13 ways to manage the emotional wake you leave (the feeling you leave with others)

Rather than focusing on the roughness of right now, or what hurts, I’m going to try a better use of my energy.

….the courage to change the things I can……

Water wake of cruise liner

Recently I attended a seminar through work that focused on how to confront others about difficult topics, and one of the things that was mentioned was that everyone leaves ‘an emotional wake.’ It really struck a chord with me, so I thought I’d dig a bit deeper and seek some good practical ways to manage my own — maybe you will find these helpful for managing yours too.

I think each of us probably knows a lot more about the emotional wake’s we’ve experienced through the actions, overt and covert, of others we interact with. I don’t know about you but I’ve never really paid much attention to my own, and that’s probably a big miss! I think there is great benefit to be had in growing an awareness of one’s own sphere of influence.

So here’s my big ‘note to self’ : )

  1. Consider the continuum of emotional set points — from the lows of fear, anger, sadness) to the higher ends of love, joy, and hope– and make a conscious effort to move yours up, up, up from fear to love. 
  2. Practice self awareness. Acknowledge when you’re feeling grumpy, cranky, or boundaries have been crossed. Then, decide if it needs to be addressed or just processed – promptly. Address bigger accountability issues with the chronic offenders …. (we all have ’em. They usually go by the name of ‘mom’ hahahaha… or just me?)
  3. Stop focussing on the sadness, anger and fear! Focus your attention on moving forward. 
  4. Be deliberate about the impact you want to have on others. Focus on the feeling in the room when the interaction concludes. How do you feel? Uplifted? Inspired? Content? And How do they feel? Make it great!
  5. Ask questions about other people’s lives.  Remember their answers. Follow up next time. Use their names… Show you care. 
  6. Inspire yourself! Find our how to bring motivation and inspiration into your life daily and pump yourself up!
  7. Realign when out of line; take a breath, refocus, and course correct.   
  8. Pay attention. A wandering, disorganized, pre-occupied mind isn’t going to make anybody involved feel good about anything. Whole focus and mindful attention is a gift you can give – and are blessed to receive.
  9. Put the smart phone down. Put it down! There’s nothing important on it. What’s important is deep inside of us. Leave it for moments when relationships won’t be impacted. Because that stuff really takes one out of the moment and creates a pretty negative wake! 
  10. Commit time every day to adding love, joy, and hope to the live’s of those you interact with. be proactive and curious.
  11. Today is the day! Reduce negative emotions, and the amount of time they’re allowed to take up on this, your special day called TODAY! Period! 
  12. Focus on joy, trusting each day’s gifts, and the importance of creativity, inspiration, and imagination. Create, Inspire, Imagine. Create, Inspire, Imagine!
  13. Try lots of things, and don’t be afraid to fail! Fail lots! Fall down lots! In different languages, at different altitudes, on different instruments! Taste Life! Take risks! It will create a wake of inspired living! Who can resist passion? Nobody. Why be ‘liked’ and ‘nice’ when you could be freakin’ magnetic? 

*First 3 are excerpted from Leadership and the Impact of Emotional Wake. Great Piece, worth reading!

Today-Is-Your-Day

 

100 Followers, 100 Thank Yous!

Dearest YOU,  Blogger Community…. Thank You For Following! 

I never could have imagined that an anonymous blog could be so cathartic… and healing… and rewarding. It means so much to me! (Like, maybe too much? LOL)

100-likes-badge-wordpress

Fellow bloggers – you are AWESOME!!!! 100 Followers strong and every single follow has brought me more strength and more courage. 

Through you I am able to feel confident, where all my confidence had been lost.

Through you I am connected, where before I was feeling so isolated.

Through you I remember who I am and see the beauty of being-true-to-oneself through reading about who you are.

Through you I believe that a ‘better life’ is possible, if I believe.

Because of you I feel even more able to stand on my own two feet for the first time in my whole entire life. As long as I can be me, and you can be you – nothing can really go wrong.

I started this blog because I was quitting drinking in an effort to save my marriage. I was also going through the process of publishing my book (still am). And to top it all off, I was adjusting to a new life in luxury travel marketing at a pretty swanky organization (still adjusting, it’s a pretty intimidating world! We have yacht sized conference room tables! ).

But a few weeks ago, my life changed massively and permanently, and don’t think I would have been able to escape my situation without this blog in the background, and all of you somehow rooting for me? I have felt secure somehow, in this nest of non-judgemental bloggers who all have their own human struggles!

I have not regretted. I have barely cried. I have barely stopped mind you!! But I know I am moving in the direction of becoming a healthier, saner, more balanced person – and mother – who will be better equipped to give something back to the world for having gone through it.

In honour of you all I am going to start sharing some of the strength I have been gathering… tonight I’ve decided that I’m going to start volunteering at a women’s shelter. Through all of this, I have been aware that having a great job is a MAJOR difference between what happens to me next and what happens to women without financial security. I pledge to share this strength with others…. and help empower more people to say no to suffering, say yes to life…. and become the beautiful people they were born be.

 

Today, literary agent and lawyer

I’ve just left from my semi-annual catch up with my agent. We’ve been at this for years, trying to get my book to market. 

“I don’t want to get you $1000 from a small press, I want to get you something big, random house, penguin…. I want your daughter to be like Tolkien’s kids, you know what I mean? We’re investing now to make a difference 50 years from now.” 

Um, ok. You had me at Tolkien. 

The editor he’s brought today has done a fresh read and we put her on the spot for feedback. 

She clears her throat, starts slow, refers to ways to beef up the opening scene. 

We probe. My agent, Sam, has read the book 13 times now! He needs her fresh perspective. 

“When did you really start liking her…. When did you really get what was going on….?” 

He goes to get another coffee and I ask the editor if she’d recommend the book to a friend. 

“Yeah… I really liked it…” 

Not convincing. But then we get talking again and the feeling is there – it’s at 90% (again) and needs a few changes. Move some things around. 

Sam calls himself a map maker. I think he means map puzzle maker, no? Moving around geography until we have the correct lay of the land. Authentic. Legitimate. Larger than life. A new world that’s never existed before. 

He wants me to drop some of the storytelling framework scenes and try a draft that’s more chronological. 

My heart sinks. 

Again? Bah. 

“Don’t be disheartened ….It’s not that bad.” He says and proceeds to explain the simplicity of the key changes. 

Raise the stakes. We want a brilliant literary debut. 

Ok Sam. 

We end the meeting on a promising note – it feels possible, and close. He wants me to start the book with a break up. 

“Break our hearts,” he says, genuinely. 

I get it. And he has no idea how poised I am to write that opening scene. 

We say goodbye and I go to the car feeling like everything is unfolding as it should. 

I write 1000 words of heartbreaking before leaving the parking lot. 

Now onto the lawyer appointment. 

What’s gotten into me? I feel like…. Me?! 

We must love ourselves, and be ourselves, because we are the only ones that know ourselves! 

Xo 

g

Lloyd Dobler said it best:

I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.

CAREER CRISIS CONTINUES……. (maybe quit all the things and have more babies??? gah.) I just want to write.

lloyd-dobler

Thinking about JFK’s Sailboat

This is JFK’s boat. It’s for sale. I’ve been obsessed with it all week.

JKF-boat-for-sale

Isn’t it beautiful?

It’s not very big or luxurious or fancy, but somewhere along the line, John F Kennedy thought that it was a good boat. It was the right boat for him at that moment in time, and I bet he felt like a free and wild man when he was on it; not pampered, not ‘important.’

To bring this a little closer to home, my current job is bringing me grief… although it is technically the ‘big ass yacht’ of digital marketing jobs… still, I’m yearning for a scrappy little sailboat.

