BALANCE... an all-important elixer of life to keep equilibrium... a much sought after space of mind, heart and Being. Renew yourself!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

My Globe & Mail Newspaper Interview

Hi and welcome!
I am pleased to have been interviewed recently for an article, published in the
The Globe and Mail Newspaper (based out of Toronto, Canada)
Thursday, December 14, 2006

Warm thanks to writer, Nicole Dunsdon for her warm interview skills and her articulate writing ability.

The article starts off interviewing the director of CNC Global, addressing how he fosters balance within the company and with his employees. From there, the article picks up about our Inner Fitness® tips for creating balance, so be sure to read right through the whole article… there are some good tips there to pick up.

Here is the full article, with the exception of the photograph…

A special information series

“Finding this ever-elusive equilibrium takes setting boundaries and having fun”

Ever go the gym with your boss, or kick back together at work over a beer or a glass of wine and some casual conversation?

At the Calgary office of CNC Global, the staff of 18 works and plays together regularly. Every now and then on a Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., for example, the staff convenes for what they call “Hump-Day Hops.” Dave Quinn, the company’s director for Southern Alberta, says his group will often just sit around and chat or sometimes have an informal roundtable discussion. He especially likes Thursdays at 3 p.m., when the staff takes turns providing sweet or savoury snacks for their weekly, half-hour gathering in the kitchen.

Mr. Quinn is very sensitive to his employees’ work-life balance and has fostered some very innovative practices at his CNC Global branch to allow for that. Sick days are a thing of the past. Instead, “care days” take their place. “We call them care days so that our employees can also look after a child or a parent and don’t have to take up vacation time to do that,” says Mr. Quinn.

Only two mornings a week, employees have to be at work at a set time for meetings. The rest of the week? They can arrive at 7 a.m. and leave by 4 p.m. or an-ive at 9 a.m. and leave by 6 p.m. “They realize and appreciate the value of having that flexibility,” Mr. Quinn says, adding that his personal philosophy is that we work to live, not live to work. “The things that are truly important in our lives happen after 5 p.m.”

The employees at CNC Global also have charity/volunteer days, team ski days, horseback riding days, and have even camped together. “We are trying to do a snowmobile outing in December,” says Mr. Quinn, who believes these activities are important in establishing connections between employees and positive memories around work. “That helps balance out the inevitable negatives that happen on day-to-day basis.”

Many people who run small offices are partly motivated to go out their own in order to create their own corporate culture and avoid the grind. But, with the added responsibilities and multiple roles they take — striking a work-life balance is easier conceived of than achieved.

On top of building in some fun and flexibility at work, it is also important to establish techniques to combat the sense of stress that can be created around deadlines and heavy workloads.

“We’re rushing from one event in those anticipatory moments and not living in this moment very often,” says Carolyn Clarke, a Sunshine Coast-based counsellor and natural health consultant with Richard T. Clarke and Associates and the Inner Fitness program.

She says high achievers have done so at a cost, which is becoming fairly serious issue. “Our North American society has fixated on quantity versus quality.., measuring ourselves more by our money and status and less by our family life and sense of community.”

Mrs. Clarke looks at balance as a dynamic process, using the analogy of a tightrope walker, constantly shifting to find equilibrium. “Balance isn’t a destination. It’s active and ever-changing. It requires attention and input.”

That’s where certain practices come in to create a more well-rounded approach to work and life. “When people look after their own personal care (their physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being) they also stand a really good chance of boosting their sense of meaning in the world, having a good home life, and bringing that forward into their work realm,” says Mrs. Clarke.

She says there are seven keys to living in balance: Make your health number one and commit to practices that will carry you through stressful periods; set clear boundaries for work and life and stick to them; take downtime to rejuvenate; nurture your relationship with yourself and commit to your personal growth through hobbies, understanding your passions and creating growth opportunities; nurture your love relationship, which is the foundation for everything else, and maximize keeping it alive; keep family and friends high on your list of priorities; infuse your life with a spiritual practice such as meditation, prayer and relaxation rituals.

“We all yearn for something more than the daily grind,” concludes Mrs. Clarke, pointing out that being tuned-in to our inner selves and infusing peace, effective organization and a pleasant atmosphere into our work space can make a world of difference in truly achieving a work-life balance."

Well, there you have it! Thanks to the Globe and Mail for inviting me to be a part of their great series!

To invite your loved ones to be a part of our Inner Fitness(R) Work and Life Balance tips, send them to this link...

Warmly, Carolyn
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