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Happy Four Year Blogaversary To Shalavee

I knew my blogaversary was coming. This 4 year mark of writing, nay masterminding, this blog feels a little heavy. I just read that many blogs don’t make it past their 8th month. I remember that moment of doubt wondering if I wrote a blog in the woods, was anyone reading it? And I remember my drive to improve my writing overcame that doubt. And I would go on to improve my photography as well as my writing. Practice.

There’s definitely so much I’ve wished I could have made happen on my blog before now. Hard to watch all those who began blogging at the same time gaining such momentum while I feel like I’m at a stand still.

dollhouse entry on Shalavee.com

Yet it would be unfair for me to compare my blog to theirs. My work has not been just about blogging but about my self-discovery and self-esteem building. Rediscovering what it is that makes me me and figuring out how I want to purposefully share my mad creative and mentoring skills with the larger world. Thanks to the blog, I had something to spur that progress on.

Because I can tell you that I never would have come as far as I have with my esteem work if I hadn’t been actively blogging. This blog has given me the excuse and the opportunity to reach out and ask questions. To make myself accountable to challenges I may not have been motivated to take on. And all of this, plus the incredible connections to real people all over the world, has made me into a better happier less neurotic human being. As well as a better parent and creative dynamo.Fiona thru the window on Shalavee.com

So here’s to listening to your inner voice and staying true to it. Here’s to being patient with the fact that stuff takes as long as it bloody well takes. And here’s to accountability and telling the truth. And to Kindness always, to yourself and others.

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.

Ready Or Not

I sat back and waited for their response but it didn’t come. Surely I’d done something terribly wrong like forgotten to send the email. Stupid me. So I sent out another email batch to my workshop attendees covering all the things I promised I would, dispatching links and resources. And again nothing. And that’s when it hit me. I didn’t do a bad job at presenting my workshop or the follow-up. Just no one was ready yet.

Ready can take a while. Inside the truck on Shalavee.com

The first step seems to be inquiry. You research, attend a workshop, engage with people online, and/or check out a book. This ready-ing process is different for everyone. Where some people seem to hit the ground running with purpose and confidence to spare, others tippy-toe and meander and step away and come back because they’re not quite ready. They haven’t gotten a hold on their true “Why” yet. Or in my case, there’s a bit more self discovery work that needs to be done elsewhere first. The whole value issue for instance.

My process is always an open book but sometimes I don’t even know what I’m doing or why. I did follow my intuition telling me I needed to write to be me and reasoned I could use the blog to improve my writing craft. Eventually it became clear that I wasn’t ready for the next step upwards. My “branding platform” wasn’t going to happen unless I claimed my purpose and my talents. Inside the truck on Shalavee.com

This declaration of “ready” for the next step requires a new way of thinking, owning, and telling my story. I’m working hard to define who I am by what feels good to be and I’ve found a new therapist to do this work with. But answering “Why” we want something is often the hardest work to do. Because I’m supposed to doesn’t cut it. Because I want to make a difference and inspire at least one person does.

In order to find my life’s purpose and value, I am editing my earlier beliefs about my worth which were built into me from childhood. Beliefs that mean survival. My personal well-being is truly the first step to creating an intentional writing or speaking career and that a fulfilling career will then add back to my feelings of purpose and worth. And I look forward to feeling groovy when I am interacting with people in the world about stuff I like.Bucolic Eastern Shore on a rainy day from Shalavee.com

I am feeling closer to being “ready” to move upwards and graduate to the next level both personally and professionally than ever. You are welcome to sit ringside for the process of me becoming me. I guarantee it’ll be real and hope that there are some parts you can nod your head at and say “yeah, I totally get that”. When you are ready to be the real you, it happens, and not a moment before.

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.

It’s OK To Be OK

I was having a happy streak for a couple of days. Maintaining a general state of well-being, feeling more Ease than usual. And suddenly I thought, it’s OK to be OK. Now this may sound absolutely silly but coming from my background and having rewritten a good bit of my story up to now, this is rather a revelation.

Chaos had been my norm. Anxiety my fuel. The term OK was a myth like Tinkerbell’s fairy dust which makes you fly. Nice to imagine but there was no such thing really and you need to just go on about your misery and let it be. I was resigned that my life was just a little more difficult, a life destined to be hard. And then I had a shift.Fiona in the tub with a mirror

I have worked hard hard hard on raising my self-esteem. When I lost my therapist, I worked hard to find another. When she said I was looking for stuff to be upset by, I heard her. I was the one always joking about the making of the multi-layered poo sandwich and there I was still doing it. But it’s my plan and my work that I ask others to help me do. My life, my results, my Ok in the end.

So while I am endeavoring to make things less hard, to feel more at ease, and to have faith that it will always turn out way better than I think, I actually have begun to believe in the OK a little. Baby steps to happiness and less chaos. And I realized there was one last step I needed to take. I need to say and believe that it’s OK to be OK.Fiona in the tub with a hand mirror 2 on shalavee.com

That I no longer have to prove my worth by how hard my life is. Just because I am used to hard, as I’d also come to believe everyone I know is used to hard too, I no longer have to impress everyone with my hard. In fact I think it’s more impressive to truly make do with less. To feel less strife is to have more secure children and live in less chaos in your mind and home. And that is really where I want to be.

So I am granting myself permission to be OK enough to find that sweet Happy spot where things are even easier than I thought they would be. You are always welcome to watch and listen to my progress. I may fall on my face but I don’t think I’ll ever unsee that Happy is my destination and I deserve to feel OK just where I am on that journey.

