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

Posts tagged ‘inner child’

Best Laid Plans Work Best With Balance

Letting My Inner Child Call the Shots Occasionally

https://www.flickr.com/photos/carbonnyc/6144729060/in/photolist-3sXiiN-79cUTk-6VaBVG-GUsXeK-qnCm5H-d5XpoC-5Tvsgb-7x7Jhw-amZkSu-pXsfKM-5TopvB-5MF2XZ-dnqeiB-9C31Yv-28ku7Rg-9m5Cts-omGCDC-5T4qn7-e2xNUC-mfCeZT-6RVoAh-a3P2f7-urpka-nKtZgr-8LFLux-dsSyjE-9AzNx5-W4TpQJ-xXPgS-brRoHe-9T2kCn-edcZ3H-a4dWNc-2Frv8v-sBJeM-5MGjKv-5cGQ25-gMdeqC-bzzgF5-4zDj55-4Uaf26-91q2wz-GPmaw-6uvJCp-7viqdV-7YKDTv-6T4oiL-7g2xCc-MKA7BD-gg9bcdThis has been the week that wasn’t in so many ways. Plans went awry, electronics coughed up junk, and even my body repeatedly told me, in the unique vernacular of a toddler: “I don’t wanna!”.

In the past, I’d have been ranting and raving, struggling to catch up, filling my hours with half-assed efforts, and feeling lousy about everything I did. I don’t know if it’s age, experience, or finally acquiring a modicum of patience, but I take a less frantic approach to days and weeks that seem to take on a mind of their own.

In all fairness, I’m also better prepared for them since I have at least 2, and often 3 weeks of blog posts in the queue, and am usually ahead of schedule on projects for my clients. Maybe it’s simply holdouts from my days of working in an office where interruptions were the norm, and having something new and urgent tossed in my lap was commonplace. I learned to leave space in my schedule for the unexpected, and it’s a habit I see no reason to break, especially now that I work for myself.

Self-Care is More About Allowing Than Doing

Many people these days are talking about self-care. Suggestions are offered on https://www.flickr.com/photos/prestonrhea/5236270625/in/photolist-8YHfQ2-4X1dP6-P58XGS-dmtrwi-2pMKC-nC1YD-QxGsf-q4rWqa-8HeDZc-o8pVg-8mXR4g-o7nP7c-8jQqTQ-bPxsQc-dJusGN-78jLU7-98LY1P-dYGYNq-cgtYSu-cgu1F7-7rMJ9R-6z6KQA-6VuMG-6Jfxqk-4bbwMg-dmtxds-9Rf6xQ-v8gDMa-9PqETD-4MsUzv-ptUKap-a2BfLR-4UtU1B-4UtSun-5dBS8k-7eGxtr-7nUbqa-7nUbW8-fBZ3S4-5M1h3P-8DYirc-8E2uBh-6r2V98-7oFgff-7oBon2-7oBpbn-7oBoG6-7oFfRo-vPhUL-jk3BYphow busy business owners should make time to keep their own engine primed, so to speak. The ideas cover the gamut from physical activity, to healthy eating, to taking breaks.

If you ask me, the best thing you can do is listen to your body. If it’s hungry, feed it; preferably something healthy and nutritious, but if it occasionally asks for a treat, by all means be willing to break your dietary restrictions temporarily to indulge it.

When you feel stiff or out of sorts, get up and move. I’ve recently rediscovered how much a simple, 20-minute walk in the morning can re-set your day and your metabolism. Even if you do nothing more than get up from your desk to visit the bathroom or fix a meal for the rest of the day, that 20 minutes of movement and fresh air get your day off on the right foot (pun intended).

Above all, if you feel tired, or out of sorts, don’t allow guilt to creep in and spoil the nap, meditation, or down time in front of the TV. You work hard, and you take care of yourself physically. Your mind needs breaks too.

Finding Our Level of Peak Performance

Science has proven that we are far more effective and efficient when we’re operating at the top of our game. That means sufficient rest, exercise, and nutrition. But Corporate America counters those arguments, telling us to get the job done no matter what. As a result, you have offices full of people who are functioning at 10% or less because they can’t seem to shake the latest cold or virus.

If they could stay home and get over it completely without harassment from employer and co-workers, everyone in the place would stay healthier. Think about what circulates in those office air conditioners. You wouldn’t eat food with crap like that in it. Why do you willingly breathe the air?

Yes, I’m frustrated I didn’t get as much done this week as I’d planned, nor get to the gym my usual 3 times. But I did walk every day but one, and got what must have been much-needed rest, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. As I no longer keep a lot of junk food in the house, I couldn’t eat badly if I’d tried. My idea of cheating on my diet these days is Trader Joe’s dark chocolate, Yasso 100-calorie yogurt bars, and Harvest lentil bean snacks.

