The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

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Guest Post: Excerpt Of The Intelligent Leader

By Eileen McDargh - Tuesday, October 15, 2019

My colleague, John Mattone, has graciously allowed us to offer an excerpt of his new book The Intelligent Leader: Unlocking The Secrets To Leading Others And Leaving Your Legacy.  Resilient organizations must have excellent leaders who find and keep outstanding employees.  John shares what it takes to unlock leadership talent. 

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The Words We Use Shape Our World

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, October 14, 2019

We have all heard the expression: “Be careful what you ask for. You might get it.” The same thing applies to words that we toss around so casually. Words color our imagination and evoke emotions. In fact, someone said recently said to me, “Don’t look for deficiencies. Look for proficiency.” The simple word changed my thought process. 

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Many Options. One Right Answer.

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, September 30, 2019

I’m trying to practice requisite variety - looking for multiple responses to a given situation. After all, it’s what Darwin proclaimed would decide what species made it: the ones with many ways of adapting to the environment.  Unfortunately, sometimes I am stuck with a singular way of thinking about something. 

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Your Body Outsmarts Your Brain

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, September 23, 2019

David and his wife were scheduled to have dinner with us on Sunday, a date established months before. Alas, three days before our gathering, David sent us a picture of his face and an email that said he’d have to cancel. His face was covered in hives and the doctor was running tests. The doctor said it was a food allergy exasperated by stress. 

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Yoga: A Building Block to Resiliency For Both Children And Adults

By Eileen McDargh - Tuesday, August 06, 2019

There are many things you can do to manage stress and cope with change but there is one particular practice that helps many: yoga. Yoga has been practiced for at least five thousand years and it can help you manage a sea of troubles both emotional and physical.
 

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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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