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Archive for the ‘motivation’ 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!

A Clear Space Equals a Clear Mind

For the last week I’ve been finding ways to avoid writing. As mentioned yesterday, my excuses and methods are many-faceted. I thought simply breaking the spell by writing a blog post yesterday would do the trick, but today I discovered there was more to the problem than simply being unable to put fingers to keyboard and type something meaningful.

I woke up this morning after the best night’s sleep I’ve had in awhile, in spite of a howling wind which ripped a limb off my tree and had the cats racing around the house in a tizzy. I further delayed the commencement of writing by making a healthy brunch and doing my daily exercises.

As I continued to procrastinate and waste time, I looked at my desk and realized the cluttered, dusty mess was inhibiting my creative process more than I realized. desk-and-suppliesAn hour later, everything that was on it is in it’s proper place and the dust and cat fur have been removed, albeit temporarily (Dylan has already taken up residence, demanding skritches and spewing fur across the newly-cleaned surface). Now I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I’m writing a blog post which won’t be published until the wee hours of tomorrow morning. In other words, I’m making use of the “publish later” feature on my blog site.

While writing yesterday, I realized that writing regularly must include a post to at least one of my blogs, and starting my writing day with that post is a good way to clear the cobwebs. I’ve also learned while participating in a weight loss challenge that getting up from the computer every hour is just as important as sitting down and getting my work done. Thus, I’ve reminded myself to turn on the mindfulness clock app so I hear a loud DING when I’ve been sitting too long. It occurs to me that hourly reminder will serve just as well to get me writing in hourly chunks and I won’t need to remember to set a timer any more.

To make a long story short, I’m continually reminded that mental blocks are often connected with clutter in my physical environment. Clearing one quite often unblocks the other.

I actually started the clearing process earlier this week when I finally emptied my current year filing cabinet and started files for 2016, enabling me to finally put all of the documents which had been accumulating in a folder into their proper places. I’m seeing benefits to this almost every day. The folder isn’t taking up space on my desk or giving the cats yet another pile of papers to fling from the desk top. Even nicer was how quickly I could put the random bits still littering my desk into their proper places without having to wrestle a folder in and out of the drawer. As much as I hate cleaning, I love the way organized feels. I’m also grateful for the fact that I am still physically able to do my own cleaning, and when I’m mentally deficient, cleaning is a great way to unclog my brain and give me some much-needed exercise.

If cleaning your environment isn’t enough, it may mean you need to clear the energy as well. I keep a salt lamp (an incredibly thoughtful gift from a friend) on my desk, but don’t always remember to turn it on. (Writing this reminded me it was overdue). But the rest of the house gathers both helpful and detrimental energy as well, so a thorough smudging (in my case, with sage grown in another friend’s garden and bundled by her loving hands) is often called for. I’ve heard it should be done at least once a month, though I tend to wait longer. But I rarely have visitors so I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that negative energies don’t enter my home as often.

Thinking about it, I realize those energies can easily attach themselves to things I bring into the house like groceries and cleaning supplies, or to me from people with whom I’ve come into contact. I can even bring them in when I have negative feelings about someone or inadvertently indulge in negative self-talk.

This is a good place to end today’s chat as I need to do some smudging. Be well and clear those energies and clutter. Your own energy will thank you. When all else fails, sit down and love your cat, your dog or whoever shares your space.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for those de-cluttering urges.
2. I am grateful for the energy and flexibility to do my own housework.
3. I am grateful I can recognize when the energy around me is getting sluggish.
4. I am grateful for the lesson in distinguishing between “friendship” and “friendly acquaintanceship”. (more on this in another post)
5. I am grateful for abundance: clearing, energy, friendship, love, kindness, inspiration, motivation, 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, 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, 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 5, 2015 Stop the Pity Party. I Want to Get Off!

Doing Nothing Ain’t All it’s Cracked Up to Be

After several days of lounging on the La-Z-Boy (which also doubles as my bed these days) I’ve come to the conclusion that a life of leisure is just not for me. Aside from cooking a couple of meals, feeding the cats (as if I could avoid that!), cleaning up after myself and emptying the sand boxes, very little has gotten done around here since my shoulder started making its unhappiness known and frankly, I’m getting bored of my own company. Taking the muscle relaxers as often as prescribed means that if I move around at all, I experience discomfort. Not excruciating pain, mind you, just constant, unrelenting discomfort which, frankly, gets old fast.

