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Archive for the ‘changes’ Category

August 26, 2015 Embracing Self-Discovery

A Continuing Voyage of Self-Discovery

I spend a lot of time in my own company, whether at home or out running errands, most of what I do is a solo act. This gives me a lot of time to think, especially when performing the myriad mindless tasks necessary to take care of myself and my cats.

Tonight, while scooping sandboxes and cleaning the kitchen (not at the same time, of course!), I realized that what a friend of mine said recently is frighteningly accurate. I have patterns. Not the normal kind, all neat, tidy and in order. But I do have patterns. For instance, I’ll go through spells when I’ll spend my non-dancing evenings parked in front of the TV, something mindless on until the wee hours, plinking away on my iPad. These are my cats’ personal favorites as it means they can pile into my lap and fight over whose turn it is for skritches.

After a time, I get bored of this, even if I’ve interspersed it with time on the computer, reading and writing. Here’s where my patterns start getting dark and twisty. Tonight I found that the one-eyed monster was boring me more than usual and endless games of solitaire and kitty cuddles just weren’t enough to ward off the twitchiness unrelieved boredom morphs into. Suddenly, more than a night or two a week of TV sitting is no longer do-able. Sitting still for that long is no longer do-able. I feel like I will jump right out of my skin if I don’t get up and move around; clean something, organize, research…anything but sit with my brain atrophying behind my eyes.

This is a fairly new development for me. After a day of running errands or brain work, or both, I was, until very recently content to have a veg night.

I’ve noticed something else as well, and maybe the two are related. Instead of nibbling on this and that throughout the evening, I’m fixing a meal of sorts most nights and once it’s done, except for a few almonds later in the evening, I’m done eating. I haven’t even been inclined to buy snack-type foods other than fruits and veggies.

So I have to ask myself: “What’s changed? Why do I no longer enjoy the pattern of relative sloth I’d fallen into?”

I was about to type something about human beings in general until I remembered something I learned in a parapsychology class in high school. I dream in vivid, living technicolor and tend to remember at least part of a dream every morning. I assumed this was normal. It wasn’t until I took the afore-mentioned course that I learned most people do not dream in color, nor do they remember a single, solitary snippet from their previous night’s rambles! That being said, I’m not going to make the mistake of assuming that other people get bored with their routines and frequently have to change them up or risk going bat-shit crazy like I do.

Now, if you were to ask my daughter, she’d likely tell you that I’m a creature of habit to the point of being anal. I like to get up in the morning, make the bed, stretch, feed the cats, get my coffee and breakfast, and sit down at the computer to check email, my website and blog, and Facebook. I also like to clean up the kitchen before I go to bed, but am liable to leave every dish I used throughout the day in the sink until that time. Unless, of course, I did a freezer-stocking batch of something. I typically clean those up as I go. There are a few other things I like to accomplish each day but I won’t bore you with the details here. What she doesn’t realize is that by being a creature of habit about some things, I am able to clear my path to allow for wild deviations in the things which are more important to me. In a nutshell, I’ve learned to regulate the tedious to leave more room for the extraordinary. After all, which would you rather spend your time doing?

I Know There Was a Topic Around Here Someplace

Which brings me back to my original topic, more or less. Watching television and piddling on my iPad is tedious and boring, though less so with a lap full of furry bodies. Reading, writing, researching or anything else which engages my brain is not boring or tedious. Maybe that’s why I have had such a tough time getting back into my gym routine. Although I like the way it makes me feel, it’s still tedious and boring, for the most part. Having headphones in while listening to music helps, but when the right song comes on, it’s all I can do to keep from breaking out into a line dance in the middle of the gym, and I really don’t want to attract attention to myself while there. I’m a ‘get in, do my thing and get out’ kinda girl!

I realize my blog posts have been getting less regular lately too, and think I might have been getting stuck in a rut here as well. These one-sided conversations do tend to get a bit old, and I’m still learning how to engage my readers enough to comment. I have a few who comment every now and then, letting me know they’re still out there and at least entertained if not sometimes thought-provoked. But greedy girl that I am, I really want more!

When I began this blog nearly 6 1/2 years ago, it was to share something deeply personal in hopes of touching someone who needed to know they weren’t alone. In many ways, that premise hasn’t changed, though the topics have become more diverse (at least, I hope they have) and I spend more time writing about epiphanies and self-discovery than about healing these days. That isn’t to say that I’ve completely healed. Do we ever? Each of us is a work in progress, sometimes moving forward at a rapid pace, and others, doing the Cha Cha. We learn, we grow, we stumble, we fall flat on our face and we pick ourselves up again. Each time we get back up, we’re a little wiser, but also a little more resilient.

Success isn’t in Mastering the Mountain. It is in Refusing to Allow the Mountain to Conquer us.

Each time we get back up again, we earn the right to consider ourselves successful. Not because we’ve scaled a huge mountain, but because we’ve allowed ourselves to be human, we’ve been imperfect, but we’ve survived to try again. In truth, we have very few huge, world-shaking successes in our lives. What we have is far better; it’s a series of wins interspersed with all of the attempts we make while learning how to do better. I think if it as an endless game of trial and error. We try something, if it works, great, move on to the next thing. More often than not, we don’t achieve the results we desire so we tweak what we’ve done and try again. It is through this series of trials and tweaks that we eventually figure things out and maybe find a better solution than we’d imagined. Because the steps are often tiny, we don’t even realize how far we’ve come or how much we’ve accomplished. But at any point in our lives, we’re both standing on a mountain top we’ve spent ages scaling, and we’re in a valley with the next mountain rising up before us. I think glancing back every now and then is a good way to remind ourselves that we can do whatever we set our minds to, climb the tallest of mountains stretching out before us…because, a quick glance back will show us that we’ve done so over and over again. Pretty impressive, aren’t we? Don’t you deserve at least an ‘attaboy’ today?

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for those moments of self-reflection.
2. I am grateful for a mind which grows more easily bored every day. It keeps me looking for new ways to challenge it.
3. I am grateful for the people who have been following my blog; both those who’ve been here awhile and those who’ve just come on board.
4. I am grateful for lessons and for falling down and getting back up again. It hasn’t killed me yet, but it’s certainly made me stronger.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, challenges, lessons, goals, opportunities, changes, hope, dreams, inspiration, motivation, peace, harmony, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

I’d appreciate your taking a moment to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://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!

May 25, 2015 Going With the Flow of the Heart

Sometimes, You Just Need to Let Your Intuition Lead the Way

Today is not going as planned. I look at those words I just typed and think Boy, is that an understatement! My schedule for today was as follows:

  • Gym-Legs
  • Pitches
  • Meditate
  • Write Posts for BlogMutt
  • Dance at BL (Maybe)

I’ve already reconciled myself to the fact that item one has been moved to tomorrow. I tried something different today and did my meditation when I woke up…or should I say I tried to do my meditation when I woke up since Miss Munchkin chose that period of time to use my chest as a trampoline. I can only be grateful that it was the 8 pound cat rather than the 20 pound cat who required gymnastic practice this morning.

As for items two and four, well, let’s just say I gave them the old college try, but ran into issues. I perused the website for the company I’d planned to cold pitch but it just left me cold. No ideas, no inspiration…nothing. I looked at several others in the same Google search with similar results. Thinking I might just need a change of scene, I moved over to BlogMutt to try to find something to write about. Sadly, I ran out of steam before anything really caught my attention, though I am still reviewing one client’s website for inspiration.

Turning back to Facebook (believe it or not, I get a lot of my ideas from pages I’m following) I read a couple of posts shared by friends and one from Spirit Science. Though it didn’t trigger anything marketable, it made me see some things in a new light.

Seeing Immediate Success in Changes for the Better

As I read the article from Spirit Science entitled “What Science is Telling Us About the Heart’s Intuitive Intelligence”, I began to see how my recent actions to give myself a schedule were actually already yielding positive results.

