Blog Archives

Life

© 2001 Shannon Hart

© 2001 Shannon Hart

How often do you dream?

I dream often… sometimes it’s difficult knowing how to take action.

dreamingfortune

Words of the Day

Balance a combination of things to create the happiness I want.

synthesisbalance

Words of the Day

Take delight in life to start the healing process.

delighthealing

Daily Prompt: Memoir Madness – It was the best of times

The sun began setting

as everyone gathered around –

the sand beneath my feet

served as a cool barrier

to my warm heart

our eyes connected

with each other’s souls –

making promises…

smiles and tears

filled the salty air

the happiest day of my life,

I knew I was loved

Shannon's Creative Work: Weddings &emdash;

 

Daily Prompt: Memoir Madness

Dreaming of Mopeds, Horses, Key West, and Glitter

I had this dream a long time ago. This is from my dream journal:

My husband was driving a moped and I was on it. He was going from side to side and I thought he was being dangerous. I told him not to do that while I’m riding with him.

We were supposed to be in Key West, although it did not look anything like Key West. There was a black man standing in the middle of the road, near an intersection, with two large, brown beautiful horses. They reminded me of the type that police ride. Cars were driving by and scaring the horses.

I said, “You don’t see horses in the middle of the road, especially not here.”

Then the scene changed and I was in a place that was like a spa perhaps? All I know is that I was supposed to be pampered in some way. Someone was using a makeup brush to put silver glitter all over me. I told them to stop, that it was too much glitter. And then I woke up.

My interpretation:

Key West is supposed to be a fun place, a place many people vacation. My husband was having fun zipping around on the moped. I didn’t like it, because I thought I would get hurt. The black man may represent the unknown.

The two horses may represent messengers (or two messages) of authority. The scared horses may represent “scary” messages. The intersection is similar to a crossroad – something in which we must decide on which way to go.

Glitter in a dream may mean expression, flashiness, something requiring attention. But it was being put on me, and I told the person to stop doing it. Silver may represent money.

There was a situation in real life in which my husband had received two messages from someone of “authority” that were meant to scare him. Prior to that, he was zipping around in life, having fun and minding his own business. The messages concerned me, and I had to make a decision on what to do about the situation – do I continue expressing myself or hide? I told the “makeup” person to stop putting so much glitter on me – because I did not want the attention – and the silver had people believing we had a lot of money. The messages in real life concerned money, and when people think you have it, they will find a way to get it.
Shannon's Creative Work: Sunrises & Sunsets &emdash;

52 Things To Do This Year

I spent my New Year’s Day meditating, organizing, and thinking. I’m not going to make resolutions, because I feel that if I should do something, it needs to be done right now. Instead, I created a list of 52 things to do this year that most people don’t normally do.

1. Buy a meal for a random stranger

2. Volunteer at a nonprofit

3. Compliment a random stranger that looks like s/he’s having a bad day

4. Attend a class or meeting you normally would not

5. Visit a place in your city you’ve never been

6. Travel to a place you’ve always wanted to go

7. Write a thank you note to a business, organization, or person for their service

8. Tell a store manager how helpful one of their employees are

9. Give something up that you’ve had since childhood

10. Donate school supplies to a needy child

11. Spend a day talking to elderly folks

12. Forgive someone that you’ve been holding a grudge

13. Send a card to a friend telling them how much you care

14. Make a list of things you love about someone and give it to them in a frame

15. Leave a gift for your mail carrier

16. Buy a textbook for a college student

17. Take a long walk in a neighborhood you’ve never been to

18. Commit to something you’re not already committed to

19. Grow a plant from seed

20. Have a conversation with yourself in the mirror

21. Help an elderly person with something

22. Eliminate something in your life that brings you down

23. Learn how to cook a new dish

24. Buy something for yourself you wouldn’t normally buy

25. Wave to random people while walking, riding your bike, or driving

26. Do one thing you’ve always dreamed of doing

27. No complaining for one day

28. Make a list of all things for which you are thankful

29. Let a teacher know what a great job s/he is doing

30. Learn about someone else’s religion

31. Have faith that everything will work out for that one big issue

32. Share something about yourself that you never have before

33. Buy a piece of art from a local artist

34. Let yourself cry

35. Help a neighbor

36. Try a new adventure

37. Teach someone how to do something

38. Listen to a new musician

39. Say yes to something you’d normally say no to

40. Join a group or club

41. Attend a fundraiser event

42. Bless your enemies

43. Make a new friend

44. Rescue a butterfly, lizard, or insect

45. Don’t look at yourself in the mirror for one day

46. Learn something new not listed above

47. Participate in a function you normally wouldn’t

48. Manifest something with positive thoughts

49. Let the other driver go first

50. Take a scenic drive

51. Hire a local photographer

52. Be happy with what you have

Shannon's Creative Work: Aloha Indigo &emdash;

2013 – The End of the World As I Know It

Although 13 is my favorite number, the year 2013 has been rough, so I will gladly say goodbye to it.

This year I gave up my photography business. It was like giving up a child, but it had to be done. (I had moved to Hawaii in 2012, and I’d given up my Florida clients to other photographer friends.) When I returned to Florida in 2013, I opted for a regular paycheck and steady income. It was a new beginning, but it’s always tough saying goodbye to things you’ve worked so hard to have.

For many people which I love and care deeply, their own lives changed. Many of us dealt with unexpected deaths this year. Earlier this year I learned of my friend’s suicide. It was shocking, devastating, and saddening to know that such a beautiful person was hurting so badly that she only saw one way out. Just after Thanksgiving, I learned of another very shocking suicide of a very well-liked influential person in a community I used to live. But it wasn’t just physical death that people had to deal with this year.

Nearing the end of 2013, when things began to dramatically change for me personally, I was forced to reassess many aspects of my own life. One was the type of people that I had allowed to enter or re-enter my life. Being that spirituality is extremely important to me, it didn’t take long to notice that some of these people were not friends at all. Friends that respect boundaries and care about needs without considering their own interests is essential to maintaining true friendships. So with that, it was time to cut the cords with those that can’t serve spiritually.  And then, by mutual agreement, my marriage ended just in time for the holidays. Although it’s heartbreaking and we still both love each other dearly, we knew we’d grown apart and that it would be healthier for us both to move on. This is probably the hardest part of 2013 for me.

But 2013 also had some new beginnings. I worked at a law office as a legal secretary until I was hired as a technology teacher at a private school. I have met some very wonderful people and work with the most amazing, talented kids. And I get to teach what I gave up earlier in the year – photography! In November, I began another successful part-time job selling some really awesome jewelry.

What I learned from 2013 is we choose our lifestyles and our happiness by eliminating the old and starting new, like a fresh rain washing away the dirt (thanks for the analogy, Eric 🙂 ). So what does 2014 have in store? I’m hoping some really cool changes that will put more smiles on my face and make me feel like myself again. But it’s all up to me and how I want to live my life.

Shannon's Creative Work: Travel &emdash; Crossing Lake Pontchartrain

What will 2014 bring?

Be-good-to-yourself Therapy

Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of caring from someone to put a bandage on a wound. During a very difficult period in my adult life when I was learning to express my voice, that someone was my massage therapist. She gave me this little elf book called Be-good-to-yourself Therapy, written by Cherry Hartman and illustrated by R.W. Alley. The hand-sized book is delicately illustrated with elves and loaded with information intended to “help you overcome the distorted notions that keep you from living fully and honestly”.

begoodtoyourself

This book is great for those times when we may be feeling down or anxious. I like to randomly open a page to see what message is waiting for me for the day… and oftentimes, those messages hit the nail on the head. For example, today I opened to message #6:

“Take the time and space you need – even if other people are wanting something from you.”

How appropriate for the holiday season!

The messages aren’t always so general such as the one mentioned above. Some are more specific to the needs of situations and offer solutions, such as message #24:

“When you want to talk to someone new and are scared, breathe. Don’t start rehearsing, just plunge in. If it doesn’t go well, you can stop.”

I suggest this book to anyone who is having a hard time experiencing happiness or seeing the brighter side of life. Its simple messages may be exactly what you need to hear.

 

 

Boundaries in Relationships: Space Invaders

Have you ever played the game Space Invaders? It came out in 1978, and as a small child I played it until I had blisters on my fingers. I was determined to shoot down the enemy if I couldn’t hide behind the walls that almost always got torn down. Of course, in video games, the game always wins. But in real life, we have the power to control what happens; it’s just a matter of learning how to use it.

20081221_SDL_Space_Invaders_v1.0_(Wii_Game)

One day it dawned on me that the aliens in the game Space Invaders are much like people who are space invaders. (Some people often refer to them as energy vampires.) They invade space and suck the good energy right out because they have no respect for other people’s needs or boundaries.

For instance, the friend that has endless relationship problems – you provide an ear to listen. A week or a month later, same friend, same problem. Six months later, a year, two years  – same friend, same problem. Her relationships literally make her ill, and listening to her somehow starts to make you feel ill as well. You’ve invested countless hours listening (the way friends do for each other) to her rant about her ex or about how everything in her life sucks. Now it’s your turn. You have an issue and need an ear just to hear you vent, and now your friend doesn’t have time for you.

Healthy friendships are based on mutual listening skills; otherwise you are an unpaid therapist.

Sometimes space invaders are determined to selfishly grant their wants rather than someone else’s needs. A friend whose ex would not stop contacting her after she broke off the relationship, even after she ignored and warned him, got to the point of having to call authorities. Obviously, he had no self-control and zero respect for her needs and boundaries. She probably set these parameters at the very beginning of the relationship, translating his actions into flattery and “love” at first, instead of listening to her own needs and boundaries. (Unfortunately, many people do not recognize it, because it’s the way they were brought up.)

bound·a·ry
ˈbound(ə)rē
noun
plural noun: boundaries
1.
a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.

Another person I know goes out of her way to “help” people with all good intentions, but she does it without their permission – and then expects things to go her way. For example, she was trying to set her friend up on a blind date with some dude that turned out to be a dud (she invited them to the same party without informing the woman of her intentions). Instead of accepting that her friend had boundaries about dating and being set up with complete strangers without her knowledge, she got upset that she “went out of her way” and didn’t feel appreciated. What she did caused three people unneeded stress – her friend for the embarrassment and invasion of privacy, the dud(e) who was embarrassed after getting his hopes up, and herself because she had expectations for something she had no business sticking her nose into.

Even after explaining to a space invader that they have crossed a line (or many lines), explaining that perhaps right now is not the time to continue a conversation, or explaining that right now we may not be feeling well enough to do what they would like us to do, they continue making excuses and finding ways to invade our space… if that person continues to disrespect your boundaries, it’s time to either set the boundaries or let them go. Space invaders will make us crazy, make us literally ill, and make us want to scream.

Shannon's Creative Work: Abstract Paintings by Shannon Hart &emdash;

“The Scream”

 

In the game Space Invaders, you get 3 “lives,” but in real life we only get one.  But we do have three choices as to how we handle these people: we can either continue allowing space invaders win and slowly kill us, place the boundaries today, or completely end the relationship by announcing: Game Over.