Christmas Memories

Tis’ the season and I thought I’d share a story.
Tony and I have a weird holiday tradition that we have been doing every Christmas season for years.
 
Years ago, Tony and I lived together in what was our first apartment. We were so young. Brandon was about two years old…it was two years before we were married and a little over three years before Taylor came along.
We lived on the first floor and our next door neighbor (Mrs. Green) was not unknown for having more than a few drinks over the weekend. Anyway, this particular Christmas, Mrs. Green was feeling real… REAL nice🥴🥴. She had Charles Brown’s “Please Come Home for Christmas” on the turntable All Christmas Eve and into most of Christmas morning! And the record was scratched! 😱😩🥴🤨💽📀😴😲!!!
Well, our tradition for years now, is that when ever we hear the song, Please Come for Christmas, we have to raise a toast to Mrs. Green! As soon as those bells ring 🔔🔔🔔 and Charles sings… 🎼Bells Will Be Ringing…🎼 we have to have to go pour ourselves one for Mrs. Green!🥂20181207_1742244680460631780559066.jpg
We were crazy young back then and times were rough in that little one bedroom apartment but that is one of my favorite Christmas memories! To Mrs. Green! I hope that man finally came home for Christmas, but if not for Christmas… New Years Eve! 😉🎄🎅

What’s your favorite Christmas memory?

8 Warning Signs You are Mentally and Emotionally Exhausted…

 

Do you know the warning signs of being mentally and emotionally exhausted?

Most of us are aware of the necessity to stop and heal when the body has been stressed and injured in some way.

But how many of us know the importance of, or take time out to heal the mind from overwhelming emotional stresses… How many of us proactively take pause daily mindfully counter or regroup from the ordinary everyday stresses that if left unchecked can turn into overwhelm?

And we know that what takes hold in the mind eventually affects the physical body.

That said, I came across this article and thought I’d share.

Eight Signs You Are Mentally And Emotionally Exhausted:

  1. You Lack Motivation.
  2. You Are Easily Upset.
  3. You Cry At The Drop Of A Dime.
  4. You Are Having Frequent Anxiety Attacks.
  5. You Are Easily Irritated.
  6. You Can’t Sleep.
  7. You Frequently Feel Nauseated Or Dizzy.
  8. You Start To Go Numb.

Remember to make space in your day for self love and wellness.

Love more~❤💕💞

Ellavate7!

There is a Difference Between Ignorance and Stupidity.

My Thoughts Are…

When a well adjusted rational person is ignorant about certain things, there is a good chance that when their ignorance is brought to light or even better… their experience has enlightened them, they will learn… if they are open to the possibility.

Stupidity by contrast is the inability to be open to or failing to learn when your ignorance on a subject is brought to your attention. Or worse… you fail to heed the lessons or choose not to see the reality of the situation.

And no… I am not talking about reading, writing or arithmetic.

The past couple years we seem to have been inundated by a different kind of stupidity… A cruel kind of stupidity.  And in some cases, this type of cruel stupidity is accompanied by fake ignorance.

This particular kind of stupidity and ignorance is used to hide a lack of compassion and empathy for others.  A lack of compassion and empathy cloaked as ignorance in order to promote the agenda of The Stupid and The Cruel.  Sometimes people feign ignorance about another person’s cruel stupidity to hold onto a way of life they fear is slipping away from them.

Are you picking up what I’m laying down? Haha

I know… That’s a lot of ignorance and stupidity to wrap your brain around.  I know I for one have struggled to understand the times we are living in… especially these past two years.  But stick with me… That is, only if you’re open to the possibility.  ;- )

But if you’re feeling me… Please Vote!

And if you are among the faux ignorant or even the cruelly stupid, all I have to say to you is… Get Out And Mingle Dammit…!  Meet some people other than the stupid ignorant people you’re used to dealing with!!

Now let me say this, ignorance and stupidity are not relegated to your social status, bank account, race, religion or your gender.  We are all subject to being ignorant of certain things from time to time… and sometimes we may even be accused of being stupid. No one knows everything… Right.

But my hope is that inside of us all there is a capacity for compassion, empathy and the willingness to try and understand that we all are connected… that we are all in this together. But again, only if we are open to the possibility.

Until next time… Be Well ❤

Ellavate7!

 

Last Year This Time…

When I think about this time last year I don’t know where to focus my thoughts…  They are like one of Picasso’s famous paintings… all disjointed and irregular.

If you’ve read my “ABOUT” page of this blog, you know that I live on an island… Beautiful St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.  This past month of August makes it twenty three years we’ve lived here.

The Virgin Islands are a beautiful group of islands in the eastern Caribbean, St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island all make up the U.S. Virgins.  We are right next door to the British Virgin Islands and a short twenty minute or so plane ride to Puerto Rico.

The beautiful photo of the double rainbow above was taken four days before the beginning of the most terrifying, unpredictable, emotionally draining and heartbreaking times in my life.

You see, this time last year preparations were underway for the coming of a major storm. The storm was days off  but I had begun the process of taking things off the balcony when I looked up and noticed the overwhelmingly gorgeous day.  It was one of those days that makes you drop whatever it is you’re doing and feel compelled to silently give thanks for witnessing it’s splendor. The bands of rain moving over the water and the double rainbow that was forming were awe inspiring.  From past experience I knew we may not have another day like this for a while so I ran inside and grabbed my phone to capture on photo this most breathtakingly beautiful day.

After the Storm…

And as expected,  a day later a picture taken at this very same spot off the balcony of our condo would be drastically different.

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Four Days After Hurricane Maria.

The next day on September 6, 2018 we were hit dead on first by hurricane Irma and then two weeks later hurricane Maria struck.  The most amazing thing about these events other than them taking almost the exact same route and hitting two weeks apart is that they were both unpresidented category five hurricanes.  And I don’t care what you’ve heard after the fact… These were both monster storms that devastated not only the U. S. Virgin Islands but also flattened Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands and also almost every island in the lesser antilles.

 

 

The Morning After Hurricane Irma. The Driveway Into Our Condo and the View of Our Condo from Below

That was last September.  After living through the devastation of these two history making storms and trying to salvage what was left of our lives I was hit with a third hurricane that came in the form of a phone call from my daughter in New York telling me that my sister Barbara in Cincinnati had died.

Barbara was my oldest sister.

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Me and My Sister Barbara

My beautiful, intelligent, funny, trailblazing sister Barbara had been the family matriarch since our mother passed twenty two years before… a short five months after we moved here in August of 1995… That move, amazingly enough was only two weeks before our first initiation to hurricanes… when category three hurricane Marilyn hit the island and all but leveled it.

As I write this, re-living the pain of those times last year is almost too much to bear and I am still unable to articulate the immense feelings that are still so sharp at times they cut through the surface and bleed anew like it were only yesterday.

What I share here are but a few of the tramas we endured in the aftermath of the events of last year but they are by far the greatest. And so I will leave it right here.

That double rainbow in the photo I took days before the storm,  as beautiful and awesome and powerful as it was, was still not strong enough to block Hurricane Irma or just two short weeks after that second monster storm (Maria) made its brutal landfall.  It definitely was not strong enough to block the pain of losing my sister.

But then, we never know what The Universe has in store for us at any given moment.  There are days that go by when I am as if none of this ever happened and I am thankful for them.  But then the reality sweeps in just as those first bands of rain swept across the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea that day last year when I captured my life before last September… and I know I am forever changed.

But I am still here, shaken, battered and still afraid at times… But I am still here. One love~ 💕💞

Aim For Happy Not Perfection

Hey ya’ll!

I have a question. When you’re trying to accomplish something, whether it be personal, work related or whatever… do you find yourself taking waaaay too much time finishing it?  Do you finally complete the task at hand only to see something just a little bit off and so you start tweaking at it trying to get it just right and in the process mess it up even more so you end up having to start all over again? URGGG!!

