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Archive for the ‘leap of faith’ Category

Getting Out of the Rut and Making the Life You Deserve

Seeing Changes and Knowing They’re Good

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

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

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

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

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

Learning to Ride and Thrive with the Changes

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

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

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

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

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

Finding Someone New and Exciting, and That Someone is Me

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

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

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

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

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

GOYA (Get off your Ass)

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

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

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, 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!

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:

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, 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 25, 2014 The times, they are a-changin’ (again) #shericonaway #blogboost

I didn’t believe it would happen this way, but it was like a huge switch was thrown!

Our perspective of Mercury’s trajectory returned to normal tonight, which might elicit no more than a “Ho hum” from a lot of people, me included. Or more like, I used to be included. So what if Mercury is my ruling planet and so what if my purpose in life revolves around communicating? It’s just another day, right?

The Universe saw another opportunity to send me somersaulting through my life, upside down and backwards. When the energy shifted this time, I felt all 9000 volts shooting through my system and energizing everything in sight!

Bad enough that chores got done and cats scurried out of the way lest they be sucked up by the vacuum cleaner or bathed with the mop. Bad enough that the story I’m plotting for NaNoWriMo insists on forming itself in my mind a full week before I’m allowed to start writing.

That Dancing Queen ain’t got nothin’ on me!

I hit the dance floor tonight like a woman possessed, filled with an energy which couldn’t help but burst forth with every spin, ever kick, every pivot and turn. The laughter and chatting washed from sidelines to dance floor and back again. Everyone was brilliantly witty and full of love and excitement. Everyone in the place was on fire with the energy pulsing through the speakers, the fans and the dancers’ feet.

All limits have been lifted. Anything is possible!

I see possibilities everywhere now. Where there were road blocks, there’s now mile after mile of wide open road. Where once there was hesitation and uncertainty, now there is endless confidence in the best outcome imaginable. The time we’ve spent resting, regrouping and revisiting has yielded great gobs of positive, results driven energy which, like a bullet train, will carry us wherever we want to go and as far into the future as we’ll allow it to take us.

I, for one, am jumping on that bullet train to all of the success and abundance I’ve been envisioning, and holding on tight, ready to not only enjoy the results, but the journey as well.

Journeys are interesting things. We travel along for awhile, look at our maps or our GPS’s and suddenly there’s a detour we simply must take. It might delay or even alter what we see as our final destination, but it simply doesn’t matter, because it was never about the destination anyway. The things we see along the way, the people we interact with, the changes we make within ourselves; that’s what it was all about. The destination was simply there to give us a place to point to when we began our journey. When the destination changes, it is simply a new pointer. If we get there fine, but if we veer off again, that’s fine too. As long as we keep moving and learning and growing, we’re on the right path, wherever it might take us.

Once again, my clock reads 11:11 just as I pause and look down.

Yes, I believe in signs, and the preponderance of 1’s I’ve been seeing for the last week or so is, to me, a neon sign telling me that I’m going in the right direction and to keep moving along that trajectory, even as the pace quickens. I will find what I’m looking for and I will get all that I need. I am only limited by my own imagination and expectations from this point on.

You could look at this time as a terrible burden if you’re one who spends a lot of time stressing out over making the wrong choice, but for those who have learned that you can’t make a wrong choice, this is an incredible opportunity to just go and do and live and feel and thrive. Why fear that you’ll hare off in the wrong direction when your own inner compass will alert you in plenty of time via your emotions. As long as you listen if you get a sick feeling in your stomach or a chill along the surface of your skin, you’ll know in plenty of time when to stop and review your navigation, making such adjustments as will calm those twitches and settle the nervous stomach. Most of the time, all you’ll feel is joy and bliss because you’re on the most marvelous, exciting, fulfilling road imaginable.

This is our journey of a lifetime, so why hesitate or question the whys and wherefores? This really is the time to take that leap of faith.

And on that note, I will leap into tonight’s gratitudes:
1. I am grateful for the most amazing night of dancing imaginable.
2. I am grateful for friends and energy and light and laughter and joy in its purest essence.
3. I am grateful for a life that is full of possibilities and void of limitations.
4. I am grateful for the improving state of my physical self as it will better support my mental and spiritual selves in the coming days, weeks, months, years.
5. I am grateful for the changing energy which is opening doors and windows like never before.
6. I am grateful for abundance; energy, joy, laughter, friendship, health, vitality, connections, imagination, motivation, forward momentum and prosperity.


October 24, 2014 NaNoWriMo prep #shericonaway #blogboost

Gearing up to write 50,000 words in a month.

In preparation for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers’ Month for the uninitiated), I purchased a package containing webinars, ebooks and print books designed to help me actually do a little bit of plot development instead of just jumping in blindly like I did last year. It doesn’t mean I won’t continue to sit down, shut my brain off and let the story flow as it wishes, but I thought a few tools might help bring down the number of rewrites this one will require compared to last year’s effort.

I watched one of the webinars and started to watch another, but it was all I could do to sit through 15 minutes of it. I’m not sure if it was the presenter’s style or how she arranged the material, but I got stuck on it as surely as I’ve been stuck on the assignment for my AWAI Accelerated Copywriting course.

