Category Archives: #Reflections / Мисли

Ostara, the Spring Equinox Full Moon

#wiccawednesday
Let’s talk about tomorrow’s full moon, the one nearest to the spring equinox, the Ostara. Undoubtedly, you can recognise the common root of this word and the Christian Easter. The coming spring and the raised spirits with returning nature’s lush are a common part of all festivities. We cannot find any biblical grounds for the eggs, for example. The widely-proclaimed story of Mary Magdalene bringing an egg to Tiberius Caesar to announce the raising of Jesus from the dead is of unsure origin. There is no word in the Bible itself regarding this event. In Wiccan tradition, however, eggs and greenleaf spring vegetables play an important role. They remind us of the renewal forces of nature. The egg will develop into a living creature, and the newly sprouted leaves will vary our table with their freshness and put an end to our winter-time diet of preserved and canned food.
This year’s full moon is just around the corner – it’s tomorrow and the hour depends on where in the world you are. Astronomical spring comes right with it, the season changes, a new stage of the year begins.

Image by armennano on Pixabay

It’s a good time for cleaning your house and your soul. Open the windows wide and throw out all you have been keeping but not using for the last couple of months. After the fresh air has penetrated every nook in your house and your soul, don’t sit down to rest. Go out for a walk and feast your eyes and spirit in the renewing nature. Late in the evening come back and rest in your new sheets.
For better cleansing of your body, you can also restrain from too much food for the day of the full moon and the following 2 days. Eat light, abstain from alcohol and revel in the light of the magical moon.
If you like yoga, the full moon is a great time to practice the less known Chandra Namascar – the Moon Salutation complex.

Jasmine and rose are the scents you can add to your everyday lives along with anything else you love, of course. Flow naturally!

Can Introverts Work in HR?

Because of my occupation, I often read about the “perfect” applicant, the “matching” qualities, the “relevant set” of characteristics in a person who will make her fit in a team or a job. Recently, I was outraged by an article about the qualities you need to look out for when you search for your HR Manager. The article was loosely written and had little focus. For instance, I didn’t understand why it was entitled “How to Choose a Quality HR Director”, but it spoke freely about the entire range of HR professionals. I mention such weaknesses because the article appeared in a reputable online HR resource that purports to carry the torchlight of professionalism to the plebeians and newbies in the field. Were it part of a personal blog, I wouldn’t be so upset.

In addition to repeating many well-known truths and rules as if they were ground-breaking revelations, the article reached the conclusion that “There is no place for introverted people in HR”. An explanation of why followed. Needless to say, it only demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge and understanding in the field of personality traits and peculiarities.

Are you curious to read about some of the Myths of Introversion? Here is my blog post #1 encompassing the most popular ones.

Sorry to see that the author is part of a large company recruiting management staff and she has the authority to dictate the tone and beliefs of many professionals in the sphere.

That said, let me explain why I disagree. First of all, introverted people are not ones who don’t like to communicate. Some of them are asocial or socially anxious, but that is not a feature all introverts share. Introverts actually love communication, but they prefer it to be meaningful. Then they need rest.

Second of all, introverts are not people who don’t know how to socialise. Many introverts are keen public speakers and love going to parties and having fun, including meeting strangers. Then they need rest.

When we speak of the need to rest, it might be helpful if you check my post about the “introvert hangover”.

Third, and I don’t want to be rude here, just because someone wants to speak to others and is able to do it incessantly, doesn’t mean this person has anything meaningful to say. The only sure thing about such people is that they love listening to their own voices. How is that helpful when you are an HR?
In order to align your work and mentality with the colleagues from the company, you need to get to know them. That takes time. It also needs a lot of patience. Not many extroverts have the time to wait until they get really close to someone else. Have you seen what happens when an extroverted manager accosts an introverted or asocial employee? The employee withdraws in her shell and you’ll never see her or hear her voice again. This might bring the manager to the easy conclusion that the employee is impolite. Why not see what I’ve written about the myth that introverted people are rude? It will definitely have a familiar ring.

The direct approach combined with a broad smile so characteristic for seasoned managers with experience in big companies is one of the most detested tools of power. Any quiet and focused team member will tell you that.

This goes under my #SavageSaturday hashtag because it discusses my beloved introversion topic.

