Off-Grid Lifestyle: The Frustration with Growing Food

We all see them, the amazing how-to videos and articles about how to garden, how to grow your own food and how to be self-sustaining. Each one set against a backdrop of lush greenery full of an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Bees and butterflies flowing from flower to flower, providing pollen for the perfect honey hive off in the distance.

It reminds me of magazine covers! The perfect body in just three easy steps. And then you find out the supermodel suffered from eating disorders and drug and alcohol addictions for decades.

It’s fake if it doesn’t show the full picture.

We are a few months transitioning from urban to mountain terrain, moving upwards from growing zone 10 to growing zone 5 and its been frustrating.

Not only does it take GREAT levels of patience and adaptability, but I literally feel like I am war with the wildlife, the weather and the land.

It’s like my very own WWIII.

ME vs THEM, and I have no idea who ‘them’ is. A one woman army against 1,000 different enemies!

Some days, I am the windshield. Some days, I am the BUG

People who live in ‘perfect areas’ or who have access to excellent growing temperatures, rich soil and have the money to spend on materials for raised beds, bags of dirt (that shit isn’t cheap), who use pesticides and chemicals on their produce…these folks may have less of an understanding of the frustrations affiliated.

Think about it…

You live just 15-minutes from the nearest corporate building/farm and ranch store where the shelves and fenced yards are lined with lumber, bags of peat or chemical pest and rodent controls. You drive up, park, pick your plants and slap a credit card onto the counter. You have all of the items, from seeds to transplants, soil enhancements to fertilizers right at your fingertips.

These folks cannot imagine what living ofF of the land means when growing food.

You can’t simply pick up some fencing or netting to prevent wildlife from destroying your FOOD. You cannot grab a bottle of premixed spray or even have access to ‘common’ household items for a ‘mix your own’!

Unless you are a millionaire, receive a steady retirement check or are bankrolled by sponsors, there is simply no way you have unlimited funds to build an indoor hydroponic set up, or even the indoor space!!!

I have a 12” diameter medicinal Aloe-Vera plant that gets in the way and causes great irritation to my spouse because it takes up space in our tiny home. I cannot imagine putting a hydroponic indoor tower into our limited living conditions as well.

It’s been said, with enough money and enough time and space, anything is possible.

The reality of living a simple life is that many folks are trying to break free from the chains of the material world…full of money-driven goals and bigger, materialistic items.

YES, I need an indoor growing shelf for seedlings. But I don’t have one, and I don’t have access to one. I could build one but, have you ever lived in a home has that has large uneven rocks jutting from the wall, preventing anything being ‘flush’? It’s on my project list, a seedling starter shelf, but what about the more important projects and chores?

And common household items like NEEM oil? Seriously? Did I miss something, or does every household cabinet across the modern globe contain a bottle of cold-pressed organic neem oil? ‘Just order it from amazon’….I hope you get my point.

Neem oil is excellent on foliage for plants like squash, but do you want to spray it on kale, lettuce and other things you eat directly? It may also hurt honey bees, and I have a honey bee hive (that doesn’t look like those pretty ones you see in the videos and articles either!!!!). Not to mention, bees are necessary to pollinate our plants.

And then we have the seed stealing ant solution: sugar and borax! Yes, it is an excellent way to kill off the ants who steal freshly planted seeds, but it also attracts bees and hummingbirds…I’m not comfortable feeding borax my hummingbirds!

But I digress.

People offer a ton of unsolicited answers to your unique situation, your unique problems and experiences….and their answers have ZERO relevance to your unique situation. It’s as if they are bored, sitting on a laptop in their comfy city hole googling solutions!

Zone 10 folks telling zone 5 folks how to grow is a joke! Unless you have directly successfully grown food on a mountain side in zone 5, shut the hell up! Seriously people, you bring more harm to real folks trying to learn real methods!!! This is where I insert my eye roll.

I woke up this morning and realized something had totally snipped off the tips of my sprouting PEAS that I HAD protected WITH NETTING! I had gone out of my way and built them a safe covering. Their leaves just laying beside where the stems use to be.

They were only 1/4” in height, but now zero.

I was pissed…for a moment. I wanted to MURDER all animals and insects on the planet! Even the kangaroos were somehow responsible. Seriously, I could fully understand why people opt for using toxic chemicals that eradicate entire ecosystems, all for their crop! But I realized….how could I know, until I go now.

Kale leaves removed…he came back and finished his work

That’s why gardeners who have been gardening for YEARS, and are gardening today are the successful ones. They have experienced loss and found methods in their unique situation that work for them. They have learned to work with limited resources and to work from the land. Not pretty stained posts and thousands of dollars worth of hog wire they paid someone to haul up to their property!

But the frustration is real for first-year gardeners and first – time gardeners to a new location, a new zone and a new geography.

You can plant all the damned vegetables you want in a bucket on your balcony, cultivating a mindset of urban gardening. Yes, it’s necessary for sourcing your own food. But, you could also wake up one morning to find your entire tomato produce gone…it takes one unknown bird! ONE!

I remember last year, I had over 1,000 blueberries, all getting ready to ripen in a lot I had been growing for several years. And in one day, they were all gone – due to a mockingbird. All I wanted was blueberries. And she stole them ALL! I wanted to kill her….shoot her dead or put something toxic out for her to consume and kill her off and her babies too, whom I’m sure she was feeding!

But I had to reach inside. Deep inside. She was simply taking advantage of something I had provided for her…and failed to protect myself.

Lucifer the chipmunk

Here in my new space, I have been stripped of my seeds and seedlings on my patio garden. GONE! And the ones that did survive, I seem to awaken each morning to them being stolen by the pretty bird or the cute chipmunk!

Netted cage over hopeful spinach, kale and lettuce

ALL OF THEM!

Put up a net, they say.

Feed them and they will leave your food alone, they say.

Put mint, cayenne, cinnamon around your garden, they say.

