Warm Notes Inc.

Perfect for all of life's moments


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Water Cooler Convo: Social Media Stalking

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On tap this week:  Where is the line drawn between e-connecting and e-stalking?

A girl meets a guy through mutual friends and in that moment they don’t exchange contact information. A couple weeks later she looks him up on Facebook and sends him a message saying a quick hello. Is she displaying stalking tendencies? The jury is still out.

Inspired by the weekend events, a few friends and I found ourselves deliberating the subject of stalking. Functioning in the era of social media, a world that offers a plethora of ways friend, foe or stranger can reach out to you, we wondered where is the line drawn that separates being mildly friendly from gently stalking.

So I reached out to a few guys I know for a little insight into how they would interpret her actions if they were the receiver. Would they consider her a Facebook stalker? The responses ranged anywhere from no, to depending on what she looked like, to this happens to me often, to yes – and if I wanted to continue the conversation and remain in contact I would have asked for her details. So another question is, even with our communication being heavily influenced by social media are we {women} still to function in a more traditional communication style? Is a female to wait for the male to do the approaching {an innocent hello}? Or is it an equal playing field where either girl or guy can initiate the e-connect?

Like a few other areas in life, when we’re locked into tradition of “the way things should be because that’s the way they have been” our first thought may be to leave the next move up to the guy involved. Weren’t we taught that prince charming peeps his stunning princess,  gets her digits, pops his collar at the mission accomplished, courts her some, they get hitched and they ride off into the sunset in Bora Bora? {Something like that}.

As I type this I’m on a harbour cruise around the Toronto islands where a female just walked up to the guy beside me, asked him if he and I are together and when he responds no, she grabs him by the hand…”Okay you’re gonna dance with me”. The uber shy soul typing this smiles on the inside. I would hyperventilate at the thought of having to approach a guy and give kudos to all the fab femmes I see initiating the exchange with a prince who catches their eye and are less reluctant to wait for the ship to come sailing in. Instead they take the risk to go out to meet it and let the chips fall wherever they may. Takes guts, I say. In the words of one of the fiercest women I know “This is what grown women do”.

While I think one day impulse will have me surprise myself and I’ll get to that point where censoring my words and actions will take a back seat, the message is quite clear: let go of ideas restricting us to the way things should be, stop over thinking our next steps, brave up and follow our gut. Just live.  As Dear Abe tells us: “…get everyone else out of the equation…stop asking everyone what they think”. Let’s be honest, intuition hasn’t failed us yet. Step forward when it nudges you to…and wait when it tells you to. Don’t forget patience is also our very dear friend.

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{No Rhyme Or Reason}: Just Thinking Out Loud…

dangerous mindSo much has happened. So many trials won and struggles turned to triumphs, yet I sit tonite to think not on what has been but on what’s to come. What will tomorrow, next month, next quarter hold? Not from a hurried or scared place but with a little smile of assurance that whatever comes indeed will be great. I know you’re reading this and thinking what planet does this girls brain function on because clearly its not the planet earth that we all live on. But it is.

See, the biggest mistake that troubles and trials and tough times makes is that you live to talk about it. In that story telling whether done verbally or through the snapshots taken of your life, the scenes combined form chapters and each chapter indicative of different parts of your story still being written. Rather than labouring in thought over the how’s and the when and the where, I sit and think of all the times the questions were answered and exceeded what I could ever have thought.

So instead, tonite I focus on being thankful for what has been, what is and what’s to come. I focus on being helpful. Whose dream can I help bring to fruition while I wait on my own to bloom? Who can I help to reach the very heights I am trying to reach? Who can I bless today? Are my blinders on to people I think are okay, or am I stretching myself to help and pray and pour into others who simply work my last nerve? It’s so easy to be kind and patient with those I know and love, but can I equally love and be kind to others who I don’t care for, those who aren’t kind to others, those who dial only when in distress? Those are the moments of truth that help to reveal just how consumed I am by a thing. I remove myself from the seat of judgement. Truthfully, I don’t understand a mean spirit but really that’s me thinking why don’t you think, act or love like me. I simply do not know your story and you owe no one an explanation for who or how you are. I have not walked in your shoes and cannot judge your stride. But tell me, how can I help you along this journey?


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The Rock. The Hard Place. & Quicksand Inbetween

weighty-peopleSometimes its not until you find yourself in the most difficult circumstances that you discover a dormant strength within and your unlikely “help line” who extends an arm, a shoulder or an ear in your vulnerable state. Surprise! So often, its not who you would have predicted when standing on the sidelines in calm waters and no you don’t necessarily react in the same way you thought you would have.

