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

Posts tagged ‘help’

Completing Old Projects and Starting New Ones

Loving Projects Old and New

Decluttering projectsI love pleasant surprises, even when they’re because I’d forgotten a task I’d completed myself. Sometimes it’s a household chore I couldn’t get off my mind despite the fact I’d knocked it off my list a day or two ago, others, it’s a blog post I forgot I wrote that’s sitting in my queue waiting to be edited, formatted, and scheduled. In part, I think it’s because I put tasks together, or see something onerous as a blessing in disguise.

Recently, increasingly bad internet service forced me to allow AT&T to send a tech into my house. Doing so meant clearing out the storage room in my garage so they could reach the box of wires located in the back of the garage, and through my ex’s amazing foresight, in the room which once housed his office. I’ve since filled it with an eclectic variety of suitcases, beach chairs, holiday decorations and wrapping, large kitchen electrics, and anything else I didn’t want cluttering the inside of the house. Unpacking the room is an adventure in and of itself.

This time, I figured I’d take the opportunity to not only rearrange the room, but try to locate old records I needed. It also meant pulling the car out of the garage to accommodate the boxes, crates, and suitcases while the tech located and fixed what turned out to be several issues, and took most of the day.

Accepting New Opportunities to Declutter

Never one to miss an opportunity to declutter nowadays, I dragged the ladder to the middle of the garage so I could finally stow the stack of boxes I’d left jumbled next to the freezer until I got around to moving the car so I could put them “upstairs”. I even got to sweep the bulk of the crap up off the floor, and scrub a couple of places which were sticky with substances I’d rather not identify.

Living, working, recreating, and even entertaining at home so often over the last 6 months has given me a lot of time to look at my surroundings and come up with new ways to arrange my space. I’ve gotten rid of a few old, tired possessions, and continue to find things to either give, or throw away as they’ve outlived their usefulness. An inveterate pack rat, it took me awhile to accept there were things I’d never use again, even if they were still working properly. But release them, I have.

That isn’t to say I haven’t acquired a few things along the way, too, necessitating further rearranging and releasing. My favorite hand-me-down is the coffee table and matching end tables a friend gave me when her daughter decided to buy new furniture in a style she preferred. Lucky me, the oak tables go perfectly with my china hutch! No more cluttered TV trays scattered around my living room, or used in place of a keyboard drawer and mouse stand for me!

Recognizing What’s Been in Plain Sight

Which brings up another “find”. While looking for the pump for my resistance ball so I could re-introduce weight work into my weekly routine, I bumped into a computer table I’d bought decades ago. Why I didn’t notice it when I temporarily moved my office to the dining room table is beyond me. I’d been using a marginally reasonable arrangement of the dining room table and 2 TV trays for months before I realized I had a better option. To date, my head and neck are thanking me for upgrading to something that puts monitors, keyboard, and mouse at a more comfortable height. While still imperfect, it’s better than the old arrangement, and for now, that’s good enough for me.

A little drunk on all the amazing changes I’d made, I dove feet first into a visual I’d had for a spare bedroom that has become home to a clothes rack, a box of LP’s, one of the cats’ litter boxes, and a couple of pieces of furniture my daughter left behind when she moved out. After rearranging, I made the happy discovery that the cat’s sand-flinging antics, already limited by the addition of covered sandboxes were further constrained by the new location of the box. They may be less than thrilled, but I enjoy having less sand to sweep every day to keep from tracking it all over the house.

Making Changes Great and Small

I may not be making grand gestures, like finishing my kitchen remodel, knocking out walls, https://www.flickr.com/photos/oddsock/1074766279/in/photolist-Qq8gms-2CYsz6-9LDCMr-f2j8XG-9LDCYn-5Y9PzH-FkrgSH-nvoHbg-9mtAak-iD74WS-6mvA4s-4rrcvn-6Vw4xM-zHyznr-4LSv6x-8JNcR5-6TQeJd-7nXLkF-LciV1-5f6yL-9AuXrj-7o2EMh-69J8C8-8TorzY-5d1ns-JzytHf-26ReUcc-25BFXcJ-DmHVZK-qGRjJY-25BFVU3-25niJrT-iEZMGh-Jzyr59-6rXktd-6rXkoU-bYfvh-6jLb3F-ibKpJ7-6rXjNd-xkP6c-8jf2iK-V2pgYm-bYfvq-9LGr25-nqymWu-9Hspoj-77msAd-5V8poC-5zqHbfpulling up the last of the carpet in my bedroom, or moving large pieces of furniture, but even the small changes, like tacking pictures on the exposed wall board in my living room are making my environment and enforced isolation far more pleasant. I guess looking at the same 4 walls for months on end allows me to explore possibilities I hadn’t considered.

It may be pictures or posters I’ve stuck in drawers or closets for years that fill a blank, grey space. Perhaps it’s a piece of furniture I forgot I had. Maybe it’s simply rearranging what used to feel right, but no longer does. Or maybe it’s boredom that drives me to mix up my world a bit. Either way, I’m glad I have enough projects to keep me busy and entertained until the world flips on its axis once again.

Granted, I still have cleaning projects that have yet to be realized or checked off my list. My yard, although relatively brown now, is still overgrown and needing attention. I’ve even had the plumber out to snake out a backed up drain. Home ownership is truly a constant stream of projects; some I neglect until I can no longer do so, others I manage regularly. Most probably fall in the middle where I get to them when I can, often doing pieces and parts instead of entire projects.

Learning to Ask for and Receive Help

helpOccasionally, I’ll either ask for, or receive an offer of help which I’ve finally learned (after years of nagging from my daughter) to accept gracefully and gratefully. Many of those offers have come in the last few months, in part because like me, my friends are getting tired of their own projects and walls, and seek something different to break up the monotony.

I’m hoping now my own boredom will drive me to get a better handle on the wilting jungle I lovingly call my yard before the rain comes and it’s no longer wilting, or becoming less overwhelming. I fear I’m running out of time as days grow shorter, and cooler days occur more regularly. In truth, my honor is riding on cleaning up the yard before December. But that’s a story for another day.

Gratitude for My Un-boring Life

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for a multitude of projects, and discoveries beneath blankets, or in closets.
  2. I’m grateful for a consistent internet connection so I can keep on top of my projects.
  3. I’m grateful for happy surprises.
  4. I’m grateful for motivation to use the tools and furniture I find buried in my house and garage.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, sharing, caring, compassion, balance, motivation, dedication, creativity, peace, health, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income.

If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

What I’ve Learned from Strong, Independent Women

Independent Women Need Help Too

intimidating or strong?I thought I was making progress learning to ask for help. But it took a combination of a friend’s broken shoulder and my own recurring herniated disk and migraines to show me I have a long way to go—starting with appreciating the small stuff. She was like a mirror as she insisted on staying home and getting by as best she could with a little help from friends and family who lived nearby, and her housekeeper. In all honesty, I’d have been unwilling to leave my own space too, and not just because I have the cats who not only require care and attention, but because they give it back to me; often in larger doses than I give them.

