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Archive for the ‘dreams’ Category

If We’re Perfect in Our Dreams, Why Are We Less So Awake?

As Perfect As Our Dream Selves

Like many women, I spend a lot of time focusing on my weight. Whether I do it overtly or not, I am telling myself I’m not good enough at my current weight and that I need to lose some of my excess baggage. The trouble is, as long as I keep telling myself I’m overweight, I’ll continue doing things to maintain the status quo, hard as I try to alter my behavior.

I realized something recently which rather confounds me. In my dreams, I’m always at my ideal size and weight! What this means is, deep down inside my subconscious, I am perfect just the way I am. I’m not critical of my weight or my complexion or any of the million and three things we find to dislike about ourselves or at the very least, want to improve upon.

It made me realize we have many conflicts within ourselves. The obvious one is mind vs. heart. And maybe this is simply one aspect of that conflict. Our mind sees fault and our heart—well, it sees, if not perfection, lack of imperfection. Our heart loves us unconditionally and our mind nitpicks us to death. While our heart thrives on adventure and change, our mind wants to keep things the same at all costs.

Live a Peaceful Life. Stop the Internal Strife.

Do you see where I’m going with this? We seem to spend our lives fighting with ourselves, and it has to stop! If we can’t find a way to make our own facets get along and find compromises, how are we going to successfully maneuver the 60-lane high-speed highway of humanity, all struggling to make their internal voices get along?

I’ll be the first to admit people annoy me, sometimes constantly, while others, it’s a dull rumble at the back of my mind. In pretty much every case, if I take a step back and disconnect from the situation, I’ll find what’s annoying me is something I fight within myself. The harder I’m fighting to control or change something I, myself am guilty of, the uglier my response when I see it in someone else. Think how much more pleasant I’d find other humans if I’d just stop hating all the things that make me unique. If I’d stop considering those qualities flaws.

Amplify the Heart’s Voice

I suspect the me I see in my dreams is my heart’s attempts to show me the part which really matters is anything I want her to be. She isn’t constrained by physical characteristics, false modesty, or vanity. She goes on adventures and sometimes things don’t turn out so well. But she gets up, deals with the consequences, and moves on, happy to be alive.

In my dreams, I never go shopping and find nothing fits right or looks good. I never overeat or otherwise abuse myself. That isn’t to say I haven’t been awful to other people, but those dreams invariably wake me, leaving me shaken and confused about what transpired in the depths of my subconscious.

Not all my dreams are memorable or self-involved. Often I’m someone else entirely, or even playing multiple parts. Sometimes, I don’t even remember what I dreamed or even that I did, but those nights are rare. My already overactive imagination runs rampant when I stop thinking about all the mundane crap we fill our lives with, and allow whatever lurks in my shadows to come out and play.

Coming out of the Shadows

Maybe that’s really the answer. If we let our shadow selves come out and play more of the time, we’d have less time to think critical thoughts about ourselves. We’d be less inclined to judge others by the faults we’ve manufactured and magnified about ourselves.

I was listening to a web broadcast talking about comparison, but I think what they said works as well for judgement too. Essentially, when you find yourself judging someone else, step back and recognize 5 things in them you find amazing. But don’t stop there. Look at yourself, and recognize 5 of your own amazing qualities. By doing this, you’ve cut off 2 damaging and pointless processes in your mind. You’ve stopped looking at someone else through your own pain and discontent, and you’ve cut that discontent off at the knees by seeing yourself in a kinder, more accepting light.

When a person is unhappy or discontented, the emotions color their outlook; darken how they look out upon the world. Take them low enough, and they fail to see even the most beautiful visions through their darkened viewpoint. A conversation with them about the virtues of almost anything is an exercise in frustration.

Asking for Help When the Gloom Overtakes Us

https://www.facebook.com/cmhagbYet we all go down that road at times. We see everything that can go wrong, and nothing that has already gone right. We are Eeyore’s who can see darkness on the sunniest of days. Sometimes we can pull ourselves out of it alone. We can make a conscious effort to see the beautiful flowers, smell the delectable scents, and hear the sweet sound of birdsong.

But sometimes we can’t, and find ourselves sliding further and further down into the abyss of misery and gloom. We might know on a conscious level that getting up and moving, or a change of scenery will help improve our outlook. But we’ve reached a point where we don’t think we are worth the effort. Hard to believe we personally could sink that low, especially on one of our good days. But we are all there at times.

Offering Help to a Friend in Need

You might look at someone who is always happy and smiling, always has a kind word for someone else. But I promise you, they have days when they struggle too. There are times when their body gives up for a while, forcing them to stop and deal with everything they’ve been holding back or covering up with their sunny disposition.

What’s my point in mentioning this here? It’s simple. If we’re conscious of our own drops in mood and do our best to counteract them, we’ll become more conscious and sensitive to the moods of the people around us.

I have a good friend who lights up the room whenever she walks in. She’s a spark of energy, much like Tinkerbell, flitting around the room, bringing everyone joy. But there are times I can feel her energy wane—when she’s expended so much energy keeping everyone else up, she’s worn herself out—used herself up. She won’t admit it unless someone asks her point-blank. Even then, she’ll try to sidestep the question.

Nevertheless, she, too has to step back and recharge from time to time, even if she waits until her body forces the issue with a sucker punch to the gut. I can see some of myself in her too. She doesn’t easily ask for help. Sure, she’ll ask for rides because she doesn’t see well at night, but I have yet to see her ask for help with something which affects her deeply. Granted, I may just not be one she feels comfortable reaching out to, but I do see her struggling with some pretty hairy stuff, though she may not realize I see it.

Clear Your Crud and Be A Friend

At any rate, returning to my point about consciousness and sensitivity, being aware and available to those who may not willingly reach out and ask for help is something we can only do if we stop allowing the negative voices to tear us down. When we stop listening, or tell them they’ve said their piece and can now go sit in the corner and think about their meanness for awhile, we’re ready to listen to what those around us aren’t saying, but are communicating silently. We can offer help even if it’s rejected 75 times because maybe the 76th will be our opportunity to help someone climb over a few of the boulders that have tumbled down and are blocking their way.

Our perfectly imperfect selves may be just what another person needs to refocus on what’s good and beautiful in their lives and send the sad, depressing, down-pulling side of themselves back into the dark corner it crawled out of. That side will always be within each of us. It’s our choice whether or not to allow it to affect our lives.

When All Else Fails, Try Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for friends who help me see my beauty, and realize the faults I see are my dark side trying to gain a foothold.
  2. I am grateful for opportunities to help others, but also for finally learning to accept their help when I need it.
  3. I am grateful for days when I feel unmotivated, only to have them turned around by a chance word, a bright spot amidst the darkness.
  4. I am grateful for sunshine and rain, darkness and light, days when everything goes right, and days when things seem to snowball downhill fast. It gives me perspective and the realization that nothing stays the same for long. The only constant is change.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, joy, discovery, inspiration, motivation, opportunities, green lights, energy and even sloth, health, peace, harmony, 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

 

Dream a Little Dream

Messages in Our Dreams

https://www.flickr.com/photos/prestonrhea/5236270625/in/photolist-8YHfQ2-4X1dP6-P58XGS-dmtrwi-2pMKC-nC1YD-QxGsf-q4rWqa-8HeDZc-o8pVg-8mXR4g-o7nP7c-8jQqTQ-bPxsQc-dJusGN-78jLU7-98LY1P-dYGYNq-cgtYSu-cgu1F7-7rMJ9R-6z6KQA-6VuMG-6Jfxqk-4bbwMg-dmtxds-9Rf6xQ-v8gDMa-9PqETD-4MsUzv-ptUKap-a2BfLR-4UtU1B-4UtSun-5dBS8k-7eGxtr-7nUbqa-7nUbW8-fBZ3S4-5M1h3P-8DYirc-8E2uBh-6r2V98-7oFgff-7oBon2-7oBpbn-7oBoG6-7oFfRo-vPhUL-jk3BYpI am blessed (though sometimes it seems like a curse) with extremely vivid, memorable dreams. Often I’ll wake in the middle of the night to exclaim “WTF!” when a dream is particularly uncomfortable in its details.

There are times my dreams have been precognitive, right down to where people were standing, what they were wearing, and what they said. Others, they’re of someone I haven’t seen in a long time, even years, and make me reconnect, if only to make sure they’re OK. In one case, I dreamed a man’s wife had died only to learn, when I finally had the nerve to reach out, that he’d lost her six months prior.

They’re not limited to my nighttime slumbers either. Often, the most vivid and insightful will occur during my daily meditations. Recently, I dreamed about a friend moving things from a smaller freezer into a room-sized one. In the process, he moved the contents of my own freezer as well. In order to find my various single-serving meals, I was forced to learn his system of organization. As it turns out, he arranged things in chronological order (I always date my containers) from newest on the left, to oldest on the right. As I went through the containers on the right, I found several dated 2002 and 2003. I realized they were long past their expiration date, and pulled the containers to dispose of the contents.

Knowing When to Pay Attention and Act

When I woke, the question foremost in my mind was “what do I need to release that I’ve been carrying around since 2002 and 2003?” As I thought back, those were the years before and when my dad took his life after learning he had Stage IV lung cancer. I was also struggling to keep my own life and that of my 15-, then 16-year-old daughters together. My relationship with my dad was strained because he’d grown crankier. I didn’t realize it at the time, but his health was getting worse. Being immersed in family patterns, he kept it to himself.

Those were also years when I wasn’t dancing because my daughters’ activities conflicted with dance nights. I was working the latest in a long string of jobs I hated, and had long since broken off the last relationship I would have for decades—in fact up to and including now. I was cranky, miserable, angry, and feeling abused by the female contingent of band parents. I tended to keep company with the men, hauling equipment and setting up props rather than subject myself to the cattiness of the women, or my ineptitude with hair braiding and uniform inspecting. Clearly, there’s a reason I’d stuff those things to the back of my freezer and forget them.

Reviewing My Life to See What I Need to Let Go

Like so many times in my life, the dream was telling me I need to pull those old memories out, take the lessons they carried and dispose of the rest for good. But it seems some of those memories are frozen in time, and in order to release them, I need to thaw them first. Many were sorted out while I wrote and re-wrote my memoir, but clearly, there are a couple which still need to be thawed, sorted, and released.

Life throws us a lot of curve balls, and many involve going back over our old shit and letting go of the knee-jerk reactions we developed along with the unpleasant memories. At the moment, a friend is trying to convince me to jump back into the dating pool, and meeting with years worth of resistance in the process.

I’ve been disenchanted with online dating for a variety of reasons. And frankly, I don’t need a man in my life at this point. I have male friends with whom I dance and socialize. Sure, it’s never one-on-one and many are married or in long-term relationships. Some of the single ones are too young, and one is too old. My biggest show stopper is my requirement that he likes to dance, and specifically Country dancing. Unfortunately, the field is limited. The medium attracts not only more single women, but a lot of married ones whose husbands don’t dance. I guess in a lot of ways I’ve reconciled myself to being alone for the rest of my life, and convinced myself I’m OK with that.

To Relationship or Not To Relationship: Is It Worth It This Late In My Game?

To make my sordid mess even murkier, my last two relationships were about as dysfunctional as https://www.flickr.com/photos/34167287@N05/23787059822/in/photolist-CeYUa5-f3skzG-26xyyFN-8Uqt6v-7RUJnT-5631Bv-9KzjET-otM3UU-9KC7p3-6EcqkE-rtobLr-5xx9XP-7Bj5nM-4JDZ1E-21oAHiQ-7Csyge-7YZVSv-7Z4a4L-7Z4a5b-4Btbxi-5m1iya-i54aYC-4BxARm-i54aXq-YA2ERd-4kmex7-WgVGRw-8GceK9-i548Lu-6m1sit-ospDf4-58cZtS-i54b7d-ggwmL-cKWfHj-bg5Uu-bsSgAg-8GcvXA-q68RzV-4fFkFc-e3cS7q-aQ7Ph-bg8hZ-q6pHnG-4VXWUt-dYksek-277AbZE-4VWArR-4VXUXR-2b2aNGJit gets, and left me less than enamored of the whole male-female relationship stuff. Granted, I was a mess myself and had no business being in a relationship until I did the work to fix at least the worst of my broken parts; a task I didn’t even begin to tackle until at least 2000. So I was still sifting through the rubble by 2003 and had yet to start rebuilding on a more solid foundation.

Nevertheless, I have to belief there were things I unearthed, then stuffed right back down again due to a combination of circumstances, events, and lack of desire to deal with the pain. But like all good things, they’ve come back to haunt me, even if I’ve failed to identify exactly what it is I’m supposed to work through this time. I say this only because I know myself, and have a long history of stuffing things away instead of dealing with them, when to do so would be easier and less painful than letting them stew and fester until they came back around whether I liked it or not.