I am no longer getting up in the morning and futzing around on social media for hours. I’m jumping into something productive, even if it is simply reading articles or reviewing websites for possible pitches. Even better, when I wandered into the kitchen looking for lunch, I followed my typical route, looking for something easy. But here’s the difference. Instead of pulling a frozen pizza or veggie lasagna out of the freezer, I pulled kale, a beet, fresh fruit and yogurt and threw together a smoothie. Strangely, it never occurred to me that the time to do so was less than the pizza or lasagna, and aside from a couple more dishes to wash, it’s actually easier! My old mindset kept telling me that it would take too long and be too much effort. I’m also ensuring that a fresh veggie or a salad accompanies any meal with meat, rice or pasta.

I, myself am a prime example of how small changes can have effects far greater than we might realize. Is this the Universe nudging me to take those baby steps? Maybe…likely…probably. I’ve gotten so used to the butt-kicking, head-slapping nudges that the subtle ones which feel like they were my own idea are quite the novel concept.

National Holiday or no, I Need to See Evidence of Productivity

As a freelancer or solopreneur, I don’t have a typical work schedule. Sure, I’m trying to give myself a framework now, but that does not mean I will ever return to the stereotypical nine to five. The very idea makes my gut clench. What it means instead is that time of day or day of the week or even national holiday is no excuse for spending the entire day napping or lollygagging. I try to only allow myself one day in 10, and often 12 or 14 to really just futz around and do nothing constructive. I see that happening less and less frequently as I get more into my schedules, my workouts and my writing.

The energy drain I’d been experiencing seems less and less apparent now. It’s as if I needed to restate my life’s purpose and then just get moving. Though I might not be following the schedule, per se, I find myself anxious to start working on revisions for Frederick the Gentlemouse. Since that is where my creative side wants to go, I see no reason to avoid indulging it (after I finish this post which insisted on being written now! of course). My heart (interesting that I read the Spirit Science article which I previously referenced today) is clearly taking the tentative daily structure and tweaking it to fit its own desires and ambitions. Who am I to argue with whatever makes my heart happy as, if the heart is happy, the brain and the creativity are also happy!

Listen to Your Heart and Find Your Happy

What I’m trying to say in my usual 10,000-words-or-more, rambling kind of way is that though our lives need some kind of basic structure or framework. Once we find something that works, our best option is to step back and allow our hearts to lead the way. Look at it like this: The beating of our heart is what gives us life. Our heart is our healing center (think Heart Chakra). The energy from our heart, when we are in a positive, loving, joyful place has the potential to heal not only our own ills, but also the ills of other people, animals, plants, and Mother Earth herself. Individually, the impact might be small, but imagine the impact of a thousand positive, loving hearts…a million…a trillion. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most of us wish for peace on earth. I believe we can achieve it, one loving heart at a time. How many lives will you touch? How many hearts can you heal today? How many healed hearts will heal more hearts tomorrow? Wrap your head around that if you can.

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for the things people share on social media to inspire us.
2. I am grateful for the positive changes I’m making in my own life, and hope they will inspire others to also make changes to improve their lives.
3. I am grateful for the opportunity to increase the vibration on our planet in this human lifetime.
4. I am grateful for the lessons I learn from animals about love and acceptance.
5. I am grateful for abundance: the flow of inspiration, blessings, positive energy, changes which become evolution, love, joy, harmony, peace, energy, health, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting. If you get a minute, 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!

December 28, 2014 Time for a face lift (or is that a change of face?)

Something came over me, something strange, something new…

…and with that something, I knew I needed to make some changes. The first of those changes is this blog. At first, I thought it only needed a face lift, but the more I played with themes and colors, the more I realized that what was needed was more than just a face lift, but a complete change of face.

You see, I realized that I had outgrown my original theme, quite dramatically. It only took me the last year to figure it out, too! Though the web address will remain survivingandbeyond, I find that since the onset in 2009, I have truly grown beyond merely surviving.

Leaps of Faith and other sudden and thorough sparks of energy.

What began, with a little help from my friends, with a leap of faith in late 2013 has grown into a brand new lifestyle, for better or worse. In fact, when asked if I’d consider looking for a job in my old profession again, I reacted with very real horror. And so, along with the thematic change you might have noticed overtook my blog this weekend, you’ll find that the name has also changed to reflect the path I’m currently treading. So, my loyal readers and followers, allow me to present the new and improved blog:

Leaps of Faith: Dancing outside my comfort zone

I’ve discovered that even on days when I hang around the house in my pajamas, I am still living outside of my comfort zone now, if for no other reason than I don’t have anything more than my faith that financial prosperity is just a sailor step and two wizards away; that as long as I keep dancing, keep moving, keep growing, whatever I need will be there when I need it. Not only what I need, but the means to support the causes I believe in; those which take into consideration the health and welfare of our children and animals.

The strides I’ve made in the last year may seem puny on the surface, but changing ones life and livelihood so completely still, like anything else, requires baby steps. Maintaining this blog at the level to which it has been maintained is, in and of itself, no small feat. But to complete one novel and be 50,000 words into a second is nothing short of amazing, given that it isn’t what I was doing for the last 30-odd years. It takes time to twist my head around into the direction I mean it to go.

As I seem to have finally grasped the direction I mean to take, 2015 should see further evolution and growth. I expect to see some new ideas, a growth in the amount of material I produce and variety in what I produce. I expect to see completion of some classes I signed up for in 2014 and use of the information I glean.

Numeralogically speaking, my birth year is 9 which is represented by the Hermit in Tarot. I have certainly been living up to that image as I pursue a career which is largely done in the privacy and safety of my own environment. The Universal year, 2015 is 8 which is represented by the Strength card. This is an apt card for a year which will require perseverance and strength of character as well as strength of purpose.

The real kicker, though, is my personal year which is 6 and is represented by the Lovers. This indicates partnerships, contracts and choices to be made in my work environment which will change my life for the better.

All in all, changing my blog is only a small step towards what lies ahead in the coming year. This prompts me to add another affirmation to the stickies which ring my monitor (good thing it’s an extra large one!)

The New Year sees me becoming what I was meant to be

Which leaves only my gratitudes tonight, or a smidgen of them, anyway, as to list them all would require several posts, and even then, I’d surely still omit a few.
1. I am grateful for the love and support I am receiving as I wander around, seeking the path for my new journey.
2. I am grateful for the leap of faith, and the support I received to take it last year. I am more certain than ever that it was the right thing to do.
3. I am grateful for my unwavering spirit, even when things don’t appear particularly successful.
4. I am grateful for the groups I’ve joined this year which have provided insight and direction on many levels.
5. I am grateful for the healthy lifestyle I’ve embraced as I search for my new path, and which is, in fact, a leg on that road.
6. I am grateful for the vivid dreams I have which may not always stick, but leave wisps in my brain which come back to the surface when they are needed.
7. I am grateful for the company of my cats who are often the only ones I speak to for a few days. They show their appreciation for my almost constant company in so many ways.
8. I am grateful for my daughter and my friend Candy who have encouraged me along this road, but never beat me up when I failed to produce as much as I might have had I treated my days like a job.
9. I am grateful for the ladies form my A.R.T. class who gave me the kick in the butt I needed to get out of a lifestyle which was killing me slowly.
10. I am grateful for abundance: friendship, support, love, joy, inspiration, faith, health, harmony, peace, gratitude, lessons and prosperity. (that piece of land overlooking the beach, an artists retreat and cat rescue may be dreams now, but they will ultimately be reality.)

Namaste and a very Happy, prosperous New Year to all.

October 26, 2014 A door closed today. #shericonaway #blogboost

Sometimes, we need a door to close for good to make us realize that our efforts were better spent elsewhere.

Today, I got word that a potential increase in my accounting work was not going to happen. Am I saddened by the news? For me, not really. For the other party, they’ve already made changes and moved on. The fact is, if I’ve learned no other lesson over the past year, it’s that I am infinitely happier when the amount of logical, uncreative accounting work is at a minimum. I don’t mind having a little of it in my life, if only to keep me sharp, but a heavy diet of accounting has the same effect on me as the half a baked potato I ate for lunch today. It makes me feel slow and heavy instead of how I feel when I’m eating healthier meals with lots of fresh vegetables. It’s OK once in awhile, but given the choice, I’d rather spend my time as I have over the last couple of days; studying and preparing for my next writing project.

Although I’ve had a much slower start (mostly due to my own need to just veg and move myself, body and soul, into a new place), the writing, the creating, even finding ways to help other people, is where I need to be, and where my soul has been starving for many years. There were, and still are, many things about industries which utilize writers that I needed to learn. I have plenty of trial and error ahead of me, but I do learn from my mistakes as well as from my ignorance. In the last couple of days, I’ve reassessed my plans, hopes and dreams and realized that I need to make some changes and jump over some obstacles. In so doing, I found new resources which are helping me get my momentum going in a forward direction again, and learning my limitations for absorbing the information.

I purchased a bundle from Writer’s Digest which contains webinars, ebooks and print books designed to help develop a plot before I just dive in and start to write. After watching one webinar and gaining some very surface-level insight, I tried watching another and just couldn’t stick with it. It was then that the epiphany hit me. I don’t need to use all of the resources, but only the ones which resonate with me. Poking around at the rest of the electronic information I’d received (the print books hadn’t arrived yet), I started reading one of the ebooks and had a major “Aha moment”. Even so, I have discovered that about 30 minutes of reading at a time, taking it slowly and absorbing as much as I can, is about optimal for me right now.

Once the realization hit with regard to my lessons in plot development, I realized that I could and should do the same with my copywriting class. Instead of agonizing over a section and an assignment which didn’t feel right or comfortable for me, I have decided to keep reading and set the assignment aside. I may come back to it after I’ve absorbed more information…and then again, I might not. But either way, I’m not going to allow it to halt my forward progress any more.

I’m adopting a kind of “so what” attitude about things which, in the long run, don’t matter. One of those things is the low income I’ll be showing for Uncle Sam this year. The last time my annual income was this low, I was a college student. Of course, the year isn’t over yet, and I believe that things can change in a single moment. But as of right now, I won’t be buying any private islands or flying first class to Europe…this year. (not that any of it was on my agenda anyway)

The book I’m currently reading uses a lot of theatrical examples as the writer (as did the presenter in the webinar I watched) talks about writing a book in three acts. As a result, while I was watching a couple of movies tonight, I found myself dissecting them as I’ve been doing with the books I read these days. It’s like learning a language by immersion. I find that if I take every day things and try to figure out how they fit in with what I’ve learned, I absorb more. Recognizing plot types is really no different than recognizing words in another language. Once recognized, you can start to use what you’ve learned.

I can see clearly now, the block is gone.

And so it begins. A shift in energy and a shift in perspective, and what was stuck is now unstuck. I don’t expect to see results over night (though it would be wonderful!), but will be overjoyed to begin seeing those baby steps moving forward once again. This year has been like returning to kindergarten to make my choices all over again, but different. If my life were a screenplay, there would be a point where I had choices to make, then the story would unfold in two directions, one the choice I took and the other, the choice I rejected. In my case, I chose a path with a guarantee of making a living instead of the one which would make me the happiest. But along the way, I gained life experiences so that when I decided to give myself a second chance, I had a whole lot more to work with.

I always have and always will believe that everything happens for a reason.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the choices I’ve made, and the ones I have yet to make.
2. I am grateful for epiphanies and Aha moments.
3. I am grateful that the clouds have cleared and I am able to see the path before me again.
4. I am grateful that for every choice I make, there are options. Some may be better than others, some may be of equal value, some may just be there to show me where I don’t want to go. But all give me an opportunity to weigh the pros and cons if I choose, or go with my gut if that suits me better at the time.
5. I am grateful for the challenges which face me in the months ahead. I believe that what I’ve accomplished in the last year has prepared me to forge ahead, fearlessly and better equipped.
6. I am grateful for abundance: choices, opportunities, knowledge, wisdom, challenges, life, friendship, harmony, peace, joy, health, love and prosperity.

Namaste

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