Relationships Then and Now
In years past, I didn’t consciously set out to build relationships either professionally or personally. I truly was a lone wolf, locked inside my own tiny, exclusive world. It wasn’t until maybe the last 8-10 years I started to make a conscious effort to connect with people. But as opportunities and challenges arise, I’m learning despite my best efforts to remain an island in and of myself, I did connect with a few people, and those relationships are all the more valuable for having gotten past my defensive layers.
Some show up for me when I’m feeling particularly bruised and battered, not so much by my current life and circumstances, but by the effects of dealing with and releasing past trauma and pain. Others step in when my professional life needs shaking up or the addition of a few new clients. Both are invaluable, and I’m incredibly grateful for the people who made the effort to reach a part of me I used to expend a lot of energy to hide from the world, and even myself.
Creativity Always Lurks Beneath the Surface
Lately, accounting work has been minimal. I didn’t think a lot about it until I was struggling to write this post. I wrote reams of babble, but nothing shook me loose from the well of creative muck until I got a phone call from one of those relationships. As we talked, I realized having regularly scheduled analytical work doesn’t detract from my creative work. In fact, the shifting from right brain to left brain and back is what inspires my creativity and makes it flow more freely. I don’t think it’s too farfetched to admit my level of creativity is directly connected to the amount of analytical work I’m doing.
Granted, words have been flowing freely for awhile now, and I’ve truly had no complaints. But there came a time when the momentum slowed, and I realize now it meant I needed to change things up; move my regularly scheduled activities around a bit, and kick everything else up a notch or three. What this means in simple terms is I’ll be more likely to jump on opportunities for analytical work now. As the clouds clear, I know it’s actually an integral part of my creative process; a kind of meditation for the creative side of my brain.
While I’m exercising my analytical abilities, my creative side gets to play in the sandbox or swing on the swings. It has no immediate need to perform, so the pressure is off. Frankly, my creative side, unlike my analytical side does not work well under pressure. It’s more likely to shut down and fight the more the adult demands things get done.
Allowing All of My Sides to Come Out to Play
I’d have to say analytical me is the adult in the relationship with myself, and creative me is the child. She doesn’t handle structure well, and loves to blurt out whatever is on her mind. She’ll cross her arms, and stick her lower lip out in a pout when criticized, or expected to perform a task, rather than allowed to treat life as one big playground.
Long ago, I learned to rephrase things such that everything was an opportunity rather than a chore. I think I forgot that temporarily in the turmoil of AB5 which limits my ability to work, though not as much as it does for thousands of others. I got stuck in “have to’s” and forgot about “get to’s”. I need to remind myself:
- I get to go to the gym every week
- I get to do my own chores
- I get to eat healthy meals every day
- I get to balance my work load at my discretion
- I get to write 3 blog posts a week, and schedule them a month in advance
- I get to accept clients I love working with
- I get to build both personal and professional relationships
- I get to read other peoples’ work and offer comments and constructive criticism
The list could go on and on, but the reality is, if I redirect my mind set, I never have to do anything. Everything in my life becomes a joy and a privilege. As an added bonus, my words once again begin to flow, and writing one blog post or five becomes effortless and enjoyable. Once I get out of my own way with all the obligatory crap, my inner child pulls out her bucket and pail, and builds another sandcastle of words on whatever topic catches her fancy at the moment.
Relationship With My Multi-Faceted Self
Looking back at where this post has gone, I realize the most important relationship I finally allowed to grow and thrive was the one with myself. Once I recognized, accepted, and even celebrated my multiple facets, and allowed all of them to have their turn at the wheel, life became easier, more pleasurable, and a lot more fun.
Everyone has multiple sides. Some keep a tight rein and only allow certain ones to show; certain ones to run their lives. If you ask me, being the responsible one all the time gets old, and leads to a colorless life. But being the crazy, creative one takes its toll as well, as I’ve recently learned.
You have to give each of your sides (and there are those who have far more than two) time to rest, and time to play. Even responsible you has a playful side if you give it a chance. Even creative you has a responsible side. Those sides will look and feel completely different, but the results are the same. You get more done in less time when you allow yourself to have fun in the process.
A Time and a Place for Each Side
My creative side needed boundaries. For a long time, I was all over the map, doing things when I felt like it. Once I created a schedule and due dates, my productivity skyrocketed. I didn’t rein my creativity in. I simply gave it a more defined place in which to play. I learned having a few expectations meant having regular times to play, rather than being constricting.
As an accountant, I have my creative side, and it’s served me well when it comes to problem solving. It allows me to “think outside the box” and find solutions where none seem to be. I’ve learned to use the tools at hand in ways the designer might not have intended. As long as the result is easy to work with and accurate, does it really matter how I got there? My methods might make someone who is more tightly wound a little crazy, but these days, those types rarely hit my radar, and never have to work with me.
That’s another thing about relationships. As I’ve learned to be myself and, as they said in the 60’s “let it all hang out”, I attract those who find my quirks either entertaining, enjoyable, or at least acceptable. Those who are put off by them simply walk away, sometimes muttering in their beard about my weirdness. That’s a good thing. I love my friends and the mutual weirdness that drew us together in the first place.
Allowing Time for Gratitude
My gratitudes today are:
- I’m grateful for the multiple sides of my personal coin.
- I’m grateful for the lessons I learned about being myself and attracting those who appreciate the real me in all her forms.
- I’m grateful for those who saw through my walls and connected with me in spite of myself. They are often the ones with the strongest, most resilient bonds.
- I’m grateful for opportunities that come from relationships rather than bush beating.
- I’m grateful for abundance; opportunities, friendships, relationships, joy, love, freedom, health, peace, balance, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward