A broken society

I bet I can guess the first thing you did when you woke up this morning. – you scrolled through notifications on your phone before you stepped out of bed to fix that bed-head.

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The internet connects us to hundreds, thousands, even millions of people, and yet we’re more isolated than ever. If it isn’t posted on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – well then it simply didn’t happen.  If we do capture a memory or a look, then we disappear into the realm of likes and follows. If a post goes un-liked – then we are not good enough and we disappear further into the realm to push those feelings of unworthiness away. Distract. Binge. Escape… We’ve become a society who ignore real friendships in favor of spending time thriving on algorithms created by machines who simply mimic our very own misery-inducing patterns.  

We’ve all experienced it. The day is going great: you got out of work early, someone let you in ahead of them in traffic, and for some reason, your hair is just killin’ it today! Then WHAM. You log onto Facebook and see that an oooold high school friend just got engaged to a Sam Heughan look-a-like. UGH. Suddenly your perfect hair day just got a whole lot less significant. Even when you log off, images of the happy fiancés feeding each other spoonfuls of chocolate moose from their couples cooking class are etched into the back of your brain.

Then comes the inevitable torture of wondering why your own life doesn’t compare to their shiny perfect photos.  We’re all in competition, although we prefer not to realize it.  You ran more miles, or your child can dance better, or that selfie got more Facebook Likes than the average. Well done…. No really – well done!

Our broken society judges people by what they can do for others. Can you save children from a burning building, or remove a tumor, or make a room full of strangers laugh? *wink – You’ve got value right there.

Write an unpublished book, you’re a nobody. Write Eat Pray Love and the world wants to know you. Save a life, you’re a small-town hero, but cure cancer and you’re a legend. Unfortunately, the same rule applies to all talents, even untalented talents: get naked for one person and you may just make them smile, get naked for fifty million people and you might just be a Kardashian – the world loves to hate the Kardashian clan, but we are the ones who put them on the pedestal.

We use Instagram filters to make ourselves look more tanned and Pinterest boards to show everyone that awesome room we’re decorating. Whether it’s subconscious or not, we tend to paint a picture on social media that make our lives look like a more perfect version of reality.

You may hate it, but reality doesn’t care. We’re judged by what we have the ability to do, and the volume of people we can impact or get to LIKE what we ramble about while searching for acceptance. This my dears is today’s reality and If you can’t accept this reality, then the judgment of the world will seem very unfair.

The problem isn’t that life is unfair; it’s your broken idea of fairness.

Can you imagine how insane life would be if it actually was ‘fair’ to everyone? No-one would fall in love with anyone who wasn’t the love of their life, for fear of breaking a heart – or god forbid, wasting years of your life with the wrong person. Relationships would only end when both partners died simultaneously. Rain would only fall on bad people, hell – Donald Trump would actually have good hair!

Most of us get so hung up on how we think the world should work (#shinyFBposts) that we can’t see how it does.  Facing that reality might just be the key to unlocking your understanding of the world, and with it, all of your potential.

Ask yourself this simple question – “Am I the same me in real life as I am online?” Since we curate their own lives and show only the highlight reels, the online self is not the same as a true self. It’s okay to embrace the online world, but we mustn’t forget that likes and shares only go so far. Real validation only exists when we are genuine and imperfect.

If you’re not willing or able to give up social media just yet, consider the following suggestions:

  • Start paying attention to the moments you mindlessly open Instagram or Facebook. Be more mindful of the time you spend habitually browsing.
  • Turn off your social media notifications. Use your first moments in the morning to feel gratitude for waking up to a new day.
  • Put your phone away when you’re sharing a meal with friends or family. I repeat: Put. Your phone. Away. Channel your energy into building real, face-to-face relationships.
  • Remind yourself often that what you see online is not a standard by which you should grade your life. Key to understanding = REMEMBER THAT SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT REAL LIFE

The time to stop is now – Stop judging everyone based on your own cookie cutter ideas of happiness, stop judging yourself based on other’s cookie-cutter ideas of happiness and what it should look like. Stop searching for acceptance and simply accept yourself and your life as it is,  Stop making excuses EVERY time that friend invites you for a glass of wine because you’re too caught up in scrolling news feeds for validation.

