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Archive for the ‘behavior’ Category

A Control Freak’s Guide to Stress Management

The Body Can Always be Trusted to Tell You When You’re Holding on too Tight

For the last couple of years (in fact, since I quit my job) I’ve been proudly proclaiming that I have no stress. But the last week or so has shown me the emptiness of my words.

It started on Saturday when I felt the beginnings of a migraine while attending the San Diego County Fair with my daughter. No problem, I found a bale of hay in a shady spot, closed my eyes and relaxed until my vision returned to normal. As it had been awhile since I’d experienced migraine symptoms, I didn’t think much of it.

Back home, I again experienced the vision squirreliness of an impending migraine on Wednesday and took the usual precautions. It was then I decided I really didn’t want to go through the aggravation of going dancing on Thursday as it entails getting ready and to the door of the club about 30 minutes early just to get a decent table these days. In the end, it worked out well because I enjoyed a 4 hour phone marathon with an old friend. I also got the veggies for my stir-fry chopped while we were talking and had I gone dancing, I wouldn’t have had time to cook and freeze a huge batch of stir-fry.

Personal Health is Thwarted by Complacency

I arrive at Friday feeling pretty good about the week’s accomplishments aside from writing, so I buckle down and write the draft of an article which is a bit overdue. Not long after the article is written, the telltale signs appear again and I’m back on the couch, letting myself go limp while the kitties find their favorite snuggly spots. This time, I’m not bouncing back so quickly and my daughter can hear it in my voice when she calls, though it sounds like distraction to her until I explain.

A couple of hours later, I’m feeling woozy again, and by 10:30, I have to cut a support call with AT&T short because the vision loss swoops in like a hungry raptor.

10 hours later, I’m finally convincing myself to detach from the warm cocoon of blankets and cats to start my day. I stretch and acknowledge the tension in my neck and shoulders and admit it’s not entirely due to activities over the last week or so. Yes, I carried a backpack with a camelback of water around the fair for 2 days. Yes, I made a massive vat of stir-fry which had me waking the next day with a bit of pain in my right shoulder. Admittedly, I’ve been less than diligent about exercising otherwise. But still…

Self-honesty is a Slippery Slope

In the end, I decided I need to be completely honest with myself and admit to having more than a little stress in my life. Even more important, I have to address and acknowledge the stressful situations. I don’t necessarily need to solve them immediately, but I need to at least acknowledge that they’re concerning me. So, here goes.

Stresser #1: Money (something many can relate to). I have not yet been successful in monetizing my writing to any great degree and the same is true of my accounting and virtual business consulting. I’ve also gone through a frighteningly large amount of my reserves including all of my IRA and am getting ready to contact the 401(k) administrator. I cannot even begin to admit how much this terrifies me.
Stresser #2: Considering going back into the job market. Every time I even think about this, my gut clenches. I’m so much more comfortable dealing with people when I want to rather than when I have to. Also, I know that should I choose this route, I’m very likely going to have to settle for a lot less than I’m used to making and it may be a long haul to find someone, aside from a temp job, to hire a person my age.
Stresser #3: The health and well-being of my animals and being able to take all of my cats into the vet for their annual checkups. I have put this off because of #1, and it puts me on edge not having proof that everyone is completely healthy.
Stresser #4: Finishing my 3 novels. I have been close to finished with the latest edit on Sasha’s Journey for months, and just need to get it done! A Dubious Gift hasn’t been touched since I wrote it and Hannah’s Chair isn’t even finished.
Stresser #5: Marketing. I am trying to learn how this is done, yet still get a depressingly low amount of traffic to my website and blog. Without it, publishing any of my books will result in less than stellar sales, no matter how wonderful I manage to make them.
Stresser #6: Writing for free: I have been attending a lot of events on press passes in exchange for writing articles. Although I’m enjoying the events, it’s getting harder to motivate myself to write articles which may or may not get many viewers and which yield me nothing to help support myself. In fact, events like the fair cost me money in food alone which set me back rather than forward.
Stresser #7: Getting enough exercise. I’m falling behind on what I need to do to maintain my physical health.

It Ain’t Over ’til You Let it Go

I had to stop writing at this point because I got another migraine warning. I used the time to innercise and meditate with the help of Dylan and Munchkin’s snuggles. Afterwards, realizing I hadn’t eaten in at least 14 hours, I made a quick protein shake (hunger is non-existent at the moment). The break helped me realize I need to look at these stressers rather than continuing to add to the list, without judging or emotionalizing. I need to thank each one for the opportunities and lessons it gives me, then let them go. I’m the first one to talk about trusting both the Universe, and my own inner guides and guidance to find a solution, yet, clearly I’ve been trying to control things instead.

