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How Instagram Helped Cure Me of Anxiety

I love to connect with like-minded creative women on Instagram. This format of Social media (also known as a platform) became my preferred online social interaction as I was trying to build an audience for my blog. I very hesitantly joined communities and challenges and slowly started to poke my head out of my fear shell. And I credit Instagram and creativity for curing me of my anxieties.

I’d never experienced community and was completely unsure of what it meant and how I was supposed to do it. I just knew that being witnessed by these wonder women from inside their hearts was the greatest gift ever. I watched and I listened as they showed me what vulnerability looked like and what it gives you. And my intuition told me that, despite what everyone said about social media, there was something really good going on here.How Instagram Helped Cure Me of Anxiety on Shalavee.com

We humans want to be accepted by our tribe as who we truly are. It is our deepest desire to have our authentic selves seen. At the same time, we are afraid of rejection and judgment as this could mean ostracization and either physical death or shame and the death of our spirit. This is primal fear stuff that we aren’t truly aware of but have discerned from the teachings of our pack and our world.

So here we are, the loveliest ladies on Instagram and we’re feeling the swellness of being witnessed and the rawness of risking being judged. We have two choices at all times. We can either choose to fit-in, twist ourselves into the likeness of those around us as to guarantee we will be accepted. Or we can choose to be vulnerable and authentic and watch as people love us for who we are. Because this is our hearts desire and this requires faith and letting go.How Instagram Helped Cure Me of Anxiety on Shalavee.com

I know that when I act inauthentically and try to make people like me, I lose trust in them and myself. I know they aren’t really liking me but a false image I am manipulating. And I don’t trust myself even for thinking so little of me that I am unworthy of being seen. It’s a sticky wicked if ever there was one. And the only cure for this fear quagmire is to just be authentically you.

I heard a woman ask today if her lack of confidence and boldness in posting truths about herself on Instagram recently was about her expectations of what it would bring or fear of being judged. And I replied that we all had that feeling at some point. But there will be that one moment when we post something raw and real about ourselves and that one stranger responds, “Thank You” because they felt inspired and courageous to be authentic as well. And that is the faith that keeps me being vulnerable and witnessing everyone online. It is the blessing, the superpower, that we can give on each other and it’s totally completely free.

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.

The End of My Icad (index Card a Day) ’18 Challenge

All the daily creativity came to a screeching halt nearly a week ago with the last day of July and the 61st card. With the combined 100 day project and this one, I had created every day for 118 days straight. I felt neither overly happy nor sad for the halt. I had fulfilled my challenge to myself. But I must admit that I have felt slightly untethered since then. A feeling that was echoed by at least one other artist who had done the challenge with me.

Day #1 through Day #22 of the ICAD challenge

Day #1 through Day #22 of the ICAD ’18 Challenge

The End of ICAD '18 Challenge on Shalavee.com

Day #23 through #42 of the ICAD ’18 Challenge

The End of ICAD '18 Challenge on Shalavee.com

Day #43 through Day #61 of the ICAD ’18 Challenge

I considered that I could and should replace that daily habit with some other intention. But that was swallowed up in a flurry of Summer activities which were all good. But I am also asking this of myself, why does it take an outside “force” to get me to commit to the art. What about being obliged to myself? Or perhaps, what do I create in my life that makes me accountable to regular artwork?

Our creative needs are ours to fulfill. And if it requires a little trickery on our parts to get ourselves to creatively comply, so be it. Any challenge is good even if that means creating your own like I did in June for the Our Creative June Challenge, well then let’s do it again together. I live for a creative community and I think everyone deserves to have one of their own.The End of ICAD '18 Challenge on Shalavee.com

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.

Create the Life You Want to See and Be

There is a place where each of us thrives and feels rooted. A place where we belong to ourselves when we are there. A crossroads that when we stand there, we are rooted by our own self-trust and no negative words could blow our buzz. That place is our home and I am searching for mine. I want to create the life that I’m meant for. I may even be standing directly over top of it and I feel many of you are too.Create the Life You Want to See and Be on shalavee.com

I am near that place when I am writing from my heart. And I’m even closer when I am in a creative community engaged in creativity and supporting one another. Each of us has felt the tickle and the tug of this special place for ourselves. And yet, as we trust our logic and fear and not our intuition, we think “this surely must be a mirage. It can not be as simple as just being ourselves.” Tricky, that fear is.