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.

Getting Out Of My Way Again

My life’s forest has always been invisible but for my own trees. I’ve always known I can’t see me but now I believe I’ve blocked my view. I need to get the heck out of my way. Maybe you knew this about me and I thank you for keeping it on the down low until I figured it out. I can tell you I have stood at the edge staring at where I thought my forest was for a long while. But there’s no chance to appreciate the beautiful forest if it’s invisible.

I feel like I’ve been waiting for others to tell me what I have that is of worth. To tell me what’s interesting about me. As Po’s Dad in Kung Fu Panda said, to tell me what my “secret ingredient” is. But what I really have craved is my recognition. My affirmation of me and that internal faith that whatever “it” is, it’s there.

Like the child who is so desperate for her parent to like her and pay attention to her. “Please, Mama, can you tell me what you like about me. Tell me what I’m good at.” As Supertramp sang, “please tell me who I am.” Whether you have kids or not, you are your own parent for the rest of your life. And that parenting includes giving yourself the recognition you crave.

Hansel and Gretel in the forest in Shalavee.com

I have often felt so impatient about my blog, my writing, and finding my purpose. I wanted to hire someone to help me get on with it. Hurry up and become already. And then it began to happen. I started to hear what people were saying, what they enjoyed, and which things inspired them. And slowly, the person that I already am, that I want to be, that I want to work hard to become better at being, is emerging. She’s just been hiding among the trees in the invisible forest.

It’s dawning on me that I’m not too sucky. And I may have a talent or two that are slightly impressive. If I step back and give myself the time and space to see it, I just may see the forest for how really beautiful it is. Purpose and positivity only help when you recognize and value them.

I find danger to my self-esteem comes when I’ve compared myself to others who are in another league. For example, in the design world, people who constantly devote their lives, money, and extreme experience to design are going to have great spaces. And of course stuff done on the fly cheaply is going to look sucky compared to people with a lot of money, experience, and taste. So I think I can’t even stick my pinky toe into that stream of water with those people. And it’s such a good excuse to avoid doing this kind of work or anything that you love.

more of my forest on shalavee.com

Yet my vision and creations are good, just practiced in a smaller league way. Experienced blogger and coach Kathleen Shannon points out that we’re all at different levels of doing, blogging, or writing. I’m a B girl looking up to the A girls who don’t really see me because they’re looking upwards to their A girls. Kinda like it was in high school when you admired your upperclassmen and they didn’t know you existed. But I can shine if I hang with other B girls and I look pretty kickin’ to the C girls. It’s me comparing my Bananas to their Apples that’s freaking me out.

Who cares what anyone thinks really. If it’s crap, it’s still my crap to be proud of. And I suddenly felt a bit better when I realized all of this. And I’m ready to put that part of myself out for review. Because not only is everybody doing it, but I’m an original. I’d like to give myself a hard time for having to do everything so differently but that is what keeps my style so interesting and endearing. Did you catch Fiona’s bedroom makeover? Stay tuned for more design fun.

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.

Low Self-Esteem !?

I have a new talking doctor. My previous gal Courtenay got a real job in the big city. Glad for her, sad for me. And I asked to have the right person replace her. And boy howdy, I got her.

I’m still surprised by how many people think therapy is only for the ‘Not OK’ people in the world. Don’t stand next to me because you might catch “it”. Because you’re just fine. Nothing to see or fix here, move along. The facility I visit has a new slogan, “It’s OK to be not OK”. But that was me too.

I had a pretty rude awakening about 3 years ago when I was informed by an earlier therapist that, much to my ever-loving surprise, I had low self-esteem. Fiona with a smooshed face on the monkey bars

Not ME!

And then I raged and I fumed at the insulting change being made to my self-definition until I began to see that knowing this didn’t make me deformed or lacking but rather it gave me a place to start. To draw a line from and to move on from. Why is it such a taboo to be not OK? If you feel unhappy more than happy and have a lot of negative thoughts in a day about yourself, hate to say it but you’ve got this too.

Not claiming it had me perpetually stuck trying to “fix” others. I was freed to see no one needed “fixing”. Acceptance and expectation adjustments are an ongoing process. But at least I’m in process.Fiona and her kitty on Shalavee.com

I have Low Self-esteem and I have worked really really hard to raise it. And happily, I’ve made progress. Seems that the esteem is here, I just need to uncover it. Like a bed you’ve thrown all sorts of clothing and stuff on. You need to pick up all the stuff, make decisions on that stuff about where it should go (trash or closet or give away) and gradually you’ll uncover you. And every step that you take and commend yourself for makes more of the bed top visible.

I’ve also notice that I can not ever see what anyone is talking about when they compliment me. I’m like what? And then that positive thought disappears. I tend to not risk anything too big that may disprove what I think I know about myself ;  that I’m a little fish in a large pond. Everyone else does everything better than me. neigh neighs in love on Shalavee.com

And in my recent reading, I discovered you can’t get esteem from beauty, fame, money, or prestige. So if you were thinking that pricey make-up, stardom, winning lottery ticket, or fame for that You Tube video that goes viral will get you more self-esteem, you’d be mistaken.

So I’ll be sharing my esteem progress reports in the future. Plus my methods for counteracting this self-defeating inner beast. If this makes you uncomfortable, I’d suggest there’s a reason. And I’d offer up, there’s always hope. I have been prescribed a really cool book to read by my talking doctor.

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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