Serial Dreaming

I have these odd serial dreams. Not dreams that do not make any sense, but another type of dream. These serial dreams are somewhat lucid dreams as I am aware I am in a dream.

Rather than trying to control these dreams I prefer to passively participate in them. I feel these types of dreams are special. I would rather see where the dream takes me, rather than try to control the dream.

In this dream I am in some area of a small city. Going by the dress, it is located in a desert area. The people are dressed as people I imagine dress in rural India or the Middle East. I know this is not taking place anywhere on this earth, or at least I doubt it is.

An odd thing about this type of dream is the dream seems to be a carefully scripted event. In this dream there is a Woman tending a fire in what would pass as porch space in a small cobblestone back street fenced in by houses.

Lucid dreams

linked odd dreams that make a complete story

This little alcove is a combination of paved brick and cement on the ground. Almost as if the builder ran out of one material and finished up with a second.

There is a plastered tan wall about four feet high separating the alcove from a packed dirt lot behind the wall on the left. Where the wall ends there is a building of what would have been a garage in this reality. Whatever is on the right of that I do not pay attention to. There is an old dark wooden gate in the wall leading to the lot.

A Woman in a brown ankle length dress and dark hair is tending a small open fire. There are three Children here and two dogs, one dog larger than the other. The children range in age from about ten to thirteen or fourteen. The dogs look like mutts, and look unwashed and uncombed.

The largest dog is crusted in mud and gunk even though there is no mud in sight. The children have dirty hands and faces though their clothes and hair is clean. Their hair is about ear length, brown and unkempt.

The Woman starts talking to me in a friendly voice. She tells me the men will be here shortly, and I am to wait. The children move around, yet they feel more like stage actors than real children. The woman throws a few twigs on the fire which is already burning quite well.

The day is slightly flat looking or overcast. It is dry here. It is also warm. There is no food to cook near the fire, nor pan or pot. The dogs are somewhat friendly. I do not encourage them as they are crusted with mud and such, and I do not want it on my clothes.

The Children now start talking about the dogs wanting me to look at them closer. I ask if they are male and female. The middle child tells me they are both female. Then as one dog turns away from him, he reaches down under the dogs tail and grabs what looks like a penis. The boy tells me that all female dogs have this appendage. Then the boy says, “The ?? causes confusion to those not used to seeing it”, (somewhat like a female Hyena perhaps?).

Two men enter into the space on the other side of the wall from a building (home?) on the far side of the lot. I am told by the woman to go through the gate to join the men. The men are dressed in drab earth colored clothing. The first man one has an Egyptian type hat (Fez?) on his head. The second man has a sand colored turban on his head. Both men wear vests.

After a few seconds of idle talk one of the men asks me to sit, and offers a beat up well used wooden kitchen chair for me to sit in. When I sit, the man tells me the other man will begin shortly and I should be still.

As I am thinking to myself, ‘Begin what?’. Then the second Man stands behind me, places his hands with his ring fingers on my upper lip and his other fingers up on my nose, his hands stopping just below my eyes. His wrist are partially covering my ears making it hard to hear anything clearly.

He presses his index finders firmly on my upper lip and starts speaking in a loud voice. I can hear some of what he is saying, though he is not speaking English. He was making some sort of statement, not an asking or demanding tone. I did not understand a single word of what little I heard.

This only goes on for ten or so seconds and he removes his hands from my face. He then starts to walk away and the other man follows. After a few steps he pauses, turns and tells me, “Come back Sunday, and I will fix something else”. They both turn and continue walking away towards the building they came out of.

I go back through the gate to where the woman tending the fire is. She is very happy for me, but unclear about what happened and why she is so happy. The children are also happy, and the dogs are excited bouncing around and barking.

As I look at the woman still squatting by the fire, and the children, I notice the larger dog. Some of the muck on his front left side is coming loose. It falls off as a huge piece (like armor only it’s mud) falls to the ground. Seconds later so does the mud plate on the other side of the dog fall off. I can now see the dog is both well fed and well groomed. With the exception of the dogs head and legs, the dog’s coat is smooth and shiny.

The woman now looks like the cat that ate the canary. The children are not sure how to react, and become anxious. The woman breaks the awkwardness by telling me she is happy for me, and happy I have been asked back.

Perplexed, I thank her and the children, and walk back down the alleyway wondering what transpired and why the ruse? Everything seemed to be staged. There was no reason for the fire. There was no water anywhere, only dust from each step on the dirt. The dogs ‘mud’ suit falling off was curious as was the mud to begin with.

I know I have been here before in other dreams. I end up here by accident it seems. Always arriving on foot. Never arriving from the same trail as the previous time here. I never met and talked with anyone there other than a few formalities until this dream.

The houses are adobe looking homes. ALong a cliff are the same homes, built pueblo style. There are no stairs or ladders that I have seen. No windows either.

A gondola type system too odd to explain, but is how people move from the upper story homes to other parts of the city. Buildings containing shops are adobe also and built like groups of shops would be here on a city street.

In a previous dream about this place, I was curious and went into one of the shops. Everything for sale was of a simple primitive nature, bows, arrows, clay pots and such. There was clothing for sale, mostly earth colored and simple of design.

Many trinkets for sale, mostly blue and red, and pieces of jewelry were arranged in bins. Under glass cases were worked metal necklaces with semi precious stones in them, and bracelets and bangles.

There were fruits too. Apples of several types and colors, and pears. For vegetables, there were green and yellow chili’s, and other varied vegetables I did not look at closely enough to identify. There was no meat, fish or fowl.

Where this is, and why I go here is a mystery. I hope to some day I learn the reason for these almost dreams. I have had other serial dreams in the past that came to a conclusion. These new serial dreams are interesting to ponder as these dreams have no connection except where I go, and I know I am dreaming.

Bathroom Faux Pas

To be honest I did not like my last post. I thought it was poorly written. It was dark. It jumped all over the place. It is not a mainstream topic. It was not wholesome or funny. It may have some educational value, but most people won’t take it seriously until after the fact.

Having an affair is something two people do on the sly, away from the light. They try to avoid anyone finding out what they are up to. When apart, they are ashamed of themselves and maybe each other. I don’t know, I am only guessing. I never had an affair, and never want to.

I have been thinking about what I haven’t written lately. Ideas that cross my mind, but never end up on electronic paper. Today in a daydreaming moment, I thought about a funny incident about going pee. The story not distasteful or at least I do not think it is. I think it is a funny story.

I am in the bathroom of this serious business type building. Everyone around me is dressed very business like. Ironed shirts, ties, suits, shiny shoes, mostly black.

I make my way to the Men’s <- keyword here, bathroom. When inside I am using a urinal. The urinals on each side of me are full. There may be five or so urinals, all filled with serious looking men in business attire, of which I am not one. It may have been right after lunch, or coffee break or something like that. At any rate, the urinals were all full, and there were a few men who finished their business as it were, at the sinks behind me.

For no reason whatsoever, I remembered being a little boy in the winter time with snow on the ground in the late afternoon or early evening. Those times were kind of magical as a kid. The snow kept everything in a kind of half light even though the sun may be down.

Anyway, I am thinking about when, as a child we kids would try to write our names in the snow with our pee. It was some mark of Kid-Dom, probably northern kids bucket list sort of thing. Something all boys who live in snow needed to try. Stand there with your friends and try to write your name in the snow. Of course some boys never managed the feat. For eight or ten year old boys in the winter it was badge of boyhood honor maybe.

As this thought is passing through my mind, my stream is splashing around the urinal. Kind of an unthinking movement from times long past. Certainly it was not the typical adult sound of a man going pee in a public restroom with other men standing on each side of him. It was not water out of the hose landing in the same place for a number of seconds type of sound.

I realized the Man using the urinal on my right, with a wall between us to our shoulders, was giving me a disapproving look. This was so funny in the moment, I broke what I imagine is a second mens bathroom taboo.

I started chuckling. Well, not really loud, but kind of quietly to myself though I am sure the man with the disapproving look could hear without much trouble.

The man’s sideways glance of disapproval became one of either contempt or hostility as he heard me chuckle and saw me smile. I wasn’t sure which face he was trying to make, they both are serious.

For whatever reason the man on my left also noticed the changing pattern of sounds coming from my stall at the urinal. He too was glancing at me with a surprised look.

Perhaps this second man thought I was mentally challenged, or I had some unknown condition where the garden hose was wavering in its attempt to water the bottom of the urinal. Palsy maybe, or worse.