Tao Te King – Chapter 18

#MindfulMonday brings us back to Tao Te King and my choice of today – Chapter 18

When the great Way is abandoned,
Benevolence and righteousness arise.
When wisdom and knowledge appear,
Great pretense arises.
When family ties are disturbed,
Devoted children arise.
When people are unsettled,
Loyal ministers arise.

###
The great Tao fades away
There is benevolence and justice
Intelligence comes forth
There is great deception
The six relations are not harmonious
There is filial piety and kind affection
The country is in confused chaos
There are loyal ministers.
###

In short, when truth disappears, it gets replaced with various values and attempts at doing the right thing. From here on, you can develop the rest.

Psychologist or Psychiatrist?

#SavageSaturday

That is a question often asked when one suffers some mental issue or another. Films and magazines sway the public opinion towards a psychologist. They often depict the treatment, called therapy, as relaxing on a couch or in an armchair, outside of hospital environment and talking to a professional. Usually, we see a doctor-patient relationship and both parties call each other these names. Yet, we don’t see white medical robes or any sign of a medical office.

I had always thought the professional is a psychotherapist by practice and a psychologist by education. It turns out to be a mistake. Even though they don’t prescribe medicine or hospital stay, these therapists we see in films are psychiatrists. They study at a medical university along with all the rest on the craft – paediatricians, obstetricians, cardiovascular and internal disease doctors. They know about anatomy, biology and chemistry just as all the doctors we meet in more typical environments. After medical school, they go on to specialise, again like any other doctor does, in the so-called residence. That means they work full-time at a hospital or institution where they get familiar with lots of different real cases and get trained to treat patients independently.

So, when we’re mildly affected by a mental issue, who should we turn to? I used to see psychiatrists as doctors who would simply prescribe some drug to you which is sure to meddle with your sense and stability. It turns out, they actually undergo courses in psychotherapy, if they like, and then continue helping patients with sessions only or combining pills and talking sessions.
Then, when do we visit a psychologist and what can we expect her to treat? I would say, we do that when our marriage or parenting or relations in the office don’t work efficiently. We go to see a psychologist when we need a new perspective in some area in our everyday lives where we are stuck for one reason or another. We don’t do it when we are depressed or suicidal, just as we don’t go to the pub owner for a cure when we have the flu or a toothache. In those latter cases, we visit medical doctors, of the speciality we need.

We must face it, though – a lot of people do exactly that. When they are sick, they seek advice and help at various places, but at the doctor’s. It’s hard to imagine they would do differently when it concerns their mental health.
I am a psychologist and am deeply interested in therapy and ways to help people. At the same time, I know doctors have a great advantage compared to me because they know of hormones, enzymes, physiology and nerves, among other things. I, on the other hand, can simply improvise and imagine things. Things which can do more harm than good. That is why I know I’m helpless in a lot of situations. Like all psychologists in the world.

I hope more people will realise that.

Two for Tuesday: More Pebbles

Today, I’m sharing even more pebbles to make the River of Stones. Not just two, I mean.

10/01
The storm just hit
Accumulated anger and aggression –
happily not I, the target.
I am relaxed, although alert.
And then – the drama entered –
both concerning cats and human children.

Where is the counsellor?

11/01
Have we made for the clear exit of our tiny muddle?
Not sure we have.
What I’m sure of is the weekend’s here,
so, I don’t care,
and my plan is to comply.

12/01
It’s joyful I have yoga.
It’s nice I have a masseuse.

Is it dramatic?
Is it enough?

I seek relax and solitude
so that I recharge
for new exhausting battles.

Today, I think not of that.

13/01
I love Sundays, in general
and, in general, distaste them.

Today’s the same –
void, therefore giving me
a sense of loss.

Especially disliked
are afternoons.

14/01
Just cold. And nothing else.

15/01
I don’t look out, I’m simply wondering
as usual.

What will tomorrow bring?

###
Accomplishment and recognition
received from an unexpected source
Make up for some of my tribulation.

Tribulation and unrest
mark the day as I expect the rest.

16/01
I suffocate
My own words are my burden.

I can’t breathe
Emotions twerking in and out impede air.

The day, no matter good or bad,
just passed unnoticed.

17/01
Heavy load
Hanging on
To it – new load
is added.

Sleep will not come.

18/01
Spring-like day –
azure the sea, the air fresh.

