BEWARE OF VAMPIRES

So the other day I came across a video by Dandapani who is a Hindu priest, speaker & entrepreneur. His demeanor, delivery and energy through the screen struck me. He spoke about Energy Vampires. In a nutshell, you can imagine what an Energy Vampire is - one who sucks your energy from you. But it was not that simple, for he went on to define categories of Vampires - either Temporary or Inherent. I’d had a conversation on this very subject recently with my mom - in fact I’ve had it several times, discussed emotional withdrawals and deposits. The analogy of a Vampire was so great. Especially as Halloween approaches :)

Does everyone “get” this? Or even think about it? Probably not. And those are more the Inherent type, the ones who don’t realize what’s going on around them. The ones who whirl in and out, surrounded by their own cloud of selfish dust. The Pigpens. So the difficult task is what to do when you’ve identified an Energy Vampire. How do you deal with it? You could lose a friend or family member if you basically tell them they’re sucking the life out of you and can’t hang out anymore. How does one navigate these waters? You have to look out for yourself and your energy reserves. As Dandapani put it, you’re either uplifted or drained by someone. Keep in mind though that the Temporary Vampires require empathy from us, so long as that category is clearly defined.

One might make an argument that everything could be labeled as temporary - and that it’s selfish, stubborn or possibly rude to make it anything other than that. Who am I to NOT look at someone’s life with empathy and understanding - to NOT realize that there’s always something going on - that we all have a story that the entire world may not be privy to. OK, true. BUT, I also believe that even with this truth, there’s an energy circle that envelopes us all. That we develop patterns and habits of behavior as we grow up. That perhaps we only get better at who we are (as the saying goes) and that inherently, regardless of life circumstances, there are those who drain energy instead of uplift or fulfill.

At times of contention, I have to remind myself not to keep engaging - to not hit the ball back over the court. To not tit-for-tat…especially when that exchange, even when trying to dispel an untruth, rumor or bad energy or killer statements being shot at you, doesn’t seem to make an ounce of difference on that other person’s belief or behavior. True for everyone, everywhere. Especially crucial now that we’re living in a political environment where the Cheeto in Chief and the Orange House are prime examples of engaging in exhausting verbal rallies and inflating and sending out hot air verbal balloons that eventually pop and spread bad energy and positivity-sucking dust into the world.

I read a post by Jay Shetty, an amazing man who used to be a monk and now is a host, storyteller, one of my gurus, etc :) and it read “Thanks to the people who walked into my life and made it better. Thanks to the people that walked out and made it amazing” Powerful. Now some may think that’s a bit harsh or drastic. Step back and look at it. It’s not. BUT, sometimes people don’t walk out and we need to walk away to make it amazing…step away from the vampires not fulfilling and uplifting you. Always be kind and polite. Always take time…and always take care of YOU.

You only have so much “blood” to give so beware of the Vampires.

xj

rainy thurZZZday

I sit at the checkout desk, staring out at the peninsula through the pouring rain. "laid back beach music" on Pandora. It's been just over a month since MOYO opened its doors, and while there's ALWAYS something to do, order, pay or organize, I feel like I'm finally relaxing and settling in a bit. Getting into a groove. SUPPOSEDLY the crowds will be arriving here in Blue Hill soon. I will gladly let them swoop in and clear my shelves - ADORE everything, gush MOYO with praise and be consumers galore. I mean, there is awesome merchandise in here, if I do say so. It's been so interesting to be at the helm of a retail store instead of just an employee. I'm the neurotic one about merchandising and rearranging product like Annie Wilkes rearranged her little figurine penguins in "Misery". Ok, maybe not to THAT degree of psycho, but I do want everything JUST SO. And why wouldn't I? I AM MOYO.

I've finally taken a MOYO tank and sweatshirt off my rack to wear. Advertise wherever I go...plus they're fabulous. I've laughed about wanting to shrink-wrap my car with the MOYO logo. "There's the moyomobile!" Like the Weinermobile! Who am I kidding, there is NO competing with that hot dog on wheels. I just want people to know I'm here...and this is all just because I'm still feeling like people don't know. I'm tucked back behind another store via a deck. But it's only been a month. They'll find me. Word will get out.

As exhausted as I am, this is the first time, maybe ever, that I've just truly loved coming to work. I've liked other jobs I've had, true, but I think this new-found happiness is because I'm my own boss. I am in complete control of everything - the buck stops here :)  But really - having creative control and fulfilling MY vision is what it's all about. I've chosen everything - from paint color for the walls, to furniture, to logo, and of course inventory. I've designed the stickers, tee shirts and hats. And I get to choose the music and volume...(80s New Wave now). Customers have said they love coming in, and feedback about inventory has been great - so all these details that create the MOYO vibe are having a positive effect.

It has been a slow, rainy June day. If I had a couch, it would be tempting me to lay down and catch up on some lost zzzzz's. (kidding) No couch (yet), PLUS I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be sleeping on the job. I mean, what would the boss say?!

The 4th of July weekend starts in a few days. This year I will also celebrate my creative and financial independence. Let the fireworks begin!

 

 

groundhog grind

If there's a shadow, it's six more weeks of winter, right? If not, warmer and better weather is closer. Honestly, I don't really give a shit about winter weather. Yeah, I live in Maine and winter is long and harsh. Don't we all want it to end here? But I want a different change. Whatever "season" this is right now for me, I do want it to be shorter. Or to end...like yesterday. Something is going on...and on...it's like 'Groundhog Day' - while I'm not reliving the same day over and over like Bill Murray does in the movie, I feel like I'm hitting the same wall. I hit it again yesterday. And it hurt. 

Now, unlike in the movie, I cannot go back and RELIVE the same day. And I don't want to. Not that there aren't lessons to be learned everyday with changes in behavior, but I'm not sure I want to relive the same day over and over...well, maybe certain days would be ok, but that's not the point. I don't want to manipulate another person's behavior to get what I want.  I think I'm doing everything right - as in "okay, putting in hard work, positive intentions, etc." and I keep getting shut down. This is where one might say "this is how you build character" or "it's not how many times you get knocked down, it's how many times you get back up" - or something of the sort. And yeah, I get that, believe in it, want to build character, blah blah. But I guess maybe I'm feeling a bit worn down today. Connecting to my last blog entry about the difficulties of starting over with a move, today I'm just really feeling a bit of..."restart fatigue". I feel like I'm not catching a break here and feel old and less able to keep on keepin' on sometimes. And I'm trying, believe me. "Pity Party, table of 1?" Sigh.

Actually 'Groundhog Day' is on my TV at the moment. They're looping it - today IS Groundhog Day after all.  For the umpteenth time, Phil woke up to the same song and just smashed his clock radio onto the floor. I can relate. I'm not to the point of driving off the cliff or sitting in the bath with the toaster. I'm just fucking frustrated. I shall regroup - bury myself in a project or two. Try not to get down, or SO down that I cannot function. If that happens then any hope of a regroup and reenergize is impossible. I'll be a monster to live with, not a good mom to my three four-legged kiddos. They're the epitome of unconditional love and optimism - the antidote to this shit-storm.

Something's got to give. It has to. It will. Maybe what I am trying to do won't happen. Maybe this will cause me to change course. Maybe...who knows. I'm definitely being tested - my endurance is being tested. The emotional outpouring after each wall hit is getting stronger, which is kind of unlike me. This is how I know I'm reaching the emotionally fatigued tipping point. I'm not a fragile flower, but I've got a lot to take care of with my body/health...so some days this all feels like it can engulf me, like it's stronger than me. I know it's not...but I just want "it" to chill out for a while and stop slamming into me. I know it's my responsibility to figure this out and take care of me (and my husband and dogs).

I'm off to craft or embroider or vacuum or clean or organize...and inevitably think. It's when I seem to do that best.

And then nap. Let all that thinking seep in and percolate quietly...save for the sound of dogs snoring of course, the best medicine ever.

xj

It

What is "IT"? Can you buy it? Are you born with it? We all seem to recognize it when we see it. Actually, maybe not all of us. That's the difference.

IT separates good from great. IT is a sparkle that gives someone charisma, a glow, a presence. For me, IT makes me want to spend time with someone. That someone has humor, wisdom, a calming demeanor. IT leaves a mark on me. IT is an energy, a vibration, an aura. IT is the things that are said, or maybe more importantly, the things that aren't said. 

There's a lot of horrid energy floating around the world right now. There's a lot of posturing and ranting and excuses being made. IT doesn't exist in our president - he is, to me, an example of the worst kind of behavior and kindness. A detractor of IT - those around him cannot even begin to discover or exude their IT. He's like Pig-Pen - a cloud surrounds and follows him, collecting and trapping dirt. Hey, it's not just our president who's a Pig-Pen. They're in town, at work...on social media. Sometimes our friends become Pig-Pen-esque, or even our family. My dogs never become Pig-Pen. Anyone who knows me knows that my obsession with my dogs is strong. They're perfection. They're Snoopy. Snoopy's rad to me...but pick your favorite Peanut.

