Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My 10 Commandments of #SocialMedia & My #StarWars Inner Fandom


Here are my 10 commandments of social media, especially for Twitter:

  1. The Early 21st century is Social Media and the power of social media

  2. How easy is it to "marry" Entertainment to Social Media! Here is my support for my assertions

  3. It is not enough to just have a "web presence" and present information...

  4. One must be "SOCIAL" or sociable and there are tactics to assist on with those skills

  5. Speak up in civil discourse, but use a lot of diplomacy

  6. Etiquette means if you say it you are responsible to it and there are repercussions. There is plenty of "foot in mouth" disease - Don't I know it! ;)

  7. Reflective listening (reading) and compassionate presence -- a part of mindfulness!

  8. The wisdom to "let it go" in social media...The testiness will drive you crazy--Whoops! *side eyes*

  9. Non violent communication
    ! Because we are dealing with people who social skills need honing

  10. Love one another! My grandmother said, "If you want to go to Heaven, you had better like people, because that is what is there..."

Humanity evolves by its participation in this great social experiment. By being civil, kind, honest and genteel with infrequent application of firmness, social media communication can be expanded!!!

My Star Wars "Fandom" Thoughts and Opinions

  • Fandom belongs to anyone who desires it!

  • We are not to judge the level and commitment to "fandom"

  • If someone says s/he is the ultimate fan today, but then hates the entire genre tomorrow--so what, that is a personal journey

  • "May The Force Be With You" to me means you make your own decisions in your own life!

  • Currently I am expressing my "fandom" through roleplay, but I would like to share with other fans some of memorabilia that I have held in my private collection for over 30 years.

    Yes, I created it and I could use some art classes. But this is from my Star Wars private memorabilia collection.

  • Since I was 10 years old I have been a Star Wars fan. I skipped school to see the first showing of "Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back"!!!

  • I got into the Star Wars Fan Club because at 12 years old, I wrote a letter requesting Mr. George Lucas to visit my performing arts school in San Diego.

  • I decided to become a scientist because of the fantastic and wondrous special effects seen in Star Wars

  • I have read quite a few Star Wars novels over 30 years

  • All this driven my inner "fandom"

  • Later in life, I had to suppress my "fandom" in order to survive. Deep down inside, I never relented from the action-packed tales of Star Wars.

  • In the "sands of time" my private collection is what it is and I share this collage of it with the public so they can see how their "inner fandom" or pursue their fandom of whatever genre they prefer.


Friday, May 21, 2010

My May Mental Health Month Tidbit for Small Businesses

I just got back from a workshop on "Labor and Employment Law" overview - the presenter discussed the minimum expectations in my state on what the overall Law, both State and Federal are to employ workers in a small business. I took this course, which cost me $15 (not bad at all) because I am thinking about hiring a few workers for my small business at The Ari | af | ya Universe.

When we got to the discussion of "Perceived Disability" in my state a "Mental Disability" had a broad definition. An Employer cannot discriminate on the basis of "mental disability". So of course, these small business employers asked, "what if they do not disclose and it is affecting their work?" Then a person presented how one of their employees claimed they had bipolar, mismanaging their medications, and was acting out at work unable to fulfill basic job duties. This is important because as a small business, there are huge time and cost constraints that must be handles in order to run the business and when an employee is not fulfilling basic job functions, the bottomline is impacted.

At the same time, I was saddened because here is the real deal as someone who is bipolar managing my disorder attempting to function is a novel social environment that is the workplace:

Firstly, I am VERY leery is disclosing my mental health condition, because when I do, more often than not, the employer is an asshole. I have had too many assholes to count to trust impacting that relationship and I really have to trust someone A LOT to tell them. The stigma of mental illness is TOO LARGE and the educational component is TOO HUGE that why would I want to do it. All I want to do is my job and help the employer to achieve their dreams. I don't really want to confide in them a VERY personal kind of issue... Then, would you tell an employer that you have stage 4 breast cancer and that you only have 6 months to live while your under Hospice Care? NO! So why must I disclose I suffer from bipolar?

