Monday, August 18, 2008

Living Transparently

I woke up this morning as I do on many mornings, feeling simply grateful. Grateful to God for my health, my family, friends, dogs.....etc. Always fully aware of my weaknesses, challenges and shortcomings, I try to focus on the positives, praying that the rest will develop and grow as I continue to learn and experience life.

Just a bit later, while checking email, I received a comment on my youtube "channel" from someone I don't know that was pretty confrontational and critical of my motives and my character. Apparently this person has "been observing me in raw food circles" and felt the need to tell me how my personality is flawed, that they see me as competing in a personality competition and how fake I come across. It really startled me and gave me that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that anyone would see me that way. I do agree that my new found video making skills leave much to be desired. Because I feel so vulnerable about putting myself out there as it is, this person's opinion really stung. However....difficult as it is, I do want to open to constructive criticism and I don't ever want to be so prideful that I can't take it. But in a nutshell, this person peed all over my raw granola this morning.

After sharing the episode with my husband, I received a sweet email from him with a message that helped to put a different twist on how I was feeling. What I experienced today has likely happened to you in one form or another, so I suppose that's why I wanted to share it here. I think we all face days and moments of defeat & criticism. My precious husband reminded me that I was created to shine, in my very own way, and that I shouldn't allow the opinions of others to cause me to shrink back or to hide the energy and passion that swirls inside me. One of the hardest struggles for all of us is to step out of the boat. Take the our place in the bright light. Be what we were created to be. It all feels really risky, yet without hesitation, I believe it is a risk worth taking.

I've come away from this with the message that I'm just going to live my life and live it to the fullest. I purpose to keep a humble and submissive heart all along the way. To be alive and active in pursuing whatever your passion is will put you at risk drawing attention to yourself and in turn possibly pissing someone off. Those of you who really know me agree that I'm not one to seek confrontation or an opportunity to irritate anyone, respecting others opinions and lifestyles, even if they differ from my own. I do have childlike passion, a love for people and I feel called to serve, even if it is from out of nothing more than my own weaknesses. And if someone doesn't like that about me, I hope they'll feel free to simply turn the channel and go in peace.


Deika Elmi said...

Hi Penni dear,
you know the internet has "trolls" lurking about. I met my share last year in Cali when I went to the re-birthing breathing excersises training...they were aggressive and confrontational. You are wonderful, a blessing and someone many of us go to for adivce, strategy and ideas/solutions regarding the healthful vegan living foods life style.
So please know that many many more people admire you, look up to you, like you and love you than the odd insecure troll (poor dear) who is so conflicted that they lash out to a wonderful person like you.
I used to never accept the fact that sometimes there are people who are envious too, I never saw myself as someone attractive or someone who could cause envy...I think you are beautiful so maybe a twinge of envy.
Bless them girl, bless them pray on them and move on. Btw I totally agree with deleting uncomfortable messages...I put a message approval thingy at Juice cause someone said something a bit sharp to me there are fanatstic and dearly loved xoxo Dea

Uza said...

You are loved and respected by the raw food community, you are popular, very pretty, have a gorgeous family, and as such are a natural target for anyone feeling insecure about themselves or their own motives.

There is something called "projection" by which one person judges another person by looking in the mirror rather than AT that other person.

And the sad thing about mudslinging is that once one person starts it, it can rapidly become a free for all for all the malcontents who come across it. Mob rule. Etc.

I know it is difficult to be objective when you are the one under attack, but I also know that you would give very excellent advice to someone else if this happened to them. Think about what you would say and remember: This is not personal although it is intended to shake you, BECAUSE you are grounded.

This is no one. If it was anyone of consequence they would not have pulled the whole incognito insult jr high school tactics. If you let them hurt you, they win.

Rather try to find compassion in your heart for someone who is so hurting and self-hostile on the inside that they feel the need to turn it inside out and project it out onto you. Because more than likely everything they were saying was aimed at themselves in the first place.

Anonymous said...

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so
that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other
people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."

~Marianne Williamson


I thought about this quote after reading your post today. Dea is right, there are way more people that love you than the "odd insecure troll" who needs to lift themselves up by putting you down, remember, it's about them, not you. You are amazing and inspiring....keep doing what you do best...shine!!!!

sarabethxvx said...

