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Hail to the Hearth Keepers

Our home fires are both necessary and symbolic. Religious mythology include kitchen hearths and their keepers because the hearth is the place where life and family begins and ends. Heat and life begin within the womb and warmth of the family. And I have always known that my job is to tend that warm place.hail to the hearth keepers on Shalavee.com

I love making fires. I saw an Indian gentleman show the true way to make fire out of forest fodder and I swore I would do that too. What a skill to have. And then I had Fiona instead. She is our “fuego rojo”, a fiery red-headed daughter.

Although our actual fireplaces were long ago rendered obsolete, we bought a gas insert for our living room hearth 15 year ago. I tend that fireplace with a once a year blow out of the dust from the pilot light and relight it to begin our fall season.hail to the hearth keepers on Shalavee.com

My truest joy is how my kids enjoy huddling next to it on the cold days. They ask to light it before school. And pull pillows up to warm themselves. That is the memory I want for them of their home life here. That coziness and kept feeling of home. If they take that with them then I have done my job as the hearth keeper.

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.

With No Definition of Success Or Enough, You’re a Hamster on a Wheel

I once read that you won’t know if you have succeeded if you don’t have a picture of what success looks like. I found that profound and daunting as I wasn’t allowed to succeed so I’d be unable to come up with that. I can also see now that having no definition of enough would wear one out in a never-ending pursuit of it. The proverbial hamster’s treadmill of running and never getting there. Yet aren’t these two words the hinge pin for American success?With No Definition of Success Or Enough, You're a Hamster on a Wheel on Shalavee.com

They used to call me the Energizer Bunny because I was perpetually busy. Some think I’m still this way. I kept busy so no one would notice I had no idea what I was doing. Would I now know Success and Enough if they walked up and smacked me in the face? I’m sure they’ve tried. Low self-esteem and a Puritan work ethic kept me from my clarity.

Now that I have a dawning awareness of what makes me happy and how much I can actually accomplish, I am reverent and wary of success and enough. I feel successful in many many ways. Having sweet smart healthy independent children feels like success to me. Being in process of advancing my writing career and beginning to lead others to their creative passions feels like a success.With No Definition of Success Or Enough, You're a Hamster on a Wheel on Shalavee.com

But what of enough? Sure you know how much it takes to feed and house and clothe you and your family every year. And the costs for trips and art and music supplies and to celebrate your birthdays and go to the doctor’s. But what about savings and house repairs? There’ll never be enough of those. Or will whatever you have always be enough?

These are questions only you can answer but I think it’s also important to answer them. Because while you feel super dandy working all of those hours to make the money for your family, if you can’t spend time with that family then what’s the point? Covering the bills can be enough until such time comes as you can save. It’s up to each of us to be willing to take the knife away from our throats long enough to see what is really important. Because when tomorrow comes, you will have to sleep with your regrets regardless of your good intentions. My priorities have light brown and red hair and like to play video games and sing. How about yours?

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.

Summer 2018 Continues

Summer 2018 is rolling out in a leisurely fashion. It started out at a run when we went straight to the beach the weekend after school let out. But that ended up being a great thing for all of us to be put into the official Summer mode.

I’ve allowed myself to sleep or lay in bed in the mornings knowing there was no rush to do anything. I have kept up with dual art challenges which forces me to take a break and be creative. I had a great time just being outside in the beautiful weather we’ve had recently. And generally, it feels much more vacationy even as we are all still home.

 

Plans to wander are on the schedule. A few beach days and camps and playdates and I just hope it all doesn’t go by too quickly. Come Fall, we’ll have an Eighth grader and a Kindergartner in the house!

Hope you are enjoying your Holidays too!

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.

My Family Self or Myself : Who Do I Know Myself to Be ?

I am on a journey to understand myself. This involves both understanding who I thought I was based on the information I gathered as a child, and who I think Myself to be thus far as an adult. And knowing that I have the power to change what I think of me ensures I stay in process and don’t get stuck in my past. But for people who are used to being told who they are, considering being anyone different may be a daunting and inconceivable project. But it’s quite necessary if you are to decide on what makes you happy because truly no one else knows that but you.

Our upbringing and childhoods play a major role in who we define ourselves to be. And as our primary personality was formed within our households and families growing up, it may put us at internal odds to choose to know ourselves otherwise. We are afraid that if we choose to be someone other than who we perceived our families to want us to be, we may be insulting and discrediting our families. But nothing could be further from the truth.My Family Self or Myself : Who Do I Know Myself to Be ? on Shalavee.com

I completely understand devotion to those whom we love. And at the same time, I can not imagine that our families wouldn’t want us to rise and feel better about ourselves. That they did the best they could is a given. And quietly acknowledging the less than positive things that happened isn’t a bad thing. It just is life.

In other words, we are not dissing our families if we say we have low self-esteem as a result of our upbringing. That our parents did the best they could was a given. But we can not see what we can not see. If they couldn’t bring their own esteem up to a healthy place because of their own upbringings than they were not aware of what they were giving or not giving us.  It was still their best. Sometimes our best is just the best we could do at the time under the circumstances

To claim your lowered self-esteem and to re-parent yourself and trust yourself doesn’t have to cost you the disrespect of your family. It is not in judgement but in compassion that we rise beyond our roots. We give tribute to our pasts and our fight. So having compassion for our upbringings and ourselves will be the permission combination to then decide who we now want to be based on what we need in our lives to make us happy. How do we trust ourselves if we are not governing ourselves by our own rules and standards? We don’t.My Family Self or Myself : Who Do I Know Myself to Be ? on Shalavee.com

At some point, who we are and what we believe we need for ourselves and our families has to be created by us. And that will then be who we are and what we pass along, as functional or dysfunctional as it may be, it was chosen and not auto-set by what we thought we should do. We always have the power to choose our way even if it’s wrong in someone else’s eyes. We only trust ourselves when we do what we know in our hearts is true to us. And trusting ourselves is tantamount to our happiness. You know this too.

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.

Valuing Our Belonging and Creating Community

Without a sense of belonging and knowing our own value in the world, we see no one there for us. We do not see ourselves within a community simply because we cannot understand how and why they would value us. Further, we’re suspicious of them if they do tout our value. What do they want from us?

Our families may be the only people we interact with and this may be similarly stressful. Yes you have to show up because you’re family but do you really like me for the person I am?

This sense of not belonging in the world, even within one’s own family, is a devastating and debilitating symptom of our dissociated society. Our need to be accepted as ourselves is so primal yet we end up selling ourselves short to find acceptance for the people we are not.

I am summarizing the brilliant work of Brene Brown on vulnerability and courage because I see it as the base for all that ails us. We can not be authentically ourselves so we cannot create. We don’t allow ourselves to create to find our authentic selves. We then must buy our status, our identity in the world causing debting and economic problems. And at the end, all we want is just to be appreciated for who we actually truly are.Valuing Our Belonging and Creating Community on shalavee.com

Our longing to be vulnerable and accepted has us running on a hamster wheel to achieve the Prize of Perfect but when we are appreciated and liked, we find we are alone in this crowd. Our greatest fear of being alone and not belonging to the people we are with has been realized.

Our need to be accepted as ourselves is so primal yet we end up selling ourselves short to find acceptance for the people we are not.

My thought is that if we started with the absolute understanding that everyone was feeling the same way, if we gave grace and acknowledgement to ourselves and others, we’d fast break down our pretend perfection walls. And that in those moments when we were with others being seen for our true selves, we’d never be able to stop the community from happening.Valuing Our Belonging and Creating Community on shalavee.com

As humans, we are hardwired for connection. We are tribal. Trick is to start with the people who truly do get you. And be vulnerable and willing to build from there. I guarantee they’ll show you your value every time you are with them. And you’ll know the meaning of community and its necessity.

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.

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