**I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking hey, Georgey, you’ve just gotten over a depression, your marriage is falling apart, why not just stay in your j.o.b.?? But I think the job is contributing to all these problems… it’s so wrong for me…. ***

I know that there are trade offs in life no matter which things you choose. This job or that one, this marriage or that one. There is no magical fairy dust I can sprinkle on my life to have no stress and no problems – all we can do is trade ’em in for a different set.

I’m not convinced that people are always happier in second marriages. But I would bet that most second marriages are formed on that hope – of greater happiness.

I have this theory that you kind of create the same relationship over and over again until you learn the lessons. So why not learn them with the original person?

But with jobs it’s different. I have a greater appetite for risk there, and I have a skillset that I can assess objectively. Market value says if I do it right, I can make a smart leap – to consulting.

I guess I’m hoping to align to my values rather than external absolutes – the boat itself will not make JFK happy or unhappy, but ….if he values feeling free, this boat fulfills that need. I would be walking away from a highly reputable and sought after organization. With many creature comforts. And travel. And great hours.

Why?

I want to work to live, not live to work, and the consulting equation is much better ROI when done right. I’ve reached a diminishing point of returns in my field where  although I’m quite senior, I doubt I’ll see my salary increase much (2-5% a year). As a consultant, there is high probability that I could make significantly more, with less time invested.

Thinking in this way is making me nervous, but I am certain that this is the best route for me to take. There is a fantastic test/questionnaire called the Kolbe Index that assesses what you DO when you need to act. Your problem solving Modus Operandi DNA. It perfectly explained to me why I am better suited for consulting – I’ve got a lot of ‘quick start’ adaptable energy, and I’m good at diving into a problem and seeing my way to solution. I’m a futurist of sorts – but most definitely not a person who works through the gritty sequencing of events of the here and now. Great at past and future, suck at present. (but we knew that, yeah?!)

I won’t bore you with the details… (do take the test yourself though, it’s so bang on.)

I’m pretty sure I know what my sailboat looks like, but I’m so scared to take the leap. It’s a huge leap of faith. Sometimes my gut instinct just likes to pull me toward RISK. Ok, it’s pretty much all the time. I love taking job risks. And the Kolbe test told confirmed it – and that it is a strength that 95% of others do not have.

Risk is so much sexier than complacence. But it’s hard to justify with a family to feed.

CRISIS!

#stopme #gonemad #greatjob #quitting #risky #consultantshavemorefun #whattodo #meetingtomorrowaboutanopportunity #mighthappenfast #mightnot

*Annnnd my friend who lives in Tuluum, Mexico, just posted this: (A feeling of peace is the indication that you have made the right decision)……. it’s all we are all looking for isn’t it?

a-feeling-of-peace

 

Lowered expectations 

  
Oh dear. It’s happening. 

The years are going by and I’m working out less, caring less, losing steam. 

I’m not giving enough fucks. 

What to do? 

The picture above puts it perfectly — you reach a certain point (“midlife”?) and feel like you want to stop climbing. You just want to put your heavy bags down and camp out where you are. Screw the climb – there is TV to be watched and chocolate to be eaten. 

Part of this pity party is the acknowledgement that I will probably never be able to make a living as a fiction writer. 

There, I said it. 

It’s not a realistic career path. I’ve always known this. But admitting that I’m going to live my whole life and not do what I love to do – makes me want to give up. 

Gosh this year has just been one negative nelly moment after another. I think my job (“awesome” corporate gig in luxury hospitality!) depresses me by being so highly unfulfilling. Sorry if that’s bratty. 

Gah. 

  

Let’s do this, universe. 

In the past 3 months I’ve been to New York, San Fransisco, Palo Alto, and North Carolina. I’ve stayed at the most luxurious of of hotels and eaten at the best restaurants. I’ve made expensive decisions and pulled off massive plans and presentations. I’ve kicked ass and…and been spoiled, at least in theory.

Yeah.

