The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

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Is there really such a thing as “Happiness”?

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, July 01, 2019

There are lots of books out there on “happiness”. Certainly, if one is resilient, it implies that “happiness” is a given. Au Contraire. In fact, while developing the skills of resiliency—particularly in difficult times—one can fall into a state of extreme unhappiness. I received a request from a reader who wanted to share a piece he created on the topic. Although it is long, he manages to convey the best and most current thinking on the topic.  He provided the summary below and you can see the entire piece with images below!
 

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Art from the Heart Makes Hospital’s Smile

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, June 24, 2019

No job is ever ordinary—particularly if one chooses to make it “work”.  Kahlil Gibran wrote, “Work is love made visible.”  No place is this more evident than at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis where a 33-year-old housekeeper decided to make patients smile through her art. 

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Is Your Spirit Vacuum Sealed?

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, June 17, 2019

Just received a reading pillow from a great new family-run business Keen Edge Home. To my amazement, this not-so-little gem had been vacuum sealed in plastic packaging. The instruction is to take it out, fluff it up like a normal pillow, and wait 24-48 hours for it to reach full and expanded size. (See the before and after pictures.)

I believe this package delivered on Sunday is meant to be my meditation.

I bet I am not the only one who has days in which your spirit feels shrunken, depleted, and small. You know what that’s like: a rejection from a client, an inability to see light at the end of a difficult tunnel, an unkind comment from an acquaintance, a sense that everyone seems to be thriving in their work and you’re not, the loss of a special relationship. The list could go on.

The first instruction is to take your spirit out and fluff it up. I believe that means to get out of your physical surroundings. Leave your desk chair. Get out of the kitchen. Go walk some place where you see green trees, flowers, water, animals. Whether a park or the beach, a creek or a garden, let it be a site that opens your sight. Nature reminds us that life comes in cycles: from the enfolding of earth in winter, to the blossoming in spring. Whatever you are feeling, remember “this too shall pass”. Resiliency requires faith.

Breathe deeply and wait. It might take more than 48 hours to be shaped into the wonderful person you are. I believe will happen as surely as my shrunken reading pillow expands into what it was meant to be.

 

Stress
Before

After

 

 

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Guest Post by Heather Hansen "Catch Your Breath"

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, June 10, 2019

Challenge yourself today to catch your breath. When athletes have been running hard and long, they need time to catch their breath before they can begin again. So do we. Breathe. In your nose, out your mouth. Then do it again. See how good that feels?  

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Resiliency Requires Taking Risks and Making Messes

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, May 27, 2019

Adaptability is the first critical skill in responding to every situation (positive or negative) in our life. It also means looking for multiple options. This amounts to a willingness to explore. When my nephew was a child, I remember well the lesson he taught all of us:

At age 7, Sasha had all the curiosity of a cat and the wisdom of a sage. Adopted from Russia at age 5, by my brother John, Sasha stood on the shore of one of the main piers in Cape Cod. He began jumping up and down on the sand, begging to explore the refuse that exist at low tide among the pilings.

Being a good father, John insisted that he’d get filthy… be a mess… Besides, it was unsafe… broken glass, bottles, garbage and DEAD THINGS. The last two words ignited Sasha’s plea to new heights.

“But Papa,” he hollered—waving his arms and looking more like Ms. Frizzle and her magic school bus, “to discover, one must take chances and make messes.”

Wow… “to discover, one must take chances and make messes.” If that isn’t the wisdom of the spirit, I don’t know what is. How do we grow, learn, celebrate our insatiable creativity if we color within the lines, only try what is safe and known, stay in a sterile pattern. What will you discover today because you took a chance and made a mess? How might taking that risk create a new response you never tried? I’d love to know.

 

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Laughter Turns Upset into Onset

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, May 20, 2019

Laughter Turns Upset into Onset… for a relationship that is. Strangest thing about humor. When found and used appropriately, it creates a bond and wins people over. When confronted with serious situations, laughter is often the first ingredient to dispel tension and get things moving again. As Victor Borge was known for saying, “laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” It is also what attracts others to us and our services. 

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Career Conversations Create Resilient Employees

By Eileen McDargh - Thursday, May 16, 2019

Resiliency, in my definition, is energy management. Do we have the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual energy to keep on “keeping on”? In short, can we grow forward through challenges or opportunities while we expand our wisdom and skills? Energy is determined by the quality and frequency of our connections. When a manager makes time to understand what is important to an employee, to help chart a career path that is personally meaningful and organizationally valued, then the energy sparks are powerful!  

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Naps Aren’t Just for Babies: Here’s The Research

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, May 13, 2019

I admit: I’m a hard charger. And the thought of taking “a nap” goes against my grain. But this article convinced me that re-energizing is more than a good night’s sleep and practicing intelligent optimism. So sit back. Take a deep breathe. And read. Your resilient spirit will thank you. 

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Even Animals Need Resiliency Help

By Eileen McDargh - Friday, May 03, 2019

Although Earth Day has come and gone, every day offers an opportunity to protect and nurture our natural world. Consider cloth grocery bags, bees wrap in place of plastic wrap or aluminum foil, low flush toilets, compost piles instead of disposals—the list is endless of what we can all do. 

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A Resiliency Killer: Loneliness

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, April 29, 2019

According to a CIGNA Survey conducted in 2018, 46% of Americans feel lonely sometimes or always. Only around half of Americans (53 percent) have meaningful, in-person social interactions, such as having an extended conversation with a friend or spending quality time with family, on a daily basis. Gen Z's are among the most lonely. Although the 18-23-year-olds think they are super-connected, they are not. They're attached to the wireless "umbilical cords" connected to smart phones which—in the scheme of things—are not very smart. Communication that is purely digital can never replace the sound of a voice or the touch of a hand. Or—for that matter—the tone of a voice. Chronic use of social media increases loneliness. 

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