We of the controlling personalities have a difficult time letting go of outcomes and allowing the things we’ve put in place to germinate before showing measurable results. It’s only when something happens to force us to release our stranglehold that we begin to allow the flow to proceed unrestricted.

For some, that release occurs when all of their well-intentioned plans fall apart or break into little, tiny, unrecoverable pieces. For me, a series of migraines usually alerts me to the fact ad2d5-thetowerthat I’m holding on too tightly: to outcome, to control, even to outdated ideas. I usually take it to mean I just need a break or something but this time, I feel the problem has been too many breaks and too little productivity. Still, some time in nature could be well worth the time spent or in the words of one of my favorite country singers, Brad Paisley, it’s “time well wasted”.

Recognizing Opportunities When They Present Themselves aka Synchronicity

An opportunity was presented to me today, and I don’t think the timing was a coincidence. One of my fellow freelancers started a group for beta reading each others’ work including articles and blog posts. My plan right now is to clean up my latest article and submit it to them for critique. I can always use another set of eyes.

Funny, just typing those words, admitting I can ask for help relaxed some of the tension in my shoulders and neck. Clearly, what I need right now and am asking for in a couple of different ways is simply the help of other humans; the connection, the camaraderie, the humanness I usually avoid. In fact, the one thing which has me reluctant to go dancing at my usual place. Although I understand the owner’s abrupt change from appreciation for his patrons to pursuit of money, I can’t help feeling a bit resentful of the sudden change. It has affected my actions and my previous love for the place, but worse, it seems to have isolated me from the rest of the people there. All too often, I occupy a table alone and am rejected when I invite others to join me. Whether I want to or not, I’m exuding vibes which are uncomfortable to happy, positive people who are relaxing from their daily work life. Perhaps part of it is that I don’t share that day-to-day grind from which I need to escape.

In the end, I have two choices, and this goes for everything in this article: either I change my attitude or I make some sweeping changes in my lifestyle, behavior and direction. What those choices will be remains to be seen but for now, the one change I’m making is to stop trying to force myself and my life into a self-defined, compartmentalized direction. Not an easy task for a control freak like me!

There Will Always Be Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for the reminders I get, even when they’re painful and even debilitating.
2. I am grateful for lessons I’ve learned about removing judgement and emotion from my feelings.
3. I am grateful to at least acknowledge that I need to release negative money stories, even if the means is not yet clear.
4. I am grateful for the online communities of which I’m a part, but also for knowing that I need a more personal connection with people as well.
5. I am grateful for abundance: support, vision, awareness, intelligence, wisdom, creativity, friendship, change, guidance, motivation, inspiration, honesty, clarity, love, peace, harmony, friendship, health, 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!

Wallowing in a Pit of Despair? Try Gratitude.

Finding My Way Back Home

For the last 15 years or so, I have made immense progress in turning my life around. I am no longer the angry, defensive creature I had become through long years of tragedies, disappointments and, what I considered at the time to be poor life choices. I’ve learned that everything I’ve done and everywhere I’ve been had a purpose and came together in making me the person I am today.

But sometimes, pieces of my former self rise insidiously to the surface and if left unchecked, threaten to undo all of the work I’ve done. The trick is recognizing it before it sets me back years.

This morning when I woke with the prospect of cooking a huge pot of chili and spending the afternoon with anywhere from 50 to 100 people, the negative thoughts and the desire to crawl back into my hole and pull it in after me became almost overwhelming. Thankfully, years of training myself to do otherwise proved stronger, and I realized I had all the tools I needed to turn this around.

I looked back over the last couple of weeks and realized I’d become angry over stupid things, reactionary, and downright hateful. And truth to be told, I couldn’t dig a hole deep enough to escape the real problem anyway, so fixing it is a much wiser choice. It would also go a long way towards alleviating the constant, if relatively manageable pain I’ve been in since December, helping lower what has clearly become an upwardly spiraling stress level (thankfully, the every-other-day migraines have eased off!), and the resulting sleep deprivation.

Conquering the Demons Within

The answer to my problems, both real and imagined can be summed up in a single word. Gratitude. Sure, I’ve remembered to give thanks for all of the little synchronicities in my life, and, on what has become the rare occasion I actually sit and write a blog post, list a handful of gratitudes. But I’ve been missing the big picture. I’ve been allowing the “don’t haves” to smother the “haves”. No wonder I’m suffering the consequences. My face is meeting my palm rather violently at the moment.

Instead of rambling on about this or that, or detailing the things I won’t be doing from here on out, I’m dedicating the rest of this post to as many gratitudes as I can conjure, because, really, that’s why this blog has evolved; that’s why it is no longer “Surviving and Beyond”, but “Leaps of Faith”. For the last month or better, I’ve been giving it a great deal of lip service, but failing to follow through in my thoughts and deeds.

Reminding Myself of What the Universe Already Knows

Without further ado, here are some things for which I am grateful in this crazy, beautiful, sometimes insane life I’ve been given this time around:

  1. I am grateful for sunny days.
  2. I am grateful for rainy days.
  3. I am grateful for the fur babies I fall asleep with every night and wake to every morning.
  4. I am grateful that I have already lived nearly a year longer than my mother did.
  5. I am grateful for the people who pointed me towards the path of positivity and offer daily reminders.
  6. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned, the ones I am still mastering, and those which await me further down the road.
  7. I am grateful for the pains in my body which remind me that I’m being allowed to age and that I need to get up and move more, stretch more and love my body more.
  8. I am grateful that I’ve learned to recognize when I’m wandering away from my true path.
  9. I am grateful for the tools I’ve acquired which help me get back on track.
  10. I am grateful for signs and head slaps from the Universe which remind me to stay positive and hopeful, and get my attention when I start to forget.
  11. I am grateful for all of the wonderful examples I’ve been given: people who have conquered their own demons and retain the kindness and compassion I strive to achieve and embrace as part of my being.
  12. I am grateful for changing my career path to the one which fuels my soul.
  13. I am grateful for remaining positive despite setbacks and challenges which I know are intended to test my commitment.
  14. I am grateful for those setbacks which force me to seek alternatives and remind me that my path will never be straight and smooth. Easy paths don’t offer much in the way of inspiration for writing.
  15. I am grateful for successful completion of my three novels and Frederick the Gentlemouse and for the strength and tenacity to publish and market them.
  16. I am grateful for the stories inside me that are yet to be told.
  17. I am grateful for opportunities to mentor, coach or otherwise support other people.
  18. I am grateful that I’m learning to Stop, Look, and Listen more; not necessarily while crossing the road, but while interacting with other Divine Beings having a Human Experience.
  19. I am grateful to my daughter for encouraging me to start this blog when I got stuck in the middle of writing my first book about family suicide. Not only has writing about it eased my pain and brought more compassion into my life, it has connected me with others who have had similar experiences.
  20. I am grateful for the people who read my blog, my website and even my comments on Social Media. You touch my life and make it a better place. You’ll never know how much that means to me, nor how much it makes me strive to be a better person.

I could go on and on with this, but I’m already feeling better, just for sitting down and doing it. I’ll likely continue the list off-line. Listing my gratitudes has dragged me out of far deeper holes than the one in which I currently find myself. It is probably the single most powerful lesson I’ve learned in the last few years, and one I need to spend more time doing. Maybe that’s why the Universe sat back and watched me slide into a well of negativity for a little while. Like the stretching I now do every day to reduce the physical pain, the physical act of listing my gratitudes turns the inner pain around and shows me how much joy and beauty I have in my life.

Thank you for being a part of my process…my path.

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!

April 12, 2015 A Day in the Life of a Writer

Human Behavior is a Never-ending Variety Show

As a writer, I spend a lot of time observing human behavior. After all, you never know when I might need inspiration to make a character in one of my stories more believable. And as many before me have observed, you just can’t make this shit up! Ordinarily, my observations are directed outward, but over the last couple of days, that has changed, not by design, but because of an anomaly.

Though I’m sure this isn’t really a new phenomenon, it was, perhaps elevated in importance after several days of crazy busyness and a higher than normal activity level. However, for the last couple of days, I’ve found myself extremely slow to get started, sleeping later than normal, moving slowly, taking hours to eat the single cup of yogurt and cup of coffee I have for breakfast every morning, and accomplishing little of note for an entire day. Today in particular, I sat down to do my daily meditation, ended up in a dream sequence with an extremely involved story line, and finally woke up nearly three hours later!

From Zero to Sixty in Three Seconds

This behavioral anomaly would probably have escaped my notice had this lengthy period of laziness been the end of it. Instead, around 4 or 5 in the afternoon, I suddenly experience pangs of guilt over having a completely unproductive day and seem to acquire an infusion of energy which has me zipping around the house doing chores or finishing a project I’d left half done. In short, making up for lost time in the space of a couple of hours. But it doesn’t stop there.

While my body is busy making up for the hours of sloth, my brain goes into overdrive. Ideas for some of my works in progress start weaving themselves out until I have an entire scene fleshed out in my brain. It even remains long enough for me to commit it to memory by writing it on an index card or adding it to a document on my computer. Even the dreams I have during the slow periods are vivid and memorable, demanding they be added to my perpetual journal called, coincidentally, Weird Dreams.

Could I be Channeling my Inner Vampire?

Though the lengthening days mean that this bizarre behavior begins while the sun still shines, it is important to note that I’m rarely in bed before 2 or 3 in the morning these days. So either I’m practicing to be a vampire or have secretly become my cats (though to be honest, they don’t have a problem sleeping at night or any other time within any twenty-four hour period). As I type this, two of my darling furbablls have suddenly started demanding attention after snoozing on my bed most of the day.

As a writer, I do tend to write what I know, but somehow, the idea of becoming my own muse is a trifle horrifying. Granted, it would give me the ability to create the body, face and personality I’ve only dreamed about, but no. Too weird! Much better to focus on the behavior of others.

And yet…I do see other writers using themselves as a template. Maybe not their current selves, but the selves they were before they took control of their own destiny. Perhaps that’s where I need to focus. Like many others, I wasn’t exactly the most well-adjusted kid, and as a teenager, being part of the wallpaper was often my best option. Being an introvert will do that to you! Over the years, I learned to hide the soft, squishy part of myself and even, to some extent, become hardened to those annoying things we call emotions.

Just as History Repeats Itself, So, Too, Do We Humans as We Experience Our Own, Personal Evolution

Not unlike other Humans, my life has had its ups and downs, twists and turns and even backtracks. In the process, I’ve been called upon to re-evaluate and re-work what I’d become. This was especially true when I took the Ascension Resonance Therapy course a couple of years ago (has it really been that long?). During the class, I was forced to look at the things which were causing me pain, frustration and aggravation and delve into the true causes. As a result, I made a move which many would consider foolish when I quit my job to write full time.

Over a year later, I wouldn’t say that I’ve written full time at any point. I’ve actually put more time into it over the last month than at any time before, but I’m learning it isn’t all about writing. Part of the time, I market, part of the time, I study or read, part of the time I network, and then, there are the actual writing sessions. In between all of that, I live my life, do my chores, interact with people (in small doses, of course!), and allow my stories to just grow inside my head for awhile until they take on a life of their own. Because the truth of the matter is, being a writer isn’t just about writing any more, if it ever really was.

I’ve seen many opinions on writing lately, and frankly, that’s all they are in many cases. There are those who claim that you should never write for the money, but then, where would columnists and technical writers and those who write infomercials be? Where would the people who write for social media and commercial blog sites be if they weren’t making money writing? Sure, a purist writes for the joy of writing, and I’m sure that in between assignments most of those people do their share of writing for the pure joy of it as well. But not all of us are happy in a 9 to 5 job and have to find ways to ensure that we continue eating, paying the bills and taking care of our pets (I add the last because in the lonely life of a writer, I believe pets are essential to our sanity).

I think I’d qualify the idea and say that I don’t do the writing which feeds my soul, create the stories which run around in my head for the money. I don’t write my blog, sharing my feelings, thoughts, observations and experiences for money. But I will do blog posts, social media and articles for others and expect to be paid for my efforts. Just like those who have a day job which doesn’t allow them to write, it is my way of giving myself the ability to write the things I do for love rather than money. After all, only the few very lucky ones are able to combine the two, and who knows how long it took or what they sacrificed to get there, or even what they sacrifice now to continue being able to write what they love. What writer wouldn’t want to walk a mile in Stephen King’s or Nora Roberts’ shoes? I, for one, would love to know how my favorite writers survived while spending endless hours writing and perfecting the stories we now get to enjoy.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to do what I love.
2. I am grateful for a mind which views and dissects everyone and everything it sees.
3. I am grateful for a mind which kicks my butt when I’ve accomplished nothing all day.
4. I am grateful that I am solely responsible for the upkeep of my home, myself and my cats. There are days when this responsibility is all that gets me off of my butt and moving.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, inspiration, motivation, writing, health, harmony, prosperity, philanthropy and joy.

