Lessons of Life Through Love and Astrology

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Working with Astrology, I have read people of all kinds and noticed some very uncanny similarities. Despite their sign, everyone is looking for their version of love, happiness and success. People are attracted to different things, careers and people for various reasons, but true love is based upon chemistry—you’ve got to have that indescribable feeling.

You need to have a level of compatibility to get along, connect and sustain a relationship over time and through hardship. Everyone wants different things and not everyone wants marriage, kids or academics. Regardless if you do find someone who you want to share the rest of your life with. A lot of people relate in different ways, and a lot of people are capable of different things, they feel things differently and express themselves differently, but at the end of the day, all that truly matters is that it works for them (as it is not our place to gossip) and that they are happy. It is unfortunate when people lose faith in themselves, lose others, make mistakes, which hurt the people they care about or have just little self worth that they settle for unsettling circumstances because they’ve lost control, and have no self-respect, which makes love lost for them. Life is full of scenarios, objections, diverse projections and a variety of lessons that can be learned and re-liked, climb down the branches of Astrology to see why it is useful to life, and unravel the lessons and understandings about life, which it evokes.

 Life Doesn’t Allow You to Chose the Destiny You Desired

 People enjoy Astrology because it is like an affirmation, which operates like “yes, I am like that”, and “yes, I am capable of that”, or “yes, I do that.” Astrology reminds us that we are all complex and full of different, unique capabilities. None of us are identical, but we might have similar expressions or qualities. We may want the same things, but we think about them differently and we feel differently about them.

For example, some people are just happy being together without getting married or having a wedding. Many couples are having planned children without getting married, and this makes them perfectly happy, though it doesn’t always meet the needs of their traditional parents who believe that babies should not be born out of wedlock. Families can have a hard time accepting circumstances that go beyond what they envisioned for you growing, and this includes who you decide to marry (age, gender, race, social status), if you plan to marry and how. However, to the couples who prefer to skip the step of marriage, the lack of this convention does not make their love any less valuable. I know of several couples who aren’t married, happily together and starting families(ironically a few of them were Aquarius/Leo couples that make for an opposite mach in Astrology that tends to work well), they just wanted to be together and didn’t feel like they needed to get married in order to secure that commitment, or solidify them as a happy. For others, getting married is a absolute necessity, they long to say those vows in front of others (or alone to the one they love), they’ve dreamed of the day ever since they were a child, and getting married is something they would never compromise on—it’s a deal breaker. Same goes for children. Some people have had their children’s names picked out since a young age while others are certain that they don’t ever want to reproduce and have children—both options are deal breakers. That being said, life doesn’t always allow you to chose the destiny you desire or dreamed up as a kid.

You can plan to marry and have children, only to discover that you can’t biologically conceive children the natural way. It’s heart crushing, but there are no absolutes in life. So much is out of our control, it makes it easy to just sit back and watch it all fall a part, but it’s what you choose to do with the chaos that counts. How you chose to re-organize your life when someone or something comes and shuffles it up. The choices you decide to make in the site of a horrific hurdle, and how you rise up to take back your day, to take back what’s been taken from you. The truth is, as much as we always wish for the best, especially for the people we love, the people that we want to see happy, people don’t always get what they deserve. Not everything happens for a reason. Believe that logic and you’ll have yourself wondering over reason for days. Regardless of how it seems, no one is always winning all the time—it doesn’t matter how beautiful it looks, up close, real close, there is a crack. Everyone experiences some kind of pain or some kind of loss in their life. You may not know it because there is this social pressure to always look and be okay. Like how many times do people apologize when they cry or get emotional? People are afraid to show vulnerability. People are afraid to show their truth. People think they have to paint this life picture of success and joy oppose to shedding light upon the reality of their worries, fears, struggles and hardships.

Working with people, I have found that a life change, transition or hardship turned them onto Astrology. These people needed a little bit of of hope and some insight to help guide them towards a positive outcome.

So often we reach out, but sometimes, we have to look within, we need to dig deep in order to trust in our natural innate gifts and know that we have the strengths and the powers to get through it. Other people don’t always have the space for our emotional struggles and it will hurt when you learn the hard way who is really there for you and who isn’t, but you should consider yourself lucky if there are even a couple of people who provide support. If you have loved someone and felt that same love back, then you are lucky. You have experienced true love and that is a blessing. As you get older, you will learn, with people, it is quality over quantity.

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Learn to Let Go

If someone doesn’t respond to you—let it go, if some has drifted from you—let it go, if someone is giving you mixed messages—let it go, If you are making all the efforts and getting zero in return—let it go. If someone is meant to be in your life, they will be, sadly there is nothing you can do to control the status of this. Time changes a lot of things, and it can heal a lot of matters, but time takes time, and you have to let time run its course. Time will heal what it is supposed to, and sadly the rest just wasn’t meant to be, no matter how much it hurts. You simply have to radically accept it, which means you don’t have to like it or love it, but you have to accept it, feel your feelings, and find a way to move on.

If you truly love someone let them go, and if they love you, then they will come back to you, or at least that’s what they are always saying, can anyone stand up and attest that this is true? There are some people where I can see the hope of them possibly returning and others where I don’t question for a second that I will never be hearing from them again. Regardless, you have to give whoever is rejecting you their space, you don’t need to chase after someone who claims to no longer want you, especially don’t waste your efforts if that person has stopped communicating with you—getting no message is also a message. It’s easier said then done because it is so hard to let go, and we think that “one last message” and that you can think of the perfect thing to say to win them, but in that exact moment any thing is going to be seen as volume—added noise against your cause. It frustrates you especially when you’ve spent tens of years building an intimate relationship with someone you love, but you have to take heed of the reality that relationships change, and that dynamics in life can drastically change and affect relationships. Try to focus on how the relationship is different now and why it would hurt you to stay in it. Are you holding onto the friend because they are truly a good friend to you or are you just afraid of the loss?

Love is a Form of Restoration

The thing about life is that it keeps going, no matter who is losing or winning. While you may lose something in one token, you can gain something new in another capacity.

Take love for example, you lose some love in your life by ending a twenty-year friendship, but a week later you join an art class and make three new friends. You are told by these friends how lovely and wonderful you are. In no time, these three friends are telling you that they love you, and you have come to love them too. While this new found love isn’t the same as the love you lost, it does show you that you will never be at a loss for love in your life. Love restores. Friendship restores. Relationships restore and they can improve.

 

I’ve been able to tell when I’ve thought people have met the one and also when I saw signs of toxicity in a given relationship. You can date someone for years only to meet someone better suited for you later in life, someone who you eventually settle down with for good. Treatment in relationships and friendships is crucial, and often people don’t see their own self-worth as they fail to demand more for themselves in relationships. They fail to set appropriate boundaries, which lead to all kinds of issues. It is important that both parties involved in the relationship feel like they are treated equally. The product of least interest (which states that the person with the least interest has the most power) should not apply. Co-dependency should not apply. Kahill Gibran describes lovers as pillars that require distance from each other to hold up a temple. “Even in a relationship, both parties need to have their own ability to hold things up, and it can’t be a relationship built on dependence. We’re better off standing up straight, and not leaning.”

 As important people are to us, we can’t rely on them for our happiness. People can’t be the incentives which keep us alive. They can’t be the reason we are standing or smiling. Astrology explores the various passions of each sign, highlighting what each sign is capable of doing. It’s good to have outlets in life that are just about you and do not involve other people. There are people and certain sign groups who are horrible at being alone. Some people always need to be around people otherwise they feel alone or down. You can’t rely on other people to stimulate you or put you in a good mood, it may sound sappy, but you’ve truly got to learn how to be your own best friend. Spending time alone does not make you a loser or a loner, it makes you secure, independent and confident in yourself. How do you expect anyone to enjoy your company if you can’t?

 

Success is the Best Revenge

Aside from wanting the perfect relationship and the right set of friends, most people want to be successful. Like love expectations, this really varies for sign to sign, but of course, there is some common ground. People can’t help but compare themselves to others. In a sense, we will never fully abandon the survival of the fittest mentally, and life can feel like a competitive rat race, and people size up their lives and see whose is better. People will act like they are happy for people who do better then them, but inside there is a pang of envy.


Most people wish they could get rich doing what they love, but a lot of people have had to settle for a steady paying full-time job while pursuing their true passion on the side. Leo’s are really good at becoming their own boss and doing what they love. Pisces will often sit on their golden ticket or cash it in too late or sometimes not at all. Though there are always those special fish who rise to the top and surprise you. Einstein was one of them. Sagittarius was born to be a big deal, and will have a hard time settling for second best. A lot of Sagittarius’ are natural born bosses. Taurus works really hard for every penny of the good, solid money they earn and can often achieve seniority, but sometimes they are slow to make a change or claim all the true glory, which they deserve. Capricorn is bound to achieve great things and set big goals. Capricorn doesn’t like to settle for anything but the best. Air signs like Aquarius, Gemini and Libra are a mixed bag. Aquarius has genius potential, and if exercised correctly can achieve greatness without limits. Gemini is highly skilled, communicative, and detailed-orientated—if they are career orientated and interested in what they do, they can really win, and climb the corporate ladder. Libra can take on a big role, but they have to be responsible, focused and inspired to bring their gifts to life for a consistent time period. Scorpio is very giving, hard-working, and smart, but it’s important that they love what they do so that Scorpio can be happy at work. Scorpio could easily do an important job in their sleep. This is also true of Cancer who is creative, crafty, and very empathic. Aries is born to succeed and lead by example. They tend to take charge of what they do. Career is usually very important to them and they tend to make it a goal to excel at their profession. Virgo might be more “behind the scenes”, but they actually make for excellent bosses or managers. Virgo is analytical, organized, and very intelligent.

 

It is true that some of the signs are more likely to take on dominant work roles like managers and CEO’s. Attributes of certain elements have traits better suited for these roles. Generally, fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) and earth signs (Virgo, Capricorn, Taurus) are more likely to be in charge in the work place. Other signs are most artistic like air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) and water signs (Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio). Air signs have a good eye, they are very visual, they are able to see how things work, and will know what will look good together, they can put looks together, are prone to detail, and can easily spot flaw. They have a flare for fashion, aesthetic, art and beauty. They also have an artistic charm and are deep thinkers who see all shades of the canvas. They may also have artistic, musical or creative abilities. Water signs are very intuitive and perceptive, they are very creative-minded and they usually make for good writers, musicians and artists. They may have skills in the performing arts, graphic design or photography. While some signs abandon their passions to get what they consider to be a “real job”, water signs are the most likely to stick with their passion no matter how much money it makes them. They will make their passion into a “real job.” A lot of them would rather do what they love then sell their soul. Water signs generally fall in the less materialistic category and many of them believe in spending it while you’ve got it.

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A Pocket Full of Problems

 Astrology rules out the need for black and white thinking—we are all complex, made of many parts. We might see a situation one way one day, only to learn more about the situation in the next moment. Astrology shows how everyone has a point of weakness and yet we still hold people accountable for thing we consider to be wrongful, even if that wrong can be expected of them.

We still end friendships without even a real discussion. What do we gain from black and white thinking? Black and white actions? Communication is not typing letters onto a device and pressing send without a trace of emotion. Communication requires using your voice. Care enough about the people in your life to physically talk to them about the issue. Recognize what your boundaries are, and if a boundary has been crossed, but look at all the insinuating factors, consider all the facts, don’t try to interpret them, and don’t try to fill in the blanks. What you think you know, may not be, so it’s best to talk it through and really hear all sides to the situation. Sure, sometimes “sorry” just seems like a word playing on a broken record, a meaningless word that you’ve heard before. Sure, you’ve heard it all before, and you’ve seen people go back on their promises, but keep it mind, there might be more to that, and the situation might be out of their control. In these cases, ask yourself what is that person willing to do differently this time around? Is this person taking any necessary steps to change? Do you see any improvements? Emotions make it easy for us to say, “see ya”, but that’s the emotional mind talking. In reality, you’re hurt, but whatever happened doesn’t erase the history you’ve formulated with this person. Life might seem exhausting and never-ending, but in reality, life is short, and you never know what is going to happen, tragedy has a horrible way of striking upon the best of people. Chances are you still care about the person you claim to be mad at or done with. It’s not my place to tell you what to do, but if they’ve expressed that they are sorry and have made some concrete changes, it might be worth considering forgiveness.

Keep in mind, some people have chronic obstacles standing in their way, which prevent them from being their best, productive selves. They might have the right intentions, but they simply can’t cut it. Everyone is given a different set of cards, and some people are dealt a very challenging hand. It’s hard to care, when you are given a winning hand, I get this, but you have to try to understand that they aren’t able to control the notion that they hurt you. They are hurting. It’s not to say that they mean to, but if they realize this is happening, seek help, work on it constantly, and take it seriously then they might be worthy of a second change. If someone had something that they couldn’t help, that they couldn’t control, would you really hold it against them? If so, life is a little, or a lot sad for that poorly dealt person who feels like they have to move far away somewhere and start over again because no one in their community will ever trust the again. Or no one accepts them because they are a product of a shitty hand. It’s very discomforting to know that humans could be this hard on each other.

 

XOXO Gossip Girl

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Astrology touches on the positive and negative aspects of each sign, but I find that people are often sensitive to hearing the negative traits of their star sign. I’ve always tried to keep it real in my work, but have experienced that some people really take it personal and take it to heart. Like, “Gems are not liars”, or “Aries are not selfish.” It speaks to society on so many levels because people will speak ill of others behind their backs, but they won’t say it to their face. People can’t handle the truth. Gossip is actually the devil as stories break down and get distorted and eventually the “truth” becomes a lie.

