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

Archive for the ‘joy’ Category

Crooked Road to a Life Filled with Joy

A Face Filled With Joy to Light Up a Room

There’s a woman I see out dancing quite often who literally exudes waves of joy wherever she goes. Yet when I read the poetry she drops into Facebook, I can also feel the pain she’s experiencing as a physical ache. My first thought in recognizing the dichotomy is she uses joy to hide her broken parts.

Taking a step back, I realize it’s not an accurate portrayal. This lovely, fairy-like woman has certainly had her share of pain. She’s experienced loss, betrayal, and perhaps even abuse at various points in her life. She has chosen not to let those parts define her. Though her wings may have been broken or bent time and time again, she refuses to wallow or even allow the pain to encompass her being and affect others.

Instead, she uses the hardships as the building blocks of the firm foundation she continually creates for herself. The broken bits become pieces that are just the right size to fill in cracks or strengthen gaps with an extra layer of mortar. Perhaps she recycles the broken parts, grinding them into powder, then mixing them with glue or epoxy so it flows easily into the hairline fractures life gives her before they widen into chasms.

I suspect the process itself has come from her experiences. Once, she allowed those cracks to widen until some became seemingly insurmountable chasms. Like many of us, she did her share of wallowing before she found her strength and learned what didn’t break her has made her so much stronger than she ever imagined.

Searching for My Inner Light

I’ve not yet learned to be the ball of light and energy she has, but my own path has allowed me learn the broken pieces have value. I’ve used my own to strengthen a wobbly foundation. I’ve added strength to myself, and been a rock for others at times. I’ve also learned to allow others to be a rock for me when my own strength falters.

I suspect her light, like mine is made up of millions of tiny prism pieces gathered not only from her own broken bits, but from the countless others she’s helped when they needed a light through their own darkness. Those prism pieces shine all the brighter for having been forged of love and tempered by life.

One of the hardest lessons for me to learn was that nobody has to trudge through life alone. It’s OK to ask for help, and in fact, when you ask for help, you’re giving someone else the opportunity to be of service; to give of themselves. You need to break off pieces of yourself to help others get through the tough times. But in so doing, you end up with pieces of them as well.

A Heart Made of Millions of Prism Pieces

I believe by the time you reach adulthood, assuming you weren’t raised with the misconception you were better off standing alone, that your heart is made up of millions of little pieces of the people, places, and animals you touched on your journey. It’s those pieces which truly make you whole, not holding onto your own as if losing a single one will shatter you into a million irreparable pieces.

Yet that’s what I believed for the first 4 or 5 decades of my life. It was what my family taught me, and the times I’d been broken had given me no reason to question those lessons. Each time, I put myself back together as best I could, little realizing I was building on a disintegrating foundation each time, and setting myself up for the next disaster. I built fragile structures on top of each other, unaware that at some point, the whole thing would come crashing down, and I’d be unable to find a single solid piece on which to build.

That day came in my mid-40’s. I was alone, angry, sad, and clueless as to how I could come through the latest series of disasters in anything resembling wholeness. In truth, I’d never been whole, so I didn’t even know what it looked like. Nevertheless, I craved wholeness as most humans do. It wasn’t until a few years later I realized in order to find that wholeness, I had to finish shattering. Most of all, I had to shatter all the false beliefs I’d been given.

No Longer Working From Flawed Beliefs

I think my mom’s suicide was my first indication the belief system I’d been given was flawed. had slowly become a toxic combination of resentment, disrespect, and annoyance was my ineffectual way of disengaging from my family without a safety net, or any idea what to connect to instead. For several years, my only real connections were my two daughters, and by then, they were at an age where they were trying to establish their own boundaries and rules.

