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

Archive for the ‘passion’ Category

Getting Back to Our Passion

From Sound Bite to Epiphany

I caught a sound bite while at the gym and it got me thinking. It said a lot of the chaos being caused in places like NATO, G7, and other high profile political arenas is solely for the purpose of generating anger and divisiveness. I can’t say the news surprises me as I’ve said the same thing so often it’s becoming almost redundant.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/whoisthatfreakwiththecamera/2128863889/in/photolist-4f7Z4P-qjFHFf-98uNgj-6rDocS-UiQVsw-9MwMca-Re3oF7-XGTMLU-on6pwo-SB9A6F-54qPeB-7H8Pz8-7SMaC-R6RucA-cdbJBE-XGU7Q5-bGtTU6-8YKrbu-4CRGDp-bfqo4k-PEvGt-6Q9zSA-mJQyHS-4Ew2AY-Sfkwdo-5vKK9X-aDJhs6-FWXiy-76To7V-PFoqM-6r9hiY-5YcHEt-bqFdZH-dzVpN2-df1Kzf-oG6Szg-oE5cau-49Ytgo-7dHNJe-76XiVw-5YcKbP-4S24ZU-5YcKtz-5YcJFF-bpo9oP-76Tjkx-4HL5yc-5YcJoT-8f2fwB-6km6WdCreating anger, pitting people against each other, and glorifying hate feeds the bullies, the ogres, and the demons who have been released upon our world to run amok unchecked. The sole purpose of this feeding frenzy of greed and hate is to allow the soulless, heartless minority to steal everything we hold dear while we’re too wrapped up in being angry to appreciate and protect our inalienable rights. To me the most important of those rights are the right to love and be loved, the right to treat others with kindness and receive the same, and the right to join together in communities working towards common goals for the greater good.

Bringing Idealism Back Into Fashion

This may make me sound like an idealist and in many ways I probably am. Yet I have faith we can create the world I’m not alone in envisioning where we can have different beliefs and still come together in a single cohesive, productive unit. A community which understands different opinions make us stronger because they encourage us to look at our world from alternate points of view without treating disagreement like a personal affront.

I believe we can and will turn our world around and bring people together. We’ll return to a place where freedom of religion, and liberty for all once again actually means something. Where people no longer need a designated scapegoat to excuse their own unwillingness to put forth the effort to achieve their own goals and dreams but instead ask for help from others regardless of heritage, beliefs, religion, race, or sexual preference. Most important is getting back to where we understand, believe and act on the truism that the community is stronger which takes care of its own. In other words, where helping each other is part of our nature and not an obligation.

Imagine

John Lennon envisioned such a world decades ago when he wrote his song, “Imagine”. That world may https://www.flickr.com/photos/gcaspers/3674508861/in/photolist-6AGPt4-9XPdGp-9AfZYv-asnfWg-2j1go4-7UukPU-a2XVdU-NqoUQ-dbkFUe-a2XRDb-6nnHrK-9EBf9b-9xemFj-cucYQS-cud1JC-cucV5Q-cucW5f-9GVbUK-9XS6cJ-53kCM9-8dXRc-ctMcPj-crXsXw-cutJfu-a3bJ56-9XS6GA-aspUtj-a3bRmp-rjDGsd-cudgUJ-9xeGYS-ctNGF1-cutroo-crYSB9-a2UPPe-crYbPw-6ZUrTn-cutJYm-jCRHS-cutQqA-csxxsh-sabp4u-aspXws-a3fFX5-cutPDh-dmd5Ze-asnkuX-cykHmj-9xAUFm-cutrGUnot have come to pass in his lifetime but I believe the seeds were sown long ago. We need to nurture and cultivate those seeds. The more of us who choose to nourish the crop, the more abundant it will become. There will come a point where our fields of love, kindness, and acceptance will be sufficient to choke out the weeds of hate, greed, and divisiveness. In my mind, that’s the love people like Dr Martin Luther King tried to tell us would overcome the evil and hatred running rampant in our world. Many have lost faith in his timeless words, but the few who keep it alive are stronger than they might think.

