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Our Creative Selves Challenge Continues

Sometimes, I need an excuse to just mindlessly stand at my craft table holding scissors and glue in my hands for an entire week. And that’s what I’ve done here by creating this Our Creative Selves Challenge. And I invited a few friends to the party. Because I believe in the healing power of creativity especially in community. Find the introduction to my challenge post here.

The first day’s prompt was exploration and boy, there was such inspiration out in the wide world for this prompt. It was the best way to start with an excuse to play.our creative selves challenge day one on Shalavee.com

I chose to make a paper flower in honor of the woman who gave me a most exquisite paper flower making book. It was satisfying. Other participants grabbed oil pastels and brayers and clay and enjoyed the excuse to play. our creative selves challenge my exploration on Shalavee.com

The second day’s prompt was circle. And oh the loveliness that’s filling my eyes. There was knitting, paper clay making, puff paint, and prisma markers. And that each person made sure to take time out of their day to indulge their inner children, that is the good stuff right there.our creative selves challenge day one on Shalavee.com

This is what I said at the end of my Instagram post in which my circle art was posted.

our creative selves challenge my circles on Shalavee.com

 

“Create with abandon. Create with permission.

Steal the supplies, steal the time, and notice all worries fall away,

at least for a short time, as you find out what you make of your world.”

 

Here’s to Five more days of making! Hope you get a chance to create today just because you can. No really, you can. I’ll lend you the permission.

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 First Our Creative Selves Challenge Begins

Today is the first day of a week-long creativity challenge I am hosting on Instagram running from February 13th through February 19th, 2017. If you have followed along with my creative endeavors since last year, you may remember the September Creative Challenge I gave myself where I made art a non-negotiable. Read the wrap up here. By committing to practicing my creativity daily and posting my results every day in September with the hashtag #mycreativeseptember, I was able to indulge my inner six year-old with enough playtime to trust me again. As many people who had joined me throughout the month wanted a way to continue being creative together, I created the hashtag #ourcreativeselves to continue our creative connection.#ourcreativeselves challenge on Shalavee.com

A hashtag conveniently puts every post that includes that hashtagged word onto one page. So in this case, the creative endeavors of everyone who’s participating will show up on this Our Creative Selves page when they add #ourcreativeselves to their post. This way, we can visit other participants pages and cheer each other on. That is what a challenge is all about. To hold yourself responsible to do something because you said you would and then feel great about it when you follow through and get such lovely feedback from other people. Balm for the creative soul I can tell you.our creative selves on Shalavee.com

The prompts were chosen from a bunch of words thrown into a virtual hat. And the idea is to take inspiration from them or use them as an excuse to do something daring. Any creativity is welcome. It could be writing or knitting or creative spitting if you are so moved. There isn’t such thing as perfect. All creative efforts made are a wondrous joyous thing. It’s all so good.

Thank you dear readers for all of your support in my creative endeavors! Hope you enjoy your week and I’ll keep you posted with my/our progress.

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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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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