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The Last Three Days of My Souls Selfie Challenge

My Souls Selfie Challenge just finished up. A week of prompts with the intention of sparking a little more thought about what we are and think and feel. It was a little less scary for me this time because I knew the people joining me wanted me to do this again. And I’m always glad to oblige people when they want to do soul-work.

When you add many people’s energies and soul thoughts into a collective pot, you certainly have a meatier stew to chew. Read and see the first three posts here. Here are Thursday/Nostalgia, Friday/Trust, Saturday/Weight-wait, and Sunday’s/Night posts. If you are on Instagram, you only need to tap the hashtag #Soul_Selfie and you can see the whole page of marvelous posts devoted to introspection and self-love.

 

💚Day 4 🌸 #Nostalgia 🌸 #Soul_selfie challenge💚 As a Mom, I don’t dwell in nostalgia. Remembering my children’s life moments doesn’t choke me up too much. Because I know I was there. When i’m behind the camera, I’m plugged in to our now. . . I am a “Be Here Now” kinda gal and when I see a picture, I remember being happy and present then and don’t feel sad to have left the moment behind. I know lots of parents who go right for the parenting regret mode. These lovely little ones are of me but not mine. I am always letting go. . . Perhaps it’s the promise of other joys to come that has me looking to the future and not back at the past. I aspire to create many moments to remember fondly. And to never regret my choices is to be confident that I’m creating a past that I’m proud of and need not rethink. I may be slightly full of shite here but mostly i’m truthful. . Joining @rae_ritchie_ today for her #ExperienceOctober2016 challenge with this prompt. And will merge again with her the day after tomorrow for her Night prompt. #taleswithfriends #Soul_selfie #challenge #FionaMariePeach #EamonSpencerPeach #siblings #kidsofInstagram

A photo posted by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on

💚Day 5 💚 Trust 💚 #Soul_selfie 💚For me, trust has to start with self-trust. Having spent years making decisions that weren’t in my self-interest, I’ve recultivated a trust relationship with me, the girl who’d given up on me, who knew I’d let her down and had stopped trying to believe. I had to prove I was trustworthy one action at a time and reform that lost bond with me. . . Healing my mistrust of others, the isolation and suspicion in being alone, that is also self-created when I’ve kept my vulnerability to myself. If I put on a false face to gain other people’s acceptance, how can anyone be trusted when they like the inauthentic me I keep giving them ? Playing a game of I make you like me keeps us from trusting yet we are worth the company and trust we crave! . I trust myself now. It was little steps of kept self-promises, peeks of the real me to strangers on IG, and I came to see that I was reliable and pretty cool. And for these efforts, my anxieties have decreased immensely as I am the real me telling the truth to myself and checking for my happiness all the time now. #challenge #taleswithfriends ##trust #liveauthentically #writer #selftrust

A photo posted by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on

💚DAY 6 🌟WEIGHT/WAIT🌟 #Soul_selfie 💚 At 50, my clothing is two sizes larger than In my twenties, Yes, the fluctuations in my weight are natural, a chronical of a woman’s life. Bit it’s been a torturous road to finally know this, . . When I get mad at myself for being old and human, I can be mean about my body image. I can call myself defective, fat, less than. I go to blows with the ideal American Barbie doll ideal. But my daughter will hear every whisper, So I hope I speak of being healthy in front of her, not deformity. . . I am not a number. I am the beautiful reflection of my thoughts and values. Most days, my worth lies in the quality of my character. In the wit and charm I have earned from my life. . . I fought to lose weight this year.The first time in a long time I’d tried. These last 10 pounda are stubborn. They are my fears manifested. The visual layers of ” I’m afraid I can’t ” added on, obessed upon until they look real. . . So i declare this next time I choose again to try to lose these last 10 pounds, I’ll pick a starting date and make a food plan, hedge my bets. It’s not personal, it’s science. Hoping that being a kind but determined parent to myself will be the final factor that brings me back to the me I want to be. A me that is not defective, just in need of a tune up. #taleswithfriends #weight #challenge #liveauthentic #truth #bodyimage #selfimage #vulnerability #women #collage #Papercrafting

A photo posted by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on

🌕 Day 7 🌕 #Night 🌕 #Soul_selfie 🌕 The night is regenerative restorative magic. Quiet, crickets, contemplative. It is the space and time to discover what I am, what I think. . . It is the next phase of life, the inner keeping of my soul. The stop, redirect, purposeful action of being 50. It’s a book read and understood. It’s a journal page filled with quandary. Night is the quiet contemplation of what’s to come and the relinquishment of what will never be. . If only I didn’t pass out so quickly, exhaustion of the motherhood that recreated me, night might not be a forgetten friend. Head bobbing for sleep, clinging to the quiet private gold time. Ah the memories of glory days passed pubbing and laughing. But for tonight, I am all the possibilities of just being me now! . . This last day I rejoin @rae_ritchie_ and her #ExperienceOctober2016 challenge crew for the prompt of Night. Tag your posts with both hashtags and see who’s joined in. . As Carol Burnett sang in my childhood, “I’m So glad we’ve had this time together just to have a laugh and sing a song.” My thanks to everyone who participated and encouraged me and others to dig a little deeper and take a look at what’s there. We are real people with real needs, concerns, and joys. I always want to hear what makes you you. “So long.” #soul_selfie #taleswithfriends #moon #selfdiscovery #liveauthentic #challenge

