"…and behold, it was VERY good."

When was the last time YOU gazed delightedly upon something you created and said, “That’s really good! Daayummn, I’m kind of clever/talented/gifted/brilliant! Well done, me.You worked hard on this and it rocks!”

I’m guessing you dont do that very often. Why? Because a lot of us, especially women, are programmed to be our own worst detractors. We poison our own wells with criticism, negativity,and self-loathing. Stirred in with a generous dose of guilt. Not only that, but we usually think that its not right to praise ourselves or to take pride in our own achievements. We could do to take a few tips from the all-time greatest creator and artistic genius. God.

If you believe in God ( and doesn’t necessarily have to be the same God that i believe in), then you probably have no objection to my describing God worshipfully as – the greatest designer EVER. I see evidence of that everywhere, in the gentle perfection of a frangipani flower, the majesty of a starfilled sky, the feel of golden sand beneath my feet, even the gurgle of a happy baby. But you know, when God was done with making everything, even He took a moment to savor it. To say, ‘Wow, I made that and its beautiful! This work really is glorious!”

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth…and God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good.” The Book of Genesis.

He didnt say, ‘ohmigosh Antarctica is just sooooo bland with all that white, I knew I should have sprinkled a bit of colour there…and what was I thinking when i made cockroaches?…and the moon? Its just so dead. Messy. Incomplete. Not even a hint of happiness on it anywhere, talk about a failure…’ No. He delighted in what he had made. All of it.

How about you? Look around you – what achievement are you particularly proud of? What nifty little thing are you really good at that you should pat yourself on the back for? Is there something that you worked hard on and the result was splendid? And Im not talking about finding the cure for cancer or earning a million dollars last month. ( but if you did that – then heck, shout it from the rooftops! woohoo!) No, I mean the regular, everyday kinda stuff. I will never forget the day i first made soap. To take completely unrelated, mundane ingredients, combine them together and end up with something completely new – that you could actually bathe with – was a thrilling experience. I did that. Me, Lani the domestically challenged, I made soap. And it was very good. I get the same feeling of achievement when i make pickles. Or try a new brownie recipe and the Fab5 love it. Sometimes, I come across an essay I wrote at Uni, a story I published in a Lit Journal somewhere, read it and think, “Ohmigosh, did I really write that? That’s good. I didnt know I could write like that!” Its rare. But when I do allow myself to ‘check out’ my own handiwork with a generous eye – it feels good.

Now its YOUR turn! Tell us what you’ve made/created/achieved lately that you’re proud of.

Everyone who leaves a comment on this post, will go into the draw to win one of TWO sets of coconut oil soap, lotion and body oil from Coconut Queen Products. ( aka made by ME!) Leave a comment before July 12th when the winners will be announced. You can see some pictures of stuff I used to make here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30957304@N08/page2/

Frangipani Coconut Oil from Samoa. (is heavenly stuff.)

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14 comments

  1. As a young mother I often found myself second guessing myself and my abilities recently when I decided to return back to uni (last year). That sinking feeling you get at the bottom of your stomach when you start to feel guilty about doing something for yourself, well yeah that's what I felt & I think that feeling never really faded away (it was always there). But now as I look back on what I have done, all the hours I have put into it.. It's all worth it in the end. I am more happier than I've ever been and I truly believe that giving myself that opportunity (to return back to study) has made me a happier mother.

  2. The best (although at times I think the worst) thing I've "created" lately (and thank you God for your assistance) are my children. All three unique creations, all mine. And despite my complaints and whines every day, they are all beautiful. They are intelligent, funny, independent, headstrong, not to mention disobedient, prone to violence and stubborn. I like to think they possess these qualities partly due to their mother – though that's probably all BS and all I've given them is the quality of being disobedient brats. But they are mine and I love them, and in extremely unbiased opinion, they are the best things I've ever "created".

  3. Thank you for your thoughts Anonymous – i can defn say that even not-so-young mothers are always second guessing themselves! I think we struggle with guilt alot – particularly when we choose to do something that seems more like a 'for myself' thing rather than 'for the kids' thing. But like you concluded, it is all worth it, a happier mother defn makes for happier children.

  4. Coconut Girl – I would love to meet your three unique creations! I do so enjoy reading your descriptions of them and your crazy journey as their mother. Independent, headstrong, stubborn and prone to violence – sounds EXACTLY like my Bella Beast.

  5. my greatest achievement of late is being about to do a roast to perfection…and everyone who eat it, are in awe at my awesomeness (self-praise much?) and keep asking that they get invited so I can cook it again. I know! Me: cooking!=edible…a personal feat in itself!

  6. Ok – am waiting for an invitation to yr next roast dinner! I confess, I have never roasted anything that worked. I am in awe of others who can do it. Like you though, i never cease to be amazed when i actually cook something thats nice/edible. I grew up an idiot in the kitchen so anything that works now is SUCH a bonus.

  7. Two things – first, as a mother, it goes unsaid that I, like coconut girl, have created two mahvelous little girls. My eldest went to her first school visit the other day and I went to listen to the principal talk about things they will learn in their first term at school, and things we can do. Well… I was proud. And I was proud because my lil girl can do most of those things already and is so ready for school. And I realised something. That, although we have been told many times that we are good parents, we just brushed it off. We struggle like everyone else. But that day, in that talk from the principal, I realised, actually, we have done (are doing) a very good job. That felt good.2nd thing … I've recently learned to knit. And I can knit! I can – I'm nearly finished making a wrap/shrug thing. And I will probably wear it!! I love it every time I get it out to work on… this thing I have made is beautiful!Can I make a note to the others' comments above … when you make little comments to yourself like 'self-praise much?' and 'that's probably all BS' … then you're taking away some of your own pride and putting yourself down — would you say that to a friend who was telling you something she was proud about? I challenge you to leave it out and truly own your pride. 😉

  8. Awesome contest…. I am proud that I have taught myself to cook (mom didn't cook much) using fresh, local, and organic ingredients whenever possible. I make a mean breakfast and everyone eats lots of veggies in the morning.

  9. For years, I would look in the mirror and tell myself how it would be nice to lose some weight. Ten months ago I finally decided to get serious about it so I made some lifestyle changes. Today, I am 40kgs lighter and now I look at my body in the mirror and go, "Daayummn!" lol… Ok I don't actually say that, but it is nice to notice the physical changes. I still have some way to go before I reach my goal weight so I'll just keep on keepin' on. I may not have created this body but I am definitely working hard at reshaping it. Well done, me 🙂

  10. I used to write poetry all the time, but I eventually started not to do it as much. Recently, I started it up again. I am so proud of myself because not only is it a way for release, but I think I'm pretty good at it. (not to toot my own horn but *toot toot*) :DI writing and I'm proud of the things that I put down on paper.

  11. Beyond Normal Mom – Thank you sharing that. I think there is a LOT of satisfaction and joy to be found in cooking, especially for our loved ones. To see them enjoy a homemade meal thats healthy and nourishing – a VERY good feeling. Liz – you rock! 40kgs in ten months? DAAAYUUM go girl! Congratulations on your hard work and comittment to a healthier, happier you. MissTM – This post is all about tooting our horns, loudly and proudly. They say if we dont use our gifts/talents, then we lose them. I often think women can get so busy taking care of everybody else and just surviving that we put some of our special gifts on a back burner…in a deep dark closet…and never bring them out, dust them off and let them shine. Good on you for writing poetry again!Spanna Anna – Knitting has always been for me, one of those deeply mysterious skills (like repairing computers riddled with viruses or making your own butter after first milking a cow) that scream 'Im reeeeeally difficult and idiots like Lani will never be able to understand me hahaha!' I am in serious awe that you are knitting. Especially since they knit in Little House on the Prairie and we all know that i aspire to be Laura Ingalls Wilder. I'll throw in a brownie recipe AND oka making lessons if you show me some knitting magic?!

  12. haha – im so fired. I saw on FB that u were announcing winners etc and i rushed here wondering if i commented yet, eager muchos? hahaanyhow – roast – i dont do recipes- its al about timing, lol – slow cook roast in coverd dish for ages at medium heat (: then add plenty of salt at the end with some extra oil, remove cover to grill and voila! u got crackling too. eh- sei uma faamakala lelei aku le mea Coco Girl – or just ask your momma! heh

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