Category Archives: Dialogue

You can’t be what you can’t see

Originally posted on the MaRS blog: 

Language and imagery are important. These two inputs impact our thoughts, our belief systems, our attitudes and, ultimately, our actions.

The Ms. Foundation for Women knew this when they started the Take Our Daughters to Work initiative back in 1993. Marie Wilson, founder and president emeritus of The White House Project, also knew this, which is why she started the initiative to draw women into leadership roles in America.

At MaRS we are committed to drawing women into ambitious entrepreneurship, particularly with a focus on leading high-tech, high-growth companies, and we have hosted many talented writers who have told the stories of women in technology on our blog for many years.

Why do we continue to tell these stories and highlight the work that women are doing in these fields? Personal development pundits often cite the impact of writing down goals or creating vision boards. What if those vision boards don’t have any images or stories of women as scientists, developers or leaders? What if girls and women can’t see what they may be or become? That’s a future that we don’t want to see become reality and one that our world community cannot afford to let happen.

There are many dedicated and committed women and men working together to highlight women’s stories and to provide opportunities for them to picture themselves as leaders and create their own future in the fields of technology. Today, in honour of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting two women and their teams who are doing just that.

Cassie McDaniel and Women && Tech

Inspired by FITC‘s call for submissions for a chance to win free tickets to their conference, designer, writer and illustrator/artist Cassie McDaniel created an app that was built around the “binders of women” concept: a directory of women in the technology industry that conference organizers could use to improve the ratio of women speakers at technology conferences. The app was also intended to be a community-curated platform where women could share their stories and find mentors and support as they traversed the minefield ofbarriers and challenges they faced as a minority in the technology field. The premise eventually morphed into the Women && Tech interview series.

Cassie and her core volunteer team of nine men and women are committed to interviewing 50 current tech leaders in the Toronto area (there will be men profiled as well). When asked why it was important for her to tell these stories, Cassie told me that there are plenty of women who don’t struggle with finding their way in this community and, in her experience, that’s been mostly based on their personalities. But for those women who do struggle with speaking up for themselves, asserting their presence or sharing their talents, these interviews are an important avenue to show women that ”you can get here from anywhere,” she said.

Cassie is under no delusion that using this medium to highlight women’s stories will be the sole means by which the struggles of women in the technology industry will be overcome, but she does see it as an important part of the overall discussion by at least getting people talking.

Terre Chartrand and Hackademy

Terre Chartrand  has worked in technology for most of her professional life. She knows a variety of different programming languages, comes from a background in fine arts and is passionate about providing opportunities for girls and other marginalized groups to access the knowledge, resources and skills that will see them flourish in the growing knowledge anddigital economy.

Terre, along with Stephanie Rozek and Sean Yo (all from the Kitchener-Waterloo area), created Hackademy as a response to some of the difficulties they had experienced in the tech sector and as a way to create some change. (Disclosure: Hackademy has recently joined MaRS as a client.) The team’s approach to growing Hackademy as a social venture is to provide access to training about how to code and make, while also creating an infrastructure of mentorship, so that students will be set up for success in the workplace and, most notably, girls and women will be encouraged to stay in tech.

Outreach to girls will be a particular focus for Hackademy, teaching them that tech does not have to be intimidating or scary and “isn’t just a boy thing.”

Terre gave an example of a project where girls could build a dollhouse and then create simple Arduinosolutions to wire the house and set the lights on a timing system. It is collaborative, cross-disciplined, engaging play where girls can experience different parts of what it means to “make” by using math skills and creating algorithms and heuristics.

Both Terre and Cassie agree that diversity within their teams (in gender, talent and experience) is an essential building block to the success of their projects. They both also recognize that there are particular challenges that women and girls face in the technology realm and, through their work, they’re doing their part to see that the number of girls and women in technology rise.

If you believe that “you can’t be what you can’t see,” then it is imperative that we share our stories and show girls and women that they are not alone. We need to show them that they are able and capable, and that they can be successful in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields without being minimized.

We invite you to join our Lean in Circle. Share your stories, support others and be a part of actively changing the future for today’s girls and the future of STEM industries in Ontario.

 

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École Polytechnique. Never forget.

December 6 is always a somber day for me. It’s one of those dates that has become entrenched in my memory, where I couldn’t forget the significance of the day if I tried.  Continue reading


Beware the echo chamber

This first appeared on the MaRS blog October 19, 2012.

