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Chosen and Unchosen Changes

I’ve noticed how I feel differently about my life as we pass the one year anniversary of the beginning of the pandemic of 2020. I feel a lot calmer. How did that happen? Because changes happened, both by choice and by time.

I found myself saying no to a string of requests for my time recently. While I made this choice to say no, it has been the time I have spent not doing much of what I used to do that showed me that this is the way I really want to live. I don’t want to rush around anymore feeling overwhelmed with obligations and appointments.

I realized today that, whereas I freaked out when all these people (my family), usually gone during the weekdays, were suddenly in my house in my way demanding stuff of me, I now don’t mind them as much. I have begun to say no more to them too. I can create boundaries enough to have time to myself and sometimes they even leave! Twice last week I noticed we were all in the same room at the same time by choice!

And I finally got so sick of being sick of my body that I have now returned to the YMCA three times a week for exercise classes. I’ve missed the camaraderie in those classes. This feels like normal again. And I’d say we’ve all earned a little normal back.

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What if You Find Yourself in a Hole?

Say you find yourself in a hole? You have been in the hole your entire life but you just never looked up. But one person then another person told you to look up. And now you know you’re in a hole.

There are several choices you can make. If you are actually slightly mentally imbalanced, you can convince yourself that that was some kind of dream and those people are crazy, not you. And then you can continue to live in the hole and forget you ever saw you were in a hole.

You can become obsessed with the fact that you have just realized you were in a hole and run around screaming to everyone that “we all live in a hole!”. That will probably get you nowhere. They may even shun or stone you because they do not want this information. They may be overwhelmed by that fiction because that would mean having to look at their lives as lies and then start a whole new life of hole awareness.

Or you can turn to those that showed you that you were living in a hole and ask them how you can all help each other out of the hole. Because you know once you’ve seen this, you can not unsee this. And your integrity understands that the most challenging moments in life bring you the greatest and most beautiful lessons.

For me, this was exactly how I felt when I began to understand how I have been a victim to the patriarchal society all of my life. How I have been applying their judgments to myself and my body. No one has had to keep me down because I’m still doing it myself.

What does this analogy bring up for you? Have you found yourself here before?

Interested in reading my future thoughts on Creative Soul Living?

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Self-Care, the Next Phase

Self-care is a multi-layered endeavor. Brushing your teeth, taking pills, and exercising are all basic bodily care practices that when we are new mothers, seem to be more than we can manage. But eventually we get those done too. I have taken the past twenty years to really delve into taking care of my mental health. To this end, I’ve had a therapist I see regularly, I’ve scheduled procedures to take care of the aches and pains in my body that weren’t normal, and I finally asked for an anti-anxiety medicine prescription.

I ask myself what else do I need to do to let me know I’m taking care of me? My inner child has begun to trust me and understand that even those things I really don’t feel like doing will make me feel better about myself soon enough. With the pandemic uprooting our family routines, I lost a bit of my self care rituals to fear. I had just begun to lose some unwanted weight, feeling pleased with myself, when lockdown happened. And I ended up putting that back on and then some. And the children being at home completely messed with any of my schedules to create and write for myself regularly.Self-Care, the Next Phase on Shalavee.com

So I began again. I asked to double up on my anti-anxiety meds. I spoke to my therapist about how I was refusing to let go of the clothing that didn’t fit in my closet but that made me unhappy. And she encouraged me to give myself permission to be where I was and how I was at this very moment. Which was enough for me to begin the next phase of my self care.

I cleared the closet out. One box of too small, next Fall clothes was made. Several bags of see ya’ later alligators were made. And a hopeful Spring/Summer set of clothing for 20 pounds lighter was stored into a chest of drawers.Self-Care, the Next Phase on Shalavee.com

There was something going on that I was doing in all the closets. I was letting go of things that no longer pertained to me or benefitted me. Old camcorders and snowpants, arm braces and shoes that no longer had a use were pitched without a thought. It was like I was tossing anchors that tied me to a past that I no longer was living. And on this purge’s heels, I came to another conclusion. There were people that I had previously said yes to that I needed to now say no to. I said no to volunteering realizing that I’d never have done that if the pandemic hadn’t shown me how I really wanted to live : without hurry and scurry. And I said no to taking care of my Mother in the way that became a deficit for me and felt as if I was being taken for granted.

I got my mammogram/booby squash. I got a shot for my trigger finger. I got my hair professionally dyed which felt like the best big-girl decision I have made in a long time because it looks amazing and it thickened my hair back up. I look like a rockstar in the morning and I love it. Then I went to get a procedure done and was tossed out of the operating room for high blood pressure. I thanked them for not killing me and I am on both medicine and and getting treated for the trauma with EMDR to desensitize me to the blood pressure cuff. And I am now doing the Noom food and psychology program which is exactly the way that I’m going to be able to use my brain to get through losing this weight and maintaining the weight loss further on.Self-Care, the Next Phase on Shalavee.com

And lastly I have begun to create and recognize my creativity since day one of 2021. I believe the number one medicine to cure what mentally ails is to create regularly. I am involved in the 100 Day Project creating pictures on 4 x 4 paper with watercolor pencils daily until sometime in April. And I am committed to writing blog posts twice a week. These changes have been gradual and I notice how much more confident I feel. I refuse to ask my kids to have permission to parent them. I work through the resistance around doing things and find the joy. And I am grateful to have the foresight and the skills to take care of myself well enough to model it for my children.

I hope that by describing all of this, others can take inspiration and hope from my self-care practices that are a little deeper and more necessary that just getting a pedicure. Speaking of which, I need to do that as well !

Interested in reading my future thoughts on Creative Soul Living?

Enter your name into the subscription box in the sidebar to the right and subscribe to my bi-weekly posts via your emailbox.

Find me on Instagram to view my daily pictures,

friend me or like my page on Facebook.

I love community, soulful candid conversation, and being in touch.

And as always, thank you for your visit.

Mood Clouds

More than a few people have spoken of feeling down recently. How quickly l went to questioning the weather or politics as the cause not even knowing their circumstances.

Because, what if up and down is our natural rhythm? And we all have perpetual memory loss that this is our way?Mood Clouds on shalavee.com

What if it’s as simple as perspective, a random change inside as if the sun is behind the clouds. And then it isn’t. What if we spend less time worrying the sun is gone and more time manifesting that sunlight within?

How would you conjure your sun on a dark dreary day? Music, laughter, puzzle assembly, or baking? A talk with an old friend, looking through a picture album, or going for a walk?

And then remember your answer when your mood clouds start to move in.

Interested in reading my future ponderings on Creative Soul Living?Subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my weekly posts via your emailbox.

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I am a community kinda person and am always practicing Intentional Intouchness.

I live for conversations.

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What if You Did it All Right But You Were Looking at it All Wrong

It’s not as if I don’t try. As Sara Bareilles sings in her song Armor, “You make me try, try, try, try … it’s all I ever do.” But what if the efforts you make are good, it’s just your expectations of what you can humanly accomplish are off ? What if you’re so used to never getting it right and never doing enough that you can’t see how much you’ve accomplished. You can’t see the forest for all the trees.

You know I’m talking about myself. When am I not?

I have been told many times by many wonderful people that they are amazed at how much I seem to accomplish. I have admittedly called myself the Energizer Bunny and written here that my coping mechanism is Industrious Over-focused. But what I wasn’t understanding was why their view of my accomplishments wasn’t the same theirs.

What would I give up if I acknowledged all that I do? The concept that I’m failing at life? The constant definition of me as a failure? Jeeze Louise! How is it possible to be so attached to the negative self-definition of not enough that you keep creating ways to prove it?What if You Did it All Right But You Were Looking at it All Wrong ? on Shalavee.com

Smaller goals and smaller celebrations for smaller progress. This is the way I see myself truly making progress that I can acknowledge. Because if all I have is today to live, than the acceptable celebrate-able enoughness of my efforts needs to happen today. Not “next time”. Not “when I have more time”. I need to work in a way that I can appreciate my efforts and feel proud of them in small ways.

I will continue to work hard. But instead of always dangling the carrot so that I can never reach it, perhaps I need to change it to a rutabaga. Or place it in my hand to begin with and then move on to the work. I don’t need to change my systems as much as my vision. It’s all in the way we look at it.

Change nothing and nothing changes.

Wisdom gained is only as wise as it is applied.

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.

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