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

Posts tagged ‘Laws of Attraction’

The Invisibility of Emotional Abandonment

Healing Abandonment Issues

Created with CanvaThe last few months have brought a series of epiphanies which, when I finally connected the dots made me realize I had abandonment issues. Yet, a thorough review of my last 60-odd years revealed no particular incident when someone abandoned me—or so I thought.

Further review of my personal time line told another story. Sure, I haven’t been physically abandoned in the literal sense. The abandonment issues in my personal history are something I hadn’t even considered. They all occurred on an emotional level. It could explain why I found them so easy to stuff down inside—to deny their existence.

My mother, who had a history of being emotionally abandoned herself, always told me I was the more difficult child. In retrospect, of course I was. I was the first child who lived (her first pregnancy ended in miscarriage), and I’m not sure she was emotionally prepared to be a mother in the first place. At 21, she’d never lived alone. She went from her mother’s house to her husband’s apartment, but only after the ring was on her finger.

History Repeats Itself if You Let It

Sure, it was a different time, but I know from experience there’s a lot to learn living on your own, and having kids right away doesn’t make it easier. In my mom’s case, she didn’t even know how to cook, and learned on her own rather than asking for her mother’s help. Barely 2 years and one miscarriage later, she had me to deal with as well; a helpless baby who demanded more of her time than she knew how to give.

By the time my sister came along 2 1/2 years later, she’d made her share of mistakes, but learned a lot too. Of course my sister was an easier child! She was born to an experienced mother!

It didn’t help when I contracted Scarlatina which led to a penicillin allergy before I was 5. Add to that, a blindness scare at 10 before they realized I was susceptible to ocular migraines, a legacy from my dad and his mom. So if my mother shut down emotionally to protect her own shaky sanity, I can see now she did it for good reason, if not in my best interests.

Searching for the Love I Needed my mother’s love, I spent years trying to earn the love and affection from a man who, quite frankly, hadn’t been trained to give it. Until my grandmother died when I was 12, she and my grandfather were deeply immersed in each other. Their kids, my dad and his sister, got whatever was left. Affection was typically communicated with sarcasm and ridicule.

As I look back, no matter how hard I tried to measure up to my dad’s expectations so I could earn a love which should have been given simply because I was his child, he’d always set the bar a little higher than I could reach. In the end, he loved me as best he could, but for a shy, introverted, little girl with zero self-confidence, it wasn’t enough.

I grew up imitating my dad. But I wasn’t nearly as good at it as he, and made a lot of poor choices in my desperation to be loved and accepted. I vacillated between hardening my outer shell and playing chameleon for decades until the shell started breaking down and I began making drastic changes.

Learning the Difference Between Seeking and Allowing

The first was to divorce my alcoholic and emotionally abusive husband. Yes, I’m statistic; a woman who marries a man similar to her most damaged parent; in this case, my mom, in hopes of fixing what’s broken and earning the love she was denied. Trust me, it’s a battle that can’t be won.

What followed was a series of fits and starts. I hid inside my self-made cave, pretending I needed no one for several years. I had a couple of emotionally bankrupt relationships before giving up dating for what would ultimately last more than 20 years. Still, I knew I wasn’t meant to live without love. But experience hadn’t taught me what it really looked like, much less, how to go about finding it.

Connecting With My Spirituality and Self-Love

When I was introduced to “The Secret” I felt an almost physical shift. At first, it affected my own self-image and drove me to read more and more about fixing myself. I now have a shelf full of books ranging from “Laws of Attraction” to Kabbalah. Some have helped me more than others, but I’m not done learning.

The walls came down, the shell shattered. I’ve opened up to people and changed my social circle a time or seven. The most significant change I’ve seen is people opening up to me. Therein lies the biggest hole in my earlier years.

Breaking the Legacy and Removing My Masks

My parents, and everyone around me were a series of constantly smiling masks. No one shared their true self, and everyone was damaged in some way; some far more than others. It was a world where you either pretended your world was perfect, or faced ridicule and disgust from those around you. Broken was considered ugly. Vulnerable was weak.

By the time I figured it out, I’d seen first-hand what it cost to keep those masks in place. I’d had a few melt-downs myself, in the privacy of my own home. My mother had had the ultimate meltdown, swallowed a bunch of sleeping pills and laid her masks down for good. A few years later, my dad made a similar choice, using a gun instead of pills. He, too put down the masks and lowered the walls after a lifetime of holding them in place, sometimes out of sheer stubbornness. I have to wonder if there were times when the hold was tenuous, and his mood bordered on desperation.

Building on a Strong, Supportive Foundation At Last

Lest you think this is an excuse for a pity party, let me assure you, it’s quite the opposite. Lacking a strong emotional foundation, I had to figure out how to erect one of my own. I learned in the process it’s not something you do in a vacuum.

