Why should you really care about what happens in Syria? What do you even know about Syria for that matter?
I have come across many individuals in my adult life who prefer to worry about what happens in their own town. Their own country. It’s fairly common actually to find that people feel much more connected to those who are most like them. When we hear about a child dying in our local communities our collective hearts break. I know mine certainly does.
But there is a disconnect and this needs to be addressed.
While there needs to be advocates, activists and empathetic hearts in every community, state, province, country – more of us need to look beyond these geographical boundaries.
One reason is that we live in a globalized world – and that won’t be changing any time soon. When we call our local telephone provider we end up speaking with someone half-way across the world. Our clothing is manufactured in China, Cambodia or Bangladesh. Whether or not you agree with this, it is the new way of the world. And you can fight it all you want, but there would have to be a major shift for this to change at this point. These individuals are making much less than we do here in North America and therefore the CEO’s of major corporations would have to be okay with putting less money in their own pockets. (This is a very complex subject with many issues embedded within it.)
But herein lies the real problem: this resistance to this globalization has created an US vs. THEM mentality.
We need the jobs. We need the economic growth. WE. US. THEM.
THEY are just trying to survive. Just like us. Somehow over time those of us in developed nations have began to believe that we are entitled to certain things that others are not, simply because of their birth place. That we are better than them even.
I know that we have problems within our own countries here in North America. Big problems. HUGE ONES. But that doesn’t give us a free pass to disconnect with what happens throughout the world. I’ve used this JFK quote here many times before, “To those whom much is given, much is expected.”
So back to the question; why should you care about what happens in Syria?
Because today in Syria 6.8 million individuals have been affected by the civil war that has been occurring for two years. 3 million of these individuals are children.
We easily get caught up questioning why the citizens of this country are in the position they are in. Is it because of religious beliefs? Corrupted government? Etc…
Forget about the why’s. They don’t matter when we are talking about human lives.
It may sound cliche, but its truth is undeniable – we are all equal and our lives are of equal value. We should all have a fair chance at life.
This may surprise you, but it is actually in our nature to give. A recent study I read in Scientific American Mind proved that it is an innate reaction to give back. It is only when our thinking interferes that we hesitate and often, change our minds.
Right now there is a real humanitarian crisis occurring and the Syrian people are at the forefront. I am a huge fan of the Humanitarian Coalition which is a combination of many charities including the Plan Canada, Oxfam Canada, and Save the Children. To learn more and donate please click the image below.
To learn more about what it is like to experience war, please watch this TED Talk below.
I decided I would start this post off with a Selfie since that is what we are talking about here.
What do you think? I mean literally? What are your thoughts when you look at the picture of me above?
Does it stir up emotions in you or are you completely neutral? Here are some examples of emotions being stirred up…
- Wow! She thinks she looks good doesn’t she!?
- She’s obviously pretty self-absorbed if she is posting that pic!
- She looks awful why would she put that online?!
If one or any combination of the comments above sounded like the voice in your head, that may be precisely why you are here. You see, I originally posted The Psychology of Selfies in February and I am truly amazed at how many of you find my site on a daily basis after searching this term! My previous post was more food-for-thought, so at this point I think I owe it to you to provide you with some tangible research and ideas about this fascinating subject.
There are many issues at hand when we are talking about selfies, and my research led me to some interesting findings. The first being the direct correlation that many make between the Millennial generation and #me pics (this hashtag is the most used on Instagram!).
Upon embarking on my research I was reminded of the general disgust of the Millennial/Gen Y generation from many older individuals, most specifically Jean Twenge, Ph. D – author of the book Generation ME. One day I will write more about this author/book, but for now I will say that nearly every article I read that identifies Millennials narcissistic is penned by Twenge.
Despite the fact that most of the articles about Selfies are specifically directed at this generation, I can say with great confidence that I know many, MANY individuals who are not Gen Y’ers that post regular Selfies. May I suggest that the (obvious) reason so many Y’ers are posting Selfies is because members of this generation are using apps such as Instagram the MOST. This article from a Huffington Post blogger explains so well that technology is second nature to her. She can “remove a computer virus in no time,” yet she cannot repair a zipper on a pair of jeans.
Looking beyond the generational debate, it seems that there two main motivating factors behind Selfies: narcissism and insecurity. But, I do believe that the narcissism is often an extension of the insecurity or need for approval. Sometimes the photos may stem from an inflated ego, but its roots are the same: the need to be validated.
An article published by Mashable confirms this theory – and brings up the point that the human need to be validated is not a new one, it’s simply taking a new format. In the article Dr. Andra Letamendi states, “Now that we can interact with hundreds — no, thousands — of people simultaneously, we’ve strengthened the impact that others have on our self-value.”
So now we can understand that it’s been common throughout the ages to turn outward instead of inward when building self-worth. It’s normal even! Just part of the human condition. That settles it then. Selfies are good… Right?
There is an additional element to this self-worth equation as well – one that is much more sub-conscious, and that is the dopamine factor. Did you know that our brains have been wired to send feel-good, happy shots of dopamine to our brains when we receive a “Like” or “Retweet” on our favorite social networks? (This is simplified.) Perhaps we post Selfies in search of that hit of dopamine?
Beyond the psychology of Selfies there is something much more important we all need to ask ourselves when it comes to understanding this new phenomenon – what do Selfies trigger within us that is causing negative emotions or thoughts?
I know what you’re thinking, we can’t blame ourselves for everything! But truly, it isn’t blame and there needn’t be any guilt. It is simply stepping back and thinking about what may be at the root of YOUR insecurity. This can be difficult because sometimes it will really seem like it is completely the other person, but if you dig deeper you will find that isn’t the case.
I’m sure not all Selfies effect you the same way. You may notice that some of your friends or family take these pics and it doesn’t bother you a bit. You may feel a deep sense of love or compassion for this person or you may be completely neutral to it. On the other hand, you may become immediately irritated or uncomfortable when someone else does the same.
If you find yourself feeling this way, that is okay. Just do yourself a favor and try to figure out why. Unfollow or de-friend if you must, but use this experience to get to you know yourself better.
In conclusion after doing much research and reflection I believe a Selfie is simply a self-portrait. WE as individuals put our own filters on each image and make them into something much more significant than they truly are.
Last week I stumbled on an interview with Marianne Williamson and Marie Forleo and was once again, struck by how well-spoken and thoughtful Williamson is. Of the many spiritual authors out there Williamson is one of the very few who mash up Spirituality and Humanitarianism. Personally I believe the two go hand in hand, so I am always eager to hear her perspective and learn from her.
If this were three years ago, I may not have been as open to her work – she uses the Christian terminology that is rooted in the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles; namely, Miracles, Prayer and God, (not to mention the word Divine is in the title). This would have scared me off at one point, but I urge readers out there who are not used to using/hearing Christian terminology not to dismiss it because it has truly valuable lessons.
If there is one word I could use to describe this book, it would be this one: succinct.
Williamson utilizes every sentence to its maximum potential, and I love her for it. It’s right to the point, but at the same time it makes an impact.
This book is an important one that I wish was mandatory for all. I don’t know one person who doesn’t have some sort of money-related issue. Whether it is judgments of those who have money, fear of not having enough money, or uncertainty about how to make money, this book covers it all in perfectly built layers intertwined by prayer.
Williamson uses lesson from ACIM and real life situations as examples of how we hold ourselves back from abundance and how fear ultimately derails us from this path. As I listened to the audiobook (a short 3.5 hours), I found myself pausing frequently to take in her words. It’s been a long time since I’ve had this experience and it was exactly what I needed. In fact, I purchased a hard copy so I can highlight away and study further.
The Law of Divine Compensation is a gem, and we’d all be doing ourselves a favor if we picked up a copy, regardless of what our money situation or belief system is. And I love it so much I’ve decided to give away a copy.
Giveaway is now closed! Congrats to the winner Chris!
(Disclosure: All my thoughts & opinions, and giveaway provided by TCP)
“Parents just don’t understand.” Remember that jam? Yah… me either.
But seriously, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince knew what they were talking about when they rapped, “Parents just don’t understand” – and over two decades later, the same sentiment rings true for Millennial’s, or Gen Y.
Since becoming fascinated with generations, bridging the communication gap between them, and helping my peers find inner peace, I have been bombarded with article after article all reflecting on the same thing; Gen Y’s negative traits. There is a major lack of understanding where those traits are concerned because the authors of said articles are often coming from a space of generation bias, or from lack of experience actually interacting with members of Gen Y. It shocks me how my peers are like fish in a fishbowl, the outside world constantly looking in- fast food chains trying to win us over, insurance companies sorting our needs…
This morning in particular I read an article from Women’s Agenda, “Why the millennial generation may be lacking drive”. The author of the article Marina Go shares information derived from a global study of teenagers sharing hopes and dreams of their futures. Go states, “Of most concern to me was their belief that they wouldn’t succeed, before their careers had even begun.” She worries that rather than laziness, Gen Y’ers are lacking “drive” to succeed.
A few ideas immediately flooded my brain, and the most prominent was that disconnect between generations in the definition of success. I’ve written about this before, but it bares repeating.
