Gifts in Our Stories

Shannon's Toolbox Gifts In Our Stories

As I sit down and write these words, I am grateful for friends like Karen and Mike who inspire me to continue to share my story.   I often think about writing my blog but always seem to find something else to do or someone else to take care of.  It seems to be a pattern for me; and I am sure some of you can relate.   But, first the kitchen needs to be clean and then I can sit down and write.   Oh… and then I have to get to the paperwork for the kids to take to school.  I can’t forget that, can I?  Then, the grocery list needs to be made… and soon and so on.  Why do I constantly have something else to do and not take the time to do what I am so passionate about?

As many of you know, at the beginning of 2018 I had a very difficult “emotional” time.  Struggling with my husband Marty working away, trying to keep up with life schedules, supporting our kids (especially our son who needs extra love) and I was too proud to admit that I needed help.   I like to say that I have learned my lesson, but it is a slow process.   I know we don’t change overnight and I certainly need others to help keep me accountable.  

I have found more time for me (piano, biking, dancing, friends, and moving forward with my passion of teaching kids about food).  My openness to continue to share my struggles with friends and family helps to remind me that I am not alone.  For many years, I have found ways to “stay small” by continuously cleaning my house, staying busy doing things that don’t serve me well, wasting time on Facebook and unconsciously downplaying my potential.  My belief that I am “not smart enough”, “not good enough” and the anxiety that comes with these beliefs have kept me hostage for a long time. The relentless thinking, many sleepless nights, pounding heart and the feeling of exhaustion that then spirals into negative thoughts which all propel the vortex of “not good enough.”  It can be a hard cycle to get out of until you “hit the ground” and all that is left to do is “get up.” 

No one likes to be in those dark places, but I have learned that with light, there is always dark.   We can’t avoid it… it is part of life, and the more we can embrace the dark and be mindful that it soon will pass, the more inner calm we can find.  I never believed that I was anxious and a person that often worried.   Being more mindful of my thoughts I often catch myself in my negative “worry” thoughts.   I think this is half the battle… being aware and catching myself in “negative thought.” Wow…I have been very surprised how often I am catching myself in these negative thought patterns.   I saw agreat sign the other day, “Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.” Erma Bombeck.   Yep… that about sums it up. 

It is not easy to share what is in our heart, but closing our heart is not the answer either.  Mark Nepo says it so well, “It is essential to realize and embrace that paradox that while no one can go through your journey for you, you are not alone.   Everyone is on the same journey.  Everyone shares the same pains, the same confusions, the same fears, which if put out between us, lose their edges and so cut us less.“ 

As we move towards winter I am mindful of my patterns and how the winter weather and shorter days can affect my mood and motivation.  I continue to be open-minded and trying new things and recognize that it is okay if things don’t go the way I expected them to go as it doesn’t make me any less of a person.   It makes me who I am! 


Our Deepest Fear
ByMarianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. 
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? 
You are a child of God.

Your playing small 
Does not serve the world. 
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking 
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, 
As children do. 
We were born to make manifest 
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; 
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, 
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 
As we’re liberated from our own fear, 
Our presence automatically liberates others.


3 thoughts on “Gifts in Our Stories”


    Dear Shannon

    Thank You for sharing your heart warming stories. I think we can all share your feelings at some time in our lives. I remember feeling worried about ‘how are we going to pay the bills etc’. When I was a stay at home Mom and we needed new gutters on the house and bills came up, I worried, Lyle didn’t…. I worried about everything. Lyle didn’t. When I was about 50 years old, I thought ‘Why am I worried about everything when Lyle doesn’t worry about anything and my mind changed’.. That song also came out around that time ‘DON’T WORRY … BE HAPPY’ Worrying doesn’t solve problems but enjoying your children and being with them and watching them grow up makes one happy.

    I love the way you express yourself and tell it like it is. We all wanted clean houses but now clean isn’t the first thing on my list. Now I only clean when company comes and then sometimes ? what is a little dust anyway. I think you have to be a little older and then you will ‘mellow’ like the rest of us.

    Keep writing stories and maybe you should write a book as you have a great gift.

    Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy Healthy New Year 2019.

    Love Cheryl

  2. Oh Shannon, your words echo so many thoughts of my own. Your awareness of your thoughts is fundamental to shifting your beliefs, actions and habits. I love this journey that you are on and I hope you continue to share it.

  3. Well said Shannon. I am happy to read all that and relief to see that you are doing better. There will be good and bad days, but that is part of everybody’s life. We all have our moments. And as I say this quote even in french, YOU have to take care of yourself if YOU want to take care of your family. This is life, and life is full of good things and bad ones too. But at the end, it’s worthed. Tomorrow is another day, may GOD bless you and your family. Continue your path you can lean on my shoulders or on the ones you trust the most. Love you all Nicolexxxx

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