Two memes and a ghost story

I may cuss from time to time, but I never use the middle finger … well, nearly as much as I’d like to when driving long distance. It’s not wise. Which is why when I saw this one, I was very entertained. I love the history of the thing. Forever more, I will now understand where “FU” comes from. And feel connected to it ancestrally.

Ah, the benefits of being friends with writers who love to share their research.

Pluck Yew is simply something my ancestors did in the 1500’s. Save the finger!

There are too many great memes out there to count, but for All Hallow’s Eve, I decided to choose my favorites.

There have been healers in my family going back to at least 10 generations so I imagine that a lot of what I’m doing right now is no coincidence.

The most authentic experience I’ve ever had with a psychic was in 2008. I went to a retreat in Arizona where a woman standing next to me on line to get into a James Van Praagh day long mediumship. My brother had tragically died the year before. I was feeling nostalgic. In truth, I felt strongly pulled toward wanting to know about grief beyond the ever so logical field of psychology.

This woman told me that I was in psychology along with a slew of things she could not have possibly known. She also told me that I was going to leave psychology to pursue something that was actually meant for me, and then, I would find my calling and great success.

Since then, three different psychics have randomly told me that

  1. I am surrounded by angels
  2. I have psychic gifts myself
  3. My children are powerfully gifted, one of whom will use this gift professionally.
  4. I must heal my past genetic connection to generational trauma, before going on to my next field.
Morticia Adams, my FAVORITE Mother of the Night. The Adams Family

I know. It’s All Hallow’s Eve ~ I have ghost stories and other things not explained in this world. It’s a great thin veil sort of day to share it. I am breaking back into the vault of writing again. Why not tap into my own experiences to write what I know?

One of our ancestors was one of the first women to be hung in Connecticut for being accused of being a witch. We’re talking one of the founders of the earliest states in the USA.

1654

That’s how long my ancestors have been in residence on this land in North America. On the other side of my family tree, I’ve been learning about the tragedy and horror of their story all the way back to the 1700’s.

This is why I am where I am at the moment.

I’ve also learned from the DNA that I have Viking blood and though I am 98% Nordic European, I also have Nigerian blood in me, which is both exciting and horrifying, knowing what I know about how a majority of white Americans came about our black ancestry.

There’s not a damn thing I can do about even one generation ago, let alone ten, but I can educate myself of deep generational trauma that seems to go back well beyond what most people know of their DNA.

Apparently, there is also a slew of both awe inspiring and jaw dropping legacy that’s long forgotten.

I wish I could have one night without a nightmare about people I knew in real time, in my own past. People who caused the PTSD. Instead, I use that psychic and psychological knowledge to create a mindfulness based practice to heal thy self.

Deep thinking requires deep understanding of our origin story. Thanks to my brilliant mother, who is a super sleuth in the genealogy department, I have this information. My aunt on the other side, also delves into the genealogy, but the train wreck left by my father means that I’ll have to rely on the ancestry dot com and 23 and me dot com companies to truly understand the big picture.

Of course, women have been taking the burden of male drama since the dawn of time, but it is something to think about in regards of healing.

Holistic healing requires a fine tuned intuition, which can be made out-of-service when we live through traumatic events.

That’s why I’ve spent the past couple of years in almost total isolation. I know it’s not as romanticized as leaving everything behind to join the monks in Tibet, as many wildly successful celebrity, male motivational speakers did ~ but I’m a mom.

Mom’s don’t fuck around with raising good kids when they are Moms with meaning.

I may be a “what-not-to-wear” in relationships with men, but I’m a damn good mother. Like it or not.

I’ve been blessed with good kids too. Unlike poor Lydia, whose own son turned her in to the constable before running off to Massachusetts to raise a jack wagon governor of the state, before his people kicked him out for being a jerk. SO many great stories.

Well then, we are our own ghost stories. Today, on Samhain, the veil is thin enough for us to manifest the life we want for ourselves. No ancestral ghosts to haunt us. We hold the power.

Of course, there is also dressing up like a taco and go house to house in search of little chocolate nuggets, but that’s never been my thing.

So ~ here we are. On the last full day of the sunny side of the year, where it’s foggy and raining. I’m off to see if I can pick up some candy to put out for tiny humans who don’t give a fudge about our deep ancestral roots and their parents puffing away on those cancer sticks (which, BTW, gross me out and piss me off). Yeah, I’m in the south. It seems like everyone smokes. Not sure why. TOTALLy baffled about it, considering the whole world had changed because of a lung virus.

But I digress.

Happy Halloween to all and to all, a safe night.

(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller

In honor of my Celtic Pagan Ancestors ~ Photo saved to Pinterest

Yes, but … did you meme it? In Theory?

Carl Jung lived from 1875-1961. We still hang on his every word. Sort of. There is that little thing about psychology where we appreciate our foundational understanding of the human condition, but we don’t have to stay stuck in the theories of the past.

Theory

Our job is to question them, not become their cheerleaders. Our social responsibility is to evaluate their relevance to all populations, not blindly follow on their every word.

Carl Jung was a white male who lived in Victorian era Eastern Europe. As were all the others of his day. His work didn’t involve all populations any more than our modern day theorists.

Positive Psychology is trying … but it’s taken them over a decade to realize they had to try to include people of color, other populations outside white privilege, and people who live in poverty. Sorry, not sorry. It’s true. It’s been a blazing red flag on the field since its inception. They don’t like people talking about that. I’ve been saying it for years. It took a brighter star to shine on the black hole of truth. Doesn’t matter … at least it’s being slowly corrected.

Developing theories is the job. Those theories are then challenged by other researchers who hope to seek tenure (can’t get fired) and to step in as the head honcho of the field. Then someone else tries to challenge that person’s theory, or the original theorist claps back at the OG challenger, making a life time of back and forth bickering in the most civilized, polite manner.

I’m not a sophisticated sort of academic … I have blue collar stock running through my veins. I’ve been shamed because of that. Except, I’m not embarrassed that I had to work for what I’ve got. As do many people who are authentically, true to themselves.

I’m not sure how many people in the non-academic general population know that about where their 7-fiugure pop culture celebrity academics come from. It’s all very Henry VIII dog-eat-dog, publish or perish stuff.

People read the memes. They buy the books. They even walk around after reading ‘The Red Book’ as experts in their cyber verse on Jung’s theories. (meta verse? LOL)

Academia is a world unto itself.

The social sciences are an organic creature that grows, changes, evolves and develops as they should. The quirky side is, they also grow dynasties worth big money. It’s a fascinating study of society and culture.

Medicine is the same ~ and yet, all that research and testing, validating and proving …. it actually does know what it’s talking about. How is it that people aren’t trusting science? Mind boggling but … it’s because they don’t take the time to read into where the theories come from, or where it’s going.

1879 ~ that’s when we started deep diving into the psyche if living beings. What can 142 years do for us?

Know what’s wild. A few weeks ago, my own mother told me that her grandfather would be 142 years old when his birthday came around.

Someone living today knows someone who lived 142 years ago. Trippy, when you think about it. One has nothing to do with the other, except, we forget to think about our timelines.

The past isn’t that far away, but the evolution of what’s been done in that same amount of time is mind boggling sometimes.

But that’s the backstory to what I was thinking about today.

This statement for example in how we all have the same opportunity to become who we truly are … a big sweeping gesture of theory.

Wouldn’t that be a lovely thing.

We would all be happy.

There would be no want or war.

The world wouldn’t be filled with people screaming or lecturing each other in random comment sections on social media.

Humans would stop just assuming that everyone else was like everyone else. We’d all be pretty cool with all the differences.

And yet, here we are. Circulating again.

Thinking about where women were in 1879 compared to where we are in 2021 for example. Why are we still fist fighting our way through having equal rights with our male counterparts?

What gives with glibly sharing meme philosophy while also judging others to the point of trying to destroy them if they don’t agree with us.

Everyone is either fangirling or fighting. The outliers are ostracized because the masses don’t understand them.

Where is the love?

Where is all this acceptance that we’re all talking about.

Alpha females (yep, still talking about the female population) are inserting themselves into society as our resident experts. There are some powerfully influential women that I admire.

The trust fund babies? Legacy babies? They didn’t earn it. I don’t admire them just because their fangirls say I have to.

That makes me an outsider.

The same goes for males of course. There’s a whole other level of power there though.

Our non-binary friends are still just trying to be heard, left alone to live their lives, and be their authentic selves without threat of violence.

What’s Carl Jung have to do with the arm chair psychology of today’s social media or its influence on our influencers?

He was one of the professional influences in my own career choice. I always wonder what Carl would say about the state of the world if he had lived today?

Yeah ~ that’s the sort of stuff I think about.

I also know to not blindly follow every word without also questioning how it applies to other cultures, other people, other socioeconomic conditions.

In today’s world, not everyone can simply ‘change their circumstances’.

People who experienced severe trauma for example, have to do battle with their psychological health as well as their financial health before they can create that authentic living.

What’s the point of all this?

Know where your meme art comes from.

Become aware of your own history and the history of those you take life advice from.

‘Vulnerability’ is the current most overused word … well, maybe it’s a tie for ‘Positivity’. Both have been part of the lexicon of the decade. Both are currently being used to live our “best lives” and to sell toothpaste in equal measures.

Does anyone else find that weird?

Humans.

We don’t all live on the surface, but we don’t all live in the deep thinking well either, now do we?

It’s been a long year. it’s been a deep think year for everyone. The #GreatResignation is a prime example of how people are really thinking hard about the quality of their lives.

Self included.

I’ve been going through a massive transformation.

So have a lot of others. What’s the current stat? Four million people in July alone, walked away from their jobs. Did they?

People are finally saying, ‘these working conditions aren’t worth it’. Are they?

Someone else said that businesses are advertising for job openings, but then insiders are claiming that the company isn’t actually hiring, but trying to cover their butt so they don’t have to pay back their PPP loans.

It’s SO complicated. But it’s intriguing. And too big a topic for one person trying to improve their life to focus on.

One day at a time. One step at a time. Global issues don’t have to be solved in a day. That’s a life time’s job.

“The Privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are” ~ lifetime being the operative word.

Changing our lives to our true, authentic, genuine happy seeking life takes a LOT of work.

The current great resignation is a prime example of people are trying. They are actively working toward it. This sign of encouragement is very exciting.

For me it is.

It must be a vibe. An energy shift toward hope? For me, it’s a sign of hopefulness.

A sign of badassery on behalf of everyone who is singing the rebel yell to want more, more, more. Which, we are all entitled to.

Here’s to your big, exciting, adventuresome, very good year.

Theory is just that. Theory. Is just theory. Usually based on world building to make us better humans. don’t real the online pop up Buzzfeed science. Get into the real stuff. It’s worth it to be fully informed.

IN theory …. take what you need, but give back what you learned.

In peace and open mindedness,

OH … and let’s all stop being asshats toward people just trying to live their best lives. It’s not our business.

Do no harm … mind your business.

(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller

Photo: @K.ArenHenryMiller

#Empowerment

We all lean hard on the positive, but that’s not always what helps or heals. It’s not popular, or sexy or even something people want to know ~ but it is necessary. Me? I’ve been seeing red all season so far. Red is going to be my color this year I imagine. I’m fine with it. I like red. It’s the color of love, the color of autumn, the color of fury. There are times, women need to light a fire under it in order to get shit done. I’m in full transformation mode ~ a fire is needed. A phoenix will rise from the ashes. But first, she has to burn.

As a matter of fact, after years of being in the bubble of the upbeat, proactive, positivity movement … I had to speak up.

I’ve been ghosted by the field as a result. Oh, that and I refuse to stop being authentically myself, which includes open ended bold questions and cussin’ ’cause cussin’ is part of my language.

When I woke up to the realization that as long as I stayed cute, blond, young, upbeat, and flattering toward others … they welcomed me into the fold of the specialization of the positive.

Yes. We’re talking about psychology.

As soon as I started asking questions about how our field is serving ~

Financially fragile people ( “middle class”)

People of color, or people in minority status

Single mothers

Immigrent status people

Impoverished issues that people under the poverty line face

The “isms” ~ racism, ageism, sizesm (this one is totally ignored)

I was ghosted and ignored, unfriended and even blacklisted.

Yes. These power house big name people will back channel red flag you as ‘difficult’ when you start asking questions about hard topics.

And if you are a woman without clout or influence that is very public, you will be denounced as a nobody.

One aggressively rising male in the positive psychology movement came onto the scene by asserting himself into all of the influencer’s radar. I had been a moderator of one of the biggest and fastest growing Facebook pages, doing most of the work, while the tenured Professors w/the biggest names were also moderators, but rarely doing any of the work.

This guy actually said to me in a group chat,

“Who are you? Are you somebody? Are you somebody I should know?”

They LOL’d but didn’t respond or correct his rudeness. I did.

I told him it was a rude question. Just like several of these huge name power house people who are easily making 6 & 7 figure salaries as our celebrity psychologists, will be rude to people like me who were helping them promote their careers for years.

They have thanked me for promoting their books, or write about them in my now dead blog on the PP movement. But a few of them also grew into entitled people who acted as if they were doing ME a favor by allowing me to help them.

WHAT THE ACTUAL F8ck is that upside down and backward attitude.

How many things make me happy?

Ya ~ remember where you came from.

Ya ~ go ahead and blacklist the no-names.

One day, the no-names will have a name.

They will perhaps forget the words that you used, but they will never forget how you treated them or made them feel.

People in the motivational speaking and academic “my research proves… blah blah blah” field have their flaws too.