We speak of love –
as is the norm in crisis.

The door slams
Regret remains.

19/01
Free from turmoil
comes the grey morning
which, nonetheless, seems
like endless sunshine
and brings me up and standing,
almost running
just for joy.

Small Stones in January, Pebbles

On a Friday, there are many things to do which are relaxing and appealing. Today, I chose to form a small rivulet using the pebbles below.

3/01
Tension is crawling back
slowly, but deftly.

Slowly, but deftly, too,
I’m defying it
For the time being, at least.

Wine in the evening
brings joy.

4/01
Snow – only not here.
Only wind and cold
roam here.

That’s our winter.

5/01
I do yoga
hoping to fight extra weight
Yoga brings me joy
It’s kilos that emburden me.

No pressure in that fight
Thus, no results expected.

6/01
The day –
amazing with its sweetness.
Outside –
so freezing, that we stay indoors.

To love and hug each other
and be loved and hugged
into a tenderness of heart.

7/01
Today, I felt frustration bitter
speculating what is and what might have nee, or was…
In short, things I shouldn’t muse over

Coming back to the flatness of mood is tough
(reading back here, I see repetitions)

How come all my journeys back are hard?
Is it with age that I’ve become so slow?

You know, the day, it started off so well –
I read promises of books and hugs and whisky.
(I’d discard the whisky)
And also forest walks in sparking snickers
with obviously painless knees.

8/01
No more bitterness –
Today is only satisfaction
and fulfillness.

9/01
Did I ask too many questions?
Was it too late when I asked them?

I expected craziness
But was met with calm

Apparently, the storm will hit another day.
###

Myths about Introversion, Part 3: Rudeness

Here we go with another blog post in my #SavageSaturdays sub-series concerning Introversion. To check the previous posts in the series, you can see here and here.
This post is going to be on one of the most popular myths about introverted people – Introverts are rude, impolite, selfish or arrogant, depending on the situation.

Do you remember the last party you went to? Was there at least one person, a man or a woman who didn’t mingle with the group? She seemed aloof, kept at a distance, didn’t laugh at your jokes and, generally, didn’t make nice talk to anyone. Oh, except for that very weird neighbour of your friend, the party host. Or, the pet. Or, did you see her reading a book in the hallway? Playing or chatting on her phone all the time? But mainly what set her apart was the fact that she never laughed. Not even at the host’s jokes. She wasn’t a teenager, she wasn’t dressed as a Goth, so the only thing you thought was: rude.

In fact, introverted people don’t like small talk, they are never prepared to chat about shoes, cooking, the town gossip or the weather. Neither would they try to solve the problem of poor education or healthcare in the country at a party. They don’t see a reason why they should be prepared for such topics, actually. Small talk seems a waste of time to them. When it comes to jokes, you need to be really funny to make them laugh. That doesn’t include the “banana-skin” sort of funny.

In addition to the above, we must keep in mind that often introverted people are more scared to socialise than others are insulted by their lack of socialising. That lady kept to the side not only because your topics are boring. Even when they are interesting, she might keep away. She is too self-conscious. She imagines that stepping closer will move a spot of light onto her, all eyes will be on her, and in their lame attempts to make her feel ‘at home’ people will stare and start interrogating her. That is exactly what it feels like – interrogation. However, introverted people don’t have ready answers for even the simplest questions, apart from, perhaps, their name, age, family status and job. They need to think, then they need to phrase and re-phrase, and re-think and re-phrase again. In short, they suck at promptness. To avoid all this, which might not take place, at all, they choose not to risk getting into the spotlight of attention.

I hope, more of us would find the time to think about that when we see someone looking or walking away just to avoid us.

Quotation Marks – Basic Punctuation and Peculiarities Rules

When writing I am most often puzzled by punctuation rules. That is why, whenever I think of this blogging topic, #WriterlyWednesday, I turn my view towards punctuation. Today’s matter of discussion is quotation marks, a.k.a. inverted commas. The use of quotation marks in English is a tough topic for me, not only because it’s different in my language, but also by the complexity and variety of cases that are present.

First of all, let me say how indignant I am at the fact that there are two types of quotation marks – single and double, and, of course, British and American English go completely opposite each other in the way these are used. There are also two names for the same thing, and namely, you can either call them “quotation marks” or “inverted commas”. Such diversity is unnecessary, IMHO. Let’s move on, though.