Needless to say, I was adrift in unfamiliar waters without the ability to guide my vessel, or any idea where to guide it if I could. It wasn’t long before I lost the ability or even the desire to hide my seemingly unstoppable rush downstream and over the falls. With nothing left to lose, certain I was about to crash and burn in spectacular fashion, I threw caution to the winds. I admitted I didn’t have all the answers, my life was far from perfect, and by god, I was tired of pretending.

I’d like to say it was like finding the drain plug just as the place was about to flood, but it actually took awhile for me to even recognize my life was changing for the better. At first, I simply wrote and shared my thoughts, encouraged by my daughter. Initially, my words were like dipping a toe into a pond, then pulling it back quickly before anyone noticed or commented.

Everyone Struggles Until They Learn to Ask for Help

As comments came and were for the most part positive and encouraging, I became braver, sharing what my parents would have considered intimate details. I learned others simply considered it opening up and allowing myself to not only appear, but be human; to be someone others could actually relate to instead of a barren mask of feigned perfection.

I learned everyone struggles, everyone falls, and everyone hurts at one time or another. While those like me keep breaking, and never really fix themselves, but instead, set one more illusion; one more glamour in place, the ones who truly grow have learned to say: “Yes, I’m broken, but it’s only temporary.” In the immortal words of the Beatles, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

When I first began to lower my masks, though, I had no real friends. My relationships, such as they were, were as superficial as I was. I was surfaced in glass with no way to lock on. Those first forays made from behind the safety of my computer screen were downright terrifying. Once they started reaching the people I saw regularly, but who’d never really seen me, it got easier. To their credit, they found ways to connect to me until I learned from their example how to do some of the connecting myself.

Learning to Give Without Reservation

Slowly, I allowed the words to come out of my mouth instead of my fingers. I hugged with complete abandon instead of the reserve I’d been taught. I stopped being afraid people would be disgusted by the raw, brokenness of my bare face, and learned true love and acceptance came from the gift I gave them by sharing my imperfections as it allowed them to share their own just as freely.

So when I see someone like this beautiful, fairy-like, joyful creature dancing her way into everyone’s hearts with an ethereal glow on her face, I know it’s the result of many breakings, and an open and willing heart which keeps allowing others to help her fit the pieces back together, better and stronger for the experience. I only hope someday I’ll carry the same glow and light up a room the way she does.

Gratitude is My Strongest Building Block

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for wood nymphs, fairies, and sprites in human form who spread joy liberally and with complete abandon.
  2. I’m grateful for everyone who has been patient with me as I unlearned the things which isolated me to make room for those which allow me to be an active member of a community.
  3. I’m grateful for the free flow of words and ideas which never fails me as long as I put fingers to keys.
  4. I’m grateful for all of my broken pieces which have gone into making other people stronger.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, light, joy, friendship, compassion, kindness, dancing, acceptance, peace, harmony, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light


About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. 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

December 23, 2014 It’s all about the people! #shericonaway

My heart is happy and I know why!

After a busy day which began by waking up to my daughter and grand puppy, took me from veggie pickup to grocery shopping and finally more wrapping, I am happy to say, I’ve found my Christmas spirit.

Call me weird, but I get very excited over veggies. Today’s box included a large head of cauliflower, celery, round carrots, spinach (which I need for Christmas breakfast), lettuce (which I dropped off at the local pet store as I don’t want it to go to waste), two lovely artichokes and an avocado, PLUS a whole bunch of oranges! I’m doing the happy dance over all of that bountiful goodness. Some of it became tonight’s dinner and some will be Christmas breakfast, but I’ll have some things to just play with too!

But again, I digress. While running errands I was alternately talking to my daughter between her errands and texting two of my adopted kids (not while driving of course!) about Thursday’s festivities. It finally hit me why my spirit was proving hard to raise this year. I needed my people! The day got an even more wonderful boost when I got to join in the skype with my son-in-law who is several months into a very long deployment! If all goes well, he’ll be here via skype for both Christmas Even dinner and our Christmas morning chaos. Though we all wish he could be home, we’re doing the next best thing so he can still share our Christmas insanity.

