Tag Archives: compassion

Compassion In The Face Of Job Loss

Compassion In The Face Of Job Loss

When clients come to me for help with their careers they are usually at one of the lowest points in their life. Financially they are struggling, they lack purpose, pressure is mounting to find another job and their sense of identity has been stripped away. Their attitude towards themselves and others has changed.

What erodes rather quickly after job loss is compassionate self-observation. The inner critic, which exists within all of us, begins to take over and one can quickly lose sight of who they really are. The data that is collected and stored within the brain leans more to the negative and often isn’t a fully accurate reflection of self or the situation.

This is a particularly vulnerable time for clients, as the generosity and empathy first expressed by former colleagues, friends and family can start to lessen and loneliness sets in. They could also be experiencing an over-abundance of advice from well-meaning people which can lead to dependence or a feeling of being overwhelmed.

One of the first things we can all do to assist someone who has lost their job is to recognize that what we see on the surface is only representative of what they want to share. The rest is buried for personal protection.

The next step in the process is to help clients develop attitudes that support a compassionate path forward. We need to introduce an honest approach that connects the person to facts rather than fear induced worry. It’s a good idea to employ calming techniques, reconnect to self and others, open curiosity to make exploration both fun and meaningful, and find tools to regain confidence. It’s time for clients to stop looking at everything through the lens of shame.

Build up positive self-reflection so that the client can see how they are pulling themselves up and that they are in control of next steps. Far too often I see clients who have been manipulated (willingly and unwillingly) towards options that may not be in their best interest but they acquiesce because they don’t trust their own inner voice. This is a  mistake. The inner guide/voice was there before job loss and must be allowed to remain vocal because the experience of losing one’s job is just another opportunity to practice their skills.

When we and our clients can use the power of compassion it can help shape their future in ways few could have predicted. It is freeing and the transformation between confusion, guilt, anger and shame to creativity, respect, connection and confidence is magnificent!





Hearts Extend To Fort McMurray

The displacement of thousands of people due to wildfires in Fort McMurray is a reminder of how things can change so quickly. One minute we are busy at work, playing in our garden, dining at a favourite restaurant or cuddled up in our cozy bed and the next moment we are escaping from a threat with only the clothes on our backs.

It is truly heartbreaking to think about the toll this has taken on those people. My mind also wanders to the forests and animals that will not be spared. Wildfires happen every year but none as devastating as this.

The fiery embers rain down and through the smoke we witness emergency response teams doing their jobs, without knowledge of their own families safety, without sleep and guaranteed protection. How this fire began is yet to be confirmed but whether it was caused by human or lightening it remains a terrible situation.

Rebuilding Fort McMurray will be years in the making and it is likely that thousands will not be returning to life as they once knew it. That reality can take an emotional toll on individuals and families. Support will be needed for some time to come.

I heard a radio commentator talking about the stupid and cruel remarks made by pundits and others on the internet about this crisis. Some taking the opportunity to blame climate change and others saying Fort McMurray deserves this as pay back for being involved in the oil business. He was incensed and so was I. SHAMEFUL!

If there is one thing you can count on it’s people like that slithering out from dark holes to spew venom before retreating back inside.

There is also no value in the could’ve, should’ve blame that often accompanies these things. Energy must be directed toward pursuits of rebuilding, with communities and individuals rising to the challenge.

To all those former residents of Fort McMurray it is my hope that you know across this country we are keeping you in our thoughts. (At least those of us that have an ounce of compassion, sense and civility left in us)  We hope that donations and goodwill help you rebuild a new life that eventually lessens the pain of today.   Our hearts go out to you.

Wildfire Information Alberta and British Columbia

Wildfire Alberta

Wildfire History BC

Caring for Haiti

This has been an incredible time in history to watch the compassion and concern that pours from the world towards Haiti.

Many in the entertainment industry using their status to encourage people to send money. Leaders making the decisions to send in troops and from there commanders coordinating the logistics of getting around in a damaged country. Doctors and nurses working around the clock with limited instruments, medicine and light.  All the rescue personnel coming together with the goal of saving lives. Pilots and crew flying people and cargo in and out of Haiti safely and frequently.

It is without a doubt so hard to see what has happened and we know that it will take a long time for recovery but what we are learning is how closely are spirits are connected.  We are not that different from each other and in times of great crisis we are blessed with the opportunity to be reminded of this.

It appears the miles and borders can’t separates us. We are so fragile and need each other. The images will continue to pass by us over the coming days and weeks but we must be vigilant in not letting this go under our radar to soon. There is great suffering and desperation which will play out and it may be hard to judge whether what we are doing with our aid is getting through. People are going to try to survive in any way they can and so would we if we were in their shoes. Our hands must extend to Haiti and to all those who suffer in this world, we are the fortunate ones and it is at this time when I am acutely aware how important it is to give.

Charities need our help and I don’t know if you experience this but when I give, my heart benefits. Just as much as they benefit from my time or money, I benefit too. So, to my readers. Love more, laugh more, hug someone today, smile at someone you don’t know and most of all give.  This is a movement to raise the consciousness of the world.