As with the copywriting course, I came to the conclusion that I needed to focus on the things which did resonate and avoid wasting time on the things which didn’t. So I poked around in the items I’d downloaded from the site (after paying my fee, of course) and did, indeed, find a gem. I’ll be spending quite a little time with the 280 page ebook, but was able to send it to my iPad so it will, at least, be portable.

The next week looks to be a rather busy one, what with the writing challenge beginning next Saturday, a trip to my daughter’s on Friday night (return date, pending), and getting ready to be an educated voter a week from Tuesday. Somewhere in there will also be my daily blog post (even when UBC comes to an end), trips to the gym (I’m becoming rather attached to those visits, believe it or not) and another batch of something healthy once I get my weekly Harvest Box.

Did I mention a guest blog post or two in the mix? One thing is certain. I will soon be very grateful for the pre-measured meals stacking up nicely in my refrigerator and freezer. My recent foray into less healthy eating with a dinner of sushi and tempura is making me rudely aware that my stomach is no longer happy with fried or sauce filled foods. (strange gurglings and rumblings are, even now, emitting from what should be my peaceful center, alerting me to the unhappiness of my innards.)

In this time of preparation, I am thrown, once more, back to October of last year when, with the help of my Ascension Resonance Training class, I made the decision to leap faithfully to my fate, also known as my true calling. Though I’m still not completely clear on what that calling will ultimately entail, writing and learning about writing is definitely high on the list of things I can’t help but do.

This last year has surely been one of fits and starts, a lot of sitting around trying to figure myself out, and some major changes in lifestyle, eating and health habits. I’ve fought some battles, come close to giving in to frustration, even, for a moment or two, considered going back to accounting where I knew I could have a steady income. But always, there was something which whispered in my ear, saying: “Stick with it. You’ve got this. It might be taking longer than you’d planned, but you’re still ok. You’re learning to live differently as well as in your truth, and that will take time. But don’t give up on yourself!”

That little voice has never steered me wrong, except when I’ve ignored it. So despite the fact that I’m not yet on the road to a six figure income as a copywriter, and my first novel is still a long way from publication and my website has not been launched because I haven’t a clear picture of what I want it to say…it’s all part of my process. I’ve learned a lot this year, and am definitely not the person I was a year ago, nor will I be the person I am now in another year.

You have to have Faith, even when it doesn’t look like you have a good reason.

Finding my true path, following my heart’s desire took an enormous leap of faith. I stepped off into something which, from where I stood, gave me no guarantees of supporting me into my dotage. But as I made the decision, more and more signs came to assure me that I was making the right decision; the decision that meant I would have at least one less regret years in the future.

Sure, I’m learning that there is a great deal more to being a writer than simply writing. Sure, I’ve yet to earn a dime doing what I love, but so what? I’m doing what I love, and I’m still managing to keep a roof over my head and food in my cats’ dishes. I’m taking better care of me than I ever have, and even if it’s only a blog post, I’m writing every single day.

Something else I’ve always enjoyed is learning. I’m getting ample opportunity right now to expand my education. Whether it’s an online class or reference material or research for my latest effort, it’s all a learning experience for me. In fact, I’ve even had the opportunity to learn what not to do, and that is always useful as well.

The sooner we learn that Life, itself is a learning experience, the more we will get out of the trip.

Part of the reason I was so unhappy in the last year or so of my old job was that I didn’t have enough left to learn and explore, at least that made me want to get up in the morning and get to it. I had, for all intents and purposes, gone about as far as I was going to go in the position, and, I realize now, I had been mentally ready to move on for quite awhile. But I was in that rut where the job pays reasonably well, I was reasonably stable and, occasionally even got to do something which challenged my brain. I also wasn’t anxious to stay in the corporate world, and where I was only loosely fit that label.

For the first time in my life, when I hit that particular wall, external forces did not conspire to kick me in the butt and move me out of my rut. With the support of a few friends, I did it myself. The only thing I can say is that I must have been ready to make this huge shift and to simplify my lifestyle at the same time to accommodate the learning curve which would come as a result.

Am I any closer to supporting myself with my dream, my writing? I’d like to think so. Will it matter if it takes some more time? Not in the overall scheme of things. My contemporaries might be taking trips to Europe right now while I’m home banging on the keyboard and filling my head with more knowledge and skills, but I’m right where I need to be. I spend a few days each month with my daughter, and am enjoying exploring her new city. But I also love the freedom of my life to do for myself and follow a regular exercise routine, to meditate daily and work with the cats gathered around me. I believe that as I become ready for more, I will move into a position where I’ll find exactly what I need.

And that, my friends, is what taking a leap of faith is all about. Believing in yourself, first and foremost, but also believing that the resources you need will align themselves with your trajectory at the time they are required. As long as I hold that Faith, the Laws of Attraction never fail me.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful to the women who encouraged me to take the leap of faith that put me where I am today.
2. I am grateful for my simplified, me-central lifestyle.
3. I am grateful for the lessons I’m learning and the progress I’m making.
4. I am grateful to be following my dream, and learning more about what it truly is as I go.
5. I am grateful to be on this grand adventure called life.
6. I am grateful for abundance: freedom, love, adventure, learning, exploring, health, harmony, peace, comedy, friendship and prosperity.


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