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Your Community

The beginning of the year found me dreading my duties ahead. I had somehow volunteered to spearhead our fellowship’s fundraiser and I was not excited. My ego was dreadfully afraid of failing and two wise men gave me some extraordinary advice. One said, “your community will show up for you” and the other said, “if it fails, it’s your community that will have failed not you”. Permission and perspective were gained immediately.

 

Two days ago, I sent out an email requesting help with the food for this Cuban themed event. I needed some traditional cooking as well as some “buy it” and “pour it” in a bowl types of supplies. And within 12 hours, my people showed up and were on board for all the items. All of them. I could have cried.Your Community on Shalavee.com

 

Asking for anything is tremendously hard. You risk rejection when you ask. But when you are asking on behalf of a community, it feels like double jeopardy. Your good name and your cause are at stake. But our egos somehow forget that the Community concept means we are collectively responsible. In fact, those who care about the community as well are so glad that they’re not the one doing all the work, they’ll be glad to grab those chips or make that cake to show their gratitude for the efforts being made.

 

Equally important, how else can you learn your humility life lessons but through being of service to your community? Be that community your church, your school, your county, or gender, showing up holds so much power and impacts everyone. The efforts show us our value and shows others their value to us. In this instance, being in this process showed me how generous and loving my fellowship is when my fear of failure wanted to be my message.

Your Community on Shalavee.com

I will be immensely grateful to have accomplished this Herculean task and proven that I could. But I will also try not to lose sight that I must trust in my community as they have shown me their honor and reliability. Those are good reasons to keep being devoted. And I wanted to make sure that this lesson was not left unspoken.

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.

Self-Trust and The Need to Acknowledge Our Creativity

At some point, modern thought leaders had to listen to and value their own creativity to form their theories and opinions that were outside their culturally acceptable boxes. They had to weave what they knew with what they felt and go beyond the conformity edict from their schooling. And thus we had the Civil Rights movement, Jung’s counter theories to Freud’s, and Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade food revolution.

When we acknowledge how we feel about our world around us and share it, we find a comfort and a trust within ourselves and in this experience, we are rewarded with praise and wonder. This is a basic premise for our existence and the magic of creativity.Self-Trust and The Need to Acknowledge Our Creativity on Shalavee.com

Yet the outright fear I see in people’s faces when I mention the idea of allowing themselves to be creative is alarming. The general population is not supported in being true to themselves. Instead, they are told that if they do as they are told, stand in line, fit in, and prepare for the worse, they will live safe lives. Somehow safe became happy. And so we sell our individuality down the river for a promise of security.

But fitting in feels like crap. It’s in the company of the people you know you belong with that you feel most at home regardless of whether you are related to them. Your values are the same, you see each other as you truly are, and you call them community.Self-Trust and The Need to Acknowledge Our Creativity on Shalavee.com

The world isn’t a community and it does not support individuality. Sure, unique creative people are rewarded with movie and music contracts to entertain the masses but they still had to prove their creativity and uniqueness beforehand. They had to strike someone as profitable too. We ironically crave to see it and are equally terrified by it.

What happens when we express our true selves and become vulnerable? We fear that we will be rejected even outcast. It seems a sort of death. But creating has no bearing on our daily survival right? But then again, how can I ever trust people who like my false offering of myself? I mistrust those who do not know the true me and if I am not allowing for the true me to be seen, I will stay alone and suspicious of the world I long to belong to.Self-Trust and The Need to Acknowledge Our Creativity on Shalavee.com

We are pack animals. Being alone only serves to make us nuttier. Perfectionism is only about us and keeps us from connecting with others. And connecting with others is where we truly live. Where we can find hope is in our collective humanity when we hear others telling the same stories we could tell of fear and loneliness and our experience with human drama.

When we do not practice our own individuality, we feel disoriented and disconnected from ourselves and there is no reflection of us in the world. This causes us strife and anxiety. Our purpose here is unclear and we just end up surviving and grieving what we don’t understand is our birthright to give ourselves. Not allowing ourselves to be creative and instead to search for ourselves by shopping in a discount store leaves us with a feeling of crazed hopelessness.

So where are the psychological statistics that support this need to shift our educational practices? Where are the warnings that tell us we are not what we buy! Nowhere because they aren’t profitable. And people do as they know. So I guess the change is up to the people. In fact, it’s always been up to each of us.Self-Trust and The Need to Acknowledge Our Creativity on Shalavee.com

We can not possibly make any lasting differences in our world if we don’t prioritize our mental health first. And a society that considers anxieties and low self-esteem as a norm seems pretty powerless to make any changes. We need to start by trusting ourselves. If that takes a few anti-anxiety meds, group meetings, and some really ugly artwork, so be it.

Once you see what you can break free of, you can never truly see things the same way again. And your hope and self-trust spreads as you reach your hand out to help the next person see a little light in their dark world. Hope is a gift you give yourself and one you can eventually help to give your world. It is my hope that just one person today has a perspective shift on their need to create and thus find out who they are in their world and what they need to shift to support this change.

And If you enjoyed what you read, 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.

It’s Nice to be Nice to the Nice

I was almost surprised at myself when I heard me say “Good job, you did great” inside my head. Because how often do I give myself compliments? Can’t remember. But I recognized recently that if you are not appreciating your own efforts, how can you be truly appreciative of others’ efforts. Being nice to you and others is truly the least we can do.It's Nice to be Nice to the Nice on Shalavee.com

So, I started to notice others’ efforts. I started to tell people what I was impressed with when they did their jobs, especially when that job affected my life and well-being. I complimented the receptionist at the orthodontist on handling all our insurance submission paperwork so well. I complimented my chiropractor on how amazing it is that he understands the body so well to truly help us with our physical pain.

Giving out nice words and nice feelings in a day makes both your day and theirs a little better. And somehow, I think it opened me up to being mindful of the effort it takes others and myself to accomplish our own jobs. While I would play down my own artistic talent, I can appreciate the effort it takes to pull of the luncheon party I did last week. And the Halloween night festivities. And the daily running of the lives and needs in my household while also indulging myself in playing and self-care.It's Nice to be Nice to the Nice on Shalavee.com

As Frank Burns gushed guiltily over his commander’s cheerleader girlfriend, “It’s nice to be nice to the nice.” And the more happy karma you dump into the world, the more will come back to you. Respecting and thanking yourself for your efforts and your world will allow you to know that your life is worth living. And make a greater joyous impact on the world in the end. Ain’t nothing wrong with a life well-lived.

And If you enjoyed what you read, 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.

The Fall Soul Selfie Challenge of 2017 Wrap-Up

For two years, in both the Spring and Fall, I’ve hosted this Soul Selfie Challenge. I thought up the #Soul_Selfie hashtag the Winter of 2015 wanting to name the kinds of posts I was compelled to write. And then I realized I needed to search out other people who felt the same compulsion to discover themselves as I did. I knew I needed company in my self-discovery journey. Already an established and happy Instagram user, the Soul Selfie Challenge was born. A week-long prompt using challenge, it’s an opportunity to dig a little deeper and discover what you truly feel about your life, yourself, and your relationship with the words. Read this round’s intro post here.Change for Souls Selfie Challenge 2017 on Shalavee.com

They say you should go and create the very things that you wish to be a part of. And this outpouring of self-discovery is exactly where I feel most alive. Just have a look at my blog and you’ll get me. But I also truly need community to do this journeying with. I’ve been alone for so long inside my head all the while I’m thinking, “It would be nice to connect with others on these soul-searching subjects.” And that is exactly what I got when I created this challenge, and then some.

You get people mirroring back to you what you’ve said and then they add a bit you never thought of which makes you go “Aha”. You take the risks to be a little more vulnerable and you gain confidence when it doesn’t actually blow up in your face and people say they feel that way too and you’re not alone. Gosh that connected feeling is good because that connection is what humanity is hardwired to do.

 

And then there’s the healing power. I have witnessed some amazing things happen through the power of the honesty of this challenge. People moving themselves onward because this challenge came at the exact time they needed to do just this. To step out of their closets and claim something out loud to facilitate their healing. Wow! If I can facilitate a healing moment of any sort for anyone, I’m there doing that.

Choice for Souls Selfie Challenge 2017 on Shalavee.com

And lastly, as we heal ourselves, we become more able to help heal the world. No doubt that on the day of the Women’s March all around the world, many were awakened to the fact that they felt isolated and it didn’t have to be that way. I had a eureka feeling yesterday where I knew I was safe and powerful within my community of women both online and off. It’s a girl club I never felt I was in before. And I like it very much. It is helping to heal me. My gratitude will be the fuel to pay it forward. And these challenges are but one way I’m doing that.

And If you enjoyed what you read, 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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What Came From The True Self Prompt on My Soul Selfie Challenge

This week I’m in the midst of hosting my fourth Soul Selfie Challenge meant to spur and spark people to dig a little deeper and do some self-inquiry on what they believe about themselves or their lives or life in general. It’s about inner snapshots, not outer ones. We are looking to engage with each other and show a little of our true self.

One of the hardest jobs hosting an Instagram challenge is to come up with prompt words that will inspire thoughtful responses. And where I have picked more specific words in the past that give clear images to the participants, I was a little more vague this second Fall challenge. But the results have been truly inspirational. What Came From The True Self Prompt on My Soul Selfie Challenge on Shalavee.com

The words we’ve covered so far are Balance, True Self , and Choice. And boy howdy, have we got loads of spark thoughts to load into our brains! I was most intrigued by what I thought on the prompt True Self. That perhaps defining this would be of help. This is what I said,

Hmm. Who do I think I am?

Perhaps my true self is the person I think I am. Or is it the person I strive to be? Or perhaps she’s the gal I am under the layers of crap I’m attempting to strip off? Layers of me that I have no use for.

Underneath, I sense the girl I was when I was little, the forgotten one. Maybe my true self is her with some hard-earned wisdom layered on top.

But in the end, I suspect my true self is exactly who I am at this very moment. A girl with a passion for community, an unfailing sense of fairness, an insatiable search for truth, and a compulsion to create. Ever-changing, in search of answers, … Hi . “

And the same day, as I am reading a book by Rhonda Britten (still) called Change Your Life in 30 Days (or however long it takes to read the book), in a chapter on how the words you choose have such power over how you feel about you and your life, I read this :

Your true self isn’t afraid. Your true self wouldn’t put you down. Your true self doesn’t think money is the answer. Your true self isn’t interested in how much time you do or do not have. Your true self makes choices. Your true self understands. Your true self includes others and wants to connect more than anything. Your true self empowers. Your true self relaxes, enjoys herself, and has fun. Be willing to be your true self.”

I am momentarily struck by the truth in this. I am transfixed by the power of words that ring true. I aspire to be more of that person. And I adore all the truth that is pouring out from an ever-growing community of truth seekers through this challenge. This is what I live for.

 

If you are on Instagram, search the hashtag #Soul_Selfie and read a few of these posts. People can in fact be real. It doesn’t have to be a world of fake-o happy flat lays. Pretty pictures are marvelous and I want some meaty brain food to chew on while I look at them. Thanks to all the participants and to the newer ones too! Wow and Gosh! Because self-development is what all the cool kids are doing!

And If you enjoyed what you read, 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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