I had a very wise English teacher in high school who told us, “don’t tell other people’s stories…don’t share other people’s stuff.” She couldn’t be more accurate. I learned this the hard way when I hurt someone very, very dear to my heart by sharing his business—and to this day, I don’t think I can ever forgive myself no matter how sound my excuse is, the honesty is that there is no excuse. I just wish I was rational and considerate enough to listen to my old teacher. Nothing good can come from the act of sharing other people’s stories, no matter if you thought you had good intentions, no matter how sorry you are. Once trust is broken, some people can never see you the same. Trust is the most important thing, to many of us, to most of us, it is everything, and people’s traumas are sacred and extremely fragile. They are personal. If someone lets you in on this, it is a gift, it is something precious—treat it with gentle hands and an open heart. Treat it with the upmost respect, and grace it as if it was your own. Gossip destroys people, and what goes around certainly comes around. Recently, I was a part of a class where people who were my friends turned on me, believed lies about me and were talking about me in a negative way. It felt awful. In fact, all of my life, I have felt like people were talking about me, swapping secrets, even in my own family, and I don’t think that I am wrong, and this notion is really painful. I know firsthand what it feels like to be the victim of gossip, and it’s just that, these people don’t know the truth, they have no real sense of my reality, they just speculate and shit talk, but no one confronts me or has the courage to speak to me in an honest fashion. Even the friends I have upset, they have talked about me behind my back, but none of them have talked to me face-to-face, and that’s gossip doing its evil work. Anytime you talk about someone in an unsupportive way and they aren’t physically present—you are gossiping.

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Sure some signs are said to be more into gossip then others. Justin Timberlake is an Aquarius and he sings, “I’m a gossip sign”, Gemini is certainly known to have the gift of the gab and will shit talk their own friends—doesn’t mean they don’t love them. Leo usually gossips about famous people or people that think they are big deals, but not their friends. Leo will also gossip when they feel threatened or if someone has come at them first, but for the most part Leo is pretty kind. Taurus only gossips about people they don’t like, otherwise they are 100% loyal. Everyone is guilty of gossiping because what do people do: talk about people. Most of what we think is based off what we see and not off of what we know for certain. People talk a lot, but it’s not even a true testament to how they really feel because if they had to tell someone what they thought of you, gun to head, the story might be a lot different. It’s just talk right? It’s perceived as harmless, right? For example, we see something on Instagram and make a quick, negative judgement or assumption about someone or something. That’s gossip. Talking about something or someone without really knowing the context or the subtext. Sometimes even talking about the things that happen to us can be a form of gossiping if we target other people in a way which is subjective, negative, derogatory or insulting to the parties involved. It breaks ties. It hurts people. It can make you feel so paranoid like you could never feel comfortable in your own skin again, or believe that anyone could be interested in you ever again. The saddest thing about gossip honestly is that people believe it. Without any confirmation from the source, they take what they hear and they share it and down the line it gets fabricated, and it gets shared some more and some more and some more until it becomes a monstrosity. Remember that saying, “it’s none of your business what other people think of you.” Perhaps it is a lifesaver that we don’t get to know what other people think of us or else we wouldn’t want to be alive. People are so cruel, critical, competitive, and jealous—they say things behind your back because they would never have the courage to say them to your face. I’ve argued with friends before, and one has actually said to me, “you have no idea what people say about you to me.” Even if I was thinking the same thing about her, it made me feel horrible, like I was this big laughing stock joke to people in our community. The power of the community, that word was so daunting, it just reminded me how hard it was to fit into this world, and how I could either die trying, I could laugh and just give up, or I could keep going, throw my hands up and not give a fuck.

 

Keep Your Faith

Astrology isn’t psychology or medicinal, but it can be uplifting to you when you’ve lost faith in your self.

 I think we struggle our whole lives to be happy. We have periods of happiness, and moments of happiness, but overall joy can be hard to maintain or achieve. We want love, but relationships are a lot of work. We want kids, but having a baby is also a lot of work and takes a great deal of responsibility—it takes a lot out of you. Some of us want the perfect love, the perfect family and the perfect job. All of these things require a lot of attention, energy and patience. With life, there is always stress. Work is usually demanding, even if you love what you do, it expects a lot of you. Then there are the intimacy pressures, are you happy with the level of intimacy between you and your partner? If there is a lack of intimacy? Do you view this as a problem? Are you both happy with where you are at? Do you feel like you are settling, or are you sincerely happy? Family matters always come into play, are you getting along with your extended family? Maybe your single and looking and frustrated because you’re ready to meet the one? Maybe you feel like you are running out of time? Maybe you’ve been so hurt that you’re turned off of the idea of being with someone entirely? Maybe you are happy alone, but feel like you can’t relate to anyone in your life because they all have families? Maybe your married but struggling to start a family? Maybe your ready for a second child? Maybe you don’t want another child? Maybe your having problems with your partner or your family or your best friend? Regardless to say, life is full of a wide range of problems and everyone deals with them differently. Gender does play a role as women are more wired to talk about their feelings where men are not.

Some signs are more introverted then others and stick to vague communication while keeping their problems to themselves. Earth signs (Virgo, Capricorn, Taurus) are not super chatty about their problems. Virgo tends to worry like mad and will think a lot about matters. How they feel will be written all over their face, even if they struggle to talk about their pain. Taurus will ruminate and become stubborn about issues, even if they are very tender at the root. Taurus will sometimes feel like they are the only person who can help them through. Capricorn will want to solve the problem and will hate that it exists in the first place. It will take them awhile to work through it as they process things very methodically. They tend to be very private about their personal affairs. These three signs operate best in loving, lasting, long-term relationships. When things in love and work are going well, these signs are fulfilled and happy. When love and work are conflicted, these signs are at their worst. Earth signs also like to be content with their physical appearance. They have to be totally self-satisfied internally and externally. These signs want the best from life, but are happy if they have the basics, and are able to do the things that they love.

 Fire signs don’t really like to admit defeat or show weakness. Leo, Sagittarius and Aries are all strong signs and natural born leaders. Leo believes that success is the greatest form of revenge. They have been known to kill their enemy with kindness. If something bad happened to a Leo, they might try to patch it up with something good. Leo might be dramatic or emotional at the start, but soon enough they will come back swinging. Male Leo usually keeps his problems to himself. He may talk to no one about it and keep his problems as secrets. He will shut down and he will feel low. His loyally is strong. When it comes to love, he often can’t overlook it. Even if his love is unfaithful, he will likely still take her back—he loves this deeply, and can’t see fault in the one who captures his heart.

Leo girl will be vocal about her problems. She will talk to her close people, her partner (if she has one), her family and favoured acquaintances. She might even post something on social media, like a strutting lion, she will want the attention surrounding her problem, she will want her feelings to be validated. If she is a shy cub lion she might shut down and go into silent mode where she is ashamed or hurt and doesn’t want to talk to anyone.

Aries is the first in the zodiac so they are rated number one and expected to finish the race long before it is over. Highly ambitious and goal orientated, Aries doesn’t really accept failure, at least failure isn’t really in their language. Vulnerability isn’t their strong suite. Personal details about them are not openly shared. Aries means business, they don’t make room for emotion just like they don’t make room for error. Aries would rather “keep going” and keep giving when problems strike.

 Sagittarius is an optimistic so when they fall off the horse it certainly hurts, but they are quick to look for the next ride. Sagittarius hates to lose, but they love the game, and usually choose to keep playing even until they bust—if they want to keep playing Sagittarius will find a way. They don’t trust easily so are usually very private about their problems. As a very independent sign, they often feel like they can handle things on their own.

 Some people need to vent, and then they let it go because they refuse to have anything holding them down and they don’t want anything weighing over them and bothering them. Gemini is rarely a dweller. It depends what it is, and how big the problem is, but usually, if it is a small thing, Gemini will talk about the situation/problem, they will discuss how it made them feel and then they will let it go. Gemini is not one to hold onto to things, and they don’t often have grudges on people. They tend to bear a light-hearted approach to people and problems. Not a sign to turn to emotions first, Gemini would rather wrap their brain around the issue. They think it through and they talk it through. Sometimes they avoid getting into trouble or intense confrontation. Gemini doesn’t always want to deal with problems, but they also have a way of charming their way out of them.

 

Libra can be private and secretive about problems. They are highly indecisive so they are not good at making big, important calls. They struggle for balance so they don’t always handle problems well. Tragedy breaks them. Sometimes Libra is too weak to take a real stance, and sometimes they can’t get serious for the situation at hand.

 

Aquarius is a huge humanitarian, and they can be a big help in a lot of problems. They will know how to positively contribute to situations—there can be a winning hero here.
Aquarius know how to use good sense and intellect without letting emotion cloud their judgement. They can be strong when others are feeling weak—they can lead and be a shinning example. Aquarius is methodical and genius. They are gifted and know how to utilize their smarts to be the top dog in a difficult situation. Aquarius tries to take something of value from situations that didn’t work out. They usually have nice things to say about their exes and in a lot of cases can even be friends with them. They know what’s not for them, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t see what you’ve got to offer. Aquarius sees promise and just wants to help that promise see it’s way through. Aquarius will put aside the needs of their own to be strong for someone else. Aquarius is very much the picture of a guy/girl carrying a tired, dehydrated friend on their back.

 

Scorpio deals with their own problems privately and often alone. They sometimes hate to think about their problems so they stay quite busy and distract themselves from all the stress. They also work a lot. They will only share their problems with someone that they truly trust. Scorpio is emotional, even if they hide it and seem so tough, Scorpio is full of emotions. When it comes to other people’s problems, Scorpio is all ears and full of helpful insight—they are usually the hero. A wise Scorpio makes for an excellent person to talk to. Scorpio is very generous and will give everything, they aim to solve as much as they can for you, and will be there for you as much as they can be. A good Scorpio is a lifesaver. A bad Scorpio will be so introverted and unsure of what they want that they simply won’t have the words to help you. They won’t know how to express their emotions through words only through actions, and even then he may not always be able to be trusted.

Cancer can be too sensitive, weak and unable to handle problems. Problems affect their mood in a negative way. Problems cause Cancer stress, which makes it hard for them to communicate. Problems could shut the Cancer down in the worst way, unless they are the type who have learned to laugh it off and roll with the punches. Cancer is often a good friend, very caring, and will lend a concerned ear to other people’s problems. You just have to catch them at the right time and don’t always expect them to have all the words—sometimes a quality hug and good support is enough.

 Pisces can either choose to submit to their problems or learn, grow, mature and prosper from them. Either they don’t grow up and stay down, or they become wise, enriched and brighter. Pisces has great insight and great advice for other people’s problems. Pisces will benefit the moment they begin to take this advice within. This sign is very empathic and emotional, but they have the ability to learn a lot from their experiences as their experiences can make them both stronger and happier. If you’ve started to notice a life patten Pisces, the problem probably is not them, it is you.


Keep it Moving

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Astrology doesn’t have the answers, but it’s a source of inspiration—something to turn to for affirmation or insight. We all need a little reminder of what we can do if we tap into the energy with us. We are all different people with different paths who seek different things. What we can learn is to not project our life expectation onto others, as much as we want to be free to make our own choices we have to let others do the same.

Try not to judge, try not to hate talk. Let others do as they wish, they aren’t harming you.We should want and wish happiness for all, and accept when good things come to an end as we learn that not all things in life can last even if you’ve invested a lot in them. Things change, people change, relationships change and you change. Mistakes are bound to occur, learn from them, try your best not to repeat them and have self-compassion knowing that you are taking responsibility and doing the best you can to make right of the situation. The relationship that you have with yourself is the one that counts the most, and when you are strong within you will attract others. People will notice that you are in a good space and will want to be around you. Rejection is a hard pill to shallow, but you’ve got to accept the loss and open yourself up for what’s to come. Some people just can’t be won back into your life, but remember the ones who are and be grateful for that mutual love, which is such a gift. Treat others the way that you would like to be treated. Have respect for their stories, and don’t share their personal secrets or traumas because gossip brings trouble, and it will catch up to you in the worst way. Try everyday to practice honesty and kindness. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, shed some skin and see how good it feels to just breath. You should never have to make apologies for who you are and what you’ve been though, the world needs to hear more vulnerable stories, they need to be inspired to share exactly who they are beneath the hundreds of selfies and cool quoted captions, there is a thinking, feeling bodying who doesn’t exists just to sound trendy and get likes on Instagram. It’s sad to see what people are consumed by, and how easily people get it wrong when they revery to black and white thinking. Most things are a lot more complicated then that so dare to be different and seek out the answers before you believe the lie.

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How People Make Mental Illness Even Harder

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Have you ever lost your mind? Like really lost it to the point where you can’t think straight, to the point where you can’t even talk? The mind is a very powerful thing and when it is compromised so is your entire life. May is mental health month, and it is important that we acknowledge the reality of what people face and how serious this issue really is, but most importantly how people are dealing with it, and the things they are doing wrong.

The Demise of Being Mentally Ill

The hardest part of having a mental illness is knowing that there is no cure. In some cases, like with Borderline Personality Disorder you can master DBT skills and actually diminish the degree of your disorder. It has been reported that symptoms can go away completely. In any case, improvements can occur, and any given person can be successful if they take care of themselves, however battling a mental illness is work in progress and there will likely be periods when you are not okay. As much as we explain ourselves, there are always those people who think it is hocus pocus—the words “mental illness” have no bearing on them. As much as we might attempt to articulate that we were not ourselves in that moment, people still hold it against you. They suddenly start to look at you as a liability. The truth is no one wants drama, most people can’t deal with emotions and their is a lack of concern for people’s mental well being. Instead it’s considered strange behavior that is not welcome. Despite who you truly are, the moment you say or do the wrong thing that suddenly becomes you. You can sense that people are worried about you, that they are weary of you and they simply can’t accept that some people suffer from illness that affects their behavior. Physical illness renders instant sympathy because you can see the pain, but you can’t look into someone’s mind. A mentally ill person appears to be “normal”, which makes it even harder for people to accept that something is truly wrong.

