My Vision for 2019

There’s a lot of negativity in the world.

We don’t have to dwell on the negative in our minds and in our beliefs.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about this topic in the early days of the New Year.

The Artist’s Statement I live by is this:

To act as a Chief Joy Officer to create things of beauty to share with others to make them feel good.

I urge you if you are an artist or a creator of any kind or simply a human being to focus on the positive.

I’m 53 years old. I firmly believe that dwelling on the negative is only a good way to age yourself faster.

And how do you feel interacting with a person who is bitter or judgmental about you or other people?

Spending only fifteen minutes listening to their negative beliefs has the power to drain your energy and put you in an ill mood.

My goal is to empower, educate, and entertain readers, followers, and audience members.

The lesson I offer you in all of this is:

Consider focusing on the positive.

A blogger might get thousands of followers by advancing negative rhetoric.

I’ve decided I cannot and will not water down what I write or compromise what I write to make it acceptable to millions of followers.

I will not change my cheerful voice in here.

My vision for 2019 is to write blog entries that continue to be in the vanguard.

What is the point of dwelling on the negative?

My story is not the exception to the rule.

There are others out there who have recovered and have full and robust lives doing what they love.

All my life I will advance my vision of Recovery for Everyone, from whatever it is you’re in recovery from.

In here and elsewhere I will continue to offer hope for healing the illness in society.

And I will continue to write about my latest finds at Sephora : )

 

 

 

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Christmas Rapping

Venus Williams was right in advocating that you ask yourself: “Do I feel good?”

I made myself miserable trying to work in corporate office jobs and have a so-called normal life.

The title of my memoir Left of the Dial was intended to sum up my manifesto for having a healthy lifestyle doing what you love and acting true to yourself.

If you don’t feel good, it’s hard to be happy and your mental health suffers. Trying to be someone you’re not will backfire every time.

Venus Williams alludes to allowing yourself to fail, rise up, and try again. Doing this you can gain equal footing with men who think they’re hot shit simply because they exist.

My goal is that by reading Left of the Dial you’re empowered to dare dream of having a life defined on your own terms.

First of all, I wanted to tell a good story people would enjoy reading. Then I wanted to create a character readers could root for.

Left of the Dial chronicles all the failures I experienced along the way.

Speaking your truth can be scary because there’s a lot at stake. Only I had no fear because I believed in my vision of Recovery for Everyone.

This might be an impossible goal yet it’s the one I shoot for.

The secret to having a successful recovery is choosing to be happy even when the circumstances of your life are less than ideal.

Success lies in liking yourself even when it seems no one else does.

These elements flow in the Left of the Dial narrative.

With time and (for most of us) a consistent daily medication routine, it’s possible to have a better life and to achieve goals.

I”m committed to telling my story to help the very people who need to hear my message of hope, healing, and recovery.

If you want to feel good and if you want to transmute your pain, there is no better tonic than service to others.

You will get the things you want that you’re supposed to have when they’re supposed to arrive. Not a minute sooner or later.

It’s the journey that counts not the destination.

So I tell you at whatever age you are now (20? 32? 45? Older?) to ask yourself if you feel good. What can you do to give yourself joy and to give others joy?

That is the secret to feeling good.

That is the ultimate definition of success: feeling good about yourself and having empathy for others.

 

Living for Today

I’ve figured out that becoming happier is possible when you commit to living for today.

What you want to achieve could be far off on the horizon.

Having gratitude for where you are in your life in the present moment is the antidote to the holiday blues.

Again it can be as simple as going to a clothing store and trying on items that fit and flatter. This can put you in a good mood.

It’s possible to be happy right here right now.

Regardless of what your bank account balance is. Regardless of whether you’re single or part of a couple. Regardless of whatever pain you’re in.

You can still be happy even when your life hasn’t gone the way you planned.

I’ve figured out that living life on life’s terms not my terms is the way to feel happy.

Doing this it won’t matter that life isn’t fair.

Life can be good living in recovery. You can have a better life post-breakdown than you had before the illness.

In the coming blog entry I want to spread more cheer.

Enjoying being yourself is the secret to having a good life.

I’ll talk more about how to become happier.

Sometimes you just have to slow down and pace yourself.

Today is the greatest day. It’s the only one we have.

Obtaining Confidence

venus williams

Last week Venus WIlliams wrote an article in the New York Times about the 3 factors in obtaining confidence.

When you don’t feel good about yourself and your prospects it can be hard to have confidence.

At 53 I haven’t yet gotten what I wanted. My love and literary prospects haven’t panned out yet. Operative word in the last sentence: yet.

Venus Williams is on to something when she eschewed setting goals in favor of asking yourself: “Do I feel good?” This makes perfect sense to me.

The question “Do I feel good?” is relevant to whether you succeed.

