Trolls: Are You a Troll?

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Trolls. They’re everyplace. And while the term was coined from internet and social media posts, you’ll find trolls in your general daily life, from standing in line at the supermarket to the office cubicle nearest you. And on some days….yes, you could be the troll.  Blowing out someone else’s candle won’t make yours glow any brighter. What’s your motivation today?  I try hard to ask myself this whenever I feel less than balanced.  I try to breath and ask myself what I am trying to accomplish here as I type or speak.  On the Vegan 101 Page (great page btw) I encountered a troll. It’s the holidays and bound to happen. While some folks are pleased with all the happenings of a new year, some aren’t. And rather than be an adult the unhappy, the less than settled,  make the choice to share their turmoil and create drama and confusion.
Someone posted about it being ‘time to detox.’ What’s the best juicer asked someone else and I posted my article on Juicers. This turned into idiocy from one individual who essentially told me I should be ashamed for selling my quackery.  But while I DO market organic superfoods and Skincare, this post was not mine and was not anything I was selling.  I was singled out somehow for commenting on the post.  The individual had posted with a picture of green juices simply stating it was time to cleanse.  Not sure if they were selling these juices or simply stating they were getting ready to juice themselves!  So I took my leave after commenting that daily detoxing is very important.

In my corporate job, at my signature line, I asked ‘Is it kind? Is it helpful? Is it necessary? Faced daily with long hours, high heated emotions and hundreds of emails, I thought posing these questions helped temper everyone in stressful situations and mitigate unnecessary actions thus saving time and making work smoother. It was a reminder of what really matters at the end of the day.
As we move into the new year how can we maintain focus on what really matters? Can we be mindful of times we all look for ways we ignite a fire when water is needed, stomp out someone’s fire when heat is needed, or otherwise produce chaos when we could be adding unity and check our motivation for doing this? Are we feeling insecure, alone, jealous or just enjoying schadenfreude?
As an activist, I sign hundreds of petitions annually, injustices range from the Asian cat and dog meat trade to saving the whales, our oceans, eradicating the factory farm cruelties and sharing the important knowledge about what is really going on.  And there is always someone that jumps on a dog and cat meat post demanding human rights or what about dairy cruelty and is it alright to save the Asian cats and dogs but not pigs and cows.  These folks are trolls.  They jump onto a topic, snuff out the candle of the posters original intent, muck things up, accuse the poster of eating animals, call into question the organization itself (are they a real organization or a sham) then leave feeling vindicated as if they somehow really caused some good here.   
We’re human, we stumble. But who has the time for ongoing toxicity? Where’s the joy in creating slander and cruelty? Only the imbalanced feels joy causing discord. And you cannot reason with imbalance. Let it go. As we move into the new year, look at your relationships, even those in your FB friend groups and ask yourself if they belong in your life? Do you feel supported, uplifted by most of what they say or judged and deflated? In short is what they say kind, helpful or necessary?
There’s always going to be the troll that wants to roll around and cover the facts with mud-uneducated to the truth of things, unwilling to learn with an egoist view of already knowing all. These are the folks who talk over you, don’t read what you’ve actually said and think you’re the one full of bull hockey. 
When you already know everything learning ceases. These folks just want to get you muddy, they aren’t there to be helpful and they aren’t there to be educated. They are not there to be helped or healed. Let it go. The teacher will arrive when the student is ready.
Let go of those who waste your time and mood and seek out those who uplift. You teach others how you wish to be treated by what you allow. Let go of what no longer serves your highest good and embrace positive change. Life is short. Trolls need not apply. Happy New Year!🎈

Here For The Beer?

Friends and family are so important, provided these relationships are healthy ones. These relationships help us feel bolstered, supported, less alone and enrich our lives in so many ways.   As people couple up, they tend to spend far less time with friends.  Add kids into the mix and you can feel even more estranged.  While coupling and having life sort of take over and back-seat your friends is part of the nature of things, it is also something we must be mindful of by working to carve out time for our near and dear.  Maintaining friendships and healthy relationships helps our self-esteem and keeps us balanced too.  Whether that’s a monthly friend lunch or beers after work or what have you, it is important to maintain your healthy friendships.  Healthy friendships are a necessity.  But what about codependent and abusive relationships?  They can be subtle like a light breeze through a doorway or a full-on hurricane. We all need a shoulder from time to time or a shared belly laugh.  We are driven to socialize and feel communion.  But co-dependent abusive relationships are not worth time or effort. The best way to spot them is by asking yourself how you feel after an exchange with the individual. Are they so wrapped up in themselves they forget plans with you or never bother to ask how you are doing because it’s all about them?