A photo posted by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on


So ends my second Soul Selfie Instagram photo challenge. I’m left feeling full and happy with the connections we’ve made, the inner work that we put ourselves to. We’ve nudged and budged, listened and inspired eachother as a community is apt to do and I am certain we’ll do it again. Word is, I’m thinking about February. So perhaps February, May, and October are all good months to clear out our inner cobwebs, own our stuff, and move along.

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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The Daydream of More

My favorite daydreams are the ones where I have more money and more time to pursue all the things that make me happy. I hire landscapers to redo my garden and I build a master suite off the back of my house overlooking my waterfront view after I pay $10,000 for the tree removal crew to take down the large dead tree that’s blocking my view. And then put my new desk facing my water view in my newly decorated master suite and get to writing all that stuff I never have the right place or time to write. Because I now have a live-in Nanny too!

Yes, this is exaggerated. I truly didn’t have this dream until I began to write this. Maybe now I do. I often think if only I had more time alone to write and think. But I also know that all too soon I will have that time because my little girl won’t be little forever. I do remember there’s only two more years until school day freedom. Keeping the balance between being here now and seeing the light. The Daydream of More on Shalavee.com

I was floored when I read this Instagram post from the amazingly wise and prophetic Anna Lovind who asks that we take a look at our dreams and expectations, tweak the reality factor, and stop torturing ourselves. Either be OK with where you are or adjust your expectations but stop toturing yourself.

Annalovind – 

The dream of having all the time in the world is just one more way we keep ourselves from getting started. We don’t need all the time in the world; we need just a little right now, enough to get going.
And if you feel that’s not enough, you probably haven’t been able to zoom in on your dream properly.
Maybe you’re still trying to grasp more than you can handle. Or maybe you’re trying to make things happen faster than is possible for you in your current circumstances.

Get real about what your life is like right now. If you have three little ones at home, or if you’re working full-time and commuting two hours daily, that will affect the size and scope of the dream you can go for right now.
That’s not a problem, it’s just what this season in your life is like, and it will change.

In the mean time, don’t compare yourself to others – whose circumstances you know nothing about. Don’t struggle to change things that are not in your power to change. Just zoom in on your dream until it’s a size you can get started on, kids, demanding job and all.

Creativity thrives in limited spaces, and once you get going, you’ll be amazed at how much you can create with what little you’ve got. “

 

Accept the season in which your life sits. Be kind to not dangle unrealistic goals and expectations in front of yourself yet do everything you can to prepare for the opportunity when it arises. And live on tall drinks of faith and kindness until your life turns just enough to begin to accommodate your next set of goals. It’s not too far away really. Especially when you are seeing what you have right in front of you that you need to hand gratuity over for.

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. If you Sign up for my newsletter in the sign up box over there to the right, you’ll receive a first look-see at my Creative Mothers’ Manifesto!  Heartfelt impassioned words on the need for expressing creativity for your soul and being a better mother for it.

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Why Our 2016 Summer Vacation Didn’t Suck

For a long time, I resented you and your family vacation. I didn’t really have a quintessential family growing up, think broken home and raised by wolves, and there were no vacations to be remembered. Your pictures of yearly fun at the seashore and by the lake house were just a reminder of my lack of a life like yours.

But then I created a chance for a Mulligan, a history do-over. One where I had my own family and my own kids. I knew that ever elusive family Summer vacation was one of those must-haves for my children as well as for me to heal and begin again.

Fast forward a few more years and we have just returned from our 2016 Summer beach vacation. It was a pretty big hit for the littles and big both.

Mark and I were in a chillaxing mode on the way out-of-town. We’d both gotten our homework done and were ready to just unplug. That set the tone for all of our unrushed choices for the next three days. The meals, the unlimited cartoon cable network watching, And the swimming swimming swimming all the time time time.

I wasn’t blogging yet I wanted to have an outlet to do something creative for me, so I told and posted our unfolding story on my Instagram feed. If you are not a social media user or an IG follower, I have included those posts from our beach visit in the order I posted them so that you can feel caught up. It’ll make you feel like you are there with us. Almost.

