Self Care Sunday – Deep Thoughts and Stress Management

Kindness

Deep Thoughts
I’ve been thinking a lot about fantasy vs. reality this week. Often reality doesn’t measure up to the fantasy we create in our minds. Folks fantasize that new jobs will be so much better than their current jobs . People fantasize about retirement only to find out they liked working. People fantasize about magical first kisses only to find the real first kiss to be a bit awkward and filled with nervousness. This doesn’t mean that reality sucks. Quite the contrary. Reality may be perfect but our illusions and fantasies created unachievable expectations.

When we fantasize, we create expectations based on false narratives that often sets us up for disappointment. This happens when we live in the future rather than living in the present (now). We tell ourselves things like “My life will so much happier once I…buy that house, retire, meet my soulmate, lose 20lbs.” We fantasize so much about the future that we lose satisfaction and happiness today.

I am not saying people shouldn’t fantasize. I love to daydream and fantasize. I am saying that we need be cognizant that the reality may not match what we create in our minds. This doesn’t mean our reality is bad or lacking something, it means we expected too much and made satisfaction unachievable. I’ve found that I am happier by scaling back my expectations in all aspects of my life. I’ve grounded myself in gratitude for what’s good in this moment while still fantasizing about what might be magical in the future. The key takeaway from this to find a way to be happy now in this moment while you are in limbo and waiting for something in future. Keep one foot in reality while you are daydreaming about the magical future.

ACTION: Ground yourself in the present moment. Find a way to be happy right now while you are fantasizing about the future. Remember the reality won’t always match the fantasy but it doesn’t mean it’s any less magical.

Fantasy

Stress Management
This week has been a stress management challenge. So far I am doing a great job but I’ve had my moments.

I’ve decided to open my mind a bit. I am updating my resume and doing an exploration of jobs outside of the “company”. Of course, I don’t really want to leave the “company” but I think it’s good to take the opportunity to see what’s available on the outside. Who knows what’s out there? Maybe it’s time to start opening my mind to what life looks like on the outside? Maybe my dream job will land in my lap :-).

Here’s what I’ve learned during this “break”:

✅ I do not need a cleaning lady. I can do it myself and save the money. I need to keep more money in my savings for the possibility of future shutdowns.
✅ I’ve learned I was spending too much money on sushi and need to cut back on that permanently.
✅ I’ve found GREAT yoga practices on YouTube that I love. I do not need to pay for a studio membership or to take classes at studio. I have everything I need at home. I’ve practiced yoga everyday since mid December. It’s been great to have focus and move and sweat. I’m definitely feeling stronger and more flexible. Juiciness in my hips is back 😊
✅ I realized I can walk in condo from one end to the other on days the weather is bad and still close the rings on my Apple Watch every day 😊 This eliminates the weather excuse and doesn’t require me paying for gym membership to use the treadmill.
✅ I’ve been cooking at home and doing meal prep like I should have been doing for the last few months. I made Sausage, Broccoli Rabe and White Bean Soup and Chicken Caccatori that were both AWESOME. I froze a few portions for future meals 🙂

ACTION:
Look for ways to manage stress without resorting to drugs and alcohol. Here a few suggestions:

✅ Exercise
✅ Walking
✅ Mediation
✅ Yoga
✅ Talk to friend
✅ Watch a funny TV show or movie
✅ Make a budget for yourself and stick to it
✅ Clean your house, clean out your garage or junk drawer
✅ Tidy up! Organize your house; an organized house carries better universal energy. I’ve been watching “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix. Honestly, just looking at those messy houses stresses me out. I am a “Everything has a place” kind of girl. Before I go to bed each night, I walk around and put everything back in it’s place 😊 Universal energy moves easier in a tidy house 😂😂
✅ Stay busy; don’t sit and think all day
✅ Turn the TV off. Watch a little news but don’t obsess over it all day
✅ Hug someone or call a friend
✅ Help another human being
✅ Read a book, Color, draw, write, make love
✅ PRAY; pray is healing

Remember to put a little love in the world with the Loving Kindness Prayer

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

I claim love as my vibration for 2019.
img_0819

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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A Prayer For Direction

Anais Nin Quote

The career choice that will be laying before me after the holidays is front and center in my mind lately. It may be helpful to talk it out with someone who is objective and not a stakeholder on either end; I will consider that option. But for now I decided to offer it up to God to figure it out in this prayer because I am just not sure what I want or the best path. There are a few options and variables in play. The decision will need to be made in January.

Dear God
As a major career choice
Lays before me
Allow me to
Tune into my inner wisdom
So I can see the signs
Sent to me
By the angels and spirit guides
And intuitively know
The right professional path
For me to walk
I ask
For you to move
The Universe around
So to bring me into
Perfect alignment
With the right opportunity
The right choice
That is in alignment
With my highest good
It doesn’t have to be
What I am doing right now
But it can’t be what
I used to do either
I’ve changed
I’ve grown

I humbly ask
For work that speaks
To my soul
So I know to say yes
Without feeling hesitation
As life changes
Please put me in the right
Position where I will
Be able to do
The most good
Doing work that
Speaks to my soul
And feels rewarding
To my spirit

As I wait
I will trust
That Everything
Is always working
Out for my highest good
I have faith
That I am exactly
Where I am supposed
To be and I will
Surrender control
To the Holy Spirit
Thank you
For Blessing me
Thank you
For strengthening me
Thank you for
The courage to live
Outside of my comfort zone
Thank you intuition
To know my own
Inner wisdom
Thank you for
Guidance provided by
Angels and Spirit Guides
I know
I am supported

Taking a break
While I may end up on a forced vacation after December 21st, I was already planning to take extended leave this year to give myself a real break. I am planning to take off December 21st to January 2nd. It’s the first time I’ve ever taken that long of a vacation from work. I am planning to completely disconnect from work. I’m not checking email or giving anyone my cell number. Nothing I do is urgent or critical. It can wait until 1/2. I am, however, reaching out to folks to advise I’ll be out almost two weeks.

I am planning to go to Philly for a few days. I am bringing my three great nieces to my condo for a couple of days and then I will have about four days to myself. It feels like it’s a good time to take a break and just rest and enjoy life before making a major decision.

Update on my Yoga Intention
In my last post, I wrote about my Intention to get back to yoga practice.

I will practice gentle yoga and take a beginner’s series yoga class…in order to…increase space and flexibility in my body without causing injury…starting in January 2018.

So far this week, I reached out a couple of yoga teachers I like. I found out one of them is starting a new gentle class on Monday and Wednesdays at 6:00pm near my home. I would prefer a 4:30 or 5:00pm class but good to know. We also scheduled an appointment for her to come to my condo and give me a private class in early January (she’s leaving for Italy to see her parents tomorrow until the new year). In the meantime, I found a local beginners class that is Saturdays at 11:00am. I may try it on Saturday to see if I like the class and teacher. I getting a jump start on my 2019 Intention early.

Home
Well, at least one thing has been resolved. The condo association for the building I live in accepted responsiblity for negiglence for the exterior wall around my condo I live in. They will pay for repairs to exterior wall and the dry wall inside of living room and bedroom. However, the work needs to be done during warmer weather. It’s not scheduled until April 2019. In the meantime, they bought a high quality air purifier that gets mold particles for the living area. I already have one in my bedroom. My landlord asked me to stay. I’ve been here for five years and she’s never raised my rent. She will not raise the rent, she will replace the carpet after the dry wall is done and she will put me up in a hotel while the interior walls are taken down. As of right now I am staying but I am also opening myself up to opportunities to BUY. I am not moving just to rent again. My landlord is great and I do not think I will find a better one anywhere else. If she sells it, then I’ll move. So far,she’s not selling. However, if something worth buying comes up to my attention without a lot of effort on my part, I will look into it.

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday – Vanity & Intentions

Art

My posts have been a bit heavy lately so I am lightening it up in today’s Self Care post about my vanity and intentions. I would like to say that I am spiritual enough to not be vain but apparently that’s not true and I am ok with it😂

The Grey Experiment
I went for a haircut earlier this week. My hair stylist says to me, “Are you intentionally letting your hair grow out all grey?” 😂 I said, “No, I am just tardy coloring it.” She says, “Wow, I’ve never seen you this grey.” 😂 I wasn’t offended but it did make me wonder what I would look like with all grey hair. It would certainly be less maintenance! As of Friday morning I was going to experiment for a few weeks and not color my hair. Well, that didn’t last very long… On Friday I went to get a massage and Chiropractic adjustment. My Massage Therapist and Chiropractor share an office. They were both there when I walked in and were talking about aging. I told them about my conversation with my hair stylist. After they got done laughing, my Chiropractor(a 45 year old guy that I’ve been friends with for a very long time) says, “You are too young looking and pretty to be all grey this soon! Color your hair. I would tell my wife the same thing!” And then he winked at me 😂I figured a guy’s opinion was good confirmation. So much for my grey experiment. After my adjustment and massage, I bought a box of color. My hair is no longer grey.

For the record, I am a BIG FAN of grey hair on men! When I was in my twenties I dated a guy in his late 40s. He had salt & pepper grey hair with beautiful blue eyes. I was wild about him. Blue Love has salt & pepper hair with beautiful blue eyes too. I am still wild about him even after all these years too 😉💙🔥😂 Yep, I am a BIG FAN of grey hair on men but not on me yet!….

Photo Shoot
Thursday was a great day in work. A vision I had a few months ago came to fruition exactly as I envisioned it. I hosted seven young men, the Dean of Engineering and a Professor from a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) at my workplace. I chaperoned them on a tour of our Research & Development facilities and then gave them the opportunity to present their research to my Director and leadership team in a large state of the art executive conference room. We also had mentors available to them for the last hour of the visit to discuss jobs and internships. I don’t know who was smiling more me or my Director during the student presentations.😊It was really rewarding to offer the young men the opportunity and it was also rewarding to see my vision come to fruition. It gave me some ideas for the future. It felt good to do some good in the world.

Our Communications Office is writing a news article about the visit and a photographer was with us all day. The Communications Office sent me the photos they plan to use in the article. Don’t ya know they chose the one group shot I was apparently scratching my leg😂 OMFG! I asked them if they could choose another. They laughed 😂Then told me I looked fine and I shouldn’t worry about it. I said, “But seriously, it looks like I was scratching my leg in the photo!” He started laughed again and said, “The photos are great. You were awesome today! RELAX!” Can you understand why I would want them to choose a different photo?😂 Anyways, I think I lost that battle; I’m pretty sure they will use the photo even though they took over 300 photos that day…sigh 😂

BOOBS
I have big boobs. I can’t hide them but now I have a scar in my cleavage from a cyst that was surgically removed last year. People look at it. As if 38DDD were not enough for folks to look at — now I have a scar in there to draw their attention. I am not going to hide my cleavage every day but I am actually thinking about seeing a plastic surgeon next year to fix the scar.

YOGA
I haven’t practiced yoga since I broke my foot in March. The small broken bone on the outside of my right ankle affected my whole leg and hip. Even with physical therapy it took forever to heal. It does still occasionally bother me and that largely depends on the type of shoes I wear. As a result, my leg hasn’t been strong enough to support a few yoga positions. This is a drag. I love yoga. Yoga is my escape; my refuge. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my body’s flexibility in the last few months. I am much tighter than I was. As someone who has been double jointed and very flexible my entire life, the restriction in my body is extremely frustrating.

I set an intention for 2019. Since my leg is starting to feel stronger, I am going to enroll in beginner’s yoga course in January at a local studio. While I am not a beginner, I’ve been practicing yoga for many years, a beginners course will start slow and gradually advance me back to where I was. This will lessen any chance of injury and give my body a chance to open gradually.

Sleep
Let me just say, I need seven to eight hours solid sleep most nights or I become exhausted. One of the challenges of menopause is that it is causing me to have broken sleep almost every night or no sleep some nights. It’s really frustrating and some days I am downright exhausted. I finally talked to my doctor who prescribed a low dose non habit forming sleep aid (Trazadone) to use as needed. I tried it Friday night. It didn’t help me fall asleep faster but it did help me stay asleep longer without waking up every two hours. I know I slept because I had vivid sex dreams last night…very vivid 🔥😉😂Since I have a recovering drug addict in my family, I am very aware about dependence on medication so I won’t be taking it every night. But it is nice to have something that I can use when I really need a good night’s sleep and the sex dreams are a nice bonus 😂

Setting intentionsACTION: Set an Intention for 2019
Do you have an Intention for 2019? Take a few moments and think about what how you envision 2019. What actions can you take in 2019 to support your holistic wellness? What do you want in your life in 2019? Who do you want in your life in 2019? What can you do to make that happen? Set an Intention…

Here’s my Intention for yoga as an example:

I will practice gentle yoga and take a beginner’s series yoga class…in order to…increase space and flexibility in my body without causing injury… starting in January 2019.

Use this formula to write your own intentions for the day, week, month or year…

✔️Intentions Start with an action sentence (I am, I will, etc).

✔️Include the statement “in order to”

✔️End it with a timeframe for accountability.

Mindful Challenge
Here’s a quick mindful exercise from Mindful Magazine https://www.mindful.org that can be done standing or seated.

Mindful Challenge

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Tips for setting intentions

My Loving Presence

Art couples love

My Loving Presence
By: Linda A. Long

I offer you
My loving presence
As a soft
Place to land
For your soul
To find comfort
After a long week
Rest with me
In the warmth
Of our Blue Love

I offer you
A love without expectations
It asks nothing more
Than for you
To be
The best version
Of who you are
And for you to reach
The greatest potential
Of your soul
I want
My loving presence
To inspire you
To be
The reflection of
God’s finest Intention
As you strive for
The highest good
For your soul

I offer you
A kindred spirit
A soul who understands
The nuances
Of a soul’s struggle
Between
Holding on and letting go
I understand
A soul
Wanting more
While accepting less
I know how it feels
For a soul
To Dream
Of a lover
In the quiet moments
And whisper
Whisper in depths of silence
To find comfort
In the connection
Of their spirits

I offer your
Heart refuge
From the harsh
Realities of
Living up to
Expectations
And honoring commitments
Yet knowing
My love
My loving arms
Are only
A reach away

My loving presence
Asks nothing of you
Yet
I still
Hold space
For our love
Shaded Blue
To match
Your beautiful
Blue eyes

I offer you
Nothing more
Than a
Loving presence
In your life
For you to
Count on
Rest in
And hold on to
In the lonely moments
When our souls
Miss the familiar
Light radiating from
Heart to heart
When our eyes
Connect

Bask in the glow
Of the
Beautiful light
I hold for you
Bask in the glow of
My loving presence
Bask in the glow
Of my love
(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

NOTE Writing poetry, especially love poetry for Blue Love, is a spiritual practice for me. It sets free my heart. It balances my spirit and it allows me to express myself in words of love. Having spiritual practices that are authentic and honor the true fabric of your soul is important part of maintaining holistic wellness.

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Self Care Sunday Post – Holistic Wellness

Self Care Sunday

How did you take care of your mind, body and spirit this weekend? I socialized with close friends Friday night. I walked three miles in the sunshine yesterday and today. I actually relaxed and watched TV last night too. Since I am in still in school, I had to do some homework but I did get to sleep in both days. This time of my life is a balance between self care, school and work.

I am also balancing between building my personal health coaching business and my new full time job. I spent some time this weekend strategizing for both areas. My thoughts today fall into a few different categories:

Full Time Job vs Health Coaching Quandary:

As I get closer to graduation, I am starting to think about what my Health Coaching business, Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC, looks like and what Intention I hold for it.

Intention

The reality is I have a full time job. I do not plan to quit my full time job until I am eligible to retire in 2028. It’s important that I maintain absolute professionalism and complete separation between what I do full time and my coaching business. It is also prudent for me to keep my social media accounts and website fairly clean to protect my image as my full time job is somewhat high profile. On the other hand, to build a thriving health coaching business, I need to put myself out there on social media. Do you see the quandary I am in?

After thinking about it, I’ve decided protecting my full time career takes priority over building my health coaching business on social media. I’ve accepted that most of my clients will probably come to me by word of mouth or referrals. I do have links to schedule appointments with me on this site but it will be hard to grow the business without me really putting myself out there on social media. I finally accepted that is ok.

Website Dilemmas:

Dilemma I have a couple of challenges with this site. First, I transitioned my blog to be my business site temporarily. The domain name is mapped over my WordPress Blog name. My blog has poetry and art that is a bit suggestive and is considered erotica. WordPress considers that for adult eyes only. Therefore, WordPress will not let the blog be on its home page which is now hurting my stats. It will also prevent my health coaching posts from being seen by other WordPress users.

I have a few options. I can transition off of the WordPress platform altogether. I can split the business site from the blog. I can stop worrying about stats and page views and just write.

I haven’t determined what to do as of yet. I think I may hire a website consultant for professional advice. I would prefer keeping the blog, poetry and business all together on one site. Having them all together demonstrates that I consider writing and art part of my holistic wellness. That’s authentic to who I am and honors the true spirit of my business. It also demonstrates that writing and painting, even if they are artistic and suggestive in nature, actually serve my highest good by feeding my soul and nurturing my spirit.

