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

What a Difference A Day Makes on Perspective

Yesterday I offered a brief (if almost 1000 words can be considered brief) summation of the last 3 years and my progress, or lack thereof since quitting my accounting job to be the writer I always dreamed of being. Though I felt I’d fallen short of my goals, in typical fashion, I found a way to prevent an utterly useless downward spiral by gathering all of the pieces together and looking for a way to make something useful from the bits I managed to accumulate.

As has happened before, once I put my concerns into words; once I owned up to how I was thwarting myself, answers began to flow freely from the unclogged drain I lovingly refer to as my mind. Information came in the form of epiphanies, and all because I’d done what should be obvious, but rarely is. I asked.

Epiphany 1: The Power Path School

The first synchronicity came via email. After my post had been written, reviewed, edited, tagged, and posted, I spent a few hours following through on some of my plans. I cleared my slate of some lingering administrative chores, then outlined the first chapter of Forgotten Victims and part of the second.

Later, while waiting outside my local dance hall for the doors to open and the evening’s frivolity to begin, I checked my email and found the latest edition of the Power Path School Monthly Forecast.  Each month, the forecast begins with a theme. For December, it’s “Compassion: The Higher Road”.  The site’s authors go on to say:

This month is all about turning our focus away from anger, blame, self-judgment, hopelessness, frustration, fear and worry.

At first glance, it might seem like, given the current political and social climates, our focus should be directed outwards. While it is certainly important to hold a space of kindness and compassion in response to the anger, frustration, and hate, this is once again a case of “charity begins at home”.

In other words, you can’t be compassionate and kind to others if you aren’t giving yourself the same gifts.  And this is where synchronicity comes in.

Berating ourselves for our failures, criticizing our own actions, telling ourselves in any way that we’ve failed to measure up to our own expectations is being unkind to ourselves. Since I did exactly that in part of yesterday’s post, the message was clear. Stop beating up on myself. Offer myself compassion and a helping hand out of the hole I feel I’ve dug for myself.  Once again, The Power Path says it better than I possibly could:

If you truly want to “alleviate the distress” on the planet, you need to start with yourself. All change begins at home. When was the last time you were truly kind to yourself? Not just rewards and gifts, but true kindness?

I asked for guidance, for help in getting back on my path, and it came through loud and clear. this reminder is one I always welcome, being prone to self-abuse, blame, and general unkindness far too often.

Epiphany 2:Letting My Hair Down is the New Decluttering

I did, however, mention more than one epiphany, so I owe you the rest of the story, or at least as far as it’s gone for now.

I’d made what I thought was a very subtle change to my outward appearance recently. From my point of view, all I’d done was let down my hair, both literally and figuratively. But in the process, I’ve apparently done other things without even realizing it because I have received an overwhelmingly positive response to those changes.

Last night was no exception as several people raved about the changes. While talking to one of them, it occurred to me that what I’d done was not unlike the decluttering I’ve done to my house. Removing clutter clears the way for ideas, forward progress, and a whole slew of good things. It dawned on me tonight that it wasn’t a huge stretch to comprehend that by making small changes to my appearance, I’d decluttered something inside myself. I didn’t have to know what was cluttered or how. I just had to make the change, and the rest would follow.

Who knows? Maybe the external decluttering, the letting go of old, tired ways, brought about the questions and the reflections yesterday. Maybe that personal decluttering opened the way for the pondering which led to the questions and subsequently, to answers, or at least, an opening into which answers can now flow freely? Or maybe the simple act of letting down my hair unbound aspects of my personality, my psyche I didn’t know I’d been holding back.

Baby Steps to Positive Change

Just as decluttering my home cleared space in my head, letting my hair down seems to have released something else. By removing the clips from my hair and letting it fly around and even into my face while I dance, I’ve unconsciously given myself permission to fly free without constraints or plans. I’ve allowed myself to “wing it”.

I’ve been living with a lot of unrecognized fear lately, afraid to take the first step in case it was the wrong one. I’m beginning to see that the only wrong step I could possibly take is the one I don’t take at all. The funny thing is, when I start living my life with a shot of wild abandon, I no longer feel self-conscious or imperfect. I don’t try to convince myself that nobody is watching when I dance, or even notices whether I’m there or not. I allow myself to feel the energy from the people around me and add my own to the pool.

Unique and Confident are the New Beautiful

I used to look around the club and experience mild (and sometimes raging) envy for the women who always looked so together, so comfortable in their own skin and, to my eyes, beautiful. It never occurred to me that my own comfortable, casual style might be considered beautiful as well from someone else’s perspective. I’m beginning to understand that the real beauty shines from within when you’re simply happy with yourself, and accept who you are.

Once, I believed there was a certain standard which you either met or didn’t. I guess I bought into the advertising industry’s hype that men are simple creatures and totally dependent on visual stimuli. What a crock! If that were the case, we’d all have to have the same look, the same style, the same attitude to avoid being more than just another piece of scenery on the way to the main attraction. But if that were the case and we all had the same look, there’d be nothing to differentiate us; nothing beneath the surface to make it worth getting to know us.

I’m finally seeing what so many of the young women have already figured out. We need to let our uniqueness out. We need to flaunt it, to revel in it and embrace it. We’re not a bunch of Stepford Wives. We’re interesting, unique individuals with something to offer the people who are willing to look beneath the surface. And for those who don’t want to take the time or put forth the effort, there are certainly enough people out there who expend a great deal of time forcing themselves into the preconceived mold they believe they’re meant to fill.

Being in the Right Place Can Be Ours for the Asking

I believe things happen for a reason and answers come to us when we’re ready for them. Sometimes, we indicate we’re ready by asking the right questions.

The timing of my latest epiphanies is especially significant as they came about after I’d cleared the last of the clutter from Thanksgiving, cleaned all the pots and put the soup I’d made away. And that didn’t happen until yesterday afternoon. Coincidence? I think not.

My Gratitude Bucket is Overflowing

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for synchronicity and the resulting epiphanies.
  2. I am grateful for my uniqueness and the courage to let it show.
  3. I am grateful for the people who have been letting my know that my uniqueness is showing.
  4. I am grateful for the flow of energy I’m finally allowing between myself and other people. I can’t believe I never realized how tightly I’d corked my own.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, family, joy, free-flowing energy, attention, compliments; both giving and receiving, success, productivity, inspiration, motivation, peace, 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, www.shericonaway.com 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!

Photo credit: Toughsl via Flickr

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