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Through Your Eyes : Raising a Child With Self-Esteem

I often say that I wish for every kid (and adults too) to find that one thing that they love themselves while they are doing it. This is how self-esteem is built. That they find a community of people who will join in the mutual appreciation of these efforts and thus build their esteem further. That is some of the good stuff that life has the potential to hand you.

The converse of this scenario is a child who feels worthless and bored. Who can not see themselves in what they do or their surroundings or the faces of their family. And this leads to darker places and choices.Fiona and the azalea on shalavee.com

A mother of another three-year-old in our story group expressed her concern that our rural sleepy town didn’t posses enough interesting things for the teens to do. And she felt this boredom was what led to their use of drugs, alcohol, etc. I offered that these were just choices these kids make to squelch a deeper pain. One wrought from the sense of unworthiness from their family situations. I said even rich kids do heroine. She said her husband is a cop, she knows that.

From a person who experimented with illegal substances and took unhealthy risks, had I had any activities at all in my life where I felt valued, where my identity was more than a grade or a boyfriend, other choices would have shown themselves. But I was left to my own devices, to fend and survive and I chose the wrong things to kill my pain with. The wrong people’s opinions to value. Because I didn’t value me. I was invisible to me.Recital night on Shalavee.com

My son found the piano quite early in his life. And he’s gone from an anxiety riddled seven year-old to a confident piano playing 11 year-old. He has no stage fright whatsoever which blows my mind. What he sees in our eyes and the eyes of the world watching him is admiration and support. And he’s confident that he can fulfill their expectations if not surpass them. Wow!

You can do it. You can parent, you can run the marathon, you can start a business, art every day, lose the weight, make your amends, write a book, learn a language, ice skate, or paint. All it takes is the belief that it is what you want and you deserve to show yourself you can do it. You’re worthy of a dream that fulfills you and you deserve the unyielding support that gets you there. That is what I’m giving my kids and I discovered I needed to give this to myself too.

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.

Proactively Using My Time Feels Better

For most of my life, I was a time-debtor. Always rushing through and to my next event, never having enough time to be present. I felt perpetually late for my life in general. I lived my life reactively, surviving from moment to moment.

This constant state of anxiety makes for a miserable existence. Especially when you then add into the schedule a demanding unreliable baby. True Chaos is a time debting, infant caring, and exhaustion making combo. I was always focusing on the lack and the scarcity instead of the abundance and the possibilities.Fiona and the bubbles on SHalavee.com

As I matured as a parent and then added writing to my schedule, I began to recognize my chaotic ways were inhibiting my creativity. My mental well-being as a mother and the future of my writing depended on scheduling some of my tasks to free up time for creating. My esteem relied on getting some “me time” in. The proactive processing this asked for was new to me as I’d never felt empowered or entitled to have goals before.

I began to just make a loose list of meals I could make for the week. And found that I felt less pressure for coming up with meal ideas and culinary masterpieces every night. Plus, by planning my food, I got to be in the mood for the food I was making.

After two years without one, I began using an editorial calendar for my blog posting. Scheduling the posts after they were written allowed me to let all thoughts of them go. I could stockpile my posts like a little blogging squirrel.Fiona and her bubbles on Shalavee.com

Whereas before I’d panic at an opening in my schedule thinking of all the things I needed to do in this tiny amount of time, I now proactively scheduled tasks for certain times, wrote them into my calendar, and was guaranteed a chance of accomplishing these things. I began to just do things when I thought of them and kept them off my ever-growing lists of things to do.

The immense relief I’ve experienced approaching my time management in this way has decreased my anxieties immensely and I’m feeling more productive and capable of larger tasks than I ever thought I would. I just finished reading my first book in three years. I manage to publish blog posts three times a week. And my house is fairly kept.

Reactively living without goals was a reflection of my low self-esteem and felt like surviving. Proactively living feels like self-esteem and fulfillment of my abilities and goals and dreams. It feels like hope. And all that it requires is a little extra time shaved off the top giving me what feels like hours of extra time at the end.

This is the presentation I gave at the UU Fellowship last Sunday. I am far from being a stellar public speaker but I do appreciate the opportunity to consider this subject.

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

Seeing Me and Thanking You

I’ve always been invisible. Not like the cool invisible where you can get away with diabolical crime schemes or walk around naked and nobody would see you. But invisible to myself. I could not see me as other people saw me. I’ve written about it again and again but only because I was lucky enough to even notice something was missing. I just knew it was important for me to find out.

I remember the first time I felt like I was seen as a blogger and writer was almost three years ago. It was a community event. It was raining. And abruptly, a lovely fellow artist came up to me and told me that she enjoyed reading my blog. That she felt acknowledged by the honesty of my words or something to this effect. That I should keep writing. She was thanking me for what I just can’t help but do. Wow!Family after Eamon's Birthday dinner at Cafe Sado's on Shalavee.com

This would be the first of many random gifts of kind words from my readership. Understand that I can never really know who’s reading except when people tell me. And where they may not have the courage to write a comment to my posts below, I have been so lucky to have people screw up their courage and tell me to my face.

First, Keep doing it. Keep gifting your lovely words of acknowledgement and appreciation to whomever inspires you because you never know what that might give back then to them. Secondly, the cumulative effect of these gifts of kindness and heartfelt appreciation have done wonders for my ego and consequently my esteem. I’d say I’m about 75 percent visible to me now. That I’ve heard what you’ve said and am taking myself and you very seriously in the best possible way.me and my friends Melissa and Karen on Shalavee.com

I won’t stop being me nor will I stop sharing me and my life’s perspectives with anyone who cares to read it. I’ll be a life-long sharer. And I can truly say that the cumulative effect of having strangers tell me that my life’s struggles has meaning and beauty to them, well that feels like both the whip cream on top and the sugar rush which is propelling me to move on.

I’m finally writing something that I’ve been “meaning to write” for a very long while now. A short expose, an acknowledgement of my purpose, and a call to my own life’s action. I can see clearly now the rain is gone and I’ve shooed the perpetual clouds over my head. And I have you all to thank for bringing out the sunshine and helping along my process. Thank you dear readers !

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.

I’m a Former Chaos Junkie

I can not remember ever not being whacked out about my life, my month, my week, or my day. I have lived in perpetual chaos, stressed out about whatever events are coming up or jobs or deadlines or responsibilities I had. And it always felt like each outcome would decide whether I was a legitimate person or just a poser in my life.

I’d have days of feeling the anticipation of an upcoming deadline and my stomach would hurt, I’d chew the inside of my cheek to shreds, and generally feel like crap mentally. As in “feeling like I was free-falling through holes in my soul” scared. No solid ground to stand on and “why is it I never asked for anti-anxiety medicine” anxious.

And then I walked through a door. I was working hard on my value and my self-esteem work and I realized that I was building all these anxieties on false thoughts about the outcomes I presumed would happen as a result of these situations. I predicted things going badly and then I was done. Except nothing had even happened yet. I discovered I Was not What I Feel.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.

So I began to call myself on the lies I’d been telling myself all of my life. I began to collect the clues that I had worth and value in the world. And gradually the equation of my worth came to the surface and battled those falsehoods. Thankfully my good side won and my anxieties have decreased immensely.

I stopped creating the whirlwind of crazy to perpetuate the scared feelings I was used to feeling. And I dared to feel calm, perhaps even happy. I won one battle after the other to win back my psyche and I’m glad to say I have rewritten how my brain processes my day-to-day. It took work and insight and effort. And it was worth every little bit of that work. I feel like a real girl now. Ready to look forward and battle the real dragons in my life and not the self-created false ones.

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.

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