What Are People Doing Wrong?

Instead of trying to help or understand, people are running scared. Instead of finding a way to include a person with sickness, people decide to exclude them. Suddenly, not only are you dealing with the wrath of your illness, but you are also mourning the fact that you are now a social outcast. In some cases, sick behavior is perceived as being so strange that people don’t want to be associated with it, and they can ‘t see past it regardless of your condition. People will actually say thing to you like, “having mental illness isn’t an excuse.” Well those people clearly don’t know what it means to lose your mind. They don’t get how hard it was to come clean about your condition, and how painful it is when people are just too ignorant to understand. Mental illness scares people, and I have met more than one person who has told me that they don’t have the capacity to deal with a suicidal person. Imagine reaching out for help only to be shunned.

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What People Can Do Differently?

For starters, people have to let go of their fears. Once they hear the word “suicide”, they automatically suggest seeking professional help. When a lot of times, all that person needs is someone to talk to. Suicide is monitored by 4 P’s, pain, previous history, plan and pluses. It’s a plus if they’ve called you in the first place. This means they are reaching out for help oppose to just attempting suicide without anyone knowing. You can help so much more then you think, and you should prepare yourself to be a help to anyone facing mental health issues. You don’t have to understand, but you can empathize, by trying to put yourself in their shoes, and you can reflect, paraphrase back what you are hearing. Let them know that you can identify their emotional state. Try to get a no harm agreement, which means that the person promises not to harm themselves after the call, and if they get the urge, they will call you back or call 1-800-SUICIDE or any other crisis line number. Instead of excluding mentally ill people from events, find a way to include them. Make them feel comfortable, and ensure that they are in the right spirits to be at a social gathering. If the person is really sick, communicate to them why it’s not a good that they attend, and explain that their health comes first and they need to get better before they can participate in certain things. Communicating that they need to be well is okay because that person has to understand what the consequences will be if they decide to do nothing about their condition. Acknowledge a change in a sick person, don’t hold the past against them. Trust them when they are better and believe in them. If you see changes, embrace them, and let that person know how things are different. We have to encourage sick people to get better. We mustn’t treat them like they are a hazard because it’s perfectly possible for mentally ill people to succeed. There is such a thing as recovery and management, which will make the world of difference. Gaining self-awareness is key because you will likely find that when you are self-aware, you are more successful. Accepting you are sick, and accepting that in some cases this means medication for the rest of your life is challenging, but the sooner you do it the better you will will feel.

Why Do People Make it So Hard?

People often don’t want to be brought down by negative realities. People care about how others view them, and they don’t want you to be a problem or an embarrassment to them. There has likely been moments in the past when you couldn’t mask your sickness, and people don’t forget about those times. You suddenly become untrusted. Simply, people are not trained, wired, or taught how to deal with mental illness. Also, they need to trust the person’s own self assessments. If they feel up to something, you should give them the benefit of the town. Trust that they are sick and didn’t have the control that they have now. People can make a lot of improvements when they are working on themselves. They do need you to understand that negative matters of the past took place when you were sick, but when you are well, your more then fine to get through the evening without any hiccups.

The Truth, People Really Need to Know

Having good supports in place is what keeps you alive. People who accept you exactly the way that you are, and love you exactly the way that you are. People who will listen to you despite what chaos might be going on in their own world. Don’t turn your back on a friend if they start acting funny or “weird”. Always remind yourself that there nay be more to to the situation like mental health issues. Try to help, and you can do this just by being there or lending an ear. Asking them to do something, or just checking in to see how thing are going. Growing the courage to be there and be there for your friend when they are not 100% okay. We have to learn that while a lot of people deal with their stress privately, some people have chronic illness, which makes it hard for them to keep it hidden from the public eye. We need to love people no matter what state they are in because our love is going to help them get better. They say mental health affects 1/5 when I believe it is closer to ¼, the truth is mental health affects everybody.

If you are not feeling right, if you are feeling depressed or anxious. If you are having delusions, episodes or hearing voices. If you have a little too much energy, and feel high and feel manic. If you catch your self suffering in any way that affects your mental health, don’t suppress it, get help. There is help out there, and while we still need to change society’s perception of mental illness, we as a community of survivors can know that it is a very serious matter that needs our attention. Mental health laws need to be place, especially in the workforce. No one should be fired for any kind of sickness whether it be physical or mental. There should be a thing such as a “mental health day”, which operates like a sick day and prevents the not well employee from having to work or bringing his or her symptoms into work. Universities are very understanding of mental health issues and will give allowances to students who need it. A lot of change must come, which puts mental health on the map as a mandatory order.

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What’s The Real Message?

People with mental illness are not hopeless. They can get better with the proper treatments, life routines and supports. Someone who has a mental illness should never be discriminated upon. Despite their challenges, that person has learned coping strategies and knows how to deal with them. When you are mentally ill the best thing you can learn is how to take care of yourself. The moment you are doing that and sticking to it, anything is possible. It makes sense (even if it’s painful) why people cut you out, ignore you or fire you. When you are presenting symptoms you create challenges that can be hard to overcome. You just might not be well enough yet to be a good friend or a capable worker. You could have all the potential in the world, but if you’re showing signs of sickness you’re not going to be successful. This is because your main goal is to take care of yourself, and you don’t have it in you to support other commitments. Regardless, all you have to do is get better, and the truth is, for some this doesn’t fully happen. Though it’s very possible to rise above your mental health issues. You can’t let anything or anyone bring you don’t. You have to radically accept your loses and concentrate on the supports in your life who understand, or at least try to. Don’t waste your time with people who can’t handle it. That has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. In some cases, people are going through their own turmoil and don’t have the strength to deal with others. In other cases, people lack the capacity for emotions. Other people just live better in denial. You can beg and plead for understanding, but some people just aren’t going to give it to you. Some people don’t care what you’ve got, you’ve rubbed them the wrong way and now they are done with you. Ask yourself the quality of people you want to surround yourself with, and it’s likely open, empathic and encouraging people who don’t define you by your illness.  

I know a girl who has Bipolar I disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder. Her close friend didn’t want her at her wedding. She didn’t trust that her friend was in a good place mentally, and of course didn’t want there to be any trouble at her wedding. The uninvited sick girl was still showing symptoms of illness and therefore she wasn’t welcome to the “normal” social affair. Needless to say this was very painful for the sick girl as she felt like she was being treated like a crazy person opposed to a human being who suffers from real health issues that should be taken seriously. Would this bride be more accommodating if the issue was physical illness? Probably, because that’s a socially accepted form of illness that doesn’t bluntly impose upon others. The insight that the bride lacked is knowing that this sick girl was very aware of her mental health issues. For any important event she stays conscious with herself the entire time, doesn’t drink much, and literally watches every words she says and every move she makes. Also, this girl knew she was sick and that she probably wouldn’t make it to the wedding regardless. Still this bride to be, felt the need to remind this girl that she has issues, is not well, and therefore not invited. It’s just a perfect example of how the mentally ill are treated. People don’t trust them and view them as unpredictable, which is unfortunate. People need to give more credit to the mentally ill. When they are aware of it, they know not to socialize or go to family functions. They don’t want to bring other people down. They want to do right by people, and they just want to be loved and accepted. Oppose to picked on all the time, or told what they could do differently. It’s the type of self-improvement that takes a village, so it takes time, but with each year, you learn more and grow stronger and become more equipped to deal with your mental health. People shouldn’t assume the worst of you, just because they know of the worst. When you are doing well, you are just as good as anyone else, and you can achieve great things. As one DBT counsellor once told me, “they are superpower.” It’s up to you if you want to look at it in a negative light, but it’s probably made you more empathic, more understanding and more inclined to help someone else. This life is too short to live it just for you, do what you can for others. It’s good to be well and be there for yourself, but it’s also good to give back. Stop making everything about you and your life. There are no excuses for how you treat people. Take what you’ve been through and turn it into to life lessons. You’ve learned a lot about life, pain, experience, and emotion. You have a lot of wisdom to pass down. You are worth a lot, no matter who fails to see it.

Live Like It's Your Last Day

Jamie, Rey, Mp and Nat.

Jamie, Rey, Mp and Nat.

This amazing, extremely close group of four friends, and many other companions and people suffered an unforgettable and terrible lose, as a car accident at Cristal Falls Road (north of Lions Bay Avenue) took the life of their dear friend Marie-Pier, known commonly to everyone as MP. Leaving their other friend, the driver, Olivia referred to by friends as “Rey-ban” with a spinal cord injury so serious she is now a quadriplegic.  

This accident was so serious it prompts call for barriers on Highway 99. MP’s lose has reissued calls for safety barriers to be installed on Highway 99, especially along the stretch that runs through Lions Bay.


The Aftermath of a Life-Taking Tragedy

It was a very tragic day, on November 1st when MP and Rey were left to deal with the aftermath of their accident. Prior to the accident, one of their best friend Jamie Drummond had just been dropped off at the ferry station by them both. Their other close friend Nat Morel was busy at a fashion shoot. Rey’s sister, Mini-Rey tried calling Nat, but she missed her twice. Moments later, about an hour and a half after the accident, Jamie received a phone call from Mini Rey. This startled Jamie as Mini Rey doesn’t normally call her and she knew something was up. Overcome by an awful feeling, Jamie listened as Mini told her that she can’t get in touch with Rey, but that they got a call that MP was in critical condition at Lions Bay hospital. Jamie knew Rey and MP were together (they had just dropped her off), and It was soon that they discovered Rey was at VGH hospital unconscious. 

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Things you Will Never Overcome

The quick loss of MP hit her friends and family hard. And it would be an understatement to say that MP wasn’t loved. She was adored, and beyond the three girls (Jamie, Nat and Rey) had many close and dear friends.

It was so unfortunate what happened to MP. She had such a wonderful vitality to her, a warmth and a free, loving spirit. Sadly, there was too much bleeding and swelling in her brain, they were given no choice but to unplug her. A tragic decision that one could not even imagine making—but at the same time they weren’t left with any other options.

Even Her Bad Eyes Were Good  

On a more positive note, MP was able to donate eight of her organs to help others in need. Jamie and MP had talked about organ donation and always joked that no one would want or get MP’s eyes as she always had really, really, really poor eye sight, but even her eyes were put to use in order to help someone.

Supporting Each Other Through the Pain

Friends were beyond devastated and in need of each other. Jamie organized a gathering for extended friends (more like an extended family) to comfort each other at this trying time, and come together for MP and Rey. Jamie really was a moving force in bringing everyone together at such a tough time, and was strong for others even when it was so hard for her. At the time she was living on the Island and she managed to be there for every moment. 

The three girls, (and many others) were literally facing their worst time ever, though they continued to honor MP with their loving words and posts on the internet. They kept her admired essence alive through their beautiful prose, thoughts and words. 

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For starters, the girl organized to have a bench dedicated to MP in Whistler. They are constantly sending her love and missing wishes through social media. They even created a special hashtag for her #livingtheMPway, which they all use when they are really thinking of her, honouring her or missing her. The group of four girls that loved to join forces was now no longer complete, and missing a very important and cherished person in their lives.

A view of MP's bench from across the Fitzsimmons Creek

A view of MP's bench from across the Fitzsimmons Creek

The Loss

Jamie describes it as a “feeling” of knowing that person who meant everything would no longer be there. There aren't really words to describe the magnitude of this feeling. Mp was Someone that for Jamie, no one else could ever replace. She held a special role in her life, someone she really counted on. No one can replace her spirit or her soul or he super intelligence. There will always be that void and that vacancy. 

 

Love for MP


In memory, Jamie, especially close to MP writes:

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Celebrating the birth and life of my great friend today. I miss and love you beyond measure. I take solace in these words and know that you are with me in the only way you can be. I will continue to see you in the small joys and wonderful experiences that come into my life. Knowing that you are never far away, but right beside me❤ #livingthempway.


Nat Morel, a part of the friend group shares this:

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Never hold back on telling the important people in your life how much they mean to you and how special they are, because you have no idea what might happen tomorrow... ❤️ #wemissyoump

Nat, and the other three girls continued to honor MP, especially on her birthday or the anniversary of her passing.

Here Nat writes:

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“My little butterfly angel, MP3! It’s your birthday today! I know you’re having the best time dancing in your little paradise, probably getting everyone around you feeling so loved and free. There’s a few new special people that have joined you. Please take good care of them. I’m gonna have a little boogie for you tonight to our fave disco song, The Hustle by Van McCoy, drink some champagne in your honour and think of all our amazing dancing memories! Thank you for continuing to inspire me everyday - I try so hard to make you proud and I remind myself everyday to be more like you. I love you so much and can’t wait to see more of you, in butterfly form, this summer 🦋 #livingthempway Marie-Pier Champagne

 

Jamie shares her special bond with MP:

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“In 2015, MP and I started to plan out trip to Peru and Colombia. We never got to realize it together, but I am doing it for us both. Today I reached the top of Machu Picchu after an amazing trek through the most gorgeous inspiring scenery I could ever imagine. She was with us every step of the way. We had the most perfect weather. The best trekking group and company. We were never fatigued. We charged up every pass reaching 13,000+ feet with relative ease. To be able to summit on her birthday was a dream realized. Wearing her precious Montreal Expos shirt, and sprinting the last 5kms to be the first person from 150 trekkers to reach the sun gate, I have never felt more alive. Thank you for visiting me on the mountain today. It was perfect to have a champagne at the top, and have you flutter around my heart in the form of a yellow butterfly. I miss and love you forever, my girl. We did it! #machupicchu #inkatrail#livingthempway #alpacaexpeditions.”

 

The girl’s online love though beautiful did nothing to truly justify their significant lose and their never-ending pain. It was so hard to make sense of it all. Why did this have to happen? One minute they were partying in Vancouver with their best friends on Halloween, and in the next life was at stake, and life was changed forever.

Rey, Jamie, MP and a good friend Andrea on the night before the accident: Live for the moment.

Rey, Jamie, MP and a good friend Andrea on the night before the accident: Live for the moment.

 

Starting Over

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As Rey says, “it is very blurry how it came into play.” Her memory was fragile and she could piece together very little of the accident. She was unable to talk for a couple of months after, even though she was writing notes with her friends and finding ways to communicate. She was asking about the accident and wondering about the state of her dear friend MP. She was dealing with post-trauma issues, but when she finally was able to process what her friends Nat and Jamie (they debated for a long time about who was going to tell Rey and when) were telling her, she instantly blamed herself. She felt very fortunate that MP’s family didn’t hold her responsible, but she was devastated to lose her friend and roommate, and could not forgive herself for being the one who was driving. She says it took a long time to get over the impulse to self-blame. In her words, “everyone was on edge because of the whole traumatic experience [that just occurred}.” There were a lot of hard feelings to deal with on both ends of the spectrum.”

 

Rey had her own personal trauma with the lose of her hands and lower body. She says it was a shock if that, but that obviously the greatest shock was the lack of function. She claims that the whole experience was and still is simply shocking. It took a lot for her to learn how to live and deal with this kind if trauma. She says that she is finally at peace with MP’s passing. It took two years for her to get there and a lot of counselling and therapy. It was an emotional road for Rey and everyone dear to MP. Rey describes it as the “the emotional journey of losing MP”, while the other emotional journey was dealing with the adaption of her body and life.

 

The Adaptation of Rey’s life

Rey was always super active. As a Whistler resident she loved to ski, snowboard, swim, hike, and bike. She was an RMT who loved what she did, and used her body a lot. Suddenly, she wasn’t so free and needed help with everything. She says she often wakes up and thinks, “I hate my life”, but she is trying. When she first arrived home she just wasn’t herself and had to go on anti-depressants. She suffered from a dislocated neck and broke her C6 and C7 vertebrae.

She now has her bowls on schedule and a part-time care-taker. She’s looking into surgery called Mitrofanoff which will put a link from her belly button to her bladder. This will allow Rey to do an intermittent catheter and she will not be so dependent on having a urine bag strapped to her at all times. This situation has been especially trying as Rey has tried a lot of different bladder medication to test out how much her bladder can hold before she gets some incontinence. She is also looking into getting Botox in her bladder, which would help with increasing her bladder capacity.

She relies on a Google Assistant to help her do small things like turn out the lights—she really maximizes her resources. She also goes to North Vancouver once a week to see a NeuroPhysio. As a result of the trauma, she has lost a lot of muscle mass and isn’t as hungry as she used to be. Though she certainly still has a thirst for life, and a light that keeps on shinning.

Rey’s Light

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It’s been remarkable to watch as this bright human still sheds her inner light upon others. She works so hard at getting back to doing the things she loves. She has a manual chair and will go outside daily to practice getting it right—she makes herself be active. She is grateful for all the incredible people she has met along her journey, and has become quite close to some of them.

Rey was the type who would try to cheer people up, despite her condition. She was always a source of light and motivation. She loved people and wasn’t afraid to tell them why. Rey has always been and continues to be an inspirational person. She keeps living and giving despite what’s happened to her. It isn’t easy, but she isn’t giving up. She’s managed to go sit-skiing (where someone is spotting you, but Rey wants to learn how to model ski solo and go down hills by herself) and has learned how to drive an adapted mini van. Meaning she is able to get out of Whistler and drive to the city to visit dear friends like Nat and others. Rey can feel touch but she can’t feel pressure, temperature or pain. Recently Rey was out on the water, smiling and kayaking. She’s not sitting at home feeling sorry for herself, she’s working towards doing all the things she loves and with the people she loves. As she says, “I am looking to what I need to do to move forward.” She describes herself as “never lazy”, which is why she spends time wheeling around in her manual chair. She says it’s a lot easier to take out of the car and it’s like walking versus driving. She says, “it’s better exercise.” She used to be tired so it took a lot of practice. Rey says, “she’s bad at asking for help” but that she’s become better at it.

It’s almost exactly what MP would have wanted her to do, to live life the MP way and never give up, and that’s the last thing Rey is doing. She plans to go back to school and get certified as a counsellor. Her experience and good heart has left her wanting to give back and help people.

There are no words for the trauma that these girls faced, but it is a testament to their strength and their closeness as they remain to find time for each other. As they banded together to keep the memory of their dear friend, MP alive. As they share their beautiful words and important thoughts, and truly demonstrate what loyal, loving, unconditional friendship is all about.

The Best Kept Secret: Chic Little Boho

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Nathalie Morel, Founder of Chic Little Boho

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It was an average day, that was suddenly filled with love as I spoke with the Designer and Founder of Chic Little Boho, Nathalie Morel. Chic Little Boho is an environmentally friendly online clothing store that stole my heart with it's good nature and adorable fashions. Nat Morel has truly outdone herself, and speaking with her was an amazing, inspiring and refreshing experience.

 

Why Chic Little Boho is So Un­­ique

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Nat is a vortex of ideas, heart, talent and thoughtfulness. Every original piece that she has named and created comes with a piece of her soul. A talented sewer who is self-taught, through sleepless nights spent watching YouTube videos to get it right.

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How did it all begin

Nat, raised as a tom boy, discovered her feminine side through fashion. Often the “it” girl who would get her dress complimented on. Nat had a vision and it was to share her creations with the world.

Every piece is unique, there is literally a handful of each item so you have to shop quickly to ensure that you get what you’re looking for. Though Nat is crafty and often bringing back popular pieces. If you live in the city she will make customizations so the dress or garment fits you perfectly

Original Fashion

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Since there is only a handful of each design you can walk around proudly, knowing that your piece is original, and only a small amount of that product exists.

 

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Minimal Waste

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Nat makes reversable tote bags with the left over materials. These are super cute and can be used as a purse, a beach bag, a lunch bag as a book bag or an anything bag. Little Chic Boho will make a conscious buyer out of you in no time. You will get one of these bags for free when you buy something.

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Immense Talent

 

Nat told me, “I can just picture something and I can do it.” This girl really has a flare for fashion and knows how to make looks look exceptionally good.

In the words of a consumer, Maude Warner, "I love the dresses, the ethos behind the brand, and (of course) the founder. Nat seems to pour her heart into every order to make sure that everyone is happy and feels great in their dresses. I’ve already ordered another dress for this summer and can’t wait to wear it to the beach, a BBQ or wedding event.”

Another consumer, Jaymo, says, “wearing the clothes is the best part.” “The materials are soft and comfortable. It feels amazing on your skin.” In my own dress I felt like it was soft velvet on my skin. Jaymo comments that “not only does the material feel great, but the patterns and the designs are fresh and unique.” Nat is actually in the process of creating her own fabric and her own designs to make Chic Little Boho even more original.

Order Up

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Jaymo says, “Nat is a dream to work with when ordering online. She’s skilled at what she does and makes a point to ensure you’re happy with the product and it fits perfectly. I love the sweet labels and the special touches she adds to the packaging to make it feel very boutique-ish rather then just another online package arriving in the mail. I wore mine in Colombia dancing (see above). It was perfect. [The dresses] are awesome on a beach vacation or summer living, dancing in, weddings [and day to day adventures]. Jaymo like many of us are constantly looking at Nat’s site to see what she’s come up with next. As Jaymo quotes, “You never know when a new design or an old favorite might appear I love that she is making clothes that flow and twirl, loose and free. Buying local and handmade is a real treat. Whenever you can, you should. I also like that she reaches out to artisans, like herself, in different countries. Creating the ability for their creations to reach an audience that they would never have the opportunity to.”

 

Style

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“I wanted to do it this way, to inspire people, people will always make excuses about what they want to do, there is so much, everyone can be unstoppable it takes a ton of work, heart and soul.”

I was inspired by this too, I would so much rather give my money to a person like Nat whose got flare, and style, but also works so hard to keep her brand thriving. These are the dressmakers that deserve our money, the ones who put heart and soul into it.

As Nat says, “it’s normal to doubt”, but look at what you can achieve when you brush off the butterfly dream and make something fly all on your own.

Nat wants Chic Little Boho to be a lifestyle and not just a clothing brand. She wants you to create adventures in your dress, take it around the world and share your experiences. Nat is set on the ideology, “what did you do to change someone’s life.” This altruistic mantra is quite inspiring as it raises a very valuable question, “where are you placing your impact?” Nat describes her business like you are the canvas and it’s her job to give people a sense of your personality before you meet.

Vision Your Dreams

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 Nat is a true dreamer, an artist and a warm heart. She really cares and it shows. She is full of love. Before Chic Little Boho came alive, Nat would work on her vision board. A place where she scrapped her dreams for her to see and make a reality. This is truly inspiring for anyone who has a dream, simply start mapping it out, placing images on a board and watch as it come alive. Nat’s visions were to make the world a better place, to enhance positive experience and make people more aware of how damaging fast fashion is, and the importance to recycle. Proving to people that if you have an idea that you can do it, in Nat’s words, “let it become established.”

The Mission

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Nat’s goal is to try to help people believe in themselves more, to be more confident, and love the skin that your in. She can’t stress enough the need for women to support other women. She is tired of all this “hate bullshit”, she wants to see others treating each other with respect, and just being there for fashion, but not the petty aspects of it.

Nat is a lover of the world and was inspired by the Gypsy Collective, a corporation that is trying to make their beach cleaner. She is also very spiritual, making mood boards of all the dresses she likes, and going fabric shopping, picking the patterns that appeal to her creative eye.

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The Future

 One day Nat would like to have her own unique fabric and fabric patterns. She hopes to team up with other people in the industry that are good for the planet. She would like to incorporate more fun pop-up shops. Instilling confidence and feeling confident and capable and diverse. Truthfully, there is a perfect dress for everyone. Nat wants to spread good onto this earth by simply supporting and complimenting. She wants to see woman loving women, telling each other that they are beautiful. Regardless, Nat plans to stay dedicated to women’s apparel and inspiring the ideology that we should love our own sex and feel good in our own skin (if local Nat will customize garments to fit a range of body types). Chic Little Boho wants you to be proud of who you are and your body, whatever type that may be. Creating clothes that compliment all sorts of body types. This label is super body-friendly, and there truly is a treasure in it for everyone.

Find your Chic Little Boho Now: https://www.chiclittleboho.com/shop

Follow Their Awesome Feed on Instagram: @chiclittleboho

 Check out their website: https://www.chiclittleboho.com

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How People Continue to Fail When it Comes to Mental Illness

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We want to say we're on board, that we have empathy and that we understand, but so many of us are failing to acknowledge the reality of mental health. When people are sick, they do and say things they wouldn't normally say. That is why it is called "illness", the person isn't aware of their behavior while it is occurring and will likely feel terrible for it later, but it's too late. Someone has been affected by mental health and they feel the need to turn their back on it. Unable to identify these actions as symptoms of sickness, the mentally ill person becomes outlawed. People may not know the sick individual personally, making it even easier to cast them off, but often they do know them, and even hearing or knowing they are sick is not enough for that person to give the sick person a second chance. 

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It's not to say that the mentally ill person won't do something out of line, but should they be punished for it, even if it is out of their control? Even if they really, actually don't mean it? No. We need to work with mental health and not against it. We need to find solutions, instead of adding more problems to the problem. There is a way to work with mentally ill people so that they aren't denied anything from life or treated differently by society. For example, the hit TV show Shameless touches on mental illness. One of the characters Ian has Bipolar disorder (It is not indicated whether it is Bipolar I or II, but indications of his behavior would point towards Bipolar I, the spectrum of the disease, which includes manic episodes. Ian wants to be an EMT, he aces both aspects of the exam but is later fired for checking off (on the application form) that he does not have a mental illness. He knew that by being honest and doing so, that he would never get the job. When his boss does a background check on him, his stay in a psych ward is detected and he losses his job. Ian doesn't stop at that, he returns to work awhile later and stands up for himself, he said he can help a mentally ill person better than anyone, he said that his disease doesn't mean that he can't do his job. He may be disabled, but that doesn't mean he still isn't capable. He tells his boss that if anyone on the squad, including her, thinks he is acting funny then they have the right to send him home. During the show, this does take place because Ian has a real illness with real symptoms. Symptoms he can learn to manage with skills, but symptoms, which do not fully go away. 

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As a society, we need to embrace the mentally ill and work with them and not against them. As Ian said he was fully capable of doing his job, but at times he might require some extra care. This doesn't mean he loses his job just because he is sick. Instead of kicking someone out of a group because they have a mental illness, work with them. Check in with them and get them to communicate their feelings. People should not be denied jobs or access simply because they have a mental illness. This comes into play with interactions with people as well. You might not be communicating with your wise minded self, but you slip up and need that understanding from the other person. It's not to say that the actions weren't wrong or that the words weren't hurtful, but it is to say that this person was under the influence of mental illness. They were not themselves and something likely triggered them to switch, to what can be abusive mode. 

People are so likely to run away from signs of mental health. The labels themselves hold so much stigma, people watch things on TV, or they even experience things in real life and it turns them off. In some cases, so many chances have been given, people get fed up, and while I'm sure they wish you the best--people leave. It is very common for people with mental to lose significant others, friends, jobs, objects and more.