In British English, you would use the single quotation marks. They are very hard to see and distinguish, partly because they look like the apostrophe, and this is a good reason for me to give up using them after years of poor attempts. You see, I naturally go with the British English version of everything, but typing ‘said he’ quickly gave way to “said he”. Did you see that? Visibility and certainty that these commas are in fact marking a quotation.

The Americans use the double marks for the same cases. Why then the other marks exist? Very simply, they are used when you need to put some quotation inside the main quotation. This is also the reason why our language doesn’t need a second pair of quotation marks – we don’t put dialogue in inverted commas, so if we want to use them in dialogue, we simply use the normal ones.

One of the huge puzzles for me personally is where to put the full stop – inside or outside the quotation marks. No wonder, that also depends on whether it’s British or American English. In the latter, the full stop (which is called “period”) goes inside the marks. I prefer the logic of the British writing style, however, where it depends on whether the ending punctuation mark of a sentence is an integral part of the quote. Thus, if it isn’t, it will stay outside. Here is an example:

I wonder what would be an appropriate use of the phrase “point blank”.

Do you think he’ll say it’s “long overdue”?

See what I mean by logical? This is the way I use quotation marks. Where I step away from American style is the type of the marks – I tried to use single, but this simply doesn’t work with me, so I turned to double and plan to stick to them.
Do you follow the British or American style? Which one seems more intuitive for you?

The Future of Jobs

And the Jobs with no Future, or Who Will Work That?

As an HR, I’ve attended not one or two conferences where the future of jobs was discussed. Not only that, but I’ve also watched the news and read some articles of interests in various media that also dealt with how work and employment will develop and change in the near future.
First of all, most repetitive and monotonous jobs will be filled in by robots. We don’t imagine complicated androids with dreamy eyes, perfect skin and the ability to discern between good and evil, in addition, to express emotions and empathy. We have to imagine simple non-humanoid machines which execute operations and manipulations that don’t often need creativeness and intuition.

That leaves open the question of what will people do when they can’t execute such jobs. The answer: people will do other jobs. What other jobs? Answer: programming and maintaining the said robots.

We get to understand that there will not be people on cooking, cleaning, data entry, accounting, payroll, and other similar positions. Machines will be doing that. The people who are taking these jobs at present will be re-qualified to maintain the new workers. That notion poses several questions at least. Let’s start somewhere.

First, the educational systems and food industry are continuously producing half-witted adults, semi-intelligent at best. Children finish school hardly literate, they eat junk food and synthetic drugs are their best pals since early teenage. That may be a good thing if we aim at producing idiots who are easy to rule, control and kept in submission. Their addictions to good life, easiness and love of sensation make them an easy target. New adults are lesser and lesser human beings, much to the disappointment of thinkers of old.

Second, these future jobs although they sound cool because there is the word “robotics” in them, sound to me maintenance thing. The majority of these new positions will be simple repairing and adjustment stuff, not higher level coding, programming, design or creative projects. There will be creative jobs, naturally, but I don’t expect them to be so many. The rest? Instead of cooks and cleaners, the rest will be maintenance staff for robots. This doesn’t sound prestigious, for sure. Plus, when so many people do this, there is hardly a reason to consider the jobs anything exclusive or special.

Third, I don’t believe all people will be able to do jobs such as those described above. There is a reason some people end up as cleaners. I know, some law graduates choose that profession for themselves, but the majority of cleaners do it for lack of better options. And for lack of patience and study skills. That is one group – those with lower intellectual abilities. How will they do the engineering jobs? The other group are people of artistic inclinations – poets, musicians, artists, various performers, athletes. How can we expect the artistic mind to bend around mechanic and engineering thinking and action?

Thinking of all that, conclusions are hard to draw. Thinking of all that, I wonder what the future holds. Not that I’m personally curious. It’s just… that human thing I’m thinking about.

Small stone for 2nd January

I seem to remember having identical thoughts on the second day of the year. I usually check the weather, which is still fine; I try to come back to my regular sleeping habits, and I also think about having to go back to work on the following day. Here is my small stone for today:
~~
Slowly falling in
daily orderly routine.
No sleep or too much.

~~

Бавно се връщам
към ежедневието.
Сънят е проблем.
~~