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International Women’s Day 2021 : Seeing Ourselves as Valuable

The theme for 2021’s International Women’s Day, which falls on Monday March 8th, is #ChoosetoChallenge .While the global pandemic over the past year has challenged all of us in ways we’d never have wished on anyone, it has also brought to light some woeful discrepancies in gender equality. I have issue with the dismissal and disrespect for Stay-at-home Moms who became the majority this past year.

In the middle of spending months constantly caretaking and worrying about three demanding humans this past year, I acknowledged I felt emotionally and physically exhausted and resentful of all the “doing” for my family. It was apparent my kids didn’t appreciate me. And when I heard other women were struggling with the overwhelm of having to simultaneously work, home-school, clean, and cook for their families, I saw a pattern of disrespect from society, families, and ourselves emerging.

Once you see something, you can not Un-see it. The world is unappreciative of the women who have been keeping us all sane, sanitary, and fed through this pandemic and of the generations prior. The very backbone of every country has been and is taken for granted as a “given” resource. But this Mom job isn’t a default job because we weren’t good enough for anything else. Honestly, we are so good at the multitasking of home maintenance that we make it look too easy. And we’re being taken for granted.

From my perspective, keeping the seams of the country stitched together is a relentless, disrespected, and necessary job. The toddler in diapers and the angry teen are the future of our country. Refusing to acknowledge, honor, and support families’ now saturated need for this special type of care and love at home dooms our next generation to their entitled future anger for emotional abandonment as their mothers spread themselves too thin to do it all. As they work to just pay for childcare.

International Women's Day 2021 : Seeing Ourselves as Valuable on Shalavee.com

These very women are also not asking the world and their families for their due acknowledgment and appreciation. It makes me sad that women are so quick to disregard themselves and their value. We often do what needs getting done without too much “fuss” stating it’s not a big deal, we’re just used to this and it’s easier for us to do the work without help. This is the hardest job ever. By taking ourselves for granted, we are raising and priming the next generation of women for the same self-neglect and disrespect. Playing it down needs to stop.

We cannot conquer what we can not recognize as oppressive, be it our own self-neglect or societal disrespect. In order to see ourselves as valuable human beings, we need to treat ourselves as such. But feeling entitled to respect when we suffer from low self-esteem and anxiety is nearly impossible. I am still on my own journey to climb out of the self-hatred hole and into the compassionate light of seeing myself as a worthy human. This takes additional work beyond that of caring for the family.

The lockdown has taught me life’s easier when I’m vigilant about my self-care by prioritizing my needs and maintaining my boundaries, especially with my family. I can only continue care-taking my children effectively and thoughtfully when I replenish my energy reserves. I do this with therapy, community support, journaling, creating art, and I am committed to taking anti-anxiety medications for the rest of my life. This is how I revere myself and stay sane. Our refusal to prioritize our care and needs doesn’t boost our self-sacrifice points. It does no one any good.

International Women's Day 2021 : Seeing Ourselves as Valuable on Shalavee.com

As we acknowledge our worthiness as women, I’d like to see us choose to join together in the grander act of superversion; a joint and conscious nurturing act of building ourselves and our daughters esteems up so they will be entitled to ask to be treated fairly and respectfully. Unlike subversion, this is not an act against anyone or anything, but an answer to a societal oversight. To honor our heroic female ancestors and ourselves, we can only help future generations recognize the importance of all the unseen selfless acts of love women perform for their families that have allowed future generations to thrive.

Only when we start exhibiting the behavior that we want to see, will the world shift with us. Right is just plain right. A little superversion as purposeful positivity, support, and nurturing, can unite and carry us together safely as one to speak and act on behalf of women around the globe who can not speak for themselves. This is how we can make change, from within ourselves and for the world. I’d like to say the patriarchy will applaud us, but it won’t. We just have to be here for each other no matter.

If you feel resentful towards the world and your families for the way they take you for granted, I completely understand. What will it take for us to tell them to think better of us? What tax breaks could we be offered so that being a stay at home Mom could be the more valued job it should be? How about subsidizing childcare workers to make it more available? And how can you yourself revere your own worthiness with acts of kindness so that others will treat you as you treat you? Please share these ideas and respectfully remember all those wonderful women who have come before us who deserved this kind of love and respect.

And then give this to yourselves.

This post is written to acknowledge the role of women in the world in honour of International Women’s Day 2021. The theme is  #choosetochallenge.  Co-ordinated by Attract Readers, https://www.attractreaders.com

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Grow Where You Are Planted

After nearly a year of feeling the pinch of our collective sequestering, l’ve come to understand my ultimate importance.

I maintain my family and I care for myself.

The normalcy and the creativity are my realms.

We all need both of these to keep our sanity.

To feel that everything’s Okay in our tiny world but to also express our uniqueness.

To hear and feel ourselves getting in touch with our own inner voices.

That is what grounds me. Keeps me. Spurns me onward.

Because this isn’t about product.

This beautiful life we have a chance to live every day is about process.

And from a solid inspirational process comes products that exceed expectations.

Keep on Keeping on lovely people and honor yourselves for the lives you get to yet live.

Grow where you are planted.

 

Interested in reading my future thoughts on Creative Soul Living?

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I love community, soulful candid conversation, and being in touch.

And as always, thank you for your visit.

Self-Care, the Next Phase

Self-care is a multi-layered endeavor. Brushing your teeth, taking pills, and exercising are all basic bodily care practices that when we are new mothers, seem to be more than we can manage. But eventually we get those done too. I have taken the past twenty years to really delve into taking care of my mental health. To this end, I’ve had a therapist I see regularly, I’ve scheduled procedures to take care of the aches and pains in my body that weren’t normal, and I finally asked for an anti-anxiety medicine prescription.

I ask myself what else do I need to do to let me know I’m taking care of me? My inner child has begun to trust me and understand that even those things I really don’t feel like doing will make me feel better about myself soon enough. With the pandemic uprooting our family routines, I lost a bit of my self care rituals to fear. I had just begun to lose some unwanted weight, feeling pleased with myself, when lockdown happened. And I ended up putting that back on and then some. And the children being at home completely messed with any of my schedules to create and write for myself regularly.Self-Care, the Next Phase on Shalavee.com

So I began again. I asked to double up on my anti-anxiety meds. I spoke to my therapist about how I was refusing to let go of the clothing that didn’t fit in my closet but that made me unhappy. And she encouraged me to give myself permission to be where I was and how I was at this very moment. Which was enough for me to begin the next phase of my self care.

I cleared the closet out. One box of too small, next Fall clothes was made. Several bags of see ya’ later alligators were made. And a hopeful Spring/Summer set of clothing for 20 pounds lighter was stored into a chest of drawers.Self-Care, the Next Phase on Shalavee.com

There was something going on that I was doing in all the closets. I was letting go of things that no longer pertained to me or benefitted me. Old camcorders and snowpants, arm braces and shoes that no longer had a use were pitched without a thought. It was like I was tossing anchors that tied me to a past that I no longer was living. And on this purge’s heels, I came to another conclusion. There were people that I had previously said yes to that I needed to now say no to. I said no to volunteering realizing that I’d never have done that if the pandemic hadn’t shown me how I really wanted to live : without hurry and scurry. And I said no to taking care of my Mother in the way that became a deficit for me and felt as if I was being taken for granted.

I got my mammogram/booby squash. I got a shot for my trigger finger. I got my hair professionally dyed which felt like the best big-girl decision I have made in a long time because it looks amazing and it thickened my hair back up. I look like a rockstar in the morning and I love it. Then I went to get a procedure done and was tossed out of the operating room for high blood pressure. I thanked them for not killing me and I am on both medicine and and getting treated for the trauma with EMDR to desensitize me to the blood pressure cuff. And I am now doing the Noom food and psychology program which is exactly the way that I’m going to be able to use my brain to get through losing this weight and maintaining the weight loss further on.Self-Care, the Next Phase on Shalavee.com

And lastly I have begun to create and recognize my creativity since day one of 2021. I believe the number one medicine to cure what mentally ails is to create regularly. I am involved in the 100 Day Project creating pictures on 4 x 4 paper with watercolor pencils daily until sometime in April. And I am committed to writing blog posts twice a week. These changes have been gradual and I notice how much more confident I feel. I refuse to ask my kids to have permission to parent them. I work through the resistance around doing things and find the joy. And I am grateful to have the foresight and the skills to take care of myself well enough to model it for my children.

I hope that by describing all of this, others can take inspiration and hope from my self-care practices that are a little deeper and more necessary that just getting a pedicure. Speaking of which, I need to do that as well !

Interested in reading my future thoughts on Creative Soul Living?

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Find me on Instagram to view my daily pictures,

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I love community, soulful candid conversation, and being in touch.

And as always, thank you for your visit.

Ladies, We Are Still Disregarding Ourselves 100 Years Later

This pandemic has again brought to light the fact that the world runs on the efforts and consideration of the caretakers. In fact, the role of mother and homemaker has never been given it’s due respect from my perspective. We aren’t just undercompensated for the care we give the people who need it, we are under appreciated. And not just by everyone, but by ourselves.Ladies, We Are Still Disregarding Ourselves 100 Years Later on Shalavee.com

An exhibit at the National Museum of American History titled All Work and No Pay: A History of Women’s Invisible Labor went up just as the lockdown happened. Explore the history of women’s work in the home and the value and implications of unwaged labor. Despite making steps forward in the paid labor force, there is an implied and historical expectation that women will take care of the housework and unpaid work at home.”

100 years later with a right to vote and everyone still expects this of us, even us.Ladies, We Are Still Disregarding Ourselves 100 Years Later on Shalavee.com

For the care of our loved ones, we willingly sacrifice our own needs for time, space, peace, and care. These considerations for self-care fall on our shoulders just as all the other caretaking considerations and we shove them to the bottom of the list as we’ve always done. But then here we are, “Do as I do not as I say” and “My needs aren’t as important as yours”.

Here we are raising another generation to disregard women.

So my cry for freedom is that we stop the martyrdom of not caring for ourselves and fake it until we make it. We share chores because all work is just as important. We share childcare as best we can because we need time off. We ask brothers and sisters to take a day or two off of their lives to care for their parent too, we need to get our hair professionally dyed or just sit in silence and turn off our auto buttons. And let’s pass on to the next generation the idea that there is no work that is just “women’s work.”

Ladies, We Are Still Disregarding Ourselves 100 Years Later on Shalavee.com

     A banner from the Suffragist era reads,

Forward out of darkness, Leave behind the night.

Forward out of error, Forward into Light.”

Amen.

 

Interested in reading my future thoughts on Creative Soul Living?

Enter your name into the subscription box in the sidebar to the right and subscribe to my bi-weekly posts via your emailbox.

Find me on Instagram to view my daily pictures,

friend me or like my page on Facebook.

I love community, soulful candid conversation, and being in touch.

And as always, thank you for your visit.

Regular Creativity Can Bring You the Joy Akin to Christmas

My daughter Fiona is about to turn 8 years-old. She has already written and posted a birthday wish list on the refrigerator. It includes items like a trampoline, a banana seat and basket for her bicycle, and a goldfish. Her birthday isn’t even 3 moths after Christmas so I’m thinking how do we so easily forget what we have and want more so quickly?

But the bigger question I realized is how do we keep the creative and abundant spirit of Christmas going throughout the year? Perpetual Creative practice. When I make something, I am gifting a part of me to myself, my family perhaps, and to the world if I choose to share it. There is such a wonderful feeling the magic of which is akin to Christmas.Regular Creativity Can Bring You the Joy Akin to Christmas on Shalavee.com

I’d add that gratitude is the other practice that give you grace and feeling like what you have is almost enough. Although gratitude won’t get you more gas in your gas tank, it might get you a job from someone you took the time to thank. The little things we do add up to a lot more than we can ever know.

I have embarked on my fourth 100 Day Project journey this week. A non-negotiable daily promise to show up and make small art. The result is many fold. I become better at using the medium I have chosen which this year is watercolor pencils. I reestablish or create self-trust when I show up for myself. And I get to share my art with an enthusiastic community which furthers my Christmas-like high.

There is nothing here not to like.

Interested in reading my future thoughts on Creative Soul Living?

Enter your name into the subscription box in the sidebar to the right and subscribe to my bi-weekly posts via your emailbox.

Find me on Instagram to view my daily pictures,

friend me or like my page on Facebook.

I love community, soulful candid conversation, and being in touch.

And as always, thank you for your visit.

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