How to dim your child’s shine in no time

Time 

Goes by fast when you’re not paying attention, especially as a parent.  One day we are basking in the smell of the soft innocent hair on the crown of a babe… and then we blink!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Years have gone by.  Your only pleasure is waiting for this adult to give you the slightest cue of appreciation that may never come. Only time will tell…

As a parent, I have struggled and still struggle just like you.  Its not an easy job. But it is a job that we chose.  Were we ready? Hell no! But we step up to the challenge. That’s the only parenting requirement…your time!

Raising a child is a conscious sacrifice. I promise the benefit of that sacrifice is nothing short of a miracle. But you got to put in the time

Learn that your child’s body language can scream volumes. It takes time to listen with your mind. Understand how every word, action, and promise will make a difference in their world. You are molding them, whether you think you are or not, just know they are absorbing every negative and positive experience.  Shaping them in to whatever they are allowed to create in their mind.

Keep telling them they have disappointed you and they will eventually take on the tragedy role with pleasure.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Continue showing them how loving you are when they smile and they will take on the comedy role with ease.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

The choice is yours. Take some time and think about it.

 

-ap

 

 

 

 

How I got catfished: A corporate story

Wow! I can’t believe it. A consulting group wants me. They know I am transitioning my career. They are willing to take me on and train me with the experience I so desperately desire.

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Gif courtesy of blueiskewl.blogspot.com

RED FLAG #1.

If you are currently (or have ever) transitioned into a new career, you can relate.
All transferable skill and no experience = job hunting with a pair of bolt cutters.
It seems every road is closed. It takes strong character to cut the bullshit.

road closed signage
Photo by Travis Saylor on Pexels.com

Well, guess who did not listen to their intuition?

But this time it was different. (pleading)

Yes, it has happened more than once. Shame on me!

I am leaving at the perfect time based on my Waze app, still giving myself a 30 minute window for parking and navigating downtown. Ok, first of all the fact that I actually think it through this fucking detailed is a blessing and a curse. For example, I stayed up late researching the company, writing the notes for my elevator pitch, and grooming my circus side-show appearance as the bearded lady…. and my head hit the pillow around 5 am.

Then, I stare at the clock on my phone for another hour and half checking periodically that I set the alarm for the right time…who does that shit?

I close my eyes and drift off…

WAKE UP!

Getting ready, I decided to hold off on the coffee knowing I would be walking a few blocks, or in circles more likely.

Caffeine + nerves + aimlessly walking around trying to follow that Google trail of dots = a hot mess

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Gif courtesy of giphy.com

Google maps rant: Is there anyone else that has a mental breakdown when you can’t figure out which direction you are walking, and you keep hitting Re-center as if it’s magically going to make sense. Seriously?! I digress…

OK, I found the building with a couple of minutes to spare, I press the 14th floor. And in the next few minutes I knew I had been catfished. It went like this:

Young man steps into elevator and says ” 4 please”

Me: pressing button “Sure”

Him: “1402 is on 4, right?”

Me: “No, that would be on the 14th Floor.” Thought bubble overhead reads…did that just come out of his mouth?!

Him: (Blank stare, I already pressed the button)

We had a brief discussion and found out we were going to the same place for an interview at the same time.

My thought bubble overhead looks a little like this…
RED FLAG #2.

red flags
Gif courtesy if giphy.com

We proceed to ride in silence together and when we walk out of the elevator, I introduce myself in a last-ditch effort to be memorable. You never know in business (tip for networking). We walk together down the hallway to the door and open it to the typical corporate catfish scene.

The pool table staged in the middle of the waiting room was there to say “Hey, we’re hip and fun!” And the electronic music blaring was almost an insult to anyone trying to think.

The walls are clear glass so everyone can see who you are. The girl at the receptionist table looks up and says “Which company are you here for?” Now, it was at this moment that her eyes rolled so far in the back of her head that I thought she might have given herself whiplash. I even remember looking at the men behind the glass and making a silly facial expression like “YIKES.” Just trying to keep it light.

Said whiplash victim proceeds to hand my new friend Louis and I clipboards of information to fill out. Ironically we were there for two different companies.

I sit on the tiny-legged couch which resembles the stature of a Corgi, and start scribbling.

