Ever Lasting Day…No Other

Ever Lasting Day

Ever Lasting Day…from the writings of St. Therese of Lisieux

My Life is but an instant, a mere passing hour,
My Life escapes and flies away, this single day, no other

You know O Lord:  a future bleak?
Beg you for tomorrow, I shall not, cannot!…
But keep my heart pure,
put me in your shade

Just for this day, no other.

Soon I shall fly to sing your praise,
And I leave this day, no
Then I shall play the angels lyre
And no longer say that on my soul it sets,
This day no other,
But on my soul it shines:
Your everlasting day, all other!

This beautiful poem was written by St. Therese of Lisieux.  Her life and writings greatly inspire me.  Even as a small child, she had the gift of knowing the greatness of God’s love and through simple every day gestures, she showed her love for Him. In many of her writings, she tells us not to focus so much on our weaknesses.  Instead, we must accept God’s love for who we are – flaws and all.  He is not wanting us to be super human beings – only our love.  I am sharing this with you friends to pass along her wonderful message of “living for the day”.  It isn’t easy in today’s world to live our lives one day at a time.  There is so much uncertainty, so much on our mind, and very good reason to think about all things we must plan now to prepare for tomorrow.

How do we not let all of this thinking consume us?  We can easily lose our sense of peace if we are not careful.

In her prayer, St. Therese first acknowledges the brevity of life. She admits that the future can look worrisome.  Yet though she knows that she can ask the Lord for the assurance and promise of another day, she vehemently chooses not to.  Instead she asks for the purity of heart and for the protection of his shade.  She asks this of God – just for the day – no other day – not tomorrow or always – just for that moment of time.  That day alone.  I am not sure at what point in her life she wrote this poem.  She may have written it during her tremendous illness.  This beautiful Saint suffered greatly and was given no aid to ease her physical pain. It may very well be that she knew she was approaching her last day on the earth.  She completes her prayer by describing the magnitude of the day in which she was living.  It is a day that is – everlasting – because it was given by God.  She gives him ownership and says “your everlasting day.” A day filled with so much wonder that it shines on her soul.  St. Therese gives us a wonderful way to think.  To treat each day as no other – to let every day be worth — all other.  How wonderful are her words….I continue my journey in learning all I can about my patron Saint, my beautiful St. Therese – the Little Flower.

St. Therese of Lisieux - the Little Flower and my patron Saint

St. Therese of Lisieux – the Little Flower and my patron Saint

Tips for Communicating with Confidence & Dressing “Right” for the Occasion

I just came back from a large 2 day conference that offered a great opportunity to network with others in my field. confidenceThe location was great, I met lots of interesting people and left with some new ideas.  As I perused the conference center and participated in various round-table discussions, I began to notice the different techniques men and women used to introduce themselves.  In this type of setting, speaking with confidence and ease is key to establishing a strong first impression.  In this post, I offer some tips on how to maintain a powerful presence and communicate with confidence.  While I am not a fashion guru, I do offer some advice on style and attire.

high heels

Not a good idea if you have to walk all day

Shoulders and Shoes are high impact aspects of how others will perceive you.  Men have it easier in this category than women do when it comes to feet.  They can  wear comfortable “walking” shoes and have learned through the years how important it is to stand straight with shoulders broad and back.  Throughout the conference I couldn’t help but notice that the women wearing those painful pointy high heels didn’t capture the same “presence” as the women wearing a stylish yet comfortable pair of shoes.  The high-heelers tended to shift back and forth as they spoke.  The swaying became more of a distraction and took away from a strong “stand” in the networking circle.  Clearly, the shifting was happening to alleviate pressure on foot by moving it to the other.  Point goes to the guys.  Women please wear shoes that you don’t have to think about at your event.  You want your attention to focus on the conversation, not on how to stand so that your feet don’t hurt. If your feet hurt, your shoulders will naturally curl and you’ll lose your solid strong shoulders presence.  In my case, I wore a cool pair of leopard style flats.  They were comfortable, wearable for the duration and added some dash to my outfit.

These were great shoes to wear at an event that required all day walking

These were great shoes to wear at an event that required all day walking

2. Crisp Suit and Shirt. One of the group discussions was led by 2 men working for the same company.  They dressed differently. One wore the traditional crisp white shirt and suit.  The other a polo shirt, dockers and sports jacket. Most of the people in that session were dressed in formal business clothes.  As both speakers went through their talk, the gentlemen in the suit seemed to be more relaxed and connected better with the audience.  The other more casually dressed speaker didn’t have the same impact standing alongside someone who had clearly dressed more fittingly for the event.  They each went through their presentations and concluded with an invitation to answer any questions. All the questions went to the guy wearing the formal business attire.  I do believe that his dressing right for the occasion (in similar fashion with the audience) contributed to the better connection. The main takeaway here is to know your audience and dress accordingly.  It is always better to fare on the side of “business” than too casual.

3.  Listen More Speak Less.  Not easy to do.  No one is comfortable during the  conversation pause. The tip here is to show interest in the other person.  Let them tell you about what they do and why they are there.  Be a good listener.  During a customer reception, one lady in the group dominated the entire discussion, interrupting others and even tried to describe another person’s job function.  No one liked her.  Slowly and surely, the group started to get smaller.  People left the circle.  I was the last person with her staying in part because I felt bad to make up an excuse to leave and also because she complimented my leopard flats 🙂 so I continued to listen to her story.

4.  Be present.  According to Shawn Achor’s new book, “before happiness”, our brain can only process forty bits of information per second every minute of  every day – choosing from among eleven million pieces of information our senses are receiving.  The people who were the best net workers were those who were “present” in the conversation.  They didn’t constantly check their email, look at their watch, or simply nod when someone asked a question.  They were paying attention and were genuinely interested in the dialog.  Key here is to be ready to dedicate your time and focus on what you are doing in the moment. Participating means more than showing up.  It means being present in “mind” and body.

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