Have you ever had job where the environment was just hard? Too often the unexpected is plopped on your lap and eating up your energy and time? Too many times you have spent mentally preparing yet it seems no matter how right you keep handling the situations more negativity just piles up in you?

Eventually looking at the problems that have come to fruition, the realization hits: many of the problems are NOT a problem that concerns you. Although, the problems are being thrusted upon like a tidal wave knocking the breath from you and stirring negative emotions. The emotions no one should experience or want to experience at a job (especially if the plan is to follow the retirement system which is a sixty year commitment minimum).

When I experienced this exact situation day after day for two years, it soon occurred to me that I had spent childhood answering the wrong questions. I was too focused on “what” I wanted to {be} not “who” I wanted {be}. I quickly realized at my job I was experiencing a lot of what and who I did not want to be. I wanted to teach and change lives of children who found nurture at school and nothing at home. I wanted to work in a positive environment that promoted a child first philosophy; but politics rule our world. I wanted to uphold high standards and be the change I wanted to see in the world. I wanted to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

As amazing as all that sounds, it can be hard to hold such hope when at any given moment someones personal frustration could be thrusted upon you for asking a simple question. In early education the population of the employees usually women dominated. I originally was excited about this until I realized many unfortunate things. The reality soon came; I faced explosions on emotions daily, people dumping their daily trash on my heart with no regard toward my life, people ridiculing constantly, and the consistent inconsistent reality of the environment. I eventually lost hope and unfortunately that means I let my environment control me. This meant that my husband had no idea what to expect any day that I came home. This meant my home life became unpredictable; when your work and home life are unpredictable it is hard to live in contentment and creates a thick struggle to find the joy!

The sad part about these jobs (three in one year; again instability produced from unpredictability) was they had the knowledge but it was not applied. Knowledge not applied is ignorance. The organizations held trainings and possessed the materials to promote a healthy work environment (especially for a gender dominated work place) yet the administration themselves did not set the example and follow through on their end. Therefore that effect was trickled down through out the entire staff (usually noted in their assistants first). A bad day for an administrator was a bad day for everyone. Yet leadership teaches us the dangers of work environments that experience those situations. As an add on, leadership also teaches that mistakes will be made individuals and that no one is perfect. Leadership programs promote apologizing for mistakes and taking ownership for all situations; acting like those situation have not happened creates a very negative work environment built up with resent, yet no apologies were ever made.

There are many levels of leadership to discuss in these matters to promote the horrible environments I was able to escape. But, that is not the full focus of what I want to share with you today. At the{be}studio© our mission involves empowering women, and helping women empower other women. The reality we need to accept, as women, is that our jobs are more than likely not encouraging or enabling this to happen easy. As hard (and annoying) as it may be to hear this, I must share it with you. We as women must take the OWNERSHIP and RESPONSIBILITY to empower and encourage each other; regardless of our work environment. We cannot blame our job or our boss as an excuse as to why we tare other women down. We must own every choice we make and right today we must make the choice to empower other women regardless of how we feel and how our day is going. Regardless of how our boss is treating us and if our kids are driving us crazy. We find methods and ways to build ourselves up so that we can build others up too.

Since we all know that the{be}studio© is a full believer in reading; there is obviously a book recommendation. “How Full is Your Bucket” is a great book to understand why it is so important to keep your bucket full. In the life of a bucket filler, it is necessary to know that you cannot fill anyone’s bucket when your bucket is empty. Yet, it is not safe to leave our bucket solely in the hands of others; we must find ways to fill our bucket that are in our control. For example; reading and writing help me fill my own bucket. I once heard a speaker say, “put good in, you put good out; put bad in, you get bad out”. Instantly I realized I was able to control what I do on a daily basis to “put the good” in me so i can “put good” in others. Ultimately this led to the article “the secret that changed me twenties”; reading one was of those things.

As encouraged in previous articles; let’s begin with evaluation our daily habits. Are you taking time to put good in you so you can put good in others? are you wasting your time filling your mind with negative things?

Beyond reading, I also made sure I was tracking my gratitude, listening to positive messages, reading and reflecting on a verse of scripture, and showing an act of kindness. These five things were things I committed to doing every day; I was at a loss of hope and was desperate to find it again. In doing this for just a couple months I truly felt as if my life had changed. I also must admit, my co-workers noticed it as well. I was not whining all the time and often was walking around smiling. When they left my presence they felt better than before they entered it. Which became part of my intentionality with every interaction.

I also added in a quick daily reader; one that felt relevant and encouraging. Many will use a devotionals, or desk readers that get flipped each day. These can even be found in the business section (and make great gifts). Right now, as a member of the launch team for the new devotional that Holley Gerth will release on September 20th, I am reading that devotional. That important part is that is compact enough that you can keep it on you as much as possible (unless you have one for home and for work). Also, be sure it is encouraging. It is not always beneficial to have a devotional or quick read that provokes deep reflections and long thoughts for the work environment. I use a very different resource for my quiet time with God than I use for my quick reader during this month of subbing.

I use my quick reader as more of my reminder and encouragement to get through days. But, it is not the only little thing I have available in my work environment. Sticky notes can be found all over my room/office/space. They usually proclaim the truths of God, remind me of the promises of God and his love for me, or the virtues I want to possess and place in the hearts of those that interact with me. I pictured a few of the simple ones below. It is amazing what a stack of cute sticky notes I got for a dollar can offer with WORDS of truth, wisdom, and love are written on them.

Below you can also find the link to preorder Holley Gerth’s newest release.

So go, take ownership of the environments you reside in and build them up with the simple tools that are overlooked daily. Protect your mind, ears, eyes, and heart. Do not forget how important it is to put the good stuff in, and do your best to block the bad stuff out.



The link to preorder the devotional: http://amzn.to/2aJxcIg

Love always,

Ashley Jane & the{be}studio©