Peddler’s Purpose

My mother turns to a drug the moment something unpleasant happens or an unpleasant thought has been vocalized to her. This drug has sustained her through challenges, and there have been some lofty challenges! Mostly emerging triumphant, wiser and stronger and sometimes just high of life is my mother, the user and the peddler.

Her drug is Positivity and she peddles this drug like her life depends on it & and as if it’s coconut oil and the time is 2015’ish.

If you think it, it happens! – My Mother’s 90% thought process.

From politics to potting plants – her ask/solve is to think positive.

I tried that with my succulents. And reported back to her that it doesn’t work out as such. Ofcourse, I knew that! This was was my way of fighting that positivity peddling.

That constant peddling of positivity was infuriating and confusing to me. Confusing because what she peddled was brilliant, true and I am more percent optimist than anything else. Infuriating because .. I had no clue and that made it worse.

The thing is that I spent my 20’s ignoring or let’s say slathering coconut oil on my life and waiting for a miracle. It was not until I turned 29, I self-helped – more of that in a post of its own, at a later time. Today we focus on my annoyance towards my mother’s positivity!

So, I did what I have done all my life – FFO. Figure the F**K Out. (Yes, my posts will have encrypted language once in a while, or all the time or to taste – I am not sure)

Why did my mother’s positivity peddling annoy me when I knew that has value and it made sense? I had to know and I did what I do best, over-analyze, only this time I did it with some method to the madness and it became clear: Positivity without a plan and Positivity without inclusivity are like ‘Thoughts & Prayers’ – sure, it feels good but you are no where close to a solution. And, for most of my issues, I was just whining. I did not have a plan or willingness to actually DO something about it. What I wanted to do was whine and for someone to dole out sympathy. Lucky for me my mother peddle-ed positivity!

I had self-helped myself for big things in life but for the medium and small parts, I whined. I whined when I should be acting.

For example: I whine about these extra 30lbs … 35lbs if I am being honest. I am surrounded by incredible examples of friends & family who are fitness and physical health inspiration. And, the ball is n my court.

So, if you ever find yourself dismissive or infuriated with positivity then I urge you to explore the below before you dismiss the peddler:

  1. Check in with your cynicism. Maybe it’s the hurdle to giving life. people and situations a chance.
  2. Explore opportunities for self-growth and plan in tiny parts. Physical fitness is my goal and mental fitness comes organically to me. I need to apply the same approach to physical fitness as I did to my mental routine – start small until it becomes lifestyle. I need to begin with water intake & 10mins of movement.
  3. No one has a perfect life. Sometimes done is better than perfect, unless you are cooking! But really, just pause, surround yourself with positive inspirations and if you find yourself unhappy, DO something.
My Mom!

When a positive message makes you smile – You are somewhat peaceful. You get it! You may not dwell on it, but you get it. It doesn’t annoy you. You are my inspiration 🙂

This post for my mom – my forever & always positivity peddler. And it has happened.. sometimes I open my mouth and my mother comes out. I love you, Mom!

❤️

Not ‘Keeping up with the everyones’

You know that frenzy of clean up when someone is coming home. And the ritual of exclaiming how the home is a mess, upon their arrival.

That 50 seconds filler conversation that, we all know, is mostly scripted.

I have that frenzy daily for surfaces that meet the eye.

I am a Virgo like that – my counters are clean but my drawers are a war zone that spare no one. I clean two ways:

One method is directly related to how-upset-I-am-with-my-spouse/situation — this one typically results in those war-zone drawers or trashing of everything! Nothing sparks joy at that time but my work quality, at surface level, is award-worthy.

The second method is called ‘crap! Now I have to clean up’ because I spent my alone time in my home with an intention of organizing, and 30 mins later I am styling clothes I have not worn in ages and have two different makeup applications on my face. It’s fairly obvious that makes up is not my strength and I must invest in skincare! My hair could be in trial extensions, that I once bought at Sally’s on a whim, or an up-do or a DYI mask of something ridiculously drippy.

The alone time at home cleaning method is rare since turns out that people you live with are always there!! (Read this again .. yes, Always There!)

By the time they come home, I am freshly showered, hair blow-dried and in a clean set of PJ’s – I only own pajama’s or going out clothes. Don’t we all?

