with a repeat session of the grounding exercise I do in the mornings–it really did the trick! My current formula is 6 small scoops of Epsom salts, and 18 drops of Aveda Lavender Fleurs Oil. Guaranteed relaxation.

In the past, I’ve never reblogged my own posts, but I’ve decided to begin doing this sometimes in order to free up some blocks of time to work on a goal that’s both important and urgent. As soon as it’s accomplished, I’ll be back to all new content. In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy a relaxing bath on me!

About what matters

Lavender fields

Recently I put together a few simple elements that I thought resulted in the most relaxing bath ever–so of course I wanted to share!

It all started when I came across a magazine article about magnesium, “the relaxation mineral.” Magnesium fights stress, improves sleep, and not having a magnesium deficiency makes you only half as likely to die as other people. Sounds good to me! If you’ve noticed twitching around one or both of your eyes when you get stressed, that’s a symptom of magnesium deficiency, as are insomnia, high blood pressure, sensitivity to loud noises, and–you may have noticed others suffering from this!–irritability.

I have some magnesium malate tablets (horse pills if I’m honest) that I take occasionally. (It’s difficult to get the timing right for optimal absorption, I find.) But then the article I was reading mentioned that I could simply take a bath with epsom…

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On the seventh day, she rested

sweet dreams

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. –Genesis 2:1-3, KJV

This is my goal today, to rest, and not do any work. It’s a bit late for no work, though, as I have already done laundry, run the dishwasher, picked up after the dogs outside, and sorted some paperwork. I’m pretty sure all of that was work.

Now, though, I plan to rest.

Yesterday my Amazon order arrived, with a lovely new book (new to me, anyway) from an author I like. I started reading it in the late evening last night, but was too tired to focus properly. Today, I’ll be able to take it all in.

I also picked up a couple of magazines at the bookstore yesterday, chosen for the images as well as the content. I may take a look at those.

I am appropriately attired for a day of rest–still wearing my cherry-print flannel pajamas. I have no plans to change!

Medicinal chocolate? It’s on the menu. And I’ve already taken a short nap.

I’m wishing for both of us–you and I–a lovely day of rest.

This post is illustrated with my SoulCollage card Sweet dreams.

SoulCollage® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

 

The most important lesson

Thoroughbred

As I mentally prepared for an interview this week, I asked myself a practice question I’ve never actually been asked, but that I may ask in interviews myself now that I’ve thought of it–What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in the course of your career?

I knew right away that for me there were two lessons–It doesn’t have to be perfect, and I don’t have to be right. (The second lesson I’ve written about before, so it’s the first one I’m focusing on today.)

This first lesson began fairly early, and benefitted my personal life as well as my professional one.

In the mid-90s I worked for a small public company that made computer hardware components. My priorities could and often did change on a daily basis, depending on the orders that came in.

Most orders couldn’t ship without documentation, which was my responsibility, so booking revenue was directly tied to what I produced. The engineers also revised the hardware frequently, which required me in turn to revise the documentation.

I grew up watching one of my parents conduct endless research before making a move. Deadlines were met rarely to never. I found this tremendously frustrating to watch (especially since there was a clear relationship between deadlines being met and money to put food on the table), but found myself repeating the approach, to a much lesser extent.

This job completely broke me of those bad habits. It was clear to me that time was of the essence, and what I was working toward one day could easily change the next. There was no time to be wasted on hand-wringing, and plenty of inherited problems to solve. What I really needed to do was make tangible progress toward a goal every single day.

I had distinct tendencies toward perfectionism, but I saw that I had multiple opportunities to work on nearly every document. My goal became not to make anything perfect–a clearly unachievable goal given the time constraints–but to make everything accurate, and better and/or more cost-effective than it was before. Incremental improvement rather than perfection.

I’d already noticed, as I made significant strides toward dropping baggage, releasing bitterness, and becoming more positive, that I really picked up speed at work. An early manager had noted that my work could be more “expeditious.” And she was right–I spent a lot of time at that job being upset rather than working.

It turns out that eliminating mental–or audible!–moaning really saves a lot of time. What I do these days is simply dive right in to the work.

Occasionally, various delays and obstructions prevent me from doing that. At those times, the (unbidden!) mental image I have of myself is a racing thoroughbred confined to a paddock. All I want is for the starting gates to open so I can run out onto the track and open it up–flying like the wind, doing what I know how to do.

What would you say is the most important lesson you’ve learned, as it relates to your career?

This post is illustrated with the SoulCollage card I made today, Thoroughbred racer + True north.

SoulCollage® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

Be kind

New tunes are in rotation on my inner guidance channel the last couple of days.

You have nothing to worry about. Be kind.

After eight years with the company, my manager finally had all she could take from Bob and others, as well as recent policy changes, and yesterday was her last day.

With more responsibility on my shoulders, I’m feeling frustrated with one or two people seemingly giving less than their best effort, with finding urgent tasks left undone that could easily have been completed, with blow-back from the narcissist on our team, and with my own set of well-nigh impossible tasks.

Predict the future with only extremely limited and inaccurate information available? Of course … why not? I’m on it, your estimates are coming right up.

Be kind.

I know that we all have different abilities, that patience, gentle coaxing, well-thought-out strategies, not to mention well-targeted prayers, will bring out everyone’s best. The tortoise and the hare have different gifts, both no doubt essential.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. –Jesus, as quoted in Matthew 10:16 (King James)

Breathe. Take time out for a cup of tea. Tune in to a helpful mantra. Ask for the help I need. Be grateful for all that’s right in my world. Be willing to be in non-judgment of others. Smile like the sun. These are my baby steps on the path to Zen.

A prayer before work

Today I found this prayer in an old issue of Spirituality & Health (May/June 2008), accompanying an article by Susan Baller-Shepard, “Blessing Your Workspace.”

Holy One, I come to work today, and this is what I offer: Me. Here. In this place.

Use this life of mine for a higher cause, a greater good. If this is not a place that is good for me or for the world, then help me to move on from this work.

May this be a place of transformation. May I learn the lessons here that I am to learn. May I convey hope or healing to those I encounter today in person, on the phone, or via e-mail.

If there is chaos or a problem here today, may I listen deeply, beyond the din of that noise.

If there are politics played out, please help me to act wisely. May I keep my ego in check. May I be generous and compassionate.

Amen.

I will definitely be using this …

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