It’s A Family Affair: A Lesson in Energy Management Hits Home

Kathleen's quick lesson led to deep discussion.As we all remain perpetually aware of, goal orientation and energy maintenance are not exclusive to the workplace. These are concepts that we weave into our family lives just as passionately. Women’s Advancement Compact (WAC) specialist and career planner Kathleen Brady seemed to strike a chord in this area (or for some attendees, tap a nerve) when she laid out her NAIL approach to empowerment at our September 18th event.

What NAIL is blocking you?The “L” in NAIL stands for Limiting Beliefs, or, the circumstances that we illogically accept about ourselves and our world that prevent us from approaching the next level of fulfillment. The varied minds of our nearly 70 participants that evening processed this notion in quite an unpredictable light during the breakout session that followed, as was evident in the “gut spilling” which seemed to result— related, more than anything else, to family!    

Whether we have dysfunction in our family lives, or enjoy the good fortune of a gracious and tightly-knit pack, we don’t always suspect that others secretly equate family with stress and anguish. But this is clearly the case, and the proof rests in some confessions made last Wednesday, the likes of which included:

  • Stressing over the mere thought that family is coming to town
  • Feeling pressure to seek approval from difficult family member
  • Receiving unsolicited anger from a spouse
  • Spouse never being able to “unplug”— the old Blackberry in bed situation

 A valid conclusion is that people’s Limiting Beliefs are creating a barrier between themselves and their families, not allowing the relationships to blossom. “Families are famous for not getting along. What makes mine any different?” “I’m probably unlikable or not fun enough to be around. That’s why my family seems to be judging me.” “His family is crazy, and I’m not going to play their game.” These are probably frightfully familiar scenarios to many of us, and when someone like Kathleen Brady is on our team with her enlightened guidance, we feel we’ve struck gold.

Have a read of some of the family advice several WAC members and friends instinctively offered out during that same breakout session:

  •  When family is in town, turn a negative into a positive by getting creative. Plan a collaborative task like cooking. Better yet, customize each day’s activities to suit the interests of a different family member, so everyone is individually contented.
  • Invite your parents into your life. It is a gift to spend time with them, and an opportunity for them to know you as an adult.
  • Regardless of your success rate in pleasing your family, remember to be authentic to yourself. Don’t make someone else’s drama become yours. 
  • Even when your family situation is unfixable, never rule out the power of meditation and yoga.

 The WAC was founded with the goal of bringing balance and harmony to people’s lives; what happened at last Wednesday’s event transcends that goal, and qualifies as magical!