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A Loner Joins the Community

The artist as a loner is a classic story. Misunderstood by herself as well as others, she would rather keep to herself than risk the rejection that she sees as inevitable when trying to play others’ games. Lonesome, woe-some and misunderstood, she creates from her inner turmoil. Blah, blah, blah. Except, she’s perpetuating the belief that others won’t accept her because she won’t allow for their acceptance. She gets to reject them before they reject her. And she is me. You knew that though.

 

I moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere from the big city of Baltimore 15 years ago. I knew lots of people in my home town and moved to a place where I knew no one. I made a few acquaintances but I never truly felt I belonged. I felt like an outsider for a very long time. Not because people treated me like that but because I didn’t feel I fit in. I was holding people at arms length telling myself these weren’t my people. And so they weren’t.

But as my confidence in myself and my gifts and purpose have grown over the past few years, I have noticed that I’ve left my door more ajar for random connections to happen with the people around me. And the resulting connections are growing and cheering me as I am now allowing for them. See when you don’t trust yourself, you don’t trust others. When you don’t see your value, you are suspicious of what other people want from you. A loner joins the community on Shalavee.com

These thoughts were sparked by my finally saying yes to joining a group workout. In fact it’s what is known as a Bootie Call class. There are thirty and early forties year old woman doing dance and aerobics to popular music. And there are more than a few belly dancer belly rolls choreographed into the routine. I can not do those. I am acutely aware of how awkward I feel in this class. Yet, I know that I am showing up for the opportunity to not be alone. And to sweat. And because I honor the women who invited me. I am very respectful of the inclusion.A loner joins the community on Shalavee.com

Funny how a little bit of community can go a long way in encouraging you on your right path, or even to just nudge you a little forward. How it can boost and buoy you like no other resource at times. And all it takes is you seeing that you are just as valuable to your community as it is to you. And you saying yes to what you hear it and yourself asking you to do. When you find a place where what you are is needed and you are happy doing this, you belong there.

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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The Election Hangover

I was pregnant with Eamon and had opened a little gift shop when the 2004 election re-elected George W. Bush as president for another term. My husband and I were grief-stricken.  And we talked of what was to be done and would we consider moving. And then we had our baby.

What I remember from that experience is that eventually, after the drama died down, my life didn’t change all that much. I still woke up, had my cup of coffee with cream and sugar, and knew I could hop in my car and go to any drive through for the fast food of my choice. America was still a free country for me. No gum toting goons were pillaging my village and raping my children. And in recognizing this first world perspective, I got through emotionally. Then the economic recession/depression finally forced me to shut my shop down on the coldest day of the following January perhaps while President Bush was being sworn in. I returned home terrified to raise a soon to be toddler trapped in my house. The Election Hangover on Shalavee.com

This time the election rumbled around, I was spared election coverage since I no longer had cable. I did not have to watch any debates or read too much to know who I wanted to represent me. And I knew that the one and only bit of power I had was the power to vote. And so I did. But I also knew that there is no way to predict the outcome of anything even after it seems a done deal. And so I offer this: Empower your daughters, your friends, your friends daughters to stand up for what they need. Support one another, be empathetic, offer hope and hands. Be community. I believe there is nothing that will tear my community from my heart nor the hope that one day I will see a woman in the oval office.

I have voted every election since I was 18 when I voted for Clinton. I was so proud of myself. This time, as I do every election, I took my children to show them that there is a democracy in process. It may be a flawed one but those people working at the polling place have so much honor and integrity. So much pride I felt richer for being there, even if the outcome wasn’t the one I’d have preferred.The Election Hangover on Shalavee.com

Yes, there is something rather scary and ominous trending in humanity. A lack of care for our global community and its plights that I find terrifying. The age of Me me me is upon us. It’s fear not faith talking. But then I have to remember that becoming anxious will get us nowhere. And Hope is where I need to live to make my life work for me and help others to feel the same. I want to show my children that I do my best every day and let go of the rest.

So I will continue to fight my way out of the chrysalis that I was trapped in for so long. And when I emerge as a flawed and beautiful butterfly, I will stay true to my intentions to help others to emerge and find their self-kindness and their tribe and spread their gifts to the world as well. This is all I can do. And wait with hope and gratitude. Because there is Always something to be grateful for.