The way I see it is the business could be the main site with the blog being a page on the site. The blog would have it’s subscription list and URL just as it does right now. I can’t do that with my current site. I would need professional help in making that transition. I could probably figure it out but honestly I don’t want to use a whole weekend doing that for myself. I actually do not have the time to do that right now. Maybe I will have time after I graduate. For now, it’s fine the way it is. I am thinking more about the future. Since my intention is to keep the business lower profile, perhaps the way it is is good. I am looking for professional feedback. If any experts read this and have advice, please feel free to contact me.

Better Put Three Rings On It:

Binder Meme

I am standing up a new program at work. I feel like I have papers and folders all over my desk. It is making me a little crazy. I am VERY organized and seeing paper all over the place is causing me some anxiety. Lol ☺️ I use a planner at work and I love it. When I went to a meeting the other day, I had to bring the planner and like five folders with me to talk about my program. After strategizing it a bit this weekend, I am going to put together a three ring binder for my program. I will keep stuff like the Charter, Implementation Plan, Action Item list, Schools by State and other things I need as reference on a regular basis in the binder. I can take that binder to meetings with me and have everything at my fingertips.

How did you take care of yourself this weekend?

I am a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who provides guidance on Holistic Wellness approaches. Health is about more than just the food on your plate. If you would like more information about Holistic Health Coaching, please email me at Linda@highestgoodcoach.com

https://www.integrativenutrition.com

Integrative Nutrition Plate

If you are ready to discover your Highest Good , click the PayPal button below and schedule a 30 minute consultation with me:

30 Minute Health Coaching Session

Payment is for a 30 minutes Health Coaching Session over the phone or on FaceTime. Once I receive the payment, I will contact the email address provided to set up the session.

$50.00

(C)2018 Linda A Long – Highest Good Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

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Information Overload & Growing

Butterfly Cacoon Growth Five weeks into a new job and almost everyday I am reminded of a fire hose. I am standing up a new program. It’s a lot of work to strategize, plan and stand up a new Program. Almost everyday someone downloads A LOT of information to me at rapid speed and my brain can only process so much at one time. On my first day, my new boss said, “It will be like drinking water from a fire hose!” Guess what, he was right! I’ve learned to take the downloads and then hit the pause button for a few days. Then I go process and figure out how each new piece of the puzzle fits into the bigger picture.

I like puzzles. The ability to strategize is one of my number one strengths. This week I received a lot of puzzle pieces without a lot of time to process. Next week I’ll be working to fit what I gathered this week together with what I already knew. The good news is the draft Charter I wrote is out for review. It’s being well received and is lining up to be my first quick win:-)

This week has been especially fun. I was in DC on Tuesday for meetings with my leadership team who work there as well as an advocacy group. All of my meetings that day went quite well. Actually, my leadership talked to me about potential opportunities in the future working with them down there. They asked me to keep that in my awareness as I am working on my current project. I told them I am keeping an open mind to all opportunities. I had a wonderful meeting with an advocacy group and I am really excited by the synergy I believe we can create together.

This new job is good stretch for me. There is no other way to say it. I am stretching myself in new directions. I am using new skills. I am being forced to level up. I am setting an example of professionalism while remembering it is ok to ask for guidance. While this job is stretch for me, it is not outside of my current skills set. I am nowhere near over my head. I am, however, swimming a little harder to get to the top than I had to swim in my old job. It’s all good.

Folks were worried that I would be bored in this new group. It’s a slower paced group and less chaotic environment for sure. But, the scope of the project I am working on is so big and there is so much to do, there is no way that I would be bored. The quiet environment is actually healthier for me.

I went to an event with my former coworkers yesterday while they were serving ice cream. It felt good and comfortable. I told them my assignment was going well but I am still keeping an open mind to all opportunities. The truth is I have no idea what’s going to happen between now and the end of the year. I could stay in the role I am in now. I could take another role in the line of business I am in now or I could go back to my home Organization. I am keeping my mind open to all possibilities. I do know one thing for sure. If I do go back, they will need to offer me a role on comparable level to the one I am working at now. I can’t go back to playing small. I have these skills and I want to use them.

