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Wrap-Up of the Month-Long October Post-athon 2016

And so again, my October month-long marathon post-athon of posting everyday is coming to an abrupt end. As usual, I’m here to tell you again why I did it and what I got out of it. Because that’s how these wrap up things work. See the previous years’ 2015 here, 2014 here, and here is the intro to the first time in 2013.

Like many, I can get to telling myself lies about how I don’t have enough. Time is the biggest resource I can convince myself I’m lacking although it’s really fear of success I’m feeling. So this self-imposed torture/yearly practice of posting every day of October pretty much dispels that lie, short and sweet. I manage to post every loving day, keep my kids and my house fairly tidy, and do other stuff like creativity challenges and have a social life too.Wrap up for the October Post-athon 2016 on Shalavee.com

There’s a Jewish parable, a tale I’ve spoken of before in last years wrap-up, where the man complains about having too much mayhem in his house. So his rabbi tells him to bring in the chickens. Then the goat. Then the cows. And finally, he tells the man to go ahead and move them all out. And then asks him how things are now. He says great. It’s all about creating the perspective. ( See the story here. )

I am amazed that I get away with this every year. That the amount of subjects and creativity keeps coming out of me endlessly seems miraculous. But then creativity flourishes within confines. So I have just about shown myself again how much of a super woman I am and how I can pull off anything I put my mind to.Wrap up for the October Post-athon 2016 on Shalavee.com

So here’s to another month of Sundays gone by and a Happy Halloween to end my month-long gauntlet on. Let it be Spooktacular and Funny Fun Fun!!!

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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Change Is Good

There’s a shift that’s been slowly nudging me for change. Well, it started as slow nudging but has become more urgent. The whisper has become a yell. Because I’m a changer, an innovator! I switched my living room and dining room around last Fall ! I am impressed when other people don’t have a compulsion to redecorate or rearrange their houses. I haven’t done anything big here on the blog or at home decorating in a while.

See, there was a question posed to me that went something like, “Have I reached the point that in doing the same thing again and again, it’s actually holding me back?” And I’d have to say yes. I committed to writing three blog posts weekly. I’ve done a marvelous job at proving I’m reliable to myself, I write well, and can schedule stuff even in mid-chaos. Deer in the backyard on Shalavee.com

But now, there needs to be a more. A further step after you’ve gotten the basic step down. A variation needs to happen because you can feel the tension starting to build between what you are doing and what you could be doing more of. Like talking more and thus inspiring people or having them inspire you with their comments and participation.

I’ve created blog reading goodness here three times a week and delivered into your mailboxes. And now a delivery format change is necessary. My thoughts are to publish two blog posts weekly and then send out a weekly newsletter/blog post with links to those posts from the earlier week that you may have missed. Eventually I’ll be using everyone’s addresses that are on the Newsletter list to send both the posts and newsletters out as they’re being managed separately right now. Making it simpler so that I can put my efforts into creating bigger and better stuff. Like e-books and guest posts.

I urge you to put your email address into the Newsletter sign-up box in the right hand column and as a thank you, you’ll receive a link to a previously unpublished Creative Mothers’ Manifesto. It’s a passionate rant about being a mother and a creative simultaneously. There’s some insidious messages we receive yet I have solution thoughts.

And coming up this Wednesday, an interview with Megan Gray of Megan Gray Arts. She’s a prolific artists and mother and she answered my questions with her own twist and bubbliness. I’d had the pleasure of answering all of her questions on an interview on her blog not too long ago. We play on the same thought playgrounds.At the playground on Shalavee.com

Until the day after tomorrow lovely readers. Have a glorious next couple of days. We’ll be on vacation at the beach this week but I’ll be checking into my social media. Find me. Links below.

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.

I Read What I Write and Discover Myself

I write to discover, and then I forget myself again. It’s been a really interesting journey discovering who I am and what I know. Then, like so much dust churned up, the ideas dissipate back into the computer files. The complexity of me is lost to myself, to others.

I envy my blog’s readers as they know me better than I often know myself. I find it equally interesting that many of my friends never read my blog. They must figure they’ll catch up with me when they see me. Or maybe they don’t want to know too much about me for fear they may not like me as much as they do now. Fiona and Me on shalavee.com

The me here on the blog is more “me-er” than in real life. A kind gentleman reader fussed recently that he felt bad for me always being so down on myself when I come across as such a confident person in person. I explained that with three posts on the blog weekly with subjects tending towards the wobbly, the picture of me is skewed and concentrated. But in this way, I can show that my humanity is here and so the reader can allow for their humanity too.

I never ever imagined that writing would lead me to such a wealth of self-knowledge and acceptance. A deeper understanding of self and the kindness of people in general has given me renewed faith in both myself and others which is exquisite as liquid hope. Opening up to others’ thoughts and worlds has given my brain sustenance and gifted me all sorts of friendships with all sorts of people including myself. And a boundless bounty of perspectives. Fiona's hair on shalavee.com

I made a passing comment in the beginning of the year that I wanted to read my writing daily. In that way, I could remember what I do and why it is I think others should really read it too. Because sometimes when I read my stuff, I think I rock. Hope you are enjoying at least this one post. There are 700 more posts hidden and awaiting my to read and recycle them. Acknowledging that I am a writer has been one of the greatest gifts to myself. And it’s gonna keep on giving until I keel over.

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.

Sorting Out Blogging and Kory Woodard’s Advice

Starting something that you’ve never done before takes courage. When I began this blog I had no idea why I was doing it except that I would have to write more. The technical stuff was terrifying and draining. It takes time and energy to worry. But I could only take it one step at a time. And fortune favors the bold.

