my day-to-day reality…

Last week over coffee with friends we discussed checking our day-to-day reality against the news and social media feeds. We all agreed that our own experiences/interactions average about 97% positive out in the world.

Our lives are bombarded with constant messages designed to provoke an emotional reaction—a click to like or share, make a purchase, or a donation.

Does my experience map to what I’m told I should be feeling? What is the motivation? Who profits? Who or what is harmed by this message? Why?

I remembered the October testimony before Congress of FACEBOOK whistleblower Frances Haugen so I looked for some of her quotes. I included the C-SPAN link below.

“I’m here today because I believe Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division, and weaken our democracy.”  —FRANCES HAUGEN, FACEBOOK WHISTLEBLOWER

FACEBOOK obviously isn’t alone in this practice—corporate advertising, influencers, lobbying groups, politicians, churches, colleges, non-profits, the list goes on and on. Many organizations are well worth our energy/resources AND many are designed to either create outrage or tug at our heartstrings.

If profit is to be made off of manipulating my emotional life, it seems like an act of revolution to first put my response through a reality/values filter.

It takes just a moment and when I take the time, I feel less manipulated and more in control.

  • manipulate: to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one’s purpose
  • emotion: a strong feeling (such as love, anger, joy, hate, or fear)
  • profit: the compensation accruing to entrepreneurs for the assumption of risk in business
  • reality: something that actually exists or happens, a real event, occurrence, situation, etc.
  • values: something (such as a principle or quality) intrinsically desirable
  • filter: to pass or move through

“There is a pattern of behavior that I saw [at] Facebook: Facebook choosing to prioritize its profits over people.”

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/key-takeaways-facebook-whistleblower-frances-haugens-senate-testimony/story?id=80419357

Thank you, Joan, Mary, Christie, and Maggie for the coffee time spark. Also thank you Willa for the drawing of your that I used in the reality filter graphic.

the epidemiology of LACK…

Researching the epidemiology of LACK hasn’t been an easy process…necessary, but not easy by any measure.

When I’m feeling less than, envious of others, or deserving of something I desire I tell myself I have a bad case of LACK or THE LACKS.

When LACK comes on (more often than I care to admit) I can notice (most of the time) that it’s my EGO & not my TRUE SELF in the emotional driver’s seat.

My EGO has road rage, cuts people off, and blames others for everything. My TRUE SELF is compassionate and lets people cut into traffic because they just might be having a really bad day.

Once I identified the annoying (and exhausting) symptoms of LACK, I wanted to lessen the impact they had on my mood. I put these steps in place.

My self-esteem comes from acknowledging ALL OF ME—warts and all. OK, Lisa, you think you’re coming down with LACK—why and what, let’s figure it out.

Ego takes the quick fix, the easy route, and chooses props, image, identity, distractions, other people’s energy, ways to self-medicate and avoid the truth.” —Melanie Tonia Evans

Sometimes the malady of LACK can feel so overwhelming I want to blow up my entire life. Other times only a small shift is required—noting what’s going well, taking a nap, or a walk to soothe the symptoms.

I guess it depends on the viral load at the time.

PS Sometimes when a case of LACK comes on, I’m given valuable insight about an issue in my life that needs to be addressed. A case of LACK isn’t always bad.

SOURCES: Merriam WebsterMelanieToniaEvans-big-egos

life is not so black & white..

it’s mostly shades of complex grey and every once in a while when we use our vision, there are brilliant pops of color that truly delight and help us see other perspectives.

once a scavenger…

I’ve been a scavenger since I was very young.

SCAVENGE: search for & collect (anything usable) from discarded waste

For a few summers, I’ve walked Town Neck Beach in Sandwich, Massachusetts at sunrise and picked up trash. I’ve collected so many items with no idea how I would ever use them. So, I categorized and stored them…seeing their potential.

Late last summer I surveyed my scavenged goods and an idea was sparked.

I went to work, the hours flew by…

CREATE: to produce something new by using your talents and imagination

Thank you Russell for trying out my sea chair after rambling upon us on a chilly Town Neck Beach morning.

Source: Merriam Webster

we the apples…

We’ve had a bumper crop of apples this year. I’ve picked, gleaned, and shared them. Somehow they’ve seemed uniquely personified to me.

Forgive me for getting a little woo woo about my backyard bounty and all caught up in meaning & metaphor.

I couldn’t resist.

crop: the product or yield of something formed together

democracy: an organization or situation in which everyone is treated equally and has equal rights

selfish: concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself, seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others

authoritarian: of, relating to, or favoring a concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people

When our individuality is overvalued, we can become selfish and lose something so magnificent about being human, connected, and sharing this planet together.

rot: 1. to undergo decomposition from the action of bacteria or fungi; morally corrupt

experience: the process of doing and seeing things; having things happen to you

empathy: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another

If our democracy is going to survive, we must develop the capacity to see everyone as unique, belonging, AND equal in every single way.

We the People Apples of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Constitution of the United States of America (1787)

Sunshine of Your Love…

It’s getting near dawn
When lights close their tired eyes
I’ll soon be with you my love
Give you my dawn surprise
I’ll be with you darling soon
I’ll be with you when the stars start falling

—Cream

install now OR remind me later?

Recently I read; Is Self-Awareness a Mirage? by David Brooks in the New York Times. It got me thinking…are there better questions to be asking myself at nearly fifty-five?

“Maybe we can’t know ourselves through the process we call introspection. But we can gain pretty good self-awareness by extrospection, by closely observing behavior. (Nicholas) Epley stressed that we can attain true wisdom and pretty good self-awareness by looking at behavior and reality in the face to create more accurate narratives.”

Is Self Awareness a Mirage? By David Brooks, New York Times

Here’s my go to story (personal myth) about myself: I was a very independent young person and this affects almost all of my behaviors. I didn’t even want my mom to walk me to kindergarten, I was only four.

Do decades old explanations about the WHYs of my behavior matter as much as current observations of WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, and HOW I behave?

Hummmmmmmmmmm…

My independence was a strategy I adopted based on my nature and circumstances. The story of it has served me well and is a character trait I’m often proud of often.

However, like most concepts of self, there’s a shadow side too.

Perhaps it’s time to update my operating system and not overly rely on old myths about my younger self.

My independent nature is no excuse for outsized and often confusing responses to basic questions from my family.

When will you be home? What’s for dinner? Who are you texting? Are you busy now?

Good grief, these questions are not immediate threats to my sense of youthful independence. Responding as if they are though, can be hurtful and confusing to the people I love the most.

So, thank you Younger Self, I’m truly grateful for all of the stories/myths of my life. I promise to summon you when spontaneity, risk, and fun are in question. You’re a great resource for those areas of my life.

I have to be honest though, your operating system doesn’t make quite as much sense to me in midlife…it’s time to look forward and hit install now, instead of remind me later.

understanding myself a little better…

I was raised by two entirely different ways of looking at the world. Mom and Dad’s individual circumstances, experiences, programming, and natures formed their worldviews, just as it did for their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and of course, their offspring too.

MY MOM: We’re all pretty wretched human beings. However, if we follow divine rules, tamp down our true natures to follow those rules, and constantly seek forgiveness, then we just might escape eternal damnation.

MY DAD: We’re basically pretty decent folks, we all make mistakes, if we can own them sometimes, and be open to a little coaching then we just might learn from our mistakes and do a little bit better next time.

A friend’s mom says, “it’s a wonder it goes”…it seemed appropriate here somehow. Thank you Martha & Marita.

Grandparents, siblings, birth order, aunts, uncles, cousins, ancient ancestors, geography, friends, boyfriends, school, church, teachers, books, music, TV shows, movies, pets, sports, coaches, experiences, my husband, my children, my nature and so much more, all played a part in who I am today.

Who we are and why is so mysteriously layered and complex that distilling ourselves (or anyone else for that matter) down with just a few data points seems woefully inadequate…total bullshit actually.

My daughter, Willa Govoni shot these photos on the beach a few weeks ago. She captured moments of pure joy and goofing off. These feel like the real me or how I would like my great-grandchildren to see me one day anyway. Thank you Willa.

“I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints, the sinners are much more fun.” —Billy Joel

Dad liked those Billy Joel lyrics and I think he also understood my worldview quite well. Monday, August 30th will be three years, try to rest in peace Big Guy.

🍦 🍕 🍔 🍟 ❤️ 🏀 🏈

lately around Town Neck…

beach rambles inside & out…

I often have a flood of ideas while walking the beach about what I want to create, write, transform, design and so on. Then I get home and the idea’s intensity subsides. I used to feel quite defeated by this. I don’t anymore.

I can’t possibly create all that I imagine…and there’s some sadness that sometimes accompanies that understanding. However, in this middle school stage of life (I’ll be 55 in October) I finally appreciate (accept maybe) the inevitable ebbing and flowing of my inner creative life, and stop fighting the tide so much.

Here are a few ideas that actually did come to life this week:

I think I’ll give myself a high-five for what I did accomplish. Beating myself up over what I didn’t do this week seems pretty absurd.