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Your Community

The beginning of the year found me dreading my duties ahead. I had somehow volunteered to spearhead our fellowship’s fundraiser and I was not excited. My ego was dreadfully afraid of failing and two wise men gave me some extraordinary advice. One said, “your community will show up for you” and the other said, “if it fails, it’s your community that will have failed not you”. Permission and perspective were gained immediately.

 

Two days ago, I sent out an email requesting help with the food for this Cuban themed event. I needed some traditional cooking as well as some “buy it” and “pour it” in a bowl types of supplies. And within 12 hours, my people showed up and were on board for all the items. All of them. I could have cried.Your Community on Shalavee.com

 

Asking for anything is tremendously hard. You risk rejection when you ask. But when you are asking on behalf of a community, it feels like double jeopardy. Your good name and your cause are at stake. But our egos somehow forget that the Community concept means we are collectively responsible. In fact, those who care about the community as well are so glad that they’re not the one doing all the work, they’ll be glad to grab those chips or make that cake to show their gratitude for the efforts being made.

 

Equally important, how else can you learn your humility life lessons but through being of service to your community? Be that community your church, your school, your county, or gender, showing up holds so much power and impacts everyone. The efforts show us our value and shows others their value to us. In this instance, being in this process showed me how generous and loving my fellowship is when my fear of failure wanted to be my message.

Your Community on Shalavee.com

I will be immensely grateful to have accomplished this Herculean task and proven that I could. But I will also try not to lose sight that I must trust in my community as they have shown me their honor and reliability. Those are good reasons to keep being devoted. And I wanted to make sure that this lesson was not left unspoken.

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.

Fiona’s Fourth Birthday Bash

Today was Fiona’s fourth birthday party and it was a complete success, by her standards and mine. Yes, she got enough Frozen themed party paraphernalia and stuff to satisfy all Frozen itches for a decade. And I got to bask in the knowledge that me and my daughter matter to all these lovely people.birthday flowers on Shalavee.comFiona's 4th party on Shalaee.com

Fiona and Emma at the party on Shalavee.com

birthday girls on shalavee.com

The reason I go to such efforts to decorate and to heap yummy food on my kitchen table is a tribute to the love that these people have for and show me and my family. My gratitude runs very deeply. I am almost speechless but then, not quite, right?Frozen Birthday party cake by Steve Konapelski on Shalaee.com

Fiona and Emma at the party on Shalavee.com

Fiona and Emma at the party on Shalavee.com

birthday flowers on Shalavee.com

Aunts and Uncles, real and respected, grandmothers, cousins, neighbors, friends, and kin came to celebrate my miraculous daughter’s birth four years ago. And in a puff and a whoosh, it’s all done. Only a dirty kitchen, drooping streamers, and falling balloons to tell the tale. But we’ll remember this fondly for many years. Another year passed and another successful party.

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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Gratitude For 2016

For this month of December, 2016, I again chose to participate in an Instagram project hosted by Anna Lovind called 24 Moments of Gratitude . In my last few days of the challenge now, were you not an Instagram or Facebook follower of mine. I thought you dear reader might like to read a few of them. And that they may spark you to realize you are also grateful for something today.

 

Day 11 : Biggest Lesson of 2016 is also my greatest gratitude. l learned that I have the power, the tools, the awareness, and the chance to change my thoughts. . And in doing so, this is the year I kicked my anxieties to the curb. I learned that I truly had no business trying to make others think anything. And that my inner child needed me to support her in creating not just more art, but a life philosophy that supported my values. That kept her safely playing. . I learned being true to You, your happiness, however unworthy you feel you are of it, is still the only way you can authentically navigate your life. And I have given myself my hope back by owning my thoughts. . Immensely grateful to me for this work. Because it feels easier and more fun to be me. . PS We got our tree yesterday. But Fiona refused to pose with the tree guy and the tree. So he took this picture for me. Hysterical! . #decemberreflections2016 #24momentsofgratitude #fionamariepeach #christmastree #tistheseason #falalalala #soul_selfie #selfdiscovery #blogger

A photo posted by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on

 

A grateful day is everyday and any day that I can sit and think and write. First the permission to sit and do nothing else. Then the space to clear my head. To see what is in front of me. What is important to me. What needs care. What needs dropping. . The best book of this year is the book my life is writing. The book this year I finally claimed I would write. I didn’t want to want to write it. But I will have to. My journal, my blog, and Instagram catch pieces of this book to be. On my heart, it is half written. And I kinda can’t wait to find out what I discover when I write it. . (Ooh and click on my blog link in my profile. I have a juicy post there on trusting my inner adult.) #24daysofgratitude #decemberreflections2016 #taleswithfriends #FionaMariePeach #liveauthentically #writelife #ontheblog

A photo posted by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on

 

