Beyond the Selfie

The Selfie, Get Noticed!

If you are feeling lonely, maybe even invisible, are you hoping to be noticed? These days, many people take to social media to present themselves and their lives in ways for others to “notice.” Images of your life are usually much more than a Selfie! Outrageous pictures in interesting places or with interesting people DO NOT MAKE YOU INTERESTING!

As a side note, the most telling images in a self-portrait may not be pictures of you, but of what you most cherish. These can say a lot about who YOU really are. So pictures or representations of what you find attractive, desirable, interesting, and important can tell a lot about you. (This can be used to attract or affect other people to you or can be a tool to explore yourself.)

So what you “post” in the way of a photo or comment or “sharing” can, and will, say a lot about YOU. Your FB page or Instagram account or your Linkedin profile or whatever social media you use becomes YOU as a person to the world. Yes, you know this but are you vigilant with your outward appearance and what does this persona really say about YOU? I can be snarky and sarcastic. This shows up in my postings. Am I OK with this representation? I had better be prepared to take full responsibility for how I come across, especially to other snarky, sarcastic people. It is telling to realize how much my social media actually says about me, intended AND unintended.

If you attempt to show your good side and your virtues without consciously presenting the real YOU with your foibles, flaws, inadequacies, weaknesses, and imperfections, these will still show up in your selfies and other postings. Remember, you are more than your contrived image which you attempt to portray in real life, or even underneath for “image.” Your real life lurks and will find a way to come to the surface. Like the weeds who grow through the cracks in the pavement. Just the act of taking and then sharing a Selfie says a lot about you. Not the least is that you feel you require attention that may not be coming to you and that you have insecurities below the surface. Selfies are cute and can be fun. But, it is also important to examine your true motivation in posting them.

By the way (BTW,) after you post your selfie, do you become obsessed with the “response?” The “likes” and the “Shares?” Or, the “Comments” which it generates. Does this give you the feeling of self-worth or does it diminish your self-esteem? Does the number of “friends” or “views” make your day or does it frustrate you into even more outrageous behaviors in future postings? Are you living in your selfie and not really liking the existence you have in your “real” life? Consider all possibilities. That is what we are here to learn…

Technology has created a new lifestyle for people who live in our world of technology. (There are luddites who avoid change and new technologies, but we do not hear much from them because they do not use social media…) The “social fabric” of human interacting has changed and we, as a culture, have NOT figured out the etiquette for using social media in the most appropriate, not fad driven, ways. Many of us reading this blog are willing to jump into the “latest” technologies, at least to “try” them out. We do not fully realize the risks, or the full advantages, of participation in internet based social media and how this may effect our future lives (because this is still a vast unknown.) Tread with care AND take responsibility for the experimentation that you do. As stylish as it appears, like a tattoo, it can become a permanent scar you will have to live with ’cause it may never fully go away… (Once it is “Out There” in the “cloud” it can never be fully deleted or reset.)

Even in this personal ranting, as you read between my words, you can learn about ME. But, also remember that what you respond to in this ranting blog also says a great deal about YOU! Enjoy and be bold, but not unconscious, when you take, and then, post your next Selfie.

On another related note… Be careful about what you see and read AND BELIEVE on the internet. People and organizations post their opinion. These are often “Alternative facts” meaning these are not fact checked, honest or REAL! They are pure opinion written and shared as if these were truth. Be careful for every “Truth” the opposite is equally “TRUE!” Sorry, but facts and truths these days are only opinions… Sad, that the loudest liars have large groups of “followers” who do not check on the facts but accept negative opinions as THEIR truth.

Does this sound “snarky” or simply “True?” Take responsibility for what you say, what you read and believe, and how you act on these opinions!!!

Our community, Masters of the Journey, can help support you and your development of consciousness.

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Control Your Financial Anxiety

Are you feeling some Financial Insecurity? Most of us are concerned if not anxious. Or, there are times in life when the economy or business decisions create feelings of insecurity. The recent worldwide recession is  a case in point for the reality of financial uncertainty.

Most people are paying close attention to the dramatic changes in world financial markets. We can not avoid the media frenzy and the feeling in the pit of our stomachs when events in Europe, Asia, or the Middle East cause a flare up in our normal life. Have you lost any sleep thinking about what has happened and wondering about what will the future bring? Some people get that pain in the neck or shoulders, or a tighter than normal jaw, as we attempt to control the upheaval in the financial world by the force of our “will.” Many people are checking their blood pressures or finding an elevation in their heart rate as we respond to the drama…

All of these reactions are caused by our individualized habit patterns that respond when we are experiencing stress. This stress may not be coming from a direct physical threat but our fears and anxieties are triggering this survival response. We can be distracted by our body’s reaction to stress. The “quality of our lives” is reduced by fear and uncertainty. If you are not in denial about the negative effects of financial stress, then you probably want to not be a victim to your body’s reactions to external financial uncertainties.

The first thing to do is to be aware that this reaction is a normal reaction to uncertainty and understand how your unique habitual response manifests. Everyone inherits or learns a pattern of response to emotional stressors. For every physical system that reacts to the stress of change, you can learn to minimize or stop this habituated response. The second thing that you will need to learn is to control your body’s stress response by “letting go” of your habit of holding physical stress in certain systems. This does require some time and some dedication, but you can learn to break your habit pattern. When you can control your body’s reaction you are not only “empowered” but you can save lots of time and energy. This saving of time and energy comes from reducing the waste of energy to physically held tension and reduction of the mental distractions that cause mistakes, accidents, or which slow you down.

So if you want to feel better and perform at a higher level then you must invest some time in the regular, and preventive, practice of an effective stress management strategy. I recommend that you try several forms of relaxation (stress management) and find the one that works for you, and that you feel comfortable with using in a preventive way. Consider learning and using Autogenic Training, Progressive Relaxations, Visualization or Imagery for Relaxation, various styles of Meditation, and possibly, some Yogic practices. Biofeedback technology can offer objective feedback regarding whether your chosen form of stress management is actually effective and providing the benefits you require. You can find the best ways to control your reactions to stress and to improve your quality of life!

Remember, the things that are the most stressful to you, are the things that you care the most about but that you can not fully control! Without full control, our minds create the fears and anxieties that drive our increased stress responses. So, even though we can not control the abrupt changes in the financial markets, we can control the way we respond to these financial fluctuations. These are desperate times for our finances, but for most of us, it is not an immediately life threatening situation. Let’s practice minimizing our stress reactions so we can have more grace in the way we cope with these difficult situations. At the very least we can be good role models for other people in these trying times.

Please take good care of yourself. This will help us ALL survive the anxieties of our uncertain times.


L. John Mason, Ph.D. is the country’s leading stress management expert and the author of the best selling “Guide to Stress Reduction.” Since 1977, he has offered Success & Executive Coaching and Training.Please visit the Stress Education Center’s website at Stress, Stress Management, Coaching, and Training for articles, free ezine signup, and learn about the new telecourses that are available. If you would like information or a targeted proposal for training or coaching, please contact us at (360) 593-3833.

If you are looking to promote your training or coaching career, please investigate the Professional Stress Management Training and Certification Program for a secondary source of income or as career path.