The First Person to Write Her Own Q&A

Ok since I am a big ole hypocrite, I am writing today after all! I posted on Facebook that I was taking a break from my blog, but atlas, it has drawn me in. Much of what I have been writing has been far too personal and possibly less than pleasant to post, at least right now. I decided to write a Q&A which is semi-ridiculous to write my own questions (but I never claimed to be totally normal). I did get a request or two that I incorporated and many are based on things I have been asked at some point in my life.

First, allow me to digress for one minute please, which speaks a bit to why I am re-evaluating the blogging I am doing. I struggle with posting what is real with what might be too personal (because my stories are not always just my own. Other people could be affected by them). I also feel like the unpleasant stuff that comes to mind for topics could easily spiral into sounding really salty and bitter, and I fear if people read that in isolation, they could misunderstand who I am at the core.

Anyways, one of the things I am finding is that my writing is very much tied to my career transition. It is it as much a journey in starting a business as it is in finding myself. I know, that sounds super cheesy (but it’s the real dang truth).

Much of what I feel like I am going through is like this shedding process. There’s an idea in life that I whole heartedly believe in that to get what you want, you have to give some things up. Right now, without even realizing I am doing it, I am giving up a lot of my own emotional baggage. I have to let go of being the person I was when I was in the corporate world in certain ways, like accepting that I cannot be as independent as I was.  I do require more help and support than ever before. I have to let go of so much of what I was taught ever since I can remember like follow security and always have a plan (even if it means not loving what I am doing). I have to give up spending time with people that either drain me or distract from my goals.

­It is heavy shit, guys. And while I consider myself to be sassy, sarcastic and sometimes light hearted, there is also a lot that is sort of dark that goes on in my brain on a regular basis.

And that is why I will try my hardest to not digress a million times in this post. (I make no guarantees though).

 

Q:  What brought you to California from New Jersey?
A: About 10 years ago, the company I was working for at the time was going to relocate me to Los Angeles. I was a Consultant and we had a new client in Edmonton, Canada. They flew me out here for a few days to look for an apartment . I had never been to Los Angeles before and instantly felt in love with it. I always felt it in my soul (for real) that I was meant to be on the West Coast. Well, it was decided that the journey to Edmonton from LA was not really as quick and easy to be doing on a weekly basis as we had thought so they did not sponsor my move out here. I did still make the move (on my own dime). And wouldn’t you know that as soon as I did, they decided to send me to Edmonton anyways. Nope. Not bitter about that at all.

Q: What has been the most surprising thing about the career transition you are making?
A: The emotions. Holy shit. I expected highs and lows, but I had no idea they would be as extreme and varied as they are. Some days I feel really positive and confident about my decision to start my own business and other days I feel really in-over-my-head and insecure about whether or not I am truly qualified to be doing this. I constantly have moments where I am so grateful and humbled by all the support and love I receive. I definitely have more moments of crying than I ever have which makes me feel like an 80 year old Jewish grandmother.

Q: What are your Top 3 for leading a fulfilled life?
A:  1. Given I am in a major transitional stage in life right now, the most glaring is to be true to myself. I could have chosen to stay in a job that did not light my soul on fire or I could have tried for the unknown with a higher chance for gratification. I also find when it comes to my business, I get a lot of (unsolicited) advice about what I should and should not do. And I take it all into consideration, but at the end of the day I have to do what  feels right for me even if it means making mistakes along the way.

  1. Balance. This could mean something different to each of us. I am by far more of an introvert than an extrovert. I love my own time and I do love being around other people, only when I feel it is quality and fulfilling. I am past the age of being around people out of obligation or taking in anyone else’s energy. Ok I digress. I also mean balance in terms of sticking to my health and fitness routine with doing things that are good for my soul.
  2. The people I surround myself to. It ties into a point I made relating to balance. It is so important to have positive people around me and not anyone toxic. I am beyond grateful for all the amazing friends and family I have in my life.

Q:  Wow, in the question above, it is surprising that “money” was not in the response. Why is that?
A: Huh, wouldn’t you know it? I am actually surprised because I do get stressed about money these days. Not because I am in any dire financial situation(yet), but the unknown of how I am going to start earning again (and how much) can freak a girl out.

