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

Posts tagged ‘Ann Jarvis’

Setting Intentions to Safely Navigate Friction

Making July’s Friction Work For Me to the Power Path School, the theme for July is “Friction”. They go on to explain that rubbing two sticks together creates friction which causes sparks. The ensuing fire can either be used for good (i.e. lighting a fire under ourselves), or it can burn the entire house down leaving us to begin at ground zero.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s definitely a time and place to tear things down, especially if they’re rotting from the inside out, or have outlived their usefulness. For that reason, the Tarot card which personifies July is one of my personal favorites, The Tower (or in some decks, called “Lightening Struck Tower”). Numerologically speaking, The Tower is number 16 which, when reduced down to a single digit, is 7, or the number for July.

Coincidence? Perhaps. But I choose to believe things happen for a reason.

Sometimes What I Need is a Good Old-Fashioned Purge

At any rate, I’ve always felt The Tower in a reading is a good omen, though many The Tower from the Spiral Tarotdisagree with me. I see it as a much-needed cleansing, or purging of people and things which no longer serve our greatest good. Call it a cosmic decluttering.

It might be as simple as clearing the mind of thoughts which are holding you back, or practices like fear and procrastination that get in the way of your ultimate success.

Or it might indicate the need to clear some space in your home. In my case, I’ve put off ripping up the rest of the carpet in my bedroom because it’s in a difficult area, namely, the closet. But I feel like the time has come. I just have to work up the energy to tackle the last pieces along with the tack board that’s a bear to pull up, even with lots of room to work.

Setting Intentions to Use Friction Effectively

In order to navigate the friction successfully, I intend to do a couple of things which have yet to become automatic. The first is to set some intentions:

  • I intend to remove the carpet from the closets in my bedroom
  • I intend to get (number to be determined) chapters of my memoir re-written
  • I intend to release 10 pounds in July
  • I intend to launch my new landing page

I won’t overwhelm you with all the things I have before me. But this is a sample of where I want the month to go. As always, I’ll give myself a “gimme” or two because I know how much the small successes keep me going when I get frustrated or stymied.

Creating a Road Map or “Plan”

Once I have my intentions, I need to create a plan for each of them. For example, I need to decide how many chapters I will complete in July and put the due dates into Trello. From past experience, I’ve learned it’s better to underwhelm myself than overwhelm. If I finish more chapters or release more weight than I intended, it’s a bonus, and inspires me to reach higher with the next set of plans.

Another advantage to planning out at least part of the month is it will keep me too busy to get sucked into other friction-based activities which could work against me. A plethora of projects with aggressive timelines keeps me out of trouble. I’ve learned that the hard way more than once.

I Can’t Make People Like Me So Why Should I Try?

I’m working on being very Zen, and avoiding unnecessary arguments. By the way, all arguments are unnecessary. If nothing else, at the start of what appears to be an argument, I’m practicing saying “Yes, you’re right” and walking away.

I’ve also learned I am, at times, an acquired taste. Sure, some people like my weird-ass self from the beginning, but in most cases, they have to get used to me in their own fashion. Plenty never do. That’s not to say there aren’t a few who find me to be their cup o’ tea from the very beginning, but those few see the real me right away. Though I’ve gotten better about being both real and vulnerable, I’m still selective about who sees that side of me and when. I let my internal radar lead the way after burning my fingers a few too many times by showing too much to the wrong people.

As a friction-y month, I don’t doubt I’ll have ample opportunity to rub folks the wrong way, so practicing my argument avoidance techniques early will save me a lot of aggravation. Aggravation, for me is a guaranteed killer of forward momentum. I have a tendency to spend too much time mulling, chewing, and dissecting the event, taking too much responsibility, and wondering how I can fix it than I will following my plans and manifesting my intentions.

Sometimes the Best Strategy is Retreat course, I could simply hole up in my house, working on stuff until the month is over and the worst of the friction has passed. But frankly, I get some of my best blog ideas from being out in the world, living life as it should be lived. My readers deserve better than the flat, uninspired posts that would ensue were I to go into hermit mode for 31 days.

I’d like to believe I’ve gotten better at avoiding arguments just as I’ve improved on my ability to set intentions and create plans. Though I have a long list of failures, I also have a growing list of successes to inspire me. Were it not for those failures, I’m not sure the successes would have been possible.

As such, I’m inclined to stare July in the face and say Bring on the friction. I’m locked, loaded, and ready!  I’ve always loved a challenge and a worthy opponent!

Lubricating the Friction with Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned.
  2. I’m grateful for the supportive community I’ve built around me.
  3. I’m grateful for the momentum I’m already feeling, and know it’s just a tiny sample of what’s to come.
  4. I’m grateful to Linda Clay for helping me see there really is a time and a place to make a plan.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, fire, inspiration, motivation, joy, release, timing, projects, relationships, beginnings, endings, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light


About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, 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

Putting the Honor Back in Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is More than Cards and Flowers

Mother’s Day as we know it today is a much different animal than the people who inspired and originated it intended. In fact, Julia Ward Howe who is better known as the lyricist of Battle Hymn of the Republic sought recognition for a Mothers’ Day for Peace. She was inspired by the devastation of the U.S. Civil War  as well as the Franco-Prussian War.

I set out to write something pithy about how commercialism has turned holidays like Mothers’ Day and Valentines day into nothing more than guilt-ridden farces which tell us that only by spending excessive amounts of money can we truly prove our love.

Keying the words “Mothers Day” into Google, took me on an entirely different path. What I learned by reading just a couple of articles both surprised and intrigued me. I can’t help myself. I have to share what I learned with you. Maybe some of you were already aware of the origins of this day set aside to honor the woman who gave us life, or in some cases, took us into her heart and home and helped us grow into the people we are today. If not, what follows might surprise you.

While Ms. Howe failed to garner support for her idea, two other women on a similar mission found a way to put the date on our calendars.

Mothers Organized for Compassion

20 years earlier, Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis organized Mothers Day Work Clubs in West Virginia (later renamed Mothers Friendship Clubs) to combat poor sanitary conditions which contributed to the high infant mortality rate.  The clubs were instrumental in providing “…medicine for the poor, nursing care for the sick, and arranged help and proper medical care for those ill with tuberculosis.” (see site reference below). When the Civil War began, Mrs. Jarvis asked several of her clubs to uphold the friendship and goodwill practiced by the members. Many lives were saved because the women nursed soldiers regardless of affiliation.

After the war, she organized a Mother’s Friendship Day to help families heal the rifts the war had caused. Upon Ann’s death, her daughter Anna made it her life’s work to give her mother the day honoring mothers for their service to humanity which Ann had spoken of often.

Making it Official and Losing Sight of the True Purpose

The first Mothers’ Day celebration took place at Ann’s church on the anniversary of her death. Within 7 years, Anna and her supporters had gained enough momentum to persuade President Wilson to make the date official. By then, almost every state had adopted the holiday. Unfortunately, the focus of the holiday was changed from women’s activism to home and family. As time went by it became more common for people to buy cards and presents  rather than spending time honoring their own mothers. Anna fought against the commercialism which replaced her mother’s vision.

Life Changes and We Adapt

Here’s where I put my own two cents in. My daughter never missed celebrating Mother’s Day with me when she was living nearby. I have fond memories of many-course, microwaved breakfasts in bed from the time she was too young to use the stove without supervision. There was never any doubt that she loved and appreciated me, even during the teenage years.

Now that she lives nearly 200 miles away, we have to choose between celebrating Mother’s Day or my birthday together as both are in May. To be honest, I don’t need a special day to celebrate my motherhood any more. I have years of memories of simple but heartfelt celebrations. We spend the day with our own friends instead. She lives in a military community, so many of her friends are even further from their mothers than she is. I have friends whose children live in other states.

I’m also put off by the idea that people are made to feel guilty if they don’t honor their mother on this one, particular, manufactured day. It may have started with good intentions, but commercialism has turned it into a travesty. Just like Valentine’s Day. Just like Christmas. Greeting cards and gifts one day a year are poor substitutes for showing love and caring throughout the year, just because.

Finding Our Way Back to the True Meaning of Mother’s Day

The day was intended to be a celebration of those people who are the glue that keeps a family together through all manner of strife, to recognize the efforts they make to improve conditions, not just for themselves, but for everyone. In this world where women are once again coming together, protesting poor decisions fueled by testosterone and greed, maybe it’s time we got back to the original reason behind Mother’s Day. Maybe we need to reinstate Ann Jarvis’ Mothers Friendship Clubs and make Mother’s Day a day of community service instead of greeting cards and flowers which ultimately end up in trash bins.

Always Being Grateful for Things Large and Small

My gratitudes tonight are:

  1. I’m grateful for the synchronicities which led me to research and write this piece.
  2. I’m grateful for women like those mentioned in this article who have helped restore peace and improve conditions without judgment or selection.
  3. I’m grateful for the relationship I have with my daughter which doesn’t require manufactured days of appreciation.
  4. I’m grateful for my friends with whom I’ll spend my second Mother’s Day in the hills overlooking our beautiful coastline.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, joy, friendship, appreciation, 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!

History of Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day’s Surprisingly Dark History

Photo courtesy of Chris Phutully via Flickr

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: