Ep 10: Doing work differently in a way that feels more whole

Feeling whole in your work isn’t often talked about as being important. But when you find yourself feeling unsatisfied, it can be an invitation to create a way of working that feels deeply satisfying. Today’s episode will inspire you to go on your own journey of creating wholeness in work and will provide you with concepts and self-coaching questions to help you along the way. 

I begin by sharing my own story of finding part time work in order to bring more balance to my body, sense of belonging and finances. After working for myself exclusively for 20+ years, this is an important (and highly unconventional) step of feeling more whole through my own work.

The remainder of the episode focuses on providing you with mindset and coaching tools to help you on your own journey to feel whole in your work. 


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Hello, my beautiful introvert friend, welcome to episode number 10. That's all about doing work differently in a way that feels more whole in a way that helps to satisfy you as a whole human beings. So I am so excited about this. Podcast today because I'm going to be sharing. My personal story with experimenting with this that is happening right now. But first before we get to it, I want to take a moment to celebrate that we are at episode number 10. I can't believe it. This is so awesome. I feel like I've been doing the podcast for a lot longer than they actually have. It feels it just, it feels really good. And I love the format. I love the ability to go a bit deeper than I can in an email or in a social media post. And I love all of the feedback I'm getting from you. So thank you so much for being with me on this journey. And I am definitely continuing it. I suspect the summer. I will take a break as my intention with the, with the episodes to ha is to have conversations. And we're in the first season. I don't know exactly when this one will pause and then we'll start the second season, but that will soon become clear. As we go along. So with that, Let's move into our topic today. And. Really, I have been talking a lot about work, about being wildly successful at work as an introvert. And also, I'm not just with you, my clients, but also in my own life, you know, figure when you are an introvert or anyone who doesn't fit the. Like the general mold, when doing things the way it seems like is normal or everyone else is doing, doesn't really feel right for you. It can create a lot of confusion, a lot of internal turmoil because you don't really feel satisfied with the options that are given to you. And it can quickly turn into inner dialogues of like, well, you know, I'm, I don't fit in anywhere. I just, I I'm a failure at this work thing at this career thing. I'm thinking about. You know, doing a job or this job forever, it just makes me want to hide or go to. Live in Mexico and sell cupcakes on the beach. Or whatever. And so that's, that's a really hard place to be. So this is, this episode is really intended to both share my story and give you some support. If this is a journey that you were on finding work that you love because. Like work is 30. We spend like 33% of our lives in our work. So it is so important. And, and I think you know, and like, if work for money is totally satisfying, like that's all you need from it. That is awesome. But I see work as an extension of. Of ourselves, of you into the world of, of like everything that you have to offer, what you have to share, the impact that you can bring to people beyond you as an individual. Work is one of the primary ways that we do that. So when we can dial down. Or at least come to a place where we feel content, where we feel. You know, for lack of a better word in alignment with the way that we are working in the world. Then that helps to create contentment and confidence and calm in the entirety of our lives. So in the episode today, I'm going to share with you what I am doing right now, how I'm experimenting with work and why. And I'm going to tell you how it's going because I have about a month and a half under my belt, and I have. Yeah, yeah. I can do an evaluation now. And then I want to talk about you and feeling whole in your work. Some of the larger concepts that is involved, that are involved, like your energy what it means to be your whole self, like w like your social self, your health. The focus of your interests, the needs for money and making conscious compromises. Also. And then at the end, I'll give you some coaching, self coaching to help you find your own holistic org strategy. So with that, let's jump in. So for about, I would say. Lauren May now for over a year. I have, well, first let me go further back. I have worked for myself pretty much my whole adult life. The only time I've worked a nine to five for any appreciable time. I think I was maybe there's like maybe six months when I was 22 and another six months when I was 24, maybe. And other than that, I have worked for myself or when I was younger, I worked at like Starbucks or doing retail at a Mac store. Things that were would would not call them careers by any stretch of the word. So I've very naturally like found my own way of working as, and didn't ever feel like drawn to the structured quote unquote normal way. So