Definition of Toxic (Cambridge English Dictionary)
- Very unpleasant or unacceptable
- Causing you a lot of harm and unhappiness over a long period of time
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What do you usually think of when you hear the term “toxic?” Maybe you think of harmful chemicals or crude oil spills in the ocean. Radioactive material and asbestos come to mind as well. These substances destroy living things. The human body can show signs of toxicity through skin (acne, rashes, eczema), fatigue and even depression.
We have other types of toxins in our lives that can be just as harmful as physical substances. I’m talking about toxic relationships or environments. Have you entered a room and immediately sensed a heaviness to the air? The people inside are merely occupying the space. No one is smiling. If and when they do speak with each other, it is to complain or share snarky comments. Your good mood is ruined. Their combined negativity and unhappiness are stronger than your good thoughts. Behold the toxic environment.
Signs You’re in A Toxic Situation:
- People or Person is tearing you down rather than building you up
- The situation makes you feel uncomfortable, frustrated, sad or angry
- You dread going into work or seeing a specific person
- You are unhappy
Suggestions for Escape:
- Take a hard look at your excuses for staying in the situation
- Make Self Care a priority
- Avoid the drama. If you don’t play they won’t include you
- Dream Big. Make Plans. Rediscover what makes you happy
- GET OUT!
You’ll notice none of my escape bullets involve you trying to change your toxic coworkers, friends or lovers. They won’t change, because they don’t want to change.Rolling around in the toxic swamp is comfortable. Pulling yourself free and starting a new life is hard work. You can do it! You are worthwhile and deserve happiness.
Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.
Happy National Tequila Day!
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I celebrate this awesome holiday every year. In 2017, I spent the evening sipping Tequila Blanco on my back patio in the shade. This year, I went for marqaritas at a Latin/South American Cantina. Why do I get so excited about this holiday? First: I enjoy a good tequila with a slice of lime. Second: Any excuse to eat Mexican/Cuban/South American cuisine is a good excuse. Third: Celebrating the little things is critical to our happiness.
Why not act a little silly? Make a special meal just because its Tuesday. Go out with your friends on a Sunday just because you can. Live your life with the intent to find joy.
Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.
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Jorge Pacarro, the last of his tribe and reluctant leader of war torn Valdeon, demands to be heard. Clever statesman and warrior, he’s a pivotal character throughout the entire Heart of the Warrior series. Jorge fascinates me. I suppose this is why I have blinders on sometimes when it comes to his storyline.
I’ve been working on book three of the series for several months now. Every author has that one challenging chapter. Mine is a Jorge scene. Out of place in the flow of the story, Jorge’s chapter just won’t fit anywhere I try to put it. The scene involves critical information to the series. It has to go somewhere.
Then it came to me after taking a week’s vacation in Colorado. I had my light bulb moment. Jorge’s chapter doesn’t belong in book three. It needs to be the opening scene of book four. Problem solved! I’d be pretty pleased with myself if the same thing hadn’t happened in book one and two.
What is your square peg? Are you struggling with a problem you just can’t seem to lick?
- Take a step back. Work on something else for a few days, then come back with fresh eyes
- Ask a trusted friend or colleague for advice
- If all else fails, move on. Sometimes you have to shelf good ideas. It just isn’t their time
Best wishes and good luck!
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As a Birthday Gift, I wish for you:
BBQs, Fireworks and Cherry Pie
Laughter, Love and Blue Skies
Most of all, I wish for you:
Peace and memories of simpler times
Strength and endurance until we can see
What neighbors are meant to truly be
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A certain gloomy little donkey from a beloved children’s story (Can’t mention his name or use his image without getting in legal trouble) cannot be cheered. Despite the best efforts of the gang from the Hundred Acre Wood, he persists in being a downer. I love the little donkey. I really do…as a loveable animated character. The world, unfortunately, is full of not-so-cute little rain cloud donkeys. These are best avoided.
We’ve all had this morning: You wake up rested and on time. Your hair cooperates for a change and the clothes you’ve chosen are comfortable. Off you go to work with a positive attitude. Sitting down at your desk, you sip your coffee (perfectly prepared) and get ready for the day.
Then here comes the gloomy donkey. You steel yourself as the office’s little rain cloud moves closer. Maybe you get suckered in and try to exchange pleasantries. The foolish “How are you today?” slips out before you can stop yourself. The little donkey sighs and shrugs his shoulders. “Livin’ the dream. Ho Hum.”
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Let me tell you a secret:The little rain cloud cannot be cheered up, because it likes being the little rain cloud.
Tips for dealing with these gloomy donkeys in your life, before they drag you down in their negative swamp:
- Walk the other way – Sounds mean right? Better to walk away then have your positive energy sucked into an empty emotional void
- DO NOT Engage – If the donkey starts braying, just don’t play.
- Protect Yourself – Negativity takes personal energy. Positive thoughts increase your energy and happiness.
Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.
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Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to observe the different behaviors between men and women when they are asked about their career goals. Most of the men were confident in their skill sets, made a point to herald their accomplishments and weren’t shy about asking for what they wanted. Many of the women, however, came off as hesitant to crow about their skills and accomplishments. They were unnecessarily polite in expressing their career desires.
- STOP apologizing for going after your goals
- BLAST your “I accomplished this” trumpet until ears are ringing
- BE PROUD of your intelligence and skill sets
- COACH the women in your life on the art of showing confidence
- LISTEN to the women in your life as they express their hopes and dreams
- REMEMBER society has taught little girls to postpone their goals while fulfilling the needs of others. Help us change that by being an encourager!
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It’s not all doom and gloom. Times are changing. Our younger generations of little girls and little boys have grown up seeing confident and intelligent women accomplish great things. They consider this THEIR NORM. It gives me great hope for the future.
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I ran into a writer buddy of mine at a party this weekend. We discussed the hardships of working a demanding career job PLUS kicking out novels each year(ish) PLUS simply being a home owner. Nobody promised living the dream would be easy.
How do we and others like us do it? We CHOOSE to do it. Our creative projects become a priority. We schedule time to work the projects, because they’re important to us. Making progress becomes a priority.
- Set aside time each day to work on your creative project. Even 15 minutes a day will help you make progress toward achieving your goals. Make progress a habit
- Set a deadline for each short-term goal and the ultimate goal of completely finishing your project
- Visualize what your creative project will look like when you’re done.
- Beat yourself up if you miss a day or a week of working the creative project. Stuff happens
- Try to swallow the whole enchilada at once. Bite size pieces of your project are easier to tackle
Stick with it! You can do it! Sending best wishes and encouragement your way!