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Currently Browsing: Blogging Along

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.

I Am Not Better Than You

I’m begging you, don’t think better of me. I am not what you’ve dreamed me up to be. I am still a student and I have so much to learn.

I do that same thing you know. I watch other people online, especially the bloggers putting out clever easy beautiful content, eBooks, posts that seem so duh, so easy, so pretty, so clairvoyant. I measure myself up at light-speed and I find myself lacking. There is always someone that’s more successful, skinnier, prettier, more prolific, and seems to have sped past you as you stood there with your thumb up your you know where trying to decide if you even like yourself.

I am not the gal blogger who writes tremendously artful fluid thought-provoking pinnable posts which make whatever product is being sold seem like the exact thing that makes your flavor of mothering look even better. Who takes the perfect clean styled pictures of their cute child with flour on their faces and their elfin bodies and makes it look all so so easy and even the hard times seem bearable.Fiona helping cook on Shalavee.com

I am not the “share every detail and bad thought constantly to excess while using stream of consciousness, profanity, and humor to hit some amazing moments inside my profuse profane writing and gain lots of followers” blogger. She fascinates me but I am not her.

I am not the amazing photog or cook or crafter who makes you wish you could just see stuff that way to even take the pictures in the perfectly decorated home as you style effortlessly while your really good baby sleeps and you enjoy alone time. She has the exact perfect friends she met at that wonderful conference she attended while her mother/mother in law watched the children and she used up that savings account she made from all the coupons she’d clipped and money made on a swap and sell site online. The messy closet on Shalavee.com

And no I’m not the really frustrated extraordinarily talented and profane Momma of five and writer who had a few scary years in the gutter but has risen to impressive heights and now has a huge following and is everywhere, has an e-course, and is totally transparent so you still have to like her.

I have watched these wonderful hard-working women achieve their mind-blowing goals and I have thought, “I am not that good. I am not worthy. There’s a reason I can’t get published or pull my thoughts together to create more than a few posts a week. I am not that good.”Fiona on Eamon's lap on Shalavee.com

I am just a human, a woman, a writer, a blogger, and a mother. A fan of alternative music who has to recreate the wheel constantly, who talks loudly, yells at her kids, and feels passionately about creativity, self-development, inspiration, and happiness. I am no better or no worse off than you. So please don’t ever give me that credit.

We are equals. Never forget that my outsides are not your insides. We have too much in common to forget we don’t.

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.

Jane Said

We “met” during an online blogging course given by Holly Becker of Decor8.  I think I have a sixth sense for fellow Virgos and her familiar passion for creating, cooking, and mothering felt like home. Mostly, she’s honest and sweet and I am always excited to see what the next step she’s taking with her blog. Because she’s fearless and very impressive.

Meet Jane Gilheaney Barry, blogger and creator at That Curious Love of Green and Momma living in County Leitrim in North West Ireland. I am always impressed and inspired by her. For her tenacity to write a book in the wee hours of a winter with little ones in the house. And to pick up painting and driving within the same year. We are both proud late bloomers and have embraced so many of the same growth and creative concepts within the same time period.  We both had no idea what blogging would gift to us. One of those gifts was connections with other bloggers around the world. Back when I was pregnant, we even Skyped once without sound. She was charming as heck in that long distance live silent movie moment. As her then 2-year-old fished into her purse she typed, “oh was that my new lipstick. Oh well.” But that I could have heard that fabulous accent too.

Peruse her site and you’ll find her very honest and open. From her journey of creative self-discovery to her love of cooking, country, family, and farming, she’s a delight to know, or stalk. And her pictures of her beautiful daughters and house are candid and charming too.

Recently, in this post she wrote called Even More Books,  Jane responded to a comment by a woman named Melissa with the kindest most enthusiastic and truthful response to a stranger that I was moved to share this on my blog. This is what we do as human beings, lift one another up with our experiences. I may not see what I do for others but I saw this and felt lucky to have done so.

Dear Melissa,

I’m what you might call ‘truly artistic’ and it took me 39 years to really get started. I’d say I was the same as you, writing and drawing as a child and so on. I truly believe everyone is creative and some uber so. From what you describe you’re in the ‘uber’ camp, no doubt in my mind. For years the most creative thing I did was cooking too, and before that dressing, the days when I had a bit of cash. And all times I felt these things you feel and I knew I wanted to write, to paint but I just did not know HOW to do it.
That idea, ‘if you are creative you will create no matter what,’ is not as clear-cut as it seems. In one sense you already ‘are’ creating no matter what, the cooking, the searching, in your ideas and the way you think I’ll bet. But it’s not enough and you know that, like I knew that. My problem was I had no frame of reference for these things. I just did not know HOW to write or paint, where to start.
My best decision was starting the blog, that leap was the trigger I needed. Once I began I felt I had to blog at least once a week. I wondered what I’d ever find to write about but quickly found once I sat down the words came!

Then the terror of sharing, of putting myself out there, being vulnerable, oh the fear! But then that got easier. Then I noticed a style start to emerge, who knew! Each new discovery, each step took me further, to wider reading on the subject, to greater immersion in art in general, the list goes on.Jane in her library on the curious love of green from shalavee.com

Then the big one, the idea for the book and I knew now to trust it, to just go where it lead. When I started, terror! I froze, the seeming impossiblity, the sheer scale of it. Melissa, I forced myself. A strict rule of, at first 300 words a day, eventually up to 1000, in other words commitment, work. Then, the magic really started. I won’t go into it here as this is already so long I’ll just say as I’ve said here many times before, that writing the novel, trusting that process was what made me brave enough to start painting with the month-long daily PUBLIC challenge. The difference was this time I knew what to do, just start, commit, keep going. I refused to miss even one single day and the experience was out of this world, life changing.
Now I’ve definitely gone on enough about myself but my point is that NOW I will create no matter what. If I’m not writing I’m thinking about writing or still writing, only in head. I will find a way to write every day and do. This is because I ‘started’ committed, built a habit, felt the magic and then boom, obsession!
You have to find a way to make space for your creativity in your life, this is HARD for an adult! As Ken Robinson said,

‘Creativity is like many natural resources, buried deep.’

But once you start to take it seriously and give it time and space in your day you will find yourself in that place where you will create no matter what and it will help with the stresses too.
If you would like to send me something via email …(you are) welcome. One last thing. I think a lot of the time we are so concerned about not being good enough, we think we should be great from the start and of course we hope we have this potential, that’s natural. The sad thing is it stops people just out of the gate. This happened me hundreds of times, if only I’d had the knowledge to put all those hundreds together!

Now I hope and fully intend to be a great writer, of course, I’m thinking if I write every day for the next, oh five years without fail I will get there.
So you have started! That is wonderful! Most people never do. Keep going! Build a wall of positive thinking around you, blast every negative thought that you can’t or you’re not good enough with this thought ‘But I’m doing it,’ or, another favourite of mine,

‘Every negative thought is a lie’

I use that one a lot.
Finally, I really mean finally this time! There is another reward, that is you become enchanted with the process, not the goal. It is the work you will love. The joy really is in the journey. I sincerely hope this helps, write any time , I would love to hear how it all goes, I’m excited for you! You’re in such an exciting place.

Love Jane xox

Of course, I was brave and made sure I said Bravo to all of this. Because when something hits home, you should shout “Yeah!” And then the lovely woman to whom she wrote responded. And I quickly grabbed that and put it here. I certainly hope she doesn’t mind but I feel as if I witnessed a lovely gift exchange and I wanted to share.

Jane, thank you so much for taking the time to respond with such caring thought and kindness. I continue to be amazed by you! Shalagh is so right, I am indeed lucky to have found you Jane. I am inspired by your multi talent and also your kindness. Wow, I needed to hear those words, they resonate with me at a very deep level. You’ve definitely given me something to think about. I appreciate the invitation to write to you so much, it means a lot, more than I can adequately express in words.

<3 Thank you.

If you like my creativity, positivity, and wonder, you’ll love Jane as well. I suggest you visit her Facebook page where she has developed a great following and is endlessly posting lovely pictures and thoughts and encourages people to share their creativity on Fridays. She really is an incredible inspiration. And I am flattered to be considered a friend.

More posts from That Curious Love of Green that make me marvel

The Artists Way – A Book Review

Feed Four for One Week 45.40 Euros

Chapter 1 of My Book – Read it Now

Corraleehan

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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