Little by little I’ve learned about how to do this online blogging thing. I’ve had to sort out what everyone else is doing from what felt right for me. I took two online blogging courses from Decor8 creator Holly Becker to understand more of the basics and build the aesthetic of my blog. My first online friends, people I’m still in touch with, I met through those courses. (Hi Jennifer, Jane, Sheryl, Seraphina, Sandra, Wendy, and Mariana.) The more I watched, the more I wanted to do it “right”. at the grocery store on Shalavee.com

There were blogging events and conferences people were attending that I thought I needed to go and find myself at. I felt alone and sad that I could not afford to join. There were people making money promoting stuff on their blogs. Maybe I needed to do that. My contemporaries were suddenly creating projects and groups and communities and I felt like I was standing still for lack of inspiration or courage to do the same. But I was growing up. And I am finding that all of this has been just as it should be.

In taking your time to choose your path, you listen to your own needs and not those “choices” forced upon you by society or family or peer pressure. When I acknowledged that my strong unique voice was more important than any other element in my blog, I felt sooo much better. When I recognized that I didn’t want to sell or promote anything on my blog, I felt better. I would if it was something I adored but those offers haven’t come.

When I recognized that I was using the blog to find myself, have fun and connect with people, make community, find out what my purpose was, and what all that exactly feels like, I gave myself permission to go at my pace and do it in my way. That numbers can’t always show the truth of a situation. Thousands of followers doesn’t mean they all get you. find yourself, be that on Shalavee.com

And attendance to those conferences is great if you know your niche and want to connect with like-minded bloggers to work on future collaborations. But nobody there was going to be able to tell me who I was. There’s no like-minded until I have a mind. This may not be the best activity for me now or ever. I’ve taken the conference attendance off my goal list until I have another great reason to go. Like I’m speaking at one.

I have never wanted to feel like I was forcing my thoughts upon anyone, selling them on something. The online world constantly says you need an email list to use to sell future stuff. But when I was invited to comment on this subject by Kory Woodard, a very smart young woman who coaches online strategies, I noted she’d mentioned “build a community”. She wrote back and said yes and then wrote a follow-up post that was brilliant. Art comes in all forms on Shalavee.com

Kory says that she doesn’t think everyone needs a list. It’s up to you and here are a few reasons you may want one other than building a psycho sales tunnel. Number one was ,”Help you build a community around your blog or business. It’s sort of cool to feel like you’re part of this group of people who are seeing exclusive content. It’s even cooler when you realize that many of your current followers want even more from you. They want to support you and learn more. Having an email list allows you to create a great community of people who want to be active with your content.” I liked her vision much better.

And number two was ,”Allow your audience to get a greater glimpse of who you are – thus leading them to trust you even more.” delivering more information about yourself makes your community stronger by allowing for trust. I disclose so much anyway that I don’t mind doing it. I have sent out only a few newsletters to my subscribers with positive results. So I think I’m now encouraged by this young woman’s sage wisdom in that I won’t feel like I’m invading as much as offering more of what people already like about me. Finding a how to solidifying my community feels righteous. Saturday morning with a happy clementine on Shalavee.com

On blogging Kory’s advice is,”Above all, be yourself. The blogging world is literally packed with thousands of blogs – really great ones and terrible ones. However, you’ll never stand out or gain ground if you’re just copying what other blogs do. Instead, be yourself. Write about things you love and are passionate about, and people will like what you have to share and follow your blog because they like you and your take on things.”

I feel privileged to borrow the wisdom of such smart and intuitive young women online. My younger self had such a hard time that it feels so healing to receive needed wisdom from young women. Because when a thought feels like home, you need to adopt it. Especially when it leads you to community. I am ever grateful for the ones I am involved in and credit much of my climbing out of my dark secluded hole to these people, mostly “strangers” who have given the gifts of self sight and esteem I never realized I was missing.

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.

Janu-Wary

I was feeling the bliss, the rolling high on the “Ok-ness” from the holiday downtime until yesterday when suddenly I felt myself starting to knock all the happy little hope bubbles off the 2016 shelf where I’d so carefully placed them. Exactly 2 weeks in and suddenly there’s nothing new anymore about the year?!

I’ve read New Year’s posts galore and copious word of the year choices. And there were warnings to be careful about resolutions that would fail you as opposed to themes that could guide you. Or meditation that can ground you. Or just plain awareness of your choices to feel bad as opposed to good. Someone wise said beware when the newness wears off. Glad to have that warning because I think that just happened.Janu-wary on Shalavee.com

Suddenly I felt the old thought patterns knocking at the door. Familiar voices calling out to me about my not enoughness. Why don’t I have a clearly defined purpose and a twelve month plan on exactly how I’m going to carry that out ? Like that woman with the shiny blog and an online creative career? Surely if I could just choose to be impassioned by something, my life would completely change and fall right into place.

So off I go to the gym hoping for inspiration and a change in thoughts. I’m on the treadmill and I recognize the familiar devaluing myself based on others cognitive distortion going on. “Comparison is the thief of joy” I chant and “Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides” came to mind. Comparison to others is unfair. No I may not know my complete “Why” but as long as I stay focused on gratitude and the creative work in front of me, I am so close, in the zone. Janu-wary on Shalavee.com

If that involves month-long collaborative projects, great! If I feel like I need to have weekly themes, great! But I do not have to be or do anything other than what makes me soulfully happy. That’s purpose enough. That’s really all I have time for besides the mothering of a toddler and a ten-year old and the maintenance of this household. Truly I am enough for just this realm of activities.

And then a friend/acquaintance comes over and scares the heck out of me, as my earphones were mighty loud. She wanted me to know that she’d read my blog post, something I’d written. She says I write really well. And I said “Thank you” and meant it. Thank you for the reminder Universe. My shelf of little hopes remains in tact.

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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