The interesting thing about feeding the love seeds is not only do you feel good when you do it, you don’t need constant infusions to maintain the level of intensity you reach. In fact, unlike hate which only grows stronger with regular infusions of pain, love grows stronger the more you give of yourself for the benefit of others. Even better, the well of love is infinite. It never runs dry.

Fake News Creates Fake Hate

The artificially instilled anger being poured into the world right now is continuously depleted and can https://www.flickr.com/photos/eamoncurry/28268951669/in/photolist-K52Lsr-byVMMC-RPS3xW-UdGABu-ZyoRJD-UGD7PB-F5Q7kv-VP4Csi-mHt88T-k3iA6-Hfjmzh-dcxTkQ-RtTnPj-U65Sq9-dcujdB-RSrN3T-bMQU4K-SWh6K3-Tb77Ki-T7xwTo-RTDHJ3-T7xp7w-3KKPDt-o6oKQv-SWh5YJ-UN97Sy-prgzdM-bMCdYe-qhS8Xz-byKj5d-qs4b7R-byL2XC-bMCd9p-SAfRWS-dzNBJu-fwWtJt-JjEtwP-bMBxtP-byKnuf-272uDNX-TuBQdv-26wihPC-EQiBwn-dabUNz-rLf7Sy-27u72yF-SLfJYB-dkAN6H-24szGFw-bWK2Xtonly find more fuel in the pain and suffering of someone—a whole lot of someones. Right now, we are all “someone”. We are the pool from which those who feed on pain, suffering, hate, and anger will draw. We alone have the power to stop being used as fuel for a machine which operates in the best interests of only a select few who care nothing for the well-being of the world as a whole or the people in it.

It starts with a pebble in the pond of humanity. The pebble creates ripples which meet ripples created by other pebbles tossed into the pond. As more pebbles are tossed and more ripples created, connections form and the potential for a global support system becomes, not an impossible dream, but the reality we all deserve. But it won’t come by pointing fingers or blaming others for our imperfect lives. It will only happen when we realize we are the pebbles creating those ripples and make a conscious choice to fill our ripples with love instead of hate. We have to lose the destructive us-them mentality and realize we have the potential to be one global community where we give of ourselves unselfishly and receive what we need with gratitude.

Making the Dreamers’ Dreams a Reality

If you ask me, we owe it to the dreamers like John Lennon and Dr. King to turn their dreams into reality. It starts with a single person; a single act. Holding a door for another person, letting a car merge in front of you on the freeway, speaking out when you see someone being mistreated, rescuing an animal, listening to a friend, or smiling at a stranger. What I’m saying is making those dreams reality starts with caring.

For me that means redoubling my efforts to reach out to people who have been impacted by suicide or suicidal thoughts, depression, or mental health. I’m learning something really incredible; something I’d have deemed impossible even a few months ago. Hold onto your hat, because I’m going to share what for me at least was a HUGE epiphany.

Passion: The Strongest Catalyst We Have

When you discover your passion, the thing that makes you light up like the Aurora Borealis just thinking about it, and as brightly as the mid-day sun when you start talking about it, people who will either enhance or benefit from that passion will appear in your life almost magically.

You heard me right (or rather, “read” since I’ve yet to move from blog to vlog). Passion is one of the most attractive forces in the Universe, for both definitions of “attractive”. Feeling and expressing that passion is akin to becoming the most powerful magnet imaginable. But the glow you engage when you bring your passion out to play brings out the passion in others as well. If you ask me there is nothing more beautiful than people and their passions coming together to create a world of love and cooperation.

What makes you light up brighter than the sun? How can I help you turn your spark into a blazing fire that encompasses all humanity? It all begins by tossing the first pebble into humanity’s pond.

Fueled by Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the amazing, inspirational people who have not only come before me, but the ones who are in my life right now, inspiring, encouraging, and occasionally butt kicking.
  2. I am grateful for the virtual flood of ideas I’ve been getting this week.
  3. I am grateful for blocks I’m discovering and learning how to release them, not just for the moment, but forever.
  4. I am grateful for the opportunity to help others and the inspiration to find ways to do just that.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; inspiration, motivation, brilliant people, warm friendships, encouragement, opportunities to leave my comfort zone further behind, love, peace, joy, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She specializes in creating content that helps entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

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, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

Grabbing Inspiration by the Throat

When Passion Hits, Pay Attention!

