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

Posts tagged ‘Lessons’

Express Your Opinion With Kindness

Whatever Your Opinion, Be Kind

kindnessSome people feel the need to rant, or to meet every opinion that contradicts theirs with an argument. I’ve decided I need to let them rant or fume, but save my own sanity, and refrain from adding my opinion to their rant; which often means fuel to their fire. It’s taking me a long time to learn I don’t need to push my opinion on others, and especially when we are on opposite sides of an emotionally charged issue. Neither of us is going to change our view by being shouted at, preached at, or browbeaten, so why engage at all?

Each person has their own wants, needs, beliefs, and desires. They won’t all match yours. Be kind. You can’t possibly know all the reasons someone else believes as they do, any more than they can be privy to yours. I’ve learned through a few hard lessons the best thing to do is disarm your own triggers, and recognize when someone else’s are armed and ready to fire. In most cases, their battle isn’t yours to fight anyway.

Once upon a time, I dove into every fray with cannons ablaze, ready to fight for what I perceived to be the underdog. In at least 95% of the cases, I learned after I’d been bruised and battered myself that I’d been manipulated, and I dove into someone else’s fight with the sketchiest of information. It took several repetitions of the same lesson before I realized it wasn’t my job to fight someone else’s battles, or to succumb to their entreaties and altered perceptions about how they’d been wronged.

Picking My Battles on the Road to Compassion

I have strong opinions of my own about some topics, while others leave me feeling detached, battlesor worse, scratching my head in confusion. Learning to sit back and wait until I see a more complete picture, or, if it’s important enough to me, doing my own research has kept me out of many battles I wasn’t meant to fight in the first place.

Sure, there have been people who attacked me for remaining neutral, mostly because they were of the mistaken opinion everyone should believe as they did, and respond with equal parts outrage and chest pounding. Those who became abusive in the bargain are now history as far as my life is concerned.

As I continue adding years to my stay in this form (for which I continue to be grateful), I become more aware of what really matters. It isn’t joining every battle, or even those of the people I love and respect. The best way for me to show them my love and respect is to be supportive quietly, and to show as much kindness as I can to everyone—especially the ones I disagree with.

Leaving Regrets Behind While Taking the Lessons to Heart

Trust me, I’m no angel, and I’ve been unkind my share of the time. In my 6 1/2 decades, I’ve hurt https://www.flickr.com/photos/moonjazz/4322051067/in/photolist-7zVDcR-5HMRtL-WXwZ4x-5HwZ1W-W8gjMg-cmRixy-6QT7w5-644Ln2-aqnYV4-t3u4Vo-a3fPm8-96X9E-661V8k-7imNtn-dyL2X1-pqPPxB-8ZBwzC-6aTwUf-8X7nVL-98Xpyp-91GcS5-8QFSZ3-8QCL54-8QCLjR-fD8pbT-fke9kC-8rt4if-6eLvkB-2fF3nDE-8QFRwq-8VvhHg-39jdZK-fjZ1WZ-fjZ1nc-fjZ1JR-6jPBns-TCH7H7-dKE42n-GhN8P-21yUcgH-d5ogN-616Soq-7L5RSL-fjZ1PX-94tRCT-fjZ1AB-fke9Qh-SZrAL7-5ZFHzH-jSKjmJmy share of people, and try to see those episodes as lessons rather than adding them to a list of regrets that will only keep me from doing better next time. Of the many things I’ve jettisoned over the years, my own duffel bag full of regrets is the one I’m happiest to be rid of. It’s a heavy load I could never possibly fix or change, so it’s only purpose was to weigh me down, and slow my forward progress; sometimes bringing it to a standstill until I remembered to drop the heavy stuff.

It’s not that I don’t have people I’d apologize to if I were ever to encounter them again, which is unlikely, but I’ve learned to recognize my own unkind behavior as lessons I needed to go through. Most of all, they’re in the past. They happened. I may have been guilty at the time, but in all likelihood, most of the people I harmed weren’t permanently affected, and have long since forgotten not only the event, but the person involved. Of course, there is one exception, but she not only remembers the times I was unkind, but also some of my better moments I, myself had forgotten.

It’s been decades since I threw a block at a classmate, or said mean things to a fellow middle schooler. In hindsight, I know I was an unhappy child myself who was often verbally berated by both family and peers. I didn’t know how to do anything but pass the unkindness I experienced on to someone else. I certainly didn’t understand the behavior could stop with me. How many children and teenagers do?

Impacting the Ripples You Make

In truth, it took me several decades to finally learn how much power I had to shift the script, and in fact, how much I was responsible for doing exactly that; for my family, for the people I’ve wronged in the past, and for those who will cross my path in the future. I’m even doing it for people I will never connect with in person. In short, I’m changing the ripples I create by my own actions.