And me, I’m new to the terrain, the experience, so I listen to the advice of the humane animal-loving folks…the ones who aren’t in my shoes, my growing space.

What I did was ended up doing was creating a damned nature spa for the rodents!

I’m NOT an animal-rights activist. Animals are good to eat, not trophies. With this I agree. If you kill most game, eat it, don’t mount it! That makes no sense to my soul…when people build trophy walls of head! But pest animals are just that…rodents, pests, demonic apparitions!

They aren’t cute if they destroy your food-source. Yes protect your food source, but how do you protect them if you have NO IDEA what it is you are dealing with?

Ninjas! Killing your harvest when you sleep…or at least, not looking. You do it by trial and error.

I actually have heard the advice to buy a .22 and shoot the rodents. I guess a professional level sniper stake-out is somehow appropriate for some weirdos, but NOT me. It’s too damned cold to sleep outside for days in prone position to pop off a round into a cute demonic ninja! Plus, I’ve got shit to do.

And then we have the WIND!

Surprise windstorms of 50 mph gusts while you sleep, only to wake up to dried up leaves and dead branches!

You should have _________ (brought them in, covered them up, put them in a shed, built a greenhouse…etc). Insert advice…this is where I insert my second extreme eye roll!

You are right…carry a 500 lb bucket of seed potatoes into my cabin and basically put them on the bed with me to keep them safe?

Why don’t YOU come take care of that for me? Or maybe you have an entire closet of unused sheets in your linen closet to cover cover them up? Hmmmm….oh wait, you live in a 3 bedroom 2 bath home with 2 car garage with access to those items.

I guess you are beginning to see my own unique struggle? And yes, the struggle is mine. It is as unique and I am. That’s not to say I ignore advice, but it is from the wise and the experienced to whom I seek assistance. It is from those with a hand in the soil in my zone or who is currently or has recently solved a similar problem. It is from all perspectives, from spiritual to practical.

I’m a Viking and am single-handedly fighting an army of trained NINJAS!

SO….What have I done so far that HAS worked in this war?

Trying to build a Taj Mahal-sized greenhouse is currently in the works. This will provide protection for our future. But for the now, we have to grow our garden for food.

The Taj-Mahal

Temporary success has been found by staking mini-fortress teepees around the new, vulnerable green growth to prevent bigger predators such as birds and chipmunks.

Kale taking hold in the soil

To save money, we use a 5-gallon water bucket, 3/4 full of water with a small bit of PVC pipe set over the top, and an empty can with both ends roved placed over the pipe. This can is covered in peanut butter.

The rodents scale the pipe like a high wire to get to the peanut butter, and when they get on the can, it rotates and the rodent falls into the water. This has been a highly successful and inexpensive way of taking care of rodents….apparently they love peanut butter, are not bright and they can’t swim!

Rodent trap

Most rodents can maneuver under the netting I put up, even tear through it….And no…I don’t want to use a ‘have a heart’ trap…unless of course YOU want to mail me one and then I’ll be honored to use it.

People have all the advice and the answers, but zero real solutions!

Growing in pots off the ground has helped exponentially. All of my vibrant and prolific greens are in huge reclaimed pots set at least 2-3 feet off of the ground. They require daily attention in terms of water.

A light mist of 1 T Neem Oil (I ordered from Amazon and it took 3 weeks to arrive at my post office box and another week to get down the mountain to pick it up), 1 tsp Castile soap and 1.5 gallons of water has actually kept the bugs off of the foliage.

My respect goes out to the organic farmers who don’t have a lot of money or access to precut wood and fancy fencing materials, who don’t use chemicals or even have access to store bought natural products and who have learned over years of adaptation and successful harvests how to maneuver and work with the land.

My respect goes out to the woman who planted 50 young plants, only to find them all gone the next morning because a chipmunk or ground squirrel was hungry.

My husband will not let me spend $19 on a bag of DE to keep ants and other bugs from crawling into my garden…he says NO and I have to respect him because we are a team.

Growing your own food is NOT an easy venture! I will figure it out and will continue to use what works for me. Sure, if you are willing to send me the expensive traps or natural products, I will be happy to accept your gift! Or if you want to send me the money to purchase the products, I’ll gladly take that as well! Otherwise, real solutions to real issues are the only acceptable items.

But unless you have real solutions, you have to remember not everyone is in your shoes.

Not in lifestyle, not in fitness and training and NOT in gardening and growing your own food.

My grandmother use to hand-pick squash bugs off her 15-20 squash plants every evening. She used gasoline in a coffee can held under wasp nests to remove the wasps. But what I don’t remember is where she obtained her plants! Did she grow them from seeds? She didn’t have a greenhouse. I just don’t know. So her wisdom in growing food only comes from the tilling and the harvesting. Maybe she sprayed chemicals on the plants. I know there was blue powder rings around the bottoms of them that we weren’t allowed to touch. I know I saw dusted leaves, coated with some powder. I don’t think that was organic by any means.

To grow your own genuinely healthy organic food?

I commend you and respect you beyond. Because your wisdom is not based on what’s in a bag or spray bottle. It comes from YEARS of adapting and learning what works for YOU in YOUR ZONE and SITUATION.

Growing your own organic (chemical and pesticide free, non-destructive to the ecosystem) is quite a respectable feat. Free from miracle grow. Free from man-made fertilizers. Free from mass produced fencing and netting made in a massive factory in some other country.

*NO! ESSENTIAL OILS do NOT repel ants! Someone suggested Neem and eucalyptus with a little Castile soap.

*NO! MINT, garlic and cayenne do not repel chipmunks. Neither does setting out something for them to eat.

Today’s strategy? I guess it’s figuring out how to naturally kill leaf cutters!

How do YOU ORGANICALLY, WITHOUT CHEMICALS and NON-ORGANIC SOAPS, CHEMICAL PRODUCTS, EXPENSIVE TRAPS or FENCING SYSTEMS grow a prolific organic FOOD garden? How do you grow from the land?

