Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

A Book Once Bought is Never Wasted

I am a hopeless book buyer. I come alive between the shelves of a bookstore, searching for hidden gems, and books which leap off the shelf as if summoned by some inner quest. The result is shelves overflowing with books, many of which I’ve yet to read.

In the last couple of years, I’ve had some of these books suddenly tumble from a shelf, as if magnetized by either a need or a readiness to embrace what lies between its pages.

It happened again yesterday when Sue Monk Kidd’s When the Heart Waits fell into my grasp, answering a quest I was unaware I’d begun. At first, I was put off by the overtly Christian direction she discussed in the introduction, but knowing it’s arrival in my hands was no accident, I turned to Chapter 1 and began reading.

Soon, I was engrossed in her words and saying “oh yeah!” to myself with every other sentence. I discovered, like many authors, she writes from what she knows, not from the traditional doctrine I’ve come to associate with Christianity in particular and organized religion as a whole. Her journey has taken her down many roads and the fullness of her experiences comes through in how openly she discusses her own challenges and lessons.

Learning the True Meaning of Waiting

I have to admit, I don’t even remember buying the book. I can’t even tell from the tag where I might have purchased it. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is it made it into my library and waited patiently until fate, circumstance or some other force deemed the time right for me to find answers in its pages.

In the first couple of chapters, Ms. Kidd talks about the value of waiting, comparing the process of a caterpillar waiting in its cocoon until the time is right to emerge as a butterfly. I realized as I read (part of the time, in the middle of a crowded restaurant where I easily tuned out the noise of other diners and wait staff) that the time between quitting my job in December of 2013 and now has, in it’s own way been my period of waiting. In that time, I’ve tried many things as a means only to earn money. I’m not ashamed to admit most of them have failed. What has worked, surprisingly enough is when I allow work to flow to me; allow myself to be open to whatever the Universe has in store for me. Only then am I brought together with people who are important to my own spiritual development, and thus, my growth and success.

Life by the Numbers

Talking to friends last night, we got on the subject of year numbers. When I quit my job, I was coming to the end of a “4” year and embarking on a “5” year. Creative Numerology provides the following regarding a “4” year:

Whatever you want to happen, you have to make it happen. A strong Will is needed. However, it is in the 4 year that we realize that our Will is not free at all because we have repressed it with a limited vision of our potential. 4 can make you feel restricted and boxed-in by circumstances that really are ‘beyond your control’, and knowing how you feel is the only way to know what to do next. It is from your feelings that creativity is born and, thankfully, your experiences along the down-to-Earth 4 year road will make emotional denial almost impossible.

I can attest to the fact that I did a lot of soul-searching and talking to people in my healing class before taking what was then, and remains even in hindsight a huge leap of faith. I left a comfortable if stagnant life as a corporate controller to enter the blinding uncertainty which accompanied following my passion as a writer. Three years later, a look at my finances would render this experiment/experience a dismal failure, but is it really? I’m happier, healthier, have 3 novels in progress, have resurrected my memoir and a children’s book I wrote years ago. I’ve expanded my knowledge on a variety of subjects and joined communities of people whose thinking complements mine. My stress level is lower and I’ve released over 20 pounds. How is this a failure?

Creative Numerology’s explanation of the “5” year includes the following paragraph which certainly defined my choices in 2014:

Regardless of what is happening globally, the world is opening up for you now, and is inviting you to experience it to the fullest. Yes, experience itself is what is on offer this year. In order to receive it, and in order to retain your freedom, some mistakes may have to be made. Remember that a mistake becomes experience when its lesson is learned and not repeated. Allow your mistakes to evolve into expertise. Alexander Graham Bell, for instance, invented the telephone by mistake. He was actually trying to invent a hearing aid. One of the biggest mistakes you could make this year is giving up on something before you have given yourself the opportunity to experience it in a state of freedom. You do not always have to lose what you have in order to get what you want. Guilt, disguising itself as fear, makes you feel this way.

Reflection and Appreciation

I certainly had my share of false starts in 2014. That was the year I tried AWAI’s copywriting course and after several months of slogging through it, I discovered it just wasn’t for me. It was also the year I completed the NaNoWriMo novel I’d begun in 2014; the novel which has now been revised a couple of times and will soon be picked apart and spreadsheeted to make sure the flow, the characters, and the energy really work. It was the year I began my second NaNoWriMo, A Dubious Gift which I’ve yet to either revise or spreadsheet. And it was the last year I did any real work for my former employer.

It was a year of learning what didn’t work; a year of trying hard to accept that doing something just for the money was doomed to failure, yet continuing to try until my ego was bloody from the effort. But it was also a year when I was able to discard many unworkable options.

From 2014 until now, I have certainly spent a lot of time waiting. Waiting for inspiration. Waiting for something to hit me which would actually be revenue generating. Waiting to understand my true passion. Waiting to figure out which book I should endeavor to publish first.

Emerging from the Cocoon

But mixed in with all of the waiting, I found my own essence. I continued to learn about accepting the actions of others without judgment or personalization. I learned that my parents followed their own path, inexplicable to me, but necessary to them. I learned that sharing my struggles to understand, to forgive, to accept, and to heal would actually help me achieve all of that and more. And it would allow me to do what had, up to that point, escaped me. I was able to help others struggling with the same kind of trauma and let them know they weren’t alone in all of the emotions they were feeling. Nor were they ever to blame.

All of this waiting may have drained my financial resources, but it has been filling my spiritual reservoir at a steady pace. I have not always expressed my passion and now I see there are times to simply allow it to flow. So many times I had an idea for a blog post but neglected to jot it down somewhere, and it never came to fruition. I see now those things were simply meant for my personal growth and not for sharing.

So I say to you now, in the immortal words of Simon and Garfunkel: Slow down, you move too fast. Got to make the morning last. Just kickin’ down the cobblestones. Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.

There is a time and a season for movement, and there’s a time and a season for waiting and resting and listening. All too often, we honor one and not the other. The result is not just imbalance but a failure to be the whole and complete person we were meant to be. If you need a little help finding the power to control less and be more, I highly recommend Ms. Kidd’s book, Where the Heart Waits.

With Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for serendipitous book falls.
2. I am grateful for the time I’ve spent waiting.
3. I am grateful for friends who have the right words at the right time to guide me on my journey.
4. I am grateful for missed opportunities.
5. I am grateful for abundance; epiphanies, knowledge, resources, friendship, dancing, fat release, joy, love, passion, purpose, peace, humor, harmony, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

I look forward to your comments.

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