Still, it made me think about all the little things I do for myself which an injury would thwart. Things like:

  • Putting my hair in a ponytail or bun
  • Taking a shower
  • Washing my hair
  • Doing dishes
  • Cleaning house
  • Going grocery shopping
  • Driving
  • Filling my 5-gallon water bottles, putting them in the car, and carrying them into the house.
  • Changing out said water bottles when one was empty
  • Getting dressed
  • Giving Dylan his meds

I could keep adding to this list until it’s as long as your arm, but I think you can see it’s only the tip of the iceberg of things I take for granted as part of the independence I value highly.

Giving Our Friends a Chance to Help

My friend is showing me I have a long way to go when it comes to asking for help, and recognizing my friends need to be allowed to help me once in awhile. It became apparent when I joked about changing my own lightbulbs to my 6 foot something friend who can do it without a step stool. I ended up asking him for help with another project, not because I couldn’t do it myself, but because he needed to get out of the house and do something different.

Maintaining my independence doesn’t mean I have to struggle to do everything myself, or do without. It means, like anything else in life, picking my battles. Asking for help doesn’t mean I’m weak. It doesn’t mean I’m losing some of my independence. It means I’m allowing myself to be part of a community that’s better and stronger together.

Just because I can do something myself doesn’t mean there isn’t someone I can bring in who can do it better, faster, and neater, and who needs a chance to be needed right now. In fact, not asking for help is sometimes less independent, and more selfish. It’s taken me a long time to understand I lose nothing by asking for assistance, and I gain so much more than I ever realized. I was too busy trying to prove to myself that I could make it on my own after years of having to struggle along, I lost sight of how nice it is to work on a project together.

Appreciation After the Fact

Do I enjoy the improved lighting in my kitchen any less because I assisted rather than doing it myself (and heaven knows I put up with inferior lighting for years because I lack the incentive and knowledge to fix it)? Do I miss struggling with a dishwasher that kept pulling away from the counter, or a faucet that leaked like a sieve?

I can honestly say my life is far better for having asked for help, or accepted it when offered. Every time I flip the switch in my kitchen and am greeted by a flood of bright, white light, it makes me smile and think of my friend John who gave up most of a day to remove the old, and install the new; who watched the Costco ads until the lights he recommended went on sale.

When I turn the misters on my patio on after Jesse hung them for me, and even replaced a defective nozzle, I am grateful for his help, both because of his height, and because he knew where the old hooks were as he’d pulled down the old, dysfunctional system a couple of years ago. I may not call him to replace lightbulbs for me right now, or to keep my yard in check, but I’m grateful for every small task he does for me, and for the company while he’s here. After the mister installation, we sat on my patio and discussed books for another hour which is one of my favorite topics.

Asking  for Help is a Blessing, Not a Weakness

I’m learning I have nothing to prove, even to myself. Sure, I’m capable of many things, but there are people in my community who can do a better job. There are things I’m better at, or in my friend with the broken shoulder’s case, unimpaired right now, and able to help. It isn’t doing it all myself that makes me stronger and more independent. It’s the give and take of helping each other even when the help isn’t essential, but simply makes life easier.

In fact, looking back on the years when I refused any and all help until it was no longer offered, I did without a lot of things, struggled more than I needed to, and was lonely and disconnected. In truth, I wasn’t strong or independent at all. I learned instead to settle for whatever I could manage on my own, and fell so far short of joy, it’s no wonder I so seldom found my happy place. It was all I could do to keep my head above water, and the essential tasks managed.

Sure, there are still things I could and should ask for help with, and things I put off until something bothers me enough to deal with it. But I’m miles ahead of where I was in the years I mistook independence and strength for flying solo, and pretending to be happy doing without many of the essential ingredients for a happy, fulfilled life.

Today, I enjoy being part of a community who works together to make everyone as strong as possible. Once upon a time, I valued being important to no one but myself. I’m happy I learned the error of my ways before it was too late to fix it.

Grateful for All the People Who Teach Me

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for a community that takes care of its own; even those of us who hold our independence like a security blanket.
  2. I’m grateful for the times I’ve asked for or accepted help. Sometimes, it only made my environment more pleasant, but those little things bring me joy, every time I use them.
  3. I’m grateful for opportunities to help my strong, independent friends, and learn from them where I need to stop holding so tight to my own often imagined independence.
  4. I’m grateful for the healing energy of my cats as I fumble around with the stress of enforced isolation.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, support, encouragement, opportunities, challenges, lessons, peace, harmony, health, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income.

If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

Recognizing and Respecting Cries for Understanding

People Ask for Understanding by Being Vulnerable

I have a couple of friends who frequently write about feeling low, in pain, or sick. Up to now, their posts made me feel uncomfortable, and often, I’d scroll past without reading them. It occurred to me today that not only am I being a hypocrite, but they’re being incredibly brave in posting their honest feelings in all their raw, un-sugar-coated glory.

Time and time again, I write about how it’s OK to not feel OK, that you need to express your feelings and reach out for help, how it’s everyone’s responsibility to look out for those who are struggling. Yet when faced with someone who does exactly that, I revert to old, unkind, self-involved habits. I’m both ashamed and unpleasantly surprised by my own actions. I’m clearly not walking my talk, nor am I staying out of judgement. But the first step in correcting a problem is to recognize there’s a problem.

By reverting to old, self-involved, isolationist patterns, I’m doing friends and family a disservice. But worse, I’m cheating myself of opportunities to reach out to others in kindness and compassion. Heaven knows, the world needs more compassion, and less selfishness right now.

Remembering and Honoring My Soul Purpose

While many are jumping from one cause to another like a game of hopscotch, I’m trying to stay true to a small selection. My own selectiveness is due in part to a desire to stay committed to what’s truly important to me, and for which I feel I can honestly make a difference. Even more, it’s a desire to stay out of all the game playing and smoke screens designed to divide us, and keep us in the dark as to all the real atrocities being committed while we have our backs turned, and our attention occupied with rants, protests, and passionate posts.

I’m not saying any of the causes that have been plastered across the ‘net are unworthy. But few have had what I’d call “staying power”. People are easily aroused by the latest cause instead of sticking with what they truly believe in until their attention and actions make a real difference. In forgetting my own purpose and cause, I was guilty of the same thing. Fortunately, there are some who continue to speak out in both actions and words, reminding me of my commitment to do the same.

