Ambition Vs. Motivation

Good morning Dear Reader,

It’s interesting to think of ambition and motivation as separate things because before, I considered them being pretty similar. Over time though I realized that I have many ambitions. I dream big, I have a goal list a mile-long but it’s easy to dream. It’s hard to execute and stay on track. That’s where motivation comes in I think. Finding more things to motivate me extrinsically so that I can work on motivating myself intrinsically is the goal.

I had a very interesting Thanksgiving weekend. I spent it eating of course but also having an interesting conversation with my mother about my BDSM lifestyle.

For most people, explaining to your mother that you find being bound in rope therapeutic might be awkward. Or that having someone dictate to me tasks that I already know I’m supposed to do is helpful. Me however, it was very interesting to say the least.

I have been having a lot of conversations this week and weekend about what drives me, where my motivation and validation come from and that sort of thing. I suppose if I thought harder about it, I could trace things back to my childhood, adolescence, college years etc. that have led me to this path.

However, the “how I got here” is less important than the “why do I do this”, at least to me.

One thing I have been exploring is a concept I came across on Pinterest a few years ago. “Falling off the curve” wasn’t something I had come across before yet when I read that, it got me thinking. I was a straight A student for the most part up until college. I always felt like I was intelligent but somewhere in the last 10 years, the confidence of my intelligence and by extension my capability has wavered. I truly feel like I’ve fallen off the curve. I would see on TV the type of person who had their peak in high school and spent the rest of their life “reliving the glory days” and I was very afraid that would be me. I left home thinking “yes, now I can really grow, there’s nothing to hold me back” and yet since that moment, I felt like I worsened in terms of my physical health and mental endurance and too be honest: it sucks.

However, if nothing else, I’ve always been a problem solver. If I can isolate the key issues and solve them, I’ll be on my way to my full potential.

After picking apart my thought processes and actions I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t lack ambition or drive. I have big dreams and once I’m in the threshold of them I am able to complete many projects. However, my issue lies with my motivation. I’m not motivated to do the things I want to. That may be attributed to my depression.

In my school days I was would say that I was very intrinsically motivated. I was successful and creative and it felt like there was nothing I couldn’t do. However, as I realized later in life, I wasn’t intrinsically motivated at all. All of my motivation came extrinsically. As a child, the only way to get away from my problems was my art and academic success. I am a middle child and many times I would try to succeed as a means of getting a certain type of attention.

That does beg the question of whether I was every truly motivated or am I really a hard core escapist. But that’s a thought pattern for another day.

But I digress, now that I know where my motivation comes from I can do two things: utilize it or try to change it.

The issue now is: How do I use what I have inside me now to reach the place I want to be? Well one thing is I try to play upon my escapist nature. As opposed to success being the path to escapism, I now need to use escapism as a path to success. Being able to recycle that energy is challenging but not impossible.

Does it matter if motivation is intrinsic or extrinsic as long as action is being taken? I’m not sure.

That’s where BDSM comes in for me.

Having another person keep me on track by playing on the fact that my motivation is extrinsic is helpful beyond measure. People don’t realize how intimate BDSM relationships can be. To share your headspace, your vulnerability and have the person play upon and push you gently past your edges is something everyone who wants to truly grow should experience. Sometimes a simple “I need you to do this” or “you’re going to do this” from this specific, chosen, and dedicated person is enough. I’m not entirely certain why it makes a difference and it’s something I’ve been wondering. However, I suppose the method behind the madness isn’t as important if I’m being productive.

In anyway, this discovery is important to my next phase of growth. Rather than spinning my wheels wondering and berating myself, I can work on setting up methods to play upon this part of myself. At least until I have leveled up enough to develop intrinsic motivation.

Thank you for reading Dear Reader.

Much love and warm regards,

Shannon M.

Morning Thoughts: The New Me

Good morning Dear Reader,

In a random turn of events, I am returning to my previous job at the hotel on a part-time basis.

Now, I’ll still be indulging in my other career pursuits but I’ve decided to take this on as well.

I’ll be honest, I’m nervous.

Not just of covid concerns but also because of navigating the workplace. Prior to covid, I was stretched so thin I couldn’t think straight some times. I was a leader, a trainer, and a person everyone could depend on. While I enjoy taking on that role, what was beginning to happen was a lot of liberties were being taken by my superiors.

The problem with big companies is when you show you’re capable, you will be taken advantage of. Even though I’ve said as much, and even my teammates would agree, management had a habit of invalidating my concerns. Asking me for specific examples and squashing those concerns with no real solution.