Fact: There are times when even the most private person has two options. Share what they’re dealing with to avoid it from overwhelming them, or opt to keep it to themself, simmer on it and watch as it potentially rocks them into a very public unraveling by way of multiple things falling apart. We are indeed our own heroes and sheroes but there comes a point in time when we have to take the superhero cape off and admit that we are not designed to “always handle it all on our own”. And that’s okay. It does not mean that you’re weak, ironically it means you’re brave enough and wise enough to know when you are almost at your max and not too proud to admit it.

There is the rock, the hard place and the quicksand in between. The road to self-discovery in either place will bring you at times to tears when you hit a point where you feel yourself sinking in the thought that “no, you’re not so perfect”, and “whoever that person was who acted outside of your normal character is an imposter disguised as you”…but up close it is you, and you cringe at the thought that you failed yourself. The reflection screams “imperfect”, a voice whispers: “but perfect is not what you were not meant to be”. In the struggle of this middle passage you are lead to acknowledge the power of your own voice as it talks you into climbing out of the and taps you with a little wisdom on when to dial down on that harsh voice of criticism we like to feed ourselves at all the wrong times. We can indeed be our own worst enemy. Enough already.

Life at times squeezes so tightly that you’re forced to be more transparent than you’ve ever been because you need to be. And you begin to heal in sharing. In venting. From the absent judgement and ever present unconditional which somehow says its okay. You’ll be okay. You’ve taken away the power from the skeleton in the closet and showed life that you are bold enough to face the truth of it all. Then it reinforces that what others think or say about you is really not your business. Your focus is on processing LIFE and connecting the dots along The Way. Even in your darkest moment, there is light. There is a blessing and a miracle and a lesson for your soul plus one or two more. The fullness of the moment carries with it a promise to reveal itself at a set time and at a later date. In time the madness and chaos makes more sense and we embrace the experience as the needed preparation for a time we did not know then.

Today, I am simply thankful for ears and eyes that mean me well. Thankful for friendships of all kinds. Grateful for the keeper of our conversations who allow me to speak openly in confidence without prefacing each sentiment with “please don’t repeat this, but…”. How exhausting is it to be shaky in your trust of the listener and limp on the hope that your friendship may be important enough for them to hold the next word spoken, when they haven’t held the ‘news’ of others? My most rich exchanges are not in titled friendships or only found in the company of those I have known the longest, but rather in human connections where we share openly and touch each others lives by removing the veil and divulging what’s really going on. Our struggles. Our fears. Our insecurities. Our failures. Our dreams and our most embarrassing moments. From these encounters we find how alike and powerful we really are.

In the deposits and withdrawals from authentic connections are the miracles we seek. The blend of a variety stirs our soul.


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The Great Pretenders

emptinessFor the past few months I took the seat of silence. It’s one of the most underestimated and powerful positions as it allows you a chance to observe, listen, truly hear and process what otherwise would have been missed in the busy.

Human behavior has always fascinated me and whether it’s words spoken, sentiments revealed through actions or our inner competitive radar which prevents us from being genuinely happy for others (regardless of the words we actually speak), our behavior has always and will forever reveal our true thoughts regarding others as well as ourselves. Consider it a report card of sorts for our own internal battles.

For the under-the-bus-thrower what is the motive behind us making someone else look not that great so that we remain or become the shining star? For the “I’m saying congratulations while clinching my teeth and holding back my tears…because what I really want to say is, “why you, and not me” – What about Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Me? What prevents us from separating ourselves from the moment – our desires and our dreams, and being just happy for someone else? Wedding announcements are shared and babies make their grand debut, but before forming our lips to say congratulations our thoughts are fixed on why we were not among the first to know the details.Then comes the double and triple whammy: wedding invites go out – we’re not on the list, trouble is brewing in a camp and we are not consulted, dilemma “the friendship has changed, we’re not that close”, translation: I won’t be privy to their business. Big announcements are made, Promotions are appointed, nosy says: Why didn’t I know before it was announced on Facebook? Another says – and really means it: Congratulations, I couldn’t be happier for you. Let me know if there is anything you need. Yes, we have all been there where something significant happened in a close friends life, and it was not shared with us or we were not invited. This may be harsh, but as a friend of mine says at times: Get.Over.Yourself. and please know that I share that with nothing but love.

