Spreading Joy, Love, Peace, and Understanding

By reading about other women I’m inspired to spread joy, love, peace, and understanding.

Dua is Albanian for love.

The Dua Lipa interview in the May issue of Elle magazine has inspired me to no end.

She’s the Albanian singer-songwriter who won a Grammy award for Best New Artist.

In the interview she talked about having eggs as snacks. She cooked and fed her interviewer eggs.

In my Flourish blog devoted to other topics I wrote about my change to scrambling eggs and veggies for breakfast.

Hearing Dua Lipa talk about having eggs as a snack reinforces my belief that a music star–or any famous person–can be an inspiration.

In the interview she talked about getting lost in a scroll hole of negative comments about who you are.

Not a fan of social media I understand the temptation to live for “likes” and worry that what you write will alienate your followers.

Dua seems down-to-earth which impresses me.

The interview talked about how women have been standing up and asserting our needs for a long time. Starting with Janet Jackson in the 1990s.

This gives me confidence to stand up for myself and what I believe in.

Ladies: start your engines.

 

 

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Hope and Healing

My agenda is to advance my vision of recovery, from whatever it is a person is in recovery from.

I’m confident that it’s possible to recover from whatever disadvantage–an illness; a setback; whatever–that has derailed you.

My message of hope and healing is what people need to hear.

Every beautiful person living on earth has the right to be endowed with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Free from hate and oppression; free to be who they are without having to live in fear.

Here’s to us square pegs in round holes.

Here’s to the dreamers among us who envision a better life for ourselves and others.

What I really intend to do in this blog is to give form to the beauty of recovery in all its definitions and manifestations.

My version is Left of the Dial.

In a coming blog entry I’ll talk about this more.

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 : )

 

 

 

Becoming Who You Are

An enduring quote tells us:

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

Post-illness you can recover yourself along with your mental health.

My persistent belief at mid-life is that you shouldn’t stop doing new things until you’re carried out on your last day.

Make every day a celebration.

I wanted to talk about the necklace in the photo in the last blog entry. The woman took it out of the counter to show me. The tag read Murano.

“I’ll take it,” I snapped because Murano is a famous glass maker from Venice, Italy.

I had bought a Murano millefiore glass bead necklace on a tour of their factory.

The point of this blog entry being that you should not hesitate to give yourself little perks to feel better.

“The Road to You” should be paved with kindness and compassion.

Be not afraid to act and dress a little bolder to make a statement:

“I’m here. I have breasts. Get over it.”

You owe it to yourself to be happy. By expressing yourself through how you style yourself in clothes you can also make others happy.

I’m the resident Fashionista at the poetry readings.

You can absolutely reclaim the good from your life before illness and discard the rest.

I’ve decided at 53 that I want to channel the time when I was a disc jockey on FM radio in the 1980s.

This reinvention started by wearing the outfit in the photo in the last blog entry.

In the coming blog entry I will talk about in more detail about reclaiming yourself after illness strikes.

I’ll talk about exerting your power to be who you are without fear of reprisal.

Tying this in to setting goals in mid-life to get more of what you want out of life.

You can absolutely use your personal history as the springboard for making changes at mid-life.

It truly is never too late to be what you might have been.

Acting True to Yourself

I’ve learned a life lesson courtesy of having interacted with the jewelry vendor.

It’s a lesson I’m reminded of because on my job I deal with books and people every day.

The life lesson comes after years spent trying to conform by working in cubicles in corporate office jobs.

Mid-life is the time to get this schooling right once and for all. You won’t ever be happy trying to be someone you’re not.

This is a FACT in my book of life:

Taking joy in being who you are is the greatest gift you can give yourself. To be who you are when others don’t want you to be this person takes guts and grit. The glory of being you lasts a lifetime. To squander this gift is the greatest tragedy.

 

Meeting Your Match

Years ago I had the dubious distinction of logging onto Match to see what that online dating website was all about.

The featured Profile on the Match homepage–the first thing you saw–was that of a guy who wrote: “I won’t date fat women.”

