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

Posts tagged ‘blessings’

It Takes a Little Wallow

For Some, Mother’s Day is a Day to Wallow in Self-Pity

Mother’s Day 2018. I slept in as I hadn’t slept much the night before, and had danced and walked my way to 13,000+ steps 3 days in a row. I got up and started my day even though there was really nothing to start, but I no longer sleep all day, even when, like today, I’m feeling lower than the underside of a mushroom in the forest.

Tossing the healthy eating aside for the day, I made myself gluten-free pancakes and chicken breakfast sausage with a bowl of fresh strawberries so the meal wasn’t a complete lost cause, then nibbled on the strawberries and sausage for another few hours. I lolled in front of the TV until after 8 watching sappy Hallmark movies before deciding I was TV’d out and tried to switch to computer solitaire.

But my heart wasn’t in it. I’d hit my wallowing stride around 4PM and it was all downhill from there. One daughter hasn’t spoken to me or acknowledged any kind of holiday or special day in years. The other wrote a quick blurb around mid-day I didn’t even bother to respond to. Too little, too late. Would it be too much to send a card or a text, or pick up the phone? Yep, I was really feeling pitiful now.

Finding Something Wallow-Worthy in Everything

Thought about the cruise and how the table I was at with people I barely knew (my own fault for cancelling, then re-booking late) was set off by itself away from the rest of the group. And how the people who were so excited I was going after all never did manage to meet up with me for lunch or breakfast.

Then I got started on the place where I dance. I wander back and forth from one end of the club to the other talking to people, but I feel like a nomad despite still sitting at my regular table. I feel like I don’t belong…again.

I go through this periodically, and I know it’s me and not the people around me. I’m somehow isolating myself in a crowd of people. I detach, and pretty soon, I might as well set up a play list of the line dances I like and dance alone in my living room. At least I wouldn’t have to get dressed, put on makeup and wear a bra.

The trouble is, I can’t figure out why I feel the need to isolate nor even when I started doing it again. I just know I’m doing it, and feeling like I’m going to burst into tears any second. And as the song goes, you can’t cry pretty.

Finding a Little Light in an Otherwise Gloomy Day

Sure, I managed to get the Roomba working again and cleaned up the kitchen from all my messes, but if that’s my claim to fame this Mother’s Day, it’s a pretty pathetic one.

I admit, I’m the Queen of Wallowing. When I get a good wallow going, even my kitties can’t drag me out of it until I’m good and ready. Years ago, when I saw myself going down a really bad path (somewhere in between my parents’ suicides and finally starting to write about it) I made myself a promise that no wallow would last more than a day and a half. But this one seems to have snuck up on me.

I was doing fine, or at least OK, then suddenly, WHAM! I’m at the bottom of my personal pit of despair. Nothing is really wrong, but then, nothing is really right either. So there’s nothing for me to grab onto to pull myself out of the pit this time.

All the cheery Mother’s Day pictures and greetings certainly aren’t helping, nor are the sad ones from the suicide survivors support group or the empath group. And apparently, nobody knows me as well as I thought, because none have picked up on my silence, my pathetic excuse for Mother’s Day breakfast, or any of the things I, as a friend would have picked up about someone else.

The No Reason Wallow is the Darkest of All

Through it all, I keep asking myself “what’s wrong with me? Why do I not give anyone a reason to care?” I even left the post for today undone because I didn’t care enough to keep to my schedule. I figured it was one less post I need to write for next week.

My memoir lies untouched since March as I don’t even know where to go with it right now. My business is still limping along. I’m half-heartedly looking for something part-time, but am still trying to keep it remote. I’m pretty sure I’ll fail at that too.

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing such a whiny, negative post. If you’ve gotten this far without closing the page in disgust, I’ll tell you why.

Why Share My Misery?

Each of us gets down sometimes. We don’t have to have a reason. We just start seeing all of our failures and none of our successes. All of our challenges and none of our blessings. We feel alone but don’t remember how to fix it. Even in a crowd, we feel like an outcast, and can’t seem to figure out what’s changed.

So I started writing this, partly as therapy, but partly to try to reach even one person who feels the way I do right now on occasion. I want them to know it’s OK to feel down like this once in awhile. What’s not OK is to let yourself keep feeling this way without reaching out to someone, somewhere for help if you just can’t break out of your funk alone.

Reaching out, asking for help is by far the hardest lesson I’ve ever had to learn, and frankly, I have only just broken the surface. I have a long way to go before I’ll ever be good at asking instead of trying to muddle through on my own, believing everyone I know is too busy to help anyway. I know I have several friends who, if they’re reading this are calling me all sorts of stupid for not reaching out. They’re also the ones who know how hard it is for me to do so, especially when I’m feeling down.

Sometimes, You Have to Reach Out Any Way You Can

The hardest part about being depressed is feeling like nobody wants to be around you. You isolate yourself even more because of the voice in your head that says “you have no right to bring others down to this dark, dank place you’re in right now. Stay away until you’re not such a drag to be around.”

Well, I may not be making any phone calls right now, or private messaging, or texting to ask for help. In my own way, this is how I let the people in my life know I’m not as OK right now as I might seem. I could use some help, but don’t really know how to ask because I’m not sure what kind of help I need.

I will, however, urge anyone reading this who can relate to please, Please, PLEASE call someone who loves you and let them know you’re struggling. Text a friend, a child, a parent; whoever you have and know they care and love you even when you’re not your bright, happy, cheerful self. Someone out there really does want to help you get through whatever it is that’s taking the sparkle out of your life. They want to help you clear the clouds and find your sunshine. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for me and the millions of others who might be wallowing with or without a good reason right now.

Grasping at Straws for Gratitude

My gratitudes tonight are:

  1. I’m grateful that I can use my writing to help others feel less alone.
  2. I’m grateful that I recognize a wallow for what it is even if I can’t yet find my way out of it.
  3. I’m grateful I refrained from spending too much time on Social Media on a really depressing Mother’s Day, if only to keep from bringing anyone else down with my desperation and loneliness.
  4. I’m grateful for the one or two people who may have recognized I’m not in a good place, even if all they could do was send me some good thoughts.
  5. I’m grateful for the end of a long, dark, lonely day because I can start over tomorrow, and tomorrow is a gym day which I actually look forward to these days.

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 uniquely genuine self. 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


The Mind Might be in Denial, But the Body Knows!

Inattention Provokes Physical Reaction

Writing my morning pages today after doing the unthinkable yesterday and skipping it without a valid reason (gasp!) I realized how little attention I’d been paying to my writing, among other things, since November began. I’d like to say it was a gentle realization with soft music playing, and a gentle breeze teasing tendrils of my hair from my customary messy wad on top of my head. But the truth is, the Universe gave it to me with both barrels, as usual.

Yesterday, after sleeping until 11, which I haven’t done in months, I recognized the tell-tale signs of infection in my right ear. I took the entire day off to be lazy, improve my eating habits which had been pretty awful lately, and supercharge my body with homeopathics and natural remedies (turmeric and propolis are my go-to’s, in case you’re wondering).

I woke this morning slightly later than I’d like to find the pain had subsided but now the ear felt like it was filled with fluid. Moving around has helped a bit, but the pressure remains. However, that didn’t stop me from immediately grabbing pen and notebook (after feeding the resident furballs, of course) and resuming my morning routine.

Morning Pages vs. Brain Dumping

If you’re not familiar with “morning pages” you might want to pick up Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. It’s a great book if you’re a creative who needs to learn to honor the artist within, begging to be allowed to come out and play. One of the biggest take-aways I got from the book was the practice of writing 3 pages longhand every morning, aka “morning pages”. The idea is to sit down and write before you do anything else in the morning (coffee and cat feeding notwithstanding) to clear your head of all of the accumulated folderol from both the previous days’ challenges and the dreams from which you’ve just awoken. If you’re like me, those dreams alone can clog up the works as they’re quite vivid and memorable most days.

In many ways, I guess you’d call the morning pages journaling, but in a very raw, directionless way. In the past, I’d have called it a brain dump, though those typically were a fingers-to-keyboard kind of exercise as I type much faster than I write.

The purpose of the morning pages is not to pour out your guts as fast as possible but instead, to slow your mind down, forcing it to connect with your entire being instead of running amok like a hyperactive child on a sugar high.