Today it might mean reaching out to those friends who have been asking for help. Tomorrow, it might mean sharing my experiences on sites like Alliance of Hope, Tiny Buddha, ChangeDirection and many others who remain committed not only to uplifting those who need it, but offering real help from members and professionals connected with the sites. I’ve learned the experiences you’ve had, and what you’ve learned from your own healing process are of great value to others, but only when you’re strong enough; brave enough to not only share, but use what you’ve learned to encourage and support.

Taking Care of Your Own

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jkfjellestad/17408694382/in/photolist-swm7k9-5RUVz2-mJjTbx-5RZcQG-LaVetu-ehWSkL-mJjNaa-mJncXh-UQc1nx-mJkdTR-mJnhJS-UNopBe-TLtd22-UnTzSt-UKUNfQ-TvXc6r-UWzrjN-g9uykn-H7hkTY-27dmuiJ-dPKPg5-StARkr-H28Np7-TLyHW2-SasSyJ-ovj4Jg-TDQz2w-g9v3mc-H7rXSy-UWEf8E-qxwgcP-X7uFem-TyrPG7-g9uRij-g9vmqr-TLF3sZ-683YTJ-4DjRMh-5R69WX-eiwKNy-873BnY-787D4h-g9vKLK-UWGbnj-TytBPA-p92cJn-Ufcsfy-URnUfu-TrXPo4-UMmQvhThey say “charity begins at home”. It’s something I forgot for a little while. There’s no way I’m going to reach everyone in the world, or even a small fraction. But I can make a difference in my own small corner of the world by recognizing when a friend or family member needs help and is asking for it in the only way they know how. By now, I should understand many from my generation learned to keep a lot in, and rarely, if ever ask for help.

Though  many are breaking free of old paradigms, initial forays into a different, and tremendously scary new environment are often subtle, or misconstrued as complaining instead of being recognized as an incredibly courageous act. I know how much it took for me to start opening up and admitting my life was anything but perfect. I suspect there were those who found what I wrote uncomfortable, and passed it by, or even hid my words from their sight.

When anyone opens up about past and present struggles, what they have to say isn’t going to be for everyone. In cases like mine, it might only be for a small fraction of the population, at least in the beginning. Specific events are, thankfully, not shared by everyone. Still, dealing with trauma in one of its many forms is pretty much universal. Just as no one gets out of here alive, no one escapes without scars, bruises, and even a few shattered bones and dreams.

Hard as it might be to believe, and harder still to read about at times, those experiences are meant to make you stronger, but they’re also meant to teach you compassion. I’d like to say everyone learns the lesson, but some seem to be here to teach you what compassion doesn’t look like, rather than what it does. Sadly, there are also those who seem to make complaining a way of life rather than an opportunity to ask for help, albeit clumsily.

Being Discerning in Offering Help

Part of my tendency to disconnect, in light of what seems like too much complaining has been https://www.flickr.com/photos/mamnaimie/8680429035/in/photolist-ee4t8z-cNjy5-oKBJYc-7tRBmg-7dpdWv-buv1Nu-aDa4AY-51uTxq-fRQgnM-7zy4Hg-ceoS1-5u6JJ6-8JFHxV-7zy4Be-ceox3-apMg6S-bR4un-dq9xPC-4zmBQJ-hPY7A8-3bZjT7-daFcd2-6ZUq3Z-27uhQ9f-r7LzYM-K5keCM-L2RZSV-dg2mJw-2bFvdJJ-i63E4D-h9hrmr-JBNmhV-7pv8vg-f8R7b2-bj66S-rBh74r-DGtb3m-EkjWM8-dg2mfg-AcSwRy-26RUBUZ-fJwZNH-prZ4C3-23RFdN8-bj6mk-8zSsSY-defSSm-4Kx1jx-pEcuwd-eiC5SUmy experience with people who get a twisted kind of pleasure out of complaining. They’re not looking for solutions, and if you were to offer any up, they’d find reasons to shoot them down. They are, in a nutshell, miserable for misery’s sake, and hold onto it like a security blanket.

In a way it’s like the twisted idea I had of love. For decades, I honestly believed love was expressed by cruelty, and a love absent of cruelty, and destruction of self-esteem wasn’t real love. For those who embrace their misery, it’s what they know. It’s familiar, and in some strange way, comforting. They expect life to be a certain way, and function best when it meets their low expectations.

With my own warped idea of love, I think I attracted those misery lovers into my life as well. Perhaps that’s why I recoil from what appears to be an excess of misery instead of looking beneath the surface first. It’s one of those knee-jerk reactions that still needs work.

Dig Deep to Find Your Compassion

Instead of recoiling, I have to focus on looking beneath the surface. I also need to give people credit for exposing themselves to negative reactions like the ones I’ve unkindly offered lately. Often, they’re offering their heart openly and honestly in hopes someone will recognize they’re asking for support under the guise of complaints. Negative results simply fulfill the expectations they’ve developed after years of rejection, and even abuse.

I realize now it’s a protective action in it’s own way. If you put yourself out there and people reject you, you’re getting what you expected, and a weird kind of validation for feeling miserable. It actually blows my theory about validation out the window in a way. Though I’d like to believe people shouldn’t require outside validation, the reality is, everyone does at some point.

Giving and Receiving Validation

Whether it’s acceptance within a community, or simply acknowledgement of your pain, it all serves to validate you as a valuable human being, imperfections and all. In fact, offering yourself up when things aren’t going swimmingly allows others within your community to give of themselves. It balances the scales of giving and receiving which, believe it or not, everyone needs.

Just as no one truly wants to do all the giving; the nurturing, the same is true for receiving. Sure, there are some who seem to take and take, but if you look behind the facade, there’s an incredibly unhappy person who has no idea they need to give back so their life is in balance. They don’t value what they’re receiving because, in essence, they’re getting everything they want—and nothing they need.

I’ve erred in one direction most of my life, but my pendulum has swung a little too far the other way. I needed this not-so-subtle reminder to re-adjust my sails and open my heart to those who are now asking for help in the only way they know how.

Blessings Both Visible and Hidden

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for lessons; especially the ones that smack me between the eyes.
  2. I’m grateful for friends who are brave and genuine.
  3. I’m grateful for music which often inspires me to write more openly, honestly, and rawly.
  4. I’m grateful for ideas that have been flowing like a rain-swollen waterfall lately.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; friendship, love, sharing, caring, balance, opportunities, inspiration, motivation, energy, compassion, peace, health, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows

Life is A Little Sunshine, A Little Rain

Everyone looks at the world from their own perspective. Some “through a glass darkly”, others through rose-colored glasses. In general, people use a bit of both, but for the most part tend to fall somewhere in between, depending a lot, not only on past experiences, but their own perception of those experiences. The result is a combination of storm clouds and rain, sunshine and rainbows, and days when the sun might barely break through the clouds to light the way.

Like anyone else, I got knocked around by life quite a bit. I could easily have decided I was unlucky, or didn’t deserve to succeed, or any number of unpleasant scenarios. Somehow, I developed the attitude that “when one door closes, another opens”. I saw the struggles and challenges as lessons, and decided for myself that while something might seem like a setback in the moment, eventually I’d see it was for the best. I’ve never been proven wrong.

I’ve seen plenty of people who share my perspective, and many who’ve even improved on it. The results are invariably reflected in their lives; their relationships, their financial state, and their ultimate happiness. Those who see a setback as merely another roadblock, and who moan and groan about their lot in life are typically dissatisfied with what they get, regardless of how others might perceive it.

Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life

I see the differences as a combination of attitude and Laws of Attraction. If you see your life’s soup as something bitter and unappealing, nothing that happens is ever going to give you happiness and satisfaction, no matter how much you believe you deserve it. Conversely, if you look at everything you experience as part of the plan; a stepping stone to your ultimate goal so to speak, you’ll not only find pleasure and satisfaction in the small things, but you’ll find those goals, and all the new dreams you create are coming true, step by step.

Lately, I’ve been frustrated by my lack of productivity when it comes to writing. At one point, I was down to a single week’s worth of pre-scheduled blog posts. I started to pressure myself which, of course, was the wrong thing to do. There’s nothing that stifles my creativity more than pressure and a hearty dose of brow-beating. I took a few steps back and identified the real problem, but also realized I’d simply directed my energy into other projects for a little while.

Once again, I’d slipped in my commitment to myself, at least as far as sticking to my writing schedule. That didn’t mean I was accomplishing nothing. In fact, I was accomplishing a great deal.

Gettin’ By With A Little Help From My Friends

Thanks to the generosity of friends, I had both the tools, and the help to get my overgrown yard in order. The advent of sheltering in place to slow the spread of COVID meant my friend with a lawnmower was unavailable until further notice, and the weeds were quick to take over my yard. My friends had an unused lawnmower, edger, and hedge trimmer they were happy to re-home since both they and their mother had since moved to condos which required no yard work.

I also got plenty of help with the mowing, and as an added bonus, something to replace the strength training I’d had to forego since gyms are a hotbed of germs I’m not anxious to encounter right now. I had no idea wielding a weed whacker or hedge trimmer could be so hard, or so rewarding. I learned getting out in the yard, away from TV and computer was good for both my body and soul.

After a hard couple of hours hacking down, or pulling up weeds, I was less inclined to sit at the computer and knock out a blog post or two. So when my daughter mentioned she had several books by one of our favorite authors on her Kindle account, I slid easily into days of binge reading after a long, dry spell when I couldn’t find anything to hold my attention.

Change is Good for Body and Soul

Because of my more-than-a-little rose-colored glasses perspective, I see these deviations and https://www.flickr.com/photos/derekgavey/5403628476/in/photolist-9ev1ud-9odiqE-99hCeK-28aMBcv-L2NkmJ-L2NjGN-9aaEe6-kvx1iw-rkYv1m-4JnGd-en3MZM-qccpV9-FVyYz-7qbqYL-JvQXse-28aMnuk-25pJMJY-286n5WU-L2Nm3o-275n4TN-25pJMX3-25pJUrq-6xmHDy-275nbsE-21iHwcY-L2N9Pw-286mVTd-C3YxBB-275nbQo-25pJFVo-275ntKf-Ehpm5G-27cSKLm-fpFWJU-275naRu-26NbLs2-286mVgm-L2N1uA-6xhy1c-25pJHDU-JvQCMP-8w3ARY-275naAu-djcYHr-L2N3yA-4jqADJ-r2KRCc-bSaaQx-dy1jLj-275noVqdiversions as a good thing. They’ve made my body feel healthier, have gotten me outside in the fresh air, and allowed my mind to take a break from thinking to enjoy the moment.

Reading the work of others, especially a favorite author reminds me of my own love for putting words on the page. Even if for now, it’s mostly just my blogs, the practice is what makes what I do better. It really doesn’t matter what skill I’m trying to improve. The more I do it, the better I get. I’ve even started joining our line dance instructor’s ballet classes part of the time, hoping to limber up my creaky old knees. It may be my imagination, but I believe I’m already seeing some improvement.

Something else that keeps my perspective fresh is mixing things up. It’s too easy to get into a rut when doing the same thing day in, and day out. When it comes to writing, a rut is definitely where I don’t want to be. Perhaps that’s part of the reason I’ve gotten so behind (at least from my perspective). I felt stuck, and what I was writing, or thinking about writing not only felt dull to me, but was difficult to even create. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the years since I’ve spent major parts of my day writing is if it doesn’t flow easily, I need to walk away and get something else done. Some writers may be able to force themselves to write. I need to encourage myself; sometimes gently.

Variety Unclogs the Brain Letting Creativity Flow

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jobber1/36197048070/in/photolist-X9BkiG-6zNVTx-9WcJ3G-dSakbx-dSammr-9TBa8u-6ezpVp-4BqdWY-VXtGBZ-rmenXX-qCVBCH-ebSPFY-on6uCz-7jht6-n98ro-VTXW6M-a1XWoX-aEZ3ZC-GAd7om-aETqXe-5YRvvk-dSfWbY-KEWxyD-7N2mv7-s8WVRA-97x2ND-9FZG7n-kv3uih-7dAKBM-Usjf3C-emcpAz-3EXMtA-U3SSPP-gQb96B-6QtXTY-o36uJj-iwvCcv-54dBjc-opbQb3-7NxyBo-7G7U6q-cS6eML-9FXQcH-ojrwjj-SUbPcQ-7MNAUc-Ee2qD-jZRnbY-a355px-cS691NI’ve mentioned before that there are times I have no topic in mind. I’ll sit down at the computer, and start typing until something comes to me. I refer to this as my “brain dump” method. There are times, though, when my brain refuses to dump. Working in the yard, or making a pot of soup, or turning my creativity to something entirely different is often the plunger that unclogs my brain. I’m still learning to apply the cure before the clog gets too settled and determined to establish a permanent residence.

The changes I’ve had to make while staying at home have brought a few challenges with them. not the least of which is how to stay physically active and limber. They’ve also created opportunities to come up with new solutions, and take advantage of what’s been there for me the whole time (like a huge yard that’s perfect for growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs, or maybe even raising chickens).

The funny thing about perspective is you can change it any time you want. Sometimes it takes a new goal, and others, perhaps a pandemic. I do know it’s not about how much you accomplish when the world crashes down around, but how much you adapt.

Finding Gratitude in Unexpected Places

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for the things that kick me out of my self-imposed ruts.
  2. I’m grateful for the ability to maintain a positive outlook most of the time.
  3. I’m grateful for new habits that have, at least temporarily replaced some of the old ones.
  4. I’m grateful for the things I’m learning about myself which, a few months ago I might have denied vehemently.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; self-commitment, opportunities, motivation, inspiration, friendship, joy, fresh air, community, love, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

Could We Survive an Apocolypse?

Could You Survive Without Technology?

Every day, people in “developed” countries become more dependent on technology. Computers replace pen and paper, even in classrooms. Microwaves and fast food replace good old-fashioned cooking. We get the food we eat from packages instead of the ground. Cell phones are replacing landlines.

But what will happen if we get a major sunspot event or geomagnetic storm that knocks out all our electronics? How many will be prepared to manage without the modern conveniences on which we’ve become so dependent?

Making Use of My Resources

I’m fortunate in that I can cook for myself, and still use my manual writing skills frequently. Unlike some of my friends, I don’t have a garden in my backyard where I could be growing a lot of my own fruits and vegetables. Heaven knows I have the space, but the few times I’ve tried growing things, the poor plants ended up dying of neglect. I can’t seem to remember to do things like watering and weeding regularly.

Still, if push came to shove, I’d find a way to use my ample ground space to grow food for me and other people too. And let’s face it, much of what comes out of the ground could be eaten raw if need be.

So many people in our society are ill-prepared for life without technology. They’ve never kept a set of books by hand or cooked a meal from scratch. They don’t know how to sew a button on a shirt, much less mend it. Worse, they’re used to getting instant responses. How would they fare if what we now refer to as “snail mail” was their only means of communication at a distance? The days it would take to send a letter back and forth would have them climbing the walls in frustration.

Learning to be More Self-Sufficient

https://www.flickr.com/photos/timquijano/6179927895/in/photolist-aq6KfX-veVW-2Lg2M7-aMYW9P-8BKnVH-FPZVGT-8nnv7V-4DMyEY-bWhRkq-71jk86-bVRXUM-7CiMkN-ca2vyu-cdhbFo-6Lt2io-QujiYK-njx6fU-8gLyR8-dpryBo-bbP6y6-cifvwf-9oL759-2sSSx-aMYV1X-9ZF8Hi-SLA7ho-5KWLqZ-6cdm59-5DkC58-aMZ1Kx-aMYZHa-afNBbh-bbLNKX-5TkA1a-8tSKgR-ixEkTc-9oGGGj-DDsP2-sasXwh-cGGasS-bfs4it-chgL9o-nqf3gr-9qEoMi-cgRNrL-a7m5wn-s8GWqk-zretW-nEy6rc-6XCCec/I wish I had some of the skills my friends have like remodeling a house with their own hands, or growing a lush garden to share with friends and neighbors. Because I still retain some of the manual skills I learned as a child and young adult, I suspect I’d adapt, but I’d sure as hell want to align myself with those who already have the skills I lack, and who could teach them to me!

I pride myself in keeping fit and active physically, even to the point of doing my own housework, though I hate it. I’m grateful I am still able to do it at all!

I look at people today, glued to their phones, posting selfies and statuses on Facebook wherever they go, constantly in touch with friends via text or Messenger. What would happen if their phones went dark?

Figuring Out How to Stay Connected

For that matter, what would happen to my own group of friends? We’ve become dependent on Social Media and our phones to organize gatherings, reach out to each other when someone has been unusually silent, or missing from events, and to share pieces of our lives. How would we keep everything going; everyone together without technology?

Considering sending fliers through the mail like we used to is an option, but a costly one. The price of a stamp keeps rising, though I haven’t seen an improvement in service. Email, Evites and Ecards has reduced the amount of things we send through the mail. Even a lot of our monthly bills arrive electronically now. Why invest in stamps, paper, and envelopes when you can send the document virtually free through a website or email?

Would we even have electricity, gas, or water without a computer somewhere making sure the distribution system is functioning properly?

Being Prepared in as Many Ways as Possible

https://www.flickr.com/photos/globalx/5532445369/in/photolist-stBjDL-9q2ee2-sascnH-stKKo8-9qTeg8-rrGAf6-davQFU-davQzq-ehE4fp-vZDkk-ehE5gz-sDb51U-sov316-CF2JMR-zeP1JLHere in California, we’re cautioned to have an earthquake kit. I wonder if it would be enough to withstand an extended halt to what we’ve come to consider “necessary services”. In 1994, I was without power, gas, and water for a couple of days. Other areas fared far worse. I managed OK by keeping the refrigerator and freezer closed and using my barbecue to heat food. The local Von’s was gouging people for drinking water though, charging $20 for a single gallon.

These days, I usually have at least 10 gallons of fresh water in the house, and more than 1 tank of propane. I even have some firewood for my portable fire pit, and a good supply of food, assuming the outage doesn’t last long and defrost the contents of my freezer. I have an ample supply of food for my furry roommates, and the ones who keep the rat population in check as well. (Their job might get busier depending on the kind of disaster). I’ve also learned to fill my gas tank before it drops below 1/4 of a tank.

I’m willing to bet I don’t have many of the recommended items for a crisis, and I definitely don’t have everything in one convenient place. Still, I feel like I’m better prepared than most. As long as I have books, writing supplies, flashlights, and batteries, I’ll manage OK even if I have to eat the contents of my freezer defrosted but unheated. Everything in there is fully cooked, so it wouldn’t be a health issue.

Ensuring My Community Will Remain Intact

How can we help each other prepare? How can we ourselves reconfigure our https://www.flickr.com/photos/hanuska/16371662835/in/photolist-qWH3YT-h3KDEM-ewdvhp-e9cCB-6Wf1h7-9iRoH2-89tR5w-89tQSA-7skA4b-7pBtca-49z4DU-6TNaBU-otqsxk-4KAQus-7vuw6o-8afGXv-6hw7Tk-APopNz-AL6QNw-s54FqX-NmuqLf-2ix4T1-pQjPE7-TxLjHh-67Je8b-dDzvwJ-67Jesh-2WQ4zq-8z2ufX-7vuwP9-z1sx5G-oc8Axy-a6br61-hw2FTF-p16gZp-dTB5hW-nZBebF-gmjmkX-pEum5b-pErusD-obWc5n-fcvgnp-pWGBhX-eJNrGA-54tbDb-H8SaT-dRtQeu-qATRHy-hRTeai-2m98eclives to be ready to shift gears should much of what we’ve come to depend on become unavailable for an indeterminate amount of time?

My words might sound alarmist to some, but many a science fiction writer has addressed some form of major crisis on Earth. Most of what was written in the early to mid-1900’s has come to pass in one form or another. Everything from rockets to Mars, to Big Brother observing us in our homes. So why not at least acknowledge our need to be prepared to lose the communication methods we’ve come to depend on?

