Saturday, January 29, 2011

Making Sense of Bliss(dom)

I'm home.

It took 9 hours, a bag of chocolate and a visit from a locksmith, but we made it.

I'm still processing the last few days and I find myself at a rare loss for words.

What I know for sure is this: I met some fantastic women. These are women with hearts as big as the open road. They are quiet and loud and every increment in between, and if they're anything like me, that volume dial has a mind of its own.

I was a shell-seeker this week. A soul-seeker. I walked the gaudy, carpet shoreline, sometimes alone, and I found treasure. I plucked up seaglass eyes of calm, tender hearts the perfect pale-pink shade of a conch. It's a gift to place brand new treasure into my pocket. It's a gift unfit for my humble words when someone grabs hold of me and slips me into theirs.

I felt lost sometimes, and very unknown.

I felt the scratch of comparison that would lead me to believe, at this moment or that, that what I do here just really isn't enough, in the grand scheme of things. I'm too scattered here. I need a "neesh".

That nasty fella, Insecurity, nagged at the edges of my mind. I'm not what they expected. I'm too much, not enough.

Then I would reach into my pocket, sifting my treasures through sands of truth. The smooth and jagged edges all fit nicely in my palm and I would remember - I do what I do, I am what I am. I don't try to do, I don't try to be, and I've always preferred the hokey pronunciation, "nich", anyway.

So this is my take-away.

And this.

And this.

There are more, and you know who you are, and I'll not forget. I hope my gratitude for you shined so brightly that you had no choice but to see your own reflection - every beautiful thing that you are - when you looked me in the eye.

Thank you, Treasure Girls. Thank you for listening to my heart and making me believe that everything inside is just right.


  1. You got to meet Edie. And Layla! I bet they were just as thrilled as you were.

  2. one of my moments of serendipity was meeting you. i've heard your name spoken often from my sweet friends polly & edie-i don't know why i didn't seek you out sooner. you are brave and beautiful, intelligent and funny and i enjoyed the very short time we spent together immensely. i'm glad you are home safe. and girl, you can write! xo

  3. Oh girl what an experience. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about you about a million times over. Why do those stinkin' insecurities always pop up? I would have struggled a bit too...I'm sure. Some amazing!

  4. You are the treasure, and you shined brightly. Your nich is uniquely, wonderfully you, you need none other to make you special.

    And there was no barging, so glad to have had your company and enjoyed our talks, especially the ones when I was fully awake. I am thankful you made it home safe and sound. Blessings to you and your family.

    Now, go plan you trip down here, baby goats are due in the Spring, a must see for the little ones! Sending love and wishes for true bliss your way.

  5. well, personally I'm glad you're back. I would cry if you had a Neesh. I would cry if you were all plotty and planny. I am already upset enough that you went to blissdom when I am still trying to figure out what that is. What's the point of a blog? I'm not sure exactly. But, the being real part is the part I love. That and the fact that you have claw hands and you don't care who knows it!
    Call me next time you meet up with Insecurity. I have an insecticide I'd be happy to use.
    Start blogging again soon. I miss the wintery colorful farmish profound updates.

  6. You had me at the salted rim of picture #3.

    Bliss on my friend, bliss on...

  7. why does Insecurity need an insecticide you ask?

    Why not.

    They both start with I.

    Sesame Street has left an indelible mark on my psyche.

    While you are being introspective, can you please figure out what you love so much about Valentine's Day Crafts In February?
    It haunts my dreams.

  8. I'm so blessed to have met you! I wish we had had more time to talk. I also struggle with insecurity and I totally say niche...nich. :)


  9. I love your spot in the blogging world, whatever name is given to it and however you pronounce that name. I missed your updates while you were away and am curious how your family did without you.

  10. oh my gosh, I am just realizing how much I missed your blog.
    And how much I hate that you and Patty hooked up.
    I feel like the friend who missed the wedding because she had the flu. Scratch that, the bachelorette party.