Secondly, medication management...That is called ADHERENCE in the medical circles. If the patient fails to adhere to the treatment regimen and does not inform the prescribing provider, then is there truly medical treatment? I have seen reams of studies arguing that point. Fact is medication management in my professional opinion is a "Social Determinant of Health" and the patient MUST be educated as such for maximum benefit of the prescribed drug - especially psychotropics. I must admit when I was young I thought I knew it all that I could pop on and off my pills, skip dosages, etc. etc. etc. But when I realized that skipping around was hurting other people by my behavior and really what these kinds of medications do physiologically - and YES I do know that - I adhered to my physician's directive.

I also do a lot of other things, but the meds are the FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE in managing my bipolar! What employers MUST understand is MEDICATIONS ALONE DO NOT TREAT MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS IT MUST BE INTEGRATIVE CARE!!! THAT MEANS DIET, EXERCISE, STRESS REDUCTION, ETC. The BUSINESS has to decide is it worth DOING all that and really, it can be of LITTLE TO NO COST!!! You can mandate your employees to take a course--like smoking cessation, CE credits, etc., etc., etc. For mental health issues, I mean MY GOD all the support programs will be happy to do a 30 minute to 1 hour program overview of mental health FOR FREE!!! It is a matter of setting it up!

HAYLE YOU CAN PAY ME a highly trained profession with real life experience and setting up award winning health forums, I will charge you $5000 right now for a 2 day seminar - 5 hour/day! Offer ends by October 31, 2010. I will give you resources, private discussion plans, with possible providers, contacts, personal mental health assessments and action plans to get started. My information comes from Harvard and Stanford Integrative Medicine Programs. I am serious! Email Dr. Gina

Why would a Business want to do this. We live in a much more complex and diverse society wrought with the human condition. We just do not go and hunt to catch our food anymore or gather berries or nuts often. We humans have evolved to space travel, complex surgical procedures, large engineering feats and artistic wonders that we could never imagine 100 years ago. To expect that EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE PLANET FULLY ADAPTS to this is to be unreasonable. Even our wars are not fought the same. Invariably, human emotion as a biological component in some people has not caught up with our technological advances. One example is our children already understand how to use everything about the computer because they were born and raised under personal computers. Whereas, we over the age of 40 remember when we had typewriters, Kaypros and Trash-80's (if you are a geek like me you know what those are). So, of course when we are mounded up on with iPhone, there is going to be some anxiety there.

The flip side is our kids have NEVER experienced the horrors of devout poverty or war, where many of our older generation has actively witnessed it. So their adaptation to war is very, very difficult and when our young veterans come back how to mentally handle the rigors of labor and employment is going to be tough. As an employer would you be proud of yourself if you rejected a "crazy person" who happened to be a young veteran? HAYLE NO! So this mental illness stigma has to stop. FIND RESOURCES!

Thirdly, "Acting out at work" personally, while I have DONE it, I do not condone it, even for myself. What I can tell you is if I feel attacked, my typical response is crying. In "Mindfulness" for every 1 minute of major stress, it takes on average 20 minutes to quell that stress. For someone with a mental health condition, it takes a lot longer... Now, of course an Employer must have a fulfillment of job duties and I get that, that is pretty standard, but confined boxes RARELY fit most folks who suffer from mental health conditions with even half a brain. How can we make this work? Well, let's go back to the research! I have read numerous papers that strict adherence to a schedule is less optimal for someone who has depression or bipolar. For things like anxiety, scheduling works at some level but what hurts them is when things do not go according to plan. I have not read anything about other major mental health conditions.

So what does that mean for an employer? Well, if and when you get disclosure, and the employee is already hired, you may want to consider asking them if they could do some flex time for a change in pay - of course you would want to speak to an employment lawyer for appropriate wording. I have found for myself that when I was told as long as I can finish the project, then I am fine. That worked well for me because when I was in a lot of physical mental pain and I knew my experiments were fine that day, I could finish them up on the weekends. Some jobs work like that, most do not. It is something that can be made understood what the work requirements are 9 to 5, 5 days per week, occasional weekends. The employee has to decide if he/she can fulfill those obligations and it is fair that the employer gives them ample time to fulfill those obligations depending on the job.

