the year of you, day 292

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 (Day 292)

Relaxing Music for the week: Meditation: Liquid Mind (10:05) –

Question: What’s the most useful health advice you’ve heard?

Answer: I’m going to have to dig deep for the answer to this question. Actually, I’m going to share two, since they both made a profound impact in my life. About 30 years ago, when I first started working in higher education, I was a workout fanatic! I was going through a lot of stress with my job (I actually had two jobs) and with relationships, so I decided to devote my time to working out – but obsessively working out (more obsessive then now). I was doing 2 hours workouts in the morning and at least another hour in the evening, plus playing intramural sports. And I wasn’t eating, so I was losing a lot of weight! I’m 6′ 1″ and weigh 176 pounds right now; however, back then, I had gotten my weight down to under 150 pounds and I looked TOO thin! But my way of coping with depression was working out, so that’s what I did. My dear friend Veronica Pick was the director of the employee wellness center at UNCG and a great colleague and friend. She started to worry about me, because I had passed out working out one day. I was okay, but it wasn’t good. She didn’t tell me to stop working out, but she got me to eat breakfast after every workout by putting a pop tart and a pint of chocolate milk on my desk every morning for a week. Needless to say, that became my routine for breakfast, two pop tarts and chocolate milk. And now, 30+ years later, I still do the chocolate milk and pop tarts, but also eat two bananas as well as part of my morning routine. Thank you Veronica for caring about me.

The other useful health advice was Brian Johnson emphasizing the benefits of meditation. To be honest, meditation wasn’t even on my radar for the first 45 years of my life; however, when I started to getting more involved in his work, I started to realize how much it could benefit my life. There was a period where I was meditating on a regular basis, especially when my dear friend Lane and I would meditate in the Life Design Center a few years ago. We would meet at least 4 days a week during lunch and meditate for 10-20 minutes; every now and then others would join us, but it was mostly Lane and I. Those were some really great days because I believe I was most centered and most at peace in my life. Funny thing is…I know that it’s something that I should do more, but I just don’t seem to get my ass in gear to do it more often right now. When I ask myself, “What’s the one thing I can start doing on a regular basis to improve my life?” it always comes back to meditation. I need to stop making excuses and just do it, right?

Other Stuff

Speaking of health advice, here’s another article on work-life balance – or, doing away with the concept. Check it out here:

While I agree that work-life balance is a crock, I don’t necessarily agree with life-work balance either. My solution? Get rid of work and just focus on “life balance,” which includes energy, work, and love (Brian Johnson) or vitality, contribution, and connection (Jonathan Fields). You read article after article after article about the world of work. Fuck work – at least in the realm of work-life balance. In higher education, we’re so focused on students getting a job after they graduate, but what happens if that job doesn’t exist? And why go into a workplace where 64% of the population is either not engaged or disengaged at work (Gallup) and 41% of employees want to leave their jobs right now (Microsoft). Over the next few weeks, I’ll have the students in the classes create Meaningful Work Statements, Problem to Solve One-Liners, and Vision for Service Statements, so that they can create Academic and Career Plans aligned with how they want to serve, not based on money, status, and prestige. As I write this, I’m thinking that when most people think of work, they think of making money. However, when they think in terms of service, it’s about making a difference. I choose the latter – and if I can make money in service to making a difference, that’s a bonus. I don’t think many of my colleagues in higher education would agree with me on that.

Which begs the question: Would you rather get paid to work or paid to serve? How’s the for a thought for the day?


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