Did you know it’s harder to happily binge on healthier snacks? I didn’t either until I sat with a bag of lentil snacks, ate a few, and put the bag away—because I’d satisfied the craving! The truth is, you set your mind to “healthier” and your body follows. When you overwork, eat crap, and otherwise tell your bod you don’t care, it craves love and attention in the form of things we mistakenly define as comfort food. In other words, grease, sugar, salt, and carbs.

Using Setbacks as a Reminder to Take a Step Back

Unfortunately, you get stuck in a self-perpetuating downward spiral in which https://www.flickr.com/photos/paulhami/2993662670/in/photolist-5yxiBC-8U5hPD-3edYTu-4CUgRY-3zQatC-5vmZ5c-bu1dBi-aGGHJg-aGGHaR-BrnmAC-JDHRGr-aGGG6n-anNJMT-aGGJDF-nhi5kC-URiXsy-8TU5Uu-7RHX6n-dSUfp3-8pz3GG-ax1E17-Gf1oKW-5wx88t-66XiHU-7U9YpL-7fcpGE-6C7S53-6AEtio-8YbMjQ-587zbz-MiRWFF-5htVfK-onWKYE-edRR9q-9jX3Pw-oZ6LzR-8pRD6w-9eVxUz-axUgNW-F6D6yL-dbZeKc-4cLsjY-b8ppRD-FfTkWW-7Lsz4B-66Xk3Q-2zs3Zi-7Lxsep-kyFmeu-RNnFfMyour health suffers, and you accomplish less with more effort. Tell me something. Who does that on purpose?

I’ve learned when life offers setbacks, regardless of the source, the best thing to do is take a step back, relax, and give myself permission to get nothing accomplished if that’s what it takes to let the situation pass peacefully. Recognize I truly do have things under control and that there’s no meter running on the amount of stuff I’m supposed to get done in a given amount of time.

Even if there was, my normal work habits put me ahead of the game anyway. I suspect yours do too, but you may have gotten stuck in a self-destructive loop of overachieving. It may be as simple as working smarter, not harder, a lesson that took me a long time to master.

Working Smarter, Not Harder

Here are a few things I’ve put in place in the last few years which give me down time whenever I need it:

  • For clients I bill monthly, as soon as the work is done, I create the invoice and set up the email with delayed delivery. (Most email programs can do this).
  • Give myself more time than I know I need to complete a project to allow for delays both human and electronic.
  • Use the scheduling option on my blog and website to write my copy in advance.
  • Set up sharing on my website and blog to automatically publish to social media.
  • Pre-schedule a month’s worth of posts on sites other than my own.
  • Put all projects on Trello with due dates so I know exactly when things need to be completed.
  • Check Trello daily.
  • Put all regular daily activities on Google calendar with reminders.

Many of these might seem to you like no-brainers, but think of the stress you avoid when you don’t miss appointments; when you see what you have coming up, and how long you have to meet the deadline; when you see white space on your calendar you can use to accommodate the unexpected.

Leaving Space to Let Go

This week, I “lost” the better part of 2 days. I didn’t write any blog posts, or get work for clients done, or make progress on my marketing. Instead, I had time to take the breaks I needed, look honestly at what I’d done this week, and recognize it was more than I thought, and give some attention to my daughter when she needed to vent. All without stress or guilt!

I no longer beat myself up when plans go awry. Instead, I congratulate myself for having the space in my schedule to ride out the waves which bring production to a temporary standstill. In other words, I’ve found my balance.

Need Some Help Creating Space?

Are you feeling overwhelmed with too many things you have to do and not enough time? Did you know you don’t have to do it all? 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 and life space to grow and thrive, CONTACT ME and let’s talk!

Finding Gratitude in Everything

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the pace I set myself. It varies with energy level, mood, and circumstances, and is rarely stress-driven any more.
  2. I am grateful for my life outside the regular world.
  3. I am grateful for choices I made which, on the surface may still seem ill-advised, but which have given me a far better quality of life.
  4. I am grateful for options. Each day can be the same as the one before, but it can also be quite different. Either way, it’s my choice.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, opportunities, inspiration, motivation, projects, energy, choices, fresh air, sunshine, kitty love, family, peace, health, harmony, freedom, 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
 

Breaking Free of Malicious Numbers

Refusing to Live By the Numbers

Numbers on the scale don’t define me. Like the ones on my blood pressure monitor, they really only give me guidance about whether or not what I’m doing is helping with my ultimate goal; to keep my body as healthy as possible using natural methods. Yet there are days when I’m tempted to beat myself up over eating too late or indulging in something sweet instead of simply realizing I made less healthy choices in the last day or two. I can’t change what I already did but I can use the results to help motivate me to make healthier choices today because right now; today should be me entire focus.