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

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

I Get My Best Ideas While Meditating

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always Remember Gratitude

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

My gratitudes today are:

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

Blessed Be

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

October 30, 2014 Overture, light the lights… #shericonaway #blogboost

With this post, I complete one writing commitment, only to dive, both feet and a few other body parts, into another!

Yo ho, yo ho, the Writer’s life for me! I love having commitments. I love having projects, deadlines, word count requirements. It makes me feel like I’ve actually accomplished something.

Though UBC didn’t really have me doing something I wouldn’t be doing already, the fact that I had to write a blog post every night made it feel like I was accomplishing something. And that’s enough for me to feel inspired and productive right now.

The funny thing is, it really did seem to work. I’ve gotten to the gym more regularly, been more diligent about my household chores, gotten more done on my two accounting clients with less stress… Even those nasty, lingering projects are starting to reach completion.

My newest project is wandering around in my brain, clamoring to be released. I even have a tentative title now (which is a lot more than I had for my first NaNoWriMo project, even months after I’d begun working on the first revision!). My working title is…wait for it…wait for it…

“The Dubious Gift”

Of course, like everything else I do, it’s subject to change at any time, but at least I have something to start with. I can even explain this one, and I have a better feel for it than I did for the last one. I guess that’s what a bit more pre-planning will do, huh?

As we speak, I’m doing my best to immerse myself in the main character. I want to feel what drives her to make the choices she makes; to push on when things seem hopeless, and change directions when things seem to be working well. I’ll be learning what made her the way she is now. Her dreams, her hopes, her disappointments and her triumphs. If I can’t feel a connection with her, how can I expect my readers to?

Yes, I’ve learned a lot over the last year. More, in fact, than I’d realized. No wonder monkey mind has grabbed me by the ears. I might need a trip to the zoo, just to show my mind where the monkeys belong!

Last year, my daughter pretty much shamed me into trying my hand at writing a novel in a month (or at least half of one!). This year, I’m going into it with a completely different mindset, and I think that mindset is what is going to turn my effort into something far more than the months of struggle to just complete the first revision. I’m feeling an excitement I didn’t feel last time, when my main goal was to simply prove my daughter right and complete the challenge. This time, it’s so much more.

With all of the words I spew, I find myself unable to put this feeling I have into words. I think the only way to explain it with any degree of lucidity is to say that this time, I really do feel like a Writer. Last year, I was still in the final stages of winding up my career as an accountant, and had not yet begun to think of myself as a Writer. This year, when asked what I do, I say, loudly and proudly: “I’m a Writer!” I’m no longer afraid to admit that I’m making my dream a reality, nor do I need to qualify it by admitting sheepishly that I’ve not yet published anything besides this blog. Publishing is now a foregone conclusion. When is still not set, but that it will happen is my goal, my purpose and my passion. People have gotten what they wanted with far less emotional investment.

I know I’ve been floundering for awhile, and I finally realized that I hadn’t really given this my full commitment. I know better. If you give half assed, that’s what you get. I’m very excited to see how things roll out with body, soul, mind, emotions and everything else committed to a single cause.

But lest I find myself still typing at 3AM, I will do my best to put a cap on my excitement for now. Tomorrow is a very full day and sleeping in is not an option. So I’ll bid you adieu until the morrow. The end of UBC doesn’t end my commitment to my readers and followers. I appreciate each and every one of you!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I’ve found the emotional commitment I needed to truly be a Writer.
2. I am grateful for another opportunity to crank out the beginnings of a novel in 30 days.
3. I am grateful for the upcoming, fun-filled weekend.
4. I am grateful for my friends who never fail to make me feel loved and appreciated.
5. I am grateful for abundance: commitment, inspiration, motivation, accomplishments, joy, love, friendship, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Namaste

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