To me, success looks different – and I think it does for many Gen Y’ers.
When Millennial’s Boomer and older Gen X parents were starting their careers they may have been more successful, sure. The reasons for this vary from the lack of necessity to have a University or College degree, to the thriving automotive industry, to the steady increase of “real wage” which stopped in the 70′s, etc… Many family members and in-laws are examples of this. Good white collar careers, great pensions.
Success is relative, and there are layers to it. Too often we say successful and really mean materially or commercially successful. As a work-from-home parent, this concerns me. By this definition my sons will surely not see me as a success, simply because I choose to care for them instead of work outside of the home.
There is no question that the employment situation in North America is shifting and many Millennial’s don’t know where to turn. But, let’s not assume that because we are not doing something the same way as previous generations, that we may be in trouble. That our traits are not serving us well.
Millennial’s are entrepreneurial – we’re resourceful – and my favorite thing about this generation that makes me be proud to be a member is that generally, we care about the greater good. With the right guidance and mentoring from older generations, members of Gen Y may just be the most suited generation yet to take on some of the global challenges we face as we move into mid-life (thanks to many of our positive traits).
That said – I truly believe this can only happen with that collaboration and mentor support.
Perhaps instead of questioning how Millennial’s will fare – Boomers and Gen X’ers should reach out and share knowledge and experience. The world would do well with a service, much like a dating service, that matches Mentors and Mentees.
I’d sign up for sure – true community at work.
I’ve been feeling it lately. The invisible pressure is there and it’s only a few months away.
What am I referring to?
My thirtieth birthday.
The lists are popping up all over the place; 30 things travelers should do before they turn 30, or 25 things to do under 25. It has seemed a bit daunting as I chose to have a family young (or, fill in the blank with your own experience) and didn’t have the opportunity to climb Mount Kilimanjaro yet.
Just this morning I came across an article about the Millennial/Gen Y obsession with Youth. So… I’m not alone. What a relief.
My main issue with all of this hype and all of these lists is that they are cementing in this idea that turning thirty is the end of our youth, and that’s bad.
But, I know a lot of thirty-somethings, and they seem pretty content. More free even? Definitely comfortable in their own skin.
So… instead of attaching ourselves to this idea of “lost youth”, I vote for embracing the new decade and welcoming it with open arms. I’ve come up with thirty helpful ideas on how we can make our thirties our best decade yet.
We can make it a decade of nourishment for our minds, bodies and spirits.
1. Question your Beliefs -Wayne Dyer said it best when he said, “A belief system is nothing more than a thought you’ve thought over and over again.” We become so attached to a certain way of thinking we close ourselves off to the wonders of open-mindedness. Start with your strongest beliefs, they may be the most rooted in fear.
2. Listen to Talk Radio – If you don’t already, spend a little time each day tuning in to NPR in the US or CBC Radio 1 in Canada. Empower yourself by learning about interesting people and important situations you may not otherwise hear of.
3 . Start getting regular therapeutic massages – Most of us sit with computers on our laps or in front of us, and spend just as much time looking down at our phones. We need to do ourselves a favor and prevent damage to our bodies now – a good therapeutic massage can help with this. I swear by them.
4. Eat Clean – I don’t have to tell you guys about the terrible food system. I know you’re conscious of it (and McDonald’s is shaking in their boots.) But – make a commitment – eat mostly clean if you can. Whole, fresh foods. (Click here for some suggestions.)
5. Start or Join a book club – Ask your friends and family if they know of one, and if you can’t find one to join, start one yourself. (And think outside the box. I just joined one on Instagram using a specific hashtag that we all follow. Love the medium!)
6. Become a better Listener – I recently shared 4 reasons why we should try to become better listeners. The reasons include raising others self-esteem, and becoming more present. Read them all over on Beliefnet.
7. Say Goodbye to Envy – I just wrote about envy yesterday and its relation to social media. But it doesn’t just end there. Read my friend Michelle’s take on Comparison which I believe is an extension of envy. It’s a “Thief of Joy.”
8. Keep Judgments at Bay – There are many reasons why judging others not only hurts them, but hurts us as well. Read more here about how (and why) you should try to stop judging others.
9. Get to know the Ocean – Nature has healing properties yes, and I’ve never met a problem that the ocean couldn’t help solve. This vast mass of water has an energy field that cleanses and heals. Make an effort to visit it as often as you can (which may be once every few years, but it’s better than nothing).