The receptionist dressed in all black with heavily worn makeup (like worn last night), stomps her heeled boots into the middle of glass offices. One man sits behind a desk dressed casual, and the other is standing in a suit talking very loud. The sports small talk turned silent as the Devil Wears Prada look-a-like closes the door. With their backs to me I can see them discussing (whispering). 30 seconds later, which actually felt like an eternity. She comes out of the room, closes the door behind her.

Secret stuff going on in the glass office (enter sarcasm).

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Gif courtesy of weheartit.com

The girl calls me into the office next door and proceeds to explain why I am there, what they will do, and what they will expect from me… in less than 3 minutes. I mean this girl was ready for the auction house. I heard every 10th word and tried to keep up until she said, “So do you want to do it?”

Thought bubble overhead reads…WTF???

I decided to recap what I just heard…I take that back. I don’t even know what the hell I heard other than a pyramid scheme. That was the only thing I knew for sure.
RED FLAG #3.

“Thank you very much, it’s time for me to go.” As I walked out, Louis was still sitting awkwardly on the fancy looking modern couch with his knees practically touching his ears. I said goodbye and good luck.

Lesson: Don’t let anyone baffle you with bullshit! If you see a red flag don’t ignore it. Be ready to move on and try not make that same mistake again.

Like a catfish, you are hungry and they are always willing to put their hands in your mouth acting like they are going to feed you. If you decide to bite, be ready to let go quick…don’t get catfished!

-ap

“No one is listening until you fart.”

We need to talk because I can’t stop laughing…I did it! I motivated myself to dust off the yoga mat after 6 years and get my life together.
First of all, I didn’t choose a difficult type of class, and thought “No problem, I can modify, I’m experienced.” Oh yeah, and to make matters worse I dragged my mom to come along for her first time.

It went sort of like this:

1 min in: We give a confident smile to one another thinking “Let’s do this.”
10 minutes in: She and I look at each other in disbelief, “Wow, this is difficult.”
15 minutes in: We look at each other again and add, “WTF!”
16 minutes in: We are both in child pose bowing our heads in shame, as the rest of class doesn’t whimper.
17 minutes in: We sit on the mats glancing at each other, drenched in sweat, giving the universal facial expression for “DYING!”

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gif courtesy of tenor.com

Just then, the teacher starts to walk around. We both start casually stretching our necks looking behind us, so we can avoid the teacher’s glance. We lay on our stomachs ready to melt into the floor with some corpse pose soon?! (fingers crossed).
30 minute in: We added in some floor work, not by choice, but we were already down there…why not?!
35 minutes in: We unanimously express that we both feel like barfing, and we lay with our foreheads on the mat until the teacher says get ready for the final savasana. (Here it comes, some desperately needed relaxation!!)
Now, at 36 minutes precisely, something magical happens.
A synchronicity of proportions occurred because just last night my husband added a wonderful thought to the universe that people tend to fart in yoga class, so stay classy if that happens.

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Cue the release of intention into the universe as easily as blowing dandelion seeds into the wind…

36 minutes in: I roll over to get on my back and let it RIP (unintentionally, scouts honor!) I stare at the ceiling holding back the smile thinking how unfortunate the dude was in front me. I know it sounds crazy, and call it what you want, karma, intuition, synchronicity, de-ja-vu, signs, coincidence…but it happened.
It was at 45 minutes that it got real serious…my mom DOES THE SAME THING!
BIGGER!
We can barely roll up to sitting position, our hands come together giving thanks for today….(I shutter a high pitch squeal trying to mask my laughter).
I bring my hands to my heart…NAMASTE! (I squeal again, and this time I look behind me giving that old “please don’t look at me”, while I try to physically restrain myself from laughter with every muscle that still works). Breathe! This was for sure the most intense relaxation technique I have ever attempted, some real seriousness. It worked. Until the class was over….
47 minutes in: We acknowledge our immature behavior practically peeing our pants with laughter over the realty that we both did exactly what our most embarrassing fears would be….
In that moment, I was happy. In that moment, me and my mom shared a bond of powerful emotion, an exchange of respect, an understanding of humility, and an innocence that transcends any material gift. We made a connection.

Lesson: It’s the small things in life that are really big, so stop worrying about the big things because in the end they are so small.

NAMASTE

-ap

Did I ever tell you the story of the burning bridge?

I grew up in retail cosmetics. I say grew up because I started the career at a very crucial time for my development as a woman. I was a new mother with a new agenda which included making this tiny human proud to call me mom. I was driven to make a change in my life and ran away from the service industry which was my home for 8 years. I was slinging chicken wings during the day, then I bartended in a nightclub that hosted raves all night. Needless to say, I wasn’t in a position in my life to be a role model for my daughter and in process of having my second midlife crisis.

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Image courtesy of Huffpost

(Thought bubble over head shows a slide show of all the crazy pictures at the end of the movie “The Hangover”) That was my life in a nutshell! I definitely needed a nudge to do better.

Oh boy, my second midlife crisis. Now that was fun! Ok, I digress… those stories for another day.

Now, at this point in the story, 10 years have passed, and I have been very successful in customer service, makeup artistry, business management, and I totally immersed myself into a brand that I loved. Oh yeah, I drank the Kool-aid and for a while it tasted good. However, I started to notice that every time in my career I did not take the advice of some executive or senior manager about my career path, I was outed from the popular crowd just a little bit. This went on for another 10 years, until I was hanging on to the fringe of the brand’s philosophies, feeling just like you do when you ride the Giant Swing at the carnival. You know… elated but scared for your life at the same time. I remember spending the entire 3 minutes of the ride clinging to life, imagining how and where I would land if the chains broke and catapulted me into the unknown. Scared AF!

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Photo by Scott Webb on Pexels.com

Fast Forward

The company took a turn for the worse and the retail industry tanked, staffing adjustments, benefit cuts, lay-offs, job enlargement, and all these changes took place at strategic times secretly and universally for the entire company, no one was safe. The quick decision of the company to rip the band-aid off the bleeding wound caused an infection of bitter overworked employees, myself included. I took a promotion in a dying location thinking it would position myself for safety as the ship sank…(insert a slow sarcastic tone) yeeeeaaaahh… don’t do that. Not only did I have no way out, I backed myself into a corner. Then the most tragic experience of my life happened…my dad passed away. From December 21 to Dec 31 of December 2017, the power switch was activated in my soul. For you visual learners, I was winning a strong woman competition flipping a truck tire of emotion like it was sculpted from weightless foam. During those 10 days, my entire view of the world changed, and I was ready to make a move.

I began actively searching job postings for positions of any kind, and I put my pride aside to let my boss know I would greatly appreciate her support. The company obliged to my surprise, and they stuck me exactly where I needed to be (insert sarcasm). I was afforded the assisting leadership role under a manager that I can only describe as dark, secretive, and dishonest (straight up movie villain style). A cringe-worthy supervisor that an employee dreads to be around. It feels like a hopeless situation, I relied on my interactions with customers to lift my day. Can you imagine? It’s usually the customers that are cringe-worthy, and now I was hoping to connect with anyone just avoid the negativity that was my new work-life.

(Thought bubble reads: It’s time to go!)

What are dreams if you can’t make them come true because you’re slaving away for someone else’s dream? Expending all your energy to something that you will not be thanked for or reap any benefit, other than a small financial gain that weighs you down like a ball and chain because now you’re accustomed to a certain lifestyle. Financial growth should never be the traded for emotional abuse. Stay mindful, (professional note) you cannot change someone else’s poor behavior if they are in denial; however, there is hope because you can change the way you react to it. If you need a list of emotional abusive behaviors, here you go. I had to pick my top five-ish because the list could go on forever.

  • Reactive and non-patient
  • Rude and boisterous
  • Judgmental and gossipy
  • Conditional and shows favoritism
  • Oppressive and authoritarian

No, this isn’t a villain in a horror movie, it’s your boss!

Breathe. Let it go!

Reaction fuels the fire

Why do you think we are so consumed by other’s behaviors, especially at work? Here’s why! In a workplace environment, we are the shell of our personalities. We are putting on a front, for the world to judge. WHAT’S THIS? WE ARE A DEAD ONE OF THESE!

Still keeping our shape, just lifeless. Smooth segue

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Image courtesy of The Prop Tank

 

I don’t want to be a dead, crustacean looking, shell of myself with a painted clown face exhibiting absurd behavior which compromises everything about myself that is unique and wonderful!

