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

Posts tagged ‘energy’

Time for Change Again

Riding the Winds of Change

created with CanvaI’m feeling somewhat alienated lately. Friends I once hung out with, laughing and carefree now gravitate towards others who share their need to frequently vocalize dissatisfaction with their lives, or conflicts with others. I want no part of it and as a result I find myself once again on the outside looking in.

Overall it’s a good thing. I’d rather steer clear of the whining and complaining. Perhaps things will shift and the negativity will run its course. Meanwhile, I’ll either have to find others to hang with until this cycle peters out, or revert to my normal, isolationist patterns.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no issue with friends needing to vent their spleen, and to find others who share their current mindset. There are times I’ve needed to do so myself, and am grateful people put up with me while I did. Right now, I know if I stayed there too long I’d start absorbing the negative energy and find fault instead of joy with my own life. Though I enjoy having a pack to run with, I’m OK being a lone wolf for awhile too. Perhaps I’m being pushed into being alone so I can spend more time working on my projects and business. I’ve always believed things happen for a reason

To Everything There’s a Time; a Season

A friend recently pointed out I have my own cycles. Sometimes I simply need a https://www.flickr.com/photos/sermoa/7289177616/in/photolist-c77Wy9-r361B6-7UmPsp-XGAjhz-64e9v7-2aA91KA-dgqyUQ-45XqnC-9QJ7eT-9QN5fS-sHuD2X-eYWQtB-fbDKCi-RX57Dd-21GaQYp-ap2UBy-2cqyUd9-4BaZUn-XR9iq1-649VdX-GEVNFE-37rTTS-8GD4Ct-21M2mrm-8PB966-kzYvK4-6Vje9y-4Hq3oP-izzeb3-ouihv3-NiJYj7-bua5Bm-iRQDZe-jpV8mm-gJX2L-R36JFv-23NUNNG-2cw7Nyt-2a4658R-npfQy2-RZFcen-M2YpLg-STMqAt-WKMNmd-29UnKjq-owijzY-f4WJBJ-96ELMg-p9Cein-T8HccTlong stretch of alone time. Nothing is wrong. I need to be alone to do some self care and work on me for a little while without distraction or interruption. It could be I’ve waited too long to indulge my inner hermit.

She must be indulged even if it’s simply a matter of taking a few days to lay low and get things done. Doing multiple loads of bedding has even crept into my dreams. It’s a not-so-subtle reminder I need to wash the sheets and comforters from both beds which usually requires 3-4 loads. I need to get caught up on blog posts again and schedule another month’s worth of posts for Medium. I also have to finish compiling blog posts for my opt-in E-book.

That doesn’t even take into consideration the rewrite I’ve had hanging over my head for a couple of months. Clearly, disenchantment with the energy the people around me are exuding means it’s time I got myself organized, which requires alone time. Either I make it for myself or the Universe makes it for me.

A Time to Build My Network, and a Time to Do the Work

I’ve learned we all have cycles we go through; ups and downs, highs and lows. I know I need time to indulge my social side, and time to be alone with my thoughts, dreams, and hopes. Times to look deep inside myself and decide which of the many paths laid out before me I want to take, and what I’ll have to do to make it happen.

Lately, I’ve given those hopes and dreams short shrift. I’ve done the easy stuff like writing blog posts (easy for me, anyway), and setting up posts for Medium. I’ve shirked the tougher stuff like putting together the E-book or starting to re-write my memoir.

The truth is, I only hurt myself when I take the easy road. Pushing the big dreams into a corner while I essentially play games with myself is cruel and unkind. I deserve better. Perhaps that’s why I’m so sensitive to my friends’ complaints. Except I know I have no one to blame but myself.

Nobody is turning my attention away from what’s important but me. No one is criticizing me, or throwing obstacles in my path. There’s nobody to suck my energy except my old fiend, procrastination.

Re-Focusing My Energy

It doesn’t mean I haven’t been taking care of business. The new web pages went live recently, and are performing well. I made doctor’s appointments I’d been putting off. I’ve made and consumed 2 batches of gazpacho, and have the ingredients for several other batch meals with which to re-fill my freezer.

Again, those are the easy things; the stuff I do without thinking about it. Some of it is actually therapeutic. In fact, I’m getting more exercise these days too! All good things, and I can’t complain. And yet, I know I can do better; accomplish more.

It all starts with a single step in the right direction. Maybe distancing myself from people who need to air their grievances, no matter how valid, is exactly what I need to do right now. Again, it’s no reflection on others, but a reminder I need to keep working on myself, even if that means more alone time than I’ve taken recently.