10. Get your Hands Dirty – A while back I wrote about the idea that when we grow plants, they have the exact nutrients and minerals in them that our specific bodies require, (this idea comes from Dr. Christiane Northrup). So – get your hands dirty and start planting some food. (Kale is one of the most popular veggies these days and so easy to grow!)
11. Act without Motive – When you choose to do something for someone else, NEVER expect anything in return. The same goes for work. It may seem unnatural when it comes to the work side – of course you want that raise, but don’t expect it.
12. Take walks without music – I love listening to music while I walk, but take a couple of days a week to just listen to silence. It’s an easy way to train your mind to quiet down if you are struggling with meditation or just beginning.
13. Read one of these books – Trust me on this.
14. Be the Change – Don’t let the passion you feel for a certain cause or social issue go to waste, turn it into action. Start by researching what is lacking and what is needed and go from there. You don’t have to be a billionaire to change the world.
15. Watch the sunrise once a week - this is a simple act that can help to ground you and serves to remind that we are, as Rumi said, a mighty ocean in a drop.
16. Eat dinner outdoors regularly - Mealtime has become something we “get through” during our otherwise busy lives. Eating outside slows things down and allows us to experience some presence in our day.
17. Take a solo trip - Have you taken a trip alone? If not, be sure to make some time to do so. You learn a lot about yourself when you do.
18. Make a vision board of your dreams – Turn your dreams into something concrete with a vision board. It can help you to become more clear on what you really want. Let your spirit take the lead on this one and you will be pleasantly surprised with how it turns out.
19. Question Your Definition of Success – I wrote about success recently and how you define it. Do you define it by your career? Read on…
20. Learn to Meditate – Or unlearn to think. Here is a great beginners guide… It all starts with a candle.
21. Close Your Eyes & Leap – Take a chance on a business, or relationship. Step out of your comfort zone. This is where the magic happens.
22. Merge Passion with Business – Make decisions in your career to get you to your dream – each move a step closer. The most successful businesses stem from passion. This simple choice will help you live a life of true happiness.
23. Let your Intuition Guide You – If you can become more familiar with the quiet side of life, you will also tap into your intuition. Decisions flow much more easily when they come from this space.
24. Embrace your uniqueness – I know, I know… this sounds like typical Gen Y jargon, but since we are coming of age in an era of narcissism – it’s important to address this. We’ve been masquerading as a group full of self-esteem that is actually quite insecure. Let’s truly embrace what makes us unique and run with it.
25. Put Grudges to Rest – Let the life-long (thus far) grudges fall silently to the wayside. High school, college, first jobs – they are far behind now. The ability to forgive is an important element to overall well-being. Start your thirties with a clean slate.
26. Let Go Of Broken Friendships – The ones that are hanging on by a thread. Just let it go. We are constantly evolving and sometimes those old friendships have served their purpose and are holding us back from our own growth. Silently wish them the best them and move forward.
27. Make Time For Quality Friendships – On the other end of the spectrum, we can get so caught up in our busy lives we often neglect our wonderful friendships. Our time together is precious, and we never know how long we have with this person, so make time.
28. Contemplate Life – If you haven’t already, spend some time reading the great philosophers of our day. Mix in some modern spiritual gurus.
29. Face your fears – I wrote about facing the fear of death at length with some tips on how to address it here. This goes for all fears.
Can I be honest here?
I’m an avid APP deleter.
I find that I’ve been scarred by so many imperfect Apps that I tend to shy away from adding too many to my phone – and much like the ability I have to determine whether or not I like a website within the first 10 seconds of landing on it – the same can be said with Apps.
Now that you know I’m a tough sell when it comes to Apps and my standards are (too) high, today I’ll be sharing my favorite personal growth, spiritual, and meditation Apps. They are good, I promise.
#1. Simply Being- FREE!
This is actually my favorite app! I use it every single day to put my son to sleep and leave it on during meditation or just while relaxing.
#2. The Power of Now Meditation Deck – $7.99
I love this deck as well. The cards are organized in an simple manner, there is a meditation timer, a place to make notes and I LOVE the random card feature. It always seems to know what I need.
If you’re a fan of Tolle, this is worth the $7.99.
I love Hay House Radio shows – and it’s nice to be able to tune in anytime, anywhere. Definitely recommend this one!
#4. Gratitude Journal – The Life Changing App – $3.99
My friend Alex opened my eyes to gratitude apps back in January – and since this time I’ve come to love one in particular; Gratitude Journal. I like this App because its visually pleasing (so many are not!), and it allows you to add pictures. It also has the option to password protect your app which I like. Two thumbs up here.
#5. Daily Deepak - FREE
There is always plenty happening at Deepak central. It’s a goodie at no charge to get the wheels churning in your head.