Ofcourse, I don’t have to clean up and get presentable but I do. Regardless of our ethnicity, gender or circumstance we have all been told to groom, to be presentable, to behave well, to not chew with mouth open, to clean up the mess because someone is coming home .. the list goes on. Maintaining reputation is so ingrained that we ONLY notice if someone makes an effort above and beyond to maintain/enhance reputation – otherwise, on some level all of us do it. And it’s not surprising that we do this – turns out humans, at a surprisingly early age control their behavior based what is viewed as likable, essentially caring for reputation.

Then, I wonder …

If we find ourselves, not 100% ourselves even with the people we live with then what made us assume that the life someone lives on social media is ALL of the life that they live? And, then the audacity to criticize them for only showcasing their best to the world.

Our 4yrs old clicked this weekend morning picture of us.
A professional, in Spain, took this picture of us. Which one do you think makes a great profile pic? 🙄 don’t bother answering.

Let me own up – I too have been guilty of this. And hearing myself speak of that judgment, I understood it’s more of my reflection than theirs.

It is also true we must consume a mental diet with some self-sanity and commonsense. It’s easy to think that the grass is not only green but perpetually lush on the other side.

But do we need judgment for everything?

Display of affection, however overt, doesn’t indicate a problem in a relationship. Absence of that display also doesn’t indicate a problem.

Display of achievements doesn’t mean that the person is a fake or show-off. Absence of that display also doesn’t mean failure or stagnation.

Sharing incredibly well-shot pictures doesn’t mean that their life is constantly staged and fake. Sharing selfies doesn’t make one shallow.

Sharing nothing doesn’t make one exclusive. We all behave keeping reputation in mind and when we display our life, our audience size varies – that’s all.

The endless list of biases, complains and judgments.

No one should be the judge of anyone’s relationships, achievements, failures, lifestyle or choices just based on what is on display. Virtual life is a part of a whole life, and the significance of it varies from person to person. Some only consume, some create/share and consume, some only create/share. It’s time to take responsibility for what we choose consume and not judge for what is being presented.

Consume if you want otherwise, scroll on | Unfollow | Interact minimal – do something, don’t just whine or worst, troll!!! on social media or outside of it.

For all my extrovert-ness these things are ridiculously hard ..

For all my extrovert-ness the few things that I find ridiculously difficult are:

🗣 Asking for help – and it’s not a lack of need. Because who doesn’t need help!

🗣 Self Promotion – my resume is a sorry example of that.

🗣 Taking a compliment, especially in person – it’s almost as if I need a credited institution to validate my dry shampoo skills so that I can accept ‘your hair looks great today!’

🗣 Seeing my own worth – I have no quip here because if I start on this, it will turn into a book.

Is it ego at play or need of control or am I just wired that way? Who knows, but it needs to change and I am taking actionable steps!!

And, no I don’t think being an extrovert or an introvert automatically makes the above possible. It’s was my perception that the above may come organic to me as being an extrovert.

😳 It took me only 30days of contemplation before I ‘invited’ family & friends to ‘Like’ my page. And, the push that made me do it was my self-thought of ‘well, I don’t want I spam my personal page with my posts all the time so whoever wants to read my work will ‘Like’ with the Facebook page or better yet will subscribe to the blog’

🗣 This amazing Kathleen Taylor artwork speaks to me – I am a science & signs person – and I spotted it at the cutest store wild oats and billy goats. This will be in my office one day, I will buy it! Because ..

It’s a bird and the message is what I need.

Do you struggle with owning the intangible? How do you go about it? Share some tips in comments .. all of us could use it! ♥️

Mirror Mirror on the wall: Dear Men … & Women. Especially Men.

Once upon a time, I found myself in a room with the evaluation paper in front of me. Seemingly, I was doing A-OK but could do better – tell me more! I thought as I rolled my eyes also in my thoughts. Once the fluff/filler conversation was done I was asked to sign the eval paper. I took the pen and drew a line across my name and corrected the spelling of my name. Stared back as I slid the eval back.

I thought to myself- I really do not like someone judging my work when they cannot get the basics right.

Fast forward a few years and I found myself in the seat of the one evaluating. Guess what the paper misspelled – their NAME!! I will spare you the details of my flustered, embarrassed and humbled self.

