Maximizing Where You Are Now

You are the CEO of your life and it’s up to you to manage your career and to develop effective career management strategies that work.  The old adage, “Timing is everything,” is still right on. Attaining clarity about what you want is your main job right now.  Here are some key strategies for “Maximizing Where You Are Now:”

  • START MANAGING YOUR THOUGHTS because you create with your thoughts, your words, and your actions.   If your current job is just not working well for you, take a look at what’s not quite right and consider this a gift, because this situation is providing evidence for what needs to change.  Consciously shift your focus and ask, “What do I want in my next position?  This isn’t working, so what would work well?  What other options sound exciting?”  Look at what you do enjoy about your current position and focus on what you do well and what challenges you to stretch and grow.  Remember, what you focus on always expands.
  • DO YOUR VERY BEST IN YOUR CURRENT POSITION and do exceptional work.  Anticipate that you are going to be leaving this job –which is only short-term–and you want to leave in good standing with excellent references and referrals.  Your reputation and how you feel about yourself is something you will always take with you.   So, look for the opportunities to excel and to shine.  And ideally, you are staying in touch with the reputable people you have met through your current position.  There is a subtle and very important shift you make internally when you do this–you begin focusing on doing a great job and enjoying your work, and what you focus on is what will materialize.  It’s always best to leave a position when you are “on top” and doing a great job.  You feel successful and are leaving because you aspire to further develop yourself professionally and feel ready to step into new opportunities.
  • DEVELOP A LONG-RANGE PLAN – YOUR CAREER/LIFE PLAN. Is it time for you to develop your own game plan?   Where do you want to be personally and professionally in five to ten years? What is your personal vision? What excites you and inspires you?  What are the essential aspects of an excellent working situation for you?  Engaging in strategizing and planning for yourself—which is part of your CEO responsibilities in managing your own career—is a very smart strategy for you right now.  You know the power of having specific goals, so it only makes sense that now is the right time for you to develop your own tangible game plan. Your customized career life plan takes a holistic approach and will help you achieve a better career/life balance, developing yourself both professionally and personally.  Once you gain clarity and ask for what you want, your job is to expect success and stay open to receiving your requests.
  • TAKING EXTRA GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF RIGHT NOW. An important part of your responsibility as CEO of your life is “filling up your cup.”  That means you are taking responsibility for your own “self-care” — staying strong and healthy, doing things that make you feel good, surrounding yourself by wonderful people where there is mutual love and respect, and taking time to rejuvenate your energies on a regular basis.  Whatever it takes for you to feel good about yourself, feel good about what you are doing and just feel good about the life you are living – this is your responsibility.
  •  BE DELIBERATE ABOUT EXPANDING YOUR NETWORK. Begin by taking an honest look at your current network.  Are these the people you want to associate with?  Who do you want to be associating with?  Are there some gaps between your current network and your ideal network? Be strategic about this and be proactive in finding new networks that will serve you well professionally and propel you into your next career move.  Your objective is to continually be open to making new professional connections with people you admire and respect, and the more diverse your network is, the better.


 Gabrielle Parkinson has been an Executive Coach for over 30 years.

5 Ways to Improve Your Sleep When You Suffer From Back Pain

You know that sleep is important for your overall health. A healthy sleep routine can boost your immune system, preserve your mental health, and even help you maintain a healthy weight. When you live with chronic back pain, however, getting the sleep you need can be a struggle. This is why you need to take the right steps to address your lack of sleep and manage your pain symptoms. So, if you suffer from nightly pain, here are some measures you need to consider.

Choose a Bed That Supports Your Back 

A supportive mattress can make all the difference in your quality of sleep, especially if back pain is a chronic issue. Manufacturers are beginning to recognize this connection, so it should be easier than ever to find a mattress made for chronic back pain sufferers. These specially equipped models should relieve excess pressure on your vertebrae while maintaining spinal alignment as you rest. Proper support for your back and spine means a better night’s sleep, which can be especially handy if you are recovering from surgery. Having the right bed will support better sleep habits for years to come, so invest in a quality mattress for your health.

Adjust Your Preferred Sleeping Positions 

 When back pain is a constant problem, it’s important for you to find ways to feel comfortable. Your favorite sleeping position may need to be tweaked so that you can still feel relaxed without putting undue pressure on your back. Some helpful sleep positions to relieve back pain include curling into the fetal position or using pillows to keep your body aligned. An adjustable bed or wedge support pillows may also be useful for finding a position that maximizes the quality of your sleep. There are various shapes and sizes to address different pain concerns, so do your homework to find out which will work best for you.

Purchase New Pillows to Alleviate Pain

 Using pillows to support your lower body can enhance your sleep positions, but you also need to find pillows that support your head and neck. Rather than settling for standard pillows, try looking for models that are shaped to properly hold cradle your head at night. These pillows may look a little funny, but those odd angles are specifically designed to reduce discomfort in your neck and spine. Memory foam is also a good choice for those who deal with chronic pain since it molds to your body and holds that supportive shape throughout the night.

Use Gentle Exercise to Reduce Discomfort 

 Chronic pain can make daily activity feel like less of a priority. Studies show, however, that even moderate exercise can actually help you control your symptoms. A regular exercise routine enhances your body’s ability to tolerate pain and also helps you maintain your overall physical health, which can lead to fewer pain symptoms. Even better, exercising in the morning can also improve your sleep hygiene. So, take a morning walk or start a yoga practice to better manage your pain and sleep. Staying active can also enhance your energy levels, which can make exercise easier as you get more practice.

