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Epiphany Central

Opening the Epiphany Floodgates

This has been a week of epiphanies. I’ve cleared the cobwebs and the fairy dust from several things, though they all, in their own way boil down to how I’ve mis-perceived my relationship with my dad, both while he was alive, and until recently.

As I’ve mentioned more than once, my relationship with my mom was virtually non-existent unless you count being like two angry bulls spoiling for a fight just for the sake of fighting a relationship. Early on, it was clear I was destined to disappoint her, though I never really figured out why. She had about 2 1/2 years to bond with her first-born before her second came along, and she, like her mother before her, tossed the first one aside to dote on the second. Nowadays, I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that she was young when I was born, and made her mistakes with me. It wasn’t necessarily that my sister was an easier child, but by the time she was born, mom had figured out some of the ins and outs of motherhood, just as she had with cooking.

Searching for a More Hospitable Host in my Dad

Somewhere in my young mind, I must have understood, and given up on trying to please her long before my 4th birthday (and heaven knows, I became an expert at displeasing her!) and turned my attention to my other parental unit, believing I could bond with him while my mother was turning all her attention to the newest addition to the family.

By then, I had become accustomed to being ignored or yelled at, so I figured any attention I got was better than nothing. My dad did what he knew best; he teased and tormented me, and when he had had enough, he yelled at me and sent me to my room. Even as a teenager, my mom would wield the over-used admonition “wait until your father gets home”. When he did, she’d whine and complain about my latest misdeeds until you’d swear I’d committed murder, or at least a federal crime. After a long day, it was the last thing he needed, so of course, he took it out on me.

Thus began another round of trying to win my dad’s approval. A game I’ve recently come to realize was one I could never win no matter how hard I tried. Eventually, I accepted his demanding nature and verbal abuse as approval, or the closest he ever came to giving it. I loved him unconditionally and accepted whatever small crumb of attention and affection he could spare.

Breaking the Rose-Colored Glasses

https://www.flickr.com/photos/derekgavey/5403628476/in/photolist-9ev1ud-9odiqE-99hCeK-28aMBcv-L2NkmJ-L2NjGN-9aaEe6-kvx1iw-rkYv1m-4JnGd-en3MZM-qccpV9-FVyYz-7qbqYL-JvQXse-28aMnuk-25pJMJY-286n5WU-L2Nm3o-275n4TN-25pJMX3-25pJUrq-6xmHDy-275nbsE-21iHwcY-L2N9Pw-286mVTd-C3YxBB-275nbQo-25pJFVo-275ntKf-Ehpm5G-27cSKLm-fpFWJU-275naRu-26NbLs2-286mVgm-L2N1uA-6xhy1c-25pJHDU-JvQCMP-8w3ARY-275naAu-djcYHr-L2N3yA-4jqADJ-r2KRCc-bSaaQx-dy1jLj-275noVqFlash forward to a night when I sat in the ER awaiting test results, and doing writing prompts to keep myself amused. As often happens, the seemingly innocuous prompt became a veritable rant about the times my dad had mistreated me or shown preference to a virtual stranger over me (like the time he let my then sister-in-law drive his RX7 but made some lame-ass excuse for not allowing me the same privilege).

The word storm escalated, and had I been sitting at a table or desk instead of resting the spiral notebook on my knees, I fear I’d have ripped holes in the paper, I was gripping the pen so tightly.

And yet, it was cathartic. It made me realize I’d been dishonest with myself, holding back feelings I actually believed I shouldn’t feel. But the truth about our feelings is they are what they are. If we try to restrain them, they burst forth in other less productive ways. Since my habit was to stuff mine into a bottle and seal them tightly, it was only a matter of time before the seal dried out and cracked, leaking those old, never-dealt-with feelings out in a random moment of inattention. The beeps and buzzes of monitors, crying babies, and cranky, confused old men appears to be the trigger that broke my seal and let all the messy, convoluted, unkempt feelings spill out in an inglorious mess.

