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

Archive for the ‘change’ Category

The More Things Change

Seeing Change in My “Not-to-do” List

There are a lot of things I’ve sworn I’d never do over the years: get married, have kids, divorce, bungee jump, sky dive… many are now part of my history while some are permanent fixtures on my “Not To Do” list. Lately, I’m considering removing one I thought I’d leave there forever; get a tattoo.

I recently saw a woman with 3 butterflies flitting up from her back and onto her neck. I was intrigued enough to consider what had become a very strong life symbol for me lately. Right now I’m thinking a small one on the inside of my right wrist. Meanwhile, I’ve started noticing not only butterflies in the wild, but tattoos as well. The latest was a larger one on a shoulder. The wrist still feels right to me but you never know. Then there’s the question of blue ink or a colorfully resplendent monarch or painted lady.

Fortunately, it isn’t a decision I plan to make in the near future. Heaven knows I have far more pressing matters before me. I truly have been evolving from a caterpillar to a butterfly over the last few months. Not only have I become more focused on my writing and online publishing, I’ve also made a firm commitment to invest in my marketing skills.

New Directions, New Guides

Towards that end, I’ve parted company with the coach/mentor I’d been working with this year, turning instead to a course in marketing. I’ve hung out in the Facebook Group “Gorilla Army Nation” for over a year now, picking up tidbits here and there. I knew I wasn’t ready to commit to one of their programs before now. I dabbled in a couple, and got bogged down in the last one.

Fortunately, about the time I was feeling frustrated and stupid, they realized the course I was trying to get through really was overly complex. They came up with one which broke the steps down into much smaller pieces, offering more help, a private group, and tons of encouragement along the way. I took a leap.

I’m not barreling through the course or having almost immediate results like some people, but I feel I’m in good company, working through it slowly, methodically, and with the freedom to ask even the dumbest questions without fear or embarrassment. Both staff and students are supportive, and have already helped me over a couple of humps that stopped me in the larger course. It never occurred to me that if a section didn’t apply, I could simply skip it and move on!

Through the course, I’m learning I do have skills. They’re deeply hidden beneath my misconceptions and underdeveloped social skills. But they are there! And I finally got the answer to the immortal question “How many ICA’s should I have?” that fits with my own thoughts and feelings. (the answer is pretty much “as many as you need”). It is even possible to have thousands of different ones, though for me, a dozen or so should cover it all, at least for now.

Learning to Go Where Life Takes Me Somewhat Gracefully

https://www.flickr.com/photos/philleara/7246573430/in/photolist-c3mzPd-djJiUe-oajKtQ-djJjmv-djJjLR-oapGkZ-djJjb9-djJj5F-cntb2u-7Y2xWm-cntayf-c3mLB3-n329S-7XYhYD-cntbhs-TCrSUz-gg7DZE-gg7XMV-6Ak5ks-9a2C7g-djJjz6-cntb85-rCKS6-cntag1-azBhou-3oXQYc-cnta8q-cntaL7-ocbPjv-oa7hn8-fJm576-baRPgp-7Y2xp7-8ommnm-bA1QHR-cnt9j1-dmywKj-7Y2x7b-4vwAew-aAPJwq-oa7iJB-cnt9xu-2FtNgi-gunWiW-hLgWLK-e4kv6P-2FtPvB-9GPQLh-4vsuDF-baRMyvAt the beginning of 2019 I had a certain vision of how the year would unfold. The reality, 9 months in isn’t even close.

Yes, I’m still writing, and sporadically working on “Rebuilding After Suicide”. But I’ve changed directions on it, and am not sweating so much that I’m way behind schedule on the latest re-write. I have been posting chapters of my first novel, “Sasha’s Journey” to ChapterBuzz where I’ve been getting some helpful feedback from other authors.

This year also saw me establish a publishing schedule on Medium, and more recently, receive an invitation to join the writing team of one of the publications. While a huge boost to my ego, not everything I submit to them has been accepted, but I am also being featured every month or so by the Medium team. Recognition might be coming slowly, but since it took me almost 6 years to get to this point, I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m celebrating it as a win!

Seeing Change as a Journey

The butterfly I’ve accepted as a symbol of my journey doesn’t go through the https://www.flickr.com/photos/jfolsom/5931303869/in/photolist-a38tZP-dmn34H-a7FwQm-antZ2h-bwzwuR-5stPPH-6EsqoX-T4qUgL-4hmxbh-8MJPmb-fEFoSF-kCt71i-2ikr4t-8MF532-WNwMjy-8tMnKX-fEFoGg-fEXXd7-afuD1a-8MEuUF-95Mr5j-dySrRf-bfNhFR-9oSxoh-5WgF4Q-8MHZfC-7VroTL-9PiLGB-oaW3YQ-K4CQFx-8YSrLp-mSLwB-7VqeAh-5hfnTx-KfhXca-e3u44f-99b5UG-7BeZaD-8MHAVw-kAEoL3-6qZ9C6-5thpD3-ai9p7Z-9gCot5-o8bKtB-5W8sPu-85jA66-6PCR9M-bJ7tue-97oqD4physiological change in one fell swoop. She crawls around as a caterpillar for awhile. One day, she spins herself into a chrysalis where she hangs from a branch for about 10-14 days while her body transforms. Even when the chrysalis opens, she must continue to hang from the branch and pump fluid from her abdomen into wings which were crumpled up inside her temporary home. Once her wings dry, she can finally fly.

I’ve spent the last few years writing lots of words, but also learning what working as a writer really means. I’ve had to establish my own presence and figure out which of the many possible directions I wanted to take. Now, I’m in the stage where I’m strengthening the tools I need to get there. It’s a process, like the butterfly emerging from her chrysalis. Some of it is instinctual, but for me, the business and marketing end really isn’t. I’m having to shed old ways and ideas and learn new ones before I can truly fly. The largest and most obstructive was the idea that I couldn’t market myself. My way was well and truly blocked until I let go of that self-limiting, and utterly false belief.

In some ways, I feel like I’m still in the cocoon, while in others, I feel like I’m already soaring up to the treetops, playing games of tag with the other butterflies.