I would love to hear!!!

BALANCE: Why the Toxic Masculine Dominates the Energy of the Planet

Toxic masculinity is in abundance these days. It is leading the decisions and behaviors of every community and every nation. It is present in marriages, partnerships, educational experiences, work relations and even in the wellness community.

It’s obsessive. It’s perfection. It’s black and white. It’s unemotional. It’s without compassion. It’s betrayal. It’s addiction. It’s power through status, looks, money, possessions and sex. It is misogyny, rape, objectification, control and domination.

Toxic masculinity is the HUNT and the KILL, in the absence of the honoring the life taken. It’s mounting the trophy as a win.

Toxic masculinity is revealed through the degradation of another due to their lack of skill, lack of assets and by the comparison to others. It is the absence of seeing the whole instead of the labels placed on the parts.

As I was reading this morning from a newly released book, I thought WOW, what truth in these words!

Men do not have access to healing guides or mentors to help them out of their toxic masculinity. They seek misguided energy! They either align with feminine traits and become helpless victims, incapable, weak and dependent or they rely on other men from their childhood, their fake friendships and so-called leaders as guides to what being a man means.

In fact, many children don’t have a positive masculine energy in their life at all! They grew up with an absent father or even a toxic masculine step-dad. Or worse, they experienced great physical and emotional abuse at the hands of their own mother. Maybe their parent was a drunk, a womaniser or abusive, and their mother was submissive and weak. Who knows, as the reality is different for all.

But one thing is steady, it is all about validation.

Without a sense of wholeness, without self-love, there is an outsourcing of validation that occurs in relationships. Too often, we choose not to build ourselves up internally and, like addicts, search out opportunities to be validated by those surrounding us- DW

It is valid to appreciate expressions of support from our partners and best friends, even complete strangers at times. We all need a little encouragement and support at certain junctures of life.

However, an individual who craves this validation, attention and approval, whether consciously or subconsciously, is dangerous to their own growth and success. They also become the Achilles heel of their own empowerment and self-worth.

Unfortunately, they can also damage the entire span of relationships they have ever had, creating diseased connections that may never cease. It’s akin to a deadly plague that spreads to others unknowingly before it is detected, affecting generations to come.

You cannot achieve self-worth; you cannot value your journey, your growth and your strength THROUGH THE APPROVAL OF OTHERS.

You are not ‘approved’ through winning first place, lifting heavy weights, having a perfect project to display or completing a task in a timely manner.

Your post LIKES, subscriptions and followers DO NOT define the individual soul within YOU!

There is no higher spot in ascension for being a straight-A student or having fucked 100 young bar girls. There is no crown, no sword or silken robe awarded to the one with the best car, the sexiest profile picture or even the biggest tits. You don’t receive an exclusive opportunity to speak to the crowd to share your trophy wall successes or to boast of the 500 former lovers who you still have as friends on your social media!

There is NO honor in domination.

In fact, I have discovered that those who worry about their ‘status’ are the ones who worry about their friends-list on social media. Usually at the sacrifice of their own connections with their husband, their wife or their intimate partner.

There seems to be a correlation to the individual who seems to express their approval via ‘LIKES’ or APPROVALS for an individual based upon their looks or their display of strength (especially in the absence of lifting up their own intimate relationships up to the same level) and their own need for validation.

An aligned masculine is outwardly loyal to the beloved, even if it means releasing others. It’s weeding the garden. He is attentive to the beloved, even if it means ignoring others. It’s watering and feeding the garden. He is careful not to step on or break the stems, even if it means he has to think about what matters. It’s tending to the garden.

The garden is constant work.

The toxic masculine calls it ‘being nice’ or supportive of others, and of course there is validity in this statement. Sure, they may think they are offering support via ‘likes’ of another, buy the INTENT behind the approval is often the attempt to seek out a reciprocal approval…their own validation and to keep that validation going.

What would their EX-wife think if they spoke their truth?

What would their EX-boyfriend or that guy they use to know think if they unfriended him?

The balanced masculine doesn’t care what they would think!

The balanced masculine would remove the pest without concern and without negativity. The balanced masculine understands HOW the battlefield works and that he must treat his own troops, his own tribe, his own circle MUCH BETTER than someone from the past, someone who was a temporary guide in his life, a coach, a teacher, whose job is complete.

Respect for yourself and your inner circle makes it easy to remove those individuals from your life and your space who do NOT BRING GROWTH to you both as an individual and as a couple of authenticity.

If it brings conflict, it needs to go. It’s that simple.

Yet, the out of balance masculine CLINGS to every ounce of validation he can. Every voice from the past to whom he use to connect with because of the corded energies between them, positive or negatively charged.

Every opinion, from the first lover in their life to the certification or degree they hold to the intention of getting ‘it out there’. The balanced masculine doesn’t hold onto these things. He genuinely has no concern for the energies of the past because they do not plague him.

What creates this toxicity?

The single emotion of FEAR drives toxicity when it’s ignored or even allowed to be in charge. Most fears are spawned by the combination of perceived judgment of another and being unaware of one’s own intuition.

To be AWARE of your own fears, your own loneliness, your own insecurities and your own weaknesses IS TRUE STRENGTH. Moreover, it is a very powerful expression of authentic balanced masculine energy!

When you are aware, you are now responsible and are able to make SELF-healing decisions and honor your own boundaries of integrity!

A truly authentic warrior.

Awareness and responsibility open up the door for creative shifting, facing the fears with an individual redirection from emotional reaction to an authentic heartfelt response that grows HIMSELF.

Instead of bowing up and asserting dominance through his need for LIKES, COMPETITION, SHOWING OFF, YELLING, CONTROL, MANIPULATION, CRITICISM, SEXUALITY, ISOLATION or even ABUSE (walking out, stonewalling, gaslighting, violence, etc), which are all traits of the out of balance masculine and all open up the opportunity for shadow behaviors such as betrayal of a relationship, alcoholism, addictions, the ‘need’ for pornography, gambling, emotional ranting, abuse, rape and other displays of toxic masculinity, the aware masculine embraces the feelings of fear and heals all of these.

They honor the presence of their own insecurities about not being validated or the fear of messing up or looking bad on camera or stage. They work within to understand why they feel lonely despite having a beautiful home, a loving family, a loyal wife and a financially successful job.

They hold space for their perceived weaknesses instead of trying to cover them up with their faux strengths!

THAT is POWER! THAT is STRENGTH! THAT is MASCULINE!

How is the toxic masculine empowered to spread their toxicity?

I love the example given in the book about the man in the bar; the one with a little liquid courage coursing though his veins.

He exerts himself with pick up lines and overt compliments of an individual’s physical attributes.

He migrates to a certain age-group, a level of vulnerability or the sad story so he appears strong and powerful.

He tries to connect with them, often in a covert predatory way such that he actually covers up truth with a fake sense of compassion.

He tries to come onto women or act sensitive and be an ear understanding, to gain validation.

He comments on their beauty or what they deserve in their life or even what HE can offer them.

RED FLAGS!

We’ve all seen him. Many of us have sat in the back and made fun of him at some point. Some of us have been approached by him, even entertained him to some degree and many have fallen prey to him or have even used him for our own personal gains and benefits, albeit financial, status or to save us.

But for him, it is all an outward expression of his own insecurities of being weak; not enough!

An enlightened feminine individual SEES this, sometimes even before it happens. They may kindly say ‘no thanks’ or even enact their warrior boundaries and sometimes, harsh rejections. Not to harm, but to hold their position of self-honor. The healed feminine in an enlightened person says with their energy “I see you have your own issues and I hope you heal, but I value my own growth enough to not let you spread toxicity.”

Conversely, a feminine energy who is out of balance, an individual who is numb to truth or even the fearful and insecure, may embolden his advances because she hasn’t tapped into her own masculinity and is unable to recognize these demons and shadows. Or maybe she is fearful and unprepared to fight for herself and her values.

I have been that woman, especially in my younger years. I know what it felt like for me as my fear of speaking up at these older men suppressed my VOICE; my authentic voice of self-love and self-protection. I also know that hundreds of women that I know have experienced the same thing….it is REAL!

It was only into my older years as I grew myself in authenticity did I begin to see this pattern of enabling within myself hurting myself and the enabling of the toxic masculinity linked to the men in my life. I couldn’t change these insecure and toxic masculine individuals, but I could now stand up to them and erect my boundaries of protection.

My JOB wasn’t to make them FEEL VALID in their toxic selves. It’s no one’s job but their own. If anything, my feminine alignment was a reflection to them! I triggered them when I stood up or spoke up! They were infuriated, said I didn’t care or even twisted my stand as an expression of what they were at their sole…toxic. But I no longer cared what they thought of me.

I didn’t HAVE to listen to their gaffaws of self-importance or their fake sensitivities towards me or my suffering as a means to receive validation in some form, or even their aggressive and drunken advances trying to touch me, or call me beautiful or trying to gain intel into my life…..and further gain access to me by getting my phone number or securing a future meet up or even interacting with me on social media!

FUN FACT: FaceBook is the number one cause of divorce these days because people ALLOW inappropriate conversations and behaviors to take place, including scrolling through profiles and liking photos, all that disrespect their own spouses. Conversations with EX-boyfriends and girlfriends. Liking photos of someone else…a model, a celebrity or even an attractive younger person who isn’t part of your lives. It’s opened the door to allow even more toxic and out of balanced negativity to thrive!

I began to realize the toxic masculinity before it even approached! I didn’t have to ‘tolerate’ their sexual aggression or dick measuring with one another. I didn’t have to listen to feed their ego. I could SEE the weakness and toxicity immediately.

The man that bows up or proclaims superiority.

The man that slams a fist on the table in finality or says I’M DONE talking or being around you…and walks out.

The man that speaks ill, is irritated or is silent around his own wife, leaving her feeling like she did something WRONG, but then who speaks kind or with a smile to another man’s wife, bringing greater pain to his own wife.

The man that shows off or seeks approval from strangers but is harshest on the one who loves him; who is loyal to him.

The man that says MUCH and claims to know MUCH, but his actions towards authentic LOVE of self and unconditional love of his partner and his children are not congruent.

Unfortunately, the imbalanced and toxic feminine seeks out these traits and the conflict begins. The relationship suffers because toxicity aligned with anything or any part is caustic to the WHOLE.

The toxic masculine NEEDS the toxic feminine!

They need a dependent, a silent and small companion to feed their boisterous, flirty and grandeous, yet fragile ego!

The toxic masculine REQUIRES submission to their methods, their ways and their control.

They silence, or what I call KILL OFF, the shine of their authentic partner through humiliation, aggression, dominance and abuse. They make ex-parte decisions, do things to validate their existence and then fight when their partner shares similar expressions. They have rules and processes to follow, looks to maintain and videos or selfies to post for LIKES!

The world is about THEM and THEIR validation. Not genuinely about how the other might feel.

A toxic feminine energy will embolden them, and will take their side and agree. They will dull their own shine and skills and talents to let the toxic masculine shine!

This is why we SEE so many NARCISSISTIC/ WOUNDED EMPATH relationships. The toxic masculine meets the toxic feminine.

But….

The authentic feminine is a direct THREAT to the toxic masculine because she challenges him NOT through a fight, but through standing her ground for her own value.

The authentic feminine knows when to call upon her authentic masculine side to set boundaries. She knows when to be silent and when to speak ‘enough’. She knows when to walk away, not out of anger, like the toxic masculine, but out of love and protection for herself and her vulnerability. Her own emotional safety.

But, she returns and loves unconditionally.