Blessed Be

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and my website, http://www.shericonaway.com/. 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!

October 12, 2014 Recognizing depressive behavior patterns #sconaway #blogboost

When we’re doing something that doesn’t seem so far out of the ordinary, unless we look into our past.

At first, there didn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary about this morning. I woke up about 8:00, went to the bathroom, drank some water, looked at the clock, and decided I wanted to sleep some more. It wasn’t that I was still tired, I simply didn’t want to start my day yet.

After laying down, getting up to throw a kitten out of the room, laying down again, and finally catching the second kitten and sending him out to join his brother, I settled back down with a pillow over my head to block out the sun and slept for another hour or so.

When Toby began expressing his displeasure with both his delayed breakfast and lack of access to the dry food, I looked at the clock again, deemed enough of the day gone, and started my day.

It wasn’t until I was dishing up cat food that it dawned on me. This was the same behavior I exhibited in the late 90’s, post divorce and post mom’s suicide when I was unambitiously trying to make a go of a bookkeeping business with clients who had simply fallen into my lap. I had recently parted ways with a company whose owner and management staff were more dysfunctional than any I’ve seen before or since. Being fired wasn’t really a surprise, nor a hardship as I’d been sick far too often with stress related issues. Although I ended up returning as a consultant when the woman he hired to replace me made a total mess of everything, it was on my terms and was, thankfully, short-lived.

But I digress. As time went on and I had less work to do, I found that I’d drag myself out of bed to get the girls to school, then crawl right back under the covers for another couple of hours. What I didn’t realize at the time, but do now, is that sleeping overmuch just because I don’t want to start my day is extremely unhealthy mentally. Even though I’m not feeling particularly sad, I know from experience that continuing to allow myself to follow this pattern will take me down a road I never want to see again, where motivation and caring about myself go by the wayside.

Fortunately, recognizing a negative behavior pattern and knowing when and how to nip it in the bud is about 90% of the battle. I know that I simply need to get busy and get moving. Whether it’s housework, gym routines, dancing in the living room or walking the neighborhood, my body needs more action than two nights of dancing.

Speaking of dancing, I’m continuing to experience an energy drain around 8:30 for no apparent reason. I didn’t really check with anyone else, but I know that a lot of folks left even earlier than I did last night. Even now, as I try to document the feelings, I am still not feeling a lot of energy. Instead, I’m feeling more like I need to pull these weird feelings out, hold them in my hands, twist them and turn them to get a better viewpoint, and analyze them to death, quite literally.

My rational mind, however, is getting louder by the minute as it tells me to get busy with something and shove those thoughts back into the handy little compartment where they’ve been for so many years. But then, I’ve been there before too. I bottled up my grief and guilt over my mom’s death for years until it came out explosively over something really minor. I’m not inclined to go there again either!

So what do you do with feelings which come back to haunt you?

If I learned nothing else form my healing training, I did learn that when feelings come back, you need to acknowledge them, recognize where they came from and ask for help in clearing them. The cause is long gone, maybe even forgotten, but some of the pain still lingers, like a ghost waiting for ties to be cut so it can leave the material plane. Even more, what triggered the return of those feelings? Why did they return at this specific moment in time?

I know where they were the last time, though I won’t swear that was the very beginning. In fact, I suppose these feelings started somewhere a lot further back and simply return as a result of some kind of trigger.

That will be my meditative task today. To identify the starting point, recognize the triggers and clear it all so I can go forward with a clear, happy mind and heart.

Do you know what triggers your depressive behavior patterns? Do you recognize them when they occur?

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful that I’ve learned to recognize depressive behavior patterns in myself.
2. I am grateful that I no longer accept depressive behavior in myself and work on myself to clear the reasons and the results.
3. I am grateful for activities which regularly get me out of the house and around people, even when I am not in a particularly social mood.
4. I am grateful for daily conversations with my daughter. Sharing her new world is one of life’s many joys.
5. I am grateful for abundance: friendship, love, positivity, smiles, laughter, joy, motivation, inspiration, happiness, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Namaste

October 6, 2014 When inspiration hits you, it’s best to pay attention. #shericonaway #blogboost

Don’t allow anyone to either choose your niche for you, or force you into a particular niche.

The inspiration for tonight’s post comes, surprisingly enough, from tonight’s episode of “The Voice”. At one point, Adam Levine told one of the contestants, essentially, that they were responsible for choosing their own niche, music-wise, or even for choosing not to be limited to a single niche. As soon as I heard his words, a lightbulb went off over my head. I recently experienced someone trying to tell me where my niche was for my current novel-in-progress, and even to dictate who in that niche I was writing to. My mind kept sending up red flags and saying “No, no, no!”. I agreed that something was wrong, and did, indeed, pull back, but until now, I couldn’t quite put words to it. But the truth is, I have the right to choose which niche I’m writing to, and when I go through my editing process, I have the right to not alter it to fit someone else’s idea of my niche, including the language I use and the scenes I set.

But in life, it’s a lot more than that. As children, our parents have expectations of us. At first, it’s simple things like keeping our room clean, doing our homework, brushing our teeth and getting good grades. As we get older, it might be college or a particular trade. This is the point where many of us rebelled because we are not our parents. Our hopes, dreams and desires are our very own, and we need to be allowed to follow them. If we fail, it’s our own lesson, and if we succeed, well, we will hopefully be very happy we followed our own heart.

As my kids grew up, and especially my daughter, Heather, they thought that I expected them to want what I wanted for them. Aside from wanting them to get an education, I really wanted them to test their own wings and find what brought them joy. Heather has finally realized that she doesn’t need my approval on the direction her life takes. Or, rather, she’s learned that she has my approval, no matter what. I may not agree with the choices she makes, but I respect the fact that they’re her choices, and her lessons. It is simply not my place to dictate what she should and should not choose. When she asks for my opinion, I give it, but knowing her as I do, I’ve learned to qualify it with “this is only my opinion. Whatever you choose to do will still be fine with me.” Old habits die hard with her, and even in that, I try to respect the fact that they do by making every effort to assure her that I am not trying to tell her what decisions she should make.

Recently, this give and take has led to some pretty productive brain storming sessions, especially when it comes to new flavors for her cakes and cupcakes. She has become a lot more likely to bounce things off of me, knowing that I respect her skill and expertise, and am just tossing out things she might want to consider…no strings attached.

I was raised a little differently. I had to learn for myself that if I disappointed my mom, so be it. I still needed to do what I felt was right for me. In fact, she’d be pretty horrified by the path I’ve been following for the last few months. At the very least, she’d insist that I was irresponsible. But as I’ve long since ceased to view my life in accordance with her standards, I’m much happier for it, and figure I’m allowed to be foolish now and then, because if I fall down, I take the responsibility for both the fall and for picking myself back up again. 

Whether it’s an artistic niche, a life path, or any of a multitude of major decisions we’ll make in a lifetime, the most important thing we can all learn is that the only person we need to impress, the only person we need to keep happy, the only opinion that really counts…is our own.

Throughout our lives, we are ultimately responsible for one person, and one person only.

There are a lot of people out there who think that it is their mission in life to change other people for the better. It’s not that their heart isn’t in the right place, it’s just that they’re misguided. It isn’t their job, their responsibility or their right to decide what’s best for me, or you, any more than it’s our right to decide what is best for them. As parents, we guide our children for a little while. We give them tools to help them make better decisions. But when all is said and done, the decisions about their life path belong to them. Whether they choose one niche or five niches or no niche at all, our only job is to love and respect them, whatever they do.

While having our Human Experience, we Divine Beings (that’s all of us, by the way) are tasked with learning a great many lessons. The most important one of all, if you ask me, is acceptance. The people we love should never feel that they need to justify their decisions to anyone but themselves. That is a gift we can give to them; that acceptance of their choices. Trying to control other people would be like trying to control a body part. You wouldn’t insist that an arm perform the functions of an ear. So why expect another human being to live their life in accordance with your talents, values and experiences?

For now, let’s all just try to be more accepting. Maybe once we’ve gotten good at it, we can work on erasing the term and the associated behavior of “Judgement” from our vocabulary.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for inspiration from unusual sources.
2. I am grateful for learning to accept people’s differences. Doing so opens up my life in unexpected and fabulous ways.
3. I am grateful for the red flags I’ve learned to recognize. They keep me from bad situations like self-doubt.
4. I am grateful for busy, productive days.
5. I am grateful for abundance: inspiration, joy, health, happiness, friendship, love, acceptance and prosperity.

Namaste

Be sure to check out (and even like!) my author page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel  Thank you!

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