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

Posts tagged ‘Facebook’

Sometimes Even Hermits Need People

Hermits Come Out of Hiding

https://www.flickr.com/photos/prestonrhea/5236270625/in/photolist-8YHfQ2-4X1dP6-P58XGS-dmtrwi-2pMKC-nC1YD-QxGsf-q4rWqa-8HeDZc-o8pVg-8mXR4g-o7nP7c-8jQqTQ-bPxsQc-dJusGN-78jLU7-98LY1P-dYGYNq-cgtYSu-cgu1F7-7rMJ9R-6z6KQA-6VuMG-6Jfxqk-4bbwMg-dmtxds-9Rf6xQ-v8gDMa-9PqETD-4MsUzv-ptUKap-a2BfLR-4UtU1B-4UtSun-5dBS8k-7eGxtr-7nUbqa-7nUbW8-fBZ3S4-5M1h3P-8DYirc-8E2uBh-6r2V98-7oFgff-7oBon2-7oBpbn-7oBoG6-7oFfRo-vPhUL-jk3BYpAfter spending 3 of the last 4 days not only behind the closed doors of my house, but behind my closed eyelids about 20 hours out of 24, I’m feeling decidedly restless. Waking up to a slightly overcast but basically sunny morning, feeling almost as good as new again after being laid low by what I can only assume is the latest strain of flu, I’m feeling strangely disconnected and, dare I say it? In need of a people fix.

As a self-professed hermit, people aren’t usually high on my list of outside stimulation. Not that I don’t go out fairly regularly amidst the humans. But as much as possible, I find entertainment where people are few. My workouts are timed for the less populated periods, as are my weekly errands. The less people between me and my objectives, the better.

But after two entire days when the sum total of my human contact was a few text messages and one person stopping by for her Girl Scout cookies, I’m ready for some real, honest-to-goodness human interaction. Then my inner responsibility kicks in saying: But you’ve gotten nothing done for days. You’re behind on all your tasks, and need to stay in and catch up!

The Never-Ending To-Do List

Never mind that I have all cross-posts to Medium done for the month of February, or that this is the final blog post for the month too (and it’s only the 12th!). I have a book to read, blurbs to create, schedules to make for those blurbs, a summary to write, and at least a dozen other tasks I can think of if I put my mind to it. After a couple of days of doing nothing, my mind ignores what’s done and rushes straight to the endless list of “undones”.

Needless to say, the desire to be around people is quickly overshadowed by the never-ending To Do list in my mind. Yet a small piece of me says: Surely you can spare a few minutes. Walk to the store or go sit in a coffee shop. Something so I know I’m not alone in the middle of Humanity’s crowd.

The little voice is drawing closer and closer to a whine, my most hated of human vocalizations. More hated when it’s coming from my own inner voice. Perhaps I could pack up my laptop, clean off the bed dust, even wash my hair, and go to a local Starbuck’s or the like and do some reading or writing there. If only to shut the little bugger up so I can get some real work done.

The Mind is Willing, The Body, Not So Much

Created with CanvaJust when I think I have myself geared up to make myself presentable to the outside world, reality sets in. Though I was up earlier and have kept going longer than I had in the last couple of days, the truth is, my energy is still low. I’m still eating far less than I’m used to (which isn’t a bad thing), and after about 4 hours of wakeful time, I’m ready for a nap or meditation; in short, some shut-eye. The mind is willing, but the body says: nuh uh!

So I exchanged a couple of texts, posted or shared things on Facebook (another place I’ve been noticeably absent lately), and honored the needs of my depleted body. I comforted myself with the knowledge that I’d get to go to the gym and run errands tomorrow (and maybe even talk to people for a change!), and meet my friends at our temporary dance home tomorrow night.

Until then, I’m giving my To Do list and Trello board the respect they deserve. I’ll cross off a few more tasks in between naps so I can still have the work-free zones at their regularly scheduled days and times. This uncharacteristic need for human interaction will have to wait its turn in my personal Grand Scheme.

Do Other Hermits Sometimes Feel Un-Hermit-y?