My mother came from an abusive background and it turns out we had a very codependent relationship.  And this book by Melody Beattie, Codependent No More, set me free of that.  It also ended a codependent relationship I was in with a man that exactly mirrored how my mother treated me.  For the very first time, I could see how I had played the victim and been manipulated and I could read it in 5 minutes in somebody else.  Healthy relationships always give and take and the relationships are not about getting something from you but looking out for your best interests.  Do you look out for your own best interests?

Some folks in your life, no matter how superficial or how deeply entrenched they appear to be, are just there for the beer.  And Facebook has made this far worse.  Yes, FB is great for those out of town friends and ex-colleagues to catch up with that you otherwise wouldn’t or only do so very sporadically, but FB has also taken place of actually seeing people!  If you have a car and live in the same city, you should connect physically periodically and talk live, do lunch, have a glass of wine together and catch up, have real conversations that you really cannot have on FB because on Facebook, it seems that most people get on there to hear happiness and flowers. There is only a very short attention span for any real dramas.  Most aren’t on there for serious issues and private messaging is cumbersome and wordy at best. The same thing applies to Facebook that applies with emails.  Much can be lost in the translation.  The bottom line is that anyone that lives in your city that’s also on FB should be able to see you a few times a year, and physically visit or it really isn’t much of a real friendship, is it because much of FB is fake.  Fake news!  It’s called gas and a car key if the friendship really means anything at all. With that, I want to talk about self-sabotage.

Most of us create some kind of self-sabotage from time to time, whether it’s losing it with a coworker, deliberately stretching your personal finances too tightly, dating a loser or listening too intently to the wrong people. The GREAT news is that each day provides us with abundance and opportunities to co-create change. As we end this year, think about ways of being that no longer serve your highest good. Are you trusting people that always let you down? Working at a job that perhaps pays well but drains your soul? Living someplace that depresses you rather than uplifts? Keeping what’s in your best interest at arm’s length rather than embracing joy? Stuck in a rut? Feeling conflicted? My neighbor Dennis commented that he often feels misled because he assumes the way he cares for others means he gets that level of care back and that’s not always so. I’m generally an open book but one of my adult tastes of such was when I had two family members with an emotional breakdown and nobody to talk to. I reached out and was simply told ‘We don’t do well with mental illness topics.’ That couple immediately went to the balcony of our lives rather than a seat in the front row where I had thought they were well placed. I was wrong. Guard your heart and test friendships mettle. You can do this while still being open and compassionate but also judicious. Coupled with self-sabotage comes the blinders we also wear. What patterns happen for you? Are all your friendships on FB or do you have real ones?  Are those relationships truly supporting or downers? Do you find yourself always giving, such as supporting a friends shop by buying stuff but not getting any ROI?  Do you have a habit of overcommitting, promising and not delivering or is someone in your life doing this to you?  Do you keep forgetting plans or have someone who consistently forgets you?
I was laid off and had sold my car so that I would not have a car payment while being unemployed.  A friend who is well off offered to give me a good working vehicle he wasn’t using and, as he put it, didn’t want to bother taking it to Carmax to sell.  He said ‘It’s yours’ and that he would bring it by that week.  I followed up with him about the car, 4 times asking if he was serious and each time he said yes.  I am still not over the fact that on FB he told everyone he had given me a car yet the reality is I am still on foot.   I cannot tell you why anyone would promise something and not deliver but I can assure you that this behavior is absolutely toxic.  I didn’t ask him for anything, he just knew my situation and made a great and grand gesture.  I actually cried tears of joy.  I had bought cars for other people and never once have I had someone buy me a car in my 58 years.  How karmically sweet to finally be gifted in this manner!  And then it never materialized. 