She doesn’t NEED his money, his strength, his perceived power or even his looks; she doesn’t need his virility, bedroom stamina, accomplishments or his trophy wall; she doesn’t require him to be perfect or the best at anything. In fact, she would often prefer his humility over his ego. His affection over his prowess. His compassion over his roar.

She wants him capable to carry her, if need be! Not gain the approval of that one girl who shows an interest or to show compassion for someone else at her sacrifice. NO!

She knows unconditional love and holds space for his growth, sometimes sitting on the bench like watching her child try to be the cutest kid on the playground. When he throws a tantrum, she scoops him up kicking and screaming, until he calms down.

This inwardly challenges the toxic masculine because he knows no other way to behave! He’s a temperamental child who is seeking validation and doesn’t even realize it. All he knows is fake and shallow. The intermittent reward of being persistent in finding a ‘pearl’ of validation is now challenged beyond by someone who will not tolerate his toxicity and he doesn’t know if he can handle it!

His friends, father, brothers and uncles all taught him to dominate! To win. To fight. To fuck everything. The toxic masculinity taught him that yelling and having the ‘last word’ was the way to being A MAN! A toxic error in and of itself.

He was taught that his tears and softness, except during sex, were signs of weakness. He was taught that HE is allowed to be quiet and all others must too be quiet. He was taught that any ANY expression of emotion equates to weakness.

The toxic masculine believes a crying partner is a weak partner or that a partner who feels something or is overly emotional is too much, and therefore should be LEFT on their own to deal and get right.

He is so enmeshed with this own toxicity that he believes it to be OK! He thinks his shadows behaviors are what it means to be authentic, when it truth, it’s what his mind has created as acceptance.

Go. Fight. Win. Dominate.

No matter what you do.

The authentic feminine is his most accurate reflection!

An authentic feminine won’t tolerate a ‘fuck it or fight it’ mentality. She won’t acclimate to his beliefs, even if she is silent! She won’t FIGHT him or play dominant with him.

The toxic masculine likes to fight and she knows It. It emboldens him in his toxicity.

She won’t tolerate him being without boundaries, flirting with others or connecting to old lovers, even as ‘old friends’. She recognizes he at one point was intimate with these individuals and she deserves to be respected fully in the relationship! She won’t tolerate or dismiss his lying by omission about these women either! Not because she is jealous and genuinely fears losing him, but because she knows integrity and what is necessary to create a sacred garden of authenticity! She knows it creates inner work and loving the self and those in your circle fully and authentically BEFORE you can connect others. It emboldens him in his toxicity if she does.

She won’t tolerate his salty side in the absence of his sweet. She will challenge him into being soft and intimate. Sexually and sensually connected to her and her ONLY! She will trigger him into affection and a love of himself, for her and even if children and animals. He can hold a baby with love and compassion whereas a toxic man will hold a baby in discomfort or disgust or hand them back if they pee or cry.

An authentic feminine will NOT enable his toxicity as ‘just being a man’ or it’s just who he is. NOT EVEN FOR A MOMENT.

She will help him heal all that he learned from the toxic men in his past and become a more balanced, loving, connected and in- tune partner! She will be patient if she sees his growth! Because she is authentic, she will know his soul and his ability to climb out of the mud and the muck of the toxic masculinity!

…or she will walk away from him if he isn’t willing to heal.

The authentic masculine and the authentic feminine are the highest energy that resides within is all!

It is an expression of love for self, compassion for the innocent child within and the ability to set boundaries against those who infiltrate the peace.

You can love and hold the baby chick and still use it’s grown mother for food!

You can show tears and compassion, vulnerability and vocabulary of kindness and understanding to your beloved BUT can draw a sword and swiftly rid your space of the negative energies who bring conflict to the sacred space of the union.

Are you balanced and aligned with your authentic feminine and authentic masculine?

The Dark Triad: A Game of Power, Status and Self-centered Perspectives

Are you following narcissistic views?

As an expert in understanding the DARK TRIAD of personalities and their underlying roots, I have come to a space of acceptance for their existence, although this in no way implies I approve of them within my soul’s home or my personal and sacred space.

It simply means I honor all people for their innate traits and unique journey through this life and that I personally have the ultimate power to set my own boundaries to protect myself from their harm.

I will passively observe and move on, until their existence is within my space. And then I listen with curiosity; compassion for their struggle that they CANNOT and will

I can see through to the soul and find clarity in their truth. To be triggered by them or to all them to bring me harm is a direct reflection myself and my own need to heal. Each person I truly see is a reflection of me in some way.

The Dark Triad is their curse of darkness. Their own karmic energy manifest in this life. It is their burden, and has nothing to do with me. However, I have a CHOICE to give them my power or to reclaim it for myself.

I am often saddened by the ease in which their charisma and charm, their beauty and confidence seems to lure in the masses who GENUINELY BELIEVE their message. These folks are cunning, masterful and artistic in their approach. They are masters of illusion and expert weavers of secrecy, lies and twists. They are champion deflectors, turning attention and blame towards others as a means of taking it from themselves.

They are arrogant, but hide behind their charming or confident shell. A shell that, when broken, activates the darkest of dark.

Maybe the message, advice or information they speak has some validity, but if you dig, usually just below the surface, you will find their truth. Read how they respond to any dissenting comments or contradictory statements. You will often find name calling, humiliation and blame.

I’m not saying we won’t ever experience something or someone who will trigger us into a space of reaction. It happens! In fact, for some of us who walk the line of personal truth and freedom, it is a constant to witness:

*Name calling (both in jest and overt) *Attempts to discredit or demean *Having to respond with argument, retaliation and yelling. *Blaming, both direct and filtered *Humiliation, especially via plausible deniability *Walking out or shutting off comments or blocking AFTERWARD

But it is through the reaction of these personalities where the consistent patterns reveal themselves. I say again: consistent patterns.

When I follow a lead or research a methodology or system, I try to do so with a child-like curiosity. This means listening and asking genuine questions with a curious energy and focused attention. I don’t allow my own perceptions to put confusion or judgment in the driver’s seat, but rather, wonderment and love for their soul DESPITE the message they are bringing being littered with conflicting sentiments.