Define Karma a short story by Shivani Kulkarni

Professional Performance Evaluation: The one where you evaluate yourself so that someone else can evaluate you and your work. Ranging from a corporate employee to an entrepreneur! Ranging from kill me now to tell how I can get better. Ranging from I know I am a superstar to let’s get this over with. Emotions, oh so many damn emotions.

This circle of feedback/learning/evaluation/reflecting can be positive, negative or non-consequential but it is accepted by all as a professional process. End of the day, the reward for the evaluation can often be tied to tangible growth or learning that ultimately lead to tangible growth.

Within 12hrs of an online purchase, an email is sent asking for feedback.

We all look for that nod and approving smiles in a big meeting.

Consumer feedback management is a business in itself.

We are incentives to give opinions on products and services.

We look forward to the validation that we are doing great and that growth awaits us.

More today than ever, one will agree, that there is a need to evaluate feedback, iterate and evolve!

We tirelessly self-assess to outperform ourselves: we reflect on the victories, the losses, the conflicts, the break room chatter, the public reviews and more. We are gender, race, and religion united when it comes to professional growth even if it means trekking that hard path of feedback, reflection and re-building.

Self Assessment = Self Reflection = meditation or serious thought about one’s character, actions, and motives.

The same process is applied and welcomed for physical well being. Proactive measures of physical health assessment because …well – life! & the daunting cost of healthcare for a cure, in case of sickness.

We accept and encourage self-reflection in professional life as it risks tangible loss.

We accept & encourage self-reflection for physical health as it risks the quality of life, tangible discomfort, monetary loss & more.

Then, what makes us fight, mock, ignore, dismiss the tools of self-reflection for our mental health?

What if we gave our personal life the same luxury of personal evaluation?

Pro-active career-enhancing actions & physical-health enhancing measures surely do not imply that either one of those is broken. Then why are the measures for pro-active mental health enhancement viewed as frivolous and unnecessary – Especially, from men.

I am well aware of the gender generalization here and while I know some incredibly self aware men, there is a shortage. Stay with me till the end, if you can.

See, I have skin in this game. I care deeply to know why:

Self-Love | Self-Reflection | Mindfulness | Meditation | Journaling | Therapy | Counseling

Media, Merchandise, Services, Coaches & Publications are serving us reminders daily to enhance quality of life.

Maybe its daunting to start or maybe it needs to be normalized in your head. Know that you are the only one who can start and the only one who can normalize it.

Dear Men .. & Women, especially Men,

Maybe the society said Men don’t cry or the humor seems to suggest that only girly women talk about their feelings or that masculinity needs to be void of feelings and emotions, and thereby there is leniency with your behaviors or that mediation will make into a purple unicorn or that writing your feelings may make basic!

I know that one day my little boy will be part of your tribe. And, while I do my best to normalize self-reflection to him, he will look up to you too for what is normal.

Dear Women .. & Men, especially Women,

Maybe we allow for this normalization to thrive without judgement. Maybe we demand for better behavior. Maybe we self-reflect ourselves so that we are an example of mental growth.

Self-Reflection is your responsibility & it is not a one day gig. It’s my responsibility to myself. Its till our last breath, so that our regrets are slim and hopefully the smiles are wide.

I told them but I told myself first.

If you have read and/or spoke to me then you have heard me announce: I want to create with words & I want to create with design.

Most recipients of these informative lines which are delivered, clearly & confidently, gave me a response.

The actual response was always congratulatory and uplifting. The feelings delivered alongside mostly complemented the verbal thought. The mixed bag of responses goes as follows:

