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Currently Browsing: Blogging Along

My Sixth Year Blogaversary

Well, this blogaversary snuck up on me. Kind of like old age and thinning hair, suddenly you may not be rocking them but you own them, like it or not. I have had a blog, been blogging, been a blogger for six years this August. Not as long as some and not as successful as other blogs younger than me. That’s just how it is in the blogosphere, you can see who you’re comparing yourself to and then you have to tell yourself another story.

I can say that at this blog has grown me in ways that I didn’t expect in the least. I became a better writer for the continued regular practice. I became a social media user. Say what? I gained confidence in skills I previously did not have nor ever intended to use. I became a better bigger badder me. And that is always an endeavor worth taking on, even if I didn’t know that’s where I was headed to begin with. It’s been an adventure, a Toad’s wild ride. Read my peppier 5th blogaversary post here (and there are connections to the other anniversary posts there too).

My self-esteem, while having been raised quite extraordinarily by all of the aforementioned benefits of blogging, is still teetering on the questions of value and purpose. It’s fear and humanity all stuck in my throat like a hairball. And I’m hacking up a lung behind the scenes trying to clear this block from my psyche so I can continue to blog with a new and better and bigger purpose.My Six Year Blogaversary on Shalavee.com

Because as much as this has served me well to be a better writer and reach out and find pockets of community and esteem, I believe the next way it will serve me will need more focus and more effort and more transparency. And way more work. I will have to take a stand for me and for people like me who need a hand helping themselves out of similar holes. I will have to believe I matter. And that kind of heroism doesn’t come easy.

So thanks to each and every loving one of you for your continued support of my writing and bumbling blogging efforts. I am forever in your debt. You are my crew, my community, and my heart.

Love,

Shalagh

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.

Codependency

Codependency is such a dirty word to say these days. I think most people have heard of it and my suspicion is that most people suffer to a degree from it. And like allergies and anxieties, most people also deny that.

I can remember being in a therapy session when I was around 21 and feeling bad about something for my boyfriend. Like I had responsibility for having caused his feeling or I was trying to fix him (no surprise) and the therapist brought this to my attention. This was the first memory I can have of being aware that my tendency to mind-read and try to expect and manipulate other people’s happiness may not be “healthy”. The first time I was busted for being codependent.Codependency on Shalavee.com

I have worked for many many years on figuring out where I stop and other people begin. That place is called a boundary and is perfectly normal to have. In codependent families, people do not take responsibility for their own choices and either pass the blame on to other people or insinuate others have to make up for it. Defensiveness and resentment top the feeling charts in these family situations followed by guilt and shame. To say this is all “unhealthy” would be to understate the effects on the children who grow up here. It’s downright debilitating.

Yet even in the nicest of families, people do what they know and has been done before them. And it has been a real impetus for my emotional growth to not want to repeat the unhealthy behaviors that have been given to me. Children do as they see, not as you say. If I do not take responsibility for my choices and am always blaming others, so will they. Integrity and honesty start in your heart and flow downhill to those you love. So does pain and displacement of that pain. In the end, you are always still responsible for your own happiness.Codependency on Shalavee.com

At the same time, the care-taking of children draws me into areas where I can be dangerously codependent. The need to make sure I’m a “Good “ mother can make me spoil and coddle and mind-read their needs. It can make me ignore my own needs to take care of theirs. And too much of this can make me feel resentful and still I can raise children who take the world and me for granted. If I never allow them to do their work and experience the benefit of it, I am robbing them of identity moments. Opportunities to grow away from needing me.

Thankfully, I’m a Mom who understands that I have a separate life just like my children will. I have to be mindful and cautious not to spoil my whole family to my detriment. But I am certain that I am on the right path to showing them what it looks like to take responsibility for their actions and feelings and to be proud of their accomplishments which are theirs not mine. If you find yourself trying to coerce other people to feel things and are sure you know what everyone is thinking about you, you may want to look into this codependency thing a little more.

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 orPinterest 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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Not a Loser or a Gainer but a Wicked Maintainer

When it comes to my body and my soul work, I can maintain what I’ve got for all eternity. It’s movement that I seem to be having a tough time with. I managed to move my body weight down maybe 6 pounds last year with Weight Watchers. And maintained it until Christmas when I gave myself permission to eat what I wanted assuming I’d gain it back. Which I did. I chose it. And now, a year later, I’m back where I started. Maintaining my weight gain despite good intentions and motivation. Not a loser or a gainer but a wicked maintainer.not a loser or a gainer but a wicked maintainer on Shalavee.com

The same can be said for my progress in my writing. I gained ground when I committed to writing daily and posting three times weekly. Yet when it comes to moving beyond the commitment of writing for my blog and trying to get published, I haven’t been able to allow myself to gain ground. I seem to expect just enough of myself to keep my blog afloat. I blame my need to mother simultaneously but I know that’s malarkey. I’m maintaining my writing practice but not growing it.

