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Painted Floor Cloth Begins

I’d dreamed up the perfect design plan for a Summer Solstice event. Inspired by a sun mandala, I would create a painted floor cloth with a giant sun to symbolize and celebrate the Summer. I was excited about my design idea even though I vehemently claim that I am no painter.  I figured, as usual, I’d design my way around that. And now here I am, in the eleventh hour, knowing that I am going to have to paint and dreading this once distant project that is now due to be done.acrylic paints on Shalavee.com

My fear got a hold of a bull horn in my head. I am feeling itchy to just have this project done. And I have sketched and thought and now spent money to get ready… to paint. I am well aware that ‘that which you deny, you’ll also have to embrace’, or something to that effect. This was the same situation as my computer and social media phobia. And now painting. floor cloth begins on Shalavee.com

And so once again I say I’ll do my best and it probably won’t actually suck. And the fact that I have a dwindling amount of hands-free time between now and the event is really just me begging to get my stuff together and schedule some , if I need it, back-up. Late nights are dreadful but might be necessary. And I want to always remember that in the end, I am extremely pleased with whatever my results are because creativity isn’t about perfection or being the best. Creativity is about creating for the sake of it and then following through with the challenge. No matter what. And what better chance to get back to my humble creative roots than with a medium I am intimidated by. plate and paint on Shalavee.com

Stay Tuned and follow along on Instagram and Facebook to see snippets of my progress.

Tend And Befriend

Although the explosion of internet usage over the past couple decades may be the cause of increased isolation for many, as I mentioned in my Backyard Friends post, women have intentionally created pockets of community all over the internet. And this propensity toward bonding is partly a phenomenon of our biological wiring. We women own major production rights to a bonding hormone called Oxytocin, otherwise known as the hug drug. This same chemical we produce when nursing our babies, is also secreted when we’re stressed out. We bond together which then lowers our stress.

Seems we self medicate with friendship.

Me and leah at the Walter's on Shalavee.bom

We calm ourselves and strengthen our relationships with others naturally. In her article, “There’s Nothing Like a Bit Of Oxytocin Between Friends, author Susanna Freymark wryly points out that, in a short amount of time, we ladies lay it all out for discussion, from medical treatments to hair styles, then process it and move on. Then we have good feelings and memories of those moments and the people we spent them with. “Someone cries, they are consoled and counseled with the interchange ending in bursts of laughter. Women rally round. It is the currency of their friendship — this support they give each other through minor and major crises in their lives. Friendship matters to women.

And it matters to their health.”

Me and MB for cinqo de mayo Tend and befriend on shalavee.com

According to a study done at UCLA in 2002, People who tend and befriend lead more joyful lives and suffer far less physical impairments.The difference in the recovery and grief time for women is decreased and may explain why women end up living longer lives. Ms. Freymark says the results of the findings “were so significant that not having close friends was deemed to be as harmful to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight. ” Cool and scary. Isolation is a killer.

When we women overcome the fight or flight response with production of Oxytocin, our instinct is to tend to our children and friendships which in turn reduces our stress. And if the children are the cause of our stress, we really need to bond even more with others who understand this and won’t judge us. Ironically, we become closer and feel better when we’re stressed due to how we deal with the stress.

Caitlin and Fiona on tend and befriend on shalavee.com

As Oxytocin’s been recognized for its amazing ability to significantly lessen depression symptoms, programs have been implemented which send a “friend” to meet and chat with people in need. Seems intuitive to know that companionship would help people’s psyches but to hug people and lend them you physical love, that is a truer gift of healing.

In this process of chemical and emotional bonding, we have reduced our stress and felt love for ourselves with someone else’s help. And we love them for helping us feel good. It’s a feel good-a -thon worth attempting.  That chemical love is healing and miraculous. And the memory of it will linger in your esteem long after your encounter ends.

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.

A Scene in the Food Store

You could hear her screaming “sit down” at her son all the way at the other end of aisle one. They were in front of the wall of peanut butter. Her son, who was about 6 years old, was standing in the cart. She didn’t believe he’d sit, he didn’t believe he felt like obeying her, and I thought I could help. I found out quickly, there wasn’t any help for them.

Sometimes when kids misbehave and make a scene, they can get a good scare from a stranger in the store telling them to have a seat and they’ll suddenly behave and the Mother will thank you. So far, it has worked every time. I knew a little girl who fell out of a cart onto her head in this grocery store. And it wasn’t the falling and hitting her head on the floor that messed her up as much as the trauma of being Medivac-ed (helicopter ride) to a Baltimore hospital. Poor girl, she had behavior problems for a while afterwards. But in this boy’s case, those behavior problems were already here.Fiona climbing a tree on Shalavee.com

But when I told the kid to sit down and that the manager of the store would be upset to see him standing in the cart, he didn’t flinch. He and she were engaged in a struggle that went way beyond this moment in this day and this grocery store. He was her burden, her struggle, her disappointment, her reason to hate her existence. And he had his own agenda to prove his power that didn’t include me.

As I realized I’d made a grave misjudgment of their circumstances, and as she struggled to try to shove him back down into the seat, not daring to strap him in but yelling for him to sit again and again, I muttered that I really thought my interruption would have scared him just enough. But the truth was, nothing scares him more than being unloved. And nobody can help him.

Fury and frustration,

ignorance and outrage

occupies their souls every day.

No resolution and few apologies,

Then it repeats

I realized as I rolled down the pasta and sauce aisle, his circumstances are robbing him of his childhood and I got tears in my eyes. Sometimes you just can’t help people. Both adults and children have their own fates. These are their lives to live through and live out and you can’t help them. You can be compassionate but you will effect no beneficial change.

It broke my heart when later,  a couple of aisles down, I heard his voice change from pre-juvenile delinquent boy to just a little boy’s voice saying something to his Mommy. I think they were in the check-out and the line way moving slowly. I heard her begin again to complain about him to anyone who would listen, the burden of her misery balanced on his little shoulders. tea party on Shalavee.com

His fate sucks.

I sped down the next aisle emerging later to thankfully find them gone. Sometimes you just can’t help and that is the hardest thing to know, especially when it comes to children. That beautiful little boy is living out his destiny and I wish him and his people all the miracles that they can get their hands on in the future. And I hope I never see them again.

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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