There’s a black hole that we’re in danger of being sucked into, and it’s more treacherous than Felix Baumgartner’s space jump. The danger I’m talking about is the echo chamber.

Usually when I reference the “echo chamber,” I’m talking about social media. I’m in complete agreement with many of the contemporary thought leaders and pundits who have written and spoken at great length on the issue (see Eli PariserElizabeth LesserClay Johnson and Rebecca MacKinnon). They all warn us of the dangers of filtering out a variety of voices and listening to only one point of view. Social media and a curated web experience are enablers of this, but it’s not just social media that is responsible for that closed perspective. It’s us. And I want no part in it.

“echo chamber” used by permission @gapingvoid

While attending the Techtoberfest event at Communitech last week, I realized a number of things.

  1. I am so proud to have surrounded myself with friends and colleagues who are passionate about what they do and what they bring to the world.
  2. I know some incredibly talented people who work incredibly hard to build an ecosystem that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship, and to drive prosperity in Ontario.
  3. We’re all in danger of stagnating if we don’t pay close attention—and fast.

Out of Techtoberfest’s 15 breakout sessions, only two were facilitated by women.

Out of a total of 19 companies that pitched, only one team had women on the stage. One.

I sat in one of those breakout sessions, titled “Y Entrepreneurship,” and while it certainly intended to be a take on the Y generation, it could have been more representative of the gender in the audience. Besides my colleague and myself, the only other women I saw in the room were part of the hard-working team thatactually work for Communitech to make these events happen.

One of the facilitators asked the audience to participate in the conversation regarding “Why entrepreneurship?”—and he encouraged us all to participate. He asked about six audience members (who he all knew by name) why they were drawn to entrepreneurship. Those six people were all male, all (seemingly) in their 20s and all Caucasian. All of the panellists were also Caucasian and male. I took the opportunity to share an observation.

Do you see the danger?

The point I made to our facilitator was thus: literature exists ad naseam stating that businesses that have women in roles of leadership perform better. They have more longevity and they realize more financial success. Whether we’re talking about entrepreneurs, the whole startup ecosystem in Ontario or each one of us as individuals, the threat is the same. When you don’t have the diversity of views and experience that come from people of different ages, different races and different genders, you’re living in that echo chamber of “Aren’t we great? Aren’t we great? Aren’t we great?.” You may be great, but without a broader scope of input and ideas, you’re about to stagnate. Thankfully, there were a lot of nodding heads in the room in support of this discussion.

There are definitely two parts to this. I tweeted my observation about the lack of women represented, and author, speaker and columnist Julia Moulden and I had a great dialogue online about the need for women to be invited into the discussion, but also about how many women don’t ask to participate or don’t say “yes” to opportunities to speak.

From that, we’ve started a new hashtag campaign. It’s time for women to stop wondering if they have something important to say or share. It’s time for them to take the mic and #BeAYesWoman.

This experience is certainly not limited to the Kitchener-Waterloo area. I see it in Toronto and, quite literally, in every startup community—both online and in real life. The startup community needs to include more women as speakers, it needs to draw more women into the entrepreneurship fold and it needs more women as leaders in their businesses if they want to succeed.

If there is anyone who can realize this, it’s the community of people I’ve met at our fellow Regional Innovation Centres and universities, and in our extended startup communities. We’re the ones changing things because we’re talking about it, we’re calling it out and we’re reaching out to do something about it, too. But this will not change through and by women alone. And it shouldn’t—because that would just be an echo chamber of a different kind.

We need everyone involved in this conversation. Everyone calling for change. Everyone striving for something more for each and every Ontarian.


I have it all.

Ever since Anne-Marie Slaughter’s missive in The Atlantic, there’s been a ton of dialogue on the notion of “having it all.” What it means, how to define it, how to achieve it. Seems like every one and their uncle are joining in on the conversation.

Years ago, while working at TELUS Communications, they hosted a morning breakfast with three of the company’s top executive women: Karen RadfordJudy Shuttleworth and Janet Yale. These are all exceptionally successful, driven women and the conversation was refreshingly frank that day. Instead of “you can do it” and the typical pink washing that comes from “leadership light” sessions, these women shared their struggles and the choices that they had to make to get to where they are.

At the time, Karen Radford had young children at home on the west coast, and she was spending a majority of her time in Quebec, leading TELUS Quebec. Janet Yale, who I had seen speak on more than one occasion, openly shared how her children practically shrieked when she walked into her kitchen. Apparently, cooking is not her strong suit.

It was Janet’s comment that resonated most loudly with me that day, when she openly talked about missing hockey games and school performances; “you can’t have it all, not at the same time.” She had made the choice, early on in her life, that being an executive was where she wanted to be. She wasn’t going to be at home, waiting with meals on the table for her children. Her husband was going to be the predominant at-home parent. Janet wanted to lead, engage, and collaborate on a national and a global scale.

At one point, Karen turned to the audience and asked us, “who wants to be us?” Not me. I sat there with my hands in my lap. I didn’t want to be one of those women, forsaking time with my children, working 12-18 hours a day, thinking business 24/7. Not for me. But that’s a change. If you’d asked me back in the early 80s, when I was deeply coveting Diane Keaton’s white winter coat in Baby Boom, I wanted to be that woman. Powerful, corporate, assured, confident. I went so far as to attempt that route when working in advertising in the late 80s. I was naive. I got chewed up, and spit out. Cut-throat, unethical, immoral (advertising was, anyway); it wasn’t the place for me.

Now, the reality is, and was, that I was never going to be that woman. Due to circumstances (thank you Mr. Harris for taking away my grocery money), I wasn’t able to complete my degree at University which limits one’s opportunities, for sure. Yet, along the winding road that has been my career, I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to be that woman.

Every year, my husband and I take our children for a couple of weeks of camping at Algonquin Park. I try to get out on the lake for some solitude, just me and my kayak and without fail, each time I reach the half way mark of my outing, I end up stopping, breathing deeply, sitting quietly and just appreciating where I am. When I’m there, in that space, I’m reflective and I look at where I’ve come from and where I am in my lifeand I am happy.

I have a wonderful partner who has totally enabled my life, and that supports me and my winding career in every way, including being an amazing Dad that doesn’t “babysit”; he cares for our children when I’m not here and we trade off whenever we can…and we’re in love, still, even more deeply almost 11 years on.

My children are (thankfully) bright, funny, talented and well-rounded. They don’t have to be world scholars (although we keep working in that direction). They can be whomever they are, and I love them, innately and without judgment…and they love me.

My circle of friends are diverse and amazing. They’re creative, intelligent, thought-provoking folk that remind me often that you have to create what you want to be a part of. My acquaintances are equally thought-provoking, and I’m grateful to be in their sphere.

I live in a stunningly, beautiful city, with ambitous, forward-thinking leadership, which also avails me to world-class talent and awe-inspiring personalities.

I also have an amazing job with an organization that I’m incredibly proud of; I’m regarded in my professional network for my skills, my intelligence and my passion for what I do. I’m respected, provided opportunities and known for being frank. I have good relationships with my colleagues and I truly believe that when we all win, we all win. I believe that these traits have garnered me more fans than not.

So, looking around at my life, I have love, support, creative outlets, amazing life experiences and most of all, opportunity. Indeed. I have it all.


My vagina’s angry. It is. It’s pissed off.

My vagina’s angry. It is. It’s pissed off. ~The Angry Vagina, The Vagina Monologues

About 11 years ago, I sat in a theatre in Toronto with a gathering of girlfriends, waiting to see Margot Kidder, Amy Sky and Maggie Cassella deliver The Vagina Monologues. As expected, the content was compelling, enraging, emotional, and belly laugh inducing. When Maggie Cassella opened this monologue with the above quote, I laughed as every girlfriend I was with turned and looked at me, mouth agape, as if it was me up on the stage delivering the piece.

Yah. Sometimes, my vagina is angry, and it’s with good reason. Lately, it’s become really, really angry. Every day, I am assaulted with stories that reinforce how around the globe, women are still mostly regarded as either reproductive ovens, or disposable pussies. I read troubling accounts of atrocities being committed against women, which come under a variety of guises, from a variety of sources.

In Morocco, Amina Filali, a 16 year old girl committed suicide after being forced to marry her rapist.

In Arizona, legislators are pushing through a bill that would “require women who wish to have their contraception covered by their health insurance plans to prove to their employers that they are taking it to treat medical conditions.”

Even in my own backyard, a “gentleman’s club” (read: brothel) was being setup in The Tannery, the hub for technology companies and startups in the Kitchener-Waterloo region before someone got wise and shut the place down before it opened.

What. The. Fuck?!

The conservative assault on women’s rights is frighteningly alive and well in North America. One only has to look at the political headlines capturing the Republican candidates race to know how poorly regarded women are; from Rush Limbaugh, to Rick Santorum, to Mitt Romney, women are regarded as sluts, prostitutes or invalids that don’t know how to take care of ourselves or our families. These men are gaslighters and appallingly, openly misogynistic.

So are the Canadian Tory MPs that wish to re-open the abortion debate in Canada.

Again. What. The. Fuck?!

So, my reputation apparently precedes me. I’m known both in real life and online as the person that “calls it as I see it.” Yes, I’m the “elephant hunter” and while I may make some people uncomfortable, I’m way okay with that. I don’t accept gaslighting, nor cop outs, nor devil’s advocate stances just for the sake of it.

I demand accountability, rational thought, and intelligent discourse.

And as you try to belittle me by calling me emotional, let me save you trouble. Goddamn right I am emotional. These are my sisters, my daughters, my mothers that you’re fucking with. They’re my kin. I will fight for them, defend them, stand in front of them and behind them. They are me.

So, don’t call me a girl; I’m 42, have my period, and can vote. I’m a woman. Don’t patronize me as you talk about my “little” ideas, ones that you go ahead and use. Don’t avoid the dialogue by hiding behind niceties. Don’t pat me on the head, call me a bitch (unless you’ve got the balls to do it to my face), or undermine my opinion by sexualizing me. Seriously, suck my dick. And you know why I can say that? Because I have bigger balls than a lot of men I know.

So, here’s my theme song for today. Don’t like it? I don’t care. There are bigger issues than your ego at hand.


Like Finds Like

On Monday, September 19, 2001, I attended The Marketplace Conference hosted by the Small Business Community Network at The Museum in Kitchener, Ontario. I was participating as an audience member, but I was also vying for the title of Social Media Idol. During the competition segment of the day, all contestants were asked one question and the question that came to me was “how has social media impacted your every day?”

Although I express myself easily on Twitter in those 140 character limits, to share just what kind of impact Twitter has had on my life, I want to take the time here to explain just how important this medium is to me. So, to paraphrase my own answer (somewhat), I share this…

Social media, Twitter especially, has had a profound impact on my life. I don’t use that word lightly. It has been tangible, positive and hugely influential, on both a personal and a professional level.

When my family and I first moved to Stratford, Ontario, I tried many of the traditional routes to engage more in the community. I joined a book club, a writing circle, participated in photography classes at the Gallery Stratford, joined political groups, invited couples over for dinner; but ingratiating ourselves into our new community was a slow and not very successful process. Stratford’s a small town in many ways and it seemed that everybody had enough friends already. I was flummoxed. I mean, my husband and I are nice people; we’re pretty engaging and have a wide range of interests. Surely people would want to make the time to get to know us better? It was hard not to take it personally.

Slowly, very slowly, our social circle did grow, and some of our friends from those early years have grown into being good friends to us still, but it wasn’t until I started to engage heavily in Twitter did mine and my family’s whole experience in Stratford change, dramatically.

Feeling passionate about the city we adopted as our hometown, I was eager to share all of the amazing things happening in the city with a greater audience, so I tweeted and retweeted everything and anything to do with Stratford, and I did it a lot. After a few months, I received one of my first #FollowFriday recommendations from a London, Ontario local called @late2game. It resonated so deeply with me that I remember it almost word for word: “If you want to know anything about Stratford, you should follow @karensd”.

Wow! I was SO honoured! I realized just then how powerful Twitter was for me. I was influencing people in London and my online reputation was growing.

My relationships in Stratford were growing and changing, almost exponentially too. I was meeting people from right across the city and the county that were interested in and moved by the same things I was; foodies, arts and culture, activism, politics, community building and of course, social media. The people that I call friends now I would not have been able to know on such an intimate level had it not been for Twitter opening up the avenues of dialogue and giving us the opportunity to find our “likeness” and to get to know one another better. Neither the Ignite Stratford or Social Media Breakfast Stratford events would be anywhere near as successful as they have been had it not been for Twitter and it the outreach that it enables.

At the same time, my community was also growing in Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph. I was learning about events like Ignite Waterloo and being introduced to people that I would never have known of otherwise. Facebook was still rather insular a few years ago, not nearly as open as it is now with the advent of Fan Pages and Events being so well integrated into calendars and news streams. Twitter was my conduit to these amazing people that were doing things I was interested in and who were creating them, actually making them happen.

***

I’ve been calling Twitter “the warmest handshake you’ll ever experience”. It’s a reference to my old sales days, when you’re looking for a “warm referral”; someone that knows you, likes you and is willing to introduce you to another potential customer.

I realized the power of Twitter when I attended that first Ignite Waterloo event. I was early and planted myself in the seats at The Museum and started tweeting. The organizers had one of the first Twitter walls I had seen up to that point, so when I tweeted that I was excited for the night to begin, a few moments later, I heard someone say out loud, “Ya, me too Karen!” I turned to see this guy that looked familiar to me; he smiled broadly and that’s when I met one of my favourite KW tweeps IRL (in real life), @renjie. We chatted for a while that night, about the event and the speakers. At the end of the evening, we shook hands and our engagement on Twitter continued.

A few weeks later, I was in KW again to attend a SIG hosted event at The Seagram Museum in support of Adam Kahane’s book Power and Love. It was of little surprise to me that @renjie was one of the organizers. We DM’d to find one another in a room of hundreds, and as we walked towards one another, we naturally greeted each other with a hug. I tell this story often to share how in no time at all, Renjie Butalid went from being this figure on Twitter to being someone I considered a friend. We could not have come from more diverse backgrounds, communities and environments, but through Twitter, I met this someone that I shared a huge amount of energy and “likeness” with.

***

On Thursday, September 15, 2011, I spent the day at the first 140 Character Conference in Canada held at The Tannery in Kitchener. Created by Jeff Pulver, the conference is described as:

“The #140conf events provide a platform for the worldwide twitter community to: listen, connect, share and engage with each other, while collectively exploring the effects of the emerging real-time internet on business.”

A dedicated team of volunteers in Kitchener worked for months to bring this conference to fruition, and one only has to read through the #140ConfOnt hashtag stream on twitter to realize the effect that the speakers had on the audience.

Most of the people that spoke that day were sharing their stories of how Twitter has impacted their lives. Some of them has us in tears, like Heather Hamilton who spoke of how her twitter community rallied to raise $41,000, blowing pas the $25,000 goal to help build a room at York Central Hospital in honour of her son Zack, whom she lost earlier this year. Jodi Sonoda showed true bravery in being vulnerable by sharing how she turned to her Twitter community in times of great despair, now calling Twitter “her place to fall in case I fall again”. Or Matt Scobel, who spoke of bringing his love of marketing, technology and doing something together under Project Macfrica, giving new life to used Macs and creating computer labs in Africa.

I spent the entire day of the #140ConfOnt conversing in real life with some of the most amazing people that I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. These are people, that if it hadn’t been for Twitter, I never would’ve met otherwise, and because of Twitter, I’m able to learn more about and help support them and their passions. Whether we met at events organized and announced on Twitter, or they recognized me at the #IronChefUptown events held at Nick & Nat’s Uptown21, or at the #SMBWR breakfasts, or the Slow Food Perth County market, these are the kinds of people that I want to know. We’re all amazingly diverse, but fundamentally, these are the kind of people that I need in my life to help me feel fulfilled, engaged and connected. They are passionate, active visionaries and they inspire me each and every single day.

Twitter has also shown me, quite clearly, where my real passion and “feed my soul work” is. It has shown me where I need to make changes in my professional life and it’s this online community that reinforces for me that where I’m heading is where I’m meant to be. It’s where I’m most passionate and most compelled. That realization is priceless, in anyone’s development and growth. This community has given me unfiltered feedback on companies and organizations that I’ve encountered, or have considered working with or for. They’ve provided me feedback on my profiles and online presence, without expecting anything back. They do, because they’re of that ilk.

It was while chatting with my friend @TheKarlTopia at dinner the other night (after winning Social Media Idol at the Marketplace Conference and who by the way, I met up with only because I saw his tweet that he was eating at The Bauer Kitchen and I was only a few blocks away), that I shared with him how much I love Twitter because it lets all of us, every single one of the users of this amazing outlet, find our chosen kin. “Like finds like,” I said.

I can only hope that I bring some of the same energy, knowledge, experience and authenticity to those that I consider my community, and although I couldn’t possibly name all of you here, if I follow you or list you, it’s because I consider you an essential part of my growth, development, realization and life experience.

Thank you, Twitter. Thank you, all…


Don’t Feed The Trolls

 Don’t try to win over haters. You’re not the Jackass Whisperer. ~Scott Stratten, @unmarketing

June 11, 2011, I spent a full day with some of the best of the best of London, Ontario at Podcamp London 11 held at The Research Park. For those of you that don’t know, a Podcamp is described as:

… an open community for new and social media enthusiasts and professionals including bloggers, podcasters, social networkers, and anyone curious about new media to share and learn.

Some of the folks that were running the event & attending, I have been twitter friends with for a while, and that day I met a number of other tweeple that I have been following for a while, but hadn’t yet had a chance to meet IRL. This was my first Podcamp and I had heard such great things from others that I wanted to ensure that I took the day to fully participate and I was not disappointed; well, mostly…

I loved learning about Podcasting 101 from @billdeys, watching the unbot in action, and I fully agree with @jclarkey about how you can Schedule for Good using Twitter (sorry @unmarketing, but there is a way to be authentic and efficient and effective). The talks were diverse, some fully polished, some not so, but the speakers that I listened to were earnest and open to sharing their knowledge and points of view.

And then, the trolls reared their ugly heads.

A group of four white, privileged, bigoted, misogynistic boys that called themselves “podcasters” (I guess  you can call yourself a podcaster when you have 11 followers…?) started their “radio show” of sorts, which was really just an excuse to showcase just how white, privileged, bigoted and misogynistic they were. They were no Daniel Tosh, who brilliantly touches and crosses those touchy lines. They weren’t irreverent, funny, smart or entertaining. They were just…trolls. And I for one, wasn’t going to sit in that environment and just let them spout their racism and go on about their “rape fantasy” without being held accountable, so I tweeted how boring they were, how untalented and then of course, these particular trolls showed themselves for what they really are…cowards and insecure little bullies.

One thing I’ve written about previously is how when you’re engaging in social media, you have to accept that you don’t own your message. As soon as you hit Enter or Upload, as soon as you publish your content, in whichever medium you choose, it’s your audience that owns that content and they can do whatever they want with it. Mashup, malign, masticate, once it’s out there, it’s out there.

These boys couldn’t handle the criticism or the gift of honest feedback, so of course, the trolls that they are, they started to attack me, personally. I’m a “stupid bitch”, telling me to “leave” because they just wanted to circle jerk with their white, privileged, young audience and not be held accountable.

Not a chance little men. You don’t get to tell me what to do, nor do you get to control how this audience member responds to your content.  You’ve obviously not gotten the point of social media.

Later, during the social part of the evening, I stopped one of the little trolls and looked him in the face and told him that he wasn’t allowed to call me a bitch or use me for fodder for his base attempt at holding an audience unless he had the balls to look me in the face and call me a bitch to my face.  Guess what? He couldn’t; well, not until he was backed up by two of his friends. He was dumbstruck, speechless and pathetically “out of his league” (as was tweeted by @late2game), as most bullies are. The best he could muster was that I was “fat”. He may have gone on and called me other things in the long email he sent me the next day, but I decided to listen to @jonpilon, as he was the one that reminded me to “Not Feed The Trolls” and delete that email without reading it. They’d already had enough of my energy.

The reason that I’m blogging about this experience now almost two months later is because I’ve experienced a few episodes in the last few weeks which has led me to realize that the world is FULL of trolls. Frauds, bullies, liars, gossips, toppers, energy vampires, whatever you call them, they’re everywhere. At work, in friendships, in your social, in your home and most dangerously, in yourself.

I’m strong enough to admit that I’ve been a troll and I still, some days, have troll tendencies. I judge, I  mock, I gossip, I bully. I won’t put up with others’ trollish behaviour, so why is it acceptable when it comes from within me?

Well, of course, it’s not.

What I’m trying to do though is be more aware of when I’m acting like a troll myself and I’m actively working to stop feeding any trolls that I encounter.

So, especially after just completing a 21 day cleanse, here’s to feeding that better part of my soul and my community, more presently and more mindfully.

 


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