It hasn’t been all bad, as nothing ever is. The muscle relaxers have killed my appetite so, according to my scale, whose accuracy isn’t entirely trustworthy, I’ve dropped 8 pounds in the last couple of weeks. I’ve also learned to use the mouse with my left hand, a skill which is useful on many levels. But I’m sleeping far more than I’d like and thinking too much while doing too little. But in all honesty, just the realization is enough to get me to give myself the kick in the butt I need to stop letting a little bit of pain and discomfort defeat me and get on with my life. Gina Horkey has issued a pitching challenge and, up to now, I’ve offered every excuse in the book to avoid participating. That has to stop. I’ve done no writing in the last week or so. That, too, has to stop.

Leaps of Faith Come in Many Forms

The Universe has a way of challenging me in sometimes subtle ways, just to see if I’m paying attention. This time, it’s saying Do you really believe in the leap of faith you took nearly two years ago, or were you just looking for a reason to sit on your ass and do nothing? Time to walk the walk, Girlie. Shit or get off the pot and find a real job again, assuming someone would actually hire an alter kakker like you! OK, I didn’t say the Universe was always kind about it’s remonstrations. I truly have reached a crossroads from which I need to either choose to work my craft with intent or go back on someone else’s payroll (my stomach curdles just thinking about that!).

So today, I get my monthly bills paid, then do a google search to find some companies to pitch. I also try to spend some time using Holly Lisle’s How to Think Sideways course to get the re-write of Sasha’s Journey moving forward. And tomorrow, come hell or high water, I get this lazy tuchus of mine to the gym. After a nearly two week hiatus, it’s time to get my life back on track and start living that Leap of Faith I took too long ago to show no actual returns for the effort (ok aside from the $48 I earned from BlogMutt!).

You might wonder why I go to the effort of putting this all in my blog today. I’ve found that by writing my intentions down and sharing them, I psych myself up to do more and do better. There’s also the possibility that I’ll inspire someone else and if I do, that’s the cherry on top of my hot fudge sundae.

Happy Sunday, everyone. My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful that the pain in my shoulder has subsided into more of an annoyance, albeit constant.
2. I am grateful for my nurse kitties who have kept a constant vigil.
3. I am grateful that I’ve managed to make all of my dance nights, despite the recalcitrant shoulder.
4. I am grateful for the hope and inspiration I receive from my friends and acquaintances.
5. I am grateful for abundance: hope, inspiration, intention, motivation, love, joy, friendship, harmony, peace, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

I’d appreciate your taking a moment to visit my Facebook pages at and . 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!

May 21, 2015 Making a Plan for Productivity

Figuring Out How to Stop Going Nowhere Fast

In the last few months, I’ve felt like I was floundering. My productivity, at least from my perspective, has been ominously close to zero. I have too many days when I just fart around, doing little of value.

Fortunately, I’ve joined several groups on Facebook, and connected with a few people who provide, not only inspiration, but motivation. One such group is The Careful Cents Club, a group for freelancers which was created by the lovely and talented Carrie Nicholson. In fact, this is where I met Gina Horkey who created a course I recently took and who has been both coach and cheerleader as I meander into the world of freelance blogging.

Making a Plan to Motivate

It was a discussion in The Careful Cents Club today which made me finally realize what the real problem was. It wasn’t lack of motivation, because when I have things to do, I’m very focused. Instead, it was the lack of a plan. I was letting my days just wind out however they chose, with no direction or purpose to guide me. To say this method was an epic fail is to sugar coat the truth. I’d lost any kind of edge I might have once possessed, and the time had come to get it back.

It was MG’s post today stating that because Gina had held her accountable, she’d landed a job, which finally made me clear the fog which had inhabited my brain. Not only had she landed a job, it had only taken a couple of days for it to happen! I began to wonder. What could I achieve if I found a way to hold myself accountable? My earnings from freelance blogging have been hit or miss at best, and have a long way to go before they reach the $100 mark, much less the aggressive goal I made to earn $4000 a month by September! Since the books and the blog posts aren’t going to write themselves, I needed both a plan and a schedule, as well as set times for going to the gym, completing accounting work for clients and even meditating,

And while I’m on the subject of meditating, that is where I’d really been taking advantage of myself, and losing sight of everything that matters. My meditations lately had become two and three hour indulgences which left my sleepy and lazy for the rest of the day. I’d start out meditating and end up napping for hours with a cat or two snuggled on my lap or beside me.

So, here’s the plan for the next week.
1. I will schedule each day out, loosely but with definite goals. I’ve started slowly with Friday and Saturday.
2. I will limit my meditations to one hour, and set a timer so I don’t go over. I did this today and came out of my meditation refreshed instead of sleepy.
3. I will set myself goals; small at first so I see immediate results, but increasingly difficult as those small wins pile up.
4. I will strive to get up no later than 8:30 every day and go to bed no later than 2:00AM.
5. I will schedule three gym visits per week, and plan them for earlier in the day than has been my wont.

Contrary to my old ways, I’m limiting this list to five items for now as I believe this project requires baby steps to get it moving. In order to hold myself accountable, I will post my progress in this blog on a daily basis.

Let the productivity begin!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful to Carrie and Gina and the rest of the Careful Cents Club for helping me see where my productivity issues lie.
2. I am grateful that my daughter is on the mend, my cats are less stressed and I’m working myself back into a productive routine.
3. I am grateful that my productivity plan is already working, since I limited my meditation/nap time and am posting in my blog tonight.
4. I am grateful that I’m giving myself more opportunities to write and create while still being a responsible adult.
5. I am grateful for abundance: joy, love, productivity, inspiration, motivation, harmony, peace, health, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

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.


November 4, 2014 Weekly yummies and writing like a demon

The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get!

A 1667 daily word average can be rather daunting under the best of conditions, especially when you miss a day at the beginning. But who am I kidding? Last year I started late, finished early and was still working full time while trying to tie everything up for my imminent departure. This year should be easy, right?

Well, not necessarily. Add in trips to San Diego, visits from my daughter, my personal insistence on getting to the gym at least three times a week, chores, cooking and the weekly box of yummies to find recipes for. The truth is, right now, I’m busier than I ever was while I was working full time! And I haven’t even hit my stride yet.

Thank goodness for those healthy yummies or I know I’d never manage to keep up the pace. Here’s this week’s offering: harvest box 11-4-14
It consists of: 1 Romanesco
1 bunch Easter Radish
1 Romaine Lettuce
1 bunch Arugula
1 pound Broccoli
1 bunch Purple Carrots
1 Fennel Bulb
1 Leek
1 Fuyu Persimmon
1 Kabocha Squash

It’s funny because, on my way to pick it up, sweaty from my gym workout, I found myself craving a nice salad. I had some ingredients in the house, but the radishes and Arugula filled it out nicely. I enjoyed the persimmon while waiting for my dinner to cook (orange cauliflower and kohlrabi from last week) and I have to say that it was rather pleasant. Not what I was expecting, and I’m not sure I’d actually buy them, but it was interesting. Getting to try all of these new veggies is a lot of fun for me. Last time I got a leek, I believe I put it in soup, but I could see it in a stir fry too.

I’m not sure about the fennel, though. I gave it a good sniff today and it really does smell like black licorice. As I can’t even sneak up on the stuff, I don’t know if the fennel will go over well. But my daughter is bringing the textbook from her cooking class with her so maybe we can find a way to prepare the fennel so we will both enjoy it. (she detests black licorice too).

I’ve been writing and writing and writing…

The story temporarily titled “A Dubious Gift” is coming along fairly well despite the fact that I skipped a day of writing. I’m only about 996 words shy of the goal for today, and although it doesn’t feel like it’s flowing, I managed over 2,000 words tonight. As I suspected, it won’t be long before I’m right where I need to be…and then some.

I’m finding, this time, that I’m being even less concerned about flow and continuity, not even putting in chapters. I’m just writing as the words see fit, not even knowing where I’m going until I get there. The story is truly going to be as big a surprise to me as it will be to my readers! But 18 pages compared to the well over 300 which is what became of my first NaNoWriMo novel still seems daunting right now, despite the fact that about half of that came from my revisions. The good part is that when I put in my word count, it tells me how many I have left. Watching that number come down truly is exciting!

Stay tuned for recipes from this week’s Harvest Box. I’ll be consulting with my culinary expert when she arrives tomorrow night.

Until then, my gratitudes are:
1. I am grateful for all of the things I accomplished today.
2. I am grateful to again have a deadline.
3. I am grateful that, no matter what, I manage to sit down at my computer each night to write.
4. I am grateful for motivation.
5. I am grateful for the encouragement I’m getting to keep plugging away without concern for remuneration. It’s doing what I love and loving what I do that matters right now.
6. I am grateful for abundance: inspiration, friendship, love, harmony, peace, imagination, dedication, health and prosperity.


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!

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