Old Habits Die Hard & A Link-Up

It’s that ole devil again.

You know, the one called Doubt?


I don’t know about you, friend, but of late, I’ve feel as though my soul is under constant siege.  Assailed from all directions by those scheming deviants known as fear and self destruction.  Tell me I’m not the only one who goes through periods of ups and downs where my insecurities are concerned?

Here I thought I was finally (FINALLY) letting go of the things which have been holding me back all these years.  Taking (tentative) steps forward.  Headed toward what was hopefully a better place.  Then, boom boom pow.  Out of nowhere, I find myself repeating old patterns, holding desperately clutching onto negative beliefs, letting the opinions and words of others derail my self worth.


Old Habits Die Hard & A Link-Up | Sheela WritesOld Habits Die Hard & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

Dress, gifted (eShakti) (use code “sheelagoh” for 10% off your order) | Suede Heels (Ami Clubwear) | Purple Dior Sunnies, Embellished Black Leather Collar & Rings (thrifted) | Metallic Champagne Leather Cuff, gifted (Unearthed)

Tell me that happens even to the most optimistic of us?

It’s such an awful feeling, isn’t it?  For those of us who are members of this club, it’s a sickening sensation in the pit of the tummy.  A steady inability to breathe.  A sensation of moving in a comatose fashion may or may not be present.

Is that how it feels for you?

When doubt gets the upper hand?

It is for me.

And I’m fully aware that should I let it continue, those feelings of doubt and insecurity would (very happily) stay.  The problem is when the universe smacks us with these old behaviors, it’s just so easy, so comfortable to slip into those familiar territories of, “But I was doing so well” and “Why me?

Old Habits Die Hard & A Link-Up | Sheela WritesOld Habits Die Hard & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

So easy to slide in.  So hard to climb out.


What do I we do?  What can we do to pull ourselves out of this rut called doubt?  Because it is a rut.  It isn’t permanent but it most certainly will stay for as long as we allow it to take over our minds and our hearts and our spirits.

I suppose a good start would be to believe that I am worthy of my own desires?  That it’s quite alright to say no sometimes.  Or to say yes.  To be seen.  And to be loved for what is seen.  To hear the words, “please” and “thank you“.  To articulate my deepest needs without shame or embarrassment or a sense of guilt.  In spite of the knowledge that guilt is an inevitable beast in my life, no matter that it’s more often than not both irrational as well as unfounded.  And to have my deepest needs met.

To have time to think about it.  And not be rushed.  To have a chance to show what I’m made of and not be assessed, judged, found wanting, then compartmentalised and forgotten.  Worthy of a second chance.  Of changing my mind.

In truth, I have no bloody idea if any of these thoughts will actually take root or work.  Or if they’re naught but a futile move on my part to achieve some semblance of a placebo-induced state of contentment.  But I do know that if I don’t at least attempt something, I’ll let doubt run me to the ground.  Eviscerate my (already paltry) sense of self-worth.  And lose my spirit in the process.  And I can’t have that.  I really can’t afford it.  It’s far too costly an experience, and I know you know I don’t mean dollars and cents.

Old Habits Die Hard & A Link-Up | Sheela WritesOld Habits Die Hard & A Link-Up | Sheela WritesOld Habits Die Hard & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

So, the glossing over stops right now.  When shit hits the fan and I’m feeling out of sorts, I’m going to accept it’s happening.  Rather than digging a hole in the ground and pretending everything is alright.  I know, I know, what I just said reads as being super flaky and near impossible but then again, that counsel is the core of all healing mantras.  No longer will I deny what’s occurring because the power to change the status quo comes from firstly accepting it.  Oh, I’m certain I’ll rant, and I’ll cuss, and there’ll be several hissy fits.  I can’t believe this is happening again.  WTF.  This sucks.  I’m so humiliated.  I need to punch someone. F*** f*** f***!!!!

I accept that I, that we can’t instantly hop, skip and jump from pain to happiness.  I may be optimistic but certainly not delusional (yet).  However, I firmly believe we can indeed go from pain to happiness, consciously, and that we’re in control of the speed with which this transpires.  Yes, we can, but there are steps, a healing sequence.  One that differs from soul to soul, yes, with the cornerstones being that we begin by respecting ourselves through looking at the pain.  We permit ourselves to feel the pain.  We look forward to change.  And we allow the healing to begin.