I do have to wonder if other hermits (aka writers) have moments when they’ve been out of touch for so long the need for other people becomes almost a palpable craving? When they know if someone called and offered up just about any kind of entertainment, they’d drop everything, throw responsibility to the wind, and go.

It isn’t only illness which locks us into our hovels for long periods of time either. Sometimes it’s our writing. We get into a zone which can last for days; when eating and sleeping are secondary and the words roll off our fingers like water from a gushing spring. These moments don’t come often, so when they do, we’re not about to get in our own way and slow the flow.

Hoping for a Flood (of Words)

In fact, it’s been awhile since I’ve had one myself, so maybe I’m due for a burst of creative fury when I can’t type fast enough to keep up with the words. When spelling and typing are cast to the wind in a mad rush to just get words on the screen. Forget trying to do it longhand. While I can write fairly quickly, it’s nothing compared to my typing, and I would be shredding the page in frustration. Besides, it’s easier to correct all the misspellings and typos when they’re on a screen in front of me with spellcheck engaged. Squiggly red lines or solid blue ones alert me to potential grammatical faux pas’.

Perhaps the temporary hiatus from humans will set off one of those floods, allowing me to knock down that towering list of To Do’s so I’ll feel less like I’m abandoning my responsibilities to go out for a bit and commune with humanity, perhaps to find a new source of inspiration. It would sure beat having the flu which took me completely out of commission and shot my productivity numbers down to zero!

Grateful for Every Little Thing

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the modicum of ability I’ve developed to actually stay on task until projects are completed.
  2. I am grateful for words that flow and cravings which subside while I’m getting things done and clearing space.
  3. I am grateful I’ve learned to clear space because new projects arise and things happen when I least expect it. Having some space cleared keeps the stress monsters away.
  4. I am grateful for new beginnings, and projects which return before I expect them.
  5. I am grateful for feelings of anticipation, even if I don’t know what they portend. I know it’ll be something good, and that’s all that matters.
  6. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, health, happiness, dancing, writing jobs, new things, opportunities, joy, peace, 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

 

 

August 20, 2014 Ode to Decluttering

The first thing to realize is that clutter comes in many forms: Energetic, mental, emotional, physical; and many variations on these themes.

Once again, I’m guided to declutter, but this time, it’s not so much my physical environment, but my mental and emotional ones. As a result, I find myself less inclined to allow Facebook to suck up my time and have been taking steps to, in essence, clear more space. To begin with, I’m no longer posting what I’m doing or where I’ve visited, and, in fact, didn’t even post comments or pictures from the Rascal Flatts concert the other night. This morning, I was guided to go through my friends list and unfollow many on it, which will, ultimately, result in considerably less activity on my wall to distract me and keep me away from what’s truly important. Even better has been the ease with which I have been able to close the Facebook page for hours on end, not even missing knowing what my friends are up to. Clearly, the time and energy sucking I was succumbing to has lost a lot of its glitter over the last week or so.

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

Making this small but significant change has had immediate, positive results. Not only did I get some editing done yesterday, but I wrote my blog post much earlier in the day, got laundry done and a few other chores I might have continued to put off. But the very best part of my latest decluttering effort has clearly been on the energetic plane. I found myself going to bed a little earlier last night, and awoke refreshed and ready to start my day hours early than has been my wont for the last couple of weeks! I also feel much more relaxed and focused.

This is not to say that social media sites don’t have their place. I, myself, tend to follow pages and people who post a lot of positive affirmations and empowering quotes. In fact, I have a habit of unfollowing anyone who posts a lot of political and world shattering images and comments. As always, we choose the energetic vibration of our environment, and in so choosing, we draw to us those things which maintain our selected balance. Thus, the people and places I choose to follow tend to be spiritually enlightened, oriented towards kindness, animal friendly and, in many cases offer educational opportunities in non-traditional subjects. In fact, I think part of my disenchantment with much of it lately has been the endless posts which do not feed my need for mental and spiritual expansion.

As a further expansion of this thought, and my desire to improve my kindness rating, I am grateful that Facebook has the “unfollow” function rather than limiting its users to either seeing everything someone posts or not having them on their friends list. Unfollowing someone doesn’t send them any kind of message, as far as I know. But unfriending them, once they realize it has occurred, can, at the very least, cause hurt feelings, but can also result in anger or, in people who might already be mentally unstable or depressed, actually increase those feelings of unworthiness they might already be feeling. I, for one, do not want to make anyone feel unworthy or uncared for (though, admittedly, I have made comments and remarks which may have done so). In fact, social media gives us too easy a path towards unkindness by allowing us to vent our frustration in real time, instead of taking a time out to think it through, and realize that our words can be hurtful if not edited and put forth after we’ve worked through negative emotions.

Over sharing runs rampant.

People joke about how we post pictures of our meals, our animals and other strange things for the reading enjoyment of our “followers”. I’d estimate that most of us do so at least once in awhile, while others are guilty of posting such things almost daily. We are also addicted to the “selfie”, and again, some people post them occasionally, when they’re on vacation or at Disneyland or celebrating a special event, while others post daily, or even hourly! This propensity towards posting selfies is just another indication of how closely many people tie themselves to social media every day.

Again, I find myself grateful to have not succumbed to the need to allow Facebook to ping me on my smart phone every time my friends post something or comment on my posts. The lack of constant reminders makes it even easier for me to disconnect for long periods of time. The fact is, a phone that is constantly pinging and booping and making other assorted sounds would just annoy the ever-loving crap out of me! Bad enough, being on the “do not call” list has not prevented salesmen and other unwanted calls to break through my personal barrier of people I do and do not want to talk to. (driving home from my daughter’s house on Monday, a call came in which I thought might be my daughter, and, had I listened for the ring tone would have known it wasn’t. A saleswoman launched into her pitch with such verve, I was forced to just disconnect as she didn’t even take a breath long enough for me to politely tell her I wasn’t interested!)

What’s happy for you, might make someone else sad.

Many of my friends post pictures of their vacations, their homes, their family gatherings and their grandchildren. While sharing their happiness might be uplifting to some, consider a person who can’t afford vacations, but spends a lot of time working just to make ends meet. Or perhaps, a person who has to share a small apartment in the city. Consider how the happy, family gathering might affect someone who either has no family left, or has nobody they’re close to. What about those who either have no children or are estranged from them and, as such, will never have or see their grandchildren? In cases like these, what seems like a sharing of joy to some could trigger, once again, those thoughts of unworthiness in others. I can see someone wallowing in self-pity because they are unable to post similar pictures. Even I, find myself, on occasion, feeling a little sorry for myself…at least until I remember to be grateful for all that I have, and realize that I’m only seeing a small piece of their lives. The reality might be that, overall, I have far more to be grateful for than they do. Those happy family vacation pictures might hide a child who was lost too young, or a parent who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or ALS. We don’t often post the things in life which cause us pain, or with which we must struggle constantly to accept. There are a lot of cliches running through my head right now, but the bottom line is that it is dangerous to compare your own life to one in which you’re only given a glimpse of the good times.

Tuning out and turning off to increase focus on what I can control.

To summarize this rather lengthy post (and longer posts is another benefit/result of reducing my social media exposure), though there are mixed thoughts on whether social media enhances or detracts from our overall well-being, I believe you have to take it on a case by case basis, and simply decide how it’s affecting your life. After doing my own analysis, I’ve decided that it is OK in small doses, but that, for awhile now, the doses I’ve been consuming have been excessive, and, as a result, causing me damage which reducing the dosage will quickly reverse. All I can say is: Choose wisely, my friends!

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for my recent inspiration to declutter energetically and mentally as it will positively impact me emotionally as well.
2. I am grateful that we all have choices.
3. I am grateful for visions of myself which show me areas which need improvement.
4. I am grateful for new horizons.
5. I am grateful for abundance which is available to everyone: Harmony, peace, health, happiness, joy, love and prosperity.

Namaste

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