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Do You Belong to the Cult of Zen Okayness?

I had heard rumors about the Cult of Perfect on the internet. And although I have stayed away from much of the perfecty picture world, there is definitely a cult of Okayness that exists. Women posting about how zen their lives, clutching their cupfuls of okayness while they practice mindfulness and home school their children.

While I aspire for the zen okayness, and no, homeschooling isn’t for me, I can’t help but sense that the perpetual claiming of this smacks of a Lady Macbeth flavored lack of achievement. If I keep claiming it, it will become true. And all I’m really feeling is lack.

So the question is, do you act as if the thing has happened and hope that the pretending makes it so? Or do you just own your lack of perfect okayness, let it hang out, and claim how hard it is to admit that? Because if that underlying niggle that things are not OK, that you are somehow failing your family, and that you are not enough festers, don’t you feel the build up and release will be bigger and badder than just claiming your humanity?Do You Belong to the Cult of Zen Okayness? on Shalavee.com

I admitted recently that my family’s well-being has been my number one priority above myself. And I finally feel like I can be done worrying about that and move on to working on the work that enlivens and empowers me. I am handing back some duties to them, and taking back the understanding that if my soul isn’t nourished, theirs won’t be either.

Where are you? Are you telling yourself a story or are you allowing your humanity and moving through it?

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.

Write Like Your Parents Are Dead or Alive, Just Write

I’ve been listening to a lot to talk of telling your story. When we write and tell our stories, we own them. Our stories become grounding and good for our souls. But the Stories We Live are tricky to tell when they involve other people and you wonder, what are the rules there? 

The primary question I heard, and have asked myself, is what impact will this story have on the other people in my story and in my life ? And here are the answers I’ve heard. If you need to tell your story, tell it. Don’t worry if anyone will read it because you might not show it to anyone afterwards. But the story needs to come out of you. It’ll fester until it does.

You also need to never share a story that you haven’t resolved. Stories that are still being written, need to stay private. The story won’t serve you or your audience if you are asking them to help you heal it thanks to Brene Brown for that insight). And on the same note, we may also need to heal our life’s relationships with the people in our lives for it to be worth telling. Healing is interesting.

I always loved the quote from Anne Lamott,”Write like your parents are dead.”

And then she added, this,“Remember that you own what happened to you. If your childhood was less than ideal, you may have been raised thinking that if you told the truth about what really went on in your family, a long bony white finger would emerge from a cloud and point to you, while a chilling voice thundered, “We *told* you not to tell.” But that was then. Just put down on paper everything you can remember now about your parents and siblings and relatives and neighbors, and we will deal with libel later on.”Write Like Your Parents Are Dead or Alive, Just Write on Shalavee.com

Unresolved anger and resentment aren’t very interesting. You can change people’s names but they’ll still know who they are. Or maybe you need truly no longer care about that person if you commit to telling about them. The bottom line is that you still have to get it out of you. So this will be a matter of editing not of writing.

I found that the stories I had to tell about my sad sack childhood made me sorry for myself but didn’t empower me in any way. I was passing the blame back when I needed to no longer be defined by it at all. Everyone is doing their best at any given time. And as a writer, the best story I have to tell is the truthiest story I have in 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 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.

Co-creating with my Family

You know that I’m all about creativity. I’ve been described as an ambassador to creativity. Putting a slice of yourself into the world is affirming in the most wonderful ways. And I also believe that community creativity is a sure fire way to join people together.Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

My family is regularly subjected to family art projects by me. In the Fall, group pumpkin carving is mandatory. We go out and pick our pumpkins and one night before Halloween, we sit at the kitchen table, draw out our jack-o-lantern faces, scoop out, and carve our pumpkins together. Then have dinner and watch a favorite scary movie with the jack-o-lanterns lit up on the bookshelf in front of us.Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

At Easter, we all dye Easter eggs together. I make sure I have the eggs cooked and we all try different techniques like tye dying and rubber bands and drippy eggs. Our fingers get dark with dyes and we chatter and say”look at this” and there is a palpable feeling of pride in creation. It makes us feel good to create and we feel good together while we do it.Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

So when I had this idea to art these plates for the garden fence wall, I thought why not involve the whole family in making the art? We chose animals and insects that we’d encountered in our backyard. I bought the right paints for ceramics. I downloaded the animal pictures. Then I cut out the animal shapes from clear sticky back shelf paper and adhered them to the plates.  The animal shapes would come out white after we’d painted them and peeled  off the shelf paper.Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.comCo-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

My son chose to paint the turtle and the firefly. My daughter painted the fox, the raccoon, the squirrel, and the rabbit. We joined together with great sincerity and intention in our now air-conditioned garage and set to work to create art. And that’s what we did. Each persons’ was different yet they were all united by a theme. And just this weekend, I finally mounted the last four as I had to go buy more plate hangers.Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

Creating memories with my family is always an ulterior motive. But luckily my kids are creative and grab any opportunity to find themselves within whatever medium is laid in front of them, be it pumpkin, egg, or plate. And long after the kids are gone, I’m still have a piece of them in my backyard.

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.

Making People Do Things

Anyone notice how hard it is to “make” people do things? You know, your mother/father/sister/brother/spouse/child/friend really needs to take care of themselves by exercising more/eating less/taking responsibility for their own stuff/ditching the toxic spouse and/or calling you up to hear your amazing wisdom more often!?

What we come to find out however, is that, just like toddlers, we all feel the need to figure it all out on our own. No one needs anyone’s well meaning advice, even if we do. It’s not that our well-meaning bad choice-making loved ones don’t value us, it’s just that they are stuck where they’re stuck until they’re not and there’s not a damn thing we can do for them but wait it out patiently.

Making People Do Things on Shalavee.com

Best advice ever given is to just lead by example. You keep to valuing your body-temple and staying aligned with your values and integrity and show the people you love what it looks like to treat yourself and your life with respect. You are the only difference you can make and the only thing you can control. And you and your loved ones will see that even if they’re too entwined in their self destruction to see it just now. It’s a matter of time.

The last clue is that when others’ lives are bugging us, it is often our way of distracting ourselves from our problems. And that in fact, the very thing that bugs you about anyone else is the one thing you may need to take care of in your life.

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.

Let It Be

So many things I think I should be doing. I should have a spiritual practice. I should be exercising more. I should be publishing my brilliant writing in big magazines. But most of the time, I can’t accommodate all of my shoulds. And my day turns into cleaned bathrooms, walk taken, and dinner
made. Throw a holiday in there and I don additional job hats as a fat elf and an invisible bunny rabbit. There’s no such thing as regularity. Yet somehow I keep hoping it’s possible.

Yes I could use a wife. And here comes Summer time when I suddenly become Julie your cruise director organizing all you fun Summer Family happenings and packing and planning and scheduling. But I dare say, I love it in many ways and it won’t be like this always. So I think I’m gonna let it be.

At any given point, your life is what you think it is. If you keep thinking it’s bad, it’s bad. If your think it’s a messy blessing, than that’s exactly what it is.

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.

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