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Archive for the ‘Universal head slaps’ Category

Another Universal Head Slap

From One Moment to the Next…

After spending a fabulous afternoon listening to a Queen tribute band in a beautiful park on the perfect Southern California day, the Universe snuck in and blindsided me. You know the feeling. You’re invigorated, and relaxed, and altogether amazing from a day of total bliss, then WHAM! Your entire world goes off kilter from one nanosecond to the next and all you can say is “WTH????”

This time, it started in my throat. I started feeling more and more constriction and a miserable ache. But not in the usual spot. Oh no! That would be too normal. No, this time the pain was at the very top of my throat, almost at jaw level. Being me, I felt the glands that sit right under my chin (or at least, I think they’re glands) and since I could feel their round bulginess, I assured myself they were indeed swollen, and probably the cause of my malaise.

Making a Go of the Day in Spite of the Pain

In the morning, still feeling lousy and barely able to swallow, I took a couple of turmeric and a Claritin and crawled back into bed with my furry posse, hoping their purrs would get me over the worst of it while I slept way too far into the day.

No such luck. I woke up around 11, feeling, if anything, worse. OK fine! Gotta start the day sometime. I grumbled to myself as I got up, made the bed and stumbled into the kitchen to put wet food down for my brood.

Two cups of honey- and lemon-laced tea later, I started feeling marginally human, but also realized this wasn’t your garden variety sore throat, and thoughts of seeking medical help would be a waste of time and money. This was the Universe rattling my chain loudly because I’d apparently ignored the more subtle nudges. As the throat chakra is typically about speaking your truth and communication (or has been in my experience) I started taking stock—and groaned in recognition.

Awakening the Subconscious, Unwillingly at First

Over the last few weeks, whenever I’ve done a writing prompt, it’s usually taken some kind of dark, twisty direction. Either it becomes a short story about murder and anger, or I wax poetic about the memoir which lays in my office untouched and ignored for the last two months. Many of those meanderings have focused on the relationship I thought I had with my father. It seems there was an undercurrent I had, to this point been unwilling to investigate. I preferred seeing a loving father-daughter relationship quite the opposite of the combative one I shared with my mother.

But as my mind opened itself up, despite my best efforts to shut it down, I started seeing things without the sugar coating, and, not liking what I saw, chose to try to stifle it and, of course, keep it from finding its way into the pages of my memoir. Somehow I’d convinced myself the only way to keep it from rearing its ugly, sibilant head was to practice an art I’ve used to excess my entire life: avoidance.

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide

Unfortunately, the Universe evolves more quickly than my ability to find ways to avoid its insistence, and simply makes it more and more painful to turn my back on the obvious. (maybe that’s where the term “painfully obvious” came from?) I knew my throat would continue to ache until I sat down and started writing about what was bothering me deep inside, in those places whose doors I’d once locked, intending to leave them locked forever. Once again, the Universe had other ideas, and gave me a daughter who encouraged me to start writing about my parents’ deaths. Neither of us could have foreseen what would come out of the original exercise. I could never have foreseen the feelings, thoughts, and emotions I’d been harboring, not just since my parents’ deaths, but for at least one lifetime…possibly more.

With the aid of the writing prompts I’ve been using since the Writers’ Conference I attended in February, I’ve been poking the bear who is my hidden emotions, and hoping I could just get him to move over rather than actually waking him up. It seems my little charade has been exposed for the avoidance I’m so good at performing. I’m not being allowed to sidestep the issue any longer. At least if I want to remain the happy, healthy woman I’ve been, let’s face it, pretending to be.

The Difference Between Subverting and Blaming

I look at people like my sister and a few others I know who are suffering ill health with one malady after another and assume the illness is the result of repressed anger and blame they’re unable to release in a healthy fashion. I am constantly grateful I have managed to bring my feelings to the surface, air them, and let them go. I’ve practiced forgiveness and acceptance excessively. But also, selectively.

The pain in my throat is telling me I need to remove the qualifications, the excuses, the blind love I had for my dad and see where he wasn’t kind at all. Where he taught me by his example to settle for unhealthy exhibitions of love.

This isn’t the time to start blaming him for who I am and how I turned out, but simply to see and accept that what he felt for me and what he gave me weren’t particularly nurturing. I need to write the feelings and impressions out the way I’ve written them out for my mom, only to find a completely different human being underneath the facades and walls I battled and resented most of my life.

Facing and Accepting Reality, No Judgement Required

I haven’t been fair to either my dad or myself, painting him in unrealistic hues. Not unlike the father of my own children, he loved his daughters in the only way he knew how. The examples he had of parental love were no better or worse than the ones I had. They were simply the only examples he had.

Does that excuse the way he’d subtly put me down or diminish me? Not on your life! Nor does it mean this is the time to be angry with him, or shout about how he screwed up my life. It’s simply long past time for me to acknowledge and accept the way he showed his love was as warped and tainted as my mom’s. It’s certainly embedded in the foundation of how I believe I deserve to be treated, and needs to be rooted out and examined more carefully, yet clinically at this point.

When You Have to Purge

You might ask why this has become so important the Universe is kicking my butt to deal with it. Like everything else I’ve gone through, all the garbage I’ve dug through in search of myself, my life, and what loving really means, I’ve carefully avoided this corner of my personal attic. It’s been festering and mouldering in the corner, tainting everything around it until I have no choice but to pull it out into the light and deal with the ugly, rotten mess it’s become. The answer is no more complicated than “it’s time to let it go.” Letting it go is where it gets a bit more complicated.

When we sit on something for years, ignoring it, refusing to deal with it, there’s a cancerous substance embedded into our soul. Though it may not be as ugly and destructive as it seems, we can’t clear it out until we bring it into the harsh light of day, inspect all its nooks and crannies, and understand the structure of its being so we can flush it out of our system completely. We have to recognize the caustic thing for what it is so we’ll recognize those bits that might have broken off, attempting to remain in the host…us.

I know now I need to do a lot of writing about my dad, about the things I ignored, and how he treated me. There will be forgiving in the process, but most of it will be for myself, for allowing it to continue and for failing to realize it was wrong, and was infinitely less than I deserved. Most of all, I need to release the belief system he bestowed upon me from childhood that I deserved to be mistreated and ridiculed instead of uplifted and loved. Until I go to the places I’ve tried to avoid, the healing I seek will be incomplete.

Through the Good Times and Bad, I Can Always Find Things to be Grateful For

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the most painful of Universal head slaps as they are the ones which make me do the most self work.
  2. I am grateful for my overall good health because when it misbehaves, I know there’s something really important I have to face.
  3. I am grateful for my flexible work schedule that allows me to start work at 9 or noon, or 4 and still put in a full day, getting the things I most need to address done and behind me, much like cleaning up the kitchen at night or making my bed first thing in the morning.
  4. I am grateful for the support I get from the most unexpected sources, and for the reminders I am loved even when I don’t see or recognize it.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, motivation, inspiration, generosity, resolve, acceptance, forgiveness, and being able to recognize that grief isn’t a bucket you empty once, but a well that keeps giving. But as the water flows, it eventually flows clear. When left to stagnate, it only becomes more foul.

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 is available for ghostwriting to help your business grow and thrive. Her specialties are finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write your expert book with you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

Signs from the Universe: Subtlety be Damned

Getting My Attention Gently or Not

There are times when the Universe whispers in my ear. Sometimes, it’s so softly, I can’t make out the words. When that happens, I’m likely to go my merry way, oblivious to impending danger, or at least the sudden wake-up call of a Universal head slap.

The last month has been a succession of words softly spoken, then the increasing volume which precludes the inevitable head slap if I haven’t taken the appropriate action.

At first, it was the suggestion that I put together “My Exceptional Life Blueprint” and re-visit it daily (which I haven’t necessarily done, but am acting on a lot of it, so I guess the Universe approves). Part of that blueprint was a reading list. I began by reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, but hit a wall halfway through when his discussion of resume creation was woefully dated. Not that the information he imparts, aside from things which technology has rendered obsolete, can’t be put to good use. But I found my attention straying from the message. I was guided to pick up another book I’d started months ago, but given up on halfway through. In this case, I know now that I’ve finished reading it that I just wasn’t ready for the message. This time, while reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, I read it very carefully, internalizing the words and the message and incorporating what I read into my daily meditations.

Opportunities to Change up the Routine

Having reached the end of my second round of WTGOM and the first round of WTGOWL, it was the perfect time to go back to my silent meditations for a little while.

But the real head slap came after spending another couple of hours trying to write an article about Collaboration in accordance with a client’s vision. I opened my email and found my monthly forecast from the Power Path. The first thing I saw when I opened it was “The August forecast with the main theme of “COLLABORATION” is now up on the website.” If I hadn’t already been working on the article, it would certainly have let me know today was the day to get that puppy off my plate!

There have been a number of epiphanies in the last few days, all guiding me to stop putting off tasks which I’d undertaken and just get them done. It might mean breaking them up into manageable pieces as I did with one of them, or it might mean just biting the bullet, picking up my notes and writing the danged article. Either way, my mind will no longer be having a good time castigating me for my sloth.

More Than One Method of Decluttering

These days, there’s a lot of talk directed towards decluttering your environment. As I see it, projects left undone and ideas not acted upon are part of my environment. My office will never look like a place of beauty and organization, at least to the eyes of someone who likes everything in its proper place. Organized chaos will always work best for me, but I know exactly where things are. In short, it works for me. It doesn’t have to work for anyone else.

I can proudly say I’m more than halfway through one project, have finished the Collaboration article again, and sent it to the client and have finished one of the books on my reading list. I also managed to thin down the stack of papers on top of my rolling file cabinet by half. Of course, my brain has me thinking of ways to organize my massive library by author, but it’s writing checks my body is unwilling to cash at the moment. Somehow, the idea of pulling thousands of books off the shelves and sorting them by author is not what I envision doing in the days to come. At some point, I know it will happen, but the foreseeable future is neither the time nor the place. But when I do, I know I’ll unearth treasures I’d forgotten I had!

For now, I’ll focus on completing the three lingering tasks left on my plate, working through my self-imposed reading list and making small improvements in my physical environment. That alone should keep me busy for at least the next few days.

Keeping Gratitude in Focus

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for small victories.
2. I am grateful that I manage to heed some messages from the Universe before they degenerate into head slaps.
3. I am grateful for my time alone; to read, to contemplate, to finish projects and to declutter.
4. I am grateful for the many opportunities which are starting to enter my field of vision.
5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, opportunity, motivation, inspiration, decluttering, peace, harmony, blessings, 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!

Wallowing in a Pit of Despair? Try Gratitude.

Finding My Way Back Home

For the last 15 years or so, I have made immense progress in turning my life around. I am no longer the angry, defensive creature I had become through long years of tragedies, disappointments and, what I considered at the time to be poor life choices. I’ve learned that everything I’ve done and everywhere I’ve been had a purpose and came together in making me the person I am today.

But sometimes, pieces of my former self rise insidiously to the surface and if left unchecked, threaten to undo all of the work I’ve done. The trick is recognizing it before it sets me back years.

This morning when I woke with the prospect of cooking a huge pot of chili and spending the afternoon with anywhere from 50 to 100 people, the negative thoughts and the desire to crawl back into my hole and pull it in after me became almost overwhelming. Thankfully, years of training myself to do otherwise proved stronger, and I realized I had all the tools I needed to turn this around.

I looked back over the last couple of weeks and realized I’d become angry over stupid things, reactionary, and downright hateful. And truth to be told, I couldn’t dig a hole deep enough to escape the real problem anyway, so fixing it is a much wiser choice. It would also go a long way towards alleviating the constant, if relatively manageable pain I’ve been in since December, helping lower what has clearly become an upwardly spiraling stress level (thankfully, the every-other-day migraines have eased off!), and the resulting sleep deprivation.

Conquering the Demons Within

The answer to my problems, both real and imagined can be summed up in a single word. Gratitude. Sure, I’ve remembered to give thanks for all of the little synchronicities in my life, and, on what has become the rare occasion I actually sit and write a blog post, list a handful of gratitudes. But I’ve been missing the big picture. I’ve been allowing the “don’t haves” to smother the “haves”. No wonder I’m suffering the consequences. My face is meeting my palm rather violently at the moment.

Instead of rambling on about this or that, or detailing the things I won’t be doing from here on out, I’m dedicating the rest of this post to as many gratitudes as I can conjure, because, really, that’s why this blog has evolved; that’s why it is no longer “Surviving and Beyond”, but “Leaps of Faith”. For the last month or better, I’ve been giving it a great deal of lip service, but failing to follow through in my thoughts and deeds.

Reminding Myself of What the Universe Already Knows

Without further ado, here are some things for which I am grateful in this crazy, beautiful, sometimes insane life I’ve been given this time around:

  1. I am grateful for sunny days.
  2. I am grateful for rainy days.
  3. I am grateful for the fur babies I fall asleep with every night and wake to every morning.
  4. I am grateful that I have already lived nearly a year longer than my mother did.
  5. I am grateful for the people who pointed me towards the path of positivity and offer daily reminders.
  6. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned, the ones I am still mastering, and those which await me further down the road.
  7. I am grateful for the pains in my body which remind me that I’m being allowed to age and that I need to get up and move more, stretch more and love my body more.
  8. I am grateful that I’ve learned to recognize when I’m wandering away from my true path.
  9. I am grateful for the tools I’ve acquired which help me get back on track.
  10. I am grateful for signs and head slaps from the Universe which remind me to stay positive and hopeful, and get my attention when I start to forget.
  11. I am grateful for all of the wonderful examples I’ve been given: people who have conquered their own demons and retain the kindness and compassion I strive to achieve and embrace as part of my being.
  12. I am grateful for changing my career path to the one which fuels my soul.
  13. I am grateful for remaining positive despite setbacks and challenges which I know are intended to test my commitment.
  14. I am grateful for those setbacks which force me to seek alternatives and remind me that my path will never be straight and smooth. Easy paths don’t offer much in the way of inspiration for writing.
  15. I am grateful for successful completion of my three novels and Frederick the Gentlemouse and for the strength and tenacity to publish and market them.
  16. I am grateful for the stories inside me that are yet to be told.
  17. I am grateful for opportunities to mentor, coach or otherwise support other people.
  18. I am grateful that I’m learning to Stop, Look, and Listen more; not necessarily while crossing the road, but while interacting with other Divine Beings having a Human Experience.
  19. I am grateful to my daughter for encouraging me to start this blog when I got stuck in the middle of writing my first book about family suicide. Not only has writing about it eased my pain and brought more compassion into my life, it has connected me with others who have had similar experiences.
  20. I am grateful for the people who read my blog, my website and even my comments on Social Media. You touch my life and make it a better place. You’ll never know how much that means to me, nor how much it makes me strive to be a better person.

I could go on and on with this, but I’m already feeling better, just for sitting down and doing it. I’ll likely continue the list off-line. Listing my gratitudes has dragged me out of far deeper holes than the one in which I currently find myself. It is probably the single most powerful lesson I’ve learned in the last few years, and one I need to spend more time doing. Maybe that’s why the Universe sat back and watched me slide into a well of negativity for a little while. Like the stretching I now do every day to reduce the physical pain, the physical act of listing my gratitudes turns the inner pain around and shows me how much joy and beauty I have in my life.

Thank you for being a part of my process…my path.

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!

August 31, 2015 Life Between Universal Head Slaps

I believe the Universe is warming up to deliver a humdinger of a head slap. Why do I say that? In the last month or so, it has seen fit to reintroduce people into my life who were last seeing during a very difficult time period when I was making a lot of poor choices and behaving in a very negative and self-defeating fashion. And it isn’t the same time period. As of tonight, I’ve seen three of them.

The first instance was very positive and friendly, showing me that despite my poor behavior, there were some good times, and good memories.