I think you are just great! Very genuine and kind. F the rest!

Anonymous said...

Great comments and advice. Uza is very insightful.

Penni, you are a sweet, beautiful person inside and out. People think they can make themselves look/feel better by putting someone else down. They don't realize that they are just digging themselves deeper into an ugly darkness. Continue to shine your beautiful light, beautiful one.

Lots of love to you,


p.s. I hope your girls are feeling much better.

p.p.s. Big Daddy is so sweet. Give him extra hugs and kisses tonight! :-)

Anonymous said...

Southern people always get misunderstood. I think it must be jealousy and ya know the northern people just don't get sincerity. I think your a beautiful person and as far from fake as anyone can get. which leaves you open and vurnerable. Too bad Your granola got ruined, but it's like an obsene phone call your never ready! When a friend tried to tell me off once I said "its really none of my business what you think of me!" so delete it,
Don't change... lov Teri

Anonymous said...

Okay, my first thought was I am going to find out who that person is and give them a piece of my mind...breath

you have gotten such wonderful support, especially from your Gordon. There's not much more to say except...I know you, I have been in your home, and I love you. You are a very caring person with such wonderful insights, wisdom, and knowledge to share. As long as you truly know these things nothing can harm you, NOTHING!
CU next Sunday:)

Lisa (Pixywinks) said...

Nevermind the naysayers. You're beautiful and wonderful just the way you are. Don't give it a second thought. You help us all and internetville would be a sad and lonely place without your shining face.
Pixy Lisa

Anna's Spot said...

I've only just started reading your blog. I am not a real raw food eater but I find that you are very passionate about health and you seem to be caring and sincere. You are enjoyable to read. You will always have people criticize you, but you will have the ones that love you too. Jealousy also comes to my mind from your critic.

Ventress said...

Penni, in the book The Four Agreements, the author states that "nothing other people do is because of you." This is obviously someone's attempt to pull you into their h*ll, simply a manifestation of their own lack of inner peace or satisfaction with themselves. I so agree with everyone else here in that you are such an inspiration to all of us in the raw world, and though I don't know you personally it's hard for me to look at the work you do and say that you're doing it for your own glorification. You exude such a loving and generous spirit, so don't buy into someone else's cr*p. Be encouraged! Ventress

JuJu's Place said...

Don't worry about the cranky lurkers-- they're just jealous :)

I've found your video's to be so inspiring -because they're REAL-- you're a real person, going through the trials- raw food and personal- just like the rest of us. That's what makes you beautiful on the inside and out! I love your blogs and videos-- they've helped me uncountless times when I'm struggling :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Penni - I think this probably happens to everyone who puts their head above the parapet. It's part of the deal. I had somene say "how come you're so fat, don't you exercise?" - hankfully I know neither is true and ditto for you. People have to meet you to see the truth, and I know the truth about you honey!!!

Lisa said...

Jealous People! I only wish folks would take the energy they use to tear others down and use it to bring themselves up! Keep being the lovely person you are and hit delete!

RawBin said...

Hey pretty lady!!
You are real, and vibrant, and lovely, and fun, and helpful, and caring, and I could go on and on...
I'm sorry that this one "w"itch has brought you down for even a second. I have the sheep video and get bad comments on there (but they're nasty disgusting comments about my sheep, not personal digs) and I delete right away just because I like my pollyanna world. You don't need to keep the bad stuff up there. It's your page. You can turn them away or block 'em.
I honestly think that there was NOTHING to learn from that nasty troll's comments. Nothing. You keep on going with your helpful ways, your self improvement, your delish recipes... We love you.

Anonymous said...

I believe in you my dear friend. I know from my heart that there is nothing but love coming from you in everything you do.

I have not seen the comment but perchance would it be coming from the same source as prior harassment?
Hateful comments come from a place of fear and desire.

I will share in prayer for the healing of this and other hurting hearts and for a strong sense of peace in your heart that you are loved and valued by your friends and family!

Keep up your sweet and encouraging work! We depend on you!


Anonymous said...