  11. i'm glad you gained so much...and isn't it funny that the real treasures are the connections, the beautiful people, not so much the seminars and writing theory?

    ps i say nich too. i shall cling to this pronunciation till the bitter (or happy) end.

  12. Welcome back home........I missed you!!

    emi j.

  13. So glad you made it back home, safe and sound.
    I came home and saw the drawings your kids drew for me and really struggled not to just break down and bawl. :-)
    I miss you already, Es. Come back soon now, ya hear?


  14. Blissdom...I'm with Ostriches Look Funny....still trying to figure out what it is or was. I'm learning...but I'm new. Very new that it's embarrassing...and I have claw hands too...chicken scratch is more like it! I've been a blog stalker....I's just that you capture my thoughts....put them on the screen and then I have nothing left to say! Maybe I should just send all my friends here and then I can go to bed without wondering why I didn't post anything!

    Love your candidness and your fresh look at life.

    Keep 'em comin! AND......go pick up this:

    Talented and Amazing Ellen over at Abounding Life gave this to me! I didn’t even know what an award was….total newbie here! How absolutely cool!

    Now I am to pass it along to some more stylish bloggers as well. Rules to play along..

    1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.

    2. Share 7 things about yourself.

    3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.

    4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

  15. you are brave and beautiful and vulnerable and perfectly enough.
    we are blessed to know you.
    blessed to be your friends, blessed and gifted by your words.

    this thing you've got going on here----it's the real deal.
    and you, my dear, are the treasure.

    it was such a pleasure meeting you.

  16. What a beautiful post, Shannan! It really was so wonderful to meet you, and cannot wait to read along... :-)

  17. Looking forward to seeing you and hearing more!

  18. No doubt they
    loved YOU...
    What a treat.
    Nothing better
    than being surrounded
    by simpatico souls.
    xx Suzanne

  19. Welcome home, Farmgirl!
    We missed you and your witty wonderfulness.
    You are one of a kind.
    No neesh needed.

  20. You bless me (us) with your blog. I enjoy reading every time you post, I enjoy your honesty and your grasp of God's love. Your journey is inspiring! Never underestimate your worth in the blog world.

    Tami C.

  21. Darn that insecurity! I'd seriously love to kick its butt sometimes. Keep on doin what your doin! I heart your blog and look forward to your posts. I love that you don't put on any false airs - what's the fun in life if everything is perfect and by the book?
    Hugs from Texas!

  22. you'd better not go messing things up with a neesh and all - law, that would be a crime. I'll sleep better tonight knowing you are home. It's like someone died around here without all your yammering. Welcome HOME.

  23. Are you kidding me? You are so awesome and you inspire me with every post! You compell me to know the Lord and have Him in my heart! I missed you too, glad you're home! :)

  24. Wondering what Blissdom is? Sounds quite intense whatever it is. And seems like blogging can get rather complicated. Personally, I love your blog just as it is...

  25. Could I just borrow this? Because you wrote the post I could have written . . . about the insecurity and all. I am bummed beyond belief that I didn't get to meet you in person this weekend.

  26. Thank goodness you are back. And still you. You are all you need to be. You are just right. Don't go changin to try and please me...I love you just the way you are.

    Ahem. Sorry. Little 70's/80's flashback. Love you!

  27. I'm glad you gained so much...and isn't it funny that the real treasures are the connections, the beautiful people, not so much the seminars and writing theory?

    Restaurant online ordering systems

  28. There are niche (I say nich too!) bloggers and life bloggers. I'm grateful you don't have a niche. Reading you blog is like picking up the phone and calling a best friend. We chat about our kids, what we fixed for dinner, the pretty little thing we picked up at the flea market, what we blew the budget on and how we feel. "knowing" you feels like having a long distance best friend. It's always comforting. Shannan you make life grand. Please don't change a thing.

  29. I just need to know, did they have donuts at this 'blissdom'. Because with a name like that they really should. Oh and I couldn't agree more with Miss Heather B, you are awesome... hey, I think I found your niche:)

  30. Great pictures! I'm proud of you for putting yourself out there. You are you and nobody else. You are your own neesh, nish, nick, nichay, Nick Lachey.........I digress. Squash that insecurity with a healthy dose of "what would I tell my kids". It helps me every time.

  31. You're BA--ACK! :) I have been wanting to hear your update and get your thoughts and impressions! I want to go next year (now that I know what it is.) :)

    Let's catch up this week, ok??


  32. i've read so many post-blissdom reports in the last day on different seems like a theme among all of them is everybody being true to themselves and authentic with their blogs. if that's what blissdom is about..sign me up for next year! i can't think of better advice not only with regard to blogging, but life in general. your words here are wonderful, thank you so much for sharing.

  33. I completely understood. I too would wonder why I am not the same...enough, and likely you would have been the one I would have been comparing myself too. So really we are all the same just watching from a different corner of the room. But hopefully I would have come full circle too and found my place, and realized it is always going to be me, and no one else. And that is what makes these little places of prose and pictures so special. I come here because you are here.
    Thank you for this blog Shannon.

  34. Welcome back, and thanks to you I wore my claws and talons proudly to church this morning and didn't care who knew it. It worked. Several people came up and said how pretty I looked. It seems like I should be ashamed that it took a stranger in Blogdom to get me over two simple insecurities, but that's really what we're here for isn't it? To share, to push forward, to love and encourage each other from a distance. Welcome back. You were missed.

  35. I think you said your dream would to be a writer here once. You seem to be living it already, and all that you do here is your very own niche. And so many people are loving what you do, me included. What a delight you are in this blogland!

  36. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your time at Blissdom! Glad you had a wonderful, meaningful trip. :)

  37. neesh nich! bah! you and this little space are a real gem to me.

  38. so....ummmmm just so ya're my new favorite person. that is all. ;)

  39. It looks like a fabulous time! Oh insecurity.... she is not a friend is she. I'm sure you were lovely and gracious and perfectly sweet just like I would picture you and most certainly enough! I sure do like your takeaways! xoxo

  40. first time here - and I'm so out of it I forgot the Blissdom thing was going on, so I forgot to be envious! Love your thoughts, love your honesty. You're a good writer. keep living a life worth blogging about and you won't have time for much insecurity :)

  41. What Edie said... :)

    You are perfect - there is such warmth in your manner and you immediately put people at ease - I enjoyed every minute we spent together, and every picture I took ;)

  42. I have just started reading your blog and am enjoying it:)
    I am a nashville girl and missed all the fun but it is great to know lots of women came to grow and learn and have fun.

  43. I'm amazed that with your following here at FPFG you would feel unknown and insecure at Blissdom! I love that you write about what you want here, instead of trying to fit into a niche! The real-ness of it all - makes us all want to keep reading. Glad you had an interesting, wonderful time!

  44. Oh...I really want to hit those insecure thoughts of yours with a bat.

    Please shake them off and simply be you. I would be so sad if you were someone else.

    Glad you had a fun time though!


  45. i'm so glad you know to not listen to that grumpy old voice of comparison when he starts speaking his mind. you are perfectly perfect exactly as is.

  46. Your words are perfect and so are you. It's official. I'm a fan.

  47. I am so out of the blog loop I had to google 'Blissdom'. Now I feel in your nich. Love that you went and love that you love.

  48. oh shannan - i just love you!

  49. Please don't change anything! You are who God intended and you share your heart so openly. Don't stop, don't doubt, don't worry...

  50. You are just right, Soul Sister. No neesh can contain you.

  51. Nah, niches are too confining! I'm glad you are just being your adorable self! Love your blog!

  52. It was so nice to meet you at Blissdom!
    You are beautiful.

  53. You are who you are. And so many love who you are. No comparisons. Just being you is enough.