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

Archive for the ‘dreams’ Category

Achieving Our Dreams With Baby Steps

Everyone Has Dreams and Goals

Many of us have lofty goals and aspirations, but how we believe we’ll reach them can take many forms.

For some, it’s kind of an all-or-nothing deal. They expect to jump in with both feet and instantly achieve their dreams. They might believe it will be a result of putting in a superhuman amount of effort, or they might be one of those Laws of Attraction nay-sayers who expect to imagine their dream in full detail and have it drop into their lap. Either way, they’re more than likely to be disappointed.

I tend to take a more expansive and dynamic view of the process. Envisioning your dream is an important, nay, essential part of the process. If you can’t picture where you want to be in technicolor detail right down to the smell of your morning coffee, manifesting will be a tougher, though not impossible road. All is not lost, though. As the saying goes, there’s an app for that.

Tools We Use in our Manifesting Journey

Lots of people are using vision boards to help manifest their dream. In fact, you can even find virtual ones nowadays, saving you the effort of finding pictures that resemble your visions. Here’s a reviewed list of 7 vision board apps by MakeAVisionBoard.com. If you’d rather create your vision board with a PC, Mac,  or notebook, The Law of Attraction Library has reviewed 5 options for you. There are even paid versions of vision board software, presumably for those who want everything to be just perfect and require the functionality to make it so. If you ask me, any of the free versions will get you pointed in the right direction.

While vision boards are a good place to start, especially if you’re new to the concept of envisioning your dreams, there are other approaches, depending on your special talents and of course, your imagination. Some of us craft our vision with words. In other words, we tell our story as we’d like it to be. Others draw or paint their story.

Achieving Our Dreams are the Pots of Gold, the Pirate’s Booty

One that’s especially intriguing to me was presented by one of my favorite mentors, Linda Clay. She suggests creating a treasure map. The map will contain a starting point and an “X marks the spot” area where your pot of gold will be found.  A lot of the space in between will be left open because you have no way of knowing how you’re going to get from here to there at the beginning of your journey. I think I’d put in a couple of rivers and a mountain range or two simply because no journey worth traveling is flat and boring. There will be some challenges just as there will be times when the road is smooth and easy. Some of our roads will be filled with switchbacks while others will be as straight as the infamously boring Interstate 5.

The beauty of a treasure map is in it’s capacity to allow us to fill steps in as they appear. Each opportunity we acknowledge and act upon will lead us to another. Even the missed opportunities have their purpose. Sometimes, part of reaching our goal lies in choosing our opportunities wisely. Some may lead us on a detour which takes us miles out of our way causing us to stop, regroup, and possibly backtrack. Some are that anti-change device in our brain trying to take us back to where it feels safe. While I’ve often said it’s important to jump on opportunities that arise, note I’ve also urged you to look closely at those opportunities before leaping. Some are gifts you’re better off declining as close inspection will reveal they’re designed to thwart rather than advance your cause. Even so, opportunities which hinder our progress will always teach us something valuable we’ll need later in our journey. There truly are no wrong choices.

Picking the Tool That’s Right for You

Whether you choose a vision board, a story board, a drawing, or a treasure map, they all share a common requirement. Set the dream or goal and let go so steps and opportunities you’re not aware of can show up for you. Holding rigid expectations of the steps required to reach your goal will prevent it from manifesting as it’s supposed to, rather than inside your limited vision. Embrace the unexpected as it can bring us closer to an even better version of our dreams without the effort we believed it would take to get there.

Opportunities, too come in many forms. It might be an object, a job offer, a chance to visit a place, or it might be a person. Pay special attention to chance meetings, immediate connections, and people who appear in response to a thought. People come into our lives for a reason. Often they’re there to  teach us something we need to know to achieve our dreams. The reason for a particular person’s presence may not be apparent right away but if your intuition says to nurture the relationship, you can be certain it’s part of your journey.

People Are the Best Part of Our Journey

Some people teach us by their example. My friend Kari has helped me step out of my comfort zone in at least a dozen ways in the short time we’ve known each other. It’s nothing she says, and everything she does. She is positively fearless about going into new situations, whether it’s a trailer in the middle of North Dakota or simply meeting new people. She takes it all in stride. She is strong, independent, and resourceful, while also being one of the most giving, nurturing individuals I’ve ever met.

What Happens by Chance Might Really Be Design

One of the best lessons I’ve learned lately is to get out of my own way. All too often, we feel we need to call the shots and direct our own progress. All too often, it’s a curse rather than a blessing. Too much control makes us overlook things. When we see our direction through tunnel vision, we miss a lot of possibilities which could well be far more appealing. We lock in on the one true way and cheat ourselves out of others that will bring us far more than our puny imagination let us believe we deserve. Let yourself deserve everything you can imagine and more. Then allow things to unfold with the wonder of a child instead of the often irrational fears of an adult.

Be in the moment. The past is over, the future is yet to come. You can only be in and enjoy a single moment. Try not to control. Allow, observe.

I learned this lesson well when my daughter and I ended up on PCH after a series of wrong turns. Had I pulled up a map instead of relying on my memory, or been annoyed at the extra time it would take to get home, I’d have not only missed something stunningly beautiful, but something I couldn’t have gotten back; time in a place we both loved with my daughter. The color of the water,  the rhythm of the waves, and the potential to see whales, dolphins, and seals were just the break we both needed from lives filled with activity, anxiety, and stress. That detour also led to her spending a few more days with me turning my living room into a relaxing sanctuary, and my front porch into a place to welcome friends.

Keep Your Eyes Open for the Baby Steps.

Part of the joy of reaching our goals; achieving our dreams isn’t manifesting the dream at all, but the journey. That journey is made of thousands of steps. The smallest of them can be the most impactful. Sometimes slow is better because it allows us to savor that journey and enjoy the sights along the way. In the meantime, we can take time to build a solid foundation which will support not only the dreams we already have, but those yet to be dreamed. Building that foundation can’t be rushed if it is to sustain what you achieve. In other words, savor those baby steps!

Shout Your Gratitude to the Mountain Tops

As with every other manifestation, we attract more when we appreciate what we already have. So don’t be shy about expressing your gratitude.

My gratitudes tonight are:

  1. I am grateful for the people who continue to come into and influence my life.
  2. I am grateful for opportunities to take a less traveled path.
  3. I am grateful for my sea green walls and my red Adirondack chairs.
  4. I am grateful for Toby’s continuing improvement.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; friendship, love, opportunities, epiphanies, inspiration, time to just be, motivation, exercise, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

The associated Facebook Live can be found here.

 

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. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information.

Advertisements

Giving Our Dreams a Kick in the Pants

Dreams That Come to Us by Day

You can find the Facebook Live where I talk about Dreams by clicking the link.

Dreams are funny things. When they come at night, they’re often gone by morning. When we do remember a bit or two, the rest evades us the harder we try to capture the essence.

Even our waking dreams; the ones we imagine intentionally, can be equally resistant to capture and implementation. Sometimes we just need patience, but for others, we might need a little help. It might be that those dreams have too many components to implement all at once. Or it might be that we need to clarify what it is we actually want so we can focus in on the steps required to achieve it.

We could simply run them by our family and friends, but I’ve found they’re often too close to us and too engaged in what makes our heart sing. There are times we just need an outsider who asks us the right questions; the difficult questions that make us figure out for ourselves where we need our focus to be…at least for the time being. I finally realized after drifting aimlessly for the last 3 years (assuming finishing 3 Nano’s and having 5 pieces and an active blog is aimless) that I needed help whittling down the veritable cacophony of ideas into one or two workable tasks.

Helping Corner Our Dreams Instead of Fruitlessly Chasing Them

The decision made, I took advantage of a couple of sample sessions, keeping my senses alert for someone who resonated with me. That’s not to say each wasn’t helpful in their own way, but like any therapy, there was a certain something, a click if you will I needed to feel in order to put my dollars down and embark on a journey with a virtual stranger.

I admit, it was a little scary, opening my private hopes and dreams to someone I knew little or nothing about. Frankly, the monetary consideration was the least of my concerns. What if they told me my dreams were all wet and I needed to go back to the drawing board. Or worse, what if my dreams of being a writer were of the pipe variety and could never come to pass.

Fortunately, as of this writing, the coach I found realizes writing is my true passion and is working with me to make at least a part of my long-term dreams a reality. That isn’t to say I’m being relieved of the frustration I’ve been experiencing lately. Nor does it mean I can sit back and wait for someone to discover me. (trust me, that only happens in the movies). It means we’re trying different things to see what might get things rolling business-wise so I can ultimately give myself permission to continue writing the things which are long-term projects, not a steady source of income.

Re-writing My Money Story

For awhile, I hated the idea of having to charge people for my services, but let’s be realistic. The bills need to be paid if I want a roof over my head, power for the internet connection, the internet connection itself, and food for my furry roommates. In my eyes, those roomies are all incredibly adorable (and Dylan is great at keeping me at my desk scratching his belly, er, working for hours at a time) but lack the earning capacity of Grumpy Cat and others. Or maybe I just haven’t learned to market their cuteness as effectively.

At any rate, I’m learning there’s no shame in writing for money. I may not be ready or willing to write sales pitches, but there are many ways to put words to screen for compensation without sacrificing my integrity.

Learning to Attract Rather Than Repel Potential Clients

I’ve learned some tough lessons along the way. No matter how much I might love a person’s content, they are often unwilling to entertain the idea that their editing sucks rocks, no matter how politely I might word it. They are often unconvinced that people get the twitches when their copy is filled with grammatical and spelling errors galore. And maybe they’re right. Maybe my sensitivity to those errors puts me in the minority. But I have to admit that I will stop reading even the most useful information if I find too many errors. I can’t help myself. It’s my version of fingernails on the blackboard.

One of the biggest things a coach can help me with is wording things to attract rather than repel potential clients. She can teach me the words to use which will inspire entrepreneurs to take a chance on a content writer, but not just any content writer, this content writer!

Choosing Your Marketing Plan With Care

I’ve seen a plethora of marketing techniques which turn me off, and strive to avoid using them. But I’m also learning that what I might consider badgering is simply an offer to someone else. What I might consider being helpful is considered offensive or insulting to someone else.

Then there’s the matter of what a friend told me recently. She said I need to “think like a Millenial”.  In other words, drop the need to sound professional because Millenials are “…the meat and bones of the market.” Great!

Becoming Fluent in “Millenial”

Of course, learning to speak the language isn’t a bad thing as far as my writing is concerned. The more realistic I can make my characters, the better. Some of you might remember the challenges I voiced a while back about “teen speak”. It appears there’s also a “Millenial speak” which I’ve yet to learn, much less master.