The Resume Tells Its Own Story

As I often do when trying to remember where my life was at a certain point, I look back at my resume. Yet there’s a significant gap between 1999 and 2004. In a way, this is telling, as clearly my career was going nowhere during those years. I believe I spent several months temping at Countrywide, but I also spent the end of 2003 and several months of 2004 running around getting Dad’s estate settled. It was also one of the times I tried and failed to get my consulting business off the ground. Perhaps I’m meant to revisit this time to look at what didn’t work so I can learn from my failures and finally find the success I’ve been seeking for years, but until now, with the wrong end of my talents and expertise.

Still and all, I’ve learned to listen to my dreams and ask questions of myself until the answers start to come. Questions like:

  • What am I meant to revisit?
  • What lessons do I need to take with me?
  • Which pain do I need to release?
  • Why am I being asked to revisit this time/event right now?
  • How will dealing with this now help me in the future?

As I work towards my goal of writing 5 blog posts in the next week as well as other tasks assigned by my coach to get me off my butt, I’ll do what I’ve learned works best. I’ll allow the words which flow from my fingers when I get out of my own way to give me the answers I seek. I’ll allow the dreams to tell me where to step next. Ultimately, I’ll work through my latest set of challenges and find my road a little easier, at least for a day or so.

Answering Your Messages

How do you know when it’s time to revisit past events, travails, and even failures? What do you do about it? How do you release what no longer serves you, especially the things you stashed away in hopes they’d disappear on their own? I’d love to hear what works for you.

Gratitude: The Ultimate Fixer

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for my vivid dreams.
  2. I am grateful for friends I can bounce things off of when my own resources fail to yield the desired results.
  3. I am grateful for my coach, Linda Clay who doesn’t give up on me when I fail to accomplish the tasks she’s set, but instead helps me understand why I’m procrastinating instead of diving in feet first.
  4. I am grateful for the completion of my latest edit of “Life Torn Asunder” and look forward (not without a certain amount of trepidation) to the next step in my journey towards publication.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; life, love, work, words flowing freely, ideas, inspiration, motivation, dreams, goals, steps, progress, friendship, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Trusting Our Processes, Trusting Ourselves

Trusting Begins With Turning Off the “Can’ts”

I recently embarked upon a 30-day marketing challenge created and mentored by Jessa Hargrove in her #Heartfelt Business Village on Facebook. Why? Because I finally reached the point where I was tired of telling myself the enormous lie, “I’m not good at marketing”. I realized it isn’t so much I’m not inherently good at it. I simply need to develop the tools and learn the process. Little did I know, the learning process would kick me out of my safe little nest of oblivion with no excuses or remorse on part of the wearers of the boot planted none-too-gently in my butt.

Jessa already has me doing things I swore to the mountaintops I’d never do: starting a Facebook group (you can find it at Putting Your Whole Heart Forward). Creating a 3-day boot camp which I’ll present through Facebook Live. But even more, getting super serious about what I truly want to do, and how I’m getting there. The crazy thing is, I’m not going there kicking and screaming!

Reaching Our Potential isn’t a Smooth, Easy Road

Sure, I had a meltdown the day the assignment to create a group was published. But as often happens, I sat down to meditate, and the perfect idea came to me, full-blown and ready to launch. Thankfully my mentor and friend Linda Clay (who also introduced me to Jessa), of #Heartfelt Business Making was there to listen to me rant out what was really bothering me; the fear and the challenge of actually keeping people engaged and interested, before the fog cleared and I was able to see how much I could do for others with a well-run group to support my purpose and USP, #MakeVulnerableBeautiful.

Every single one of us has enormous potential. What differentiates us from the Ruth Ginsbergs, Bill Gates’, Steve Jobs’, and my personal favorite, J.K. Rowlings versus the average shmos slogging through life with their dreams stuffed securely in a shoebox under their beds is whether or not we trust in ourselves enough to shut the dissenting voices down and just go for it.

Trusting Ourselves to Get Up When Leaps Become Falls

Making our dreams happen takes an enormous leap of faith, a huge amount of trust that we can and will pick ourselves up when (not if) we fall. We have to trust the failures are nothing more than a lesson in what doesn’t work, and doesn’t mean we have failed; just that the process we were using wasn’t up to the challenge and needs to be re-worked.

Sure, not everything has to be trial-and-error. We have a certain amount of road before us that’s been paved by others who did the trial-and-error process for us. It’s when we leave the paved road and embark on our own unique path that our stumbles may become more frequent; trust in ourselves is tested more harshly. It’s when we have to tighten the straps on our backpack or parachute, raise our head high, and most of all, shove those pesky fears into the afore-mentioned shoe box so they won’t hinder our progress.

