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The Election Hangover

I was pregnant with Eamon and had opened a little gift shop when the 2004 election re-elected George W. Bush as president for another term. My husband and I were grief-stricken.  And we talked of what was to be done and would we consider moving. And then we had our baby.

What I remember from that experience is that eventually, after the drama died down, my life didn’t change all that much. I still woke up, had my cup of coffee with cream and sugar, and knew I could hop in my car and go to any drive through for the fast food of my choice. America was still a free country for me. No gum toting goons were pillaging my village and raping my children. And in recognizing this first world perspective, I got through emotionally. Then the economic recession/depression finally forced me to shut my shop down on the coldest day of the following January perhaps while President Bush was being sworn in. I returned home terrified to raise a soon to be toddler trapped in my house. The Election Hangover on Shalavee.com

This time the election rumbled around, I was spared election coverage since I no longer had cable. I did not have to watch any debates or read too much to know who I wanted to represent me. And I knew that the one and only bit of power I had was the power to vote. And so I did. But I also knew that there is no way to predict the outcome of anything even after it seems a done deal. And so I offer this: Empower your daughters, your friends, your friends daughters to stand up for what they need. Support one another, be empathetic, offer hope and hands. Be community. I believe there is nothing that will tear my community from my heart nor the hope that one day I will see a woman in the oval office.

I have voted every election since I was 18 when I voted for Clinton. I was so proud of myself. This time, as I do every election, I took my children to show them that there is a democracy in process. It may be a flawed one but those people working at the polling place have so much honor and integrity. So much pride I felt richer for being there, even if the outcome wasn’t the one I’d have preferred.The Election Hangover on Shalavee.com

Yes, there is something rather scary and ominous trending in humanity. A lack of care for our global community and its plights that I find terrifying. The age of Me me me is upon us. It’s fear not faith talking. But then I have to remember that becoming anxious will get us nowhere. And Hope is where I need to live to make my life work for me and help others to feel the same. I want to show my children that I do my best every day and let go of the rest.

So I will continue to fight my way out of the chrysalis that I was trapped in for so long. And when I emerge as a flawed and beautiful butterfly, I will stay true to my intentions to help others to emerge and find their self-kindness and their tribe and spread their gifts to the world as well. This is all I can do. And wait with hope and gratitude. Because there is Always something to be grateful for.

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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Addiction Pimps Out Your Anxieties to Feed its Need

Fear, anxiety, and addiction work together in a hooker and pimp relationship. In order to quell the fear of death or abandonment, an addiction was created to cope. Not the truth necessarily but our primitive brains think it is. The addiction is then an alleviation of the fear of something that isn’t true. Often the substance or act releases the calming hormones in our brains that we are also addicted to releasing. So addiction relies on anxiety to amp up the fear trigger and give it a reason to feed. Fear’s lie is that if you don’t quell it, you’ll die. A shortcut and circle has been made. Anxiety equals feed or die and repeat.

Fear’s lie is that if you don’t quell it, you’ll die.

Breaking the cycle however, may actually be the only way to in fact survive. Quelling the anxiety medicinally with an anti-depressant helps immensely to clear the brain from rapid fire lies but the battle to retrain these repetitive malicious thoughts is the true war winner. Augusten Burroughs, in his book Dry, referred to the addiction as a sort of hungry beast that will always seek to quell itself and recreate reasons to be in peril. Always. Until the fears that cause it stop. The image he created struck me as the addiction is a dark beast with a controlling mind of its own. It makes nice normal people do crazy things because they are convinced they will die otherwise. Refuting the lies is the only hope. And that is where I discovered the beauty of Cognitive Therapy. Conscious and mindfulness used to their greatest potential. Addiction on Shalavee.com

Practice Cognitive Therapy on yourself. Refute one lie, one cognitive distortion, at a time. Be wise.

Will you always be a loser?

Will you never get what you need?

Does everyone you meet think you are a bad person?

Look hard at those thoughts. It’s possible that occasionally any of those thoughts may be true but they’re not always true. Tell yourself the truth that you find. Believe that feelings are not always facts. What do we achieve by swamping ourselves with tsunamis of self-hate and judgement? When the truth may be a trickling brook that you may be able to easily step over and continue your life journey. Why is cruelty and condemnation our first thought, our default? The quickest route to wrapping up our worth on earth and delivering ourselves to the garbage heap every day by noon.

What do we achieve by swamping ourselves

with tsunamis of self-hate and judgement?

Fear, anxiety, and the addictions they create keep you from living, from hoping, and from moving. You are standing on the shoulder of the road of life while people are passing you who owned their choices and chose life over death or misery. You wouldn’t wish that fate on anyone so why are we living this fear loop for years? Because we don’t recognize our choice to choose hope. Addiction on Shalavee.com

Your life is what you choose to do with it. And know that when you choose misery and hopelessness, that is still a choice. When I realized that’s what I’d been choosing for myself, that I’d served a life’s sentence and incarcerated myself for having a soul unworthy of love, I grieved. Hard. And then I went about figuring out the choices I could make that would be the opposite. Like happiness and adventure and family. And tons of Hope. I gave myself permission to hope. And I’m still high on it. I believe in it with so much of my heart that I hope it spills out onto other people. And that is one of the few best reasons why I write and try to do any and all of what I do. For you to find one small spark of hope that can light the flame under the worthy fire of your hopeful future.

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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Intentions Aren’t Actions Until they Are

I intended to say goodbye. To that extra weight, to that deadbeat husband, and to the daily onslaught of negative thoughts doing my esteem no good with every siege. But the intentions were all I came up with. I intended to get right on taking care of that. But I wasn’t making anything happen because I truly didn’t believe that I deserved to move on to the next place. The place where I was skinnier, an ex-spouse, and a person who bravely loved myself just for being me.

That other realm encompassed hope and forgiveness and that was uncomfortably unfamiliar. It didn’t make sense to me. And so I kept coming up with the same daily equation of self-hatred. But remember, the definition of “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”, said Albert Einstein. So I felt crazy too.

insanity quote from Einstein on Shalavee.com

First, actualizing intentions takes the belief that hope exists and isn’t some cruel lie created to just torture you.  Then, armed with sheer will and the right tools, take a faith-filled action to move towards where your intentions are. And lastly, it takes an unfailing certainty that anything is better than here.

I kept adding more exercise to shed my pounds. And as sassy as my calves looked, my midsection was still bloated. I continued this torture, mad at myself and disliking me daily for what seems a very long time. Until I decided that I should do something different. I’d already given up but I truly wanted to hope still. So I signed us up for Weight Watchers. And within 2 months I’d lost the seven peskiest pounds of my life. And I found myself liking myself daily.

 

osho quote Shalavee.com

I spend $50 a month for the YMCA membership and the opportunity to put my daughter in childwatch for an hour while I exercise. I spent $150 for three months of use of the Weight Watchers program’s app and support to have a way to be accountable for my food intake. And this combination of tools was what it took to move into another stratosphere of hope.

In feeling the hope and confidence to change what I once thought impossible, I’m now finding that possibilities are popping up in other places where fear was squatting. Because that’s what that extra layer on my outside was. Fear. And shedding it is feeling mighty powerful.

On Hope from Annie Lamott on Shalavee.com

The right tools and that little bit of hope that says maybe things can change if I change these things. Where does it apply in your life?

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.

 

Weight Loss : My Body in Process Not Perfection

I’d lost nearly ten pounds and I was elated. I hadn’t dropped below 160 pounds in at least five years, maybe ten. This weight loss was a huge accomplishment. I felt kind and didn’t dwell on the fact that it’s only taken two months to accomplish. All those years of lamenting my largess and it was gone with a commitment to Weight Watchers. And to myself. In two months.

I was kind that is until I saw the self-portrait I’d just taken and all I could see suddenly was the largeness that still remained. My hips ever-expanding, belly burgeoning, and the progress was gone. When I shone a light on perfection, on how far I had to go, it was as if all that abstinence didn’t matter suddenly. And I stood in that for about 5 minutes before a warning bell went off.portrait that set me off on Shalavee.com

This was a huge accomplishment for anyone. Don’t steal the joy away please. Perspective is a choice about which binoculars to put on. Do I want to revel in pride everyday for my accomplishments? Do I want to feel the pride and power about making choices in my life that make a difference to my soul?

If I’d like to continue for the next however many decades robbing myself of every accomplishment I achieve as I compare my progress to a perfect end goal or someone else’s achievements, it’s one choice I could make. But it’s a blechhhy one! Before the weight loss belly on Shalavee.com

Yes I’d love to fit into a size 8 again. However, today I’m going celebrate my win of fitting back into the wardrobe I have. And treat myself to a new blouse maybe that looks flattering on this new body I intend to keep. I am not going to rush off and read the ending and then decide that where I am now sucks. I’m going to stand in my now and show that drops in the bucket fill the bucket up. Or drops out of the bucket slim the bucket down in this case. And in doing so, I am then filled with pride and accomplishment and hope.

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.

Janu-Wary

I was feeling the bliss, the rolling high on the “Ok-ness” from the holiday downtime until yesterday when suddenly I felt myself starting to knock all the happy little hope bubbles off the 2016 shelf where I’d so carefully placed them. Exactly 2 weeks in and suddenly there’s nothing new anymore about the year?!

I’ve read New Year’s posts galore and copious word of the year choices. And there were warnings to be careful about resolutions that would fail you as opposed to themes that could guide you. Or meditation that can ground you. Or just plain awareness of your choices to feel bad as opposed to good. Someone wise said beware when the newness wears off. Glad to have that warning because I think that just happened.Janu-wary on Shalavee.com

Suddenly I felt the old thought patterns knocking at the door. Familiar voices calling out to me about my not enoughness. Why don’t I have a clearly defined purpose and a twelve month plan on exactly how I’m going to carry that out ? Like that woman with the shiny blog and an online creative career? Surely if I could just choose to be impassioned by something, my life would completely change and fall right into place.

So off I go to the gym hoping for inspiration and a change in thoughts. I’m on the treadmill and I recognize the familiar devaluing myself based on others cognitive distortion going on. “Comparison is the thief of joy” I chant and “Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides” came to mind. Comparison to others is unfair. No I may not know my complete “Why” but as long as I stay focused on gratitude and the creative work in front of me, I am so close, in the zone. Janu-wary on Shalavee.com

If that involves month-long collaborative projects, great! If I feel like I need to have weekly themes, great! But I do not have to be or do anything other than what makes me soulfully happy. That’s purpose enough. That’s really all I have time for besides the mothering of a toddler and a ten-year old and the maintenance of this household. Truly I am enough for just this realm of activities.

And then a friend/acquaintance comes over and scares the heck out of me, as my earphones were mighty loud. She wanted me to know that she’d read my blog post, something I’d written. She says I write really well. And I said “Thank you” and meant it. Thank you for the reminder Universe. My shelf of little hopes remains in tact.

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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