A wedding, a funeral + How do you want to feel in your work?


There’s so much I have to share with you today. First, I’m writing to you from Istanbul, Turkey. In a few moments I’ll be leading a workshop on how to create authentic communication within the team. It’s happening at Ericsson. It’s the result of a crazy idea I had a few years ago where I thought that most of our time we spend is at work with our colleagues and there so much stress. expectations. Conflicts. Politics. We spend a lot of time together and yet we know nothing of one another. Tip toe around what we want to say. Get confused about what we have to do. The ambience gets too formal and plastic. We put our whole true multi-coloured personality aside and step into a vanilla persona to cope with all of this. And then we slip into the routine of ” that’s the way it is, that’s the way it’ll always be”. Sounds familiar?

The whole purpose of the workshop is to infuse humanity back into the corporate world. We focus on the creativity and potential of the team. In there we speak authenticity, heart and openness, needs, feelings and desires, wisdom of diversity and handling conflicts skilfully. We learn acknowledgement and gratitude, how to give meaningful feedforward. Being proactive versus reactive. We share. We get personal. We connect.

There’s no fluff. It’s real. It gets messy. It’s relationships.

And It all stemmed from an anger in my belly (back from my 8 till late corporate days) to challenge the corporate status quo and my deep desire to create a more authentic, co-creative, understanding and inspired work environment that calls forth all members of the team to take initiative and leadership at all levels of the hierarchy. I co-created that 4 years ago with my friend, facilitator and Telecom engineer Gul Yucel. It’s called TeamShift and it’s powerful.

Before I leave you to get prepped up to meet the participants, I want to share with you this which was my initial post to you (that’s the emotional part):

Last week, I went for a short break to London. It was in fact the marriage ceremony of my very good friend. It was lively. Joyful. Kind. Loads of uncontrollable laughs. Aromas. Succulent food. Lots of walking. Cycling. Salsa dancing. Late night talks. A true celebration of friendship.

 I travelled without my notebook and without my laptop.

I decided there will be no work.
Minimal internet access.
No writing.
No email responding.
No blog posting.
No client calls.
Robinson Crusoe style.


The reason: I was exhausted. Brain fried. In need of a break.

During the end of my stay, I also got the news of the passing away of my father in law. He battled bone cancer and Alzheimer’s with all his might and it was time for him to go. My heart was present and full of compassion for my husband Jihad and his family. Jihad’s courage in front of his precious loss puts tears to my eyes.

You know how there are moments in life where everything seems pointless? It was that kind of moment. So, I walked to ventilate these emotions through the streets of Portobello – alone- reflecting at the impermanence and paradox of life, sniffing waffles, enjoying the colourful fruit market and the old vintage shop, the many London weathers in a day. I even spotted the queen Kat of Game Thrones series, thanked her for her performance. And as I started feeling the expansion in my chest and a slight relaxation in my temples. The exhaustion drifts away (the many miracles of what a walk can do).  In the delight of this chillax-ness, getting back into the present moment, It dawned on me:
Overworked? Exhausted? Depleted?
How pointless is that! right?

I want to cultivate more rest and play.
That’s it.
I want to let go of exhaustion. Overwhelm.
Give myself  pauses.
Let go of thinking of my to do list even in my break time.
Crammed schedules. breathless.
That never ending glorification of busy.
Pointless. isn’t it?
I want it to STOP!
I want to feel more lightness.
I want to feel there’s time and space to do what I want to do.
I want to feel the discovery. Exploration.
No rush. No pressure. Respect my own rhythm. 
I want to indulge in my meditations. My breathing soft and calm.
Me first, the rest follows. Guilt-less. 
Flexible structure.
Green walks. Dance.
Meaningful connections with people, places and spaces.
Fully present. Generous.


That’s how I want to feel. I want to infuse more of that energy in my day. I’ll find ways to do so.

NOW BACK TO YOU:   What’s the relationship between work and your self worth? How well do you do in cultivating rest and play? You might be a pro at it then fire away your wisdom and insights in the comment area. How do you manage not to slip into overwhelm mode. How do you want to feel in your work today, tomorrow, right now? what do you want more of/less of?

Knowing how we want to feel (in any area of our life) is a doorway to fulfilment and creating pleasurable experiences for ourselves. Rather than just settling with what is. In the process, make sure you don’t get caught up in ‘I can’t’ and ‘ it’s not possible’. And if you do feel that resistance that keep you where you are, read this previous post.

It’s all about how do you want to feel.

Take the lead. Create that feeling you long for.

Claim it. Allow it.

With love, rest and play


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