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Currently Browsing: Blogging Along

You Are My Inspiration Dear Reader

As I come round to understanding what it is I am doing all this for, what drives me to write and share and create, I know it’s to give back the wonderful inspiration that I delight in when I read and see other creative’s work. To be inspired is a wonderful feeling and recycling inspiration seems as good a reason as any to do what you do, especially if it’s fun.

I’m often taken aback when people approach me at a fair or in a store and say, “I love reading your blog!” because I’m always surprised they read my blog. I am so grateful to see their face and know them and hear them say they enjoy what I’m doing. I am truly flattered. From my perspective, there’s actually no proof, save Facebook statistics and my readership’s comments, that says anyone is actually reading what I write.

checkin out the rib specials on Shalavee.com

There’s a little space between us, the writer and the reader. A pocket of anonymity I’m grateful for being busted. A real face that I can imagine when I’m talking/writing which is so necessary for me. And in that space there’s also a reverence that I don’t always feel I deserve. Just because I do this spilling my guts thing doesn’t mean I’m any more or less weird or anxious or normal than anyone else. And that’s what I want to emphasize.

Having a blog or a jewelry store or a DJ business or being Beyonce’s assistant doesn’t make anyone any more anything than anyone else.

I am no more glamorous, blessed, talented or lucky than anyone else.

I am a ridiculous ball of anxiety who’s slowly finding her way out of the dark forest that I’ve wandered about in for a very long time. I wrote a post on not being better than you. I do not want to be raised on any pedestal ever.

So I say to you Miss Reader or Miss Diane or Miss Barbara and Miss Ann, you are all astounding and inspirational women. And I am so flattered that you would choose to read my blog. Thank you so very much. And I hope one day to hear from you about what you were inspired to do by reading anything I wrote. That would be the fullest circle and I’d be over the moon to hear your stories.

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 orPinterest 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.

Happy Four Year Blogaversary To Shalavee

I knew my blogaversary was coming. This 4 year mark of writing, nay masterminding, this blog feels a little heavy. I just read that many blogs don’t make it past their 8th month. I remember that moment of doubt wondering if I wrote a blog in the woods, was anyone reading it? And I remember my drive to improve my writing overcame that doubt. And I would go on to improve my photography as well as my writing. Practice.

There’s definitely so much I’ve wished I could have made happen on my blog before now. Hard to watch all those who began blogging at the same time gaining such momentum while I feel like I’m at a stand still.

dollhouse entry on Shalavee.com

Yet it would be unfair for me to compare my blog to theirs. My work has not been just about blogging but about my self-discovery and self-esteem building. Rediscovering what it is that makes me me and figuring out how I want to purposefully share my mad creative and mentoring skills with the larger world. Thanks to the blog, I had something to spur that progress on.

Because I can tell you that I never would have come as far as I have with my esteem work if I hadn’t been actively blogging. This blog has given me the excuse and the opportunity to reach out and ask questions. To make myself accountable to challenges I may not have been motivated to take on. And all of this, plus the incredible connections to real people all over the world, has made me into a better happier less neurotic human being. As well as a better parent and creative dynamo.Fiona thru the window on Shalavee.com

So here’s to listening to your inner voice and staying true to it. Here’s to being patient with the fact that stuff takes as long as it bloody well takes. And here’s to accountability and telling the truth. And to Kindness always, to yourself and others.

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 orPinterest 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.

Turning the Hourglass Over

You know me. I fret therefore I am. And I am having a Dickens of a time trying to figure out exactly what’s next. I know I need to be happy doing whatever it is I put my efforts and my mind to. Not worth doing if it doesn’t make you even a little happy.

And then there was my pledge to myself to be all about the creativity this year. So I’m still inside the 365 days of making. Between my blog writing and my daily Instagram pictures, I feel like I make stuff pretty much daily. But then I had decided to open an Etsy shop. And my brain froze up again. Because as soon as I add the money factor in, production as opposed to fun. I begin to twitch. Making for the sake of making money seems to squeeze the joy out of the making. Turning the joyful act of creation into a painful task. Boo.23 June Money Insta prompt

But this week, it hit me, I need to turn the hourglass and the equation upside down. Need to remember my word of the year. I need to do what I love to do and be even more creative, and the money will follow. Because it has to. All the spill over can be for sale when I’m done with it. People begin to ask you to do stuff and then you do and then they insist on owning it and then you say you don’t want much for it and Shazam, there’s money involved. That’s how I perceive it going down.cards for sale soon on Shalavee.com

Meanwhile, I have just completed another round of sending handmade cards to online connections. And this time, I have included some wrapping up of little gifts along with the cards as a way of creating more and gifting more gratitude. So much fun to receive these sorts of packages. And the recipient is always so grateful. Because it makes my ever loving day when I get stuff in the mail. For real.

Create and give selflessly. Do so in abundance and with friendship and kindness in your heart and I truly believe the exchange is larger than the elements and the people involved. Wheat pennies on Shalavee.com

So instead of continuing to rack my brain for my purpose and my whys, I want to immerse myself in the creativity that makes me feel good. I want to use the blog to live my better life and show you all the creative loveliness I’m taking part in. And I only want to do the projects that make me excited to do them. And there’s the antidote. Get so busy doing that which I love that the jobiness, career path, and the monetary meaning is secondary. We artists are odd birds who sometimes need to reframe stuff to be happy. Go figure.

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.

The Perfect vs. the Placeholder

How often do you not follow through, not write it down, not say it out loud, or not make the commitment, because it’s not perfect. Is it enough to know that there’s a silliness to this way of thinking to stop you from thinking this way?

I can’t go to college and earn a degree unless I know the exact career I’m going to have when I graduate. I don’t know if this guy is Mr. Right so I may not want to continue dating him. I can’t commit to a blog because I don’t know what I’d write about. And what you find is that the perfectionism starts to feel like some horrible brain constipation and your lack of permission to move forward for the sake of perfectionism can become painful. My husband cleverly says, “Do something, even if it’s wrong.” And so when I come to write a thought out, my trick is to think of writing anything as a placeholder for the real writing to come.arting in the foyer on Shalavee.com

Writing on the page fills the writing space and commits me to further thinking and writing on the thought I’m expressing. This way, I’m allowed to write total crap. Because now I have permission to come back and replace every word. It is well-known that good writing is all about the editing. So if I shift my expectations to writing crap at first knowing, I have removed it from the place it was lodged in my brain, it’s even more wonderful when I return to read it and it’s not as crappy as I thought.Tunnel on shalavee.com

As for the life “knowing” perfectionism I mentioned, I believe life is much like a curved tunnel. You can see a little in front of you but your knowledge tells you that it goes further. You really can’t see the end and you’ll have to make a choice or two along the way but you know you’re headed for a destination. The college degree is really just a badge of hard work and achievement. Not always about the real major. And the boy who seems perfect when you meet him and then you find our is human and not perfect, he has the ability to make choices too. To go with you to your destination with honor and integrity.

And the blog that was my vehicle for writing and turned out to gift me so many wonderful gifts of friendship? It’s not perfect and I don’t see the bigger picture yet but it’s holding my place until I figure out what I want to be when I’m 49. Knowing is cracked up to be the mental Nirvana. But unforeseeable factors always jump in and can mess up your plan. So I’ll just hold this place in my life with grace and gratitude, do the best I can, and keep prying the perfection expectations from my clammy grasp.

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.

I’m Speaking Up, Can You Too

As children, we’re told to shush and thus we’ve been taught to make ourselves less. To be less. We must tone us down and edit ourselves. And we’re told this by our parents and adults, those who keep us alive and who keep us safe. So in order to continue to be safe and cared for, we become less. We’ve grown up still doing as we’re told and have equated staying alive with keeping quiet. And so we continue to operate from a keep quiet and don’t make waves perspective. We become edited versions of ourselves.

I read this recently and this hit a nerve for me. I’m from the loud family. You can hear my mother laugh in the crowd at the state fair. And my children and I just aren’t quiet. Plus, I cringe at the thought of all those jackasses who told me to shush in my life. I hate the thought that I’d be one of those jackasses to my children.cowgirl Fiona at the stairs on Shalavee.com

Although I recognize that there’s the way that “it’s done”. There’s polite propriety and standard normal kind of behavior. I also think that the world is a way more interesting place when people become the most they can be. When a person dares to be different, we take notice of him or her.  These people are the ones being seen and making a difference. Ironic that in a world telling everyone to conform, it is the nonconformists that end up influencing and leading people from their ruts.

I know I am guilty of being a lesser version of the deeper down me. Of not speaking the truer truths. I get lots and lots of ideas. And then they get edited and dismissed and stowed before they ever get properly expressed or followed through. Why? Because I fear. I fear that I’ll say something to offend one person. It’s already happened here believe it. I fear that I’ll offend someone I love with my honesty. That happens a lot too. I really was scared that if I posted too many “woe is me” posts I’d drive my readers away for being a self indulgent sad sack. So in order to take care of other people’s feelings, I ignore my own. So codependent I know. But I thought it was time to out myself so I could stop fearing reprisal for being myself.Indiana Fiona Jones on Shalavee.comThere’s the confession and now a request. I started my blog so I could write and say what I thought about my thoughts and feelings. And I’ve been here, written that and stayed for more than a few years now. I no longer want to hobble myself, edit myself, and be less than me because I am scared that I will offend. I also really hold my readership dear. Many people who read me were people that I really wanted to be liked by. Truth. And many are people I received by one type of post and maybe they don’t care about other ones.

I can’t impress all the people all the time. I lost one subscriber recently. May they rest in peace and their inboxes be cleared. I’m now hanging at 115 subscribers. Numbers don’t matter as much as reader satisfaction does. I do want that number to grow because readers shared the good stuff and other people came to read too.Anais Nin quote on Shalavee.comSo if you’d be so kind dear readers, can you comment here or on my Shalavee Facebook Page and let me know what you really love reading. Or what you really are inspired by. I’m handing out free passes for you to give me what you have and share with me your thoughts so that I may know what to keep doing. I will always have my own voice, I just want to be a little louder.

Yes, you in California and you in Australia, I need to hear from you too so that I can be refueled. I will continue to bring you writing that you love and I want to improve the heck out of it. Thank you so much and have a lovely weekend!

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.

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