The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

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The Opposite of Play is not work…

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, August 12, 2019

In fact, according to Stuart Brown, M.D., the opposite of play is depression!  As founder on the National Institute for Play, Brown has spent his career conducting thousands of “play histories” of humans from all walks of life: from Nobel prize winners and CEOs to serial murderers.  (In the latter case, what the murderers had in common: they never played as children!)  

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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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Lessons from the Stars

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, August 05, 2019

One summer, we spent nine days of backpacking in the Pioneer Basin region of the Southern California High Sierras. The 12,000 foot Mono Pass assured us that we were well tucked behind granite peaks and away from the ambient light of the LA Basin.

I tried, without luck, to photograph the millions of stars, the twirling Milky Way Galaxy and the split seconds of shooting stars the zapped across the night.

Then the moon rose, starting as a sliver and ending up just short of full. With its emergence, the array of stars that so mesmerized me became indistinct and faded from view. It is the moon and its brilliance that seemed to occupy the night. In fact, throughout history, the moon gets far more popular attention than any other object in the sky.

Isn’t that so true in life: The brighter-than-all sales superstar, the blockbuster drug, the number one athlete, the great rainmaker, and on it goes. The light from these individuals and products truly overshadow the rest. Attention and praise are heaped on them.

In doing so, a leader can miss the incredible artistry of a lesser “star”. In some cases, these now over-shadowed people paved the way for the individual’s singular achievement. The researcher toiling at the bench might not find a blockbuster drug but his discoveries could add much to collective wisdom and future achievements.

Don’t let the ultra bright person or thing obscure the complexity, beauty, and potential of others. You can't create a resilient organization with only the moon.

 

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You Are Known by the Flowers You Grow

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, July 22, 2019
“What kind of flower are you?” 

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The Lessons of Hindsight for Ownership and Commitment

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, July 08, 2019

Many years ago, I was asked to chair the annual conference for 2000 of my peers…a four-day conference no less. Trust me, there’s tons of bad karma if you screw up. And a volunteer role no less. 

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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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Three Ways to Develop Ownership

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, June 03, 2019

Joe Tye, a member of The Resiliency Group and CEO of his firm Values Coach Inc., hits the nail on the head when he states that ownership can’t be mandated. Instead, it’s the result of creating a culture that is “heartwired and not hardwired”. 

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