Having said that, I guess though it is because money comes and money goes. And I have had many years of having plenty of it to do as I wish that will tie me over for the time being in terms of experiences and memories. I also am confident that despite having freak outs about money, I will start earning  it again.

And to the point above, I know that money is not everything. Having the security at my job and being paid regularly regardless of how little or how much I worked,  was wonderful, I will not lie. But I walked away from it because clearly  it is not everything.

Q: You have travelled to so many countries, about 30 perhaps? Which do you want to go back to?
A:
OMG Guatemala. I would go back to Lake Atitlan in a heartbeat. Being around so much gorgeous nature and so much spirituality, is something that always warms my heart when I think about it. It also was a yoga retreat which is ironic because if you know me, you know how much I really do not enjoy yoga. Despite that though, I experienced so many unique things.

Q: Are you still selling ketones? (For the record, I legit get asked this a few times a week).
A: Yes but more behind the scenes. It is not an income generator for me and I decided to do it more for fun (and finance my own ketone supply). I LOVE the products and being in ketosis. I still sell to people, I just do not post as often as I used to. It started to feel too salesy and icky. And the thing is too, I rather spend time promoting myself for my own business. Boom!

Q: What is the name of your business?
A: Patience, my friend. I’m hoping to launch my website over the next few weeks and that will be the big business name reveal.

Q: What foods can you not live without?
A: Avocados obviously which also means guacamole. Which leads to burritos (especially breakfast burritos). I would be so sad if I became allergic. Please god, don’t ever let that happen! And almond milk. Being lactose intolerant is super limiting and almond milk has been a savior. Oh, and those delicious vegan ice cream sandwiches at Sage, which I am completely craving right now and it is taking every ounce of self -control to not get in my car now and go.

Q: Who are your favorite people on the planet?
A: My nieces and nephews. I mean, I know I shouldn’t have favorites but well… They are adorable, loving, funny and always surprising me. And they make me want to be the best person in the world. I do not get to see them nearly enough so I cherish every little moment with them.

Q: Last question. What are 3 things about you that people may not know?
A: I am an award winning parallel parker, I am skilled at picking things up with my toes, and I can only wink my left eye.

When Did Social Media Become The Jerry Springer Show?

Ok ,soooo the title is a tad bit exaggerated but it got your attention, didn’t it?

I have no shame in admitting I love social media. For the most part.  Although, with social media being a quick and easy way to reach many people, there has become this acceptance or license to use it for a few different things that really, in my humble opinion, are beyond what the boundaries should be.

 

  1. Being overtly sexual.

Ok so just don’t do it. People generally do not want unsolicited comments and messages that are sexual. I wrote a whole post on that which is here.

 

  1. Medical diagnosis/advice.

It is one thing to ask for suggestions on things like what stretches to do for a tight hip flexor or asking if anyone has a recommendation for knee sleeves. It is another to detail symptoms of extreme pain in your back expecting someone to give a medical diagnosis. OVER SOCIAL MEDIA. What happened to calling our doctors and scheduling an appointment?

 

Comparing one’s symptoms to someone who comments is not exactly an approved way to diagnose. Just because someone has similar pains or symptoms does not mean their diagnosis are identical.

 

And I know people have the best of intentions in their comments, but they are not medical professionals. Go find out what is going on with you so you can heal and back to your regularly scheduled programming.

 

  1. Aggressively pushing your beliefs onto your followers.

I see a lot of posts about important topics that 100% should be socialized.  Often though, the commentary that someone posts along with it is this sort of “you are stupid if you do not agree with me” kind of mentality. (Politics and gun bans immediately come to mind). It is admirable to be passionate about a cause, but insulting one’s followers’ intelligence in an attempt to persuade them is 1) not effective 2) puts them on the defense and 3) is disrespectful.

 

Take vaccinations for example. I see a lot of posts from both camps: anti-vaccinations and pro-vaccinations for children. I personally, for the record as someone who has no kids, have no opinion on the matter which is why I am using this as an example.  If someone wants to sway people in the other camp, do so with kindness and education. Do not do it by telling them they are terrible parents if they do or do not vaccinate. Because again, 1) it is insulting 2) it is not effective and 3) it is disrespectful. Nobody wants to be told they are a bad parent and they are not likely to be open to considering anything after a comment like that.

 

  1. Publically bashing people.

There is this thing called diplomacy. It is ok to tell a story and give perception and insight, when done respectfully. I do this as much as I humanly can when I blog (because believe me, there are times I reference personal stories that it takes every ounce of my being to not let the New Jersey come out of me).

 

It is another thing to air dirty laundry, spew just pure hatred directed at someone and play the victim with the right to say anything and everything without a filter.

 

I for one do not want to see a public feud between supposed friends/family on Facebook (and sadly I have seen this many times). If someone has an issue with someone else, but cannot exercise diplomacy when in a public venue (because Facebook is public any way you look at it. It is not a conversation between 2 people when you have even just 1 follower).  Take it offline.  End of story.

 

 

  1. Rewarding bad behavior.

 

On Social media, often what happens in the case where someone, for example, publically bashes someone else, people who think it is a little crazy town most likely are just going to scroll right past it without commenting.  The people who do take the time to comment are buying into whatever the person is selling. Perhaps the person posting felt someone said something really rude to them or they had a big fight with their parent or friend or whatever it is. Again, if they are not telling a story or making a point respectfully and with diplomacy, they are likely victimizing themselves. And so people comment like “You are inspiring! The other person is the devil!” or “OMG you are so great! You are sooooo right to be sooooooooooo upset!”

 

They are not challenging them for the other details (aka the other side of the story and or the details that perhaps were conveniently left out). Nor are they saying, “Hey, maybe you should take that post down and go talk directly to your friend.” They are just validating whatever the person is saying and feeling. They are essentially rewarding bad behavior. And all that it does is make the person feel righteous.

 

I can totally go down a rabbit hole with this one. And I will.

 

It perpetuates the problem that people think it is ok to be unfiltered, hateful and acting victimized. We obviously cannot prevent people from posting such things. We can though opt to NOT comment on them. People posting like that WANT the attention. So duh, if they are not given attention, maybe they will stop posting.

 

 

There are always boundaries. There are things that make sense to do on social media and then there are things that cross the line into perverse, ignorance, hate, and lack of sensibility. I try to govern my life outside of social media by all that is good. Good energy, good people, good discussion and just plain old respect. Facebook can go so far past what is good that perhaps it can be reined back in a smidge or so.

 

 

 

 

Think You are a Leader? 5 Things You Ought To Check Yourself On

Foreword: I am using the word “leader” quite loosely in this post. I have very strong opinions of what a GREAT leader is. I also know that many people are self-proclaimed leaders when in actuality they do not know the first thing about being a leader. So when I have references in the negative about a
“leader” in this post, please know it is that latter group that I am referring to. I also do not mean to insinuate that any one of my readers is a bad leader

I also apologize in advance for the rants (they are too good to omit though right?)

The other night when I was hanging out with friends, the topic of zodiac signs came up. A friend said to me, “Oh you are a Leo. You must be stubborn.” I laughed and said, “so they say”. Because really, do stubborn people ever admit they are stubborn? I followed up with this though, “I am definitely stubborn when it comes to the principle of things and being ethical.  I have a hard time letting go of something when I do not agree with it.” Which is where this post came from. Leadership is something I take oh so seriously and it drives me insane knowing there are people in this world running around proclaiming to be leaders. They mistake their rank or title for leadership. They mistake teaching the ropes on social media as coaching. They mistake publicly bashing people (on their team!) over Facebook with “being organic.”  Ok, I digress a little bit. But the point of that last statement is that being a leader means knowing the difference between being diplomatic yet honest with being disrespectful and malevolent.

Without further delay, let’s get into what a good leader is NOT.

