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Do we still celebrate Labour Day? If so what does it mean to you?

Labour Day fast approaches, it’s a great chance to make the most of what might be the last of good weather, daylight savings is about to end, the children need a little break. It’s been tough returning to work after the Christmas holidays, settling the Children back into school and finding a routine that will maximize our free time, time to spend with family and friends, catching up on the things we would like to do.

Isn’t this why the eight hour day came about?  The unions negotiated in the 1850’s, to give us the eight hour day, but what have we done with it?  Where has it gone?

Have we forgotten the 888 symbol, the symbol that reminds us of eight hours labour, eight hours recreation and eight hours rest?  You can find 888 on the Golden Globe Building, Spring Street Melbourne, and on many buildings in cities around Australia.  If this isn’t enough to remind us to look after ourselves and have balance in our lives, we have the poem by Lawson “Freedom on the Wallaby.”  Have we really just taken for granted the enormous amount of hard work our forbearers went through to give us the 8 hour day?

All that work done by our forbearers! I wonder what they would think now!

We are working longer, more intense days with stress levels soaring, giving social dysfunctions and even suicide is on the rise. Our forbearers fought long and hard to leave us a great legacy.  What have we done?

How do we get off this relentless treadmill of life? Or is it just the way it is?

No!  Stop.  If we don’t change something now, nothing will change.  Is this what you want for your children, their children and the children to follow?

Business large and small are seeing the merit of rewarding their employees with exercises, meditation/mindfulness, gardens to tend to, all things in a workplace we once would have thought too farfetched, even to contemplate.

Much of this realization and techniques come from looking to the past to find calm, peace, tranquillity, leading to elevated productivity.

Today, It is not uncommon to hear about organizations that are embracing the ancient Eastern practice of Vipassana retreats (e.g. a weekend in complete silence), Yoga, silent meditation, even Ayurvedic diets (eating foods that works for your personal Dosha, body type) being discussed at the “water fountain” and even Ayurvedic foods being served in canteens.

There is an old saying “look after your worker and the workers will look after your business.”  I think this is as truthful for today, as it was for yesterday.  All these natural historical techniques can produce feelings of taking responsibility for calmness, rejuvenation, stress free, mental and physical wellbeing.  The surprising fact about these techniques is that you don’t have to do the “No Pain No Gain” thing.  Much more can be achieve when the body and mind come together and work in peace and harmony.  So does this mean the tough and aggressive approaches are so “yesterday?”  I believe they are.  We are coming into an era whereby we understand so much more about the importance of being encouraged to take care and being responsibility for oneself.

My hope is that our forbearers hard work has not gone by the way, but is making a huge comeback to achieve the 888, eight hours labour, eight hours recreation and eight hours rest.   And just maybe, if we were too followed these natural historical techniques, we would be calmer, stress free and things like bullying, fatigue, aggression etc. might melt away and allow us to live, work and play harmoniously with those we have contact with and beyond.

Can you, for just one moment, imagine a world of bliss, peace and togetherness?  It starts with just one person and just one more person and just one more person next thing it is a reality.

If you would like to challenge yourself or your staff, to a weekend of calm, bliss and magic, visit www.workplace-ez.com.au to find more information on how you can help your fellow worker and yourself.

Enjoy your Labour Day and remember why we have a holiday.

Written by Pauline Rooney

No Pain No Gain.

“No Pain No Gain”  This statement could not be further from the truth.  It is the belief of the traditional Hatha Yogis, that to cause pain to your body is being disrespectful to oneself.   Why would you want to punish the very body you expect to support you in health and wellbeing to the end of your days?

We live in a word that is always pushing us to do more.   Be a super mum/dad, climbing the job ladder, hang onto the job we have, always looking over our shoulders as the younger generation is “nipping at our heals”, extend your home, or move to a larger property, get into the housing market, and go on an overseas holiday.  Have it all, do it all.   But in my working experience, I see so many people that are exhausted, stressed, depressed and just plain feeling as if they are not good enough, coping like everyone else, having achieved what other have.   But the reality is that no one can sustain this life-style of continuous pressure before their health takes a toll.

So then, at work we are invited to attend the gym, an exercise class perhaps, and yes, even a lunch time power walk.  All of which are wonderful.  But are we competing with our fellow workers, are we encouraged just to “Step it up a little” get the “adrenaline pumping”?   We hear things like “I had a great session, it nearly killed me”.  What is that telling your body and mind?

All of this “push” to go the extra distance; I believe will add to the anxiety, stress, and feelings of inadequacies.  Isn’t it strange we push ourselves at work, in life generally and to relax we push ourselves again?

There is an alternative, and we are seeing a huge change in the general mind set of people to be mindful and seek calmer activities that have a low impact on the body and the mind.  We are never going to convince the die-hards that love to push themselves beyond the “Pain Barrier” and that’s fine, but let us gives people a choice, whereby they don’t feel they are not strong enough, not good enough or tough enough.

To do gentle exercises with the correct breathing and knowledge of alignment of the exercise, even at the workstation, will give strength, reduction in aches and pains and clarity of mind like nothing else.

What can your organization do to help you?

For more information visit www.workplace.com.au