Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Of course you care what people think

Don't be ridiculous! We all do. Otherwise, you wouldn't keep talking about how you don't care what people think at all. It may be hard to admit, but if you didn't care about the opinions of others, you wouldn't be so focused on them. They'd be insignificant in the scheme of things. You wouldn't be wasting energy talking about them.

No worries. You are not alone. Goodness knows, I've spent my fair share of time worrying what other people think of me. I believe we all do, to some extent. What a waste of precious moments! I still catch myself doing it from time to time when I pound out a rant on the keyboard. I guess you could say that I'm even doing it right now, while trying to prove my point.

Which is:

News flash 1: Nobody really cares how you live.

Yes, there are always naysayers, bigots and gossips, but deep inside, most of their criticisms really are more a reflection of themselves than you. Some of them may even be trying to impress you! Everyone is mostly focused on their own life. It's basic survival instinct.

News flash 2: Other people are not picture perfect.

Neither are you. Neither am I. And that's OK. Because who knows what perfect means to any of us anyway? Everyone has their own idea of perfection. We're all striving for something unique.

On a personal note:

I'm one of those weirdos who hides nothing in public forums. I am who I am. At least I've always portrayed the me that I think I am at the time, anyway. I change. I learn. I grow.

I even regress sometimes. Sometimes that part of me isn't pretty. I can be a little bossy, extremely opinionated and pretty relentless when it comes to my pet causes.

Yes, I have issues, but honesty isn't one of them.

It bothers me so much when people purposefully create an alternate personality for their public life. Good heavens, people, let the uglies out to play. They're dying for some air and they are a part of who you are. They're also your best teachers. Give them some credit! Be real!

It's OK if you're not the “perfect” everything, even by your own standards. Stop being so hard on yourself.

No one ever has been or ever will be perfection personified. You will always have critics, even if they only exist in your head, as is sometimes the case.

So what?

Who cares?

Be proud of your crazy and wonderfully fallible bits!

The truth shall set you free.

Always being worried that someone will discover who you really are, on the defensive, hiding your imperfections or playing the victim to raise sympathy is an exhausting way to live.

Why not just celebrate your life? Enjoy it! Revel in it! Laugh at yourself publicly. Be relate-able. Be genuine. Be imperfect. Stop looking over your shoulder for disapproval. But mostly, start approving of yourself in all your beautiful and horrible glory.

Do that and I promise you, other people's opinions can't touch you. At least not where it counts.

Be at peace with yourself inside and out!

Yes, even when neither seems very pretty.

How to drink more water

It seems a bit silly, the title, doesn't it? I mean, just drink more water, right? And yet, sometimes our old habits prevent us from doing so. Being at peace requires being healthier. Part of that is drinking more water. So what I've done, and hopefully it will help you in your quest to drink more water too, is to create new habits that make it hard to forget to drink the water.

First of all, I make it pleasurable. The best way to make it pleasurable for me is to have the best tasting, most chemical free, heavy metal free and contaminate free water possible available to me in a convenient way. We now have a 10 stage water filter attached to the kitchen faucet. So we have fresh, clean water available anytime we want it.

Not everyone can do this. I get it. Been there. A lot. But if you can't swing the 10 stage, try a filtering pitcher. You'll be glad you did. The taste difference alone is worth it. And honestly, due to having to replace the filters so often, the 10 stage is actually comparable and cheaper over time.

Now, for those habits.

Every time I crave a drink, with the exception of my morning ginger tea, I drink water instead. I even drink a glass of water before my tea in the morning. Why? Because, chances are, if I'm craving any kind of drink, what I really need is water. If you're wondering, the ginger tea is medicinal. It helps me with pain and inflammation, thereby keeping my need for meds minimal. Otherwise, I'd be drinking water exclusively at this point.

I've also made a new habit of drinking a glass of water with every meal. It helps to build new habits around old ones. They stick faster. So, since I was already having a drink with each meal, either water or something else, I've simply switched to drinking water every time.

Adding water to other routines fills out my daily requirement. Having a glass of water upon awakening, or just before bed, for instance. I now take water with me every time I get in the car as well. And of course, I take water when we go on walks or on nature based trips. I even take it if I'm just sight seeing. Needless to say, I bring the awesome water.

Taking water with me on the go keeps me from buying unhealthy drinks or bottled water. I don't like buying bottled water. Those plastic bottles take more water to manufacture than what they contain. Isn't that crazy? Plus, of course, there's the environmental consequences of all that plastic. Yuck!

I'm going to close with an observation here. You know, I kicked the soda pop habit a long time ago. But I was still fighting those cravings. That is, until I started drinking more water. As it turns out, what I was really craving was good old H2O. Now, I don't know if that will hold true for you as well. But maybe if you're still fighting a soda pop or energy drink habit, drinking more water will at least reduce your cravings.

Happy Hydrating!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Breaking up with Facebook, etc. etc.

Facebook is a strange mistress, isn't she? Talk about your love/hate relationships. This one is both deadly and fabulous. One minute you're chatting with someone who has literally made your day. Next minute you're in a full blown battle to the death with some utter troll who has effectively ruined it. 

So, what I'm pondering today is this: 

Is it even possible to leave Facebook? Should I? Because lately, I've had it up to my eyeballs with the naysayers, negativity and pointless conflicts that go on there. And yes, I must admit, a big part of what I don't like about Facebook is my own insane reaction to it.

You know, because I'm nuts. Certifiable, you guys. I'm not crazy enough to worry about, just world weary. Meh, we're all a bit loopy these days, from what I see. Society makes it impossible to be sane. Too many expectations. Too many rules, both spoken and unspoken.

Every day, they make more rules. Like there's a shortage or something. What? Somebody slipped on a banana peel? That's it. No more banana peels allowed. And so on. Who can keep up with all these rules? Not this crazy chick, that's for sure.

I've been mulling this over for literally months.

As an aside thought, it kind of has to do with a realization I had about the fact that we are too far away from our natural world. So much so, in fact, that we call it nature and talk about it like we're not a part of it.

You know. It goes something like this:

“Ooh, Ah, I love nature”

“Fool, You are nature! You are a natural being. You are a part of nature. It's not something to admire from afar. It's something to participate in”

Now, I'm not considering stripping naked and wandering the woods, living off nuts and berries because of this, you guys. I'm not that crazy. Besides, no one wants to see that. 

What I am considering is getting back to the way I used to live. Life before I went public. That is, life before Facebook, etc.

Because that was my best nature, you know? It was peaceful. I wasn't on a peace path because I was already at peace.

Wasn't it great, you guys? Wasn't it fun to live life fully and not feel obligated or excited to report all the highlights to all your Facebook friends? And I hate to admit it, but wasn't it great when you didn't know everything that was going on everywhere in the world all the time or how screwed up your country really is?

Because, let's face it. The world in general has always been screwed up. We just didn't know about the extent of it. We didn't know that the U.S. government, or should I say, the banking/finance/big business system (because that's who really governs us) has always been corrupt. 

We didn't know a lot of things before the internet came along. Or maybe you're smarter than me and you did. Never presume.

I won't call it the good old days because the good old days didn't exist for most people. Unless you were white as the driven snow and well off. And frankly, considering the ignorance involved, I'm glad I was neither.

Nevertheless, I feel like I was somewhat better off before social networking. Oh, you bet I've made a lot of friends that I wouldn't trade for the world. Admittedly, some might occasionally unfriend or un-follow me, due to my big mouth which doesn't seem to know when it's time to close up shop. I might even do the same to them. Ironically, for much the same reason. Ya, I said it.

And there you go.

This is who I have become and where I'm at. This is my dilemma. This is what happens when you mix the capacity to obtain instant information with someone who actually cares and thinks independently of the herd. They turn into monsters, you guys. Social networking has created a monster and it's me.

And maybe I could handle that. If it was just me, that is. I know my own crazy. I know how to deal with me. But here's the issue. There are scores of other crazed Facebook created monsters out there, just waiting to pounce, should I say something that sets them off. 

Plus, this is social networking. Not exactly a fitting place for an introvert with HSP.

Isn't that ironic? Because, from what I can see, there are a lot of us on there. And man, are we upset! 

What are we upset about? Everything! Why? Because the world is a mess, like always, but now we know about it. And, we introverts, who never had a voice before are letting out every frustration we've ever had and arguing with everyone we never had the means with which to argue with before.

It's both wonderful and awful at the same time. But we love it, don't we? At least when we're not hating it. Which for me, is most of time, with exception of the first few minutes I open that social network window to see what's happening in the world.

So, where do I go from here? Do I kick social media right where it hurts? Do I shun it forever? I have no idea. Because even though I'm not inherently social, some of the friends I only know on Facebook have shown themselves to be genuinely caring, loving and kind. What would I do without them?

I guess it boils down to social media having me right where it wants me.

Bloody hell, life is complicated for this simple girl. It's a good thing I know peace, tranquility and simplicity are best found within. Because the outside world is sadly lacking these days. 

Particularly on Facebook. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

When nobody knows your name

Ha! Has it ever occurred to you just how many people use a name other than their own on social media? Some are trying to stave off the stalkers and trolls. I used to use my pen name exclusively for that reason. But at one time, this left me so confused about my identity that I even considered changing my “real” name to my pen name to suit who I have morphed into.

Too funny! After all, everyone grows and changes with time. That doesn't mean we need a new name every time we have a spurt. Glad I realized that in time. LOL

I stopped using my pen name exclusively when I realized I was actually thinking of myself as Jaipi. Many of my writer friends still think of and address me as Jaipi, even though they know my “real” name now. Frankly, I'm thinking of dropping the pen name altogether, to avoid future confusion, but it's so deeply ingrained now. Sigh.... 

I guess what I'm really saying is that I'm the same person, no matter what people refer to me as. We all are. Changing your name doesn't change your history or your identity. It just changes your label.

I'm curious. If you know someone in person and on Facebook who uses a made up name for whatever reason, do you call them by their “real” name or their “fake” name? And if you use their made up name, pen name or what have you on Facebook, isn't it weird to call them one thing there and another thing in “real” life?

It's kind of uncomfortable and confusing for me, personally.

But check this bit out. I named my daughter after my sis, out of respect for all the support she gave me when I was coming up. But on social media, my daughter uses her pen name exclusively, just as I once did. And even though I once did the same, it still has a weird feel to it.

I mean, I chose her “real” name out of love. I thought long and hard to decide on it. It's what I have called her in “real” life for almost 40 years. So, having to call her by her social media name is strange. Stranger still, is when I have occasion to talk to other people who only know her pen name, because that's the only name they know her by so I have no choice. You feel me?

On the other hand, my daughter doesn't have my sister's “real” name anyway. Because my sis didn't like her real name, which is decidedly old fashioned. (Like my daughter, she was named after her aunt.) But unlike my daughter, her given name is one most modern people would not want to be saddled with. LOL

Does this all make me a hypocrite? I mean, the fact that I accept my sister's name change, but can't wrap my head around my daughter's name change? Probably. But nevertheless, that's how I feel.

Is all this name business just a tad too confusing for anyone else? Maybe it's just me, but I just feel like there should be less focus on names and more focus on life and living well. It certainly would be more peaceful and less confusing.

On the path for peace, there are many seemingly insignificant little pebbles like this. Gonna just shrug this one off and kick it to the curb. After all, whatever my loved ones call themselves, they're still the same person to me.

A rose by... Well, you know.

Monday, May 8, 2017

So you want that cute, exotic or wild animal for your own?

Folks, one of the things that gets me a bit worked up is people who want to own every non-human animal they see. I'm OK with pet rescue. I'm OK with saving, rehabilitating and releasing wild animals as well. Those are both positive endeavors.

Domesticated animals like house cats and dogs do not do well in the wild as a general rule. So, when they are already incorporated into domesticity, it's better for them to be adopted and lovingly cared for. But wild animals are a different story.

Taking wild or exotic beings as pets inhibits their ability to live as nature intended. It throws off the natural balance. Which not only hurts the animal itself, it hurts us too, though environmental impact.

Now, some justify “harvesting” wild animals to add to their family by saying they will be regularly fed and cared for, more so than if they lived in the wild. Problem is, the more we do this, the less helpful we are being in the scheme of things.

As more and more animals become domesticated, more are removed from the natural order and their skill set. Thus, they are less able to care for themselves and play their intended role in nature.

This creates a whole snowball effect. When we start removing other animals from nature, nature stops working like the well oiled machine it's intended to be. Sometimes, we start over-breeding other animals to feed them which throws nature off even more. Our environment is jeopardized.

Remember, the first animal we removed from natural order of things was ourselves. And we all know how badly that has gone. We are now slaves to our creature comforts. Maintaining those comforts is killing the planet quite effectively. Plus, we are also over-breeding other animals to feed ourselves, which adds to the impact.

Every animal on this earth has a contribution to make. That goal is best accomplished in their natural environment.

Part of my peace path involves leaving other beings alone to play their intended natural role so that the earth and every being on it, including human beings, will survive as long as possible.

And once again, yes, if we have the capability, we should help other animals who are under duress.

But we have to realize that other animals do not belong to us, just as other human animals do not belong to us. They are not possessions. They have lives of their own and also families of their own that we may be taking them away from.

We should show respect for their role in nature by not taking them out of their habitats and letting them play that role.

Because not only is it better for them, it's better for the entire ecosystem.

Humans included.