For Those Who Are Hurting…

You are who are pretending to be okay when you are hurting inside and barely holding on to the little you have, I see your struggle.

You who are continuing to pour out to others even though your heart longs to be poured into, I hear your cries.

You who are showing up despite wanting to quit, I honor your sacrifice.

I see you. I hear you. I honor you.

And I give you permission to break. To cry out and let others know you aren’t okay. To stop being so strong and tell someone that you feel shattered. To give up the facade of having it all together and let folks know that you are barely breathing each morning because catching your breath is an unattainable action right now.

Someone is watching you praying for the things you wish away. Someone is watching you wishing to have your life because you appear to be so full of life. Someone is longing every day to have a life like yours because they are so unhappy with their own and don’t realize that your sun is blocked in this season as well. Your pretending is casting a shadow on their own life because they feel alone, like no one understands their struggles.

When you open up and you let folks see that there is a dark shadow looming over parts of your life too, you remind them that every level has different devils. That every elevation of life has its struggles. NO ONE is without them.

Do yourself and them a favor and become a bridge instead of a train wreck. Let people learn from you and walk over their trials instead of being derailed by them! You can do it. I believe in you.

I see you. I hear you. I honor you. And I love you too much to let you keep pretending.

When you begin allowing yourself to be vulnerable, the lives you will touch will amaze you. People are hurting just like you. They need to know that someone else is hurting in the same way. They need to see that someone else keeps showing up day after day. They need to know that there is more to life than the pain they feel in the present moment.

And you are that person who can do that for them.

Your story matters to others. Your story can influence them. Your story is what will change their lives because they will realize that they too can overcome.

If you won’t do it for yourself, will you do it for the person who is watching you and feeling like a failure because they don’t have it all together? Share your story. Be real. Let others know that they aren’t alone.

The Golden Gate Bridge with a quote overlaying it:  "My brokenness is a better bridge for people than my pretend wholeness ever way." ~Sheila Walsh

If you are one of the folks who have it together after struggling through some painful times, be sure to share your story so they know that there is hope on the other side of this sea. You can influence those who don’t want to know there are others hurting but NEED to know that someone made it through. That someone overcame. That someone was able to find a way out.

Your bridge may not look like everyone else’s bridge, but it matters just the same.

You Aren’t Alone. Let’s Connect

Follow me on Instagram to become what you once thought impossible and connect with other creatives.

Poetry: A Thousand Ways to Skip (After Amanda Baker)

I was reading Amanda’ Baker’s post on IG and immediately some thoughts flowed into my mind, so I jotted them down and sent them to her. This is another “after”, meaning that the poem came after reading someone else’s and is directly inspired by a line(s) in their poem.

Here is her post:

Here is my after:

A Thousand Ways to Skip (After Amanda Baker)

He said he’d teach me a thousand ways to skip,
as he giggled and ran off the field.
Four years old and wandering aimlessly,
he flapped his arms like wings as he flew from one side to the next.
Giggling, he began to prance in front of me,
trolloping from side to side,
as my mind began to dance.

“Oh the ways I’d skip…”

Skip work and head to the ball field.
Skip breakfast and head toward the park.
Skip the call and head to the beach.
Skip the news and listen to music.
Skip the tough conversation and go for what feels best.
Skip the anger and go straight to forgiveness.
Skip the part where I was broken and battered and go straight to part where I was treated like a Queen.
Skip the years we spent trying and head right for the ones after it was over.
Skip the heartache and go right to the growth.
Skip the part where I allowed everyone in, and go straight to the part where I remembered to guard my heart.
Skip the sadness and go right to the celebration.
Skip that part where I overthink everything, and go straight to the part where I realize:

If I skipped it all, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

He smiles as he leaps into my arms,
“You’re walking so slow. Did you forget to skip?”

~Shell Vera (2021)

A picture with the poem written on it. Picture is from Instagram of a woman dancing in a field.

Enjoy some more poetry here…

Standing On My Tippy Toes – Reading

Today I decided to finally start sharing my own poetry through readings, something I have shied away from. Here’s my first one. My favorite from When I Stopped Remembering Tomorrow (2020).

It felt really good to share my voice speaking my poetry because I tend to only share it when I do a reading live. But that doesn’t help those of you not in my area. I teach every one of my clients to overcome their fear and share their poems in their own voice, so why do I not do it?! I am no longer going to not be my own best client. Hold me accountable.

Your time as a caterpillar has expired. Your wings are ready. -Unknown

Overlaid over a picture of metamorphosis and a butterfly flying.

If you’d like to read more of my poetry, be sure to follow me on IG at www.Instagram.com/ShellVera333

About “When I Stopped Remembering Tomorrow”

My hope in writing this book is that you will let it speak to those hurt and shattered places within you that feel beyond repair. My prayer is that you allow it to show you that there are others who have stood where you are and understand what you feel. If you do that, I believe you will find the beginning of your healing, a key to stepping out of your prison, and the first opportunity to truly believe you have a voice others need to hear. Because you do.

By sharing poetry I’ve written throughout my life and reflecting on my journey to become the woman I am today, touching upon sensitive topics and things we don’t often discuss publicly, I prove that even the most broken people can reach a place of wholeness that is indescribable and beautiful. It won’t be easy. It will mean trusting yourself to rise above words spoken over you, forgiving yourself and others, and giving yourself permission to take risks that feel uncomfortable and crazy, but it’s worth it. I’m proof of that.

If you’re ready to stop building shrines to yesterday and writing scripts for tomorrow, join me on my journey to forgetting tomorrow and learning how to love this moment and all it encompasses. That doesn’t mean that you don’t set goals or that you don’t think about the future. It means you allow yourself the freedom to live so fully in this moment that you are open to the possibilities of becoming one you once thought impossible. You won’t regret it when the true you emerges and you start to shine like the treasure you are.

Want to read someone else’s thoughts first? Try this post that made me cry! (Thank you, Carol!)

Wrap Up: Where To Go From Here

Throughout the challenge, I’ve shared a lot of information about procrastination and being proactive. I did my best to break this complex habit down into bite-sized pieces so you could better understand what triggers procrastination. By reviewing typical examples, my goal was for you to recognize similarities in your behavior to help you get a handle on procrastination and develop a positive and proactive lifestyle.

Since there’s so much information out there it may feel like you need days to absorb it all before taking action. That’s a typical response since most people want to know what they are jumping into before taking a big leap. We talked about how analysis paralysis is a function of procrastination, so it makes sense that you could find yourself waiting for the right circumstances to stop bad habits and start new ones.

I’d like to encourage you to start today. You made it to Day 30 of the 30-Day Challenge! While there’s never a perfect time to start doing something new, today is as perfect as it will get. The circumstances may not be what you wanted them to be, but you can begin and figure things out along the way.  

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Resources to Help You Stop Procrastinating

We are getting close to the end of our challenge! So far, I’ve shared a lot of resources designed to help you stop procrastinating and start living a proactive life. I can tell from talking with a few of you and some friends who have joined me on this journey that we are all doing our best to stop this habit and divorce procrastination for good.

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Procrastination to Progress Challenge: Weekly Check In #4

It’s Day 28 of our October Procrastination to Progress Challenge. How are you doing?

Today is a real easy post. You’ve been doing the hard work this week so today is catch up day. If you missed any of the work from the previous 6 days, jump in and do them today. Breathe a little, relax, and enjoy your progress so far!

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” 
~Maya Angelou

Quote over a picture of a butterfly with a drop of water on a flower
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How Journaling Empowers You In Living a Proactive Life

This one is my favorite one. Of all the practical things you can do, journaling is the top one if you have any creative bone in your body. It can help you reduce or eliminate procrastination and develop a more proactive lifestyle. The very act of journaling can promote reduced stress, increase recordkeeping, goal planning and achievement, and

Journaling helps procrastinators better understand what’s keeping you from taking action and helps keep you on track moving forward. It’s easy to use journaling for a productive lifestyle.

a picture of notebooks and a keyboard.
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Use Pictures & Video to Record Your Progress

I’m going to be short today because I realize that writing blogs ahead of time and batching them when writing daily is a better way to go. BUT I am writing daily and posting daily as part of my own procrastination to progress challenge and tonight I am just beat after a LONG day of meetings. Being an introvert, I feel like someone sapped me so even sitting here pretending to talk to others by blogging is a LOT.

As I thought about what I could write about quickly, since I’m not loving what the team I had hired picked out for all of the topics in this challenge, I realized that a really big miss was not yet covering the importance of tracking your progress tangibly. So let’s talk about that tonight.

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Be a Positive Role Model

I have some strong motivation for you to break the procrastination habit: The people who love you most and rely on you need your good example. From your kids, to your spouse, to your co-workers, everyone benefits from knowing someone who has it together and can model a healthy proactive lifestyle. Think of how much you’ve looked up to friends and colleagues who have it altogether. That can be you soon!

It is incredibly motivating when you sense your proactive lifestyle is making someone else’s life better as well as showing them the same path. Here’s some ways your changes will make have an affect on them.

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Establish a Strong Support System

Establishing a strong support system is one of the most important actions you will take during this challenge because it is one that will enrich your life in all areas, not just with stopping procrastination. Having the right people in your corner will ensure you have folks to share your goals and celebrate successes with. Community is necessary to succeed in living a proactive and truly fulfilling life.

Community over Solitude
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