Posted in Health, mental-health, Personal

Connecting with your Intuition

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week of editing and a busy week at work. I took a little break from writing my new story because I was editing, and I had to take Christmas decorations down. Boo. I wasn’t happy about that. There’s something about those twinkling lights that cheer me up. But, enough about that, today I’d like to talk about Intuition.

Intuition is your inner guide. That voice in your head that gives you a warning or direction without any evidence that it’s true. There are times in my life when I listened to that voice. It came through loud and clear and I’m glad I did even when it didn’t make any logical sense.

My gut has never let me down yet, and now even more than ever it’s important for us to listen to our inner voice. Why? Because our world is built on creating an image. People create this image for others for many reasons. To get attention. To get validation, or to manipulate.

Advertisements bombard us with celebrities expounding the benefits of exercise equipment or makeup, implying we’ll look like them if we just use this product. It’s not true. We’ll always look like ourselves. We all know this, yet corporations have made millions of dollars by selling us their products based on this implication.

Our politicians create an image, so we’ll vote for them. They work with the media to put a “spin” on an event, or outright lie about something to throw mud at an opponent. So, we the public don’t know what’s true and what isn’t. How do you make a good decision that way?

Look at social media. An individual shares what they want the world to see and keeps the unattractive parts of themselves hidden. When their friends compare that individual’s seemingly “perfect” life with their own, they become disenchanted with their own lives and this creates angst and depression. So, it’s more important than ever to trust our gut.

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We need to develop our intuition and make it stronger. So, how do you do that?

Well, it’s quite simple but hard to do.

We need to spend time alone and meditate. Take some quiet time to listen to our inner voice. Have a dialogue with it. It’ll take practice, but once you make that connection, you’ll be able to make decisions that are best for you. When we don’t make that connection and listen to that inner guide, we can travel down the wrong path that leads to unhappiness.

Spend some time in nature. It’s so good for us. I was hiking for years before I knew there were health benefits, just because it calmed me. It will have the same effect on you. I guarantee it. Whether you hike through the woods, or along the beach, you’ll experience health benefits. Both are good for you and quiet your mind, so your inner voice can come through.

Pay attention to your Dreams. That’s right, our sub-conscious talks to us through our dreams and so does our intuition. Try to remember your dreams upon waking and write them down. Think about an issue you’re struggling with before you go to sleep and see what your dreams tell you. I’ve found solutions to problems through my dreams. It’s amazing when that happens.

How about you, do you listen to your intuition? How do you tap into it? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Parenting, Personal, raising kids

Are We on the Road to Social Isolation?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and had a wonderful food coma that day. It was different this year with the pandemic. We stayed home and had a turkey with our immediate family. It was nice, but I definitely missed my extended family, that’s for sure.

Because we had a stay at home holiday this year. I was able to get some writing done. I’m waiting for my Beta reader to get back to me on my story and while I wait, I’ve been working on another one. I really like this new one and I’m hoping I can do it justice.

But enough about that. Today, I’d like to talk about the effect the pandemic has had on our society. We work from home. Our kids learn from home. We sit in front of our computers in our homes and do our thing. This is very isolating. I need to interact with people. It lifts my mood to just be on a WebEx meeting with my colleagues. I worry how this kind of isolation is going to affect my kids. The thing is they need their friends and the only way they can interact with them right now as we all hunker down and ride out this pandemic is through their video games.

Sure, they’ve invited friends over, but these visits are few and far between because it’s safer to stay at home right now. So, video games have become their social gathering avenue. So, I’ve been letting them play them more than normal. They need that social interaction and video games have been linked to helping combat depression. So, what’s a Mom to do?

I worry that this will be more than a band-aid, though, and it will become a way of interaction for the future. I worry that the next generation will not have strong relationships because their only interaction will be video games and social media. This pandemic is setting a dangerous precedent. We are getting more and more dependent on our computers. What with social media moguls gathering data about what we find interesting so they can plant it in our newsfeeds, and video games becoming interactive. It’s going to change the way we function in society.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope that the powers that be will make sure our communities don’t change, but that would mean our purpose would have to change, wouldn’t it? The all mighty dollar can’t be the only goal here. It’s going to have to be something bigger than ourselves and our pocketbooks.

So, what can we do until that happens? We can get our kids to take breaks from their computers and watch movies together, play board games, or cards. We can get them moving by taking family hikes and getting out into nature. Anything that would require face to face interaction. That’s how we combat this social isolation. How about you? Do you have any ideas? I’d love to read them, leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in current-events, environment, Family, Parenting, Personal, Politics, raising kids, Teen

Don’t Look Now, But Social Media is Taking Control of Virtual Reality

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a stressful week of dealing with kid issues, a pandemic, work, and writing. Because I had a lot on my plate, I didn’t get a lot of writing done, but that’s okay. I needed to take a little break and refuel.

But enough about that, today I want to talk about a trend I see happening. First, I need to give you a little background, though.  Hubby and I were shopping for a virtual reality headset for the boys for Christmas. We found one we really liked because it wouldn’t be obsolete in two years. Anyway, we were all set to buy it when we discovered that in order to activate it, my son would have to open his own Facebook account.

We dug in our heels and didn’t buy it. We don’t want our kids having social media accounts right now. Especially after watching the show “Social Dilemma.” I remember after watching that show, I made the remark to my hubby that soon this is going to be seeping into the kids’ video games, and not two months later we run into the above scenario.

This is dangerous. The reason being that it’s giving social media platforms way too much control. They are changing human behavior by creating personalized click bait for each member. Their goal is to increase engagement, so your child will spend his free time on their site. Now that they’re invading video games, they’re going after the younger crowd. They’re looking to expand their customer base and more importantly they’re going to gather the same information about your child that they’re gathering about you.

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I don’t know how we can stop this. Facebook bought the company that created the virtual headset my hubby wanted to get for our son, so they can require this. No one is stopping them. So, what happens when your child spends more time with their computer than they do with people? Loss of social graces, loss of the ability to communicate face to face, and the loss of empathy.

All these skills are needed to navigate today’s world. What happens if you as a parent do their do diligence and try to teach these skills to your children? They’ll be the only ones with these skills and get lost in a sea of dealing with socially inept humans. It’s a sad state of affairs. I’m not sure what we can do to stop this from happening.

Do we have the government regulate social media? Who trusts the government these days? What are your thoughts? Do you have any ideas? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Documentaries, Personal, social media

The Social Dilemma: A Documentary

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after watching a documentary over the weekend and I thought I should share it with all of you.

The documentary is titled “The Social Dilemma,” and it was eye-opening to say the least.  It explains what is happening behind the scenes when we “like” or click on a link on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

When I first became aware of social media, I thought these sites were collecting data about their users to sell to advertisers and this is happening I’m sure, but there’s another more sinister process going on here.

What social media doing is working very hard to keep you engaged. That’s right. We are the product. Our thinking. Our opinions. It’s all being processed, and we’re being manipulated to stay engaged with social media by the items that show up in our newsfeed.

For example, let’s say I like elephants. So, I like or comment on a random post about elephants and this gets processed by Facebook and suddenly, I find all kinds of images of elephants showing up. It’s to keep me engaged. So, social media is stealing our time and taking it away from other things, like face to face interactions. We are the product folks. Let’s use social media wisely, and if you get a chance, check out the documentary. You’ll be glad you did.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today, I appreciate it! How do you feel about social media? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, mental-health, quarantine

Dealing with the Isolation

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a very busy week at work and working on my writing. I’m making progress on my new story and I’m enjoying the new characters, but it is in the beginning stages, so I have far to go. But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about dealing with isolation while we’re all under quarantine.

 

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It’s hard. I haven’t seen my co-workers since January. I can skype with them, but it’s not the same as being able to read their emotions to see how they’re handling things. They’re the only ones who really understand about my job because they’re dealing with the same issues I am.

 

I also miss meeting my friends and my extended family for a quick bite or a movie. Last week was the first time I’ve seen one of my gal pals in forever. We finally got together for dinner and we talked the whole time. It was so good to see her. Even though we chat on social media, it’s not the same as getting together and being spontaneous. We shared all kinds of ideas and it was motivating. I wanted to follow through on some of those ideas as soon as I returned home.

 

Clinking with friends

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We were good. We both wore our masks until we sat down and the restaurant had us sit a couple of tables away from other guests, so it was safe. I wonder how long we’re going to have to keep this up.

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I’m still worried about school. My oldest wants to go, and who can blame him? He misses his friends. I’m still leaning toward online schooling. I just don’t want to take the chance with their health, but I can see the isolation is taking a toll on them as well.

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I am grateful that my family is healthy. From what I hear this virus goes dormant for a while and can come back with a vengeance. I know a few people who’ve caught the virus and they’ve been sick for months. I know the isolation is necessary, but I hope it ends soon.

 

On the plus side, I have been getting a lot of writing done, and that’s a good thing. It has also brought our family closer. We’ve had quite a few family nights and I feel fortunate that I have had this time with my kids, so it isn’t all bad.

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How about you? How are you dealing with the isolation? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Health, Women

When you have Health you truly have Wealth

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I hope all of you had a great fourth of July and that you’re enjoying your summer.

I know I am, especially now that we’ve got some of that hot, steamy weather I love. That’s what summer’s all about, that’s for sure. I must apologize, I’m struggling a little bit juggling my family, work, writing, social media, and trying to get into shape. So, because of that my blog posts have become a little erratic. Sorry about that.  I’m hoping I’ll get into another routine soon, so I can maintain my schedule. Wish me luck! 😉

 

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Today, I’d like to talk about our health and how society’s portrayal of a perfect body image damages the self esteem of women. We get into the habit of trying to perfect our imperfections when in reality they aren’t imperfections at all. They’re what make us unique and special. We’re all special in our own way and I wish magazines and ad companies would embrace this.

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The reality of the situation is, we eat a lot of processed foods as a society, and a lot of fast food. The processed food contains sugar to make it taste better so we buy it. The fast food is full of empty calories that make it taste better so we buy it. Because of this, we as a society weigh more than we did decades ago.

Our bodies are changing because of this, but the images in magazines and ads are not. Consequently, our self-esteem is affected. We feel bad because we don’t look like those photo-shopped images. Social media isn’t helping either. It’s my opinion, that when we don’t feel good about ourselves we tend to engage in behaviors that help us cope. Some of those behaviors don’t help us either, because when some people don’t feel good about themselves, they eat more carbs to feel better. It’s a vicious cycle.

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So, here’s my solution. We need to focus on our health instead of what we look like. We need to get outside and exercise more. You don’t need to run a marathon to become healthy. You can just get up and walk more. I like to run because it exercises my heart as well, (heart disease runs in my family) but running one mile and walking one mile burns the same number of calories.

Look at your family history and formulate a work out plan that works for you. I run because I need to make sure my heart is strong. You may not need to do that, so pick an exercise you like and that works for you because you’re more likely to stick with it.

Eat healthier, less sweets and more fruits and vegetables. Less processed foods. I try to stay away from them, but I don’t always succeed. I also try to stay away from sweets, but that’s hard to do, too.

Remember corporations are out to make money. So, they have no problem selling us foods that aren’t good for us but taste good. Take control of your health before it’s too late. Because if you have your health, you truly have wealth. I see so many people who’ve worked hard all their lives for money, but they aren’t healthy in their old age and aren’t enjoying any of the money they made.

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So, make sure you’re balancing your life so that you have time to take care of yourself. That may mean spending more time cooking from scratch as opposed to fast food and processed food. Remember if you don’t take time for your health now, you’ll be taking time for illness later.

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Thanks for stopping by and reading my post, I kind of went off on a tangent there, but it’s all good. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you maintain your health. Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Posted in Health, Public Service Announcements

Does Social Media create Narcissists?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of working and writing. I’ve reached a spot in my revisions where I have to do a little research, and I can’t do that until tomorrow, so I figured I’d write out a blog post for everyone!

