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Posts tagged ‘energy’

Self-Care Makes Us More Effective

https://www.flickr.com/photos/philipglevy/9462509263/in/photolist-fqaQkr-6B62hk-9jZwX5-4FH1En-54uCWa-a3Ns41-6BanmN-6DM4U9-5u49NP-6v9Puu-6DGTwD-4FMcCG-doJVpC-3ervgn-4FMcmC-pb1bmR-6v9McG-6DM5Wm-a71Zuu-5i6sb2-6B9Lkj-4FH1v4-gQpcex-jZKZ5o-6v9NNf-6B5zw6-89YYg5-6v9Xbb-6MPVRc-6v9Wow-6v5Gyk-aPQjfH-6v9QjU-6v5PF8-6v9VcG-cu2a4-DUvgxx-6v9YGJ-5oAaDQ-8ipJ7z-5VgzB9-6B9AVJ-5KTyGH-5Vce46-Uwsk9p-6vNzky-6v5FCV-6B5rgp-6v9UFb-6v9LjqMaking Self-Care a Daily Habit

In a world where we’ve come to believe more is better, one thing we often lose sight of is self-care. In fact, it is often ignored completely until some nasty virus, or worse knocks us flat. Too many of us fail to recognize that if we don’t take care of ourselves first, we will ultimately break down. Meanwhile, as we run ourselves ragged without a break; as we ignore our body’s pleas for relief, our effectiveness is decreasing daily.

But what is self-care, really? It can be as simple as getting up from your desk every hour so to stretch, or as hedonistic as an entire day at the spa or the beach. We definitely need both extremes, but on a regular basis, we need something in between. Here are a few of my favorite self-care choices

  • Making a big salad to keep in the refrigerator for a side dish or an entire meal. I can grab-and-go but still get a healthy meal.
  • Cooking shakshuka for breakfast as inspired by one of my favorite chefs, authors, and food journalists,  Faye Levy
  • Giving myself one day a week to go to the gym and run errands.
  • Giving myself 3 workouts per week.
  • Dancing
  • Getting a massage
  • Reading…all day
  • Walking on the beach
Feeling Good Makes You More Effective

You can certainly make your own list if you give it a chance. The main thing is to do something for yourself that makes you feel good, even if that’s just cleaning your house. It takes you out of your normal routine. Mixes things up, not unlike changing a workout routine. It makes your muscles; in this case your brain and emotions, work differently so you avoid fatiguing them to the point of failure.

Indulging in self-care carries with it some huge bonuses. For me, it means:

  • Being able to work 10-12 hour days when my work load requires it because I have grab-and-go meals in my refrigerator and freezer.
  • I’m already in the habit of getting up and moving every so often, so my muscles don’t stiffen during those long days at my desk.
  • I can take off for long weekends when I want or need to.
  • I can afford to designate one day a week as “errand day” without feeling guilty about the work I’m not getting done.
  • I can work my own hours.
  • No guilt…ever.
Give Yourself Permission to be Self-Indulgent

That last one is to me the most important aspect of the whole program. One of my favorite mentors, Linda Clay says it best: “Don’t beat yourself up”. Sometimes you need to take the time to relax rather than accomplish things. When you take time to relax, you allow your mind, body, and spirit to rejuvenate. You’re more productive for having taken the time to honor your own needs.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a few nights vegging in front of the TV and playing games on my phone. I woke up one morning and I was super-productive. I got a ton of work done, wrote extensively and even cleaned the house because I had the energy and motivation to do what I needed to do.

Getting Things Off Your “Someday” List

One of my veg sessions led me to do one of the “someday” tasks, and doing so left me feeling freer and more energized. I had a large cardboard box full of random plastic ware in one of my bedrooms. It was the last remaining box from my ill-fated remodel. I’d been moving it around the room when I cleaned for years. Yes, YEARS! I just didn’t want to deal with the task of sorting through it and finding homes for the contents. Now that it’s gone, I realize it really stood for my resistance to releasing the emotions from the whole experience. Other than putting down some of the ceramic tile I’d bought for the project, I’d done nothing else to improve my space.

