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Currently Browsing: Daily Shalagh

Our Beloved Trees

Trees are being torn down in my neck of the woods to “make way”.  Progress takes no prisoners. Multitudes have silently died for the sake of the broadening highway that takes folks to the ocean. They break and fall and are left in their bare stump shame while the surveyors in orange vests plan the earth moving and paving due to upset traffic patterns for years to come.

Our Beloved trees on Shalavee.com

My pen and ink of our house and tree for our wedding invitations

When they paved my street, comments were made that the tree in front of my house was expendable. Much to my delight, their asphalting didn’t damage our sycamore. But on a weekday this past month, a man came to our door and informed my husband that they were trimming tree limbs along this route/state owned road and four of my sycamore’s limbs were destined to be amputated.  But two of them were already dead, capiche? My tree now only has limbs at the second story roof-line.

I came home and began to rant in the driveway,”Don’t they understand! Without branches, there are no leaves! No leaves means no air. How do you get air to breath if you keep lopping down trees? While I see them planting crowded sacrificial mini forests along roadsides, I can only hope that someone’s creating more trees in other places.Our Beloved Trees on Shalavee.com

Mankind has a funny way of always wanting to control what it can’t. My neighbors used to cut down bushes and trees all the time to allow them to grow back better. But I secretly know that we too have done away with unplanned trees that crowded our property. Humans revel in our ownership of nature and love the way it feels to completely rearrange and destroy it. Control is an unreliable king.

Man—man and woman—can create by planting seeds, by producing material objects, by creating art, by creating ideas, by loving one another. In the act of creation man transcends himself as a creature, raises himself beyond the passivity and accidental-ness of his existence into the realm of purposefulness and freedom … To create presupposes activity and care. It presupposes love for that which one creates. How then does man solve the problem of transcending himself, if he is not capable of creating, if he cannot love?

There is an answer to this need for transcendence: if I cannot create life, I destroy it. To destroy life makes me also transcend it … Thus the ultimate choice for man,inasmuch as he is driven to transcend himself, is to create or destroy, to love or to hate.”

Erich Fromm

Yet, nature will dismiss us. It will outlive us. Ever heard George Carlin’s bit about the Earth and Plastic? I was never a tree-hugger until now. I despise driving a gas-powered vehicle now that I know what I didn’t before. And I found myself concerned/anxious and overwhelmed by what seems to be the world’s mismanagement of food after reading something very knowledgeable and scientific in a magazine. I know that one day the devices and equipment necessary to enable me to use electricity and solar power will be available to heat my house and power my vehicle. And until then, as John Mayer sings, I am waiting on the world to change.

I am planning to plant some trees in the next five years and I will take a detour around the construction and demolition of the trees on the highway until it’s safe to traverse and not feel guilty of being a human anymore. And I miss the limbs of my sycamore.

And If you enjoyed what you read, 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.

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How Summer Did Not Start Out Like Plummeting Space Junk

(If you’d like to listen to me read this post, there’s an audio recording at the bottom of the post. Scroll down and Just press play and Soundcloud will do the rest)

In Summers past, I have entered the season like a plummeting piece of space junk. My landings are often fast and furious, and usually neurotic and messy. I even posted a warning to myself last year in case I’d forgotten what craziness Summer usually brings me. But if I told you this Summer’s first week was uneventful, would I believe it?

Let me fill you in on what miracles I arranged for myself prior to the start of this Summer. I had Summer camps paid for and shot records delivered in March. I asked our babysitter to pinch hit for two days per week so that I could have creative alone time at home and Fiona could have one-on-one time with someone. And I went and bought me a portable air-conditioner to plop in my craft room thus eliminating the excuse that it was too hot to create or write. I wrote about this last Week in a post titled A Controlled Creative Climate.How Summer Did Not Start Out Like Plummeting Space Junk on Shalavee.com

 

I made space and possibility for myself so that I could get to catching up and creating immediately. And it has made me almost a nervous wreck. Because easier sometimes isn’t … until it is.

 

Over oatmeal this morning, my husband says,”So things are going really good for you right? What with the extra time and the space?” and I say, “Not so much”. And I explain to him that I feel a different kind of whacky. And he says,”Oh, it’s the blank check syndrome”, and I smile and ask him what that is. He says,”You have all the money and time and permission in the world and you’re stuck because there’s no limitations.” And I’m saying, “Yes! That’s it” before he’s even finished.

I made space and possibility for myself so that I could get to catching up and creating immediately.

And it has made me almost a nervous wreck.

I have had limitations and restrictions on me all my life. Being confined and miserable is where I am most comfortable. It’s the happiness set point and most of my life, it’s been set in the unhappiness zone. Now I have the possibility to move out of that zone and I don’t know how to deal with it or feel about it…again. I know that I’ve been here before and I’m currently searching for the right mindset to live in so that I can relax into this boon I have given myself and stop chewing on my lip. Last Fall, my therapist and I talked about how happiness makes me nervous . I’m glad I have a blog to search my own terms and breakthroughs ! How Summer Did Not Start Out Like Plummeting Space Junk on Shalavee.com

So I continue to stay watchful of myself and am creating everyday in my newly cooled quiet craft room. It has only been a week since Summer has started and there’s quite a few more weeks to go. I am grateful that my process is being upgraded every year and hoping to share some of our happy Summer moments and my creative breakthroughs with you throughout.

 

And If you enjoyed what you read, 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.

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Books That Don’t Help

 

(If you’d like to listen to me read this post, there’s an audio recording at the bottom of the post. Scroll down and Just press play and Soundcloud will do the rest)

Is it that I’m too pragmatic or my expectations are too high? Because I believe that if you’re going to make the effort to write a book or create anything that you want people to buy or buy into, you need to make sure it will in fact help them and not just you. Books need to have a little more purpose for the money they ask.

There’s a book up on my bookshelf. It’s been sitting there, me staring at it for years now. I looked at it once and then plopped it up on the shelf to fill space. But the book is just eye candy. It has pretty pictures of how someone decorated and styled a photo shoot. But there is nothing of practical worth in it for me, save perhaps a tiny shred of inspiration. But after you’ve read it, you are done. No more value is issuing forth from that book. And that annoys me.

Books that don't help on Shalavee.com

I believe that there is a lot of crap that is being passed off as something you should want but after you buy it, there’s nothing happening to benefit you and your life.

That it is understood that some books are of keeping value and some are just to be thumbed through like a magazine at the doctor’s office and then never to be looked at again. I get it. But why do I feel compelled to hold onto this book? That’s my bad. And I think, what sort of book would I offer which had more?Could I just throw together a book of pretty pictures with no helpful words inside. No.

I believe that there is such a thing as pretty pictures combined with good helpful content. That is the sort of book, website, Facebook group, and social media account I want to hold onto and be a part of. And I believe that there is a lot of crap that is being passed off as something you should want but after you get there, there’s nothing happening to benefit you and your life. Value to me has deeper roots and I’m about to purge myself of items that no longer serve the value which I want to see in my life. And the kind I want to create in my life as well. What about you?

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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A Controlled Creative Climate

For the longest time, I have wanted my own creative space. I have carved them out of back rooms and basements. In this house, I have use of a sun porch which we call the craft-room. It would seem that would be good enough until I can’t be in there alone without “company” and then the Summer weather makes the room unbearably hot.

But don’t be fooled, this isn’t just about the actual space to physically create in. This is also about the mental space and permission with which to be our truest selves. I have waged a battle inside that had me losing the opportunity to create regularly until now.

A controlled creative climate on Shalavee.com

 

 

When we are in a creativity mode, we need to know that we are safe. We are our inner children wanting to play uninterrupted. The irony that our actual children steals that away from us is an unfunny life joke. Seems a fair enough request to ask for regular recess in our play rooms but our inner adults often have better more productive plans for us. Eventually we give up and we resolutely stuff our “childish” desires down some dark hole in our psyche.

In my case, my inner child began to tantrum. And what I came to understand was that not only did I need to allow her to indulge in her recess, I needed to create a safe environment in which she could play free of judgements and distractions. And then she needed to trust that when she wanted to play, I’d create time and space again for her. This is exactly the process by which I’ve begun to trust myself.

A controlled creative climat on Shalavee.com

So this Summer, to further indulge my need to create safely, I’ve hired a sitter to regularly engage my daughter (CRAZY COOL) and purchased a mobile air conditioner for my craft room (COOL LIKE CRAZY). Which means I can close the door and create at will. There are no more obstacles and I feel slightly giddy.

This is how I am creating a space to grow into. Like setting an empty box down to be filled with a project of yet unnamed magnitude. I’m nervous at the prospect of having no more excuses in some ways but I’m also giddy at the notion of possibilities. And all it took was circumventing my excuses, ridding my roadblocks, and taking responsibility to keep my inner artist safe until she can come out to play.

And If you enjoyed what you read, 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.

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Gaining Creative Confidence : Our Creative May

This past month of May, I again hosted a creative challenge called Our Creative May with the participation of some of my creative cohorts and Our Creative Selves contributors on Instagram. I’d done the same back in September of 2016 with great results and while I felt I struggled a little this time with my expectations around creating marvelous pieces and making creative strides, I knew this was not all there was to this month of creating. And I’ve sat quietly since gaining an understanding of really what it was that I need to acknowledge.Gaining Creative Confidence ; Our Creative May on Shalavee.com

First and foremost I want to herald the efforts and the people who participated in the challenge with me. People who want to support me and themselves in doing this creative thing and finding out who we are and translating what we see and feel daily. It’s really creative truth searching. And it’s also courageous. A few of my participants had never given daily artistic devotion a try and they were so proud of themselves afterwards. I know all about that weird doubtful feeling as I’ve been there once (or twice).

And what I have also been ruminating on is this power of creativity and connection that these challenges provide. It’s basic and it’s so very good for our esteems and spirits. These connections with fellow creatives are giving me hope and courage in myself and my world like I never had before. We’re all wearing the same dream hats on our heads and we see ourselves in each other. And that is what being a part of humanity and community means to me.Gaining Creative Confidence ; Our Creative May on Shalavee.com

If creating and connecting gives me hope and courage than it is the very thing that I need to continue to do. It is not about the results. No I didn’t really come up with anything mind-blowing in May. But as I rolled into June and continued to create daily with other people’s challenges, it became clear that it’s all fluid as a way to just stay connected with myself and my fellow creative people. And I’m standing here taking great relief and encouragement from that concept. And thinking hard about the fact that if I need this, other people need it too. Enjoy a smattering of the 322 posts that were offered up for Our Creative May. Amazing all!

I feel kinda gushy seeing these images. Proud and grateful. Click on one and you can scroll through the thumbnails at your leisure. If you’d like to see the first post from the beginning of the month on Our Creative May, go here. The second post is here.

And If you enjoyed what you read, 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.


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