Nobody’s perfect.

Some of them are so busy being in their own bubble, they don’t even realize how they come across to others.

This is one of the problems of people who are living on that success cloud.

We go into our own bubble, focusing so hard on what we want our lives to be, that we forget that the lives of others won’t reflect that.

How do you teach the positivity ratio to people escaping devastating life events? Can it be taught to them? Sure. Can they adapt it into their own lives, if they have severe PTSD, or have just escaped years of abuse? What about all the humans who are now refugees because their lives were intolerable where they were? They are traumatized 24 hours a day. Even their sleep is disrupted by trauma?

As someone who used to teach the positivity ratio while also going through hell on earth of a life experience myself … it works. I know research has come out saying the opposite, but I put it to work for my life and it worked. It first got me through the most painful days but I was still angry at it. Then, it got me through the less painful days, and I ended up embracing it. I still use it on those days I want to scream at the world. I’ll add a link in case you’re curious.

As much as I cringe when I hear “positivity” because it’s now OVER used …. the original, was a great book and reference.

No. We have to help ease the pain of the trauma first, and then, only then, after their basic needs are met, introduce the idea that our thoughts are powerful enough to heal our mind, body and soul.

Trauma bonded to a loop of fear based thoughts was the MOST difficult bond to break. I speak from experience and from working as a helping professional in the field of psychology.

We can glibly say, “Oh, you just have to think happy thoughts” to which that person is either feeling really shitty about themselves because they can’t do it OR< they are silently telling you that you suck at your job because it’s an unrealistic act you are asking them to take.

Empowerment is an inside job ~ so is healing.

We can bring the new ways of being, thinking and acting to the table. We can offer them as a suggestion. We can even create a road map to the table as we go on an explore of someone’s greatest epic journey. The journey toward feeling fully empowered.

I’m a guide to that universe so know the power of having a guide while walking through middle earth toward the ultimate destination of discovering who we are.

Sounds cheesy and corny. It is both of those things. For sure. It’s also the bravest thing some of us will ever do.

Dare to heal. Dare to live again when all we want to do is give up.

Feck those people who think they are more entitled to a good life or a wealthier life than others. One day, they’ll face their challenge. It is out of your hands. Be you. Focus only on you. Don’t forget where you started and definitely work toward having humility, but be you. Love is the cure. Self love is the way.

To feel empowered, we have to step in it. We have to step off that cliff of comfort so that we can set ourselves free of the cages we are put in along the way.

In peace and power,

(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller

Photo: K. Aren Henry Miller

#Stitch

I just learned this. It’s a TikTok thing where people can take anything you put on Tik Tok, then slice it up and attach it to your own TikTok.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I’ve seen it used 3 ways.

  1. People are using the clips to add their own opinion to the opinion of the provider. Sometimes it’s nice. Other times, it’s someone slashing and burning the 1st poster.
  2. People want to contribute their own verse to the story being told ~ to continue on and add solidarity with the original poster (this is my favorite).
  3. The dark side is always there ~ People just want to make fun of or belittle the value of the original poster for … well, who knows why people feel compelled to mock, belittle, devalue, disrespect or threaten others? Broken things happen, but we suspect it is because hurt people want to hurt people. Or, they are sociopaths who find enjoyment in hurting others. Anything is possible. (This is my least favorite).

I’m conflicted with social media right now, but like all crossroads throughout my life, I’ve been able to clearly see both the good and the bad in people’s intentions.

I was trauma bonded to the dark side for a very long time. I had to live in the shadow of toxic others while surviving life. The thing is, we never see that it’s not normal until we come out from those shadows, but don’t know that they are shadows while in them.

This is one reason so many people continue to make choices that seem similar to the last big mistake they made. Repeating the cycle is normal for someone who was traumatized. They just don’t realize it until … they realize it.

Therapy helps.

So does busting out of the comfort zone. Getting out of that bubble of sameness.

Meditation helps.

So does exploring outside of your own safety zone.

For so many millions of people who can’t figure out how to stop the repeat patterns, or broken relationships, they don’t fully know (consciously) that they have to become UN-comfortable before they can find comfort.

We have to boldly shift our awareness of the world (psychically and psychologically) so that we can see the other side of the mountain we’ve been living in.

When our norm is chaos, chaos becomes our comfort food.

When safety and happiness are our norm, we can’t even begin to fully understand how other people feel … FEEL safe or happy.

It’s all about emotional connection to the self and then, others. Not the other way around.

So many of us mimic the lives of those we deem successful. We follow the trends to feel safe. We join the crowd to feel a sense of belonging.

What we don’t do most of the time?

Travel alone. Eat alone. Sleep alone. Live alone. Think alone. Be, alone.

We don’t spend any time alone to the point where alone is all we have.

When our days are filled with our aloneness, and we are not lonely … that is when we have achieved a sense of clarity and peace that very few people desire.

If feels good to belong to a #Stitch of narratives that share our same experience. We feel connected, heard and valued. It’s healthy to add our verse in a proactive way, to the story of others. It is literally saving lives.

We also too easily devalue the story of others if we can’t relate to it. Look at how quickly people are cyber destroying the lives of others simply because they are not interested in the backstory of someone’s life.

When we show a woman having a complete anxiety attack, or rage filled rant in public, which is most likely a panic attack, we call her a karen, then proceed to crush her entire life. She loses her job, her home, her safety, her sense of self, her family and even friends. She becomes ostracized to the extreme.

Did you mean to do that? Did hurting someone in their crisis bring you joy? Are you proud of yourself if you did? If she were you, how would you feel? Was she wrong?

Many times, a lot of the slice of life moments we see on these clips are pretty awful. My 1st thought every single time is, what happened before the video? What happened after?

Do some of these people deserve to be punished? Sure. Some of them are awful. Shockingly awful. But then, some of them are deeply wounded, afraid, traumatized individuals walking around with extreme depression and/or anxiety.

I wonder how many of them are real? Every time someone makes a fake trauma shock-video, they deminish the severity of real live things.

Yesterday, I watched a #Stitch of a man on a subway punching a woman in the face. He got onto a crowded subway with his kids, screaming and yelling at them. The woman asked him to calm down. He punched her in the face. She just stood there. People video taped it, but said nothing. There were a dozen big guys just standing there and they did nothing. Why didn’t the world share that all over the place, calling that guy a ‘ken’?

If she had hit him, they would have screamed at her, called her a karen, and ruined her life.

Women are losing their shit because the world has become insanely violent against women.

The world kicked their ass, then recorded it for all the world to humiliate.

Where is the grace? Where is the compassion? Where are the helpers? Where are the private citizens who know how to deescalate the incident?

Afraid of being recorded or sued for reaching out or helping. That’s where.

In my pretend world where everything is a lovely rainbow filled pink bubble cloud of joy and peace, people help people.

In the online world, we are buying into the illusion of delusion by recording the worst moments in humanity, then, posting it for the profits, plus those 15 minutes of fame.

In the real world, the days are pretty uneventful. Trust me, when boring becomes the end goal, you will have achieved a dangerously high level of life satisfaction.

The first time I was on the edge of a nervous breakdown after a violent traumatic event, I was talking to my own therapist who said,

“You know, day to day life is a little boring. We’re not all waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

For years, I didn’t know that. I thought it was always one crisis away from a crisis. For a long time.

Nope.

She was right.

When you are in the wrong place, surrounded by the wrong people, living the same chaos or crisis over and over again, your #stitch is a story of a life time of trauma.

You can change the story.

You get to decide how the story is going to end. The chapters are yours to write.

Who do you want to be?

Where do you see your life if the obstacles were not in your way?

Why do you want peace over what you have now?

What three things can you do this weekend to achieve just one step toward that dream life?

When do you want the dream life to begin manifesting? Narrow that time frame down by half. Then, half that. Then, just start right now.

It’s up to us but society does throw massive road blocks in our way.

People ARE being just f*cking horrible to each other, but then, other people are being wonderfully lovely humans to each other.

It’s not one or the other. Both are happening. Happy and sad is a two sided street.

No quilt is made with a single stitch, and no life is using only one story that repeats day in and day out.

Add your voice to the healing of others ~ you could be saving a life. Or, allow the story of others to motivate you to see the world in a different voice to help you to improve your own life.

Both are a win win.

In peace and sharing,

(c) @happinessnoir @Inkhoneypub @K.ArenHenryMiller

#Reclaim_Your_Life

Reclaim your life. Wake up and decide in that moment that you hold all the power.

My favorite meme of all time ~ from Pinterest @HenryhealingPOV

You are going to make the day the very best of your life.

I know. Sounds corny in a motivational speaker smarmy sort of way … and yet, it is how you break those patterns of negative thinking. Don’t gaslight yourself though. Don’t challenge your thoughts.

It’s hard enough for a survivor of trauma to simply live their lives. In today’s world, they are being shamed for not always thinking positive thoughts or blamed for what happened to them.

I really wish I could come up with that magic message to the professionals in the healing industry (psychology, counseling, holistic and mindfulness industries) that explains how we must dig deeper before diagnosing or assuming outcomes when it comes to trauma survivors. Particularly, female trauma survivors of sexual assault.

The brain rewired. There is no normal. There is only a new normal that she has to adapt to.

And to the survivors?

You have to take your mental health into your own hands. None of us know you better than you know you. We’re all here to walk along side your journey, but we’re not you.

The motivational speakers can only help so far. They are passionate (some) about their message, but it’s up to us to apply that message to our own lives.

I wish I could reach every single person out there who thinks that they are all alone. I remember that feeling. It’s just not true. There are (sadly) millions of people who are survivors of things they don’t talk about in public.

They don’t have to. Society wants to gossip about their story, giving little to no deep thought about what that experience means to someone’s mental health.

We have to ignore them, but to ask that of a survivor of trauma is asking them to move a boulder size rock from their path.

When we whimsically type out “reclaim your life” ~ many people don’t fully grasp that for some ~ every day is the only day.

Step by step

If you have to give yourself a pep talk ~ write it all out ~ jump up and down … or fake laugh until you’re really laughing … go up into the mountains and bellow as loud as you have to … whatever it takes!

We’re all out here talking about ‘thriving’ ~ it’s a great goal. Know what though? It’s not for everyone.

Surviving is good. Surviving is also a great goal. We have to stop psychologically bypassing everyone who wants to just make it through the day.

They deserve happiness too. Their happiness may look differently from yours but that doesn’t mean it’s any less. It’s not.

I wish I could reach each and every survivor to let them know that they can reclaim their life but it will be a sculpting of their newly emerged self.

We are these organic sentient beings.

It is not your fault that someone hurt you. That’s on them.

It’s not your fault that society blames you (some … some of them, not all of them) for the things that hurt you. THAT is on them.

I realize that not all people who seek outside sources for a journey into reclaiming one’s sense of self but in a world filled with a mine field of others who intentionally serve as road blocks to a happier life, damn if it doesn’t influence all of us.

To reclaim oneself is to acknowledge that outside sources tried to take a piece of us without our permission.

From severe and brutal assault to the lesser, yet insidious gossip about our character to a sense of loss of some part of us along the way, we have from time to time, been lost.

It took me several decades to realize that having a backup plan wasn’t the way everyone prepared for life. It took me several lifetimes to realize that not everyone needs two doors.

That’s what trauma does to the brain. We have to exist in a space where there is more than one way out. We are cautious to the extreme. We don’t like being cornered. We sit with our backs to the wall.

It’s not just smart, it’s a sense of safety.

Counting our blessings; having gratitude for our experiences; realizing our grit and resilience … these are all good things.

They are not good enough when we are also always looking over our shoulder.

We, the survivors of trauma are here to tell you that just because we have become stronger than any influencer on a golden ticket ride to stardom, we can not control how other people are.

When an abusive person feels entitled to hurt your life, there is nothing we can do to control their narrative.

We can’t make them stop being a jack wagon.

We can openly talk about our experiences with them. We can even tell our story of the relationship.

We can rush to groups, clubs, self-help centers and therapy, but that still will only strengthen our own sense of who we are. It will not make them leave us the f*ck alone.

We have to do that.

The law isn’t interested and we all know it. They are, but they need concrete evidence.

One time, after a decade of financial, emotional, mental, and social abuse, when I parted ways with someone, the advice I received was,

“Did he hit you? Get him to hit you so you have physical proof”

Do you know how many women have heard this same advice? From the legal system AND from family or friends?

Too many to count.

When a misguided bored person loses their way, they buy the popular girls’ self-help book, then go on to leap on that beach in the flowing white dress. They create a Pinterest board, and share their color pallet with the world.

The world rejoices.

But when a trauma survivor announces that they have created a space of safety and belonging, many times, they are treated as if they are attention seeking or in desperate need of validation.

The world ignores.

It is not for them. Don’t reclaim your life for them. Do it for you and only you.

This is going to feel like the most selfish time in your entire life (it’s often those who give and give who are most taken advantage of).

It’s not selfish ~ it’s self love.

Love yourself so fiercely that you are ready to let the entire rest of the world go so you can pursue your happiness on your own terms, in your own way, at your own pace.

I’m here for you. Somewhere around here, I have an email and phone number. Text me. Let me know you’re reclaiming. The power is in knowing that there is just one other person out there who is hearing you.

There’s magic in that connection. Powerful magic.

Hey, I’m loaded up with crystals and candles, angel cards and meditation from eastern and western cultures. I had long, deep conversations with God and powerfully personal connection through grounding.

I have done ALL the things to heal. Whatever. It. Takes. Whatever. You. Connect. With.

