I feel like Paula Deen

Image: Ted Eytan from Flickr.com

I don't like Paula Deen.  It has nothing to do with the current allegations of misbehavior, those have yet to be proven, I simply don't like who and what she portrays.  She isn't authentic.  She's a phony.  She's playing a role and pretending to be someone she's not - all to make a buck.  I prefer raw and sincere.  

When Meryl Streep plays a role, she knows we know that she's playing a role.  Paula thinks we're stupid.  Paula thinks that we can't see through the phony smiles and laughs.

Maybe Paula did the things she's being accused of , maybe she didn't.  I'm not in a position to judge this early in the game. The question though, is why are so many willing to drop her like a hot potato so quickly?  Why were all of the companies and businesses so quick to drop her?  Could it be that they never had faith in her to begin with?  Could it be that when we pretend to be someone we're not then people don't trust us?  Could it be that when we're not true to ourselves that our world falls apart?

I've done many dishonest things in my life.  I'm not talking about running ponzi schemes (I'm not that smart), stealing, or things like that.  I've fained interest in subjects I could care less about to fit in with others.  I've taken jobs that were against my values to make a buck; hoping that if I worked hard and made enough money it would all be worth it.  It never has.  

Every time I do something that isn't in line with my true self or my core values, my world turns upside down. Life stops making sense. I feel frustrated.  I get angry and I get bitter.  I don't want to get out of bed.  Why has this happened to me? When I've strayed from my path I feel like Paula Deen.  I don't like Paula Deen.

Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living


  1. Dan, we've all fallen short of our own expectations, failed to live up to our values. You're normal. The fact that you're able to admit to mistakes says something good and positive about you. Many people can't do that, or lack sincerity when they do. I don't think that's you. My guess is you're authentic. But beating yourself up and agonizing over the past is not a good idea for meaningful living.

  2. Hi Dan, we always see our reflection in people. Life mirrors back to us. Your message for me is to be authentic, be true to my own self and be courageous to express that into the world. We all want to hide because we are frightened. Frightened of ourselves or of others. As we grow and become more conscious we can thank our mistakes for the tremendous learning we get.
    Paula Deen (whoever she is)is your teacher!
    Thank you.

  3. Oh dear. Dan, you actually know more about a person in pop culture than I do--I had to Google Paula Deen!

    Those cooking shows/reality shows are all about being phony, and I think it's kind of encouraged people to try and be someone else, to try and make their lives more exciting/dramatic than they need to be. But, we've all sold out at one point or another, we've all put on masks. It's our imperfections, our mistakes and how we've learned from them, and our current growth and learning that make us interesting. Perfection is boring--none of us would be reading this if you were just born with the knowledge that you have, and didn't have to gain it the hard way!

  4. To the lady that posted with her email address in the message. I'm sorry - I accidentally deleted your comment - that was not my intention. I intended to edit out your email address but apparently deleted the entire message. I'd love to hear from you so keep commenting or contact me directly at the email address on the left column of the blog.


  5. This is a clever post, Dan. I too hate myself when a behave against my core principles. Just this week, I am having an episode where I am at odds with what I am. It's a sickening feeling to be repulsed by oneself. Tact and a bit of diplomacy I can handle, but not giving in. Thankfully, I have a chance in this case to correct course.

  6. Thanks for your honesty. I know that moment when you're not sure how to behave, or you just some how get caught up in the way other people around you are behaving and you think to yourself... "Who the heck is this?" It is such an awful feeling. It used to happen more to me when I was younger, it doesn't happen as often now... one of the benefits of getting older.

  7. I have never been a fan of Paula Deen, first I don't bother with cooking shows/books as I eat very simple foods, but I don't like seeing someone advertising such unhealthy meals on a society that clearly needs to eat better for their health. I had heard about her diabetes, which was bad enough when you are selling the kinds of food she does, but had to google the latest news to see what you were talking about. Can't say it surprises me any, isn't that sad?

    You had a great message today, being authentic is the only way to be really happy or to attract the friends you want around you, but to compare yourself to Paula Deen is a stretch.

  8. I too have never been a fan of hers. I agree with you, she always struck me as being too "sweet," and phony. When the story broke in the media I too was questioning why everyone was so quick to "drop" her. Then I heard someone say that they saw her at a local food show here in town and she was rude and nasty to the people behind the scenes who were trying to work with her. This person said she was never a fan but after witnessing this behavior she really did not like Paula Dean. Made be stop and think about how I treat other people no matter who they are.

  9. I have to say I am not a super fan of Paula Dean, however I think that this blog is not a zen like blog at all. This blog has morphed into a bashing session, against her, her food, and her behavior. We must as a society be accepting of all people, we do not know where people come from or what drives them. Paula did lose both of her parents when she was in her early 20's and retreated to cooking as a form of solace. She was very good at it and it blossomed into a career. As for her behavior, we are products of our environment and after spending a decade in the south, I can assure you there is nothing phony about her. We all do the best we can everyday and I assure you that she does the same. ... and as for her food, we all wish we could cook so well... While zen philosophy says that eating simply is a virtue, I feel that if we do this we miss out on much of the bounty our world provides. And to be able to take this bounty and turn it into something better is an art form, like music or painting. That is Paula's gift, for anyone to be able to turn their gift into a career they must be in tune with their true self. We should all be so in tune with our inner self.