I’ve learned to gather around me strong, supportive friends who are able to share their own times of need, and reach out to me. The foundation I’ve built is not just my own strengths shoring up internal weaknesses. It’s built on what I’ve been able to offer my friends, but more important; what they’ve been able to offer me.

We are stronger for the people we’re able to give to and accept from. None of us have everything we need to build our foundation, any more than we have every skill, or all the knowledge we need to live a successful, fulfilled life. My parents never figured that out, nor did theirs. I was given the opportunity to change the pattern. I was also given a daughter who, like me, wanted to see it change.

We’ve each made changes in our own ways, but have also built our own communities, both together and separate. It may have begun with unrecognized emotional abandonment, but if you ask me, what it’s grown into was (almost) worth the tough lessons I had to learn alone.

Making Gratitude a Daily Practice

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for the life I was given; all the hills and valleys, smooth roads, and potholes. I’ve learned and I’ve grown from the challenges.
  2. I’m grateful for the friends who even now are patient with me when I knee-jerk and crawl back into my hole. They know when to push and when to let me be to figure it out.
  3. I’m grateful for dancing which, in it’s own way, forces me to get out of my shell and out from behind the walls.
  4. I’m grateful for the writing which has allowed me to safely express things until I was ready to share more openly. And for the people it’s brought to me for the sharing.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, sharing, vulnerability, joy, dancing, motivation, inspiration, support, community, health, peace, 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

How Do You Re-focus When Intentions Go Awry?

Untangling Our Mixed Signals keep setting intentions to attract clients and money, and release weight but somehow I get my wires crossed. Lately it’s become a real struggle to avoid self-sabotaging by eating too late and snacking on the wrong things. Meanwhile, every time I attract more money, something happens and I attract more expenses as well. I’m stuck trying to figure out how to uncross my wires and get back on track in all area of my life.

It reminds me of a conversation I had years ago with someone who said: Every time I ask for abundance, I put on weight!

So how do we clarify our signals? How do we re-focus our intentions so the Universe (or whichever force you happen to look to for guidance) understands where we want the changes in our life to occur, and in which direction?

Those Negative Voices Again

I believe it comes down to the stories we tell ourselves without realizing it. Too many times, we’re telling ourselves we don’t deserve what we’re asking to find or attract. Every time we tell ourselves things like “you’re too fat”, or “you’re no expert. Others are smarter/better/more talented than you”, or simply “what makes you so special that you deserve this more than someone else?” we’re sending mixed messages to the Laws of Attraction.

Recently I was tasked to create 3 tips I could post various places on Social Media. I found every reason/excuse in the book to avoid the task. My coach finally asked me point-blank, Why are you really avoiding this?  Without thinking about it, I said: Because so many people in the audience (groups, pages, etc.) are smarter and better at this than I am.

She pointed out to me where I was unique and why I could honestly put myself out there as an expert. Not THE Expert, but an expert. The world I’m in is broad enough to allow many of us to be experts in our own area; our own niche. Mine happens to be both my age and experience with life, and my ability to write from someone else’s heartfelt voice. She said she’s worked with a number of copywriters, but none have been able to match her voice. Some came close, but no one really nailed it.

We’re Shaped by the Decades We’ve Lived Through, the World Events We’ve Experienced

Part of that is where they’re coming from. A 30-year-old will find it difficult to write from the point-of-view of a 60-year-old. It has nothing to do with their talent and skill. They simply haven’t seen some of the things the 60-year-old has seen in their lifetime. They haven’t lived in an era of dial phones, no computers, and actually being unreachable for hours a day because you couldn’t take a phone or even a pager with you. And they haven’t failed as many times, nor picked themselves up and reinvented the person they were to become as many times either.

That isn’t to say people of different ages and generations can’t relate on a deep level. But it does pose a challenge if you’re trying to write as if you were someone whose experiences with life are vastly different from your own. In order to do that, you have to be able to put yourself in their shoes, and if you lack key experiences, that’s a tall order.

Sending the Right Messages to Attract What You Desire returning to the topic at hand, how do you tell the Universe you want the numbers on the scale to go down while your bank balance goes up?

Once you’ve gotten the subconscious voices under control (and you have to constantly be on the alert, as they’re sneaky little devils), you can try being a little more specific, but leaving it open for a bigger improvement than you’re asking for.

For example, you might say: I want to add at least one $3000 client in the next two weeks, or better. Or I want to release 10 pounds in the next 30 days, or better.

In both cases, you’ve set a specific goal instead of something nebulous and you’ve left the door open for improvements on your request. Now the Laws of Attraction know exactly what you intend to increase, and what you intend to decrease. No confusion.

For me, I might also add: I would like the will power to avoid salty and sugary snacks. I also want to avoid eating after 7PM. For the attraction of money and clients, I could say: I want my expenses to decrease by 10% or better in order to keep the outflow from rising to match the new inflow. Again, specificity not only affects what you attract, but helps you keep your mindset in the green, so to speak.

Stopping the Negative Thoughts in Their Tracks negative thoughts aren’t going to stop flowing in. The trick is to catch them when they’re still a seedling and pluck them out before they’ve had a chance to establish a strong root system inside your head.

Not as easy as it sounds sometimes. I go to the gym 3 times a week, and while there, I see a lot of people of all ages who wear the spandex pants and sports bras and look great in them. I show up in a baggy men’s t-shirt and shorts that are now a size too big (that’s a good thing!), my hair yanked into a messy bun with a twisty, and a good deal rounder than they probably ever were. BUT, there are also people who are a good deal heavier than me, and who can barely lift 5 or 10 pound weights.

Because I’ve been consistent (yay me!) I’ve worked my way up to weights that even surprise me! I’m doing chest presses and flys with 32.5 pound free weights (though I’m about to increase that to 35), I use a 50 pound bar for tricep work. Six months ago, I was using a 20. And I’m doing leg work with weights I’d never have imagined would feel remotely comfortable back in February when I first started getting regular with my workouts.

Looking at How Far We’ve Come Instead of Comparing Ourselves to Others

The point is, I may not look as strong and healthy as some of the people at the gym, but I’m stronger than many, and look better than enough. Yet the real point is, I’m not them, and have no business comparing myself. Where I need to shift my focus is to how much I’ve accomplished, and ignore any outside stimuli. Whenever we allow ourselves to compare unfavorably with someone else, we let those voices out of the corral where they run amok. When they run amok, they scramble our message and cross our wires. That’s where what we truly want gets confused in the execution.

When it comes to physical fitness, look at how much more you can do than you could x number of months ago, or what size you’re wearing now vs. then. With your financial abundance, look at your earnings, or if that hasn’t manifested yet, look at how much you’re putting yourself out there or how many people are starting to ask you to connect, or something else that’s changed for the better as you’ve been working on bettering yourself.

In the end, it’s about celebrating your wins, and minimizing the time you spend thinking about your losses. As I’ve told my kids for years, take the lesson and leave the pain behind.

Show Gratitude for the Wins, Both Large and Small

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the progress I’ve made in all areas of my life.
  2. I am grateful for the free flow of words I get from a mere glimmer of an idea.
  3. I am grateful for being able to get up earlier these days.
  4. I am grateful for more productive days and less that leave me feeling guilty about what I haven’t done.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; high-ticket clients, increased strength (you should see me fling a 5-gallon bottle of water around like it weighs a lot less), a strong, unforgiving mentor, my supportive community, connection, growth, lessons, challenges, opportunities, joy, laughter, love, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light


About the Author

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

Painting Goals in Broad Strokes

Synchronicity and Broad Strokes

I subscribe to “Messages from the Universe” which sends an email every weekday full of encouragement and positivity. Quite often, those messages go straight to my heart. The one for April 26th, is especially appropriate for me:

Expecting “end results” – such as wealth and abundance, health and harmony, friends and laughter – in broad brushstrokes, is part of the secret formula for manifesting the life of your dreams.

Expecting your path to follow a certain route – such as writing a bestseller to accumulate wealth, having a particular someone fall in love with you, or insisting upon this idea, that diet, or the other invention to be your deliverance – is just plain messing with the cursed hows and severely limits my options.

He would have to mention “writing a bestseller”, ensuring he had my attention on this one. As several friends share the messages from time to time, I know this is the same message everyone gets, but boy, did it hit home for me!

As often happens, when I get a particularly pointed message from the Universe, it’s repeated several times to ensure I’m paying attention and ready to act on what I’m hearing. I’m getting a similar message from the #HeartfeltAcademy suggesting I set goals and break them into smaller pieces which can be managed daily, weekly, monthly, or even quarterly.

Find a Goal and Break it Down

Of course, the hard part is not only picking one goal, but being realistic about what I can accomplish in smaller segments of time. For example, I’ve tried setting goals to re-write a chapter or two a week, but with other tasks I took on in the meantime, allowed that goal to slip away, not just for a few days, but for months on end.

I’m realizing though we need to pick one goal at a time to focus on, the rest of our life doesn’t come to a standstill while we’re doing it. In order to make those small steps work, we have to be conscious of the other commitments we’ve already made to ourselves; the other goals we are accomplishing every day.

I’ve established goals for my morning pages and gym visits which are now pretty much engraved in stone. Creating another daily activity involves more than just deciding to do it. It means managing my time more efficiently so I can add one more thing to my day or week. Admittedly, I sometimes get frustrated with it all and end up accomplishing nothing except what I was already doing anyway.

