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

Posts tagged ‘head slaps’

Detaching from Other Peoples’ Drama

OP Drama is Exhausting!

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-jk3BYpFor the last few days I’ve felt lazy, withdrawn, and disinclined to make even the slightest effort to clean, complete tasks I’ve set myself, or even move. Instead, I’ve felt a need to connect with the Earth physically and at length to the point where I’ve moved my daily meditation from the couch in my living room to a blanket spread on the grass in my backyard.

I couldn’t figure out whether I was being affected by malaise, moon phase, or geomagnetic storms. Ultimately I realized that while any or all may be factors, the simple truth was I’d allowed myself, once again to be drawn into someone else’s drama. I know better. I tell myself every time to run the other way when I see drama looming. But friendship and a misplaced sense of responsibility always get in my way.

Revisiting Our Lessons

I suppose the lesson keeps repeating itself because I haven’t mastered it yet. Hell, I haven’t even gotten past elementary school with this one, if truth be told. But my energy body knows and has initiated a shut-down, preventing me from making plans away from home or doing more than thinking, meditating, or napping until I get this sorted out.

Part of the sorting will be posts like this, some will be meditation, and some will be as simple as cleaning the house and doing some self-care. Yet interestingly enough, as soon as I recognized the problem and began writing about it, I felt a burst of energy and started getting some of the things done I’d been neglecting since this bought of “drama flu” came on.

Finding My Cure in Nature

I’m grateful the weather has cleared, at least temporarily, allowing me to lay out on the back lawn, work with the window open, and watch, hear, and smell nature at her finest while I work. For the last couple of days, I’ve been delighting in the feel of the wind playing with my hair, the sight of painted lady butterflies passing through my yard in their usual meandering way, and feeling the sun warming my skin. The resident raven is taunting the cats from his perch in the tree outside my office window.

Interestingly enough, my normally noisy neighborhood is unusually lacking in sounds like lawn mowers, leaf blowers, revving engines, and air tools. Somehow, everything is aligned for me to free myself from the web of drama and do things useful, creative, or both.

Reminders to Detach and Reconnect with What Matters

It’s not unusual to get not-so-subtle reminders of a lesson which has yet to be learned. But Created with Canvararely have I noticed circumstances aligning quite this well for me to gather my resources and focus on the lesson. The cleaning I still need to do is perfect for getting some thinking done as it’s automatic and mindless. The weather is perfect for reconnecting with the Earth. My schedule has nothing in it which must be done in the next 2 days.

I’ve seen how the drama affected some of the people concerned with illness and fatigue. I neither want nor need to take myself down that far. It did take me through a couple of days of less-than-healthy eating. This morning, my weight and blood pressure gave me a pointed reminder I needed to get back on track, though I’d figured it out last night and made a big healthy salad. (of course, by the time you’re reading this, it’ll be a couple of weeks after the fact, but sometimes it’s hard to write in the past when it’s Now).

Catching On More Quickly These Days

It’s taken a lot of years and many painful reminders, but now I’m liable to respond to subtle hints long before I reach the point where a Universal head slap is required. I may be slow, but I am averse to pain. Hit me enough times over the same thing, and I’ll start paying attention. I may still fall into the same old pattern and need reminders, but at least I don’t need the ones that lay me out flat, rubbing my poor, bruised head and wondering what I did this time.

The truth is, I care deeply about my friends and hate seeing them get hurt or abused. But in the last few years, the friendships I’ve built have been with strong, resilient people like me. They don’t need me to absorb any of the negative energy or take on any of the drama they might be temporarily immersed in. They can take care of themselves, with perhaps a little moral support. In fact, I’m probably doing more harm than good by letting myself get sucked in.

Giving People Credit for Their Own Strength and Resilience

Sometimes, the best thing we can do is to step back and let things unfold without our Created with Canvaobservation or influence. As I tell my cats sometimes “go find something else to do for awhile”. Like them, I’m more in the way and hindering progress right now, though my friends may be too kind to tell me so outright. If I stop trying to fix things, I’ll realize they’re pulling back and sharing less with me right now; a subtle reminder my help isn’t needed a this point.

They’ve got this, and I’m not helping by worrying and fretting, nor by getting annoyed at the person they’re managing quite well on their own. In short, it isn’t my problem to solve or boundaries to set, it’s theirs. If I keep trying to make it mine, I’ll end up making an ass of myself and having to step back and regroup anyway, so I might as well do it beforehand. Truth be told, I have enough going on in my own life. I don’t need to take on anyone else’s anyway.

