Netiquette for sharing on Social Media…

So, for what seems to be the thousandth time, I have just explained again on social media how using the share button is actually different from stealing someone’s work.  I have many artist friends.  Many.  We create, we craft, we spend countless hours thinking of how a certain thing looks and how our audience might react to it.  But more importantly, we do it for ourselves.  Not to make millions of dollars, but because we feel this driving need to express ourselves.  If what we do resonates with you, then by all means share our work.  Please.

You can do that in any number of ways.  Copy the link to our site and message your friend.  Share and re-tweet us on Twitter.  Find us on Instagram and click the little heart.  Re-pin us on Pinterest.  Follow a blog.  Use the sharing tools on the blog.  Do you know why these are acceptable?  Because they link back to our original work.  But for whatever reason, when you are on Facebook, you might think downloading our work is acceptable.  Even though that awesome little share button is right there…it is made to circulate things you like.

Here is why downloading is not okay:  As stated basically by all the legal verbiage you can find on FB, When an image is published on the internet, the owner of that image immediately owns copyright.   If you doubt me, here is a reference link and you need to read Is it legal to download works from peer-to-peer networks and IF NOT what is the PENALTY for doing so?

So now you see why my friends are serious about the warnings they give.  “If you use a copyrighted work without authorization, the owner may be entitled to bring an infringement action against you.”  If you are a fan of many of the popular quote photo pages and you absolutely LOVE a particular quote, ask them if it’s on Pinterest so you can re-pin it.  If it’s not, maybe they will make it available for you.  I know I would if you said, I love this quote so much I want to marry it.  Or whatever you normally say.  I taught preschool (reminder).  I don’t adult correctly.

Moving on, but when you leave this long-winded comment on my page after I have nicely explained why the 50 photos you just downloaded into your albums are not actually yours and that’s like me taking all the photos of you, your kids and putting them in my albums and saying they are mine, and you leave me this negative comment, but you threw a Namaste after it, well then, my gosh, that’s ok.  Because you ended with “respect”.  How about respect me enough to begin with and share correctly.  That speaks volumes to me more than explaining away your actions by trying to cast blame.  And for the record, I meditate and am completing a 200-hour Vinyasa yoga teacher certification, but if I broke into your house and stole your things and you caught me, but said Namaste to you as I was leaving, I hope it would be okay with you.

Namaste

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Motivational Monday…for the UNbroken

Hey friends…you know how last week on the Facebook fan page for my blog, I asked you a question?  I asked you to tell me what kind of “invisible disease” you had.  Many times, we feel so alone with these diseases, because they are in fact, not visible to people looking in at our lives.  But this statistic came from the link I posted: 96% of people with chronic medical conditions live with an illness that is invisible. 

I don’t really think we are alone.  So let’s say you didn’t get your disability and you have 5, maybe 6 illnesses on that list.  Guess what?  It happens.  I decided it meant something different.  I decided it meant that I was supposed to find a flexible job working from home and helping others.  Don’t be discouraged.  You have a few options.  You can continue the fight without a lawyer.  I have been told that’s why I never got anywhere.  You can get a lawyer.  Or you can move on.  Moving on is not giving up.  I just want to give you permission in case you needed to hear that.  I know all the excuses in your head.  I know all the what ifs.  But do not stay in that place of despair.  Make a plan.  Work on it.  Move on.

So now I am in yoga teacher training, and it’s hard.  Very, very hard emotionally and physically.  I doubt my path at times.  I do.  But as my friend said yesterday, okay really paraphrasing, if we didn’t have emotions or feelings we’d be like Data from Star Trek.  He was an android who was unable to feel emotion or understand certain human responses.  We don’t want to live like that.  So acknowledge the feelings you are having, and work the plan.  Whatever the plan is.  If you don’t have plan, write something down.  Just a few things.  It can be as simple as get out of bed, and get dressed.  Get to the store today.  Fibro friends, this is an important plan.  You know this.  Get out of your pajamas…says the blogger still in pajamas.  But you know what I’m talking about!!!  You do.

Next on your list, make a new friend.  Okay, this one is hard.  Why is this hard?  It is hard for people who feel alone, because opening ourselves up and getting vulnerable with new people is like going to a new doctor for us.  We hate having to start at the beginning and tell our story.  I know this.  You know this.  Stop ignoring this one.  So here’s how you can go about doing this.  Re-evaluate who is in your life right now.  Who checks in on you…who checked out on you.  Those people who checked out of your life during your hardest times, they have left you space for new people.  I know it sucks, believe me I do.  But it’s time to be honest.  Those people didn’t understand anyway.

So start a new practice.  Get your list out.  What did you like to do before all the bumps?  For me, I already liked yoga, so I looked into restorative, which was low-key.  I researched other types of exercises for fibromyalgia, and decided I didn’t feel like going to water aerobics, but if you like that, put that down.  if you liked gardening put it down.  Don’t think about the pain, I know you automatically went to “I can’t get down there and bend.” Stop.  So here’s a neat idea, look up community free classes or workshops in your area.  You can also container garden and not have to bend.  See how I did that?  Put it at eye level.  Flower arranging?  Do it.  Whatever it is that old you did, write it down.

So guess what’s going to happen during this process of thinking about other things that you now have room for in your life…you are going to make new friends.  You are going to feel better, and you are going to feel less alone.  Anytime you have a negative thought, push it away and back to the things you are doing that are positive.  That are a step in the right direction.  So when you get that letter in the mail from social security…don’t be afraid to open it.  Make a plan.

broken

Motivational Monday…for fibro

One side of my body is wearing a tightly laced corset today.  During my morning yoga, a spasm went from my left shoulder to this spot in my back that is as tight as a rubber band pulled to snapping point.  In my head, I tried desperately to push the thoughts of discomfort away as it was the first part of my yoga practice this morning, but little wisps of thought already went past my carefully laid defenses.  I focused intently on the voice of my instructor and pushed past the spot.  Listening to her speak, and breathing.  Always breathing and focusing on the breath.  I have become so focused on the breath that it does allow me to get through my practice even when pain sets in.

You see, I am trying to prove a ridiculous point…to myself.  I am not on any of the drugs that doctors prescribe for fibromyalgia due to my underlying genetic disease hemochromatosis.  One year ago in February, a rheumatologist told me he would be nervous to put me on medicine that could perhaps harm my liver.  That was enough for me to decide to stay the course of all-natural supplements and work through immense pain using a series of steps I researched.  You are welcome to read the tab on the top of this blog called Vitalize You.  Those are some of the steps I took.  I also enlisted in the help of a full functional medicine approach, and used Applied Kinesiology, which I have touched on here.

This last step is more intense yoga than I thought was possible for me.  You can sit there and come up with one million and one reasons why it won’t work.  But if you can only come up with one reason, and one reason only, of why it will work, then take the chance.  That one reason is this…what have you got to lose?  No seriously.  I’ll be in pain you say.  Ummm, hello.  You already are.  I can’t move much right now.  Of course you can’t…because you don’t.  It will get worse..before it will get better.  Yes, but at least it will get better.  And trust me on this, you have to believe it will.

So today, in the car home from yoga, I thought, well that could have gone better for my body.  But so what…I went.  I showed up.  I was there.  I almost cried in the car and then I said to my head, stop this.  Think of where you were a year ago.  No really.  Stop and think.  You moved like an old woman, you were in immense pain, and you saw no end to that pain…ever.  Today, you were in pain in a few areas, true, but you were working your muscles.  You were doing things and you felt good afterward…just not as good as you hoped.  The knot didn’t go away like you thought, but it is loosening.  Do. Not. Give. Up.

Let go

Motivational Monday…

Motivation for your week…

The Burned Hand

There are times in your life when you must paste on the smile.  You nod your head politely and have no idea what the conversation is even about.  I have been through many of those moments.  This last year has been an extraordinary journey for me.  I have learned many valuable lessons.  The biggest one of all, the one that can make or break you, is the realization that it’s okay to be “not okay” during your life.  You do not have to have it all figured out.

It is okay to say I am going to take a break from this.  It is not failure until you quit.  It is okay to let people be disappointed in you.  That is their expectation of you, not yours.  Your success is not tied to anyone.  Period.  I have disappointed many people in my life, I’m sure.  Because they saw a…

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The art of words…

This keeps coming up in my life, so I am meant to share the message with you.  Picture this, you’re stressed out.  Feeling moody about something…maybe even angry.  You send off a quick text to someone.  All of your anger and frustration can actually be felt through that text.  The person on the other end was not really the cause of it, but they’re sure getting it.  They open up the text and it’s like whooooosh.  It washes over them.  Then they react without thinking and send one right back to you.  Before you know it, you aren’t even speaking and you don’t know what happened.

The reason this happens is because you forgot that words have meaning.  The thought behind them, the vibration, even the punctuation carries a message.  You misplaced this in today’s fast paced society.  ALL CAPS still means you are screaming.  I need you to look at this!!!!!!!  Means, honey, you are way too over-excited about something, and you feel it must be done now.  What is wrong with you?????   With numerous question marks means clearly, you think that person might have a problem…not realizing the problem is how you are communicating.  Using abrupt, demanding language without even so much as a hello, how are you doing, seems like you don’t value my time.  You just want your question answered now, and my time is not as valuable as yours.

Oftentimes I get this…hey girl.  How are you doing?  I answer and never hear back from them again.  Clearly, they didn’t really want to know how I’m doing.  I’m done with those one-sided conversations that are “phishing” for information.  I’m not sure what they wanted…but obviously it wasn’t to build a real relationship with me.  It’s time to take stock of the “friendships” you have in your life.  Are they all one sided and devoid of trust?  Do they use demanding language when “speaking” to you through texts or messages?  Does anyone actually make dates with you or call you on the phone?  When is the last time someone said to you, I miss your face.  Let’s get together soon.  I have these dates open.  Not the empty, “We should do lunch.”