Emptying out that box and either storing, trashing, or giving away the contents opened up the floodgates to many changes.

  • I bought the red Adirondack chairs I’d seen at Lowe’s so my front porch looks welcoming and encourages friends to come visit for wine and red chair nights.
  • I finally picked a paint color and let my daughter have her way with my living room. (I’m loving the sea green walls!)
  • I began attracting new clients because I had made space for them.
  • I recreated a healthy, productive work schedule which takes advantage of the times I’m most attuned to certain tasks.
  • I was finally able to hone in on certain aspects of my business which were bogging me down, like who my ideal client is.
Lose the Guilt

Self-care is effective, no matter what, but to enjoy it’s full rejuvenating benefits, you must give yourself the gift without strings. What strings, you ask?

How often do you stop to do something for yourself, but feel guilty for doing it? You feel like you’re letting someone else down or failing to do everything you should. STOP THAT NOW!

Guilt and self-recrimination sap the beautiful energy you gain by taking some time for yourself. If we accept the rest and refresh time as necessary and allowable, we are far more productive afterwards because we don’t use up the energy we gain castigating ourselves for taking that time, for not operating at peak performance.

You deserve time to refresh yourself. Give yourself permission to do so.
Treat Yourself the Way You Treat Everyone Who is Near and Dear

If we are constantly operating full bore, all the things we say we’ll do “someday” will never happen because we never take enough of a break to let someday come. If we take the time for R & R without guilt or regret, we’ll have the energy to tackle the “somedays”. We’ll have the motivation to do more than we could have imagined when we were driving ourselves into exhaustion.

I urge you to indulge yourself regularly. Take those breaks. Do something you love that’s just for you. Get out in nature every single week. Spend time with people you love and who energize you. Because all work and no play doesn’t just make you boring, it can make you sick.

As a bonus, here is my Shakshuka recipe.

Sheri's Shakshuka

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A light, healthy, Mediterranean-inspired dish perfect for a solo breakfast or brunch, or to share.


Ingredients

  • garlic olive oil for cooking
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 piece fresh turmeric chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/4 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  1. Heat oil in small frying pan
  2. Add chopped onion, garlic, and turmeric. Cook until the onions start to turn clear. (this can be done while chopping the next ingredients).
  3. Add zucchini, cook for a minute or so. Add mushrooms, cook for another minute or two. Add spinach, cook until slightly wilted.
  4. Carefully crack eggs on top of the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with pepper to taste.
  5. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

Gratitude: My Favorite Self-Indulgence

Last but not least, always be grateful for all you have, and especially the little things.

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the people in my life who remind me to take care of myself.
  2. I am grateful for ready access to healthy foods.
  3. I am grateful I take the time for self-care.
  4. I am grateful for my ever-increasing well of energy.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; energy, self-love, self-care, friendship, healthy habits, health, peace, love, encouragement, inspiration, motivation, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

Watch the Facebook Live video here.

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. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information.

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August 1, 2015 Holy Crapapillar! Is it August Already? I’ve Been So Busy Dancing, I Didn’t Notice.

Dance: The Ultimate Medium for Healing, Joy and Community

I was talking to one of the newer dancers tonight, and it really hit home how much of a community we are. Even if someone is gone for awhile, when they return, we pick up right where we left off. Sure, if they’re gone long enough, they may not be up on any new dances we learned during their absence, but those only account for a small part of the evening, and that leaves time to chat and catch up.

Another thing occurred to me on the way home. For the most part, we’re a pretty accepting bunch. As long as a person follows the unwritten rules of the dance floor (and frankly, most of those are just good, common sense and respect for other people and their property) the rest of us are happy to help and encourage and welcome them into our happy little circle. But it’s a lot more. When we walk through the door, our mindset is on dancing and having a good time; maybe even escaping our troubles for a couple of hours. It doesn’t make our troubles go away (and dancers, as a rule, are not big drinkers) but it gives us a break from them and in a lot of cases, gives us some perspective which makes resolving them less painful.

Share Dance, Share Life

Over the last few years, we have shared the whole gamut of family events: births, marriages, deaths, divorces, children moving away, illness and recovery. We’ve shared life changes, cheering each other on the whole way. No matter what happens, we know there’s always a place we can find a warm hug and an understanding shoulder. Yet, while we’re dancing or waiting for the next line dance, couples dance or two-step partner, we can share without wallowing because we know that each of us has life experiences which allow us to relate.

I believe that the two best things I’ve gained by being a part of the dance community are the pure joy and stress relief dancing offers and the opportunity to both uplift and be uplifted, as the situation requires. As it was so beautifully portrayed in the movie ‘Inside Out’, without sadness, we wouldn’t need to comfort or be comforted and without comfort, we can’t develop compassion, nor can we feel needed.

Whether I’m sharing a warm hug with Cheryl who understands what it’s like to lose a parent in the most tragic of ways or verbally sparring with Ron who is the brother I should have had; ooh-ing and ahhh-ing over grandbaby pictures or commiserating over having kids further away than we’d like, as they go on with their lives as adults; or one of my favorites, joking with Ralph while we do an easy two-step around the floor until I get my feet all mixed up because my mind is more into the silliness of the conversation; it’s all good, it’s all healing and it’s all uplifting.

When my daughters were younger, I used to dance 5 and 6 nights a week in a different location with different friends. Though the joy and uplifting were a mere shadow of what I enjoy now, I used to joke that my ex still had all of his body parts thanks to the dancing. But in all seriousness, dancing has always been my touchstone, second only to my writing, where I can lose myself in pure pleasure and let go of things I might otherwise chew on until they achieve far more importance than they deserve. My mom gave me dance lessons because she thought they’d help my klutziness. I’m still a klutz; still walk into walls, trip over my own feet and drop things incessantly, but the gift she actually gave me was a lifelong love of dance and the people who do it for the love of it. We don’t look for perfection; heaven knows we all mess up the dances pretty regularly; we don’t do it for recognition; there are far better dancers out there who put hours and hours into being perfect and being noticed. We do it because it is the most fun we can have in a public place with dozens of our friends. We do it for our sanity and we do it because moving is always a good thing.

Still more benefits to being a regular dancer

Learning new dances stimulates our brains and has been proven to slow or even stop the development of Alzheimers. Replacing brain cells keeps you younger. I can’t even count the number of times I have heard “That’s impossible” when people find out my chronological age. Sure, part of it is genetics, but I can guarantee that an outsider would guess an age at least 10-15 years lower than that of any of my dance friends. One of the regulars is getting really close to 90, but you’d never know it (and boy, does she have gorgeous legs!).

So if you’re feeling blue or the job is pushing you over the edge or your kids are about to drive you to drink or your parents are getting on your nerves, this is my advice to you: Grab a couple of friends and find a local watering hole with a decent dance floor. If you don’t know the steps, find out when they have lessons. If you do, why are you still sitting around??? I guarantee your stress level will drop and with regular applications, you’ll soon look and feel at least 10 years younger. Tonight I danced for the better part of 4 hours, then came home and scooped litter boxes and cleaned up the kitchen before I sat down. Oops, I guess I forgot to mention how much it boosts your energy too!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the gift my mom gave me at the tender age of 5: the love of dance has gotten me through some of the toughest times in my life.
2. I am grateful for the progress I’ve made this week on several projects, and look forward to diving in again tomorrow.
3. I am grateful for the friends I’ve made in the dance community. They’re a diverse bunch, but some of the most loving, compassionate, giving people I’ve ever been fortunate enough to know.
4. I am grateful for a couple of quiet days at home to complete a few more projects.
5. I am grateful for abundance: dancing, friendship, health, energy, love, joy, compassion, peace, harmony, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

I’d appreciate your taking a moment to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://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!

November 17, 2014 Changes made and more coming. #shericonaway

Making changes brings even more opportunity for change.

As you know, if you’ve read my last couple of posts, I found it necessary to change the time of day for writing my blog posts to accommodate the crazy mental place I go at night while working on the latest NaNoWriMo challenge. So far, it’s actually working out well, so well, in fact, that I am writing a more prolific blog and feeling less stressed while working on my book because the two no longer conflict. Whether this change will become permanent remains to be seen but for now, it’s working.

In the spirit of that change, I revisited my daily practice of doing a one Tarot card reading. That, too, has evolved over the last few months. I started doing a second reading from Doreen Virtue’s Angel Therapy Oracle cards and tying the two together. Then I began noting the card I cut when I replaced the Tarot card in the deck to see if it added anything to the message I received from the single card.3f968-spiritualshelf

But over the last couple of days, I was inspired to make yet another change. Right above my computer monitor is what I call my “Spiritual Shelf” upon which sits my collection of Tarot and Oracle cards, the Laws of Attraction series of books, The Secret book and video and several other books related to spiritual practices.

Looking up at this shelf on a daily basis, it occurred to me that it was time I actually used some of those Tarot decks I’ve been collecting instead of just allowing their boxes to collect dust upon my shelf. And so, my next adventure began.

About three weeks ago, I began using the Wizard’s Tarot instead of my tried and true Spiral Tarot. About a week ago, I added the Steam Punk tarot to my reading repertoire, and finally, I added Pagan Cats. Fast forward to yesterday when it hit me that I’m no longer “feeling” the easy, breezy, the Universe is always in your favor flavor of the Angel Oracle cards. (nothing against Doreen Virtue, but her cards just don’t look at the darker side of our souls which, to me, is a very necessary part of our being. Without it, there is no balance.) Instead, I replaced the second card reading with my original and oh-so-comfortable Spiral Tarot.

As it had been close to a month since I’d read from the Spiral deck, I was caught by surprise when I got them in my hands and they felt like an old, familiar friend. Familiar as they were, however, I found that I had trouble shuffling them. I don’t know if it’s because they are a different size, shape and texture from the other three decks I’ve been using or if the deck was just telling me I needed to make an adjustment within myself to using it alongside other decks, but the only way I can describe it is that it was familiar, yet it didn’t quite fit.

Today, it was much easier to work with, so I can only assume that, cat-like, it was giving me a little bit of crap for ignoring it.

Trading Pilates for housework. Oh, joy!

After receiving a message from my Pilates partner that she wouldn’t be able to make it to class today, I realized that with my shoulder still giving me trouble (though nothing that a nice massage with energy work wouldn’t fix!), and a list of chores I want to finish before my daughter arrives on Friday for Thanksgiving week, I would be better served to use my energy to dump and clean sandboxes and vacuum and scrub floors. Heaven knows, I’ll expend sufficient energy in those pursuits to replace at least three Pilates classes! But thanks to the frequent visits to the gym, including those Pilates classes, I actually have the energy now! Funny how that works.

As my readings today really highlighted flexibility as well as staying on task, I believe I’m heeding the advice of the cards admirably. I also feel very strongly that the wherewithal to indulge in that energy work/massage will manifest itself very soon! I just hope my massage therapist has not converted her practice completely to energy work just yet! I really need those magic hands!

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for my willingness and even excitement about making changes.
2. I am grateful for the way things are falling into place with each little change I make.
3. I am grateful for a week with my daughter and grand puppy.
4. I am grateful that my son-in-law is safe, if overworked right now. I know that by his efforts he will achieve his goals.
5. I am grateful for abundance: change, time, opportunity, imagination, motivation, energy, forgiveness, acceptance, joy, love, friendship, inspiration, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Namaste

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

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