  1. A good leader never wants someone on their team who does not want to be there.
    I have never believed in holding anyone back or preventing someone from pursuing other options or doing anything to advance their career. Sometimes being a leader means accepting that you will be a stepping stone. People change and morph as do their needs. Just because someone does not need us anymore, does not mean we did a terrible job leading and coaching. It just means we gave them what they need to keep moving. Keeping anyone who wants to be there creates resentment and imbalance in a team. If someone finds another opportunity that aligns with their goals, a good leader supports that. It is not a personal attack necessarily. And if it is, then that leads me to the next point.
  1. A good leader recognizes a learning opportunity when they see one.
    Deflecting or projecting an issue that someone brings to a leader’s attention is most likely indicative of an insecurity, arrogance and just being stupidly lacking in self- awareness. There are moments that come our way that are blessings not punishments. Having someone express a concern, even if it IS directly targeted at you, is your chance to rise above it. There may just be some truth to what they are saying and if you are a good, solid leader, you will think about it from another perspective.If someone cannot handle feedback, to be totally blunt, they have no business being in a position of leadership. Period.And furthermore (oh snap I used “furthermore”), if someone cannot handle feedback from a manager, a peer, a subordinate, anyone in the workplace, chances are they cannot handle it anywhere else in life. Which I will say for the millionth time, that is indicative of immaturity and a lack of self- awareness. I have zero patience for people who are always the victim. It is never them.
  1. A good leader does not dismiss someone’s opinion or feelings.
    Anytime we communicate with someone, whether it’s a boss, a peer, a friend, a spouse, a customer service rep (seriously, who likes being told as a customer you are wrong?), we want to at a minimum feel validated. Whether you agree or not is beside the point. People want to feel heard. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to have a conversation and have your points completely not understood and ignored. Literally it is like talking to a wall. A wall that you probably want to punch. So, if a “leader” is completely missing your points, know when to take that battle up with someone else who can influence them or merely just walk away (and plan your escape route. Seriously). Some battles are better left untouched.
  1. A good leader does not manipulate.
    Manipulation can come in many forms and pretty much every time it is a control thing. To my first point earlier, keeping someone on a team when you are the only person who has the power to relinquish them is straight up manipulation. Telling someone how much you have done for them and how much they owe you is manipulation.  Telling someone in one breath how highly you think of them and in the next how much they have disrespected you is also manipulation. Be honest and be real. People think they are sugar coating things when really they are trying to either confuse the hell out of someone else or manipulate a situation to make them feel like they are back in control (which for real, who wants to deal with that?)
  1. A good leader does not have an attitude of entitlement when someone wants to leave.
    Warning: This one gets me especially fired up.
    Sure, there is going to be disappointment at losing a good resource, but good leaders do not harbor resentment about it. A good leader knows that people will move on at some point and no matter how much they may have done for that person, they have the right to move on.Putting in a few days or a few months or a few years training someone does not make them yours. They are not indebted to you.

    And having someone leave is not even always a bad thing. It could be opening an opportunity for you or someone else. Because often you have to let go of something to get what you really need.

    Really though, I am calling bull shit on anyone who feels that they cannot release you because releasing YOU is DISRESPECTFUL to THEM. Putting in time training is part of the job description and it is not wasted time (for anyone). I get so fired up because I once had someone who refused to release me because she felt like she put in months of her time training me which is time lost that SHE will never get back. (Those were her words, not mine).

    Case and point. That shows immaturity and spite, which again, are not exactly cornerstones of being a leader.

    Being a leader is not an easy thing even for those who have that gift innately. It takes cultivating, training, real life experience and most importantly a whole lot of humility (and a whole lot less of ego). I am grateful, truly, for my past corporate life. I was given an opportunity to lead and it is something I have always taken seriously.

    Leading is not about me. It is about other people.  It is about inspiring others around me and not draining them. The main common theme of every single example above is that it shows a mentality of only thinking about oneself instead of others.

    Having a “me me me” attitude is the antithesis of a leader.

    There are a lot of things you can fix in this world when it comes to issues with people, but you cannot fix  those who are ignorant or irrational, especially when they are in the height of their “it is all about me” way of thinking.

    Perhaps for some of these “leaders” they will have that “Oh snap” moment and have some over due self-reflection. I just know for myself, I cannot stick it out around those types waiting for them to figure out. And neither should you. It is okay to walk away from a “leader” when they are downright irrational and overly emotional. As the kids say today, you do you.

Six Types of People Who Will Suck the Soul Out Of You

Foreword: I was about half way done with this post when it dawned on me. I am sure I am not the first person to write about this topic. And so I googled it and sure enough, I am not. Fortunately, the ones I came up with I did not see on the half a dozen articles I found so at least there is that!

I know I am not alone in feeling like the energy around us recently has been out of sorts. It is almost hard to explain but if you have expereinced it, you know what I mean. And if you think I sound just bat shit crazy (which may be true), the important thing to know is that it sparked me thinking about energy. And often what we are picking up around us is not even ours. It may not even be that of someone standing ten feet from you, but it is coming from someone who orbits the same world you live in.

And as long as we let them orbit in OUR world, we are allowing their energy in. Which made me think long and hard about the types of people who we would no doubt benefit from saying adios to.

  1. The person playing the victimI have met people who have gone through some horrific shit yet when they tell me about it, they will be sure to say “It is ok. I do not want to live in the negative or let it take over my life. I am moving ahead and grateful for what I do have.” Those people, hold onto them. They will raise your vibrations and be that good energy you want. It is the people who do the opposite. The ones who are constantly complaining. The ones who repeatedly are being “targeted”. It is never anything they do. They cannot help that they have a mean boss, a mean neighbor, a mean co-worker, and mean friends. Everyone is always mean to THEM and they are just PERFECT. Yeah, right.

Those people, the victim people, they are exhausting and will suck the soul right out of you. Turn around and walk away. And do not look back. No matter how hard you try to be nice and to be a friend, they are always going to find fault in you. Because remember the last 10 friends they had they slowly divulged over time about how they wronged them? Well guess what, you are being primed for #11. And who the fuck wants that drama?

  1. The zero accountability person.

I almost did not include this one because well, I could easily write 5000 words on this alone. I am an adult though and I promise I can be concise on this point.

The zero accountability person is likely to also be the person playing the victim. Because when someone has a victim mentality, it is NEVER anything they did.  They are just innocently going through life being awesome, kind and selfless who just happens to have bad shit happen to them. All. The. Time.

There is a strong correlation to happiness and taking a long, hard look at ourselves.  Happiness is not just something that happens. And being on a quest for happiness does not entitle anyone to be a total jack ass to people or to self-sabotage.  Our quality of life is a reflection of owning the good, the bad and the ugly.

So if you find yourself around someone who never takes accountability, if you do not separate yourself from them, you are 100% likely to legit go crazy.

  1. The person who tries to talk you out of your dream.
    Going into fitness and coaching, I have gotten an unprecedented amount of support. I have had people who have questioned or raised concerns about elements that I may not have thought about. That I welcome. Please, help me think through details I may not have considered. That is cool. That is being a friend.

If I did though encounter someone who told me that I am absolutely insanely stupid to pursue this dream, I would obviously first punch them, and then start second guessing my decision. Crushing someone’s dream is demoralizing to say the least. We need to support each other.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If I told anyone that I was leaving my corporate job to become an exterminator, they would have laughed in my face. And rightfully so. I go into a 3 month trauma when I see a water bug so no way could I be an exterminator. A good friend, even if they do not agree with the dream, will at least try to understand what you are seeking. What is it you are missing that you want something else? If the dream is misaligned, they will help you find a more appropriate one without just quickly denouncing it.

  1. The Social Media public basher

You know the people who vacillate between extremes? Like one day they are posting about how much they love avocados and puppies and the next day they are bitching about their ex-wife and how she is stealing custody from you. Yeah, to me, when they go to that extreme, it is negative. And it is not that they are not in the right for how they feel but I do not always trust those who are not using sound discretion in what they post.  It is social media not an episode of “Judge Judy”.
Not to mention, if you see someone who is bashing someone openly and without tact, what makes you think you will never be in the hot seat?

 

  1. The person who gets all their Intel from Facebook (aka the gossip)

Ever have a conversation with someone who is catching you up on all these people you are mutually acquainted with? And you start wondering how is it that this person has managed to know so much about all these people? Then, in one of their mesmerizing stories, they mention they saw something that a friend of a friend of a friend posted about  on Facebook.