Traveling My Own Crooked Path

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nhoulihan/4038592452/in/photolist-79SQQm-TfUffd-pgu9hJ-qfYXYE-pDVWDB-6UQgZM-KFog6C-TFYhqd-29TMHM-fP6i28-j73ZT5-atsnGd-C4HxXs-5eRdT5-YoKVff-24PBcMS-28G1ckh-AqrzL-haocsM-o1RCfj-4iigfF-6hbQxG-TCfZem-qVx4n8-U63bC7-dCTxQg-amkKyF-eiY1qF-Ct5hqm-hSGXpV-BcaCh-8c2bVB-27RWaS2-eQjYy1-cJWTgw-ehKQWJ-AJSt63-ay4RXc-cxa1zW-UFe9Vq-aC3EP1-pkL1fr-ehKSrs-qxMMJj-bvMGyV-VG1fkR-ay4Sgv-aDNaMx-aE1tNY-h7171rUnlike the butterfly, the steps I need to take aren’t laid out in a nice, precise pattern. I can jump from place to place, learning pieces of things and coming back when I’m ready for more. There’s also room for trial and error which is a good thing, as I don’t always listen to all the instructions; haring off to try something that popped into my head semi-formed. Sometimes it works out splendidly, but mostly it requires another trip to the drawing board.

Such is it with the idea of a tattoo. I’ll think about it for awhile, noticing every butterfly tattoo that crosses my path. I’ll think about a series starting with a chrysalis, then slowly opening to reveal the butterfly. Still, I won’t act until I’m certain it’s what I want; and maybe it will remain an image in my head. I can no more say than I could have predicted on January 1 where I’d be today.

I go where I’m guided to go. Sometimes my guide is my higher self and leads me through a fairly well thought out series of steps. More often, my impatience kicks in or my ADD mind starts spinning. Then I jump around from task to task until I finally exhaust myself and set some guidelines and due dates. I’m learning to accept that a certain amount of structure is a good thing. But I have to make sure and leave space for my imagination to continue to run amok. It’s where the magick happens!

Finding Reasons for Gratitude in All I Do

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for change. Life may no longer be predictable, but it’s always interesting.
  2. I’m grateful for guidance which has come to me from several different directions this year. I’m sure it’s been there, but I had to be ready to see and hear it.
  3. I’m grateful for my solitude. It gives me time to think, to imagine, to go in and out of frustration, to change plans, and to make others.
  4. I’m grateful for my friends who continue to be encouraging even if it looks like I have nothing to show for my efforts; even if it appears, to the causal observer that I’m living the life of a retiree. If they only knew!
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, inspiration, imagination, guidance, support, encouragement, persistence, joy, health, harmony, peace, prosperity, and philanthropy.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

Clearing My Resistance to Change a Step at a Time

Change Doesn’t Eliminate Cravings

I try to keep my eating and exercise habits healthy. But every once in awhile the old, self-destructive habits rear their ugly heads and I spend the day planted in front of the TV, or want a big, gooey takeout pizza so badly it’s all I can do to keep my hand off the phone. Sometimes, it’s a craving for sugar. Recently, it was jelly beans.

I told myself I could have some if I walked up to Von’s, but it was too hot to make the trek. Finally, after fighting the urge for a couple of hours to no avail, and seeing I would get nothing done until I had some, I compromised. I drove to Costco and made myself walk the whole store before I could grab my treat and take it home like a bear packing it away for winter.

Alas, I was thwarted on several levels. First, I started to get a migraine and had to find a place to sit quietly with my eyes closed until it passed. Unfortunately, I’d parked far from the store entrance, so my only alternative was the rest room. Just my luck, some woman had gotten her child a talking toy to entertain him while she shopped, and I got to listen to several minutes of “this is how we brush our teeth!” and “this is how we tie our shoes” in one of those perky, Sesame Street style voices that made me want to fly from the cubicle, oblivious to the pants hanging down around my ankles, and smash the thing into a million pieces. (I maintained a reasonable amount of decorum, more for the sake of preventing a full-on, head-cracking migraine than out of consideration for the mother and her child). I began to wonder if, like me, she sought sanctuary in a grey-walled cubicle, if only to have something entertain her child while she decompressed.

When my vision finally returned to normal, I left my dubious sanctuary, washed my hands, and went to find help in my search. Sadly, Costco no longer carries the industrial size jars of Jelly Bellies. It was probably for the best. I ended up at Von’s anyway, coming home with 2 small bags instead of the vat full of my sugary treat. I ended up eating more than I should have from one bag and stashed the rest away for my next sugar craving that won’t be quashed by chocolate or yogurt bars. At least the next time would be less frantic and probably require a smaller fix.

Healthy Habits Most of the Time

Like many of you, I put a lot of time and effort into creating habits which will give me more energy, keep my body healthy, and most of all, keep the doctor from insisting I control things like blood pressure and sugar with medication. But I’m an imperfect being, and sometimes, those old, unhealthy habits will demand attention, much like my cats insist they haven’t had any treats in ages. Like my cats, my last tumble off the healthful wagon might have been a day before. Still, part of me is a whiny, bratty child.

Most of the time, I can actually overrule the crappy food demons. I guess I can resist certain things better than others. Easier to convince myself I don’t need a pizza than to quell the desire for sugar in its most basic form, I suppose. Either way, I know I’ll feel crappy afterwards, but memories of feeling lousy fade when I’m in the midst of a full-on sugar attack.

Thankfully, these cravings don’t hit often any more, so falling off the wagon now and then isn’t a serious hit to my overall health. Even so, I wish I could make the cravings stop forever. I’ve even wished, in a rare moment of insanity that I was allergic to chocolate so I’d never be driven to eat it. I came to my senses before my mind made it real.

We Control Our Minds…to a Point

I know power over the mind is a real thing. You can stop a craving, change a mood, and even heal yourself with enough focus. I’ve even been reading about changing your DNA by the power of the mind alone! Though an amazing possibility, I’m on the fence on this one, waiting for more definitive proof and time tested techniques before I do any rerouting within my own meat suit and neural system.

