“When women support each other, incredible things happen.”
“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” –Melinda Gates
I want to take a few moments to celebrate the women I work with daily. These women are leaders, gatekeepers, and some of the most thoughtful, intelligent, interesting and engaging women I have ever worked with. For the first time in my career, I feel like I am part of a team, and these women have a great deal to do with me feeling this way.
I don’t want to make this a political statement or a commentary about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, as many others will have written about this better than I can. Instead, I want to show off these women and what they bring to our company.
I would love to name these women and share how they embrace greatness, but I am unsure how much attention they want. So I am going to do this as a collective. If you have met any women in our office, you can probably pick them out by the qualities listed.
So let me tell you about the women that I work with. Collectively, they are leaders, listeners, procedure makers, empaths and inventors. They are confident, artistic, and involved in their communities. They follow the rules and break the rules. They are mothers and daughters, sisters and friends. They love animals and nature. They are travellers and adventure seekers. They are calm and clear-headed. They are curious. They enjoy 3-minute dance parties when work overwhelms them. They are youtube stars (have you seen our videos?). They are problem solvers and solution seekers. They enjoy people. They are helpful and resilient, and I hope they all come to work knowing how important they are to each of us because we couldn’t do what we do without them.
And I want to add that they have helped me to become fearless. I can speak my mind because of their encouragement. And for that, I am so grateful to these women.
To the women of LSW and our partners, we celebrate you.
This morning, I had the most beautiful experience. During my morning meditation, I went on a magic carpet ride. And despite what the image above shows, I saw everything. The mediation was all about bringing play into our lives. A carpet was at my door when I closed my eyes. Immediately it showed its magic and friendliness and invited me to stand upon it to feel its energy. And when I gave the go-ahead nod, it whisked me off to a land I had never been to. A land that can only be described as Heaven on Earth. There were high cliffs, rainforests, and beaches. And all sorts of animals.
My carpet took me surfing, hovering over the water to race the dolphins, then back to the forest to chase lemurs around the trees. Finally, we dove off a cliff and waved to the balls of energy that danced far below us. Humans didn’t live on this island, at least not in the physical form humans tend to take. But they welcomed us, me and the magic carpet I rode in on.
I don’t know where we went. My best guess is Madagascar, but I don’t know for sure since I have never been there. But it was beautiful and natural, and it felt like home. It is the place where I belonged—a place where I could have the most fun.
I am sharing this story because, for about 25 minutes today, I experienced real play without leaving my living room. And when I came out of the meditation, I felt like I had just returned from a vacation. I was relaxed and happy. I wasn’t stressed about the coming workday. Instead, I felt a little bit on a roller-coaster, all excited and pleased. And it was at this moment that I figured out what was missing from my work life. Play. And I suspect I am not the only one missing this.
So before I give you some ideas about bringing joy into your work life, I invite you to go on your own magic carpet ride.
The doorbell rings. When you answer the door, no one is there. It takes a few moments to realize that a carpet is rolled at your feet. Curiously, you look around to see if someone has delivered it. You weren’t expecting such a delivery. But no one is around. The carpet unfurls itself and motions to you to step upon it. You cautiously sit down. And once you feel comfortable – the carpet takes off. It takes you anywhere you want to go. Just close your eyes and ask yourself, where do I want to go today? And off you go. Feel the breeze through your hair and against your skin. Do you feel the sun, rain, or snow? What do you smell? Are you and your carpet doing stunt tricks? Are you showing off for the crowds that have gathered? Or are you exploring outer space? Everything is possible on this carpet. And it holds everything you need. And when you are ready to come back – you are home.
Now, how do you feel? If you are feeling up to sharing – tell me about your adventure. Where did you go?
I am hoping that right now you are feeling as magical as I did at 6 am this morning. And are ready to embrace other ideas about bringing a sense of play into your workspace and day.
While some people are returning to their offices and places of business, this is not true for everyone. However, there are things we can all do to incorporate joy in either scenario. Here are some tips for finding happiness.
Think about how your work impacts others. Not just the people you interact with but with everyone who is affected by your product or service.
Dance! 3-minute dance breaks are what I live for. The work gets hard; put on some tunes and move even if someone is watching. Just dance. Need a suggestion – ping me. I often recommend music to the people in my department to inspire crazy dance moves.
Spruce up the office – whether it’s at home or away. Add plants or a goldfish. In my case, I saw a groovy yellow office chair during my zoom call this morning that I must have. And I will not rest until I get one of my own. Bring in objects that will make you smile.
Schedule weekly meetings that have nothing to do with your projects or work. Instead, get to know your co-workers on a personal level. In-person or virtual coffee breaks help with team building. And human interaction increases serotonin which makes us happier.
