Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vet-Parade-08

Arlington National Cemetary Video

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Life At Work Pt 5

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself." -Alan Alda

Life in the Ivory Tower
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down You Hair," goes the Prince from the fairy-tailed fable. Life At Work speaks to our lives--In The Tower. I never, until now (after reading Thomas Moore's book), put 2 + 2 together about working in the tower.

My office, is on the 1st floor of a two-story building. My Boss' office is on the 7th floor of a 10-story building. My ambition was to have a position, within the corporation, that was on the same level as is his. The money, the title, and the office. Seventh Floor!

Life At Work (page 80) points out that mythology, religious teaching stories, and fairy tales reveal patterns that challenge us as human beings. Moore submits that for some, the alchemy of life work discovery doesn't necessarily begin in chaos...it begins in success. Or rather, the 'Illusion of Success!'


Happiness, Towers, Cubicles and Pursuing Happiness

Surely, we can't simply Walkaway from our jobs. Yet, what we all want...deep down, is to be happy. Our training suggests that we can have money from our work--even moments of bliss; however, one cannot
have both money and happiness at work.

The Big Idea is not to become happy nor wealthy from our work/career/jobs. The central theme or key to a successful Life At Work is simply to discover the connection between US and our Work. I'm an Educator, but I work professionally as an Insurance Agent. Connected...? maybe so. Six degrees of Separation? Possibly! It's all of how I am, in the moments, at work. The connection between the Soul and Spirit of my Insurance career and the Soul and Spirit of my very being.

The main point here is not to become stuck inside the Tower (cubicle) walls. To know that we know that we know that where we are is actually where we are. Confused? Of course you are. The confusion comes with the not knowing...or more precisely, the unknown. What we don't know.

The feelings that we have at work, it the general barometer that we use to gauge our work happiness and fulfilment. Of course, feelings and moods are important to the human psyche (spirit) and soul--but not so much. I believe that the real keys to the vault lies within the meaning that we attach to our work.

Feelings and First Aid

Life At Work devotes short yet meaningful context toward the Worker's feelings and coping. Emotions is a more accurate synonym for describing the feelings we experience during our Life At Work. Moreover, it is the emotions of pent-up anger, hostility, and dissatisfaction, frequently experience at work, that we combat on a daily basis.

These negative emotions, as outlined in Life At Work (page 88), stem from our work life situations. Issues of injustice, culture, loss of power, and others can contribute to Life At Work implosive anger. "Venting feels good at the moment, but it usually accomplishes nothing and may be destructive. By venting anger, you can lose a job and harm important relationships (page 88)."

The Fix, the First Aid, or the Cope arrives by nurturing our Soul in the course of our Life At Work. Vacations are as much an integral component to career success as is Microsoft Excel proficiency. Self-recognition strategies to sense the inner stressor characteristics prior to manifestation. This strategy includes the avoidance of alcohol overindulgence along with proper diet and exercise.

Without sermonizing on the benefits of Clean living, I believe that Life At Work summarizes the remedy to ill-health (resulting from our work) to be this...Depth of Character. Deepening of our family relationships, cultivation of meaningful hobbies and community involvement, and connecting to spirituality (religion, art, music, etc.)

The next writing will be upon Life At Work's Care of the Soul At Work. Stay Tuned!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Life At Work Pt 4


"Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy."  -Kahlil Gibran

Of the 12 chapters of Life At Work, my favorite is that of Chapter Three--Soul and Spirit. For the life of me, now having digested all of Life At Work book, it is perplexing as to how Moore was able to accentuate his treatise for both Soul and SPIRIT within 19 pages. The subjects are Huge! Volumes upon volumes have been written on the singleness of each...let alone both.

The 19 page context goes to the heart of Moore's genius. The simplicity within this duplicity. Perhaps the hidden passion I've adopted for this work...The Genius Within.

Again, Moore begins with a story (or a fable; difficult to ascertain). --Moore admittedly utilizes Story-telling as a writing formulae-- His story of the 15th century priest, Marsilo Ficino, is the archetype for this 'soulful' chapter. As a youngster, Ficino's Parents indentured the boy into a life of Arts & Letters servitude to a wealthy aristocrat. Although somewhat dubious, this financial alliance was not unholy.

Ficino mastered Latin and Greek; Moore's literary connection to Ficino is within the position of a person being grafted to one's soul. "To be grafted to Soul means to be open to the life that pools deep inside you, allowing it to coalesce into a career or other kind of work (page 28)."

Soul-Breathing

Life At Work, page 29, submits that our Soul is what makes us unique persons. Moreover, we become truly alive when connected to cherished friendships, family gatherings, and other forms of close deep relational human interaction. Our Soul, as defined by Heracleitus, is Deep...depth...without bottomless limit. 

Moore makes a point that human souls require air...to breathe as does our body itself require air/oxygen to fully function. Relational to work and career, when we are ill-fitted for a particular vocation or location, our souls are left breathless. Unable to breathe, The Soul begins to die. The same is true whether or not we are in a giving and mutually-beneficial relationship.

Our souls are alive when we can make human connections, feel in touch with others around us, and become connected with a purpose higher than that of ourselves. What I love the most about this chapter is that the Soul is presented as a Being rather than a separate and abstract part of our existence.

Moore writes that "it is necessary to love what we're doing and what we're making." He goes on to emphatically state that, "People who are frustrated with their work often say they simply don't love what they're doing and therefore feel unmotivated to get to work. Love is the impetus that propels us toward our life work."

The Spirit

"The spirit is quite different from the soul, and it, too, should be in harmony with your life work. Spirit is the upper region of experience and includes your worldview, ethical sensitivities, ideas about life and death, religious beliefs and understandings, and intellectual development." (pgs 36 & 37). Moore is careful to interject that Spirit isn't necessarily spirituality or religious. Simply, Soul is lower or deep; Spirit is the higher or the Head. One isn't better than the other...the two work in harmonious tandem.

The danger with the Spirit is that it can be crushed or wounded. Note a child that has been told to go to their room or to stop making noises. Their spirit is crushed. Too often, as Moore points out, we allow money to become and assume our spirit. The result--a mixed alchemy of negative emotions and physical ills and manifestations.

Life At Work really expands upon this topic...perhaps better than any other secular available book or publication. In the final words of the chapter, the book concludes with the premise that Soul and Spirit work like lovers; a two-dimensional completeness that allows our work life to be a contributor to ourselves as whole human beings. Complete persons in the family, community, and the world at large.

"Spirit moves us into the future, while the soul keeps us tied to the past." Embracing these two factors, we are no longer satisfied with the pursuit of a job; rather, we crave fulfilling work activity that makes our lives complete. Makes sense?