I may have wasted many many years making all of this way more complicated than it had to be. Tripping over my shoulds and ignoring my coulds, I have stayed put in a quiet spot watching and dreading how complicated it seemed it would be if I were to pursue simply being me. Create the Life You Want to See and Be on shalavee.com

But the moments of pure bliss I’ve had creating and communing and supporting fellow creatives made it seem so simple. The whisper…I only need to trust the process. Trust = Taking Root Under the Self Tree. Agreeing and Intuiting my next step and being present to witness the changes and the letting go. No one can be me better than me. So letting me be me may allow for me to see the future as a hopeful happy place? Perhaps. 

 

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.

The 100 Day Project: Days 55 through 75

Back in April I started something I had previously believed was impossible for me. I began a 100 Day Challenge. I am doing a sketch a day with pencil and pastels on a 4 x 6 card. I am using everyday objects as an homage to the ordinary everyday experience that we all have in common. And I’m actually on day 76!

I knew I could do this challenge based on my previous Summer’s completion of the ICAD (index card a day) challenge which is two months long. And in fact, I decided to go ahead and do the ICAD challenge this year in addition to the 100 Day Challenge because it’s giving me a different medium to play with too. And just for good measure, I am hosting an Our Creative June #OurCreativeJune creativity challenge on Instagram for anyone who wanted to do something for only 30 days. I was already there!

The creation of something new is not accomplished

by the intellect but by the play instinct.”– Carl Jung–

I am sincerely grateful for all the enthusiastic creatives who turned me on to the concept of daily creation. Partly because it allowed me to regain trust with my inner creative 6-year-old. But I now truly appreciate the superpower that authentic creativity is. And having a supportive community to nurture this scary process is tantamount to your success.

On her blog Daisy Yellow, the host of the ICAD challenge Tammy had this to say about the feelings that come up within one of these long creative challenges in her recent post on 12 tips for success in an index-card-a-day challenge:

After the first 2 weeks there’s a very good chance that you’ll hit a plateau where you really have to push to stay on track. That’s the most difficult part!!! It takes time to get into the groove. But suddenly there will be a break-through and you will feel like it’s second nature to create something each day. That’s the goal, my friends, to incorporate a positive creative habit into your daily life.”

I have begun to truly understand my chosen medium of pencil and chalk aka pastels. I’d even say I’m developing confidence. And the collection of objects will make a truly interesting display once it’s completed my 100th day. I hope any and all of this has inspired you to dabble in something creative. And perhaps there’ll come a day when you as well can join in and see where it takes you. But meanwhile, thank you for cheering me on !

Want to see the previous posts on this project?

For The 100 Day Project, Day 34 through 54 go here !

For The 100 Day Project, Day 14 through 33 go here !

For the first two weeks of my 100 Day Project 2018, go here

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.

 

Our Creative June Week One

A week into Our Creative June creativity challenge on Instagram and the excitement is all there. To feel and watch as people grab a hold of the idea of creativity as a gift they can give themselves daily is so satisfying. I know that for me, it always brings such a jolt to my esteem when I create. And then sharing it with my community gives me another happy zing.

Am delighted to say that after a week run, there are over 120 posts of creations on the #OurCreativeJune page and there are at least 25 participants including myself. I give you a smattering of some of the art that’s happening. These are all the other creators. I will follow up with a post of my own work soon.

 

I understand now that I am an Ambassador of Creativity. That having felt its immense healing powers in my life, there is every reason to share the wonder and joy of this gift with others. I don’t care if you don’t share what you creatively do with others publicly, just as long as you make something for you and feel the ease and comfort that it provides.

In the Instagram post that announced #OurCreativeJune, I wrote, “The antidote to fear is love. I believe creativity and the practice of being in touch with who you really are is the greatest act of self-love.”

My IG friend Kylie gave this back to me by saying,”I love the way Shalagh refers to the practice of being in touch with who you truly are as creative expression. We too often refer to creativity in terms of making something with paint or paper etc but it’s more than that. It’s authenticity, unique thought, honoring what makes you feel good, breaking a routine, reaching out to make a new connection, being yourself or looking at your life, a situation, a relationship with a fresh (and more helpful perspective).”

Where there is love of oneself and authenticity, there is peace and no anxiety. While engaged in creativity, you do not feel the anxiety or fear of a nuclear attack. All you feel is flow. And that is some powerful mojo.

I’m doing two creative pieces a day now. I am still engaged in the 100 Day Project with sketches of everyday objects. See the first post here. And the Icad project (index card a day) has me doing collage or whatever alternate medium I’m in the mood to use. Anyone can jump into our month at anytime with any sort of creativity. Writing is something I do a lot of but don’t acknowledge except it’s highly creative. Photography and Cooking too. So feel free to switch up mediums and just jump in occasionally. There aren’t any true rules but to indulge our creativity.

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.

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