Do Your Best, Work From The Heart

Do your best.

That is excellence.

Excellence is working from the heart.

Passion fuels the effort.

The result is a job well done. Quality.

The reward is satisfaction.

It is not perfection.

For perfection drives the soul.

Criticizes and shames the heart.

The result is unrecognised quality.

The reward is often dissatisfaction -being left believing you still missed the mark.

Doing your best with who you are and the skill you have at the moment is all you can expect of yourself. Applying a standard of excellence to what you do provides you the opportunity to keep learning, gaining and obtaining more skill.

Expecting only perfection is stressful, discouraging and pressure. You may be tempted to not even try unless you are convinced you won’t make a mess of things.

Take the pressure off of yourself.

Do your best.

And you can’t lose.


3 Simple Steps to Take to Stop Burnout

flowers and beesAre you busy as a bee today?

Nature can be an invaluable teacher of wisdom. For example, the busy little bee shows us a great example of work ethic, productivity, and community. There many interesting habits these little guys have that we can learn from. Did you realise that in the height of honey production season, a bee can literally work itself to death? The normal lifespan for a bee is 9 months during cooler temperatures but in warmer weather when conditions are right for getting their work done…bees will work themselves to death. There is work to be done and they are determined little creatures that are committed to their purpose, even if it costs them their life.

As a business owner, I love to have staff members who have owned the vision, work with us and not just for us, and who are willing to go the extra mile. As well, as the owner, often times I am required to give every last ounce of energy, both physically and mentally, in order to get the job done. It can be exhausting and stressful. Can I get a witness?

Constant stress can leave you feeling disillusioned, helpless, and completely worn out, leading you to burnout. When you’re burned out, problems seem insurmountable, everything looks bleak, and it’s difficult to muster up the energy to care—let alone do something about your situation.

Most of us have days when we feel bored, overloaded, or unappreciated; when the dozen balls we keep in the air aren’t noticed, let alone rewarded; when dragging ourselves out of bed requires the determination of The Hulk. This becomes a problem if these feelings continue without relief.

Relentless stress sends us spiralling into burnout. There is a difference between being stressed and burnout. Stress involves too much: too many demands, too many pressures, and too much effort. Under stress, you still believe that if you get things under control, you will feel better. Hope is alive and pressing for change.

However, burnout is about not enough: feeling empty, loss of motivation, and absence of care (“I just don’t care anymore”). Hope is illusive and you begin to feel like quitting altogether.

Stress feels like you are drowning in your responsibilities; burnout feels like you are dried up and have nothing left to give.

This can appear to sneak up on you but it actually occurs over time when stress relief is hindered. In order to prevent burnout, it is important to recognize symptoms to your health, emotions and behavior.

Things to look for include:
~feeling drained, low immunity, frequent ailments, and changes in appetite or sleep habits.
~sense of failure, feelings of being trapped, feeling defeated, feeling alone, increasingly cynical and negative, heightened frustration, and decreased satisfaction.
~withdrawing from relationships and responsibilities, procrastinating, taking frustrations out on others and substance abuses (food, drugs, alcohol).

If you recognize the symptoms beginning to develop, you can take steps to get life back into a healthier balance. However, if you are already past the breaking point, trying to push through and continue on the destructive path you are on, can cause further damage. Pay attention to your body’s signals and take action.

1. Slow down. Give yourself time to rest, reflect and heal. You may not be able to stop everything but force yourself to take a step back where you can.

2. Ask for support. Friends and family will not be able to “fix” your situation but sharing what you are facing may relieve some of the stress. Opening up builds trust and strengthens relationships. This is important because we all need support at one time or another. When you are feeling better, you will be able to return the favor. If this step does not help, as always, I suggest seeing a professional. It’s important not to try to be “too strong” or in control. True strength is demonstrated when we know our limitations and reach for the help we need.

3. Reevaluate. Burnout is a flashing red light that something is not working. Are you neglecting something important in your life? Balance is vital to healthy wellbeing. Take this opportunity to discover what brings you joy and balance life to include more of it.

I am imagining the focused little bee flying out, gathering, returning, depositing, doing whatever bees do to produce the honey, and then buzzing off to do it all over again. Driving itself further and faster and busier until…well, the picture isn’t pretty. We sometimes do the same thing…adding more and more and more until something has to give. Let the “give” be to what we do instead of to our well being. Yes, I know -there is a lot on your plate. Yes, I realize -it is important. Yes, I understand that you must be responsible.

Just remember, for you to continue offering your brilliant gifts to the world, you must recognize that your most valuable resource for accomplishing your purpose is YOU. Be sure to take responsible care of this important asset. In the long run, you’ll get more accomplished.

Are you busy as a bee? Keep up the good work but don’t over do it! Be wise.

Here are a few quotes to help encourage you when you need added strength:

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”-Isaiah
“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.”-David
“Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.”-Isaiah

This is my entry for the One Word Photo Challenge: Mustard. Thank you for checking our my contribution and the other amazing entries.

Having fabulous week, my friend.

Frayed Ends and Frazzled Hearts

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge : Fray

My husband and I have very different outlooks on fraying. To him, the frayed holes in his favourite pair of jeans equal comfort, breaking in and the accomplishment of finally removing the confinement found in brand new jeans. To me, frayed jeans, frayed ends on my hair and unraveling of any kind demand attention. I recognise that the fact that I am seeing the frayed ends appearing is a statement that I have been honoured with much time and use; but I am not content to live among the fray. I have to do something. Hubby, well let’s just say that he is going to attempt to take advantage of every last thread.

His Phlegmatic (Otter) personality usually insists, “she’ll be right” or “no worries”.  Not me! I want tidy little packages with bows of bright colour, weedless gardens, and balanced budgets. Yeah, how’d you know? I am a Choleric (lion) personality with a touch of Meloncholic (beaver) with a glass full of OCD on the side. Thread-bare and frayed? There has to be a cure, right? RIGHT?

While I enjoy the new. the bright and light in life…unfortunately, life isn’t like that all the time. We don’t always stay young. We aren’t always energised. We don’t always feel like charging up the mountain.

Like the dandelion, what was once a bright yellow bloom one day, will in the course of time, begin to show signs of fray. This is natural. The first stages really aren’t so bad…after all, with a dandelion…in this stage, we often look on the bright side and make a wish!

I’m sure you can understand what I mean. You get your dream job. The sweet baby you have been carrying and waiting for is finally here. The relationship you have prayed for all your life is finally happening. Life could not be better! It’s everything you hoped for…until it’s not!

Your assistant is constantly out of work with family issues and the work load is added to your already hectic work schedule. Maybe the boss says a few things you disagree with and you have to bite your tongue rather than respond. Perhaps that new relationship partner insulted you, and you had to control yourself in a public place. Or possibly you have been up night and after night with a baby that fusses hour on end. Your feelings and emotions begin to feel frayed and frazzled but you are keeping it together.

You’re restrained and applying self-control. It is what we use to “hold it together” when we might be otherwise minded.

But then…someone bumps into your cart at the grocery store and you go all commando on them…WHAT…just…happened?

Did you know that the brain is using extra energy for self-control in stressful situations?

When you are faced with repeated stressful issues, it draws on a store of mental resources that you use for self-control. If you drain those resources enough, then you may have trouble controlling yourself further, according to Psychology Today.

We don’t always hold up and together. We get tired.  I’m not just talkin’ a little bit fatigued, I’m talkin’  worn out, run down, lay on the couch and veg-out kind of tired.

You know what I’m talking about…those moments when your not sure you have anything more to fight with and you’re just about ready to scream, “UNCLE!”

The very idea of moving again has us worn to a frazzle  and with  “frayed edges,” to our feelings.

You begin feeling devastatingly alone. No one can hear you cracking. Fraying.

Maybe not at first…but then…It’s hard. It’s wrenching. It’s incredibly painful and it’s difficult to feel lightness or to see clearly.

Hanging by a thread can be really disorienting.

You might not even fully understand how you got here. You regroup and find the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

It may be hard to believe right now, but not only will it be okay, not only will you get through this, you will thrive again.

You will be clear and vibrant and you will get your MOJO back.

You are going to get through this.

You can do it.

You ARE doing it.

You have years of layers and lifetimes of experience and strengths to call on — skills that you didn’t even know you had.

You will make it through your heartbreak, your pain…just like millions of others who have felt this pain.

Other people have survived and when they got out of the frayed place, they left a breadcrumb trail out of the pain.

You can trace their steps.

My OCD tendencies cause me to want to keep pushing and FIX THIS NOW! I only end up exhausting myself. A key is to step back…renew and refresh my body,mind and spirit. Rest is important for my body to cope with the struggle(s). Period. I have to take care of myself. It’s important even if I don’t feel like it (and sometimes I don’t feel like it). When my mind is overwhelmed…I head for refreshing the spirit first. I personally find it easier to get my mind to “shut up” when I get quiet and pray. I love walks on the beach for this step. I’m out in the fresh air, listening to the waves crash into the shore and I pray. Maybe you don’t (and that’s up to you), some people meditate (I do…I meditate on the Word of Wisdom) searching for the truth that will bring me peace to frazzled heart. Once I have that wisdom, then I refresh my mind and thoughts with what I know will make a difference and help me to begin repairing the frayed ends of my life.

Maybe your frays feel more devastating and you are exhausted, lacking motivation, feeling frustrated, feeling cynical or negative. Maybe your having problems thinking clearly, your experiencing interpersonal problems, not able to take care of yourself, you’re preoccupied all the time, experiencing health problems, and generally dissatisfied. You want to take relaxation seriously, and unplug but are struggling to find a way that is beneficial and sustainable.

After the shocking news of Robin Williams recently, I realise that not everyone finds their way out of the frayed and frazzled places as easily as a quiet walk on the beach or a whispered prayer.

If this describes your situation or the situation someone you love is in…seek help. Don’t wait until your life or theirs is thread-bare…find someone you trust that can help bring the help that is needed.

I watched David Letter’s Tribute to Robin Williams and at the end he makes the statement that he didn’t realise that Robin was in so much pain. Sometimes, we don’t realise. However, we can become more aware of what is going on within our own hearts and the hearts of others so that hopefully we will see even a few of the signs. We can listen more. Ask important questions and offer what we can in meaningful ways so that the frayed ends and frazzled hearts of this world (including our own) can be mended and healed.

It may be hard to believe right now, but it’s going to be more than okay.

You may wince when you look back (understandable,) you may cry unexpectedly, but you’ll be more alive, and more You.

You will be strong.

And you will feel a curious sensation of being more useful. You might even be able to leave a few crumb (steps) for others to follow.

I certainly don’t have all the answers necessary to help you through all the trials and tribulations you’ll face when you’ve reached the end of your rope -but my hope is that I’ve offered just enough to help you begin to stop your belief that you’re the prisoner of circumstance, powerless before the fray.

Dear Stress,

Let’s break up!