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Currently Browsing: Daily Shalagh

Knowing What You Don’t Want is as Good as Knowing What You Do

I often say that knowing what you don’t want is as important as knowing what you do want. I got a job at a television station once and immediately knew that despite my degree, I didn’t want a career in television. It is invaluable to know yourself and what your happiness is composed of. But sometimes I still screw it up.

Last week, for the umpteenth time, I wrote out my bigger writing and blogging career goals, readying myself to take the actions I still always feel I can not get ahead of, and suddenly, I felt smothered. All these must do’s and have to be’s were exhausting me. I’ve intentionally been taking my cues on choosing by what makes me happy. And suddenly all I felt was overwhelmed and incapable of living up to my intentions. Like I was trying hard to be someone else. I did not want to feel like this.

And so I put everything down and stopped thinking about what my future self needed to do. As I am committed to my writing, I always keep up with my blog posting but I realized … it’s Summertime. There’s even less time to do anything during the Summer with children out of school. And here I was trying to stack more on my head.Fiona at the grocery store on Shalavee.com

I wanted that “kick back and relax” feeling that I had in the beginning of Summer. Because in less than a month, it’s back to school. No more leisurely mornings and afternoons or visits to the beach. It is a mindset to enjoy the slower pace and I had completely forgotten that was where I needed to be.

So here’s to dropping obligations like hot potatoes for the month of August. Here’s to doing what I want when I want to. And allowing for the feeling of nervousness to pass after the third day of doing nothing “productive” because I’m so used to ambitious thoughts that I don’t know how to exist without their whip.

We all have things that we do that we may not be aware we’re doing to keep up or keep ahead. Just being mindful and staying grounded can be the exact thing that you need you to do to see these and be in control of them and not them of you. Fear is usually the wall to wall carpet in these rooms. And I’m being very mindful to watch where I step.

And just as I’m preparing to publish this, I read this post called The Struggle IS Real : The Ten Tell-Tale Signs of Burnout . Fabulous read by a favorite age Miss Sas Petherick . An absolutely spot on tell it like it like it is to be burned out and what you need to do immediately. Which was pretty much what I did. We are all so hard on ourselves. But candles burned at both ends burn out.

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. If you Sign up for my newsletter in the sign up box over there to the right, you’ll receive a first look-see at my Creative Mothers’ Manifesto! Heartfelt impassioned words on the need for expressing creativity for your soul and being a better mother for it.

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When I Was Fried and Hopeless

I wrote the following on September 27, 2014. Fiona was 18 months and beginning her toddlerhood in earnest. I remember it seemed early for the horrible twos yet there she was acting horrible. And so I wrote out my frustration here. And soon forgot about it. Until I found this eloquent and desperate plea today. And want to offer up all of my compassion to anyone, mother or not, who finds themselves in a place that feels hopeless. That feeling overwhelmed is OK and writing or talking it is even better. And when you let go of your overwhelm and move towards hope again, you are noble and alive and will soon forget most of this moment. 

“So  I’m going under again. I am beginning to drown in all the obligations and the expectations. Seems, I have no time to have fun being me. Because I wouldn’t mind all of these must do’s if my fun do’s were satisfied. I’m irritated and impatient and I don’t like me so much these days.

Feels like I’m a better mother when I am alone. That I need a huge injection of soul satisfaction to then feel generous with my children, my husband, and anyone else related to me. I’m spreading the little time that I have alone too thin with all the other duties that are necessary but unsatisfying. And I am generally having no fun.

I’m out of touch with my writer self. It’s been so long since I have sat down and written something real and meaningful, I doubt I am in touch enough with how I feel. Or have that depth left. Because that depth requires space to sprawl into. And my brain is twitching inside the shallow space like an epileptic.

I’m angry and resentful. My inner child wants to go out and play but I have to balance the checkbook first. And vacuum the floor. Oh, what about the budget and the broken clothes washer?

Sad and angry and irritated. The next place all this goes is me feeling I’m a bad parent. Mostly, being a parent is knowing that you’ll fail the test, it’s just a matter of when. And this week I got an F for failure to keep my cool. Yelling and impatience. Projection and catharsis and guilt. All bad parents know this cycle. Yell and repeat.

Overwhelmed and thinking about what else I can do. About the set happiness point everyone supposedly has. That I have so been here with the first kid and now I’m falling down the same bad parent hole with my second. Feeling the martyr syndrome. And looking towards being trapped with a baby lunatic inside the house for the Fall and Winter.

It is getting better day by day. I expect to be here again. I expect you’ll pity me and want to give me advice. Know that by the time I publish this, I’ll have made a change. Because nothing stays up or down for too long before it swings the other way. And I had an appointment with my therapist yesterday. Yes, your happiness is really your responsibility. There will be fall out. And all you can do is apologize, take a walk, talk it through, and start again.”

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. If you Sign up for my newsletter in the sign up box over there to the right, you’ll receive a first look-see at my Creative Mothers’ Manifesto!  Heartfelt impassioned words on the need for expressing creativity for your soul and being a better mother for it.

Compassion Breeds Confidence : Ditching the Judgement

Seems women are less compassionate towards themselves than men. Men will rate their own efforts way better than women will judge their own efforts. Somehow our need to care-take the world means that we have to reserve our compassion for others? We need to work ourselves to exhaustion for the sake of everyone. Martyrdom is then a complete lack of self-compassion and crediting our efforts. Why are we saving the world and driving ourselves into the ground if we just end up being mean to ourselves?