It's hard to say if people are born with IT or if life circumstances and choices develop IT.  Nurture and grow IT. Is IT within us all? I think it's safe to say IT can't be bought. A deep pocket isn't deep enough, try as they might. You can see and feel the difference of genuine IT and a desperate attempt at IT...or I can. The older I get this difference is SO clear to me. Too much has happened to me to not demand the genuine. I think I always have but the older I get, the demand is much stronger and more important. More Snoopy, less Pig-Pen.

I have allergies, and the dust surrounding some people just causes a reaction. It may be a stupid analogy but it's true. Some people don't have allergies, or that allergy in particular. Actually I think some people don't listen to their bodies. The allergens are all around, and it's whether you choose to acknowledge a sensitivity that's important. Allergies aren't bad - take care of yourself and build up a strong immune system.

 I don't want to offend anyone who might not make my IT list by writing it here. Well I've listed my Snoopys. There aren't many who can compete with them. IT is real for me. IT is important and what I want. It's not a crock of shIT.

xj

 

 

 

Complying & Complicity

I went to dinner chez some dear friends the other night. When asked what he'd been up to lately, my host described his new ventures, which were politically based. And this of course got us all talking about politics. We didn't slide down that slope for too long, as we all were pretty much going to vomit up the same disgust with our current political climate. But in that conversation, my host quoted someone near and dear to him (and the world, for that matter) and the gist of this quote was "there's a fine line between complying and complicity". This kind of blew my mind away while sitting in their living room, and has continued to do so.

While the original quote was regarding politics, I see it applies to so much more as well. A toxic relationship, bad work environment, shitty behavior from friends or family...just about anything, really. When there's a need/opportunity to speak up/stand up and defend yourself or remove yourself from a situation, I see this "C&C" phrase defined - "I am not complicit, I will not comply with 'xyz' or you". Silence can be wise and impactful and mature. I worry though that it can also be misunderstood and dangerous. 

My response to a few recent episodes of bad behavior has been silence. I have low tolerance for this shit so it's usually always best that I try to remain quiet. At least for a while. Plus, it's also in my nature. Create quiet and distance. Is my silence here compliance? For me, no.

Honestly, I sometimes get stunned into silence because I can't believe the rudeness. And from "friends" or "adults" to boot (not that it's ok coming from strangers or youngsters). Deep down I'd like to think people know better (or should) and eventually I will chalk it up to stressors in their lives. Not taking things (certain things) personally is a really, really important lesson to learn. Still working on that lesson. Forever the student.

BUT...it is NOT ok to be silent (complying) with certain specific behavior - as I do think THAT can breed and project a sense of complicity. Perfect example of this are the atrocious stories of harassment and violation towards women by men circulating now. Then came #metoo and we realize this is everywhere. So disheartening. Obviously silence here has done some serious damage. Comply with certain standards/behavior/attitude and you are being complicit with that fucker's standards/behavior/attitude. How will he or she stop if there's no fight? How will things change for the next person if there's no voice? This has definitely been brought into focus as of late.

Now...will the rude/selfish/unrealistic person ever change on their own if there's no voice calling out the behavior? Probably not. I don't always have the desire, or patience, to get into it immediately. "It" being just the "menial" bad behavior. Not talking harassment or physical violation. That's different. A whole other level of different. I may need time because I can be working through anger. Or hurt, as well. If the relationship is meant to continue, a connection will eventually be made again. The key for me is how the relationship moves forward. Can't tolerate repetitive madness. That's insanity, non? Look people, just do a mini mea culpa here. A six-pound, 7oz. baby mea. No deflection or excuses. It's called taking responsibility. It's called respect.

It works...Usually always.

Until next time...

xj

cleansed

 

this morning I'm writing about cleaning. i like to clean. i like to vacuum. i cannot stand dirty bathrooms - like, they disgust me. there's cleaning of physical space and there's another type of cleaning - of emotional space. i did a bit of emotional cleaning this weekend. coming to a different place emotionally about events or people can be difficult. it can take a long time. it can never happen - read: stuck. 

i have always lived on a different vibration. it's just who i am. i see things clearly and simply. wait, i can tie in some of my drafted/discarded second blog entry into this one. about being an emotional oreo. about seeing things black and white. people are very different emotional cookies. i could keep going on and on about different types of cookies, with their colors, textures, added chips or fruits,  (i see a future entry comparing people to food on the horizon)  but i'll stick to the comparison of me to an oreo for now. some people do not like emotional oreos. they think they're too harsh. too rigid. cold. cold...a word used to describe this cookie several times, even by a therapist. i do think he was describing my behavior toward my husband in the room, and not me, if that makes sense. regardless, it annoyed the fuck out of me to hear, and of course i rolled my eyes and harrumphed. criticism for being the cookie that i am. i didn't, and don't, hide my recipe. the taste is the taste. the oreo won't taste good and hold up to having other ingredients forced inside. why are you trying? the cookie aisle is long. find your cookie. 

