If you Google “staff meeting memes”, the results are pretty entertaining. We’ve all been there. You have the doodler, the window gazer, the incessant cougher (me today), the late comer, the nail biter, the fast talker…you get the idea. Occasionally, meetings are daunting, tedious and boring, but they’re also a vital part of the success of any business or organization. Theoretically, staff meetings are productive assemblies where support is given, decisions are made and ideas are born.
At KPCC, staff meetings take place on Thursdays. Our meetings have a less traditional approach – at least I think they do. At the beginning of each meeting, staff members are given the opportunity to check in. We share what’s going on in our lives, how we may be feeling, insightful books we’re reading or quotes we’ve seen. We show photos from recent trips or family gatherings. We ask for prayer for those in need. The KPCC conference table is a safe and accepting place around which many tears have been shed, including my own. Today was no exception.
After the check-ins we do a meditation. We take the time to refocus and be present and mindful in the moment. Today’s meditation was about gratitude. The exercise encouraged us to sit in silence, slow our breathing, relax and redirect our attention to recognizing the things we appreciate about ourselves, our bodies, and our lives.
When the meditation was finished, we shared our thoughts with the group.
One person said he’s grateful for music.
Another staff member is grateful for the ability to walk without pain.
An expectant mother on our staff is grateful for the gift of life.
Another person is grateful for time spent with her family.
One staff member is grateful his wife found tennis as a new hobby.
Another said she is grateful for her new granddaughter.
After a health scare, one staff member is grateful for the relationships in his life.
I was so emotional during the meditation that I didn’t share for fear of breaking down. The rain was pelting against the windows and the thunder surged while we sat there in silence. My eyes closed, my body relaxed. Aware of each breath….I could only hear one word.
It’s true. I’m grateful for my storm, because without it, I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength. I have learned that I can leave a bad situation and survive. I can find job and a place to live, purchase a vehicle on my own, and stand in line at a food pantry if I need to. I can ask for help and accept it. I can take care of myself and my son.
I keep a journal – several actually. One journal is designated for thoughts of gratitude.
Today’s entry: I am thankful for my strength and all the people who’ve helped me recognize it.
I share this to encourage each of you to take a moment and be mindful of your surroundings and those things in your life for which you are thankful. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with circumstances and get lost in thought. Gratitude teaches us that even though it storms from time to time, we can still learn to dance in the rain.