Turning Sloth into Productivity

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-dKbjtVMore important is to use my alone time wisely. Too many Hallmark movies and evenings spent parked on the couch are starting to turn my brain to mush. Though my cats love the extended cuddle time, it isn’t going to benefit any of us in the long run.

I guess I need to step back and re-set every so often, re-evaluating my priorities, and reminding myself to keep the goals front and center. It doesn’t mean putting in an endless stream of 18-hour days (unless the muse strikes and I become oblivious to the passage of time). Those days and that mentality are behind me.

It does mean putting my butt down in front of the computer, my fingers on the keyboard, and doing the writing and revisions I’ve committed to doingfor no one else but me. It means giving my business the attention and effort it deserves instead of haring off on the next adventure in People-land. There’s a reason I can only handle so much people-ing before I need to disappear into my turtle shell for some R and R.

Once again, I am detaching for my own sake. People and places will still be there when I resurface, and I’ll appreciate them more for my absence, and for the time I take to move closer to my dreams. If some of them have moved on by the time I resurface, I’ll know it was a necessary migration for all concerned. It wouldn’t be the first time I changed my social environment, and it certainly won’t be the last.

Living for the Adventure and Wonder of a New Day

I’ve learned the only certainty in life is change, so I might as well embrace it. Fighting change only exhausts me. Swimming upstream may have been my pattern for awhile, but it doesn’t mean I ever got very far doing it. Give me a canoe floating down a lazy river instead. I’ll enjoy the scenery instead of fighting a losing battle to go back where I came from. If it had anything to offer me in the future, I wouldn’t have moved on in the first place.

Do You Need to Shake Things Up So You Can Bring Your Dreams Closer?

Are you trying to do everything, yet falling farther behind? Are you doing too much of what you hate and not enough of what you love, because you feel pressured? Would you like to take a task or two off your plate? Maybe it’s content creation, or perhaps it’s getting your books in order and creating a budget. If this sounds familiar and you’re ready to streamline your life and give your business space to grow and thrive, CONTACT ME and let’s talk!

 

Seeing Each Day’s Wonder Leads to Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for friendships and activities which fueled me, but are no longer the fuel I need to move forward.
  2. I’m grateful I’m ready to follow some of the changes that have been clamoring at my door.
  3. I’m grateful for my ability to be happy in my own company.
  4. I’m grateful I’m learning to put myself first and to accept that I have a right to expect commitment to myself before anyone else.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, possibilities, opportunities, losses, growth, space, motivation, self-sufficiency, peace, health, 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

We All Matter

You Always Matter

I see a lot of posts lately about how we all matter, but I think the real question is, why would we ever think we don’t?

Somehow, we’ve come to believe life has to be a power struggle where there are winners and losers, those who matter and those who don’t. Is there a lack of mattering? Not enough to go around? Or do we just believe it’s so because someone else told us?

Everything is Energy So Tap Into Yours

I recently read a post about money, and how you have to recognize it’s nothing more than Created with Canvaenergy. Once you realize that’s all it is, you’ll understand it’s limitless and there will always be enough to go around if we know where and how to look for it, or, to be more accurate, attract it.

The same is true of finding where and how we matter. In the first place, it’s not about matter to someone or because of some special characteristic we possess. We matter simply because we are. In short, we don’t need a reason to matter any more than we need a reason to exist. The very fact that we came into this human form at this particular time is reason enough.

Sure, you can say that each of us matters to someone. But the first person we matter to isn’t someone else. It’s us! We matter, first and foremost to ourselves. Yet so many people feel they need to find something outside themselves to validate them, and until they do, don’t believe they matter to anyone.

Look For Validation Within Yourself

How often do you see women who, until they’re part of a couple seem to be drifting along in a bubble of meaninglessness? Or who, until someone notices a particular quality, feel like they’re invisible. (If you ask me, there are times when being invisible is actually a good thing. As an introvert I strive for invisibility quite often with minimal success.) They’d be surprised to know people notice them all the time, and more often than not, in a positive way. But until someone comes out and says something to them, they feel invisible and worse, unimportant.

We can certainly go around telling everyone they matter and they’re important. But too many have spent a lifetime waiting to be noticed and believing until they are, they have no value. In the meantime, those whose notice they seek recognition are likely laboring under the same misconceptions!

Looking for Self-love in All the Wrong Places

Maybe that’s why people fight so hard over the little things, and are so easily drawn into https://www.flickr.com/photos/armenws/5837909811/in/photolist-9TSPcr-C3VGX-24FwY6-26x1rb6-5itLut-dhFGeP-pFWFZK-abNp5y-adf5z-hL7FHE-dhFHhY-dhFvph-dauvud-dhFwgW-dhFqWQ-dhFtAn-abeFZP-dhFDeu-dhFuoZ-dhFqbq-adhZR-abKzAD-adf81-abKx9R-bpTzDn-QVxKyY-abKyYK-9gERc8-anUgst-abeFCX-bzS7hf-abeGb2-2cYSbck-8GpCMm-abNm6Y-21Uy4Gb-4NKgmb-abNkTs-begshM-hRcioi-daKq9G-aUymi2-ZRYKoW-9tsYBM-abeFsx-bNLL6K-F2o45H-6MFFvx-9SsLVR-ZAWXwipetty battles over things like race, religion, and politics. They join with others to fight for a cause they probably don’t even understand because it means they belong somewhere; but somewhere outside their perfectly wonderful selves.

Most are losing propositions meant to distract and divide so they’ll constantly be looking for another horse to jump on, another manufactured injustice to oppose. If you ask me, it’s a wonder we don’t see more people collapsing in the streets from exhaustion. I can’t imagine trying to keep up with all the rules and expectations required to continue belonging to something as structurally sound as a wind gust.

When we find our belonging within ourselves, we don’t have to worry about the ground being pulled from beneath us. We don’t need to keep up with the latest set of rules and expectations. The only thing we need to follow is our own heart and beliefs. Those will never change at someone else’s whim.

Why Fit In? We Were Born to Stand Out.

We learn from an early age we need to fit in. As children in school, we’re subjected to bullying and teasing if we are too different from the rest. As teenagers, we’re encouraged to do things even though we know they’re wrong to avoid being ostracized. Those who walk their own path are deemed “weird”, “oddballs”, or “outsiders”. Often, they’re mistreated quite cruelly for minding their own business and refusing to join the mainstream.

Sadly, most of us are guilty at one time or another of expecting others to be like us. Yet we resent being treated the same way, even if we’re too scared to admit it, much less, speak up. I’ve judged people unkindly and unfairly more often than I’d like, though in most cases I’ve come to regret it in some way. Once I remind myself they matter because they’re as unique and special as I am, I recognize I’m neither qualified nor justified in judging them in any way.

Withhold Judgement—Always

Each time we judge someone else and find fault, we’re reinforcing a false expectation which prevents them from feeling they matter. Some are able to rise above the opinions and expectations of others. Some of us learn to face our detractors and say: If you don’t like the way I look, don’t look!

But too many turn themselves inside out trying to get even a single positive word. I did it for too many years. Worse still, I watched my mother do it with her own family, never realizing the rules changed when she showed any possibility of getting close. She died believing she wasn’t good enough, and that’s a tragedy I don’t wish to see visited on a single other human being.

I Wish Everyone to Know They Matter

My wish is that every human being who walks this earth now or in the future knows their https://www.flickr.com/photos/ky_olsen/4860839266/in/photolist-n8CFnR-o5uD96-22RQjNp-eCZ3Kq-WYUGZj-DLmHDZ-KKjkM7-8px5ayperfectly imperfect self is important and needs no improvements or changes. They don’t need to follow someone else’s rules or twist themselves into uncomfortable shapes in order to belong.

It starts with me though. I have to catch myself when I start judging or comparing. I have to recognize the wonderful qualities each person brings to the table. I need to look past qualities that don’t fit my own myopic vision and see the amazing and inspiring person waiting to be noticed and accepted as they are.

I can’t control what other people see or do. Those who still believe they need outside validation can learn by the example the rest of us set to accept and validate themselves as they are. They don’t need to be restructured or remodeled unless they want to make changes to suit themselves. In other words, there is nothing wrong with them, and everything about them is right. But if all they feel is judgement, they’ll continue to reach for the impossible. I believe we’re all better than that, and it’s time we treated ourselves and all humanity with more kindness, compassion, and unconditional acceptance.

Setting a Standard for Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the experiences I’ve had which taught me to see I matter.
  2. I am grateful for reminders I need to treat others like they, too matter without conditions or expectations.
  3. I am grateful for friends I’ve attracted now that I accept myself as I am, making only the improvements I believe I need to make.
  4. I am grateful for the opportunity to help others learn they are important because they are unique.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, compassion, friendship, uniqueness, belonging, sharing, peace, health, harmony, 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

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.

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

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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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