What also worked for me is really understanding the nature of the business. Fact is small businesses who employ people are COMPETING for business. There are millions of businesses out there that sell the same thing. What sets your brand apart from the fray? Well, big businesses spend millions of dollars examining that process. But small businesses do not have the budgets to do so and most of their branding, advertising, etc. are done by word of mouth and participation. If we small businesses want to call ourselves competitors in our respective fields and we want employ a diverse workforce to the maximum of their ability, would it not be prudent to express the importance of the product and service as a collaboration with the employee rather than this "us versus them" mentality? It is called "socially conscious management" or some would say "touchy feely". But there is also proof in other countries, like Japan that calls it the Kaizen method that bringing in a holistic business attitude to the workplace assists all those involved to ensure better competition and assistance to the consumer. For example, "our product/service is good because we _________ and we are proud of our work". It is a kind of workmanship...A sense of unity and pride. When I was exposed to that kind of environment, I cannot begin to describe how I thrived, pride in my work, quest for more knowledge, wanting to contribute and participate in work type discussions with my colleagues, peers and benefactors... I was the model employee for that employer...I make huge contributions to my field even with my bipolar disorder, because I felt I was a part of something that had meaning to me.

Fact is, should an employer AUTOMATICALLY ASSUME that all employees share in this goal when hired? You would be deluding yourself as an employer if you thought employees thought that way and not just for the money... As an employer, if you encounter someone who has a mental health condition and they choose to share their issues with you, besides knowing if they know about resources they may have available to them, you may want to consider in a more formalized setting a resource type course to set them on the path to a fruitful employee than seeing them as a liability... Because you never know when you might just get that "diamond in the rough".

Lastly, sometimes you do have to separate from an employee to has a condition. Their behavior is inappropriate for the workplace. Crying is not a good enough reason. Anger, hostility, workplace violence is. Most people who cry, like myself, wish the water works would go away. I would do everything possible including painful distraction techniques, such as pinching myself till I bruised, to stop myself from crying. I rarely made it to the restroom. And the torture never ended. I would never hurt anyone and I never displayed any behavior that I would do so, but I got accused of that. The minute I was, I knew that those suppositions of an ignoramus boss would never go away even with any kind of education on mental health. I had some decisions to make, I made one that hit me quite hard. Fortunately, I am sharing my experience as one who has suffered from an active bipolar disorder that is managed by medications, therapy, exercise and diet so that NO ONE SUFFERS WHAT I SUFFERED!!!

As a future employer, I will make every effort to assist those in need as my strong community service component in my business, following a good work-life balance, holistic and socially conscious business. My main business goal is where science meets mental health and wellness.

Asante sana, ashe, akeerah...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Do I have #Diabetes now? #Bipolar

HOW am I going to reign in this anger when I am enraged? I have just incurred an unbelievable onslaught vicious attacks from out of nowhere and I must say I vehemently defended myself but I tell you my body CANNOT take this anymore.

First, in the initial stages of my anger, my blood pressure immediately spikes up. ALL the mindfulness in the world has left the building. Part of that has been the lack of fitness due to scheduling circumstances from my teacher and other activities I do. Even if I just walk on a treadmill is not sufficient enough for me, I need more training which my Karate class provides within structure. I cannot go missing more than a month.

Second, during my anger, in the midst of my rage--my battle, I think my hypertension increased by fight or flight response to a massive bolus of cortisol and other corticosteroids that immediately hits my mania in the form of anxiety and insomnia. I get SO ANGRY that I will fight to the END!!! What happens to me, though is my intense attack become irrational, illogical that I push EVERYONE away because I am that angry.

Third, the bad after taste and lingering effects of my anger, then these neuro-chemicals, hormones, exhaustion, fatigue all causes my body to collapse and the massive negative ruminating thoughts are harbingers from my battle. I know that this has occurred but I am clueless as to how I got there or why I let it happen. Because I am addicted to being in the midst of my rage, my battle, I thrilled through there without listening for my massive competitiveness that I want to annihilate my opponent, which is proper battle technique, anyway. I know that it is not proper technique, but I do not get what the alternative is? I think that this way because it is VERY DESTRUCTIVE to everyone involved. And that is when the remorse sets in when the battle has ended.

What makes links this anger issue link to diabetes. Classic type 2 diabetes are quick to be enraged. The body's misuse of sugars in the blood to organs, especially the brain may lead to the psychotropic enacting of rage. Most early prediabetics, which is possibly my line based on family history, have issues in modulating their moods, specifically that of bipolar, possibly the a 60%/40% split of MANIA to Depression. It is the mismanagement of the MANIA side that has a direct influence on diabetes in my professional opinion. My data from published papers show that in aging, the diet induced diabetic mice often were agitated, difficult to handle no matter the amount of entrainment done to them. The molecular biological effects may have to do with signal transduction mechanisms and phosphorylation of key components, including Sirtuins.

Then once the onslaught is done, the "buyer's remorse, genuflection" or sadness/depression that sets in is not just negative comments to one self, but what I am doing is the minute I eat something my body immediately rebels and massively sends out insulin that my body absorbs ALL the blood sugar post-prandially, causing immediate fatigue. When I was younger, I did not have this issue. But as I have aged, this issue is becoming apparent. The easiest way to explain it is I am still producing insulin, but my muscles cannot take the food from the blood sugar, so it sits there, then my body thinks I my blood has no sugar, so it makes more insulin, causing me to have blood glucose levels of 70 g/dl - HOW I AM FUNCTIONAL is beyond me!!! And I have been caught by physician-scientists. My other physicians write it off. Health Insurance! YAAY! Why I fought for reform.

When I talk to my friends and family about how I feel, I say uplifting things, but deep down inside my insecurity for the viciousness of my attack regardless of who is right or wrong is what causes me great shame. And I am vicious. I do not stop. It is such a thrill ride--a wave. It is my "dark side"...Consumed me it has... LOL!

Humor I have started to use more effectively as I have reached my 4th decade of life. Humor deflects many odd thoughts, good and bad. So I do not get back into that rote thinking--remembering words, phrases, scenes--the rumination that the brain does, that Dr. Jonn Kabat-Zinn says "just notice it and let it go..." in mindfulness exercises. Karate helps me.

But my diet, specifically times I eat are piss poor. I do not eat chips all day, but I literally did not eat one day out of my last rage episode. What worried me is after a tiny bit of eating I immediately fell asleep out of nowhere!!! THAT worries me!

Do I have diabetes now? Due to my mismanagement of bipolar issues?

Monday, May 3, 2010

#Marriage #Anniversary My Opinions!

Twitter talk I was having about marriage:

ME: So I don’t know what you mean by "grounded" but I can tell you--what worked for us may not work for you... LOL!

ME: Reality: How well do you know yourself & what you see is what you get--even the poop!

ME: Reality is a woman loses greater than half her income when she divorces and it impacts her kids – devoid of any domestic violence!!!

ME: A man's risk of serious Chronic Illness increases when relationships go awry--especially. cancer.

ME: REALITY! So teaching people to be STABLE in a marriage is critical. No matter the kind. If the government wants to be in the business of legal or licensed relationships, then to minimize municipal budgets would want everyone’s marriage to succeed.

ME: That is why it is WISE to choose a mate that is willing to be with you during good or bad times. Hopefully the bad is not horrific

I had a nice discussion with someone about marriage and may I need to write another blog, but I do not feel like right now so here is my rant:

RANT: In my 20's I BELIEVED I was unlovable and not marriage material. YES my #bipolar played into it, but not as much as I thought...The problem was basic demographics, trends, personalities, issues and stuff. I really was not ready for the rigors of a high level legal license. Looking back I know that now. The isht I am going through currently, would I be in a psychiatric hospital if I was married 20 yrs ago? Is that fair to my spouse? NO!!! So this rush to be married at 20ish...Dudes slow your roll! Why? It is hard enough being young! And then the Economy is bad! When you marry you cannot just leave.

For Sistahs, much love, but reality, marriage is more of a business contractual partnership than anything else, DON’T SLEEP!

Love is great, wonderful, exciting, enticing, beautiful, thrilling, adjective, gerund and adverb!

The Marriage Enrichment course my hub and I took said collaboration - meaning non violent communication techniques And communication is 99% non verbal, so it is your actions than words that sustain a relationship...All I can say it is as individualized as a couple from one to another. Everyone's relationship is different. What works for me might not work for you. One thing I do know, bring LOTS of laughter...The more humorous you are to it, the arguments get hilarious...I guess what I am saying in May 16th will be 7 years for us and it is my longest relationship I have had and it is under a marriage license. I'm not going say it is PERFECT cause right now MY life is not that way at all. But my hub I LOVE him and he makes me want to do and be better. That is why I married him. That is why I love him. That is why I work it out with him and that is why I support him...My faith in God helps--Because really why would God put me in a Fucked up relationship after all I have suffered? That's fugly-My hub is a good man-I chose the nice guy! And I haven't questioned that decision since. Because when you leave and cleave don't worry about all of that. CHOOSE WISELY!


Sunday, May 2, 2010


We all run into that time in our lives where we have to make a significant decision and we DOUBT ourselves, doubt the other person/parties that are asking us to make that decision.

In American culture, we are socialized against doubt and doubting. Reason is religiously, specifically Christianity, we do not want to be labeled as the "doubting Thomas" - the disciple who did not believe Mary of Magdalene when she said that Jesus was resurrected. In the scriptures is says:

Jesus said to him, "Is it because you have seen me that you have believed? How blessed are those who have never seen me and yet have believed!" John 20:29

The fact is about this scripture is that the "Doubting Thomas" as it is called needed to see the resurrected Jesus to believe the scripture had been fulfilled.

Fine. I get that. But why do human have Doubt then? Psychologically, what would be the evolutionary significance of employing this thoughtful emotion called doubt? "Thoughtful" because one has to really consider all the thoughts, images, sayings and statements in one's mind before taking action on this emotion of basically, not picking a side and/or procrastination. Moreover, "doubt" as an emotion is one of the early intermediate response emotions we learn to survive evolutionarily. It is a part of judgment that we learn for our survivability. Without judgment, involving emotional responses of joy, anger, doubt, etc., we would not know how to learn, evolve and contribute to society and improved civilization. We humans would still be stuck in the stone ages re-inventing the wheel.

So DOUBT biologically seems to be, in my humble opinion, a useful emotion to help me judge my safety and security of my situation. The "Doubting Thomas" situation, seems rather an issue of trust and faith which is a higher order emotional thought process rather than basically taking something said at face value. And it seems like Thomas had to revert back to his survival tactics to process what he just witnessed--the Crucifixion--an old execution method that was extremely violent to subjugate the on-lookers into a societal compliance.

DOUBT as a carnal emotional necessity HELPS us survive when our brains can no longer logically process a traumatic event or make huge life altering decisions or when we plainly do not want to make changes in our life. For example, there are many decisions I need to make right now that I do not want to make blindly, I want a more logical process to I choose the best choice. Not haphazard. Because when I make these kinds of choices irrationally, I am usually paying for the mental heartache in the end. As a sufferer of bipolar disorder, that is unhealthy for me and the goal for me is to be healed. Randomly making choices without considering its full implications is juvenile, inconsiderate and costly to me at this time in my life.

Hence, I have stopped going out to event when I am not told 1 week in advance, go out of town 2 months in advance, and randomly do things that risk my mental health security. I mean hey, I can be spontaneous, but my spontaneity looks like mania and is dangerous. I cannot freak out in the airport TSA line and think I will not get arrested...That is what mania in combination of anxiety does to people with mental health conditions.

We have to compromise, psyche ourselves out and work hard to get to the point where we take action. And it is not under others time frame. The unfortunate aspect is, for a job one has to do what is needed. Some of us get that and maneuver through the changes like we need. But, when there are stressors in the workplace, I wind up crying and that is unprofessional for me.

So the early immediate thoughtful emotion "DOUBT" protects people like me so we can better prepare ourselves for the internal emotional rollercoaster we are to embark and doing it helps us successfully navigate emotionally raw situation rather than feeling blindsided. We can contemplate the onslaught and attack.

Personally, I feel many women, especially women of African descent adapted this "doubt" response. Due to the years of anxious situations from slavery and beyond, the reason we do it is because we have to find some level of sanctity in our lives. Dispelling that tension energy that trauma and stressors, DOUBT is a viable option to exploit because it really is not that much thought to it. Over time, as one matures, doubt becomes physically damaging as that seen in a variety of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, hypertension, cancer, etc. that Black women are particularly a health disparity.

How do we dissipate doubt? BREATHE... (for my next blog)