Today, I wrapped while my daughter cooked dinner, and we chatted and joked the whole while. My heart grew three sizes and I felt like myself again, filled with joy and feeling like a giant smile. Even without our traditional shopping silliness, the holidays came to my house after all, and I feel incredibly blessed.

The newest additions to my family are blatantly disrespecting the Christmas tree.

I knew there would be issues since Scrappy Doo (aka, demo boy) and Pyewacket (aka willing accomplice) had never seen a tree in the house before, albeit a fake one, but I had no idea they would be so creative. With a little help from Toby, who insists that his 20 pound bulk won’t disturb my skinny little six foot tree, Scrappy quickly found his spot on the lower branches of the tree, bending the poor things beyond recognition, but hopefully, not beyond repair. On the bright side, they’re leaving the packages alone. At least I had the foresight to earthquake strap the tree to the wall!

For now, the neatly wrapped packages are piled around the tree or stuffed in stockings and the detritus from a few days’ wrapping frenzy is neatly stowed. All that remains is some cleaning, our traditional Jewish Christmas Eve dinner and a couple of good nights’ sleep before my living room becomes a chaos of ribbons, wrapping paper and heaven knows what else my disturbingly creative daughter has come up with for us this year. ( last year it was a nerf gun fight in my living room, and I’m still finding the disks in the most unlikely of places!)

Sundown tomorrow rings in the beginning of Christmas and the end of Chanukah.

This is my last chance to wish my Jewish friends and family a very Happy Chanukah, clearing the way for me to wish a Merry Christmas to one and all. For those who may be feeling less than joyful this holiday season, and I know many won’t for their own reasons, I hope I can spread the joy I’m feeling around enough to help them at least tolerate all of the jolly people around them. If this year holds more pain than joy for you, I wish you healing in 2015.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful to have reconnected with my holiday spirit.
2. I am grateful for the days I get to spend with my daughter and grand puppy.
3. I am grateful for my adopted kids and the very special joy they bring into my life.
4. I am grateful for the friendships I’ve made, the ones I’ve lost and the ones I’ve strengthened this year. Each and every one changed for good reason, and has made my life better for it.
5. I am grateful for an overflowing of joy, enough to spread around as far as I can reach, and maybe farther.
6. I am grateful for abundance: joy, love, friendship, sharing, forgiveness, inspiration, imagination, health, peace, harmony and prosperity.


December 18, 2014 Prescription for Happiness #shericonaway

Last week, I was a sad mess, but after just one week, this simple happiness prescription has turned my life around! Do you want to be happy too? Well, stick around for a bit and I’ll tell you what to do!

For only $19.95 and 30 minutes a day, 4 times a week…

No, wait a minute! That’s not it! Rewind! Take 2!

Are the holidays getting you down? Are you dragging from one day to the next, barely able to put one foot in front of the other? Do you want to spend your days holed up in your house, wearing the same pair of smelly pajamas you’ve worn for the last week?

If you answered yes to all of these questions (especially the last one) read no further, as this post isn’t for you. But if you shouted an emphatic “NO” to the last one, read on! This miracle drug, this happiness prescription, this amazing SECRET could be just what you need to turn that frown into a smile and bring the joy of the holidays into your heart and home!

What this amazing prescription is not:

This amazing, easily administered discovery is not a pill. It is not a tonic. It is not a shot in the tush every month. NO!

What it is will take some effort on your part and perhaps a small monthly investment, depending on the choices you make.

So what is this amazing, simple, inexpensive, non-drug happiness inducer?

Just one week ago, I was sad and bored. The holidays were bringing me no joy. But then I discovered…MOVEMENT! I discovered…Fresh Air! I discovered…Music!

Yes, folks. The solution is that simple. Go to the gym, or ride a bike. Scrub the floors or mow the lawn. Take a hike or go dancing. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as you move your body for at least 30 minutes, 4 times a week.

