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My Creativity Workshop in the Fall of 2017

Developing and leading the Creativity workshop on November 18th of this year, 2017, renewed my understanding of my purpose. All the self-trust and self-esteem work I’ve done has naturally led to me valuing my creativity. The more I read and the more I write about both self-development and creativity, the more I understand the entwined nature of our true and creative selves.

And I now understand the same fear that threatens to keep us from our truest and most authentic self is the same as that which keeps us from our most creative selves. I find this kind of knowledge is too juicy to keep to oneself. Because if you can separate yourself from your fear and feelings just long enough to make a better choice that makes you feel better, at least you know you have a choice.

Previously, I have conducted one other workshop several years ago on blogging. And as that was a success at showing me I could teach a workshop, this one was more about what I felt passionate about. These are the subjects that have changed my life drastically. The theories and understanding that I have developed were earned by me. And I can see that what I know and feel may be of help to someone else looking to free themselves from the anguish of anxiety and blocked creativity.

My Creativity Workshop Fall of 2017 on Shalavee.com

My Creativity Workshop Fall of 2017 on Shalavee.com

I started the workshop by asking people to describe creativity. To put a value on it in their minds is to make it worth pursuing. These dozen attendees were there because they already valued creativity and yet, in our separated worlds, we may not realize it means as much to others. Hearing others say how you feel is very validating. We then jumped into what held us back from creativity, claiming words that described our blocks and our fears. And again, we owned what we knew was keeping us from this goal we wanted and heard what other people had struggles with. A sudden sense of community felt formed.

I shared my humanity and told a story of how anxiety had gripped me while driving on my way to a creative event once. I spoke about the cruelty we treat our inner children with when we deny or criticize their natural need to play. I gave them words and concepts about fear of being outcast and faith in our authentic selves and the kindness of permission to play versus the cruelty of not allowing for it. And then we got to the hands-on fun part where we applied ourselves to this process.

My Creativity Workshop Fall of 2017 on Shalavee.com

My Creativity Workshop Fall of 2017 on Shalavee.com

My Creativity Workshop Fall of 2017 on Shalavee.com

First, we created permission slips based on a blocked creative task citing our creative desire and then writing through our blocks to achieve that. And then we created authority badges claiming ourselves and our talents as creatives regardless of talent.  It was wondrous to watch this roomful of adults grab markers and glitter and paper and create physical representations of their entitlement to be creative.

My takeaway? I am onto something. There is a simple equation here about our true inner children being allowed to be unequivocally ourselves. That we’ve been so programmed to be productive and ready for disaster that day after day we deny ourselves our true identities, a moment to indulge in “pointless’ fun activities. And day after day, hope leaks from our souls as we remain imprisoned in our shoulds and can’ts.

 

My Creativity Workshop Fall of 2017 on Shalavee.com

My Creativity Workshop Fall of 2017 on Shalavee.com

My Creativity Workshop Fall of 2017 on Shalavee.com

I have a strong sense that this kind of self-permission and soul tuning is necessary for our world to heal. That we can’t be an authentic nation of people if we are not acting as our truest selves and in our own interests. And that creative living and listening to our intuition will serve to make us stronger in every application.

I will be revamping my content and offering this workshop again next year sometime. The potential to awaken people’s insights and intuitions is tantalizing. And I would love to know and be proud to have I contributed what I could to the healing of people’s creative souls.

 

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.

Proof That I Have More Guts Than You

This past Friday, I willingly subjected myself to my obligatory “You just turned 50!” booby prize procedure and had my very first colonoscopy. Yes I know, am I really 50 already ? I made sure I dyed my daggone roots before I went so they would feel it necessary to card me and make sure I was old enough. Best news is, with this done, I have nothing more to dread for the upcoming year. And I was compelled to tell all because it seems I have more guts than most.

My body based homework from my annual exam included a full panel of bloodwork, my yearly mammogram (getting my boobies squashed), and that horror procedure reserved for the newest eligible members for the American Association of Retired Citizens, the colonoscopy.

This procedure is the number one thing everyone dreads. Foremost, it means you have to fast for 36 hours. You have to pop laxatives like they’re candy and then drink almost a gallon of fluid laced with thankfully tasteless stool softeners. It’s the prep that’s the hell. Concerned that I hadn’t yet cleared myself out 5 hours beforehand, I was forced to drink one last liquid bomb at 5 am. And in telling this to my doctor before I was knocked out for the procedure, I said that I suspected something was going on in there. My colon is like the lazy river at the theme park. I often suspect my body of trying to make butt diamonds.

After a marvelous and speedy sleep and wake up administered by the most kick butt anesthesiologist ever, I was informed that, yes, there’s a reason for my seemingly slower than molasses in the wintertime bowels : I have more guts than normal people. Literally, my innards are lengthier than other people’s which I later found out is called a redundant colon. Just in case, here’s some more exit ramp. Annoying but true.

Then I thought, if you thought me a little more brazen and risk-taking than other people,  I now have actual proof you are right!  I do have more guts than other people. Hahahahahaha ! Proof That I Have More Guts than You on Shalavee.com

After the procedure, as I had announced on social media on my boring long fasting day, I was ready to go eat my predestined cheese steak sub. After some thoughtful discussion, my husband and I decided to take our business to a well established Easton, Maryland eatery in the strip mall that houses the JC Penney and the Kohl’s stores, called Rusticana Pizza. Exactly what I had wanted. The cheese steak submarine was made with care, the fries were soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside as they always are, and I washed it down with a coke over crushed ice. That hit the spot. Mark’s Stromboli was great too. I kept being reminded of the one delicious bite I took by my burps throughout the day. Our waitress has worked there a long time and her dearness just added to my gratitude.

And what I learned too was how I can see fasting as a noble religious practice. It will show you what you are and aren’t made of. I am not the sum of the contents of my belly or my fat cells. I can withstand discomfort and still live. I was glad that it all went well and that the found polyp was benign. Does however guarantee that I’ll be another total colon cleanse years from now. Yeah because who doesn’t need a complete colon reset every once in a while?

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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Anchors Away Service Auction

This past weekend, my husband and I had the pleasure of creating the “special” for the special event service auction fundraiser at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Easton to which we belong. This may have been the fifth special event I’ve decorated here plus various potlucks through the years. DSC09821

Anchors away auction on Shalavee.com

wheel scape front of room

A service auction is where community members donate goods or services and these are then auctioned off with the profits going to the church. I donated Help For the Hapless Hostess. Mark donated a round of golf. Many throw dinner parties, offer bed and breakfast packages at their waterfront homes, and there’s a crabbing trip and a plane ride over the region. It’s a wonderful way to get to know other community members and have fun doing so.Anchor on curtain on Shalavee.com

close up tablescape

This years theme was “Anchors Away” and I was told that the anchor was what needed emphasizing so that’s just what I did. I made a pattern out of wrapping paper and then cut it out of velvet. Then I ironed it onto my curtain with fuseable webbing. Perhaps I’ll post those pictures at another point.straight through angle during auction

side window curtains and lanterns

The curtains are a new item being offered by Mark’s company, On Your Mark Lighting Design and Equipment, so we thought this would be a great opportunity to get pictures of them in use. We sent them twelve feet high and then hung the nautical feeling lanterns with jute rope.

tablescape with yellow lantern

Mark used his water affect lights and LED uplights all in blue to give a water feeling. And I collected up as many nautical themed objects as I could for the tablescape in the main table. Food and wine was all donated as were our services and efforts so that all the profits could go to the church.

hallway flags and Colleen

We have a very kind and welcoming and generous community. And we are always glad and proud to contribute our talents to the cause. Plus we get to make the event truly Special. And Fiona said the cookies at this party were fantastic!Me and Fiona on Shalavee.com

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.

Wrapping Up My Blogging Workshop

My blogging workshop finally happened last weekend in musty little building back in the woods on the waterfront property in Easton, Maryland known as the Evergreen Cove. I arrived before the 9:30 start time and early enough to bake up a tray full of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls to smell up the place and then went to greet people at the door.Spring at Evergreen Cove in Easton, Maryland on Shalavee.com

Mr Gerald Sweeney, aka Mr. Gerry the current President of the Eastern Shore Writers Association, introduced me to my class of 15 with such fanfare and accolades, he made me laugh at how awesome I sounded. I told the attendees if they didn’t enjoy the workshop, it was all his fault for talking me into it.My blogging workshop on Shalavee.com

The majority of the attendees of my workshop entitled The Why is the How: Intentional Blogging 101, were seeking a basic understanding of blogging. The hows, always the hows. And what I made sure to insist in the beginning and throughout was that those are secondary. It’s your whys, or maybe your why nots, that will lead you or thwart you from your blog beginning. We agree to our bossy fears blaming our hows. I can’t because “I don’t know how” is subterfuge.water view from the Evergreen Cove on Shalavee.com

I gave everyone the best of my knowledge, the personal stories of the gifts of my unexpected blogger friendships, and my near fatal technological errors. And I did this all with the humor and compassion that I am made of. The most important fact to impart to these lovely people was that they can do it for themselves and I will be here to support them. Because I didn’t have a mentor when I needed one and everyone deserves a mentor.The stone path at the Evergreen Cove in Easton, Maryland on Shalavee.com

I am a huge fan of ‘Drops in the bucket’, ‘One foot in front of the other’, and 15 minute increments. Or “Just start” as Mr. George interpreted afterwards. He was my star pupil. This very intelligent intuitive gentleman and scholar, and a spry 80-year-old, picked up everything I was putting down. And graciously bestowed compliments on me afterwards. I will forever be devoted to him. His emails these lovely comments to me.

Shalagh,

As I fully expected you made a fine presentation. It was humorous, informative, practical, energetic and you made my most ominous enemy look less fearsome. I’m ready to face my dragon. I think I’ll take him on this week.”

And then …

I thought your comment about being clear about ‘why’ I might want to do this was profound. That is the heart of so many dreams that get stalled – we’re not sure of just what we want from the dream.

Best,

George”

I plan to do future meet-ups for bloggers where they can ask follow-up questions of me and create further support and community with each other. Mr George said now they know enough to come up with intelligent questions to ask next time we meet. I followed up the class by sending out and sharing more resources and email addresses. I’ve done all that I could.Me and Mr Gerry after my blogging workshop on Shalavee.com

I so hope that each of these lovely people find their personal whys and a place to stand permitting them to jump into this blog journey that I have so unexpectedly enjoyed. There are moments when you do wonder what you were thinking when you started, much like parenthood. And then other times you wonder how you could have lived with out the title of blogger and the gifts and privileges that go with it. Life sometimes takes a while to show you the truth in your actions and yet you must have faith that there’s a story brewing worth telling at some point.

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.

A Moroccan Christmas Tree

This past weekend was another one crammed with creativity and good company.

A birthday party and a dear friend and her family over for dinner was then followed by the decorating of a tree to benefit the Talbot County, Maryland’s Hospice Organization. I was asked to do this tree last minute by my friend Pama, the owner of Moonvine, a little gift and lovelies shop right across Harrison Street from Gold ballroom in the Tidewater Inn in Easton, Maryland where the trees are displayed.

Hospice Festival of Trees in Easton, MD on Shalavee.com

The ornaments are donated by the decorators and then the trees are pre-sold to local businesses and patrons. I knew that I had a few items in the attic that would create a Moroccan themed tree. Ornaments left over from my first “real” tree that I had ordered while attending the Atlanta Gift show 15 years ago back when I worked for Pama. A befitting recycling. Thankfully, the recipient of my tree is Midge, the creator of the Festival of Trees event some 20 years ago. She loved the colors and was really looking forward to having my masterpiece in her hallway. Now I really had to care what it looked like.

let the tree decorating begin on Shalavee.com

close up of the moroccan themed Christmas tree on Shalavee.com

I was one of the first to arrive and got right to shoving the netting in and making the ribbon weave through the tree. And when Pama entered the Gold ballroom, it was a joy to hear her exclaim happy greetings to all these women who she has worked with year after year. All day I heard her at various trees coaching the teams on how to do bows or professional festooning. It was a joy to be in the room with all these happy to be creative do-gooders and my gal Pama, aka Coach.

The festival of trees at the Tidewater Inn in Easton, MD on Shalavee.com

The festival of trees at the Tidewater Inn in Easton, MD on Shalavee.com

The Inn provided coffee and fruit infused water for us to sip as we stepped back to examine the trees and find the holes that needed filling. The room was full of chatter and focus and a breeze from the tented patio. Decorating my Moroccan Christmas tree must have taken me the better part of four hours to fill that tree. I was fried and happy enough at the end of the day. We will be returning next Monday for Eamon’s piano recital here in this very room. And Mark helps with the Festival of Trees fashion show too.

A Moraccan themed Christmas on Shalavee.com

One tree down, two more to go. Hope you are inspired and let me know if I can help you with your decorating projects in any way.

 

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