When you choose a life that is off the beaten path it causes others to question themselves and can bring about their insecurities. I experience this almost daily in my office and around peers. Although most of my friends and family are now used to and comfortable with my lifestyle, it was an uphill battle. From snide comments, to distrust, to concerns and dismissal, I had to find it within myself that this lifestyle was right for me and that I didn't care what others said. Drhumill posted a great video on WLIR that focused on relationships. I fond solace in what he said, which was that as we become comfortable with the choices we make, others will as well. If we feel insecure about the way we live then it shows and people will take advantage of that. Don't let that "troll" cause you to feel insecure. Misery loves company and that's not a relationship you want. So, deleted comment? Good for you :) And good for your sweet husband for being so supportive.

If I might also add, I have been very apprehensive about how I would be able to continue this lifestyle after I move to Tulsa in January. Currently, I live in a very artistic neighborhood, right above the organic co-op. (I love me neighborhood) Not to mention that I am a member of one more co-op and have all kind of resources here in Seattle. So as I'm starting to get worried...."Wil I be the only raw foodist in Tulsa??!!??"...I came across you on WLIR. Joy!!!!!! Hopefully that inspires you to keep making your videos :)

Charis said...

Awww, Penni! I've never met you in real, but I love how your personality shines thro' even thro' your blog or your comments on others. Be encouraged as you shine for Jesus!

Bunny Berry said...

As I have said before, you are about as fake as a heart attack. You just keep being who you are, so that we can keep loving you just the way you are.

P.S. That YouTuber is about as looney as a loon. Totally cuckoo.

Western Doughty said...


You are my best friend and loved. Everyone you come into contact with falls in love with you. Your spirit is strong, your laughter real, and your passion for life is worn like a badge. You are about as real as a person can get.

When I have to deal with people that you are dealing with now, I used to lash out, let them get to me. I found a couple of quotes from my all time favorite author that pretty much sums up this person that you are dealing with.

"I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain."
-James A. Baldwin

"People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead."
-James A. Baldwin

Keep on doing the right thing. Those who really know you see you for who you are. If others don't or refuse to see beyond their issues, all we can do is not get caught up in their pain.

Love you much.

Linda Salas said...

As I have been thinking recently, vulnerable is a very cool thing, I love that you are putting yourself out there like that, it is not easy for everyone, yet when we do it we get over some little step in the ego and we grow... that is the only way we grow, through challenges and out of our comfort zones. I love that you are addressing this issue and sharing your processing of it. That is an amazing thing and something this anonymous naysayer doesn´t have.

Penni all I can say is just breathe and keep keeping real.
You know we love you!

bitt said...

Penni all I can say is that I see nothing but honesty from you. And lot of love to spread around. Whoever that jerk is is most likely jealous of you and has some major insecurities his/herself. Sorry you had to go through that. It's so terrible being misunderstood and thought to be someone you aren't. ((hugs))

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Let me try this again...

Well heck, gotta love the naysayers! They are always so generous and giving with their paranoid, negative attitude.

While I was sad to see anyone take a potshot at you dear Penni, your post was well timed as I am dealing with the same thing at work. Reading everyone's advice really helped me this morning. Amazing how one sourpuss can easily eradicate all the good feelings of accomplishment one can have.

Keep your chin up and ignore the naysayers! You are a blessing to many and ever since I met you last summer, I feel very lucky to have you as a friend. G-man too.


HiHoRosie said...

Wow, Penni sorry to hear about the negative people. I'm glad to hear you have the loving support of your husband and family and everyone else here. You are an incredible woman and you can't hide your "shine" even if you tried! :D You're right, these people are always around but how we react is key. Hang in there and keep doing what you do best.

And yes, link away all you want my dear. Have a good night!

Anonymous said...

Penni, I felt such empathy when reading this post but then felt such happiness reading all the comments of love and support coming from people who appreciate you. So always remember that you are much appreciated and loved by many, including me! Keep doing what you do!

I know you are well aware of this but you are blessed with a lovely family and a wonderful supportive husband who so beautifully said, "you are meant to shine", and how right he is. You are. We all are. Keep shining your light Penni.

Big hugs!!!

David and Katrina Rainoshek said...

We wanted to add that we love you too dear Penni!!

You know how in the Matrix as Neo got stronger, so did Smith? That really seems to be what it is like, so this is just a sign of your strength in beauty darling!