Order of the Good Write

That Magic Feeling When the Words Flow. A Blog by Debi Rotmil


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Volunteerism and Gratitude

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It’s so easy to only think of oneself when you are on the job hunt. You’re in your own head all the time, cultivating new ways to explain yourself and your experience to yet another new perspective employer. One goes through the constant practice of selling oneself, boasting about your own brand and what you can bring to the table so you can find a way to survive.

You live in the land of ME. Sometimes, in order to find balance in this stress ‘in-between’ time, the best way of shaking off a case of the “me’s” is to give back.

With Thanksgiving coming up, and the rest of the year end holidays just around the corner, this is a time of gratitude and assessment of the world around you. The best way to give is to volunteer your time to an organization where you ideas and hands are in need. It could be a local soup kitchen, a hospital or community organization that cleans your local park, beach or zoo.

I’ve begun volunteering at Project Angel Food, a wonderful organization in Los Angeles. “Project Angel Food’ mission is to prepare and nourish the sick as they battle critical illness”. Kitchen staff prepare delicious food based on the client’s nutritional needs, and is delivered by staff and volunteers. Right now, I’ve started by beading bracelets sold online for donations. It’s a great place to be.

Perhaps it’s selfish of me to think that I’m doing something good and mention it on here, but really – it’s just a need to give back during a time in my life when it’s all about me.

And this post is to encourage you, whether you are gamefully employed or not – to reach out and help others as an offering of gratitude for all the wonderful things in your life. There are those out there worse off, believe me. It will ground you during this very scary time in our world.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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From Pain to Change

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I take a lot of spin classes, and one of the things many a spin instructor says while we’re in the throes of sweaty hell is this, “The more uncomfortable you are, the more you work through it, the more change you will see.”

As life toodles on and another year ends in my many decades on earth, I learn this little ditty on human perseverance more and more. There’s been a lot of pain that culminated in loss, health issues, job challenges and personal self improvement. But the one thing I can say is this – it’s temporary. As my beloved George the Beatle once said, “All Things Must Pass”. And they do. We plow through the pain. We lean into the fire and endure the flames until we come out on the other side singed and burned, but stronger. (Really? Stronger? Aren’t we bandaged and terribly sore? Bad metaphor. But you get the drift).

Today was a wee bit of a rough day. Uncertainty surrounded me, with so much hope for terrific opportunities dangled and just in reach.  It’s the waiting that adds more fire to the flame. But one thing I know is this. I’m damn good at what I do, and anyone would be lucky to have me. It’s beyond a cliche statement, written with some self delusion or self help mumbo jumbo. It’s real. I know it. I have what it takes to be amazing in contributing my mind, experience and dedication to anything anyone throws my way. I’m passionate about this. Just watch me.

Meanwhile, I wait. Another day. Another day on deck, full of possibilities.

By the way – that’s my dog’s butt in the photo.

 


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Meditation in a Loud World

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When I was eleven years old, I fell in love. I first laid eyes on him inside an album cover.  He was photographed within a crowd of people who looked off into the distance, as if there was an accident, or some guy who “made the grade” and “blew his mind out in a car”. He had cheek bones for days, a perfect shag, symmetric feathered hair cut and held an inner beauty with an essence of humor. The man was gorgeous to me. His name was George Harrison.

It was my pre-adolescent crush on the spiritual Beatle George that introduced me to meditation. The stories about the Beatles’ visiting a giggly, wise, (and apparently very handsy) guru named Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, fascinated me. Further obsession with Harrison introduced me to the story of Krishna. I’d read Rolling Stone, listen to Harrison interviews on the radio and on TV, marinate in the lyrics of his songs about finding inner peace and gaining a concept of how life “flows within you and without you”.  All these bits of wild and wonderful wisdom have followed me, escaped me, and the returned during the most difficult and wonderful times of my life.

Too young to really understand how to meditate, I put it aside as a future tool I’d never realize I’d need. With maturity came understanding the technique of meditation and its value. When things get rough in this loud and crazy world – especially during a time of transition whether in your career, life, status or whatever is on your plate that’s stirring up the particles in your mind’s snow globe – the practice of meditation can help keep your mind balanced and on track to finding the peaceful room that lives inside you. It can also hone your intuition, allow you to make decisions with power, and provide a state of well being that will provide clarity while going out and accomplishing your goals.

The answers come when our mind is still. Live mindfully. That means, don’t give into fear. Don’t give into worry. Don’t believe in scarcity. Shutting off a few minutes a day to focus on the peace that lives inside you will autocorrect these feelings because we are not meant to feel this.