Step One: Admit You Need Help

This leads me in my typical roundabout fashion to the need to invest in a coach or coaches. Currently, I’m working on just getting my business out to the content-buying public. I’ve put aside my efforts to market a laundry list of skills in favor of one, single item; blog posts.

Even so, I am learning to be both persistent and patient, two skills I have a tendency to replace with procrastination and scatteredness. But if this old dog can hire a business coach or three, she can learn some new tricks too. I just need to keep reminding myself to recognize the small wins along the way.

Where Have You Taken Advantage of Coaching?

Over to you now. Here’s your chance to share your own experiences and help the rest of us at the same time! Have you taken advantage of a coach of some kind to help move your dreams and skill sets forward? I’m learning coaches come in many different varieties, inspiring us physically, mentally, and emotionally. A different perspective can help us get out of a rut or move us forward faster than we’ve been able to do on our own. You just have to find the right fit.

Remembering to Take Time Out for Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and those still to come.
  2. I am grateful for a mind that’s being compelled to open wider and wider.
  3. I am grateful for both the help and opportunities which come into my life when they’re needed.
  4. I am grateful for the examples and suggestions my friends, family and new acquaintances offer.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, expertise, sharing, caring, opportunities, new connections, old connections, life, joy, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Blessed Be

 

 

Living in the Moment: The Power of Being

I Read, Therefore, I Am

This post was written to compliment an earlier Facebook Live video which can be found here.

As a lifelong, avid reader, I am constantly expanding my horizons through books I both seek out intentionally and those which get my attention in any way they can. Those crafty little devils have been known to confront me by facing cover forward instead of spine out on a bookstore shelf, but the more aggressive little buggers have even been known to drop fortuitously upon my unsuspecting skull. While acquiring knowledge through osmosis would be an interesting trick, my experiences must, for now, still involve moving my eyes across a page or screen.

I’ve traveled to many far-off places, both real and imaginary. I’ve learned new skills and learned of others I want to pursue. All between the pages of a book.

That is not to say that I don’t leave my own four walls and actually experience things first-hand. But quite often my interest is initially piqued by something I’ve read.

Expanding My Horizons One Book at a Time

While my personal library is a long ways from the meticulous organization of those found in most cities, schools and universities, I’ve made an effort in the last couple of years to isolate a few like-minded tomes. At the moment, that means one shelf devoted entirely to books on writing and related subjects. I also have a shelf filled with books on self-help and spiritual matters. The latter leaves things wide open as it encompasses everything from Tarot and Kabbalah to Spirituality, Laws of Attraction, and natural healing.

This shelf in particular has been extremely life-changing. The books here have allowed me to find my own version of Spirituality which needs only work for me. It has been vital in my quest to be kinder and more compassionate, and in the process of both healing from my parents’ suicides and showing me how to use what I’ve learned to help others.

The latest book in my perpetual journey was Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose”.  Of the many books I’ve read even recently, this was the first which had me nodding over each page, wearing that “aha!” glow on my face. Many times, I’d read a few pages, then set the book down so I could think about what I’d read. Many times, I read the same passage over several times to make sure I gleaned everything I could from the words on the page.

If pressed, I’d have to admit reading the book was a spiritual journey for me, and one I wouldn’t have been ready for  a year ago. The book came into my hands at exactly the right moment.

A New Perspective on the Often Reviled Ego

From Mr. Tolle, I learned a completely different meaning of “ego”, and one which resonates more fully within me. My ego isn’t a single entity as I’ve come to believe, but all of the voices inside me which get in the way of simply Being. It’s the list-makers, the forward planners, the memorializers, criticizers, and more. In short, they are all of the voices which keep me from living in the Now.

Those voices are always either rushing me into the next 50 moments, or they are lingering in the past, holding on to things which may have helped form the me in the Now, but which are no more. The only moment I have the slightest amount of control over is this very one, the one I’m in as I type these words. I can no more change the next moment right now as I can any of the moments which are already gone.

Though I won’t always succeed, I’m working on making my Now the very best it can be. That means silencing the memorializers; cutting the critics off at the pass; telling the dreamers to let the dreams be without worrying about timelines, and most of all, telling the list makers to put it on the calendar and then let it go.

Because the memories will always be there. The chores will never stop mounting. The dreams can’t be stopped. But worrying about them can. We can live in each moment, even if that moment is taking something off our To Do list. We can embrace the miracle that is our body floating in an energetic sea of endless possibilities. And when we get up and do, it will be because, like the book telling me to open its cover and fall into its depths, it is the exact right moment to be in that moment of doing.

Being: The Ultimate Self-Indulgence

There is a special kind of freedom which goes along with giving ourselves permission to live each moment by itself without interference from all the moments past or yet to materialize. I believe we move towards our dreams that much faster and with less resistance when we allow the journey to move at its own pace. Our journeys are no less delicate than the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly. We, too can damage our wings if we try to rush the process.

So how do we know whether we’re going at the right pace or trying to force things? We trust in our feelings. If the process feels smooth and comfortable, we’re allowing things to unfold in the proper time. If we feel stressed, angry, uncomfortable, or otherwise resistant, it’s because we’re trying to go somewhere we’re not yet ready to go.

Now, when I feel the need to just pause, reflect, listen, or simply be, I honor that request because this moment won’t come back again. I allow myself the opportunity to treasure each moment like a single drop of rain dripping down my window, or a single grain of sand I find on the shore. Separate and unique, yet also an integral part of the whole. Just like you and me.