Focus on Accomplishments

Instead of beating myself up about it, I’ve learned to take a step back and look at the whole picture. I’ve done my morning pages every day. I’ve gone to the gym 3 times a week for the last couple of months (except the day I came home from the cruise, but as I got over 50,000 steps in 3 days, and the day I missed was leg day, I decided to be OK with a missed day). I also surprised myself by getting up earlier for the last few days as if in preparation for an increase in daily activity and expectations.

Sometimes we have to give our minds and bodies a little time to catch up with our new goals and plans. If we were only doing actual work for 4 hours a day, jumping into an 8-hour day (unless you have to drag yourself into someone else’s office to do so) is extremely difficult, at least on a regular basis. I know my mind is trying to adapt to the idea by getting bored more easily with hitting the snooze, forcing me to  get up after only swatting the obnoxious contraption one or two times instead of my usual five or six.

Also, the rest of the team doesn’t start making adjustments until and unless we prove we’re fully committed to the new demands on our time. My own system decided I was finally ready when I started committing to the homework assignments in the afore-mentioned #HeartfeltAcademy.

Commit First, Ask Questions Later

And yet, I haven’t clearly defined what those new commitments will be. It seems the act of committing to making a change is all it takes for the shift to start happening. Sometimes, taking small steps like choosing healthier food options, or increasing the amount of exercise you get, or even something as simple as setting your alarm can trigger positive changes.

The broad brush strokes we paint pick up on the modifications we make to our normal routine. They recognize our mental shifts even if we haven’t gotten up to speed yet. Which is exactly my point when I suggest setting goals as broadly as possible. The less we get stuck in the details, or as a former colleague put it, the weeds, the more opportunities the Universe has to bring us exactly what we need when we need it.

Of course, simply setting a goal is only the beginning. I’ve spent countless hours writing out what my future world will look like including sights, sounds, smells and tactile sensations. I’ve included little nuances that mean something only to me. I’ve written them longhand and read them out loud to myself and whichever felines choose to grace my desk and pretend to listen. Why? Because our goals begin to manifest from the passion we invest into the reality we envision.

Using the Laws of Attraction

As a firm believer in the Laws of Attraction, I see it as a simple but powerful formula.

Vision + Passion + Action = Manifestation

In other words, you have to have a vision you can see, hear, feel, taste and touch which gets you excited just thinking, writing, or talking about it. The more you picture the life of your dreams, the more excited you get. That excitement attracts opportunities you might not even recognize as stepping stones to your ultimate goal. Regardless, you have to act on the opportunities which come your way, even if they seem, at times, to take you in a different direction.

Thinking about it, I probably should have included “trust” in the equation. You have to trust that the opportunities you’re given are going to take you in the right direction, albeit in a more circuitous manner than you’d have chosen if left to your own devices. But the circuitous path is there for a reason. In part, there are aspects which will hone skills you aren’t yet aware you’ll need. You may also find connections to like-minded people you might have missed had you stayed on a straight and narrow road.

Choosing Our Opportunities Wisely

In my case, I looked at a lot of opportunities for coaching and mentoring, and had actually narrowed my choices down to less than a handful. When an opportunity came to join a community which brought together a number of skills and services along with coaching, I realized it was exactly what I was waiting for, and without thought or analysis, jumped on it immediately. I know some of the changes I’m experiencing now are a direct result of that decision.

Since the life of our dreams is typically a moving target (who knows what we can have until we manifest some of what we think we want?) the process has to evolve as well. We may find we are part way to what we’d been envisioning and find something more exciting and fulfilling to aspire to. That’s perfectly fine, and in fact, it’s more than fine. It’s amazing!

Sometimes We Have to Get Out of Our Own Way

We’re only able to envision things slightly outside our own experience. When we expand our horizons, our visions expand as well.  Right now I may see myself living on a private peninsula overlooking the Pacific Ocean with my cats, a small rescue operation, groves of fruit trees, and cabins for my artist friends to use when they need a creative retreat. Who’s to say that vision won’t change when I see what else is available? For now, I see myself drinking my morning coffee on the west-facing porch with a cat or three at my side and my morning pages in my lap.

There’s a chef’s kitchen where I can either cook up messes with my daughter and son-in-law, or bring someone in to cook and clean for me. Of course, there’s a two-story library with a spiral staircase, loads of comfortable, well-lit seating, and at least a couple of shelves dedicated to my own published work. I even see myself standing on the staircase toasting a fellow author who got a plum of a book, or even movie deal.

I see it. I believe it. I feel the joy of having it all come true. And yet, there’s also a spark of unknown excitement for what I don’t even see coming yet. That spark keeps my passion alive even when things seem bleak, and I’m ready to throw in the towel and go back to doing something I hate, but which I know will pay the bills. That passion has me accepting new challenges and connecting with people when my introverted self would rather hide. And it has me sitting down at the computer, pounding out another 1500 words or so when, all too often, I didn’t have a thought in my head about what I wanted to write when I sat down in the chair and placed my fingers on the keys.

