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

Posts tagged ‘epiphanies’

August 26, 2015 Embracing Self-Discovery

A Continuing Voyage of Self-Discovery

I spend a lot of time in my own company, whether at home or out running errands, most of what I do is a solo act. This gives me a lot of time to think, especially when performing the myriad mindless tasks necessary to take care of myself and my cats.

Tonight, while scooping sandboxes and cleaning the kitchen (not at the same time, of course!), I realized that what a friend of mine said recently is frighteningly accurate. I have patterns. Not the normal kind, all neat, tidy and in order. But I do have patterns. For instance, I’ll go through spells when I’ll spend my non-dancing evenings parked in front of the TV, something mindless on until the wee hours, plinking away on my iPad. These are my cats’ personal favorites as it means they can pile into my lap and fight over whose turn it is for skritches.

After a time, I get bored of this, even if I’ve interspersed it with time on the computer, reading and writing. Here’s where my patterns start getting dark and twisty. Tonight I found that the one-eyed monster was boring me more than usual and endless games of solitaire and kitty cuddles just weren’t enough to ward off the twitchiness unrelieved boredom morphs into. Suddenly, more than a night or two a week of TV sitting is no longer do-able. Sitting still for that long is no longer do-able. I feel like I will jump right out of my skin if I don’t get up and move around; clean something, organize, research…anything but sit with my brain atrophying behind my eyes.

This is a fairly new development for me. After a day of running errands or brain work, or both, I was, until very recently content to have a veg night.

I’ve noticed something else as well, and maybe the two are related. Instead of nibbling on this and that throughout the evening, I’m fixing a meal of sorts most nights and once it’s done, except for a few almonds later in the evening, I’m done eating. I haven’t even been inclined to buy snack-type foods other than fruits and veggies.

So I have to ask myself: “What’s changed? Why do I no longer enjoy the pattern of relative sloth I’d fallen into?”

I was about to type something about human beings in general until I remembered something I learned in a parapsychology class in high school. I dream in vivid, living technicolor and tend to remember at least part of a dream every morning. I assumed this was normal. It wasn’t until I took the afore-mentioned course that I learned most people do not dream in color, nor do they remember a single, solitary snippet from their previous night’s rambles! That being said, I’m not going to make the mistake of assuming that other people get bored with their routines and frequently have to change them up or risk going bat-shit crazy like I do.

Now, if you were to ask my daughter, she’d likely tell you that I’m a creature of habit to the point of being anal. I like to get up in the morning, make the bed, stretch, feed the cats, get my coffee and breakfast, and sit down at the computer to check email, my website and blog, and Facebook. I also like to clean up the kitchen before I go to bed, but am liable to leave every dish I used throughout the day in the sink until that time. Unless, of course, I did a freezer-stocking batch of something. I typically clean those up as I go. There are a few other things I like to accomplish each day but I won’t bore you with the details here. What she doesn’t realize is that by being a creature of habit about some things, I am able to clear my path to allow for wild deviations in the things which are more important to me. In a nutshell, I’ve learned to regulate the tedious to leave more room for the extraordinary. After all, which would you rather spend your time doing?

I Know There Was a Topic Around Here Someplace

Which brings me back to my original topic, more or less. Watching television and piddling on my iPad is tedious and boring, though less so with a lap full of furry bodies. Reading, writing, researching or anything else which engages my brain is not boring or tedious. Maybe that’s why I have had such a tough time getting back into my gym routine. Although I like the way it makes me feel, it’s still tedious and boring, for the most part. Having headphones in while listening to music helps, but when the right song comes on, it’s all I can do to keep from breaking out into a line dance in the middle of the gym, and I really don’t want to attract attention to myself while there. I’m a ‘get in, do my thing and get out’ kinda girl!

I realize my blog posts have been getting less regular lately too, and think I might have been getting stuck in a rut here as well. These one-sided conversations do tend to get a bit old, and I’m still learning how to engage my readers enough to comment. I have a few who comment every now and then, letting me know they’re still out there and at least entertained if not sometimes thought-provoked. But greedy girl that I am, I really want more!

When I began this blog nearly 6 1/2 years ago, it was to share something deeply personal in hopes of touching someone who needed to know they weren’t alone. In many ways, that premise hasn’t changed, though the topics have become more diverse (at least, I hope they have) and I spend more time writing about epiphanies and self-discovery than about healing these days. That isn’t to say that I’ve completely healed. Do we ever? Each of us is a work in progress, sometimes moving forward at a rapid pace, and others, doing the Cha Cha. We learn, we grow, we stumble, we fall flat on our face and we pick ourselves up again. Each time we get back up, we’re a little wiser, but also a little more resilient.