that's given me a lot of leeway to create my own way of working. But in the beginning I ended up. Because I didn't have any references. I kind of recreated what I thought was like the normal way of working and that did not go so well. That's a story for another time. But for five years I have been working as a coach and and I feel like this like made a big transition into working differently into. Working from a more heart-centered place of really finding, calling and passion and pursuing those things. However in all of this time, I've mostly worked from home. And that has meant it being in front of a screen. By myself for the most part. I have done a lot of I've had moments in my business life where I've had a team and had a lot of connection via via the computer. And right now with my clients, my coaching clients, we, you know, we have very. Very deep intimate conversations via zoom. But the rest of the time, it's kind of me in my own world. So I really never had a problem with this. Until last year. So the big like pandemic. What do we call that? Staying at home? We had to all work from home. For me, I was already doing that. Am I that? That was already my lifestyle and I loved it. And as an introvert, it's wonderful. I love it so much. But I, about a year ago, I started to really feel like more isolated. I started to feel my mental health. It became a lot more. Like of a struggle. And then there's a lot of stuff happening in my life that it just, it felt like I was being shaken and like, The foundation that I had, wasn't really working for where I was going in my life. So. I started going to a coworking space and being a part of a coworking Alliance that organizes events and I've, you know, created connection and working through that. But even that was not enough. And so this year as I have. Really been asking myself, like, what do I need to feel a whole, what do I need? This to look like in terms of my work and like looking at where like is, is my business the way it is. Going to provide all of that for me, or are there other things that I might want to do? So my needs are really to get out of the house and be social. Be have contact with other humans in a way that. Feels. Nourishing. And doesn't overextend me. And that I don't have to be doing 40 hours a week. I don't have to feel like it's a choice between, between. Exact doing exactly what I am and doing for like 40 hours a week, plus the extra time and being completely like stuck in a structure. That I would feel obligated to be in for, you know, the next two or three years when I've never really worked a full-time job for any appreciable amount of time. That just sounds awful scary. I mean, It could be wonderful. But. Knowing myself and my energy, I suspect it would require a lot of internal pushing and energy management. So another thing that I'm looking for in general is a sense of it's a sense of security and safety. You know, as a business owner, you provide for everything for yourself. And when there's ups and downs, it can be very, very stressful. So some of that sense of security can, it just could come from more connection, more community. Some of that can come from actually having like work provided health insurance, or or stable income, like a cushion of income that you can count on every month. It'll be pretty much the same. That was a game changer for me in my previous business, where once I figured out how to create that cushion of income, it really reduced my stress, which is something that I haven't had as a coach. So, what did I do? I started working part-time at the best bakery in Alaska. If not here in the United States. And it's not just because the baked goods are amazing, but the culture that they have, it is very loving. It is very caring. It is very professional. And very high level. They have the ability, the ability to have me work part time. And it's helpful for them. It's very in, it's supportive for them. It's supportive for me. There's flexibility. And two of the most important things are that I F I feel like I am a part of something bigger than me. I feel like my work. I'm up. At, at the counter working with w with the customers that come in the, the tips that we earn those go to everybody. So in a very real sense, My work is helping everybody. And of course, everyone else's work is helping me to have, you know, be able to do my work. And it's just so clear. It's and I love that. So, so much. It's lovely to have people to talk to, to be working together in a very fast paced environment and feel a sense of flow. It's just this experience that I don't really get otherwise, so I'm so loving that. And I get to see people. I get to interact with people. I see more people in a way that is it's. It's a very brief, odd might have it most like a two minute conversation with a friend that comes in and is buying a baked good. And it it's lovely. It's perfect. And then I can go home and it's done. There's no ongoing worries or troubles or. It's just so, so lovely. And then there is a small cushion of of Continuous income was the bird recurring income there, which is lovely. However I did just fill in. For some folks and did a 40 hour work week there. And that I can definitely tell was too much. My body is exhausted. And oh, and I forgot to say one of the high points of working there