As for school, I left work early today so I could come home for two school related conference calls. I am taking a break in between them right now to right this blog. At 6pm, I will participate in a Coaching Circle and will have to give a status update on the progress I am making on goal I set. I will also be learning new Coaching Skills from my classmates. 9 weeks to go until graduation.

The 18th anniversary of my sister’s death is tomorrow. It always puts me in a weird mood. Someone asked me if I was ok today. I wasn’t dress up and had very little makeup on. I am usually more polished. I was a little sad when I woke up. One of my Closest friends is on Clinical Trials for Cancer and it’s not going well. I guess she was on my mind and my sister was on my mind. I was distracted; that’s all. But, the truth is I am absolutely fine.

I’ve also been thinking about this friend I have. I miss being close to him and sharing time and space with him and his blue eyes. I missed an opportunity to connect with those blue eyes because I was distracted this morning and caught up in my head and emotions. I guess I also hesitated because I feel a bit unsteady with him which causes me to worry about saying and doing the wrong things. It makes me nervous with him. I also sense that he is a little nervous around me as well. Not sure why we are both so nervous and guarded😂 I think we need an ice breaker 😂 I think we are nervous and guarded because we both still have feelings for each other and are not sure what (if anything) we should say or do about it. I, for one, will avoid the topic if he will 😂 Deal? 😊 We are moving in different worlds now which is good for both of us and our careers. And, the truth is… he is not mine to hold at night. I’ve accepted that. I guess I just thought I could keep him as friend and in my life. He is still in my heart, on my mind and in my awareness. I hope I am still in his heart too. I just wanted to stand before him and say HI while I looking into those beautiful eyes and talk about stupid shit; no need to deep dive. It would be nice to get back into an easy flirtious fun rhythm with him again 😁💙🦋 But, if he wants me to stay away from him, I can do that too. That would make me sad but I will do it.

My last bit of gratitude today is that I have dinner plans with friends tomorrow night. It’s an annual restaurant week dinner at my favorite restaurant. It’s a little weird this year. There is usually four to six of us. However, this year everyone is sick. So, it’s just me and one other girlfriend. We cancelled our table and will sit at the “Oyster” bar. As of five minutes ago, another friend is starting to feel better and may join us. I am looking forward to the opportunity to socialize a bit.

Writing my thoughts out is one way I maintain holistic wellness. If you would like more information on Holistic Wellness strategies, please email: Linda@highestgoodcoach.com or visit the Coaching Services Page of this website to book a 30 minutes phone call.

https://writingholistically.com/certified-health-coaching/

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching,LLC

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Big Data Analytics – What is it, How To Protect Yourself

Big Data Privacy IssuesLet me state that I am not a techie! I am just an average person who happened to see a change in Facebook’s Newsfeed and Googled it. My search returned more information than I could digest in one sitting but over the last few weeks I’ve been reading and learning about Facebook algorithms. I also have been learning about how my data is being used by Facebook, Google, Apple and just about every other website I visit.

Facial Recognition Software

Did you see a message from Facebook recently that said Facial Recognition Software has been deployed and it’s set to OFF? Well, that’s a lie. Facebook has been using Facial Recognition Software for a long time. I’ve received Photo Tag Suggestions in Facebook for a long time. The only reason they are telling us about it now is because they were sued in other countries and European Union is cracking down on Facebook for violating the privacy of users. If you think leaving it turned off will prevent them from doing recognition on your account, you are wrong. They will find ways around it. For example, this past week women have been glamouring themselves with an app offered in Facebook Newsfeed that shows what they would like on a magazine cover. That app uses Facial Recognition Software and is helping Facebook train its algorithm. There is also another app in Facebook Newsfeed that determines Ancestry based upon your face. Here are two apps in Facebook scanning faces to train the algorithm and get your face in the database even if you haven’t turned on Facial Recognition.

My God people, wake up!!!

It really creeps me out, I deleted all of my Profile Photos. I only left my Bitmoji photo. Let’s see them recognize that? 😂 Also, I don’t take those stupid quizzes on Facebook. Those quizzes are created by companies trying to get your data to – guess what? Analyze it!

Bitmoji

Sadly, SnapChat is also a Facial Recognition Software that so many people, kids mostly, use regularly. Once your face is in that database who knows who sees it. Let’s remember the FBI uses Facial Recognition Software too.