Success isn’t in Mastering the Mountain. It is in Refusing to Allow the Mountain to Conquer us.

Each time we get back up again, we earn the right to consider ourselves successful. Not because we’ve scaled a huge mountain, but because we’ve allowed ourselves to be human, we’ve been imperfect, but we’ve survived to try again. In truth, we have very few huge, world-shaking successes in our lives. What we have is far better; it’s a series of wins interspersed with all of the attempts we make while learning how to do better. I think if it as an endless game of trial and error. We try something, if it works, great, move on to the next thing. More often than not, we don’t achieve the results we desire so we tweak what we’ve done and try again. It is through this series of trials and tweaks that we eventually figure things out and maybe find a better solution than we’d imagined. Because the steps are often tiny, we don’t even realize how far we’ve come or how much we’ve accomplished. But at any point in our lives, we’re both standing on a mountain top we’ve spent ages scaling, and we’re in a valley with the next mountain rising up before us. I think glancing back every now and then is a good way to remind ourselves that we can do whatever we set our minds to, climb the tallest of mountains stretching out before us…because, a quick glance back will show us that we’ve done so over and over again. Pretty impressive, aren’t we? Don’t you deserve at least an ‘attaboy’ today?

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for those moments of self-reflection.
2. I am grateful for a mind which grows more easily bored every day. It keeps me looking for new ways to challenge it.
3. I am grateful for the people who have been following my blog; both those who’ve been here awhile and those who’ve just come on board.
4. I am grateful for lessons and for falling down and getting back up again. It hasn’t killed me yet, but it’s certainly made me stronger.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, challenges, lessons, goals, opportunities, changes, hope, dreams, inspiration, motivation, 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!

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March 17, 2015 5 Things I’ve learned from using DND on a regular basis

There are times when we deserve uninterrupted alone time.

I used to be a slave to the telephone. I’d take it with me when I showered and leap off of the throne should it ring in the middle of my business. Not that my phone rings all that much, which may be why I mistakenly assumed that if it rang, I should drop whatever I was doing to answer it.

When I was working in an office and in the middle of a hairy project, I had no trouble hitting the “DND” button on my phone, but when at home, I simply assumed that if it rings, I answer. Nothing could be further from the truth.

My outlook was changed by an accident.

One day last year, I discovered that my cell phone wasn’t ringing, forcing me to constantly check to see if I’d missed a call or received a text. When I took it into the Apple store, the tech took one look at it and showed me I’d accidentally put it on DND (a function, up to that point, I hadn’t even known existed!), and showed me how to fix it.

It took another few months for me to have an epiphany and realize I could use that function! Now, I set it intentionally whenever I want uninterrupted me time. It might be while I’m meditating or at the gym, but I also use it when I’m in the midst of writing. Heaven knows my Muse hates interruptions.

Even when I am not using the DND function, I’ve learned that, for the most part, calls and texts can wait until I’ve finished whatever I’m doing. I can shower without the phone nearby and, except during planned power outages, my cell is never in my bedroom.

Carving out alone time should be as high a priority as feeding your kids (furry or otherwise)

It took a little while to train my daughter when I first began using DND. In the beginning, she learned why I worry when I just get her voice mail, but after I explained why I needed undisturbed time, she understood and went on her way. Of course, I also learned why she heaves huge sighs when I can’t reach her, and am less likely to assume the worst when her phone goes straight to voice mail! (funny how often the teacher becomes the student!)

From every new experience, a lesson is learned…maybe two!

I’ve learned a lot from this simple act of carving out time for myself in which interruptions are minimized, if not eliminated.

1. We all need time to ourselves, whether it’s to meditate, go to the gym, write, or just be alone.
2. Given time, the people who care about us not only respect but appreciate our need for this time when we can’t be reached.
3. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Once we learn to expect that our own quiet time is to be respected, we learn to be more respectful of others’ need for the same thing.
4. When someone is unreachable, it isn’t a cause for panic or for assuming the worst.
5. Giving ourselves alone time makes us calmer, more productive and ultimately, happier, thus bringing our stress levels down.

The only thing which surprises me at this point is that I didn’t make some of these connections sooner. When my daughters were young, I always had my quiet time, though back then, it occurred between about 10PM and midnight, after they’d gone to bed and finally settled down. In fact, my best writing time is still in that area, though I have been known to crank out a few thousand words in the middle of the day on occasion.

Here’s a little mantra for you: “I want and need time in my day which is only for me. I will take such time every day without guilt or recriminations because I am worth it!”

Be kind to yourself, dear readers. It sets the tone for how others will treat you.

My gratitudes are:
1. I am grateful for the plethora of epiphanies I’ve been receiving lately.
2. I am grateful for the lessons I learn and put into practice.
3. I am grateful for the clearing of old paradigms.
4. I am grateful for new opportunities and options which are coming into my life.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, harmony, peace, opportunities, writing, reading, sharing, dreaming, joy, health and prosperity.

Blessed Be

March 11, 2015 A very strange day gives way to poignant memories and new directions

It was only when I was typing today’s date that I realized the significance

Tomorrow would have been my mom’s 81st birthday. But that’s only part of the story. She never made it past her 59th. And still, there’s more which gives me pause right now. This whole year since my last birthday has been a lot of things, but one which comes back up now is that it’s been bittersweet. In May, I will be 60 and my daughter has been very excited about celebrating it for quite awhile now. To her, it’s a major birthday, but to me, it’s a major milestone because it means, unlike my mother, that I have a whole lot to look forward to, I’m loving my life and if I haven’t conquered all of my demons, I’ve conquered enough of them to truly appreciate this life I have.

To say that a small part of me has not been a teensy bit worried would be to deny an important part of my own psyche. However, I know that I’ve allowed myself to take some major risks so that I could truly live my passion. I have three books in progress and another in concept to show for it, an office which has made the transition from accounting with a bunch of bookshelves to a writer’s den. The accoutrements of my accounting career are not gone, but only come out when they are needed for my own or a client’s work. The things I needed while managing multiple clients on a regular basis no longer need to be apparent nor can they distract me from my true vocation which is writing.

Certainly, I am still looking for ways to use my accounting skills to help pay the bills, but now, I’m expanding my vision to see where I can meld the two into something which will be both lucrative and unique. Research is pending, but I’m looking at a side career as a Virtual Assistant who can not only handle the business/accounting side of things, but can also create newsletters, blogs and web copy. I don’t even know if there is a market for such a person but then, there wasn’t a market for computers at one time, was there? I bring some pretty unique skills to any table. I’m a number cruncher, but can open my mind and create unique environments which allow a client to see things in a way which makes sense to them.

Soon, yet another Leap of Faith will begin!

For the last year or so I’ve been reading about finding your niche. I tried learning to do copywriting with the result, Epic Fail. But was it really a failure, or simply an opportunity to re-examine where my skills really lie? Heaven knows I’ve created my share of desk instructions over the years. I’ve learned how to write proposals which show a customer what we can do for them and I’ve knocked out a few newsletters over the years as well. Meld that with my years spent doing finance, accounting, budgeting and forecasting, and I know this all adds up to a very special place for me.

My weakness is marketing, but will I really let that stop me?

I don’t profess to have that special talent for being able to sell ice to the Eskimos, but I am able to listen to a customer and customize things to give them the visibility they desire so they can make their business successful. Sure, accounting has a lot of rules, but frankly, those rules can be broken while still complying with the requirements of governmental authorities. In short, I am a Creative Accountant who can also help maintain a website or blog or help write a proposal.

If my blog posts are less frequent, it is only because I need to spend time putting effort into my new line of work as well as continuing to devote plenty of time to my first love, writing. As the ADHD kicked in, I spent a couple of hours researching business plans and Virtual Assistant businesses, and feel pretty good about making this my new direction. It will require some help with my website and some networking, but I really feel that it will be a good fit with my writing and will fit my non-conformist work days.

But for now, I’ll wander in my odd little way over to the book I’m working on and leave you with tonight’s gratitudes.
1. I am grateful that, in some ways, I’m my mother’s child in name only.
2. I am grateful that I sought and found my own particular brand of bliss.
3. I am grateful for new directions and opportunities to fund my writing addiction.
4. I am grateful for the people in my life who encourage each other to be who they truly want to be.
5. I am grateful for a schedule which rarely requires me to be any place at a particular time. Life happens and my days rarely go as planned.
6. I am grateful for abundance: opportunities, ideas, epiphanies, friendship, love, joy, bliss, peace, harmony, health and prosperity.

Blessed Be

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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