In A Nutshell

As an ambitious 24 year old still figuring out parenting and my roll in the adult life I'm determined to get the most out of myself. Right now my main personal values are Challenge, Curiosity, Self-respect, and Belonging.

Every person has an inner voice telling them what they need, it says "wake up now" in the morning it says "don't eat that" when we're full. Growing up means learning that nobody can be that voice for you. You have to learn to hear it, and find the strength to listen over every other voice calling for your attention and telling you what you should and shouldn't be doing.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

We Love To Watch Girls Fail #watchgirlsfail

First four "girls fail" search results in YouTube view count total 124 271 870
First four "boys fail" search results in YouTube view count total 27 956

The general public seems to be about 4500 times more interested in watching women fail.

Why are women referred to as girls, but men referred to as men and boys generally means adolescent male or younger? Why do both women and men get such enjoyment from watching women fail but there's little to no interest in watching "boys" fail. Even a search for "men fail" turns up only 27994 on the first 4 results, (mixed gender compilations count as one of the four but the views aren't counted toward the total) and if your wondering, searching for "women fail" turns up another 127 309 359 views in the first four videos
so between the searches

Interest in women' failure: 251 581 229
Interest in men' failure: 55 950

here's a couple theories off the top of my head, do men have egos to fragile to watch other men fail and in some way feel the pain of the failure personally? Are women more gracious in their failure or expected to fail and take teasing graciously? Do both men and women feel the need to watch other women fail to build themselves up and re-affirm their value as individuals?

Don't get me wrong, I grew up watching Americas Funniest Home Videos, failing is funny for sure. The funny borders on ugly when contrast between male and female failure is not taken with equal grace and lighthearted camaraderie, but becomes a mockery and jeer toward "the weaker sex" for their failure. On AFV there where men, women, children, and pets equally failing for laughs and for money.

Exploiting the failure of women for money is damaging to self-image and image in society as any other form of exploitation is.

How did the title of this blog article make you feel? Did it stir up a bit of alarm or surprise? Because the view count doesn't lie, it's a testament to the true fact that we do indeed love to watch "girls" fail. Have you ever watched a "girls fail" compilation? One day I was watching one and suddenly I thought, why are there so many links to "women fail" videos?

#watchgirlsfail talk about your opinion.

Every Broadcast Produced For Public Has Psychologists And Therapists On Staff

Is there shock, outrage, and censorship for display's of verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, murder for all to see in the comfort of their living room?

Don't fool yourself into thinking there's a standard, there isn't. The majority of media has reduced it's roll of service to it's people to become simply an appeal to your wallet. There is a vague attempt at serving you anything more than just entertainment with a possible moral pinned onto the end, meaningless, like an insincere apology.

Do you think those stories are intended to enrich your life and make you a more competent whole person? engage society in meaningful meditations about the kind of world we can create for each other? connect with your intellect and spirit to renew your mind?

Do you think there's psychologists and therapists on the writing team? (if your still wondering, yes, the title for this blog is satirical) If it where up to me every major movie production would be required to have a team with a minimum of 3 psychologists and 3 therapists. Would that be expensive for movies, um, yes. But how much are we paying in fees to get counselling for the lies and distortions we've internalized from ingesting false ideas about the consequences for life's actions as depicted in the life stories we've grown up watching

And if you say, "what I watch doesn't change me" why do we protect our children from watching graphic content? Our minds are developing as well, and like our body is built on the foods we eat our mind is built on the thoughts we have.

If I am going through my day and see abuse in any form, verbal, physical, sexual, I hope that I will do anything I can to stop it, so why would I sit passive on the couch and watch it unfold in front of me. See abuse, stop abuse. If you see it, stop it, and I don't think that's limited to real life situations.

I have a bit of anger toward myself here, I was at the gym one evening running away on my treadmill when one of the screens started playing a grossly abusive scene, it was a woman's face with a knife to her throat clearly implying she was being raped. It was a full scene of this woman crying until it stops and she rolls over crying. And it just hit me that this was normal. Yes we regularly sit idle while graphic depictions of violence play out in front of us, every one in that room just let it happen, no outrage whatsoever. If I where back in that situation I would get off the treadmill go to the front counter and insist that the channel be changed. I will not be idle and watch violent displays real or dramatized.

If I ever see it in real life, I will do whatever I can to stop it, if I see it in any other circumstance I will have a consistent response. See abuse, stop abuse.

How do you feel about the morals displayed by characters in a recent show you've watched? Do you think it would be valuable to have the input of trained professionals in psychology and therapy regarding storytelling with a goal of personal formation and growth? Was this a coherent blog article?

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Unlock Life

Whats behind the door? Every person is like a treasure trove of precious resources, as long as they remain isolated and absorbed in grief and consumed by their troubles those precious contributions remain locked away. Ironically healing does not come from being consumed by your trouble, be it depression, loneliness, insecurity, it comes by redirecting the mind from unhealthy thought patterns and replacing them with gratitude, appreciation, and goodwill.

There has to be a better way to connect individuals overwhelmed by social, mental, physical strains to the resources they need to flourish. My brain is always clicking, clickety clack, and the same theme keeps coming up, community. Get people connected. There are so many groups and initiatives bettering peoples lives. Finding both people to utilize the resources and people to make resources available, and discovering that the same person may be responsible for both, as they're supported, being able to give back.

What can you do to improve the quality of life in your neighborhood from your own home as the presence you occupy on this earth?

Here are a couple recent ideas:

City Social Networking Structure

When you enter Facebook and start selecting friends, the website automatically suggests possible friend interests, when your on a website at the bottom of the post there's a prompt "you may also be interested in" essentially, the idea behind city social networking is that there are neighborhood coordinators responsible for networking individuals based on interests and proposing friendships.

They would present a questionnaire to people in their neighborhood and connect people with similar interests, not virtually connect them with an online relationship, but with someone down the street from them. They would also suggest resources and groups operating in the area. It would be an event and friend finding service tailored to each unique neighborhood.

Every isolated life is like a closed door in the vast empty hallway of a community. How quite is your hallway?

Neighborhood Welcome House / Information Center

Have volunteers who open their home as neighborhood welcome houses and information centers, Who are part of a group that is staying current with local events, they can be set up with house improvement grants and grants for outdoor playgrounds and kids toys (many cities already have "beautification" grant money for home improvements in their budget but there is a qualification process) for neighborhood families to meet and bring their kids. The focus is on bringing families together out of isolation and out of goodwill and kind hearts. have training courses for the volunteers to learn basic counselling skills.

They would live in their home in the neighborhood they work with and get to know the people around, come up with ideas for everyone to do together, like block parties, ice skating, bake exchange, picnics, and art programs and have regular times throughout the week when they host guests on an appointment and drop in basis. While the neighborhood coordinator goes out, the welcome house is available as a connecting point.

Neighborhood Coordinator

These are people who would have a full time job getting out the door and talking to people in their designated area, each "area" would be responsible for about 1000 households, meaning every day of the year they would need to visit 2 households a day to visit them all in a year. They would be responsible to know the social events, community groups, local initiatives, and helpful resources. Essentially they collect information on what families are hoping for, what they can offer, ideas they may have to make it a better place, and connects them with friends in the area that may have similar intersets.

They would put together an information package and go door to door asking  people about what they want out of their city and what they would like to see done here, then connect them to resources that could be helpful to them.

First step: find resources in town

Second step: talk to people door to door and connect them to the resources and making a contact list so if a group of interest comes up they could be called and informed.

The Neighborhood Questionnaire

There would be questions along these lines:
  • What they're looking for from their neighborhood and what they would like to get from living where they are.
  • Do they have any ideas to try to make the neighborhood a good place to live.
  • What would they be interested in getting involved in, with a list of some of the local events and groups
  • What cause or mission would they get behind and support?
  • There would be an ideas sheet left to hang on their fridge with a map of their neighborhood and a contact number to call

Switch Chat

This is an event I'm pretty excited about designing, more on it another time, essentially it's a concept that can be used with any social setting to stimulate relationship building and connections.
There would be an online interactive map with information about everything going on it town.
three doors image credit Salvatore Vuano - freedigitalphotos.net

Friday, 13 December 2013

Wounded Healers

Don't just live where you reside on this planet for what you can get out of it, a good facade, status, peace and quite. What do you think of the house you live in and the neighborhood where you live? Reside on this earth and in your home for what you can bring to those who live around you. What can I give to my neighborhood? How can I improve life for everyone who lives around me?

In a cyber connected world it's easy to forget that we occupy real space and we share it with others. How can you be warmth on a cold street or light in a dark alley? There are both small and big ways, every act of kindness has more depth of meaning and power to change lives than acts of violence.

There are two sorts of people, wounded wounder's and wounded healers. When you wound others out of your woundedness you perpetuate the chaos and damage in your own life as well as create it in the life of others. When you use your wounds to heal others you bring healing to yourself.

I've deliberated with myself how personal I would allow myself to be on this blog, and in the future I may decide to remove this post, but the personal has recently burst into all elements of my life.

Two months ago I left my husband and became the single mom of 2 children in a 420 sq ft apartment. People say, "why would they stay in that kind of relationship" but what a stupid question to ask from a healthy relationship. A terrible marriage is still a marriage and what's the alternative? Right now life looks small but I'm still dreaming big and thinking, how can I be a loving presence in the life of my children, my neighborhood, and my city.

image courtesy of xedos4 / www.freedigitalphotos.net

Sunday, 24 November 2013

What If School Was Kind

Idea to transform education objectives for the purpose of building a strong community:
What if there where 3 main learning outcomes for every level of education with the ultimate goal of creating a better community to live in utilizing the education system to implement change in the next generation, in this order:
  1. kindness
  2. financial stability
  3. strengths finding
Everything outside these three learning outcomes would be a bonus. How do you foster kindness in children toward one another, their community, and nature? How do you help children learn about the importance and responsibility of financial stability, debt, saving, and investing? How do you help children find their strengths so they know what abilities they bring into any line of work and add skills to complement the abilities? What kind of community could be build up around, kind, financially stable adults who are competent in their abilities that they utilize through skills.

If children where kind to each other, if adults where kind to children, if men where kind to women, and women to men, if we where kind to our neighbors and co workers, how much better would quality of life on a personal and communal scale improve?

What if the primary goal of every school, day care, grade school, and high school, was to pursue these three outcomes for every member? Integrating them in a holistic approach involving the entire experience, student, teacher, and every staff member. Currently the focus of our education system is on skills the teacher is expected to bestow on the child, however, out of character skills are acquired with a willing desire to learn and improve as a person. How many kids struggle in school because of unkindness?  Or because their made to feel stupid? How many young adults are headed down a path of healthy financial habits that will improve their quality of life and that of their neighborhood?

This is my idea for how to ensure the learning outcomes where being explored and executed in creative and meaningful ways:

Each school would have 3 learning outcomes coordinators 1 assigned to each goal, and the coordinators from each school system would collaborate regularly including a monthly meeting which would be webcast live to all teachers, parents, and students who wanted to participate in the collaboration, and get discussion going on the topics, feel involved and share ideas and skills.

The Learning Outcome Coordinators would spend a significant portion of time together in one large office space filled with comfortable standing height desks, easy chairs, hammocks, a space inductive to creativity, creating plans for teachers, volunteers, and students to try out. the rest of the time would be spent in their assigned school taking initiative to talk to teachers and students.

In this way the plans being pursued to accomplish the goals would update in real time, instead of being developed once, packaged, and sent out into the system, needing a complete overhaul before being updated.

How was your education experience? If your school had focused on these three goals as their mission how would that have changed the experience? I think it's a pretty good idea, what would you contribute or change? comment or send me an e-mail thisgiftisforyou@gmail.com

Update: I found this website about a kindness and empathy centered curriculum!
http://www.lifevestinside.com/

Not a Cage

However you feel now, whatever your lifes circumstances are, it is not a cage keeping you from the life you wish you could live and the person you wish you could be. Its a training ground, every choice and action a new skill to take you to the next stage.

Imagine that your going down a highway, its easy and not a whole lot of concentration is involved but there's a problem, this highway will never ever end up at the destination your trying to find in fact, it circles it.

It is a great big highway that you can whip around all you like but never end up where you want to be. How can you get where you want to be?

The next time you see someone caught up in an unhealthy habit, or overweight dont think "why dont you do something with yourself." instead think "theres someone on a highway and getting the motivation and support to get off and build a new road is very difficult"

Your going to have to get out of the car and walk, navigate unfamiliar terrain in unknown conditions for an uncertain period of time, and although there is no way in to your destination by car there are many many pick up points along your hike that will take you back to it if the trail gets to difficult. But once you take pick up point, you'll have to start the journey all over again if you decide to try again. This path is difficult. But only at first.

What im describing are habits and the way the brain functions based on the most used neural pathways, some of those bad habits are highways in your thought life. If your on a highway that isn't taking you where you want to go, your going to have to build a new one and it's going to be a lot of work, but once it's been built, it will be just as easy to navigate as the one your currently on.

Unconscious Cleaning?

I do this in my sleep!
I finished lunch and was going to serve up some vegetables for myself when I checked the table for my plate, it was not there. Looking around the room it was nowhere in sight, I just had that plate where did it go? Unconsciously into the dishwasher, score! My conscious efforts to change my messy habits seem to be taking effect is that awesome or what?

It brings to mind the time I started cleaning my room in my sleep when I was 11. As I fell asleep I looked around the room and decided it needed to be cleaned tomorrow and had a dream I was sitting on the bed stacking books, I put one stack on the floor and started stacking another. I woke up with a book in my hand and peered curiously at the side of the bed, where yes, there was the books I had stacked in my sleep.

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