Sunday, August 13, 2017

Week 2 Facebook-Free and Dog-in-water-tank Drama

 This week was my first real full week off Facebook like last week, I found I had to pop in now n then to do something business or learning related and this week I took a different approach when I had to do this: I took a moment to scroll quickly though notifications to see if anything important was going on because personally, I have never seen wisdom in turning news about your community and world completely off: 

Frigate soars at sunset (fjc)
I know a cadre of guru-wisdom says that you should cut off the outside world and not waste your focus and energy on issues (like Trump, Brexit, Nuclear War, Pearl of the Caribbean) that you cant control. But this wisdom urges us to focus in a very self-absorbed manner, only interacting with the world in ways that directly align with the personal benefits you are channelling. For me, much of my success goals are about creating a life where I feel good, and this of necessity, entails a world where less strife and discord sully my days. I get satisfaction from investing some of my time in doing my little personal actions: they may not, in isolation, be much, but a river becomes powerful if fed by many small tributaries, right?

So, I kept an eye this week and sent private messages to those I felt needed action and left the rest to be responded to on my Sunday Facebook-wallowing session. But I found myself less and less keen to even pop on because I really was reaping the rewards of focusing inwards. Yessiree!

There is a lot to be said for at least an occasional stint as a hermit with a purpose.

But then some other aspects of the week had me looking forward to my Sunday Facebook time: I found myself enjoying a real small-island-experience as on top of the horrible heat and humidity, my water tanks ran dry due to weeks without supply from the water company and the repair bill on my 15 year-old car grew rapidly out of control! And to top it off, just as I started to post this, one of my 3 rescue dogs, the oldest and heaviest and stiffest of course, fell into the open underfloor tank! Oh lawdy, lawdy! I am now adorned with very minor scratches on my elbows, shoulders and knees from carrying, pushing, persuading her up the ladder I popped in the tank - ie taking each foot and manipulating it onto progressively higher steps while I tried to squeeze myself up through the rough concrete edges of the opening. Well she was terrified stiff! That is until she got out then she was all wiggly and happy and excited and I was left to 'lick my wounds'! Gotta love'em, right?!? Well, it was my fault really, poor thing, I had left a temporary cover and how was she to know it would give way? So I treated myself to a warm bucket bath, as you do when there's no water in your pipes...

So, back to this morning. Staying true to my schedule, post coffee and breakfast, I dutifully armed myself with a big smoothie and prepared for the soothing mud of Facebook to ease away the weeks stress and strains

Can I say I found it far from the promised land?

What I think Im finding is that if you have a couple thousand friends on Facebook, you cant just dip in once a week and have it work its usual soothing magic! It felt more and more like a disturbance to my vibe than the integral part of my vibe that the daily stop by the Facebook Café’ normally feels like.


So as the month of Facebook Sabbatical progresses, well see how this goes. I suspect, like most things, moderation is the key...too much, too little and you're out of whack!

I know some of my other friends have taken Facebook sabbaticals, so Im going to check in with them and see if they can shed some light on how it worked, didnt work and felt to them and well share them later on in another blog-post.

Growth and More Insights, or maybe just questions...

What growth and insights has this Facebook sabbatical offered me this week?

Well I finished up the 21st Century Podcasts and added in a listen to the War of Art by Steven Pressfield of The Legend of Bagger Vance fame. Interesting book a bit too full of other-worldly-beings for me, but the essential message vibed: We have to overcome the many ways in which we suffer resistance to our calling.

Art for Art's Sake?

However, much else of what he said just set off an internal discussion in my head over the merits of focusing on artistic quality vs entrepreneurial art. This was echoed last weekend, by a friend posting an opinion piece from Ros Barber in the Guardian, where the author was all for the traditional seal of quality of getting a publisher or winning a Pulitzer and the commentors were rooting a bit more for the self-published, no gate-keeper team. 
  • To claim success, is the acclamation of peers, or that of paying fans, of more value? Is a life of poverty because youre being true to your art something worthy, or does it miss the mark?
  • Does writing, painting, making, need to be art, or is there an inherent and equal value in good craft? 
  • Does appealing to the masses, vs the critics or your professional peers, necessarily mean you are dumbing down your work? 
  • Is it snobbish or true to art to crave recognition by the established authorities?

Ok, enough esoteric stuff. But do chime in with your thoughts on this 😊 Meanwhile


If youre a trainer, please prepare for the level of learners and ensure you update for any new tools available!!!:

This week I persevered with my Coding Websites course: It was a test of determination, as one day I hit a wall where, try as I might, I could not figure out the scant instructions! I was so annoyed at the course I even looked to see if I could still claim a refund, because it skipped way too fast from a little instruction to youre all on your own and to boot, didnt have updated guidance that covered the method I was using (which they encouraged us to take advantage of). I did figure it out, with questions and help and research, and YES, it felt fabulous to figure it outbut I was also annoyed because a good course should provide realistic challenges after giving a sound groundingso I felt an entire day was unnecessarily spent, where it should have been a few hours well-invested.

And in other news...

I fell reeelly reeelly short of my aim to take on that new diet! I succumbed to being a taster for my friend whos trying to develop an improved recipe for a cakeoh the sacrifices we make!!! 😊 But I did manage to invest some more time in learning about what this particular challenge requires and in testing a recipe or twonothing yet worth a recipe-post though

In the Real World

Moonrise looking like sunrise courtesy my overly 'smart' camera (fjc)
I had a good few real-world wonderful meet-ups with friends and strangers this week - those are priceless! There were random, serendipitous and downright ok maybe theres something to the secret after all moments this week that did help to balance out those challenges and when I sit here now and reflect, its fair to say, I excelled at feeling far happier and more confident about the path Im taking.

And that, my friends, I think is about the best we can all hope for from one day to the next, isnt it?

Cheers now! And if I dont see you today online, maybe Ill see you on one of my Facebook mini-dips this coming week, or, or, or in person!!! Now wouldnt that be grand!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Week 1, Facebook-free

Office inna Hammock
Well, technically only 3 Days Facebook-free, social media sabbatical, but

Coming back from my 7 months abroad has, not surprisingly, been a mish-mash of emotions and met and un-met expectations, ideas and hopes. First off, Id been less than eager to be here in Saint Lucia smack bang in the middle of the rainy season and that fear of being able to cope with the stultifying heat and humidity was not misplaced. Temperatures in the house of 34.8 and relative humidity of 65%+ have had my little ol brain struggling to string one sensible thought after another, far less sort out

  • Dealing with wildly overgrown, weed-filled, too-big garden;
  • 14-year-old car under major engine repair;
  • mosquitoes;    no-employment;    deciding how to chase down unpaid consulting fees;
  • hosting my 2 nieces on holiday (bless em, lovely young ladies);
  • deciding and beginning to finally learn to code websites;
  • keeping up with my Masters project;
  • cleaning up the accumulated sticky salt-air Sahara dust off belongings and studio;
  • leaking roof;      bust pipes;      catching up with friends;     missing Tupperware and tools;
  • miscellaneous requests for this n that help;        
  • deciding how active I want, and can afford to be, in agitating for better alternatives to  things like the DSH Development;
  • mulling the possibility for addressing funding needs of local NGOs;
  • posting photos of sunsets;     discovering the Instagram video story thingy (yes, late, I know);
  • engaging in various social issue discussions on Facebook and not least, deciding which Facebook Memory to share each day (I just peeked, and this one seems very appropriate from about a year ago 
"Out of Place"

So, not surprisingly, one morning last week, after a couple of migraine-disturbed nights, I woke up feeling categorically out of place.

I swiftly decided to have a Social Media sabbatical while I invested some time and focus in clawing my way back through the hot n stuffy jungle of my life to a place where something resembling clarity existed. I had a series of podcasts from the 21st Century Creative that I had not had time to listen to and another from Empowered Sustenance that equaled the podcasts in unopened-nessI hadnt written or created a thing. Wondered what the hell I was actually doing, going to do, wanted to do

A post shared by Finola Jennings Clark (@finola.jc) on

These few days of the first week have been 
absolutely wonderful.

Sure, I missed the camaraderie of Facebook and Instagram, but the decision to pull back and invest in clarifying what developing my assets again was, again, the best decision Ive made.

Lets be realistic, for most of us, figuring all this out take a mommatonn of time.

The Journey

But if you are anywhere on a journey like mine, I figure I can at least reassure you at this point, that it does get better as you keep pulling your focus back to what you need to do.

Whether youre a creative like me, or someone yearning to step out of your job and create your own business with your innovative ideas, or someone just looking to feel more in charge of your life and more fulfilled at the end, heck, beginning, middle and end of each day, Id highly recommend pulling back for a while and investing your time in yourself.

We all know the theory that no-one will take you seriously if you dont take yourself seriously. Well it turns out thats pretty nail-on-the-head!

My experience has been that once you start pulling back from social life, you will have some friends that resist and question why, what are you DOING, suggest youre depressed, start to come up with a slew of things you could do all with good intentions, granted. Some may even take it personally. It can be the hardest part of going on this path.

My advice, be gently firm, dont entertain those suggestions, dont feel you have to explain yourself. But DO be aware that you will need to keep in touch with the world out there now n again because this task of clarifying
  • what you really value,
  • what you really want to do and not least,
  • how in hell you can earn a living doing this

Help is Available!

Its not a walk in the park. Though walks do help sort an amazing number of things out and recent studies show Fores Bathing has genuinely therapeutic effects. Sea baths, river baths, a swim in the pond, all good too.

DO use the services of a good coach and yep, there are a slew of them out there, and you, like me, may even be thinking you too want to be a coach.

If you have no idea where to start, here are a few people Ive had good sessions with and/or, Im currently testing out (and happy so far) (if you do use them, mentioning that I sent you there would be very much appreciated, xox).

Debra Ross Life By Choice Coaching, she helped me through one section of my path, helping filter through whats really important and along the way to defining goals and pairing up seemingly disparate ideas, desires, skills.

Christine Caruso spiritualist, stone-reader, bars therapist, kundalini yoga teacher. I wont lie, I had to go with an open mind here but the results were amazing! Ive written before about her services and where I have an uneasy feeling about many people who say theyre energy healers/spiritualists, Christine felt genuine, so I gave it a go. Not everyone reports the same level of results and I think a HUGE amount of how this type of therapy works has to do with your own ability to let go and let happen. The power of belief is massive and the power of opening up to positivity is equally so.

Mark McGuinness, poet and coach for creatives and leader of the 21st Century Creative. Down to earth advice and discussion and good coaching podcasts and personal coaching.

For physical issues, and many of us creatives and office workers alike, spend WAY too much time hunched over a computer, Ive had a session (and intend to have more) with a movement coach named Petra Fisher of Petra Fisher Movement   shes on my current list to get back on track with.

Many of us suffer sluggishness, digestive issues, tiredness, achy jointstheres a strong possibility that our bodies have become overwhelmed with the toxicity of modern environments and processed foods. There are many diets and plans around and Ive come some way, by adjusting my diet, in decreasing problems with gall-bladder issues, migraines and more recently, aches exacerbated by a bout of Chikungunya in my case, but not uncommon without that trigger anyway. I am currently gearing up to follow a sort of paleo/auto-immune diet, guided by Lauren Geerstens books, blogs and Empowered Sustenance

In Saint Lucia, I can recommend a few people / places for easing aches and pains

Sports therapist and anatomy expert, Donovan Polymise not for the faint-hearted it hurts, he goes deep, but he knows what hes doing and I found the result was very worth the deep steady breathing required to get through my session 😊 721 1336

Kim Jackson sports therapist at Bayside Therapy Service a much gentler option, Kim has great ability to pinpoint where your issues are coming from and uses a variety of techniques to ease and adjust. Very good results and affordable rates. Bayside has a bunch of other treatment offers too, so check them out.

Ojas Spa, tucked away near Kims offices uses Ayuvedic techniques and acupuncture, in my case, using electrical impulses through the needles. They were recommended to me by someone who went to see them suffering stress and feeling very out of sorts with herself, down in the dumps, irritable and not her normal vivacious self she was super pleased with the results. Very knowledgeable staff will guide you on what treatments best suit you - these range from the more medicine-like such as the acupuncture, to delicious hot oil, herbal massages and other sumptuous treats.

Not last, TiKhan Health Clinic mother and daughter, both Gloria, 😊, a team of ladies who give excellent reflexology and a variety of manipulative massages Gloria senior did wonders when life had pulled my jaw, collar bones and back out of placeagain, it wasnt so pleasant during the manipulation, but WOW, the result! 452 8475

So, thanks for reading! Are you also trying something like this? Do you have resources you'd like to share? Pop a note in the comments and do share in your favourite social media channels  😊

cheers n all that,