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Anyway, I know I do this at least once a day.  And usually it some small non important thing that turns me into some overly obsessed nut job,  ranting and raving at… opps… that’s just way too much info about me… more than I want to share right now dahlink’s.  But you get the gist.

But I will share what I’ve learned to do when I get this way.  When I get “this way” it’s usually because I am aiming for perfection.  Yes, I admit it. I can be a bit of a perfectionist at times.

When I find myself needlessly stressing out about something so small it that barely registers in the broad scheme of it all I have learned that it’s best to stop and walk away. Just walk away.   Breathe dammit!  Move on to something else, take a walk, have a drink of water or wine, or bourbon, etc… ok just kidding (or am I?)

Perfection is something that I find is never quite obtainable because it is such a moving target, especially if when we make the mistake of striving to be perfect for the benefit of someone other than ourselves.

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That’s used to be me being swallowed alive in a whirlpool of perfection!

I know that if I don’t stop and walk away from it there’s a strong possibility I’ll risk wasting precious time, energy and bits of my sanity manically searching the illusive goal of perfection.

I’ll find myself hours later not having completed anything I had intended for the day, and all because I got so sidetracked with trying to… I don’t know… trying to make the roll up blind in my bathroom window hang evenly.

In the past, for me perfection sometimes had its roots in what I felt would please others.  But trying to achieve perfection for the approval of someone other than myself is a detriment to my own self worth and not in alignment with living my best life. I’ve learned that instead of aiming for perfection my goal is to aim for what makes me happy.

Until Next Time Be well ~ ❤

Ellavate7!

Every Thought in Your Head is Not Your Own.

So today I posted a couple of videos on Instagram and Facebook about something that has been in my heart for a couple of days… and in doing so it got me thinking that maybe I’ll try my hand at posting a short video every Wednesday entitled, “Wellness Wednesdays”.

Anyway, my first video today is about our thoughts and how a lot of them are really not of our own making… not initially anyway… especially the negative thoughts we tend to replay over and over again in our heads that can become detrimental to our wellbeing if we allow them to take root.

If we are not careful we start to believe in all the negative things that we’ve heard about ourselves throughout our lives and those negative thoughts can very quickly become the your story we believe we are.

Hopefully in this day and age we all know that telling a child they are bad or evil when they act out or telling them they are stupid or useless when they make a mistake are terrible things to say to them.  Doing this causes a child to grow up with confusing images of themselves and low or no self esteem.

But we still do these things as adults to other adults.  We judge each other sometimes verbally and at times can be very cruel in our criticism for simply having an opposing point of view on a subject… and sometimes for even something as petty as a movie we might like, fashion sense or choice of hairstyle.

Well… Here’s the two part video. So… what are your thoughts? 😉

 

 

 

Is Our Obsession with Multi Tasking Ruining Our Creativity?

We live in a society where to do as much as we can in the shortest amount of time is glorified. To always appear busy is a sign of success… The person that professes to being super busy all of the time is looked upon as a go getter, they are in control and handling business.  They rarely go out to eat lunch but instead opp to sit at their desks (if they are fortunate to have a desk) and scarf down whatever they can, usually something unhealthy, in ten to fifteen minutes while they try to chisel through their ever growing mountain of assignments.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

On the other hand, society tends to look down on people who take a more laid back approach to life… Those who prefer to do one thing at a time.  People that like to take a determined amount of time to finish one task at a time instead of jumping back and forth from one thing to the next is at times seen as lacking ambition, not a hard worker and sometimes even lazy.

man wearing white top in front of woman wearing blue long sleeved top
Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

Even our children’s schedules are so overbooked they seem to forget that some of the activities they are involved in are supposed to be fun.  School and learning new ideas and ways of thinking should be fun for children! But where’s the fun when a teacher (who is most likely being pressured to get as many subjects and test in as she/he can in a weeks time) is rushing every child along at the same pace? Most extra curricular activities like art, music and even outdoor recess has been taken out of schools or so limited that they may as well not exist.  The one size fits all approach to learning often places children who learn in a different way at risk of missing out.  Everyone shouldn’t be expected to learn at the same pace.

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Photo by ( Joe Digital & Co ) on Pexels.com

Some employers, for what ever reasons, insist on adding more and more projects for their employees to be completed during work hours.  Before an employee can finish one task, three more are placed in front of them.  Depending on the workplace, (e.g. retail) sometimes these employees are dealing with coworkers and customers while trying to finish their own designated tasks… small wonder why people are physically and mentally stressed to the breaking point!  And business owners are left to wonder why moral is low, people call in sick and productivity is slacking off… REALLY?

design desk display eyewear
Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Of course you are not being paid to sit, doodle in a notepad and daydream on your employees dime! Employers have their own crazy deadlines and quotas to meet.  So what’s wrong with taking a break?  Most employees fear for their jobs and risk their emotional stability when made to feel they have to be “productive” at all costs and to never let anyone see them sitting down just doing “nothing”.

And at the end of the workday the multitasking mania continues. We risk our lives and the lives of others by talking or texting on our phones as we drive through traffic.  Underground we race through crowds on narrow platforms with our headphones on or earbuds in to jump on packed subways and run in front of cars trying to catch the bus before it speeds off.

We mindlessly and dangerously cross the street while reading some “Breaking News!’ on our cell phones and then stop to pick up dinner at the grocery store.  Still on our phones, we zigzag through each aisle throwing what’s ever quickest to prepare in our carts.  And finally make it to the checkout all the while still rudely having a loud conversation on our cell phone while searching our bags and pockets for our money or credit cards.

Finally… miraculously we make it home in one piece. We sit down in front of the television with our plates full of quickly prepared processed food, turn on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube etc… and check our Instagram and Facebook feeds and shop Amazon all at the same time.

But why is that… Why are we running around feeling the need to multitask even outside of work… trying to stuff even more into our already over stuffed lives?

We have gotten so caught up in our technological world, especially social media.  The need to know how many likes, friends, comments and photos we’ve gotten since that last ten minutes we checked is instant gratification… a quick but fake escapism from our overstretched reality.  With just one tap of a key,  click of a link or slide of a screen we are transported to yet another stressful dimension…  It’s stressful because it’s never enough. The likes,  followers and virtual friends just never come fast enough to satisfy our need for right now.

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Well, ironically… I say life is too damn short!  Enough already!

Of course we need jobs and we do need to be productive members of society.  The economy doesn’t work if everyone decides to stop and take vacation all at the same time…  Right?  We can’t all quit our jobs.  Last week when I went to the grocery store we were still using currency in this society.  And technology isn’t going anywhere either… I know this because I just read it on Google.

But there has got to be a balance. There has got to be time to just BE without fear of being looked upon as lazy, unproductive, unambitious slackers, irrelevant nobodies who are out of the loop, or just plain crazy.

We’ve got to find our own personal balance between our outside reality… the one that keeps our material world going and our other very true (and what I feel is our most important) reality.  Our internal creative reality is that part of us that longs to do the things we are meant to do opposed to those things we have to do to survive in this made up society.  We risk losing our creative selves when we focus too much of our time juggling the demands of what is outside of us.

“The science is unequivocal about multitasking: it’s bad for attention, memory, productivity, creativity, and happiness. We need to take matters into our own hands, and we can start by making small modifications in our day-to-day habits. Monotasking takes motivation, dedication, and continual practice, but the benefits are significant. Let’s reclaim our lives!”

– Nicola Brown, owner and principal of communication consultancy Think Forward Communication, and Editor-in-Chief at AnewTraveller.com.

https://www.skyword.com/contentstandard/creativity/we-know-multitasking-drains-creativity-so-why-do-we-still-do-it/

You can read more of Nicola Brown’s very interesting article and tips how you can become less of a multitasker and more monotasker at the link above.

Until next time Be Well!

Ellavate7