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Summer Madness Creativity Challenge

Ah, it’s been quite the last couple weeks transition into Summer. I was keeping up with everything and then all of a sudden , I wasn’t. On June First I had started a Creativity Bootcamp Challenge and I did well to get up to the craftroom and dust off my pastels and glue bottles and made a few items. But the momentum was soon interrupted with days full of errands, parties, and guests. So be it I say. So here are those pieces I made both from collage and pastels. Pleased that I seem to be able to copy anything I put my mind to in pastels. And in collage, I can make anything with the scraps I leave on the table.

chicago butterfliesfish and mountain collage

ornamental cabbage pastel

pastel bouquet

garden cardcopycat

key to Chicago on Shalavee.com

butterfly envelope in pastels on Shalavee.com

Here’s to a hopeful and creatively productive Summer for everyone. I cleaned my craftroom and I’m ready with a few ideas for more pastels portraits. Wanna read a little about February’s challenge, go here. Or the previous October’s challenge, go here.

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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Confidence and Getting What You Ask For

While on the treadmill, of course, I remembered a phrase I’d heard that said, “Crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome”. Like not losing the weight you’d hoped you’d lose but still doing the same exact exercises and eating the same things. Same people getting on your nerves saying the same things every day? Seems obvious to say “Join Weight Watchers” or “Get new people”. They’re no chance to build trust or confidence if the risk remains the same however.

I kinda sit back and do my thing and almost never ask for advice or help with my online stuff. Perhaps because I’m ashamed that I’m not fancier and further advanced with my blog. Like I have so many things I could be doing instead of asking for any advice or help. And that’s probably just another way of staying isolated. So last week, I did some different things differently. Children on the bridge on Shalavee.com

Two women who I admire greatly both offered to answer questions or give advice. And I went ahead and took them up on it. Because that would be something way different than I usually do and that is exactly the mixing it up I need. Plus they may not have even responded. But they did. And this was really validating.

Here’s the letter that I sent Caroline Kelso per her invitation:

Dear Caroline,

Having you generously offer up your support seems something I should not miss out on. Advice or support, I could infinitely use either.

I am also a member of the talky feely happy people club. And have found myself astounded at your community building skills. Reading the stats of your readership increase in your Made Vibrant download had me wondering how you did that so quickly. My “organic” approach of blogging and membership gathering has gotten me an official readership of 120. After 4 years. Because I never ask.

I’ve never done anything big like writing an e-book or a manifesto, or created an online challenge to gather people together {I have now} and then dangled it for the sign ups. Part of me wants a community to engender members with a sense of belonging, support, safety. And the other part of me is stuck in awe of those who can while saying I can’t.

I’m a natural leader. My why is to support and empower people. To inspire and acknowledge them. I twitch at all the Facebook groups I’ve seen peter out for lack of leadership. Whether FB or Slack, that is still a horse and the cart I need is a bigger following. The balls to say, “Hey, this stuff is great. Share it would ya’?”

And so that leads me back to, “How do you know what you have to offer is worth doing whatever you have to to achieve it’s offering. How can I frame the process in my mind to get excited, get around my fear brain. Because it’s about innovation and excitement and not money. Although I’m a creative and not a computer whiz, I feel like the real idea and plan and reasoning and confidence is all going to continue to elude me until I figure out how to value ME.

Whatcha Got? “

Eastern Shore field on Shalavee.com

I needed to make it OK to ask and what I got back was much more. She sent me a nice letter that said gather your email list and make sure that your blog clearly states what you are about so that people will immediate know that they want to join what you are doing. I’m doing neither. But the biggest loveliest gift was the next post she sent out to her subscribers with the tagline,

Lacking confidence? It’s about learning to TRUST yourself”

Click on the link to read her marvelous response to me and 39 other people who answered her query all asking her questions that boiled down to trusting yourself. She explains the mechanics of trusting yourself so well.

“The trust you have with yourself is what your confidence rests on.”

And how about…

“We have to demonstrate to ourselves that we are deserving of trust, and thus,

that our confidence is not misplaced.”

I can tell you, that was the exact gem I needed to read in my inbox. She references a talk about Trust by Brene Brown Super on Soul Sessions. That too warrants a look because WOW!! It’ll be the best 20 minutes you spent this week watching a screen. Young Caroline has hit all of this on the head. Again. These moments and opportunities to benefit from one another’s wisdom and insight, this is where the good stuff resides.

And coming up soon, I’ve decided to videotape my talking head as a follow-up discussion on the subject of Confidence. Because it’ll take confidence to do this and doing this will form trust in myself. That is what confidence is made of and can only be formed by repeating an action until you know “You’ve got this” (only permissible for me to say to myself though. I get grumpy when you say it).

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.

Through Your Eyes : Raising a Child With Self-Esteem

I often say that I wish for every kid (and adults too) to find that one thing that they love themselves while they are doing it. This is how self-esteem is built. That they find a community of people who will join in the mutual appreciation of these efforts and thus build their esteem further. That is some of the good stuff that life has the potential to hand you.

The converse of this scenario is a child who feels worthless and bored. Who can not see themselves in what they do or their surroundings or the faces of their family. And this leads to darker places and choices.Fiona and the azalea on shalavee.com

A mother of another three-year-old in our story group expressed her concern that our rural sleepy town didn’t posses enough interesting things for the teens to do. And she felt this boredom was what led to their use of drugs, alcohol, etc. I offered that these were just choices these kids make to squelch a deeper pain. One wrought from the sense of unworthiness from their family situations. I said even rich kids do heroine. She said her husband is a cop, she knows that.

From a person who experimented with illegal substances and took unhealthy risks, had I had any activities at all in my life where I felt valued, where my identity was more than a grade or a boyfriend, other choices would have shown themselves. But I was left to my own devices, to fend and survive and I chose the wrong things to kill my pain with. The wrong people’s opinions to value. Because I didn’t value me. I was invisible to me.Recital night on Shalavee.com

My son found the piano quite early in his life. And he’s gone from an anxiety riddled seven year-old to a confident piano playing 11 year-old. He has no stage fright whatsoever which blows my mind. What he sees in our eyes and the eyes of the world watching him is admiration and support. And he’s confident that he can fulfill their expectations if not surpass them. Wow!

You can do it. You can parent, you can run the marathon, you can start a business, art every day, lose the weight, make your amends, write a book, learn a language, ice skate, or paint. All it takes is the belief that it is what you want and you deserve to show yourself you can do it. You’re worthy of a dream that fulfills you and you deserve the unyielding support that gets you there. That is what I’m giving my kids and I discovered I needed to give this to myself too.

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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