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

Archive for the ‘clearing’ Category

Clearing the Cobwebs of Painful Memories

Time To Do Some Clearing

https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/7849876896/in/photolist-cXEEV7-fPr3hz-ovy3Y-2TKGKr-RJSecz-81bjFu-o4c5Cv-5GdaKc-8D2F6U-22tfUjT-4DQbJU-5s2mHR-6En1bs-8n1pCV-dLvZgq-4Xbv3C-8n4xvC-nfdexu-cdNTt7-dRsadY-9gsEyT-8f7e7g-7JsrvP-6En2bL-8f7ibz-6EhUbV-fKGp59-5rR2oc-8f7fvF-8f7gWv-6En4DN-E8n3sk-dU6FTL-2ezHFm2-7H8SZN-2fyEitz-nrTHmV-21ULG68-gd3BS-5rVnWy-5rR3zM-cMbd8N-kzXmM-5rVneJ-5rR1VH-7hY577-oiDSem-DYf7cJ-ArNMhD-A6zcJMI’ve been suffering from a nasty case of ennui. I haven’t felt like doing much of anything, work-wise. I start writing only to push it aside as uninspired and dull. I do something less creative, and stop working on it when it will require creativity to complete.

I’m not really sure what I have stuck in my craw, but it’s also setting off migraines, or at least the beginnings of them with increasing frequency. This is not a good sign.

Meanwhile, I seem to be more engaged with taking care of myself; eating healthy meals, getting more exercise, and sleeping more than usual. But I’m frustrated with my lack of progress on the projects awaiting my attention. I’m annoyed by the things I’m not getting done, and the forward momentum which has come to a screeching, grinding halt.

Engaging My Tools to Free Creativity Held Captive

Venting my frustrations and irritation in this post is one of the ways I’ve found https://www.flickr.com/photos/eelundgaard/6843281107/in/photolist-bqHB4i-4nTQzD-7q252U-pbHQ71-7PAFYM-2em7Gkp-e44j5p-oBWaHi-4nSSHx-ZFC7EN-oAUXNJ-VBDg4S-XzbE8f-ghWwir-9DKTNV-5CrSjc-AGyeY-9kGdwf-eBVzrE-VnQuFb-8UQoiG-UfEVmU-Td5M2F-eauQmZ-dzQbgm-owmBAC-WSoCkm-c5MZNj-ebYA1j-9ijap5-5MLfF-9qug71-KAUJeL-jnr1Vx-ZFCdUG-6Nr9Fh-ZFCeYq-WewmJY-4MPtFk-TPDJ-VdcBDb-8pv5j-WqU5HJ-CDSsNh-CDSpbh-fNacTS-8XgrBS-g2iZgE-h3EJz8-4nGFiScan break up the logjam in my head and heart. But at the moment, the words I need to write seem to be stuck inside too. Hours before I usually retire, I’m ready to take out my contacts, brush my teeth, and go to bed. I toss and turn or fall victim to the cacophony in my head. I’m avoiding something with a vengeance, and that avoidance is leaking into everything I want or need to get to.

It’s as if the me who gets on a roll, knocking out articles and book chapters is being stuffed into a box with a rag in her mouth to keep her from screaming and disturbing the other inmates. She fights frantically but only succeeds in tightening the bonds restraining her and preventing her fingers from typing or scribbling.

The words pile up around her, filling what little space is left in the box until her efforts become more feeble, and ultimately she gives up, defeated, to lie whimpering at the bottom of the box, unable to help herself, with no one around to help, even if they could hear her or recognize her distress.

Fortunately, I’ve been here before, and managed to escape the box and spit out the rag. It might be a cafe writing session, or camping out for a few hours in the red Adirondack chairs on what I jokingly call my veranda, listening to the sounds of the neighborhood; birds chirping, a baby crying, a train tooting to warn cars at the intersections of it’s impending arrival. Occasionally, a fire engine’s wail intrudes as it rushes to another emergency.

Forging a New Path

https://www.flickr.com/photos/philipglevy/9462509263/in/photolist-fqaQkr-6B62hk-9jZwX5-4FH1En-54uCWa-a3Ns41-6BanmN-6DM4U9-5u49NP-6v9Puu-6DGTwD-4FMcCG-doJVpC-3ervgn-4FMcmC-pb1bmR-6v9McG-6DM5Wm-a71Zuu-5i6sb2-6B9Lkj-4FH1v4-gQpcex-jZKZ5o-6v9NNf-6B5zw6-89YYg5-6v9Xbb-6MPVRc-6v9Wow-6v5Gyk-aPQjfH-6v9QjU-6v5PF8-6v9VcG-cu2a4-DUvgxx-6v9YGJ-5oAaDQ-8ipJ7z-5VgzB9-6B9AVJ-5KTyGH-5Vce46-Uwsk9p-6vNzky-6v5FCV-6B5rgp-6v9UFb-6v9LjqThis time I choose the chairs and my porch. I pull out a spiral binder and my pack of multi-colored V5 pens, date the page, and bring up the next writing prompt from “A Writer’s Book of Days”. Propped up on the two-sided UCLA-USC pillows my evil daughter made me, I write a few words, digging into my subconscious for inspiration. My 3 garage cats, Max, Cinders, and Hailey come running as I settle in to assure me they’ve been neglected for days; maybe even weeks.

After awhile, the words start to flow and the dregs of my subconscious hit the page, drifting further and further from the actual prompt. It doesn’t really matter what I write. This exercise has one purpose; to get me writing and spilling my guts.

Revisiting Previous Epiphanies

One such exercise yielded the realization that I harbored a great deal of anger https://www.flickr.com/photos/60740813@N04/34504735502/in/photolist-Uz4MJN-7H8hqz-r2covS-8wbGLH-8wcEVv-8weaum-8wcFMc-r2c6ww-r2iYrg-qmL3eU-8w9Dpr-r2jtjr-riJFWH-8wcT7A-8wcK8r-8wbRuV-8wcj84-8wanQx-8waPPT-8w9c4V-8w97ek-r2j3iV-riCAji-8w8skp-r2cTQq-8wfuwo-8waMUv-8wfDJJ-8wdgXY-qZq9cM-8wd2u3-8wfVzw-8wbq15-8w8bJP-8w9Wdc-8wcQdR-riF3r5-riJvW2-8wbTSq-r2cNH1-8wc6wN-r2d6wG-8wcM6o-r2jiHn-8wdexo-riJBiz-8bQ1eC-8wfeYo-riJJHV-8w9Yqrtowards my dad, not because he took his life, but because of all the years, time,  and effort I spent trying to earn his approval. What I got instead was abuse and disdain. It also made me see the underlying cause of my inability to form a strong, loving relationship. What I’d been taught to believe was love was light years away from a relationship based on kindness, compassion, and respect.

The trouble is, once I recognized the anger, my mind wanted to clutch it close like the childhood teddy bear my cat Snowy had licked clean of its fur. Unfortunately, my anger wasn’t soft and benign like that bear. It was intrusive and destructive. Like the bear, it was dull and dingy, and needed to be tossed out.

Old habits die hard though. I’d just converted the love and devotion I’d carried for decades without reciprocation  to anger and hurt. The space it filled in my heart and mind wasn’t ready to be empty, if only until I could fill it with happier memories and emotions.

Allowing Myself to Enjoy the Empty Space

https://www.flickr.com/photos/oddsock/1074766279/in/photolist-Qq8gms-2CYsz6-9LDCMr-f2j8XG-9LDCYn-5Y9PzH-FkrgSH-nvoHbg-9mtAak-iD74WS-6mvA4s-4rrcvn-6Vw4xM-zHyznr-4LSv6x-8JNcR5-6TQeJd-7nXLkF-LciV1-5f6yL-9AuXrj-7o2EMh-69J8C8-8TorzY-5d1ns-JzytHf-26ReUcc-25BFXcJ-DmHVZK-qGRjJY-25BFVU3-25niJrT-iEZMGh-Jzyr59-6rXktd-6rXkoU-bYfvh-6jLb3F-ibKpJ7-6rXjNd-xkP6c-8jf2iK-V2pgYm-bYfvq-9LGr25-nqymWu-9Hspoj-77msAd-5V8poC-5zqHbfSuch is the challenge of replacing old hurts with something better. I have to be willing to endure an empty hollowness for a little while until the space has been swept clean of all the old cobwebs and can comfortably house something more pleasant. I’ve spent too many years filling spaces with anything just to avoid the emptiness.

But I’m learning. I no longer clutter up my personal space with stuff. I’ve discovered I love a clear desk, a clean kitchen, a dresser I can set something down on and not lose it amidst the junk piled on top. A made-up bed and an empty director’s chair make me feel happy and free rather than anxious these days.

I see the space I’ve filled with unrequited love, and more recently, anger as I view my desktop; more useful when it’s cleared off than when it’s piled with papers, knick knacks, and dust bunnies.  I see myself standing in the middle of a room where those negative, destructive feelings have lived and festered, feeling refreshed and vindicated as I vacuum up the cobwebs, stuff all the accumulated junk in a giant trash bag, scrub the walls and apply clean, fresh paint. I scrub and scrape until the floor is as clean and welcoming as the newly painted walls.

Another Painful Memory Purged

I stand in the doorway feeling lighter; freer; at peace. It’s going to be OK. The room can remain empty for now. I have new memories to make, new love; real love to fill it with. The emptiness isn’t fearful at all. It’s possibilities.

Gazing at the room, empty and waiting to be filled with light and love, I feel my ennui slipping away again. I know it will come back as it always does. It is my mind and soul’s way of telling me it’s time to clean out another room, or clear some weeds from my garden. The rooms have filled and the garden became overgrown over my lifetime. The changes and clearing need to take place over time too. If I listen to my heart, I’ll know when the time comes again.

Moving Forward With a Grateful Heart

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the reminders that it’s time to do some more clearing. They may be frustrating, but they serve a purpose.
  2. I am grateful for the new memories I’m forming to replace the old, sad, angry ones.
  3. I am grateful for the tools I’ve developed to help me let go of things and move on.
  4. I am grateful for signs that tell me I’m on the right track, even when I’m feeling stuck.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, light, friendship, joy, health, harmony, peace, balance, 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

A Clear Space Equals a Clear Mind

For the last week I’ve been finding ways to avoid writing. As mentioned yesterday, my excuses and methods are many-faceted. I thought simply breaking the spell by writing a blog post yesterday would do the trick, but today I discovered there was more to the problem than simply being unable to put fingers to keyboard and type something meaningful.

I woke up this morning after the best night’s sleep I’ve had in awhile, in spite of a howling wind which ripped a limb off my tree and had the cats racing around the house in a tizzy. I further delayed the commencement of writing by making a healthy brunch and doing my daily exercises.

As I continued to procrastinate and waste time, I looked at my desk and realized the cluttered, dusty mess was inhibiting my creative process more than I realized. desk-and-suppliesAn hour later, everything that was on it is in it’s proper place and the dust and cat fur have been removed, albeit temporarily (Dylan has already taken up residence, demanding skritches and spewing fur across the newly-cleaned surface). Now I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I’m writing a blog post which won’t be published until the wee hours of tomorrow morning. In other words, I’m making use of the “publish later” feature on my blog site.

While writing yesterday, I realized that writing regularly must include a post to at least one of my blogs, and starting my writing day with that post is a good way to clear the cobwebs. I’ve also learned while participating in a weight loss challenge that getting up from the computer every hour is just as important as sitting down and getting my work done. Thus, I’ve reminded myself to turn on the mindfulness clock app so I hear a loud DING when I’ve been sitting too long. It occurs to me that hourly reminder will serve just as well to get me writing in hourly chunks and I won’t need to remember to set a timer any more.

To make a long story short, I’m continually reminded that mental blocks are often connected with clutter in my physical environment. Clearing one quite often unblocks the other.

I actually started the clearing process earlier this week when I finally emptied my current year filing cabinet and started files for 2016, enabling me to finally put all of the documents which had been accumulating in a folder into their proper places. I’m seeing benefits to this almost every day. The folder isn’t taking up space on my desk or giving the cats yet another pile of papers to fling from the desk top. Even nicer was how quickly I could put the random bits still littering my desk into their proper places without having to wrestle a folder in and out of the drawer. As much as I hate cleaning, I love the way organized feels. I’m also grateful for the fact that I am still physically able to do my own cleaning, and when I’m mentally deficient, cleaning is a great way to unclog my brain and give me some much-needed exercise.

If cleaning your environment isn’t enough, it may mean you need to clear the energy as well. I keep a salt lamp (an incredibly thoughtful gift from a friend) on my desk, but don’t always remember to turn it on. (Writing this reminded me it was overdue). But the rest of the house gathers both helpful and detrimental energy as well, so a thorough smudging (in my case, with sage grown in another friend’s garden and bundled by her loving hands) is often called for. I’ve heard it should be done at least once a month, though I tend to wait longer. But I rarely have visitors so I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that negative energies don’t enter my home as often.

Thinking about it, I realize those energies can easily attach themselves to things I bring into the house like groceries and cleaning supplies, or to me from people with whom I’ve come into contact. I can even bring them in when I have negative feelings about someone or inadvertently indulge in negative self-talk.

This is a good place to end today’s chat as I need to do some smudging. Be well and clear those energies and clutter. Your own energy will thank you. When all else fails, sit down and love your cat, your dog or whoever shares your space.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for those de-cluttering urges.
2. I am grateful for the energy and flexibility to do my own housework.
3. I am grateful I can recognize when the energy around me is getting sluggish.
4. I am grateful for the lesson in distinguishing between “friendship” and “friendly acquaintanceship”. (more on this in another post)
5. I am grateful for abundance: clearing, energy, friendship, love, kindness, inspiration, motivation, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

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

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

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: