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

Posts tagged ‘choice’

Choosing to Enjoy This Month of Chaos

You Say Chaos Like It’s A Bad Thing

I was thinking of the term “chaos” and how it can be seen as a negative where everything blows up and is destroyed, or as a positive whereby we’re shaken from our doldrums as pieces are tossed around and reassembled in unique ways we might never have discovered had we maintained the status quo. I’ve always had an affinity for The Tower in the Tarot because I saw it, not as destroying everything, but as a clearing of ground to rebuild on a stronger, more resilient foundation.

Sometimes, we have to shake up our lives to rearrange things for the better. And sometimes, the The Tower from the Spiral TarotUniverse does the shaking for us, either by pulling the rug out from under our feet, shredding our safety net, or putting us in a place where we have to make a choice whether we like it or not.

According to the Power Path School’s December forecast, creatives often weather chaos better than others, perhaps because we don’t define ourselves by a rigid set of rules. As a pantser rather than a plotter, I’m not only used to a certain amount of randomness in my life, but in fact, thrive on the unexpected plot twists and outcomes most of the time.

Setting Our Sights And Allowing

In some ways, I’ve trained myself to detach from the outcome. Instead, I toss my balls into the air, https://www.flickr.com/photos/jessicamullen/15936340893/in/photolist-qheUWa-6tvCyC-mfcahW-kF42vg-7aHRKn-dozSYs-upc1JR-5nU36i-6ZX1X8-9soFsZ-b6p5F2-dKgSFh-9soP3r-9GGyf-edzaxy-dKgQLq-4oLacT-9z49UC-aBS6db-kF5mTy-dbhFbp-83VBDF-JGdSxG-dKgR3q-dKbnZX-kF3i5M-kF2WWF-25sqyfg-kF3het-dKgU63-7121pw-dKbnLT-6ZXghB-7aMFFo-6ZXfye-a6G8a6-26PQPAR-ceZ3mw-7aF5cr-7aHRUn-kF3FwP-dKboVp-dKbj4F-3jqo8-dKbmgk-kF5cCu-dKgPvE-edzags-dKbjKc-dKbjtVoblivious to the force or direction of the wind, and trust they’ll fall exactly where they’re supposed to. If I’ve gained nothing else from the training, it’s a more stress-free life.

It doesn’t mean I don’t get thrown for a loop at times; a washer breaks down, a cat needs to go to the vet, I’m distracted and get caught speeding and have to pay a hefty fine. But now I don’t spend a lot of time stressing out over how I’m going to pay for it. If I have to put it on a credit card temporarily, I do it and do my best to avoid looking at the balance. I can only do what I can do, after all.

Meanwhile, I dream my dreams and set my goals, revisiting them frequently, not to try to control my trajectory, but to add details to make the outcome more real and emotion-packed. Then I turn it back over to the winds and allow them to toss the pieces around, breaking apart, rearranging, and ultimately building a better mousetrap than anything I could have cobbled together if left to my own devices.

Is It Fate, or Guidance?

Created with CanvaYou might ask “are you giving yourself over to fate, then; taking whatever you’re given, nothing more, nothing less?” The answer to that isn’t a simple yes or no. Imagine scattering colored chips across a map. some fall completely randomly, colors mixed up and in complete chaos. But some will fall in pockets of same-colored chips. Those formations are like a roadmap because they draw our attention by their seeming lack of randomness.

I look at my process as much the same. The places which seem to have some cohesiveness are pointing me towards the next step in my path; the next set of challenges I need to undertake in order to move closer to my goals. I could choose to ignore those signs and continue to drift around. That, too is a choice. Or I could pay attention and follow the path that’s laid out before me, trusting when I’ve accomplished the necessary tasks, another sign will appear showing me the way to my next set of challenges, meanwhile, bringing me still closer to those goals.

Listening to the Voices Within

In the process, I’ll likely fine-tune my goals as I get a clearer picture of the steps I need to take and the choices I need to make. But that’s the reason behind setting the goals and allowing the hows, the paths to show themselves to me. It means there are times when I’ll drift along, seeming to be riding a current not of my making. There are others where I’ll have to jump out of the current and dive head first into something I’m not entirely sure I can handle, but trusting help will arrive when I need it to keep me from going under.

Thus, I’m like the willow tree which bends and flexes in a storm, but doesn’t break though the wind flings it’s bows hither and yon. At times, I’m smacking myself in the face, or so it seems, because my limbs defy any attempt at control. Others, I stand still and unmoving, appearing to be waiting, but in fact, listening carefully for the next message, or quietly performing tasks which, to the outside world seem meaningless and mundane.

Embracing Opportunities to Accept Help

One of my biggest lessons has been learning to request and accept help. Only by following the trail of breadcrumbs will I find myself in situations where I have an opportunity to exercise what I’ve been learning. Only by practicing patience (another lifelong lesson) will I know when the time is right to ask and receive.