True Being Makes Us Grateful for Each Moment

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the moments.
  2. I am grateful for the things I learn when I’m just still.
  3. I am grateful for the times of solitude which are a perfect counterpoint to the moments of frenetic activity. Each in its own time.
  4. I am grateful for celebrations of life, of love, of birth, and even of death. Each in its own time.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; joy, celebration, Being, peace, harmony, love, 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!

Alone in a Crowd

Loneliness is an Experience We’ve All Been Through

We’ve all been there at one time or another. Standing on the sidelines in a crowded club, watching the couples dancing under the colored lights. The volume increases as music competes with voices, clinking glasses, and the occasional emergency vehicle on the streets nearby. Your walls close in around you, enclosing you in a familiar cocoon. And you realize just how lonely you are.

The feeling isn’t new. You’ve been here before. In fact, you’ve floated in and out of it so many times, you only notice it when you disconnect from the sights, sounds, and smells of your surroundings and withdraw, even for a moment, into yourself.

Allowing Yourself to Feel the Pain

You’ve learned not to fight it because most of the time it passes. A line dance set starts and you join your friends on the floor. The connection to the rest of the world is re-established, if only for the 15 minutes or so the dances played don’t require a partner. Or a friend’s antics with Bullwinkle ears turns into an inadvertent R-rated dance move. You express your shock, laugh, and the walls subside. For that moment, you’re included and no longer alone.

But ultimately, the evening ends. You get into your car and drive back to those four walls you inhabit alone save for a pet or three ( in my case, a few more. I am on the fast-track to crazy cat lady-ness, after all). You tell yourself the choices you made were the right ones even if some didn’t turn out the way you’d planned. The people who are in your life now are the ones who are supposed to be, even if they’re not there when you turn out the lights.

Looking for the Rainbow in the Storm Cloud

Life isn’t as grim as it is for some. Your days don’t run together in sepia-toned sameness. You interact with different people, learn new things, try a few others. Your body still responds with minimal pain to whatever you ask it to do. You have something to look forward to every week, friends to hug, pets to cuddle and lives to share…to a point.

But then you watch from the sidelines as the couples stand together talking and know you can’t cross that invisible line because you don’t fit. Some might call you broken, others will offer suggestions for finding the lid for your crooked pot. Though their intentions are well meant, they only make you feel more alone. More disconnected. More of a failure.

You spend another Friday night alone because you don’t feel like facing the crowds in a club, and everyone you know is busy with family and friends. If anyone were to ask, you’d say it was exactly how you wanted to spend your evening. The idea of cuddling on the couch doesn’t even cross your mind. Really. It doesn’t.

Facing Reality

On a conscious level, you know none of it is true. Lack of a mate is not an affliction. It’s simply a state of being. A small circle of friends doesn’t mean you’re hard to love. It simply means you interact better in smaller groups. It means you don’t trust as easily because hard lessons taught you to withhold that trust until it’s been earned. You try to convince yourself that the walls you’ve built are there to protect you from harm. You’ll argue yourself breathless if someone says those walls are the reason you’re alone.

Finally, you stop lying to yourself. You allow yourself to just feel the loneliness. You allow yourself, just for a moment, to have a few regrets even though you can’t think of a single person who might have been “the one who got away”. The hard truth is you crawled into your cocoon years ago and forgot you were supposed to emerge as a butterfly somewhere along the way.

Where Do You Go From Here?

The ensuing years have atrophied your once-beautiful wings. You still have your body and it gives you mobility. As you look at the places where your wings used to be, you wrap your arms around yourself and cry over all the opportunities you missed because you stayed in your cocoon too long. It would be so easy to just wallow. To believe you gave up what might have been and there’s nothing left.

While your animals snore softly around you, a door begins to open. A light shines through. You see what you didn’t allow yourself to see while you drew your mantle so closely around yourself you were gasping for air. In that light you see something unexpected; possibilities.

The ending that never was is gone. Instead, you have the power to write whatever ending you want to write. The one you see right now might be one possible ending. But it’s only one. If you don’t like it, you have many options. One of my favorite is to shout “Plot twist!” and watch my fingers scamper madly across the keyboard, creating scenarios as wild and varied as my ADD brain and boundless imagination can conjure.

Writing Our Own Dreams

That’s where I can be the princess in the castle or the dragon rider, or the world-famous author and philanthropist, the next Mother Teresa or Madame Curie…or simply the crazy cat lady with friends as varied, unique, and memorable as she is. Dreams become reality, no matter how preposterous. I can try dreams on like clothes, finding the ones which fit just right, or better still, the ones I need to grow into. Discard the ones which fit too snugly as they’ll inhibit the growth of the new set of wings that even now is beginning to unfurl.

I might be tied to the ground right now, but in the next instant, I’ll be airborne. I can’t get the old, atrophied wings back, but I can grow a newer, stronger pair which will take me farther, faster than the old set ever could.

The truth is, there’s no set time frame for staying in your cocoon. You stay as long as you need to. That may be weeks for some, decades for others. We’re there for a reason, unique to us. Take us out too soon, we’re not ready for the challenges we have to face. And there is no “too late”. Only, “just in time”.

I Will Always Be Grateful

My gratititudes tonight are:

  1. I am grateful for friends who accept me as I am, crooked, twisty, and unique.
  2. I am grateful for my dark moments. They make me open my eyes to possibilities.
  3. I am grateful for my writing. More than once, it’s saved my sanity…such as it is.
  4. I am grateful for girl friends. It’s still a new experience for me, but one I’ve sorely missed.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; friendship, motivation, inspiration, love, cat purrs, peace, harmony, health, joy, philanthropy, opportunities, stories, 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!

Getting Out of the Rut and Making the Life You Deserve

Seeing Changes and Knowing They’re Good

I’ve been in my current human form for the better part of 61 years yet I’m beginning to realize that for the much of that time, I was simply plodding from one day to the next, having little impact on the world around me and accomplishing little. I’d fallen into the societal trap of working at a job which offers a decent living, doing repetitive things, be it work, play or chores and errands.

I’d like to stay I began to wake up over the last 15 or 20 years, and that would certainly be true, but progress, up until the last 2 or 3 has been decidedly slow. Sure, I watched “The Secret” a few times, read “Laws of Attraction” in several of its forms and practiced positivity. I definitely made some improvements to myself but nothing of any real significance. That is, until I started taking a healing class on the recommendation of my massage therapist.

That class may not have launched my career as a healer, but it made me take some good, hard looks at myself and my life, and frankly, I wasn’t exactly pleased with the naked truth. My life was boring and predictable, uncreative and unremarkable. 4 months into the healing course, I decided to trust my gut for a change and quit my boring and soul-sucking 9-5 accounting job to launch my writing career.

Anyone who follows this blog pretty much knows how that’s been going. I’m certainly putting a lot of words on screen, but except for articles I publish on the website of the photographer I’ve begun working with, publication is still an unrequited dream. My inner critic is still stronger than I’d like despite the compliments I do get on some of my pieces. My ability to actually finish something longer than a blog post or article is still shaky at best. But I am making progress.

Yet, in my own way, I was still plodding along in a predictable and boring pattern. I get up, I exercise sometimes, I do my errands on the same day every week and dance on the same nights in the same place. In short, my brain and soul were itching to break out of this self-imposed rut.

Learning to Ride and Thrive with the Changes

A couple things happened over the last 4 months to get me moving again. First, I got tired of chronic pain and went in search of both a diagnosis and a solution. The nearly 3 months of physical therapy has not only given me no small amount of relief but has me exercising more regularly and moving much more freely.

Enter my photographer friend, Jesse. Towards the end of last year, she hired me to write some posts for her website. After attending a couple of events together, she realized she’d rather put her efforts into taking photographs and avoid having to write the accompanying story so she offered the job to me. It’s a perfect match as we both get to do what we love, plus we bring different administrative and marketing skills to the table, creating a very effective synergy.

Body issues also served to remind me that I’m not in the best of physical shape, but in a chicken or the egg kind of scenario, I figured that stressing out over money was a huge factor. After attending one of John Assaraf’s Brain-a-thons, I signed up for Winning the Game of Money and became part of a community of ambitious, supportive people.

It was a no-brainer for me when John offered an 11-day weight loss challenge. I lost a few pounds, improved my eating habits, starting eating more of the veggies from my weekly box and between the two programs, was feeling a whole lot better and more energetic. Better still was the improvement in my sleep and the drastic improvements in my pain levels, strength and flexibility. The icing on the cake was when I won one of the two subscriptions given out for the Winning the Game of Weight Loss program.

I am now starting week 11 of the WTGOM program and week 2 of WTGOWL (technically, I spent about 3 weeks on Level 1 because of the challenge). I’m learning to say “releasing fat” instead of “losing weight” because losing implies that you’ll eventually find it again. As most people who’ve spent years of their lives dieting know, it’s often an endless cycle of losing some and gaining more. I didn’t get to be 233 pounds at my highest by accident, I assure you. Thankfully, the last time I “lost weight” I actually did manage to keep some of it off, but I’m a long ways from my healthy place. The difference is, this time, I’m more confident about getting and staying there.

Finding Someone New and Exciting, and That Someone is Me

But this isn’t really a testimonial for John’s programs, but a picture of my own evolution. The last piece is the afore-mentioned friend and photographer, Jesse. She’s dragged me along, sometimes kicking and screaming on her own quest to work with Food Network. To my surprise, and to the especial surprise of my inner hermit, I’m having a blast. While she runs around with her camera photographing everything, I’m in amongst the people, talking, asking questions and generally having a great time. I don’t know how this happened as I’ve always thought of myself as a loner and someone who just doesn’t do well with people. Maybe on some levels that’s still true, but I know now that it doesn’t have to stay that way.

I’m learning that when people see someone with a notebook taking notes, they’re curious. When they find out you’re a writer/journalist, many are anxious to talk and share.

This weekend, we attended what was publicized as a beer event, but also featured about 20 food trucks. But these weren’t just any food trucks! Each and every one of them was owned and operated by chefs…not cooks, but chefs. One of them was a collaboration of 3 who had recently left the restaurant where they all worked. Their exit took the executive chef, chef de cuisine and pastry chef, and ultimately one of the cooks as well. You know it’s not about the money when three high level chefs turn their skills to running a food truck! They have a passion and a dream.

And that’s where I’m reminded I do too, and that I’m not going to realize them by sitting in my house day after day, maybe pounding away at this keyboard. I’m not going to find it going out on the same nights every week to the same place and seeing the same people who may or may not care whether I’m there or not, and it doesn’t really matter either way.