People have to remember that these people are working harder, some of them, not all, but some of them really are working towards having a functional life. Sickness is sickness and it is really real, which is why symptoms will show at times, even if that person is on their meds and living a structured life. 

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People can't see mental illness in a positive light. It is something to be wary of like if you met a girl and found out she was sick, it might make you hold back a little. People are so afraid of the unfamiliar and often forget that people with mental illness want and deserve the same things as everyone else. 

It's not to say people who suffer from mental health get a "get out of jail free" card, every time they do something wrong. It's just to say, be cautious of it, be aware of it, and don't forget that it is a real thing. If your friend explains what happened and is sorry, I think you can reach a level of understanding. If this person is really out of control, then they aren't fairly accountable for their actions. They can work on the situation in therapy or with their group, whatever supports they have in place if they are lucky enough to have support. 

There are always going to be people who don't want to deal with mental health. People who are built not to deal with it. All we can do is accept this reality and try our best to help it by sharing our stories and making mental health a public issue, which should be celebrated. Celebrated because there are so many people with mental illness who are doing fantastic. 

The Midlife, In My 30s Crisis

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Some people manage to achieve a lot before 30, and during their early thirties, but for some, the 30’s can be a challenging struggle of trying to settle down. As you figure out what you want to do and realize if it’s possible for you to pursue what you desire successfully. This time isn’t about fooling around. I think we’ve all learned that just because we want to do something it doesn’t mean that we’ll be good at it, make money or even get hired. Finding the right career at this time is essential. Make sure you’re in the right place. We want to fill our cups with warm and cozies, but it’s cold out there, and it's not easy. People are really hustling to establish their own projects, but also to establish their lives as full. People are also figuring out what they want to do and trying to put that in motion.

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How This Affects Everyone?

It seems these days that everyone has their own idea. Everyone wants to open up their own shop or start their own platform. This is great and inspiring at that, but it’s not really bringing in the bills. At least not at first. Of course, there are those corporate types who would never give up their healthy salary. Still, this is the age of making a mark. People respond well to vulnerability and the more that becomes exposed the more we start to look at the problems we’ve been running from.

How This Affects Women?

Women are especially challenged as they work to build their careers, but also start to think about marriage and babies. With the maternal clock ticking, getting babies out before 40 is generally the mission. I feel I have encountered two types of women (though there are all types), one who is career driven, married and wanting to start a family. The other waiting for prince charming, not looking to make it on her own, happy to stay at home and take care of the kids full time. This isn’t an easy job, but there are women out there who will not work just as there are women who never want to have children. It all depends on how much you personally make, but more and more you see the dual income, which might be necessary if you plan on putting more than one kid through college. Raising kids in this world is expensive and you have to think practically sometimes.

How it Affects Those Married in Their 30s?

It might seem like everyone has the perfect family on social media, but you never know what anyone is going through. Infidelity could have taken place, money might be tight, the sex might have fallen out, or you battle the desires for a baby in an almost perfect relationship. We all have our problems and some of us are simply better at hiding them than others. This is what people are conditioned to do: ignore. Avoid and move forward towards the greener pastures, which are bound to come. Sometimes to live is just to wait, wait for things to blow over, wait for things to get better, wait for something to come through. It all seems like a bunch of waiting, especially to those who watch their younger siblings make it to the altar before them. We just want to get it right, and we don’t want anyone to know about our failures. When in truth, it is those failures which make us human and make us better partners. We need to grow and expand, we need to develop as we’re still children ourselves. We don’t always think about the things that being responsible means giving up. Some of us aren’t ready to stop hanging with the boys every day. Some of us aren’t prepared to say “I do”, and there is nothing wrong with that.

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How it Affects the Single Girl?

This is probably the worst time to be single. So many people are tied off and the doable dating pool gets smaller and smaller. You can’t lose hope, but it is easy to lose it. As you watch your best friend or your brother get married, you see the joy and can’t help but want that for yourself. Options are good, but it isn’t easy out there. Online dating rules the world, and not everyone is savvy with this. Some people just prefer to meet in real life and base their connection off pure energy and chemistry. The single girl in her 30s has that added pressure upon her to find someone because she knows she’s not getting any younger and even Carrie Bradshaw couldn’t pull off the 40-year-old bride. As Murphy Brown tells Carrie, "forty is the last age a woman can be photographed in a wedding gown without the unintended Diane Arbus subtext." To be clear, I fully support the 40-year-old bride as I know it takes some people longer to get it together. As I also know some people are career driven and have big work and scholastic goals.  

Society puts an expectation on age, we live in an age-driven culture, but we need to acknowledge that age is merely a number and people are defined through their own experiences. The 30s might seem like one wild, mind fuck, but I think it comes with the age. Don’t get chewed in by the expectation of your age. I’ve been told by many that they partied their 30s away. In the end, it is up to you. Some people like getting to a certain point before a certain time. Some people race themselves to see how much they can achieve. You determine for you what is best, and hang in there, you’ve survived thus far and you will continue to survive.

 

 

Horoscopes for the Hiring Manager!

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They always say you have to find the right fit when seeking employment. We might not even realize why we work well with the people we do, but there is something to be considered about Astrology and the workplace.

Different star signs have stronger abilities to work well together, while other energies have the potential of clashing. When recruiting it might be wise to note the expectations of each sign and how they produce in the work place.

What is your Astrological work style? 

Horoscopes for the Hiring Manager! 

 *If you are born on the cusp of another sign read both horoscopes*

Visit this What's Your Birthday? Article for a breakdown of your best zodiac working matches! 

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Air: Indecisive, easy-going, most chill
Water: Emotional, intuitive
Fire: most intense, outgoing,
Earth: Rational, grounded

 

Aries (March 21-April 19)

A true Aries is happiest in charge. Aries likes to be the boss. They are good at calling the shots, managing people, events, brands, and projects. Aries is often very hardworking and gifted at what they do. Aries has the ability to really lead teams and inspire individuals with their unique approach. Aries will always want the best so they will seek out the best jobs and the best teams. Aries likes to win so they will push towards creating advantages for your corporation. Aries will often put career before love. Their jobs can often be demanding and a huge part of their existence. Aries makes for excellent managers, entertainers, CEOS, project managers, and architects. Aries knows how to build things up to greatness, and as long as they can keep their anger and stress levels in control, Aries has the capability to be very successful in the workforce. 

Sagittarius ( November 22-December 21)

There is something in the outgoing nature of fire signs that makes them natural born leaders. Sagittarius is also a bit bossy by nature, like Aries they strive to make big moves, and excel at being in charge. Sagittarius needs to own what they do, they need to feel passionate about coming to work. Sagittarius can really flourish in the business world and is often successful at becoming a credible business woman or man. Sagittarius doesn't like to take orders, they prefer to give them. They have an idea about how everything should go and are excellent at overseeing matters and putting in their final input. Sagittarius also loves to play and make gambles. They aren't afraid to take big risks in their career. They have to be careful of who they trust and who they associate with. Certain partnerships can prove foul for the Sagittarius, but Sagittarius is a hustler and is constantly making moves. 

Leo (July 23-August 22)

 I've always said that Leo is sometimes the best when they can be their own boss. Leo is a golden leader. They rule the jungle and need a strong following. Though they often have one by nature. A true Leo is pretty popular, and certainly hard-working, but Leo needs to love what they do in order to stay engaged. Leo will be loyal forever, but they have to love the work. Their work has to speak to who they are, and Leo will shout it loud and proud when it does. When Leo follows their dreams almost nothing can go wrong. When Leo wants to shine, they will. People can't seem to ignore them or refrain from loving them. Leo is very talented and charming, when they find what they love, they touch people, they thrive, they soar. Leo is in many lights the hero at work, the person who helps you, and saves you. The person that makes a difference because they stand out and make the work place more enjoyable. Leo will be that knowing person who you trust that you can come to for the best answer and the best help possible. When Leo wants to, they make for excellent teachers and working mentors. 

Capricorn (December 22-Jan 19)

I always say that your dreams will come true, that everything you want in your life will come to you- because you work for it. Capricorn is the definition of work, they are rarely at rest. Capricorn wants things out of life and goes after them. Capricorn is often that manager by the book, who sets their own tone, which can be desired or resented. Capricorn has their own traditions that they live by. They can't help but project their expectations and guidelines onto you. Capricorn is often the first man in and the last man out, they work very hard, but they are not often satisfied. Capricorn has very big expectations of things, people, and projects. They will have high standards and hold you to them. Capricorn does give second chances, but it will take them a long time to forget and see you in a new light. You really will have to prove yourself to your Capricorn co-worker or boss. Capricorn also responds well to validation, they like being told that they are implementing good change. Capricorn is not the type to do good without credit. If they get a promotion or a new sense of power, you will know about it. 

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Taurus is a sign of control. Unlike fire signs, earth signs make for good bosses in different ways. Taurus is very hard-working. They have a lazy side, for sure, but they often don't show it at work. Taurus shows people how it is done. Taurus will give. Taurus will be trusted and given the keys in a very short period of time. Taurus can lose their cool on occasion and be a bit of a bully, but for the most part, they are tender at the root. I've met Taurus bosses who got off on being mean and orderly, but I knew they were good people at the center. Taurus will sometimes take being in charge too seriously, but their heart is always in the right place. Taurus is sensible and smart and makes good judgment calls. They can make hard tasks look effortless. They have a good taste and a good sense of style, and things are often very safe in their hands. Taurus might enjoy working with their hands. Taurus will embrace manual labor or long hours, they are very durable and hard to break. When Taurus is at work, they are usually very focused and dedicated. 

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

As another earth sign, it would be a lie to say Virgo doesn't like to be in control. Virgo has their way of seeing things, and it will be hard for them not to weigh in. Instead of talking back to the boss, Virgo is better as being the boss. Virgo is highly intelligent and immensely hard-working. They are the sign of service and are constantly giving as much of themselves and more to their jobs. Virgo is highly critical so when they pay you a compliment at work they really mean it. Virgo can be stubborn, but they really care about their jobs and strive towards professionalism. Sometimes Virgo thinks they have a better way, but they will work hard to prove to you that they are right.The Virgo at home is not the Virgo at work, and Virgo will always keep it this way. Unless, they trust you, in which case, Virgo might let you in, but not entirely. The Virgo tends to love privacy and morality--at work they do things by the book. Virgo will be great at solving problems and putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Virgo is prone to being good at numbers and organizing data. They see things in a special way. They have knowing instincts that can rarely be questioned. Their level of dedication to their job is commendable. There is something quite admirable about a Virgo's sense of focus.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

There are many Libra people in positions of power, however, I dispute they are likely cusp signs. Either part Virgo or part Scorpio in conjunction with being part Libra. A true Libra doesn't really enjoy telling people what to do. Libra likes to be liked, and they like to keep the cool. They might have a craft that they are the master of and do it well for a company that loves them. They might be really unmotivated and working in the hospitality industry, even though they have bigger talents and dreams--Libra isn't always the first to move. Many Libra people do not want to grow up, and a part of growing up is getting your career together. Libra needs to find the motivation within in order to achieve their goals and fulfill their potential. Libra is full of promise and opportunity so when they desire they make things happen and get what they want. A Libra can have a variety of talents, which when executed properly are usually rather brilliant.  Libra has to learn how to demand more for themselves in the workplace, acknowledging that they are especially talented and have a lot of value to offer, which isn't expendable

 

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Gemini is the communications master. There isn't anything a Gemini couldn't do, Gemini is highly capable. As a visionary, Gemini will often have a niche, a place of work in which they truly flourish at. Prone to detail and aesthetic, Gemini is great in Merchandising, the Arts and excellent at communication, Gemini can make for great Salesmen, Lawyers, and Interior Designers. Gemini is also great in Hospitality. They love to take care of others and provide the ultimate guest experience. Whatever Gemini does, it can't be boring. A lot of Gemini people have short attention spans and operate at a high pace. They need to be stimulated by what they do--and constantly. They need to love what they do, otherwise, Gemini will up and leave it. Gemini isn't afraid to take a leap of faith or say goodbye. While they get over things quickly, they also are prone to making life changes and holding a resume of diverse experience. 

Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18)

Aquarius is the genius of the Zodiac. They are highly gifted and can really make it at whatever they do. Aquarius is the type to inspire others and change the world - or at least, change the face of the work place. Aquarius is a mastermind, and in the right position, with the right team, they really excel. They are constantly heading their own projects and taking part in multiple things. It is not rare to meet an Aquarius with multiple jobs. Many Aquarius people are like mini celebrities as they live rich, full lives that other people envy. Aquarius has to acknowledge that not everyone is on their page, and once they learn to teach their skills to others, they will become truly valuable. Aquarius is best in the mentor role, as they often possess qualities, which others look up to. It is important that Aquarius uses their gifts to do good. Aquarius has high expectations and needs to ensure that work satisfies their desires. Aquarius has the tendency to get stuck somewhere, working at the same place for years or the complex of moving from one place to the other. Aquarius needs to find a sense of home in their occupation, and once they do Aquarius will be happy. It is important to keep the Aquarius motivated and challenged. Aquarius doesn't want to feel like they could do their job in their sleep--they want more. If Aquarius can get everything that they want from one place then they will be in a good position.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Cancer simply has to find their craft in order to be successful. They can't pretend for too long in a job they don't love. They won't do well with authority figures and they won't love being the authority figure. Cancer needs to work with the right people. They are highly creative and empathic people, but they are emotional and don't get along with just anyone. When Cancer finds the right support in the workplace, they can do great things. Cancer is the solutions specialist. They are crafty and domestic, they know how to solve a project management problem and bake a pie at the same time. Cancer might pick the simple life over the crazy career because they crave comfort, and will often put love and family before work. Cancer is an excellent provider, but their happiness is crucial, and if work isn't making Cancer happy, Cancer will have to move on. Cancer is skilled, and while they might seem reserved at first, once you crack them, they will open you up to a world full of possibility and intellect. 

 

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

Scorpio is the type to bring the office home with them. Scorpio will work above and beyond their means. Scorpio is constantly putting in and giving back. Scorpio is great in charge, and if they are not the boss at work, they are certainly the boss of something in their life. Scorpio is a sign of control, they too can set a perfect working example. Scorpio women are known to take on the world, they have tons of girl boss energy. Scorpio is highly intelligent, trust is important to them, which is why that you can trust that they will do an excellent job. Scorpio doesn't always verbally communicate properly, but you can read a lot about them from their body language. Scorpio will earn your respect in an instant. If you work for a Scorpio, you will be impressed and want to impress them back. Sometimes Scorpio bites off more than they can chew, but they always manage to swallow. Scorpio is the work superhero. Sometimes they are silent, but they are always deadly and extremely effective. A Scorpio really knows how to work their way up the ladder and create that "wow factor."

 

 

Pisces (Feb 19-March 20)

There are plenty of fish in the sea, and therefore plenty of different working fish. Some Pisces don't have big career motivations. Pisces can embrace their child-like essence and hate the idea of getting older or setting real, long-term goals in the real world. On the other hand, Einstein was a Pisces and greatness is really possible in this sign. Pisces can be gifted in intellect and perception. They have really good ideas and strong intuitions that can be trusted. Usually blessed with a creative passion, Pisces is diverse and capable of bringing great energy to the work environment. It is important for Pisces to find the right fit, and the right job, not just any job. Pisces needs to like the people that they work with and feel inspired. As Pisces is written as the sign that has aspects of every sign in it, anything is possible. World leaders, CEOs, celebrities, lawyers, artists, the sky is really the limit when it comes to Pisces. You never know what you are going to get, but you should expect honesty. A good fish will bring brilliance to the table. A good fish will be popular in the work place and set a unique, and one-of-a-kind example. A good fish will leave a memorable mark.

 

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Why Businesses Shouldn't Ignore Their Social Audiences

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You would like to think that all brands understand the shift in technology, and by doing so are getting social with their audiences. This means that brands interact with their audiences, and reply to their comments. Social media is the prime spot which customers are coming to sing or withhold your praise, and your inability to pay attention to them will cost you money in the long run.

Take the company Nintendo (of Canada) for example. As a gaming company (literally, people can actually play your product online), you would think that Nintendo (of Canada) would want to do everything in their power to keep their audience happy. If not happy, then at the very least, appease their audience, however, despite the community concern, Nintendo (of Canada) stays completely quiet on social channels as they post thought-provoking content, but engage with no one.

Remember, It’s the people who love your product who have given you the reputation, which you hold. Therefore, as a business, of any size or credibility, it is your job to go above and beyond to let your social audience know that you care because that’s where your audience is. People are living on their phones and tablets. Is really not possible to say that social media doesn't matter or isn't making an influence because it is.

 As we move forward and stride further into this millennial-driven culture, we easily see that the world is living and breathing on social. Social media is the place where people come to make testimonials and complaints, but also the place they come to for information, answers and help. It is a huge market of business, which is crucial to many industries and should not be ignored.

Nintendo (of Canada) is one example of many who need to implement strategies to address the massive amount of social interaction and discontent of their customers. People are creating GIFs of Pikachu crying saying things like, "I can't find the NES Classic!” People are ignoring the content of Nintendo’s social media, and instead, posting complaints, making suggestions and asking questions about products. Isn't this a gold mine for Nintendo (of Canada)? An offered up analysis of games and products, which can be improved over time?

Hiring someone to address the concerns on social will help to improve the quality of the brand. It will let the world know that Nintendo (of Canada) cares about its customer.

While every company chooses a different social media strategy, it is the global recommendation that Social Media Managers address customer feedback (positive or negative), whether this done on a larger scale or through an intimate capacity. Communications needs to be made.

Canadian company Lululemon currently has over 10 employees who are hired solely for the purpose of social media management. On the wave of the now, Lululemon ensures that every customer gets addressed and that engagements aren’t ignored. Businesses should value their customer and take their insight seriously, as it’s those people who want to see the best for your brand. It's those people who will become return shoppers.

 Maintaining customer loyalty is a part of the goal, but also is maintaining business. One Nintendo (of Canada) customer is so frustrated by the lack of product that he threatens “or I am done with Nintendo”, and this comment is "liked" by three people. That’s four people who potentially think less of your brand because you did nothing to address the problem. A simple, “we empathize with your frustration and are working hard to resolve this matter. Or, “we value you as a customer and appreciate your patience, and in all honesty, are working hard to solve the matter” --can go a long way. Why? Because people don’t waste their efforts not to be heard. You always want a response, especially when it’s regarding something you want to buy. People hate to be ignored, it infuriates them. Imagine you worked hard on an important (perhaps emotional) message, and that person never got back to you. Wouldn’t it make you feel terrible? It would certainly make you feel less about the person on the other end. People will lose interest in a brand if they aren’t good to their people. Customer services and good service overall are more important than your product. As a business, you have to be more than just a product, you have to be a movement. 

Millions of people are reaching out and are using social media as a platform to do this. It is highly discouraging to post something positive about your company, only to have it swarmed with complaints. You have to get into the mindset of now and acknowledge how technology is changing the world. People want to interact online, they want to buy and return products online, and they want to complain online. People expect customer service on social media. If a walk-in customer had an issue, would you ignore them? No, you’d respond promptly and do whatever you could to make the sale or ensure that the customer is happy. We live in a world where we learn about each other’s lives online, and use apps to tell us how much to tip or find out how close a cab is. According to a study from Maritz Research and Evolve24 about 70% of customers complaining on social media are largely ignored. From a universal standpoint, this is considered seriously bad business.

Social media is no passing fad—it is only going to get bigger, brighter and bolder. Baby’s favorite toy isn’t her doll anymore, it’s her iPad! As we evolve, social media is the communication channel that more and more buyers are turning to. The customer experience management company, Market Force, points out:

"The emergence of social media has given consumers a whole new way to interact with the brands they love — and a forum to complain when brands disappoint. But what many companies have learned is just how powerful connecting one-on-one with customers can be when those consumers take the time to post."

In other words, if a customer makes the effort to contact you by means of social media, you better respond. Otherwise, you will find yourself in a bad position. Here are three key reasons why you should not do this:

1. Customers Hate Being Neglected

Hypothetically when customers use social media to make a complain it’s likely because that company has already failed to satisfy that customer through traditional customer service channels. They’re also upset, so pushing them on through inaction and ignorance is ill advised. Social media customers might bring up issues you as a company are trying to avoid discussing, but you still need to address it in some regard.

As mentioned, social media will dictate how people feel about you. A study from Conversocial found that the way customers are treated on social media has a considerable effect on their feelings toward a company. In fact, if ignored by companies on social media sites:

  •       45% would be angry
  •   27.1% would stop doing business with the company completely
  • The Customer Experience Impact Report for Oracle reports even more important stats: 50% of consumers give a brand only one week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them
  •    89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience

It is noted that if you do not reply within a week, your customers may switch to a competitor.

2. Other Customers Are Observing

When upset consumers use social media to complain, the whole world is watching. The people who are curious about you and your products will check out your social media to learn more—it’s like your page in the phone book (your customer comments are your reviews). This obviously includes current and potential customers, as stated, people who were once loyal can easily become turned off. When you ignore an issue so strongly people lose the respect they once had for your business.

Conversocial discovered that approximately 88% of customers will do business with a company that ignores social media made complaints. Believe it for not, but people will pay extra for a better customer experience.

3. You Can Switch a Negative into a Positive

People just want to be heard. You will learn how easy it is to appease people with a simple reply or alternative acknowledgment. Regardless of whether or not you can resolve the problem, the fact that you’re listening and show that you care, goes a long way. People just want to know that their desires are valued and that the business will do what they can to meet your needs. For example, The Maritz study reported 83% of complaints who got a reply, appreciated and liked the fact that the company replied. Customer experience can be improved by the simple gesture of a response. This can even lead to positive testimonials about your business. It was found by Oracle that 22% of customers who got a reply ended up posting a positive remark about the company.

Assign a role (or adding this responsibility to a current role) with the task of replying to customer feedback via social media even the positive stuff—is imperative. It takes two seconds to like a post, and it makes customers feel loved, but it also withholds your loyalty with your audience. People like real, brands that they can relate. People they can feel good about giving their money too. If you get too exclusive in your ways, people will start to shy away.

Provide guidelines for relevance, and decide what deserves a response and what doesn’t. Construct a social media engagement policy that adheres to all of your company policies. If you prefer not to offer full support via social media, redirect complainants by responding with other contact information, such as email or telephone number. Though, social media really is the best way to catch them at once.

  • Whatever channel of communication you settle on, remember to do the following when dealing with complaints:
  •    Listen. You can improve your business, takes this feedback wisely.
  •  Don’t get aggressive or rude, try not to make excuses, but certainly apologize for how they are feeling –trying to empathize with them.
  •   Empathy will help you acknowledge the customer’s concerns from their point of view.
  •  Be grateful. Say thank you, and show appreciation that they took the time to provide helpful insight.

When you draw a blind eye to customer feedback on social media, you miss out on the chance to make positive tweaks and changes to your products and services. You never know what someone might throw your way—it could be the next big thing. Social media helps you stay connected to your fan base like even if we’re all so far apart, we’re still so close together! Make a real connection with people, because most importantly, if you don’t, you lose customers entirely.

And it goes without saying that without customers, you have no business at all.

 

 

You Make It True: The Calling Vs. The Job

Having an idea about what you want and need is imperative towards building a healthy, happy and satisfying life. You can dream that you want one thing, only to find that it makes you miserable. What you dream about, might not even be your calling in life, but there is something you are destined to do. Consider the concept of a “calling” vs. a job, and which would make you feel the most content. You might have a job, but is it your calling? How do you define it? How do you really determine what marks a true calling? Growing up, was there anything that spoke to you? Did you see yourself in a particular industry? Was there anything that you excelled naturally at and enjoyed?

If you find that the work that you do is something, which you could never stop even if you tried. You have probably found a calling. Or if you find you love something so much, and you excel at it, you have probably found a calling. In the words of Michael Lewis, a columnist for Bloomberg News, “there’s a direct relationship between risk and reward. A fantastically rewarding career usually requires you to take a fantastic risk.”

It is not easy to do what you are destined to. In order to do what you love the most, you take a risk, but that risk is what makes it worth it. You could settle for a decent-paying job that you can stand, or you could take the rewarding risk of following your calling and doing something that you love. 

For some people, it is important that what they do reflects their identity, and who they are. As Lewis says, “a calling is an activity that you find so compelling that you wind up organizing your entire self around it — often to the detriment of your life outside of it.” Everyone has a calling, whether they know of it yet or not. For me, my calling writing, and every part of my being is wrapped up in it. From a very young age, I knew that writing was my calling. It helped that teachers would read my work to the class, and enter me in story competitions. I was inspired by my calling at a very young age, I was dedicated and I had the right support system (which is important). Though it’s not easy. You have to be willing, willing to commit to the hard, challenging, and risk-involved work required to make it possible. You have to really want it. You have to be ready to answer the call with conviction.

A job can be anything, and often people will comment on what their calling is, but they are not living it. Getting past the hurdles of making your calling a reality can be very valuable. If it is a matter of your well-being and your happiness, it is vital to consider finding out what your calling is, and how you can exercise it into your life. As it’s been said, it won’t be easy, but with certain skills you are bound to become that much more successful towards finding and living out your calling. Here are some skills that will help you exercise your calling:

• A profound and progressive commitment to making a difference in this direction (this is not about simply wanting it – it’s about committing strongly to it)

• An abundance of positive energy, because this will help fuel you to pursue a calling

• Optimism and consistent thoughts of faith and hope, when all odds are against you

• High spirits, high self-esteem, and confidence to know in your heart that your dream is achievable

•An open mind and a flexibility spirit to help shape you, and allow you to learn from your mistakes, and seek help when needed from a support system.

• A lot of risk-acceptance, and the ability to tolerate, and carry on despite instability

• The faith that you couldn’t continue without this work

• A very hard exterior

• The ability to “strengthen up” (build power, ability, and self-mastery) as you grow, you will need external and internal forces

Discover what makes you feel alive, and encourages you to be everything that you can be, and more. Take the time to figure it out, and go do it. The question to ask is what natural strengths and talents you can leverage in service of others and the world, in a way that fills you up, and brings you happiness and reward while doing it.

Live out your calling – and start expressing your true authentic nature, right now, by discovering careers that really speak to your true interests and desires.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Mental Health is Still Socially Constructed as a Red Flag.

Mental illness is so much more than an excuse to define our emotional and psychological issues. It is a highly serious matter, which affects 1/5 and continues to persist as a vital social and medical issues. In an article from the Vancouver Province, it states that “mental illnesses are medical illnesses that cause measurable changes in brain structure and function, and have a massive negative impact on physical health.”

While this is an accurate description of what mental health can look like, it targets our social issue of embracing mental health so that it can be accepted as an important cause.

So many people who struggle with mental health are doing so alone and in the dark. They are living in the shadows. The rate for undiagnosed mental health patients is high. Much more are turning to harmful drugs in order to cope with the symptoms as it has been outlined that the mental health crisis is linked to the Fentanyl scourge.

We want to think we’ve made progress when we have made baby steps. This issue is still very much in the closet. People are still mixed up when they hear about mental health issues.

For example, I know a girl that before dating a guy, everyone in her community warned her that he had mental health issues. It seemed this was a red flag, a handicap and so many people would steer away because why exactly?