I had an opportunity to see those lessons bear some pretty wonderful fruit when my daughter, son-in-law and “adopted” son put together our 4th annual after-Thanksgiving feast. We all have our tasks to do, but in years past, I was the focal point for directing where things went and how they were placed. This time, I focused on my own responsibilities, gave instructions about what I wanted, and left it to the others to make it happen. The results were far better than the pictures in my head. Though I discovered later that as usual, I’d failed to put some of the food and drink I’d bought or made for the occasion out, nobody noticed the lack. Instead, everyone talked and laughed, and enjoyed each others’ company, which was the point of the event in the first place.

To the outside world, the four of us might have resembled a Chinese fire drill, running around, dodging furniture, and getting in each others’ way. But in reality, it was a finely tuned dance not unlike the wind tossing leaves into the air, to bring them down in beautiful patterns of brown and gold on lawns, roof tops, and sidewalks.

Breaking Down the Old, Rotted, and Obsolete

I’m looking forward to a chaos which will invariably knock down a few ancient structures leaving space to build stronger, more resilient foundations and structures in their place. The rigidity of my past has no place in my future. I’ll have enough to keep me busy stepping up to the next set of challenges without wasting time worrying about where to step next. I put my trust in the chaos which will clear a path for me when it’s time to move forward again. In the meantime, I am building my foundation and creating habits which will make me better able to weather the coming storms. Those storms are going to blow away a lot of debris which, even now, is cluttering my life and creating an obstacle course between me and what I need to do to make those dreams a reality.

Are You Ready to Embrace the Chaos?

How do you deal with chaos? Do you throw up your hands and look for someone or something to blame? Do you grab a shovel and a rake and start clearing the rubble so you can see what you have to work with? Do you work alone or grab a few friends to help make the job go quicker and the task seem lighter?

The way you choose to manage unexpected plot twists will determine your attitude and mood in the coming weeks and months. Of one thing I’m certain. The world is changing. The old, rigid, myopic ways which have been eroding slowly for decades are now being subjected to earthquakes and landslides which will either test their mettle or send them crashing down in a million tiny pieces. Only those willing and able to alter their course will ride this storm successfully. And by the way, bonus points for team work!

Immensely Grateful

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the lessons I’m finally learning; patience, community, asking for help.
  2. I am grateful for being able to look at the coming storms through the eyes of a child, wide-eyed with wonder, and excited about the possibilities.
  3. I am grateful for finally recognizing and appreciating what happens when I let go and allow others to play a part too.
  4. I am grateful for my community, my friends, my family. They teach me new things all the time.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, life, friendship, joy, peace, harmony, productivity, insights, inspiration, motivation, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and advocate for cats. 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.

Turning the Tide: Confirmation Needn’t Divide Us Further

Could Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Be the WASP’s Death Rattle?

In the aftermath of the Kavanaugh confirmation I was all set to write a research piece about the major contributors to the campaigns of his staunchest supporters. My plan was to encourage those displeased with the confirmation to boycott businesses owned by those supporters. But after stepping back from my emotional response it occurs to me I needn’t bother. What’s actually happening is the WASP male stranglehold we’ve seen for generations is seeing the writing on the walls. Like the dinosaurs before them, they’re facing extinction, and like any cornered animal they’re fighting hard and playing dirty.

Their most effective weapon so far has been to keep us fighting amongst ourselves. They make decisions which are clearly not in the best interests of the country, or engage in activities they know will incite emotional responses on both sides of the table. They rub their hands together in glee the more we raise our voices and stomp our feet impotently over their carefully constructed hot buttons.

In the end, though, those who don’t wake up and see past the haze of cigar smoke will simply fall into the tar pits of oblivion along with the men and their consorts who are so desperately afraid of losing the lofty places of power which are crumbling beneath their feet. As they built them atop the bodies and souls of people they steamrolled over or baffled with their bullshit, they have no infrastructure with which to maintain the integrity of those ivory towers. Soon they, themselves will be the ground upon which we, the people rebuild on a firmer, more resilient foundation.

Using Unexpected Tactics

So my original concept; to point fingers at the major political contributors and influencers, encouraging people to do business elsewhere, while questionably admirable at its roots, would have been a fruitless effort to use their own tactics against them. At best, it might only have delayed the inevitable. At worst, it would have resulted in further retribution collected from those who deserve it least and who’d bear the brunt of the ensuing hardship. Even if we could make a difference to the financial status of the giants, they’d simply retaliate by cutting jobs and raising prices. Once again, the little guys would bear the brunt, not those who’s money trees we’d seek to shake.

Like the brontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex, the good ol’ boy, WASP coalition isn’t long for this world. They fight an uphill battle in a world where they are becoming a smaller and smaller minority. Their smoke screens, fake news, and highlighting of emotionally charged issues are coming under scrutiny. Not by everyone, by any means. At least not yet.