Parents, why are you posting so many photos of your children on Social Media? Their faces will be recognized for the rest of their lives. Their right to privacy from the world is your responsibility. Is your vanity or “proud momma” moment that you broadcast to the world on Social Media more important than your child’s right to privacy? Shouldn’t children have anonymity for as long as possible? Have we created a generation addictive to selfies, fish faces, likes and followers? Do you really think only your Friends see those photos? Nope, Facebook archives them! 😂😂 WAKE UP!

Facebook Data

One of the articles I stumbled upon was about the data that Facebook stores on internet users. I downloaded my Facebook Data and was stunned and sadly disappointed. I found private conversations I had with friends in the Messenger App going back to 2013. I don’t even have them on my account anymore. I deleted them years ago but Facebook still has them in their archive and data collection. That totally creeped me out and was pretty much my last straw. I can’t delete my account. I need it for school. Unfortunately, my family is active on FB and it is also the easiest way to keep up with them. However, I will not be giving Facebook data by interacting nor will I be putting my privacy at their discretion. Below is a link to the article.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5448389/Facebook-personal-data-files-Australia-inquiry.html?ITO=1490

What is Big Data Analytics?

When you use Facebook, Google, Mobile Devices, Search Engines, Apps, etc. you create data with each search, like, photo you post and comment you make. That data is worth a lot of money to advertisers, the government, Big Pharma and manufactures. Here are examples of how you create big data:

  • I post a photo on Facebook. I tag a friend. I put a location on the photo. My friends comment. In this example, Facebook engages Facial Recogition. It gets data on my friends and myself. It knows where I’ve been so it can target my location in ads and control content in my Newsfeed with its algoritim to be geared towards my location.
  • I “like” on Facebook several business pages. By liking those pages, I give Facebook data and they can sell that information or use to again target ads towards my interests.

Not all Big Data is bad. Apple is using some of the data from Apple Health App to help healthcare. Big Pharma is also using it to make drugs. Manufacturing companies are using it to make better processes. Trust me, Big Data Engineer is the career of the future for young people. It’s in high demand and pays a lot of money! Even the government hires them!

https://www.simplilearn.com/data-science-vs-big-data-vs-data-analytics-article

Cross Tracking Websites

I see Cross Tracking as the biggest risk to our every day privacy.

Scenario: I check my Facebook Newsfeed, close Facebook and go to Google or Amazon. I search for a new pair of Yoga Pants. The next time I log into Facebook Desktop, I see ads for the same Yoga Pants I just googled and bought on Amazon. How did that happen? Cross Tracking Websites! If you are logged into Facebook on a device, it follows you to your next site using Cookies. Yep, it’s happening! Facebook isn’t the only site using it either! How to protect yourself? Wake Up!

  • Stop using the Facebook App. Log into Facebook through the Browser on your phone. I’ve been doing this for years.
  • Log out of Facebook after each use or log out before using a Search Engine. It’s a drag to enter the password each time but it’s safer.
  • If you are using Apple devices, IOS let’s you have some control. Turn off the tracking features in Safari on all devices. (See the below screenshots) – Note About Safari: if you Block All Cookies, you will not be able to log into Facebook on Safari. I tried it😊
  • If you are using Chrome, use the Incognito Tab and Change your Settings. (See the below Screenshots)

IOS Cross Site Setting

Chrome Incognito Tab

I am sure there are other tricks I haven’t discovered yet too. If anyone has any other suggestions on how to tighten up personal privacy with Social Media, please share them with me.

I am also being mindful of privacy at work too. Since my employer has a Data Retention Policy, any correspondence on a “company” device is considered their data. Therefore, I am now being careful what and how much I write to folks on “company” phones, Instant Messenger and email too. It protects everyone. Probably best to use personal phones for informal convos with my coworkers who are friends/buddies.

This post is not aimed to be anti-Facebook or anti-Big Data. Big Data can have some positive impacts on the world if the technology is used ethically. However, I am not comfortable trusting Facebook, Google or anyone else, for that matter, to be ethical with my data. If you use technology, companies collecting your data is fact of life. We can’t completely stop it. We, as users, can be smarter and safer with our privacy. The essential thing you need to do to protect your privacy is too WAKE UP and stop technology from manipulating your privacy.

Maintaining privacy is a part of my holistic wellness coaching. If you would like more information on Holistic Wellness strategies, please email: Linda@writingholistically.com or visit the Coaching Services Page of this website to book a 30 minutes phone call.

https://writingholistically.com/certified-health-coaching/

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC