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

Posts tagged ‘healing’

Emotions Disconnected

Feeling Disconnected Again

Tonight in the middle of a line dance, I suddenly felt what has become a frequent and familiar sensation. There, in the middle of a crowd, voices clashing with the music, a cacophony of sounds fighting for recognition, I was suddenly alone. The ties to people, to sounds, even to the steps I was executing were suddenly severed. I continued to go through the motions, but no longer felt like I was connected mentally, physically, or emotionally to the experience.

I’ve been here before. Suddenly a piece of jetsam floating rudderless above the sights and sounds. So often, I even have a standard behavior which executes on its own when the feeling of disconnection pervades my being.

Going Off of Auto-Pilot

But this time was different. For some reason I recognized I was about to launch the escape sequence and stopped for a split second. In that frozen moment in time, instead of allowing the self-executing program to engage, I stopped. I asked myself why I didn’t just allow myself to feel that disconnectedness instead of masking it like I usually do. I asked why I didn’t allow myself to feel the feelings which pervaded my being at moments like this. Why did I instead allow myself to be encased in a bubble of energy which gave me false stimulation I was unable to reach from the people around me?

And the self-executing program stopped, unsure whether to go forward or address this new set of queries because I couldn’t think of a single valid reason why those feelings should not be felt.

Of course the next thing I did was to start writing about it, allowing the feelings to flow onto the screen unedited. Much like a brain dump but one I knew I’d publish one place or another. The questions poured out of me like the Oroville Dam through its emergency spillway. Once the flow began, there was no way to stop it.

Questioning Old Habits

Should I do what I’ve become accustomed to doing and enclose myself in a golden egg-shaped ball of light, or instead, allow myself to feel the disconnectedness? Have I grown so accustomed to masking the disconnectedness that it’s more natural to mask my feelings from myself as well as everyone else? Has the defense mechanism I initiated while  learning to handle the feelings of pain, loss, anger, guilt and so forth outlived its usefulness?

And yet, the habit has become so ingrained I normally don’t even think twice about launching the escape sequence if I even launch it consciously any more. It’s pretty much on auto-pilot. I didn’t even recognize I was doing it until tonight. Experiencing this disconnectedness on the dance floor happens often enough I consider it commonplace.

Taking a Turn for the Better

While I stood on the sidelines typing furiously into my phone, someone asked me to dance and afterward,  I joined a conversation with people at the table next to mine. Yet I knew sooner or later I’d have to follow the flow. Something changed tonight. Suddenly, I was, if not giving myself permission, at least exploring the option of allowing my feelings to flow unchecked. Is this the next stage in my healing process? Acknowledging the feelings which have been so bottled up I didn’t even realize I’d been doing the bottling?

Turning the Protective Mechanisms Off

The mind is a very complicated apparatus which is directly responsible for the fight or flight behavior. But it also protects us in times of severe emotional trauma by doling out the experience in more manageable bits and pieces. It does this by blocking the feelings until we’re ready to handle them without imploding. And yet, there are times when our minds go a little overboard. They fail to give us credit for the strength we’ve developed through years of challenges and lessons. Or they simply get stuck in protective mode and forget to dole out a few more feelings for us to process.

In my case, I think I just got to the point where it was easier to deny any connection to those feelings. In true “out of sight, out of mind” fashion, I made no effort to retrieve the things which had been put away until I was stronger. In doing so, I lost part of my humanity. I lost kindness. I lost compassion. Until I found myself wondering at my inability to connect.

That’s when the hard outer shell which had grown around my heart and even the feeling part of my mind started to show signs of strain. It was no longer obvious to me why I should stifle and contain my feelings when I suddenly felt alone in a crowd for no apparent reason. With each new question, the walls cracked a little more. And in cracking, I was able to re-establish part of the connection. By giving myself permission to feel disconnected and alone, I no longer was.

Opening a New Door in the Healing Process

By acknowledging and allowing the feelings, I did something I’d been working towards for a long time. I allowed my vulnerability to show. Granted, it’s unlikely anyone around me even noticed. But I noticed. I felt vulnerable and didn’t do anything to stop the feeling.

This might seem insignificant to most, but to anyone who has guarded their heart with military precision, never allowing themselves to experience uncertainty or weakness, this is a major accomplishment. I learned tonight that until I can truly feel comfortable being vulnerable in my own space, I’ll never open up to others in that manner. But I also had to decide I was ready.

In all honesty, I’m still not completely certain I’m ready. But I am certain I’m ready to try, and that’s a step in the right direction.

For Each Experience, I Am Truly Grateful

Tonight’s gratitudes are:

  1. I am grateful for the cracks in my shell.
  2. I am grateful I could experience the vulnerability without an audience for now.
  3. I am grateful for the unanswered questions.
  4. I am grateful for new experiences. Especially the scarier ones.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; friendship, love, vulnerability, courage, connection, peace, harmony, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, 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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Losing Someone to Suicide: You Never Forget

The Heart Doesn’t Let Go

Decades after my parent’s suicides, I find I’m still liable to fall down my personal rabbit hole when something happens to trigger the memories. It might be something simple like the feeling of my stomach dropping out from under me during takeoff when I’m flying somewhere. Or it could be more dramatic like a family member of someone close to me taking their life.

This week, though, it was merely a case of similarity. In a series of events which bore a slim resemblance to my dad’s last days, a member of the dance community received a diagnosis of lung cancer. The next day, he passed on, though in his case, the explanation was rapid deterioration rather than death by suicide.

Finding the Positive in a Life Ended Too Soon

In some ways, I envy his family and friends. Their grief isn’t stigmatized by the specter of suicide. His memory won’t be tarnished by what many consider a crime, or at least a sin. Yet, he, too didn’t linger unnecessarily after receiving the worst diagnosis imaginable.

I have to wonder if my dad might have been able to just let go of life when he learned his illness was terminal. Could he have, instead of resorting to a gun, just said “I’m done” and died peacefully in his sleep? Is it even possible to let go of life without trauma or catastrophe?

With Suicide, There Will Always Be Questions

Over the years, I’ve waded through thousands of questions, yet something like this makes me see I still have thousands more; many I’ve yet to even imagine.

It further reinforces my belief that after losing someone to suicide, the healing process never really ends. Just when you think you have it figured out, you’ve forgiven and accepted, something happens in your world to blindside you. You’re reminded in no uncertain terms that you still have a long way to go, another million or so questions to ponder.

It isn’t like lessons which build upon what you’ve learned. It’s more that the healing process occurs in layers. Like a doctor stitches up a wound, you heal the most serious first, trusting that the healing will continue moving inward to mend the layers beneath the surface.

Healing from Suicide is an Imperfect Process

But our subconscious contains so many layers, it’s nearly impossible to ensure that each one is healed in turn. Sometimes, the healing occurs above and below, but leaves a gaping wound in the center just waiting for the trigger which will break it open and send an accumulation of toxins oozing to the surface.

My festering wound is skepticism. I cannot just accept things at face value without wondering if there’s more to the story than meets the eye, or is shared with the general public. I know it’s not really my business, and I have no right to consider besmirching someone’s exit strategy. Yet I can’t stop myself from thinking these thoughts. Losing not one, but both parents to suicide makes me especially conscious of the fact that many find it to be their only viable choice.

In the last few years, I’ve known too many people who lived the horror of a cancer diagnosis. Some of them fought like the demon to eradicate the disease which was intent on decimating their body. Some have been successful while others are still fighting, quite literally for their lives.

Others chose to let nature run it’s course and go out with dignity and grace. When it comes down to living or dying; suffering or relief, the decision must be left in the hands of the one who is impacted most.

Trying to Maintain Perspective

If the death directly impacted someone close to me, I might ask the difficult questions in spite of myself, and against my better judgment. But when it’s just an acquaintance, the words must simmer beneath the surface, unspoken, yet in a way, my own undoing. I’ll never have the answers to my questions so they’ll simmer beneath the surface of my consciousness until I find a way to let them go; to let the deceased rest in peace.

I would never wish upon anyone, even someone I considered to be pure evil, the choice my dad had to make. Though people face the specter of terminal illness in their own intensely personal ways, my heart hurts for those who are forced to make difficult choices as a result of a diagnosis fraught with pain and an imminent expiration date. Yet I hurt even more for those who are left behind.

While my thoughts run rampant and I can’t help but wonder, I know I must make myself believe the story being told. I must do my best to avoid comparisons. My dad’s death was a tragedy, but I understand that as much as he didn’t want to suffer, he truly hated the idea of the people he loved having to watch that suffering. He chose the lesser of two evils and I have nothing but respect for his choice.

I’ll join in honoring a man who touched many lives without reservation. How he passed is irrelevant, just as are the minor misdeeds of which we are all guilty at some point in our lives. He deserves to be remembered and memorialized for all the good he did. What some might consider his mistakes or misdeeds were simply those things which taught him to be the man people will long remember.

Just like my Dad.

With Undying Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the people who move in and out of my life bringing many questions and sometimes even a few answers.
  2. I am grateful for a modicum of self-restraint, even if I’m compelled to share my wonderings here.
  3. I am grateful for inspiration which is keeping me on track to write 1000 words a day.
  4. I am grateful for changes in my life which I hope will make me a better person in the long run.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, life, friendship, dancing, laughter, joy, companionship, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, 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!

Completing the Circle: Suicide’s Forgotten Victims

Remembering the Forgotten

I see a lot of posts lately about how people get depressed and contemplate suicide around the holidays. They’re typically followed by a number for the Suicide Hotline.

What I don’t see is any reference to those of us who may have lost someone to suicide during the holidays. I want to stand up and shout “Hey, we’re still here, and it still hurts, even 10, 20, 30 years later. What about us?”

There’s no hotline for survivors of suicide. No outpouring of love and concern. No admonitions to care more, love more, or give extra attention to suicide survivors. But in my opinion, there should be.

Suicide is Tragic, No Matter Which Side of the Fence You’re On, but it Doesn’t End with a Death

I’m not trying to minimize the fact that suicides and suicide attempts do increase during the holidays. If you’re already sad and depressed, all of the exhortations to be happy and joyful and to buy presents you might not be able to afford are certainly enough to drive one over the edge. What I am trying to do is raise awareness for those of us who didn’t recognize that sadness in someone we loved until it was too late.

What I am trying to say is that we who have lost someone to suicide, especially during the holidays suffer whenever we see one of those community service style posts. We suffer because we didn’t see the signs; because we didn’t call a hotline to help prevent our loved one’s act. But more, because we know first-hand that even if we had, it might not have helped.

Left Behind Should Never Mean Isolated

Someone who commits suicide during the holidays, especially an adult, is probably not new to the idea. The idea of ending it all doesn’t just pop into their head on a whim. Chances are, they’ve been feeling sad and unwanted or unneeded for a long time. The forced jollity of the holidays is simply the final straw, eliminating any second thoughts they might have had that they still have a purpose. It doesn’t matter what the people around them think. They feel extraneous, and they are in charge of the actions they take based on those feelings.

But those who are left behind, whether they found the lifeless body or simply dealt with the feelings of helplessness, guilt, and grief afterwards must revisit the death year after year. The holidays are just another reminder of someone who is no longer around to share the joys, the sorrows, and everything in between. They’re a reminder that we didn’t or couldn’t do enough to make someone feel they needed to hang around a little longer.

Opening Hearts to Suicide’s Forgotten Victims

Please, while you’re offering avenues to prevent suicide, also open your hearts to those who lost someone to suicide during the holidays; the most wonderful time of the year. You might not even know who we are as many won’t talk about it. If they do, they won’t open up unless they know someone who has suffered the same loss.

I suggest we make the holidays a time of more hugs, more compassion, greater understanding. Most of all, make it a time of paying more attention to the people around you. Notice when their smiles don’t reach their eyes. Notice when they seem to move more slowly. Notice when they retreat to a corner during celebrations and don’t seem to be getting into all of the joy and happiness we’re supposed to be feeling.