Make Regular Stress Relief a Priority 

 Chronic pain is a physical feeling, so you may not think there’s a connection to your mental health. Reducing stress, however, is a crucial part of any chronic pain or sleep management plan. When you feel anxious or stressed, you tend to be more sensitive to pain, which can make your symptoms feel worse. Pain can also lead to more stress. It’s a cycle that can impact your quality of life, as well as your caliber of sleep, so make time for stress-relieving self-care. Find a new hobby to help reduce stress, such as coloring or gardening. Meditation is also a great way to reduce stress and improve feelings of positivity, making it a healthy practice for anyone.

If you are stuck in a cycle of chronic pain and regular sleep loss, it’s time for a change. Making more supportive choices when it comes to your sleep and health will make it easier to manage those pain symptoms and give you more control over your life.


Cheryl Conklin is a freelance writer and tutor by trade and a blogger, adventurer, traveler, and creator of in her free time. She created Wellness Central because she believes one can’t have physical health without mental health and vice versa. She wanted a place to share her thoughts on wellness along with the great resources she finds on her own wellness journey, and so was born.

Stop Gun Violence: What Artists Can Do To Make the Point for Sensible Gun Laws

My life has been about helping children and adults find healing, from either abuse or other difficult experiences, so speaking out against unneeded gun violence is something I must do. As a Jungian Psychologist and Artist, I had an idea I shared with Jim Eason at KGO Radio in 1972. But news about the Watergate break-in prevented him from airing our interview. I’ve never let go of this idea: to communicate, through art, that our militaristic culture, now through our gun laws, is killing Americans. With renewed student activism, now is the time to bring this idea back to the public by exploring deeper thought through artistic expression instead of superficial thinking.

Artistic expression has taught us about racial conflict, economic divides, the reasons for revolutions and even great optimism. Artists with a political purpose have created both figurative and realistic images, finding that in their expression, they can motivate and inspire action. Since Valentines Day, 2018, we have reached a tipping point in the fight against the gun lobby. Most Americans are against the NRA’s viewpoint; their hearts are aching for change. We need the power of artistic expression to fuel social activism.

Long before the Renaissance, art reflected and impacted human kind in depth above and below consciousness. Notice the cathedrals, the murals, sculptures which still move the souls of people at a depth below ego consciousness. Even before writing, cave art told us something about our existence.

By then I was in college studying art. Conceptual art and political art was a big thing back then. My husband had his masters in art history. Both of us knew how art impacted the world, for at least as long as the reformation.

Right now, here in the United States, we are beyond the crisis point. Education is harder to find, let alone achieve. The dumbing down of America has reached unbelievable heights. Many communities have teachers who must pay for school supplies. Book shortages are rampant. Politicians keep cutting budgets and ill prepared elected officials (check out your state) are reluctant, even unwilling to help. Now these same officials support arming teachers, locking doors to schools, without a thoughtful strategy limiting guns in the arms of dangerous individuals. Sadly, what is happening has more to do with power than ever before…that is power for a few.

Few gain from our irresponsible access to weapons. We know the few: Investors and, of course, representatives to both the House and Senate are financed by gun lobbyists and billionaires who want to keep what they have and get still more.

Too many representatives are willing to sacrifice the public for self gain. Meanwhile, they actually work very little. They are provided the very best health care and retirement benefits. My dear Americans, it all adds up to millions of people going hungry or dying from illness, many of whom work hard. The founders of our country did not intend for this to happen.

But a few very gifted students in Florida are making waves, bringing the issue of profit versus safety to the front of our minds. But we need to go deeper. We need to activate the depths of our bodies and minds, reach for creativity–we need to go to a level that is not subordinate to the lure of power and profit.

Action Based on Fact

We need people to FEEL so deeply it becomes impossible not to act. We need everyone to care and then VOTE!! We need every man, woman and child to know the facts about gun violence. There is already so much data that shows the harm that comes from our current gun laws:

Compared to 22 other high-income nations, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is 25 times higher. (CBS NEWS)

Although it has half the population of the other 22 nations combined, the U.S. had 82 percent of all gun deaths, 90 percent of all women killed with guns, 91 percent of children under 14 and 92 percent of young people between ages 15 and 24 killed with guns. (CBS NEWS)

In 2010, gun violence cost U.S. taxpayers more than half billion dollars ($516 million) indirect hospital costs. (URBAN INSTITUTE)

A study undertaken in 2011 indicated that in states where local background checks for gun purchases are completed, the suicide as well as the homicide rate are much lower than those without (HEALTH POLICY JOURNAL).

Using Art To Make A Point

Do you remember the Oklahoma murders? Were you moved by the display of those empty chairs? Do you remember the AIDS Quilts? These works of art moved our culture into action. I call on the artistic community to create works of art that will speak to these despicable crimes—and—to the necessity for sensible gun laws. We have had too many deaths from guns. Our so-called congress and senate will not act in our favor. The gun lobby, among others, pay them too well. Can we call these bribes?

When the small children at Sandy Hook were murdered, mental illness was blamed. My dear Americans, these acts are not caused by mental illness—they are caused by the political financial gains politicians have received.

Artists, I call on you to make a plaster of each person murdered because sensible gun laws are not in place. Your art should reflect the many years of neglect. Then we should come together to display them on the Congressional Mall. If we could place chairs there—the many thousands of chairs, for both the children and grown ups who have died due to inefficient gun laws we could communicate a powerful message. Let us share our ideas so that the victims are represented and continue to share their voice. We need to experience the impact of so many human beings now mourned by their families.

Given the urgency of this problem, I hope Artists nationwide will act now.


Linda Dean has been a licensed family and child counselor for nearly 40 years, and received her training and education in both the U.S. and Switzerland. Her study of art, and her training at the C.G. Jung Institute has impacted her viewpoint.

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