Living in the now may not be easy but ultimately it is the recipe for a happier life. You simply cannot change anything you’ve already done, and you can’t do something tomorrow or a month from now until that day becomes Now.

Reminders like the numbers on my scale serve but one purpose; to remind me to focus on the time and place over which I have influence and sometimes even a modicum of control. That isn’t to say I avoid getting on the scale or monitoring my blood pressure each day. But they’re tools designed to remind me each day I have choices. I can choose the healthy ones which keep the blood pressure numbers in the safe range and the numbers on the scale, if not going down, at least remaining stable.

Praise is More Powerful Than Criticism

I’ve learned, no matter what the numbers say, or how far I’ve deviated from what I consider a good day, Ihttps://www.flickr.com/photos/paulhami/2993662670/in/photolist-5yxiBC-8U5hPD-3edYTu-4CUgRY-3zQatC-5vmZ5c-bu1dBi-aGGHJg-aGGHaR-BrnmAC-JDHRGr-aGGG6n-anNJMT-aGGJDF-nhi5kC-URiXsy-8TU5Uu-7RHX6n-dSUfp3-8pz3GG-ax1E17-Gf1oKW-5wx88t-66XiHU-7U9YpL-7fcpGE-6C7S53-6AEtio-8YbMjQ-587zbz-MiRWFF-5htVfK-onWKYE-edRR9q-9jX3Pw-oZ6LzR-8pRD6w-9eVxUz-axUgNW-F6D6yL-dbZeKc-4cLsjY-b8ppRD-FfTkWW-7Lsz4B-66Xk3Q-2zs3Zi-7Lxsep-kyFmeu-RNnFfM find something to praise myself for. It doesn’t have to be a major accomplishment or milestone, though sometimes I do have them. It’s all the baby steps I’m taking to improve one aspect of my life or another. It’s the weeks I get to the gym all three days and do a full workout (more often than not these days). It’s fixing at least 1 decent meal today.

Of course, there are days when I’m doing the happy dance all over my living room; days when my FitBit tells me I’m a rock star for exceeding my 10,000 step goal by at least 20%. And there are days when I double it. Just as there are days when I crush my goals, be they health, writing, or something else; there are days when I hit far short of the mark.

Should I make the child within feel less than because I had a day or two when I was lazy and accomplished nothing, while making a big deal about the days when I crushed it? What message does that send? Would you do that to a child or a pet? Do you scold when they do something wrong, making a huge deal out of something relatively minor in the general scheme of things? Do you offer faint praise when they go above and beyond?

Being Considerate of the Child Within

https://www.flickr.com/photos/60740813@N04/34504735502/in/photolist-Uz4MJN-7H8hqz-r2covS-8wbGLH-8wcEVv-8weaum-8wcFMc-r2c6ww-r2iYrg-qmL3eU-8w9Dpr-r2jtjr-riJFWH-8wcT7A-8wcK8r-8wbRuV-8wcj84-8wanQx-8waPPT-8w9c4V-8w97ek-r2j3iV-riCAji-8w8skp-r2cTQq-8wfuwo-8waMUv-8wfDJJ-8wdgXY-qZq9cM-8wd2u3-8wfVzw-8wbq15-8w8bJP-8w9Wdc-8wcQdR-riF3r5-riJvW2-8wbTSq-r2cNH1-8wc6wN-r2d6wG-8wcM6o-r2jiHn-8wdexo-riJBiz-8bQ1eC-8wfeYo-riJJHV-8w9YqrI know I’m probably getting a bit redundant on the topic, but so often when we stomp on our own egos, we’re stomping on our inner child who, like our own children, thrives on encouragement and withers under the thoughtless abuse we pile on undeserving shoulders. So when I catch myself getting critical about the numbers on the scale, the numbers in my bank account, the number of hours I spend writing, or the number of words I hammer out, I’m learning to take a step back and ask: “would you say this to one of your daughters?”

Even though they’re both adults themselves, one with a child of her own, I still wouldn’t crush their ego. In fact, I’m more often the cheerleader showing them how amazing they are, whether they’re wildly successful at something they’ve attempted, or a major flop. I try to point out that the mere fact they put forth the effort is a success, not only in my mother’s eyes, but in general.

Which brings me back to my point. We won’t always succeed at everything we attempt, at least if we’re measuring success quantitatively. But as long as we keep showing up; as long as we’re willing to stumble and even fall on our way to figuring things out, we are always successful. We don’t learn by getting things right the first time, or even the 500th in  some cases.