Now, I understand that is a part of business.

However, since I’ve had time to myself for the first time since I entered the workforce at the age of 17, I’ve had time to reflect on what is important to me. As well, I have grown since then.

In making my decision to return, I also made the decision that I refuse to be that person before. The type to be squandered.

Admittedly, standing up for myself is something that isn’t difficult for me but rather is something that exhausts a lot of emotional labor.

I hope I won’t have to exhaust too much of it.

Wish me luck.

Much love and warm regards,

Shannon M.

Nightly Thoughts on Ambition

Good evening Dear Reader,

I read a comic strip that said “you die only once. You live everyday,” and that struck a cord with me.

As someone who has faced depression for over half my life, it was interesting to process.

You live everyday.

It’s tumbling in my head because there have been plenty of times in my life where I didn’t want to live. When things felt hopeless and I didn’t know what living felt like. I simply existed.

But now that I’m in a better place, I have found that my desire to live outweighs that negative voice telling me otherwise.

For the first time I actually want to be alive, despite the pain and the struggles that come with living with a depressed mind.

It’s both confusing and wonderful all at once.

But what I have struggled with the past few weeks is HOW I should go about living. Sometimes I get a million things done and I feel like “ah yes, this is how my life will be everyday forever”, then the next day has me waking up at 9am and doing 1 thing all day and I think “wow, I accomplished nothing, is this my life forever?”

I’m having a hard time finding a middle ground between a full on sprint and a leisurely walk.

What’s more, the idea of something being done everyday forever scares me.

In anycase, my brain says “okay, so we want to live. Congrats, what now?” And sometimes I don’t have an answer. I always have my dream that I’m working towards but I’m not sure how to become that version of me in my head. You know, the version of me that gets up at 5am, writes a novel a month, goes to the gym, does yoga and martial arts, cooks fabulous dinners and keeps a spotless apartment all the time while somehow managing 3 careers and building a poly lifestyle. I want to be that person.

Now, I’ve always been ambitious. Too be fair the version of me in my head doesn’t have to deal with depressive thoughts, have last minute plans come up or gets sick or tired. So I do have to account for “life” getting in the way of my perfect life.

That doesn’t mean that I can’t hold on to that image.

If I get to live everyday, everyday doesn’t have to be the same. My 100% today could be on a different spectrum than the 100% I give tomorrow. And that’s quite alright.

I’m trying to be more gentle with myself Dear Reader.

Have pleasant dreams and I hope you’re gentle with yourself as well.

Much love and warm regards,

Shannon M.

Nightly Thoughts: What does post-corona look like?

Good evening Dear Reader,

Tonight I’ve been pontificating on whether life will ever go back to how it was.

So many things have changed. Where is our society headed? In a larger and morbid sense, whole lives are gone. Families are hurting and that can’t be changed.

On a smaller sense, will socializing ever be the same? With social distancing in schools, are kids learning the social skills they need? If not, what sorts of effects will that have on the next generation?

Will masks always be a thing?

There’s so many questions in my mind that I try to suppress them. Pontificating on such matters only gets you so far and does little more than stress you out.

In any case, as a human I can’t help but adapt to the life of desensitization from hearing of a covid death, remembering to keep my mask with me, and walking a distance away from others. It’s become almost normal.

And isn’t that just odd?

How quickly we can adopt a new way of living. Just like that. Covid commercials, sinage, and even in rap music. It is permeating everything.

This is so different that what we are used to that we never saw it coming. What’s more, there’s no clear end in sight so we must adapt, adjust, and press onwards.

I don’t know what that looks like Dear Reader and that scares me. I’m sure it scares alot of people.

What comes next? What does “next” look like?

I’m not sure but whatever comes, I’m sure we’ll adapt to it.

Thank you for listening to my musings this evening.

Much love and warm regards,

Shannon M.

Nightly Thoughts: The Negative Voice

Good evening Dear Reader,

I went for a run today. For the first time all year. If nothing else, it certainly showed me how much I’ve let myself slip.

But what is more interesting is that when I’m exercising, there is a moment when things may be difficult and I think things like “you look stupid doing this” or “wow, it’s pretty pathetic you can’t run a mile”.

I have to really push past that because I realize not wanting to feel weak in that moment is what stops me from doing well.

I don’t know where that comes from exactly but it’s interesting to think about.

I remember when I was very into weight lifting, I thought “if I can’t be strong emotionally, I can at least be strong physically”. I’ve always been tender hearted so it makes me feel awful when there are things I physically can’t do. Again, I don’t know where this solidified line of thinking originated from.

The challenge for this week is to combat those negative thoughts and to allow myself to feel vulnerable yet press on anyways.

In anycase, I hope you’ve had a pleasant day Dear Reader.

Much love and warm regards,

Shannon M.

The Power of Music

Good evening Dear Reader,

I am just entertaining some nightly musings. How interesting is it that music is so powerful? Music typically elicits an emotional response for me. But sometimes, when I hear certain songs, it makes me feel things so deeply, it’s as if the composer plucked one of the strings of my heart.

Why is that?

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m pagan. I’m into spirituality, chakra, and the occult. All that good stuff. I recently got some sound bowls for my meditation. According to some of the things I’ve read, the sound from the bowl vibrates at a certain frequency that resonates and stimulates each chakra point. Furthermore, we each have our own unique energies.

I say all that to say: what if it’s the same with music? What if those special songs that make us feel so deeply in tuned are harmonious to our unique chakra? I don’t know if this has happened to you before but sometimes, I like a song so much and then I’ll show someone else and they’ll say “meh, it’s okay I guess”. In my brain I’m like how do you not FEEL what I feel. How can this song not make everyone feel this way?

Why is that? Perhaps my energy is more in tune with that song than them?

Another thing: how amazing is it that a combination of the utterance or the making of sound can produce such things as rhythm? That is magick. A wonderful and beautiful sort of magick that should humans partake in all around the globe.

This week, so far, I’ve been keeping up with my writing goals. I posted everyday this week, posted a poem every day this week (find them here), and finished chapter 6 of my upcoming novel. The thing I did this week is incorporate music into my days. I have a “working” playlist (find it here) and so I’ve been making it a point to put it on so that the feelings of productivity stir within me. Like the Pavlov effect. The more I listen, the more productive I want to be. When I thought about it, I have quite a few playlists that I use to elicit different feelings in me. I never tried to use the music to make me do an action (other then working out, I suppose) but this week, I hyper focused on using the music, especially when I started to feel less motivated as the day went on.

In any case, music is just so amazing and one of the few things that brings me great joy.

Why can we feel music? On the inside and the outside. You can’t touch it but you can feel it. You can feel it reverberate on your skin and that’s so crazy and amazing and cool.

Now I sure there’s a very elaborate scientific answer to all of my thoughts.

But outside the science, which tells us “how”, I wonder “why”? In the grand scheme of the universe, why? It’s wonderful and intriguing to think about.

Well, I will return to my musings Dear Reader. Thank you for allowing me to share them with you.

Much love and warm regards,

Shannon M.

Morning Thoughts

Good morning Dear Reader,

Today is another busy day but I’m ready for it ๐Ÿ˜Š

I have a lot of goals and it’s okay if no one else can see my vision. As long as I can see it, the rest will fall into place.

Today for example I need to:

-Create my YouTube Video for tomorrow.

-Create an ad for my gaming marketing.

-Finish Chapter 6 of my fantasy novel.

-Write a poem for my instagram.

-Follow up with potential clients.

-Reach out to local photographers for professional and boudoir photos.

-Chores, exercise, eating Etc.

A busy busy day and I’m all for it.

I just have to keep my mind clear and always focused on my goals. Once I figure out the “how” things will work out well enough.

A part of me is excited because the things I’m working on are ambitious so if I can manage to do them, it will be something I can be proud of. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

I’m someone who appreciates puzzles and challenges so perhaps the anxiety and fear is truly excitement in disguise.

I’m building a life where I can do what I want and what I like. It takes time, motivation, ambition and vision.

I have that in me, now I just have to manage my emotional state so I can handle all the things and it’ll work out.

I have faith in me because I choose to be amazing.

Back to the grind Dear Reader. Have a lovely day.

Much love and warm regards,

Shannon M.

Doing Things Your Way

Good evening Dear Reader,

For those that know me, you know I have always taken on a lot of things at once. Some might say I take on too much which is fair.

For me, my brain is like a plinko machine

Plinko Machine at the Math Museum NYC - YouTube

I’m have so many thoughts and ambitions sometimes it gets very overwhelming. Sometimes I break down into tears because of all the “static”. Sometimes it feels like it’s too much too bear.

That’s just my reality and I have made peace with that.

The trade-off is, and this may come off as conceited, I am an incredibly creative person. It doesn’t take much to inspire new ideas, business ventures, stories etc. They come very naturally to me.

There are so many things I want to do in life Dear Reader. There are so many possibilities. Right now, in this moment, I am at a low. It is as if all the coins have been dropped at the top of the machine and they are bouncing around trying to find the right slot.

And unfortunately, it is my burden to steep in this feeling until the dust settles. I want so much. I crave so much. I have all this raw ambition and ideas and too often, they are directionless.

I remind myself: it will be okay. It will always be okay.

But in this isolated moment, it is too much. Perhaps, I can account this feeling to being “too soft” or “too sensitive”. Well so be it. I’ve always been sensitive, and that’s how things will remain.

Though, Dear Reader, the point of this was to say…even though there are many things I want to accomplish, I know I can do them all if I try. Perhaps that is unrealistic but I have done many unrealistic things in my life. I’ve taken on more than I could chew many a time and somehow managed to seize everything I wanted.

So this time will be no different.

Just have to dodge the stress and dance around the thoughts and I’ll find a way that works for me. Thank you for allowing me to vent Dear Reader and I hope you enjoy your night.

Much love and warm regards,

Shannon M.

A New More Authentic Me Is on the Horizon

Good afternoon Dear Reader,

You might have wondered where I’ve been. Mostly rummaging through my mind and soul searching for what it is I really want.

After a few weeks of soul searching and encouragement from one of my partners, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have everything inside that I’ll need to succeed. Passion, ambition, motivation, and creativity.

In the past, I’ve focused too much on what will go wrong or why I can’t do a thing. Honestly, that is exhausting and leaves me with not doing anything out of fear. Well, and excuse my language, fuck the fear!

Very little can get accomplished by living a fear-fueled life. So instead, I’ve been focusing on taking steps forward despite the fear. I have to remind myself fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin.

I’ve been focusing on a few things recently.

  1. Writing.
  2. Gaming
  3. Adult Modeling

Writing: I’ve been planning out my goals and dreams for writing. Not only do I want to write books but I also want to help others reach their writing goals. Whether that’s editing their site, helping them with a book, or taking a bit off their shoulders by contributing to their blog or website.

Gaming: I recently renewed my passion for games and started streaming on Twitch. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it but I’m also trying to build a business out of it. I just started my YouTube channel today.

Lastly, and the most controversial is Adult Modeling. I have found a love for taking Boudoir and bdsm-themed photos. I am very passionate about sex positivity and female empowerment. The form that I have chosen to express that is through modeling. Though I’m not where I want to be just yet, I am having a fantastic time. For me, my sexuality has always been something that has either been suppressed, controlled or in worse cases: violated. There is an amazing freedom in controlling how my body is seen and expressing that sexuality. In honor of that space, I’m starting a sex/bdsm positive blog. Though it is in it’s beginning stages, I’m very excited for this phase of my life.

Too many times in my short life, I have let others decide things for me. I have allowed others to control not only my emotions but also my body.

Enough is enough.

I chose to live my life without shame and without apology. I’ve never been the type to “hide” myself but often I will maneuver myself and my personality so that other people are more comfortable. I am an expert at contorting myself to fit other people’s puzzles. After a few years it begs the question: what about my own puzzle? Have I contorted myself so much to the point where I don’t even know that I am anymore?

I think not.

The conclusion I’ve arrived at is that if I live my truth, the people who are for me will gravitate to me.

Your vibe attracts your tribe

This is the truth that I’m holding more closely now.

In any case, I hope this isn’t too shocking for you Dear Reader. If it is, I appreciate the times we spent together. If it isn’t, I look forward to sharing more of my truth with you.

Much love and warm regards,

Shannon M.

Acceptance vs. Agreement

Good evening Dear Reader,

I apologize in advance, for there are some heavy topics on my mind this evening.

We live in a time of “if you’re not with me, you’re against me”. The “cancel culture” which is so interesting to think about. I am a person who loves a healthy and respectful debate because it helps broaden my perspective on things. As well, I grew up with the phrase “agree to disagree” which has seem to have been pushed under the rug within the last 10 years or so.

Yet these days there seems to be a connection with agreeing with someone in order to accept them and I don’t think that’s an accurate connection to make.

I for one, don’t mind if other people disagree with my truth. Their disagreeing with my truth, struggle, and life choices at no point invalidates me. I am still me. My life experiences have led up to the person I am now and that person is valid. Someone outside of myself who disagrees with that, doesn’t change my truth or my being.

That being said, being able to treat me with love, compassion, and kindness despite our differences, despite our conflicting truths is far more important than trying to convert the person to my set of beliefs, morals or my personal truth.

As a small example, let’s take religion. I used to be a devote Christian years ago. I have a family member who (when discussions on religious differences come up) asserts that their Christian beliefs are THE truth. The ultimate, undeniable truth and I disagree with that. I respect that person. I respect their beliefs. I love and appreciate them and support them at a distance while maintaining my own boundaries. At the same time, my disbelief in their “the truth” does not invalidate them. It does not disrespect them. It does not change what “the truth” is for them. This goes both ways.

There are a lot of sensitive subjects in society right now that were not as talked about 5, 10, and 20 years ago.

The problem is there is a very fine line between personal freedom and respect but the definition of respect has changed a lot in recent years. Consider the following:

A person who believes that depression isn’t real but still comforts their depressed spouse.

A person who believes in two genders yet still supports those who don’t adhere to that.

A person who believes in generalizations about a particular race yet still treats people outside of their own race with dignity and kindness.

Are these people terrible, awful people?

I don’t think so. Yet, our culture has dictated that these types of people should have their lives ruined and demonized. Now, to be fair, yes there are mean-spirited people out there. There are bigots, and sexists, and racists and people who are so tied up in their own way of thinking, they lose compassion for others. That is a very real reality. However, that is not the case for every person and disagreeing with someone (even on things close to your heart and existence) shouldn’t make someone your enemy.

Now, some might say that disagreeing is where the actual harm is done as thoughts lead to actions and so on and so forth.

But I challenge that. We have many thoughts, generalizations, beliefs, etc. but that doesn’t mean that we all act on those all the time.

The example I give is the topic of abortion. Just because I would not personally get one (and of course this is easy to say because I’m not in the position) that doesn’t mean I think that everyone woman on Earth should also not get them. Now, that’s not to say that I think that falls on the “right or wrong” scale. Just an example.

Or, for instance, I don’t think institutionalized Christianity is correct on a fundamental level. That doesn’t mean I will go and try to convert every Christian I meet to my way of thinking. That also doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t support my Christian friends and family in their religious adventures, as long as it didn’t impose on me personally. For example, during family prayer, I would remain silent and bow my head, but I would no longer sign the cross after. I am paying respect to their tradition while maintaining a healthy boundary.

We each live in our own little universe but the thing is: we have to share this Earth and this space with 7 billion other little universes. Interacting with other people is always difficult because:

  1. You’ll never express yourself to the person 100% the way you want to 100% of the time. Thoughts to not beam into another person’s brain. They go through 2 filters: the medium of communication (written or verbal) and the filter of perception within the mind of the other person. Depending on the person’s mind state, beliefs, traumas, etc. your message may not be received in the way you intended.
  2. Not everyone will see things your way all of the time. Even if your truth is THE truth for you, that doesn’t mean that it’s THE truth for everyone. Now it may be a human thing, or perhaps just an American thing but there is this desire to make other people outside of yourself see the same truth as you. There is a negative feeling associated when people don’t see it. Like if you shared your favorite snack with someone and they actually think it’s disgusting. We feel sad or even upset or we might urge the person to try it multiple times, etc.

In any case, people are different and with those differences come uniqueness, pain, debate, solidarity, disagreements, and the like. That’s something that we have to accept as individuals.

Now, to be clear, if the case was that one person believed I should die and wished to do bodily harm to me, that is an obvious problem because that then infringes on my immediate life and jeopardizes my life force.

However, it becomes less obvious in more specific and less physical examples. I have suffered from depression for quite some time now. If someone tells me, they don’t believe depression exists is that doing harm to me? Even if they treated me with compassion during my depressive episodes? Do I need to have their acceptance?

I think not. People are free to have different thoughts and beliefs than me.

I think actions are more important than the thoughts and although intentions do matter, sometimes the physical actions outweigh the metaphysical thoughts behind it.

The more personal an issue is to the person, the more they are willing to fight and defend that issue. Things like race, gender, and sexuality are so personal to a person because they are things that lie outside our control. Those are things that people are willing to put their blood, sweat and tears into defending.

There’s nothing wrong with that in any way.

At the same time, even with these sensitive topics, where do we draw the line between acceptance and agreement? Is there a line to be drawn at all? Does disagreement inherently mean hatred and bigotry?

These are the questions on my mind the more I look around me. The more I observe, the more questions I have.

What do you think? If you care to answer, that is.

I hope these topics brought you no harm, dear reader, as they were asked with genuine curiosity and without malice.

Much love and warm regards,

Shannon M.

A personal tale on living.