Do that. Be that. Love …. yourself so much that you don’t need anyone else to validate who you are.

Be your own kind of happy. Nobody else gets a piece of you.

In peace and solidarity with you,

(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Yesterday, I had a little panic attack. I looked up from eating in the car ~ bad food choices happen ~ but that’s another conversation.

I stared into the eyes of a man sitting in a white HRR who was stopped at a stop sign. That stupid shaggy beard with his thinning man bun. That bulbous round head with glasses that didn’t quite look right. He stared right back at me.

My stomach lurched. The blood rushed from my extremities. I forgot to breathe. I could feel my heart beating out of my chest.

It wasn’t a full blown panic attack, ’cause I’ve slayed that dragon. I grounded myself, then remembered that I had a right to live my life in peace. I prepared my mind to fight. This middle aged, overweight, bone-hurting karen, was ready to do whatever it took to get that piece of garbage human out of my life. But then, my logical side kicked in. Calling the cops was good for me.

Y’all can think what you like. I’m very happy when I see the police. I want them around me all the time. When other people have destroyed your life, you want legal protection nearby.

For a hot minute, I thought he was the dude who used to smash his fist into the wall next to my head, or throw furniture ~ punch holes in walls while screaming at me and gaslighting me at the same time. The dude I gave all my trust to, who was in fact, playing a cat and mouse game of mind bending manipulation with my life. The dude who stole everything I had left at a time I was most vulnerable and heart broken.

He terrified me, humiliated me, then lied about everything. The entire personality he created was later realized to be nothing but memorizing meme wisdom. He was a classic narcissistic sociopath, from a destructive family of rage and violence. People who, because they had money, got away with hurting anyone they chose.

He was dangerous, manipulative, pathological ~ and I trusted him. Hell. I loved him. He was my best friend. He said. He was lying. He was manipulating me but I still can’t figure out his end game.

Why does someone set out to destroy another person’s life for sport? That’s the hard part. They are bored and needed a favor. A place holder until the next mark comes along.

I developed PTSD while also going through the hardest years of my life but the rural area I lived in loved to hang on to gossip, he was able to control the narrative, while I shrank into myself.

Women who survive domestic violence can and do heal from the experience ~ or the pattern of repeating that experience until they realize what it is ~ but they never return to who they were before it happened.

It is a domestic war that happens in the private hell of their own homes.

People trivialize the severity of it because it happens primarily to women. If men were the prime victims ~ we would have created a national “fix-this-shit-now” day.

Today ~ I’m sharing the words of a celebrated Man of the Cloth who succinctly created a 10-list addressing domestic violence.

Not the baseball player ~ the other Jim Palmer ~ a man who speaks openly and honestly about his crisis in faith post-awakening from being the pastor of the nation’s largest mega-church for a spell.

See, the thing is ~ people don’t want to hear about domestic violence from women who survived it ~ they want to hear it from someone with more authority … f*ck that.

Survivors, if you are reading this … I want to hear it from you. I write for you. I was you. I care about you. I want you to know that you are not alone.

And yesterday, I had a little panic attack because I am still you from time to time.

I re-heal myself every single morning when I wake up.

Every day ~ I have to remind myself that I have a right to live in peace, comfort, safety, free of nightmares, panic and fear.

Every. Fucking. Day.

Today ~ I’m leaning in to the words of others ’cause that’s how we heal. We relearn to trust … one expert at a time. It’s important to put our faith in the male narrative … to relearn how to trust men.

I’m still working on that.

Jim Palmer

1h  · October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

Here are 10 reasons not to be silent about domestic violence:

1. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

2. Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.

3. Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.

4. Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.

5. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.

6. One-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.

7. Intimate partner violence results in more than 18.5 million mental health care visits each year.

8. 30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.

9. Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.

10. Sexual assault or forced sex occurs in approximately 40-45% of battering relationships.

If you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse, you can begin seeking help and support here -> 
https://www.helpguide.org/…/domestic-violence-and-abuse… 

Here are 7 things you can do to stop domestic violence:

1. You can learn as much as you can about the issue and make a personal commitment to talk about domestic violence with someone you suspect may be a victim. 

2. You can let the young people in your life know early on that violence in a relationship is never acceptable under any circumstances.

3. You can invite community leaders to speak out about domestic violence at town hall meetings and other places where the public gather.

4. You can consider bringing these issues to the forefront at your workplace, at your kids’ school, through your local media outlets and social media.

5. You can work with your local domestic violence agency to be sure the places in your community have information about domestic violence and where to go for help.

6. You can make a contribution to your local domestic violence agency.

7. You can share this post. 

Domestic violence impacts both women and men. When we remain silent about domestic violence we become complicit in this tragedy. 

Jim Palmer 

I guess today was confession day.

In peace and honesty,

(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller

Middle Aged Women Are Unpacking

On Tik Tok. On Twitter. On Facebook & Pinterest , Tumblr and even … on LinkedIn.

See, we, the women born in the 50’s, 60’s and even into the 70’s are talking about our life experiences. Those of us who lived with and tolerated years of abuse, are talking.

It’s scaring the shit out of everyone. Younger women are confused to hear that maybe, just maybe, their mothers and grandmothers are the way they are because they are also survivors.

The ‘enlightened’ ones are telling us that we have ‘dark energy’ or, ‘negative thinking’. The entitled, elitist power players are telling us to “get over it” and to “move on”.

We are survivors of decades of suppression that we fought so that our young ones can freely talk about their life experiences out loud. We had to throat punch our way into the world so that the world would just leave us alone.

We are telling our experiences or losing our shit in public because we are (thanks for the line Howard Beale),

“Mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore”.

Except … we’re not mad. We’re numb. We’re scarred, wary, unapologetically speaking out ~ you took your best shot. We survived it. We have no interest in being

‘warriors’ ~ I don’t anyway. I am a passive person who quietly goes about my day but I’ll be damned if even one more person tells me what I’m allowed to talk about or not.

I’m no warrior, but I will not go silent into the night either.

Fuck that.

Women who are thin ~ attractive ~ socially popular ~ wealthy ~ they are safe to talk about their past experiences or major life events.

Women who are heavier ~ average looking ~ socially unknown ~ living on a lower income? They are being blamed for everything that’s wrong with society.

Why?

Because they are so traumatized by a lifetime of systemic prejudice, bias and social rejection ~ that they are terrified that once again, life will crush them if they dare speak up and out.

Social push back feels like a punch in the gut.

Community-wide rejection and ridicule feels like a thousand pound brick on your heart.

They expect these quieter female citizens to just shut up and comply with the louder, more self-entitled power players.

Our journey through this life time, regardless of stature in society, is ours and ours alone.

Women are done running from their own lives, the way Forest Gump was done running after the death of Jenny.

Just. Done.

We all have a place here. It is within our right to speak our truth, even if that makes other people uncomfortable. No matter what we look like on the outside, we have a contribution to the world at large.

Tell your story ~ out loud ~ it will scare the shite out of you because that’s the trauma bond we have with speaking of the unspeakable things we’ve had to endure our entire life times.

If you have to watch what you say around people ~ just to be accepted or liked or valued ~ those are the wrong people for you.

If you have to be 100% alone in order to remember who you are, before the world decided that for you ~ be alone.

It’s better to be alone than with people who make you feel lonely in your own heart.

If other people are treating you as if you are a 2nd class citizen to their greatness, you have a right to say, “No. This is not how this is going to play out.” ~ no matter what else, you will have found your voice in this sea of others, trying to make themselves bigger than you.

When anyone tells you that you have “no right” to share your opinion or narrative or experiences ~ they are abusing you on a profoundly personal level. If they had wanted you to speak highly of them, they should have thought about that when they were graced with your presence. It’s too late, once you walked away.

Nobody is entitled to you or any part of your life.

Only you.

Unpack all that shit that’s holding you down from your extraordinary life. Grieve what you can’t get back. Stand up, dust off ~ then try again. No matter how many times it takes. No matter the heart break you lived through. No matter how many times you repeated the pattern.

If you are here ~ reading this ~ it’s not too late to be you.

The you that deserves the love, the romance, the friendships, the trust, the respect, the laughter, the life of someone who doesn’t think twice about the things you love to do.

That dark energy, ‘negative’ stuff that makes people feel uncomfortable? It’s just a part of the power we’ve come into. We are not afraid of the dark or talking about anything that feels negative. We walked through that hells cape. We have learned how to harness it so we can turn it into something incredibly lovely, light and good.

Light workers ~ healers ~ mentors ~ Sheroes ~ and guides through the universe of repression ~ they have been there. They will walk you toward your light.

Be you. The world will adjust.

In peace and speaking up,

(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller

Post Traumatic Meme Disorder

We read the memes and hear the non-expert experts toss out whimsical advice on how to live our lives in the pursuit of happiness.

This past year, my coming of age was realized. It just came at a much older age than I had realized. Instead of trying to change the wind ~ I adjusted the sails and changed myself.

The journey of a thousand miles …. begins with our Declaration of Independence from the social constructs we burden each other with.

Posted to Oprah’s Daily Inspiration Email

Do you see what I did there? I used SO many meme quotes that we push into each other’s inboxes, we end up having to Unlearn everything we think we know.

For me, I’m on a cleanse. A social pressure cleanse of all the advice, advocates and ageist asshats who push their agenda w/little regard for the well being of others.

Those memes?

Many ignore actual mental health. They spiritually bypass our spiritual health. Or, they dismiss and degrade any personality struggles.

They even take a sliver of what a qualified expert states, twist it into whatever serves them, then quote it for profit, disregarding the rest of the story.

They aren’t harming all women but … the slice of life mentionable aren’t exactly helping people either.

One of the most misquoted meme-therapy slivers is plucked from Carl Jung.

Suffering is trending right now.

Brene Brown is being used as a mental health bypass so that gaslighting via picked apart psychology can be tossed at the vulnerable.

The word ‘vulnerability’ itself is so overused, I wonder if anyone even fully realizes what Brown’s original research meant.

Carl Jung ~ and yet, he also said so much more than this. Carl Jung also strongly advocated for both dreaming and critical thinking and conscious awareness.

We have 18 year old’s writing professional articles, but quoting the comment sections of social media as if they are authorities, without knowing who those people (bots) are! WTF is that?

Nothing against eighteen year olds, but in an age of ageism being at an all time high, perhaps this is why. It is. In case you’re wondering.

I love Greta Thunberg ~ but she is a child. WHY are adults putting the burden of responsibility on the shoulder’s of our children.

OR, middle aged white males who lived in the Victorian era?

Our kids are growing up thinking that meme art is the same thing as therapy. It’s so very not.

As for social media ~

We are giving advice on Tik Tok as if we are all experts. We are not. So much of the stuff I’ve heard in just the past couple of weeks is wildly wrong. Wrong information delivered by self appointed experts is some dangerous shit.

We have millionaires who have no concept of struggle or poverty, but make even more money by leading people on who desperately want to walk out of financial hardship.

(Gary Vee is a classic case of starting out with three million already under his golden goose egg). So are several golden egg trust fund baby experts who were born into privilege yet make their money, selling their experience as if it’s the same as the rise of the Oprah’s of the world.

Gary’s got some great stuff to say ~ he’s also saying it from the lens of having a foot up when he started.

We demand knowing someone’s background in our celebrity crush/motivational speakers and yet … why don’t we also demand to know the background of our spiritual leaders ~ our professors ~ our medical doctors ~ our teachers ~ or our partners.

If you’re going to follow advice, do some research.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Be confident enough in yourself to know that everything you hear isn’t always true.

Don’t believe everything you meme.

Meme art from somewhere, googled or Pinned ~ quoting we can only assume is Will Rogers.

Understand the words of wisdom from our true experts who spent years training while also experiencing the world ~ they are the people we learn from.

Always remember and never forget ~

Even WebMD says, don’t trade this in for actual medical advice from your own doctor.

The same is true for therapists, coaches, counselors and qualified (actual) spiritual advisors who aren’t there to mess up your belief system.

We’re living in a time of vapid/shallow/surface level solutions to real life, profound, mental health and identity crises.

Believe what you believe ~ that’s all you. That’s your right.

The most important thing for a genuine post traumatic growth is to be aware that right now ~

We are in a time of misinformation

We are shelling out life advice from the curb

We are whimsically wishing away serious, clinical diagnostics by tossing mental health bypassing at each other. Which can be damaging beyond belief.

Happiness is being used as a weapon of mass deconstruction of truth. Be wary of the memes with meaning.

Deep dive into the research. I linked the official pages to each name ~ happy questioning. That’s the scientific way.

(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller

henryhealing.com

2020 ~ We could have come together. Why didn’t that happen?

This year has been a lot ~ for all of us.

Photo: K.ArenHenryMiller

One thing I noticed is that people … have gotten meaner to each other ~ online and to a certain extent … in person (just ask the folks working those “essential worker” jobs …

And before you gaslight me with, “you are the people you surround yourself with” ~ I have intentionally been part of three distinct professional groups who have totally different lens on the world ~ to remind myself not to get stuck in anyone’s bubble.

Choices

There are the ultimate optimists who refuse to see any of the hardships or sorrow ’cause it’ll harsh your mellow.

The ultimate power hungry [usually humble braggers] who refuse to stand up to anyone who could advance their career, even if that person is known to hurt others for his own pleasure and ego.

Then there’s the ocean between us level of not listening to anyone who doesn’t agree with us. God forbid someone not fully agree with us.

Ah humans ~ what is going on?

**BTW ~ I clicked on the Twitter Paragraph button to see what it would do. I have no idea. I also deleted my Twitter ~ that was also a choice. It wasn’t serving me or bringing me joy.