But sometimes, even if a portion of their message is valid, I find their energy to be so misaligned that I cannot subscribe to their message because, well, it’s bound by a thin protective barrier of “Its my way only”. And for me, I refuse to allow myself to be sucked into their dark spiral of selfish and righteous beliefs…EVEN IF THEY SEEM KNOWLEDGEABLE OR CHARMING!

So, I believe that we as a student of this life have a responsibility to ourself, our own growth and healing first and foremost. It is up to us individually to establish a foundation of self-love, self-respect and inner peace before we go looking to others for answers. Why? Because the answers are already inside of you!!!

There will be guides along your path and synchronistic experiences and encounters to remind you of your journey, but there will also be individuals and views that trigger you, sometimes into such a rage that you feel that for the good of all, you MUST RESPOND; you MUST DEFEND. This will only end in an escalation of toxic arrows, and can even disrupt harmony with others.

Often, this is reflective of the Dark Triad. It reveals the reality that some individuals are misaligned, improperly wired and possibly prefer to be callous and not genuinely concerned with the well-being of others, ESPECIALLY if the others don’t believe the same as them!

What is the Dark Triad?

In general, it is a triangle of THREE anti-social personality disorders that reveal high probability for negative issues, conflict and criminal activity.

This triad is known for causing severe ‘problems’, such as conflict and distrust within a tribe, social structure and relationship, and is indicative of social distress in some capacity.

When an individual within the Dark Triad are in entrepreneurial roles, are leaders or hosts of their own YouTube channels, professional business, authors of books, and other forms of creativity of messages, you will often witness their desire to create problems for others, albeit an organization or discredit an individual or a way of life.

Even those who proclaim ‘spiritual ascension’ or preach messages of shifting and transformation, they can hold a ‘with me or against me’ level of energy that has nothing to do with their message, and one that most followers are unable to see because they are hooked on the individual’s aesthetics such as confidence in their message, vanity, revealing their body parts and other traits. It’s as though their own shadows KNOW that sexualizing their message will increase their views and subscribers, gain them the attention they need to feel a sense of power and create a bubble kingdom from where they can rule.

However, when the bubble is threatened or popped, the truth is often revealed.

Within the Dark Triad, you will often see:

Lack of compassion for others

Lack of being agreeable, especially to anyone who doesn’t agree

Lack of empathy/understanding for others

Underlying truths of these individuals are they are:

-Often dissatisfied with their own ‘present’ life, and therefore NEED validation from an audience or a following to make the FEEL important. However, if you ask them, they will confidently express they are satisfied, are at peace AND will outwardly discredit anyone who is not congruent or in alignment with their message.

-Frequently display, either verbally or in retaliatory/reactive commenting that is full of hate and not boundaries, a lack of emotional intelligence to dissenting or opposing viewpoints, opinions and even challenges to their opinions even if these are expressed through compassion and love. An opposing view almost instantly sets them into a state of retaliation, reaction and they are predictably triggered into words, trying to BRING SOMEONE ELSE into play as the cause. I’ve heard these individuals use humiliation, conviction and even the common terms below as a means of deflection towards opposing opinions:

-People are making psychic attacks against me/trying to discredit me

-(x) is manipulating your mind and is fake/false (…in response for doing the same work, just in a different method)

-money is a tool and those who don’t have it are just jealous (this directly ties into their appearance, looks, status and attention)

Their following or support is often widespread, usually based upon their physical appearance or the confidence in their message….even IF RESEARCH REVEALS they are doing it all FOR THE DOLLAR!

This is why I often research deeper into ANYONE whose message I resonate with and choose to bring into my personal soul space or home. I did a little research recently into a spiritual individual who was asking for money for her message, only to find her profession was ‘Internet marketing’. When a person feels called to service, they don’t ask for anything in return.

A personal story of mine relative to this, as I use to follow, at least partially follow a leader in muscle development and training. I believed his methodology to a certain extent, and even shared it with my own clients. It was after about 7 years of apply his techniques and skills to my own training and client programming did I find out he was an abusive, repeatedly cheating Machiavellian Narcissistic whose rise to power and fame was NOT to help others (and he has millions of followers), but a pattern of self-centered greedy steps where he held no emotional concern for the well-being of others.

His empire was built on hurting others.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen this in every facet of the wellness and growth industry, because these individuals NEED THE VULNERABILITY, WEAKNESS and FEAR of others to meet their goals and benchmarks. But most of all, to empower and embolden them.

Their messages are often based on non-disclosed ‘sources’, intel or even self-serving studies…all information that fully supports their message because, in this triad, they are the superstar and genuinely FEEL THEY ARE THE WAY; the one who has all of the answers. Their following is their intel!

The Dark Triad consists of:

Narcissism

Psychopathy

Machiavellianism

Let’s start off with the Psychopath.

This individual is often selfish and callous. They don’t typically FEEL remorseful for their actions and behaviors, although many have been conditioned to apologize because they know it makes things right again and helps them feed their selfishness. They are often unemotional, without any, or very little feelings for others. In fact, the further out of their circle that serves them, the less emotion affiliated. However, some have no emotional empathy at all; only an understanding of how they may feel about a situation (angry, sad).

Their egos lead the way, even though they will VERBALLY tell you and try to convince you their egos do not lead the way.

They are impulsive and reactive, even spirts of BOLD and BRAZEN acts. They are frequently manipulative to get what they want, as they are self-serving.

Statistics show a significant portion of prisoners score high in traits affiliated with PSYCHOPATHIC personality disorder, and are often incarcerated more than once for their crimes, obstinacy, discipline issues and often violence such as physical fighting.

They are often at high risk of substance abuse, especially starting at younger ages!

Psychopaths most often reveal an abusive or traumatic life before the age of 4, indicating that abuse in the family and traumatic experiences in very early childhood can ignite this corner of the Triad.