So…. I’m pretty ready to walk away from all of it, to tell you the truth.

Lastnight I got home from another business trip and my daughter gave me this bracelet for Mother’s Day. “Star, star, flower,” she said, “star, star, heart.” Because they’ve been working on patterns at school, and she was proud.

beaded-bracelet-pink-orange-kids-gift

I miss her absurdly. Too absorbed by work.

I miss me.

I don’t know if I’ve ever felt this way before – as if life was testing me. I feel like I’ve been on a vision quest, clearing away some psychological garbage to make way for a brand new life. Most of it has come to light through a job that very well could have eclipsed my writing dreams with its glamour and luxury globe-trotting opportunities — but you know what? It hasn’t.

My life as an author is calling. And I’m really not into ‘the finer things’ ALL the time. I prefer the full spectrum of things. With the finer things some of the time, for sure!

Oh – I feel like something just clicked right now actually.

I’ve never stepped away from something wonderful before.

Working in luxury hospitality is wonderful. Storytelling for an amazing brand is super cool. And I’ve got lots of ‘power’ to make decisions. My voice is heard. My voice is wanted – finally. But still, as wonderful as it is in theory, it’s just not fulfilling for me. Like, at all.

I used to always yearn for some perfect job in the hopes that it could quell some of my pipe dreams. Writer? C’mon – lousy pay, unlikely future. What are the chances? That cynicism in my psyche was holding me back. Live so large? Nah. Live my dream? How dare I even.

Being tested

But the past 9 months have been test after test, and most of them are tests of my integrity and strength… and vision.

What are you made of, girl? What if you could have this shiny cool thing instead of this other thing you think you want that will be more work for less apparent reward? 

Plus the strength of character tests….

Will I be able to handle it when its hard? Will I have a voice? Will I feel paranoid when people are saying things behind my back? Will I be intimidated by the people who are smarter and snobbier than me? Do I really, really want to be a lowly fiction writer when I could be traveling the world as a high-powered corporate executive?

Yes.

I can handle it, yes I will have a voice, and sometimes yeah, I might get intimidated – and that’s ok. Because I want it 110% more than I want to succeed in marketing.

This has been my life at work – test after test, of my character and values.

It’s been bringing these strange issues to the forefront of my mind… and I’m certain that these are the themes of the years to come. They are questions for the people who are exposed and ‘out there’ as opposed to hiding, anonymous mouse in the corner, too afraid to step out of my shell.

I am learning to be more comfortable with the real ME. I am slightly on the introverted side, more so when I’m nervous, and that my comfort zone is more bohemian than luxe. Doesn’t mean I’m not strong as a bull. Doesn’t mean I’m not street smart. Doesn’t mean I’m not a leader.

I’ve accepted the fact that I’m not always responsible, either. There are times when my mind carries me far, far, far away… into the depths of my imagination, and I can barely hear anything from the real world. At those times, I probably appear pretty passive, disengaged… not good things in the corporate world.  Doesn’t mean I’m not a valuable asset. Doesn’t mean I don’t care. But I’m not a type A – never will be.

I’m gonna do me
and be me
and stop the self flogging.

Yeah, there are people talking behind my back because in this industry everyone’s talking behind everyone’s back. And you know what? I don’t really care.

They’re not wrong…. I’m not as engaged in this job and this 9-5 life as I should be. And soon, someone who’s a better fit will come in and they’ll give they’re all, because they’ll want it 110%.

There is someone out there who’s dream is THIS. But my dream is something else.

I am so certain, so deep in my soul, that I was meant to be an author. 

I’ve been blessed with the most wonderful respectable job imaginable…. yet here I am, yearning to write everyday.

I haven’t been able to get comfortable in this job. I am constantly dealing with this internal struggle.

I just want my artistic freedom so badly it hurts.

I’m ready.

I JUST WANT MY WORDS TO BE READ – Let’s do this universe!

Im ready to take my spot on the bookshelf!