Even if I could, they are far better suited to handle what comes their way than I am. They’ve traveled the pathways which gave them the tools they now carry just as I’ve walked my own. (Yet another lesson I’ve yet to master?) Maybe I need another affirmation for my ever-growing collection:

I will attend to my own life and stay out of other peoples’ drama

Stepping Back and Being Grateful

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for Universal reminders which come without head slaps.
  2. I am grateful for a loving heart to give to my friends and family, but also grateful I can limit what I give and what I allow myself to take on.
  3. I am grateful for a lifestyle which allows me time to step back and regroup.
  4. I am grateful for choices.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; a life well-lived, inspiration, friends, family, joy, laughter, wit, a strong sense of humor, motivation, energy, love, health, 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 19, 2014 Perspective

The questions we ask can give clues to our ignorance

I wasn’t going to write about this, but it’s been niggling at the back of my brain for several days, demanding to come out, so I finally had to let my subconscious have it’s way (again!). Recently, a young man asked me how I would feel if someone made or posted a critical remark about my work when I was new to a job. At the time, it was clear that he felt that his question was rhetorical, so I didn’t bother to answer. However, as it crawled around in the recesses of my brain, I realized that, given how little he knew of me and my career paths, it was a rather ignorant question. I have, in the past, worked in a male dominated field, in industries which were also male dominated. As a strong woman, it presented a lot of challenges, not only from my male superiors and counterparts, but also from women who had learned that the men they worked for were relatively easy to manipulate, a characteristic I simply don’t share. Many times during my career, I was hired to update or fix a department, only to be met by resistance from the women (and sometimes, outright belligerence and nastiness), but lack of support even from the men who hired me. Needless to say, it was an uphill battle (and often a thankless one) to accomplish what I’d been told was expected of me, along with many things which the hiring manager failed to mention. Eventually, by hook or by crook, I’d make things happen, though it usually took a lot of extra hours on my part, facing down management and making it clear that their support was required if they wanted everyone on board with the changes they’d requested, and finding myself in a special, little place where I was not staff, yet, not quite recognized as management.

I think, in a way, I was dumbfounded by the question, as it was rare for me NOT to receive some kind of criticism and resistance in the first days of a new job. I was brought in to make changes, and people are naturally resistant to change. Even so, unlike men I’d worked under who came in and made changes without understanding the company’s current system, I took the time to learn before making anything large and sweeping. But nobody ever complained about the men to management, nor made rude remarks to their face.

Though I know the person who asked the question doesn’t really want an answer, I have to say, for my own peace of mind (and to shut my subconscious up) that if you can’t take criticism when you start a new job (whether or not it’s constructive) you should consider something which minimizes your exposure to people like, maybe, flipping burgers at McDonald’s. People as a rule have opinions and we don’t always think before we express them. If you take what everyone says to heart, you’re giving their words entirely too much control over your life!

While I understand that the man was defending his employee, which, on the surface is admirable, his approach lacked value in that it came from a place of anger and lacked a great deal as far as rationality. I, for one, would have retained my respect for both parties had I been approached calmly and without aggression, pointing out that I had offended someone with my less than well thought out words. Had it been handled that way, I would have found it in myself to apologize for my thoughtlessness. Under the current circumstances, I don’t feel either the need or the desire to do so.

Using words to establish a battle ground can close the door on human kindness.

Over the years, I’ve learned that how we start a conversation can and will set the tone for how our words are received. Beginning it with aggression will invariably cause the listener to shut down a part of their mind, closing it off to reason and compromise. In this case, I complied with the request, but only because it was my plan to do so anyway. I would have taken things a lot further had it been pointed out calmly that I had been unkind, as it is my desire to be as kind as possible to other people. Hitting me with the tired, old line “How would you feel if…?: simply highlighted both the immaturity of the speaker and his inability to put his anger aside and just address the issue unemotionally and logically. In all fairness, in my younger days, I still had this lesson to learn, and it took several repetitions until I became consistent, though by no means, perfect every time.

Every one of us suffers from foot in mouth disease at one time or another.

Mishandling difficult situations is part of everyone’s learning curve, I believe. It doesn’t make us bad or stupid. It just makes us human. Everyone does many things well, and a few things…not so well. If we can look back and recognize the ones which show where self-improvement is needed, they were a valuable lesson. It is only then that we can make the necessary changes and become a better person. If, however, we get so caught up in our “rightness” that we fail to see the learning opportunity, we’re going to find ourselves in an oddly repetitive loop where, if we’re paying attention, we’ll start feeling a slightly ominous sense of deja vu on a regular basis. Whether we like it or not, the Universe has a way of administering head slaps when we need them most.

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful that my subconscious rattles around at times and forces me to share uncomfortable thoughts.
2. I am grateful for the opportunities which show me by reflection that I haven’t completely mastered certain lessons because they still give me pause when I see them in other people.
3. I am grateful for my own home, my own bed, and my own furry sleeping partners.
4. I am grateful for days which allow me to catch up.
5. I am grateful for the abundance we can all achieve; love, joy, happiness, kindness, harmony, health and prosperity.

Namaste

August 13, 2014 Back to the Future

The time has come to switch gears

For the last couple of days, largely influenced by current events, I took a walk through those long ago times when I first started this blog; a little older, a little wiser and hopefully, a little more compassionate. But this evening, I feel that it’s time to lighten the mood once again, if only I could find something which would accomplish that miraculous feat. It’s interesting how a single event can open old wounds you didn’t even know had yet to scar over. The Universe makes sure we get these wake-up calls, both to allow us to finish things, once and for all, and to remind us to avoid being complacent. I’ve learned the hard way that complacence leads to one thing, and one thing only; another Universal head slap.

One man’s head slap…

Despite the virtual pain inflicted, not to mention the laugh the Universe gets at my expense, not all head slaps are created equally. Some tell me that it’s time to wake up, get my head out of the sand and make something of myself. Others say it’s time to make a big change, so I need to put on my big girl panties and take the first step so those who are waiting in the wings can actually start to earn their keep. But the toughest one of all is the one that says: “You know that thing you thought you’d finished? That thing you thought you’d worked all the way through until you felt all healed and warm and fuzzy? Well, I’m here to tell you, nay, show you, that you ain’t even CLOSE!”

Finding our own navigational beacon

A fellow in a Facebook Tarot group I belong to posted something in the last few days about directionals and such, but I couldn’t find it so I’m just going to fake it (I realize that’s incredibly novel in this blog!). We all have to find our way. and a message sent to me will not, despite being identical, mean the same to someone else. The last couple of days have made it very clear that most messages are wide open to misinterpretation. However, I have learned, both the hard way (most of the time) and the easy way (on occasions so rare that a triple lightening strike in the same location probably stands better odds) that the best way to truly understand the messages I’m receiving is to turn off the analytical side of my brain for a moment and just listen to the words, or appreciate the visual I’m given. Thus, I realize that the messages of the last couple of days are telling me two things: 1. Finish the novel and get back to work on the Self Help/Memoir and 2. I have a long way to go before I’ve truly healed from certain life experiences. In a lot of ways, the two are intertwined as the process of researching and writing the Self Help book has, and will continue to be incredibly cathartic.

It occurs to me as I pause to let my brain catch up, that I’ve given you false hope for a lighter post tonight. It seems I still have bits and pieces floating about, the flotsam and jetsam I call my thoughts, which have yet to come to rest where I can actually either make use of them or put them away for good.

Be that as it may, I admit that I am a recovering control freak, prone to analyze things into dust, run things into the ground, and otherwise try to force things to happen only as I envision them. But you notice, I said “recovering” and there’s a good reason for that. Quitting my job as I did last December to focus on my first love, which is writing, was the first step in relinquishing control. I told the Universe that I want a career as a writer, as a creative being instead of one who just analyzes other people’s work. I didn’t say how I wanted that career to flesh out, or what direction I wanted to take (though, of course, I did express hope that the novel I began in November might actually see the light of day at some point). Instead, I threw myself on the mercy of the Universe to point me in the direction I needed to go, to give me signs when I needed to make something happen, and to otherwise determine how my intention would materialize. What the Universe gave me in return was dozens of reasons to have Faith in myself even if I don’t have a master plan, numerous signs that I’m on the right path, ideas which flow so fast that many, sadly, get lost in the ether, and head slaps to make sure I’m staying my true path. If you ask me, despite a temporary delay in publishing any of my work, I’m getting the best part of this deal!

My life is freer than it’s ever been. I can do what I did today and drive up the coast to meet a friend for lunch. I can get away to visit my daughter when I feel like it. I can ensure that I meditate every single day, no matter what, though, if you were to ask my cats, they’d insist that I’m simply providing them with a warm place to nap on a fairly regular schedule. But best of all, not only has my stress level shrunk to record lows, I never have to commute again! I’m truly living the dream and don’t, for a second, miss all of the “stuff” or eating out more than in. How many people can truly say that? How many people are loving what they do? This is an incredible gift I’ve given to myself, and I deserve every bit of it! Don’t you?

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for Universal head slaps.
2. I am grateful for a stress free life of doing the things I love.
3. I am grateful for my constant companions; the four footed, pointy eared, feline ones (even one the youngest insists on running across my keyboard when I’m writing!).
4. I am grateful for my hermit days as well as my social days. In other words, I’m grateful for the balance in my life.
5. I am grateful for abundance which is available to all: love, health, joy, harmony, peace, prosperity and balance.

Namaste

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