The Best and Brightest Get Nowhere Without Guts and Persistence

There isn’t a single person out there who’s made a real success of their lives (and by that, I mean doing something which helps others rather than simply fattening their bank account) who hasn’t had their share of failures. Some of those failures have been not only spectacular but available for public consumption. Yet they got past those failures and the associated embarrassment, took the lesson, left the pain, and came out on the other side better for the experience in so many ways.

That’s what I’m looking at now. I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’ve even given up on myself at times. More importantly, I’ve learned. I’ve learned I was always there for others but never for myself. I’ve learned to take the business ethics and commitment I gave to a long series of uncaring bosses and corporations and use it for myself and the causes and purposes I now have to pursue.

Trusting Our Dreams Are Attainable

If I’ve left the comfort and security of a regular paycheck behind to flounder for a few years on my own, I now trust it’s part of the process I needed to experience to discover what’s truly important to me. I needed to learn how far I would actually go to realize those dreams, and how unwilling I was to let them go. They might have  moldered in a closet someplace for a few years until I got tired of moving them around while looking for something else; a purpose, maybe. Eventually I had to pull them out, look at them, try them on to see if they still fit, determine where alterations were needed, and get on with it.

The funny thing about our deepest most heartfelt dreams is they never truly go away. They haunt us in dreams, or perhaps nightmares. They pop up in a memory. We get signs from the Universe it’s time to wake up and pay attention. The more we see them around, the harder it gets to ignore them, and we either take action or go quietly mad. I’ve done both, and believe me, action beats madness (except the creative, actionable kind) hands down.

Accepting Help, Knowing the Delivery System Can Be Brutal at Times

But hang on when you do start paying attention, as the Universe gets rather wicked when it finally has your attention. The Universal head slaps come hard and fast, and trust me on this, you don’t ignore or forget a virtual sledgehammer to the side of your head. At times, you may even feel like you’ll be flung into the air without a net or parachute without time to prepare or try to hold on.

These days, my sledgehammers have names. Linda Clay. Jessa Hargrove. Not to mention my daughter and a few of the friends who’ve been around to watch this process unfold, and who are kind enough to keep their “I told you so’s” to themselves, but believe me, I can hear you thinking them (and you know who you are!).

The people who support us in getting past the fears, excuses, and wallowing aren’t necessarily gentle, because it’s not what we need. They support us like steel girders encased in concrete, but they don’t let us get away with anything which thwarts our forward progress; our achievement of those dreams that have our eyes blazing with an internal fire, intense as the sun, and equally unquenchable. They know, often from experience the journey isn’t for the weak of heart, so gentleness won’t give us the strength we need to walk through our own personal fires and emerge relatively unscathed on the other side, tough as tempered steel.

Dream Fulfillment is Only the Beginning

When we do reach the other side we know one journey may have ended, but somewhere along the way, another one began, and we won’t have time to rest or reflect before we have to pick up our newly stocked virtual backpack and take up the next challenge. It’s a funny thing about dreams. As soon as we get close, we add more pieces; they become more grandiose. Once we take the first major steps, we don’t really want the journey to end, so we keep adding destinations. Why not? Life should be an adventure. We were not born to sit back and watch it pass us by on the screens of our TV’s or computers.

For me, the dream began with the desire to be a writer. My genre was the broad field of Fantasy. Since I stopped denying my dream, I’ve finished the first draft of a memoir I couldn’t not write. I’ve drafted 3 fantasy novels and revised one so far. And I’ve resurrected a children’s story I wrote for my daughters 26 years ago.

I’ve learned writing is only part of my dream, and even that is only for now. I want to make a difference in the world and eventually get my introverted self up onto a stage and share what I learned while writing that memoir. Let’s be clear. I want to change the world. Don’t you?

Fueling the Dreams With Copious Helpings of Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the encouragers, the mentors, the butt-kickers, and those who have always been there for me, even when my eyes were tightly shut.
  2. I am grateful for the flow of ideas which come simply by writing 3 pages longhand every morning, aka my Morning Pages.
  3. I am grateful for the people who are coming forward to support me in the latest iteration of my journey. I’m humbled, and honored to have them joining my journey.
  4. I am grateful for the friendships which are blossoming now that I’ve left the cold, dubious sanctuary of my own space and time. In some ways, I wish I’d known the value of a community sooner, and in others, I realize I appreciate it more for having lived differently for so long.
  5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, encouragement, mentors, family, dancing, joy, writing, sharing, purpose, baby steps, giant leaps of faith, influencers, living well, peace, health, harmony, 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.