When our goals are fueled by passion, and we don’t sweat the small stuff, we move forward in spite of ourselves. We can’t stop the forward momentum without hurting ourselves in the process. And frankly, why would we want to?

Throwing in a Little Gratitude to Grease the Wheels

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the friends who have become family.
  2. I am grateful for dancing as it keeps me moving, brings me joy, and attracts all the best people.
  3. I am grateful for my writing. It inspires me, teaches me, and is my greatest commitment to myself.
  4. I am grateful for my cats who love me no matter what, keep me from spending too much time alone, and remind me to take frequent breaks, if only to give them attention or fill their food bowl.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; energy, love, joy, dancing, friendship, exuberance, silliness, supportive people when I need them, opportunities to give support, expanded horizons, peace, health, harmony, philanthropy and prosperity.

Love and Light


About the Author


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 ghostwriting to help your business 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 Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

Lining Up Your Ducks: Grabbing Opportunities as they Arise

Raising Awareness of the Opportunities Around Us

All too often we wander through life stuck inside our own minds. We struggle through problems and challenges, oblivious to the fact that solutions are sitting there, waiting for us to notice them. Most of the time, they wait patiently, like a dutiful child waits for an adult to invite them to speak. But when the Universe becomes tired of waiting, its impatience manifests in ways we can’t ignore.

Whether we make the connection between those irritants, both major and minor, and the problems we’re letting our mind wrestle with is entirely up to us.

Physical Challenges are Indications of Personal Challenges

Lately, I’ve had a frustrating time with a plumbing leak. First it was, then it wasn’t. It was here, then it was there. I lived with two holes in my slab, only to have the leak reappear in an entirely different place. At least the leak is now fixed and the holes are patched, all but the surprise hole in the wall I found when I was replacing the contents of the closet where the repair was made.

I spent a lot of time thinking about the issues with the plumbing in my house. I thought about the way I’d used excessive amounts of water and natural gas before becoming aware of the problem with my pipes. I realized that while my house was hemorrhaging natural resources, so was I, in my own way. But where were the leaks in my personal life? What resources (aside from the obvious one, money) was I hemorrhaging?

Recognizing When Plumbing Leaks Tell you to Look Within

While waiting for the leak to reappear and get fixed, I spent a lot of time meditating. I found it really tough to actually sit quietly and focus when I felt like my world was coming apart at the seams. Yet, I knew the only way to get things back in balance was to work through the frustrations calmly.

I began asking myself questions. How did the initial inaccurate locating of the leak apply to me personally? Where was I inaccurately locating my own dwindling or misused resources? While I was waiting for the leak to re-appear, I asked myself what I might be using to mask the real problem.

Not surprisingly, once I started asking myself the right questions about my personal life, the leak re-appeared, was accurately located, and repaired. I don’t see this as a coincidence.

When a new issue arose, the unmentioned hole in the wall, I asked even more questions.

How are other things affected when my attention is diverted? What am I still avoiding or neglecting?

Hidden outflow of resources

In the midst of hyper focusing on the leaks without and within, I completely missed another area where things were out of balance. My cat Toby suddenly lost a lot of weight and was refusing to eat more than a few bites. For better or worse, the vet I see now tends to look at worst case scenarios. Though the tests pointed to pancreatitis, she felt there was reason to test for lymphoma as well. Though an ultrasound revealed a couple of masses in Toby’s abdomen, the minimally invasive tests failed to turn up any cancerous cells. I’ve been treating the pancreatitis and am seeing a marked improvement in his appetite  and behavior in only a week. He’s even regained almost a pound of what he lost!

Yet again I was forced to recognize that working through everything with only my brain and emotions was a sure-fire road to failure. As long as I focused on how upset I was instead of how sick he was, we made no progress. As soon as I made it about him and his comfort, he started making more effort to eat, and I got the encouraging lab work back. We put him on appropriate medication for the pancreatitis, and now, he’s acting like his old cuddly, demanding self again. He has enough energy to eat solid food, and lets me know in no uncertain terms when it’s time to give him more of the deli turkey he’s taken a fancy to.

And boy, did everything else suffer while I wallowed! I didn’t dance, I didn’t talk to anyone, I didn’t write, and I didn’t do a single thing to help my business grow and thrive.

Pay Attention to Opportunities that Arise

Recognizing when your focus is misdirected is the first step towards recognizing the opportunities which have been right in front of you the entire time. How many did I miss while my focus was too narrow, too self-involved? How many do you miss when you forget to look at the whole forest and not just one sickly little tree?

Our lives ebb and flow in a constant, ever-changing cycle. We only truly recognize it when we look back and see how what appeared to be a disaster at the time turned out to be one of the best things ever. It brought a kaleidoscope of color into our black-and-white life. We found things within ourselves we’d never have found had we not been forcibly ejected from the comfortable rut we’d dug ourselves.

Whether it’s a job you’ve lost or a relationship that ended, they all lead us to where we are at this moment. A song by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band which was later re-recorded by Rascal Flatts epitomizes this idea. Our broken roads truly do lead us to where we are today.


Laws of Attraction Doesn’t Happen in a Vacuum

If you believe in the Laws of Attraction (and not everyone does), you are probably setting intentions and seeing yourself in better situations than you currently experience. You visualize like crazy, flip your attitude, and a dozen other tools you’ve learned from the books and videos, and perhaps a webinar or two. You might also have figured out that visualizing and positive thinking alone aren’t enough.

Laws of Attraction is not now, nor ever has been about sitting around on a lily pad visualizing a better life and expecting it to drop into your lap with no effort on your part. In order to attract the life you envision (or an even better one) you have to recognize what I like to call the stepping stones.

Each time you complete a step, an opportunity you’ve been given and acted upon, you’ll be given another. But you won’t even reach the first step in your journey unless you pay attention to the signals, opportunities, and even warnings you manifest when you set those intentions. You probably won’t achieve those dreams or have the opportunity to set new ones. You’ll sit in your hovel joining the ranks who write endless posts debunking the Laws of Attraction, The Secret, and others who insist the process works.

It’s pretty simple, really. You don’t learn to dance by sitting on a bar stool and you don’t improve your life by wishing it into existence alone.

Solve the Mysteries

What’s holding you back? What challenges are you facing in your outer life that point to issues within? What signs have you been ignoring? What steps aren’t you taking to manifest your dreams? Let your mind drift. Watch those thoughts and emotions float by without engaging. They’re there, certainly. But we needn’t allow ourselves to live a life of conditioned responses. Do you really want to react to things the way you did when you were 5? or 12? or heaven forbid, 16? Feelings we formed as children and teenagers will continue to arise unless we teach ourselves that what triggered the conditioned responses no longer carries the same emotional impact.

Look at the feelings when they arise without reacting. Put on your detective hat and trace them back to their origins. See how they no longer serve your best and highest purpose—and let them go!

Embrace Periods of Uncertainty.

What about those gut feelings? The ones we feel as physical discomfort or even pain. What do they mean? Try looking at what’s happening in your life to find the trigger. Did you have a fight with someone? Is your job in jeopardy? Bills piling up? Is someone close to you ill? Is something in need of repair?

Have you experienced any of this before? How did you feel? Most important, how did you deal with it? Did you come out OK in the end?

Know that you don’t have to have all of the answers. Sometimes, you have to let something play out without reacting, or more likely, over-reacting. Be OK with not knowing. The answer will come at the right time and no amount of pushing, prodding, or worrying will make it come any faster. Accept that the information you need may not be available yet. Remain open so you’ll be ready.

Taking time to Be

Many of us are conditioned to be, do, solve, and resolve. We think we have to come up with all of the answers; all the solutions. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Even the most isolated among us can’t possibly do or solve everything. Yet learning to receive is often one of the toughest lessons we ever have to learn. And yes, we have to learn it. It’s scary because we’ve told ourselves asking for help makes us vulnerable. Maybe we can even cite an instance where doing so kicked us in the pants. If we gave up on everything that knocked us down, we’d never learn anything new. If you take it back to the very basics, we’d still be depending on someone to feed us pre-digested food which we’d poop out into a diaper!

Life is about doing things that scare us. It’s about taking chances, and making mistakes. We take a chance every day when we get out of bed. We could fall. We could cut ourselves. All the calamities we risk just moving around our own homes could bring on a full-fledged panic attack—if we let them. But we don’t. We take chances. We put ourselves out there. We learn new things.

Sometimes, what we learn is how to let go. It’s OK to do nothing at times. Though it might be hard to sit back and wait, sometimes that’s exactly what you need to do. Give yourself permission to step back and wait. It is a better answer than trying to force things. Let things unfold naturally. Let someone offer to help, and take them up on it without dissolving into a quivering mass of fear over what you mistakenly perceive as vulnerability. Because what you’re really doing is giving someone a chance to fulfill a need in themselves to help someone else!

Challenges Come to Us For a Reason

To sum it all up, the challenges in our lives aren’t really challenges at all. They’re opportunities to move further along our path. Each one mastered brings us closer to one of our dreams. Sure, they may not seem like opportunities at the time. Sometimes, we just have to take what’s before us at face value, putting one foot in front of the other until we get past the bumps in our road.

Some are gentle and others are what I like to call “Universal Head Slaps”. They kick our butts and force us to put everything we have into learning the lesson. I believe those are truly the best ones because afterwards, we’re left with not only some new skills, but a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. Anyone who has been through a divorce or a death in the family knows the sense of pride that comes with weathering one of life’s tougher storms. You get to add another “I got through that!” to your list of outstanding accomplishments. You’re stronger and smarter for the experience. You’ll need those tools for the challenges and opportunities to come.

Whether You Call Then Challenges or Opportunities, Gratitude Makes Your Road Less Rocky

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the challenges which became opportunities to be stronger, smarter, and closer to my dreams.
  2. I am grateful for the times when the road was smooth and the times when it felt like I was herding cats.
  3. I am grateful for the people who are helping me learn the joys of receiving.
  4. I am grateful for the gift which allows me to communicate the lessons I’ve learned.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, challenges and opportunities, sharing, caring, compassion, vulnerability, strength, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

The Facebook Live on this topic can be found here.

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. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information.


Photo courtesy of Russellstreet via Flikr

Self-Sabotaging Money Story

When My Thoughts Bring My Brain to a Screeching Halt

This morning I was up early to take two of my boys in for their long-delayed checkups. I knew at least one of them would need dental work soon and wasn’t surprised when Dylan needed his work sooner rather than later.

As I handed over my credit card to pay the $521 bill for blood work and office visits for the two boys, I found myself thinking It’s only money. WHAT???

I realized I’ve been telling myself that almost every time a large expense came up. I was horrified by the thought that I’d resigned myself to my lack mentality! What a crock! After all the time I spend being grateful for having everything I need, to discover I’ve been undermining myself all along was quite a wake-up call.

How Our Conditioned Responses Kick Our Butts

The Laws of Attraction say the Universe will always respond to our requests and give us what we ask for. My dismissing money in this callous fashion is counteracting all of the times I express gratitude for being able to give my kitties and me the life I envision, and all of the charities I’ve been envisioning funding. Just 3 little words are turning all of my best intentions upside down.

It started me thinking, how many times I allow conditioned responses to crumble the inroads of progress I’ve made towards my goals; to dissolve my visualizations of my perfect life like a puff of smoke?

In Neurogym’s “Winning the game of {money/weight loss/fear/etc.}” series, one of the things they mention repeatedly in every single course is mindfulness. Whether it’s eating mindfully to lose weight or being mindful of the steps you’re taking and the signals you’re receiving to achieve your goals, it’s important to be aware of how you’re truly thinking about those goals. If you’re wishy washy about them, the likelihood of seeing them materialize is pretty much nil.

My errant but all-too-frequent thought I had today is clearly a huge part of what’s been holding me back and allowing me to make excuses for not accomplishing squat. So here’s what I’m doing to change my money story for the better.

Seeking Clarity by Asking Questions

I’m asking myself to answer the question: What is money?

Money is:

  • A tool
  • A means of exchanging one product or service for another
  • A way to value something I have to offer
  • A universally recognized thing which allows us to help others by giving them something they can then exchange for something they need
  • An arbitrary unit of measure
  • In and of itself, neither good nor evil
  • Used by some to differentiate between the haves and have nots
  • A way to convert my visualizations and effort into the tangible realization of my dreams

I’m sure you can add a dozen or so more definitions to my list because we all see it as something a little different, just as we value its possession in different manners. But there is really no question that it can be useful to have more of it than less, right?

Stop the Self-Sabotaging Behavior With a Well-placed Pivot

I read a blog post today which reminded me of the concept of “pivoting” which I first read about in “Laws of Attraction”. It is the perfect example of what I realized was needed when I noticed the direction my thoughts were taking. I realized that when I find myself thinking It’s only money, what I need to switch my thoughts to is something like: I’m so grateful I have enough money to give my animals the very best possible care. or I’m so grateful I have enough money to support Cat House on the Kings and Fixnation in their efforts to improve the lives of our feline population.

Then, I firmly affix that beautiful visual of my private peninsula overlooking the ocean where I rescue cats, grow fruits and vegetables to share, and have a couple of secluded cabins for my artist friends to use when they need to get away and work on their craft.

Sure, it might “only” be money, but it is the means to achieve my dreams. It is the validation for giving up the corporate world and pounding away at my keyboard for hours at a time. It is the reward for stepping so far outside my comfort zone that trying to look back makes me dizzy. And it is what gives me the freedom to work my own hours and make my own rules; to work from home or a cabana on some tropical island or a hotel room high above Sedona.

Giving Myself the Necessary Re-set

In short, to me, money is freedom. And there’s no “only” in freedom.

What’s your money story? Is it serving you or thwarting you? What can you do to ensure that it takes you where you want and deserve to go? Please share your thoughts and experiences. We can all benefit from what you’ve learned in your spins around the sun.