Just so you understand how special our time here at the beach is for me, I didn't get vacations as I kid. I barely got a childhood. And although I've risen like a Phoenix from those ashes, it means more than the beautiful Solstice moon to me that my children have this memory. And that my husband and I can weave it for them with calmness, good humor, no anxiety, and generosity to ourselves and them. Driving here I said to Mark, "Imagine what it would be like to have someone anticipate your every physical and comfort need. That someone cared enough to get your favorite things for you at the store and cheer you on at every endeavour." He said Yeah, Wow, and I said ,"When you grow up, that person is you. You are your own parent. Whether you are a good one or a bad one depends on how you value your inner child.". You know what she loves, when she needs firm comfort, and when she needs a pass. Be a great parent to yourself and you will reward yourself with trust. Love to all of you who wished us well on our vacation. You are dear to me, each and every one of you. #OceanCityMaryland #fionamariepeach #poolside #atthebeach #taleswithfriends #Soul_selfie

A post shared by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on

Here’s to hoping for the same fun vacation next year for these kids and for their parents who deserve a break too. There’s nothing wrong with knowing where you’ll be, what you’ll be eating, or where the best arcade games are. And it’s fun to discover new stuff every year.We found there was a sushi place nearby and a Chinese carry out that had Indian Food ! And although they built a Starbucks across the street from our hotel, we still had our traditional Dunkin’ Donuts’ morning coffees courtesy of my early bird husband. Such predictable goodness!

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 Spring Soul Selfie Instagram Challenge

I have been a bit quiet on the keyboard for the past couple days. My brain exhausted and mulling over this past week’s Spring Soul Selfie Instagram challenge I hosted. Which is to say I came up with the hashtag #soul_selfie, created 7 days of prompts, and asked that people join in and post a picture and talk about their interpretation of the words in a deeper more meaningful way. And let me say that the results and participation blew my mind.Join Me For One Week Of Soul Selfies

Kylie's bluebells on Shalavee.com

I was sincerely nervous about leading something. I had mulled it over and knew that I love to dig a little deeper into my soul’s answers and hoped maybe other people might. I only slightly trusted that there were a few people who would join me who liked me and maybe pitied me. The turnout and results far exceeded my expectations.I will bloom Helen's photo

After sending out a private “pep-me-up-please” message to some friends, I dared to claim my intentions and I posted a challenge announcement. And suddenly people were saying “Yes” they would join. This was a seven-day commitment to post daily and read others’ posts but when I built it, they came.babzwrld's window on Shalavee.com

Claire Love

They shared amazing insights and powerful memories. They shared sadnesses and gratitudes. They shared wonders and grief. And I was possessed by such a feeling of calm. This was exactly where I had wanted to be, reading and sharing and commenting on the marvelous words and thoughts of all these people.Graciel the souls in bloom's horse Oreo on Shalavee.com

Delicia's picture on Shalavee.com

I am immensely grateful that these near 30 lovely people were there for me when I stuck my neck out to do this. By the last day, my soul was filled to the brim. I read and took in their gratitude and just sat with it all quietly for a couple of days.

The things you fear most are in fact those things you really must get done. And once you allow for the first action, it will all fall into place.

I am extremely humbled that these marvelous men and women thought well enough of me to join in and I thoroughly enjoyed and was grateful for everything they offered. So much love goes to those people who validated so many parts of me. I was rendered speechless. Until next challenge.

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 Weekly Round-up and A Picture Challenge

Saying Goodbye this week to our daycare provider Miss Tara as she is moving on to a better means of employment and way less hassle for her life. Fiona has been there a while and I know she will miss being a part of her family.Miss Tara's Treehouse and company on Shalavee.com

We are also losing our girl Caitlin who needs to spread her wings and see the world. She’ll be moving away before June hits. Sadness and happiness for these beloveds.Caitlin is flying to a new nest on Shalavee.com

Hung out with my best gal Mary Beth whose career as an estotiscian, make-up artist, and permanent tatoo artist is going very well. Her shop looks amazing and we enjoyed catching up and getting our toes done together.MB's Eastern Shore Permanaent Makeup space on Shalavee.com

MB and her Eastern Shore Permanaent Makeup space on Shalavee.com

Me and MB on Shalavee.com

And Mother’s Day was truly lovely this year. Our mothers came and we ate, sat out and enjoyed a fire pit and s’mores.

The grandmothers on Mother's Day on Shalavee.com

Mother's day firepit on shalavee.com

Marshmellow batons on Shalavee.com

And I got my dining-out breakfast, thrift shopping, and the children got a bit of playground time.

playground time for mother's day on shalavee.com

And in trying to do things outside of my comfort zone, on Monday I’ll be hosting a picture challenge on Instagram

inspired by my prompt “Soul Selfie”.

Join Me For One Week Of Soul Selfies on Shalavee.com

I want to host a way to tell and share stories that people may not know about us and connect in that way that feels more real.

Join me on Instagram to hear the stories and share your own.

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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