  • I sensed a question: Does she know how to design or write? What will she write about or what will she design?
  • My Dad responded with 😂😂😂😂😘😘😘😘👌👌👌👌 because this is how he emotes. I am almost positive he has this sequence of emojis saved. Also, he called me a genius which we all know is not true.
  • I sensed an admiration for the thought clarity.
  • I sensed an indifferent vibe where a cursory that’s nice, well done is conveyed.
  • I sensed a practical pause that quietly congratulated me and then got down to inquiring about the plan of execution.
  • My MIL asked me if I have checked the trademark database and that she will provide verbal marketing when I am ready.
  • I sensed a genuine spark of interest that lead to questions about the content and entrepreneurship.
  • I sensed a triggered moment. A moment where the person is transported to a time when they thought they were going to start something that gave them joy. A warm familiar smile follows and then leads to their story.
  • I sensed silence. The elephant-in-the-room kind. More specifically, I see you, I agree with you, I like what you have to say but I cannot acknowledge you. It is super critical to note that the definition of acknowledgment here doesn’t mean just public social media interaction.
  • I sensed immense love, kindness, and readiness to help – “How can I help? And I am so happy for you”
  • My mother responded by sending me a motivational quote on Instagram and ♥️♥️😘👍🏼 She also immediately assumed her role in helping me and she is correct. She is and always will be my right hand.
  • I sensed annoyance at my clarity and perceived arrogance. Almost as if one wanted to say who are you and what have experienced to share your experience! And I see you, you are not a designer. Girl! Keep your 9to5 and go on. — this is the audience I hope to reach, one day.

No discouragement, yet, for sure. Humbling practical advice at best and it is very much appreciated. Overall, lots of love! Overtime I have consciously surrounded myself with people who are uplifting. Uplifting people that provide constructive response and not discouragement. There is a difference!

The way the world works is that ….

No one discourages a progressing toddler. That response is reserved for adults only. If one is wise they realize that the only source of discouragement to care about is your own thoughts. All of us are guilty of it! I have much to opine and share my experience with this topic but that is for a later day.

One of the response, that I cannot fit in a category, was – You are funny but your writing is lacking humor. I see it showing up in subtlety but people will engage more if it’s funny.

I agree! Presenting to you my favorite bird ..

One of my fav birds! Follow it here

I am fully aware of things that sell – humor, sex and maybe diet pills! Of the three things that sell I can provide one of them but it has to come organically, so keep reading and sharing my posts ♥️

None of the responses surprised me and for the first time in my life I felt like I knew what to expect. Because its it not for the first time in my life that I have made a major decision and announced it to the world with clarity.

Fun Fact: When I eat something ridiculously delicious & healthy I announce to my husband, all the time, that this is what we will eat once a week from here on. We don’t!

Some announcements are frivolous.

Some announcements are articulation in progress.

Some announcements are a made decision.

I am grateful to have had the experiences that prepared and humbled me for some life responses. Through the years I have found support and love in starting/announcing but its the guidance, post-announcement, that was rare. Truth be told you are on your own and if you are passionate, pragmatic, and persistent you will find a way. Also, a bit of preparation for the immediate responses will make you immune to that immediate discouragement.

Excel doesn’t love me for numbers but I love excel for life organization. In my creative worksheet,I have a tab labeled “When in doubt read this”

My method to the madness

This tab has words that I want to say to myself. The words that I do say to myself everyday. The action that I expect myself to take.

Make a tab for yourself in whatever is your version of excel. I will share a snippet of my self-talk:

  • This is your goal and your dream. No one will understand it fully it and they cannot be expected to understand. If they support it, that is enough. Be grateful for the support.
  • If you feel lost, like a failure, out of comfort zone and not in control — Feel those feelings and put a 15min timer and cry/scream/do squats/hug/whatever. Then get up take a shower and start again.
  • Immediate reactions are just that, immediate. Allow someone time to understand your vision, they may be your biggest strength afterward.
  • You may realize that you grossly over-estimated your talent and that churn of realization will give you clarity on what is your actual talent. Don’t give up!
  • Remember all those people, processes, experiences, suggestions, platforms and you! – These things got you through darker times. Be that for someone!! You had support but you lacked guidance. Be that guide for someone.
  • Be ruthless about where you spend your time, energy and love. It is OK to excuse yourself from situations and people. Be where you are welcomed and wanted.
  • Ask for help. And help when asked.
  • One day your son will grow up and get to know you all over again with your words and work – be honest and influence a world you want for him.

Make a list of your self-talk and talk to yourself often. Its a great preparation especially when you announce something to the world. Because there will be surprises but you may find a tool in kit to deal with the surprises.

If you already have a list of self-talk, do share your tips in comments. I would love to hear your words!

You are reading this line because you read the whole post. If the words here are worthy of a thought then share it with the world. Share on Facebook and follow me on Instagram it helps me in getting my name out 🙂

Smile, you are not on camera but just because 🙂