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Currently Browsing: Gathering My Lessons

The Soul Buffer Zone

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what it would be like to have a “soul buffer zone”. Having been raised codependent and since having children, my boundaries are a little wiggly. And the thought of having space around me that I keep myself safe within is really appealing to me. In fact it’s downright necessary if I’m ever going to make my life the zen experience I long for.The Soul Buffer Zone on Shalavee.com

The idea is that there’s a mental space between you and the outer world. And you intentionally maintain that by not letting people make demands on you, by not applying what is going on in the outside world to you, and by taking care of yourself so you feel kept safe by you. People’s comments or ideas are outside of you and you decide if you want to let them in. How about writing them down for consideration later even.

We are so besieged by information and demands from our internal and external worlds that we’re exhausted. When my daughter got sick simultaneously coinciding with a snowstorm, I definitely suffered from some post traumatic stress. I couldn’t escape. And what if we do that to ourselves regularly by not allowing for things to bounce off of us. Eventually, we are exhausted by osmosis.The Soul Buffer Zone on Shalavee.com

So I am going to be extra mindful this year about padding myself, creating things to look forward to, talking with my soul sisters face to face, and granting myself permission for time off. Demanding the same from my family. I think they could use to miss me and my efforts and become a little more appreciative. I’m creating a soul buffer zone because my happiness is worth it and other people’s happiness is based on it.

(Pictures in memory of Pama’s shop Moonvine which shut down this past February).

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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Craving the Shift

Oh how I crave the shift. I want to see my world as all possibilities, untangled with preconceived can’ts. I want to see my children as cherubs and my career as chosen, doable, and successful. To come home to my body and my house and see them for the fabulousness they contain. And each day passes by me as I await the shift.

From the wickedly talented recently deceased (ovarian cancer at my age) memoirist and author Amy Krause Rosenthal via her book Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life,

“RETURNING TO LIFE AFTER BEING DEAD

When I am feeling dreary, annoyed, and generally unimpressed by life, I imagine what it would be like to come back to this world for just a day after having been dead. I imagine how sentimental I would feel about the very things I once found stupid, hateful, or mundane. Oh, there’s a light switch! I haven’t seen a light switch in so long! I didn’t realize how much I missed light switches! Oh! Oh! And look — the stairs up to our front porch are still completely cracked! Hello cracks! Let me get a good look at you. And there’s my neighbor, standing there, fantastically alive, just the same, still punctuating her sentences with “you know what I’m saying?”. Why did that bother me? It’s so… endearing.”Craving the shift on Shalavee.com

The shift is when you see the ordinary as not so much. Your perspective is skewed enough for you to appreciate the mundane, even if momentarily. And it can allow you to understand yourself and your role in the world a little more. Certainly death causes shift as does vacations. How do we go about causing a perspective change without nearly dying or paying to stay somewhere else? Have you had any perspective shifts? What did they look like?

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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The Value of Doing and Seeing Things Differently

There’s a woman I’m social media friends with who has chosen to engage in a year-long project she has named her Year of Doing Things Differently. When I asked her about this concept, she said she’d seen it in a book at the library. I like this concept a lot.

I always say, “If you change nothing, nothing changes”. The phrase “doing things differently” is just another way of saying change but it sounds better somehow, more enticing. The problem is that our habits are so ingrained, they’re familiar and comfortable and we may honestly think there are no other options or ways to go about it. The Value of Doing and seeing things differently on Shalavee.com

The familiar feeling of being frustrated when I don’t achieve a certain outcome is a sure sign my expected results are at odds with my efforts. I may need to consider more options and bulldoze some of my excuses to make a change. Losing weight falls under this category.

But I’ve also discovered that our thoughts about our lives and capabilities and motivations can fall into a numbing and underwhelming pit for which I can not find an escape. In not seeing my value as an artist or citizen, I see limited or no possibilities for offering my talents to the world. Only in seeing the value of myself, do I find places where I can create and give out my gifts. I am building new value glasses right now.The Value of Doing and seeing things differently on Shalavee.com

I am shifting my understanding of who I am, where I stop, what I know, what I believe, and what I’m capable of. That is me changing my thoughts about how I fit into the world and the power I have. Doing things differently will naturally be followed by feeling differently and thinking differently. Because I’m long overdue for some new views of me and my world that I can proudly hand back to my children and my 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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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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The Longing For Belonging

In response to my piece Know Ledge, about knowing what we need to know at all times, my friend asked, “Why do we feel so alone?” . And I knew exactly what she meant. I spent so very many years feeling grief over the loneliness I felt in my bones. And this is what I said to my friend, “That is the longing for belonging”. Deeper down, we truly wish to belong to ourselves. The Longing for Belonging on Shalavee.com

There is an immense difference between fitting in and belonging. I discovered this concept in Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly and it made such sense out of so many painful life moments for me. When we try to fit in, we are being untrue to ourselves. We are trying to coerce others to like us for who we think they want us to be. And in the process, we can’t trust them for liking us because we aren’t being authentic. It’s stressful and fear based.

When we create a sense of belonging, we join with people who accept us for who we truly are. We show them ourselves, what makes us us, and they like/love us for what we are. There’s an element of risk here in that, when we show our underbellies, we can get rejected or kicked for who we are. We risk being cast out of the tribal circle. But the truth we don’t see is that, there’s a better circle for us somewhere out there where they will never cast us out no matter what because we are worthy and belong there. We just have to take the time to accept ourselves to them find the people who reflect this.The Longing for Belonging on Shalavee.com

And so at the very base of belonging is the absolute necessity to accept ourselves as we are. We are fallible and human and there is beauty and ugly all wrapped up in the same skin just like everyone else. We are not trustworthy if we do not at least claim most of what we are. It is a dance but once we risk putting our truer face on and claim what we are, the belonging just happen. We magnetically attract like people to us. And we see that we belong in our own skin and accept ourselves for who we are.

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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