Nevertheless, forming the habits I’ve already formed, however imperfect they may be did take a certain amount of retraining. I had to somehow convince myself I’d be happier if I was healthier instead of finding solace in sugar, salt, and fat. Some of it took actual health issues or scares, and some, finally getting tired of limitations.

That’s how I quit smoking for the last time (third time was a charm). I realized it was interfering with my dancing by taking away my stamina. It was finally enough to make me drop the nasty habit entirely. Though it took a few more years, establishing a regular gym routine came about for a similar reason. My knees and shoulders were giving me pain and grief. I knew deep down strength training would solve most, if not all of my problems in those areas.

Giving Myself a Break for Imperfections

A year and a half later, I rarely miss one of my thrice-weekly gym days. I’ve also added a daily walk to the mix. I thought that one would be hard to set but apparently, once you set a couple of healthy habits, it’s far easier to convince yourself to add a few more. Or at least, that’s how it’s shaken out for me.

Even mornings when I get up and really don’t feel like suiting up and hitting the pavement, something makes me do it. I can’t justify coffee or breakfast until I’ve made my 1.3 mile circuit. The funny thing is, no matter how slow and grumpy I feel when I walk out my door, by the time I’ve finished, I feel a lot better, and more ready to face the day.

Maybe changing physical activity rewires your DNA all by itself. I can’t argue that it raises my vibration, even if it’s only from grumpy and bored, to accepting. It’s still a better place to start my day.

Re-Wiring Myself for Better Habits

https://www.flickr.com/photos/genomegov/27861478565/in/photolist-36R456-TVEoV3-7Wybvd-4WUnY9-5fFekL-UxPtrE-JXsDow-JXsDFW-5xxC-i6g81S-pj2KGy-RqtEwb-3bW8wG-aiBE4-21HP7o-7WuXxi-a87gs-v23FG1-e5Ta5U-8hAaU2-7CJgqt-4RTmW-6VGoa4-21HP7G-bKycpP-bwDtbf-rBr5w5-Js2mU6-4RTmT-bKycvn-6nNpdg-dtid4-5hSULN-8qeqEZ-vi6Sx1-vi6iuY-v2adQn-vi6nRJ-vi5UuQ-v23BpL-umARN9-v23yrQ-umAZaJ-wkdd7E-daLc3v-bwDtvf-aLErhv-a3Giyp-9oXUVB-7S9ue4There’s a saying: “A body in motion stays in motion”. I have to wonder if it applies to change as well. Once you start making changes to your life, your mindset, or your environment, it seems to be easier to make additional changes. It’s as if the hard-wiring we all have making us resistant to change weakens as we keep making small changes. You fool it by keeping the changes small at first. When it starts accepting the small changes, you throw in a couple of larger ones.

Eventually, the change-resistant hard-wiring gets so confused, it can’t differentiate between mutability and stasis. In essence, you alter your DNA via the wiring in your brain because you’ve eliminated a natural resistance. If nothing else, I’ve discovered I’m less averse to change these days in areas I once held fast with dogged determination.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be exploring other change-resistant areas in my psyche. I’ll share with you my findings, and where I’m still resistant, my efforts to break that resistance and form healthier habits for my mind and spirit as well as my body. Care to join me on this journey?

Could You Use Some Support to Make a Few Changes?

Do you want to make changes to your life or routine, but can’t find the time or motivation? Are you still trying to do it all instead of asking for help? Would taking a task or two off your plate give you time to be kinder to you? Maybe it’s content creation, or perhaps it’s getting your books in order and creating a budget. If this sounds familiar and you’re ready to streamline your life and give your business space to grow and thrive, CONTACT ME and let’s talk!

 
Gratitude is Great Fuel for Staying on Track

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for the changes I’ve made in my life.
  2. I’m grateful for an increased willingness to try things I’d have run from not so long ago.
  3. I’m grateful for small changes which become huge improvements.
  4. I’m grateful for an outlook that gets better and more positive every day.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; friendship, stamina, energy, strength, flexibility, love, joy, dancing, hugs, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

Time for Change Again

Riding the Winds of Change

created with CanvaI’m feeling somewhat alienated lately. Friends I once hung out with, laughing and carefree now gravitate towards others who share their need to frequently vocalize dissatisfaction with their lives, or conflicts with others. I want no part of it and as a result I find myself once again on the outside looking in.

Overall it’s a good thing. I’d rather steer clear of the whining and complaining. Perhaps things will shift and the negativity will run its course. Meanwhile, I’ll either have to find others to hang with until this cycle peters out, or revert to my normal, isolationist patterns.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no issue with friends needing to vent their spleen, and to find others who share their current mindset. There are times I’ve needed to do so myself, and am grateful people put up with me while I did. Right now, I know if I stayed there too long I’d start absorbing the negative energy and find fault instead of joy with my own life. Though I enjoy having a pack to run with, I’m OK being a lone wolf for awhile too. Perhaps I’m being pushed into being alone so I can spend more time working on my projects and business. I’ve always believed things happen for a reason

To Everything There’s a Time; a Season

A friend recently pointed out I have my own cycles. Sometimes I simply need a https://www.flickr.com/photos/sermoa/7289177616/in/photolist-c77Wy9-r361B6-7UmPsp-XGAjhz-64e9v7-2aA91KA-dgqyUQ-45XqnC-9QJ7eT-9QN5fS-sHuD2X-eYWQtB-fbDKCi-RX57Dd-21GaQYp-ap2UBy-2cqyUd9-4BaZUn-XR9iq1-649VdX-GEVNFE-37rTTS-8GD4Ct-21M2mrm-8PB966-kzYvK4-6Vje9y-4Hq3oP-izzeb3-ouihv3-NiJYj7-bua5Bm-iRQDZe-jpV8mm-gJX2L-R36JFv-23NUNNG-2cw7Nyt-2a4658R-npfQy2-RZFcen-M2YpLg-STMqAt-WKMNmd-29UnKjq-owijzY-f4WJBJ-96ELMg-p9Cein-T8HccTlong stretch of alone time. Nothing is wrong. I need to be alone to do some self care and work on me for a little while without distraction or interruption. It could be I’ve waited too long to indulge my inner hermit.