I’m going to find it by, for now, helping my friend chase her dream because in helping her, I’m giving myself a gift I didn’t even know I wanted or deserved. I’m gaining confidence, learning how to get people to talk about themselves, feeling the passion from those who do have the sense to follow what their heart wants. And I’m stretching those writing chops of mine into unknown directions where I just have to fake it ’til I make it. Except I realized tonight, I’m no longer faking it. I’m really loving the new directions, the places we’re going, the people I’m talking to. This is my new adventure, and the best part of it is that I really don’t know where it’s going to take me, and it doesn’t matter!

GOYA (Get off your Ass)

Though I wouldn’t recommend quitting your 9-5 job like I did, without a real plan or source of income, I’d definitely suggest you take a good, hard look at what you’re doing with your life and how it makes you feel. If you have settled into a life of sameness, make sure that’s what you really want, and if it isn’t, start by making small changes. Most important, find people who align with what you really want, and help them chase their dream until yours comes around and smacks you in the face.

My gratititudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my friend, Jesse who drags me out of my comfort zone on a regular basis.
2. I am grateful to John and the NeuroGym team who are helping me improve my health, my outlook, my ambition, my drive and how I’m spending my time these days.
3. I am grateful to the friends and family who cheer me on, egg me on and kick my butt when I need it. Without the encouragement, I would still be existing instead of living.
4. I am grateful for my writing skills and my constant efforts to improve them; sometimes by studying, but more often by just exercising the muscle in a variety of ways.
5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, inspiration, motivation, community, peace, harmony, healthy, 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!

And So it Continues #infinitepossibilitiesproject

The Music Goes Round and Round…

With a million thoughts and ideas for blog posts running through my head and several days since the last post, I’m going to share days 14 through 19 of the #infinitepossibilitiesproject with you while I wrap my head around some other ideas. I’d like to say I’m keeping up perfectly with the days, but today, I caught up on days 21 to 23. My intention is to complete Day 24 today as well so I’ll be back on track. In fact, I intend to get a lot of things back on track over the next few days, so stay tuned for updates. (how’s that for a teaser?)

Day 14 Created a calendar of events in Google Calendar.

Some events included:
Fri Jan 22 8:00am – 5:00pm SDSU Writer’s conference – San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA 92182, United States
Sat Jan 23 All day SDSU Writer’s conference – San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA 92182, United States
Sun Jan 24 »5:00pm SDSU Writer’s conference – San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA 92182, United States
Sun Mar 6 10:00am – 2:00pm Editorial meeting-Sasha’s Journey
Wed Mar 16 12:00pm – 2:30pm Ladies’ lunch – TBD
Wed Apr 13 12:00pm – 2:30pm Ladies’ lunch – TBD
Wed Jun 8 12:00pm – 2:30pm Ladies’ lunch – TBD
Wed Jul 6 12:00pm – 2:30pm Ladies’ lunch – TBD
Tue Jul 12 11:00am – 12:00pm Editorial meeting-A Dubious Gift
Thu Jul 14 11:00am – 12:00pm Book launch-Sasha’s Journey
Fri Jul 15 6:00pm – 11:00pm Launch party-Sasha’s Journey – TBD
Mon Jul 25 All day Book tour-Sasha’s Journey – Locations TBD
Fri Sep 23 11:00am – 12:30pm Sign papers for beach property
Wed Sep 28 12:00pm – 2:30pm Ladies’ lunch – TBD
Mon Oct 10 10:00am – 11:30am Meet with contractor re: kitchen remodel-beach property
Mon Oct 24 12:00pm – 2:30pm Meet with contractor-Finalize kitchen re-model, go over plans for meeting hall and cabins
Wed Oct 26 12:00pm – 2:30pm Ladies’ lunch – TBD
Fri Oct 28 All day Move into beach house
Fri Nov 4 1:00pm – 2:00pm Simi house remodel-meet with contractor
Mon Oct 24 12:00pm – 2:30pm Meet with contractor-Finalize kitchen re-model, go over plans for meeting hall and cabins
Wed Oct 26 12:00pm – 2:30pm Ladies’ lunch – TBD
Fri Oct 28 All day Move into beach house
Fri Nov 4 1:00pm – 2:00pm Simi house remodel-meet with contractor
Wed Nov 23 12:00pm – 2:30pm Ladies’ lunch – TBD
Fri Dec 9 7:00pm – 12:00am Christmas party at the beach house – the beach house

Day 15 Send Thoughts of Love

Though I didn’t interact with people much, I did send healing thoughts to my friend Karyn’s dog, Poppy as well as to other friends who are having some health issues. I also sent them to myself as I got the results of my x-rays, and I definitely have some challenges to work through.

Day 16 Dabble, Experiment with and Discover rituals that please you.

I’ve been doing this for awhile, and some of my rituals include:
1. Daily meditation
2. Morning stretch and light weight work (necessary even more now because of recently discovered issues with my neck and back.)
3. Gratitude: Putting at least 5 gratitudes at the end of each blog post. Also, expressing gratitude daily for having the things and lifestyle I envision as well as for the little things like green lights and perfect parking spots.
4. Writing. I want to do more to ensure I do this daily.
5. Pitching, as above. (I’m re-thinking this one right now)
6. Daily walks, preferably somewhere where I can enjoy nature.

DAY 17 Acknowledge Your Amazing Self and Past Successes.

1. I woke up and did all of my exercises today.
2. I ate healthy foods.
3. I drank lots of water.
4. I organized and de-cluttered another area in my home.
5. I wrote a thought-provoking blog post.
6. I did research into non-surgical remedies for the stenosis in my neck.