Dreams Plus Morning Pages Equals Inspiration

Inspired By My Dreams

I’ve often paid attention to my dreams. As vivid as they can be, it’s often hard to ignore them. I learned early on they contain messages if I take the time to look beneath the surface. Since initiating the practice of writing morning pages (a kind of three-page, longhand journal) first thing in the morning. I’ve become much better at figuring out those messages.

The latest episode contained messages that weren’t obvious from the context, but instead, made my mind wander back to my childhood while recounting the dreams. What I discovered was one of those “aha moments” when something finally becomes clear.

Blocks Inside Blocks

https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/4311678389/in/photolist-7z1tLz-6ozP47-49TbTB-eji6AL-cCFxZs-qeTkgD-61HbpH-6Ei84G-88YKH-5C4YF7-5DPjft-7wuv7v-7wuv2g-jnJcpy-taShD-5DTzWN-jnHtBM-9tjcuc-qxSg1z-Biynr-5ghCMA-amW2Li-qLAGJJ-ZwLqsP-21Ne6qu-BiyrN-Biyor-4DmfLc-Biypi-6tZjcX-BiykE-8ZtNme-UZzCU8-4fhMV4-5VT136-h1UG86-5VSZXc-8r3swd-deV9TW-8Z2A4R-bVKgAJ-5b4ZEA-m2xMz-jnJWhX-4eH6t8-xAgyPZ-u1Z1bp-u1tPx9-tJoBkg-tJfb7fI’ve talked a lot about searching for my money blocks, and was convinced they had a lot to do with all my parents fights about money. But as I wrote about a dream which took place in the house where I lived between the ages of 12 and 18, I discovered something more. I remembered digging through my mom’s purse to find loose change that had fallen out of her wallet, usually so I could go to Thriftymart and indulge my unhealthy passion for nickle candy bars. (Yes, kids, there was a time when you could buy a full-size chocolate bar for a nickel!)

I realized my feeling of lack, both for money and food (which by the way, was never a problem in our household) stems from my own behavior as a child. If I dig a little deeper, I’m pretty sure I used food as a substitute for the love I wasn’t getting, though I never connected the two at the time. I guess I believed my parents loved me. They just had a funny way of showing it. Or not so funny, really, as it’s given me some rather skewed ideas which I’ve unwittingly incorporated into my own life…until now.

Stop Justifying Self-Sabotaging Behavior

Suddenly, I have both a major money block and a reason for my self-sabotaging behavior with food all rolled up into one neat little package. But of course, life isn’t that simple, and rarely comes to us neatly. More often than not, it’s a convoluted mess of intertwining events, much like my dreams. Yet I know I’ve finally cracked the seal on some deep-seated memories and blocks. Like the feelings I unearth as I open the Pandora’s Box I so ignorantly and innocently packed them away in, unlocking the source of my money and weight blocks is a HUGE accomplishment.

I can’t wait to see what comes next, or how it arrives. I’ve learned sometimes the road to self discovery is agonizingly slow, like molasses in winter. Others, it’s a mad rush as I scramble to escape the deluge of a winter storm after the hills have been denuded of growth by the annual California wild fires.

Disentangling the Money-Food-Love Connection

Yet the idea of money equals food equals excess weight equals love keeps bouncing around in my head https://www.flickr.com/photos/genomegov/27861478565/in/photolist-36R456-TVEoV3-7Wybvd-4WUnY9-5fFekL-UxPtrE-JXsDow-JXsDFW-5xxC-i6g81S-pj2KGy-RqtEwb-3bW8wG-aiBE4-21HP7o-7WuXxi-a87gs-v23FG1-e5Ta5U-8hAaU2-7CJgqt-4RTmW-6VGoa4-21HP7G-bKycpP-bwDtbf-rBr5w5-Js2mU6-4RTmT-bKycvn-6nNpdg-dtid4-5hSULN-8qeqEZ-vi6Sx1-vi6iuY-v2adQn-vi6nRJ-vi5UuQ-v23BpL-umARN9-v23yrQ-umAZaJ-wkdd7E-daLc3v-bwDtvf-aLErhv-a3Giyp-9oXUVB-7S9ue4as I go through my week, socializing, going to the gym, embarking on a program paid for by my insurance company designed to help me manage my weight. I know that until I get the issue of money-food-love resolved in my head, no matter how healthy my eating habits (and lately, with the return of a herniated disc, it’s never been so healthy! Pain is almost as strong a motivator as our need for love.) I’ll find a way to, albeit unintentionally, sabotage my progress.

Even now, I go to the gym regularly, dance often, and because I’ve improved my eating habits, I have more energy, yet, I’ve bounced in the same 3 pound range for weeks now.  I know now the heart of the matter is my unresolved issues with love. Not with giving it, but with receiving it; with believing deep in the cockles of my heart I deserve to receive love.

Recognizing Our Progress, No Matter How Small

Though I’ve yet to successfully scale that mountain, I’m seeing progress in seemingly unrelated ways. My dreams and meditations are more intense, but also yield some helpful insights. I’m connecting more with people on many levels. Not only have I become part of a small group of dancers who are getting out and doing other things like movies and museums together, I’m connecting with people on a much deeper level, both online and face-to-face. I’m listening to other peoples’ hopes and dreams, successes and challenges, and allowing myself to feel both their elation and their discouragement without intellectualization or judgement.

I don’t mean I’m opening up all of my protections and allowing those feelings to overwhelm me. Yet I am allowing connections, especially with other Empaths and HSP’s to form naturally and unfettered by my own preconceived notions.

Purpose, Like Social Mores is a Moving Target

In the process, I’m seeing the purpose I searched so hard to find, and only found when I stopped https://www.flickr.com/photos/genomegov/27861478565/in/photolist-36R456-TVEoV3-7Wybvd-4WUnY9-5fFekL-UxPtrE-JXsDow-JXsDFW-5xxC-i6g81S-pj2KGy-RqtEwb-3bW8wG-aiBE4-21HP7o-7WuXxi-a87gs-v23FG1-e5Ta5U-8hAaU2-7CJgqt-4RTmW-6VGoa4-21HP7G-bKycpP-bwDtbf-rBr5w5-Js2mU6-4RTmT-bKycvn-6nNpdg-dtid4-5hSULN-8qeqEZ-vi6Sx1-vi6iuY-v2adQn-vi6nRJ-vi5UuQ-v23BpL-umARN9-v23yrQ-umAZaJ-wkdd7E-daLc3v-bwDtvf-aLErhv-a3Giyp-9oXUVB-7S9ue4searching and allowed it to arrive in its own way, is expanding. Initially, I saw it as opening the doors of communication between society in general and people who experience depression, suicidal thoughts, and mental health issues. I need to help people understand that all too often, help isn’t sought because of the stigma attached to admitting you need help in the first place. Far too many of us have grown up feeling we’re on the outside looking in because we couldn’t make our insides match the outsides people expected of us.

We live in a society that preaches “suck it up, buttercup” whenever we dare express feelings that aren’t aligned with some arbitrary norm which is, at best, a moving target. We believe we’re alone in finding it difficult to cope; to be strong and happy all the time; to be able to shove those nasty feelings out of the way and be responsible humans. The truth is, we all wear masks, and those of us who struggle the most are the ones who often, unbeknownst to us, are feeling not only our own inability to match the outside with the inside, but everyone else’s too.

Like Attracts Like

I told someone recently that at least 95% of my social circle are Empaths, HSP’s or both. In some ways, I https://www.flickr.com/photos/mmorgan8186/3517169324/in/photolist-6mNpUq-26E6p4f-95dTbr-mVNwHs-iAQRj-j6uYXT-4o29YS-kEHE1m-9i7rec-Vs2JYU-8yUQXr-dA5UcS-9myZC1-mGugNa-aC5mn6-2Nz9bP-6xmwca-27XDQk3-kJapD5-KU3F13-q9Zse5-wLj3kj-rdX15T-22MVxTW-25h7TL1-q1aauS-eTfrgU-ouf7RL-XgibmJ-VW61xM-SfoiaA-pbyvky-6dKQYf-R5jxrZ-5N3kCD-efHmnY-SQySB2-V3dy4U-WY52sf-DpwMMK-bzmwMC-7EXK4g-9jC53p-Curwec-ebm6MH-6kf916-bxhDVb-auWgjE-81ESCt-iirkvZfeel that estimate is low. And I’m adding more people, and consequently, Empaths and HSP’s to my circle of friends and acquaintances almost daily now.

When I first started talking about my parents’ suicides, people began opening up about their own experiences; often people I’d known for years, and even decades.

Even before that, my home, though frequented by a select few, and not always  because of my own selection process, were typically people who unknowingly discovered that while inside, they were shielded from a lot of the emotional and energetic “noise”; people who were unrecognized Empaths and HSP’s. Even now, there are some who know they can come here when they need a time out from the world and even their own families. The truth is, I learned how to filter out a lot of the painful and difficult emotions people can’t help exuding.

Advocating, But Being Flexible About Who and What

I’ve discovered my advocacy, if you will, isn’t limited to those who’ve been affected, be it first-, second-, or third-hand by depression, suicide, or mental illness. It extends to the Empaths, the HSP’s; the Lightworkers as a whole because all too often, their sensitivity is at the root of depression and suicidal thoughts and actions.

Some self-medicate, others, the rare few, seek professional help. Some of them find medication helps them live “normal” lives. I learned the hard way many would benefit from simply knowing how to filter out the noise that’s causing them so much pain. Even more, they need to be able to differentiate between the their own emotions and conflicts, and those of the people around them.

All Empaths Are Not Created Equal

Even there, the circumstances and abilities differ. Some feel only those in their immediate vicinity. Others are so connected to family and loved ones, distance isn’t a factor. Then there the ones like me. We have, for better or worse, a direct connection to the Universal Energy Field. It means that unless we’ve learned to create our own personal filter, we are bombarded by emotions from anywhere on the globe, regardless of whether we’ve ever had contact with someone.

If you don’t think that’s enough to drive you down a rabbit hole, try to imagine yourself standing in the middle of one of the detention centers, surrounded by frantic women who’ve been denied even the basic creature comforts, but who are more concerned about finding their children than anything else, even their own personal welfare. Now imagine you feel the pain, the fear, the confusion, the desperation of each and every person in that facility. If you can even conceive of how that would bombard your nervous system, you might have a thousandth of a percent view of what Empaths who are connected to the UEF feel every day if they haven’t learned to filter; to shield. Is it any wonder they retreat deep inside themselves, convinced there is something very wrong with them, and that they are completely alone?

Separating the Symptoms from the Causes

The more I talk to people, and the more research I do into suicide and depression, the more I realize these issues are the symptoms and in order to make a difference, I need to dig deeper and recognize the causes. I, no WE must acknowledge that the voices in their heads, the pain in their hearts, the demons they can’t escape are all too often not even theirs to control because they belong to someone else, and most of the time, a LOT of someone elses.

I’m not naive enough to believe this is the only solution. I do know in the last few years, I’ve encountered a large number of people who fit this pattern. The single common factor though is feeling like they don’t belong, that they don’t fit in no matter where they go or who they’re with. The reality is, rather than being a case of being disconnected, it’s a case of being too tightly entwined in the very being of people around them, and sometimes, humanity in general.

The Ultimate Double-Edged Sword

Yes, being an Empath is a blessing and a curse. Too many are diving for cover and closing themselves off because they can’t find the mute button. To sum it up, I can’t help change attitudes towards depression and suicide without finding a way to help Empaths learn how to navigate this slippery slope their minds insist on traversing. One purpose bleeds into another, and the almost ever-present tidal wave in my gut tells me the epiphanies and purposes have only begun to make themselves known to me. It’s a darn good thing I’ve always loved roller coasters because the road I’m now on promises to be one helluva ride!

When All Else Fails, Choose Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the Laws of Attraction which are bringing more and more of the people who spent years believing they were misfits before realizing they didn’t need to fit at all.
  2. I am grateful for the amazing people who are coming into my life, and those who were already here, and who I’m coming to appreciate more and more with every epiphany.
  3. I am grateful for people who are willing to talk to me about deeply personal experiences, enabling me to learn and grow, and be better able to help turn the tide of stigma attached to mental health, suicide, and depression.
  4. I am grateful I’m an Empath. It’s not always an easy road, but the blessings and what it allows me to do and be for others is worth the pain I’ve already endured as well as whatever might be ahead.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, joy, friendship, compassion, kindness, connection, Lightworkers, fearlessness, intentions, inspiration, motivation, roadblocks that make me get creative, sorrows, lessons, challenges, and even frustrations. And for peace, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

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

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.

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!

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