Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Make Your Office Feel Like Om


"Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It's a way of entering into the quiet that's already there buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day." ~Deepak Chopra
My decision to meditate was for the health benefits, to have a sense of calm, to get closer to my source.  I definitely achieved what I was looking for, but there was an added benefit...unbounded creativity! I knew meditation would give me peace, but it would help in my work day as well. 

You can't do it wrong, so don't even think that you need to go to the mountain tops in solitude to achieve a higher state of awareness.  With practice, you can live from that awareness all of the time.  Start with something simple: your breath.  Surely you can devote 10 minutes to give this beautiful gift to yourself.  Find a quiet space, set your cell phone timer to ten minutes. Get in a comfortable position (sitting up, laying down, whatever works for you), close your eyes, and focus on your breath.  When your mind starts to wander, refocus on your breath. When the timer goes off, you've just finished meditating!  How simple is that? There are more ways to meditate, but this is a great way to start.  Little by little, it will get easier to quiet the chatter in your head. Little by little you will become more relaxed. And more and more this feeling will stay with you throughout your day. 

I've used several aids to help with meditation.  Sometimes I sit quietly and recite a mantra when my mind wanders, such as: Om or Sat, Chit, Ananda (Existence, Consciousness, Bliss). I've thoroughly enjoyed the Deepak Chopra and Oprah 21 Day Meditation series (these are 3 week series that are free!) Visit: 21 Day MeditationThe first CD I ever used was Dr. Wayne Dyer's "Getting In The Gap." It is a very easy way to understand finding the quiet space between your thoughts, by reciting the first ten words of the "Our Father" prayer very slowly. Between each word is the "gap," and it is there that calm and peace reside. 

There are meditations for manifesting as well. By creating an intention (or several) before you meditate, it is a way to bring more positive things into your life (It just makes sense to focus on what you want, instead of what you don't want!) I've made a list of "I am's" including all of things I intend to create in my life. For example: I am calm, I am peace, I am financially abundant, I am successful in my career, etc. Before meditating, I read my list so I set the intention for my meditation. You can be as specific as you want to be with your intentions. A fantastic CD I have used for this is Wayne Dyer's I Am Wishes Fulfilled Meditation. Another CD I've used is Doreen Virtue's Angel Therapy Meditations. It is a beautiful CD with kind, loving thoughts to relax by. 

My goal is to meditate twice a day.  First is in the morning when I wake up, or just before I start my work day. There have been times that I have meditated during lunchtime, and it is quite refreshing. What I have noticed is that the "gap" brings ideas, pictures, solutions.  It has been amazing to me how many creative ideas have popped into my head during meditation.  I'm not looking for them, or struggling.  I'm just trying to be in the present moment, and it all comes pouring in. I'm sure everyone has a different outcome from meditation, but I am very grateful for this one. When my meditation is finished, I write down the ideas that presented themselves and use them in my business. What has been so enlightening is that I don't have to struggle or stress. The most creative and inspiring ideas come to me when I relax and allow it. It's so very simple, I don't know why we complicate it so much.  We have the power to do anything right inside us, we just need to remember it. 

If there is something going on at work that you haven't been able to solve, set an intention that the answer will come to you.  Relax and meditate without expectation.  You may be pleasantly surprised that soon (perhaps later after meditation) the answer will present itself to you. Allowing yourself to relax can do wonders for mind, body and soul!  If you are having a stressful day at work, the kind where you just can't think straight, take ten minutes. Close the door if you can, take a lunch break and sit in your car. Close your eyes, focus on your breath.  Just stepping away from the situation for a few minutes can make a huge impact on how you feel, and on how much better you can accomplish your task.

When I use the CD's at night, it is a blissful way to fall asleep.  And it is also very helpful to end the day with positive intentions instead of reliving all of the things that may have gone wrong in the day, or worries about tomorrow.  Staying present and being grateful are wonderful ways to close out the day. It has also been a beautiful gift I have shared with my children.  School, peer pressure and all of the difficulties of growing up can be soothed just by taking a little time each day to be still. 


So why not give it a try? What do you have to lose besides stress, anger, and worry? Gaining peace and calm alone will make your work day (and the rest of your life) better!

Namaste.

With gratitude,
Kerri

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Irritable Boss Syndrome


 
 

The Symptoms

Are you suffering from any of the following symptoms:

Lack of Sleep                                                                                        Yes   No

Panic driving to work.                                                                            Yes   No

Feelings of worthlessness?                                                                   Yes   No

Sudden drop in  self esteem?                                                               Yes   No

Frequent desire to punch a hole in the wall of your cubicle?                Yes   No

If you’ve answered Yes to one or more of these questions, you could be suffering from IBS (Irritable Boss Syndrome).
 
It is a wonder how we can be fully functioning adults, able to maintain successful relationships, raise children, and function in society, yet in the one area that we spend the largest amount of time, our confidence can plummet with one razor tongued barb from a thoughtless boss.

Your friends would never suspect that you were so inept (as your boss so frequently points out).  Your husband wouldn’t leave you near the stove if he knew how careless you were (much less alone with the children!).  There goes Champ sprinting towards the kennel right now!

The Cause
Clearly something has caused a shift to your equilibrium if you are now at the point where you have forgotten how truly capable, intelligent and valuable you are.

IBS is a rising epidemic plaguing the country and is perpetuated by the Irritable Boss. It can manifest itself in many forms:

1. Jeckyll and Hyde- This type of boss is completely unpredictable. You don’t know what you are walking into on a daily, and sometimes hourly basis.  One day is nice boss, the other is mean boss and there is no rhyme or reason to it.

2. The Beast- Enjoys to embarrass team members in front of co-workers and even clients. It is more important for them to look good even at the expense of their own employees. It's not a team effort to them, it's a ME ME ME effort.

3. The Narcissist- Flaunts her wealth- expensive jewelry and furs or he flaunts his boy toys, corporate jets, yachts while complaining that the company isn’t making enough money. The narcissist only cares about how good they look, and how much money you can bring into the company, so they can spend it on themselves.

4. Power trip- creates projects just because he/she can. There doesn't appear to be an innate value in the assignment, it is obviously created out of a need to keep their ego inflated.

A combination of any of the above can lead to ABS- Abusive Boss Syndrome.  This is highly toxic and treatment is required immediately.

There are wonderful bosses out there.  Those that encourage, inspire and want you to succeed as much as they do.   But there are those who are insecure, feel threatened, or are just plain mean!

The Irritable Boss doesn’t want to hear that you are overwhelmed. When someone else takes notice of your mile high stack of work, while you are rocking in full fetal position in the corner, the Irritable Boss will be forced to inquire: “Why didn’t you ask for help?” Comments and reviews are often negatively fueled with personal comments rather than professional.  Your time is not valued.

The Side Affects:
When IBS strikes, there can be many side affects which can spread far beyond your own body:

1. Lack of sleep/Pit in Stomach

2.  Stress

3.  Moodiness/Depression

4.  Illness

5.  Your home starts to look as unkempt as you now do.

6.  You are too stressed to give your kids the attention they need.

7.  Spouse- we know the spouse gets affected the hardest with this affliction! They may conduct an intervention for your sake, and theirs!

The Cure:
The ideal remedy is to have the Irritable Boss removed entirely, but this is not always an option. (especially if the boss is running the company, and there is no higher up to go to).

Do:
1. Document specific incidents.

2. If possible, talk to the Irritable Boss directly in a positive manner to see if changes can be made.

3. Talk to HR or higher ups. You need to report it for anyone to help you.

4. Remover yourself from the IB by moving to a different department.

5. Find a new job. You can do it! It's easier to find a job while you have a job. Find some recruiters and have them do the work for you.

6. Don’t let one person define you. It is easy to start questioning yourself but no one deserves to be treated with disrespect or abuse (in any area of their life).

7. Vent (but not to co-workers. This can easily travel through the office, and you could be seen as a complainer or gossiper. You need to rise above the situation and be professional, even if the Irritable Boss isn’t.

8. Relax. Find ways to blow off steam.  Before you go into work- stretch, meditate, take deep breaths. At lunch time, go for a walk, get a 10 minute massage.  Exercise is a great stress buster too, so if you have time, work out!

Remember, you can’t control your Irritable Boss, but it doesn’t have to control you.  You can control how you respond to it with lots of practice.

Don’t:
1. Don’t send anything negative via email. Big brother is watching, and companies can access  your email anytime they need to.

2. Don’t gossip or talk negatively about your Irritable Boss. It may be tempting to commiserate, but it can backfire, and make you look like the bad egg.

3. Don't take this personally.  The root cause of the Irritable Boss varies, but most of their actions are due to lack of self esteem or trouble in their own personal life.  It's amazing that someone who feels badly about themselves wants to make someone else feel worse.  It never helps to judge someone else's motives, because we don't have the opportunity to walk in someone else's shoes.  Whatever has caused them to be an IB has nothing to do with you. How someone treats you is their business, how you react is yours. I repeat, don't take it personally.
 
How To Avoid A Recurrence:
There is no “perfect” job. We are not perfect, but we have the right to be respected.

Find out what is causing you to feel the most vulnerable, and solve it. You need to feel strong no matter what the outcome is with the IB.

Empower yourself by:
1. Going back to school. If there was something you always wanted to do or study...make it a reality!  "You are never to old to be what you might have been." -George Eliot
 
2. Update your resume. Notice how many skills you have, there are plenty of companies that would appreciate you!
 
3. Declutter. This may sound obscure, but actually organizing your closets, files, clothes will give you a sense of peace and focus.  You can donate your extra items, or have a yard sale.

3. Save money. Pay off bills.  Getting out of debt makes your feel more secure, less vulnerable. Having extra money in the bank helps quite a bit too, so save, save, save!

4. Don’t make your job your whole life. You are at work a large portion of your time, but it doesn't have to be all that you are. Spend time with family, friends, hobbies, sports activities, anything that makes you feel like you!
 
5. Find your inner peace.  Some people find peace in church, in a garden, going for a walk on the beach, through meditation, prayer or yoga. Find what works for you.  Having a quiet place in your mind can make all the difference!
 
I hope you haven't had an experience with Irritable Boss Syndrome, but if you have, these suggestions should help you make a full recovery!  You are beautiful, smart, and wonderful, now and always!
 
With Gratitude,
 
Kerri
 
 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's Never Too Late To Grow


"It's never to late to be what you might have been."- George Eliot

Never have those words rung truer for me than in recent months.  Everything seems to be transforming before my eyes. My business is growing  and thriving, new ideas seem to be bursting forth from all over, new doors are opening.

OK, so where does the plant picture come in, you are probably asking...

I noticed it the other day.  I've been noticing many things lately, now that I have shifted my way of thinking.  I have had this plant for years, it was always tiny, never growing. Two small leaves, nothing more. It hung in there, but it just never grew.  I never expected it to grow.  And now, it's growing! Why now? Why all of a sudden did it decide to bloom?

It is so parallel to the journey I have been on, and I can see so clearly that it is never too late to grow, to change, to be what you are meant to be!  The whole planet is alive, and it is remarkable that even a plant can be my teacher! I can't say what motivated this plant to finally express itself, but it has been a nice surprise.  Maybe it's because I never gave up on it, maybe it never gave up on itself. I nurtured this tiny plant and when it was ready...it was ready!!!

My personal journey has been the same.  I never really knew what I wanted to do.  I remember in high school trying to figure our where to go to college, what to study.  I had no idea what my purpose or my passion was.  I always felt disappointed in myself that I didn't know what it was. I felt so much pressure to figure it out. Now that I'm in my 40's, I feel like I am finally getting there!

I've realized that I didn't need to figure it out. I needed to relax and let it unfold. Taking the time to be still, meditate and open up my heart, life has revealed itself to me.  This journey is still unfolding, but I'm growing, and blooming and enjoying life every step of the way. It's not about getting to a specific point, but rather being present in the moment, being kind, compassionate, helpful, seeing myself in others, being grateful and learning not to judge myself or others.  I've learned that what I put out into the world, comes right back at me, so I do my best to put love out there and I see it return so beautifully.

In the past when I expected stress, financial difficulty, lack...that's all that surrounded me. It has been fascinating to realize that the more I quiet my mind, the more creative ideas come flowing. The more that I expect abundance in my life, the more it appears. It is all so much easier than I thought it was supposed to be.  It's all here, everything we want, we just need to let it in, and know we are worthy.

With gratitude,
Kerri

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Adding Some Class To Your Life


I already know that my title is just the worst pun ever, but I couldn't help myself!  I actually want to share with you my experiences taking some community education classes this summer.  

I am always grateful for my beautiful family and my growing business. As a wife, mom and small business owner, I find that I have little time for myself (wow, was that an understatement!).  But you know how things can get sometimes: work, cook, clean, homework, laundry and on and on.  It also gets isolating working at home. Long gone are the days of working in an office and going out with the gals for lunch.  Going to Happy Hour on Friday's has been a thing of the past for quite some time.  When the kids are in school, it's usually a very quiet day and while I'm certainly busy, it can be lonely at times. It is all wonderful, but sometimes I feel the need to throw something new into the mix.  It is easy to get stuck in a rut, bored by the same routine day after day, and I know it is beneficial to myself and my family to try something new. So, that is exactly what I set out to do!

I flipped through the brochure of our community education's summer classes and circled the ones that intrigued me: coil bracelet making, coupon clipping, and yoga! Yes, I decided to mix it up a little and try some new things.  I love Hobby Lobby and Michael's, but I never know what to buy in the glittery, sparkly, jewelry making section.  I wanted to know how to put something together! I have been mystified by Extreme Couponing and wanted to know what it was all about, and maybe learn something new to save money on my grocery bills.  And as a strong believer in meditation and yoga, I wanted to take some classes to really learn what to do.  I have done yoga DVD's at home, but I wanted to experience it in a class setting.  Yes, they offer yoga at my gym, but I actually felt the need to learn something before stepping into one of those classes.  Silly, I know, but it's truly how I feel.

I am generally a pretty shy person in new situations, yet I am always willing to try something new, to put myself out there even if I feel embarrassed.  It would be so much easier though to get to a point where I don't care and just enjoy it all! But I am a work in progress, and that is ok too. My first class was the coil jewelry class.  It was my first attempt at jewelry making, so I felt a little anxious heading into the unknown.  But I am attracted to anything sparkly, like a moth to a flame, so I knew this was the class for me!  I thought about how I would feel meeting new people and walking into class by myself. I wasn't freaking out, but I definitely had some butterflies. And of course, I felt "mom guilt" leaving my boys, even though I know it's good for them to spend time with their dad. I also know that it's important as an adult to challenge yourself, try new things  and never stop learning. It's important to show my kids that too, since kids learn what they live, not what you say.

So I arrived at my first class, greeted by the teacher: a lovely retiree, warm and welcoming.  There ended up only being 4 of us in the class! There were two other retirees, who were delightful and a 16 year old girl who was super sweet.  It was the teen's first jewelry making class as well.  The two retirees recognized each other from the community education Mahjong class they just took together.  I really stayed present in the moment, something meditation is teaching me. Everyone was supportive and appreciated each other's projects.  I enjoyed the class, I enjoyed meeting the ladies and sharing this experience together.  I enjoyed trying something new.  I felt happy. I felt refreshed. 

My next class was as few weeks later, the couponing class. I am going to save that whole experience for another blog, because I've learned it's a fine line between simple couponing and becoming completely obsessed. I'm in a 4 week experiment with myself to focus on this and see how much I can actually save.  I will type up a full report when I'm finished!  I will say though, the teacher was so much fun, so informative, completely delightful.  It was a large class and there is a joy in learning something with a group of like-minded people. It is fun to connect with new people.  Everyone wanted to learn, most participated, added to the conversation and asked questions. It was an evening well spent.

Yoga is coming up next week, and although I still feel some butterflies, I already anticipate that this will be a wonderful experience.  I think that is one of the key parts to trying anything...expect the best.  It always seems that you get what you expect, so why not go into everything feeling positive? 

This experience in having experiences has woken me up.  I have come home from each class excited to share what I learned with my family.  I feel more energized for my family and business, after just spending a couple of hours doing something new, and just for me.  I have found that giving to myself has allowed me to give better of myself to others.

Thank you for letting me share with you my experiences.  I would love to hear what you do to shake things up in your life! What new experiences do you add into the mix of your life?

With gratitude and love,

Kerri
Suitable Gifts-owner

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Your Sacred Space



We all know our favorite places to go to feel calm. It could be walking on the beach, jogging through a beautiful park, a treasured vacation spot, or just stepping outside to feel the cool rain on a warm summer night wash against your face.  What if you could feel that sense of peace every day?  We all know that peace is created in the mind, but to have a place to go that creates an environment of tranquility, is invaluable! 

Do you have a sacred space in your home? A place for sanctuary, retreat, peace? Think of the things that fill your senses to make you feel relaxed: a beautiful row of lit candles, a statue of Buddha or Jesus, soft pillows to meditate on, a cd player with relaxing music. If seeing the faces of your beautiful children bring you peace and joy, add photos to your space. If there are public figures you admire or want to pray for, put their images there as well!  The sound of water is a great soother, so add a small tabletop water fountain if you choose. This space needs to be meaningful to you. This is your quiet time, your place to reconnect with yourself and your source.

You don't need a large area to create this space. It could be a corner of your bedroom or a closet. Even a warm bath surrounded by candles and music could be your retreat! If you live in a warm climate, you could have an outdoor sanctuary with a water feature, bench, wind chime, anything that makes you feel tranquil.

If you decide to have a sacred space for the whole family, then incorporate everyone's favorite calming items into the space.  Have a discussion about what is special to each of you.  I do believe that giving your children the ability to quiet their minds will help in school, in relationships, in everything they do.  Sharing this with your family is a wonderful bonding opportunity and something that your kids will carry into their lives well into the future.  You can have family quiet time, and everyone can also use the retreat by themselves. 

It is wonderful to start and end the day in your sacred space. Begin your day on a positive note, and end your day relaxed to enjoy sweet dreams!  If you have a busy, hectic life as most of us do, spending some quiet time will help to relax and inspire you!

I would love to hear about your sacred space. Let me know if you have a special retreat and what it means to you.  Share how you are planning to create your sacred space. How will you use it? When you will use it? I'm sure your ideas will be inspiring!


With Gratitude,

Kerri
Suitable Gifts- Owner

Here we go!

Here we go with Suitable Gift’s first ever blog!

This is a very exciting time for us as our business continues to grow and expand. We have been dabbling in all sorts of social media, and this seems like the perfect place to let you know more about who were are personally.  This blog will serve to share ideas and reflections on our lives always with a consciousness to bring positive, honest, inspiring, and sometimes humorous messages.  We will be discussing parenting, relationships, work, health, gardening, yoga, loving and living!

We hope you enjoy our messages and feel free to comment, make suggestions on topics and share your lives with us as well.  This blog is intended to be uplifting, so if you have kindness in your heart, you are always welcome here. <3

With love and gratitude,

Kerri
Owner-Suitable Gifts

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