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Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

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

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Grabbing Inspiration by the Throat

When Passion Hits, Pay Attention!

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’ve once again changed the title of my blog. It all started when I decided to go back to my basic purpose which is to share my own life lessons and inspirations as a means of supporting other people. I realized that the Leap of Faith I took was really only a small part of the whole.

On the subject of life lessons and inspirations, I am finishing Level 6 of John Assaraf’s “Winning the Game of Money” today and my own inspirations keep coming. The Neurogym community on Facebook is especially helpful as there are insights, support, wins and supplemental material on the Facebook group page. This morning, Mark Robert Waldman posted a video to show us how to find our true passion. Several things stood out for me: Writing, Philanthropy, Animal Welfare and helping people in general.

I Get My Best Ideas While Meditating

I followed up the exercise with my daily guided meditation and made a point of remaining mindful. (The Level 6 Innercise ends with a few minutes of rainfall which typically relaxes me so completely that I fall asleep). As I floated along on the sounds of music, bird song and rainfall, I had what I consider an important epiphany. I should be using my writing to help animal welfare groups promote, not only themselves but the issues concerning animals as a whole! It’s a subject I am truly passionate about and a topic on which I could and have written endlessly, so why not put it to good use by helping the groups who are out there on the front lines? Whether it’s TNR or helping their local areas become completely no-kill, or educating the public to the long-reaching effects of rat poison on our wildlife, someone needs to write the stories, so why not me?

Writing about animals is a lot like the food and wine events I’ve been attending lately. It’s all about laying the groundwork and establishing a recognizable brand. I can and have written on a wide range of topics, and have the research skills to write on a great many more. But people have to read what I write for it to have any value to anyone besides myself and a few loyal readers (who I am continually grateful for, by the way).

If I’ve learned nothing else over the last couple of years (aside from living more frugally until my passion becomes lucrative) it is to listen very carefully to the messages the Universe sends me. In fact, ignoring them is done at my own peril because, as many of you have discovered, the Universe is quite insistent about pushing us to follow our passion and purpose. As the recipient of an inordinate share of Universal head slaps, I have learned to pay very close attention, but also to act promptly on the messages I receive.

Wanted: Animal Rescue/Welfare Groups Needing a Writer to Help Promote Their Cause

Thus, I’m actively seeking rescue groups who could use some help getting the word out. If you know of any, please help us connect. We need to be the voice for the animals, and to make it loud, far-reaching and effective.

You may think this post deviates from my desire to help others through inspiration, but, at the risk of launching into a long and passionate testimonial for the people who devote their lives to animals, the health benefits of pets, and most of all, the environmental impact of animal scarcity, I’ll keep this brief. Helping animals helps humans.

Always Remember Gratitude

Thank you, both for reading this post and for helping me help them. If you have any leads for me, you can either contact me via the website or Facebook pages listed below, or via email: shericonaway@pacbell.net.

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the tools which are helping me find my purpose.
  2. I am  grateful for the network which I’m continually expanding to help me use my passions to achieve my purpose.
  3. I am grateful for new and diverse opportunities to step out of my comfort zone.
  4. I am grateful for the lessons I’m learning and how my mind is expanding with possibilities from my membership int he Neurogym community.
  5. I am grateful for abundance: passion, support, opportunities, ideas, epiphanies, writing, reading, learning, sharing, inspiration both given and received, peace, hope, love, health, 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!

Dream a Little Dream With Me

Asleep or Awake, the Universe Guides Me With Clear Intentions

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

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

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

Our Possibilities are Only Limited by Our Own Thoughts and Beliefs

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

Day 8 Changing My Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You Deserve Abundance

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

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

Blessed Be

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

Finding Inspiration Wherever it may Lurk

The Writer’s Dilemma

Time and again I see writers asking the same question: “Where do I find inspiration?” Sometimes, they put it a little differently, like: “How do I get my Muse to talk to me?” Either way, I don’t think the answers are as hard to find as we might sometimes make it sound.

For myself, I’m learning a couple of things. First, inspiration or your muse or whatever you choose to call it isn’t going to talk to you unless you are ready to listen. This means one of two things to me. Either you have to be sitting at the computer with your fingers on the keyboard ready to type what your Muse dictates, or you have to let your mind go quiet so the Muse or inspiration can strike. Maybe that’s why people say they get their best ideas while in the shower or answering the call of nature or anything else which allows them to just relax and be.

Aside from just planting myself in front of the computer and letting my mind go limp, I’ve had success with finding ideas, figuring out a direction for an article I need to write or even getting inspiration, full-blown, for my NaNo novel. Here are some of the things I use when my brain becomes muddled with everyday concerns or I’m just stuck in analytical, internal editor, everything is crap mode.

  • Meditation: Though not 100% successful, I try to meditate for an hour every day. Sometimes it’s 40 minutes, sometimes only 20, but my goal is an hour and I’ve learned to set a timer as there are days I could just float for the entire afternoon. In fact, a meditation the day before NaNo began this year yielded not only the concept for my latest endeavor but the title as well. It was also where I got the inspiration I needed to write an article about an event I attended a week or so ago.
  • Cooking: I love the way my mind can just drift away into its own world when I’m doing something menial like chopping vegetables for a soup or stir-fry. Generally, I just keep pulling things out of the refrigerator, chopping, measuring and putting them into bowls according to the order they’ll be added to the dish. It doesn’t take a lot of concentration so my Muse is free to cavort and dream. Of course, it means I have to stop mid-chop to either run to the computer or grab pad and paper to jot the idea down before it flits away again. Such was the case tonight while I chopped what ended up being 5 mixing bowls full of assorted veggies for my latest stir-fry concoction. Twice, I had to run to the computer and start blog posts; one here and one on my website, e’er I forget them entirely.
  • Dancing: One of my personal favorites. I draw my energy around me and seal that egg-shaped field which envelops my physical self. Dancing in this self-imposed bubble, there is no stress. There are no worries. I’m oblivious to the world and people around me and just for a few moments, release any concerns I might have about the outside world. Here is where the magic truly happens, and I’ve finally learned to carry a pad and pen with me at all times. Sometimes, it’s simply a characterization which comes to me because of someone I see. Other times, it’s a dialogue I’ve been needing for my current Work in Progress. Either way, it’s another inspiration I may or may not have known I needed.
  • Walking: Like dancing, this allows me to close myself off into my own personal bubble while remaining semi-aware of the world around me. (after all, I don’t want to walk into the path of a car, and even when fully aware, I have trouble avoiding tripping over my own feet, a crack in the sidewalk or even a pea-sized pebble.)To be honest, I go into a kind of fugue just grocery shopping sometimes!
Living in a World of our own Creation, as Writers We Have to Find our own Way

As writers, and frankly, anyone with a creative bent, we have to figure out what works to unlock our own inspiration. What works for me might simply frustrate someone else. I know people who relax best when their hands are in the dirt or when they’re sewing: both activities which frustrate the stuffing out of me. I tend to refer to it as shutting my mind down and allowing thoughts to meander through the empty space I leave, but that’s not really it either. Nevertheless, like matter which moves to fill an empty space, thoughts, too will swirl and coalesce when they find a welcoming vessel. Thus, all I’m really trying to accomplish is to make myself the welcoming vessel; the place where thoughts, ideas…inspiration can come to play.

Will You Share Your Thoughts?

I’d love to hear what works for you. What helps you let inspiration in? What do you do to declutter your mind? What activities do you find most relaxing? Most cathartic? Leave me a comment and share your thought processes.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful I’ve learned to allow.
2. I am grateful for discipline and lack thereof. A time for each.
3. I am grateful for community. Freelancers and writers seem to realize what so many do not: The Universe is abundant and there is enough for everyone. We don’t need to compete with each other at all. Instead, we support and encourage. Would that the world would come to this realization.
4. I am grateful for the network I’m building. I am meeting people from all walks of life because we share a common interest; a common goal. We all want to get out of the corporate rat race and be our own person, our own boss, our own motivator and the recipient of the bounty from our efforts.
5. I am grateful for abundance: community, friendship, camaraderie, love, joy, inspiration, motivation, progress, productivity, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

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

July 7, 2015 One Woman’s Challenge is Another’s Opportunity

When is a Leap of Faith Not a Leap of Faith

Sometimes we choose our Leaps of Faith and other times, they are thrust upon us. Such is the case with my determination to remain self-sufficient, regardless of how many years this body has spent on earth. Until a little over a year ago, that wasn’t really a problem as my daughter and son-in-law lived right up the street and could be called upon if I needed another set of hands, a second opinion or a stronger back than mine. That all changed when the Navy sent them three hours away a little over a year ago. (It could have been much worse as at first, we thought he would end up in Norfolk, VA, a mere 3000 miles or so away from here!). Suddenly, I have to figure out how to trim the cats’ nails by myself, haul those 40 pound tubs of cat sand from store to car to garage and a myriad of other things I’ve depended on help from the kids to do.

Lest you’ve forgotten, I tend to shy away from asking help of outsiders, even if those outsiders are friends. Plus, as I descend further into hermit-dom, friends who are close enough to ask for help with cats, doctor visits and the like are few and far between, and many of them are tied up with grand kids. Yet, the real culprit in my latest wandering train of thought is the shoulder pain I’ve been living with for going on three weeks now. Though exercises, homeopathics, a couple of visits to the chiropractor and limited use of prescription muscle relaxers and pain pills has given me back most of my range of motion and functionality, the one thing which is slow to return is a good night’s sleep. Because both my shoulder and arm are involved, it is nearly impossible to sleep in my bed, and then, never for the whole night. Ultimately, I find myself back on the La-Z-Boy sofa, on my back, which is my least favorite sleeping position. Even then, I may need the pills and my heated rice bag in order to find sleep again.

But don’t think it’s all bad news. Either the pain, the effort to eat or the meds are killing my appetite and my weight continues to drop, almost daily. Though I know that part of that is muscle mass which isn’t being supported without regular visits to the gym, some is clearly weight I, in all honesty, need to shed to improve my health and well-being. One thing I do miss is having Heather just beat on my shoulder. The electric massager she reminded my I had is not nearly as effective as a few good, hard whacks on my shoulder. She and her sister both used to enjoy being asked to beat on Mommy when they were younger.

But I digress. I wanted to include some facts and figures about back pain in women of my advanced age, but everything I found talks about the lower back. Even when I got specific and searched for ‘right shoulder pain’ I got very limited information other than that it becomes more common in people over 40. Heck, I could have told them that! (though I was happy to read that it’s left shoulder pain which is connected to heart attacks) Still, this Leap of Faith which was thrust upon me by my son-in-law’s military orders has been a blessing in disguise of sorts. Instead of lying around the house having someone take on those tasks which must be done like laundry, meals, grocery shopping and cat care, I’ve had to find a way to manage the pain, work the sore muscles and get on with my life. Between just moving whether it hurts or not, guzzling Nova’s Shoulder/Arm complex and Injury/Trauma complex every hour or so and doing curls with my 5 pound free weight every couple of hours, the pain has lessened dramatically and my arm is more often numb than painful now.

Inspiration Comes in Many Shapes and Sizes

My next door neighbor is in his 80’s, yet he still keeps himself fit, does his own yard work and can be found in the garage on many days building something-or-other. The lady across the street is also in her 80’s and toured Greece a couple of years ago. She still keeps her own house, though has recently hired a gardener to maintain the lawns. Her kids live nearby so they’re available to help with the heavy lifting, but she’s pretty self-sufficient. And of course, there’s Bonnie who is nearing 90 and has been dancing at all of the clubs I’ve been to and then some for longer than anyone can remember. Sure, she has to modify some of the steps and leaves the faster dances to the 50 and 60 year olds, but we all aspire to her longevity on the dance floor. I am at least as healthy, if not more so than any of these people, so they’re examples help me to suck it up when I want to crawl into my favorite hidey hole and whine about a little pain. Instead, I remind myself (and anyone who will listen) that a few aches and pains remind me that I’m still alive and kicking.

Every time I want to have a pity party about the aches and pains or my less-than-amazing efforts to make a life for myself as a writer, I look around me and see that there are so many things I am accomplishing that I need to have a little more patience with myself as well as being as diligent about pursuing my writing as I am about being self-sufficient and everything will work out perfectly in the end…or at least until a take another leap!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for both the opportunities I choose and the ones which have been thrust upon me.
2. I am grateful for an improvement in the pain department each day (only needed to take the meds once yesterday).
3. I am grateful for the supportive community of writers, bloggers and freelancers who recognize that there is easily enough for everyone and we are all special and unique.
4. I am grateful for continued messages from the Universe that I’m going in the right direction, even when it feels like I’m standing still.
5. I am grateful for the continued attention of my kitty nurses, despite their displeasure over my abandonment of their favorite night time cuddle spot.
6. I am grateful for abundance: love, life, inspiration, motivation, creativity, encouragement, opportunity, peace, harmony, happiness, prosperity, health and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

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

April 13, 2015 #writing101 People who inspire me

Today’s Prompt: Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?
Today’s twist: Turn your post into a character study.

This one was tough, because I have been inspired by so many people in the last year, but I finally settled on one. I know, if she reads this, she’ll recognize herself.

She focuses intently on her task, but even so, a stray strand of hair falling in her eyes distracts her.Hobbit cake She tries blowing the hair out of the way, reminding me how years ago, we read Winnie the Pooh together. He got his arms stuck and tried blowing a fly off of his nose in much the same way she tried to move the errant hair.

With a small sigh, she brushes the hair back with her wrist, leaving a streak of green frosting on her cheek. She holds the pastry bag confidently as she lays another strip of green on top of the cake she’s decorating as the grassy field which overgrows the Hobbit hole comes together under her careful ministrations.

Is this the same small child who brought me a microwaved grill cheese sandwich one Mother’s Day because she was not yet old enough to use the stove by herself? How quickly she progressed from Snickerdoodles to converting recipes to gluten free without the yak factor.

As she fits the chocolate door into the front of the cake, her eyes rove her creation for imperfections. To anyone else, it is an amazing job, but she’s her own worst critic, yet she still worries about pleasing other people.

I’ve kept this one short and sweet rather than exploring too many facets of her personality. Sometimes, less really is better.

December 14, 2014 Slowing down to a crawl #shericonaway

Taking it slow is one thing, but barely moving is quite another.

For the last couple of days, I’ve been suffering from a severe lack of motivation. I get up in the morning with good intentions, but somehow, they just drizzle away like a Southern California rain storm. I’m not sure if it’s the added stress of having to medicate four cats morning and evening (thankfully, only drops in the ears!) or if I just hit a point where I can’t quite figure out where I’m supposed to be going, so I’ve hit a dead stop. It certainly isn’t for lack of things to do!

My gym routine has been sadly neglected, as have my blog and my novel in progress, but so has pretty much everything else. The only reason the vacuum cleaner made it out of the closet this week was because Scrappy Doo pushed a Corelle bowl to the floor, and it’s normal resiliency had reached its limit, sending shards of crockery over the entire floor of my office. (pretty tough to do when it was only a dessert bowl). Allowing the cats to find those tiny slivers with their paws was not an option, though I have, despite a very thorough vacuuming, still managed to find a couple myself. But better me than them!

Perhaps it’s the winter doldrums or my first holiday season without Heather here to do all of the silly stuff we do before Christmas. I just can’t seem to find my normal, busy, cheerful self right now, and I have to tell you, it’s annoying as hell!

Life truly is about the moments that take your breath away.

That isn’t to say there haven’t been a few special moments mixed in with the ennui. A small, brown bird tapped at my office window last night, scaring the bejeebers out of me. After I recovered from the surprise, I found myself thinking “Awww, how cute. Scrappy and Pye have made a friend.” Sadly, there were brown bird feathers on my garage floor this morning, and I’m really hoping my little friend wasn’t the victim of Hailey’s hunting prowess.

Dancing with my friends last night was amazing, and there was a plethora of laughter and warm hugs. I’m smiling now, just remembering how it felt. And of course, the cold weather is making the cats want to snuggle even more, in spite of the torture I’m putting the boys through with ear drops. In fact, the house was a chilly 62 degrees when I woke up this morning, forcing this wimpy California girl to turn on her heater for the first time in ages.

Is there such a thing as too much introspection?

In fairness to myself, it hasn’t been all about laziness. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, a lot of soul searching, reading and watching inspirational videos. While no earth shaking conclusions have been reached, I’ve gotten a lot of things to turn over in my non-linear thinking brain. In labyrinthian terms, perhaps, the problem right now is a need to find my way out of the mental maze I’ve unwittingly created.

So that’s my excuse for sporadic posts. Pinning myself down to a topic or two has been, on some days, simply impossible. Sitting down to write has been more than my frenetic mind could accomplish. But like everything else, it’s one day at a time. Today, a blog post, tomorrow, a pilates class and maybe some Christmas shopping, a few chores around the house and who knows what else might come up.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for a mind that works, even if it occasionally goes into an overdrive state in which, seemingly, nothing gets accomplished.
2. I am grateful for down time, despite the fact that I feel a little guilty about taking too much, though the only one who really suffers for it is me.
3. I am grateful for friends who post things which make me think.
4. I am grateful for options including the one to change my mind if something isn’t working.
5. I am grateful for abundance: joy, laughter, friendship, love, quiet time, introspection, redirecting, allowing, forgiveness, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Namaste

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