Surround yourself with people who mean what they say and follow through on promises.  Honor the good people in your life by following suit.  Don’t wait for the car to show up!  Or any other empty promise! Move on!  And please respect yourself enough to never make empty offerings and end relations with those in your life who do.  When you find yourself in repeated codependent relationships, know that while you can absolutely change this by removing those blinders, it also requires some diligence, particularly in the beginning as you are learning about the old patterns, how to spot and stop them while learning new and healthy ways of being.  So in addition to the book above, I also highly recommend this daily meditation which has always seemed perfect for the day, whatever page I open it to.  Melody Beattie The Language Of Letting Go


Some people are just here for the beer.  They are there because something better has not yet come up so they are hanging out with you temporarily.  They may like your beer and may enjoy your company when it suits them but they are not filled with compassion and loyalty towards you personally when help and friendship is really needed.   

Do the same stories keep coming up in your life? If so, and you don’t like the story, change it! Where you see repeated abusive relationships or financial constraints or any other negatory pattern, there’s a spot to start working on. Honor yourself by acknowledging the needed nudge. We all have our personal pet bitches and gripes and crap that happens. As long as you’re seeking ways to minimize drama in your life ( and also drama for those around you) and working to create goodness, you’re on the right path. When you begin to see things frazzle and fray, it’s time to pour a cup of tea and reassess. This life is short. This year nearly a wrap. Live your best life in 2019.

Hibiscus Vegan Tacos OMG!

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This is my taco meat using hibiscus flowers.  IF you had told me a few years ago that there was such thing as flower tacos, I would have smirked.  Perhaps smirked with a raised eyebrow.  I have drunk hibiscus tea for decades.  And when I moved to Dallas, I learned Mexicans use the flower in frescas, added to water (I add to fizzy water) for a lovely refresher on a hot day because we get those here.  

Healing Properties – From blood pressure reduction/balancing to kidney repair, like kidney stones, we know the tea is so healing.  And all this time that I have made this deliciously tart tea, I have tossed the spent flowers after brewing…but not the last time, no, not the other day when I took this photo.    What’s great about this dish is that it creates both a meal and the drink! ♥  And, it’s really easy.

Get the flowers – First you will want to have a lb or 2 of organic dried hibiscus flowers.  Each meal will use up a cup or 2 of dried flowers, depending on whether you are feeding an entire family or just a couple etc and how freaking hungry you are or what leftovers you want.  The link will take you to some yummy dried flowers to purchase via Amazon.  It may also be worthwhile to check out any latino grocery spots near you if you have them.  Again, I am in Dallas, we have them, Ariva!!!  Yes, absolutely, here we are Mexi-CAN!  🙂  

Recipe – I’m not really a cookbook writer so this is sort of free form.  I think most of us know how to make a base taco meat.  What you will be doing here is basically the same but instead of animal meat, you will use hibiscus flowers as your meat.   A cup fed my husband and I with leftovers to do another meal.  I won’t embarrass myself here by telling you how many tacos I pumped down.  They were really good.  So, take 1 or 2 cups of hibiscus flowers and rinse just to reduce any dust, put in a pot and cover with purified water.  Let it boil 10 minutes.  Now just let it sit and soften for a few hours.  (Later you can pour off the tea into a container, it will be stronger than what you are used to, so you will add water to that or ice for delicious and healthy tea. )

When you are ready to create your flower tacos, put a bit of olive oil in your saute pan, then add some cumin, some smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic, chopped  onion, add in your flower meat, tomatoes (stewed etc) and any salsa etc and doesn’t it look like shredded carne?    You can also do this mole style too…I mean, when you finally taste this, you will see how flexible it can be.

We are having tacos again for dinner….help…I can’t stop….

Why Enzymes & Probiotics

http://www.EssanteOrganics.com/Puretemple

Before I took my Hippocrates training, I did do a good probiotic (and other plant-based superior supplementation)  but didn’t understand the need for enzymes or what they did.  Now I take both and also sell them because I want to assure I provide my clients with organic and wildcrafted and otherwise quality ingredients.  95% of supplements out there in the wild world are bad, containing carcinogenic fillers, petroleum byproducts, talcum powder and essentially junk that does no good and causes further harm to profit.  You have to be very careful in your selections, read labels and trust your sources.  

What I learned about Enzymes is that they help with premature aging because enzymatic exhaustion is aging. Enzymes keep the body clean the same way that microbes clean up the earth.   Enzymes are the spark of life, our electric.  Enzymes are found in raw foods where the life has not been cooked out of them. Anything cooked above 118 loses not only nutrition but the enzymes that help your body digest and absorb them. Cooked foods require the body to expend a lot of energy creating enzymes when the foods are deficient. Additionally, cooked foods require a cup or more of digestive enzymes to process, which is labor intensive for the body. Raw foods require perhaps a tablespoon in contrast.  Digestion is the #1 thing. If you lack enzymes from your food, your body will borrow it from other places.  Enzymes are so bloody important that Hippocrates coined a slogan MEDS; Meditation, Enzymes, Exercise, Diet, Sleep as the primary drivers to keep us resilient.  

Most folks would also be interested in knowing that taking enzymes helps you digest your food and break down fats etc, helping you lose unnecessary weight.  Enzymes benefit cardiovascular and degenerative diseases and also help you alkalize.  This is important to ward off things such as Cancer which prefers an acid environment.  Taken a couple of minutes before each meal, raw or cooked, will go a long way to minimize bloat and gas as it supports healthy blood and detoxing of the system. 

To order or take a closer look at the details, just click on the link provided at the top and bottom of this page.  Also, check out the probiotic, which is the ONLY probiotic formula out there to hold a patent proven to cultivate, multiply, grow & colonize inside the human body after consumption.  This is vital for anyone who has been on antibiotics (anti-life) or has been eating a poor diet. We need the good bugs to keep the bad ones in check and ward off a variety of viruses and disease.

Feel free to reach out with any questions or helpful advice and comment are always welcome.

www.EssanteOrganics.com/Puretemple 

Mental Imbalance & Lateral Micromanagers, Know-It-Alls, Suck-Ups Who Harsh Your Mellow At Work



Most of us who work at something do so because we need the employment.  Whether you’re busy at something you view as temporary, longer term or fully engaged in what you feel is your life’s purpose, you will occasionally find yourself dumbstruck by difficult people. My old co-worker Kristin Smith used to say ‘They make it harder than it needs to be.’  Whatever you’re sorting through, below is great info and fab reads that will help you identify these challenging types and what you can do to deal with them by allying, accommodating, escaping, confronting or perhaps eliminating them.

I have been in the workforce since I was 12 years old, picking strawberries and later shearing trees for Christmas, in the Pacific Northwest. My first actual job, as opposed to temporary seasonal work, was Bob’s Big Burgers where I wasn’t fast enough on the line and politely let go.  I worked at Moto Photo 3 times (back when folks with cameras needed film developed), Richland College Planetarium 3 times performing laser light shows (great gig!) and finally Sprint 3 times where I had planned to retire but was part of a massive lay off instead. Interspersed with Sprint, I worked as a radio announcer with a smattering of acting & photography work.  Everybody would always hire me back when asked which made me feel I was a fairly adept employee to have around.  At 58 things are different than they were in my 20’s and 30’s out job seeking.  But the mentally instable folks are still there and may sit in a cubicle near you.

My work philosophy has always been to do my best, have some fun, be easy going as possible and in general, endeavor to get along even with people I might not otherwise have ever had the opportunity to associate with. Being thrust into different walks of life and people is a great educational experience.  It is great to mix with one’s own, but also to diversify, just as you would any of your other assets.

It has always puzzled me when co-workers preferred to stir the pot, rather than try and get along.  Each of us has our own crosses to bear and we don’t really know what all is going on inside an individual so erring on the side of compassion, is the best option.  Being of diverse backgrounds, personalities and predilections IS what makes all this great!  The problems arise when we have imbalanced personalities, insecurities, judgments, ego and stress thrown in the mixture as well as folks who plainly should be on meds.

I have learned exactly 3 things that are a job requirement with any company you work at. 1) Perform your job well. Fix what you break.  Own your failures as well as your successes here. 2)  Absorb and honor the culture, and just like people, every corporation is different.  Learn it and abide.  The dude abides.  3) Get along well with everybody else. Those you cannot tolerate, keep as far away from as possible without it looking obvious and conduct all business briefly as feasible and politely.   Humor goes a very long way to making all of this happen.  However well you do your work, you are replaceable. If you are tenured at some place, please enjoy that feeling because as soon as you start somewhere else, you will feel a culture shift that, unless you’ve been job hopping for years, will come as quite a shock.  I don’t understand this but sometimes when new folks come on board, the people who have been there a while, rather than welcome you with open arms, want to size you up and judge and get sometimes intensely combative and defensive, as if you are there to take something away from them.  At least this is what I experienced and I am still scratching my head over it.

