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

Posts tagged ‘clearing’

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

Can an Empath Find Balance in Today’s World?

Overloaded and Overstressed

The Facebook Live which inspired this post can be found here.

Navigating today’s world as an Empath is challenging on many levels. We need to be much more conscious of self-care then ever before or we’ll find ourselves absorbing so much of everyone’s worries and stresses that we’ll face our own version of overwhelm, much of it unrelated to ourselves.

I’m finding at times that in trying to hold a space of peace and love, I’m taking the path of most resistance, and it’s taking its toll. For the last week, I’ve been sleeping more and accomplishing less. Even a night of dancing wasn’t the joyful time it should have been this week. I had to talk myself into going after warding off a migraine. When I got there, I found it difficult to detach from all of the worries and concerns of my friends. I ended up leaving at least an hour earlier than what has become my normal because I just wasn’t feeling the joy I typically feel from dancing and hanging out with my friends.

In fact, I was feeling curiously detached from it all while still feeling the pain and anxiety. Yes, some of it was certainly mine, but my best efforts at shielding out the rest left me with feelings of sadness and none of the connection which might have alleviated some of it. Leaving at that point was really my only option.

Overcoming Emotional Saturation

Today, I slept like a rock after staying up until after 3:00 AM yet again, and didn’t wake until 11. Half the day gone already, I felt stressed out, overwhelmed and just plain unhappy. Thank goodness for my morning pages where I can dump everything out without any filters. But thank goodness, too, for my foster kitten, Mulan who started singing the song of her people halfway through my writing and helped me detach from the pit of misery and despair I was tumbling into like a rock rolling downhill. Her loud and insistent yowls brought me out of that pit and back to a semblance of reality where I was wishing I was close enough to someone to ask for help.

I realized though that I had become the emotional version of an over-saturated sponge and simply needed to be squeezed out. As Empaths, it is an occupational hazard to be sponge-like when we’d be better served to detach. It isn’t always possible to do so. I couldn’t even think of something to imagine myself being other than that uber-receptive sponge. The idea of being a brick wall again isn’t even worth considering. The huge down-sides of repelling everything  isn’t a place I ever want to be again. Bearing other people’s pain is infinitely preferable to having a dark, empty hole where my emotions should be.

Today’s World is an Empath’s Nightmare and Destiny at the Same Time

That, my friends, is the plight of the Empath in today’s society in a nutshell. Emotional stimulation is bombarding us from every direction, not the least of which is a super-charged dose of outrage over whatever our governmental figures might be up to on any given day. People are reacting emotionally and it seems like they’ve put their intellect out to pasture. Though I’m sure some thought is going into what they’re saying, few appear to be looking under the surface and behind the scenes to recognize they are being manipulated so incredibly effectively that not one single “new” development surprises me right now. It’s all part of a master plan and we’ve been wound up so masterfully, we’re just going along like a bunch of lemmings; being outraged when we’re supposed to, decrying exactly what the powers that be want us to decry. All except a small group of Empaths who know there’s more than the tiny tip of the iceberg that’s being used to blind the general public to the Dark that’s not-so-slowly overtaking us and obliterating a way of life which was hard fought not so many decades ago.

It’s funny. The more I write, the more I understand what’s loading me down with negative and toxic emotions. The more I see I need a clearing, but don’t even know where to find it any more. Just another reminder that my writing truly is my therapist, my sounding board, and above all, my savior. It’s probably where I’ll find the clearing I need as well.

I Write to Save My Sanity

It’s no coincidence that whenever something is bothering me, whether it’s an obsession, a convoluted problem, a decision, or anything else, the first place I turn is to my writing. It used to always be on the computer in the form of a slew of Word documents simply titled “brain dump”, but lately, I’ve discovered the power of pen to paper. I understand now why some will never give up writing things longhand.

There’s a certain calmness that comes to pass when I put my hand to the page instead of the keyboard. It’s like disconnecting from electronics and machinery reconnects me to the deepest, darkest recesses of myself, and in so doing, connects me to the Universal mind where all answers can be found. As weird as this might sound, it makes me go into my head to get out of my head.

With a typing speed of about 135 words per minute, getting used to writing longhand again took a little while. My brain was so used to having my fingers keep up, no matter where it went, that to slow it down was painful in the beginning. But now, it’s become a welcome respite in a world that is always going at warp speed. It’s a meditation in and of itself when I don’t have to keep the thoughts and ideas flowing as fast as my fingers can fly across a keyboard. I can pause and reflect, even remember how to spell without a program telling me if the spelling is correct or not. In fact, I’m finding I really don’t care so much if a word is spelled correctly or not when I write with a pen. It’s more about the process than the words themselves. It’s more about letting my mind clear slowly and easily instead of this frantic effort to get all the words that pop into my head on the page.

Finding Peace in Disconnecting

Maybe that’s the cure for the Empaths of the world right now. Maybe we just need to allow ourselves to do things slowly; to cook meals from scratch, to write longhand, to take long walks, to putter in the garden. So many things we let go while trying to navigate the super-highways we call “modern life”.

I guess I’ve answered my own question today. The best way to decompress and clear my emotions is to disconnect completely. Not forever. Not even for an entire day. And maybe that’s why I’ve been sleeping so much the last week or so. It’s the only way my brain really knows it can disconnect since I’m not giving it what it so desperately wants and needs.

Grounding with Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for my writing which, even at the worst of times has helped me find my balance.
  2. I am grateful for friends who understand my need for solitude.
  3. I am grateful for the variety in my life which allows for my many mood swings and dark, twisty paths.
  4. I am grateful for time. Sometimes I have to take it before finishing a blog post, a thought, a chapter, or any other task I’ve set myself. Like wine or cheese, even simple tasks need time to age a bit.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, joy, time, peace, harmony, reflection, objectivity, inspiration, motivation, friendship, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com 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!

January 9, 2015 Admitting Failure and Making it Work for Me

Yesterday, I made a decision with far-reaching implications, and today, I worked it through.

Last year, I purchased the Accelerated Copywriting course from AWAI. Over the last several months, I’ve done my darndest to work through it, but it was in fits and starts at best, and by July, I was really struggling to keep going. I kept promising myself I’d get it done and had it on my To Do list where the row for time spent was more often than not blank.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve done a lot of soul searching, exploring the real reasons I’d purchased the course, and reached a couple of conclusions which should have been obvious all along.
1. I started the class with the sole purpose of finding a source of income while I worked on becoming a real writer.
2. The course was hindering my writing by taking up time while I both fretted over it and tried to make it work.

Admitting these things to myself was painful, as most brutally honest admissions are. They led me to admit a certain amount of failure, but also allowed me to let go of something which wasn’t working. Thankfully, AWAI has a money back guarantee and were very nice about refunding my fee.

It is always humbling to admit that a decision you made with the best of intentions was not the best of decisions for you.

Once I realized that I’d registered for the course for all of the wrong reasons, it was easier to make the decision to give up on it, despite the awful feeling of failure I am experiencing. I put that energy to good use, however, as the day started off in direct opposition to my plans anyway (a rather common occurrence lately). I thought I’d do some organizing and went searching for notebook dividers I was sure I had. In the process, I cleaned out a bin of office supplies, then moved on to the last, and worst of my desk drawers. This one is used for files and had an accumulation of stuff in it that was beyond anything I remembered.

Not only did I clear out decades of those odd things we save, then wonder why, I found an old letter which I thought I’d tossed years ago. It was written by a cousin who gave me a lot of information about the brother we never knew my grandfather had as well as sisters and cousins. As a friend had been helping me with my family’s rather twisty-turny genealogy, this letter was an incredible wealth of information to help us in our search. I was also able to finally fix the rack which holds the file folders so the drawer will be far more manageable now, and will allow me to clear some of the accumulation on top of the desk too.  Sadly, those dividers never turned up, but the fruitless search had very fruitful results.

Sometimes, all we need is a good clearing

As I travel along life’s unpredictable highway, I have learned that there come many opportunities in our lives to clear things out so we can start fresh (and here is where my friend, The Tower, often makes its appearance). Often, though, it isn’t the clearing out which is difficult, but the admissions and decisions leading up to that clearing which turn us inside out. I think, in its own way, the decision to stop doing something is just as much of a leap of faith as a decision to start doing something. Either way, you’re changing direction, though perhaps in a smaller way.

One thing is certain tonight. I am feeling considerably lighter of heart and clutter. These can only bode well as I slip into this second week of the New Year, full of new dreams and goals. Removing things from my life which weren’t working will make space for those which are already there and anything new which might have been waiting in the wings until I stopped trying to force my hexagonal self into a round hole.

So ends the lethargy and “stuckness” I’ve felt for the last few days and as far as I’m concerned, good riddance! Now I can take that spaghetti squash and kale I got in my Harvest Box this week along with some lovely fresh basil and make turkey spaghetti sauce to eat over the squash. Maybe even a little steamed brocciflower on the side.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for life’s leaps of faith, both large and small.
2. I am grateful for the things I found while reducing my clutter some more.
3. I am grateful for the turkey/kale spaghetti sauce which is simmering on my stove and the spaghetti squash which is just waiting for me to separate meat from rind.
4. I am grateful for the support of my friends, even if I don’t always express that appreciation properly.
5. I am grateful for abundance; space, time, friends, love, compassion, encouragement, joy, peace, harmony, cooperation, health and prosperity.

Blessed Be

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