So, I was thinking about what to write and I came up with the question, does social media cause people to be narcissistic?  As I pondered that, I thought I should explain what a narcissist is.

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A narcissist is a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves. They are extremely selfish and use people to meet their own needs. For example, a man who needs his ego constantly stroked by a woman is a narcissist, and they go through a string of women because they exhaust them with their constant neediness.

Social media is another tool narcissists use to get their needs met. It’s just like using a woman to stroke their ego, or a trophy, or making a lot of money so the world will recognize them and respect them, but the question is does it cause someone to be narcissistic when they otherwise wouldn’t be?

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In my opinion, the answer is no. Social media makes it easier for a narcissist to express their narcissism, but it doesn’t make them more narcissistic. Everyone has a little narcissism in them. A healthy dose helps us take care of ourselves, allows us to not put ourselves last all the time.

I guess what makes a person a bad narcissist is the degree of narcissism they have. The more predominate it is in your personality structure the more a person falls into the narcissistic personality disorder category.

Social media might be a good thing, we as the unsuspecting victims of narcissists, will be able to see them coming if we happen to inadvertently connect with them via social media.

Whatever you do, don’t let the narcissist get their hooks into you. I’ve had my own experiences with them and they drain you of your energy. The relationship becomes about them. Meeting their constantly changing needs and the fact that they always up the ante. They need more attention, more admiration, and more proof of your love for them.

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This exhausts you, but the hard part is when they start to devalue you. When they’ve used you all up, they start finding fault and criticizing you. This is dangerous for you because you’re vulnerable. They’ve exhausted you. It’s hard to see this cycle when you’re emotionally involved with a person like this, so you may need to reach out to a professional and get some guidance on how to handle this type of person.

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Sorry, I got a little off topic there.

The question was, does Social Media make a person more narcissistic?

The short answer is no, it helps us see them coming. 😊

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

 

 

Posted in Family

Strive to be Internally Oriented

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy weekend of writing and Christmas shopping. We’re all done for this year. (I think 😉)

For some reason this year is less stressful. I’m not sure why. Maybe because my boys want a lot of electronics and that’s not my department, that’s my hubby’s. So, the pressure’s off me this year. I hope your shopping is going well.

Well, enough about shopping, today I want to talk about something that’s been kind of nagging at me. I’ve noticed with the social media craze that’s going on that people are becoming more externally oriented instead of internally oriented.

 

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We’re becoming obsessed with followers, likes, and memes. This is unfortunate because we’re ignoring the internal work that we all need to do as individuals. We need to figure out what sets our souls on fire and pursue that. Social media is a distraction not a way of life.

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If we become more internally oriented, we’ll be happier. We’ll stop comparing ourselves to others because we’ll be so busy pursuing what makes us happy we won’t have time for anything else. Being internally oriented makes us more self-aware and self-focused.

This is important for our growth and development because without this awareness we’ll be floating through life reacting to the tides instead of steering our course. As parents, when we’re self-aware, we teach our children to focus on their dreams and goals. We give them permission to pursue them.

 

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So, let’s set that example for our children and start becoming more internally oriented. By focusing on what makes us feel good about ourselves, we don’t have to look outside for validation. This makes us stronger and happier individuals.

Let’s put this social media craze on the back burner and build better relationships with ourselves. By doing this, we’ll be making our relationships with our partners and our children stronger. We’ll have a stronger connection with our family members and that’s where it all starts, isn’t it?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. What are your thoughts? How do you think we can become more internally oriented? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Posted in friendship, kindness, Love, social media

The Art of saying “No”

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after an eventful weekend. My computer died this weekend, so of course, I had to rush right out and get a new one because, you know, writing, right?

 

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So that’s why this post is late. But enough about that. What I’d like to talk about today is Social Media and its effects on communication skills.

I’ve noticed a trend happening with social media and that is when someone sends you an instant message, and if you don’t want to chat with that person, you don’t respond. You just ignore the message. Now, I understand, maybe you don’t want to chat with that person or don’t want to participate in the activity they’re asking you to do, but is just ignoring them and hoping they’ll get the hint the best course of action?

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This trend is disturbing. Why? Because we as human need to be able to say no. We need to be able to do it without offending the other person. What happens when we’re in a face to face situation and we’ve got to tell the other person we don’t want to do what they want to do?

What if that person is your boss? Are you going to just walk away and pretend he didn’t ask you to participate in that meeting?

 

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This is a skill our kids will need to master if they’re going to make it in the working world. We need to communicate negative information in a diplomatic way. Social Media is breaking down the barriers in a lot of ways, but it’s also putting up walls.

I find it so odd that people can’t say no and just be honest and say: “I’m not interested in that kind of activity, but thanks for asking.”

That’s not offensive in the least. It states your lack of interest, so the person doesn’t feel rejected, and they’re able to recognize this rejection isn’t personal, and it’s polite. You can say no without hurting your friend’s feelings.

Another positive aspect of being able to say no is that it communicates your lack of interest in that activity, so your friend will probably remember this and won’t ask you to do it again.  Being able to say no allows you to establish boundaries.

So does ignoring messages on Social Media, but ignoring messages damages the friendship and creates an environment of distrust. Your friend is left wondering why you’re ignoring them. Did they offend you? Are you upset with them? Telling your friend “no” is also good for them. They aren’t left hanging and wondering what happened between you two. They can move on and ask another friend to participate and your friendship is still intact.  So, learn the art of saying no in a compassionate way. You’ll be glad you did. 😊

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Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How do you tell someone No without offending them? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in Family, Parenting, raising kids, social media, Teen

Social Media and its Effect on Conflict Resolution

 

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of writing, shuttling my boys to places, and painting. Yes, that’s right. My friends and I got together and had a painting party. It was fun, and I highly recommend it.

 

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Today I’d like to talk about social media and its effect on our ability to resolve conflict. I was thinking about that this morning as I wiped the sleep from my eyes because I’m worried about what the future holds for my kids.

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In my opinion, social media is detrimental to teaching our littles the skill of resolving conflict, of compromising to get along. Why? Because they don’t have to come to a resolution, they just have to turn off the computer. However, they still have to deal with those negative emotions that negative comments and confrontational interactions stir up.

Being able to resolve conflict is an important skill for the working world. What are our littles going to do when they have an upset customer? You just can’t turn off the computer then.

Social Media allows people to turn off their filters and say whatever they want under the guise of just “expressing an opinion.” Then when things get too heated they’ll block someone or logout. So what happens when you’re dealing with someone in real life and things start escalating?

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We need to teach our littles to “agree to disagree” with respect. We can still respect someone who has a different opinion than ours. We as parents need to be the role models for this behavior.  Unfortunately, not all parents do this.

Another reason we need to teach and model appropriate behavior is because of the negative emotions that are stirred up when things escalate out of control. On social, media name calling and bullying cannot be tolerated. The effects of this type of behavior are resounding and have far-reaching consequences after the computer is turned off. Our nationwide suicide rate has increase 25% since 1999.

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Doesn’t that scare anyone? It should. When did social media make its first appearance? 1997. Then blogging became popular in 1999. In the early 2000’s My Space was born and following that, in 2005 YouTube arrived on the scene. Right on YouTube’s heels, Facebook and Twitter.

I hope I’m not the only one seeing a correlation here.

We need to make sure our kids learn how to negotiate and compromise for when they can’t turn off the computer. These skills are vital for them to make their way in the world long after we’re gone, wouldn’t you agree?

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We also need to teach them coping behaviors so they can deal with cyber bullies effectively. They need to learn how not to internalize negative messages and how to deal with the feelings they inspire. We need our “in real life” friends now more than ever, don’t you think?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. It ended up being much more serious than what I intended, but sometimes that happens, you know?

Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my thoughts. 🙂