Monday, November 17, 2014

A New Place to Play

To my friends who would like to promote on Facebook, but don’t, because you don’t want to bug your "real life" friends:

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a combination of family and friends on Facebook, then you’ve got other friends you met online through one venture or another.  There are times you’d like to share your blog posts, your new book, your new business venture, etc. on Facebook, but because you worry that you’ll put off your regular friends, or perhaps they have even asked you to stop, you’ve stopped doing that, left to chill in the corner with your other “marketing” friends in some obscure group or fan page, which always starts out fine, but soon loses ground and becomes lost in the sea of other stuff in the holy grail of online presence.  Consequently, Facebook, for you (like me) has become a difficult place to promote, unless, of course, you want to buy advertising.  I have done that, with mixed results. But I have to say it really bothered me that I felt I needed to. 

A couple of weeks ago, I found a solution to this problem.  There is a new platform, which just launched in October of this year, that looks and feels a lot like Facebook, but because it’s new, I can control who I friend.  I choose not to friend or follow people who might turn their nose up whenever I want to share my work; so that I can focus on getting to know a target group of people who I can perhaps do business with in a friendly and social manner.  Now I can "do" FaceBook with my local & hometown friends and family, and still have a fun place to talk shop.   That is not why everyone is using it, but it is why I find it a fun new place to “play”.  

The platform is called Tsu – you may have heard good or bad things about it already.   As with any new platform, there are kinks to work out, spammers to weed out, and rules that need to be ironed out.  In that sense, it is very much still in its infancy and still evolving.  This makes it a “ground floor” opportunity for those of you looking for an additional revenue stream.  Did I mention you earn money for using it?  Yep.  They share revenue with users (45% of ad revenue goes to you for whatever is generated from your posting, sharing, commenting, etc.)  They keep 10% for themselves, and if you want to get really into it, like I am, then you can earn an additional 45% of the revenue generated by those whom you invite.  It will never bring you a ton of money. It might be pocket change, or extra lunch money, or for the very ambitious, an extra revenue stream.  You won’t get rich using it.  The money thing is a fun perk, a way to “own” your content - so to speak.  There are no annoying games on Tsu– and no groups, either.  Just people who want to share good content.

Maybe it will last, maybe not. But I get to meet new people (and reunite with some old friends, I've discovered) - and that's not all bad!

Oh – and one more thing:  it’s free.  For everybody.  All the time.  No upsells, no big package, no monthly minimum, no “premium” memberships. Nada.  Just enjoy. 

Come join me and see for yourself:

I sincerely hope to see you there!
Hugs & Love,

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Avoiding a Love Triangle - 6 Tips to Help your Love Last

I do not know why, but the other night I dreamed a male friend from my past was hitting on me. While I did nothing "wrong", my husband walked by us sitting in the back seat of a car, and, of course, got the wrong idea. What I mostly remember from the dream is the extreme hurt I saw on his face. I wanted to run after him and assure him we were alright. When I awoke, my eyes were damp. I felt an even stronger love for my husband after waking form that dream than I had before.

Sometimes, I do not see how it is possible to love someone "more" but is, and I do. What I do not understand is how, when someone has genuine feelings for his or her partner, cheating still occurs. I could not, and truly I mean this, cheat on my husband. I love him deeply and dearly and could never hurt him that way. But what of those who feel this same genuine depth of love, and it is not reciprocated? Or, the object of their affection has feelings for someone else?

The classic love triangle, where one party is claiming affection for two others, is perhaps the most common cause of depression, suicide, or even murder. Let's explore a few ways to prevent falling into such a dreadful trap.

 1. Guard your heart Yes, I believe in "love at first sight". I know you "know" he or she is perfect for you, but until you both are truly committed to each other, guard your heart. If it ends early in the relationship,that way you can be thankful for the lovely experience and move on.

 2. Do not be afraid to express love I know it seems counter to #1, but it is possible to feel love without giving away your soul. If you feel love, express your feeling. Your partner may be waiting for you to make that leap - and when you don't, could begin to lose interest in the relationship and/ or start looking elsewhere. If your expression of love turns them off, then perhaps it is good to get out now. If you cannot see each other in truth, it might be better to walk away.

