Your Happiness Factor:celebrating happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

New Blog - Leaving the Public Sector

I've decided to add another blog to the family – Leaving the Public Sector - and I’m seeking your help. 

Following the 2010 Spending Review it was revealed that between them UK Government departments were expected to shed over 100,000 civil service posts as part of their efforts to reduce administration costs.
The Government's cull of quangos, in which 192 public bodies are to be abolished and a further 112 will be merged, will also contribute to an overall headcount loss in the civil service

In addition vast numbers of posts are likely to be lost from the wider public sector - Local Authorities, the NHS etc
Many public servants have already been invited to consider taking voluntary redundancy, and many more will be invited to do so as reorganisation plans begin to take shape. 

Compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out.

For many public servants this is a time to consider the future and the challenge it presents.

Four years ago I was facing the same challenge.

I left the Civil Service in May 2007 and despite the changing economic climate I have not had one moment of regret!  

Since then, as a coach, I have worked with a number of other people leaving public service.  The new blog has been started to share the learning and to help people make the most the time ahead.

Posts will usually appear on Tuesday and Thursday.

The aim is 

  • to give them honest advice about the realities of life outside
  • to support them in making their plans 
  • to help them carry their plans through!
It will also be a place for them to express their views if they wish in the form of comments and to ask questions!

I would be really grateful for your help.  Would you please pass the word on about Leaving the Public Sector to anyone you think might find it helpful and to anyone you think might be interested in writing for it or sponsoring it! 
I am sure this is worthwhile exercise: helping people make the most of their lives has got to be a worthwhile thing to do! 

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Mother Earth and Father Sky - spirituality in action

For me, like most of us, happiness (and health) comes from keeping a balance between body, mind and spirit! I tend to be obsessive!  

Again, like all of us, there are times when I have focussed on one part of the triangle at the expense of the others. Unfortunately I go to extremes.

In my time I have;     
  • Been so focussed on work that I ignored the early signs of quite a serious illness.
  •  Trained in the gym five days a week and weakened my immune system by combining that with an almost completely fat-free diet!
  •  Taken up quite bizarre religions in my search for spiritual fulfilment and ended up disillusioned and depressed!

A sad tale and I’m still working on maintaining the balance! 

Still I do not eat a balanced diet and get the right amount of exercise – I’m trying hard!

I really enjoy my work, but I need to be a bit more disciplined about getting away from it sometimes.

As for spirituality, well simplicity has won out!

Simple awareness and awe of a cosmos that, in human terms, is eternal.  Pus a love for the creation alive on this Mother Earth to which we all belong.  And this leads me to a wish to live in harmony with all living things!

Mother Earth and Father Sky
There is a not-for-profit Native American organisation called White Bison that provides resources for Natives and non-Natives alike.  They work to promote recovery from alcohol and drug addiction and are facilitators of the Wellbriety Movement! Each day they send out a simple Native American mediation . Each one ends with a prayer.  Today's ask us to thank Mother Earth and Father Sky for our lives – simple honest and very powerful spirituality!

Given how tested American Indians have been by their history, that simple thank you is an example to us all of spirituality in action.  And it is certainly good enough for  me!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Find inspiration in the world about you however dark the day! Do you have a sense of wonder?

Inspiration - Daffodils

Every day, even when I am working at home, I make sure I get out of the house and go for a walk. 

Today, I didn’t want to go – it is a dark, cold, grey kind of day and I wanted to stay inside in the warmth and comfort of my home. But I pushed myself and got out there. 

Wasn’t I pleased that I had!  Even in suburban South London, there the signs of early spring and these are as bright as sunshine! 

Inspiration - Primroses
I found a small clump of primroses shyly smiling at the world.  

 In sheltered spots there were the first dafodils! 

And there it was, my Mother’s favourite, forsythia; blooming away and determined to flash its colours to the dismal sky. 

They made me feel inspired and so when I came back in, I decided to write this post!

You see we all can find inspiration around us!  And it is not just in nature!

Inpiration - Forsythia
Are there books that you have always loved?  How often do you go back to them? Do you remember the books that thrilled or mesmerised you as a child.  Have you even thought of going back to them and reading them again with a childlike innocence and an open mind? 

Inspiration - Shakespeare's Sonnets
What about poetry?  Have you read Shakspeare’s sonnets?  Sound boring don’t they! But if you like words, try them!  You might just enjoy them – all life is here. Here's a link to the sonnets!

Inspiration - Monet's Garden
Do you like pictures?  Did you know that you can find whole galleries of pictures on line.  Here is a link to all the pictures in the National Gallery.  They have pages where you can learn about art

Is there music from your past that you love?  Why not find it and listen to it again.  I love doing this – I have a whole collection of sixties pop music that I play to myself very loudly when I'm alone  - a guilty pleasure!

It doesn’t really matter what it is?  It can be the smile of a child or the call of a bird – see and hear with innocence and an open mind and you can be inspired!

Life can be hard!  

Just now many of us are having to deal with a whole rlot of misserable things!!  This can range from the effects of climate change to our warped and damaged world economy!  Or on a personal level - the effects of illness, age or loss. The disappointments and difficulties of ordinary life come to all of us.  It is all too easy to feel overwhelmed!

How can you deal with all of it and still stay positive!  

Well there are still so many things in the world for us to wonder at, if you look out for them! 

Try to spend a few quiet moments each day seeking them out!

Look for your inspiration and you will find it. And if you want to share it here, so much the better!