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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Hallelujah it’s Halloween 2016

And lastly, Halloween wraps up my month straight of posts in October, 2016. I used to really celebrate this holiday when I was younger. Even way into my 30’s, Mark and I had a great time dressed as a pirate and his cabin boy. And a pimento loaf and cheese sandwich. Kids came and its now all about them and their fun and costumes. I made sure I decorated this year 4 days ahead to make it real and Fiona babbled with excitement when she got home and saw the decorations.halloween-at-turnbridge-point on Halloween 2016 on Shalavee.com

fiona-and-juliet-at-the-trunk-or-treat

In a wonderful article by fellow blogger Rae Ritchie here called “Forget Bah Pumpkin! Hallowe’en is just a handy excuse for life’s good stuff”, she gives a fabulous reflection of how this holiday is being embraced in Britain, previously skeptical of a holiday which seemed so American (or is it Irish?). And she insists that this holiday kicks butt because of three factors. For her it’s friendship, time to hang out and play with friends. For us it’s Family time. I so agree with her that it’s also Community involved fun. People get to dress up their houses and then visit one another. And thirdly, it’s creative as heck. From those house decorations to costumes, it’s fun to make stuff and be whacky with décor you’d otherwise be worried about being perfect.Halloween 2016 on Shalavee.com

bonfire-boo on Halloween 2016 on Shalavee.com

We try to carve pumpkins close enough to Halloween so that they won’t rot. And then on the night, after trick or treating we usually have grilled cheese, potato chips, and tomato soup for dinner and watch a scary movie. This year’s trick or treating night date however is on a Monday which is a school night. So we may enjoy our TV frightfest on Sunday night. Saturday night we did a bonfire/fire pit and I think that may become a part of the holiday traditions when the weather permits. So much fun opportunities this holiday provides.

Halloween 2016 on Shalavee.com

A Search for Halloween on the blog gave me this for 2012. This for 2013. And this for 2015. Soon to be 2016 under our belt. I might have fought the decorating a bit. And Eamon didn’t decide what he wanted to be until two days prior. But darn it, we had fun and played and created. Community and family and creativity and friendship was what Rae Ritchie said it was all about and I would agree! Happy Halloween!!!

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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Your Worth and Your Community

It keeps coming up in my life, the importance of community to me. Aside from the understanding of community’s importance to our survival, where many hands guarantee we will eat and sleep safely under shelters, community is a place to find our own personal worth. That my gift to my community, however small, is still very important. My efforts are never without impact or purpose. It’s only in valuing this that the circle is completed. That the community itself is a life force, an entity that holds the people within, each with their own cog of the wheels that turn.

When you belong to a club, a church, or a group, you often join in the middle of its history. People with like minds and similar loves have come before and worked to create a place for me to belong. A “cloud of witnesses” is around us cheering us on to fulfill our purposes, do what we need to do, be together doing it.

And the notion that we are never alone but as a civilization of communities tied together, there’s a butterfly effect. Each of us unwittingly influences the other. In how we spread our thoughts, our generosity, our kindness, our smiles. How we live out loud with integrity and vulnerability to give another person courage. This is our gift to our communities and to the world.worth in your community on Shalavee.com

To be our best selves and to model what it looks like to be human and fallible and present. That each person has an inherent worth , a nobility of existence that in recognizing it’s value, rises the concept of community to a new level. That is the community I see myself belonging to. Will you join me?

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.

The Last Three Days of My Souls Selfie Challenge

My Souls Selfie Challenge just finished up. A week of prompts with the intention of sparking a little more thought about what we are and think and feel. It was a little less scary for me this time because I knew the people joining me wanted me to do this again. And I’m always glad to oblige people when they want to do soul-work.

When you add many people’s energies and soul thoughts into a collective pot, you certainly have a meatier stew to chew. Read and see the first three posts here. Here are Thursday/Nostalgia, Friday/Trust, Saturday/Weight-wait, and Sunday’s/Night posts. If you are on Instagram, you only need to tap the hashtag #Soul_Selfie and you can see the whole page of marvelous posts devoted to introspection and self-love.

 

💚Day 4 🌸 #Nostalgia 🌸 #Soul_selfie challenge💚 As a Mom, I don’t dwell in nostalgia. Remembering my children’s life moments doesn’t choke me up too much. Because I know I was there. When i’m behind the camera, I’m plugged in to our now. . . I am a “Be Here Now” kinda gal and when I see a picture, I remember being happy and present then and don’t feel sad to have left the moment behind. I know lots of parents who go right for the parenting regret mode. These lovely little ones are of me but not mine. I am always letting go. . . Perhaps it’s the promise of other joys to come that has me looking to the future and not back at the past. I aspire to create many moments to remember fondly. And to never regret my choices is to be confident that I’m creating a past that I’m proud of and need not rethink. I may be slightly full of shite here but mostly i’m truthful. . Joining @rae_ritchie_ today for her #ExperienceOctober2016 challenge with this prompt. And will merge again with her the day after tomorrow for her Night prompt. #taleswithfriends #Soul_selfie #challenge #FionaMariePeach #EamonSpencerPeach #siblings #kidsofInstagram

A photo posted by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on

💚Day 5 💚 Trust 💚 #Soul_selfie 💚For me, trust has to start with self-trust. Having spent years making decisions that weren’t in my self-interest, I’ve recultivated a trust relationship with me, the girl who’d given up on me, who knew I’d let her down and had stopped trying to believe. I had to prove I was trustworthy one action at a time and reform that lost bond with me. . . Healing my mistrust of others, the isolation and suspicion in being alone, that is also self-created when I’ve kept my vulnerability to myself. If I put on a false face to gain other people’s acceptance, how can anyone be trusted when they like the inauthentic me I keep giving them ? Playing a game of I make you like me keeps us from trusting yet we are worth the company and trust we crave! . I trust myself now. It was little steps of kept self-promises, peeks of the real me to strangers on IG, and I came to see that I was reliable and pretty cool. And for these efforts, my anxieties have decreased immensely as I am the real me telling the truth to myself and checking for my happiness all the time now. #challenge #taleswithfriends ##trust #liveauthentically #writer #selftrust

A photo posted by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on

💚DAY 6 🌟WEIGHT/WAIT🌟 #Soul_selfie 💚 At 50, my clothing is two sizes larger than In my twenties, Yes, the fluctuations in my weight are natural, a chronical of a woman’s life. Bit it’s been a torturous road to finally know this, . . When I get mad at myself for being old and human, I can be mean about my body image. I can call myself defective, fat, less than. I go to blows with the ideal American Barbie doll ideal. But my daughter will hear every whisper, So I hope I speak of being healthy in front of her, not deformity. . . I am not a number. I am the beautiful reflection of my thoughts and values. Most days, my worth lies in the quality of my character. In the wit and charm I have earned from my life. . . I fought to lose weight this year.The first time in a long time I’d tried. These last 10 pounda are stubborn. They are my fears manifested. The visual layers of ” I’m afraid I can’t ” added on, obessed upon until they look real. . . So i declare this next time I choose again to try to lose these last 10 pounds, I’ll pick a starting date and make a food plan, hedge my bets. It’s not personal, it’s science. Hoping that being a kind but determined parent to myself will be the final factor that brings me back to the me I want to be. A me that is not defective, just in need of a tune up. #taleswithfriends #weight #challenge #liveauthentic #truth #bodyimage #selfimage #vulnerability #women #collage #Papercrafting

A photo posted by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on

🌕 Day 7 🌕 #Night 🌕 #Soul_selfie 🌕 The night is regenerative restorative magic. Quiet, crickets, contemplative. It is the space and time to discover what I am, what I think. . . It is the next phase of life, the inner keeping of my soul. The stop, redirect, purposeful action of being 50. It’s a book read and understood. It’s a journal page filled with quandary. Night is the quiet contemplation of what’s to come and the relinquishment of what will never be. . If only I didn’t pass out so quickly, exhaustion of the motherhood that recreated me, night might not be a forgetten friend. Head bobbing for sleep, clinging to the quiet private gold time. Ah the memories of glory days passed pubbing and laughing. But for tonight, I am all the possibilities of just being me now! . . This last day I rejoin @rae_ritchie_ and her #ExperienceOctober2016 challenge crew for the prompt of Night. Tag your posts with both hashtags and see who’s joined in. . As Carol Burnett sang in my childhood, “I’m So glad we’ve had this time together just to have a laugh and sing a song.” My thanks to everyone who participated and encouraged me and others to dig a little deeper and take a look at what’s there. We are real people with real needs, concerns, and joys. I always want to hear what makes you you. “So long.” #soul_selfie #taleswithfriends #moon #selfdiscovery #liveauthentic #challenge

A photo posted by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on


So ends my second Soul Selfie Instagram photo challenge. I’m left feeling full and happy with the connections we’ve made, the inner work that we put ourselves to. We’ve nudged and budged, listened and inspired eachother as a community is apt to do and I am certain we’ll do it again. Word is, I’m thinking about February. So perhaps February, May, and October are all good months to clear out our inner cobwebs, own our stuff, and move along.

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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