 3. Trust them If you imply trust, then truly trust them. Giving someone the third degree when they are honest and truthful can wear your relationship down, perhaps creating them to do the very thing you are accusing them of. 

 4. Develop strong relationships with others Outside of romance, your friends, family, neighbors, or colleagues are valuable to you as well. Take a little time to nurture these relationships, perhaps with a little more effort when you are first dating someone to cement them a little more firmly. Your outside relationships help to boost your self-esteem, which will help you heal quickly if your mate does leave you for another. Not only that, it allows you to keep a sense of autonomy. See more about that in #6. 

 5. Treat your partner like a rock star If you are truly attracted to each other, show it! I know many are not into public displays of affection - that is not what I'm talking about. I mean treat that person like the STAR in your life they are. Try not to be critical. Don't nag them, or trash-talk them in front of your friends and family. If this person may someday be your spouse (or perhaps they already are), then treat them like the #1 they are! Celebrate small achievements. Give them encouragement and positive feedback. Compliment them often.

 6. Be true to yourself Somewhere in the maze of romance and friendship, you must find and keep holding on to your own personal identity. The relationship may feel like it is its own being, and that is fine, just do not lose yourself in there too. You know your favorite things to do, your best ice cream flavor, the funniest movie you ever saw. These are all part of you. Take time every day just to check in with yourself and remember who you are regardless of who you are with.

I was a late bloomer in the "love" department, not getting married until I was over 40 years old. Before getting married, I was in a few long-term relationships that failed, and suffered what felt like more than my fair share of broken hearts. Some of these tips are from my own experience - others were from advice I have gotten from wise people along the way. If you are experiencing a breakup and are having a difficult time coping, I suggest reviewing the stages of grief". A breakup, especially from a long-term relationship can be much like a death. Also, seek help immediately if you have even the slightest hint of suicidal thoughts or thoughts of wanting to hurt another. The most important thing to remember in a breakup is that you are not alone.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Last Ornament

Our new kittens had fun with the last ornament to go on the tree. As usual I've done the whole thing, mostly, by myself. Hubby is not interested and my son, though claiming to be participating, is more interested in lighting candles and creating a device from which to hang mistletoe over the door. So my ambiance is the faint sound of Christmas music trailing from the bedroom, Hubby trying to figure out how to voice command his video game (“Equip flame spell!”.... “Equip lightning spell!”....”Assign flame spell”...”Assign healing spell!) and the “hammer hammer hammer” of my son's work.

Still, my mood is not dispelled and I persist in the annual tree trimming with my usual warm and fuzzy feelings. Three broken ornaments still get hung because of their sentimental value: A Christopher Radko of Kermit the Frog in a Santa hat, climbing out of a now-broken chimney; Ceramic ball with tree scene painted on it my father's widow bought for me at an art show, soon after my father's death (hole in the back side is hung against the tree... an invisible scar); and a crystal angel with a broken wing my husband gave me our first Christmas together. All the ornaments have some memory associated with them, some more significant than others. They are placed on the tree in order of emotional attachment, but even the least have some meaning.

I'm thinking about a co-worker who decided for the first time this year not to put up the tree. Her kids are grown and her husband doesn't care any more about their tree than mine does. I wonder if some day I'll be the same way?..... Nah, I can't see it happening.

Oh. I missed a box. Hold on ...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Where's My Coffee! (A One Day Challenge)

I am not much of a coffee drinker (but – don’t let me run out of Diet Coke… ever!) so I can relate to those who absolutely must have their {insert highly addictive caffeinated beverage here] to get their day started on a productive, positive and … dare I say “sane?” note.  My husband is a serious coffee drinker who imbibes in highly leaded black coffee all day every day. So, when our coffee pot went out this weekend, we were shopping for a new one before the sun had a chance to dry the morning dew.

Since this was the second pot to die on us in the two and a half years we’ve lived in this place, my husband decided to try plugging the new pot in a different spot.  Mind you, it’s only on the other side of the stove from where the old one was, but the past two days have been rather comical as I watch him get used to this small change – especially early in the morning when he starts to make his first pot.  He habitually steps to the old coffee pot spot, and at one point he nearly poured a carafe full of water all over the empty countertop.  Even later in the day, reaching for another cup, he’ll step to the old spot and stand there for a second or two with a dumfounded look until he remembers the new pot is now one more step to the left.

Observing his having to create a new habit adjusting to his coffee pot spot makes me think of advice I’ve seen quite a bit – that one can create a “habit” by practicing a new behavior for thirty days. This teaches your brain to automatically cue the behavior without having to consciously think about it. Several times, I’ve started these 30 day brain training exercises, but I’ve never been able to make it the whole 30 days.  I think, even though 30 days is not a long time, it seems like forever to me when imagining my impatient self with this new positive habit.

Seeing proof of this theory in my husband’s coffee habit reinforces in me that it is possible, so how do I make myself do this for 30 days?  I think I’ll try some advice I learned many years ago when working with addicts:  ”one day at a time”.  I will simply not worry about the next 29 days. In fact, I don’t even think I’ll keep track.  I’ll just set myself up a reminder, maybe in several places (Outlook, cell phone calendar, a sticky on my bathroom mirror, and maybe another on my laptop).

My new habit?  I’m going to leave something on my plate at every meal.  I am always taking more food than I need to fill me up, then feeling like I have to finish it even if I am already full.  So I will start small and leave something, at least one bite, on my plate.  I can do that for one day.

Would you like to join me for a day?  What new habit would you like to start?  Don’t worry.  I won’t hold you accountable. This is a deal between you and your own brain just for one day.  You can decide about tomorrow some other day.


Posted via email from "Do" Dreaming

Friday, August 10, 2012

Light Angels: the Last Battle

Saving grace from light unfolds
Over their untethered woe

No love lights nigh – their plight begins
Seven angels, spread too thin
Hovering loudly and in song
Distress calls: howling.  Here, then gone

Over dust-bound wings they fly
Never reaching intended highs
So flying low, they catch your breath
The key, as routed for our death

A last blistering sun shouts destiny
Soaring over earth’s blaspheme
Shaking with deepening anxiousness
Beholden to carry our hardened crest

We do not see their silent keep
Held inside their drying weep
Castles and hills rake dawn again
So their journey cannot end

Angels who weep are not from hell
Yet heaven cannot yet ring their bell
Their place is crossed, on earthly dome
As if entombed, a dune their home

Raucous visionaries in white
Are ragged and torn from contiguous flight
They see us, shadowed and fearing no dawn
No light in our eyes, more souls nearly gone

So they murmur and weep and continue on
In search of a soul with light of his own

Bearing no magic or special spells,
Angels like these, no stories they tell.
They’ve only one wish:  to carry our light
Before they go dark, and world becomes night.

Unraveling, more of their wings sink away
Flight over oceans tells whales of the way
A day without light – in which darkness will stay

But even the whale is caught between songs
What makes her beach? For her children, she longs
Can we stop it? She asks. Is the light all but gone?

Soaring up with a flap heard for thousands of leagues,
She sings to the angels: a song for her seas

Fly, angels fly! As far as you must!
We are your warriors, instilling your trust.
Know we are here – there is light in us.
Our hope is your faith in believing in us.

So gingerly, small, we start on our quest
Gradually stronger, we summon our best
Marching for light, we sing carols to you
We hail you and cheer you over the blue

Blue waters lead to azure light of dawn
Creeping up the horizon, this battle is won
Light is not dead!  A rising sun comes
And our light angels fly - back into their home

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Old Cars and Dogs

I’ve had a recurring dream for a while now that I somehow gather up every car I’ve ever driven and collect them at the home where I grew up.  My Dad’s old MGB (sweet!  and I totaled it!), rescued from near the dorm I lived in in college;  the little red S-15 pickup with the long bed I had when I left home, found in the lower forty of the parking lot at the hospital where I used to work… mixed in with these and other cars in my past is the iconic 57 Chevy, which I never owned, but I think must represent the time I was born into (I was not born until ’63, but the car represents that whole generation of cars to me, I think).
Recently the dream has changed from old cars to old dogs. The sweetheart pets of my life follow me around in a pack everywhere I go.  Sandy, the beautiful blond Cocker mix who was hit by a car as a juvie and walked with a kind of sideways swagger (I had to give her away when I moved to an apartment in Tampa that didn’t allow pets); Babe the adorable and loving little terrier mix who ended up with my Mom and lived until she was nearly 20; Beckett the beagle, my earliest memory of a dog; Joe-Ben, a beautiful Airedale whose death was heart-wrenching for the whole family; Abbie, the needy but adorable and endearingly sweet black cocker-terrier mix whom I had to send off to the no-kill shelter when she bit my toddler (terriers are so possessive!); and lastly, Sparta, the rescued black lab and her offspring Pip, whom we had to let go when a Katrina-stressed giant Oak fell in our backyard and destroyed the fence that kept them in… all great friends and loving dogs whom I apparently still miss.
Don’t get me wrong: I have had my share of  human grief. I lost a dear friend to AIDS in ’88. I lost my father (at only 56 years old) to Cancer in ’96. Then I lost a good friend from childhood to a plane crash in ’98 (I named my kid after her).  I think I have “grieved” these deaths appropriately, allowing time to mourn and feel the feelings: to go through Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ stages of grief.
Maybe my dream could be telling me I need to grieve other losses.  It seems trivial to think we need to go through the process with cars… but maybe not so much with dogs (they are our best friends after all) – either way, I think we do tend diminish loss in general in our lives. Obviously I have.  So let’s take a minute or few to let them go.
I release these feelings of guilt and pain over the loss of dear pets all, and even the loss of things not living, but which hold meaning for a time in my past. I am ready to move on with gratitude for the gifts they left me, yet to live in the present. I let go of dreams not come true, and hold dear the moment of now, and I am thankful for dreams remaining. I appreciate the opportunity to allow life experiences to manifest in my current life with joy.

That Nice Lady

My Papa and Nana (that nice lady)
“I was just talking to that nice lady

My family used to get tickled at my grandmother when she would say that. She was a few years into her illness when she made friends with a woman she called “that nice lady”.  It took us a while, but when we finally met her new friend, we laughed with joy – “Of Course!”

  Yes, she was a very nice lady indeed.

What my Nana, who had Alzheimer’s, was doing, was talking to the “nice lady” in the mirror.  That was her new friend.  Not realizing the reflection was herself, she was having conversations with a person she did not recognize, but with whom she really liked.  

Some 25 years later, I find a lesson in that.  When you look in the mirror, could you think of the reflection you see as a stranger, yet a person you could like?  Could it be that he or she might be someone you could become good friends with?  Why or why not?  Maybe it’s time to have a heart-to-heart with that “nice lady” (or man) in your mirror.  Maybe you’ll meet someone you like!  Even in the throes of a bitter and debilitating disease, my Nana found something good in herself.  

What’s your excuse?

Friday, June 22, 2012

True Reach measures our web presence in many different categories and on several different scales.  One of them is “True Reach”.  While it is nice to know someone is out there reading my stuff, I have to admit it is not really possible to measure the unknown.  In the spirit of It’s a Wonderful Life, I dare say it might not always be a good thing to know every statistic or algorithm about the effectiveness of your presence in this world, online or not.

There are some (probably more than you realize) folks out there getting your message whom you will never know about.  Imagine a kind of circular version of “the Butterfly Effect”: somehow (we hope) the good we put out in the world will one day find its way back to us (though it will most likely be in a different form and without a tracking device).  Still, good things that come to us could be a reciprocal effect of something we did once upon a time, however small or seemingly insignificant. Even more profound, these gifts of reciprocity could be the effect of something our parents did, or their parents even.  

Imagine your own butterfly effect in full living color, flying from your own good energy and spreading little bits of fairy dust along the way. As the butterfly effect of you flutters in the shadows of the sun, wave goodbye and welcome the next with a deep incoming breath – we are part of a living universe, full of unseen but not invisible energy in every thought and action. Some even theorize that the whole universe is but one organism.

So, if your “Klout” score is not as high as you might like, especially in the area of “True Reach”, know this:  someone is listening out there.  Just be okay without knowing who.