is I'm using my body and that feels amazing. But not for 40 hours a week. So, so which is so good to know because my strategy going forward. Is to have diverse ways of working in the world and. I, it doesn't not need to be a 40 hours a week of high intensity movement, but a part-time it's perfect. Also thinking in, in financial terms and career terms. You know, the, my career is probably not going to change. Like I am a life coach. That is what I want to grow. I have so much more to give so many more ideas. And when you more people that I want to help. But. Right now this combination, it feels like what I need in order to be whole. And let me tell you getting here, it was kind of hard. Thinking about working for someone else? Just in general was like, oh my gosh, I haven't done this. This could be really hard. I could, you know, what's it going to be like to have a boss and. With, you know, I'm not having in, in reality, like none of that is a problem. And part of that is because it really isn't that much of a problem with part of that is also that I work for wonderful people. So I share that because I, I want to share a story of how. You can be creative in finding answers to your needs. But sometimes you have to. Experience them not being fulfilled in order to know what your needs are. And that's totally okay. So, if you find yourself in a moment where you are feeling confused, you are feeling like you don't like you're unsatisfied and you don't really know what next step to take. Like. That is just part of your journey. And I'll give you some tips here at the end to help you move through that. But right now, I want to talk about the idea. Of feeling whole in your work. No. As a, an introvert, as you know no, maybe a neurodivergent person as a projector. If you're into human design, your energy is, has a big influence on the style of work that. Will fit well for you. And if, so, if you have less acts like less abundant energy, you really want to think about how to Balance ex. Effort. With ease. So taking action with, with rest. And I talk a lot about the sign wave. I think I've shared on this before the idea that you'll have like moments of peak effort, and then ideally you follow that with moments of deep rest so that you maintain a balanced amount of energy over time. This helps to create sustainability, sustainable effort. And when you have more energy that makes you more resilient. To stress. It helps your nervous system feel safer. And it helps you really have confidence in. Your output, it helps you to understand what you are capable of and not over promise. In a way that's going to lead to burnout. No, as an introvert, you need time away. You need time where you are. Our resting where you are reducing input, whether that's social or just like the amount of information coming through. And ideally you find ways for your work to compliment this. Also feeling whole in your work, it comes from thinking about like what you need as a human, like, you know, the, the social activities, the social connection, the quality of the connection. You know, you'll get a very different type of social connection. If you work in, you know, as an investment banker than you would as a baker. Or as a coach, right. And you also focus on different topics. You know, your brain might love to think about math and art. And so maybe it's the case that you don't have. Those in the same work, right? Maybe you have an art business on the side and you have an art group that you paint with every Sunday. And you are also a math teacher. For example. Using your body also, I think is a very important thing that we're. Would that I love thinking about when it comes to work, because I think a lot of us were just like, okay, we're working in front of a computer all the time and that's just the way it is. So I'm going to try and be more ergonomic. Get up and take breaks. Right? But what if we can find a way to, to do our work that involves the body more, or that you can be in different possessions? Like here. If you're watching on video, this is my office. I've got a yoga mat on the floor. I've got like right now, I'm in a chair. I have bean bag thing back here, so I can, I can, and I can have. I have a standing desk, so I can really like, like vary the position of my body. And I need that. My body tells me it needs it through pain. Right. And that is. Th is a huge part of the conversations we need to be having around being whole humans in our work. For the longterm. Otherwise we create pain. We create problems that become distractions and. Decreased satisfaction with life. And of course with work. And then another thing to feel whole in your work. It's like money and safety. You know, this is another layer to it where we do live in a world that we needed to buy things. And we don't really have much of a safety net. So that becomes a big part of, of that for a lot of us. That's one of them. If not the most important factor in deciding on a job, it is the most important factor. And it is very important, but I think we often over-focus on it. To the detriment of these other of being our whole selves in our work. You know, the more that we think about work on a holistic level, the more we will be searching for new answers, new combinations, the more we will be advocating for them or creating them in our own businesses. Because what tends to happen even when you work for yourself? Just like I did initially is we create this. The structures, we model our own businesses and way of working based on what we know and that just recreates the problem that we're trying to get out of. Right. So you need to find your own way of working your own combination. Whatever that looks like it's only you, who is going to be able to identify what you need and create it. I mean, maybe you're lucky enough to find some awesome, like, you know, Company that is totally into wellness and all of the things that I'm talking about and they create the perfect position. With the perfect amount of time and movement of your body and blah, blah, blah, blah. But that's a lot to ask, right. And unfortunately it's not the norm. But we can create new norms for ourselves. So, how do we do that? How do you create your own holistic work strategy? Well, first of all, it starts with having an attitude of love and caring for yourself. Versus feeling like something is wrong with you or that you're a failure because you haven't been able to fit into the nine to five or maybe it was an alternative way of working and it didn't still didn't work for you. It's so easy to use that against yourself. It's so easy to look at that and say that I'm doing something wrong, but this is all I know. So I don't, I don't know what else to do. I'm failing. Instead of want to offer. Having an attitude of compassion of recognizing that this is hard, but this is, this is a struggle. But that you have, you know, yourself, that there is wisdom within you. That is indicating, that is inviting you to search for. Something different to discover it, to create a. And then it's worth it. That, you know, maybe in the end you don't find per perfection, but that's not really what it's about. You know, this process of. Of identifying what you need and providing it for yourself. We'll already make a huge difference. And when you can do this from a place of love and caring and gentle commitment. You'll make this process feel really good for yourself. There'll be affirming and help you to feel calm, help you to feel confident so that you can trust your process. So. So to help you do this, I have some questions here. These are self-coaching questions. And I re I recommend that you have a journal nearby and you can pause and write down these questions and then give yourself some time to. Gently ponder them. You know, it might be that you take one of these questions and go for a walk and let the answer bubbled to the surface. Do whatever process you use to find answers in a way that doesn't feel like it's coming from a sense of urgency. Inadequacy or stress. Okay. So ask yourself. Where do I feel out of balance in my work? You might think about physically in your body. In your mind. Socially creatively. Financially. What would be an ideal vision of work? And let your imagination run wild. You might. Think about a scene from a movie. Or someone that you saw on Instagram? And it doesn't have to be concrete if it is, that's amazing if you know exactly the kind of job and where you'd like to be and how many hours that's amazing, but it could just be, I feel a sense of freedom. I feel connected. I feel meaningful. Another way to ask yourself this might be what would a holistic experience of work look like for me? I could do anything. If I could have it be any way, what would it look like for me? And what do I know already? About how I thrive about what I love about what is meaningful. I don't anything. What do I know? And then what don't I know what are the gaps? Maybe it's. I don't know what it's really like to work for myself, or I don't know how I'd make money doing that or. I don't know if I'd like it. And for each one of those items, then ask yourself how. Could I find the answer. Could you ask someone who is in that career? Do an informational interview. Could you shadow someone? Could you ask your boss, your current boss. About going part-time and what that could look like. And then finally ask yourself, what's the next baby step I want to take. Now. You know, today or tomorrow, this week. How can I move forward now? Because if this is speaking to you, if this episode is resonating with you, I want you to see that as information to help you move towards what it is that you want to create, whether that is being wildly successful in your work, or just feeling more at ease. So. Along these lines, if this is resonating and you want more depth to it, I do have a strategy guide called wildly successful at work that is perfect for this. You can get that on my website at heidijandal.com/wildlysuccessful. I'll put the notes that the link in the show notes. So you can go download that. And it is a series of questions that walks you through identifying what it means to be wildly successful. And then how to create that for yourself on your terms for your unique vision. All right my friends thank you so much for making it here to the end with me on this journey together i would love to know what you think and what your ideas for future episodes R because this is for you this podcast is for you. And i love responding to your questions And creating content around exactly what you need so i'm always here All right friends Take care and i will see you next time