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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.

Trust Your Own Weirdness

Scrolling through Instagram, my favorite spare time wandering place, I read a picture quote that said “Trust in your own weirdness.” I told Eamon to come look and he read it and said “Cool”. And here’s what I then said to him.

Weirdness on Shalavee.com

All their lives, people wish they had permission to just be themselves. They love/hate people who are uniquely themselves. So when you do your own weird thing, people will like you even more than if you are doing the thing that it seems everyone else is doing. And they’ll resent you for it because they don’t have permission.

That urge to conform is built into our genetics. We need to be accepted and avoid being outcast from the tribe. Our acceptance by the group guarantees shelter and food. So the primal urge is to conform and live. Being different can cause your demise, your out-casting from your family bed. But for a creative, it’s necessary to heed that call. And so we often avoid our weird convinced we’ll die if we follow it.

Weirdness on Shalavee.com

Yet, in order for innovation and societal advancement to happen, we need people who think differently. People who risk their comfort zones to think up the tech and the tasks that advance us, cure us, enlighten us, and civilize us. And if we’d embrace our differences, our weird, we’d no longer war, persecute, or hate.

So today, let’s be weirder than the other people. Let’s join together with other weird people and celebrate our weirdness together. Let’s band together in common causes and innovate our thoughts and processes to help the world advance. And lead our children by example showing that there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting our freak on every once in a while. Let’s be impressed and commend their unique views because those are what will inevitably change the world.

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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A Wrap Up of Our Creative September and a New Beginning

It all started with a creative week in August. I pulled out my pastels I’d always been intending to use and did a little dabbling. And a light went off in my head. Why couldn’t I put myself to a month of creativity straight, ask to be accountable to my online tribe and at the end I’d have a creative habit! Well let me tell you, I have a whole lot more than that. I have proof of Our Creative September!

Shannon's collage on the wrap up for our creative September on Shalavee.com

Shannon Faris-Parnell

Right as I was announcing that I was about to launch My creativity challenge September, I had a lovely lady as me if she could join in. Sure I said, thinking this would be cool to have company. And then another woman asked to join. Of course I said, do you think we need a hashtag?

Shannon's collage on the wrap up for our creative September on Shalavee.com

Shannon Faris-Parnell

What transpired after that was pure pagic as a small group of us gathered encouragement and inspiration from each other, creating daily under the hashtag #OurCreativeSeptember. So unexpected, so yummy, so community.

tracys-pottery on Our Ceative September on Shalavee.com

Tracy’s Pottery

tracys-pottery on Our Ceative September on Shalavee.com

Tracy’s pottery

As each week went by and I did my round-ups, I spoke of what it was that I had gotten out of the challenge thus far. The first week, this is what I said,”In making the practice non-negotiable, you begin to build a trust with yourself. Anxieties stand down and make room for you to express and devote to yourself through your challenge.” I began to be less critical and more open to what might happen.

Wrap up of Our Creative September on Shalavee.com

Jax Blunt

Wrap up of Our Creative September on Shalavee.com

Jax Blunt

Week two, I was astonished at the change.”This daily arting endeavor is changing me. I knew it would. I just had to commit to allowing for it to change me. I used to use creativity as a thing to torture my inner child with mean “No you can’t go out and play until you eat your broccoli” kinda stuff. And my inner child was kept from her one true love, seeing what she could make. And then being proud of herself.”

latoya-burton from Our Creative September wrap up on Shalavee.com

latoyaburton_musing.
.
GATEWAYS
(to same path ~ many quests)

all seeking the same thing.
choosing different storylines to get there.
speaking different spells to create the experience.
all seeking the same thing.
all have a vision
a dream
all seeking the same thing
all on a mission to find the happiness + love we came here to remember

be wonderful

LaToya

Wrap up for Our Creative September on Shalavee.com

Fi Cooper

 

Wrap up for Our Creative September on Shalavee.com

Fi Cooper

Week three brought a larger ease to my everyday.”Having moved through the cloud of resistance, I am now stepping into create mode very quickly. As a given now, I don’t have to grapple with “if”. As for the when of the creating, I try to think and not think about it. Like if you talk about going to a movie too much, you’ll talk yourself right out of going. The creativity needs to be both slightly spontaneous and slightly planned.”

la-toya-burton

Latoya Burton

live-in-wonder-linzelle on Our Creative September on Shalavee.com

Lynzelle

As if these weren’t lessons enough, I also got the gift of camaraderie and company from all the other women who joined in. We had a ceramicist, collage artists, watercolorists, scrapbookers, and sketch artists. I developed a newfound confidence in my pastel work and started a mix medium series of watercolored encyclopedia pages with pasteled bugs that seems to be a community favorite. We were all finding our strides and our self pride and that was the Magic.