She must be indulged even if it’s simply a matter of taking a few days to lay low and get things done. Doing multiple loads of bedding has even crept into my dreams. It’s a not-so-subtle reminder I need to wash the sheets and comforters from both beds which usually requires 3-4 loads. I need to get caught up on blog posts again and schedule another month’s worth of posts for Medium. I also have to finish compiling blog posts for my opt-in E-book.

That doesn’t even take into consideration the rewrite I’ve had hanging over my head for a couple of months. Clearly, disenchantment with the energy the people around me are exuding means it’s time I got myself organized, which requires alone time. Either I make it for myself or the Universe makes it for me.

A Time to Build My Network, and a Time to Do the Work

I’ve learned we all have cycles we go through; ups and downs, highs and lows. I know I need time to indulge my social side, and time to be alone with my thoughts, dreams, and hopes. Times to look deep inside myself and decide which of the many paths laid out before me I want to take, and what I’ll have to do to make it happen.

Lately, I’ve given those hopes and dreams short shrift. I’ve done the easy stuff like writing blog posts (easy for me, anyway), and setting up posts for Medium. I’ve shirked the tougher stuff like putting together the E-book or starting to re-write my memoir.

The truth is, I only hurt myself when I take the easy road. Pushing the big dreams into a corner while I essentially play games with myself is cruel and unkind. I deserve better. Perhaps that’s why I’m so sensitive to my friends’ complaints. Except I know I have no one to blame but myself.

Nobody is turning my attention away from what’s important but me. No one is criticizing me, or throwing obstacles in my path. There’s nobody to suck my energy except my old fiend, procrastination.

Re-Focusing My Energy

It doesn’t mean I haven’t been taking care of business. The new web pages went live recently, and are performing well. I made doctor’s appointments I’d been putting off. I’ve made and consumed 2 batches of gazpacho, and have the ingredients for several other batch meals with which to re-fill my freezer.

Again, those are the easy things; the stuff I do without thinking about it. Some of it is actually therapeutic. In fact, I’m getting more exercise these days too! All good things, and I can’t complain. And yet, I know I can do better; accomplish more.

It all starts with a single step in the right direction. Maybe distancing myself from people who need to air their grievances, no matter how valid, is exactly what I need to do right now. Again, it’s no reflection on others, but a reminder I need to keep working on myself, even if that means more alone time than I’ve taken recently.

Turning Sloth into Productivity

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jessicamullen/15936340893/in/photolist-qheUWa-6tvCyC-mfcahW-kF42vg-7aHRKn-dozSYs-upc1JR-5nU36i-6ZX1X8-9soFsZ-b6p5F2-dKgSFh-9soP3r-9GGyf-edzaxy-dKgQLq-4oLacT-9z49UC-aBS6db-kF5mTy-dbhFbp-83VBDF-JGdSxG-dKgR3q-dKbnZX-kF3i5M-kF2WWF-25sqyfg-kF3het-dKgU63-7121pw-dKbnLT-6ZXghB-7aMFFo-6ZXfye-a6G8a6-26PQPAR-ceZ3mw-7aF5cr-7aHRUn-kF3FwP-dKboVp-dKbj4F-3jqo8-dKbmgk-kF5cCu-dKgPvE-edzags-dKbjKc-dKbjtVMore important is to use my alone time wisely. Too many Hallmark movies and evenings spent parked on the couch are starting to turn my brain to mush. Though my cats love the extended cuddle time, it isn’t going to benefit any of us in the long run.

I guess I need to step back and re-set every so often, re-evaluating my priorities, and reminding myself to keep the goals front and center. It doesn’t mean putting in an endless stream of 18-hour days (unless the muse strikes and I become oblivious to the passage of time). Those days and that mentality are behind me.

It does mean putting my butt down in front of the computer, my fingers on the keyboard, and doing the writing and revisions I’ve committed to doingfor no one else but me. It means giving my business the attention and effort it deserves instead of haring off on the next adventure in People-land. There’s a reason I can only handle so much people-ing before I need to disappear into my turtle shell for some R and R.

Once again, I am detaching for my own sake. People and places will still be there when I resurface, and I’ll appreciate them more for my absence, and for the time I take to move closer to my dreams. If some of them have moved on by the time I resurface, I’ll know it was a necessary migration for all concerned. It wouldn’t be the first time I changed my social environment, and it certainly won’t be the last.

Living for the Adventure and Wonder of a New Day

I’ve learned the only certainty in life is change, so I might as well embrace it. Fighting change only exhausts me. Swimming upstream may have been my pattern for awhile, but it doesn’t mean I ever got very far doing it. Give me a canoe floating down a lazy river instead. I’ll enjoy the scenery instead of fighting a losing battle to go back where I came from. If it had anything to offer me in the future, I wouldn’t have moved on in the first place.

Do You Need to Shake Things Up So You Can Bring Your Dreams Closer?

Are you trying to do everything, yet falling farther behind? Are you doing too much of what you hate and not enough of what you love, because you feel pressured? Would you like to take a task or two off your plate? Maybe it’s content creation, or perhaps it’s getting your books in order and creating a budget. If this sounds familiar and you’re ready to streamline your life and give your business space to grow and thrive, CONTACT ME and let’s talk!

 

Seeing Each Day’s Wonder Leads to Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for friendships and activities which fueled me, but are no longer the fuel I need to move forward.
  2. I’m grateful I’m ready to follow some of the changes that have been clamoring at my door.
  3. I’m grateful for my ability to be happy in my own company.
  4. I’m grateful I’m learning to put myself first and to accept that I have a right to expect commitment to myself before anyone else.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, possibilities, opportunities, losses, growth, space, motivation, self-sufficiency, peace, health, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats, and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

Adaptability: Going With the Flow

Adaptability Makes Change Flow Smoothly

Life changes. People come and people go. Friendships blossom. Some seem to bloom and grow while others wither and die; often inexplicably.

Perhaps we’re changing and fail to see it. Or maybe circumstances change. We move, or find a new interest, or find alternatives when a place or event becomes unavailable. Maybe it’s simply a life event; births, deaths, marriages, new jobs, big moves. We all experience them, like it or no. The only way to avoid change is to wall ourselves up in a cave and never come out. Even so, we’d change as we age, alone and cut off from the rest of the world.

Change is inevitable. We have two choices: adapt or fight it. Most of us, by the time we reach adulthood, have discovered the futility of fighting it. We’ve probably exhausted ourselves fruitlessly on more than one occasion trying to hold onto something which has served its time. But letting go and opening ourselves up to new possibilities is hard. It’s scary.

Like it or Not, We Must Move Out of Our Comfort Zone

Stepping out into the unknown; leaving our comfort zone; allowing ourselves to be immersed in https://www.flickr.com/photos/philleara/7246573430/in/photolist-c3mzPd-djJiUe-oajKtQ-djJjmv-djJjLR-oapGkZ-djJjb9-djJj5F-cntb2u-7Y2xWm-cntayf-c3mLB3-n329S-7XYhYD-cntbhs-TCrSUz-gg7DZE-gg7XMV-6Ak5ks-9a2C7g-djJjz6-cntb85-rCKS6-cntag1-azBhou-3oXQYc-cnta8q-cntaL7-ocbPjv-oa7hn8-fJm576-baRPgp-7Y2xp7-8ommnm-bA1QHR-cnt9j1-dmywKj-7Y2x7b-4vwAew-aAPJwq-oa7iJB-cnt9xu-2FtNgi-gunWiW-hLgWLK-e4kv6P-2FtPvB-9GPQLh-4vsuDF-baRMyvnew things can be, for some, a frightening and daunting experience. The smart ones (and also the successful ones) learn to not only adapt, but to embrace those moments when you feel like you’re free-falling. They thrive on the adrenaline rush of not knowing how or where they’ll land, or even if the landing will be safe, or leave them broken and bruised.

For those people, a life without change is as frightening as it is for people for whom change is something to be avoided at all costs. They can’t imagine a life full of mind-numbing sameness where everything is predictable and expected.

Most of us, I believe, fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. We sometimes struggle to leave our cozy, predictable existence to try something new; a restaurant, a vacation spot, a new group of people. Yet when we do take a leap and broaden our horizons, we’re usually pleasantly surprised at the outcome, and thus, encouraged to spread our wings even further.

Adapting Doesn’t Have to be Complicated

For me it’s been as simple as going to new places to dance, and to dance differently than I’m used to. My typical hangouts provide a mix of two-step, line dances, couples dances, and a smattering of West Coast Swing and Nightclub Two-Step. I’m comfortable with the mix, and if I don’t get to do the occasional WCS or NC2, I’m not terribly disappointed. Those dances are not what draws me to a club or lately, someone’s in-home studio.

But as my options narrow and I start hanging with a younger, more adventurous crowd, I find my willingness to leave my comfort zone (especially since I have people willing to go with me) increasing. In fact, I’m often the one to suggest someplace new.

To my utter and complete surprise, I looked back at the last few weeks and realized I’d spent far less evenings alone than was my wont. I’d ventured further out, stayed later, and picked up a couple new tricks along the way. Though I’m not ready to go to the newer places alone yet, I suspect even the minor resistance will soon disappear, and I’ll find my way to the new venues whether alone or with friends.

Adapting Happens When We’re Not Even Looking

In short, I’m adapting. Circumstances have changed. Options have, at least temporarily disappeared, and the amount of dancing I get in a single night has lessened. I’ve convinced myself more nights will bring me back up to my usual levels, and find it easier to win the argument when my brain tries going back into hermit mode.

Life does that. It gives and it takes away, forcing us to adjust to new circumstances whether we like it or not. Forcing us to grow into better, stronger versions of ourselves.

But there was a time I fought it, and fought it hard. I stayed tucked cozily inside myself, little realizing I’d locked myself in with some pretty voracious and unpleasant demons. They gnawed away at my guts, and I responded by becoming an angry, unpleasant human being. There came a point when I didn’t even like my own company.

Help Comes When We Need it Most

Even so, there were people who found me tolerable, and because they took the time to look beneath my crotchety surface, found something worth saving. Maybe they saw someone who reminded them of their former self. Maybe in our own broken way we created a support group, helping each other build the ladders out of our own pits of despair. Whatever the reasons, and however they found me, I’ll always be eternally grateful that the Universe saw fit to find people to help instead of giving up on me as a lost cause. I know I’d pretty much given up on myself by then.

So many people at one time or another find themselves in a place they neither want or know how to get out of. They convince themselves it’s the life they deserve and slog through each day with no real interest in anyone or anything. They spend their days at jobs they hate, and their nights in front of a computer or TV, disconnected from the world; disconnected from themselves.

Maybe life beat them down every time they stuck their nose out of their shell. Maybe they developed a misguided belief they didn’t deserve better. Or perhaps they simply feared what they didn’t know and couldn’t control. So they surround themselves with sameness, boring, destructive, stifling, and eventually, crumbling. Sameness can’t be maintained indefinitely so at some point it either falls apart, often devastatingly, or the person behind the self-made walls lives an illusion far-removed from reality.

Offering Gives Others a Choice, a Role in Their Own Lives

We can’t force others to adapt to change any more than others forced me. We can, however offer tools and support even if they’re rejected repeatedly. Like me, there will come a time when one of the tools resonates, and a willingness to at least try overcomes the fear of change.

The people who kept offering me tools in spite of my constant resistance are heroes in my eyes. They may not have changed the world, but they changed mine. We all have within us the ability to change a single person’s life for the better if we’re willing to accept their resistance and even rejection for awhile.

We can’t do it for the gratitude as that may never come. I know I never thanked the people who gave me my first leg up out of the darkness. We have to do it because it’s an integral part of our humanity. We’re not here to fix each other, only to fix ourselves; to be the best us we can be. But we can be there for those who are having trouble making the changes alone, and simply need a friendly face, a listening ear, a light in the darkness.

Will you be someone’s light?

Gratitude Isn’t Time-Sensitive

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the people who saw something in me worth saving.
  2. I am grateful for opportunities to pay it forward and offer someone else a tool they might need to escape their own darkness.
  3. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned, the bruises I’ve earned, the successes and the failures. They’ve made me stronger, more resilient, and more willing to adapt when my world gets turned upside down.
  4. I am grateful for friendship. They have changed over the years. Some have come, many have gone, but all have left me a better person.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, caring, compassion, friendship, joy, dancing, community, opportunities, inspiration, motivation, peace, health, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

And special thanks to Danae Thomas who offered me the first of many tools, and months of support to help me start climbing out of my own pit of despair.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws , of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

Starting at the End

Starting is Easy. It’s the Finishing Part That’s a Constant Challenge

Created with CanvaDo you have projects you start over and over, yet never seem to reach the end? You pick them up with energy high, getting past milestone after milestone, until you run out of steam, far from the finish line.

Cleaning is my albatross, or one of them. I typically start by taking out the sandboxes one by one to clean and refill, vacuuming and mopping floors as I go. I’ll usually get at least the bathrooms and one of the bedrooms done before my energy or attention wanes before I stop short of what I’d intended to do. Sometimes, I even get the living room and kitchen done if I have a particularly good burst of energy, or am into the music playing in my ears while I work.

The one room which, aside from vacuuming and maybe some mopping, gets little of my attention is my bedroom. I’ll de-fur all the furniture in the living room several times before thinking about indulging in some deep cleaning or de-cluttering in that very personal space.

Switching it Up

I realized I leave it for last because it’s a room people don’t typically see. My bedroom and office are at the back of the house and are mostly places where I spend my alone time, so they need only be clear enough for me to do what I need to, right?

This week, I decided to switch things up and am rather pleased with the results. I’ve been wanting to pull up the rest of the carpet in my room for quite some time, but the limited space in my barrels and the amount of energy required to not only pull up the carpet and padding, but detach the tack strips from the floor were often more than I wanted to expend.

Inspiration Trumps Procrastination

But with Thanksgiving looming and a house full of people on the near horizon, I decided it was time to Created with Canvakill the procrastination bug and, as Nike says, just do it. But I didn’t stop there. Once the pieces of carpet sufficient to fill the trash can were removed and the tack strips safely out of reach of the cats, I took a look at the nightstand I’d moved in order to remove the carpet it sat on.

I’d had a bunch of crap on top of it serving no real purpose so I put it all away. I pulled out the wood cleaner and a rag and gave the top, front and sides a good polishing before putting only what was necessary back on top. But now the dresser and the other nightstand looked messy and unkempt beside my newly cleaned nightstand.

The dresser was a special challenge because the dust bunnies behind the mirrors had given birth to several litters since I last saw fit to move everything and clean. Out came the rag and wood cleaner, and I set to organizing and de-cluttering the rest of the wood surfaces in my room as well.

Inspired by the End Result

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sonjalovas/4037482727/in/photolist-79M9Xa-5Gjd5S-eRC2r-71MjKg-fNKbK9-eDXif-cikYGJ-aUh67n-5Gyukb-bkcDiF-97nmjZ-abBz1d-8dVozC-bkgY21-2krwz2-6WZCBb-eTwN23-8vfmQg-bUWvwD-7nyjDz-b2QuMD-63dgyi-aVYczD-4qfrPa-4YBCLw-4tDfAm-hDA2k-8oJ5Xe-mLbU1-m1QVG-8kpaLs-5D1s4V-5yWi1N-ehJ8b3-7eoY4L-7KtRuF-4fihb8-35iwDU-7K2zY-7BKizh-5JM3At-zfgm2o-4qjvXA-7TxL2h-9pvokV-9VD3Hb-7KsvQ6-e1Yp1A-9VAoRV-2N7twUEvery time I walk into my room, I feel not only a sense of accomplishment, but a sense of openness and freedom I hadn’t realized was missing in my life. It started with clearing the accumulation of clothes and junk on my director’s chair a few months ago, but with each newly cleared surface, the momentum and the desire to continue increases.

Sure, I have a lot more to do to get the house ready for visitors, but I feel like starting at the end has been more motivating than anything I’ve done or any plans I’ve made up to this point. It’s as if I’ve proven something to myself, and in the process, shut down a few of those voices which were giving me excuses to leave things as they were.

Battling Our Innate Resistance to Change

Change is a good thing, and it comes in many forms. Whether it’s switching up the order of your https://www.flickr.com/photos/jfolsom/5931303869/in/photolist-a38tZP-dmn34H-a7FwQm-antZ2h-bwzwuR-5stPPH-6EsqoX-T4qUgL-4hmxbh-8MJPmb-fEFoSF-kCt71i-2ikr4t-8MF532-WNwMjy-8tMnKX-fEFoGg-fEXXd7-afuD1a-8MEuUF-95Mr5j-dySrRf-bfNhFR-9oSxoh-5WgF4Q-8MHZfC-7VroTL-9PiLGB-oaW3YQ-K4CQFx-8YSrLp-mSLwB-7VqeAh-5hfnTx-KfhXca-e3u44f-99b5UG-7BeZaD-8MHAVw-kAEoL3-6qZ9C6-5thpD3-ai9p7Z-9gCot5-o8bKtB-5W8sPu-85jA66-6PCR9M-bJ7tue-97oqD4cleaning ritual or getting work out of the way so you have space for more. It might be writing a month’s worth or blog posts or three, scheduling social media posts, creating a price list, or working through lessons you’d put on hold.

Whatever is holding you up, sometimes starting from the part you least want to do is the way to clear the blocks. The thing you’re putting off is standing in the way of accomplishing many other things. It’s an excuse. A safety net. How many times have you told yourself I can’t do this until I do that. But “that” never gets done. Great, now you don’t have to do anything else.

It’s taking procrastination to a new level because you’re creating an excuse for not doing all you can to move towards your dreams. You’re putting the brakes on before you ever get started.