In a way I feel good about it all. At least I’m not losing ground I think. That’s a win isn’t it? But in a world where we judge ourselves for the progress we’ve made, I am not proud of treading water. I like writing and love connecting with other people on the subjects I love talking about. But being bold and disciplined is tough. Retreating, snuggling in, and not risking seems like it’s easy. But it’s not feeling easy. not a loser or a gainer but a wicked maintainer on Shalavee.com

So I’m asking myself those questions again about what makes me happy? What is it I value and what would it take to achieve that value? And I am recommitting to that process. Not because I want you to like and approve of me. But because I want to be proud of me. I want to know that I am not caving in to my fear but making small efforts to make myself proud to be me on a daily basis.

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 orPinterest 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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We Gather to Feel Hope

As she poured us some of her white sangria, our hostess Annie admitted that she was compelled to organize our Saturday night gathering since she wasn’t a participant in the Women’s March that afternoon. I hadn’t traveled to Washington either and so the six of us, all Moms, sat and shared our feelings and concerns. And I felt grateful to be able to gather and share my fears and doubts with these women. It was validating and affirming and necessary. And as each of us had brought a nibble and a sweet, our opinions and stories were equally nourishing.We Gather to Feel Hope on Shalavee.com

At the close of the lovely evening, we all offered that it was so nice to be able to speak our truths and hear them echoed back. That we’ve never experienced this fearful uncertainty in our country before. As one woman’s wise husband had pointed out, we were not alive during Watergate or the assassinations of JFK or Martin Luther King.This election is our horrible US citizen moment (if you don’t remember the second Bush Administration).

And even though nothing in the world “changed” last night, our inner worlds changed tremendously. We felt like we were facing this together with like-minded women. We felt safer in our collective souls. And that was something I’m so very grateful for. I think we all were. I look forward to hosting similar gatherings in the coming year to keep the spirit of hope alive for myself and anyone who would join me.

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 orPinterest 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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Thinking Through the Fear

I was sure there had to be another way of thinking of this. I was tired of being terrified of beginning my submission process again. There had to be a way that I could see and understand my fear that would make it OK. I needed to reframe it. And so I thought and thought as I drove the hour and a half home from Baltimore last night.

You see, while having our birthday lunch a month ago, my best friend looked me in the eye and made me promise I’d start submitting my writing again. She said my stuff is as good as anyone’s out there publishing now on the same subjects. She likened my writing to life coach Martha Beck’s. I’m slightly speechless. And this is what best friends are for.Thinking through the fear on Shalavee.com

Publishing my personal essays in magazines and online publications has been a longtime goal of mine. And after repeated attempts to publish my stuff in the wrong places, I gave up. It was too hard and felt too raw. The rejection felt like being outcast and that wasn’t fun. So last night I again questioned myself as to why I have wanted to do this and what my fear really was. And I discovered the truth and the way around it in my answer.

You see, when you are thinking that your life’s work is all about you and your ego, you are easy prey for the fear of rejection. It’s always personal. But when I started to think of the good that my writing has done even so far, the permission that it has given people to do brave things, I realize it is of me but it is not mine altogether. Like a child, you need to set it free for the world to enjoy. In making it about me. I’ve lost sight of what’s important. The writing is the most important thing.

I have found a purpose in my passion. I am here to tell my story and in sharing it, if it helps one other person than it’s worth the work and risk and fear to have done so. I have heard the thirty or so people who have told me to keep going, keep writing what they’re thinking. As I said before, I need to submit…to the process that I now understand is part of a larger plan I can not see. As long as I make it about me, I stay small. The fear is about being rejected. But really it’s about being accepted. I am afraid of discovering that I spent all this time hiding and controlling my talent for fear of nothing.

Thinking through the fear on Shalavee.com

Staying small is no longer an option. It was OK that while I grew as a writer, I stayed small. My blog was a tiny universe where I told my truths and culled my skills as a writer. But the time has come, my 50th year I suppose was the doorway to the next phase, when I need to risk being a bigger better me. Although the faith is wobbly, I am doing the next thing and the next thing. And making it about my readership. I am devoting myself to to my best work for the people who enjoy reading me. For my future book lovers, I am committing to making them proud, giving them the words that they want to pour over and highlight and quote. Because I sometimes see that what I write is even 30% better than what I thought it was.

Before the end of the year, there will be big changes in my blog. Keep your eyes wide open my lovely readers.

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 orPinterest 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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