Gratitude: The Ultimate Attractor

  1. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and the way they show up when I need them.
  2. I am grateful for the words of others which often clarify what I’m trying to sort out.
  3. I am grateful for money and all of the things it can do for me and the things and people I care about.
  4. I am grateful for my new money story.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; knowledge, lessons, money, friends, mentors, coaches, wisdom, sustainability, goals, dreams, visualizations, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Blessed Be

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

Picture courtesy of Pictures of Money via Flickr

With a Little Help from my Friends

Sometimes We Need a Reminder We’re Never Completely Alone

I lead a fairly solitary life. Sometimes by choice and sometimes because the hours I keep just don’t mesh with normal humans. I don’t say this as a complaint, but rather as a simple statement of fact. In truth, for the most part I love my solitude. I do the things that make me happy; write, cook, read, snuggle with my cats, research new things. Even now, I love to learn. I don’t necessarily enjoy studying or taking tests, but I love learning whether it’s something big and life-changing or just a bunch of random facts on a subject that interests me. My brain is happy when it is being filled with new thoughts and ideas.

Because I love those new facts and ideas, I also love to talk (strange, I know, coming from an introvert), but I’m picky about my conversation partners. I prefer people with open minds who are not inclined to fall back on someone else’s tired dogma; people whose minds are open to new ideas or are constantly chewing over the old ones to see if they’re still relevant. And I love the ideas that are filled with positive energy.

The people I most appreciate are those who make me stand up and listen; who make me re-think my own tired, outmoded ideas in favor of those which are less confining, less restrictive and above all, more likely to attract positive results.

Accountability Buddies

Nearly a month ago, I got fed up with seeing the numbers on my scale increasing and decided to take action. I started using MyFitnessPal again to track food and exercise. The first couple of weeks were great as I dropped about 5 pounds. Since then, I’ve only dropped a couple, but I have to keep telling myself Progress is progress. Truth be told, I do have more energy and more motivation. I’ve made progress on the revision of Sasha’s Journey and begun refilling my freezer with healthy, single serving meals.

There are times like last night while I was putting together a pot of Turkey Pumpkin Chili when I enjoy the silence and the solitude. But sometimes, I just need a couple of attaboys to help me see I’m on the right track (or, as in this morning, a figurative head slap to remind me I’m going down the wrong one). My healthy eating accountability buddy and I burn up the phone with text messages every day, encouraging each other and helping avoid temptation. Trader Joe’s has been especially bad this year with chocolate covered pumpkin-y goodness, but I’ve found things which don’t blow my daily calorie count out the door while satisfying my need for sweet, pumpkin-y goodness.

Today, an accountability buddy I had not even acknowledged gave me one of those head slaps. I made a comment in a thread about men being intimidated by intelligent women. In it, I remarked, quite innocently, I thought, that I’ve been drawn to intelligent people more and more lately, and especially those who eschew the dogma of someone else’s teaching to think for themselves, be it spiritually, politically or socially. More importantly, they are people who don’t mind if others disagree with them as long as it is done respectfully.

What my friend made me realize is that I’m still holding negative thoughts about attracting the attention of the male of the species in a mutually beneficial manner. Once she got my attention, my brain started chewing on the thought and I came to the realization it is all intertwined.

I’m displeased with myself for allowing my weight to creep up and for getting away from my regular gym routine so I’ve somehow managed to send that displeasure down an old, well-worn path. If I’m displeased with my behavior, then I’m not worthy enough to attract someone who can appreciate me, challenge my brain and just be someone I’d enjoy spending time with. To quote a line from the movie ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 days’, “Bulls**t!” What you believe-Buddha

It does make me realize I still have much work to do on my self-image. I need to permanently annihilate the idea that only young, slim women find someone who can love and appreciate them, be supportive but not smothering and even be a balance for the areas where I’m not as strong as I’d like people to believe. At times, I still believe the old Pam Tillis classic ‘All the Good Ones are Gone’ Pam Tillis-All the Good Ones are Gone

Thankfully, my accountability buddy slapped some sense into me, reminding me that they’re only gone if I believe they are. In fact, she gave me a not-so-subtle reminder when she posted this: She’s obviously learned I’m not much for subtlety.

Remembering to Appreciate Those Accountability Buddies

This post is a shout out to everyone who helps me be good to myself, be true to the image I want to present and to remove self trash talk from my vocabulary. I love you all and appreciate you more than you know, though I often forget to acknowledge all you are to me.

I ask you to take a few moments and think about the people in your life who help you stay on track. They’re there even if you aren’t conscious of their presence or the contributions they make in your path to building a better you.

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for my accountability buddies.
2. I am grateful for the progress I’ve made and the progress still to come.
3. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned, the mistakes I’ve made, the broken roads I’ve traveled and the people I’ve met along the way.
4. I’m grateful for the ability to look honestly at what I’m doing or saying and, sometimes with a little help, realize where I need to make changes.
5. I am grateful for abundance: friendship, love, lessons, positive examples, kindness, compassion, community, solitude, motivation, inspiration, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages at and . Please also drop by my website, 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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