People with mental health issues can’t be dated? They can't be doing well and experience love?Though this girl had mental health herself and wasn’t prepared to judge him off of that, it made her wonder of all the people who would, and what people might say about her. It was dumbfounding to see that so many people would still use mental health issues against someone. That being mentally ill could never be seen as a plus sign in society's eyes.

 I hated the idea how this poor guy’s tragedy with mental health had become everyone else's gossip. This guy instantly became a poor candidate (to them), so why would he be open about his mental health issues? Why would he ever embrace them? Knowing that people still talked that way about him, knowing that it was a hard experience to escape and that he had been labeled within our community. Though it wasn’t fair, everyone went through stuff and everyone deserved second chances. No one deserved to have their past hang over them like that. 

 

People claim to be supportive and show understanding, but it doesn’t mean they would welcome mental health in their home or in their hearts. Some people simply can’t deal with it and continue to live uneducated about the matter, in denial about the subject. Certain people will avoid negativity and issues of all kind, and that is their choice if they decide to discriminate against a disease you have in your brain, and they refuse to understand that what you go through is medical, then you probably don't need those people in your life.

People with mental health issues want all the same things that other people do. They may have to work harder, but nothing isn’t in their reach. As I say, "mental health means that you will have to work a little bit harder than everyone else"--but it doesn't mean that you can't do it. Treating mentally ill people as capable individuals and treating them no different would benefit society because, in so many ways, they will be able to relate to you, they are a lot like you, they just have challenges. 

You have to keep in mind that many mentally ill people are emotionally deregulated and sometimes you will have to step in and be the logic and be the wiser and take yourself out of the situation. Sometimes you will have to decide when not to react, especially if you think that person might be showing sick symptoms, you know it's not sincere, so why entertain it?

 The mentally ill person is merely experiencing the biological symptom of their sickness, and yes a lot of things can trigger it, but if you are effective and the person is aware of their health issues, it can be defused quickly. Trying to talk to them, and talk through it with them can be very useful because more than likely it is a misunderstanding or a miscommunication of some kind. 

People do turn their lives around regardless of the hurdles they’ve been given. Sometimes the hurdles motivate them even more upon their path. This starts with acceptance, accepting that you have some form of illness and that you are going to work at it every day. The second part is seeking the proper treatment. If you take care of yourself and follow your treatment plan, you can live a much better, more beneficial and prosperous life. The third is having a strong support system. People who know about your illness and that you can talk to honestly. People who can reach out to when you are in trouble. 

Things and people will always get in the way of recovery. People won’t re-trust you, people will think you are not acceptable (but you are), people will think you’re not capable. There is always the chance that people might not understand our situation, but we need to focus on the people who do. Along the journey, you will have knocked over a few cans, but that's okay, but there's plenty more for you to hold up. 

The reality is that not everyone understands mental illness and that’s a sad, unfortunate reality, but it’s one we have to radically accept. This means we don’t have to like it or love it, but we do have to accept it. Some things take longer to change, and some things never change at all. All we can do is work with the change we wish to see in ourselves and in the world. Rely on people who are on your side and fighting for you to win the battle because their support will make the rejection insignificant. 

You will encounter people who say things like, “you are hiding behind your illness”, but you have to let those people go immediately. They don’t understand the magnitude of what you are experiencing and it’s not your job to teach them. Potentially let them know that they have no idea what it is like, and they are in no position to judge but don't waste your energy when it's clear how much knowledge they have in the matter.

It’s so much easier to look around than it is to look within because when you do this you realize that you are in no position to coin someone’s pain. You can’t speak knowingly about something which you have never remotely experienced. This is what I like to call: pure ignorance. A perfect example of what is wrong with this world and why issues like mental health aren't brought to the forefront. 

You will have people who don’t understand your impulsive actions and will want nothing to do with you. People won’t care that you weren’t in the right frame of mind. They will see the action and judge it. They may become scared, turned off and disassociated. People say they don’t judge, but it is their nature to. People will forgive you, but never forget the times that you couldn’t rise to the occasion and they won’t always give you a second chance.

People will protect you and conceal you from what they feel you can’t handle like you’ll fall apart at any minute. They talk about you, but never talk to you and never express their concerns to your face. Everything is in secret because people don’t want to rock the boat, which is unfair. How do you expect people to get better if you don’t share with them what they need to work on? It seems simple, and highlighting self-awareness is a really good place to start. People can’t change what they don’t think is a problem. They have to come to the realization that they need help.

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The truth is people don’t often give these second chances. We are so inclined to throw people away. Label someone as “toxic” and then get rid of them. When people are suffering, they are hurting and they are struggling. They can’t always predict how they are going to be on a certain day. If they are flaky or showing signs of mistrust or being a bad friend, it’s because they can’t even be a friend to themselves right now. It’s not personal, and it's hard not to take it that way, but when you are dealing with a sick person you have to consider that there are times when they are doing better than others. Don’t give up on your friend or family member just because they aren’t in a good place. Recognize it’s not the real them and do what you can to help them. Be there for them and support them to the best that you know how.

While it's annoying for you to deal with, imagine how it must feel for the person going through it? Imagine the embarrassment they must feel? It’s not easy. Having to endure those bad moments and encouraging yourself to pick yourself back up again. Generally, nobody is ever trying to bring someone down or be a bother. Keep in mind it's probably something that person can’t control. Treat their illness like you would any other.

Mental illness has huge implications on physical health and can create situations that are not sincere to the person because they are in an episode or feeling off. Be mindful of others, and try not to steer away or judge. Remind yourself something bigger is likely going on and that person needs help. Do what you can to get them the help and show sensitivity to mental health. Like any illness, this person might be in an off state right now, but they can get better, and they can get on a steady treatment plan that can really work for them.

Talking about mental illness isn’t easy, but it would be made much easier if people were more receptive to it, and educated about how they can help the cause. The biggest thing is simply trying to listen, trying to help, trying to be there for that person and point that person towards the right resources. Don’t let stigma affect the fact that this is a very important issue within our society, that is taking lives and causing massive drug addiction.

We need to be vocal about what we go through, have our voices heard and educate the population on what mental health is really about. If we don’t, the problem is only going to implode, and we will continue to lose more people.

Everyone is Emotional : How To Find Control in a World of Chaos.

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It can be hard to trust in the universe when you're not feeling like yourself. Our minds easily become emotional states of living, as we allow our emotions( like panic, depression, mania, and anxiety) to take over our well-being and rationality. Some of us are running from our emotions. Filling up our days with so much work and activity that we don't have time to deal with them. Or we surround ourselves with people, and this includes interacting with them on the internet. We search for control because we feel out of control in our own lives, and this helplessness is hard to inspire, hard to deal and hard to embrace. There is nothing wrong with feeling, don't suppress your emotions. Even if it does take time, there is hope, and your emotions do not have to run your course.

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Time is the essence of all things greatly produced. In life, we have to find the motivation to fight, to say, "screw it, I deserve better than this", or "fuck it, I want more" and then strive to achieve this. Work to make your life better because you have the power to create great change. Don't look to others to solve your emotions, they can support them, but it's up to you how you chose to let your emotions affect you.

We need to know when to let go, and when to move on, but we especially need to know when to ask for help. We need to know when we should no longer be a part of something. If that something reminds us of bad things, or if someone makes you feel uncomfortable, you have to set boundaries for yourself. Know when to forgive, and when to hold on because you'll learn that so much is worth letting go. In order to move on, and to feel okay, you can't carry your past on your shoulders. 

The things, people, and situations, which drive us to emotional states are worth letting go. It is so important to focus on what's positive in your life because as hard as it seems, there has to be something, big or small that you are grateful for. Focus on that. Don't waste a second to insult the bastard or give into the itch to be rude to someone. It's not worth it to release some of your pent-up emotion and anger onto someone else. Remember, every time you are giving out this negative energy that you are showing something unresolved within yourself. If you are gong to feel bad later about your actions, it is not worth it. Don't waste time giving negative thoughts conviction. Instead, deal with what is actually bothering you. Don't feel like you have to put on a face for others, your concerns matter and you have to deal with them.

If they bear weight in your mind, you shouldn't just ignore it. Don't let these thoughts change the way that you are thinking, feeling and behaving. Recognize your emotions and identify what you are feeling. Remind yourself that they are just thoughts and that most of them are not true. Try to focus on the facts and what actually happened, and base your emotions off of what really went down. 

You don't know the future, so stop predicting it. Try to take days as they come. Don't get ahead of yourself and dream of obtaining more. Set goals, but try to be happy with the things you've already got.

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Don't let bad thoughts change the way that you are feeling--don't let them affect your mood. Remind yourself that they are just thoughts and that most of the things we tell ourselves aren't true. Try to be mindful and focus on what is happening in the moment. Try to live for that moment--dwelling on the past is dangerous. It's one thing to work through it, it's another thing to ruminate, obsess and self-harm about it. Don't let yourself feel sick about things that you have no control over. Focus on what you can change in your life or what you can do to get your mind off of it.

Spend times participating in life, and distracting yourself with things that bring you pleasure. Make a list of things that you enjoy doing that will distract you from the negative feelings. It might not feel natural at first, but if you go at a pace that works for you, it allows you to slowly interact in healthy ways that make you feel more positive about your environment.

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Do what you can to continue to get things done in your life, but do it for you in your own time. Don't compare yourself to others, they are not experiencing your reality, and they should not factor in or make you feel insecure about your problems. You need to own your pain in order to experience any real gain from it. It won't be easy, but it will get easier, and eventually, it will feel natural.  

Be motivated by you because this is how you will see the best and most sincere results. Be on top of what you're feeling and by what you want--not by what you think others expect from you--be genuine with your desires. You will be happier this way. If you are brave enough to do your own thing, then you should. Even when you feel like you can't do anything, just try to do something--it will help. Try. Force yourself if you have to, but make that change. Keep yourself busy until you are busy, but also allow yourself to feel what is it that you are feeling and work on techniques and coping mechanisms that can help you calm your storm. Don't distract from the pain. Deal with it, and watch as things start to improve.

Regardless, keep going because you never know with life, you simply never know, and therefore you should never give up. You never know when you will get better, meet someone new,  go someplace amazing, land a new job, get a raise, fall in love, buy a house, or have a baby. There is concrete life evidence that proves that for some, dreams come true later in life. None of us, get it all, at the same time, and none of us can ever stop working towards the things we want from life. We can't stop because it's merely a matter of time before we start to see our story unfold.

There is concrete life evidence that proves that for some, dreams come true later in life. Some of us get it all, lose it, and then get it all back. None of us get it all (but you can be content). At the same time, none of us can ever stop working towards the things we want from life. We can't stop because it's merely a matter of time before we start to see our story unfold, and it's up to us to build that story, to share it and give it an ending that we can feel proud about.

You never know when the slot machine is going to give you a try at winning, but you've got to wait. Yes, the house often wins, but if you keep playing, and you keep trying, then your goals aren't too far from your reach. The most important thing is that you feel healthy and capable of dealing with the day-to-day stresses. That you have a support system to love you, and listen to you, and help you get back on your feet. In some cases, you might need to see a professional and get some medical help with the situation, and there is nothing wrong with this. Medical matters often require the help of trained physicians, especially understanding how to treat unique mental health issues. You won't get the answers overnight, but there is hope at the end of the maze. If you keep going, if you keep waiting, it seems like nothing, it feels like nothing, but time eventually makes use of time.

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Time makes good use of time, in its own time, almost when we're not looking or too caught up in life to notice the minutes passing. Time works in mysterious ways. It always has and always will. and you just have to find the will to wait for it. Don't be wilful towards possibility, embrace it. Being as willing as possible to accept that you will and can get what you deserve is the best way to be.

In fair truth, it's the small things that really affect your day. Like having a good conversation with someone at work, or having a polite stranger wish you hello on the street, or hearing a compliment from someone that is absolutely priceless.

The big things seem so extreme, and they are, but in reality, it is the small things, which truly make or break or day. When it's all said and done, it's what you chose to tell yourself, what you chose to think about and how you chose to live your life. Regardless, of what it is, when we live day to day, we are able to evaluate our well-being day-to-day and try to take on the stress of the moment, and not the world. In truth, it could be anything,  it could be work success at the office, a winning moment with a partner, an athletic goal, anything. Most importantly, it could just be the small acts of human kindness, which mean more than anything. Regardless, there is always a silver lining if you are in tune enough with yourself to search for one. 

The Secrets of a Suicidal Brain: How Mental Health is Taking Lives

For most people, the idea of taking their life is unfathomable. After all, aren't we taught to believe in ourselves and put our self-value above everything else. If only it were so easy, but many people are dying because they are born sick. A sickness that looks different than physical illness, but in actuality is a lot like it. With mental health being something we don't talk about enough, people suffer shame and they suffer alone in the dark. People get tired of wearing people out with the same problem over and over and they give up. Not only do they feel like a waste of space, but they also feel like a burden to others. With suicide, there can be illness, and there can also be the raging impulse of one incident setting someone off, someone who believes that one incident has changed their life from which they will not recover from. People can also repeat behaviour and simply cannot go through it again, knowing that people won't be so quick to forgive or understand.  Not all suicides are mental health related, but it is hard to say they aren't because wouldn't you have to be very "not okay" in order to think about taking your own life. There are many reasons, related to suicide which affects people who suffer from mental health issues.

Mental Health is a Chronic Illness With No Real Cure

It's not easy to recover from a chronic health issue, which impacts people every day. Things go wrong, relationships get broken, jobs get lost, and people go broke. They become hopeless that their reality will never change. They see the same things happen over and happen again, and they lack control over how to solve things. They might know the way they wished things to go, but things get messed up, and people lose faith. It's hard to imagine a different reality when you've been living the same one over and over. How does anyone see change through so much chaos?