The Dark Horse authors whose book I wrote about in the Flourish blog think achieving success doesn’t lead to happiness–it’s the pursuit of fulfillment that makes you happy.

Again, it’s the process not the outcome that counts.

Which ultimately reinforces my perpetual claim that fashion isn’t frivolous. If you feel good, you’re empowered to take on the world.

In terms of the fashion freedom I hinted at in a recent blog entry I don’t think you can feel good in ill-fitting clothes that aren’t becoming on you.

To know your style and flaunt it guarantees you will be a success in whatever you do.

If you don’t feel good–about what you’re wearing; about the people you’re working with; about an aspect of yourself or your life–you have the power to change this.

This is the truth: you can be happy even when you haven’t achieved the goals you set for yourself. Venus Williams is right and she’s a champion: the goals are irrelevant.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about living for today, which is the ultimate method for feeling good.

Shouting to Be Heard

I’m a Visionary who first advocated for recovery over 16 years ago. And I’ll continue to champion the rights of people who historically haven’t had a voice.

In 1988 I shouted to be heard–in my choice of wild clothes and then in my fight to have a better life. This is chronicled in Left of the Dial.

It’s no coincidence that achieving fashion freedom and female power are inextricably linked as drivers of recovery–either from a mental illness or any societal illness.

How you style yourself is an act of love for yourself. Dressing well–in your own inimitable style–is empowering.

What you wear can change the dynamic between you and another person.

I’ll write about this in more detail in the next blog entry.

Sometimes investing in an item of clothing is a way to invest in yourself. It gives you confidence to meet the challenges that arise in your life.

In this holiday season I want to write about the true spirit of our humanity, which must override greed, religion, and political ideology if humans are to survive for another millennium.

My experience simply wearing a new coat attests to the power of kindness.

Making the World a Better Place

Post-50, I find myself wanting to rebel what passes for normal.

The hate, the violence, the charade of a government ruled for and by the people, I find myself wanting to protest all of this.

I’ve become a Rebel and Political Protester at mid-life.

There’s so much you’re going through when you’re in your twenties and in your early life. Having a disability or some kind of illness you could first of all be tasked with keeping it all together just to get through the day. Managing your symptoms could be a full-time job.

As I got older and healthier it was imperative to me that I wanted to spend my life in public service. To serve other people not just focus on getting my needs met was my new goal.

For those of us who crossed over and have come back I submit that if you’re doing well that’s the time to think about making a difference.

It’s possible that our hardship will be alleviated when we’re older. The symptoms can attenuate. This gives us the second chance to have a better life.

We should not let this life pass us by. We should enjoy being ourselves and living our lives in our own inimitable style.

Yet most of all the quote is apt: Life is not a dress rehearsal.

The older I’ve gotten I’m aware that my life is getting shorter.

If I don’t speak out today when I have the chance I’ve just wasted another day.

Remaining silent isn’t something I care to do anymore.

When you’ve recovered, when there’s an ed at the end of the word recover, I say that you should think about helping to make the world a better place for other people too.

Doing What Gives You Joy

In this blog I want to return to other more positive topics.

Today I lobby for doing what gives you joy. Every day or as often as possible we should do what gives us joy. This is the ultimate adjunct way to heal from an illness as well as using traditional medicine.

This claim I don’t make lightly.

The fact is that when you’re happy, it will upset other people. Those who are miserable about their own lives won’t like it that you have and express your joy.

Yet what is doing what you love if not an expression of joy, if not a life force that can help a person heal?

I think of this today as the season starts to roll into autumn. The late summer and early fall are a magical time in New York City. Street fairs abound. It’s the perfect weather to talk long walks in parks.

Finding what gives you happiness and going and doing that is the key to living well in recovery. The older I get I’m emboldened to shout louder about this and other things.

It matters to me that everyone has the equal opportunity to recover and do well after becoming ill. You should view recovery as the chance to change your life for the better.

Obviously something wasn’t working before you got sick. Post-illness each of us has the choice to continue the way things were before. Or to risk making changes to grow and get better.

We have a second chance to find joy and happiness in our lives.

What gets lost in the critical nature of a few reviews of Left of the Dial is that doing what gave me joy helped me recover. If this is a sin, let me be guilty.

When I set out to write the memoir I wanted it to be a different kind of narrative. I chose to focus on everything that happened after I recovered. My goal was to show how how I healed through creativity.

Music, art, fashion, writing, and exercise have long been in my life the five elements that gave me incredible joy.

I’m going to end here by telling readers that if anyone else tells you either subtly or outright that it’s wrong to focus on getting your needs met in terms of being happy you should question what their stance is all about.

Be happy. You have the right to be happy.

It’s precisely when you’re in pain that you should do what you love.