As for me, I may be dusting off the bicycle that’s been collecting dust and spiderwebs in my shed, make sure the tires are still intact, and that I can still ride the darn thing. It’ll come in handy should I need to find alternate transportation at some point in the not-so-distant future.

Can I Help You Help Yourself?

Life is complicated even without contemplating disaster. Do you need help getting more in alignment with your goals? Would you like to take a task or two off your plate? Maybe it’s content creation, or perhaps it’s getting your books in order and creating a budget. If this sounds familiar and you’re ready to streamline your life and give your business space to grow and thrive, CONTACT ME and let’s talk!

Recognizing All I Have to be Grateful For

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful I can still walk a good distance and take care of my own needs.
  2. I’m grateful I’m both able to cook and enjoy the process.
  3. I’m grateful I’ll never be too old to learn new skills.
  4. I’m grateful for my morning walks which not only get my blood moving, but work out any kinks I acquired while lying prone in my bed.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; joy, friendship, energy, inspiration, support, motivation, dedication, peace, health, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats, and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

Obsessions Born in Childhood

Where Are Our Obsessions Born?

created with CanvaMany of us have something in our lives we can’t seem to get enough of, but did you ever stop to wonder why?

One of the things I find myself stockpiling is comforters. When I was young, my mom believed in bedspreads, but never comforters. I love snuggling into them on cold nights, or sleeping on top of their fluffy softness when it’s warmer. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I even had a bedspread on my bed! I seem to have passed this and a few other obsessions on to my daughter. Often, we’ll exchange comforters on Christmas (when she isn’t adding to my custom blanket collection!).

Years ago I had a friend who said his mother only let him own a couple of pairs of underwear and socks, while she spent thousands on beauty products for herself. As an adult, he had one of the largest underwear and sock collections I’ve ever seen in a man, and was always buying more.

Feelings of Deprivation

My mother also believed the only thing a girl needed was white bras. She herself might have created with Canvahad a couple in beige and black, but my sister and I only got white ones. Like my friend the underwear fanatic, I have a drawer full of bras in a rainbow of colors, but maybe one in white and another in beige for those rare times I buy a shirt that isn’t a bright color itself.

Whether or not my friend or I were actually deprived as kids, or just believed we were is immaterial. The fact that we believed we did without to the point of overcompensating as adults is what matters to us now. I may have slowed down acquisitions in recent years since you can only use so many comforters at once, or wear so many bras in a week. But it doesn’t mean I don’t browse the Kohl’s ads when those things go on sale.

Recognizing the Resentment Behind Our Obsessions

Underlying our obsessions is more than a fair amount of resentment towards, in both examples, our mothers. In my case, it was probably a large part of why I took so long to allow myself to grieve her death. As long as I held onto the resentment, I didn’t acknowledge or accept my need or even my right to grieve. The resentment justified my initial relief that she’d no longer be nagging or making me crazy with her suggestions to improve my life.

Those nagging, hurtful, helpful comments still give me pause. Looking at myself in the mirror at the gym the other day, I noticed my face was looking dull and mucky. It brought to mind a visit to mom’s house. She looked at me and said:

“Your skin looks muddy. Go in the bathroom and wash your face.”

Although I followed her instructions, I spent the rest of the visit like so many others; resenting her interference and her unkind observation. I know now she meant to be helpful, but she didn’t seem to know how to communicate kindness to me, nor did I know how to hear it from her.

Healing To Release Both Physical and Emotional Baggage

created with CanvaAs with everything else, letting go of old hurts is a process, especially when those hurts began before you were even old enough to remember. With each chink in my armor, each bit of mortar I remove from my walls, each brick I finally break loose, I find more pieces of resentment, hurt feelings, deep-seated emotional pain, and trauma. With each new discovery, I have to restart the process of accepting, acknowledging, releasing, and forgiving which I’ve learned is  the only way to truly expunge the old baggage holding us back from achieving the dreams we imagine.

Those resentments and hurts are like sandbags on a hot air balloon. In order to lift from the ground, you either need more hot air or less sandbags. Sometimes it’s a toss-up as to which is easier to accomplish. Some of those sandbags have been part of our lives for so long, they’ve practically fossilized. In some cases, we even mistakenly believe we have to remove them intact.

Gently or Roughly; Only We Know How to Make Changes to Ourselves

Breaking our fossilized baggage into more manageable chunks is often the more practical solution. But emotions and feelings are rarely something we approach with practicality as the motivator or key guideline.

In some cases, we want to rip off the bandage or cut off the offending part as quickly as possible with no concern for the pain and upheaval removal by force will cause. In others, we prefer to remove past events with surgical precision, making sure we keep the damaged piece intact as if we plan on displaying it in our personal museum.

Neither method is right or wrong. You won’t make peace with yourself more quickly with one than the other. Most of all, it isn’t for anyone else to tell you how to get the job done, or even when it’s time to release another piece.

Learning to Look Without Reacting

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dainec/3687658810/in/photolist-bEPm7E-934mpF-6fYkU-e4uZVD-e4AAXW-e4AAV3-6BSduj-3gGWHE-qeDbXE-qeGvKg-Embmi-pXhj22-4azrtU-pwagx-7HXhbQ-z5BPMY-z5BJvW-s12vnBIt’s kind of like looking at the Kohl’s ad, then looking at the pile of comforters in my closet, reminding myself I no longer need to add to the collection. Or opening my overflowing drawer of rainbow-hued bras and realizing I don’t even wear the ones I have often enough to wear them out since I spend my working hours 10 steps from where I sleep, making them superfluous unless I’m going out.

It’s looking at a drawer full of matched and mis-matched socks, knowing it’s time to weed out some of the accumulation and make room for better things I’ll actually use, or at least allow me to see what I have that’s still useful. Sorting through our old baggage is much the same. One day, we look at the closet and realize there’s clutter. We’re finding it difficult to find what we’re looking for because we have to dig through a lot of stuff we haven’t used in ages, and no longer need.

Clear the Physical Along With the Emotional

At that point, we begin cleaning out our emotional cupboard, sorting through things which Created with Canvahave outlived their usefulness and are holding us back from the greatness we deserve. We decide which ones we’ll rip out like a loose tooth, and which we’ll untangle carefully, making sure we don’t damage any of the pieces as we work out the knots.

Sometimes, we need to clear emotions which have become entangled in those knots or woven into the fabric of our life as we go. Those are the ones which require delicacy because they’ve wrapped tendrils around things we want to keep; feelings which make us smile or feel all warm inside.

Asking for Help

Our main concern is knowing when it’s time to let things go, and doing whatever we need to. It may be talking to a friend or a coach. It might be giving yourself a retreat of some kind where you spend time alone in self-reflection. For some, it’s physical activity like hiking, dancing, cycling, or lifting weights. For others, a quiet stroll through the forest or burrowing into a pile of blankets with a good book and their pets.