Now it’s time to take stock of how you use texts, messages, and e-mails.  Do you pause carefully to consider the right words and how they sound when you read them back to yourself before you hit send?  How would you feel if you got messages in the middle of the day that are one-liners demanding your time?  What if you were going through something really hard?  Would you react with kindness and care or would you come from a place of hurt and anger as you respond?  The reason I am saying all this, is because hopefully I just showed someone the right way to look at the messages they have been sending me.  It could have ended badly, but that person backed up and thought about it and apologized.  Right then.  She didn’t wait.  And that is how you earn respect when you learn to take stock of your body language and your text language.  If you are doubting a message that you just sent and there is no way to call it back from the inter-webs, please man or woman up with your vulnerability cloak, and say hey, I am calling you because I just sent you a message and I really shouldn’t have sent it yet.  I wasn’t in a good place at the time.  Please forgive me.  End of story.  Vulnerability is good.  We are human.  Don’t wait months or years because the damage has been done.  Allow grace to come into your life.

Grace

Being terribly real…

RealOn the journey to motherhood, I didn’t pause to consider what it was going to be like after I had my daughters.  I never thought for a second about play dates, getting out of the house with two babies, or how I would live in pajamas…for a long time.  The only things I thought of were the sweet baby smell, and the adorable girl clothes all ready to put on my first baby.  It was easy for a while.  I know that sounds crazy, but it was.  She was a good baby after I got over the initial “How the heck do you breast feed right?” phase.  I was constantly tired, but it was a good tired.  One I could live with.  Until the day I found out I was pregnant with baby number 2.  The first one was only 9 months old.  Wow.  Was not expecting that.  Ha.

So fast forward to having 2 baby girls.  The struggle was real as they say.  I came up with the idea of play dates to get out of the house.  With moms I had never met before in my life.  It was wonderful, and I could reflect on that bonding experience for a long time, but what I want to get across is this point.  When we finally got past the pleasantries and being “real” with each other, it was a much better experience.  If you look past the cleaning like a mad woman before anyone came over for a play date (dumb thinking).  Making sure I had the right snacks out, and everything was prepped and ready so it appeared things were effortless.  Again, how dumb was that?  Not being embarrassed when my girls wanted to just sit and eat snacks instead of playing.  Like you can control your kids.  Hahaha.  When they are toddlers (new mom thinking is warped).

So as I have gotten older, and I visit my friends with kids, guess what y’all??  We don’t clean before anyone comes over.  We don’t.  It’s liberating.  I might be in something nice-ish, or I might be in yoga pants.  We don’t pretend that our lives are perfect.  And that the snacks float out to the table magically.  Although that would be pretty cool.  Heck, we don’t even know what we’re having for dinner half the time.  Or if there really is food in the house.  Some nights, it’s every human for themselves.  But why did it take so long to learn this?

When you meet someone, I know it takes a long time to get “real”.  Unless you quickly peel back the layers and say, “Oh there you are.  I like this you.  The real you.”  So if you are hurting and in pain because you think no one understands you, I want to ask you this, have you given them a chance yet?  Are you still the clean house, perfect food, immaculate outfits, and everything is nice and shiny, because believe me sister, life isn’t always nice and shiny.  Find the friends who are going to be there with you in the trenches and scream “Go for cover!” when the next life crisis is thrown at you.  Those are the ones who matter the most.  The ones who lift you up when life gets real.

 

Choices…

changeLook at that.  Right there, I made a choice to change the way my blog looks just by adding this quote at the top.  Wouldn’t it be fabulous if all choices were that easy?  When Deepak Chopra writes about Applying the Law of “Karma” or Cause and Effect, he has this to say:  Whenever I make a choice, I will ask myself two questions: “What are the consequences of this choice that I’m making?  and “Will this choice bring fulfillment and happiness to me and also to those who are affected by this choice?”

How often do we genuinely pause and ponder these two questions?  You see the problem is, I think we don’t stop to think about it at all.  If you are about to do something, but you have not given much thought as to what happens next, it is best to actually pause and consider this.  The last year I was teaching, I made a plan to begin changing my career and go after what I really wanted.  I wanted to write, and I found that I had a knack for social media.  I knew that the consequences were going to include struggle as I continued to build up a writing portfolio.

The first time I was contacted by an editor who wanted me to submit an even longer piece for publication, I felt the excitement and happiness of my choice.  The first time I got a rejection letter in the mail, smeared with some sort of greasy substance, I felt the doubt of my choice.  All in all, I knew that my well-being was better off for having made the choice to take a chance.  I knew that without a doubt, my life would not change working all the time and coming home too exhausted to write.  I am happy with change.  Hopefully, my life is about to change again as I am ready for something new.