Mean shouldn’t be our motivation to work. But when we aren’t being loving or compassionate with anyone including ourselves, that’s what it is. Judgement is the opposite of compassion. So not only are we ignoring our needs, we’re judging ourselves for having them. We’re berating and punishing and denying ourselves basic care needs. For what purpose? Compassion breeds confidence on Shalavee.com

If we were compassionate with ourselves, as we imagine we are with everyone else, and told ourselves that everyone has days like this and it’s OK to be sad or mad and keep trying, we’d have more room for our humanity. We’d have permission to clean up life’s little messes more quickly, we’d have a better sense of humor too probably.

And as we kept trying to just deal with our lives the best we could and allow for opportunities as well as the failures, we’d have many more opportunities to gain confidence. In the end we’d feel better about ourselves and our abilities. We’d be showing up to mother ourselves in the fashion we expect ourselves to do with our children. And I’d bet we’d rate our efforts more highly.Compassion breeds confidence on Shalavee.com

Because, PS , our children will do to themselves as they see us doing to ourselves. You can not hide who you are and what you believe. And if you are a self-critical judgement-aholic, you’ll raise one. Want a child with confidence, treat yourself with kindness and care, know where you stop and they start and draw the line for the sake of your love. You will be glad to have steered your family in that direction.

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. If you Sign up for my newsletter in the sign up box over there to the right, you’ll receive a first look-see at my Creative Mothers’ Manifesto! Heartfelt impassioned words on the need for expressing creativity for your soul and being a better mother for it.

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How I Make Your Triumphs into My Losses

I feel bad about the way I’ve treated you. You are such a good friend but I have a guilty secret. Sometimes I put you up on a pedestal and then use your accomplishments to feel bad about myself. I want to celebrate with you and feel like your equal, but I just end up feeling inferior. And I feel that I’ve put a great big blockage into our relationship.

Remember when you announced that amazing break you had last year? I know you worked hard to get it and I was immediately conflicted between wanting to celebrate with you and wanting to be soooo jealous of you. I hope you didn’t notice I made it all about me. I’d be mortified if you noticed. So I just keep my jealousy to myself and live my own life of desperation and futility.Playing on the floor on Shalavee.com

I work so hard to come up with brave tasks to tackle. I challenge my fears at every corner doing the things I dread most in order to improve myself. But then another post comes up that tells me you had something else great happen to your career or your house or your family. And then I spiral. I compare your outsides to my insides and always come up with the crappier end of the equation.

I’m not the only one I know who does this. You might do it too. And that’s maybe why I bring this up. Because if you knew I was doing it and I knew we were doing it together then maybe we’d have a better time of feeling good about being right where we are. Accomplishments and failures alike, we are just all coexisting and hoping for happiness. the tunnel on shalavee.com

So I promise the next time I want to take your success and add it to my failure column, I’ll stop. And I’ll try to remember that there were probably many items and things in your life that didn’t go so well too. That you didn’t share those but if we talked, you might. So for now, I’m going to value my life on my own merits and not on the demerits I got from your good fortune.

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. If you Sign up for my newsletter in the sign up box over there to the right, you’ll receive a first look-see at my Creative Mothers’ Manifesto! Heartfelt impassioned words on the need for expressing creativity for your soul and being a better mother for it.

Chi is All It’s Cracked Up To Be

We were watching Kung Fu Panda 3 this weekend where an ancient grumpy Ox in the netherworld is stealing good guys’ chi. Essentially, he was taking what it was that made them them. An essence of a person is not only what you are and think and are good at, but also who you are supported and loved by. Who others value you to be.

And it got me to thinking, who stole my chi? Because I’ve been missing my view of me for a very long time. I suspect it began with some faulty mirror in my childhood. Parents who were so busy making their lives happen and keeping them from falling apart that there just wasn’t much to return back to us children concurrently. Happens to kids all the time every day everywhere.Fiona and her chi and cheerios on Shalvee.com

And so I grew up just sort of flailing about, not ever really seeing me or my chi and what I could do for the world. No true passions, just subsisting. That is until my 40’s when I was faced with raising a child who I felt would also be doomed to low self-esteem and anxiety, much less some shaky non-existent chi, unless I decided to begin a journey to see me. Tweak my views and pep up the garden design of my internal landscapes. I chose to clean up what was broken, discard what no longer worked for me, and bring in the redesign crew. Fiona, her chi, her cheerios, and her cat Chessie on Shalavee.com

The process has been fun and scary and way more satisfying than I ever thought it would be. Making new friends and trying new things is truly the best way to rediscover what you are underneath. Risking the rejection of the stuff that means the most to you and finding out that you are better for the pain.

Honestly, your chi never leaves. It is just hidden inside of you until you are brave enough to uncover it. And my journey has begun to show me that my life is intricately entwined around others and their chi. And I feel so much a part of a world that I once was disconnected with. Chi is all it’s cracked up to be.

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. If you Sign up for my newsletter in the sign up box over there to the right, you’ll receive a first look-see at my Creative Mothers’ Manifesto! Heartfelt impassioned words on the need for expressing creativity for your soul and being a better mother for it.

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