We Men are sometimes boys in adult bodies.

I didn’t sound very masculine. Probably childish really. You know the sound urine makes on those those almost heart shaped things that look like something you could wipe mud off of your feet if it were on the floor. I didn’t sound like that at all standing at my urinal.

My thoughts collected and back to the present, I thought how amazing. I have broken some male bathroom etiquette I did not even know existed until the moment I committed this horrendous act!

I tried to imagine when the last time the man on my right with the scowl plastered across his face had allowed himself to have something resembling simple mindless fun? Has he ever enjoyed a spontaneous moment of unscheduled funny? Does he even know what fun is?

I have never been a serious person. Though I must say my few seconds of wild abandon standing at a urinal, still brings a smile to my face. Though I doubt I would share this story with just anyone who came along. They probably wouldn’t understand it or see the humor.

With the exception of camping trips, or something of the like, we men pretend to be grown up and mature, when really we are the same kids we always were, only in adult bodies. We trained ourselves to be mature. Upholding certain unspoken values, such as peeing with haught in a public bathroom.

People, as in adults, should learn that no matter how hard we try, we are not really the adults we pretend to be. We put on these masks and try to act as we think we should. Or at least we men do. I think women are in the same quandary too, but I don’t know how women act when around only other women.

The next time you catch yourself daydreaming in a public restroom, be careful, you might offend someone, who never had a childhood.

Having an Affair

Having an affair is a question that almost all married people answer during the course of their marriage. Lets face it. When you met your spouse they seemed to be the only person on earth who understood you and accepted you for what you are.

Your future spouse had this cute habit, special look, or simply made you feel really good. Eventually you were married. You and your spouse also continued to mature. You met socially or worked with all types of new people in different situations.

A few years pass, maybe children arrive. You wake up one day and realize, “The thrill is gone”. There is nothing wrong with your relationship. What is wrong is the transition from a romantic first few years into a long term relationship.

Your faults and the faults of your Spouse faults are painfully obvious. Your spouse in particular isn’t as cute or handsome as they were, and to be truthful, those cute habits are really annoying.

Without warning someone shows up in your life who sparks your interest. They are fun and vibrant. They are mysterious and witty. They are everything your spouse was a few years ago.

They are sexually attractive and appealing to you. You may find yourself harmlessly flirting with each other. They see you the same way.

Soon, your life is upside down. This other person with all this appeal sees the very same excitement in you, which you find in them. Are you ready to jump into an affair? Are you ready to take the leap and throw caution to the wind? Get back into excitement and make life more fun? Forget the dull boring family life for a while?

Affairs have a lot of appeal from a high level. The idea of an affair is everything that led your marrying in the first place. Is there something so wrong with wanting to relive those times in your life when you were so happy, and life was so exciting?

The idea of an affair may feel exciting.

The idea of an affair may feel exciting.

I am not the person who tells you what the right answer is. I am the person who has seen friends and family members enter into an affair. I have seen the outcome of letting loose and recapturing those old feelings once again. Here is what I have observed.

If or when you make the decision to have an affair, the rules of the affair relationship change. You give up your right to say no. The other person wants more from you than a few minutes of sex, and a few brief tests or phone calls. They want more than you were willing to give.

What they want from you varies from person to person. Some people want to see you more than you are able to see them. Some people want a permanent relationship. In worst cases, some people want to destroy you, or your marriage and family.

What happens if you find yourself in one of these situations, where the other person wants more than you can give?  How are you going to manage your marriage, and your life? What will be the long term effect on your future? What will be the effect on your family? Will you have a future after divorce?

Setting everything above aside for a moment, will you like the person you see in the mirror every day? Will your friends and family see you in the same way as they did before your affair became public knowledge? Will they forgive or shun you?

What about your long term future? What will you tell the next person you want to enter into a relationship with? Will they want to be involved with you once they learn the reason you are single and broke?

In the real world, several people over your lifetime will find you attractive. Some will even fall in love with you. Being normal, the same thing will happen to you. Throughout your life you will find many people attractive. You may even fall in love with some of them.

We are people, we are not machines. Anyone who thinks they will never find another person attractive, or possibly fall in love another is fooling themselves. Our lives are made of relationships. How we deal with our relationships is what matters.

It is okay to find someone other than your spouse attractive. It is okay to accept that you have special feelings for someone. This is part of life, and how life works. What is not okay is forgetting your obligations and vows to those people already in your life.

Reality is, very few affairs have happy endings. Sooner or later, the rules change and the affair ends. Some affairs end quietly, and each person goes on living with their infidelity and secrets. More often, the affair becomes public knowledge, and people are hurt. Some people never recover from the experience.

Is an affair something you want to have? It is one thing to have a fantasy of how exciting it would be with this person. Everything would be like it was some years ago, new and exciting. It is quite another thing to give control of your life over to someone you really do not know by crossing a boundary and breaking marital oaths.

As always the phrase, “Look before you leap”, has more meaning than jumping across a puddle of water. What you could be doing is, “Taking a leap of faith”.

Stop Arguing and Start Talking

I watched a verbal argument over a parking space this weekend. Both parties involved were angry. The conflict was never resolved, and each party left angry. The argument did not need to happen. The fix is fairly simple, and I want to share it with you.

Here is what happened. Parking spaces were severely limited, as more than the normal number of people were out shopping. The parking lot is cramped. Only one of the drivers had the opportunity to observe the future conflict in the making.

Vehicle one followed a couple from the store side of the parking lot to their vehicle. Driver one turned on their blinker signaling there intent to park in the soon to be abandoned space.

Vehicle two arrived as the car that occupied the parking space was about to vacate the space. Vehicle two assumed they had the right to the parking space for whatever reason.

The manner in which the space was vacated made it possible for vehicle one to slip into the parking space while vehicle two could not move forward to claim the space.

Driver of vehicle two was irate, and pulled up to the rear bumper of vehicle one fuming and flipping the bird through the window at the driver of vehicle one.

The driver of vehicle one took offense to the actions of the driver of vehicle two and went to the driver side window, The driver of vehicle two rolled down the window, and a very childish act was performed by both drivers.

Both drivers were talking loudly, both at at once, and pointing fingers at each other. The driver of vehicle two was offensive in their speech. Two sum up the conversation nothing was resolved and some ugly words were spoken.

What went wrong and how should the situation be managed? We all have experienced frustrating moments where we wanted to yell and scream at someone for something. We also know these type of actions rarely solve anything, and have learned not to employ them. Except that is when we are overwhelmed and not keeping things in perspective.

The parking lot incident aside there are some simple ways to correctly manage interactive conflict. Generally we manage our lives from three separate states of being, according to Dr. Eric Berne which I have found to be useful.

Conflict Resolution

How not to fight when you disagree

The first state is called the child. In the parking lot indecent both parties were acting through their child. Making a show of the situation by raising voices, calling names, and pointing fingers. Nothing is ever resolved in the child state.

The second and preferred state is the Adult state. This is where conflict of any type is best managed. The adult state is calm, quiet, and high level communication. The goal of communication through the adult state is to arrive at an end point, and gain resolution to a conflict or problem.

When two or more people are managing conflict with all three communicating from the adult state, the talk is calm, and measured. Conflict is resolved in a peaceful manner. Everyone may not happy with any conflict, but no one is left to feel they did not receive at least partial resolution. Possibly, all involved are equally unhappy with the end state.

The third and final state is the Parent state. The parent state is the authority in an interaction.  The parent state works okay when dealing with children, who of course live in the child state. The parent state guides and nurtures.

Keeping these three states in mind, it is easier to see why hurtful conflict happens, and how you can resolve conflict to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

Going back to the parking space story, both participants were acting through their child state. Yelling, name calling, finger pointing and not listening. Of course the situation ended with both people angry, and not satisfied with the outcome.

If they had known what you now know, they could have avoided the level of anger and hurt they felt and displayed. Both people should have tried to move themselves into the adult state.

Failing that, on of the two people should have tried to move themselves into the parent state, remaining calm, and waiting for the other party to change states and catch up by changing from the child state they were in.

The process is really very simple. When entering a state of conflict try to mange the conversation from the Adult state. If the other party refuses to change to the adult state, you can not force them.

You can stay in the adult state yourself, suggest they calm down and change states. You can jump into the Parent state and try to manage the conversation. This only works if the other person is willing to listen to parental advice. This does not happen often.