Being Brave Enough to Make Mistakes

Life is like those mazes where you try to move a character through without hitting dead ends. Typically, you will hit a few and have to backtrack before you move them to the exit. In life, those backtracks are opportunities to learn, or as I like to say, “add tools to my virtual rucksack”. Each time I hit a dead end, I have to stop, regroup, and figure out where I went off-track. Rarely, if ever do I have to go all the way back to the beginning. Why? Because if nothing else, I’ve learned a few tricks in the 60-odd years I’ve been in my current meat suit. There are hundreds; maybe thousands of things I won’t bother trying because I’ve already learned (sometimes the hard way) they don’t work. Often, that brings my options down to a more manageable level where failure is only at maybe  a 20% probability. Most of the time, those are pretty decent odds, and well worth the risk.

I’ve also learned over the years to tuck and roll so when I do fall, I fall with a bit more grace and a lot less damage than I used to. But even there, it depends on the situation. We don’t stay in one place all our lives, nor do we limit ourselves by only trying things we know we can conquer. There’s no growth from staying in the comfort zone, after all. There’s also no excitement, no adventure, and no challenge.

Keeping Your Focus on the Prize at the End of Your Journey

Sometimes, you have to focus on something you want really badly, take a deep breath, and dive into a place where you don’t have a clear idea of the path ahead or the perils you might encounter. You just know what you’re focusing on is worth whatever it takes.

That’s my journey right now; the one I embarked upon 5 1/2 hears ago. To be honest, the path still isn’t clear. There are perils I know are out there, but which I refuse to buckle under; refuse to allow to deter me. Above all, I refuse to let a bunch of silly numbers to keep me from losing the vision that began in 2013 and grows stronger, more well defined, and more desirable with each peril I surpass, each obstacle I overcome. Statistically, people keep telling me my probability of success is low. But those are merely numbers, and I’m learning not to let numbers define me, or qualify my dreams.

Managing Your Own Numbers Game

Are you getting stuck in the statistics? Are numbers in your life managing you instead of the other way around? 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!

Grateful for Successes Both Large and Small

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the people who’ve helped me overcome old paradigms.
  2. I am grateful I  am learning to keep numbers in their place, on the pages of the accounting ledgers I keep.
  3. I am grateful for new experiences, and cafe writing to get me out of the house and productive. I love my hermit hole and my cats keeping me company, but there are days I get nothing done because I allow things to distract me when I should be writing or marketing.
  4. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and the times I’ve stumbled and fallen. They’ve made me stronger, but also more resilient so taking risks is an adventure, not a reason to run and hide.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; friendship, new experiences, love, joy, dancing, opportunities, challenges, lessons, successes, peace, health, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.
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

Writing in the Zone

Taking the Zone Into Our Subconscious Minds

I realized this morning I was no longer getting a plethora of blog topics from my morning pages. Stopping to wonder why, I realized I’d gotten into the habit of doing exactly what the morning pages are meant to do; turn off my conscious mind and tune into the zone. Interestingly enough, it’s how I write most of my blog posts, but for awhile, I’d spent far too much time thinking about what I was going to write when I was doing my daily free writing.

I started noticing I was blowing through the first couple of pages without even seeing the page on a conscious level. I’d simply get up in the morning, use the bathroom, put my allergy drops in my eyes, select the colored pen I was going to use, and start writing. It didn’t matter what came out. It was merely a vehicle, a vessel into which I dumped the first thoughts of the morning without editing or, as I’m realizing now, conscious thought.

Disconnecting Before We Remember Not To

I’m sure there have been places along the way when I did it without thinking, but somehow, I’d gotten so used to finding blog topics therein, I started paying too much attention to what I was writing in those moments before I’m fully awake or starting to plan out my day. I suspect there actually are some topics hidden in those pages, and I’m inclined to go back and look, but without realizing it, I started using the 30 minutes or so first thing in the morning for the proper purpose.

It’s a bit overwhelming to realize how often I create without conscious effort; how often the words you see on the screen came from somewhere deep inside me. All too often, the words reflect a part of me I’m not usually aware is impacting my life, and yet, it does to a greater degree than I realize.

Tapping Into Our Inner Reactive Selves

We all have habits, either learned or innate which take over from time to time. How many of us 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-cS691Nactually think about breathing unless we’re meditating or doing yoga? But we also have conditioned responses. We shiver when we’re cold, and maybe put on more clothes. There are things which scare us on one level or another and cause us to withdraw into ourselves. Perhaps we emerge when we believe the danger has passed, or sooner if we determine the danger isn’t as bad as we expected.

I’m learning it’s important to allow those subconscious thoughts and reactions to come to the surface. Too many times, I find mine are deeply rooted in something which happened during my childhood, and which I need to revisit and revise. The soul-deep reactions to certain situations have long-since outlived their usefulness. But like many knee-jerk behaviors, I enact them without conscious thought.

Gently Disentangling Deep-rooted Behaviors

https://www.flickr.com/photos/barnoid/507719383/in/photolist-LScht-aEgvH4-9GQuCD-6W1t6o-7eMLf-9ZapY5-aqyTWF-WVbQua-WUsn2q-5ZnSwb-GBxuMd-WRKktx-8XXrBy-WRBT42-6x6DAm-au6C6L-9aDgzF-6x2uga-6x2uh8-9aDjbx-mY8gjH-6x6DCG-au6CcU-6x2u8v-6x6DFU-aqB62q-2aihRJj-9aDhGR-9aDkma-XMxT3e-WRKjZ6-aqB3Zb-7YvxSK-7YvxHx-7YyNxL-6x2uag-7YyPdQ-aqyTgn-7YyP43-dC5ahP-9jFPTY-cCSL51-6XEnTg-gTzLxk-6XJqmd-gTzzhy-9aGsqG-gTzDSY-aqiF5e-UUKGFNAdmittedly, part of their deep-rootedness stems from the years I kept stuffing things down until everything became impacted. I’ve had to disgorge many of the more recent behaviors and responses before I could get to the mother lode. By now, many of those deep-rooted behaviors have entwined themselves around my psyche in intricate knots requiring a great deal of patience and persistence to unwind.

Though tempting, simply yanking them out by their roots isn’t an option. They’ve entwined themselves around a great deal which has value, or worse, which needs to be untangled and dealt with as well. Harsh removal will only result in stronger, more impenetrable bonds being formed with those outdated, yet tenacious patterns. Shock treatment is not an effective way to deal with the old hurts and traumas which formed our subconscious behaviors.

When All Else Fails, Allow

I’m learning the best method is to allow everything to come out in its own crazy, convoluted https://www.flickr.com/photos/sermoa/7289177616/in/photolist-c77Wy9-r361B6-7UmPsp-XGAjhz-64e9v7-2aA91KA-dgqyUQ-45XqnC-9QJ7eT-9QN5fS-sHuD2X-eYWQtB-fbDKCi-RX57Dd-21GaQYp-ap2UBy-2cqyUd9-4BaZUn-XR9iq1-649VdX-GEVNFE-37rTTS-8GD4Ct-21M2mrm-8PB966-kzYvK4-6Vje9y-4Hq3oP-izzeb3-ouihv3-NiJYj7-bua5Bm-iRQDZe-jpV8mm-gJX2L-R36JFv-23NUNNG-2cw7Nyt-2a4658R-npfQy2-RZFcen-M2YpLg-STMqAt-WKMNmd-29UnKjq-owijzY-f4WJBJ-96ELMg-p9Cein-T8HccTmanner, much like writing the first draft of my books. The rule of: “write first, edit later” can easily be applied to working through old patterns which continue to rear their ugly heads, yet hinder rather than help us.

Like dreams, if we seek to grab those patterns and the root system they’ve developed, they’ll slip away, hiding behind something seemingly innocuous. But if we allow them to flow freely without judgement or the slightest inkling we’ll try to fix our re-route them, we’ll learn things we didn’t even know we held inside. Only then can we put forth the necessary effort to change how we react to what used to be scary or painful, but no longer is.

We mature and grow. We lose our sensitivity to pain in many circumstances, but that maturity doesn’t always communicate well with the root of the issue. The root functions on blind emotion. It’s impervious to logic. (How often have you heard “You shouldn’t feel that way”?) Emotion and feelings weren’t created in the same universe as logic so no argument is going to sway them, no matter how much sense it might make.

Reassuring the Child Within

https://www.flickr.com/photos/60740813@N04/34504735502/in/photolist-Uz4MJN-7H8hqz-r2covS-8wbGLH-8wcEVv-8weaum-8wcFMc-r2c6ww-r2iYrg-qmL3eU-8w9Dpr-r2jtjr-riJFWH-8wcT7A-8wcK8r-8wbRuV-8wcj84-8wanQx-8waPPT-8w9c4V-8w97ek-r2j3iV-riCAji-8w8skp-r2cTQq-8wfuwo-8waMUv-8wfDJJ-8wdgXY-qZq9cM-8wd2u3-8wfVzw-8wbq15-8w8bJP-8w9Wdc-8wcQdR-riF3r5-riJvW2-8wbTSq-r2cNH1-8wc6wN-r2d6wG-8wcM6o-r2jiHn-8wdexo-riJBiz-8bQ1eC-8wfeYo-riJJHV-8w9YqrWe go back to those feelings time and time again. Sometimes it’s a reaction, but others it’s because we’re trying to understand why we reacted that way in the first place. We know it defies logic, yet something inside ourselves says run away fast! Danger ahead!

When a child is scared, we don’t tell them:

“There’s nothing to be afraid of! Suck it up and deal with what you see right in front of you!”

Instead, we seek to reassure them what they are perceiving isn’t what’s really in front of them. Those innate responses inside us are no different. The frightened child created them and will continue to see an unchanged environment where a particular circumstance elicits fear, and even pain.

In short, we have to allow our inner child to express themselves before we can address what makes them fearful. We have to give them free rein to say whatever they feel without judgement; without question; without trying to fix them while they’re expressing their fears, shame, and hurt. When they feel safe talking about the heretofore unmentionables, we gain insight, not only into the basis of those conditioned responses, but the necessary steps towards assuaging the fears, healing the hurts, and gaining their trust.

I speak a lot about the dichotomy within ourselves; the child and the adult. Too many of us stifle the child, even denying their existence. Yet we’re unable to explain why time and time again, we react in the same manner, and can’t seem to stop ourselves from reacting. All I can tell you is what I’ve learned myself. We have to take the time to listen quietly. We have to allow triggers to bring forth strong emotions from deep inside ourselves. Only then can we effect a change; a healing which will replace the fear-and pain-based reactions with an ability to assess each situation independent of itself.

Our Greatest Tool is Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for my child within. She’s taught me a great deal about my self, my past, and my future.
  2. I am grateful for the ability to write without conscious thought. Many insights have come from my process.
  3. I am grateful for Julia Cameron and her morning pages. I have more than two years, and more than half a dozen notebooks filled with my thoughts, my frustrations, my pain, and a great deal of insight into the child who became the woman I am today.
  4. I am grateful for my ability to sit still and write, tuning the rest of the world out, and creating something I didn’t even know was there until I read it on the page after it’s done.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; opportunities, motivation, love, friendship, dancing, kitty love, joy, energy, Consciousness, inspiration, motivation, peace, harmony, health, 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

Hidden Demons of Self-Sabotage

Removing the Tendency to Self-Sabotage

Most of us are guilty of self-sabotaging behavior at one time or another. It’s human nature to try to protect the position we’re in from the unknown. Whether we’re waiting for feedback on our writing or a proposal, a new job or client, or even a budding friendship or romance, we often find ourselves self-sabotaging without even realizing it.

Too often, we try to fend off disappointment by convincing ourselves beforehand that we’re somehow unworthy, under-qualified, unlovable, or harboring other such mucky, ugly-feeling thoughts. To that I say, in the immortal words of Tim Conway: “STOP THAT!”

You are worthy. You are lovable. You are qualified. You are perfect just the way you are. The fact that something you’re waiting for either doesn’t come through, or is delayed has nothing to do with you! There are a million and seven reasons why you don’t get picked, or in all too many cases, wait longer than you anticipated. Shake it off. Go for a walk. Clean the house. Go to the gym. Immerse yourself in something you love. Do whatever it takes to shove those negative thoughts back into the void where they came from, and out of your head.

Learning to Expand Our Own Reality

I’m not telling you to fill your head with fairy tales and nothing but happily-ever-afters (though doing so without getting too deep into the hows, whens, whys, and wherefores isn’t a bad thing either). I’m saying every time one of those negative thoughts starts to creep in, you fill the spot it’s trying to occupy with something better, something that will lift you up rather than dragging you down. If you can’t find anything yourself, call one of your favorite cheerleaders. Even hermits like me have more than we realize!

By now you may be wondering why this topic came to the top of my list of blog ideas. Like you, I have my moments when that scared little girl who lives deep inside wants to ensure she’s not disappointed yet again if the Universe decides not to grant her dearest wish. That’s when I grab the jaded, world-weary adult by the throat and say “Really? Are you going to let her get away with this? After all the times our disappointments turned into triumphs? When every disappointment turned out to be a blessing in disguise? When you know full well passion and positivity bring what we want and need every…single…time???”

My inner adult spends a lot of time daydreaming and doing her best to live in the moment, but there are times she’s hopelessly out to lunch and lets the child within take the wheel for a little too long. The adult has learned that though life may not always seem fair, things always turn out the way they’re supposed to, and get there more quickly if we don’t turn into a whiny 5-year-old while we’re waiting for most of the ducks to stop wandering around aimlessly and line up in at least a semblance of a straight line. (I have learned to never expect perfection before I move forward. I’d still be sitting on my arse doing nothing, and would certainly not have 5 books in various stages of publication readiness if I didn’t move until everything was perfectly aligned.)