I’ve found a great deal of insight from my morning pages though admittedly, there are days when I struggle to sit still long enough and slow my mind down sufficiently to write those 3 pages. Today was one of those days when the process worked.

Recognizing the Wake-Up Call of Physical Ills

I’ve learned that maladies in the body are simply a reflection of dis-ease in our energy field, which, left uncleared start manifesting in ways meant to get our attention. Yet it took slowing my mind down, getting the words on the page to connect the dots this time.

Once I started putting it together, I realized I’d not been communicating via my writing for quite some time. My ear was giving me a huge wake-up call that my hoarse and phlegm-y throat had failed to do.

I needed to get back to my writing!

While pouring out the contents of my muddled and over-stressed brain through the fingers of my right hand, I saw what I’d been, unbeknownst to me, making a concerted effort to ignore. I hadn’t written a single blog post, or even started one since the end of October. I hadn’t edited more chapters of Forgotten Victims as I’d planned. I had barely even interacted on social media for the last 25 days. In fact, I’d developed a bit of an aversion to it. No, more of an ennui. Nothing held my attention. I spent my days (when I wasn’t working on accounting clients) watching sappy Christmas movies and playing word games on my computer.

Finding the Blessing Buried in the Muck

On the up side, I increased my vocabulary a bit and kept my mind somewhat sharp, but my creative side was screaming for attention. Have you ever tried to quiet a 2-year-old mid-tantrum? Well, Creative Sheri knows exactly which buttons to push to get Unproductive, Slothful Sheri’s attention. In fact, administering physical pain is a particular favorite.

I may have created a bit of a monster when I chose to release my creative side, because once released, there’s no effective way to stuff the creativity back into a box permanently. What Pandora released when she opened that box has nothing on the creative monster once I gave her permission to come out and play. She is especially cranky when I make excuses for sitting down in front of the computer and writing. The words that come out don’t really matter. They just have to find their way to page, screen, or whatever medium I choose.

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs it was the Hallmark movie I watched last night about a writer who left home to follow his passion. Maybe I related well to his being stuck and needing new inspiration. More important was his regular routine. He went to the same coffee shop every day, sat at the same table with his laptop and wrote. Writing my morning pages every day only gets me halfway there.

I choose to believe that things are put into our path for a reason, be they physical pain, a message delivered via movie or book, or a person who helps us find our way back to our true path. When we do our best to ignore the signs and signals as I’ve been doing for the last month, those signs and signals become more persistent, and eventually, painful. Like the lessons we’re given, the signs that we’ve wandered off path are not about to be ignored indefinitely.

Sure, I could be one of those who self-medicate with alcohol or drugs to shut those voices and the pain out. Fortunately, I’m not. I have a strong aversion to drugs of any kind and if I have one drink per month, that’s a lot. So I’m forced to acknowledge the signs, the warnings, and especially the Universal head slaps which tell me I need to get off my ever-lovin’ arse and do what I was meant to do—WRITE!

Getting Back on Track…Again

This is my long-winded way of saying I’m back and will do my best to entertain you with regular blog posts like this, both here and on my website. I welcome your comments and would love to hear about what motivates you and gets you back on track when you stray.

The Many Faces of Gratitude

What would a blog post be without my gratitudes? Here are a few for today.

  1. I’m grateful for the subtle and not-so-subtle reminders that I’m not being true to myself.
  2. I’m grateful for family and friends who inspire and challenge me.
  3. I’m grateful for the reams of words I’ve poured out on pages like this one as well as all of my works-in-progress.
  4. I’m grateful for the people I’ve met lately on social media. Some inspire me to greater things, and others show me what I don’t want to be or aspire to. All are helpful in their own way.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; the words that flow from my fingers, the portfolio I don’t always appreciate, the dreams that fill my head at night (and other times too), love, friendship, communication, health, joy, compassion, kindness, generosity, peace, hope, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. She believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. She specializes in finding and expressing your authentic self. 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

December 31, 2014 The one New Year’s resolution we should all make.

As I see it, most New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken.