You can even choose how quickly you wish to see results. In my case, I wanted to see them more quickly, so I spent an hour a day, four days a week at the gym, danced for about 3 hours a night, twice a week and ran errands which required a lot of walking in between. I also scrubbed all of the floors in my house with the dubious assistance of my cats.

The sky is the limit with this Miracle Cure.

If you want faster results, you can lengthen your workouts or add more days. You can wash windows or plant a garden. When you use chores around the house as part of your prescription, not only do you move that body and make it happier, you end up with a clean house or a vegetable garden or anything else you’ve been putting on the back burner because you just didn’t have the energy. Best of all, you have more energy than ever, and soon, tasks you never thought you’d complete are just done!

So don’t delay! Get on the treadmill today.

Walk to the store, ride your bike to the mall. Do whatever it takes to get moving because, to quote a popular arthritis commercial “A body in motion stays in motion.” Once you get going, you won’t be able to stop…even if you wanted to!

This has been an unpaid message from our sponsors. We now return you to our regularly scheduled blog, “ADHD run amok”.

I know I hid the message in a bunch of silliness, but the reality is, I’m much more energetic, happier and less inclined to be a hermit than I was a week ago. Yes, I’m still more easily annoyed than I’d like, but hey, it’s only been a week! The floors in my house are clean (or they were for a few minutes until my cats did their shedding and toy dragging across them), in fact, cleaner than they’ve been in a long while. More of my clutter has been corralled and I’m finally ready to put up my tree and wrap presents. How cool is that?

So here’s the challenge: If you’re feeling less than joyful, less than ready for the holiday hoop-la, try a little of my medicine. Move, clean, stretch, get fresh air, and just be in your own space. I stick my headphones in my ear, start up Pandora and go into my own place, but that place is outside of the four walls of my house where I’m more likely to drag myself around and eat crap out of boredom. Not healthy mentally, physically or emotionally And let’s not even start on spiritually!

I’ve heard it said that the best way to help yourself is to help someone else.

If nothing else, give someone a smile or pay them a compliment. It costs you nothing, but just might make their day.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for a return to my healthier lifestyle.
2. I am grateful that I am clear on what I need to clear from my plate in order to get back to my latest novel.
3. I am grateful for a lovely night of dancing with my friends.
4. I am grateful for the opportunity to share what I’ve learned, even if I make a mockery of myself to do it.
5. I am grateful for abundance: health, happiness, joy, love, friendship, harmony, peace, humor and prosperity.


October 31, 2014 Dancin’ and drivin’ the night away #shericonaway

<h2><em><strong><span style=” font-family: lucida sans; font-size:large;”> And a good time was had by all</span></strong></em></h2>

<span style=”font-family: lucida sans; font-size: small;”>A few of the “older crowd” put on our Halloween party duds and added another night of dancing to our schedule tonight. While the festivities started a bit later, there were no lessons to interrupt the fun, so I’d guess we got almost as much dancing in as on a regular night, and with far fewer bodies on the dance floor to get in our way.  All in all, the two couples, two single ladies and one single man made the very most of our dance time, and came away quite satisfied with this deviation from both ours and the club’s norm.

<span style=”font-family: lucida sans; font-size: small;”>Unwinding from dancing by driving to my daughter’s is becoming less novel these days.  I’m slowly starting to recognize land marks and points which mean x number of minutes left before I arrive.  Regardless of whether I leave from home or the dance hall, I’ve pared the trip, pretty consistenly, down to 2 1/2 hours.  Time goes even faster in the late evenng when traffic has thinned and the music from my CD’s (yes, some of us still use those!) keeps me occupied as I belt out the songs along with Terry and Jennifer and all of their friends.