Starting with the Least Appealing

https://www.flickr.com/photos/funnybusiness/3503946843/in/photolist-87XXr1-87XZPQ-6kCDjB-2M1zdU-21ukmo7-o6vHsS-87ULKc-87XTkL-87Y3bu-87UGPM-87Y4kq-2EeDrw-7fF1mf-87Y8QS-9MnMAZ-DpnEKh-7kNkRC-87UZma-87Y5qASo for once, start at the end—with the pesky, unpleasant thing you’re using as an excuse to keep you from shining like the star you are. Get it out of the way for once and for all. Leave room for the things you get done without a second thought, and the end will become, not that onerous task you’ll do anything to avoid, but a beautiful, clear space you can fill with anything you want.

More and more, I hear about how de-cluttering your space de-clutters your mind. I stand before you as living proof it’s true. The more spaces I’ve cleared in my office, my bedroom, my garage—all over this place I call my home, the more clear I become on things which are important to my future.

The Proof is in the Pudding…er, Unblocking

I’ve written more in the last couple of months than I have in the last 6. I’ve set a schedule to finish the re-write of my memoir. I’ve pulled up carpet I’ve been looking at for at least a couple of years. I’ve removed the dust of ages.

But most of all, I’ve become clearer about who I want and need to serve, and how I’m going to go about doing that. I had to clear a lot of crap to get here, and the clearing is far from over. Some of the roadblocks are finally gone, though. There will certainly be more, but I’ve proven to myself that if all else fails, I can start at the end and clear the block first. After that, moving forward is a great deal easier to accomplish.

Check out my Facebook Live where I talked about turning things Inside Out and Backwards.

Growing the List of Gratitudes

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for more cleared spaces in my home.
  2. I am grateful for a plethora of tasks still to be accomplished.
  3. I am grateful for a new perspective I found by starting at the end.
  4. I am grateful for deadlines and schedules which I can and will honor.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; ideas, insights, support, friendship, joy, love, extraordinary life, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws , of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward.;

30 Minutes a Day to Retrain Your Brain

Finding 30 Minutes at the Beginning of My Day

Lately I’ve discovered if I hit the ground running first thing in the morning, I get a lot accomplished. This may sound counter-intuitive to you morning people out there, but my normal day has, for the last few years, run from 9 or so in the morning to anywhere from 1 to 3 the next morning. But as my productivity window seems to be changing, I figured I need to change my sleep schedule as well. I’m learning it’s not as easy as it looks.

I started by setting my alarm for 8 after having spent nearly 4 years rising whenever I felt like it, and leaving the alarm in the off position where it almost didn’t want to leave. That worked OK for a while, and I even trained myself to stop hitting the snooze a bazillion times. Finally, I was getting pretty consistent about getting up between 8 and 8:30 so I thought OK, that worked. Let’s try for earlier.

Trial and Error to Effect Change

I’d like to say I’m happily rising between 7:30 and 8:00 consistently, but I seem to have shot myself in the foot. My brain says, oh, don’t worry. Your clock is 20 minutes fast, so it’s barely 7:00. You have plenty of time! Unfortunately, “plenty of time” has meant sleeping until 9 the last two mornings, at which point I fly out of bed scattering cats and pillows hither and yon, trying to make up the lost hour or so I lost when I outsmarted myself.

Sometimes, we need to do more than try to fool ourselves into changing our habits. Before a habit can truly be changed, we have to want to change it, not just consciously, but to the depths of our subconscious too. Clearly I missed the boat on this one.

Working With Our Natural Resistance to Change Instead of Against It

Never one to give up without a fight, especially when it’s with my own change-resistant brain, I’m taking it back to the drawing board. First, I have to recognize all the advantages of getting my day started earlier.

  • There’s more day in which to get things done (psychologically speaking)
  • I get to the gym earlier and often find it less crowded which means I get my workout done quicker. Voila! Even more day!
  • More day means more inclination to take time to make healthier meals.
  • Starting earlier means I’ve gotten more done in time to get ready to add another night of dancing.
  • Many of my potential and current clients are out of state, and would appreciate earlier con-calls.

All in all, I can see no real disadvantage to starting my day at 8 instead of 9. I know I use up the first hour feeding the cats, writing my morning pages, putting my contacts in and fixing my regular blueberries and yogurt breakfast. It still puts the earliest possible call at about 9:30, but for east-coasters, it’s still morning, if barely.

The Power of Intention

Intentions are powerful things. In fact, when we set a good one, it’s awfully hard to ignore. When I’ve truly wanted to get up early, I’ve had no trouble doing so (though it gets tougher when it’s still dark when I want to get up). Like other habits I’ve set and kept, the secret is in the intention setting, more than anything else.

Sure, I break my pattern now and then, like skipping back and shoulder day so I can actually vacuum and mop the entire house instead of just the rooms where the cats make pigs of themselves. I still end up making up the gym day about 95% of the time, if for no other reason than Jewish guilt.

Did I mention how effective Jewish guilt can be, even with ourselves? I can honestly say I’ve guilted myself into a fair number of better choices simply by asking “do you really need to do that?” Sure, it’s only effective part of the time as I long-ago trained myself to be somewhat resistant. (An overbearing Jewish Mama will send you one of two ways. Into a life of angst and guilt, or one of independence and guilt resistance. I chose the latter.)

Still, like anything else, we need to pick our battles, even with ourselves. This one however, is one I’m determined to win. My evidence lies in those days when I do jump out of bed by 8, and am at the computer working by 9. My productivity levels are unreal on those days, and I truly want more of them.

Adjusting Our Expectations to New Circumstances

My plan is to use the morning hours for client work, then after lunch and meditation, jump right into my own writing; not only these blogs, but the much-delayed completion of my Life Torn Asunder re-write. I was going great guns for a while, but lost my momentum. I believe getting myself on a better daily schedule is the solution to that particular weighty problem. And believing is the first step to manifesting.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/158790927@N08/25811269728/in/photolist-FjRveS-9bdN4K-dKT3m8-anLPS8-G2jGGP-666Dfo-9m3HTB-2ybGf6-9iiWLY-25XfULY-7a6uQa-U9eETw-7DiPVT-p9S65F-e2GNW6-vQhq-4X1zBQ-21j28Rw-aThcrK-RtCD8e-JQymgD-4tNbf5-pHEbRM-6Spn3F-q6BKxR-dFUcvG-pRv5H1-a83xB-3BDEC4-51zVdg-qDXFZQ-ZxzHMW-5QUcWa-sRkDaA-nwfiJe-D2A2dy-6mzNAb-51EaCE-dH2iC3-51zW7R-qy8Bsg-2fiQNc-4rnFvK-cGPQZG-jKU2zx-rpgXY4-oUjEqW-6AiPdn-8GTCLG-9VrnVKRe-setting my alarm to gain 30 minutes might seem a small thing, especially to the people I know who are up at 5:30 every morning (the night owl in me shrinks from rising at that hour as if I’d  looked in the mirror and seen a shriveled, ghoulish face instead of my own). Yet for me, it’s a giant leap out of the comfort zone I established after leaving my day job.

Setting our own hours is a luxury for the work-at-homers. But it’s easy to fall into habits of sloth and procrastination. That’s what happened to me, and it’s long past time to reverse the process. I may never be up at 6:30 or 7 on a regular basis again, but I also have no commute. I can still be working at my desk by 9, and even at my slothiest, I can’t call that a bad thing.

Several Small Steps Equal One Giant Leap

I mention baby steps a lot because most of the grand accomplishments in our lives take time. We obtain a degree in our chosen field one class at a time, and one semester (or quarter) at a time. We learn new skills step-by-step. And we change habits little-by-little. It’s far easier to set and reinforce a small change than a large one, and easier to fake out the change resistance in our brains if we don’t make the first few leaps too grand.

Once we’ve made the mind feel comfortable, and maybe even complacent with the changes we’re making, we can take a few of those bigger leaps. Then again, maybe not. If we’re getting where we want to go with the small ones, and we can make 5 or 10 small ones in the same time and with less effort than 1 giant one, is there really any reason to leap when we can step just a little further than comfort allows?

Knowing When to Leap and When to Build a Bridge

Don’t get me wrong. There is a time and a place to suck it up and jump off that cliff. But after you take that giant leap, you need to regroup and take smaller ones for a while until your brain stops whimpering and cowering like a beaten puppy.

What small steps can you take to gain an extra 30 minutes in your day without cutting out something important or sending your brain into a tizzy?

Finding Gratitude Every Step of the Way

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned which help me adapt to change more easily.
  2. I am grateful for slowly adding more productive time to my day.
  3. I am grateful for the freedom to find my productive sweet spot, and capitalize on it.
  4. I am grateful for the support and encouragement I’m getting these days, just by showing up and asking.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; freedom, joy, encouragement, friendship, an expanding social life and network, newfound marketing skills, peace, health, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

Viewing Change as Opportunity

Fighting Change is a Losing Battle

Change is inevitable. The only way to avoid it is to sit in one place your whole life with your hands folded in your lap, enjoying the excitement of a catatonic state. Even then, changes will happen in spite of you. Days pass, seasons change, dust gathers, people move through or around you. Viewing change as a threat hobbles and restrains you as no shackles or chains could ever do.

Many people see change as threatening, even risky. They close their minds to the possibilities of stepping out in the world and trying something new. They work their steady, boring job day after day, eat the same foods in front of the same TV shows, lamenting every cancellation or summer hiatus.

Here’s to Those Who Take Leaps of Faith

Then there are the adventurers; the ones who climb the mountains, challenge the jungles, toss away what no longer excites them to try something completely new and unproven. When they succeed, they do so on a global scale. When they fail, they do so with no less fanfare, then pick themselves up and face the next challenge.

Most of us fall somewhere between the two, maybe plodding through that boring job while we set up something better in the background. One day, we get fed up with the rat race and make a grand if poorly thought out exit. What keeps us going is the years we spent making what  the adventurers might consider piddly changes and minor challenges. For us, though, they were a giant leap outside our comfort zone and no less risky in our world view than the scaling of Everest or the Himalayas, or jumping from a helicopter onto a mountain covered in freshly fallen snow.

We All Face Fear. It’s What You Do With it That Matters.

To say any of us who takes a chance on ourselves never experiences fear or panic is ludicrous. It’s not that we don’t experience it. We simply move through it until we get to more stable ground before launching ourselves into space again.

I used to think I wanted a completely peaceful, stress-free life; a life where all my needs were met and I felt safe and secure all the time. But a life like that gives you no reason to try; no reason to get out of bed in the morning. Those challenges, set-backs and downright scary times are what keeps our blood flowing, our adrenaline rushing, and our hearts crying out for yet another E-ticket ride.

Change is in our blood, whether we realize it or not. We do ourselves a huge disservice by settling for life in a rut of sameness. We slowly die inside when we don’t allow our inner adventurer to take a few chances, experience new things, discover new places.

Conforming Sucks Your Soul Dry

CGI did a short film called “Alike” featuring a young boy and his dad. Daniel Martinez Lara and Rafa Cano Mendez did an extraordinary job of demonstrating how we need the curiosity and nonconforming characteristics we took for granted as children. Losing them turns us into a grey shadow of ourselves who simply plods through our days with no inspiration or motivation.

Change is the color in our palette, the rainbow in our sky. It’s walking into a cloud of bright orange butterflies and delighting in millions of tickles as they brush across our skin. Without change, we’re incomplete. We ignore the most amazing, creative, ecstatic part of ourselves.

I encourage you to ask yourself this: Is being accepted worth losing your humanity? Will people like you less if you’re true to yourself?

If you ask me, losing yourself to be accepted means you’re making an effort to be accepted by the wrong people. The right people will flock to you like those butterflies I mentioned as soon as you stop trying to be someone you’re not, and worse, someone you don’t even particularly like. In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss:

I Am Grateful for My Adventurous Spirit and So Much More

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the courage to take the leap of faith that brought me to where I am today.
  2. I am grateful for the changes I’m making to allow people to help me as I’ve been blessed to be able to help others.
  3. I am grateful for the opportunities that arise when I get out of my own way.
  4. I am grateful for finding my tribe; people who accept me for who I am, not for who I try to be.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, opportunities, courage, fear, challenges, lessons, risks, rewards, blessings, gifts, joy, adventurers, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

Read Miss Pelican’s Perch’s version of today’s writing prompt.

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. She believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. She specializes in finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook here Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author.

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