Letting the Myriad Feelings Flow

While I sat in my curtained cubicle with my earbuds in my ears, the music only slightly reducing the ambient noise around me, the emotional cacophony poured forth as years of pent up anger demanded release. I cursed and railed against the man to whom I’d given only love and devotion, at least until even his crankiness became exhausting if taken in large doses. Yet I still called, I still checked in, and I still listened to him rail about this person or that, murmuring sympathetic noises while he ranted.

When the dust cleared and I’d had time to sort through my feelings, the anger subsided. Instead, I felt hurt, disillusioned, and disgusted by how much time I’d wasted trying to earn the love of a man who didn’t really know how to give it. He taught me to give my love unconditionally, whether or not it was returned. What neither he nor my mother taught me was how to receive love unconditionally as well.

Seeing What I’d Been Missing All My Life

I’ve lived over 63 years of this lifetime going from one unfulfilling relationship to another until I realized the problem was me, not them. At that point, I did something reasonably sensible. I stopped trying to find someone other than my daughters to give my love to and put my effort into fixing and loving myself.

If I’m honest with myself, I don’t know if I’m capable of allowing someone to love me like that, though it’s also my dearest, most heartfelt wish. I’ve learned to shrug it off saying “I like living by myself”. Those closest to me aren’t buying it, yet until now, I couldn’t understand why.

They’ve seen and experienced my capacity to love and to give, and I wouldn’t be surprised if several hadn’t already discerned my problem was on the receiving side. It explains a lot with regard to my difficulty asking for help. Granted, I learned it from a long line of brutally independent people. But as is my wont, I took it to a whole new level.

We All Deserve to Be Loved

It isn’t that I haven’t told myself over and over I deserve to be loved. I never managed to actually convince myself to believe the words I spoke. I’ve made great inroads into positive affirmations about my outside packaging, and really do love my meat suit, flaws and all. But that inner marshmallow, the young girl whose face peers back at me from an ancient black and white photo above my computer still believes she doesn’t deserve to get as much love back as she gives. Despite all of my exhortations to the contrary, a piece of that little girl is my mom too.

As with anything else, the first step in solving a problem is to recognize the problem. I’m recognizing mine. The question remaining is whether I can fix it and turn things around in whatever time I have left in this Human form? Stick around, if you dare, as I step off onto the next leg of my journey. At least I’ve finally learned I don’t have to do it alone. As the Beatles so aptly sang “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

So Much to Be Grateful For

My gratitudes tonight are:

  1. I’m grateful for the friends who are helping me get by these days; who are helping me recognize what I’m missing, and helping me figure out how to fix what I didn’t know until now was broken.
  2. I am grateful for epiphanies. They come when they’re supposed to. It’s never too late, nor the wrong time, but exactly the right time to bring in new data.
  3. I am grateful for loving my dad. I think in his own way he needed someone to love him unquestioningly, even if he didn’t respond in kind.
  4. I am grateful for the swings I’ve taken as I come to understand the parents I chose this time around. I may never have all the answers, but the number of questions dwindles just the same.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, understanding, compassion, kindness, epiphanies, new outlooks, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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 her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

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Putting it All in Perspective

Challenge or Opportunity?

A couple of months ago someone came back into my life who had been a brief but painful interlude during a time when I was making a lot of poor choices and spending a lot of time struggling; a time before I learned to think positive thoughts and allow. He showed up at a place where I go to be social, to hang with my friends and follow one of my passions, dancing.

At first, I was polite, but tried to make it clear he was my past and not particularly welcome in my present. Though he seemed to take the hint at first, his efforts to regain my attention were pitifully awkward, much like the man himself. Eventually, when I had resorted to simply ignoring his presence, he went away again, leaving me heaving a sigh of relief.

Yet, the incident has been on my mind. Why am I suddenly being forced to confront a very painful, best-forgotten time in my life? Last night, the answer came when I least expected it, and this morning, more answers came, unprovoked. When I left it to recede to the back of my mind, it seems I allowed the answers to come.

The epiphany last night was both comforting and inspiring because I was reminded that though the times were tough and I did some really stupid things, I got through it, played the cards I was dealt to the best of my ability and became stronger for it. I also found “The Secret” and “Laws of Attraction” not long afterwards and started changing my life for the better.

The second epiphany came this morning and followed a train of thought which began last night. A couple of new men have wandered into Borderline in the last week. One is a little geeky and awkward but adorable in his geeky-awkwardness. He can’t dance a bit, but that doesn’t stop him from trying his best, and I have to applaud him for it. Watching him talk to people and generally interact with the room, he reminds me of a cheerful, clumsy puppy who’s never met a stranger. I look forward to watching him blossom and smooth out some of those klutzy edges.

The second one is more self-confident on the outside, yet he stands on the sidelines drinking his beer and hardly interacting with anyone at all. My initial guess is that he’s in that group of men who are either recently divorced, in the middle of a divorce or recently out of a long-term relationship. In other words, wary and gun-shy, but fair game for those women who are aggressive, needy and don’t take no for an answer. I hope for his sake that one of the confident, self-assured type befriends him before that happens; someone who, like me, is comfortable in their own skin and doesn’t need someone else to validate them, but who, unlike me, can just walk up to a strange guy and start a conversation without being awkward.

Which really leads me to the actual epiphany. Between the 3 completely disconnected men and their entry into my world, albeit from afar, I realized that though my self-confidence and self-esteem have improved greatly, I’m still awkward around strangers, both men and women alike. In that regard, I’m too much like the man from my distant past; pitifully awkward.

One Plus One Equals Ninety-Seven

If I put the two pieces together, I realize that the message is a sort of encouragement. A kind of “You’ve got this, girl” with an added “Don’t be afraid. What’s the worst that could happen? And what’s the best?” kind of affair. I’ve even been given the opportunity to start slowly because the geeky awkward one will be an absolute joy to encourage. In the years I’ve been country dancing, I’ve seen my share of guys who started out clumsy and unsure and ended up being great dancers and a lot of fun to boot (pun intended). Call me a sap, but I find a guy who’s not afraid to make a bit of a fool of himself oddly endearing.

The other will be hard for me to casually approach, though I know I can count on some of my friends to smooth the path if he keeps showing up. There are a couple of women, one of whom I’ve known for over 20 years who simply have a knack for welcoming new people and making them feel comfortable. Once they’ve smoothed the way, I find it easier to be friendly and easy too. And yes, I know I need to get past that before my first book comes out. Getting out into the world and talking to strangers has to be more comfortable for me by then.

Fewer Blog Posts, More Lessons

This has been a week of getting out into the world, learning new things and getting some of the tasks I had handled and off my plate. My writing has suffered some. This is only the second post this week for me, though I wrote 2 for a client. But I’ve met with some people about possible work, gotten up-to-date on client work and even managed to edit a couple of chapters of Sasha’s Journey. And my own journey continues with surprises around a few turns. It keeps life interesting if nothing else.

So How Are You Going to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone Today?

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for the lessons the Universe sends me and the little prompts it gives me until I see the whole picture.
2. I am grateful for opportunities to step further from that comfort zone I wallowed in for so many years.
3. I am grateful for my friends and the examples they set.
4. I am grateful for dancing as it has helped me breach that comfort zone with a common bond I share with many others.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, music, dancing, money, friendship, joy, lessons, opportunities, challenges, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can see clearly now, the block is gone.

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

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

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

Namaste

September 29, 2014 New experiences

New experiences will make me a better writer.

In my continuing quest to not only make myself a better writer but to make myself write more, I tried something new again tonight. I joined a group which calls itself “Shut up and write”. The premise behind it is that everyone shows up at a specified place and time, chats a bit, then writes for an hour. Afterward, it seems, they just go on their merry way. The one person who was there tonight was rather lovely, but during our pre-writing conversation confirmed impressions I’d had about a previous foray into new experiences.

I had doubts about being able to accomplish anything with all of the people around and the loud music, but I’m willing to try anything once. I came armed with an idea for a short story to contribute to a pre-Halloween horror story campfire a friend and fellow writer is hosting. At the end of the hour, I had over 800 words, and felt I’d completed the first draft of the story! Somewhere along the way, I just tuned out everything around me and was completely focused on the tale I was trying to weave. In short, when I gave my subconscious the go-ahead, it took me write to that zone in which I write so abundantly.

Re-reading it when I got home, it definitely needs work, but I got the basic idea down and can work on the details in the next couple of weeks. Overall, this one will be an experience I’ll definitely repeat.

Practice makes perfect, so writers must write…and write…and write…

I know I have to add a lot of things to my repertoire in order to improve my craft. Finding a good group with whom to share the critiquing process is high up on that list. However, first and foremost, I must write and write prolifically. It may seem that the hundreds of thousands of words I’ve blogged, the nearly 100,000 words (more actually if you count recent revisions) I’ve written for my novel, not to mention another 30,000 or so on other creative projects would be considered prolific. But as far as writers go, I’d venture to guess that’s just a drop in the bucket. Ultimately, I’ll be counting the words I’ve penned (typed just doesn’t sound the same, does it?) in the millions at least. But I’ll never get there if I don’t start writing a lot more than I’ve been lately! I’ve fallen off the wagon, writing-wise and penned very little other than the everlasting gobstopper of a first novel.

If dreams are any indication, my imagination is positively chomping at the bit to get ideas on paper.

The vividness and detail of my dreams has been escalating for the last few months until now, I have several highly entertaining dreams every, single night. I really do need to put a tape recorder next to my bed! Story ideas are simply tripping over each other in a mad rush to be heard, their real goal, for me to remember and commit them to some permanent medium. Too many are gone by the time I finally drag myself out of bed in the morning.

Speaking of dragging myself from bed, I had an epiphany of sorts this morning. I had to be up early to get to a doctor’s appointment. As I went through my forgotten routine of rising and heading straight for the shower, I didn’t think much of it, but just let muscle memory guide me through the normal tasks. As I dressed before making my way to the kitchen to dish up everyone’s daily dose of wet food, an errant thought popped into my head which I think must be heeded.

This thought, this tiny little voice, said to me: “This getting into the shower as soon as I get up routine feels pretty good! I’m clean, my contacts are in…I’m ready to face the day, before coffee!” As the shock wore off, I realized that, like the pan full of the week’s dinner and the pre-made salads, some parts of my old, work-a-day routine actually worked for me! In fact, I am finding that I missed some of that structure!

Even more, I think that lack of structure is what has been keeping me from writing as I should. It’s been keeping me from finishing the copywriting course, and it’s been keeping me from becoming the Author I need to become! How’s that for a serious “Aha moment”???

Slowly but surely, I am reacquainting myself with routine. Slowly but surely, I’m leaving the house on almost a daily basis for one thing or another. In so doing, I realize that I was not following that immortal guidance: Get up. Dress up. Show up. Even if showing up just means sitting down at my computer and writing instead of playing a game or surfing the net. Someone has to set some expectations, and as I look around, the only one in my life who can do that now is me!

High on my list of expectations is to try new things until I find what works best. But also high on that list is to get myself into healthy, productive routines which move me further and faster on the path I’ve set for myself. Motivation is a wonderful thing!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for “Aha Moments”.
2. I am grateful for new people who help me learn more about my craft.
3. I am grateful for challenges from friends which make me step further out of my comfort zone.
4. I am grateful for today’s productivity, and look forward to even more tomorrow.
5. I am grateful for abundance: motivation, imagination, dedication, time maximization, new experiences, harmony, peace, love, health and prosperity.

Namaste

September 18, 2014 How we handle adversity as we evolve.

Crushing blow, or golden opportunity?

As we move through our lives, learning lessons, filling our virtual tool box, experiencing the gamut of emotional ups and downs, we are also, as I’ve mentioned before, evolving. As I ponder the last few days when it became apparent that the rewrite of my book was going to be a far larger task than I’d envisioned (ignorance is, indeed, bliss!), I recognized a few changes in myself which, without this little setback, might never have caught my attention. These changes have a lot to do with how and why I was able to walk away from a job that paid well though it was killing me slowly inside, to take a wild chance on the unknown. I realized that I had to reach the point where I could handle rejection and even complete and brutal critical opinions of my work without taking the criticism as if my entire being were in question. A point where seemingly stupid things like the number of spaces after a period were even worth doing anything more than correcting the problem and moving on. A point where I could weed through the criticisms and understand that we all have are our own perspectives, and I do NOT have to completely adhere to that of someone else, but can still find great value in what they’re willing to share. Until I had evolved enough to get to that enlightened state, I would let my emotional attachment to the words on a page prevent me from learning and growing.

In short, I realized that it wasn’t until I learned, not only how to find the lesson in adversity, but also, how to turn it into an asset, that I was ready, on an emotional level, to take the plunge into the creative world for which my heart truly yearned. Not only am I now able to absorb the lessons, I’m also able to recognize when it’s time for me to take a couple of steps back, assimilate what I’ve learned and disconnect it from anything personal, whether it be from me or someone else and their perspective. I have my friend, Judy to thank for helping me connect the dots today. While one person might see a word or phrase from their own perspective and experience as wrong, that doesn’t make it so. But I also have to take the time to gain at least a rudimentary understanding of that person’s perspective and how it developed. Ultimately, I reach the same conclusion, no matter what the situation: neither of us is wrong, we’re just different, and isn’t diversity what makes the world so interesting?

A new perspective is simply an opportunity for us to change our own perspective and bring in the Laws of Attraction.

So, this latest little hitch in my giddy-up gave me pause for a moment before I had to ask myself: “Just what is it you want? Where do you want to go and who do you want to be?” and the answer came back loud and clear: “I want to be a writer, a published author. I want to be a teller of tales which will entertain, a sharer of experiences that will inform, and perhaps help someone better handle what I had to learn on my own.” The first step towards realizing that goal (aside from revising my first novel, of course) is to believe in myself; more, to believe that I already have my heart’s desire. So I set up my Author page on Facebook, something I’d been putting off until I truly believed it was so. I created a signature for my email, announcing to myself and to the world that I am, indeed, an Author/Blogger. As Judy so aptly put it, I am embracing my goals as if they already exist. I am already grateful for those who have helped me achieve those goals, and for the lessons I learned along the way. I love what I’m doing, the life I’m living, the lives I’m touching.

Here is where the Universe puts its two cents in.

As I am loving and embracing and expressing gratitude, the Universe comes along to add its own little touch to the mix. Suddenly, my accounting workload is increasing, slowly, at first, but noticeably. As I look more closely, I realize that it is just the cushion I need while I take the time to get this first book into shape so that it can truly be successful, rather than a rush job that falls flat. The extra accounting work will give me more time to write. I know that sounds contradictory, but if I don’t have to depend on the writing to pay the bills for now, I can actually devote more time and energy to doing it well and doing it right.

Returning to the original topic of this post (assuming I ever stay on topic anyway!), as we learn and grow, as we become less influenced by what other people say and think, as we learn to take the guidance without taking it personally, we open ourselves up to opportunities we couldn’t even imagine earlier in our learning cycle. Above all, we learn that dreams really do come true, but they will, only when we truly believe that they already have!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my heart’s desire, my career as a writer.
2. I am grateful for the people in my life who challenge, support, encourage, constructively criticize and ultimately, just believe in me.
3. I am grateful for having emerged from my shell to expand my social connections.
4. I am grateful for the time and the space to write what I need to, and revise until it is worth reading by the masses.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, encouragement, motivation, ambition, confidence, guidance, opportunities, fortuitous events, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Namaste

September 9, 2014 Rethinking my goals

Making healthy habits sometimes means figuring out what will and won’t work for you.

I’ve been trying (and failing) for weeks, to get back into my gym routine, and am getting more than a little frustrated with myself. But today, I had an epiphany. It’s not that I don’t want to exercise, it’s that I just don’t want to be around more than a couple of people at a time! So I thought about what I could do to get myself motivated to exercise, and realized that the best place to start is my To Do list! Today, I devised a chart which can be added to, amended, varied and changed as I see fit, and have already made my first entry. I’ve also added things which can be done together or while waiting on hold, or watching tv, or anything which takes up time in my day while being basically unproductive.

Here’s my chart so far:
Activity                             Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Squats                                                 25
Planks(seconds)                                   25
Crunches                                             60
Pilates DVD (minutes)

Although the formatting isn’t coming through here, you can probably see that this format might lend itself to other daily activities as well, and, as occurred to me today as well, might simplify my daily activities and make it easier to see and stick to the ones which are either weekly or long-term projects.

Even things which have been working might require change from time to time

Interestingly, the theme for September is “Change” and suddenly, I’m being called upon to change how I’ve been doing things for the last several months. Part of that change is a result of finishing the first edit of my book, and trying to get it to people who can make suggestions and catch things I might have missed. As that project moves to a new phase, I find myself with time I need to fill with other projects which will, ultimately, help me achieve my goals.

As I allowed this to percolate, I realized that it will be easier to track how I’m doing on my goals if I have little charts, allowing me to check things off on the actual days I do them! The logical, numbers person in me sees an opportunity to create charts and metrics from this information so I can eventually see what works in the long-term! (just another case of “you can take the girl out of accounting, but you can’t take the accounting out of the girl!” At least not completely.) Of course, this means moving my To Do list from Word to Excel so I have the charting capabilities. Oy! Is it that I’m really bored, or that I need some serious motivation? Either way, the end justifies the means.

At any rate, the next week or so will definitely be one of adjustment and change. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes out!

My Gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my logical mind which becomes very useful at times.
2. I am grateful for my willingness to make changes.
3. I am grateful for the flow of ideas, whether it’s for a creative venture, or to get me more organized.
4. I am grateful for a positive start in a new direction.
5. I am grateful for abundance: ideas, motivation, inspiration, harmony, peace, joy, love, health and prosperity.

Namaste

August 25, 2014 New Moon insights

Early this evening, I started my Monday night routine of gathering the trash. As I opened the garage door, I was pleased to find that it was actually rather pleasant out. My outdoor cats kept rubbing against my legs as I emptied a case of cat food into the cupboard, giving me the inclination to stay outside awhile and give them some extra attention.

Once the barrels were doing their weekly sentry duty at the curb, I pulled a beach chair out of my storage room, planted myself on the driveway, and prepared to give the girls some extra lovin’s. Being the independent creatures, they are, I found I was left to my own devices a good bit of the time, and as I watched the clouds changing color as the sun slowly fell into the sea, I realized that the quiet of the evening, broken only by the occasional car or dog walker, was both peaceful and surreal. Trees which stood before houses on the opposite side of the street took on an almost two-dimensional feel, as if I was looking at a painting. Even branches waving in the breeze didn’t detract from the feeling that I was, somehow, an observer, outside of the world I was watching.

As I sat there watching, daydreaming, drifting, I thought about the fact that, for just a few moments, I was completely disconnected from all of my electronics; computer, ipad, phone. I thought about the fact that I tend to feel uncomfortable when I am unreachable for any length of time. As the thought entered my mind, I allowed myself to drift back to when this particular feeling originated. It wasn’t long before I found myself in December of 1993, during the two week shut down of my work, and Christmas vacation for my daughters. It was just a couple of days after Christmas, and the girls and I had gone to the store for groceries.

Going back to a time when we relied on voice mail because nobody had cell phones.

Those were the days when people didn’t have cell phones. A few had car phones, but they only worked when hooked up to a car. Others had pagers, but those only alerted us and gave us a number to call. Thus, I remember vividly, returning from shopping and dutifully checking for messages, only to find one from my dad who tearfully informed me that my mother was gone. Realizing that this was the event which made me paranoid about being out of touch, I asked for a clearing, after which the peacefulness of the evening became even more pronounced. I sat there in my quiet cocoon of peace, watching the rest of the sunset, then sitting in the deepening gloom, completely comfortable with the idea of being, for another half hour or so, unreachable and disconnected. I know that, from now on, I will not only make time in my day to disconnect, but will no longer feel inclined to cut this time short. In fact, sitting outside in the evening while my phone and computer wait inside for my pleasure may well become part of my nightly routine.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for epiphanies that lead to clearing of old baggage.
2. I am grateful for calm, peaceful, cooler nights to sit outside and just be.
3. I am grateful for inspiration which appears in so many ways.
4. I am grateful for the time I’ve been given to just think and grow without feeling guilty about getting nothing meaningful done.
5. I am grateful for abudance; peace, love, joy, happiness, harmony, health and prosperity.

Namaste

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