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How Instagram Helped Cure Me of Anxiety

I love to connect with like-minded creative women on Instagram. This format of Social media (also known as a platform) became my preferred online social interaction as I was trying to build an audience for my blog. I very hesitantly joined communities and challenges and slowly started to poke my head out of my fear shell. And I credit Instagram and creativity for curing me of my anxieties.

I’d never experienced community and was completely unsure of what it meant and how I was supposed to do it. I just knew that being witnessed by these wonder women from inside their hearts was the greatest gift ever. I watched and I listened as they showed me what vulnerability looked like and what it gives you. And my intuition told me that, despite what everyone said about social media, there was something really good going on here.How Instagram Helped Cure Me of Anxiety on Shalavee.com

We humans want to be accepted by our tribe as who we truly are. It is our deepest desire to have our authentic selves seen. At the same time, we are afraid of rejection and judgment as this could mean ostracization and either physical death or shame and the death of our spirit. This is primal fear stuff that we aren’t truly aware of but have discerned from the teachings of our pack and our world.

So here we are, the loveliest ladies on Instagram and we’re feeling the swellness of being witnessed and the rawness of risking being judged. We have two choices at all times. We can either choose to fit-in, twist ourselves into the likeness of those around us as to guarantee we will be accepted. Or we can choose to be vulnerable and authentic and watch as people love us for who we are. Because this is our hearts desire and this requires faith and letting go.How Instagram Helped Cure Me of Anxiety on Shalavee.com

I know that when I act inauthentically and try to make people like me, I lose trust in them and myself. I know they aren’t really liking me but a false image I am manipulating. And I don’t trust myself even for thinking so little of me that I am unworthy of being seen. It’s a sticky wicked if ever there was one. And the only cure for this fear quagmire is to just be authentically you.

I heard a woman ask today if her lack of confidence and boldness in posting truths about herself on Instagram recently was about her expectations of what it would bring or fear of being judged. And I replied that we all had that feeling at some point. But there will be that one moment when we post something raw and real about ourselves and that one stranger responds, “Thank You” because they felt inspired and courageous to be authentic as well. And that is the faith that keeps me being vulnerable and witnessing everyone online. It is the blessing, the superpower, that we can give on each other and it’s totally completely free.

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.

A Wrap Up for the Our Creative June Challenge

And just like that, we’ve come to the end of Our Creative June! I hosted this challenge on Instagram where I encouraged people to join me in creating something daily in the month of June and post it with the #OurCreativeJune and #OurCreativeSelves hashtags, and they did! These artists and creatives stepped up onto the platform alongside me and we collectively creatively kicked butt.

When I chose to double my offerings to arting twice daily by taking on the ICAD (index card a day) challenge as well as my 100 Day Project ( #100daysofShalagh ), I figured what the heck. Why not invite other people to art along with me? I know what immense pride and joy it gives me and I love to pass the empowerment and excitement onto others. See the post from the first week here

I hosted a Our Creative September challenge back in September of 2016 which led to our creation of the #OurCreativeSelves hashtag . There are 200 posts on that page. And then I hosted a Our Creative May Challenge in May of 2017 with the #OurCreativeMay for which there were 321 posts. For the Our Creative June challenge, there are a total of 533 posts posted to the #OurCreativeJune hashtag on that page. WOW!

There are a few of the same participants as well as a few new joinees. And let me tell you, the diversity and talent is so interesting to witness. From photography to magazine and ephemera and mixed media collages, several types of painting, to sewing and needlepoint, these people showed up everyday for themselves and for each other. Community creative challenges are amazing and I encourage anyone and everyone to join one when it comes your way and see what happens. It kinda changed my life in ways I didn’t expect it to. Thank you again to my fellow creatives. I adore you all.

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

Our Creative June Week One

A week into Our Creative June creativity challenge on Instagram and the excitement is all there. To feel and watch as people grab a hold of the idea of creativity as a gift they can give themselves daily is so satisfying. I know that for me, it always brings such a jolt to my esteem when I create. And then sharing it with my community gives me another happy zing.

Am delighted to say that after a week run, there are over 120 posts of creations on the #OurCreativeJune page and there are at least 25 participants including myself. I give you a smattering of some of the art that’s happening. These are all the other creators. I will follow up with a post of my own work soon.

 

I understand now that I am an Ambassador of Creativity. That having felt its immense healing powers in my life, there is every reason to share the wonder and joy of this gift with others. I don’t care if you don’t share what you creatively do with others publicly, just as long as you make something for you and feel the ease and comfort that it provides.

In the Instagram post that announced #OurCreativeJune, I wrote, “The antidote to fear is love. I believe creativity and the practice of being in touch with who you really are is the greatest act of self-love.”

My IG friend Kylie gave this back to me by saying,”I love the way Shalagh refers to the practice of being in touch with who you truly are as creative expression. We too often refer to creativity in terms of making something with paint or paper etc but it’s more than that. It’s authenticity, unique thought, honoring what makes you feel good, breaking a routine, reaching out to make a new connection, being yourself or looking at your life, a situation, a relationship with a fresh (and more helpful perspective).”

Where there is love of oneself and authenticity, there is peace and no anxiety. While engaged in creativity, you do not feel the anxiety or fear of a nuclear attack. All you feel is flow. And that is some powerful mojo.

I’m doing two creative pieces a day now. I am still engaged in the 100 Day Project with sketches of everyday objects. See the first post here. And the Icad project (index card a day) has me doing collage or whatever alternate medium I’m in the mood to use. Anyone can jump into our month at anytime with any sort of creativity. Writing is something I do a lot of but don’t acknowledge except it’s highly creative. Photography and Cooking too. So feel free to switch up mediums and just jump in occasionally. There aren’t any true rules but to indulge our creativity.

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.

Our Creative June 2018

Upon doing a bit of research on myself two months plus ago to see if I thought I was capable of carrying through with a hundred day challenge, I saw that I’d forgotten why this was even more true and I was positively capable. I’d participated in back to back challenges yes which totaled 100 days. But I’ve also hosted a few creative challenges on Instagram myself.

One I hosted in May of 2017, #OurCreativeMay, led me and the participants to create the hashtag #OurCreativeSelves . And since I’m already in for the penny and the pound with this 100 Day Project, I thought why not share the fun with everyone else. Because the community connection and communications around our creative endeavors brings the healing circle of the creative process full circle.Our Creative June on Shalavee.com

So starting on June 1st, I invite anyone who feels like they need a jump-start in their creative process to join me for the Our Creative June creativity Challenge. One day at a time, create something and post a picture of it on Instagram with the hashtags #OurCreativeJune and #OurCreativeSelves and tag me @shalaghhogan if you’d like.

You can make one thing and post it the next day as long as you are doing a daily creation. The other trick is to make it simple at first. Make a vignette and take a picture. Stitch a couple of cross stitches. Or collage a couple of scraps of paper. It’s the trust of knowing you are devoting time to you that’ll blow you away.Our Creative June on Shalavee.com

I look forward to hearing from you and joining our collective creativity for a fun-filled June. You can message me on any of the platforms or leave me comments here on the blog. If you are unfamiliar with Instagram and more comfortable with Facebook, let me know and I’ll make efforts to work with you to keep the connection going.

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.

Spring 2018 Soul Selfie Challenge Kicks Off

I subscribe to a few various blogs from people whom I admire and who inspire me. And recently, a fellow blogger and friend Heather, who pens the blog called Thrive in Midlife at Heather Serody.com , wrote how “healing begins the moment we shine a light on (these) shadowy corners and how they instantly become less scary”. That when we allow those places of fear and perhaps shame to be seen by others, suddenly someone else has the courage to claim their fears and shame.

How witnessing each other becomes permission to be human, that is the miracle of community. A gift that we give to ourselves by allowing us to be a part of a group. I am a living testament to how my online community healed parts of me that I needed to heal to raise up my self-esteem. Taking risks of vulnerability within these groups, I found out from total strangers that what I have to give is worthy of love.Spring Soul Selfie Challenge 2018 on Shalavee.com

I extend the same opportunity to anyone who would reach out to become a part of my world. My community and I are doing a one week Instagram challenge starting today, April 30th, called the #Soul_Selfie Challenge. Prompted by soulful words I chose, we’re posting a picture a day on Instagram and telling a little more about ourselves. I’ve hosted 4 previous Soul Selfie Challenges and they are always amazing to participate in.

Find me at ShalaghHogan on Instagram or Shalagh Hogan on Facebook, look for the announcement post, and jump in or watch what happens. Feel free to Direct Message me with any questions too.

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.

 

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