What brings me (us?) joy Marie Kondo?

Photo: Pinterest saved to HenryHealingPOV

What sparks my joy?

Not an avalanche of awful by way of social media.

Not likes or followers or fans who are there, hanging on the edge to see if we fail or fall.

Not presumed VIP’s who are in truth, awful, shitty people who don’t care if they harm others.

What does bring me (us) joy when we are rethinking our entire lives, as Middle aged females often do?

Simplicity ~ without debate

Small, lovely moments ~ without critique

Sweet scenarios that bring us joy ~ without raincloud commentaries from strangers

The things that actually have meaning in our world are not the big gestures and never once have to come from some pseudo-celebrity ‘expert’ who made themselves that way by going on YouTube to declare, “I AM THE EXPERT” while humble bragging their way into millions of followers.

Steve Jobs quote on Simplicity

Those moments when we overhear a young mom having an intense conversation with their kid, who for the first time, reveals their depth of understanding while the mom smiles in knowing she’s doing okay.

The moment when that kid pushing carts for a living decides to stop hating his job for just long enough to help an elder to their car in the rain.

When, in busy traffic, the collective world of fast ~ takes a moment to stop so a duck family can cross the street to safety.

These are the things that give our lives meaning.

People are strained ~ tired ~ mentally spent ~ exhausted ~ and morally declaring their own sense of who they are.

All this death has forced us to think about life.

It pushed us to look within. To wonder about our values. To see the world differently.

Social media is the greatest invention in humanity (debatable, but for the sake of this article) … but it is a thing.

Humans decide how to use that thing.

Humans decide if they are going to be purposeful or simply exist.

Many, MANY people ~ including people with huge power/titles/influence ~ have chosen to be truly shitty to random strangers or anyone who isn’t part of their inner circle.

My distinct groups make me a bit of an outlier but the funny thing about outliers, is that we are the observers. We are the ones who notice the nuances of the group think. We are those that see the group for what it is.

I like being a lone wolf. I tried being part of the pack … a few times. I’m entirely too confident in who I am and what I bring to the table to be anyone else’s beta bitch.

I like basic. I like simplicity. I like this not-so-crazy notion that people can adapt and change, learn and grow then fully actualize if they truly wish it so.

Yesterday, I was in a major city at a Whole Foods, just trying to get a basic cup of coffee and holy hell, I realized how pretentious the world around me has gotten.

They were willing to sell me a $5.00 cuppa “Americana w/extra foam” but they didn’t HAVE drip coffee or cow’s milk. They had grass fed. They had espresso. They had bottled, refrigerated processed, cold brew and Vente late w/extra fluff on the side of the maddening condescension on the part of the young fella who practically called me a karen in his best guttural fry JUST for asking ~ as if …

” this bitch is basic so she is wasting my time” sort of vibe.

After flippantly rejecting my inquiry, to which I was polite BTW, he hurried back to Hannah, restocking the deli and gossiping about Joaquin (hey! if y’all can call me a karen, I can call you by general stock-answer-names too).

What this and several other hipster/yuppie/organically sourced trend setter did not have?

A basic cup of coffee.

Coffee, like life ~ does NOT have to be complicated. We MAKE it complicated.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

When we’re serving our public ~ it is clear who we want for consumers.

This is true of social media ~ this is true of our service industry ~ this is true of academia, and the literary world and public education.

This is true of authentic diversity that includes ALL people’s in ALL groups.

They have clear, distinct, not so subtle lines that are not to be crossed ~ or else.

We complicate everything all the time. That’s who we are. This generation.

Is this over complication an insecure cover up as if to say, we are sophisticated and need to prove it to the world?

Ironically, when talking about actualization ~ a concept that a rare few will fully understand ~ we are also isolated and alone … not lonely, but alone to continue to think.

Those who fully know themselves have zero to prove to anyone else. We aren’t going to be influenced by someone else ~ we see people for who they are and understand that they are doing what they do because that is how they negotiate the world.

Some are good ~ others are awful.

There ARE 50 shades of gray in that yin yang/black white/shadow and sunshine way of being in the world.

Why are people choosing awful? Rude? Belligerent? Violent?

Emotional dis-regulation

Physical strain from fear

Entitlement

Fear

Grief

Pain and suffering

A desperate need for attention to feel validated in the choices they make.

There are many reasons.

I just … don’t know why so many people are choosing hate. They don’t realize or maybe they do, that they are choosing hate, but they are.

There is no actual way to have that conversation with anyone since no matter what we say, someone, somewhere will be offended by it.

This drama ~ carried out for monetary gain in many of the social media platforms ~ is the driving force.

South Park

People are choosing to either delight the masses with their expertise ~ OR ~ shock value.

I’m choosing information gathering. I have no interest in shock value and find it hard to watch exploitation in exchange of popularity.

Considering how many millions of people follow blindly, some very misguided, manipulative people ~ I’m not interested in that formula. It’s tempting. Sure it is.

But at what cost?

The way we as a collective species on this planet act today will define generations of influencers in our future.

There have been several articles about the discovery of our (my)Viking ancestors ~ yes, I have Viking blood in my bones. It was found in North America ~ a 1,000 year old encampment. A thousand years ago doesn’t influence who I or we are today, but it does contribute a verse to our human history.

I have to be forward thinking ~ it’s both a philosophy and a survival mechanism.

When I hear about a 1,000 year old tribe of Vikings ~ my first thought is, how will we, us, here in the 21st century, the year of 2020 ~ be interpreted with our digital platforms by our descendants?

If we can’t care about even three generations in the future, or three generations in the past ~ can we at least give a shit about how we are all acting right now?

Our world is changing … rapidly. Perhaps that’s too overwhelming for some.

I for one, need a social media break.

Social media is part of my work life, so I can’t take a full one. I can do a partial. I can do a mega cleanse of the lens. We can stop doing shit we hate but stop following other people’s guidelines for how we live our lives.

I’ll find the balance but like I said in my very first blog post here ~ this blog is organic. Girl … they are ALL organic, but most of them wear make up to give the illusion of something else … I’m bare faced learning how to blog better and not hiding my jiggly bits.

Sure ~ to address the first part of this ~ we are all going to have people around us that we don’t agree with or maybe don’t like entirely. We don’t have to delete them as if they are pixels in the wind … unless they are toxic poisonous pixels … then dump and run. You don’t need that sort of hate in your life.

Photo by Cody King on Pexels.com

So … here we are.

What are you choosing?

Are you still reading? I lost a bunch of you back on word 300 ~ this is a chapter, not a blip. Sorry, not sorry ~ it’s heading into a book so … the literary world is the one I’ve chosen over the other two.

I had to refocus and redesign how to apply my body of work.

We get to choose which lens we have on the world. One of those choices can be so see the world in balance ~ to realize that life is a long game and to embrace the fact that there are nine billion humans on earth now (compared to only 2 billion in 1928) ~ there will be tension.

Here’s to finding joy in this crazy chaotic jungle of choices!

May you find your simplicity

In peace and choosing wisely,

(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller

henryhealing.com

Fantasy League Bachelor Nation ?

Take a shot every time you hear the word, “vulnerable”.

Brene Brown

I know! I know!

Brene Brown made vulnerability a thing. She put it on the map. I’ve been a fan since her 1st Ted Talk (I’ll share it below if you can’t get it in your country).

Vulnerability IS a strength. Being honest is a strength. Being truthful in our reality is trending ~ my deep dive into the stories over on Tik Tok have proven that to be a lovely reconnection to humanity. Remember though, I intentionally looked to shift the algorithm to show me this instead of some of the more supercilious or vapid drivel on there.

Everyone has a guilty pleasure. Mine … I’m about to confess something that is TOTALLY opposite of every other part of my life.

I …. am a fan of the RomCom. This one is a twist. RomCom w/a twist. There’s so much to like. Then, there is so much to NOT like.

I watch Bachelor Nation. I have, for the most part, since it’s beginning. I missed a few seasons when it got really cringe worthy.

Okay, most of it is cringe worthy. Or, as one report called it, “America’s Guilty Pleasure”

Bachelor Nation

10 Things I Hate (to love to hate to love) About Bachelor Nation

  1. Besides the obvious that it’s misogynistic AF? It’s also something I wonder about all the time compared to my own dating experience in the 80’s. Date ’em all at once, make them “prove themselves’ quickly. Eliminate them quickly. Pick the fan favorite. Travel to beautiful locations. Get a big fat diamond as the end prize. Make some money while living out our stupid 20’s ’cause MOST people are a bit dumb in their 20’s. I hope. That’s what that age is for.
  2. It’s sizest AND ageist. There was that dude who was 40, but felt compelled to walk around naked in Bachelor in Paradise. Um? Secure with himself or … truly insecure and desperate for attention? Either way. Live your life, it’s not my business. I just still can’t wrap my head around what this show would look like with older people or normal size to bigger people. It’s a fantasy. I get it.
  3. WHY do the “girls” ~ ahem, they are all full grown women, so let’s call them that ~ WHY do they have to leap up into every “big. strong. man” arms, wrapping their legs around his waist. What IS that? Gross. WTF? I’m so confused. Are young women doing that in general or is that a show thing?
  4. “I’m a tiny size zero girl just looking for my happily ever after big strong man boy, who is ripped and cut and handsome, so he (and I) MUST be very successful, ’cause looks are what matters most in the business of finding love”. ~ Said no actual human ever. Except a very few ~ professional athletes maybe and probably models? But not average people. Grrr.
  5. EVERY one of them is picked apart with a fine comb. Yes. Like Lice. Except, only the parts of their personality that seem the juiciest are put on camera. They ARE human beings, yet the fans treat them like the character they are portrayed to be on the show. Are fans the problem?
  6. This one’s a bit more philosophical. IS this the fantasy life of the average young American? Unreality celebrity status? Look at Hallmark movies. Look at the billion … yes, BILLION dollar romance genre industry …. people WANT the escapism. When real life is shite, tune in or tune out with escapism entertainment. This is true. There is research to back it up.
  7. It’s not hurting anyone so why not? Unless it hurts someone. Then, why?
  8. The whole drag through racism ~ dude … I was saying that back when it started. ’nuff said. That heated conversation could have happened up to ten years earlier.
  9. The low success rate ~ honey … I could have told them how impulsive engagements work out. I tried it … twice. Only knew my 1st husband for a month. Marriage lasted 18 months. Shocker ~ it was a shite show. The 2nd? Less than a year … a longer shite show. Get to know your partner!!!! These days ~ do a background check too. Save yourself some pain.
  10. There are a million other ways to spend our time. OR to give our attention. But so what? If people (en mass) want to watch a romance novel/reality show that’s highly scripted … who cares? If it helps someone to divert some attention for a while ~ it’s nobody’s business.
Book Recommend ~ by Michael A. Singer

Now, I’m not a shot-drinking sort of person, but someone posted a fantasy league yesterday, which made me chuckle ~ I know someone else who hosts a fund raiser-fantasy league about Survivor.

IF it brings people together to share some community … so what?

I don’t watch television anymore. I have streaming services. Narrows the focus. Keeps it simple. Deletes the commercials.

Since I’m shifting everything else in life ~ I decided to keep the ONE reality show ~ I got rid of the rest. I know they are silly. However, those contestants make a nice living with their celebrity status. It’s part of the paradigm shift in our entertainment. MILLIONS of people buy in. Why not? I’m a fan of e-commerce.

Some of them are making 6 & 7-figure salaries from it. That’s not silly. It’s business.

If we can cultivate our own lives, and are willing participants in the experiences ~ there’s no harm in it.

Does it create a desire for young people who have a body insecurity to wish they looked like that? Probably ~ but I HOPE that this is just a small slice in the body image crisis that we have going on.

As for all of these other issues. We can all write volumes analyzing it. I’ve chosen to just ~ let it go and not making thinking about this part of it.

Writers ~ don’t just watch the show. Watch how people watch the show.

Watch how people respond to the people who watch the show.

We are all so darn critical of other people’s choices or the way they live their lives.

Photo: @K.ArenHenryMiller

This is a thing I work hard in never doing. Humans all have preferences. We don’t have the right to be harshly critical ~ but we choose that.

We can choose to keep our opinions to ourselves. Most of all ~ if we don’t like something ~ create a thing that we DO like.

Whatever we’re into ~ it’s ours to own. Nobody else’s. Inflict no harm ~ do no harm ~ stay in our own lane and as Byron Katie says,

“It’s not your job to like me. That’s my job”

SINCE “vulnerability” is the new catch phrase/word/guide in this reality game … I have a question.

I think there’s a thing as “manipulative, fake – vulnerability” ~ we took the concept explained in research and turned it ~ along with other psych. terms ~ into a profit margin.

Either way ~ it’s entertainment … awful, corny, sometimes sweet and for sure, not my lane to worry about ~ let it go.

MOST important ~ IMO, IF you don’t like something … DON’T watch or follow it. Either accept it or change yourself.

In peace and vulnerability,

(c) @happinessnoir @Inkhoneypub @K.ArenHenryMiller

henryhealing.com

Women are writing

Kindness is being criticized in the media (saw a cartoon in the NYTimes)

Found on Pinterest ~ no original artist tagged. Rumi quote noted.

I am acutely consciously aware of how the past 7 years have radically changed my life. I died several times over. Nobody came to save me. I saved myself. I gave up everything that was holding me to a place, to people, to experiences that caused me so much pain, I thought I was in hell.