 

Our Creative September wrap up on Shalavee.com

Ilana Kapp

 

Our Creative September wrap up on Shalavee.com

Ilana Kapp

So we’ve decided to continue our daily creative efforts together with a new hashtag of #OurCreativeSelves on Instagram . If you were to search that tag there, you’d see what we’ve been up to and you could take an opportunity to cheer us on and be inspired. We’d like that.

Idylewild park bed on wrap up of our creative September on Shalavee.com

Shalagh Hogan

I thank all my fellow creatives and everyone who cheered us on during our month of making. We’ll continue onward in our heroic creative journeys knowing you get what it means.

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 Creative Exchange

Who knows how and when I fell upon Samantha Dunne’s blog Dunne With Style. I followed a paper trail most likely because she, like myself, plays with paper which she parlayed into a business offering gift wrapping packages for sale called “wrap it up”. And what blossomed from that was an opportunity Samantha saw to spread the happy contagion of gifting people via Instagram and snail mail with the Creative Exchange. Find the details here.

About her community making project created in 2014, she says,”From those that have already joined The Creative Exchange journey there have been new friendships formed, connections far greater than could have been imagined through social media, inspiration to learn and make snail mail and thank you cards, handmade gifts…. the thoughtfulness of the creative community that have connected is beyond my wildest dreams. This is what The Creative Exchange is all about.” Enough said. This is her about page picture for the project.

Samantha Dunne's Creative Exchange on Shalavee.com

Let me also add that I love her thoughtful self-aware blog posts about cheering yourself on and discovering what you are besides your self-doubt. This is the same speak that I share to my readership and I think that the connections with other creatives has improved my self-opinion and awareness and consequently my self-esteem. So I truly enjoy the wisdom she shares as she forges a path before me and my fellow online hang abouts and bloggers trying to figure out what’s next. Leaders that lead us back to ourselves are priceless.

Samantha Dunne's Creative Exchange on Shalavee.com

So this past Creative Exchange round I raised my hand to take part and I was chosen. I was given a random name of a person in the US (Ms. Dunne is based in Australia) and mine was given to someone, and we commenced the online stalking for inspiration. All I could discern from my gift recipient was that they loved snail mail and gift exchanges so I settled on mostly supplies to play with. I hoped that my Secret Santa would be able to tell enough about me by searching my feed. And everything needed to be in the mail by November 30th. Which in the US meant I was scrambling to pull it all together during the Thanksgiving holiday. Whew.The Creative Exchange on Shalavee.com

But I did have a bit of fun when I set my mind to the shopping and the wrapping. I picked pink and kraft as my theme and away I went just grabbing for whatever was in my bins of my craft room. What fun! I have really enjoyed giving random cards and presie packages to my Instagram tribe and I hope that this exchange will connect me with more like-minded paper lovers. I sent the package off on Black Friday so it should reach them by Monday. And I’ll be watching my post box for my goody box 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.

Follow if You Care

I’ve hung out online for enough time now to see there are certain givens. If you are here, you just may be selling something or at least looking to gain something. “Followers” or “friends”, numbers of people who will prove that you are somebody. Somebody worthy of listening to. Somebody worthy of paying or compensation for doing something in return.

But what if you aren’t here to make a buck but to make a difference or to make a connection to the greater world and truths around us. Or what if, like me, you just wanted to show up for yourself and see what happened. You’ll bump up against people and maybe you’ll converse with them. Based on that, you may even like a few people. Next thing you know they’ll keep coming back to like you and talk to you. And you for them. And what you may discover is that you have a lot more to say of interest than you initially would have thought. And a lot of people out in the world who share your views.On the swing at the playground on Shalavee.com

These lovely people may live in other countries. They may worship different gods and choose to be vegetarians. But they’re kindred souls all the same. You may not even know what they look like, but you know their hearts. And if you’ve been honest, they’ll know yours.

I began my online journey to just continue to practice my writing. And what I found was that I had an inexhaustible amount of words to say about many varied subjects. I found I could take a photograph to go with my words. And I found out that there were in fact people listening and paying attention to what I had to say and show. I found my voice and myself in this process. I found people who I liked and who liked me. I found a tribe. And these are all things I would not have found had I not taken the chance to start something called blogging four years ago.Fiona and Baby Doggy on the swing on Shalavee.com

As I gain momentum and self-esteem, I am beginning to see how I may fit in, what I can offer the larger world, and that my knowledge and unique perspective is as valuable as anyone’s. I still don’t want to sell myself out but I do know that if I come up with something worth publishing, I will ask to cover my costs. If I put my Etsy shop online once and for all, I will trust that people know what they want and will allow them to buy stuff. But meanwhile, I will continue to engage with the world, create what’s in my heart, and create goals that feel right for me even if they’re not what everyone else might be doing. Because I’m the lone wolf who must find my way in my time. And that’s just going to have to be good enough. Follow if you care. Speak if you dare.

Wanna see the whole month of posts? Start here. Yesterday’s post go here.

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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