Wherever you find yourself on this continuum, please, let yourself release some of the crap you’re carrying. Allow time to dig in and see what you’ve finished with and need to let go. Reach out for help if you need it, and even if you think you don’t. You don’t realize sometimes how much you’re holding yourself back until you take an honest look at why you’re standing still.

Above All, Know You Are Worth the Effort

I, myself battle with huge insecurities regarding my writing. I admitted to my coach I’ve probably written over a million words in the last 9 or 10 years, but still struggle with believing in myself as a writer. From where she sits, it’s hard to believe, but here, behind all my own demons, both exorcised and not, a few remain who don’t have to work too hard to convince me I’m unworthy. At least I’ve reached the point where I know they have to go, and can start taking the necessary steps to identify and eradicate those who are still getting in the way of me and my dreams.

How can I help you start identifying and releasing your own demons? I’ve learned a few things in the years I’ve been working on mine, and would be happy to share some of the things that worked—and a few that didn’t. Don’t hide. Leave me a comment and start getting out of your own way.

Gratitude: The Strongest Tool in Our Arsenal

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful I discovered I could combine my love of writing with the road to achieving my dreams.
  2. I’m grateful for friends who’ve opened their hearts, shared their experiences, and helped me heal.
  3. I’m grateful for my coach, my daughter, and numerous friends who are continually making me see I am worthy, I am talented, and I do have expertise in an area or two.
  4. I’m grateful for the inspiration which keeps me writing 3 posts a week for myself, and helping others express their true, vulnerable, beautiful selves as well. This truly is living my dream.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; inspiration, motivation, love, friendship, dancing, community, demanding furballs, persistence, 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

Is Old Baggage Weighing You Down?

Baggage From Our Past Can Haunt Us For Years

https://www.flickr.com/photos/58972357@N05/5680789916/in/photolist-9DZwVJ-fgdGm6-a7SYcH-j5jSC4-bGN8dZ-aJn5JF-bExNVg-mSGMdi-ZHWqmm-7LMiyj-9TwjCJ-5AtELB-og1PZ9-4tVBpH-WTy2SC-EYkqoA-9Whomq-qMuq1D-GKUFur-aGDwDa-baLAor-cigULC-dD9LSa-7LFh2P-4LQn4r-fSLy1g-28pzedw-auCkkH-RfUzXE-ap1CA8-4wLABT-9GLXQH-dSP1Wa-7SfMF9-4eBRX6-MUhNVs-7MbCEk-obXLkM-9aGddR-Ns2VHy-jrsEXB-b1D8J-gch9Kk-ouhpzq-e2HHU1-9W9F11-xGa8K-23rp1Yb-am4k5G-ahouP7By the time we reach adulthood, we’ve experienced a lot of things which can and do weigh us down and hold us back—if we allow them to. We don’t always realize we’re hanging on to the old crap until we find ourselves triggered by past events and wallowing over something old, moldy, and no longer useful.

Sometimes we’re aware enough to recognize it ourselves. More often we rely on real friends who aren’t afraid to tell us as gently as possible it’s time to stop letting old news drag us down into the dumps where we wallow over things we can no longer change.

Think about it. It happened in the past, whether that past can be counted in months, years, or decades. Even if it happened yesterday, we can’t change it now. Maybe yesterday is too fresh to let go of, but what about the things we’ve carried around for decades? Sure, some of them might have been horribly traumatic, but is it really helping to hold on to how awful we felt at the time? How embarrassed, or humiliated, or devastated? Wouldn’t it be better to use that space for new and happier memories?

Past Traumas Can Drive an Empath Crazy

I’m learning it’s even more important as an Empath to let go of past traumas and depressing events. In some ways, holding on to our own pain makes us more sensitive to deep-seated trauma in other people. That’s a double-edged sword. Sure, we understand why they’re holding on, but frankly, it’s hard enough feeling recent pain from other people. Old, settled in pain is a world in and of itself. It’s a close cousin to ancestral pain which has grown deeper and darker with each generation. When we’ve held onto something for years, we tend to magnify it, making the cause and result larger and more unpleasant than the original event.

As a visual Empath, I not only feel the pain, but can often see and experience the original event which embedded the pain into a person’s psyche, whether the event happened in the current lifetime or a prior one. For a few moments, I’ll share an experience complete with the misery, helplessness, and frustration that went with it. Unpleasant, at best, but sometimes, painful enough to hurl me out of the experience before I get drawn down too far, especially when the traumatic event was an untimely death.

For example, while studying healing a few years ago, one of the class members had issues with her knee. As I worked with her, I was taken back to a time in her distant past where she was forced to carry a heavy load for a long distance while her husband walked alongside carrying a lesser load. At one point, she fell on the dirt road and landed on a rock, damaging her knee and causing a great deal of pain. Her husband showed no sympathy. Intead, he forced her to get back up without his help, and without dropping her load, and continue the long trek to market. The combination of both emotional and physical trauma followed her into future incarnations as she had yet to resolve it. The class worked together to help her release the pain and the experience. She said the knee felt better afterwards, though I don’t know if the entire issue was resolved that day. It’s likely it took her some time working through the rest of it on her own.

One thing I’ve learned is healers don’t actually provide the cure, whether they’re working with energetic, emotional, or physical dis-ease (and often, a combination of the three). They merely serve to facilitate the healing which we have within ourselves to exact.

Reaching Out For Help

Which brings me back to releasing baggage. There are times we need some outside assistance to recognize when we’re shlepping around an old suitcase full of pain, anger, and hurt that should have gone in the dumpster long ago. If you’re fortunate, or have learned to drop your walls enough to let people in, your circle of friends acts as an extra set of eyes, pointing out to you when you’ve let something drag you down long enough.

I spent the first few decades of this lifetime adding to the suitcase of negativity. In those years, I didn’t let anyone get close (least of all the man I married) and never asked for help. Not only had I been taught you don’t share what’s inside or ask for help, but the help my mother gave without asking, or what she offered always came with strings attached. As I got older, I became less inclined to accede to those conditions, and as a consequence, less likely to ask for help from anyone. Her example set in my mind that all help came with strings. We all know what a crock that is!

By the time I was 40 and, as an added bonus, was six months into dealing with my mother’s suicide, those traumas and baggage had become a lifeline; my only connection to sanity and solid ground. Little did I know my “solid ground” was as riddled with holes as a good Swiss cheese, and equally stable.

Turning Curses Into Blessings

What seems like a curse in one moment, can turn into a blessing in another. So it was with a lot of what I carried for years. The sensitivity and easiness with which I could be brought to tears was the bane of my existence for a long time. I learned to cover it with aggression, or simply retreat deep within myself until it passed. The latter earned me a reputation for being incredibly scary when I was angry enough to go silent, and caused many a strong man to give me a wide berth until it passed.