Day 18 Script a Day in Your Future Life as if it Was Your Present Life

I’d like to say I jumped out of bed the moment my eyes opened this morning, but to do so would have meant sending several cats flying. Dylan was in his usual spot, lying on my hair while Munchkin risked kicks by lying at my feet. Meanwhile, Toby was draped across my chest, shoving his face none-too-patiently into my hand.

Long story short, I spent about 20 minutes ensuring that everyone was well skritched before actually leaping from my bed with a smile on my face. I walked to the wall of windows where a breeze was making the curtains dance and took a deep breath of salty sea air. Releasing it slowly, I filled my lungs again, and by the time I released that breath, I was as energized as if I’d drunk 3 cups of strong coffee.
Throwing on a sports bra and a pair of shorts I headed for my workout room. I flipped the switch on the sound system so the room filled with my favorite mix of workout music and pulled out a mat to do my stretches.

45 minutes later, I’d finished my workout and washed away the sweat under a quick, hot shower. Heading downstairs, the scent of coffee teased my nostrils. I poured a cup while throwing together a fruit and veggie smoothie and took both into my office to see if my editor had finished my latest novel.

As luck would have it, the edited manuscript was waiting in my in box (the benefits of having her 3 hours ahead of me!) I sent it to the printer while sorting through the rest of my email. Feeling inspired, I dashed off a couple of posts for my website and jotted down some notes for my monthly newsletter.

Finally, I allowed myself the luxury of checking my numbers on Amazon. Holy cow! Sales of my first three books are incredible! I’d never have believed I could gain such a following just a couple of years ago, but the time and effort I put into establishing a presence long before my first book hit the market have really paid off. One of the best parts is having to carve out a part of my day to respond to comments from fans. I might delegate some of my email correspondence, but when it comes to my fans, I take it very personally.

I spend a couple of hours going through the editor’s comments and suggestions before taking a break. I take a walk around my little peninsula, breathing in the heady combination of sea and citrus. I wander with no particular direction in mind until I find myself at one of my favorite spots; a bench in the midst of a grove of trees. I sit down and am soon surrounded by some of my rescue cats. This is one of my favorite spots to meditate. The sounds of nature; wind shushing through the trees, birds chirping, waves crashing against the shore and the occasional call of a sea gull; they’re all the music I need to take me into a meditative state.

When I’ve finished meditating, I gently remove a cat from my lap and walk slowly back to the house. I have several hours of work ahead of me, working on the manuscript which is now waiting on my printer. After a light lunch, I get to work, barely conscious of time passing. By the time I return to reality, the day is nearly gone and the sun is sinking into the sea, but I’ve finished about a third of the manuscript. At this rate, I’ll beat my deadline by at least a week!

My self-congratulations are interrupted by the ringing of my phone. Some friends are getting together for dinner at a small local club which is hosting a jazz band. Of course I’ll join them!

DAY 19 Imagine How Others Will Benefit from Your Dream

Where to start? I’ll definitely hire a VA from the amazing group I’ve been a part of for years. In fact, that’s where I found my editor too. Both are not only employed by me, they’re also friends, cheerleaders and even butt kickers.

Rarely does a day go by when I don’t have someone staying in one of the cabins I had built for fellow artists. Several have been after me to host a writers’ conference, and I finally set things in motion. But of course, those who asked are now part of the team which will make it happen!

Men have their poker games. We ladies have our lunches where we talk about our latest work, help each other past blocks and challenges and of course, cheer each others’ successes. And just as people mentored me when I was working on my first novels, I am doing the same. A couple of the people I’ve been mentoring just released their first books and they’re doing quite well for first-timers. A celebration is definitely in order.

There’s Always Room for Gratitude

The project has specific days for sharing gratitudes, and is doing a wonderful job of making me think further into the future, bigger, and wilder, dream-wise. But as my regular readers know, I’m known for expressing gratitude on a much more regular basis. That being said, here are mine for today:

1. I am grateful for friends, family and the world in general which provide inspiration, motivation and most of all, hope.
2. I am grateful for opportunities to stretch my writers’ chops beyond my own meager visions into a world which has no walls, no ceiling and above all, no limits.
3. I am grateful for the ability to recognize when something isn’t serving me, even if sometimes, it takes 3 migraines in a week to force me to step back and reassess, knowing something has to be terribly wrong; far beyond just temporary physical issues to send my stress levels up like that.
4. I am grateful for how much I’ve expanded my online presence and how far I’m stepping outside my comfort zone. The small steps I’m taking now are simply precursors to what I’ll be doing over the next few years as I publish my books and start getting up in front of large groups of people to give inspirational talks.
5. I am grateful for everything and everyone that has come into my life up to this point or will come into my life at some future point when their guidance, inspiration and wisdom are needed.
6. I am grateful for abundance: friendship, motivation, inspiration, love, guidance, challenges, lessons, kicks in the butt, the pain which makes me remember certain lessons, peace, harmony, kindness, compassion, wisdom, joy, health, philanthropy, and prosperity…and of course, kitty cuddles.

Blessed Be

Dream a Little Dream With Me

Asleep or Awake, the Universe Guides Me With Clear Intentions

I’ve been having a lot of dreams lately (and yes, I remember a lot when I wake up) involving people from my past. Sometimes they appear individually and others, like last night, in veritable hordes. Individually, I usually recognize the person, if not by face, at least by reference to something in the past to which they were connected. But when they’re in hordes, I often think The face is familiar. but I can’t put a name or a place to it.