One of the most profound things I was reminded of is that people who have a desperate need to win the approval of others should be handled with great caution as they carry with them weighty insecurities that will lead them towards seeking approval at all costs. As a former sugar addict I compare it to my chase after a good piece of freshly baked Guiness Chocolate Cake. Against my better judgement I will eat two slices and against the better judgement of the weighty approval chaser a few ill decisions will be made. Though you will feel better temporarily, that quick fix won’t last and your desire to feel like “you are enough” will need to be fed time and time again and you continue burning bridges in secret forgetting it always ALWAYS comes to light.

I am tempted to say it really is as simple as having a desire to change, but as one who writes mostly for fun who is not a trained medical professional I know no great change happens that easily. There has to be an awareness. An honest internal self-evaluation of your motives, your words and your actions. A desire to live and function from a healthy place and depends greatly on you becoming open to the fact that you are worthy first of your own love and others simply follow suit. Over time and with work you wake up to knowing and believing that you are enough, and the extras become unnecessary. The sense of entitlement to be in the know, be on the list, and the attention once craved is replaced with being fulfilled by simple joys that you couldn’t see before. The need to make someone else look bad then becomes your extended arm helping when needed with no broadcast of what you did.

In the book “Women, Food & God”, the author recommends paying attention to your cravings, but delving even further to find out what emotion is the driving force. I think it is as applicable to food addictions as it is to our behavior. No one can take what is yours from you and the only power being taken is the one you’re freely giving away by investing your thoughts into things that won’t reap a great reward.

So when we find ourselves in a place where we know that we’re reaaaaallllly not too happy with someone else’s great news, threw someone under the bus to “feel better about ourselves”, or noticed that we have become way too pre-occupied with someone else’s life, do a little heart check: What’s the motive? What is the underlying reason I’m in the dumps about someone else’s happiness? What is it about my life that I am not happy about at this precise moment? We all need to check our heart condition from time to time. No time like the present to do a little Spring Cleaning.

’til the next time have just one piece of Chocolate Guiness Cake…€€


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What Dies & What Lives:

Beautiful-rainbows-black-and-white-photography-0h_2-e1364775925956Scribbling at my desk this morning I paused to give careful consideration to what today represented. We have heard The Story often and each time I ponder the sacrifice, the selfless act and The New it represents. Yet on most Resurrection Sunday’s in recent years I have drawn a different message from the messenger.

I started to think of all the moments that I have taken a seat beside “a time” that was pronounced dead trying to bring it back to life because either its all I ever knew…up to that point, or my addiction to a comfort zone had me refusing to give up what has been for The New. We put ‘it’ on life support and invest our efforts to keep it going at any cost. We hear the message of Resurrection Sunday and our hope is fueled to believe that what appears to have died can come back to life. And it can, but not all things that ‘died’ are resurrected or even meant to be, and not all things that appear to be resurrected (at times thanks solely to our efforts), can survive once taken off of life support.

Somethings have served its purpose. Some friendships were only meant to bless our lives for a specific time. Some seasons have ended and some on pause. Some good times have bid us farewell. And we are tempted even more to mourn the burial of a good thing. In every ending we’re told to look for the beginning. In every ‘death’ look for a ‘birth’. It’s not always easy to take this posture when you’re in the thick of things, but when the tears have stopped and our stubborn desires have allowed us to have a clear thought, take that deep honest breathe and hear the truth on whether this ‘thing’ is really to be be given another chance, or the life support has beeped and needs to be unplugged.

We at times mourn the changes we endure in life to the extent that we miss the messages, the laughter in between, the new that bids us hello and all that transpires in the midst. But today lets instead bury the things that weigh us down. The need to be right. The need to keep a score card. The desire to be better than another. The whispers of someone elses business. A bless me nature which neither looks to the left or right to bless a friend or stranger in need. We now put forth that energy into resurrecting our better selves. The purpose for our respective lives. The things that really add to a healthy heart condition and feed the soul.

Behold, I will do a new thing…walk and talk a little differently. Expect more. Cleanse my heart from the residue of what should not be there and leave it open for what is meant to be. Trust boldly. Believe beyond the boundaries of my understanding. See the hope in the light of that which still lives. Sinking my belief in the knowing that as long as I am here, things may fall by the wayside but still standing I move forward to all that is meant to be. What I know for sure (and feel honestly) is dead and meant to stay that way – will remian buried and that which is my future and meant for me I seek. I yearn for the wisdom to know what lives and what dies, well, really the courage to act on the voice of wisdom as truthfully and honestly I already know the answers. Living out loud I say. Its Time to Live Out Loud. Boldly. Fearlessly.

Behold, indeed He will do a new thing, will we show up and join Him?