Pain is a funny playmate. It makes you question everything. You negotiate with your soul contracts. You become a peace seeking warrior. Or, you give up. Others did their best to try to make me give up. They gave it their best shot. It didn’t work.

It made me grow stronger. Shit, I didn’t want this level of resilience. Nobody deserves it. I know it was and is, much, much worse for many millions of people around the globe. I’m also acutely consciously aware of the power of energy healing. Of my purpose. Of the meaning of life. Of the power of love.

I didn’t just research or write about pain. I fucking lived it. I survived it.

I don’t need to pretty up my words to talk about it. If my words offend you, then there are plenty of women glowing up with the flowery language all over the place. Go find their dropped petals. They are the ones with the millions of followers.

I’m over here being raw in my truth. For better or worse. Committed to helping others who are only now on the beginning of the path I was on.

That’s what we do. When we go through hell and survive. We head back in to save others just starting out.

I didn’t have helpers. I had witnesses who watched me squirm. I went through so much in such a short period of time, it traumatized the system like shock therapy.

Thank God.

Social shock therapy woke me up to reconnecting with my soul like that had been buried for too long.

I had forgotten entirely that I had a right to love myself and to be loved.

We are forgetting about the importance of love as a cure for all things.

NOBODY has the right to treat you as if you don’t deserve love, safety, peace, security, nutrition (physical and spiritual), a sense of wellness for yourself.

7th grade ~ SEVENTH grade … a baby in my eyes … “Why Am I Not Good Enough” ~

We are cruel from childhood OR, we are the targets of cruelty since childhood.

This was the same age I started my journey as a target of bullies. I was conditioned to be abused from 7th grade on ~ it’s never too late to put a stop to it. It is never too early to start rejecting the voices of tormenters and bullies.

Civility is being questioned by those who want to change what they see in the world. They have the meme version down pat, but ~ do they fully understand the nuances of what details go into that? Not sure.

I witnessed a squirrel get hit by the car coming in the other direction this morning. I’m still rattled. Death is violent and ugly in the life of the squirrel. Since I love the little woodland sentient beings, I’m pretty unhappy about it.

People are going in droves to social media to bitch and complain at each other. There are two distinct groups. Cheerleaders or angry protesters.

You can say something as simple as ~ I like that color green. It flatters you.

Photo by jasmin chew on Pexels.com

IF you are famous, or have many followers, hundreds of people will flock to your green picture to tell you how amazing you are. Even if they have no idea if you are amazing or not ~ they will be your loyal knights in green armor. Not only will they praise and adore you for your choice of green, they will defend your right to wear it with death threats against anyone who dares to say, “it’s okay, but you look better in blue”.

What? How DARE someone tell very perceptually famous beauty that she looks better in blue.

Then, the gloves come off.

Ridicule, death threats, violent words, emotional bullying, insulting your family, mocking you, visiting your page to dig as deep as they can to tell you specifically how to fuck off ~ violence against humanity. In real time.

All on a flipping Facebook post? WTF people?

We all know that this spattering of hate filled rants happen 24×7 now.

I know that a great deal of this is done on purpose.

Rationally, and with a bit of exposure ~ this cyber bullying awful is the only way some people feel power. They are bored, or sad, or maybe vastly misunderstood in their real lives, so they intentionally follow things or strangers that they hate.

Wait, … what?

What is going on in the psyche of someone who is following someone they hate. Obsession? Internal mental health issues? A compulsive need to hurt others, but don’t want to get in trouble by doing so with people they know?

Mental illness?

Social illness for sure!

A broken system that’s rigged to guarantee to push your negative response button is the real reason.

What was once a social way to interact has become another way for abusers to find people to abuse. I’ve heard rational, otherwise, pretty normal people talk about how funny it is.

They actually think it’s entertaining and funny to verbally abuse strangers on social media. They stalk people they feel entitled to. They decide that someone has no right to a life of being online, so they make it their mission to disrupt that person’s life as much as possible.

The abuser creates false names, false accounts and fake personalities just to go stalk someone they don’t like.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Is this legal? No. Do people get away with it? Yes. Why? Because we don’t have enough law enforcement in the cyber security business.

When I was cyber bullied (terrorized), I was told the the closest lawyer who specialized in it was in NYC ~ hours away from where I was.

Women are joining forces to put a stop to the emotional and psychological pain that this is causing their lives.

Of course, BTW, this also happens to males and other gender identity folks, but I work with women and speak from a lens of holistic healing with a female (including trans female) lens so ~ that is my POV. For now.

Writing about women who survive trauma has given me a new perspective on an age old issue.

Why can’t people just leave women the fuck alone?

How is it that females in our world continue to get targeted (10 times more than men)?

Women who speak up and out, are quickly also followed by others (including other women) who try to shut them down.

There are several principles in the organizations I belong to.

“Do No Harm” is my favorite.

The thing is ~ there are too many people both online and offline who are just running free range without a lot of direction.

Civility matters.

Who are you? The you before they told you who you are? Photo found on Pinterest @HenryHealingPOV

Organized chaos is okay if it’s going to help change a paradigm, but not if it’s going to hurt people.

Have opinions, and shake up the parts of your life you don’t like but good gawd, if you don’t like someone else’s opinion ~ just … scroll.

If someone is out there hurting other people (like sex offenders and narcissistic sociopaths) ~ and you want to start a campaign … be you booboo, but have some concrete evidence before shredding someone over something you heard.

After falling down the rabbit hole of Tik Tok for the past couple of weeks ~ I decided to shift my social media focus. It was not because Tik Tok offered anything else beyond Twitter or Linkedin.

It was me. I realized that social media is changing rapidly, at the same time that I’m ready to take my career to a new place. Linkedin and Twitter have been dead weight for me.

I’m not trying to win a popularity contest.

I want simple

I embody the move toward the simple life.

I have a quest and vision that insist that I shift into my “something more”

ONE of those things is ~ stop doing stuff that other people tell me I have to do to be accepted by what they believe is right.

Starting doing only the things I find joy in or I know will help the world around me a better place. Not for them ~ for me.

When we focus on making our own lives the best they can be ~ that’s how we collectively make the world at large a better place.

Instead of throwing ourselves into following those we can’t stand or don’t like ~ our overall balanced health will come from following and embracing things/people/places we love.

Women. Write. Record your life. Becoming the author of your own story. Ignore every single person who tells you that you have no right to tell your story.

You do.

In peace and happy writing.

Want to participate in the NaNoWriMo with me? I’m signing up to do it again this year. I’ll share the links next time.

(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller

henryhealing.com

Opened Too Many Tabs

When you run a business flying solo ~ you are everything ~ right now, I have three tabs open ~ I’m trouble shooting a tech issue AND gaining a proper headache trying to follow the tech support folks who are trying to help me navigate.

Photo: Edgar ~ @K.ArenHenryMiller

Add in my daily java ~ now my brain is upside down, pretty close to shutting it all down w/a serious Do-Over of the entire day.

Did I say I woke up with a low grade fever?

Edgar, one of my foster kits ~ had a viral brain injury at 3-4 weeks. He walked around in circles while recovering against all odds. For whatever reason, his eyes went in two directions, but his disposition remained true to his nature.

The sweetest little bumble cat you’d ever meet.

Whenever I feel overwhelmed ~ like today ~ while trying to wear all my hats at the same time ~ which we all know does not work ~ I think of Edgar.

His simple, sweet, slow ~ one tab at a time way of doing things.

My lists? Have you ever seen a “B” brain (creative tendency) brain list of “to-do”?

It looks more like a bee hive and less like a graduate of Warton’s MBA program. No, I’m no MBA, but honestly? It wouldn’t kill me to pursue a few business classes these days.

I did force myself to organize, but finally, after all these years, have made peace with the fact that my desk will never be Pinterest worthy. It will always look more like Einsteins’ desk ~ or Piagets … have you seen pics of those?

Therapy in a Nutshell

Organized chaos ~ stacks of papers ~ Kondo would shutter at the thought, but it works. I know where everything is. Sort of. In the general direction of which pile to look through.

I won’t get into the science of how the brain works and I know there will be disputes about the “A/B” types along with ~ well, shite, everything.

FYI ~ 3 hours w/tech support ~ today. Yesterday, it was 2 hours. They can’t resolve my issue. I’ve now spoken to 4 people who keep bouncing me from one department to another.

Apple is making me cry. The customer service ladies are very sweet. It’s the system.

Verizon makes me cry too ~ they aren’t always so lovely.

Don’t even get me started with Spectrum.

Geico? Great customer service every time.

Wells Fargo … whom I will NEVER work with ~ are an actual nightmare who trained their customer service people to bully, torment and harass people … scary shit those fellas.

From grocery stores to large box stores to the mom and pop shops around the world …

Photo by Alexander Isreb on Pexels.com

We are all struggling. We all need some compassion. We all need some support.

Sometimes, I just want to be a secret shopper ~ consumer reporter ~ Yelper.

Come on though … a Yelp reviewer named karen?

Um…. not a good idea.

That’s a WHOLE other blog.

I wish the world were more like Edgar.

One tab at a time | Simplicity is best | Stay humble, my bumbles | Stress?

That’s a different subject entirely.

So ~ THANKS Apple …. ’cause the experience has triggered my anxiety ~ which has at this point …. left me DONE for the day. It’s 11 am.

Serendipity ~ I am a solo practitioner ~ I am a solo parent ~ I can’t afford to shut down. Solo entrepreneurs don’t have that luxury so? I’ll take a quick break, pull up the bootstraps and get back in there with my next task.

Mindfully. Actively rewiring my brain to regulate my emotions.

I think about all the other people out there with high functioning anxiety or PTSD or solo practitioners working from home but …. it has given me a take away.

These poor technicians who have to deal with answering our questions while their GIANT companies create impossible scenarios that can’t be sorted out ….

It’s not the very lovely ladies on the phone who tried to help me.

It’s the GIANT corporations that crush us, the goldfish in their ocean of small print loopholes that are fucking with all of us.

No. Giant companies like Apple ~ they aren’t the ocean. They are the plastic in the ocean.

I just hung up. I had to. I was loyal to Apple for their ‘simplify’ philosophy that turned into a giant plastic lake choking the shit out of my goldfish problems.

I’m shutting down all tabs now. I need to go outside and ground ~ I’ll still be fuming mad that I gave up 5 hours of my life and thousands of dollars to entrust a business to deliver the way they promise to deliver.

Solo entrepreneurs are silenced by big corporations. Mom and Pop shops are drowning in the Walmarts of the world, and yet, offer so much more than money can buy.

Can you tell I have a pet peeve with huge companies and huge name people who simply do NOT care who they hurt as long as the bottom line continues to be profitable for them?

I do.

The good news? I didn’t totally lose it. I didn’t yell, or scream and I remembered my manners and I apologized for getting upset even though THEY (the company). once upon a time, my brain was a fried. I snapped like a piece of rubber that spent too much time, floating on one of those floating garbage islands. Stress and live events did that.

I imagine at some point, my brain looked a lot like sweet Edgars.

Edgar the Wonder Cat

I rewired my brain by meditation ~ mindfulness ~ actively staying consciously aware of myself IN stressful situations. Trust me, having a phone conversation w/tech person x 5 …. that is a VERY stressful situation for me. A non-tech savvy person. Especially when they lose patience ’cause I can’t keep up with their tech lingo.

Today ~ I’m closing my tabs. I’m going to go work on all the stuff that doesn’t stress me out to reset the stress hormones that are currently pelting me with the “it didn’t work ~ it’s not going to work” signals my cortisol starting shooting at me.

  • Cuddle a cat ~ they purr, our brain calms down.
  • Paint, read or write ~ the act of creating makes our brains feel happier, we calm down.
  • Drink crisp, clean water (hopefully, it will be available to you, I don’t assume it is in every country). The refreshment helps our bodies to be hydrated, which in turn, helps our brains to cool off.
  • Shower ~OR … go outside (hopefully, you have some greens and/or natural dirt, not city dirt). If you live in a Pinterest worthy home, go shower outside.

  • Getting back to nature … yep. Helps the brain. Plus, you can scream “F********CCCCCKKKKKK” as loud as you want outside … sort of. Getting out the frustration ~ helps the brain to deregulate back to “try, try, again”.

In peace and mental health,

(c) @happinessnoir @Inkhoneypub @K.ArenHenryMiller

henryhealing.com

Boundaries ~ Thriving ~ Defining

This blog is my glass house. I’m sharing what I’ve acquired along the way on my journey through this life span but I have boundaries. We all need boundaries.

Photo: @K.ArenHenryMiller

For me ~ it’s personal but it’s also a professional lens on how I got to a writing life as a full time career.

**The work I do with clients is way, way, out back in the metaphorical privacy shed. I work with survivors of trauma and people who are healing from things that are nobody’s business. Because of that, I am careful never to share stories from others**

FYI ~ When survivors tell their story ~ victims feel safer to heal from trauma.

Generalness or my own stories, Brene Brown style ~ in the rumble or from the vulnerable places of healing and growth.

I am a recovering people pleasing mark (Sucker? Target? Polyanna? Survivor) … as are many women who have survived domestic violence and PTSD. That means, hard pass on a lot more than most.

It’s a brilliant idea for everyone to just be honest about their lives. With that said, every rose has its thorns. Beligerent bullies targeting the online vulnerable is a thorn.

In my house, (here), I get to decide which comment passes through and which one doesn’t.