<span style=”font-family: lucida sans; font-size: small;”>I find it interesting how the same amount of time can pass at different speeds, depending on what you’re doing.  For example, 10 minutes on any cardio machine (stairmaster, eliptical, treadmill, etc,) seems like a lifetime to me, but 3 hours of dancing or 2 1/2 hours of driving to see my daughter and grand furries passes like nothing.  The visits themselves, blow by even faster!

<span style=”font-family: lucida sans; font-size: small;”>Now, why is that?  Time is time, right?  In our reality, it doesn’t fold over on itself…or does it?  Could there be some weird time shifting phenomenon which causes time to pass more quickly when we are doing something enjoyable and more slowly when we’re doing something we consider a chore or tedious?  This is completely different from an earlier discussion aboiut time being stolen from us, a fraction of a second at a time.  I could easily be convinced that on the weekends I visit with my daughter, the days are really some fraction of the normal twenty-four hours.  There’s simply no way it seems to be over before it’s begun unless the time bandits are at work in their nefarious ways.

<span style=”font-family: lucida sans; font-size: small;”>I’ll bet this could be explained by those guys who’ve mastered quantum physics.  They’re likely to have the answers ready, just waiting for someone like me to ask.  If you ask me, it’s high time someone asked them to share what they know.  If they’re waiting until we’re ready for such world shaking revelations, I say, the time is now!  We need to know so we can figure out how to prolong those wonderful, joyous times and get past the chores, the sad times, the tedious stuff…much faster and  with less time dragging.

<h2><em><strong><span style=” font-family: lucida sans; font-size:large;”> Let’s hear it for more Disneyland time and less work time.</span></strong></em></h2>

<span style=”font-family: lucida sans; font-size: small;”>Although, I really should qualify that a little.  If you’re one of the lucky few who really love the work they do, then by all means, keep it in the “Disneyland” column.  And to be fair, for those who find Disneyland tedious, you can put that in your “work and drudgery” column.  Aren’t we lucky we can choose what to like and what to suffer through?

<span style=”font-family: lucida sans; font-size: small;”>I’m using the iPad with keyboard tonight, both because I’m on the road and because my daughter is between internet carriers at the moment.  As a result, I’m going to keep this post a little shorter as typing on this thing is just not optimum.  I brought my laptop along for the serious, NaNoWriMo writing which can just be checked into the website either when I find a Starbuck’s or when I get home.  Thinking back, I started last year’s effort a couple of days into it anyway, so though I <em>will</em> be writng this weekend (If I don’t, my brain will surely explode as it’s been ready for over a week!), the NaNoWriMNo site might not see ny progress for a couple of days.  Then it will appear that I went on a veritable writing binge in order to catch up!

<span style=”font-family: lucida sans; font-size: small;”>My gratitudes tonight are:

1. I am grateful that NaNoWriMo is finally here.

2. I am grateful for a truly delightful evening with a few of my dance friends.

3.I am grateful for a weekend of fun and froliic with my daughter as well as snuggles from my grand furries.

4. I am grateful for the over 13,000 steps I did, without even realizing I was moving that much!

5. I am grateful that moving a lot is getting so much easier

6. I am grateful for abundance: time, love,movement, inspiration, dancing, friendship, health, harmony, peace, forgiveness and prosperity.

<span style=”font-family: lucida sans; font-size: small;”>Namaste

And now for some shameless self-promotion: I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

October 18, 2014 What a difference the music makes! #shericonaway #blogboost

Dance like nobody’s watching, sing like you don’t need the money.

Words to live by, although, in my case, it might be amended to “sing like nobody’s listening”. My poor cats have been subjected to my off-key but exuberant renditions of my favorite songs as they poured forth from my computer speakers the last couple of days. And yet, when I start to sing, instead of heading for cover, they all come into the room to join me. I guess Joy is attractive, no matter how pitchy it sounds!

Bringing back the music has brought on an incredibly productive period. Laundry is done, cat boxes cleaned, floors vacuumed and scrubbed (and re-swept since certain felines are incapable of using the sandbox without throwing the sand all over the bathroom), client work completed for one client. I even had time to change my dancing look tonight, which received very positive responses from my friends. It’s amazing that two days ago, I went dancing in what I’d worn all day, not really caring what I looked like. Today, it was a 180 degree turn. My hair was braided (which I never do unless Heather is here to do it for me), I wore a skirt instead of shorts, and a sparkly shirt. I forgot how much fun it is to line dance in a skirt! It spins and twirls and you can play with it, flicking it around…ok, so I’m like a kid with a new toy, even if it was a very old skirt!

Even more disturbing, is that I’m excited about going to the gym tomorrow! If a little bit of music can induce such dramatic changes in only a couple of days, what might we expect after a week???

The tiniest of changes can change your whole world

I’ve heard it said that a small change can have an enormous impact, but I’d never thought much of it…until now. Such a simple thing has changed my entire outlook. There is no limit to what a person can accomplish if they start by improving their outlook. Esther and Jerry Hicks talked about a continuum of emotions, with the deepest, darkest despair at the bottom, and complete and utter joy at the top. Each small step up or down that continuum has the power to impact our entire life. Though it is possible to stay at the very bottom indefinitely without concerted effort, it is difficult if not impossible to remain at the top 100% of the time. Life interferes and our joy slips. For each of us, it has to slip to a different point before we stop and say “Now wait a minute! What’s going on here? What did you do with my Joy?”

It’s at that point where we aren’t feeling as good as we’d like to that we start making those small changes which will put us back at the top of the continuum, one baby step at a time. I’m not at the peak of joyousness right now, but I’m several steps up from where I was two days ago. Isn’t that what’s called “progress”? I don’t know about you, but I’ll take that progress any day!

If my own baby steps weren’t enough, taking a little extra effort with my appearance drew so many compliments that I moved a couple more steps up the continuum with no additional effort on my part! How’s that for bonus points? I don’t think there’s a human alive who doesn’t respond to compliments. Yes, many of us do, or have at some point told ourselves that we didn’t deserve the compliments, but hopefully, by now, we’ve stopped trash talking ourselves enough to accept the compliments gracefully and enjoy the rush of positive energy, truly believing that we deserve it.

That really is the key to moving up that continuum. We have to begin by being kinder to ourselves, loving ourselves and seeing our own beauty. It doesn’t matter if we don’t meet society’s size standards, or if our features aren’t perfectly symmetrical. True beauty doesn’t lie in our outer packaging anyway. The most beautiful people I know are kind, caring individuals, both to others and to themselves.

As I sit here typing, thinking and reworking, the song “You’ve Got a Friend” is playing. “Ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend? When people can be so cold, they’ll hurt you and dessert you. They’ll take your soul if you let them, but don’t you let them.” I think that says it all. That is where our true beauty lies: in being a friend, to others, to ourselves, to our animals, and to our planet.

Stepping off the soap box now to give you tonight’s gratitudes:
1. I am grateful for my friends who can be counted on to lift my spirits, even when they’ve dropped lower than normal.
2. I am grateful for my cats who love me (and my less than perfect singing voice) no matter what, and show me in little ways every day.
3. I am grateful for the lessons I began learning more than 15 years ago which allow me to recognize negative thoughts and behavior and turn them around before they can damage my life, or let me slide into a depressive state.
4. I am grateful for examples which show me where I don’t want to go, even more than those which show me where I do want to go. They inspire me to move towards the shinier, happier places.
5. I am grateful for wonderful nights of dancing, chatting with friends, sharing stories and most of all, the joy of just moving our bodies to music we love.
6. I am grateful for abundance: love, joy, music, friendship, caring, kindness, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.


September 30, 2014 Reintroducing myself and my purpose

Because of the changes I have experienced over the last year, I have decided to, once again, take the Ultimate Blog Challenge for October. This post will be a reintroduction of myself and my purpose for being here, in this blogging spot, day after day, and year after year.

Before I begin, let me say that I’m a night owl who writes her posts between about 10 PM and 1 AM on a typical day. As such, my posts, as far as the Ultimate Blog Challenge is concerned, will always have the previous day’s date, to be consistent with the practice I’ve already established.

I began this blog on Facebook in 2009 as both a healing and a sharing which began when my mother committed suicide in 1993. As is true with most of our lives, tragedies and traumas do not wait for the right time to occur, and my life was no different. Between an ugly divorce, the corporate downsizing so prevalent in the ’90’s, the Joy as well as the trials and tribulations of raising twin girls alone… suffice it to say, the road has been rocky. It got even rockier in 2003 when my dad, upon learning that he had lung cancer, took a page from my mom’s book and, once again, turned my world a little sideways. By the time I started the first version of this blog (everything from day 1 is here, in the archives, if you want to peruse the beginnings), I had about 26,000 words of a book about healing from the loss of a parent by suicide.

Although my intention, when I began to write, was to share my experiences and help others cope with a tragedy made worse by social stigma. What really happened was that I found a lot of holes in myself, a lot of open wounds and a few scars. By writing about it, sharing my thoughts, my feelings, my process of healing, I believe I did more good for myself than anyone else. However, I also realized, from conversations and comments which followed, that I had given others a place to talk about something which had previously only been discussed in whispers, with we, the survivors, feeling a shame we didn’t deserve.

Although my book is still in progress, my life has been a real roller coaster ride of changes, including quitting my job as an accountant to be the writer I always dreamed of being. The road isn’t any smoother, but I’m happier for the change.

My hope now is to use this forum to inspire people, let them know they’re not alone, no matter how rough the road they’ve been traveling, and to help bring changes to our world through gratitude, positive energy, affirmations and love.

If I touch a single life in such a way that that person is able to make their life a little better, I believe I’ve achieved my purpose.

I believe that each and every one of us is here, if for no other reason, to make the world a better place. We can only do that “one starfish at a time”. We have all learned something in our current human experience. Sharing those lessons might just resonate with someone who needs a boost of inspiration to get over their current bump in the road.

What you’ll find in this blog will always be brutally honest and completely candid. As I continue to move forward in my new career and all of its facets, you may see excerpts of stories, attempts to practice something I’m learning, or just expressions of joy or frustration. Whatever happens, I’ll do my best to entertain rather than bore. But I must warn you that I have a tendency to jump topics in what I call my “ADHD run amok” writing style, so there may be times when you’ll look at the words on the screen, shake your head and say: “Huh?” Don’t worry. It’s me, not you!

I hope you’ll enjoy this blog, read it often and comment when you feel inspired. If nothing else, the five gratitudes I end it with might raise a chuckle as I am grateful for all manner of things, few of them overly serious.

Tonight’s Gratitudes are:
1. I am grateful for having been able to keep finding something to write about for the last 5 1/2 years, especially as I finally reached the point where I blog nearly every day.
2. I am grateful for the people who take the time to read, like or follow my blog. Without you, I’d just be one more person talking to herself.
3. I am grateful for the opportunity to boost my readership again, before I actually launch that website!
4. I am grateful for the healthy routines I’ve been resurrecting lately, and grateful that they will inspire me to reach even higher.
5. I am grateful for abundance: health, motivation, inspiration, imagination, love, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.


September 15, 2014 I wrote, I edited…now what?

There was a time when I would write and write, keeping my precious babe safe within my own arms, and perhaps, those of a select few. That moment has passed.

So I wrote the first 50,000 words of the novel in less than 30 days. I wrote the next 18,000 words in the next couple of months, then spent about 6 months editing, fleshing out, and reworking the rough draft into about 98,000 words. Now what?

In truth, I took a few weeks off, visited my daughter a couple of times, read a number of books by some of my favorite authors, and just took time to breathe. But one can only sit and breathe for so long before it’s time to get back onto that superhighway we call life and make something amazing happen!

Movin’ on with a little help from my friends.

Very gently, I began soliciting readers who might give me constructive criticism, not so much on grammatical issues, but on content, flow and whether I have something going for me, or need to return to the drawing board. Slowly; possibly due to my own hesitancy about baring my baby’s soul; I found people who were willing to read and critique my work. But I think the real turning point has come in the last few days. First, I found a friend of my daughter’s who has been doing some editing and was willing to take on my “child”. But the real opportunity to get the heck out of my comfortable, safe, rejection-free mausoleum came tonight when I finally bit the bullet and attended a Read and Critique with a local writer’s group. They had some great advice while refraining from ripping the whole first chapter to shreds. I also got a taste of what each of them was working on, and definitely felt like the new kid on the block! But as I tell new dancers, we were all beginners once! One lady offered to read the first three chapters and be brutal, if need be, which, right now, I really do need!

As I know that this is the right direction for me to take at this point, I’ve already RSVP’d for next week’s session, and am going to block it out on my calendar for awhile. This is a group of people who were once where I am, and who are encouraging not only the experienced, published writers, but those like me who are just starting out. Not that I haven’t written for most of my life, but until my blog, the bulk of it was for my eyes only.

Fledglings must learn to fly, and the first step is usually pretty frightening!

I know that if I’m really going to make a go of this massive career change, I have to leave the nest, the comfort zone behind, gather my courage, leave my ego, and just take those first stumbling steps which will ultimately send me airborne! Surprisingly, it wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I’d suspected, sharing even a small piece of my “baby” with strangers. I realized that they’re not out to smother her or my desire to write, but to help me make her stronger, better and above all, more marketable. I’m sure they’ve all certainly made their share of false starts, and are willing to share what they’ve learned with others. Heck, I may even learn that I’ve categorized it incorrectly, and that will also be helpful. I will be the first to admit that there’s far more about the publishing industry that I don’t know than that I do. (Although I did get a very nice complement about my editing skills). Now, I have the opportunity to learn what works, what doesn’t, how to find a publisher for my particular type of work, and who knows what else?

If it sounds like I’m very excited about this next phase, I admit, I am. But I’ll also have to admit that I’m very pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t sure what to expect tonight, but it was an excellent beginning to a new learning experience. Even better, at least three of the people who where there have published, and I will be able to read what they’ve written and sold! How great is that?

Even more amazing than my experience tonight is that I managed to stay on topic for quite a long spell before the ADHD kicked in. It does happen occasionally, when I’m really excited about something. The hyperactive energy is channeled into my excitement, I guess.

As one thing led to another, I mentioned that I was an Empath, because it was an explanation as to why a particular piece resonated with me. Speaking with the author of the piece afterwards, she revealed that she, too, is an Empath, and asked me what I’m doing with it. I had to admit that my one foray into healing wasn’t entirely successful (though it did give me the courage to quit doing work that was sucking me dry in favor of work I loved, even if it wasn’t fiscally responsible in the short term). I realize that the place, the time and the question were put before me intentionally, and will end up devoting considerable to finding a better answer to the question, even if it means leaving my comfort zone in yet another direction.

Both information from my daily Tarot readings and just gut feelings lately have indicated rapid and massive changes. I think what I’m seeing right now is just the tip of the iceberg as to what those changes will be and more, where they’ll be taking me. If only my memory and my fingers can keep up with my imagination. In fact, I’ve already decided to do the NaNoWriMo challenge again in November!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for opportunities which turn out even better than I would have imagined.
2. I am grateful for successful people who are willing to help others find that success.
3. I am grateful for new learning experiences.
4. I am grateful to have found people to edit my first work.
5. I am grateful for abundance: health, happiness, love, motivation, imagination, guidance, hope, health, harmony, peace, meaningful work and prosperity.


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