The second was more like a leech seeking to re-attach itself if I wasn’t able to make it clear I was no longer that person. Fortunately, after a month of intermittent encounters and behavior on my part for which I’m not proud, I seem to have sent that particular less-than-stellar portion of my life back into the past where it belongs.

My latest encounter was only from a distance, and given certain circumstances, wasn’t entirely unexpected. The parting of the ways I experienced with this particular individual was instigated by his recently-deceased wife. In this case, I saw no real reason to make contact. I couldn’t say with sincerity that I was sorry for his loss, and maybe that’s the point. His appearance was a reminder that it’s high time I just forgave the woman. We’d both moved on and hadn’t had any contact in at least a dozen years. We moved in different circles and even the smallest of ripples didn’t intersect. Before that head slap comes, I guess I need to work on that forgiveness; both towards her and for myself. I certainly contributed to the situation by being stupid and unnecessarily vulnerable. It also occurred at the end of what I think of now as ‘the years of negativity’. Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to “The Secret” and began eliminating negative behavior from myself and negative people from my life.

You Win a Little and you Lose a Little

Looking back on those years, since the Universe insists, I carried around a lot of unnecessary baggage. Through a series of events and some much-needed guidance, I finally realized I had the ability to put things down. I didn’t need to schlep every single bad decision and every single tragic life occurrence around with me forever. I simply needed to take the lesson from each experience and let the rest go. I also found during those years that the Universe didn’t bother giving me head slaps; perhaps because I was beating myself up more than enough without any outside assistance. Instead, I was given a lot of opportunities to learn to love and appreciate myself. Believe me, back then I was a very slow learner, but even the tortoise gets to the finish line eventually.

What I’m trying to say in my usual meandering fashion is that we need to look around at what is coming into our life now and then because oftentimes, it is something we need or a lesson we need to learn. If we’re already indulging in self-flagellation, the Universe won’t give us more of the same, even if it feels like that’s what we’re getting. The Universe knows that we’re going to attract what we put out there so it isn’t even necessary to pile more manure on someone who is attracting manure. It takes little effort to become an expert shit-attractor.

It’s only when we’ve learned from those wrong turns and detours that we start to receive some challenges; not to drive us backward but to make us stronger and more certain of our path, perhaps even to get us to open up to options we’ve discarded because they seemed to be too difficult. Forcing us into a detour means we have to figure out how to make the sub-optimal work instead of just taking the easy road. Step out of that comfort zone and try something that makes us think quickly, maneuver better and even get out of our own way.

So in spite of the frustration at having to field some old manure, I know it is in my best interests and is preparing me for a new and interesting detour which will take me someplace I’d never have gone had the road I was on remained smooth and easy.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for life’s challenges as they give me the opportunity to explore new places.
2. I am grateful for my imperfections as they give me reason to strive to be better.
3. I am grateful to be getting back into the edits of “Sasha’s Journey” and to have set myself a goal to finish before NaNoWriMo. So I have another 292 pages to edit before November 1. I didn’t think I could write 50,000 words in a month either, and now I’ve done it twice!
4. I am grateful for my friends and family who, whether they realize it or not encourage me to go farther, do better and be a kinder, more compassionate person.
5. I am grateful for abundance; love, encouragement, inspiration, motivation, freedom, happiness, charity, peace, harmony, 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!

December 11, 2014 Neglecting my blog, but for good reason. #shericonaway

As my first year as a Writer quickly draws to a close, I find myself neglecting things in favor of others.

Three days ago, I hit the anniversary date of my career and life change and what do I have to show for it? One novel in edit and review status, one novel in progress, a children’s book yet to be edited and a self-help/memoir which is currently being rethought. And leave us not forget a rather prolific blog which, sadly, has, for the moment, a rather limited readership. (I’m still trying to figure out how to get the numbers up, and have dozens of emails from sites a joined which, if I were to actually read them, might help me!)

The problem is both time and prioritizing. This week, I’ve been to the gym exactly once, spent Monday between the vet and the bank and Tuesday running errands, and since then, have buried myself in a book which nearly bonked me on the head in the Universe’s insistence that I needed to re-read it NOW!

Aside from the fact that, as usual, the Universe was dead on, my poor blog and my exercise routine are suffering badly, and, were it not for my freezer full of healthy meals, my diet would be suffering more than it has been, which, sad to say, is pretty bad!

Letting things slide isn’t always a bad thing.

I’ve spent the last couple of days revisiting “Seth Speaks” which I originally read as a myopic, self-involved and confused teenager. I don’t know how much of it actually ‘took’ at the time, though I’m sure some of it colored my life whether I realized it or not. But reading it now, after I’ve made a huge life change, participated in a very intense Ascension Resonance Therapy class and, to no small degree, had life experiences of my own is nothing short of mind blowing.

This time, ideas like parallel lives in any number of time periods, past, present and future, and on different time lines makes perfect sense to me. The idea that time is not linear? Also completely logical. That the spirit or soul or entity or whatever you want to call it doesn’t die, but moves through time, space and everything else to just be in all of the places it is? Not hard for me to grasp at all.

What really prompted me to go here right now?

As always, things in my life happen for a reason, and that reason can usually be clearly pinpointed. I’d actually been discussing the book, on different occasions, with my friend and massage therapist. I’d also been getting increasingly interested in the concept of channeling, and feel that, somehow, some way, I’m meant to do so myself. Jane Roberts was certainly meant to do so, but Seth waited until she had some life experiences behind her before actually starting the ball rolling, so to speak. However, as I continue to read “Seth Speaks”, I wonder if my lack of a partner in crime is what is holding me back now? Both Jane Roberts and Esther Hicks (who, admittedly, has come under a lot of criticism for both her claims and the money she’s made from her books, seminars and what have you) had someone there to record their sessions and even, when warranted, ask questions.

I’m sure by now you’re asking “How in the heck did she get there from here?” Sure I set out to talk about how I’m neglecting, not only my blog, but my workout routine and about half of my daily chores, but you know how my ADHD tends to take control of my writing here. It’s not like when I’m writing a novel and actually have to get to a point and try to make everything leading up to it make sense, at least indirectly. Most times when I sit down to write my blog, I have a thought in mind, but somewhere along the way, my train derails and takes off in a whole new direction, sometimes across the frozen tundra or an uncharted desert. The good news is, eventually, I do return to the point.

And speaking of ADHD, aside from the fact that the people I know and love best all have at least a touch of it, I am truly confused as to why medical science still insists on calling it an illness, despite the fact that a rather large number of creative geniuses are also “sufferers”. Maybe that’s exactly why I find it so easy to wrap my head around the idea of non-linear time. My thinking is anything but linear in nature, so accepting the fact that something that people have been taught to believe is linear when it isn’t is no more of a leap than putting one foot in front of the other.

Making the big decision for the day.

So here I sit, dressed, once again, in my workout clothes asking that pressing question: “So, what will it be today? Gym or Seth?”. The brain kicks in, left side or right side, it doesn’t really matter, saying:

“Tonight is a dance night, you know, so you will be getting some exercise, and since it’s leg day, you really shouldn’t do legs before dancing, right?”
Of course, the devil on my other shoulder has to put in her two cents, too.
“You’ve been eating like crap the past two days. Do you know how many blue corn tortilla chips have passed your lips? I don’t have to remind you that they will be landing right on your already ample hips! What happened to talking yourself into going to the gym four days a week? Huh? Where’d that go???”. Cranky little twit!

In my defense, the benefit of reading “Seth” is two-fold. Part of it is definitely self-serving, but part really is research so I can move forward on the novel I began in November. It may seem like a stretch to think a book like that would have anything helpful to offer a novel about a woman who inherits a mansion inhabited by the spirits of a couple of centuries of relatives, but you’ll have to trust me on this one.

As I sit here coughing up the detritus from last week’s cold which seems to find it’s way into my lungs as I sleep (maybe there really is something to be said for Seth’s idea that we sleep for much too long at a stretch?) I realize that I will be spending the day reading and drinking Tea for Colds liberally laced with (not what you’re thinking!) honey and lemon so I’ll be hack free for dancing tonight. I sacrifice much for my craft.

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for Universal head slaps.
2. I am grateful for the life experiences which allow me to learn from something which was only a blip on my life’s radar the first time around.
3. I am grateful for the cooperation of my four boys with their daily doses of refrigerator cold ear drops. (of course, wet food in the morning and treats at night are a strong motivator for their cooperation!)
4. I am grateful for the rain we’re supposed to be getting after several very dry years. My grass is loving the added moisture (or more accurately, my weeds!)
5. I am grateful for abundance: Inspiration, motivation, like-minded souls, opportunities, love, joy, happiness, laughter, dancing, health, harmony, peace and prosperity.


August 19, 2014 Perspective

The questions we ask can give clues to our ignorance

I wasn’t going to write about this, but it’s been niggling at the back of my brain for several days, demanding to come out, so I finally had to let my subconscious have it’s way (again!). Recently, a young man asked me how I would feel if someone made or posted a critical remark about my work when I was new to a job. At the time, it was clear that he felt that his question was rhetorical, so I didn’t bother to answer. However, as it crawled around in the recesses of my brain, I realized that, given how little he knew of me and my career paths, it was a rather ignorant question. I have, in the past, worked in a male dominated field, in industries which were also male dominated. As a strong woman, it presented a lot of challenges, not only from my male superiors and counterparts, but also from women who had learned that the men they worked for were relatively easy to manipulate, a characteristic I simply don’t share. Many times during my career, I was hired to update or fix a department, only to be met by resistance from the women (and sometimes, outright belligerence and nastiness), but lack of support even from the men who hired me. Needless to say, it was an uphill battle (and often a thankless one) to accomplish what I’d been told was expected of me, along with many things which the hiring manager failed to mention. Eventually, by hook or by crook, I’d make things happen, though it usually took a lot of extra hours on my part, facing down management and making it clear that their support was required if they wanted everyone on board with the changes they’d requested, and finding myself in a special, little place where I was not staff, yet, not quite recognized as management.

I think, in a way, I was dumbfounded by the question, as it was rare for me NOT to receive some kind of criticism and resistance in the first days of a new job. I was brought in to make changes, and people are naturally resistant to change. Even so, unlike men I’d worked under who came in and made changes without understanding the company’s current system, I took the time to learn before making anything large and sweeping. But nobody ever complained about the men to management, nor made rude remarks to their face.

Though I know the person who asked the question doesn’t really want an answer, I have to say, for my own peace of mind (and to shut my subconscious up) that if you can’t take criticism when you start a new job (whether or not it’s constructive) you should consider something which minimizes your exposure to people like, maybe, flipping burgers at McDonald’s. People as a rule have opinions and we don’t always think before we express them. If you take what everyone says to heart, you’re giving their words entirely too much control over your life!

While I understand that the man was defending his employee, which, on the surface is admirable, his approach lacked value in that it came from a place of anger and lacked a great deal as far as rationality. I, for one, would have retained my respect for both parties had I been approached calmly and without aggression, pointing out that I had offended someone with my less than well thought out words. Had it been handled that way, I would have found it in myself to apologize for my thoughtlessness. Under the current circumstances, I don’t feel either the need or the desire to do so.

Using words to establish a battle ground can close the door on human kindness.

Over the years, I’ve learned that how we start a conversation can and will set the tone for how our words are received. Beginning it with aggression will invariably cause the listener to shut down a part of their mind, closing it off to reason and compromise. In this case, I complied with the request, but only because it was my plan to do so anyway. I would have taken things a lot further had it been pointed out calmly that I had been unkind, as it is my desire to be as kind as possible to other people. Hitting me with the tired, old line “How would you feel if…?: simply highlighted both the immaturity of the speaker and his inability to put his anger aside and just address the issue unemotionally and logically. In all fairness, in my younger days, I still had this lesson to learn, and it took several repetitions until I became consistent, though by no means, perfect every time.

Every one of us suffers from foot in mouth disease at one time or another.

Mishandling difficult situations is part of everyone’s learning curve, I believe. It doesn’t make us bad or stupid. It just makes us human. Everyone does many things well, and a few things…not so well. If we can look back and recognize the ones which show where self-improvement is needed, they were a valuable lesson. It is only then that we can make the necessary changes and become a better person. If, however, we get so caught up in our “rightness” that we fail to see the learning opportunity, we’re going to find ourselves in an oddly repetitive loop where, if we’re paying attention, we’ll start feeling a slightly ominous sense of deja vu on a regular basis. Whether we like it or not, the Universe has a way of administering head slaps when we need them most.

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful that my subconscious rattles around at times and forces me to share uncomfortable thoughts.
2. I am grateful for the opportunities which show me by reflection that I haven’t completely mastered certain lessons because they still give me pause when I see them in other people.
3. I am grateful for my own home, my own bed, and my own furry sleeping partners.
4. I am grateful for days which allow me to catch up.
5. I am grateful for the abundance we can all achieve; love, joy, happiness, kindness, harmony, health and prosperity.


August 14, 2014 Lessons, lessons and more lessons

The Universe has many ways in which to lead us down the path towards learning the lessons we need.

Before I begin, let me apologize in advance for the dreadful appearance of my posts over the next couple of days. I neglected to bring my codes with me when I wandered away from my normal posting site.

Now that I’ve dispensed with the administrivia, let’s get on to the topic at hand.

Most of the time, when I’ve been given a lesson repeatedly, yet failed to master it, the Universe administers one of its infamous head slaps and makes me pay attention. But there are times when a picture is worth a thousand words, and a demonstration is in order.

Today was one of those times.

“Being angry with someone means letting them live rent-free in your head”

This concept was brought home to me today when I was treated to an example of someone expressing anger over something I said. After watching them fume and storm off, I recognized some of my own, past behavior and I was, to say the least, unimpressed with myself, if only for a moment.

I was very fortunate to have a better than two hour drive ahead of me in which to relax and contemplate my thoughts and feelings. Less than half way through the trip, I reached the conclusion that I didn’t want this person letting me live rent-free in their head, and hoped that they would soon release the anger and move on. While I do understand, on some levels, what spurred the anger, the conversation took the form of a scolding rather than a discussion so there wasn’t any real resolution, at least to the other person, as far as I could see. My only hope, at this point, is to send some happy thoughts their way, and hope that they will see fit to oust me from their head by releasing the anger sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, I’ll hold good thoughts for them and send imaginary heart shaped confetti to help lighten the atmosphere overall.

The behavior of others is a mirror for us to recognize what needs improvement in ourselves.

I am grateful for this very vivid demonstration of how pointless it is to express anger over another person’s actions. We might think that by railing at them, we have control of the situation, but nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, we’ve allowed them to control us! I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want is to be under the control of another person, even for a single moment in time.

My intention, now, is that I will, when tempted to respond to something or someone in anger, to pretend that I have to wait a couple of hours before I’m able to respond. In this way, I believe I will find that by the time I can express myself, the reason to be angry has passed peacefully away without any snarky comments or unpleasant voice fluctuations.

In some ways, I can see that this was a very gentle head slap, but one which made me see things more clearly than I normally might.

I can and will control my own actions and reactions. Doing so may or may not help those who have the good fortune or misfortune of crossing my path, but at least I can say that the lesson got through to me.

My gratitudes tonight are:

1. I am grateful for lessons, in whatever form they cone.
2. I am grateful for reasonably light traffic, despite the fact that Google Maps took serious issue with the route I chose to take.
3. I am grateful for my friends who still love me even when they don’t agree with me.
4. I am grateful for a visit with my daughter, son-in-law and grand furries, and the busy, fun-filled weekend we have planned.
5. I am grateful for the abundance we can all enjoy, simply for the asking:joy, health, harmony peace, love and prosperity. In the immortal words of Abraham, Esther and Jerry: “Ask and it is given!”


and send

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