If someone comes here to be a jackass, they can leave ~

Brene Brown meme from HealingBrave.com

In my house, I’ll clean up my language to suit my narrative, not because someone else twitches when they read or hear the words. In truth? If they can be shitty humans in person, but flinch at reading the word ‘duck’ (my autocorrect yells at me more than my mother ever did) ~ then I would suggest they go back to self-evaluation class.

Clearly, my blog is not for them. I won’t be controlled by someone else’s idea of what the world looks like. The good news is, there are plenty others for them to go comment on.

I’m thriving. That was not always the case. This damn world and all the emotional vampires, toxic people, and jack wagon jerks under the sun saw the neon sign on my back that read, “kick me” ~

Shite, I was the target of bullies from the time I was a little kid. All through adulthood, I tried hard to fit in with the norm-narrative. From partners, friends and even husbands [I’ve had 2, 12 years apart, I’ve been cured] who decided it was okay to treat me like I was a second class citizen.

Why does that happen? Usually, the story is unique. Most likely, it’s because I was forced into an obedience box as a child, while having a personality that wanted to stand out. Conflicts in nature vs nurture are some classic personality developers.

This is citizen rising time. as SOON as Gloria Steinem wrote,

Wild Woman Sisterhood

“One day, an army of gray haired women may take over the world” ~ the world clapped back out of nervousness.

They started shoving us back down ~ calling us Karens ~ demeaning and diminishing our value ~ demanding that we, the middle aged women of the world continue to torture ourselves with how we look, or who we align with, or where we fit in. Many of us caved in the meet-cute of that great success desire.

Some traded in our right to relax for the need to be accepted.

Hey ~ whatever works for you as long as you’re not truly awful to other women who are taking on the rebellion.

Nobody deserves to be bullied. Nobody deserves to be treated like fodder for the entertainment of others. Nobody deserves to be manipulated ’cause they repeated a pattern of aligning with the same personalities as their upbringing.

When we recognize the patterns ~ we can choose to stay miserable OR

We can choose to rise above.

Defining our boundaries takes some getting used to.

Girl ~ put up those boundaries and define your life.

YOU get to decide how you will live in this world. Nobody else.

After 39 years of adulthood, I have made some whopper size mistakes while trusting people who were not trustworthy. I have struggled and crumbled from time to time. More than most. Not as much as others. The people I said, “I love you” to, turned out to be the most hateful, backstabbing, disloyal people I ever met.

Do you know how many women have privately PM’d me to share their story or tell me that they too, put up with things they never asked for or deserved?

Many.

How many knives in the back can one woman take?

There’s a march today, happening downtown , in support of human trafficking victims. Let’s go ask them. Talk about resilient. The thing is, we are always teaching/telling people to be resilient.

What I’d love to see in this field of psychology is ~ instead of telling people to “be resilient” ~ how about we tell other people not to shite all over someone’s life ’cause we, the tired don’t want to be resilient. We want to be left the f’ alone to live our own truth. Our own happiness.

I WISH I was Polyanna ~ at the beginning of the positive psych. explosion ~ we were criticizing Polyanna ~ the ultimate optimist. Why? What’s wrong with being optimistic and happy all the time? Besides it’s not reasonable or practical.

How did we go from grounded in realism to being the poster child for a billion dollar happiness industry?

I know clearly what blessings to count, while also knowing that forgiveness is only optional for others.

We don’t know what motivates people to be the way they are. Or to think the way they do.

We only know how we want to live and if we are lucky, get to live our lives without interference from anyone else.

Photo: @K.ArenHenryMiller

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Some of us are survivors of various life events that change how we live our lives.

Put up your boundaries | Define your terms | ReWrite your life as often as you want to |

YOU decide who you will partner up with or love | Love yourself first | Let go of ego from time to time | Stay curious | Thrive all you want, but only if you want to. Other times, see what you can do to help others to feel that level of success | Allow no other to pass over your threshold unless that is what you choose.

In peace and writing your own life’s story,

(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller

henryhealing.com

Words are never about the words

We don’t cuss or use words to “shock” someone.

Danielle Kopek

We use words to describe our lens on the world.

When I started this blog (on September 25th to be exact) ~ I kvetched about yet another white, male faculty member who let’s his cuss words fly at will who was being gross with his students.

Honestly though …. after almost three decades of hearing about, witnessing and experiencing white male faculty members using their power over female students or less influential members of the campus community ~ I have had enough.

If the elderkin women in academia aren’t going to speak up for our younger women ~ who will?

A whole bunch of people in my field were all, “How rude!” BUT …. these same people continue to support the guy who was talking about his explicit sexual appetites WITH his students who needed his approval for their degree conferment.

That’s f*cked up.

That’s social justice flipped on it’s head.

I grew up around, then survived the boy’s club for WAY too long to stay quiet, and I was never demur.

I’m sharing two of my favorite women doing the work in helping other women to find their voice. Clearly, the field I was in will continue to find words, written by a woman without Oprah money or Michelle power to be offensive. At the same time, they continue to celebrate a man who gets away with penis talk in the hot tub.

I need a page to share the mass media that I think will help others, or that I found to be useful in the darker side of healing from happiness.

Which is traumatizing a LOT of people.

Using cuss words in our language means that we are comfortable enough in our own skin to not think twice about changing who we are to suit the comfort zone of others.

And …

It’s declaring that if you make room for a guy to say whatever the f*ck he wants but you shut a female down for saying the exact same thing … you are part of the problem, not the solution.

PLEASE go stand in front of a powerful female executive and tell her that her words are not appropriate.

I’ll wait here. Let me know how it goes.

Words. Words. Words. Words. Words.

I’m listening ~ but I’m also not changing to fit someone else’s comfort level. Are you?

I’m a fan ~

K~ @InkHoneyPub

Shameless + Positive Psychology? What would Frank Gallagher say?

My father’s father. He was Frank Gallagher, just not as charming and not as nice. Pop was a raging mean-as-spit alcoholic. God only knows how his children survived.

They were one in the same though. Frank, I think, was the better man. Frank knew how to love. Pop? Not so much.

Shameless on Showtime and Netflix

If you haven’t seen Shameless though, (Netflix. Go Google it if you’re curious enough, otherwise, you will not get the comparison).

Short answer, he, along with my father would say (and did say) that psychology was a bunch of horse shit. They would laugh at everything I’ve been teaching for the past 15 years (and did). They were also poster children for traumatized abusive people who did whatever they needed or wanted to survive.

Honestly, most of the people in the gentrified field I’ve been in … well, they are too delicate to handle some of the grittier truths about what it is to be raised by people like that. They put blinders on so not have to think about it.

“Think happy thoughts, and you can change your brain to think happier thoughts”.

Sort of and for a while. It’s partly true and for some demographics but … not for all and not for ever.

Consciousness Addiction?

“Psychology is for crazy people”, my dear old dad would say.

Right before saying or doing something morally incomprehensible.

His father? Worse. So much worse. Want to talk about grit? Ask any female raised by the king of misogyny and hate of all others who aren’t white males.

It’s a shameless story. Not Chicago, but close enough. More like Shameless on steroids.

It’s a surreal thing to hear the fiscally privileged talk about poverty in America today based on the statistics and stories they heard while volunteering at the soup kitchen the gentrified put together.

It’s another thing to live it. To come from that gritty survival skill building life.

Then, to put one’s self into a gentrified place in society, where people wouldn’t even comprehend hardship if came along and stole their car. (Gallagher stuff).

When I talk shop with people from the Ivy’s ~ I want to hear from those who get where I came from. My white skin, blue eyes and bottle blond hair didn’t help me escape out of the poverty trauma-bond ~ my need to survive did.

I’m acutely aware of when I was treated with privilege and when I was treated with shame and blame. I literally had to “un-friend” a woman who was so entitled, she was actually Clueless to how out of touch her world was with my world. Plus, she was insulted when I pointed that out. Ten years watching someone become a totally different version of herself because of her fortunate connections … flushed.

I WISH I had some great Fiona speech ready to clap back ~ but nope. I just hit unfriend. NOT as satisfying.

Yeah ~ I’m going there ~ poverty is the great equalizer, but survival means, we are not scared to talk about any of life experiences.

Sometimes, the art of living is more like what my gentrified friends only understand from the movies.

My theory is ~ if you haven’t experienced it, shut up and read. Learn. Grow. Or go live it for a year at the least. Then, come back and tell me what you learned. I know … that’s pretty hard core Gallagher of me.

I’ve heard some of the now famous researchers talk about poverty as if they lived in. In truth? They were raised in wealth and privilege, but had the audacity to go into third world countries to “interview” the abject poor to see if they could find happy people. People who were happy in spite of their poverty.

They had good intensions. They wanted to focus on the happiest people on earth. Instead, they featured a brown asian man who was happy, in spite of his grueling life.

Um? …

Did they think twice about how THAT human perceived them? Talk about taking advantage of the culture of the disadvantaged.

It never occurred to them to spend some of the millions in speaking engagement money to get that person OUT of poverty, but then, they got their movie.

I’m embarrassed that I used to hold that film in such high regard. I was a very misguided white lady, trying to fit into a world where I didn’t belong.

Always a big mistake. This desire to fit in with a professional identity, even if it didn’t align with your own values.

After rewatching it years later, now I think it screams, “Hey look at me and my money interviewing this poor brown asian man and his lack of it.”

Putting an actual movie on their resume, so they could head home and talk about that time they visited poor people. Wealthy other white-collared, upper- class gentlemen and ladies LOVED the bravery it took to go visit poor people. Damn it! I was one of them ~ for a while.

It’s so very Regency Era UK.

The people in my field are white washed ~ wealthy ~ beige wearing gentlefolk.

I forgot to pay attention to that for a long time.

When we know better ~ we do better. I put my money where my mouth was.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

NOBODY is allowed to talk about it. NOBODY is welcome IF we do talk about it.

That was the clear message I received when I started questioning them.

Shush up. Stop talking. Do not question us. Or else.

(sound familiar? It sure as shit did to me. I grew up with that tone).

I’m sure they care about the concept of poverty.

But, it makes them uncomfortable. Some of them may actually want to “fix” it somehow. But they’d never go live there. They don’t dare live there. A few do. Not enough.

In truth?

When I wanted to talk openly about poverty ~ they did not. When I wanted to figure out how to serve underserved populations ~ they weren’t interested. When I wanted to question the validity of some of the programs ~ I wasn’t wearing the “right suit”/image of someone they’d be interested in.

Karen, “Positive Psychology Practitioner since 2007”

Sure I could have made myself look like them, sound like them, and act like them. Shit, I even took the head shot ~ but that’s not me.

In my heart ~ I’m a survivor of CPTSD

I don’t smile nearly enough, and I certainly don’t float around on a rainbow unicorn pink bubble cloud of joyful wonderland candy.

…. my bullshit meter is on all the time.

Me ~ working. That’s all the smile I give. Unapologetic for my wrinkles, crows feet, imperfections and lack of trying to be lady like. I’m delighted to talk about my age, and it’s none of your fecking business how much I weigh. This is researcher/writer karen …

And of course, though males in the industry are welcome to cuss like a trucker, the females are more … gentle mouthed.

I leaned back toward what I know. The clients I had in a not-for-profit agency for the financially less fortunate who were survivor heroes … they reminded me of where I came from.

Parents spanking? No. I’m talking about watching him slam my bro’s head against a wall when the kid was 10, or the time he punched him in the face when he was only 12 years old.

I was afraid of my grandfather. I was afraid of my father. I grew up watching my father beat the shit out of my oldest brother on multiple occasions.

Then one day, my father was afraid of me. I was going to call him out on his abuse, but he retaliated by slandering me … just in case. SO very Frank Gallagher of him. So very Fiona of me.

Grit? Giirrrlllll …. we define grit differently. Both have their place. Again, Gallagher life.

From a very early age, it made my stomach hurt to have to visit their family. I loved my grandmother, but she had so many children and grandchildren to pay attention to, I was lost in the crowd.

Thank God I looked like a boy. It saved me from even worse fate. Another page for another story with that one.

I also wasn’t raised in poverty. Middle class? … yes. Not like my dad was raised. My mother made sure of that. Daddy dearest hustled the best he knew how, but my mom was a nurse who kicked ass at making life better for all of us.

Melodious Hearts

To this day ~ I avoid Thanksgiving like it’s the plague. That was the holiday we were forced to hang out at my paternal grandparents house … something awful must’ve happened … I hate thanksgiving.

I’m not psychoanalyzing it more than that.

The doomed Irish Catholic-poor in America ~ a family that never fully pulled themselves out of the trauma bond to their social status.

They survived. That was the goal. That was the end point.

Trauma?

That’s what happens. Generational, systemic trauma. We don’t talk about it.

If anything awful ever happened, the unsaid rule was, don’t talk about it or else.

The ‘else’ was to be ridiculed, disrespected, devalued, belittled, and even laughed at or shunned entirely.

Nobody wants their family tragedy spoken of.

I have forty or so cousins I’ve only met once or twice. They are not like me at all. Polar opposites in fact. And yet, I know where they came from. I know what they survived. I wish them all well in spite of whatever the hell that was.

When someone lives through a traumatic event, they don’t talk about it with just anyone. When they live through a lifetime of it, they don’t talk about it.

It takes a great deal of strength to survive a hard life. If you think that only one “group” of people suffer more than others, you’ve never experienced the great equalizer.

That’s the Gallagher way (the family from Shameless if you’re still not sure what I’m talking about).

Get out of your demographic stats and move into an impoverished life. It’s brutal.

I’ve lived in both ~ advantage and disadvantage.

Perhaps that’s where I had an advantage to speak on what it is to be poor vs. financially comfortable.

Trust me ~ or don’t, I don’t care.

Being poor sucks. You get by, but it’s not thriving. The nuances of poverty include having to do battle with social constructs; a more organically raw way of life, and not in a chia seed on avacado toast organic. I’m talking about how other people treat you when they think you are worth nothing.

Shameless shows one side of poverty. They show what could happen. But it’s not the truth of it. Not all of it.

Sure, survival is part of it. Ethics are more challenged.

Education seems a long lost idea of entitlement. The people are more vulnerable to having community systems putting pressure on them.

Poor kids are encouraged to only focus on community colleges or joining the military ~ learning a trade.

Why?

I was furious to watch how little their dignity or rights were respected by an agency I worked for, simply because they were already victims of circumstance.

Abused women, elders, and children were also told that in order to get help, they would have to leave their dignity at the door, so they could be constantly reminded of their value to society.

Talk about wanting to throat punch a system ~ Debbie Gallagher style.

We are wrong to assume that any of our ‘positive psychology’ grit, resilience or character strengths would work on the individuals in poverty, but then, nobody dares to talk about that out loud. I tried. I was gaslit and ghosted. By both sides of that argument.

Well, the Finance Twins do ~ and they prove that it is possible. That sometimes, the Ivy’s get it. I love when people pull themselves out of a situation, then write about it for the rest of the world to learn from.

There IS hope.
We live in a class war here in our country.

Bee

I’m hard on the cream of the crop of education …. but honestly, I want to have that same dialog in a language that everyone can understand.

The more I wrote out the pros and cons of staying or leaving for a new professional endeavor at midlife ~ the further I clarified the importance of inclusion.

Every single time I read about a new or well researched concept, I looked at the stats of the population studied. How old were they? What was the mean income? What racial identity did they align with? Can this theory apply to ALL populations?

If it can’t help poor people out of poverty, or POC out of a racial divide … then why or why not? Fix it. Don’t get offended that you may be wrong. Just … fix it.

I’ve taken a huge step back.

One thing ~ a strength and a curse ~ that low income or poverty taught me?

I’m not afraid to speak my truth, even if it pisses other people off.

Survival of the fittest includes not being made to feel shame by those who know nothing when it comes to survival ~ people in poverty, in all their constant trauma, will know how to survive. They may end up crispy, or hard, or even ready to fight, but they are survivors.

But damn … it’s exhausting.

Sometimes, I feel like Sandra Bullock’s character in Two Weeks Notice. We all know … she wasn’t too popular with her desire to fix the system while systems in reality … aren’t very anxious to be fixed.

Two Weeks Notice

The women who came to me for mental health counseling because of domestic violence or the stress of making ends meet for their children have more integrity, grit, resilience, and courage than anyone in the high end 6 & 7-figure salary speaking circuit. I knew a few of them.

When I became a life coach, I was listening to instructor after instructor tell me that I should focus on the high paying customers/clients. That the poor people could have a “charity” day (I’m paraphrasing to meet the tone of the Shameless community.

When I said I wanted to find a grant to pay for services, they told me it would be a mistake because people at all levels of income wouldn’t respect receiving services from a life coach if they didn’t have to pay for it.

The mental health counseling world told me the same thing.

Bullshit.

Statistics do prove that people want to feel included in the wealthier life style so would in fact, pay more than they could afford for some life coaching, if they thought it was useful.

Shite.

That part is true.

Groups popped up ~ self help books popped up ~ YouTube celebrity motivational speakers popped up ~ Bam! New gig economy.

So ~ here I am, with all these conflicted feelings, much like Fiona Gallagher who tried but failed to change a paradigm. Then one day said,

“Enough”

To set out on her own path, away from everything that dragged her down.

If you don’t know Shameless, you’ll miss a lot of the point of this.

Wait, what is the point of this?

Photo by Masha Raymers on Pexels.com

Every slice of life in our one single country is a world away from the other side of town. Look at Harvard ~ go there, no matter how smart or connected you are, it’s a golden ticket. Head over to the other side of the tracks in Cambridge, the streets of hard knocks are going to educate you.

Come on ~ Good Will Hunting. Gilmore Girls. … it’s a long list.

Simple google search ~ there are hundreds of wealth discrepancy movies.

Plug in any city with an Ivy League school (or one of those audacious pretend Ivy League private colleges ~ I’ve attended them ~ I’ve worked in them, I speak from experience) ~ and don’t get me wrong ~

I love higher education. I love books. I love learning. I also love social justice and equity.

Photo by Kelly Lacy on Pexels.com

I love higher education and the concept of pulling our intellectual side out of the poverty mindset so much, I’m critical of it’s imperfections. Of its flaws.

Imagine the potential if Lip Gallagher had been able to attend one of them or if Ian was given a full ride, instead of left hanging at the end of season 11 for fates unknown?

Damn it higher ed ~ stop giving all your money to the cream of the crop and start sharing that wealth with those kids in poverty with brilliant minds.

Brilliant minds, stoned with nutrition-less foods that deter their ability to think from a sugar detoxed brain.

My grandma was forced to use a food bank ~ there is no shame in that. However, you … society, told her to be ashamed of her status. You shamed my grandmother. F*ck you for that. She deserved better.

Okay, okay … once again, my brain dump of ideas ran way over the attention span of most readers and half of y’all are telling me to feck off ’cause you’re offended that I criticized someone you love (MAPPSTERS) … but then,

True scholars will analyze while actively listen to the criticism. They won’t be offended. They will say, “Okay, thank you for sharing. Now, I’m going to think of ways of using what I’ve learned today”.

I could always go back to slinging diner food ~ that was actually fun. Hard work, but fun. Maybe I’ll reinvent myself and open a pie diner ~ give away my psychology knowledge w/ a slice of peach and a side of chi latte w/extra foam. 😉

See, I’m not afraid to fail. The gift that keeps on giving from living a hard knock life.

Never underestimate survivors of trauma.

In peace and education,

(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller

henryhealing.com

Gig ~ the people’s choice

Do you know that saying, “the heart wants what the heart wants” ?

What about, “if your heart’s not in it, don’t do it”?

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Then there’s the, “Run madly, truly, quickly to your passion and your dreams”.

All of those things are easy for the affluent and the well connected.

The people who side hustle and leaning in to the gig economy are younger than us or less educated than us, but somehow, are proving to be smarter than us.

Why? Because they are proving their value, their worth, by making more of us with less formal education and less need to conform to our traditional view that we learned as we were getting older.

If a kid who is 30 years old can make $150K a year by posting silly clips to Tik Tok, we are furious. We want that kid to go back to bartending. He does and will, but only on his terms. He had defined his boundaries based on the idea that WE taught him from an early age.

We literally sold him the book on how to reclaim his power, or pursue his happiness and now that he is ~ we’re kvetching about how nobody will go back to work to serve us our legal stimulants.

What’s that you say? The baristas from our local favorite coffee shop quit her job? Oh no!

You mean she doesn’t want to get hit on every day by pervvy Frank who still thinks he looks hot in his spandex bike shorts? He’s gross. He’s always been gross. When the owners of said coffee shop know a perverted old dude is STILL hitting on young women “essential workers” ~ and they do nothing about it ~ it’s their fault nobody will go back to work. NOT her.

Sorry my elite Ivy League friends who never had to work as a blue collar, paycheck to paycheck employee ~ I know you will be offended by this or you will downplay the entire idea of it, since it was most likely you or your friends doing it but … I was sexually harassed at work every DAY for a decade. I was told to shut up and get over it. By bosses. By consumers. By strangers online.

Women are speaking up & it’s freaking out the world

The gymnasts who changed the conversation about sexual abuse at work.

She’s following our lead. She developed Grit and Resilience. She put up her boundaries. Not being psychologically tortured by rude, gross customers because she now knows she deserves better ~ is the boldest empowerment move to date.

I’m for it. I’m a big fan of pursuing your dreams, following your heart and listening to your intuitive soul work.

BBC News Harassment Survey

My issue with it is, don’t you think all those people who work at fast food places, who are exhausted, abused daily by customers and middle managers alike, also have a calling, and a passion to follow their dreams?

Sure they do.

The people who work in restaurants aren’t there because they are not capable of achieving their goals. They are there to survive life. Honestly, working in restaurants can be a lot of fun. It can be a dream job if you like to socialize, have the brain for amazing memory and quick decision making and can tolerate rudeness while being scrambled into a frenzy every day (night).

I did it for a long time while first, supporting my child and then, supporting a child + a master’s program.

People in that master’s program who were turning me into a community psychologist, someone who worked with community based social change, also told me that if I continued to work IN the community as a laborer, I wouldn’t get any respect from the hiring people in charge of community programs.

Tell me how that makes sense, ’cause 22 years later, it still doesn’t make sense to me.

Do you know who is the best observer of the conditions of any community you walk into?

Do you know who the best person to ask how it’s going with community programs? Are they working?

The people who live paycheck to paycheck. The people who work two jobs just to survive. The people who need to experience using government programs like food stamps or heating help, because the world is too expensive for them.

Not the middle managers who sit around judging those people. I’m not saying all middle managers abuse their power, but I have seen more than my fair share of it.

When you study social justice, but go through a hard patch, you also receive a hard core life lesson in humility that you don’t necessarily want to have to experience. There is no choice.

Today, people were forced to open side hustles and side gigs. We live in a gig economy with ride share and delivery services. I’ve seen countless parents, with kid in tow, doing the grocery shopping for other people. Does it pay?

If you have 10 of those side hustles, then yeah.

People have flocked to YouTube to teach other people how to side gig.

Why would anyone go back to working for a boss who grabs their ~ lack of power ~ while listening to one abusive jerk customer after another?

I know it’s making you nervous to not have a favorite service at your ready, but did you defend them, while the man behind you in line was screaming at not getting their McMuffin fast enough or that time the lady in front of you, coughing all over your kid was screaming at the barista for not adding enough foam?

Guess what?

The barista now has 200K followers on Tik Tok, giving advice in how to make foam leaves in your coffee and that former cashier is now making 20 runs a day, on her own time, around her child’s schedule, as her own boss.

The gig work force is celebrating their dream of defining who they are, how they are treated, and what their terms are.

Even if the elite are kvetching ~ stay true to your dreams.

Even if we have to bag our own groceries or make our own General Tsao’s chicken … keep going with that brilliant financial advice on YouTube.

Even if we have to do our own laundry, or wash our own cars, and make our own evening out ~ ’cause if we are nasty mean to wait staff ~ we should be banned from our local restaurants ~

Keeping going ~ create your gig work and celebrate the struggle.

Be part of the solution people, not the problem.

Each and every one of us has had to endure the 19 months of being forced to pitch in ~ the solution slid into home plate sideways and upside down.

Photo by Loc Dang on Pexels.com

I was hoping we’d all come out of it nicer to each other. That didn’t happen.

Well, it did in some sections. Some people have gone out of their way to be nice to others. Some people have taken advantage of the disadvantages to rise even higher in their cash cow profiteering.

Don’t be afraid to see both the good and the bad in the world. Blinders on is NOT the happiest of solution, but it sure is the one many of our more privileged populations are taking.

I’m outta here. Taking advantage of the quiet hour and doing what I love.

I know I am blessed with this new life. I will never forget what I went through to get here.

I can’t, even if I wanted to. PTSD healing is a very long journey we don’t just ‘forget’ or ‘forgive’. That’s a whole other blog.

Do me a favor?

When you are out there today, buying your coffee or picking up your groceries ~ doing whatever it is you do with a Saturday ~

Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com

Try to imagine the life each and every person you meet has outside of that tiny slice of their lives you walked in on.

Imagine yourself, as I have been, a social justice community researcher. Observe their smile. Look people in the eye. Ask them if they are doing well. Thank them for helping you.

Saying please and thank you are vastly underrated as a powerful healer. Look that person who just provided your service, in the eye, then say, “Thank you” with the sincerity of your lifetime.

You’ll see.

Go on now. Get to it.

I’m heading back to my write life.

In peace and awakened potential,

(c) @happinessnoir @inkhoneypub @K.ArenHenryMiller

henryhealing.com

Is “happy” a magic word?

**This is an excerpt from my book, TBA … I will brag about it soon enough**

I studied happiness (subjective well-being) in a doctoral dissertation for a HOT minute … [years]. I also taught it for longer than that. Scientifically speaking. I also used it as a construct in delivering services in both my coaching practice, and my mental health counseling practice for years.

The one thing I know it is not. A magical word.

Yet…

People are drawn to it like some elixir out of the fountain of youth. It’s not this wand waving Wiccan princess gifting soul changer. I sort of wish it were.

“I give you the gift of eternal happiness, and you shall be free of all burden”

Though, honestly, that would be pretty cool.

Until a troll came along and snatched the person’s payment that they moved mountains for, ’cause we all know there is always a payment or a toll to pay for the quest.

Also, a fun concept for those who write mystical creature fantasy paranormal stuff.

Happiness is not a golden ticket or anything we need a book for or have to pay thousands of dollars to to see the Wizard behind the curtain (of celebrity).

Trust me, I have ALL the books, and the gold ticket (aka, a student loan debt that should have made me a medical doctor) and I’ve met the Wizard. In person. That green curtain, when examined closely, looks a lot like the highway systems in Pennsylvania. Have you ever driven though Pennsylvania where their slogan is,

“Pursue your happiness”

Pursue personal awareness ~ Pursue self-truth ~ Pursue being a good citizen.

Happiness is a billion dollar industry, centered right in Pennsylvania. It’s ivy all the way. Of course, the state paid tribute to the biggest cash cow of the 21st century. I mean, it’s a fair reality.

The thing is ~ psychology has been around for hundreds of years but it’s predeccesor for thousands and the ancient Chinese wisdom/philosophy for thousands more than that. The Greeks included discussion on it too.

Entire populations of people (female, other cultures, anyone who had no financial value) were left OUT of those conversations and to this very day … still are.

Happiness will happen all by itself | When you’re ready to receive it. | All by yourself.

Nope. It’s not a magic bean that you grow or a pill that you swallow.

Here’s what it is ~ ready ~ I’m going to share this BIG billion dollar industry right now. Here. For free.

Know why they tell you that you have to charge people for the big Aha moments?

They are under the impression that psychologically, you won’t value the information. They’ve done studies on it. They research intrinsic motivation. They, the mighty academics who, we have to remember, are just people doing a job.

People (they train us to believe, based on some substantial science to back it up) will NOT pursue their passion unless ~ they can spend money on it.

So? If this is true, YOU won’t even try to be happy unless you spend mega dollars on it.

Decision Making …. what? That’s what we need to be happy? Well, yes and no.

Their data always challenged by other social scientists ~ their data often flawed in some way. They know that everyday people have the attention span of 300 words at a clip. That people can only truly successfully memorize 7 pieces of material at one time. Which is why the base phone # system is what it is.

When we draft blog entries, we are told, no more than 300-500 words ~ anything longer and they lose focus. They (the reader) loses interest.

This is why I add in images and videos ~ to break it up. Why? ’cause our brains want the chunks.

Tell that to any and everyone whose read George R. R. Martin, or as a child, J. K. Rowling, or Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

WHY do people hang on to these great long epic tales? Because we are emotionally invested in the journey.

Some social scientists say that emotions and decision making are intrinsically connected. The serendipity is ~ not all agree with this. Then again, some are still arguing over the definition of happiness, while others (other disciplines) are simply living their lives, completely unaware of this war of words.

Dr. Brene Brown from her book, Dare To Lead

For me ~ talking about happiness is rumble language.

Happiness is … not always thinking that we have to be swimming in our dopamine. It’s not always floating on a cloud in our incandescent palace with a chalice. It’s not laugh out loud joy spilling into an easy, fun filled life, surrounded by friends.

If it were, then it leaves a whole lot of people out of the equation, now doesn’t it.

The actual researchers in happiness have never said that it’s any of those things. I don’t agree with some of their research. They haven’t proved it’s long lasting effects. They treat it like fight club.

Don’t talk about it. I’ve been ghosted for trying.

They teach us that we have an internal threshold for how much happiness we will feel in our lifetime that is part of our genetic make up. We are 40% hardwired for happiness. They say.

Our life experiences make up the other 60%. They report.

One person’s joy or contentment level looks completely different from someone else’s. This we know is true.

Let’s complicate that with other fields about thinking. Cognition is one, but so is Epistemology, then there are ways of life that also define how we think about what we’re thinking. Our new age movement is one, but it’s also being mocked by the very psychological researchers who are promoting their version of happiness.

That’s entirely puzzling to me, but … as usual, I digress.

Here’s a question for you. Do you think about being happy, then get happy? OR, are you happy, therefore, think that you are happy because you thought about it?

What comes first? Happiness or Thought.

Volumes ~ no, tombs of research have been done on this one single thing. Drives a person bonkers just thinking about it. Which btw, I also find to be very punny.

It’s no wonder that all it takes for a mom drinking wine out of a box of ice cream to become a million dollar happiness guru is to say, “so moms, are we perfect? No. Let’s drink our wine out of our ice cream to save time”.

Her audience laughs, ’cause they connect to her humor and then, poof, buy her books and t-shirts, go to her concerts ~ she turned her “I’m really screwed up, but I’m happy” mantra into a full time business.

Moral of the story? Sometimes all you need is an active ear and a really big heart for everyone. Kristina seems to possess both.

(If you watch this video ~ it’s very sad. Don’t watch it if trauma triggers you. I work with trauma survivors, so I adore KK for creating these videos). However, they are hard.

Not a single penny of student loan debt or epistemology required.

Who’s the genius?

Who is happier?

Honestly? I’m going to say, Kristina Kuzmic for the win on this one. She’s really funny. She’s gotten a little glamtastic celebrity ~ where they lose their momentum, but honestly, I imagine that sort of money, fame, and pressure would get to a gal.

There are SO many Mom-Gurus. They help each other. There is someone for everyone when it comes to support. Regardless of gender or letters after our names. You don’t HAVE to follow one that doesn’t align with your emotional tie to them.

Studying happiness?

Was it enough?

Even for those of us who do battle with a lower level of that inherent genetic happiness. OR< for those of us who do battle with PTSD, anxiety, depression or some other life experience that f*cked us up along the way.

Happiness looks, smells, feels, sounds, tastes and sits in our soul differently for each and every human on the planet.

It lives inside and costs nothing.

Imma gonna say that again.

It costs nothing.

It’s a thing we can choose, but it’s also a thing we can create. It’s really big when we go through a positive experience, but we can be happy at funerals too.

If we focus on the moments then pull a joyful memory out of it, we can remember it as a happy occasion.

We can become closer to others in a crisis, which gives us meaningful moments in that crisis. We can be completely at peace, by being alone, grieving the thing that made us crave our isolation.

Happiness is not a thing. Which is why so many people turn it into a thing we can buy.

We want evidence. We want the souvenir. We want a visual.

It’s not enough for us to just be okay without also attaching it to something as proof that we are happy.

The other side of that is a kick in the ass though. We can be really, very happy but if we don’t look a certain way, other people in the world will assume we’re not happy.

If we are heavy, or have a malformed part ~ others will take one look at us and say, “Ah, you don’t look happy, here, let me fix you to look like me and then, you too, will be happy”.

It’s bullshit. It’s lacking in diversity, cultural awareness and seriously, socioeconomic inclusion.

But it’s typical.

Shoot ~ I just counted 1217 words. Are you even reading anymore, or did you need a break and a snack. I know … these are long.

I’m brain dumping …

Sorry. Not sorry.

Somebody got paid a lot of money to create this list. ~ Think about that. I do. Every time I wake up.

Google search for “How to be happy”

Get out there today. Decide in that one moment when the panic attack is coming on in the drive thru, that you will be happy. In that moment when the jerk in the car behind you is screaming profanities at you to get out of their way, while their cigarette is clogging up your asthma-lung and the kid in the backseat just shite themselves, crying with overstimulation, while you, single mom with only enough money to get through the day are listening to an Audible on how to be happy.

Yes ~ tell the world in that moment to f*ck off. That will make you happy. If you don’t use flowers in your language, then use the words that most empower you.

I’ll be thinking of you. I know only a few dozen people read this and most are probably just judges of the universe. With that said, this time, I’d love to hear any comments on what happiness means to you. I’m curious.

If not, that’s cool. My happiness is not defined by others.

I also am fascinated with psychic and magical stuff so … I’m going to hit up the local Wiccan store to see if there is anything on happiness in there. I bet I come out with a candle or crystal. Maybe a potion. 😉 I love ’em. They make me happy.

In peace and thinking thoughts,

(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller

henryhealing.com

OH wait … My original question ….

Yes.

Happiness is a magic word.

We contrive it into existence, then embrace it like a favorite sweater on a cold December day. All cuddly and cozy.

Let’s Talk About Nate vs Ted

So I am going to write about Nate vs Ted on Ted Lasso ~ I’m obsessed.

But first … you have to go see Ted Lasso … Apple TV. They deserved all the awards.

Is this the Holiday series to replace ALL the Hallmark movies? Oh yeah … I’m going there.

Lasso is the perfect combination … but first … you’d have to have seen it for this to make sense.

Go on …. go watch it. I’ll wait here.

Ted Lasso on Apple TV

I’ll be back later … TBC …

🙂

@happinessnoir

Smart Women Curse

I love it when a super successful icon lets the expletives fly ~ and they are full on flags of freedom to say what they want to say without social pressure to curb their words or enthusiasm.

Carol Gilligan On Women in our world ~ if you haven’t read it ~ it’s a game changer.

I’m not shy to say that I’m a feminist … not a cliche’d version or an Uppity ~ offended – by – everything female. I grew up in an era of being called a chick or a broad. The 40’s powerful women in the movies owned it.

I would not have survived my childhood, or adulthood if I had had that approach to life.

No part of this girl’s life experience had the luxury of being offended by anything. I know now that this was a design of the universe.

The moment we say, “I’m offended by those words, therefore, I am not going to listen” is the moment we stop learning about the world we live in.

Disagree with the use of some words in certain settings? Sure. When kids are around, I don’t use cuss words. When delicate flowers are around, I don’t use curse words. I don’t spend a lot of time with people of a delicate nature.

I have almost drowned in the presence of hypocrites though.

That was a lot to take in.

Several academic/psychology people are offended by my use of cuss words but they are not offended by males using the exact same words ~ or those same males being vastly inappropriate with his/their students.

Hedy Lamarr

I have spoken to dozens of female academics who are also deeply offended by the ‘boys club” atmosphere, yet very few have the gumption or mental space to have to do battle with their male peers.

Strong women terrify others ~ it’s why I love meeting them. I love watching them work.

These woman who stand in their power, and own it. Priceless.

That’s NOT to be confused with female bullies and damn … there are more and more of those.

I’m not mentioning any, but we all know the celebrity status women ~ this isn’t about any one particular woman. it’s about the disproportionate number of individuals who make up rules of engagement for males/females/non-binary individuals that are not equal in status or power.

Where does the hypocrisy end? It doesn’t. One day, it will. Not yet.

Watch this clip from Andie MacDowel on The Graham Norton Show ** trigger warning … I’m offering a censor for the fragile feelings of people who lack the courage of listening to adults using cuss words**or seeing women wearing their age like a fine wine**or are uncomfortable with the Devine Billy Porter. These are usually the same people. :/

I’m never offended by language ~ I’m offended by hypocrisy though. I’m offended by people who put themselves out there as leaders, but who also turn a blind eye on offenses against our mentees and students.

I’m a gritty person. I’m totally comfortable with that. It’s how I was raised, and goes well with my nerd side that wants to know everything. My guess is, if we use gritty, gruff language around the leaders in the field of grit, there will not be a gritty word coming out of their academic mouths.

Why is that?

How is it that the women who write romance novels are 90% more comfortable talking about ‘trashy’ language ~ sex ~ the things that the academics teach about but aren’t comfortable bringing up in conversation.

We have to turn to our artists, actors, writers, story tellers, and some motivational leaders for all the words.

It’s not in what is said, but instead, how it is used.

The pen is mightier than the sword. #Truth

I’m offended by bullshit “morality clauses” that tell people one thing, while the judge/jury/executioner types act as if they are more valuable or important than anyone else.

Celebrities are professionals.

Have you ever met professionals in the writing profession? They are not afraid of words. Some of them are quite colorful. Knowing when to use them is a true art-form.

A lot like sex scenes or violence ~ too much, or unnecessary gratuitous use is going to subtract from the experience of the art.

It is not the words but the intent that offend or motivate people.

Know who else uses the morality police to clip the wings of others? Abusers.Domestic violence abusers. Master manipulators. And yes, academics who are a little too drunk on their power.

Helen Mirren

I’ve met my fair share of all of the above, so speak from both research and experience.

I write what I know.

Tangent!: Which writer first tossed out that advice? Write what we know?

I’d love to have a discussion with Stephen King or other authors of monsters.

I’d love to meet Charlaine Harris to ask her about Sookie Stackhouse. True Blood writers took that to the next level.

We are worried about cussin’ but not the violence being shown to our little eye balls, 24×7? What about the addiction to porn epidemic right now? I don’t hear a lot of them talking about that.

I do hear a lot of people boasting and bragging about how much money they are making but not a whole lot about the tangible evidence of the success of the verse they have contributed to the world.

I do hear a lot of collective protection of a field when they are questioned in their validity. That’s not how academia is supposed to work.

Nobody is attacking them, but they sure act as if they are threatened.

Know who else does that?

Narcissists when they are called out.

I’m not saying correlation, but … is there some causation?

What gives?

There are two very famous, successful writers that I love to read who both attended Harvard ~ you would never know about it, unless you really dug into their background. Humility is worn well in their professional achievements.

They stand on their words for their success.

I know another person who drops the word ‘Harvard’ into every single online clip, comment or connection. They use that as their leverage. They have also never once written an original thought. Everything in their life is given to them, paid for, or backed by other entitled puritanical elitists. They have no concept of how to relate to the people on the street. In their mind, I wonder if they even know how out-of-touch they are?

To each their own. Whatever makes you happy. But don’t push other people down because you do not understand their character or backstory. That is not the way.

In the event you are also interested in the words of women who don’t give a flip about the male lens on how we should speak, write or spend our lives ~ I highly recommend Smart B*tches, Trashy Books.

I don’t love everything they write, and sometimes, they can be hard. But then, I fully support their right to be that, if they want to.

https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com

Most of the successful academics in the romance writing genre, BTW, are also holding masters and doctoral degrees. Just sayin’ ~ smart & command of language go together.

Our words are not based on gender, stereotype, social morality clauses or the prudence police. They are based on our passions, interests, message and desire to say whatever the fork we want to, however we want to without being censored by people who themselves, have their own bag of cats to contend with.

Say what you want ~ speak as you will ~ ignore the call of the overly shrill.

🙂

(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller

henryhealing.com

p.s… read Carol Gilligan ~ you won’t be sorry.