Do something you enjoy during your breaks. Work on a puzzle, read, have lunch with friends, walk your dogs, or write a blog post. Just do something different than your regular tasks. No one wants to answer angry emails for 8 hours straight. So give yourself a break, get away from your desk, and do something different than you have been doing all morning. Use another part of your brain. Or get out of your head entirely.
Be grateful. A gratitude practice helps us to find a positive attitude when we are struggling. And it’s ok if some days you are only thankful for coffee. I have plenty of mornings when that has to be enough. Today, I am grateful for magic carpets, my imagination, and waking up at 5 am so I can meditate with a group of exceptional individuals, all of which helped me appreciate the work I am doing today.
Raise your hand if you thought Pantone’s 2023 Colour of the Year would be Barbiecore Pink – or some version of it. You aren’t alone. I was sure it was going to be the pinkest of pinks. We were close—sort of. Magenta is in the pink family but a bit more of the black sheep.
What do you think of Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2023? I love that Pantone described this colour as “a call to courage.” Because when I look at it, courage is precisely what I see. This magenta is bold, expressive, passionate, and brave. And it’s vulnerable. A colour that demands your attention and forces you to look at it. Look at its strengths and weaknesses. How could it be anything but vulnerable? It is a colour that evokes emotion. And after several years of being kept inside and isolated from others, it pushes you to be daring and explore the world. It’s telling you to be adventurous, try something new, and fall in love.
So now that it’s about to be everywhere, what do we do with it? Can we pull off this colour? Looking around my home and in my closet, searching for snippets of this colour. I have two things, a greeting card I framed to put on my wall and a Christmas Cactus that only blooms for six weeks out of the year. I have only two magenta things. That just isn’t going to do.
Here are a few things we can do to bring some viva magic or glam (my apologies to MAC Cosmetics) into your life.
Wear magenta shoes – especially when paired with a monochromatic outfit.
Socks – they will be automatically considered whimsical.
Artwork – and if that’s too pricy, frame the greeting cards.
Lipstick – this is going to be the first thing I try
Cozy home accessories – pillows, blankets, lampshades, coffee mugs, etc.
Ink – for your refillable pen
Wall colour – are you bold enough to do this?
The Motorola Edge 30 Fusion
Bring flowers into your home and yard.
Paint a mural on a surface in your home – I’m thinking of painting a bouquet of tulips in watercolours on the side of my fridge.
And if the colour isn’t going to do it for you – the message it brings might. So be like magenta – bold, courageous, unconventional, authentic, and vulnerable.
Are you here for the magenta? What will you do to bring more of this colour into your life? And if it’s going to be a decor element – how will you light it?
Will magenta be inspiring other things in your life – tell me how and why.
August 9th is National Book Lover’s Day. A day that all bookworms gather to discuss what we are reading and to generate enough excitement to power mid-sized cities. But if we were honest with ourselves, this day could not be possible without the invention of the lightbulb and its subsequent advancements. Without the lightbulb, we readers would have burned down so many homes and other dwellings because we would have sat a little close to the flame of our candle.
So I would like to thank the inventors and improvers of the lightbulb and all the people involved in making our homes, coffee shops, libraries, and the light posts that hover over park benches comfortable places to read.
Now let’s get down to the good stuff – what are you reading this summer?
Or better yet. show us your favourite spot to read a book.
Leave a comment.
We are just about to hit the gross temperature/humidity levels at the West Coast office of LSW. And any intelligent persons left here are scrambling for a space next to a log at the beach. However, I am practically sitting upon a fan in a small room, at a tiny desk and trying to manifest a life that includes a lake house with a big deck and someone to serve me mocktails until quitting time.
So if you are in a similar situation, let me present some cool things I found on the internet over the last few weeks. Of course, they won’t keep you cool, but they will temporarily help you to stop obsessing over the heat and your lack of insight to get out of the city in the middle of summer.
“Fauxvacados” – a more sustainable version of the avocado for all the Mexican food you are consuming this summer. Did you know it takes 320 litres of water to grow a single avocado? This version does not. The Ecovado is currently available in the UK – but I’m sure some genius Canadian is working on our version.
And if it’s good enough for potato chips, it’s good enough for popsicles.
If you are stuck inside – and are craving some nature, or at least some nature sounds – have a listen to Earth.fm – it’s like Spotify, but good for you.
Has your Instagram feed become as intolerable as mine lately? Would you instead look at your friend’s vacation photos rather than have to watch random people attempt the latest dance craze? This article from the Washington Post – helps you take back your Instagram feed from becoming the poor man’s Tiktok; my favourite tip is the last one – and I am working towards it right now.
I hope you enjoy some of the silly, insightful, fun, and thought-provoking items I have found on the internet recently. I wish you a fun and relaxing rest of the summer. Please be safe. Wear sunscreen!