 

Move along, sister, move along.

 

  1. The ageist.

Disclaimer: I am the BIGGEST hypocrite for including this one. Full disclosure I am a total ageist (but I swear I am working on it!). I make fun of millenials any chance I get and am in total awe of anyone over 50 with a 6 pack. But having said that, I know it is not right.  And I am grateful for everyone who proves me wrong every single freakin’ day.

There is such a tendency to associate expectations based on age. Like nobody can possibly have their shit together before 30 and nobody possibly truly learns to love themselves until age 40. And 60 year olds should stick to crocheting and watching “Golden Girls”. (Ok bad example, those chis are the best. For all ages!)

 

Ageists will take self -imposed expectations and unfairly places them on others. “Anyone over 30 who is not married is hopeless” or “He is 25. He does not know what life is.” If you go to an ageist for advice, are they going to look at you fairly or are they going to make biased assumptions about you based on age? Just something to noodle over if you find yourself in the company of an ageist.

 

We all have dreams and we all have passions. We need to really consider the people around us and ask ourselves: are they inspiring us or are they draining us?

Confrontation is a Gift Even If It Feels Like a Punch To The Gut

I want to share a story with you that I have not shared with many before.  It is hard to openly admit when I have royally messed up, but it is something that I also am grateful for. And if getting past my pride can give us all pause to cause, then I of course will divulge.

Last spring, my boss at the time swung by my desk and impromptu asked if I had a few minutes to chat. Now, I was  (and still am) close with her. I knew instinctively this conversation was not going to be pleasant.

When we get settled at a table outside, she cut to the chase and told me that she has been hearing that my team has been complaining and frustrated that I was micromanaging them. Which for anyone who has ever managed can attest that being called a micromanager is quite possibly one of the worst insults professionally you ever will experience.

She did not give me a lot of details or who said what. She told me because she wanted me to talk to my team and to handle it on my own. I have had other situations at work having to confront people so this concept was not new to me. It was still extremely anxiety ridden and intimidating.

This conversation with my boss took place on a Tuesday and I had decided I would address this directly with my team on Thursday at a scheduled meeting. Now, my team at the time was 4 people (3 of whom were expressing they did not like me micromanaging). I literally lost sleep over this for multiple nights. I went through so many stages trying to process this issue and I had so many questions.

I started with feeling indignant. I was NOT a micromanager and screw my team for saying I am. If I do micromanage, it is because THEY deserve it.

That line of thinking did not last long. At all. I had to really change my mindset and accept that there could be validity in what they were feeling.

One of the most important things I realized though is that it really did not matter if they were right or if I was right. It was about this unsaid tension between us that if I did not respectfully and diplomatically address with them, it was not just going to away nor was I magically going to have a solid, trusting team. Because the thing is, once someone labels you as anything whether, it is a micromanager or lazy or fake or an all out bitch, everything you do in their eyes will prove why you are. And I did not like feeling that my team was going to repeatedly snicker behind my back and analyze everything I say or do. As a manager and more importantly as a leader, it really matters to me to be respected. You do not have to like me necessarily or agree with my choices or directives, but at least understand to a point that my character is not in question.

I felt extremely vulnerable and I also felt like I failed as a leader, which lead to so much self-doubt that it had me question if I had any right to be a manager. It was very humbling to say the least and was quite crippling.

I scripted what I wanted to say to my team ahead of time. I wanted to be honest and upfront and make them feel like I was open to hearing their feelings and issues without them being judged or concerned that I would somehow retaliate against them. I wish I kept the script because I would have 100% enclosed it in this post. So I am going to do my best to recall the important points and discussion:

  • I let them know that I am not the type to dismiss feedback and that I take it so seriously. And I would never use it against them. If they are feeling like I am micromanaging, I want to talk about it openly.
  • I told them honestly that having to hear from my boss that my team felt I was micromanaging was very difficult to hear. It actually was harder coming from her instead of my team. It made me feel like I intimidated them so much so that they could not come to me. Yes, feedback is hard and yes, I may have been taken off guard. And yes, I may have needed time to process it when they addressed it, but I would look at it through their eyes as much as I would through my own.
  • I also let them know that I cannot fix something if I am not aware of it. I also did throw in what I feel is respect of coming to me directly instead of talking behind my back.

I joked with them to cut the tension a bit that I was essentially initiating my own intervention (which got a chuckle out of them). I asked them to share with me examples of times they felt I was micromanaging. And you know what? The things they recounted were not as hard to hear as I expected. More importantly, they were completely resolvable. One that stands out is that they wanted me to chime in less on calls with clients. They wanted to earn respect from them and not have anyone perceive them as incompetent because their manager was always talking for them. Ok, guys, done.

Our discussion was so positive. We tackled an awkward topic with dignity and directness. Not one person took it as an opportunity to shit all over me. They talked to me openly and with maturity. I never felt like they were attacking me despite that I knew they were really frustrated and demoralized. And that is how discussions should go.

Also, two of them in 1:1 meetings I had praised me for holding that meeting. They told me it took courage, and they were thankful that I did. Part of it too is people often forget managers are human too. Seeing me so vulnerable gave them a different level of reverence.

I also stressed to them that I do not have it all figured out just because I am a manager. I am constantly striving to grow and evolve. And feedback as hard as it is to give, is actually a gift. So many times we view feedback as a bad thing. Because we seem to have fallen into a culture of thinking confrontation is a negative. And in actuality, when you can figure out how to confront someone in a positive, RESPECTFUL way (I am deliberately using that word multiple times to make the point that it is ESSENTIAL!), you are helping them. Ignoring issues is counterproductive.

We often assume people want to critique us or tell us less than pleasant things because they come from a place of hate or a place of jealousy or we think they are projecting. That is bull shit. Whether it is your boss, or your employee or your friend or you sister or your father, that takes the time to respectfully tell you something, remember two things. One, they are coming from a place of love. They are not trying to deliberately hurt you because they get off on seeing you upset. Two, confronting someone is just as emotionally taxing on them as it is on the person receiving the message. So if they are doing it, it is because they have a justified reason (because remember, they could ignore it and save everyone a lot of heart ache).

We have to stop thinking confrontations are bad. You know, a lot of people equate a friendship or relationship of being solid with never having any fights or disagreements. And in my opinion, that is not necessarily true. People hold back and play it safe and I challenge that if they actually do address things head on, each person can grow and that relationship if anything can get stronger.

I share this story because I whole heartedly believe we need more healthy confrontations. Truth be told, much of this has been sparked lately with seeing too many public feuds on social media and it infuriates me quite bluntly.  I am tired of seeing people air their dirty laundry publically.

Everyone has a platform the second they login into Facebook and post something. Everyone has the ability to persuade their following to love them, to respect them, maybe even to fear them or dislike them. Everyone has the ability to pick and choose what they share with their following to get or stay in their good graces. Everyone has the ability to tell very one-sided stories to get that validation or vindication. They receive an outpouring of comments like “Haters gonna hate!” (which seriously, can we leave that expression in 2015?) or “You are so brave to share this!”

Bravery and strength is confronting the person who you feel wronged by directly and privately. Going on social media and telling half a story that is slander against someone else is cowardly. Talking to everyone else but the person in question is not brave. It is avoidance.

I could have chosen to ignore what my boss told me about my team. It sure as hell would have been a less painful process. I could have chosen to just talk shit about them to anyone at any chance I got to make myself look and feel blameless. I could have also selected who I told that I would know would assure me I was right and that I was dealing with immature and negative people. Because obviously if someone tells me something that hurts, the issue is them and not me. But guess what guys. We all have accountability in every situation we are in.

But I never even entertained that option. Professionally and personally, the people in my life who have the most impact are the ones who call it like it is, good or bad. The harrowing and the traumatic situations are the ones that I grow the most from. I am constantly evolving as I really believe we all should be. And we cannot do that if we are not open to having very honest conversations.

 

 

 

 

The Spiritual Side



 Disclaimer: This is quite the departure from what I typically blog about.  If you trust that I have not lost my marbles, then indulge yourself and please, read on.


Psychics, mediums, spiritual healers… they completely amaze and awe me. I utterly dig that world and totally believe in things out there beyond what we know in the physical world.(I confess to reading my share of books on the topic as well as going to see Theresa Caputo’s live experience once. Ok, fine, I have gone twice). I do not consider myself to be a religious person, but spiritual? Absolutely! That is, in my own way.  I believe life is a series of lessons to continuously make us better people. I believe in always striving towards something and constantly improving to be the best we can be. I am very much in touch with the things I want and need versus those that are superfluous and superficial. I am quite self -aware and have taken a lot of steps to truly understand what motivates me, what upsets me and what brings me happiness. I also believe with all my heart that there are things and beings out there that work to shape us and our lives. It is what we do with the messages they give us that can truly impact how we live our lives. 


I recently escaped LA living for a few days in Palm Desert with my bestie from college. After about 2 years since last seeing each other, all we wanted was tranquility, relaxation and having the chance to catch up. Upon checking into Two Bunch Palm Palms (http://www.twobunchpalms.com/) we noticed sign up sheets for different classes and workshops offered that day. We honed in on the one calling our names, Spiritual Healing.  


Donna, the Spiritual Healer, was warm and wonderful. She said 3 things in particular that resonated with me that I want to share with you. Regardless if you think the method in which I acquired this info is hokey or not, hopefully you find some inspiration in it.


First, she spoke about this concept that most of the world’s population is asleep. Only about a 1/3 of us are awakened (I am proud to be part of that 1/3). What does this mean exactly? People who are asleep are not in touch with spirituality and probably do not have any desire to be. As I said earlier, I equate spirituality with a personal path of growth. So if someone is asleep, then it’s quite likely they are not open to learning more about themselves.  As Donna was talking about this, a flood of “types” of people went through my brain. There is the type of people who are not accountable for their lives or “bad luck” as they call it. They are the victims of life time and time again without ever trying to understand their part in. Don’t get me wrong, I am not justifying bad things happening to good people. I am though suggesting that when people have patterns, it is usually something in themselves more than the other people or situations.   There is also the group of people who think they have life all figured out. Yeah trying going to those people when you are a crossroad and want some good perspective. Often people I have encountered in my own life who are asleep are not people who are part of my life for long. As I am part of the awakened population, the older I get, the more increasingly difficult I find it to relate to people who are not on some kind of life journey. 


The second message Donna said that I found to be particularly powerful is that miracles come from having gratitude. Often we fall into feeling entitled to things. Anyone who has ever managed people can for sure relate to this. It is like there is a notion that some kind of scientific calculation of doing A and B will get you C.  It does not always work out that way (and usually getting pissed when it doesn’t happen does not result in things magically going your way). On the flip side, when you truly appreciate what goes into something, like hard work, good will, and respect for yourself and others, it creates a more positive space to be in. Being positive, modest and gratuitous is what will get you those miracles you desire. 


Lastly, she reminded us that it is ok to be selfish with our time which includes giving ourselves permission to not be around negative people.  We lead busy lives where we interact with many people, whether it’s coworkers, classmates, fellow gym goers, other shoppers… you name it. There are plenty of negative people I cannot avoid nor can I change (like at work) so when it comes to my personal time, I reserve the right to be picky about who I spend it with.  One of the things I have come to understand about myself is that I seek a connection in my friendships and relationships. I treasure spending time with people who leave me feeling gratified and content. I like being around people who call me out on my shit and help me on my journey of being the best possible version of me. I am not perfect nor do I strive to be. I do strive to minimizing the negative in myself and so being around anyone that brings that out in me, are simply people I chose not to be around. I say this because I know how hard it is to say no to invites or people since we tend to have a strong sense of obligation. Giving yourself permission to be selfish with your time is actually quite liberating. 


These are all things I have heard before Donna expressed them in some form or another. They easily are forgotten as often old thoughts prevail. I do truly live by all 3 of these ideas and I find myself continuously happier the more I practice them. So I share these as perhaps these simple reminders can somehow bring you the same.