Start the Conversation

Some days (especially gray, cold and rainy days) I begin to feel very overwhelmed.

There are too many “tabs” open and my brain can’t seem to manage all of them. I want to get my thoughts out, but they seem incomplete or just too big. Waves of helplessness hit me when I see something that needs fixed, but I don’t have direct control over the fixing. I feel so small compared to the massive population of Earth – how can I make a dent?

Start the Conversation - EmilyMarko.com

I have been involved in some great dialogue lately that has helped to shrink the feelings of helplessness. That dialogue has occurred because someone decided to Start the Conversation. Seems easy enough, but then things come knocking at your door – fear, guilt, procrastination, perfection, vulnerability, etc.

The only way to push past this is to open the door – and your mouth.

1 – Talk (or draw) it out with yourself. Look in the mirror and start talking. Or grab a sheet of paper and create a mind map of all those “tabs” that are open. I do this on a regular basis and it helps me tremendously.

2 – Find a listening ear – someone else to hear you if you don’t like talking to your reflection. It can be informal conversations with a friend or coworker or more structured discussions. Some of the best dialogues recently have been with my clients. This is what I LOVE most about my work – I can literally help people see all those “tabs”. Once you empty your brain it is amazing how simple everything seems and a path forms right before you.

3 – Find an organization that has similar thoughts and share it with them. Maybe they have a workshop, meeting or networking event you could attend. Do they have a website or social media page where you could share your comments. I started this post (conversation) because of a thread started in the Rock It network I belong to.

4 – Can’t find an organization you jive with? Well then start your own platform to share the thoughts near and dear to you. I can guarantee there will be at least one other person who was thinking the same thing. All they needed was someone to Start the Conversation.

Sometimes we just need to feel heard and then the Idea Seeds we planted begin to grow WILD!

Lately I have worked with some great individuals and organizations that are open to hearing thoughts and collaborating with their communities to make the world a little better. These are just two examples of visuals I created to help others Start the Conversation.

NIFI Map NCDD 2014 - EmilyMarko.com

The NCDD, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation, is all about dialogue – its even in their name. This map is part of the 2014 Field Mapping Project which literally started a conversation at their annual conference.

5 Things Paeyc - EmilyMarko.com

Paeyc, The Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children, is the voice of education for Pittsburgh youth. This infographic summarizes what they heard from a local neighborhood and promotes some available resources.

What Fuels You

I finally finished up my year in review of 2013! Woo hoo!

This was the first time I used a formal template and it really helped me to capture all my thoughts. As I solidified my goals for 2014, I wanted to be sure I was creating goals that would align well with all aspects of my life AND really be meaningful to me. So I created a template, closely based on the Wellbeing categories, to keep me on track.

What Fuels You - emilymarko.com

Each goal I identified had to fall into one of the 6 categories and truly be something that would fuel me through out this year.  My plan is to keep the template posted in my office as a reminder of what to focus on so I remain content, full and balanced.

  • Career covers the details of what I do – type of work, clients, environment, etc.
  • Health is about how I keep my whole self healthy – physical, mental and spiritual. The Wellbeing category is Physical, but Health resonates with me more.
  • Community is all about how I interact with and support my communities – neighborhood, school district, city, state, country and organizations I belong to.
  • Financial is about the security of my finances, but also how I track and spend.
  • Social focuses on people I interact with on a regular basis.
  • Family is a huge focus for me so I separated it out from Social.

These categories seem to be working for me, but its flexible. I have a client who tweaked this to fit her situation.
Are there different categories you would use?