I won’t say I don’t retreat when especially angry these days, but in the first place, it happens rarely, and in the second, I’m not carrying around a lot of old garbage so minor events become the straw that broke the camel’s back. Learning to talk things out with my friends and get a different point of view has given me much better insight, and a lot more compassion towards people when they do something thoughtless or even mean.

Understanding Anger at its Source

I’ve learned to use my Empathy to take a step back and look beneath their surface for pain that has nothing to do with me. Quite often, I reach the conclusion rather quickly that what was said or done isn’t personal. It’s simply them lashing out at the first available opportunity because of their own pain; their own inner turmoil.

These days, when I see someone who acts like they’re angry with the world, I’m not as likely to dismiss them as a crabby person. I’m more likely to send them a ball of healing energy, neither knowing or caring whether they use it or not. That will always be their choice. I’ve learned to recognize the anger as an expression of pain, or, as it was in me, an inability to reach out in a healthier manner. Like I used to, they put up a big, prickly wall so people will leave them alone and not try to interfere or touch them while they’re vulnerable. I’d like to tell them allowing that vulnerability to show is their strength, but know it’s their journey. They’ll listen when they’re ready, just as I did.

We go through our own challenges so we’re more understanding of the challenges which face others, but also so we can make a difference, even if it’s only for one person. I feel incredibly blessed to have experienced the pain, the trauma, and the decades of loneliness. Those experiences enable me to understand what others are feeling, and, if nothing else, refrain from adding to their load of misery by treating them unkindly, or worse, ignoring them.

When you learn to let go of the old baggage, when you learn to allow others to help you, and when you accept your vulnerability as an asset instead of a liability, you become part of the solution. Think about it.

Finding Gratitude at Every Turn

My gratitudes today are:

  1.  I am grateful for the challenges I’ve been given, the lessons I’ve learned, and the compassion I’ve gained in the process.
  2. I am grateful for the time I’ve spent emerging from my personal chrysalis. The process may have been painful, but in hindsight, was worth every second.
  3. I am grateful for the people in my life who show me new roads, or widen my old ones. Many have no idea how much difference they’ve made in my life, and I don’t think I could show them my gratitude if I had another 3 lifetimes in which to do it.
  4. I am grateful for getting ahead. I lost some ground on my plan to be a month ahead on blog posts, but am quickly bridging the gap as ideas have filled my Morning Pages, and I’m quickly working my way through them.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; life lessons, challenges, inspiration, motivation, friendship, opportunities, new horizons, giant leaps and baby steps, love, insight, guidance, encouragement, 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.

Succumbing to Success

Avoiding the Easy Way Out

How many times throughout our lives do we decide the road is too hard and succumb to defeat? How often do we take the easy way out, or stop mere centimeters shy of a breakthrough because we believe we’re too tired to go on?

Are we creatures of self-sabotage? Do we really want to keep stumbling through life with nothing to show for it? Are we afraid of succeeding because it means we’ll have to show up and keep doing what we do most excellently?

Not to discount them, but I’m not talking about the times in our lives when we have no choice, but must go on whether we like it or not. For years, I stumbled along because I had kids to feed. That was a motivating factor and kept me in a long stream of soul-sucking, dead-end jobs so I could be close enough to home to get to my kids quickly if need be. No, I’m talking about those dreams you have and plans you’ve made yet so quickly discarded. I’m asking why you gave up on them so easily.

Letting Self-Sabotage Steal Our Future

Self-sabotage is a well-known concept for me. I look back and boggle at the number of times I came through for other people, yet when it came to committing to something for myself, I often fell short. The answer to the dilemma is rooted where most things are, in my childhood. My own mixed bag of experiences and resulting emotions created one, gigantic roadblock: I didn’t deserve success. I would always be a disappointment to myself, to my family and to anyone else who cared too much about what happened to me.

If you’re not screaming in outrage by now, you had the great good fortune of skipping this part of the life lesson. You are one of the fortunate ones. But I know I’m anything but alone in these feelings. If nothing else, people spend thousands upon thousands of dollars every year on self-help books, therapists, coaches, and programs to get past this most debilitating of blocks. Learning how not to succumb to those deeply ingrained lessons is a multi-billion dollar business, and one that has touched most of us in one way or another.

Finding Help from Without and Within

Consciousness On the RiseThough I’ve pumped my share of cash into the industry, my best and most consistent therapist is my writing. I may get a not-so-gentle nudge from the outside now and then, but when I do, I go back to the keyboard (my version of drawing board) and pound away until I develop some sort of plan or clear more of the debris so I can, once again move forward.

Today is no different. I discovered at least one of the places where I’d learned to give up on myself and I began taking steps to be more caring to the one person who will always be there for me, no matter what. Part of that is realizing when I cannot do it alone. Part of that is being willing to not only ask for help but to receive it as well.

An interesting thing about asking for help is that plenty of people are willing to give it. But if you keep rejecting it and throwing it back in their faces, they’ll take their efforts to someone who allows them to actually help and leave you to your own dysfunctional devices. Before you chase off the willing and put a bad taste in their mouths along the way, make sure before you ask for help that you’re willing to receive what’s given without qualification and without rejecting it out of hand when it’s not exactly what you think you need. Chances are, whatever you think you need is dead wrong anyway. Give those who offer the opportunity to prove you wrong and offer something better.

Are You an Island or a Community?

None of us achieves the success we want and deserve in isolation. Somewhere along the way, there are people who give us a leg up when the walls seem too high, support us when we are ready to give up, and encourage us when we lose sight of our amazing gifts. Allowing ourselves to accept their help, but even more, believing in ourselves enough that we know in our hearts we deserve that help makes the difference between a mediocre mouse and an amazing lion. Since my 3 outside cats bring me vanquished rodents on a regular basis, I can assure you, I’d rather be the lion.

What will you do today to allow others to help your inner lion roar?

Gratitude is the Cornerstone of the Laws of Attraction

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the people who come into my life to teach me to be remarkable, and to teach me I deserve to shine my light.
  2. I am grateful for the tough lessons and the giant leaps outside my comfort zone. It’s a beautiful world out there!
  3. I am grateful for the guided meditation I listened to today, and will continue to listen to daily. Those 8 minutes have already opened my heart to new possibilities.
  4. I am grateful for my new resolve and confidence that I’m still on the right path. The bright white light that signaled the end of today’s meditation was exactly the message I needed.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; friendships, love, caring, kindness, compassion, passion, inspiration, motivation, confidence, supportiveness, giving and receiving, potentiality, positivity, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

Check it another post using today’s prompt from A Ray of Sunshine

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. She believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. She specializes in finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information.

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