Oh how reading this post from May brought me back to a changing place I was a year ago. Grateful twofold . For the pain that grows and moves us onward. And for the community that holds us and witnesses us while we endure and process these lessons. . A year ago, as my post below recounts, I had something really hard happen to me. It threatened to crush me but it grew me instead. I became stronger, valued myself and my talents more than before. And my friends all encircled me and supported me. #24momentsofgratitude . My daughter is often the subject of my candid portraiture and this is soooo one of my favorite pictures from 2016. And finding it reminded me of my gratitude so Win win ! #decemberreflections2016 💜👇ORIGINAL POST BELOW👇💜 (Soul Selfie Challenge Day) SEVEN — Like a car crash I hadn’t seen coming , Christmas 2015 delivered one final lesson. I did the shoulda woulda couldas for days, mulling over and tossing about that which couldn’t be changed. I craved Ease at the start of this year. In January, I picked the word #Release to deliver me there. The thoughts were a skipping stylus on a record as my brain tried to go back, change it, and then I yelled, “Release”. Again. And again. And then I released it. Knowing that however much it had sucked, this was meant to happen to me so that I may move me forward. Embrace the discomfort and you will be free. Thanks to my word of the year Release, I could create the soul selfie challenge releasing some of my penned up thoughts and fears, offering others a chance to accompany me on my soul searching journey. I thank you again and again for joining in to the challenge and adding your unique thoughts to this soup pot. I’m brimming with gratitude and joy. I am not alone and neither are you. Thank You ❕🌸❕🌸❕🌸❕ #soul_selfie #release #challenge #grateful #taleswithfriends #FionaMariePeach

A photo posted by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on

gratitude on shalavee.com

Merry Christmas to all of you out there who have stopped by for a looksee who are devoted readers. I have such immense gratitude for you all and would not be who I am and about to go where I’m going if it weren’t for you enthusiastic support and sincere compliments. Big things are coming for all of us surely but definitely for me and Shalavee!

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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My First World Kid

He’s grown up in a small town, a petri dish we carefully planned and chose to spawn him in. Because it wasn’t the big city we were raised in complete with all those big city dangers. He had a stay at home Mom, a chance to play in Little League and be in a parade, and a box at the post office for letters to Santa. And we also bequeathed him our anxieties, such as they were when we had him. He’s gotten all his quirks honestly and he’s a first world kid.

I was proud of him when he asked to see a talking doctor when he was feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of entering middle school. He was discombobulated and was asking for help so of course! And as we sat there at the intake appointment and the nice therapist had to ask him all the hardcore questions about sexual abuse, violence in his home, drug and alcohol abuse, and mental illnesses, it was so very clear that he truly has no street savvy. She asks, did he ever cut himself? He said, you mean intentionally? This is the kid who scolds me when I curse.My First World Kid on Shalavee.com

We are in this woman’s office because he asked for support! That is to be commended. And after all these questions that remind me that there are so many horrendous situations happening to children all over the world, my first thought was, we have no problems. Or we have such first world problems. These aren’t even private school stresses but public school ones. As of my 12th birthday, I had entered into a private school for girls and got to know a whole new level of stress hell as well as gained my savvy on the streets of the city.

But not my kid. His innocence is so dear that I sit back and relax. When the questionnaire has been filled out, I’ll get to let this woman take the helm and aid him as only a third-party neutral can be trusted to do. She’ll give him what he needs and I’ll have given her to him as is my job. I have kept him safe and naïve and happy up until this point. And I’m OK passing some of the buck.My First World Kid on Shalavee.com

I know that bubble is about to pop, as it must. And I am glad and proud of the job I’ve done so far. He’s amazing and I hope he’ll know just how amazing the bigger he gets. We’re living the sheltered American Dream in the meanwhile. We’re the first world Subway sub eating, Netflix kid movie watching, piano lesson paying, one boy and one girl family of four. And I am grateful beyond words for all of this.

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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Thankfulness

I dare say I take everything for granted . Intentional thankfulness almost takes a little effort. But I know this so I slip free from the grips of guilt if I sit back and have a think.

And recently Fiona keeps saying “thank you”. Why am I surprised to hear that from my three year old. I am elated and suspicious all at once.ThaThankfulness on Shalavee.com

If I were to round up my gratitude, it may include these topics I feel grateful for:

  • After 5 years, my husband’s business has taken off
  • Bills are being paid off
  • Good food and wine was bought, cooked, and devoured
  • We have Great Friends and Family
  • My family is all healthy, for now
  • My creative muse is being entertained regularly
  • I have immense Freedom to create
  • I have a great therapist who has moved me on in ways I thought were fantastical
  • I love my life Thankfulness on Shalavee.com

Honestly, I’m not sure I could come up with anymore than this now and I’m OK with this being good enough.

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all from 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.

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