Really, really.

With those words, I’m ever so delighted to present to you today, the September edition of Project Sister Act and five visual stories of how we (women spanning teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s) thumb up our noses at societal expectations when it comes to the clothes we wear.  In this month’s showcase, we’re all dolled up (quite literally) in the maxi dress.  Now, classic though the general silhouette of a maxi may be, I think you’ll discover that we’ve all gone above, and far beyond mundane, predictable or boring, in how we’ve portrayed our looks.

Eve (the world according to eve)

The World According To Eve

Is it any surprise both Eve and I love and relate to Belle most out of all the Disney womenfolk?  I mean, the opinionated feisty temperament and bookworm tendencies notwithstanding, of course, cough.  Which is why I absolutely adore how Eve has achieved a contemporary Belle vibe, without in the least bit appearing costumey or kiddish, in that heavenly concoction of a dress.  Tulle and embroidery and lace, oh my.

Elizabeth (lizzie in lace)

Lizzie In Lace

Does anyone else feel as though they’re gazing upon a real life princess?  Seriously, Kate, move over.  I don’t know about you but Elizabeth constantly always reminds me of Rapunzel.  With the golden locks and dreamy dresses and a world wherein unicorns, rainbows, and turrets exist.  And this pink dress she’s got on here is no different.  It’s pretty, she’s pretty.  It’s pink, I like pink.  And there’s embroidery.  We love embroidery.

Vanessa (what would v wear)

What Would V Wear

And the prize for best photo ever goes to Vanessa!!  Just take a moment to soak it all in.  I did.  From the coronet of flowers around her hair to that gorgeous contrast the field of weed and grass creates as a backdrop to that ethereal dress.  Which, incidentally, is a clever pairing of peachy pink maxi with creamy cropped sweater.  Peer a little closer and behold in the glory of those lush pleats of the dress.  Delightful.

Me (sheela writes)

Old Habits Die Hard & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

Me, in my maxi.  Never did I think those words would come together in the one same statement.  Being vertically challenged at 5ft, I’ve steered clear of lengthier hemlines (and billowy skirts) my entire life but this piece … it called to me.

Anna (anna’s island style)

Anna's Island Style

Regal.  That’s the only word I can think of to describe Anna’s gown (yes, gown).  It beckons to mind the rustling of taffeta skirts, and gentle clinking of champagne flutes, and the resplendence of a ballroom.  And whilst it is indeed a beauty, the story behind Anna’s inspiration and reason for donning this spectacular green piece, is even more poignant.  Sweet and poignant.  Go have a read.

And that, my friends, is Project Sister Act for September 2016.  My heartfelt thanks go to each and every single woman in this line-up.  You are loved.

Don’t forget to link up.

Love, Sheela

Finally made the transition to AV and am now on YouTube as well as Snapchat (sheela.goh), would adore your support through subscribing to my channel/adding my snaps. 

Pretty please?

p/s my photos are by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.


32 Replies to “Old Habits Die Hard & A Link-Up”

  1. Doubt really should be considered a 4 letter word, I think.
    And who doesn’t deal with it at one time or another?
    But having the right people and support system around us can make the hugest different in my opinion—-life is too hard to go it alone!!
    Don’t the balloons make you feel like a kid again? What a great idea!!
    ps…love the dress—it may be a maxi, but the plaid and neckline make it so flippin’ cool!!


    1. So right, Jodie, DOUBT really ought to be a foul 4-letter word. It’s such a crucifying sort of word. You know, when I shot these images, I had no idea what a big symbol those balloons would represent in the larger scheme of things 🙂 don’t you just love it when things turn out so serendipitously? And yes, a million times yes to all you said about the dress. It was such a classic cut but the plaid AND pockets made it instantly fresh, now.


  2. Wow – I think this may be my favorite Project Sister Act post yet. You all look Amazing. Eve’s dress is so, so gorgeous. I love your unique plaid maxi dress – I don’t believe I have seen anything like it before. The balloons made these photos so fun. I had no idea you are shorter than me by 1.5″. The way you carry yourself I always imagined you were taller than my short self. No wonder we are both in sky high heels all the time. 🙂


    1. Doesn’t everyone just look amazing here? I think “dreamy” would be the most perfect descriptive to use 🙂 and yes, I’m really on the shorter side of things. I need a little step ladder to even reach the top cabinets in the kitchen GRIN


  3. Oh, Sheela! You are way too sweet! I had so much fun with this project. Thank you for including me! And can we talk about how amazing you look? You styled that dress so perfectly!




    1. You’re absolutely right, Rachel, hope. The lifting of spirits. Optimisim. Perhaps even the letting go of negativity? And yet, I had no idea what I was going to write when I took these photos. I think it was all meant to be, don’t you?


  4. Dearest Sheela, thank you so much for inviting me to take part in this. It was wonderful to have the excuse to bring out this vintage piece. Your dress is a clever mix of comfort and style – and the styling with those balloons is the fun and optimism you need after those moments of doubt and worry. We all have difficult times, but being an adult gives us the skills to cope and you’ve shown you have those by the bucketful.
    Have a great weekend x


    1. I’ve been meaning to thank you, Anna, for being a part of Project Sister Act. And to let you know how much fun it always is when we get together to collaborate so here’s to loads more joint ventures xoxo


  5. I think we all doubt ourselves and where we are headed, if whatever we are attempting to do is possible, if what we do makes sense, if we are good enough… Yes, I know the questions well! 🙂 What’s important is to pick yourself up and move on. And I think you do that, partly probably by writing about it…

    Fabulous dress, shoes, & balloons! I always love your Project Sister Act posts – it’s so fun to see women of all different ages interpret one theme.

    Thanks for the link up & have a wonderful weekend!


    1. Writing helps me get things off my chest which in turns helps to clear my mind. It’s so hard, isn’t it? When doubts reign and one can’t help but feel down, discouraged, despondent. Yes, writing and sharing my thoughts are my go-tos when it comes to fighting off those fears 🙂 and thank you, Andrea, for always taking the time to read my (lengthy) posts and leave comments. You are so appreciated.


  6. I think that even the most successful people have experienced thoughts similar to yours, Sheela. I think the key to pick yourself up again and get toing is to believe in yourself, stay positive and maybe seek the help from yoga or meditation.
    I take the balloons as symbol of a free sprit that should help you to rise against dark times and look fabulous that you are


  7. Hi Sheela! Thanks for linking up with my No Rules Weekend Blog Party! You’re going to have to delete my linkup to your party..I read the instructions after I linked up. I wish I had a fashion post to share. Everyone looks so nice! I especially love the featured photo of Anna in that green dress, and the photos of yourself with the balloons are fantastic 🙂


  8. Wow you are rocking that long dress – thanks for those inspiring words!!!

    I am doing the second installment of my collaboration with fashion-forward brand STAYING SUMMER this week at blog & I know you’ll like it – don’t forget to drop by & let me know what you think!

    Happy Wednesday!



  9. Doubt can be so ruinous can’t it? It creeps in and like a limpet can take hold and never let go. So difficult to break the cycle. But understanding we all have a place in the world, that we’ve all worthwhile is so important to see and to encourage in others.
    And this post is so beautifully encouraging as always when it’s a project sister act one. Every participant is looking so radiant and I can honestly say each dress needs to be in my wardrobe. And the balloons, Sheela, was inspiring. From now on, whenever I think of you, I shall see that photo of your striding forth, head held high, balloons aloft, skirt swishing. Wonderful.
    Can’t wait for next month’s!



  10. I hope I don’t offend you if I say these feelings never get to me in such a way that it influences my happiness. I blame my happy childhood and life for that. Not a lot has gone wrong in my life and I consider myself one of the happy few who can say that. I can say I think I am not creatives and I can only style clothes a little bit. But not like you can. It amazes me that you can doubt yourself when you are so amazing, so creative. In writing and in dressing. In putting yourself on your blog every time and being so successful. Amazing you doubt yourself.
    Here is a thought: why don’t you join a Japanese laughing group. You know the ones? Where everybody just gathers and start laughing even though there isn’t anything funny? It really, really works. And all the laughing works so healing for your body and mind. That is scientifically proven.
    How about it? Healing through laughter.


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