If you find you can not influence the other person to raise themselves to your state, your options are limited. You can continue hoping they will change into the adult state. You can end the conversation as there is no reason to continue in the moment.

Or you can change to their state and come what may. When the other party is in the Parent or Adult state, changing to the same state will not help the situation. If it is obvious no resolution will happen, changing to the other persons state will allow you to vent, call each other names, and point fingers.

Improving the New Year You

I am taking a different slant on my New Years resolutions this year. After all these years, I finally realize I am who I am. All the resolutions and changes over the years have not changed Me. I have my faults, many of them. I also have my talents, many of them.

It has become obvious over the time, no matter what I do, my faults are still here. So are my many talents. If you take a good look at yourself, you will find the same thing. You can change your looks to some extent. You can pretend to be someone different, and try to act like them.

In the end you are who you are. The real you comes through each and every day. Instead of trying to be something we are not, the time has come to be more of who we are. Instead of working on some boring changes which never last, it is time to work on improvements of things about us we can do even better.

Take a few moments and write down what you perceive are some of your obvious faults. This list is pretty easy. Now, on a separate piece of paper, or open a new document. Take a longer time and write down those things you do better than anyone else you know. Stop when you have identified three to five items. Your list may take seconds or it may take longer. Time is not important, this is not a timed event.

Throw away or delete the list of your faults. Your list of perceived faults is going to be with you the rest of your life. That is the way life is. A leopard can not change its spots, and we can not permanently change who we are. Nor should we want to.

Now you should only be looking at your list of items you are good at. These are what you and I will be working on over the next year. Decide which of the items on this list you enjoy the most. This is our first priority of the New Year.

Do some creative thinking about how you can do this one thing better. How can you change or modify what you do well and do it even better? It should be fairly easy to come up with a short list of ways to improve what you do well.

Once you have a list of how to do your number one choice even better, do the same with your remaining items. Draw up a short list of how you can do these things even better.

Make what you do well better instead of trying to change into someone else.

Do what you do well better instead of failing to change yourself into someone else.

This idea make me excited! I hope it makes you excited too? Instead of trying to fix something that I think is wrong with me, or wrong in my life, I am going to work on making what I enjoy about me even better!

Is it making sense? I have found, every New Years, I have made some resolutions. Maybe go to the gym more. Do a better job at my work. Clean out my closet, and keep it clean. We both know these resolutions turn out to be boring and they do not work. I quit trying to do boring things! I am going to work on doing things I enjoy, learning how to do them better!

Now, for your part. Work on your list of things you do well, and your ideas on how to do them better. Doing this is a lot more fun than starting another year with another list of resolutions you give up on in a month or so, because they are boring. You will not spend the rest of the year thinking about how you failed at something you really did not want to do to start with.

You did not fail to complete last years resolutions. You did what is natural. They were boring and they were not about you. They were about someone you thought you should change yourself into. You are not that person. You are you! Stop now and reread this post. Start making your list of things you do well. Write down your thoughts on how to do those things better.

Without even trying, you will find yourself getting excited about your list. You will find you are excited about the changes you want to make. This is about you and who you are. Not some silly idea of changing into who you think you should be. That person will never exist, no matter how hard you try.

Keep notes on your progress, and let me know how you are doing. I want to hear about you becoming better at being you! Happy New Year! Happy You!

Christmas is not a Me day

The Holiday Season for many adults is an especially hard time. Too often we feel overly pressured to not only look but we think we should actually be happy too. Media shows everyone but us with a smile on their faces, sitting by the fire, drinking hot chocolate, singing camp fire songs or whatever.

In reality this is a fabricated lie. Especially if you are single. What is more likely to happen is trudging, day by day, through the holiday season feeling alone and forgotten. Wishing the holidays would hurry up and be over so we can get back to our normal life.

If we are not single, or have children, the feelings are similar though for different reasons. We are tired from both work and caring for family. We’re strapped for cash. Recovering from Thanksgiving which is a big expense in itself. Bills are higher – mostly from heating our home. The expense of buying Christmas presents we can be happy about is financially draining.

Then the car breaks because the weather is cold, and our car is old. Our jacket(s) is old and tired and we need a new jacket(s). Gloves, a hat, perhaps a scarf, more items we need to spend money on this time of year is really hard on the budget, or what amounts to a budget.

Now the media pressure of the holidays themselves are wearing us down. Too much happy Christmas music. Too many Christmas commercials, too much Christmas in general. All this flows right into New Years. It is a never ending barrage that has been gaining momentum since the day after Thanksgiving, which anymore is almost right after Halloween.

Relax and unwind, holidays are about events, not 'me'.

Relax and unwind, holidays are about events, not ‘me’.

There is relief from all this pressure and stress. A slight change in thinking is all it takes. News Flash, News Flash, these holidays are not about us! Christmas before Christ was the Roman holiday Saturnalia, which was Roman the Winter Solstice festival. Christmas for early Christian personal health and well being was blended into the Roman holiday.

New Years is credited to the ancient Babylonians Celebrating the entrance of the New Year with the New Full Moon following the Winter equinox or solstice. Their timing was off though according to Julius Caesar who changed New Years around about to where it is today.

The point of this post is a reminder, these holidays are not ‘me” holidays, they are not about you, or about me. They are holidays celebrating events. Events most of the world celebrates in one way or another. But they are not about us. With the exception of a few of us, it is not our birthday. We are not the reason a new year is starting.

It is hard to take ‘me’ out of things, because we view the world from the perspective of ‘me’. For these Holidays, ‘me’ is not the focus, something else is. For these weeks from Thanksgiving to January 2, give ‘me’ a break. Out of the whole year, only a few calendar dates are not about the ‘me’ in us. The dates are about something else entirely.

Unwrapping ‘me’ from the holidays places both the holidays and ‘me’ into their proper roles. Suddenly there is no pressure to be happy and spedning money each waking moment. ‘Me’ is not the reason of these holidays. These holidays are about something bigger and separate from us.

Go ahead and give this a try. At first ‘me’ will complain because everything is always about ‘me’. ‘Me’ will quiet down and relax once ‘me’ understands you are serious. Happy Holidays, You!

Holiday Gifts To Last a Lifetime

Christmas and New Years is too often a time of stress, anxiety, and depression for too many people. Feeling overwhelmed and under budgeted, the next few weeks can feel miserable instead of happy and fun.

How much money needs to be spent on family and friends so they know you love them and are happy they are in your life? Little money really, except for maybe your children who tend to equate things with self worth and peer status. Too many of us have forgotten love and friendship are not purchased with gifts.

People who are your friends and people who love you do not need anything other than returning those same feelings they give you. We are always happiest knowing others love and care for us. Return the goodness and let others know you love and care about them too.

It is wonderful to open a present and find something really unusual that you wanted. It feels better to receive a hug, phone call, email, im, card or letter from someone telling you they appreciate having you in their life.

Things are temporary. They last a short time and then they are gone. Life is more enjoyable thinking fond memories of friends and family, than it is thinking about some great gift you received some years ago.

Things are temporary, wonderful until we forget about them

Things are temporary, wonderful until we forget about them

Most of us do not think much about what we have, and where it came from. We think more  about friends and family. We remember the mostly good times we had with others over the years. Memories are what we store away and pull out in the future. Memories float our boat.

If you are one of those people who feel run down, run over, or just plain tired of the holidays think about this post. The amount of money you spend, the parties you attend, the gifts you give are momentary. The important part of life is letting your friends and family know they are important to to you and your life.

Give a gift of yourself, your friendship and love. Those in your life now, and in the future will &treasure the gift of you that is with them always. It’s not having what you want…It’s wanting what you’ve got – Sheryl Crow “Soak Up The Sun”

Waiting For Perfect You

Life is sometimes confusing. We go through our daily routine, and we do not feel all that special about ‘us’. We seem to have missed out on the charisma someone we know has. We missed out when they were giving out the ‘be funny’ package.

Then it gets worse. We look at ourselves and we see all these defects about us. We see ourselves as too large. Perhaps we see ourselves as too small. Our hair is funny, or our nose is wrong.

The list we make of ourself continues to grow over the years until it seems to fill many pages. No wonder we are not more popular, funny, creative, or happy. How can we be with all the flaws that fill our life.

There is one item of good news about all our faults however. In fact there are several pieces of good news about us that we do not realize. The best and greatest good news about us, is this: We are unique, one of kind, the only us. We are the person, the myth, the legend of US.

I can read your thoughts in the instant. You are thinking this is all well and good, but it does not apply to me. I’m feeling a little argumentative in the moment, and it I say it does apply to you, and to you alone!

Everything flaw on the list you keep about yourself is not important. Every detail lacking in your personality and being is perfect. You should believe this because it is true. If any little part of you were to change, you would not be you any longer. You would be someone else.

Before trying to be someone different, try being yourself

Before trying to be someone different, try being yourself

If you have ever tried acting, pretending to be someone else, it is hard work. I once tried to be someone else, because I was not too happy with who I thought I was. I found after an hour or two it was hard work. It was much easier to be me.

The uniqueness of you is what makes the world a magical place! I want to be around and talk with people not like me. I am plain and boring. When I am myself, and forget about me, I find people actually like me. People enjoy my company and sense of humor.

In these moments, I realize, that all my flaws added together make a wonderful me. If it is true for me, it is also true for you. Everything on the list you keep in your head about what is wrong with you, work together to make a perfect, wonderful you!

When your parents tell you how proud of you they are, and how much they love you, they are not reading from some parents manual. Your parents tell you this because it is true. They know you better than anyone, and they know how all your minor flaws and defects make one awesome package of a person who just happens to be you!

When you go about your day, instead of trying to fit in, and trying to be someone you really are not, relax and be yourself. Those people who you find yourself hanging around with and sharing your life with will surprise you.

They won’t see someone with all the flaws and defect you see in yourself. They see someone they enjoy being around, and if they would let themselves admit it, they wish they could be a little bit like your themselves.

Faces we Wear in Public

I recently read a blog post recently by Anastasia titled, “The anxiety monster”. In her post, Anastasia describes what life is like in her shoes. Anastasia lives with some issues that many of us will never face, while others live with them daily. Anastasia is a brave woman who’s heart is in the right place, and wishes to help others as she is able.

Moving from the brevity of Anastasia’s post to reflect on creating and wearing your face as a mask when in public is the point of this post. Anastasia writes, she turns her face into a mask when going out in public. The idea being that no one will be able to decipher her true self or feelings, if she keeps her face set to mask. As I believe Anastasia understands the process, if there are no facial expressions, there is nothing for people to judge or process about her.

While the idea of people turning their faces into a mask when out in public, sounds good on the surface, there are drawbacks to this behavior. Being emotionless has its place in public, but not always, and not for most people.

Being emotionless may let us think we are indecipherable. No one can read our thoughts, see our fears, or determine our mood. We feel we can look at other people while wearing our mask, and they will not judge us, or form an opinion of us, because we are wearing our public mask.

There are some downsides turning our faces into masks. We have been looking at each other since we were born. We are experts at seeing through what wearing a public mask can not hide. These are not obvious things, but they are there all the same if we are looking for them.

One of the first tools foreigners use in a new land is watching facial expressions and body posture. Even without knowing a word of the language, much can be determined simply by posture and facial expression. Even the lack of expression is expression after all.

We can not hide subtle details of our face changing with our momentary flashes of emotion. Namely around our eyes and lips. These are areas of our faces which we have little control over. Eyes in particular flash emotion, caused by subtle changes of the skin around our eyes.

When someone suddenly becomes angry, subtle changes take place around their eyes. From a casual glance we are not aware that we have seen the changes, yet we know that person is suddenly angry. If asked we usually can not describe how we know what we know about another person is feeling in the moment.

Surprise or fear are two other emotions that are apparent even when we try to keep our face under control. When someone is suddenly surprised or becomes fearful, no matter how they try to control that emotion, it flashes across their face. Anyone watching picks up on that surprise or fear because it momentarily flashes across their face like a neon sign.

Other emotions follow suit, flashing across peoples faces, letting the world see what they feel no matter how they try to control their face. There really is little one can do about these facial expressions commonly called “micro expressions“.

No mask here, I'm tired the sun is in my eyes.

No mask here, I’m tired the sun is in my eyes.

A second concern Anastasia writes about is people judging her in public. If her public mask is place, she feels people can not pass judgement on her.  With her face in a neutral expression, what is there to judge? This too is a sound idea in theory, but simply not true.

Human beings continously pass judgement on other human beings. True, if we are treating our face as an emotionless mask, people may form the wrong opinion of us, but they will form opinions of us all the same. This is something we do without thinking.

Forming opinions by watching expressions others is how a salesperson knows when to apply pressure and when to back off. Forming an opinion is how the beggar knows we are an easy mark or not. Forming opinions of interviewed suspects is how police begin to solve cases.

At the very worst, someone may be attracted to our public mask and form an opinion of us that is simply not true. Then we are confronted with someone forming an opinion of us being someone we really are not.

Turning our face into a public mask to hide may feel secure, but we humans are smart. We generally are not fooled by anothers attempt at deception by wearing a public mask. We are well trained and have honed our skills in deciphering faces and the emotions they display.

We prefer to keep our inside or private us partially hidden away unless we are behind closed doors where we can safely be ourselves. To a large extent we all wear masks in public. Only our masks are closer to the real us.  In public we become actors taking on a bit part, representing what we want the world to think of us.

Actors and Actresses do this very well. They take on roles portraying a character that may be nothing like themselves. They adapt the persona they need to use while performing. Which is what we do, only we are not well trained actors. We make more mistakes.

We put on a face we want to be seen with in public. Perhaps we look happy, content, or curious. We may want to look seductive, or aloof. Depending on the level of interaction we want, we make subtle changes to our public face, prehaps pretending to be more than we reallyare. We put our best self forward, and we hope we are not caught acting.

Wearing a blank face is not fooling anyone. People will still judge, forming opinions that may or may not be true because of the face we wear. People are good at seeing through our masks generally. It is simpler to be ourselves. People will form opinions of us anyway, so what does it matter?

Electronics Mimicking Pet Behavior

I use two cell phones during my week. Not that it matters much. One cell phone is for work, and the second cell phone is my personal phone. What does matter is I do not want a pet in my life. I am fairly busy these days and a pet needs more attention than I can give. Hence, no pets.

If you have or had pets, you know they need a lot from you. They need food, water, and bathroom privileges somewhere. Pets also need and want a lot of attention, mostly when they want it. It would be hard to quantify how much time one would spend taking care of their pet each week, but it is more than a few minutes per week.

What does this have to do with cell phones and other electronics? A lot actually. A few phones, tablets, and other electronics have been very crafty in some cases. Especially when it comes to how their OS behaves.

Some Companies have designed their products to act like pets in some respects, mostly in wanting attention. For example, my work phone is a droid and my personal phone is not. My droid continues to shove information down the pipeline to my phone. Ringing and dinging to get my attention all day long.

When electronics mimic pets to keep your attention on it

When electronics mimic pets to keep your attention on it

My droid appears to be ignorant of the idea that I never use my droid for anything not work related. No news, no social, no anything not work related. Daily it rings and dings alerting me of new items that I may be interested in, or something I need to do to it, or with it as the case me be.

Often my phone wants me to stop whatever I am doing to download updates. Often they are updates to software I have yet to use. I can not remove them, as they are declared part of the operating system and removing them may damage the system.

Then there is the but issue for lack of a better word. Not but calls, but  turning on both location services and blue-tooth while in my pocket. Two to three times a day some days. Too often to be coincidence.

My personal phone, not a droid is more reserved. If I choose to not use an application that is part of the system, it is okay with my choice. I do not have the problem of my personal phone changing settings while hiding in my pocket. Location services and blue-tooth have never turned on without my approval.

My droid phone is trying to be a pet, and my other phone is not. If I wanted a pet and all the attention a pet requires I would get another pet. In the moment, I do not wish to give up what little time I have to spend on a pet, or tinker with my phone.

I find the same problems when I use a non Linux computer. All the tinkering they require. Stopping the flow of thinking because something wants attention or needs to be done. Some accuse Linux of not being integrated. If so, I am happy to pay the price to be left alone, to do what I want do do on my computer when I want to do it, or not.

I am sure Pet Behaving Electronics are filling a gap. Perhaps they are more popular than I imagine? SOmeone sure is happy with them, as they are popular. They certainly replace Blue the dog, and Roxie the cat due to the amount of attention they want each hour.

Maybe there should be a disclaimer, or an attention needed rating on electronics. Buyers should not have to find out after the sale, just how much attention their phone wants.

It seems a little below board. Mimicing pet behavior in an electronic feels sort of cheesy to me. I also dislike not having a choice in an operating system to remove or turn off what I do not want. Maybe I should throw my work phone away and get a pet, it may save time.