Let’s Get Physical

The best way to get the adult’s attention these days is to do something physical: lace up my sneakers and hit the gym, clean the house (an adventure in itself when my ADD joins the mix), rake leaves. Anything to get my mind out of my head and into my body for a while. Focusing on something physical still allows my mind to wander, but now it’s not wallowing, or fretting, or expecting the worst. Instead, it’s seeing something accomplished or, as it did today, finding I needed to sit and write some thoughts that came up when Nelly Negative stopped getting her way.

Coming up with a blog topic is a win all across the board for me, since I’ve committed to a completely manageable two posts per week. So far, I’ve managed to write and pre-schedule posts about 5 times out of 8 as a result of my mental re-directions. Invariably. changing the direction my thoughts want to take brings up a talking/writing point. I get the first few paragraphs written (or the first 1000 words or so), then get back to whatever I was doing that took me out of the “woe is me” mindset.

Don’t Let the Prospect of Change Dull Your Sparkle

As I’ve mentioned an a few other occasions, change is scary, and our inner child will fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo unless we assure her the change will bring some new adventure which, while exciting and a bit scary, will be the most fun ever. Of course, if we want to convince said child, we must first believe it ourselves, and not allow ourselves to be derailed by those flickers of doubt swimming at the edge of our consciousness.

While listening to a video today, the speaker said something I found very profound. He said “I’m not asking you to believe, because that lets in doubt. I’m asking you to be open to the possibility.” I never thought of it that way before. More often, I’d do my best to at least suspend disbelief, if not try twisting my mind until it believed what it might not be able to see, feel, or touch. By simply being open to the possibility, we remove action from the mix, and become a receptor. We no longer unconsciously throw up blocks because we’re not actively involved in allowing or disallowing a concept to take root and grow.

Being Open to Possibilities

As you go through your day, bombarded with opportunities to change how you think or feel about the world around you, I encourage you to take a few moments to simply be open to whatever thoughts, ideas, and opportunities arise. Release the need to judge them worthy or not, viable or not. Look at them impassively, and be open to the possibilities. You’ll gently and easily absorb the ones that cause a little glimmer of interest or feel like bottled potential. You won’t feel the need to fight with yourself or consider all sides of the matter, ad infinitum, ad nauseum until the opportunity passes. Sure, it would make your inner whiner happy that another scary change was averted, but what about your conscious self? Don’t they deserve a little adventure in their lives?

As I write that, a question pops into my head: “When is a rut not a rut?” and the answer comes loud and clear. “Never! A rut is always a rut. No magic ever happens there.”

The comfort zone is the biggest and most tenacious rut we fall victim to. I use the word “victim” intentionally, because the comfort zone is the biggest block to progress, to a happy and fulfilled life we’ll ever run into. It does its best to thwart ideas which lead to those scary leaps of faith and trying something new without any guarantee of a positive outcome. Yet nothing worth having is without an element of risk. Even as a child, we took those risks and most of us have lived to talk about it.

We crossed streets alone, without the benefit of Mom or Dad’s hand. We learned to ride a bicycle or roller skate. As teenagers, we learned to drive a car. And the list goes on. If you were to sit down and write down all the things you do today which were once scary and foreign, you’d be amazed at how often you took a chance on the unknown. So why stop now?

Taking a Moment for Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for all of the opportunities to step out of comfort and into magic.
  2. I’m grateful for the ability to either calm or silence my inner child and her misgivings.
  3. I’m grateful for opportunities that make my stomach drop 10 stories, and my mind soar with the possibilities.
  4. I’m grateful for the scary moments when I have to tell myself whatever happens will be exactly what I need, even if it’s not exactly what I thought I wanted.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; opportunities, lessons, challenges, friendships, roller coaster rides, riding the crests and the troughs, love, joy, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri 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. Her specialties are 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. You can also find her on Facebook at Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

Speaking of Girl Friends

Being a Loner is Never Your Happy Place

long-hairMost of my life, I eschewed the close company of other women because most people of my gender with whom I came in contact tended to be whiny, petty, and catty. It took me a lot of years to realize the women in my world were exactly what I was attracting, much like the unfortunate choices I’d made where men are concerned.

The sad fact is, by the time I reached my 40’s, I could really have used the support of a network of women, but had never learned to develop such a network.

After the Northridge earthquake, I became friends with a woman across the street from me; another single mother with a son a little older than my girls. She taught me a lot about having and being a girl friend in the years we spent hanging out, with kids and without. But as these things often do, we drifted apart when she re-married and subsequently moved away. Though we still keep in touch, we’re definitely not part of each others’ women’s network any more.

Growth Means Opening Up to What You Don’t Know as Much as to What You Do

Fast forward about 15 years and I’m not the woman I was even then, but I find myself wanting and needing that network even more. One thing I’ve learned along the way is in order to be accepted into such a sisterhood, you have to be willing to expose at least some of your vulnerabilities.

