Social media or Social murder

I came across a blog titled Goodbye to Facebook. It was written in the form of a letter, addressed to Facebook as if it was the ending of a long and intimate relationship. Amusing at times, to the point and cleverly written. I had to leave a comment which went something like this:

Social media maims, and often destroys so many relationships and even lives. If used, it needs to be held within strict and clearly defined boundaries. Used only when required. I love the fact that more and more people are realizing that every now and again if you just raise your gaze up from the screen you are looking at, you will see a beautiful life right in front of you. It may be a garden of roses. It may be your husband who just needs you to notice him. It may be your child wishing for your whole hearted attention, just for a moment. It may simply be a moment on your own, in quiet nature, connecting your soul with your maker.

I spent many years interacting on Facebook and eventually said my goodbye officially towards the end of 2018. My interactions became fewer and fewer over these last couple of years. While contemplating saying goodbye to social media in general, I found myself asking a number of questions:

  • What if I miss out on that one piece of news?
  • What if someone passes on?
  • What if I’m invited somewhere and dont pitch?
  • What would my friends and connections think?
  • Maybe I should just leave a little information available just in case someone needs to find me?

And during all this contemplation, Facebook still waits a period of time before actually deleting your profile, trying to get you to reconsider your so-called rash decision and revert back with your profile.

I’m sure we all have many questions and moments like that. For me though, on a personal note social media became more of a social mine field and any wrong footing is sure to blow you to smitherines. Pink mist! Your soul becoming the story of the murdered life portrayed on the media.

Yes, strong words I know. But I don’t want to miss out on those moments of reality. Maybe blogging is a form of social media too, but here I find myself being more real with no intention to impress. Here, I have a goal to save a life so to say and not be a murderer of social interactions.

I do believe that if strict and defined boundaries are implemented, social media may be an effective tool for corporate involvement and marketing. However personally, I stick to my gut and would rather treasure the reality of being present, in the moment, not worrying about having to get that perfect picture to post on Instagram for the world (who doesn’t really care) to see.

#Just my opinion!

The space in my head

How does one maintain a good frame of mind, all the time, under immense pressure or during times of stress (which for most of us is a daily occurence)? When you find yourself in not such a great place how do you move into a better space?

I’ve wracked my brain and tried to explore the philosophical aspects, sadly with no easy answer. What I have observed and heard is that some people write, some exercise, others sleep or immerse themselves in a movie or book that takes over any thought process. Some are more out there doing the hard stuff like drugs and alcohol. And that’s simply it. Overwhelming oneself with distraction that fulfills no other purpose other than to pull the mind into a different sphere, into a paralytic state, where no emotion or response is required!

It seems kind of pointless but could it be that distractions may be the answer?

I’m not convinced. In the long run, distractions don’t resolve the issue. They allow for brief moments or hours of relief. They work temporarily and are mostly shortlived. A mere blink compared to eternity.

And then what happens when that distraction comes to an end? You return to that same space, maybe not so bad as prior to the distraction, but the chaos still reigns. And then our normal reaction is to try calm the chaos, drown the emotions, soothe the pain and release the anger. Whatever it may be, the vicious cycle continues again, often leaving one in the classical grips of depression.

It’s so easy to fall into. Especially when you cannot recognize the cycle. A cycle is continuous. It does not end unless we change its course, its path. And what I’ve learnt is any cycle in life that does not lead to good consequences must be broken and the first step is simply identifying that there is indeed a problem.

Acknowledgement. Probably one of the hardest acts to man up to. But from there, I believe if you really want to see this through you will source the necessary tools and help. You will make a plan to break the cycle.

Trust me, I suffered from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) for 3 years of my life. Medicated. Withdrawn. Depressed. Desperate. Stuck in a cycle of what I could only identify as my hell. Until one day I saw it. Something out there. A feeling and understanding of something so much more. I could not explain it but I simply decided my hell had to stop. There must be an end.

My first action point was to stop all my medication. Done. Instantly. It took 3 days for me to actually start feeling the effects of my decision physically. The sky was indeed more blue. The sunrise more beautiful. The air more clear and breathable. I could hear my heart again, that deep inner voice and I knew my path had suddenly changed. My bad cycle was breaking. And slowly, step by step, each strand of those cycles were broken.

I can confidently say that there is so much more you were born to experience. Don’t think it’s not possible. Whatever it takes, just break the cycle. Stick to it and don’t look back. Try not settle for the distractions unless the distraction actually moves you forward in a healthy positive way.

Healthy Fun

Does anyone recall those days back in 2014 when people were nominating each other to down alcohol in substantial quantities, whilst capturing all the footage on video? Of course posting it on a public domain like YouTube for people around the world to access. They became the witnesses to the absolute stupidty that befalls one who is totally inebriated. Back then it was referred to as a Neck Nomination.

Needless to say, I don’t go with the flow, but often find myself swimming against it to explore my own challenges and experiences, following a current less travelled as mentioned in my previous blog Decidingly Decisive

Of course, I got my family together to help and came up with a variation called the Healthy Nek Nomination:

Healthy Nek Nomination

Ok, the video is poor quality but it really is meant to just put a smile on your dial and encourage some good healthy choices!

#Enjoy

Decidingly decisive…

For me, one of lifes most difficult tasks is making right decisions, good decisions, especially when seemingly under pressure. We all know there are many guidelines and decision-making steps out there. Some give helpful information and others provide good logical approaches on how one should go about this. I however, sometimes like to swim against the flow and experience life from a different current. And so I have managed to build my own algorithm so to say.

This is how it goes:

1. Listen

Once you have the full picture of the problem or the opportunity, it is here where I try to take a moment to just be still. To really listen. Here I am referring to listening to your heart. You know that deep gut feel. That quiet voice within. Not clouded by emotions or drowned out by voices and the urgency of those pushing you into a corner for an answer, right now! Just be quiet and still, for however long you need.

It really is simple. If you dont have the chance to listen, don’t make the decision. Just from this one simple act I already start to feel more at ease. And out of this will come one, two or possibly many options or choices on what to decide. Once I’m at this point, I progress onwards.

2. Options

List the options or choices, write them down if it makes it easier, or talk them through. For me, speaking out loud in my car helps me formulate and paint the picture to gain a better perspective and understanding. If you need an actual person to bounce this off, then talk it through with someone who can provide an objective point of view with the aim of listing. Remember at this point, it is not to provide the answer, but just to make a list.

Once the options or choices are clearly listed, it’s time to test them. And there’s no better way than to test them against the real heart stuff.

3. Value alignment

The question I ask here is simply this: ‘Does the option or choice align with my values?’

  • Is it honest?
  • Is it authentic?
  • Is it from a place of love?
  • Is it beneficial? (Not detrimental)
  • Is it important? (Not urgent)

If any one of these are in conflict, that option or choice is at this point instantly discarded and I start to work through the next one. When the test is passed, the final part of the algorithm can be tested.

4. Eternal

At this point, the option or choice is probably a good 90 percent there. Don’t be fooled though. It’s so easy to think that the one option or choice that has passed your value test, is indeed the one that must be the solution. Maybe it is, but sometimes it’s not.

The problem if we end the process now, is that if it doesn’t stand this last final test so to say, the decision may appear to be everything you wanted and needed, but often it ends abruptly with no warning, leaving you disappointed and regretful. We all do it so often, losing patience all too quickly. We just need to push through this last tough test of the algorithm. It must be given the chance to prove true or not.

Here I simply look at the present versus the future:

  • Will this option or choice have good, abundant, eternal consequences?
  • Will it stir faith in what I believe?

If it’s YES, then that’s what you need to go with. If it’s NO, maybe you need to reassess. And when you finally make the decision, it may turn out to be the most scariest or most out of character thing for you to do. However, be assured it will have long-lasting good consequences. It will be right.

So there it is. My algorithm on how to be decidingly decisive is based on love:

  1. Listen
  2. Options
  3. Value alignment
  4. Eternal

Love drives!

#Just try it!

Dress for success?!

Monday morning. The cupboard is wide open. What to wear? I dont spend much time deciding, I simply reach in to find something smart, comfortable and me!

I am amazed at just how many stories, psychological theories, opinions and speculation there is out there on this subject. Google brings up right and wrong ways to dress, news, videos and even maps that open up your nearest clothing stores. One has to wonder! Does dress really lead to success?

It seems that our visual perception according to certain standards is what the world wants and it appears that if you don’t abide by these so-called standards you get looked over. The result – failure and not success.

That may be true to some extent, but for me, there is something a bit more deeper and authentic in the why I dress up.

When I get dressed in the morning, my number one goal is to feel good within myself, followed by comfort, an absolute must. It expresses my own self-confidence and belief in myself that I can take on the day with enthusiasm and hope, with very little intention to outwardly impress. It’s about feeling confident enough to make a difference even in an ordinary day where the extraordinary is rare.

Whatever I choose to wear is enough for me. It simply means exuding that which I believe is true about myself in my inner most being. And even if I dont dress up as per set expectations, or I get looked over because of this, it doesnt worry me. Because at the end of the day I have to be true to myself and that speaks to my honest authentic view. That’s what it needs to be about, with no judgement. I choose to simply be extraordinary. And that’s my success!

Dont get caught up in the hype and egotistical mannerisms, worried about what others will think about you. It’s a silent killer that demeans who you really are.

It doesn’t mean because one is a manager or an executive that you have to wear heels or a suit and tie, compared to your general layman, sitting behind screens punching numbers all day. Anyone can wear a suit or a dress or heels. All I’m saying is let it be authentically you.

If it makes you feel good to wear heels and a pencil skirt and you are comfortable, then do so because it’s you. If smart pants and a pair of short block heel boots make you feel gorgeous, then that’s your thing. If you have to beef up your game a bit, for you and not for anyone else or your perceived image of your role, just do it. Trust me, it does something amazing to your confidence and the way you manage life.

The challenge here is to feel like you can take on the world – anyone, anywhere, without any pretences, as you!

In essence all I am saying is stand out in your own way and not as the world dictates or tries to define you. Get noticed by you! And if your spouse or partner notices and makes a comment, take it, absorb it and listen to their honesty. Just wear something that makes you feel extraordinary, with no judgement.

#Proud to be me!

Here’s to 2019

You’re always one decision away from a totally different life!

Author unknown

Imagine every time you read a book the story changed?! At the end of each chapter, the story allowed the reader to select which path or outcome they wished at that point in the story and then would direct the reader to the next chapter in line with that choice.

Same with a movie. Imagine every time you watched that same movie, the main character would take a different decision at various points in the story. The finale would be totally different all the time, leaving you on the edge of your seat unable to predict what’s next.

TV Soaps, TV Series, even dreams could all be subjected to the power of decision-making and returning different journeys and endings.

And that’s how I see 2019. Every decision we make will lead us down a very specific path. Yes, things hardly ever go as planned but when you allow your heart to lead your choices and decisions, and not rely on your head where chaos mostly reigns, you will find yourself on a highway of rich life and peace. The logical and irrational thinking definitely has it’s place and should not be ignored, but before making a decision the message is to simply pause. Then listen.

Just as our physical heart is the very core of our entire human body, autonomously beating to keep each and every cell in the body alive, so it is the very core of our essence. Trust it! Meditate. Pray. Take a drive or a walk. Whatever works for you. But just take pause and listen to your heart.

So here’s to 2019…

#One day you will