Take a break from Social Media and rediscover the simplicities and out-right atrocities of life – it’s all about balance, you can’t live life in a filtered or cropped version of yourself – the only true way to live life is to LIVE it.  Listen to that Nickelback album that ‘everyone’ hates but secretly jam out to in their cars, eat that damn chocolate cake – without taking a picture of it, put down your god-damned phone and wake up with gratitude for a new day.

Your worth is not measured in likes, comments, notes or followers; but in your ability to love, laugh, connect with real people and to ultimately find joy in your life’s purpose.

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Imperfection or I’m-perfection?

It has been quite a hectic few months for me, started a new job and moved to a new home all in the matter of 2 months. Needless to say there are still boxes stacked in different places around the house, areas that still need to be sorted and that feeling of being “home” to be found once again. I have found myself frustrated with having to start over again at the age of 35 because of how life is “supposed to be” by the time a single mom of two reaches this age but after reading about and trying to adapt to the concept of Wabi Sabi, I have found my life to be quite delightful actually. 

I’ll be perfectly honest here, my job started out reaaaally slow and the pay is definitely nothing to write home about but I am a 30 minute walk from home! I work within the publishing industry and am surrounded by what I love all day. By embracing the imperfection of my financial situation and balancing it out with the perfection of logistics, I have found myself smiling and listening to the birds chirp on the way in to work in the morning. 

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Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, nothing is perfect.

Wabi Sabi is the ancient Japanese wisdom of finding beauty in imperfection and simplicity in nature, of accepting the natural cycles of growth, decay, and death. Enjoying the simple, natural, and uncluttered, Wabi Sabi reveres authenticity above all. It celebrates cracks, chips, and other marks of time, weather, and use. Once we see the beauty in such “deficiencies”, we can learn to embrace the flaws—the wrinkles, rust, and frayed edges, and all the imperfections in our lives.

How to Be…. Happy

So what does Wabi Sabi tell us about how to live? Developed from Zen Buddhism, Wabi Sabi is a path to enlightenment. It is a practice, a lifestyle of living modestly, simply being satisfied with what is. 

People who live a Wabi Sabi life come to a gentle acceptance of the imperfection in their lives. They accept the mistakes, the disappointment, the broken promises. And even eventually, if lucky to live long enough, they accept the liver spots, the gray hair, the wrinkles. They see the beauty even there. They embrace it all.

Finally, it is about us. We are all imperfect. We are all flawed. Being human, we strive to live up to our expectations. Then we fall short. We make mistakes. No one is perfect. We are as we are.

We wish our circumstances were different—a better job, more money, a partner, fewer problems. But this is our real life. It is what it is. And yet, nothing is permanent. This is just what’s so.

Now, go and be happy.

What would you tell your 20’something self??

 

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An age old question, “if you could go back and do it over, would you?” … my response, “uh,,, no – probably not”.

 

Now here’s a good one, “What advice / life lessons would you tell your 20 year old self?” – the reason I chose 20 year old self is because we all know teens don’t listen to anyone but their friends so going back and telling yourself something in those years would simply be a waste now wouldn’t it?