How has the tragedy in Haiti affected you? Has it moved you to think differently about life?

How do we make a better world?

How do we make a better world?
As the rain falls outside, I sit cozy in my office, the daily news plays out in the background.
So much is happening in our world and lyrics from a song by Ten Years After comes to mind, “I’d love to change the world, but I don’t know what to do, so I leave it up to you.”

I’m optimistic that many of our challenges have real solutions and behind those solutions will be great people we have yet to know. Their name will appear to us and we will hear their story and be thankful. Thankful, that despite the challenges we face there is always someone or something that set us back on the road to recovery.

Travelling back in history there are so many names of influential women and men that have graced our news or the cover of Time Magazine. Even within our own communities there are people, that without fanfare, make our world a better place. This is what excites me, the not knowing when and where greatness will be born.

Sometimes a great idea or act is born out of need, a circumstance that arises that sends an individual on a personal quest. Their personal quest turns into a community action, the community action is regionally embraced and so it grows.

I’d love to change to world but I don’t know what to do. I do know that one small act to support each other or words interlaced with compassion can change a life. One life is worth saving as we never know if that is the life that is bound for greatness.

Have you ever had a moment when you thought, “Today I made my world a better place?” If you choose to share with us that moment, we will hear your story. If you choose not to, I will just say “Thank you, it was appreciated.”

Ten Years After – I’d love to change the world

Michael Jackson Memorial

What a moving and fitting tribute to Michael. The celebration of life was full, I don’t think anyone could have anticipated how much he touched this world beyond the music. What I loved about this celebration was how much one could learn about him; that which gets overlooked by insatiable appetite to mock or vilify a person who rises above us all.

As a person who strives to see people reach their highest potential, to love life and those in it, he truly was a great humanitarian. I did not know that he had been bestowed the Guinness Book of World Records for his charitable donations. I knew that he broke through racial barriers, raised awareness about issues, especially AIDS, but through this celebration I learned so much more.

The depth of this man was great, it was so deep we rarely see it in most human beings. Most of us can’t reach that deep, to pull up from our being the answers to the questions about self and set it free. He knew what he was capable of, he knew what his gifts were, he knew how to tap into his greatness and share it well with others and not use it to prop up his own ego.

People like Michael Jackson deserve a day like today, though there will be many who question “why?” It is because we can not truly know him the way these people did that came together to pay tribute. They walk with this man, talk with this man, laughed with this man and still despite their closeness stood in awe of this man.

An artist, he was. An entertainer he was. His contribution can not be fully measured in that legacy alone, as magnificent as it is. I believe the legacy is in the efforts of one man to take what he knew intuitively and instinctively, a gift from the great spirit and translate that into language the world could understand. The language of love, the embodiment of hope and healing, compassion, respect and understanding. He translated the language from his heart to all those that would listen and they did.

One world celebrating a life, one world that was a better place because of his contribution.

Engineers Without Borders

I am posting this information for all of you . This message is from Heather and she is an Engineer in Bellingham, Washington. The following is in response to my Spirit of Giving post and she has provided more worthwhile organizations to be informed about. I encourage people to link to the sites provided and see if there is a way for you to aid in their success.

Hi Jennifer,

Here is the beginning of some information I promised to forward you about an awesome organization and project I am involved with that provides support and compassion to those less fortunate.

As you know, I am an active member of the Northwest Washington Chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA) located in Bellingham, Washington. EWB-USA is a non-profit humanitarian organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide in order to improve their quality of life.

Besides helping with chapter organization and fundraising (grants, sponsorships and fundraising events), I have jumped in with both feet to work more specifically with our Thailand Orphanage Project – which was accepted officially by EWB-USA just last week. Yay!!

On this project, our chapter will be working with Displaced Orphans International to design and construct a building for one of their orphanages so that they can become more self-sufficient. This building will allow them to produce their own soap and fertilizer, and will be used as a template to develop similar structures in future phases of this project for the other orphanages under DOI’s stewardship.

To learn more about DOI you can click on the following link: http://www.displacedorphans.com/about_displaced_orphans_international.php

In the next week or so I will have more specific information on this project that I can share with you in a second post.

Until then, our chapter contact information and opportunity to donate is at the following link: http://www.ewb-usa.com/chapters.php?ID=1061.

NOTE: The Thailand project is so new it is not currently listed on this site, however we hope to have it included in our project list within a few weeks. Until then, if anyone wishes to donate specifically to this project, you can contact Gary Fortenberry (gary.fortenberry@ch2m.com), our chapter’s president.

To find out more about our other project: the Ghana Clean Water Project, please follow these two links: http://www.ewb-usa.com/project_search.php?op=project&ID=486 and http://www.ewb-usa.com/project_search.php?op=phase&ID=586

Thank you for all your hard work to keep this site going, and in providing women everywhere with invaluable support and encouragement to help them realize their full potential. You are awesome!

Until next time…

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