We are not running from wolves anymore. Our frontal lobe bullshit can only help us understand what we need to change and work on. But letting fear cloud our clarity toward success will only hold us back and manifest the very things we fear. It doesn’t have to be that way.

I’m like you. I’m constantly face to face with the fearful stuff life brings.  The pitfalls come and the self doubt creeps in. Yet, I work hard, and encourage you, to transform fear into power. We are racing through life, family and career without thought or connection to our inner vibration. Time to slow down to help you tap into your gut feelings and live mindfully. It will help you and those around you be the best you are meant to be.

Here are some resources on meditation I’ve found helpful.

The Universe Has Got Your Back, By Gabrielle Bernstein.

The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation, by Thich Nhat Hanh and Vo-Dihn Mai

Science of Being and Art of Living: Transcendental Meditation, by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

There are also plenty of guided meditations on YouTube to provide steps on how to calm the mind so you can think clearly and optimize your day.

If you’re like me and prefer atmospheric, brain soothing spacey audio to help you flow, like high frequency tones and vibrational sounds that reboot the electrodes in your brain – search for “Binary Beats” on YouTube.  Play with some videos and stick with the ones that make you feel good.  Plug in for 10 minutes – at your desk or in a quite corner at home –  and clear those mind clouds. (Don’t do this and drive.)

The one great challenge is to make yourself do this everyday, and to not fall into the well of despair by forgetting that quiet peace inside you.

Thoughts don’t matter. What lays beneath does. George opened that concept to me.

Thanks, George.

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Go forth and namaste with your spiritual self.


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Going with the Flowing

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Ah, the first feel of autumn. It doesn’t matter if the calendar bumped over the Autumnal Equinox, summer’s heat always hangs around like a friend who’s outstayed their welcome on her couch.

Pumpkins are on your neighbors’ front stoops. Cotton blobs have been stretched and draped over bushes and trees to resemble massive nests of spider webs, but actually look like dryer lint that has exploded through a laundry room window. Decor of miniature rubber rats and cats with arched backs are sitting on lawns, freaking out your dog who thinks they’re his enemies.

Yet – the summer heat still lingers. They call it Indian Summer, where the colors of the leaves that are ready to shed off summer branches. Both entities don’t match the temperatures hitting your skin. The smell of mulch, mixed with dying summer. It’s the in-between. The confusion of leaving something behind and looking toward winter and it’s chill.

But, I’m going with the flow. Setting up a routine of meditating, job search, networking and writing. Trying my best to ignore how each of my neighbors go off into the world to earn their money to keep their home, live the lives they have chosen.

There are possibilities out there, and I’m in the twilight between what has left me and what’s to come. Just like autumn is the in-between of summer and fall that roars right into winter.

I only hope that what’s to come won’t be a snowstorm, or brittle cold. We work on choosing paths that will alter the chill. We discover and cherish warmth, color, beauty, light and abundance within frost frozen windows. Let it snow out there.

We’ve got more than what we need within. The more we know that, and the more we work at what we want with that belief – we are sitting pretty. There is a job out there that wants me. What is meant for me will come. I will work at it and embrace it. There is much I have to offer.

And – there’s that book I want to write, and the course I want to teach.

“A blank page or canvas. So many possibilities.” Stephen Sondheim

That’s going with the flowing.


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Job Seekers: Pep Talk Time

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The job seeker’s search for the soulful job is a challenging one at best.  Some get paralyzed with fear and worry about the unknown. The reality is – the only thing you can deal with is now. Not the past, nor the future. The past is a memory. The future ain’t here yet, brother. You only have this right here. So, when the window closes on a job, believe me – a big door opens. I’ve been through this a few times. I’ve seen it.

It may cause your stomach to fall to your knees. Being “let go” is not for the weak hearted. But sadly, even the weak hearted have to deal with it at one point. They need to find their strength and get used to the waves. It’s not the end of anything. It’s a start of something. Yeah – I’m going to get all self helpy here.

Don’t give into fear. This change has allowed you to embark on a new, open road, filled with vast possibilities – as a chance to recalibrate their career compass, to learn new ways to improve skills and sharpen their personal outlook.

It’s scary, yes. Bank accounts don’t lie, and sometimes the severance check doesn’t land in your bank account sooner than you think.

I’m going through all this now, and I’m here to say this to anyone in this position:

Don’t give into scarcity.  Don’t shrivel up and panic.

Does the loss of a job put the fire under your butt?