Agendas – What is your agenda for working where you do?  What motivates you daily?  For me, I have always come to work with only one agenda, to do the work well. After being fired at Bob’s Big Burgers, I never wanted to ever be fired again so I aim to work well with others and do my job.  I have never wanted the spotlight, to derail someone’s career, to one-up anybody or cause needless harm and chaos.  I have never felt the need to scream insults at someone or single anybody out and make them look bad to pump myself up.  I have not once not ever, called someone up in the middle of their work day to shout threats at them as happened to me in my last corporate job. I am full of flaws so I tend toward helping people rather than be the stone that weighs them down or in any way be the reason they don’t want to come to work.  In short, my paycheck has always been based in part on my being a team player and I just instinctively knew that. 

In my 4 decades of working, I have encountered some very challenging people.  From sexual harassment to jealousies, and pettiness, a few very angry people and much ego.   Many have been clients where I had to be exemplary in handling them while maintaining composure.  For the last 20 years, I was a project manager over implementations (IPM) over voice and data networks for Strategic and Enterprise accounts.   As much as I loved my role, it was mostly very imbalanced in the hours worked which brought out many personality quirks not to mention health issues.   My superpower was taking an upset client and turning that relationship around.  I usually got the worst cases to turn around and accomplished this, to the point of Sprint winning Vendor of the Year from Overhead Door, as just one example. While many people shy away from angry customers, the reality is that most upset folks just want a partner in the business that will hear and understand them and what they want, speak the truth so they aren’t blindsided, while also putting all efforts into meeting all the goals if at all possible.  The 12+ hour days took its toll on my health.  I manage an ongoing swallowing disorder (achalasia) due to all these years full of long hours and stress.  When I took early retirement there, my goal was to put calm and my health as a priority and not work more than an 8 hour day.  8 is enough already. Corporations get greedy.

Wherever you go, there will be the slackers and the over-achievers and those that do their job well, but never push the boundaries to go over and above. You are never going to change that or them.  You can only control yourself. 

Through networking, I ended up with several job offers through folks who knew me and my tenacity.  One seemed perfect, similar pay to what I made prior, learning something new and upcoming (apps) and an 8 hour day.  I called it ‘Dream Job’.   I managed APIs getting tested and deployed, and was hired as a contractor along with 2 other newbies who integrated into an existing team. 
3 months later, 3 additional folks were hired and us new folks were asked to train them while we were all still learning.  This was a HUGE corporation yet there were no M&Ps, no training documents, only a Client Handbook that, while filled with great info, was absolutely NOT a training tool. I did what I have always done in new work situations;  I created a cheat sheet on all the steps to do my work and added to it as I learned more.  I created this cheat sheet so I would not miss a step. I liked this job and intended on keeping it.  The 2 folks training us in between their work, took offense that I would create a cheatsheet and refused to review it for accuracy.   When we new folks began training the other 3 that had just walked in the door, with no corporate training tool to use, I was asked to share my cheatsheet.  This turned into an ego blast where, rather than being happy the new folks were trained rapidly, in a matter of days by using this cheat sheet as a training tool, instead I got screamed at for several minutes in a phone call that was so unprofessional and crazy, threatening my job, calling me insubordinate and shutting my every syllable down.  I decided the best course while I had my ass handed to me, was to just go quiet.  Let it happen, let them scream, think about what I will do next for employment. For a minute I contemplated putting that individual on speaker. In hindsight, this is exactly what I should have done. Why allow someone to be that ugly and get their say in privacy?  Why on earth did I extend courtesy in the face of all that hateful spew?   Nobody ever in my life had spoken to me like this.  Nobody ever again will!  I sat in stunned silence.  Was making six figures really worth all this drama? I had anticipated an adult, professional work environment, not bullies on the playground.   I went home that day a puddle. My husband asked if I wanted a drink when he saw me walk through the door.  I couldn’t even speak. I nodded ‘No’ and went straight to the atrium, closed the door, curled up in a fetal ball and cried for hours.  When I walked into the living room much later, I quietly explained what had happened.  He asked me not to turn in my notice, it was great money and to see what could be worked out.  In all my years at work, I had never encountered such a rough experience.  And while this individual eventually calmed down and had the cajones to take me into a breakout room and discuss it, I realized that this person, who was the one training me, was someone I could not reliably go to for any kind of help.  Their mood could go from zero to hellcat in 3 seconds.  I just didn’t have it in me to deal.  I needed calm.  And this perhaps wasn’t the worst of it.

As we newbies began getting some work, one of the individuals began clashing with everyone else.  We’ll call him Howse.  Howse wanted to spend an exorbitant amount of time deliberating on every little detail, as if he were checking his own logic but the team gradually realized it was his way of trying to coach us, train us on what he somehow assumed he knew more and we needed training on. And yes, even folks who had been there a decade, he was trying to ‘coach’. Classic micromanager, Howse spent every morning of an entire week standing in my cube demanding status as soon as I walked in the door for an API he should have been going to his own resources for.  He created daily team reports and went through all of our work with a fine tooth comb.  He would keep me late (and I did not get paid overtime) to show me ‘my report’ he created.  He would go through each of my projects, their APIs and status and I had no idea why on earth he would keep me after work to go over my work as a peer that I of course already was well aware of since they were my projects.  Then he proceeded to tell us, and the boss or our client, what we did wrong whenever he caught something.  Be it a system glitch, a ticket really not in our shop to write or a simple mistake.  There was a team intervention where, after he reported one of us, he was pulled into a breakout room where team-mates tried to get him to understand why that was wrong to do. He insisted they ‘Needed to know she made an error.’  Ironically, Howse made the same error first, but of course, management didn’t hear about that.  He would jump into business that wasn’t his, join calls he was not invited to, cover up his own errors or justify them and create havoc and upset and distrust in the team.  Always looking to argue a point and demanding things must be done his way, I believe he is the reason I was laid off and amazingly, he was retained. The last thing I tried to help him with was to warn him from tenaciously demanding documentation from tenured folks.  My mistake entirely.  I should have let him go on ahead!  Instead I was trying to have compassion for the root of his behavior issues and help him.  His wife was stayed at home with the kids and he’d lost his last job over this behaviour.  Part of not going through things again is learning the signs of mental imbalance so to  avoid getting sucked into it.  It is never your role to fix a broken employee.  Sometimes trying to help the mentally unstable comes back to bite you.

Above all else, always remain calm.  Both with this phone call and when Howse was yelling at me in my cubicle, just coming completely unglued because I simply asked him to step out of my cubicle and allow me to get my work done my own way, I refused to get angry or shout back.  My personal MO has been to always remain kind.  In the end of it, the hothead screaming insults at you is going to look like the person they are if you remain quiet, calm and polite.  When you jump into the fray, it then becomes ‘he said, she said’ and the truth of it muddies.

If your corporation keeps the asshat, well, they deserve it!  Move onward and upward.  Don’t bother looking back and bemoaning fate.  But, I do encourage you to see what part you took in it.  You may not have known the morale or ethos going into the job but now that you have, think about what you did or did not do or say and make your own behavioral changes.  For me, my change is to not be as patient with mentally imbalanced people.  It can encourage their abuse and nobody deserves to be abused at work. Working for a living, whatever it is, is challenge enough.  None of us needs to put up with rudeness and ego.   There are ways to end a call, stop a person from jumping you in your cubicle every morning and to do this in a polite but firm way. And when that doesn’t work, get up and walk away.

Life is too short for unnecessary conflict.  One of the things I learned when my mother got dementia was that stress and shock can bring it on.  This can be a bad accident, such as breaking a hip, losing a loved one, a bad car accident or anything that seriously jolts you.  They don’t know why but I think I do.  I think the life most of us live is vastly removed from the life most of us were designed to live.  The pace is fast, the work hours long and judging by what I see, the respect and compassion has dwindled.  No work is worth affecting your mental or physical soundness because at the end of it, what you have left is you.  You have to be in shape to take on whatever comes next.  I have watched a lot of worker bees who are spent, not in great physical shape or emotional condition trying to find work.  Always put yourself first.  Because the corporation you work for will take what it can, the responsibility rests upon you to call it when it’s time to stop.  

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