There are still many who are quite content to believe whatever they’re fed by their “trusted” sources. Like the Pied Piper’s rats, they’ll follow their dying leaders right into the abyss without question or hesitation. But enough are questioning, discussing, and dropping the emotional knee-jerking to heal wounds and bridge gaps.

We Must Come Together to Thwart The Misuse of Power

Photo: David Derong/Iowa State DailyThey’re counting on us to stay divided. We need to show them, instead, a growing community which is united and determined to avoid the pitfalls we’ve been succumbing to until now. We are learning to step back from arguments over emotionally charged issues; to open our hearts and minds to people with dissenting opinions and beliefs. In so doing, we’re finding more common ground than points of disagreement. By learning to listen instead of shout, we run the risk of learning something new which might even make us stronger.

When all is said and done, people not only want to be treated fairly themselves, but to see others treated that way as well. Certainly, definitions of “fairly” vary, but at some point, we can and will come upon common ground.

Judging someone by their faith, skin color, gender, or sexual preference, or worse, assigning unfavorable standards to those who might be different in some way is ludicrous and short-sighted. Every single one of us is different in our own way, though I prefer to use the word “unique”. Even those who profess to be the superior race, gender, whatever, are unique each in their own way. The same-ness they use to connect with their elitist, entitled group of swine is weak and growing weaker with each new excuse they cobble up for excluding or ostracizing yet another group. It’s all arbitrary, and they’re slowly rendering themselves redundant. If you ask me, that redundancy can’t happen quickly enough.

Our Most Powerful Weapon is Compassion

Our best response to all the diversionary tactics, the disrespect, the cornered animal behavior is to arm https://www.flickr.com/photos/142726605@N03/26477590124/in/photolist-GkJz5y-Lbjtyy-7U6aRM-fAvVrd-8xkhNA-9y8U87-9y8PZ9-hkmFEV-pFNVmn-qfvzds-4wXFCU-qwU8vr-fvtgHY-rrTvBA-qx26Jh-deDyEe-zLy9J-iyNxU-9y5Sva-zLy9G-nGtJKV-2ahmb-8GaT1p-8xhj1c-qfZurB-8xo6AA-o2vgjD-fhmvPA-i9LLEe-fhfA2Y-eyHAQ7-4wTwBV-fvthgq-4wQn2x-fvdZMM-fvuWFY-6Q1PWA-fP1Z3u-EjZqZV-daB9Am-aAFS2R-9y8RDE-fAvVAo-iSPYmR-6EKY95-4o5gjJ-6PDXe3-Kcbqcp-9aQUMa-75sAZqourselves with two things; logic based on fact, and compassion. Those who seem to view sexual predators, abusive behavior and outright bigotry as positive qualities don’t know how to deal with something so simple. Compassion alone is completely beyond their ability to comprehend. If it ever found it’s way into their tool box, they probably tossed it away as a weakness not to be tolerated. In his article “Power Causes Brain Damage” published in the July/August 2017 issue of The Atlantic,  Jerry Useem puts forth a viable explanation for the failure of those in power to recognize or utilize compassion.

In between all the rhetoric and emotional insanity, there are new stories every day highlighting acts of compassion which epitomize the strength of working together for the common good; of setting personal needs aside to help someone else. Better still, they are stories of love across all real and imagined borders where we’re continually encouraged to hate with no valid reason to do so.

Becoming Part of the Solution

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-cutrGUAs I see it, it comes down to a choice. We can continue to be part of the problem until we, too tumble into the abyss. Or we can take control of our emotions, throttling them back before reacting, and use the cognitive part of our brains to recognize we’re being manipulated, and take ourselves out of the reactionary mix.

I still cannot comprehend the reasons some of my friends are choosing one side or another. I respect them enough to recognize they have their reasons, and don’t allow those reasons, whatever they might be, to affect our friendship. We all walk the path we’re supposed to, even if that path is inexplicable to others. We don’t owe anyone justification for what we think or do. We only have to reconcile it within ourselves. The one thing I do find unacceptable is if someone expects justification from others, but insists their own ways are right and require no explanation or reason. Ya can’t have it both ways. Double standards are at the root of our current problems, and people are speaking out against the practice both overtly and subtly. They must be eliminated before we begin building our new foundation.

I’ll leave you with a final thought. When you take the time to listen to someone who doesn’t share your values or beliefs, you might actually learn something or see a viewpoint you hadn’t considered, but might prove valuable in the overall scheme of things.

Gratitude Blurs the Lines Between Us

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the opportunity to share different viewpoints.
  2. I am grateful for friends who don’t share my opinions and beliefs.
  3. I am grateful for the dying dinosaurs. They once served a purposes, but show us how that purpose has changed or become obsolete.
  4. I am grateful I’m able, after a time, to step away from emotional responses and look at things logically seeing cause and effect.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; diversity, friendship, love, joy, compassion, kindness, connection, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and advocate for cats. 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.

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