Yes – it does. And that’s good.

Does the pain of trying to find your footing in the world of job search get you down?

You know what? Yeah, it’s a bummer. And you need to embrace that, because I’ve come to believe – through the readings of stoics and “not give a fuckers” – that happiness is earned through the rough and tumbly waters of difficulty. It strengthens your wings and sets your sails toward survival. That strength, that survival, creates happiness.

As Mark Manson says in his book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck”:

“…happiness requires struggle. It grows from problems. Joy doesn’t just sprout out of the ground like daisies and rainbows. Real, serious, lifelong fulfillment and meaning have to be earned through the choosing and managing of our struggles.”

I know – I’ve done the Abraham Hicks stuff, and I understand that in order to manifest cool stuff in your life, you have to feel good all the time. But facing the crappy stuff and finding solutions to your setbacks are more empowering.

Know your worth. Understand what you bring to the table when looking new opportunities. Don’t let anyone make you feel or believe you aren’t worth anything if rejection holds you down. Don’t let it suck you into the mire.

Know your finances. Be smart – not nuts about what you have to live on until you can find work. But if you have some dosh coming to you via severance or temp work – embrace it. Relish it. Be kind to yourself and treat yo-self to a lunch.

If you need to buy a new suit, or a new home printer because you need to look sharp and whip out instant resumes with powerful cover letters before that last minute interview — do it.  Spend a little money to help prepare you for the task ahead.

Get your hair done. Get your manicure fixed.

If your iPhone’s ringer doesn’t work and you keep missing important calls – consider getting a new iPhone – even if it’s not an upgrade. Just get yourself up to task so you show up bright, on point, shiny, empowered and ready for an abundant new chapter.

That’s what I’m doing. I’m flipping the bird on scarcity and fear. I’m doing it carefully because money isn’t growing on trees – but it is all around if you open yourself to it. Still -I’m not holding back on the things that I’ll need to get me there.

And if you’ve been unemployed for a while and have just given up – think of all that rejection as a nudge to do something else. Start a project that could spin into a real job. Volunteer at a local food kitchen. Start thinking like an entrepreneur and build a little something on the side that could spin into your life’s calling.

Take control of your path.

I know I’m going to get there. And you will, too.

 


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Human Resource: Being Human

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One of the worst things a person can say to someone who has just been laid off is, “What are you going to do now?”

What do you  mean, “What am I going to do now?”  Are you asking me because there is an answer? Do you have a job for me in mind, and the question is to see if I’m free so your wealthy dad can hire me?

What am I going to do now?

Well, for one – I’m going to feel a bit relieved. I wasn’t happy in the job I held for almost 5 years, and was gravely underpaid and unchallenged. Not that I didn’t try looking for a new job with better options while employed. I did. I have a resume that’s polished and updated. I have recruiters numbers and HR contacts on speed dial. From New York to Los Angeles – I’ve traveled for jobs that rendered nothing – yet.

And then, I’m going to speak to my financial advisor who deals with multi-millionaires and must wonder why the hell she took me on as a client several years ago when I was making better money, had a better job outlook, yet moved to Los Angeles for a change of pace only to run into low paying jobs thinking I’d get out of this financial rut. But seven years on? I have yet to.

And then, I’m going to write a book proposal where I reach out to frustrated people who are underemployed, underpaid, unemployed – millennials, Generation X-ers, Boomers Y-ers  — the multi-generational workforce that is fucking tired of trying to exist in this world. Not just in the material aspects of life, but spiritually. We are living in our machines – our faces illuminated in the light of our iPhones. We don’t see or feel each other. We argue and hate – in a world divided because we can’t find the American Dream.

And then, I’m going to find a job that pays better than what I’ve been paid. I’m going to write the book that needs to be written. I’m going to coach people to change their mindset so they find empowerment in the job seeking world that transcends race, gender and generations.

We are all in this together, folks. We need to wake up and understand how to survive.

Yet – here’s the thing:

I refuse to give into fear. I REFUSE to panic, to  live in lack and scarcity.  And if you find yourself in this position – YOU SHOULD TOO.

This is the hero’s journey, the big story of our lives, where we are taken out of our comfort zone, the “ordinary word”, and reluctantly forge to the “ordeal”, where we fight the slings and arrows of rejection and “what’s next”?

I don’t know if I believe we all have a “purpose” in life. Some of us do. Some of us don’t. But it’s nice to do something that helps others while we’re trying to help ourselves. It makes us – and jobseekers alike – human in a Human Resources world.

Just don’t ask a person who’s been laid off “What are you going to do now?”

What do you think I’m going to do?

Survive.

 

 


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Workforce: Finding Your Way with Your “Why”

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I wake up everyday wondering what my “why” is. Why do I do the job I do everyday? Does it provide me more than just a paycheck, health care and a place to go where I feel I’m making a difference? Do I come home feeling fulfilled?

Simon Sinek is the purveyor of the concept of “Why”. In his book “Start with Why”, he proposes a simple and profound philosophy: Why do you do what you do? How do you help others do the same? What drives you to making you create a life and career that fulfills you?  (Read his book. He’s amazing, and my description can’t do his words justice.)

The work force has changed in the few decades since I graduated college. Rather than going for the safe and seemingly secure job, it’s become clear that nothing is safe nor secure. Money doesn’t grow in our bank accounts. Salary increases are not living up to inflation. Rents are stupidly high. We cannot build up the 401K plans provided by those who will cut us loose when budget figures don’t meet. If we lose health care, we are screwed.

In the advent of layoffs as probable options for companies, we are not able to grow careers under the mentor ship of our company executives unless we really focus on taking charge of our careers.

For introverts, like myself, who find it difficult to get out there and cultivate career goals, we don’t stand a chance.

And then, as we wander our way through the work week, counting down to Friday, some of us wake up and realize – we aren’t find our “why” in a paycheck because we are only at our jobs — for the paycheck.

When I was in college, I wanted to become a writer and producer. I wrote scripts, studied television and interned at NBC. When I graduated and went into the Reagan infused workplace of the 1980’s,  I went the conservative route. I became an Assistant – just to get my foot in the door of a major television network. The rest would take care of itself, I thought. I’d stay and work hard until someone recognized my accomplishments. My own network will grow, and I’ll apply for work that will lead me toward a job on a show. From there, I’ll offer my writing services, learn, work late hours, grow, build relationships.

What actually happened was this. I was laid off 4 times in 7 years. Instead of growing my path, I kept getting knocked off it. Fearing long unemployment, I went for and grabbed any assistant job within the industry – just for the paycheck. Just for somewhere to go that made me feel productive in society. Just to at least try my hand at my plan with another company.

I didn’t do the work after hours to gain my writing career, nor my production aspirations. My days were spent safe. Sound. Bored. Earning. Learning. But learning what?

Learning that after all those years – I fell asleep at the wheel.

30 years later – YES – 30 years – I’m still an assistant. I never ever wanted to be one. I didn’t work my college years writing and getting good grades thinking, “I really want to be an assistant!”

Yet, it happened.

Because I never really believed that what I wanted to do was going to happen for me.

Because no matter how hard I tried in the past, I never won – like all those track meets at school where I’d train and train my ass off to exhaustion – only to come in dead last all the time.  I thought winning was just completing the race no matter the standing. But I didn’t realize that idea had done some slow burner damage to my self esteem.

It’s easy for us to do this. And it’s easy for us to run to the same damn thing over and over again just because we want a little of what we once had, or to just play it safe. The problem with that is – you run aground. Your anchor gets stuck in the marsh.

With all this self awareness flooding through me, and understanding that I’ve been in a deep sleep all these years, I’m starting to wake up. I’m beginning to clear away fear and trying to find that blue sky to freedom.

In this millennium, we need to rethink the way we decide to do life. Millennials, Gen X-er’s, Boomers – we’re all in this together. If life is a drag and your job sucks. Or if you’re unemployed and can’t find anyone giving a damn about your resume. Maybe you should think of changing the work force on its head and go out on your own.

I’m thinking this way now.

Although I’m grateful at the moment that I do have a job, I want to work my way into no longer being beholden to a company.

How do I do this? How do we all do this?

Create a message that one is passionate about.  James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem sings, “You’re a pushover for passionate people.”

Yup. Because they’re all we introverted 30 year veterans of futility have to wake us up to how to flourish from within so we can change our notion of living and how to live. And because I want to be passionate about something or else I will fold into myself and fall asleep in the snow and die of hypothermia. (Cue Liz Lemon).

Devise a logical and doable plan – to build your own thing. Your own business.

Do life you’re own way.

Help others – others who are not your age, not of your generation, not your race, not of your life, not of your sexuality or of you gender – and together – try to find a way to create something that leads you on the road to WHY.

As we have seen in the news – those in elected office who call themselves our leaders – aren’t going to do it for us.

We have to get started. There’s a lot of work to do.