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My False Agreement of My Future

In an effort to uncover the false thoughts that mess me up, I had the fortune to discover the Four Agreements yesterday. Written by Miguel Ruiz, these are ancient practices/ways to live your life that will bring you happiness and love in your life. The four agreements are

1) Be impeccable with your word

2) Don’t take anything personally

3) Don’t make assumptions and

4) always do your best.

As I read the synopsis written by another man here basing his work on this, I was struck by a realization about how our thought processes become automated. My false agreement of my future on Shalavee.com

As we are socialized, rewarded, and punished, we make choices on how to behave based on others’ opinions of us. These thoughts processes become habitual and automatic as we grow if they are not questioned. It’s childhood and it’s tough going but if we’re never given the power to choose to think otherwise, we may then be stuck in these childhood mindsets of lack and misery.

I remember talking to my Grandmother about getting a job. I was terrified and stuck in my life and needed some wisdom. She said, “Get a nice office job and you can wear a nice skirt.” I was appalled, but in her life wearing nice skirts had been a bonus to working. I’ve felt all wiggy about going bigger in my career because I have been afraid of a future that I presumed was what was expected of me, not one that I will create out of love and will based on my real talent and capabilities. I assumed that my future would be full of boring big girl stuff that I would hate. That’s what success looks like. Doing things I don’t like to do with people criticizing me for uncompensated pay. My false agreement of my future on Shalavee.com

The truth is that if anyone offers me any opportunities, it will be based on all the hard work that I’ve done because I wanted to do it which came from genuine talent and passion. I can say no to work that doesn’t fit this criteria. I can keep myself safe from the jobs that I would hate doing because someone else thought I should do them. I can rewrite the script of my life. What a relief. And I know the four agreements are something I am already hard at work on in my life to stay true to myself.

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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Purging the Stuff That Owns Us

The pruning, the watering, the dusting, and the ironing. If you have stuff, you need to upkeep it. Kids need food and clothes. Your body needs hair cuts and doctor’s appointments. Your house needs gutters and your car needs gas. If we listen to the mantra of American marketing, getting more while spending less is what we live for. But what if all our getting and spending doesn’t make us happy? If our lifestyles of ownership stresses us out? Then perhaps we need to take a look at what we own and why. Really look.

I do occasional forays into cleaning out my stuff. I have recently reached the middle of the Marie Kondo’s book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. But I stopped. Partially because the holiday season hit. And partly because I know that there are deeper reasons for much of my ownership of my stuff that I have to plow through. And I may not be ready to go there yet.

Little by little I’ve touched drawer contents and desktop data. I’ve completely overhauled our internet and computer information saving/backup system. Very satisfying to not have to be irritated or concerned about any of that anymore. But there are a half-dozen boxes in the attic that contain objects from my childhood. They are stacked on top of each other, listing and falling about. And it seems an indication to me that I may need to repack up my childhood with some care. Purging the stuff that owns you on Shalavee.com

All the stuff I keep is to remind me of something. I suspect sometimes the items are breadcrumbs leading me back to a bit of unfinished business. My childhood has a lot of that. So when last night I dared to read further into Marie Kondo’s book, I was struck by the next batch of wisdom I read.

“By handling each sentimental item and deciding what to discard, you process your past. Or it becomes a burden and a hindrance from living now”.

“It is not our memories but the person we’ve become because of those past experiences that we should treasure. This is the lesson these keepsakes teach us when we sort them. The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.”

So I will set aside some time and arm myself with new more respectable containers for my childhood. I will dig through, decipher, decide, and then ditch what no longer belongs to me. And I will repeat that process as I go through my files for tax season. And my garage junk in preparation for painting season. Layers of ownership need to be peeled off me for the new year to feel lighter and more hopeful. I need space for what makes me happier. And to let go of what no longer serves me. And Miss Kondo promises, “One of the magical effects of tidying is the confidence in your decision-making ability.” I think I could use a big boost to my decision-making confidence 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.

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Industrious Over-focused is My Coping Mechanism

I rocked my Christmas production. While Mark was out of the country on business in mid December, I scheduled all the Christmas activities on my two daycare days, at night, and on the weekends. In fact, by working more proactively this year, I event coordinated both Christmas and Thankgiving like a pro. And when it was over, when the pause between Christmas and New Year’s came, I awaited the twitchy tell-tale signs of my spastic over-doing nature to pull me off the couch.Industrious over focused is y coping mechanism on Shalavee.com

From my therapist, I learned that in childhood, when a child doesn’ t get the support or acceptance they deserve and need, he/she adopts a coping strategy. Seems mine is called Industrious/Over-focused. I discovered all of this after I had asked her why it was that there never seemed to be an end point to my work. What I did was never enough. She said, if I continue to expect my efforts to be met with disapproval, I’ve created a habit of just not stopping. Makes sense.

It’s tough to override the auto-pilot coping mechanisms. Especially when you are stressed out. I began to really think hard about how now I am the parent in my life. That I don’t have to be disapproving of my efforts. In fact, I’d say mostly these days, I’m OK with most of my efforts. So it really is about me being mindful and kind enough, trusting myself enough to just have a seat, relax, and feel worthy. That can be hard work for the Energizer Bunny here but I did find myself choosing to not cook every single night and I chose to sit and relax and write by the fire once or twice. I enjoyed a movie with my family multiple nights over the holiday. And I let myself art a little to boot. I listened and I heard myself own my needs. That’s huge.Industrial Overfocused is my coping strategy on Shalavee.com

Days passed that I didn’t have anything big to do. And I awaited that twitchy feeling of disapproval to arrive. And it never did. Of course the laundry piled up and today was a four-loader. But that’s to be expected every once in a while. It bore no ill reflection on my worth or the value of my soul’s loveability.

I’m satisfied with everything I did this holiday season. From having no bows on my presents and coordinating the wrapping paper to the recipient, I ended up enjoying a few glasses of good cheer in my lovely little happily decorated home. Because I have bigger fish to fry this year and need none of that to distract me from my focus on my purpose and happiness and values I’ve come to understand are things I’m entitled to have.

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. If you Sign up for my newsletter in the sign up box over there to the right, you’ll receive a first look-see at my Creative Mothers’ Manifesto!  Heartfelt impassioned words on the need for expressing creativity for your soul and being a better mother for it.

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Flashes of Home : My Past and Future are Now

I keep getting flashes of my home as a child. They’re not infused with any specific memory but they feel significant. Like they’re guideposts to a thing that I’m doing now. I think my heart and brain are building a bridge to a place called Home. And that place is inside me.

From the fabulous movie Garden State:

Andrew Largeman: You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone.

Sam: I still feel at home in my house.

Flashes of Home : My Past and Future are Now on Shalavee.com

Andrew Largeman: You’ll see one day when you move out it just sort of happens one day and it’s gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it’s like a cycle or something. I don’t know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.

Sam: [cuddles up to Andrew] Maybe.

Maybe my brain is telling me that what I’ve created, my family and this house we occupy is home. That I need to acknowledge the greatness of this effort. And that I need to come to roost spiritually, emotionally right here. I need to roost in the credit of the efforts I’ve already made. And see what that comfort of accomplishment feels like. There’s no need to feel homelessness, like an outcast anymore when I only have to open the door to the place I already am. Perhaps I need to renovate my vision of where I already am.Flashes of Home : My Past and Future are Now on Shalavee.com

Or maybe it’s all this talk of redoing the entrance hall from a year ago, because that is so representative of the first impression of home, this new home I’m craving to call mine. Where I am safe and represented. Where my internal little girl can move in and relax now. Because besides the flashes of my childhood home hallway, I keep seeing the views into my childhood room. And how much that dark closet door needs repainting.

(Inspired by a newsletter sent out by life coach Sass Pethrick. I’d share with you but I threw it out too quickly. I was left with a clean mailbox and a concept I couldn’t shake.)

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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Chi is All It’s Cracked Up To Be

We were watching Kung Fu Panda 3 this weekend where an ancient grumpy Ox in the netherworld is stealing good guys’ chi. Essentially, he was taking what it was that made them them. An essence of a person is not only what you are and think and are good at, but also who you are supported and loved by. Who others value you to be.

And it got me to thinking, who stole my chi? Because I’ve been missing my view of me for a very long time. I suspect it began with some faulty mirror in my childhood. Parents who were so busy making their lives happen and keeping them from falling apart that there just wasn’t much to return back to us children concurrently. Happens to kids all the time every day everywhere.Fiona and her chi and cheerios on Shalvee.com

And so I grew up just sort of flailing about, not ever really seeing me or my chi and what I could do for the world. No true passions, just subsisting. That is until my 40’s when I was faced with raising a child who I felt would also be doomed to low self-esteem and anxiety, much less some shaky non-existent chi, unless I decided to begin a journey to see me. Tweak my views and pep up the garden design of my internal landscapes. I chose to clean up what was broken, discard what no longer worked for me, and bring in the redesign crew. Fiona, her chi, her cheerios, and her cat Chessie on Shalavee.com

The process has been fun and scary and way more satisfying than I ever thought it would be. Making new friends and trying new things is truly the best way to rediscover what you are underneath. Risking the rejection of the stuff that means the most to you and finding out that you are better for the pain.

Honestly, your chi never leaves. It is just hidden inside of you until you are brave enough to uncover it. And my journey has begun to show me that my life is intricately entwined around others and their chi. And I feel so much a part of a world that I once was disconnected with. Chi is all it’s cracked up to be.

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. If you Sign up for my newsletter in the sign up box over there to the right, you’ll receive a first look-see at my Creative Mothers’ Manifesto! Heartfelt impassioned words on the need for expressing creativity for your soul and being a better mother for it.

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