Symptoms of Mental Health Are Powerful

Symptoms of mental health are chronic and persistent. With Bipolar Depression, Clinical Depression, Depression, and BPD, the feelings of emptiness and sadness are strong. Impulses could run high in a Schizophrenic, Manic or BPD patient, and sometimes suicides are a direct result of the mental health that is persisting, which could be anything from delusional thoughts to compulsions. For example, patients can become fixated upon dying and think of ways to go, or they might be haunted by a thought that tells them it's the best solution. You tell yourself that it is the only answer, the only way to make everything okay and it's hard to back away from the option because you think the world would be better off without you.  

Your Illness Causes Issues In Your Life and You Think You are Better Off Dead

People grow tired of your constantly negative ways. It becomes work just to see you in a good mood. People stop coming around as much or flat out tell you they don't want to see you anymore. People block and delete you on social media, making you feel punished for being sick. You know people don't want anything to happen to you, but they also don't know how to be there anymore. You become a broken record, and your suicide threats become less scary to those around you. Suddenly, you are the boy who cried wolf, but you're not crying, these feelings and thoughts are real, and you've attempted suicide, but you've survived and a part of you is just looking for the proper means. A part of you thinks everyone cares, but that everyone would be better off without your annoying existence. 

You Could Lose Something You Want Back

Sometimes mental health issues interfere with work and interpersonal relationships. You could get to the point where you've lost too much, as a result of your sickness, and you cannot continue, knowing how misunderstood you are at work with a friend. Knowing that you have publicly embarrassed yourself and created a reputation that bleeds victim, you just want to vanish. Sometimes this weight we put on people and things, and the ability to make things work is huge. We feel as though we can never be normal, and that we will lose or turn off everything and everyone who is important to us. 

Your Illness Makes You Feel Trapped With Nowhere To Go

You want to tell people about the severity of what you go through, but it's not an easy thing to talk about. You feel trapped like you've lived this horrible reality, but have no safe place to share it. People try to be accepting, but they still judge and these types of things can be deal-breakers for some people. You think that the world will always see you as sick and therefore you will always be limited by what you can do in the world, and it makes you not want to exist. You don't know where to go, except creep in the shadows, relying on social media sites for a peak of reality, which isn't even reality. 

The Media Show How Mental Health is Taking Lives

With the recent death of Chris Cornell, and previous deaths like Robin Williams, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Brittany Murphy, Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger, Johnathan Brandis, Marilyn Monroe, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Wolf, Jimmy Hendrix, and so many others. Often the cause of death can't be determined, but abusing drugs and alcohol is a slow suicide, and all of these people were sick. They didn't use their celebrity platform to talk about their illness, instead, they let the illness win. A large part of this has to do with the shame associated with coming out with a mental illness and speaks largely to the rich and wealthy people who are sick in private. Capable of surviving financially, the issues get lost in the glamor. 

Even If You Manage It, You Will Always Be Sick

For a woman, there is a chance that she will pass on mental illness to her baby. She won't be able to breastfeed because the medication she has to go back on will be in the milk and will be bad for the baby. This thing you have, or some cases, the things you have are biological, they aren't going anywhere. If you were to fall in love with another sick person there is a high  60% chance that your child will be born with mental illness. It seems like there is no escaping it. You are infected, it is in your brain and in your blood and you can pass it down. It makes you think that you won't be able to do things, like raise a family because you will be too busy taking care of yourself, and then your just that bad mom who did wild things with her children and gave them bad memories. There is no cure. There is medicine to help balance things out, but it doesn't go away. BPD can go away with DBT Skills, but it can come back. It's a lot of work and a lot of sacrifices, and it's not easy. 

People Will Never Understand

Even if they tell you that they have a Bipolar sister or a Schizophrenic uncle, people can't understand what they don't go through. People will hear your words and witness your actions and hold you accountable, no matter what state you are in. People will assume that even if you were sick, they can't trust you, and people will throw up an arm's length between them and you. Some people might just ignore you entirely because they find you to be too much, or too critical or too negative. You're the person who is never happy and always has a problem and who always says the wrong thing. People grow tired of this person fast. Social norms exist for a reason and when you act "weird" or make yourself stand out in a negative way, people are likely to push back. It's not common that they will consider your health issues just that you are being a disturbance of some kind. 

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Suicide Becomes a Permeate Solution to a Permeate Problem

Guidance counsellors are always telling you that suicide is a permanent problem to a temporary solution, but for people who are sick, it's a permeate solution to a permeate problem. They've suffered, and they've suffered alone and for long periods of time, and they know it's here to stay. Suicide will stop the symptoms. People who experience mental health might need to escape themselves. Being inside in their own body and their own skin doesn't feel right, and it doesn't feel right to be alive--they simply can't see life through the same lens as others. There can also be a lack of connection to their environment. Patients may hate where they live and feel the need to hide from others because they have bad interactions with them. Like any illness that causes a lot of pain, people want out of it, they want to stop the suffering, and they know that it will not continue. Even if it gets better, there will always be bumps along the way. They can't explain how hard it is, but anyone who wants to take their life with mental health has truly endured a lot of pain. The pain likely has added up over the years, and with every passing year, it builds up to more and more to the point where a person can't take it. 

Most People Think That Suicide is Selfish

Nobody wants to inflict pain upon on the people that they love, and suicides are terrible because people always think they could have done something to prevent it. People are angry with those who want to kill themselves, but do those people want their loved ones to suffer? Should they stay alive for others only to live in pain? This is of course after trying many different forms of treatment and still coming out miserable. Suicide is not a solution, but some people think it is, and at least these people do become free of their pain. Pain that no one could help. Perhaps suicide was their last option because not everyone is happy here, not everyone is good at life, and not everyone wants to be here. Should people be influenced to stay here against their will? Yes, we will miss them dearly, but if it's what they truly want, you have to respect that they feel like they've done the best they can, and living with an illness or illnesses is not longer an option. 

Suicide Prevention Can Make a Difference

People don't realize how many people would try to help if they knew you wanted to end your life. Talk about your feelings. Try to reach out before you do anything harmful to yourself, you'd be surprised how much a good talk can help. If you don't want to bother people in your life, you can share your feelings on social media or call a crisis line. You will be amazed at the response you will get from people because no wants you to die. Let whoever you are communicating with know that you are just feeling this way, need to talk, and don't need them to call the police (unless you have a plan in mind, in which case you need to be honest about it). The police actually know nothing about mental health. They likely will just put you in handcuffs, throw you in an Ambulance and take you to a hospital to see a trained Psychiatrist. It is possible for people to be effective and reach the person in need. Sometimes they are just having a really bad day and need a little reassurance. Regardless, if you are really worried, and you know, hear or see that person calming down, contact their family or close friends first.

In no shape or form am I condoning suicide, I do not think it is a solution. I am shedding awareness as to why people who suffer from mental health issues get in that mind frame. It's a scary place to be, but it's a reality. Mental health is taking lives, and we need to acknowledge how we can be a better help to the people in our life who suffer. Try to recognize when something of concern is going on, and look past someone's emotional fury. People need help, but they don't always know how to ask for it. Committing suicide means, that person needed help, but they didn't feel like they could get it. We have to somehow make it possible for people to believe that there is help for them and that while things take time, they can turn around. There are no sugarcoats about it, regardless the circumstances, it's not going to be easy.  

 

8 Skills To Look For When Recruiting a Copywriter/By: Tara Chloe Dusanj

A lot of people would like to think that they can write, but there is a big difference between writing and copywriting. A lot of aspects weigh in, but certain attributes will set you apart as the top pick. Many people can compose a proper sentence, but do they have the all-around skills which make for a quality copywriter? There's a reason why some candidates stand out more than others.

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So What Sets Someone A Part As The Ideal Copywriter? What Skills Make Them Stand Out From The Rest? 

An ability to balance both the analytical and creative, both the formal and the poetic, and the verbose and the brief. Showcasing a strong understanding of digital landscape and user experience. To have what it takes to generate winning content that captures audience’s attention, engages people and offers real value. A brilliant copywriter will be good at “closing the loop” by using content consumers in a fashion that addresses business objectives. 

When Recruiting An Exceptional Copywriter Ensure That Your Candidate is: 

1. A CONNECTOR

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A credible copywriter has the perception and the drive to connect with others both internally and externally. They have the ability to work closely with product marketers, website managers, blog editors, social media managers, influencers, agencies etc. As a connector, you have the exceptional networking skill needed to distribute and ignite content.

You understands that everyone creates and needs content, and it is your job to:

1.   Acknowledge opportunities

2.   Define the content strategy to meet business objectives

3.   Create or re-purpose content, and

4.   Optimize content.

 

2. AN EXCEPTIONAL COMMUNICATOR

Outstanding communication skills and a thorough knowledge of writing for the web is necessary. A copywriter of this capacity can transform things like press releases into digestible & engaging pieces of content for a non-media audience. They have a sound understanding of SEO principles and how they affect the input of written content output. You not only need to be a great writer but an excellent editor and curator. Someone who can powerfully use content to build bridges between brands and audiences. 

3. MORE THAN JUST A WRITER

Copywriters should have more than writing in their content marketing toolkit.

Copywriters should be able to brief video, create presentations, adapt their content for social media, brief infographics, white papers & eBooks. 

Additionally, they should be comfortable with social media platforms and know how to share content virally and effectively. 

4. DATA-DRIVEN

 

The best content copywriters have a mix of the analytical as well as the creative in their skill-set. It is important that they understand basic digital marketing analytics, and can interpret data in order to make recommendations to help optimize content marketing.

Someone who can search trends and identify opportunities. They may have to test and learn attitude where they apply the best practices in order to achieve the best possible results. Great content marketers are always using insights in order to refurnish, improve and refine their strategy, and this is something that an excellent copywriter constantly demonstrates.   

5. REAL-TIME

As a well-trained social media professional, you will be able to move fast in order to monopolize on viral trends, achieve relevance, and communicates with an always-on audience.

Tara actively and effectively solves problems to eradicate obstacles, which may hinder agility.

6. LIFELONG LEARNERS

Content marketing is an ever-evolving space, and Tara is constantly evolving with it.

So much has changed in a short period of time and every day new trends enter the market. A great copywriter is able to stay up on those trends and remain at the forefront, allowing them to constantly re-engineer content marketing strategy.

7. ABILITY TO PUT THEMSELVES IN THE SHOES OF THE AUDIENCE

As an exceptional copywriter and content marketer, you should be able to simplify complex business messages by being able to think like the end-user. You can also push back on product-centric requests from inside the business and create insight-led content. A quality copywriter knows how to create content that appeals to their audience because they understand their needs, pain points and interests. A good content marketer pays attention to what their audience likes and wants to hear more of.

8. A STRONG PERSONAL BRAND

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A top quality copywriter values their personal brand and already understand the powers of content marketing. They might already write her own blog or take pride in their Instagram accounts, but either way they, are showcasing their work online and promoting it through social media channels. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tara Chloe Creative

I began my mission with blind eyes, as I tried to embrace the world and dreamt up my own creations. Most kids asked for toys for their birthday, but I asked for gift cards to Kids Only Books. From a young age, I became fascinated with stories and eventually started to write my own. Only in elementary school, I would get my stories published by duo tang in the library. Every top novel study I was a part of, every book conference, chosen for only the keenest readers in the class. I knew I loved literature, and I knew I loved writing, so naturally applied to major in English Literature at UBC. Since the age of eleven I have kept a journal, and to this day it amazes me how they reflect my growth and maturity. I've literally gone from Winnie-the-Pooh journals to beautifully embroidered Papyrus notebooks that I collect annually. My journals shape my journey.

As I got older, I kept writing, but I didn't know I had a talent for it. Not until my Eighth-grade teacher read my writing out loud to the class as a good example. She did this multiple times throughout the year (and when I had her again in Grade 12), and she told me that "she couldn't wait for the day that I become my own best editor." I could write, but the editing was something I had to work at, and still, have to work at (even though I am now a successful editor), but it gave me faith that she believed in me. She believed in me, like so many other professors I had along the way, who said they gave out their first A++ ever, and that I had the writing ability to be at the very top of the class. In my working career, it was no different, clients would always be happy with my work, and I received countless testimonials and referrals along the way. Though it seemed my work spoke for itself, as several people asked to employ me based off of my online work. 

Throughout my life, people have always admired my way with words, I can't count the number of times people have told me that writing is my calling. I want to use this space to flex my creativity and talk about the things that make me tick. To write about things in a way that suits my creative style. This site is not only a place to get your horoscope, but it is also a place to gain insight. Mental Health and Human Resources are two topics very close to my heart. I want to take about people experiences and draw awareness to causes that lack light within society. I want to be real about the things that bother people, but also celebrate the joys of those who have overcome their hurdles, and found themselves in a better place. In addition, I will throw in some just for fun pieces, and a lot of stuff on relationships and compatibility.  

We are embarrassed by the hardships we face because we live in a society where everyone wants to seem on top. This for some is simply not a reality, and even those who succeed, but secretly suffer have to come to term with their issues. We need to talk about things, which is why it is my goal to start a dialogue, which allows people to face their demons without judgment. A place where they can learn that it is okay to make a mistake or lose control.  

I want to write more than anything, but if I write for passion, then I must write about these things. Expect a mixture of recruitment tips, social media blogs, hr blogs, astrology articles, relationship articles and mental health material. Mental health is something that needs to be advocated for, people with it often live in the shadows and it's time we give this matter the proper attention. I know countless people who suffer but do not want to come out about their stories. This is because of the stigma attached to the issue, which can only go away if we refuse to.