Really, buddy? How fat is too fat for you, I wanted to ask. What if you married me and I gained 5 or 10 pounds? Would you divorce me because I was no longer skinny?

It turned me off from joining Match after reading this guy’s profile.

Chris’s Adventures in Dating Wonderland aren’t that funny even today.

I have a distaste for revealing personal information on a dating website.

In recent years I’ve met people who have met their girlfriend or boyfriend via dating websites. Now they’re husband and wife.

This hasn’t been my experience. I’ve simply been “ghosted” by all the guys I’ve sent messages to. There’s so much competition online that it’s hard to compete.

A pretty good book about online dating is Love at First Click by Laurie Davis.

I’ve read a number of matchmaker books. This book is the best by far. Reading it you can edit and revise your Profile.

The fact is you might not click with a person and it can have nothing to do with your mental health issue.

You might reject them or they might reject you for another reason entirely.

It takes a sense of humor to make the dating scene.

I say: do stand-up comedy about your experiences looking for love.

We all have outrageous tales of romantic partners found and lost on this ultimate road trip.

I’ll end here with this:

You’re not ever alone when you enjoy your own company.

Take a vacation to Italy without a love interest. Remodel your kitchen. Paint your bedroom walls pink.

It can be easy to fall into a funk.

Yet we ladies must hold our heads high and be proud of ourselves with or without a partner.

Talking About Mental Health With Others

I don’t like to talk about what happened. On an ordinary day I choose not to tell people. Only in my blogs, books, and public speaking engagements will I be open.

I’m trying to meet a love interest like a lot of women in America are. Even in this arena I don’t want to reveal too much information about anything, even about non-mental health things.

To empower readers I would like to talk about this:

When is the right time to tell your romantic partner about your mental health history?

I say: it’s after you’ve gotten them to swallow your bait and you’ve reeled them in on your fishing line.

The bait you should be dangling is who you are apart from your illness.

The first date or even only the fifth date is not the time to talk about any liability if you ask me.

If you agonize and obsess over whatever your mental health diagnosis is, constantly thinking about possible stigma and expecting stigma wherever you go, this might just become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It’s going to influence how you interact with other people.

My memoir Left of the Dial exposed the early mindset I had that I didn’t want to be viewed as “crazy.”

Yet discontinue your medication and get sick, and you’ll be farther away from attracting a romantic partner.

The reality is–to quote a shrink–“A guy will be impressed that you take medication because it shows you want to be healthy in the relationship.”

In my early fifties I decided I wanted to try for love. The diagnosis is off the table as a conversation starter.

First I might slip it in little-by-little by talking about how Kanye West has told people he has bipolar.  Then by talking about a real person in my life who has a mental health issue.

Send out the information like a canary in a coalmine. See if it kills the canary.

The point is people who lack compassion, who are going to get spooked because you have an MH thing, are really messed up themselves. They’re not so great candidates for living in love with.

When you do talk about what happened it’s OK to keep embarrassing details to yourself. Keep private of course the things you don’t want to tell others.

You can tell others the bare-bones if you’d like and only that. It’s your right to tell others only what you’re comfortable revealing.

My signature poem “What She Said” talks about how I’ll only give others parts of the story. It’s worth buying Left of the Dial to have on hand this poem that starts off the book.

Like it or not (it’s a fact), revealing your diagnosis is going to color and influence what another person thinks of you from that moment on.

It’s far better if you ask me that you tell your love interest when you’ve established a connection with them linked to who you are apart from the illness..

Lastly, I’ll give readers this counterpoint:

You have to realize that it can be a burden for another person to process what you’ve told them. This has nothing to do with stigma.

They should be told in a way that considers their needs too.

The person you want to get intimate with should be told at some point.

What to do if you’re rejected, if the person stops calling, if they ghost you or disappear?

Think of the good times you had up until then.

Remember the adage:

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Every experience you have in life with another person gives you the skills, abilities, and strength you need to succeed in the future.