Time to burn that bridge

I made a conscious effort to burn my bridge, not because I was scared, but because I needed to challenge myself to become more.

“Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge” – Don Henley Musician

According to the Forbes article written by Liz Ryan, the 5 exceptions to burning a bridge include:

  1. You will be tempted to go back some day, work twice as hard, and expect a different result #insanity
  2. Someone tries to dim your flame, and you have to be someone you’re not just to prove to someone you don’t like, that you are worthy. Mean girls are ugly.
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    gif courtesy of Logo.newnextnow
  3. It’s more important to support family/friends, remove yourself from the toxic culture.
  4. Your integrity requires it because its about to get unethical up in here.
  5. Trust your gut feeling when you’re in an unhealthy relationship.

Check, check, check, check, and CHECK!

What now?

Follow those dreams kiddo…and don’t ever look back!

-ap

Fort of Solitude

Today I woke up to a familiar situation in my life…

scene (click)…

(Insert anyone here, whining): “Why doesn’t anyone else know what I mean when I’m silent? Why can’t others know I have expectations?”

Me:  “Did you explain what your silence means to others?”

(Truly, insert anyone): No?

Me:  “Did you tell others what your expectations are?”

(Really, anyone will do): No?

Me: I think you’ve answered your own questions!

…end scene (click)

Not everyone is at the same pace as you

Through this journey of becoming mindful, there are going to be people in your life that just don’t get it…yet!  I used to allow this to make me angry. I used to think I had to fix the problem for them.  I would hold on to the resentment of someone stealing my positive energy with their own agenda ALL DAY.  Here come’s the thought bubble…”why?” 

I have realized over time and with expereince that only I have the power to allow myself to be affected by others.

Now reach up and grab that thought bubble, gently pull it over yourself like a fort of solitude. You know the kind that you would make as a kid with a sheet? You have your trusty flashlight, some music from a small boombox ( the one speaker cassette player kind blasting Joan Jett singing “I love Rock and Roll”), and a pad of Mad Libs waiting for friend to fill in the blanks so you guys can laugh at the funny story.

Feels good, right? Are you smiling?

Me too…

That’s what it is like to survive in our society today. We need to embrace our fort of solitude everywhere all the time. Do not allow negative vibes to penetrate your bubble.  People that are not ready to change will try, unknowingly,  to steal a glimmer of your shine to feel better.  Don’t let them.  You have to be in control of your emotions. This means not getting angry, not fixing anyone else’s problem, and definitely not taking their emotional baggage with you.

Sometimes in life, we can help people by not helping at all!

Give them back the responsibility of owning their own closed mind, emotions, and opinions.  When you do, their hard shell will soften and their insides will become strong. Just like an egg in hot water.  Confidence grows when you really get to know “you.” A person learning to be mindful addresses where their emotions are really coming from, and knowing their opinion is just that…their opinion!

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi

Your world consists of anyone you allow to be in it, and if you’re patient the people you choose will catch up to your pace.

The fort of solitude is really safe, but it is much more fun with a friend!

Meditation moment

I sit on the edge of the bed dipping my hand in to a jar of some sort of sweet butter creme and massage myself around the neck to ease the tension away. Taking care of myself is essential and that means ALL of me.  (Cue the cheesy porn music) Just kidding! But there is some truth and sensibility in making sure you are mindful of your body.   Segue

Stress is a killer

I wear many hats such as Student, Mother, Wife, Business Manager, Leader, and Artist to name a few. I wouldn’t have it any other way for the past 20+ years.  I have an insatiable motivation to learn and have new experiences to broaden my understanding of everything.  A lucid soul search that continues today.  The only difference now is that I’m aware of the consequences of poor time management.

If your list of characteristics is anything like mine, it looks like this:

Pros: workaholic, insatiable knowledge hunter, meets a challenge with enthusiasm, die-hard optimist, selfless, confident, and humble.

Cons: workaholic, insatiable knowledge hunter, meets a challenge with enthusiasm, die-hard optimist, selfless, confident, and humble.

Notice anything? I stare dumbfounded at the computer screen, reading along with you.  Life is too short to not live your best life.

Take a break

Breathe and allow free thought

Now, let it go!

We just had a meditation moment!

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of theproptank.com