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When I Grow Up

Last week, I was immensely privileged to be involved in something I not only loved doing, but loved myself while engaged. I challenged myself and garnered self-esteem from the success of my endeavor, as well as plenty of kudos from a lot of people. I felt happily and blissfully at home within myself. It felt like the high of falling in love. I can’t wait to feel that again. And this feeling belonged to me, a gift from myself.

I vaguely remember attending parties in my twenties, where I may or may not have enjoyed myself, when someone attempted to make conversation and asked, “So, what do you do for a living?” Stunned and overcome with shame and queasiness, I was forced to share my shameful truth. I was a waitress or a maid or a receptionist or a bartender. Hoping to lure them away from my truth, I would probably redirect the conversation. My untold truth was that I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. The expiration date on my childhood had come and gone and I’d spoiled while waiting to be purposed.

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My wish for every child and/or teen is for them to find an activity in which they like themselves while engaged. If you do something you like to do, you may develop friendships, mentors, and self-esteem. People like to be with people who like themselves. My teen self based my self-esteem and power on my sex appeal. If I could prove my desirability, I had power. I didn’t need no stinking mentor. I was alone and I liked it that way.

I spent six years in a university to land a job in my field of choice only to discover my chosen field was full of egomaniacal jack-#*@es. This was bad news for nice little me. I was ashamed my college education seemed a waste. After receiving my BS, I still supported myself with restaurant jobs and never pursued any involvement in activities I loved, like writing or art. I didn’t want to mess my dreams up too. They were safe as long as I didn’t touch them.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Somewhere I read a quote that said life is what happens while you’re aspiring to other things. My life took a left when I said adios to the manifestation of my critical parent in husband form. It took another hard right when I needed a shoulder operation and the doc said no more waitressing. In new mental and physical places, far away from everything I’d ever known, I began renovating myself and the old house I’d bought with my second husband. I worked toward a place I had never been but knew existed; a safe and happy place to play and love being me.

Gradually I cleared the clutter from my brain and my space. I stripped away the dysfunctional relationships and the addictive behaviors, and I finally arrived in that safer calmer place. I discovered what I really loved to do. And I sort of I liked myself while I was doing it. If you had met me back in those promiscuous teen days, with my Farrah hair, tight black T-shirt, and attitude, you’d never guess I’d end up here in an urban town decorating, designing, cooking, gardening, and entertaining too. This is the real me.

I have found a place where my brain is really happy. My recent opportunity and challenge was a chance to assist the fund-raising committee for the church’s annual auction event. Immediately, I was designing the tablescapes, colors, installations, lights, and florals in my head. Mostly created with stuff I had or borrowed, people donated, or what I bought on super sale, I created a fabulous event space. With more than a little help from my husband’s lighting company, the ambiance was over the top.I think design and aesthetic beauty have an undeniable impact on our outlooks and psyches. The auction raised more money than it ever had before. The community was very appreciative.

I now know I should have gotten my college degree in either design or writing. However, I will continue offering my design help to people in need because it’s about the playing, not the money. Although making some cash wouldn’t be a bad thing. If you took me back to that party in my twenties but asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I would now say, “I hope I want to be me when I grow up.”

(This was first published on Divine Caroline in October of 2009. I’ve revised it slightly to republish as the special event this year, featuring my inspirational event design, was held last night. And again, I felt the same rush.)

Our Fear of the Growing Older Pains

I have gone through a lot in the past two years to rid myself of the aches and pains that I garnered from an aging body. I endured needles jammed into my backside multiple times. And then waited cautiously to see if the procedure worked. I waited again to be pain free when I had another needle in my shoulder. I then awaited the pains to return. And waited.

How was it that my ever-exuberant self became to person who sat and waited for pain? What I discovered is that aging is a unknown and therefore fearful. We’ve seen others age and we know any minute now it’s render us useless, quivering pain-riddled shells of our former selves.

I’ve spoken to elderly people who have confirmed that they feel more anxious in their later years. Our minds begin to imagine our decline even when the evidence may or may not support our undoing.

I had a talk with myself the other day and asked myself, when was the last time I had aching belly muscles from a good core workout? Can’t remember. Or why I couldn’t do an hour of cardio at a time? Was pain preventing me or just fear of pain?

We need to heap compassion on ourselves as we age and on the elderly we know. It takes a lot f courage to show up in the ways we used to sometimes. But, unless I am at a three or more of pain and need to return to the doctor’s for yet another shot, I need to get o with the business of being in good shape for 50. I want to feel pride not fear on a daily basis. How about you? Any of this resonate?

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

What Will I Get Up To This Year?

Now that I have addressed the majority of my anxiety by taking the step to ask for pharmaceutical assistance from my doctor (he actually warned me not to quit after I was feeling better and I laughed at him and said,”You don’t know me. I’m the first one to admit I have this problem all over social media. I’m good for life now”), I realized that I can again start from here and do anything I want to do.

Armed with my Word of the Year, Focus, I can don my sparkly cape and head off in the direction that feels the best for me. That kind of permission is a little daunting. Like a free period during school, should you binge eat Hoho’s of go grab a smoke or take a walk or write in your journal? Suddenly being able to choose feels overwhelming.

But I started to think about the projects in my year that will be inevitable. I’ll most likely do a 100 day project again come April. There’s the ICAD project in June and July. And perhaps I’ll host my own creativity month somewhere in there. Those are the times when I feel focused and alive. Unlike writing, I have a pretty tangible thing for my efforts. It’s very gratifying too to have all the admiration that production gets you.

What else have I been thinking? I claimed my intention to continue to work on my soul as I connect with community and devote myself to creativity. So it would seem that community connections would be something that may need my attention. I say this but I still have yet to join those group classes at the gym. Or create a Facebook group or make a date to chat via Skype with some of my online people. I need to put my actions behind my words it seems.

And then there’s my writing. I need to respect my abilities and share them with the world. I love blogging and will continue to share what I am doing because it keeps me alive as a writer. This is the year that I need to commit to larger writing challenges more. I enjoyed the heck out of writing the Wholehearted piece for Quiet Writing’s Terri Connelan. So we shall see what and where I can find to continue this kind of writing expansion.

As always, I commit t0 my growth and betterment and to use the blog as a way to pursue that. Whether it’s reporting my art project progress or speaking about what I’m feeling or the lovely place and people I share my life with, I will keep showing up here. Until it no longer serves me. Thank you for reading what I write even if I don’t know you are. You make my day.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

A Wholehearted Living Piece : My Growth Life Story

I am overjoyed to announce my participation and publication today on Terri Connellan’s blog, Quiet Writing. My piece titled Gathering My Lessons for her wholehearted living series is live now. 

The back-story? I met fellow writer Terri Connellan through Instagram. She has been an inspiration to me in many ways. Last year, I said I’d love to contribute to her Wholehearted Living series and Terri said “Yes please” for the end of March. My February Viva Havana fundraiser led right into this, essentially my writing my growth life story in March. A wicked doubt storm followed yet I still pulled it out before her deadline. Terri’s kind and gentle support felt like faith guiding me to create this piece I’m pretty darn proud of.

My term for Wholehearted Living is Creative Soul Living. And my piece is sumptuous and full of my truths and insights. Visit my piece on Terri Connellan’s blog at http://www.quietwriting.com/gathering-lessons/ . 

Terri and this opportunity were just what I needed now to show me what I am capable of. I am proud and pleased. I Can.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

 

Creativity Bootcamp Feelings Wrap-Up

As this October 2015 Creativity Bootcamp comes to a slow inevitable close, I wanted to take a moment and give it some respectful thoughts and closure. This is a gift in need of being held gently and reverently to the many who used it and understood its value.

Our group creator and leader Jane Barry, author of the blog That Curious Love of Green, received a similar precious gifted experience in an art challenge she had participated in. The permission to do what made her heart happy regardless of the quality of her work and the accountability to show up day after day until there was a habit, a need formed. And what we would also find out is that our silent and lonely souls needed the shelter and the support to plant their thoughts of creative habits and let them grow.travel bug collage on Shalavee.com

The people in this group weren’t all sure what they could create or quite why they were there but we were all there together. And Boom! The creative energy exploded. And post by post, as a group, we began to build the community around ourselves with thoughtfulness and support, our confidence levels were raised. The sum of the parts was becoming a greater whole, a community, with a fountain of inspiration and light that began to flow which we could dip into for the support and creative inspiration we needed. And we were all in awe.

I have to say that at first, this wasn’t exactly how I felt. A direct message conversation with another participant reveals how maybe we all felt weirdly at first about the Bootcamp experience expectations.

Yeah, it was hard to figure out how to “do” this. I felt this need to do something amazing everyday and then the stress of the baby and then the performance anxiety…I agree, it could be overwhelming. So my thought is, use it the way you need to. If you only have five minutes to create, write a haiku about your toe. If you only have five minutes to read posts on the site then five minutes is all you have. We have that ‘I don’t want to miss anything’ mentality and that just can’t happen. This is for us to use so use it to amp your own game up if you can when you can. And share when you can…Accountability to yourself to complete a challenge is a great gift. And you know I’ll share my process despite myself.”

Guillardia and a puddle on Shalavee.com

I can say that I am now resigned that I may not be able to cram in practicing those mediums that I wanted as often that I wanted. And I’m OK with that. Husbands end up in the hospital, children are in your face while you try to create, and you just may not feel inspired to do anything but read. Those are just life happenings. Maybe however, we all learned to prioritize ourselves and our creative time a little more than we do now. And it may not be every day, but even once or twice a week we can allow for our creative release and the resulting high on creativity that we need to make us feel a little more ourselves.

Wanna see the whole month of posts? Start here. Yesterday’s post, go here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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