Last night in particular, I kept wandering into groups of people, ostensibly from my past, but behaving in bizarre manners. In the first one I remember, I was directed to a conference room where I was supposed to meet with someone about doing some kind of contract work. Next thing I knew, the room filled up with people who seemed oblivious to my presence until I started babbling about irrelevant things. After receiving several pointed glares, I realized it wasn’t my inane commentary to which they objected, but to my bare feet propped on the table which I’d somehow managed to overlook when people started filling the room.

Without getting lost in a lengthy analysis or discussion about my vivid dreams, I just want to say that I’ve come to the realization I’m being guided to revisit the past for a reason: I need to clear and release all of my old baggage to leave my slate clear for all of the positive affirmations and life changes I’ll be making during the *infinitepossibilitiesproject.

Our Possibilities are Only Limited by Our Own Thoughts and Beliefs

Speaking of which, I haven’t posted the last couple of days’ #infinitepossibilitiesproject tasks because they were more experiential than documentable. But for Day 8, that all changed, and here is my personal version of the theme.

Day 8 Changing My Story

My life really blasted off in 2016 when I started looking forward instead of back, while enjoying one day at a time in the present. That’s when I just started writing whatever came into my head and publishing it on my blog with a link to my website. I covered everything from How-to’s to dream analysis to healthy eating to pets. My unfiltered approach began attracting attention as friends and followers started passing my posts around.

Soon, posts turned into short stories which required daily or weekly updates and I used the art of the cliffhanger to my advantage. If I happened to miss a day, I’d receive a slew of comments wanting to know what would happen to my hero or heroine next. Forget Watt Pad or any of the formal story posting sites. I created a following of my own and began inviting other writers to share their serially written stories on my site as well until volume reached such a level I had to create a website just for the stories! But the real icing on the cake came when my Hire Me pages completely exploded with requests for me to write for other people. The law of supply and demand forced me to not only raise my rates to an almost embarrassing level, but to hire other writers to work for me! I had my pick since many were already posting stories on my site, and I knew what they could do.

With the creative juices flowing so steadily, I finished all three of my novels in progress and hired editors and cover artists. On the advice of my Marketing Guru, I released them several months apart, offering giveaways of some of my short stories to attract attention. It wasn’t long before I had to start charging for the short story collections too, as demand got too high to keep giving them away. What came next was a whirlwind of book signings across the country, television interviews and finally, the cherry on top of my hot fudge sundae, an invitation to do a TED talk!

Sitting on the deck of the dream house I had built on an extraordinary piece of property overlooking a stunning piece of Southern California beach, I watch the sun sinking into the sea. Perhaps one of my writer friends has joined me for a cup of tea on a chilly autumn evening to share the day’s progress or just enjoy the silence broken only by the crashing of the waves. My cats have each found their favorite spot on lap, chair or floor to enjoy the peaceful camaraderie and a bit of attention after being somewhat ignored while I wrote all day.

Eventually, with the darkening sky, I stand up, stretch and head for my in-home gym to push muscles which my fairly sedentary life of writing would otherwise render less useful. Even several nights a week of dancing need to be augmented by pushing some heavy pieces of metal around in various ways to keep muscles and joints strong and limber. I feel my body moving freely through the motions and a rush of gratitude flows through me. Not only for the ability to move and lift at my advanced age {grin} but for how my passion for writing has given me the life I’ve always dreamed of and friends to share it with who truly appreciate the road I traveled to get here. I am so blessed.

I got a bit behind on Day 8, but made it up by getting a jump on Day 9:

Day 9 Choosing beliefs that serve me in every area of my life I wish to transform.
1. I am dedicated to my craft and to writing every day.
2. I attract people who inspire, promote and advance my career goals.
3. I crave foods which are healthy and inspire my creativity in the kitchen.
4. I have all of the resources I need to be successful, and to help others be the same.
5. There is more than enough work for all of us in every area we wish to influence and affect.
6. The Universe guides me, giving me stepping stones as I complete each lesson, leading me to the next lesson and accomplishment.
7. The world contains far more kindness and compassion than anything else. We are all inspired to help and support each other.
8. Marketing my books and stories is easier than I imagined, easier than it’s been to get the words down on the page and worked out to my satisfaction.
9. I am fearless. I know what I want and I know how to get there. I am my own best advocate.
10. One of my purposes is to help, guide and inspire others.

You Deserve Abundance

If you’re finding yourself in self-defeating thought, behavior or belief patterns, I recommend you check out Tut’s Infinite Possibilities Project. I can attest to the fact that I’m feeling stronger, more inspired and more powerful with each new day. In fact, a few more days of all of this incredible positive energy and I might become rather a PITA about it. I will try to keep my soapbox firmly tucked away as I know that like everything else, it’s not for everyone. But if you’re inspired at all by the accounts of my experience, you might want to take a few minutes and just listen to a couple of the videos.

Before this becomes a novella, let me leave you with tonight’s gratitudes.
1. I am grateful for all of the people who spread love and positivity.
2. I am grateful for the opportunity to encourage and inspire others.
3. I am grateful for the many people, things and circumstances which are flowing into my life to inspire, to uplift and to help me find my true purpose.
4. I am grateful for things that make me twitchy because those are the things that make me take action and move closer to the life I imagine while adding more details I hadn’t even thought of.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, inspiration, friendship, motivation, positivity, kindness, compassion, health, beauty, 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!

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: