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Currently Browsing: Blogging Along

My Christmas Gift To Me

(From Christmas 2013)    PMS, a full moon, and Christmas aren’t a good combo. Even with a whole lot done, I felt incomplete and irritated at everything this past week. Not feeling the ho ho ho in the holiday tone. Here I had a beautiful baby, everything to be grateful for, and I felt resentful. What?stroller smile

I want to judge it and yet I can’t when it may be telling me something needs an adjustment.

I’ve been feeling more jazzed than ever to move ahead on my blog. Take the next step. I planned to use all the pictures I’d already taken, enjoy an afternoon or two of all out creativity and take more pictures. I’d have blog posts for days.

Then life happened to me. A ton of “do-this-befores“, baby interruptions, and regular chores. When I missed my dental cleaning appointment, I had a fit. I would not be writing all those blog posts I’d intended to. The timeliness of them had passed anyway. I still had no help with the baby. And all the “Making Big Blog Plans for 2014” posts was making me feel crappier.DSC02394 - Copy

By yesterday, 4 days until Christmas, I was saying, “I think I might need some time off.” Time to contemplate 2014, paint my fingernails, read a magazine, create time and brain space. Relax. Be. Breath.

I keep thinking of a scene in the Color Purple where Oprah’s character Sophia drives her mistress’s car to visit her children. She hasn’t seen them in a heartbreakingly long time. It could be the holiday season. Only when they get there, the woman freaks out. Sophia has to drive her away unable to spend time with her loved ones. It’s heart wrenching. And familiar. To be within reaching distance of the one thing that will make you happy and have to leave it.

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I desperately need creative time. I know I went and had me a baby and that is what it is. There are ways around this attention conflict. Expectation adjustments are up to me. Meeting my needs? Up to me. Letting things go that are standing right in my way? Up to me. Do your best, let go of the rest.

My present to myself will be to list out my responsibilities as if they were expenditures and overview my task budget. I may be spreading myself too thinly. And diluting my potential for greatness I feel capable of. I suspect I may just need my own permission to be great.

(And for a little Christmas Picture Prettiness, check out my final Christmas Decor Extravaganza post from last year.)

If you enjoyed what you read, please 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.

The Work and Waiting

As a new blogger, I knew I wanted to write and be read. And I wanted it all to happen right now. Happen naturally? Ha! Now, now, now with no waiting. And that tension of not believing I really could do it and wanting it now, served to deflate me instead of inspire me. My submissions were rejected, my site was not glamorous enough, and I just wasn’t narcissistic enough to perpetually fan the flames of fan-ship. Thankfully and eventually, I had enough sense to know this too would pass and I did keep writing because at least I knew practice would make me better. This blog was my living resume. And the constancy made me feel like I was still part of a process bigger than me. The work and the waiting on Shalavee.com

What I learned and continue to learn is that even in the quiet moments of just showing up, work is in fact being done. My regular contributions were proving I was reliable to myself and that I was resilient. I learned what I was truly in the long haul for my betterment. Sometimes this looks like connecting with others and myself and sometimes it looks like silence but it’s all hard work to re-see myself devoid of perfectionism. There’s a stubborn sustained single-mindedness that seems to show up and mirror my worth. It may even be slightly divine.The work and the waiting on Shalavee.com

When my doubt storms have finally quieted down, I have emerged victorious. I waited out my ego’s silliness and found myself still standing on the other side. Beautiful and flawed and human and in more awe of how hard life can be when we make it so. And knowing that sometimes, when we commit to taking our hands off of changing things and just letting them go instead, work will be done.

Our processes are personal to each of us. It takes as long as it takes. And we are so worth the wait.

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.

Hide and Seek : The Invisible Woman

The process of valuing myself and what I have to offer the world all comes down to visibility and on choosing whether to be seen or whether to stay the invisible woman. Fear of unspoken imagined horrors like public ostracization will keep us from coming out and being our truest selves. We’ll put on “I’m fine” shows for our perceived audience while all the while hoping no one gets wind that we are anything but fine. I am so guilty of that.

I’ve written many times about how I felt I was invisible. I couldn’t see myself in a mirror because I had no value. And then I came into the public eye online. And as much as you’d think I’d think myself so so visible now with Twitter and Instagram accounts and two Facebook pages plus a blog, I still manage to stay hidden.Hide and Seek : The Invisible Woman on Shalavee.com

I maintain my own status quo. I write three posts a week which may or may not be read. And I show up on Instagram everyday and repost that to Facebook, but I am still very hidden. Crazy considering the content I share is very deep right?

But I am holding myself back from risking more rejection to gather more readers. I do not care for playing the numbers and counting my followership. I care about providing real people with the real truth I have to give and hope that it will be of help to them. But if I do not reach outside my comfort zone and risk to write for a bigger audience, I am stifling my reach and my writing. I am choosing to stay invisible. And I think my message and many other messages in the world are worth receiving.

So, as with many of the moments when I find that what I am doing is no longer serving me but feel stuck against changing them, I am going to make myself a challenge here. A hundred days of visibility challenge. Yes, I’ll post for a hundred days in row on my Shalavee.com Facebook page about the stuff I’m doing to be more visible or tell the public telling things about myself. I will risk. And I’ll do it daily. I honestly didn’t think of doing this until I began writing this post so WOW. We’ll see what this does for me. I will start my challenge today so if you are on Facebook, I encourage you to find my Shalavee.com Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ShalaghblogsatShalavee/ .Hide and Seek : The Invisible Woman on Shalavee.com 

How does one be more visible you ask? Instead of doing constantly for others,you choose to do things for you and for the greater good and you own those self goals out loud. You ask for help for yourself claiming your worthiness in your community. You tell people about feeling scared or vulnerable. You show your imperfections. You apologize for your mistakes. Be truthful and see how quickly you are freed from your fearful bonds of the “what ifs”. You see yourself as being there for yourself and reliable and trustworthy to have your valuable needs met.

And you risk rejection in the places that mean the most to you if you win.

So here’s to not being the invisible woman anymore. Here’s to being read and celebrated and supported for my talent. Here’s to no longer fearing just being myself.

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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The Fall Soul Selfie Challenge is Here

On May 15th of 2016, I hosted my first Soul Selfie Challenge. As you may already know, I’m all about introspection. And I conceived of the hashtag #Soul_Selfie to house posts that I felt were deeper . And so naturally, next I had to offer up a week-long Instagram challenge to share some deeper thoughts with my community. Except, I was terrified!

I direct messaged a group of four people I trusted and asked them if I should host a challenge and their solid advice was to take the Nike approach and “Just Do It”. Bless their supportive little hearts because I went ahead and hosted that first one and it lifted my spirits so much. Some truly lovely people joined in with me on my challenge and I felt so wonderful and validated.

I would go on to host two more Soul Selfie challenges, later that year in October of 2016 and this past Spring in 2017. And it’s time again to do this challenge thing!

The idea is to take the prompt word and think about a story you can tell that you can be a little more honest about with yourself. To be seen a little more by owning a choice or a way of life that no longer serves you. Or perhaps one that changed your life in a great way. We are all so much more interesting than we first offer and that’s what I love about these challenges.

The other part I love about participating in challenges is all the yummy alliances and acquaintances we get to enjoy. I was on Instagram and didn’t have many friends and I dared myself to do a well-known challenge called April Love. I still have friends from that challenge. The Fall Soul Selfie Challenge id Here on Shalavee.com

So here we go… The Fall Soul Selfie Challenge of 2017 starts in three days! And I sooooo look forward to seeing what wonderful offerings show up on that hashtag page which now houses 494 posts! But I look more forward to getting to know more about a community that I hold dear and appreciate for supporting me and helping to raise me up in my self-worth. I am forever indebted.

If you have any questions about the challenge, direct message me on Instagram or Facebook or pop a comment in this post at the bottom.For a sampling of what the last Fall Soul Selfie Challenge held, see this post.

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Hello to October and My Plans

You’ve probably noticed it’s October already. Your calendar and your weather probably gave it away. But the meaning of the season change is personal and relative to each of us. For me it’s a slowing down and an opportunity for deeper work.

 

Yes, this is the month I got married and the month my husband and two of my very good friends were born in. It’s the weather shift I adore the most from Summer to actual Fall, and consequently I feel most alive in. But it’s also back to school time where I get more uninterrupted days in a row than before. Than Ever.Hello to October and What I Have Planned on Shalavee.com

 

And it’s been my practice for the past several years to challenge myself to post every single day of October on the blog. Quite the challenge that I always seem to pull off. But not this year. Where the busy blog may gain a few more readers that I can hope hold on through the holidays and all my decorating posts, that doesn’t honor my deeper needs and intentions for this blog and myself.

 

I am hoping to develop a deeper writing practice this Fall wherein I might come up with deeper thoughts and bigger offerings. To hone my passions and thereby, my purpose. November in fact is the month when many writers take part in the NaNoWriMo challenge. National Novel Writing Month started in 1999 and essentially is an established event during which a bunch of people finish writing their books.

 

What I’d like to establish is a writing habit. I could care less if I finish any book but would rather know I have the ability and the system that is in place to write and think in an organized productive fashion. Period. I’ve headed toward the intention to establish this and think maybe taking yourself seriously and creating a disciplined routine is a very good way to not only accomplish something but also prove you can.Hello to October and What I Have Planned on Shalavee.com

 

So my thoughts on October are for a month full of fall fun (cute pictures to come) and respecting those tasks and goals which you had to deny yourself before but can no longer deny beginning. Be it the painting of the walls of your ugliest room in your house before the weather changes, or creating disciplined habits that serve you well through the coming season, now is the time to set up the list of intentions, tools, and time tables. I’ll share my process with you as it works itself out.

 

Meanwhile, Happy October ! Hope you are embracing its meaning in your life too.

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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