The greatest concern is they genuinely lack the understanding of how their selfish beliefs and behaviors impact others in the grand scheme of their bubble. They see themselves in self driven ways, although many try to SPEAK (not feel) or SHOW compliance, apologies, recourse and understanding as these things are a learned response to help keep them out of conflict.

Psychopaths tend to operate on impulse, whether through lack of planning or a sudden get up and go energy. In summary, they are callous, impulsive, unaware of others feelings/opinions/choices, unaware of consequences of their choices and have a high prevalence in conflict and aggressive criminal behaviors such as assault.

Machiavellian personality is a little different from the psychopath, although it can overlaps with the others in the triangle.

These individuals are cold and callous, however they are intentionally calculating and manipulative. They are callous in their actions and will step on people in order to achieve their goals, even if stepping on them harms them!

Everyone and everything in their world is disposable for their existence.

One of the KEY differences is they have a blatant disregard for morality.

Machiavellian individuals are commonly found amongst elitists and the dark energy circles of corporate leaders, politicians, religious leaders and others who are self proclaimed leadersThey are often affiliated with sex scandals, child pornography, sex trafficking, cults where sexual or torturous acts are part of the standards, drug trafficking, selling of arms illegally, strip clubs and other immoral moral acts and behaviors. They are the perfect example of CULT leaders who have massive followings, high-priced seminars and a LOT of untold stories of inner abuse and torture from former ‘members’.

I’ve know several of these individuals in my life and their charm is so alluring that even the most diligent of individuals find themselves being held underwater before they known it.

They are often not agreeable or conscientious, although their CHARM dictates otherwise. In fact, it’s their charm and charisma hat seems to draw people in

The master of manipulation, these individuals! The ultimate in evil.

Finally, we have the Narcissist, which is the most commonly ‘tossed around’ accusation and proclaimed diagnosis, usually in an attempt to DEFLECT onto others a label who may simply possesses a few affiliated traits.

Again, as with the other two in the Triad, you will see that some traits of a narcissistic may overlap the traits of a psychopath or a Machiavellian individual.

Narcissism is DIFFERENT than healthy self-love and self protection, but can sometimes be misused as a weapon of accusation when someone is practicing healthy self-love, especially in relationships! In fact, when a person stands up for their personal boundaries within their own business or personal space, they are often called ‘narcissistic’ or told they have ‘narcissistic traits’….most often said by a true narcissist.

THIS is key to understanding the narcissist! The narcissist does NOT want anyone to speak against them. They cannot engage in healthy debate, nor are they able to tolerate different perspectives and methods without being critical or sarcastic. They are incapable of respectful relationships, even though the pretend to empower others.

It is also necessary to say that a narcissist is NOT the same as someone who is ego-centric, although the ego plays a significant role in a narcissistic personality. An individual who is ego-centric operated from their personal ‘feel good’ principal whereas a narcissist must be the center of attention, the prettiest, the best dressed, the know it all…they MUST be seen only in a positive light and accepted, liked, embraced and validated for their message and life.

When a narcissist is all these things, they are charming, jovial and affectionate. The world loves them and it shows. BUT challenge them and they will turn to humiliation, degradation and condemnation!

It is believed that a true narcissist subconsciously views his life as a PERFORMANCE, or something that is OVER once we move on from a scene.

Kind of like a play! When the act is over, it’s over. That’s why relationships with narcissistic individuals are so challenging. They can wake up the next day after they were overtly mean to their partner and act like nothing happened!

They are often accurately seen as being one, all or several of the following:

-Having to be in charge, make the decisions on the structure of something and hold authority or the final say (even if it’s just verbally saying ‘well, I would do it this way’), however, Because a narcissistic individual doesn’t want to make themselves appear this way, they may pretend to take the back seat, even though their INSIDE voice is speaking assaults against the one really in charge

-Having an air of superiority over others, either in small ways such as making sure others SEE their performance (Look at me! I’ve got 5,000 FB FRIEND/LIKES/SUBS) and when it receives validation, they draw a sense of ‘see, I know what I’m doing’. They may even draw attention by humiliating or making fun of someone else’s expressions.

This is a very common overt trait, as these individuals often speak in their defense ‘I was just kidding’ when deploying their truth again you.

There is a great deal of arrogance and righteousness in these folks, and they will try to align with a side or outwardly discredit someone else through manipulative ways. They NEED validation, even if they say they don’t.

-Having a sense of being self-absorbed and constantly admiring the self in ways that are vain, even obsessive. These individuals are more reflective of the selfie-takers whose FB Page is selfie after selfie after selfie, especially is highly grand, sexual or attractive poses. Being so obsessed with YOUR path and your path only, your perspectives, your believes, your methods, your practice and your looks and features, NOT wanting anyone to ever question you or even come across as questioning….that is a great depiction of this trait.

-Having a tendency to want to be exploitive of others, especially who aren’t in agreement with you and having a strong sense of entitlement and deserving a ‘piece of the pie’. These types often hide out in FB commenting sections. They will ‘call you out’ if they don’t agree with your perspective, often with joking humor (which is their way of asserting their entitlement to opine) or through DIRECT argument!

This is NOT to be confused with someone who is protecting their heartfelt message of truth, integrity and respect. But again, folks who do stand up against narcissistic individuals are OFTEN labelled a narcissist by the narcissist in the HEAT.

If you want to test this theory, tell someone IN A HEATED moment they are triggered by your words. They will often immediately turn it around in you and tell you that YOU are triggered.

Of course, they exist in every office, every gym and every home as well. If you disagree or speak a dissenting statement, they will pull up your past, or try to expose something you have done. They will even focus on twisting the innocence of your truth into making it all about them.

As you can see, many folks may hold a trait of narcissism periodically, but it is the consistent, regular, daily practice of these traits that reveal truth.

They are ALWAYS the victim and righteous if their opinion or belief is challenged. They are often prone to STONEWALLING people, or just cutting them off and cutting them out as a means of punishment (I’m going to walk out of your life and you will suffer without me!). This is frequently expressed by phrases like ‘I’M DONE with you’ and they will walk away and walk out.

This is different from self-protection, when you are being yelled at or degraded by a narcissist, which the narcissist will often blame you for narcissism if you set boundaries with compassion and self protection.

You cannot criticize a narcissist, as they will instantly combat you! They do NOT like to be challenged. They do not like to listen to your perspective. They do not want to hear your opinions.

This is because they don’t CARE about what you feel or say unless it SUPPORTS their opinion. They believe they are perfect, and require no change,so any different perspectives will be viewed as an attack on their ‘subconscious’ perfection.

Statement: I think fake eyebrows/eyelashes are so unattractive!

Normal/healthy response: They are definitely getting out of hand these days but I enjoy getting mine done. The individual ten continues to live their life on their terms without any combative comment.

Narcissistic response: You are just jealous lol! I guess because you choose to be ‘plain jane’, everyone else should too! My man loves my eyebrows and eyelashes! Haters gonna hate!

The narcissist felt personally attacked and criticized, even if the statement was NOT targeted towards them. They are defensive and combative, Sometimes through humor, sarcasm or a direct response.

They like to minimize another’s humbled or vulnerable performance/ideas by pointing out flaws, or getting irritated or even slightly combative. They are unaware that others have boundaries and will constantly cross those boundaries, blaming the boundary setter for being too sensitive.

Another example of personal experience was the day I chose to tell someone I really appreciated them in my life, but I felt a little uncomfortable about how they behaved around my spouse and that my spouse had expressed concerns as well. It took me WEEKS to collect the right words and methods to share this information of truth.

I had become vulnerable and open with this person. Maybe even too much, because I turned to her when I was feeling hurt or my spouse and I had conflict and I needed an ear. I genuinely had opened up my heart to her, which was why it was going to be challenging to share our discomfort.

I was very careful to choose non-stacking words, and following an inappropriate interaction, I explained to her with an intent of honesty and love that I felt hurt when she acted this way.

She took everything I had ever told her and twisted it around into an attack on me. She said hateful things about me and my husband…and then she just walked out, blocked us and never spoke to us again.

This individual revealed many traits of a narcissist.

Think of the narcissist as the individual who has all of the answers to the world’s problems, has the highest level of experience (whether education or ‘the school of life), knows how to DO IT and even pretends to lend a sense of autonomy to others but them criticized them and their methods…..even if you didn’t ASK them for their help, their opinion or their perspective.

So back to the original purpose of this article….are you following narcissistic views?

Are you aligning with someone who pretends to know everything or who is an ‘expert’ or uses ‘science’ or ‘data’ as the only way?

Are you aligning with someone who speaks your language, but who has dark secrets of manipulation or worse, publicly speaks against another because their opinion or perspective and methods were different (ie…you are a fake guide because you held a protest in this manner…or you are a threat because you don’t believe this person is the way)?

People who are in-person, up front and in the face living and showing their life congruent with their message are the ones who are here to guide us!

These are the authentic teachers! These are the purveyors and guides of life. Not that you cannot find lessons of life from the narcissist.

These individuals aren’t concerned with vanity or followers. They aren’t concerned about what others will think of their message. The true teachers aren’t proclaiming to be teachers!

Teachers are not the ones who spend their day behind a makeup mirror with perfect lighting, exuding materialism at its peak and ASKING FOR FUNDING while sharing a message of peace and higher consciousness.

Truth does not require props. It does not require pretty backdrops or ‘cued’ rehearsed words that say the same thing over and over and over.

Truth does not greet other’s perspectives as an attack on yourself and their responses (you can see this on any YouTube channel commenting section or on Facebook comments) are NOT negative or combative. In fact, a person of truth will not worry about proving the dissenting perspective wrong, but will either…

-delete the comment if it is hateful to provide more space for the topic

-ignore the comment

-respond with a high sense of integrity and class…we appreciate your perspective. Thank you!

That is professionalism.

So during this time of confusion, make sure you align with people who LIVE and REVEAL through their journey their truth if you are seeking alignment.

Heed:

-the single/unmarrried woman who advises you on healthy marriages who just went through a major divorce because her spouse had been cheating on her for 20 years and she enabled it

-the overweight coach with poor eating habits of consistency, lots of stress and lack of consistent workouts trying to tell you how to get fit and strong

-the shaman who is vain, adorned with jewels and makeup and photo shoots telling you to be humble and give up materialism?

-the self-proclaimed ascended individual who says love is the only way but spends great energy on taking about how other

-the medicated individual who is trying to tell you about health and lifestyle

-the off-grid self-sufficient individual who pays a video team, a construction team and contractors to build their structures and systems

In summary

There is a great deal of DARK TRIAD energy lurking through the media, Facebook, YouTube and even individuals you encounter.

Be aware of this Dark Triad. Do your research beyond the message. People of truth who are helping you are not ego centric folks who need to LOOK perfect or APPEAR perfect to their viewers or clients.

We love messy truth, dissenting opinions of kindness and compassion and we love living the life we speak of living, hoping to help ONE person do the same!

It is our intention to continue to share with you our life as authentically as we can! We respect perspectives of respect of all.

We will continue on our path of integrity and refuse to align with the narcissistic because we value our true freedom to live authentically without criticism and judgement.

The light in US sees the light in YOU and respects it. Even if we don’t agree with you. Hate will be removed. Kindness with be appreciated.

Narcissism will be given its deserved respect, as it will not be allowed to drive our vehicles of integrity and expression.

Find your peace and set your boundaries! Know the signs of the Dark Triad and don’t choose to play the game.

If it doesn’t fit your integrity, your person mission of freedom and doesn’t bring you happiness, ignore it, delete it or try to neutralise it.

Just know that neutrality is not recognised by the Dark Triad.