hell, in the physical cookie world, an oreo can be pulled apart so there's one clean cookie wafer sitting next to the one piled with the frosting. an emotional "oreo" can separate too. see things clearly and simply. no "muck" on one wafer. the other has the frosting. the awesome, sweet, simple frosting of life. eye-roll. this separation is good. requires strength.  

as much as i like cleaning, and clean surroundings, it is inevitable to encounter emotional dirt. that's life. i can contribute. my hands can get dirty. i walk through muddy puddles (i don't like to), stomp around and can kick it out. as do others. they can sling it. when i'm hit, what i need to work on is being more like a duck and letting it roll off me. wait, "like water off a duck's back" refers to having no apparent effect. in my world that duck controls the effect so he will let cleansing water work its necessary magic and then move on. it's the only way to live. get clean and move on. so i'm an oreo duck.

this weekend, my cleaning tool was my iphone. unfriend on facebook. unfollow on instagram. block contact. this is not earth-shattering. but it's cleaning nonetheless. i don't need to see/read this "dirt". by no means am i referring to smut by using the word "dirt". that would've been more interesting. no, it's just the dirtying of my mind. wait, that sounds saucy. and again, that would've been more interesting. no, it just needed to be gone. wiped clean.  the blocked contact was mud that was really fucking thick and dirty (duh). la maison de mud in Mudville. done and done. (future entry, the turmoil caused by emotional flyfishing)

nothing insanely horrible happened to spur on this cleaning, but nothing good was going to come from still being in the same mud puddle. it was just time to clean. it's good to clean. i think a lot of people are living dirty and should be better cleaners. that's not me preaching, that's not me judging. that's me listening and watching duck friends and family getting slung with mud and just letting it dry even though they weren't playing in the mud with the others. but then again, maybe they were? but beware, mud is heavy and it'll weigh you down.  

i'm the oreo duck on the different vibration. i've always been a duck. my mom thinks my "duckdom" came about from me almost dying as a baby. something happened and i grew up with a different outlook. a different tolerance. i found a different body of water to float in. there may be mud on the bottom but i sure as shit don't like to stir it up. i like to be able to reflect in clear waters. i'm a bit of a black-sheep, loner duck but you can come swim with me and we can float around. but if you want to hang in muddy water, i will roll my eyes, harrumph and squawk your ass away and out of my water.

#oreopride --- #duckydidit

xj

lemonade

so i'm rewriting this post because it didn't save. it's all about my "making lemonade out of lemons" and not having things "go my way". you know, like when things disappear on your website and you need to try to find them. or have to rewrite them. classic.  

it went something like...

i feel toppled by lemons. and of course there are two things to do when that happens: sit and let them get hard and rotten around you, or squeeze them into lemonade. i try, and always have, to not let things rot and ruin. my most recent gallon of lemonade was my trip to rhode island to help my parents move, time afforded to me because of a business deal that went sour. those lemons were never good from the start. can lemons be lemons? bygones.

it was a busy and exhausting trip. lifting, dragging, pulling, organizing. a good two week boot camp, really. i've got a bad shoulder and knees (lemons). it was emotional. good and bad. moving is on the list of one of life's top stressors. and it belongs there. i've done it a lot. i came back spent, and with no plan. i came back with new things on my mind, and with no plan. "no plan" means nothing clear. nothing resolved. i feel like a petulant child stomping her feet, wanting to scream and cry. i do the latter. so, with deep breaths, i'm planning a plan. i hear stories of wasted time saturated with regret, watch people living in their "stuck" (their words). i've had sticky, wasted regret. recently i began a sentence with "i wish i'd never..." and i felt sick. i meant it because of strong feelings associated with said event/place/location/people. flip side to that is any subsequent event/place/location/people that came about from that "i wish i'd never". so i try to channel anyone more zen than me, listen with positivity, and live with "don't look back, the future is bright". try to see a glass half full. even if it's sour. "acerbic" sounds better, no?  

lately i've been making my cocktails with freshly squeezed juice. that hand-held contraption squeezes the life out of those limes and lemons (ok, so it's not just lemonade). as of late, i feel like those fruit. wrung out. pity party, table for one - today's special is puckeringly sour. i'm tending bar and drinking my own concoctions.

you might think i'd mix horrible cocktails for us if you joined the party. all tart. and that the company might not be great. all tart. perhaps. but not forever. 

i won't be stuck a tart. let's get sticky sweet.

cheers.

xj