The fact is, the women I attract now are all strong, intelligent, self-confident, and empathetic to some degree. The last thing they feel comfortable with is a woman who is all bottled up and trying unsuccessfully to convince everyone she has it all together. Because not one, single, blessed one of us has it ALL under control at any given time. Otherwise, we wouldn’t want or need those networks of women friends.

In fact, the years when I had everyone convinced I was most in control of my life were actually the years when I was a hair’s breadth away from collapsing into a puddle of goo. As I open up to other women, I find I’m not alone in this regard. So many of us became strong because of years spent holding ourselves together with duct tape and baling wire. In other words, life tested our mettle in order to give us the tools we’d need later in life to achieve our dreams.

Learning to Let Go of Worn Out Beliefs

Building a network consists of a couple of main activities. The obvious one is to reach out to other women with whom you feel an affinity. But the one to which I was probably oblivious until recently was recognizing when another woman is reaching out to you, and not just because she needs something! I’m finding that women reach out to me in simple friendship, something I never noticed before. No expectations, no demands, just an offer of their heart. At first, I didn’t know what to do with such a precious gift!

I knew I was oblivious in my younger years when the occasional man showed an interest in me. Who knows? I might still need to be hit over the head with a sledge hammer should someone of the male persuasion want to know me better than the space of a dance or casual conversation between songs.

I had no idea until recently that my oblivion extended to making friends with women as well. Maybe I just needed to learn to appreciate the ones I attract these days first. Then I needed to learn that I was indeed worthy of their friendship.

Hiding the Pain Behind a Wall of Humor

I used to joke about “Ladies who Lunch” or “Girls’ Night Out”. They do say humor hides our true feelings. That the people who spend most of their time making jokes and getting laughs are the ones who are probably hiding serious internal pain. In retrospect, I envied those ladies and girls because they were a tangible representation of the huge hole in my own life.

Those holes can be filled, but how we fill them will dictate whether we heal or wallow. And I know from experience that ignoring them simply gives them room to expand.

My mom tried to fill the holes insider herself with charity work and social events. She sought to immerse herself in doing good for others, but ignored the one person who needed her most; herself. When she needed to take something for herself, those who could have, who should have given to her had already turned their backs after years of mixed signals, masks, and demands we didn’t feel like meeting. By her own actions, we never saw the sad, lonely little girl who wanted to be loved but didn’t know how to go about it.

Vowing to be different from her, I demanded nothing and drew into myself. But that behavior is equally damaging. Telling yourself you don’t need anyone or anything is a lie of the hugest proportions, and that little girl inside us will shout louder and louder until she’s heard: It’s all a lie! You’re lying to your own self and it won’t end well!

Giving Our Inner Child Her Say

My inner child yelled long and loud. I tuned her out for far too long, but she’s finally being heard. She’s grown pretty wise through all of the years she’s been stuffed down inside, observing but not affecting. Now it’s her turn. She’s coming out to play, making new friends, and most of all, having her say.

She learned a lot about balance by watching me teeter over the edge. She learned a lot about work ethic by watching me juggle side jobs along with my 9 to 5 (or 8 to whenever, if truth be told) in a sometimes vain attempt to give my daughters the life I thought they deserved. And she learned that sometimes you just have to follow your passion, even if there are times when you feel like you’re going to go under for the third time financially while you’re trying to figure out where that passion will lead.

She hasn’t made me fearless, as you won’t find me zip lining or bungee jumping any time soon. But she did help me find the courage to do what makes me happy instead of stressed out. She’s still helping me, and the biggest gift she’s giving me is learning to be part of a network of women. She’s helping me love myself enough to know when it’s time to give help and when it’s time to accept it.

Accepting help doesn’t make me weak or helpless as I once believed. In fact, it makes me stronger because I expand my resources to allow the strengths of others to help me over those humps life tends to give us from time to time, I’d swear, just for the Universe’s amusement.

I’ve been doing good things for my body for the last year or so, and am slowly adding even more to my routine. But now, I’m doing good things for my heart and soul as well. Thanks to girl friends.

Letting My Gratitude Flow Freely

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m thankful for the wisdom of my inner child.
  2. I’m thankful for the women who waited patiently for me to wake up, wise up, and notice they were there to give as well as receive.
  3. I am grateful for expansion. The more I open my mind, the more I see, hear, and feel.
  4. I am grateful for love in all it’s forms. And I look forward to discovering more of those forms in the years yet to come.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; friendship, love, new experiences, challenges, lessons, faith, hope, peace, harmony, prosperity, and philanthropy.

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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