I am not one for New Year’s resolutions as a rule. After all, aren’t most of them broken within the first month? But this year, I realized that there was one resolution, more a promise to myself, that I wanted to get on record. It is the kind of resolution which is both all encompassing and sufficiently vague as to be break resistant. So, without further ado, here is my single 2015 New Year’s Resolution:

I hereby resolve to be kinder to myself, beginning with 2015.

If I learned nothing else in 2014, it is that kindness, like forgiveness, begins at home. When we are kinder to ourselves, that kindness overflows into the rest of our lives and positively impacts everything we say and do. Sure, I’m still working on the forgiving part, and will, along with kindness, be working on it for the rest of my current human existence…and probably well beyond that! I believe that making a promise to yourself to begin is the first step we need in order to succeed.

So this is me, promising myself kindness, and taking the first step to make it so.

A New Year blessed with kindness, please
To self, to nature, let’s all believe.
It matters not to whom we pray
Take one step forward every day.
Try love and forgiveness with every breath
From now until this body’s death.
A loving gift, our soul will take
Into the next life that we make.
This is the gift I give to thee
As I will, so mote it be.

A blessed and Happy New Year to one and all.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the people who allowed me to touch their lives this year.
2. I am grateful for my daughter who helps me be a better me.
3. I am grateful for my friends, both old and new, who have, by their wonderful examples, helped me see where I need to make improvements in myself.
4. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned this year. Many are invaluable if I’m going to follow my true path.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, lessons, joy, harmony, understanding, faith, happiness, health, peace and prosperity. May we all find what we need in 2015, and carry our lessons well into the future.

Blessed Be.

December 25, 2014 Another Christmas has passed, leaving love and joy in its wake. #shericonaway

Basking in the glow of another beautiful day.

As Christmas 2015 joins the legion of Christmas pasts, I find myself oddly introspective. The day was joyful and full of silliness, sweetness and the love of my extended family as we shared our version of the day. With our annual Jewish Christmas Eve dinner, the Christmas morning breakfast and shenanigans and our Christmas Day movie now just memories, I sit in the comfortably quiet house,the only sounds, the humming of the computer and my fingers tap dancing on the keyboard. And it is good.

My daughter and grand puppy arrived home safely and my adopted son made his girlfriend cry when he gave her a beautiful jewelry box he’d made himself, with her particular preferences in mind. And it is good.

I’m all warm and cozy in the Looney Tunes pajama pants my daughter gave me. The cats are snoozing on desk and bed, no longer needing to listen for the pitter patter of the feet of a 40 pound bundle of love puppy. And it is good.

My tree is somewhat the worse for wear after two kittens saw their first Christmas tree. Pyewacket contented himself with pulling the string of beads further and further from the tree while Scrappy Doo bent the lower branches because he insisted on perching on them. But it is all good.

Wrapping paper and boxes have been broken down and crammed into the barrel designated for recyclables. Leftovers have been divided up and put away. The kitchen is clean and the gift boxes collapsed and returned to their bin. All that remains is to undecorate the tree and stow tree and decorations carefully away until next year. Life is good.

Warm and comfy in the tender embrace of my introspection, I am exactly where I need to be at this moment in time. What tomorrow brings is for tomorrow. I know it will be good, even if it should appear challenging at first. Gifts come in many sizes, shapes and colors, and are wrapped to reflect the hand of the giver. None of these things make them any more or less valuable. They are simply different gifts which serve us in different, but equally important ways.

My introspection takes me along a path of appreciation where I see each gift for what it will ultimately mean to my journey and not necessarily for any frustrations they might temporarily cause when I think they’re leading me astray.

Whatever challenges come, whatever shape the gifts might take, the one thing I can be sure of is that I am blessed. And because I am blessed, I am grateful.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the gifts I have received and those yet to come. All are there to move me along my path and teach me what I need to know to follow my journey.
2. I am grateful for traditions both new and old. Each year, we add something, and each year, we revisit many things.
3. I am grateful that we find new things to laugh about and new jokes to share each year. It is the humor which truly nourishes my soul.
4. I am grateful for the quiet after the chaos, the introspection after the expectations, for therein lies my balance.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, joy, harmony, family, sharing, giving, receiving and joining. Also for health, peace and prosperity.


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