For those who don't know me very well, I wear a few hats during the working week - I work for myself part time (Owner and Leadership Coach at #FullFrameCoach) and in the #NHS part time (in a London cancer transformation team). I am also a volunteer at Jamyang London Buddhist Centre and a Trustee at Cancer Care Map. But it wasn't always like this. For a long time I worked 4-5 days a week in the NHS - it was flat out and very stressful across all the jobs I had in those 15+ years: managing politics, influencing strategic direction, performance managing organisations, delivering change projects, leading highly capable teams doing amazing work, and being part of a senior management team. There were lots of successes all benchmarked by award winning & highly commended projects, countless presentations to national and international conferences and our work implemented within and outwith London, and at national policy level. In 2021 this changed - because of a COVID redeployment and my Mum's health. Since coming back to the UK in January 2022 after looking after my Mum for a while, it's been a game changer for me - I get to live my working week the way I want it to be right now. I still have a reliable monthly income, I embrace entrepreneurialism, there's lots of coaching and being of service to communities I really care about. People who have worked with me in the NHS might describe me as pessimistic, impatient and frustrated - this is true! I definitely get frustrated that it takes so long to make changes that matter to our patients and their loved ones. It drives me mad that ideas, that myself and many other colleagues were working on 5-10-15 years ago, weren't taken up at the time, and now they are national policy. So much time, money and human effort wasted by not making the most of what was developed and tested at the time. But I remind myself from my academic studies, professional and personal experience in #ChangeManagement that it all takes time, some pain and some success. So I use gratitude as my superpower. It helps me to change my perspective all the time. Gratitude as a practice comes and goes as a panacea for our health and wellbeing. But it *really* does work, so long as it's not #toxicpositivity. So my #gratitude at the time of writing is: 1. A flexible working pattern - my 3 days a week in the NHS means I'm less stressed, frustrated, impatient and pessimistic than I used to be. 2. The choice to " work from elsewhere" - which means not in the office and not at home. This morning I'm at The Garden Museum Cafe with a lovely view of Dan Pearson's garden, a "Melbourne coffee" and a piece of delicious coffee & walnut cake. #natureloverinthecity 3. We live in a democratic society, free from direct impacts of war and environmental disaster. We are by no means immune to this stuff, but it does mean I don't live in fear of my life every day.
Coming up with #threegoodthings is a really useful gratitude practice. It’s quick. You don’t need anything to do it. It can be the small things and it can be the big things in life (and usually we end up finding that the small things are in fact the big things to be grateful for).
What are you grateful for today? I'd love to hear from you.