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Hide and Seek : The Invisible Woman

The process of valuing myself and what I have to offer the world all comes down to visibility and on choosing whether to be seen or whether to stay the invisible woman. Fear of unspoken imagined horrors like public ostracization will keep us from coming out and being our truest selves. We’ll put on “I’m fine” shows for our perceived audience while all the while hoping no one gets wind that we are anything but fine. I am so guilty of that.

I’ve written many times about how I felt I was invisible. I couldn’t see myself in a mirror because I had no value. And then I came into the public eye online. And as much as you’d think I’d think myself so so visible now with Twitter and Instagram accounts and two Facebook pages plus a blog, I still manage to stay hidden.Hide and Seek : The Invisible Woman on Shalavee.com

I maintain my own status quo. I write three posts a week which may or may not be read. And I show up on Instagram everyday and repost that to Facebook, but I am still very hidden. Crazy considering the content I share is very deep right?

But I am holding myself back from risking more rejection to gather more readers. I do not care for playing the numbers and counting my followership. I care about providing real people with the real truth I have to give and hope that it will be of help to them. But if I do not reach outside my comfort zone and risk to write for a bigger audience, I am stifling my reach and my writing. I am choosing to stay invisible. And I think my message and many other messages in the world are worth receiving.

So, as with many of the moments when I find that what I am doing is no longer serving me but feel stuck against changing them, I am going to make myself a challenge here. A hundred days of visibility challenge. Yes, I’ll post for a hundred days in row on my Shalavee.com Facebook page about the stuff I’m doing to be more visible or tell the public telling things about myself. I will risk. And I’ll do it daily. I honestly didn’t think of doing this until I began writing this post so WOW. We’ll see what this does for me. I will start my challenge today so if you are on Facebook, I encourage you to find my Shalavee.com Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ShalaghblogsatShalavee/ .Hide and Seek : The Invisible Woman on Shalavee.com 

How does one be more visible you ask? Instead of doing constantly for others,you choose to do things for you and for the greater good and you own those self goals out loud. You ask for help for yourself claiming your worthiness in your community. You tell people about feeling scared or vulnerable. You show your imperfections. You apologize for your mistakes. Be truthful and see how quickly you are freed from your fearful bonds of the “what ifs”. You see yourself as being there for yourself and reliable and trustworthy to have your valuable needs met.

And you risk rejection in the places that mean the most to you if you win.

So here’s to not being the invisible woman anymore. Here’s to being read and celebrated and supported for my talent. Here’s to no longer fearing just being myself.

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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Live to Tape Chats Starring Me

Since the end of July, I have been doing live video broadcasts from my Shalavee.com Facebook page here. My thoughts were that I like talking and people like to see people talk so why the heck don’t I start talking online. Subjects have included Burnout, Creativity, and Perfectionism which was the talk the screen froze and I had to finish in another broadcast. Irony is a funny sexy thing. After I am done taping the 10 -12 minute video, the live video goes to “tape” and is held on my page forever more. As of today, I have done 11 (counting the perfectionism one as one) broadcasts. And this is what I’ve learned.

Personal Ahas

  • Anything you devote yourself to regularly you get better at. I was so timid at first that I almost didn’t want people to be watching. Now that I’ve seen myself over and over, I find I’m compelling and interesting.
  • You have to do your thing just for you. It’s a thrill to share it and get other people to watch your progress but it has to be for your happiness.
  • I’m interesting to watch. My personality really comes through and that’s a strength of mine.
  • Keep writing or talking or dancing even if nobody’s watching.

Live to tape chats on Shalavee.com

Technological Ahas

  • Where there’s a will, the way is even simpler than you think. Fish around and find out how things work. That’s how children learn.
  • Essentially the web is now so user freaking friendly and interconnected that you only need to poke at a few buttons and everything you need to accomplish a task such as downloading or sharing is right there.
  • Conversely, when the writer of the article you read on shooting a live Facebook broadcast apparently has an Iphone and you have an Android, you may shoot the video of yourself sideways (twice) because she said the comments would show up on the side instead of below.
  • And you should always test out your technology ahead of time to make sure it all looks good and upright and loud enough.
  • When doing Live Facebook broadcast, disconnect notifications of Facebook during or your phone will lock up and you’ll have to force stop the app. Sigh.
  • If you have bad internet connection with Verizon, suck it up and accept that you will be pixelated and have weak signal until you figure out another provider.

I think you should do anything you consider a possibility twice before you decide if it’s a good fit. So far, I rather like doing these broadcast. In fact last week I had uninstalled and reinstalled Facebook on my phone to rid myself of a glitch, and inadvertently posted live to my personal page. But in making this mistake, I had a few people show up that I was pleased to see were watching me.

I showed up in the wrong place. But I showed up. And so did they so Yay!!!  Look for me every Friday at noon on my Shalavee Facebook page or watch the taped version of my talking head on my YouTube channel here.

Enjoy my taped talk on Perfectionism. And it’s part two 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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It’s All Personal Until It Isn’t

I remember how freaked out I was when I first joined the masses on Facebook. I wrote an hysterical post here about how confused I was by this foreign world and my incomprehension of the user etiquette and technology. It all felt too personal when it wasn’t at all. After some lightening quick friend requests from long ago lovers, I went screaming away only to return for the sake of my baby blog I was starting. When you make it about you, you miss how it really isn’t and how it can be too. Taking you out of the equation may make the most sense.When you realize ...Tolle quote

I’m now faced with another need to push out into the unfamiliar zone of self-promotion. I need you to read and to tell your friends to read but the asking is tougher than tough. I need to be louder and believe like I’ve never believed before. And I am sooo uncomfortable in that zone. So I had a talk with me the other day and this is what I thought out in my journal.

I need to take “me” out of the equation.

I must act as if this is a blog and writer I’ve found that I can’t get enough of and have to tell everyone about. Yell from the rooftops that she is talented and inspires me everyday to do things I fear. We’d certainly say all of this about a best friend but not about ourselves. Women aren’t supposed to be like this where sometimes guys talk themselves up when they ain’t got nothing to show for it. That’s the way it is sometimes.

Love yourself

Over lunch recently, my friend Janet told us that she and her friend decided how life is often a matter of you acting the role of you in certain situations. And in her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert cites an 18th century writer who would dress up and strut around feeling fancy to encourage his creative muse to visit. To court the courage and flair he did not posses seems a good way of ridding the me-ness of it all. Court that creativity and pretend I’m that other blogger who’s great.

We all could benefit from a little “acting as if” in our lives. I do it with the kids sometimes to lead their moods and behavior in a direction I need them to go. And apparently I need to do the same with my writing career. Call myself Brunhilde and wear a great big hat with feathers in it. Or don an official badge so I can act as if. Fake it until I make it. I created this workshop badge to give myself credit for something I already did. What if I could wear one as a pass to do something scary. Like self-promotion.workshop chef badge from shalavee.com

Every time I go and search my blog for a post I remember I wrote and want to include a link to, I find so many great pieces I wrote as well. I just searched acting and pretend and there were 30 wonderful posts that deserve recognition. So here’s to not forgetting ourselves and our talents and to using them daily. And to finding people who appreciate them. Especially ourselves.

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.

My Face Revisited : The Story of My Journey Onto Facebook

When I forget what I’ve been up and how much I appreciate my writing, I end up reading something and remembering.

I felt very privileged to have written this piece entitled My Face for the Talbotspy.org here. In honor of its three-year anniversary, I’m republishing it on my blog. Enjoy the fun read.

If you met me at a party, you’d notice my laugh is the loudest. I’m extremely social. Yet this fun time Charlotte has had a whole lotta nada for the social networking. I figured Twittling and My-facing were perfect ways of busily avoiding intimacy like the plague. I wanted no part of that universe made of desperate ego maniacs with short attention spans. The over reaction gave away the doubt beneath.

Like so many people of a certain age, I defensively declared I had no need for this Facebook phenomenon. Perhaps this was a knee jerk reaction to new-fangled technology making me feel stupid. Both fear of the unknown or of assimilation by the Borg are still fears. I have heard many fearful declarations to this specific anti-alliance. And sometimes we encounter our destiny on the way to avoiding it.

I was writing and publishing articles online and chose to rise to a new terrifying challenge of creating my blog. I fully understood I needed to socially network for this cause. And I was anxious. This was the ego-maniacal unnecessary and unacceptable activity. And my precious privacy was hard-earned. But I was seduced by the ability to pontificate to an enraptured audience. My ego “liked” this. Therein lay the carrot.

I asked my (very popular on Facebook) friend to convince me to join Facebook. She said flatly, “Three years from now, Social networking will be a given and this conversation would be ludicrous.” Just do it. Everybody’s doing it. She reassured me no one could see or speak with me there without my permission. Vampires need an invitation to come in.

So my angst and I joined the Facebook extravaganza on Friday May 20th, 2011, at around 2PM. I was typing away about my fab self in my profile when, Wham! , I get a friend request… from an ex-boyfriend?  One of these search buttons must be for all the people you’ve schtooped.  I don’t hate this guy but I had no plans to ‘party hardy’ ever again in a tavern of his choice. I rode out the panic and nausea and you know what I did then? I “friended” him. Because that was what this exercise in mass marketing and conquering fears was all about.

I returned to the FB flame on Saturday, finally found the link back in my spam folder, and, Wham! , it happened again. My all-time biggest crush ever from long ago and far away was requesting my friendship. My present husband was the long awaited exception to this boy who gave me hope when I wanted to give up on men altogether. I felt guilty for even reading the benign message from crush-man. In a ten minute span, I went from stunned to giddy to devastated. Of course he was married and had two beautiful children. I shut the computer down. Either these Facebook people were a specific kind of crazy or I was missing something.

I queried fellow members about the true meaning of the Facebook “friend”. Die hard FBers were bewildered by my bewilderment. It was a true friend who said she too had been freaked out initially when she joined. Now it’s her nighttime ritual. She kindly added that, in an ideal world, I would be allowed my fantasy crush forever. So it’s still me, I thought. I endeavored to try again and to pursue this friend-making thing with zeal.

After a month, crush-man became a human being. As his real life continually popped up on my news feed, I was able to release him from my heart to his happiness. Simultaneously and slowly, I sent “friend requests” to people from schools, social gatherings, neighborhoods, and workplaces of my past and present. As I connected with more people, I began to see my real deal.

This precious privacy I’d clung to and coddled was also known as isolation with a capital ‘I’.  I‘d chosen to hide my life, ashamed for growing old and fat because, you know, I was the only one getting old and fat. Who’s crazy enough to deliver themselves on a silver platter for the judgment of the free world? Apparently me.

I had worried about dredging up past resentments with this reconnection with people from my past. Instead, I found myself cheered by them. Our lives connected in unexpected ways. I caught important news I would have missed, like the birth of one friend’s twins and the loss of a beloved old cat for another. Snail mail cards went out immediately. I saw that Facebook is friendship “light”, a safe way of sharing without having to invest much. Showing up outside of this medium is how you solidify the “real” friendships.

As similar pieces of a larger machine, we need to connect to fellow human beings. I recognized how it’s not always about me as the interconnected web of humanity was scrolling up my screen. This online community cleverly coaxes people out of dark corners, away from the whisper of past shames, to a place where they are empowered to speak and be heard. I was blown away by the hope this deceivingly simplistic medium brought into my life.

Gratefully, I reconnected with the used-to-be-me, one person at a time in a memory lane parade of where I’ve been and who I’ve become. I missed the girl these people seemed to still think well of, or at least didn’t dislike. Today, I’m still timid at requesting the friendships of complete strangers but I’m gaining courage. Remember, I have a baby blog I have to feed.

When the next ex-boyfriend found me, I was ready. I asked why he had friended me and he professed he wanted to see if I was doing well. I sensed he also wanted to show me how well he was doing. Maybe, when they put my name in that search box, my ex-boyfriends sought the closure and self-forgiveness I had yet to seek. Or maybe I was a good schtooper. I am good with either possibility.

Facebook Shennanigans : Address Change

As with all computer activities, Facebook has become annoying and necessary. A really good read was my piece called My Face about my initiation by fire into the realms of Facebook. I am more in touch with so many people and find many read my work there. My Shalavee FB address was a really long string of letters and numbers. Once you have 25 followers, you are allowed to change the address to actual words. Except Shalavee or Shalavee.com wasn’t available. Seems there’s someone else on Facebook with this name? Slalavee Oneofakind Smith lives in Florida. The only reason my blog is even called Shalavee is because a French restaurant in some vacation spot in Harrogate, England had grabbed Chez La Vie. So in the end, I chose my Facebook page address as Shalagh blogs at Shalavee or ShalaghblogsatShalavee. So anyway.

Flowers in the kitchen from Shalavee.com

While I don’t seem to have come face to face with as many of the problems as my friend Jane has using Facebook, I remained perplexed about how I could see my liked pages in my feed. I feel lame if I forget to check in on other bloggers’ pages. I recently read something that suggested making your own lists of the pages you like on the left column of your home page. Do unto others. But this technological stuff will be the death of me. I can see why you don’t want to even muddle your brain with this stuff dear reader. I know who you are.

Kitchen attack from Shalavee.com

If you haven’t liked me on the Shalavee Facebook page, would you please do so? I am publishing 3 times weekly, Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Guarantee you’ll not miss my posts by subscribing and have them sent to your mailbox. I adore watching the subscriber number go up.  When I first drafted this post in March, it was only 58. After a recent beg-athon, it rose to 79 ! Would that it would just go to 80.

Again, thanks to all y’all that made that number climb. And as always, I am eternally grateful for you being here.

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, Thank you for your visit. My wee fairy friends that live in the hollow tree in my back yard told me to tell you they will move to your house and keep an eye on you.

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