I read a post recently that got me thinking about this, man oh man what wouldn’t I tell my self? “don’t take that second piece of cake!”, “no that last tequila shot was not a good idea”. *giggle, it’s the little things that count right? Anyway, I decided to limit my telling to 6 things – 6 life lessons or tidbits of advice for my 20 year old self:

  1. Just say NO– If you don’t want to do something, say no. People will try to take advantage of you and use you. Eliminate time-wasters and stop getting sucked into things you don’t want to do. Say no. The world won’t end and life will go on. Always go with your gut. That goes for people, places and things.
  2. Have a Social Life – Surround yourself with only positive, fun and supportive people. Extra points if they are like-minded and share similar goals. Distance yourself from any friends who are negative, bring you down or are emotional vampires.
  3. SAVE SAVE SAVE – Have enough money saved, keep your resume updated and diversify your skillset so that if you lose your job tomorrow, you will still be on your feet.
  4. Cry Cry Cry – You will get back up. Your heart will mend. You will forget. And one day in the future, it will all make sense.
  5. Get Active –  Get into a healthy lifestyle now- it gets harder the older you get.
  6. And finally.. –  Know that this is the time of your life where you get to explore, dream, stumble, learn, make mistakes, get your heart broken….the list is endless. These are the years where you figure out who you are. Enjoy it! Time is something you can’t get back so live, laugh, love and enjoy every moment!

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TAG… I’m it!

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I was tagged by one of the most inspiring ladies I’ve had the pleasure of having in my life at a point in my past, Author of A Wee Nest.  🙂

This is a fun way to take some time out of the day to reconnect and to share a bit about myself with you all.

I hope some of you play along!

5 Things I Have a Passion For

  1.  Reading / Books
  2.  Photography
  3.  Art (creativity in general)
  4.  The Paranormal
  5.  PKU Awareness 

Five Things I Would Like To Do Before I Die

  1. Go on a multi-day hiking trip
  2. See the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
  3. Road trip across Canada
  4. Open my own bookstore (with art gallery included)
  5. Live on a little farm away from the city

Five Things I Say, A Lot

  1. Allister…What are you doing?
  2. Keelyn, That’s enough now!
  3. Allister… Where is your cup?
  4. Hi Tibby, Who’s my pretty girl? (Tibby is my bf.. Kitty)
  5. I need a break!

Five Things I’ve Read and Recommend Reading

  1.   I ❤ New York
  2.  Scar Tissue
  3.  The Alchemist
  4.  The Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  5.  It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken

Five of my Favourite Movies

I haven’t watched too many movies lately, more TV show’s but here are my top 5 :

  1.  Mists of Avalon
  2.  Pulp Fiction
  3.  Practical Magic
  4.  The Dark Knight
  5.  Dirty Dancing (nobody puts baby in a corner!)

Five Places I Would Love to Travel

  1.  Salem
  2.  London (actually the UK in general)
  3.  South America
  4.  New York
  5.  Trinidad / Tobago

Five Bloggers I’ve Chosen to Participate

  1. You! yes You!
  2. Lindsey Kelk (most awesome Chick lit Author on THE planet)
  3. Magpie Girl
  4. That girl on the right

Thanks for stopping by!

A silent addiction?

We’ve all done it, taken months and months to upload our photo’s to the computer . I used to be pretty good at getting them done as soon as I was done taking them (pretty much), well this time around I left my photo’s un-edited and not uploaded for a good few months, leaving me with over 300 edits to do today – it was fun!

Having realized that Facebook had become a silent addiction, I have decided to move away from that social network and to communicate on a more personal note via my blog only. Also, I finally updated my flickr photo stream  with a few photo’s that I felt “made the cut” to be viewed by the public. I hope you like them as much as I do.

We’ve all heard of the zombie apocalypse, and I am sure we all have our own version of it. I personally think we may have miss-interpreted the term “zombie”.

The addiction we all have to our Facebook / social media accounts have us communicating less, envying  more, spending countless hours trolling each-others timelines for the slightest indication that someone else may be referring to us personally via cryptic status updates so that we can lash out with some form of quoted message stolen from the internet  and pasted into our updates as a cryptic message to those that you know they are referring to you… It’s a crazy circle, and you’re probably getting on the defensive right now saying “pfft not me, I never thing that” , anyway my point is we have all become “zombies” to non-communication – god forbid all the servers were to shut down simultainiously and leave us with no connection to what Bobby did on his vacation, or how many times Jenny’s baby threw up!

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