Give heartfelt hugs whenever you can. Not those almost embarrassed kind of hugs with the back patting you’d give a fussy child. A real hug where you hold someone, heart to heart, giving and receiving warmth. A hug that says “I may not know what you’re going through, but I care and I’m here for you, even if all I can offer is this hug.”

Remembering the Value of Family, Warts and All

I learned a lot this weekend when I saw my family for the first time in 20 years. I learned that even though they know my sister and I no longer have a relationship, they’re not judging, simply trying to understand. I learned that in many ways, my parents’ suicides will always be the elephant in the room, but we can still love each other in spite of it. I learned to appreciate how much my parents spared me as I watched cousins dealing with a mother whose mind is very child-like now, and a father who is crouched and bent and likely in a great deal of pain much of the time. I also learned how much it saddens me that my parents didn’t get to share the girls’ milestones and accomplishments.

The biggest thing I learned, though, was that my family is still there after all these years. For some, being around me might be awkward and uncomfortable but they’re willing to make the effort. For others, I truly believe they don’t hold me responsible for my parents’ actions, nor do those actions make it difficult for them to be near me. I don’t seem to serve as the constant and unwelcome reminder of their own loss I believed I did. And I met extended family who were warm and welcoming without prejudice.

Yet, I still feel sad that my parents aren’t here to share the holidays with us, with their granddaughters. Perhaps I always will. I have learned to fill my heart with love, my home with friends and my time with activity. Most of all, I express my gratitude for all of the blessings in my life right now, and still to come. I am here for a reason. I have a purpose. Most of all, I am worthy of love, success, and fulfillment.

Part of that fulfillment is being a haven for those who’ve lost someone to suicide. Won’t you help me extend that haven this holiday season?

Gratitude, the Greatest Healer

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful I am able to help other forgotten victims of suicide and that so many have reached out to me in the last few years.
  2. I am grateful to be able to raise awareness of the struggles suicide survivors endure.
  3. I am grateful to have reconnected with my family. There are some seriously amazing people in my clan!
  4. I am grateful for the ability to express myself in writing and perhaps raise awareness where awareness is lacking.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, joy, friendship, family, hugs, compassion, kindness, sharing, caring, peace, harmony, success, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, 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!

Photo courtesy of Ricardo Moraleida via Flickr

March 19, 2015 Like Dust in the Wind

There’s a lot of crazy energy out there right now. Can you feel it?

It took me awhile to realize a couple of things. First, not everyone dreams in technicolor with larger than life images and scenarios, only to remember the entire thing when they awake. Second, there are a zillion different energy sources, generating both high and low levels at all times. Third, not everyone is sensitive to the energies, and even those who are, are sensitive to different things in different ways.

Me? I tend to take my cues from my cats. If it is stirring them up, chances are, it’s stirring me up as well. This goes for earthquakes, solar flares, thunder storms and many other energies not directly attributable to humankind. Unlike my cats, or maybe simply because they don’t get out much, I also react to the energy in a room. Is it joyful? I’m buzzing with the joy of it. Is it angry? I’m feeling like I’ve been buried under a ton of dirt. Is it contentious? I’m probably going to find my way to the nearest exit. Is it uplifting? You’ll find me front and center, just soaking it all in.

I bring this up because we’ve had some serious energy explosions over the last few days, and kids, it ain’t over yet! Bad enough, our dear Father Sol has been tossing off pockets of energy large enough to dwarf the earth, but it comes at a time when the Moon is getting into the action by moving close to us, the weather is massively unpredictable (a few days ago, the weather service was predicting temps in the 80’s in my area. For the last two days, we’ve barely hit 70, it’s been overcast and in some places, there was rain and rainbows!), and to top it all off, there’s a solar eclipse quite literally on the horizon.

So, what does all of this gobbledy-gook mean to the average Joe?

The average Joe is probably oblivious, not only to all of these conflicting energies building, multiplying and at odds with each other, but he’s probably adding to the chaos by allowing his own emotional energies to run unchecked. But for those of us who are sensitive to one or more of the energy sources, Space Mountain at Disneyland seems like nothing more than a spin on the merry-go-round right now. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can tell you that the peaks and valleys I’ve been hitting for the last week or so make me incredibly grateful that my work seldom takes me out of my own little cocoon, and when it does, it is often where like-minded people can be found.

It is, however, putting a real damper on my exercise routine, so I’m looking for other outlets until the storm passes. I can manage one, maybe two days out and about, but more than that and I start twitching like an epileptic in full seizure, but my twitchiness is only visible to those who can see such things.

For those who have or do come in contact with me right now, please trust me when I tell you that if I seem distracted or withdrawn it is only because I have focused my attention on maintaining the shields which normally need little or no attention, but right now, they are being challenged in ways I’ve truly never seen before.

Even more sensitive than me and others like me, are the animals.

I can only imagine how this is affecting my cats. I see them acting out or racing around the house one minute and curled up in a cuddle puddle the next, but no matter what they are feeling, there are always at least two of them sticking very close to me, and when I do go out, they are waiting at the door, nearly frantic from wondering when I’ll be back. Even my two ratters wait impatiently for me to park my car so I can reassure them that the world is not coming to an end, but is just swallowing itself whole so it can spit itself back out all bright and shiny and new.

As I left the club where I dance tonight, someone said to me “I guess you’ll go home and go to sleep now?”

I had to laugh. Even under normal circumstances, I’m rarely in bed before 1 and am typically up by 8:30. I laughed even more when she said that 8:30 was really early. For me, after years of getting up around 6:30 or 7:00 to work in an office, 8:30 is a luxurious sleep in! Because of the crazy up and down energetics around me, I actually tried to go to bed early the other night, turning in around midnight. What I got for my trouble was an hour or so of tossing and turning and a raging migraine in the middle of the night. Clearly, it is not the will of my body and HEF to settle that early. I am a nocturnal creature, after all.

It’s after midnight now, and this is when my Muse starts kicking up her heels. This is when I finally figure out something to blog about or find a way past that plot block which has had me avoiding my book for the last few days, or spending an hour writing page after page about one of my characters as I make an effort to get inside the head of someone I simply cannot relate to. More importantly, this is when I most easily shut down the side of my brain that wants to check the spelling of every word, the grammar in every sentence and altogether screw up the creative process. That side of me gets to see the light of day and the finished draft only when I’m ready for the nit picky editorial stuff.

It’s the middle of the night when at least some of the crazy energy has found a home for the next couple of hours that I truly do let my Muse and my ADD run totally amok, and we have an incredible time doing so. I think fondly of the nights I was up until 3 AM, cranking out 8,000 words in a five hour writing marathon. I find ecstasy in the plot twists which seemingly come out of nowhere when my internal editor is fast asleep and blissfully unaware of all the rules we’re breaking. And I fall madly in love with some characters while falling madly in hate with others.

In the light of day, I read excerpts from the stories of my fellow Inklings and wallow in depression, honestly believing that I’m not half the story teller they are. But in the dark of night, I am a creative genius and I am invincible. But I lied. The crazy energy is anything but dormant right now. I feel it whirling around me, a hurricane picking up bits and pieces of human-kind as it slips unnoticed between the cracks in our houses, the cracks in our minds and the spaces in our hearts. If it was evil, I’d call it insidious, but this energy is more like a curious, hyperactive child. It samples this and tastes that before losing interest and moving on to something else, unaware of the havoc it leaves in its wake.

Fortunately, I have learned to soften the effects on myself in the hours before dark gives way to dawn.

The healing class I took a year or so ago didn’t take me where I thought I wanted to go at the time, but instead, it gave me so much more. It gave me self-awareness, the courage to take my leap of faith, and most of all, tools to use when I needed self-healing or an energy barrier to set me apart from all of the chaos. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve found a new technique which I came upon quite by accident. My spine was incredibly tense, all the way up into my skull. I found myself spinning energy around my spine, starting in my skull and working downward, focusing on each area individually, moving on only when the tension had subsided. With a little practice, I was able to create these spins of energy wherever I might need it on my spine. I simply stop for a second, think about the place which feels tense and soon, it is sheathed in spinning, healing, relaxing energy. I can only believe that this technique came to me when it did because there was a need. One thing I’ve learned is that if we get out of our own way, the Universe will provide what is needed when we need it.

The word right now is “Release”

The crazy, chaotic, conflicting energies carry one message which is common to all of them. “Release old habits, patterns and things which no longer serve you, or we will release them for you.” I’m neither foolish enough nor cocky enough to ignore their message.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that the Universe intercedes on my behalf.
2. I am grateful for my sensitivity to energies, no matter how uncomfortable it might be at times. Without that sensitivity, I would miss too much and take a great deal longer to learn my lessons.
3. I am grateful for new techniques which, as time goes by, show themselves to have multiple purposes.
4. I am grateful for my cats who stick close while I’m scrabbling around trying to remain somewhat grounded.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, joy, life, integrity, imagination, chaos, energy, change, harmony, peace, 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 and my website, http://www.shericonaway.com. 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 16, 2014 On being devoid of a blog topic #shericonaway

What to do when a blog topic simply won’t come.

As if I didn’t need further proof, today I better understood why I tend to write best late at night. But since I vowed to write my blog earlier in the day to leave the night free for my latest NaNoWriMo challenge I needed to find a way to rattle the cobwebs and find a topic. Yet I sat here for awhile and could come up with nothing, so I did the next best thing and went into the living room to meditate.

With Munchkin curled happily in my lap and two heart stones tucked close to mine, I drifted into that world where I’m sometimes completely lucid, while others, tossed into a dream with hidden meanings for me to decipher. This time, I got a little of both, possibly exacerbated by a night of interrupted sleep, thanks to the return of the winds from which this town got its name and a squealing attic fan above my bedroom which the winds turned into the proverbial squeaking wheel.

I won’t go into the dream part here, though I’ve tried to document it elsewhere for dissection later. What did come out was part of a verse from “Alice in Wonderland”. Unfortunately, when I awoke, the actual verse had slipped my mind. After digging through my only minimally organized library to no avail, I decided to search the internet and, fortunately, found success when I read the line in question which happens to be from the poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter” and looks like this:

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

I realized that in the hundreds of thousands of words I’ve typed over the last few years (closing in on six at this writing), I have, indeed, talked of cabbages, kings, and everything in between at one point or another. I have used this as a forum to discuss topics both inflammatory and benign. I have had seemingly benign topics taken out of context to become inflammatory, and have learned more about myself and some of my friends and acquaintances than I ever would have had I not just opened up and talked about whatever came to mind.

Life: The ultimate learning experience

I had no idea when I began this journey how something which is both simple and complicated; being open and honest about my thoughts, feelings and experiences; would resonate with so many people, and give them the opportunity to, in turn, share what they’d kept to themselves as well. It seems that by opening up one’s soul, we provide a safe place for someone else to do the same.

I’ve also learned that when someone shuts down on me, it is part of their own journey and nothing to do with me. Though at times, it is still difficult to not take it to heart, I do accept that the person has their own reasons and the right to see what I do and say as threatening to their well-being and to do what they feel is necessary to protect that. (a couple of people where I dance come to mind. One who stopped speaking to me around the time she got married for reasons I cannot fathom, and another when I touched too closely on a personal issue, and pressed too hard to help her heal something she wasn’t ready to release). I remind myself that it is not required that they explain themselves to me, but just for me to accept their choices, learn from my own reactions and move on. As far as I know, that is all their time in my life was meant to do.

Thankfully, most of the experiences I’ve had have been incredibly positive and have helped me to grow in ways I can clearly see. I used to say “If I touch only one life and make it a little better, I’ve been successful here.” While it has been nice to hear that I have done so a time or two, it is more fulfilling to just keep putting myself out there, allowing the Universe to take my words where it may and use them as it will to help someone through a tough time, or even better, help them learn the lessons I struggle with; patience, kindness, compassion, acceptance; and spread what they’ve learned around as well.

When we fight “against” something, what we really do is make it stronger by giving it our energy.

I’ve long contended that if you want a weed to wither and die, you deny it food and water. In the case of things which involve humans; war, hatred, poverty, politics; the food is our energy, our attention. I’m learning that it is more than just a waste of energy to hate someone or something. It’s a  giving away of power, and makes them stronger! While I certainly am no saint and cannot love those who have hurt me, others I care about or the world in general, I am learning to simply withdraw my attention. It might be a clear withdrawal like blocking someone on social media or from commenting on my blog, but usually, it’s just walking away from the topic in general.

You could say I put my head in the sand because I don’t listen to the news or seek it out on the ‘net any more. That’s your prerogative. I like to think of it as paying attention to the things that truly matter; the lives and comfort of the men and women who are sent to fight those wars; the fireman saving a kitten; the human beings behind the hopelessness of homelessness, the success stories of those who seek compassionate treatment of stray and abandoned animals, abused children and people who might make a better life for themselves with a little bit of help through a tough time.

So if I fail to show interest in the atrocities our media tells us are being committed by another government, or the constant bashing going on in our political system, or the latest drive by shooting…this is my way of trying to change things. I use my energy to send compassion to both victim and perpetrator (because, in truth, isn’t someone who commits an atrocity on another soul a victim themselves?), to cheer every success story I see from animal rescue groups and activists and, yes, to share my journey, both successes and failures as well.

Not everyone is ready for the concept of healing from our energy field in, but should we withhold our energy from them when they need it?

The world is changing…no, the world mind is changing. More and more people are embracing healing practices which look at the Human Energy Field and the Universal Energy Field. Many realize that the maladies we humans suffer come through those energy fields and as such, can be healed there as well. But not everyone is ready to embrace this. As I found out the hard way, some want to hang onto whatever it is that makes them ill, not because they want to be ill, but because they feel comfortable with the thing which they cling to. It’s safe and it’s familiar. They do, however, feel comfortable with the prayers of others, or healing energy, little knowing that, in truth, they are simply using the energy infusion from others through their thoughts to heal themselves.

I have friends who have come far enough along in their evolution towards Divinity and connection with their Higher Self that they seek answers when they feel less than 100%, and want to know if something in their past, their present or their ancestry is keeping them from being well. Others are just not ready to embrace such concepts. Neither one is wrong. They are simply following their own path, and it is for me and others as well to simply provide what is needed at the level to which it can be accepted.

If I’ve learned nothing else, it is that we are all in this together, be we cabbages, kings or anything in between.

I used to struggle with the concepts of religion and spirituality, but more, of where I fit in in the general scheme of things. Strangely enough, it was the original Star Wars movies which first began resonating with me, and from there, I arrived at the feeling that we are all connected, a sort of Universal mind. As a result, I sought out books, videos, webinars and other learning tools to help me grasp a concept which is so much bigger than a single human being. What I found was that I am not a single human being. I am Source, and Source is me. Every human being, every animal, everything which has a soul (and who am I to decide who and what that might be?) is in me. I am all of the good, the bad, the in between, the things I love and the things I hate but try not to…in short, we are all intimately connect by the Universal Energy Field. Like a circle, there is no beginning and no end.

And so, I’ll go on writing about cabbages and kings and everything in between.

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for all I have learned and all I have yet to learn.
2. I am grateful for the people who encourage me to keep writing, even if they are simply followers of my blog or hits on my stats.
3. I am grateful for the methods I have learned to trigger creativity.
4. I am grateful for lazy days spent hiding from the howling wind, warm and safe in my house with kitties who need cuddling.
5. I am grateful for the relationship I have with my daughter, Heather. While sometimes turbulent (as most mother-daughter relationships can be) she is one of my dearest friends and most prolific teachers.

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!

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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