As I travel down life’s path, following some existing trails, and forging a lot of new ones, I realize how little kindness there was in my life for about 2/3’s of it. I probably could have changed things sooner, but I had to break free of a lot of the choices I’d made based on my own skewed perceptions. I had to heal some of the damage, but more importantly, learn there were better ways, and especially, better people I needed to allow into my life.

All in all, I think everyone has choices. You can be kind or not, as you see fit, or as your experiences dictate. It isn’t going to change what I believe I need to do, nor how I act upon those beliefs. I may comment on the occasional post when I think someone is being particularly unkind, or thinks shaming is OK, but I also respect the fact that they’re operating from their own set of paradigms. I don’t know what their life is like now, nor what they’ve had to endure, or compensate for up to this point.

Guidance by Affirmation

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-RNnFfMI live by a lot of adages and affirmations these days:

  • I am Enough
  • What Other People Think of Me is None of My Business
  • There’s Always Something to be Grateful For

To name a few. But the one that really keeps me, and the things I say and do in check is:

  • Until I walk in your shoes, it’s not my place to judge what you do or say, and why you do or say it.

I can have an opinion, and in many cases, I do. Shouting you down, trying to change your mind, or making you feel bad about it isn’t my job, and it really isn’t my right either. If I can’t express my opinion with kindness, I’ve finally, after many missteps, learned to keep my mouth shut—most of the time anyway.

Recognizing My Blessings With Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for the mistakes I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned.
  2. I’m grateful for the healthier habits I’ve been forming, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  3. I’m grateful for the friendships I’ve formed since I learned to be kinder, and less hard on myself.
  4. I’m grateful for choices: we don’t have to stick to the path we fell onto by default, and sometimes we tread that path so we learn what we need to to make significant changes.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, joy, friendship, kindness, compassion, lessons, dancing, fur children, acceptance, understanding, peace, balance, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Learning When to Let Go

A Time to Love Enough to Let Go

Above my computer I had a picture of my daughter Jenni in a Popsicle stick frame, taken when she was in maybe 2nd grade. It’s been there so long, I’d ceased noticing it there until today. A similar one of Heather was moved to the bulletin board long ago. Today, I took the picture of Jenni down and threw it face down in the bottom drawer of my desk. I’m still purging her last act which finally forced me to accept she doesn’t want or need me as a mother, or really, as anything else in her life.

I was barely included in the birth of her daughter 10 years ago. She only called for me when they told her she needed a C-section, and her surrogate mother hadn’t had the experience. Even so, I got to see her for a minute before they wheeled her away, so rushing to her side proved pointless.

When she learned she was pregnant again in early 2019, I received a few texts until I said something (inevitably) to piss her off, effectively ending what amounted to a conversation for us. Four months later, I received another series of texts telling me she was having twin boys and giving me a due date of November. She seemed certain she’d make her due date, but as one who gave birth to twins, I knew it was more likely she’d give birth 3-4 weeks earlier.

In late October I received a text saying she’d given birth the day before, and learned indirectly that though her father had been at her side, she couldn’t be bothered to inform me until after the fact. Needless to say, I realized the past 14 years I’d spent hoping we could eventually get at least a little closer to the relationship we’d had when she was younger was pie in the sky. In short, I gave up the dream, and closed and locked the door.

Oblivious Until Necessary

So noticing her picture still hanging above my computer wasn’t even a painful reminder. It was just a reminder that I’d mentally given her permission to seek her maternal support elsewhere since it’s clearly what she wants anyway. I still admit to having given birth to twins, but at this point, I only have one daughter, and the children borne by the one no longer mine…they’re someone else’s grandchildren, not mine.

To an outsider, this might sound cold, and perhaps it is. But we all do things to protect ourselves first and foremost, even if it doesn’t always seem like it. In fact, it’s one of our greatest acts of self-love. Continuing to claim a child, albeit fully grown, as my own is an exercise in futility, and in the long run, will only cause more pain. I’m not into masochism so I take the easier path.

An old Jewish tradition involves spitting on the ground to indicate someone living is dead to you. I’m not inclined to go that far, maybe because I don’t wish her dead, nor do I deny her existence. I simply cut the cord that tied her to me as a child of my womb. At some point, I’ll box up the few things in my house which are hers in one way or another (pictures, Christmas ornaments, drawings, etc.) and send them to her, or have her sister do it. I want no reminders I had a child, or that she had someone who might have called me Grandma had we not drifted into entirely different universes.

I wish her well in the life she’s chosen, but the door I’d left open in case she decided she wanted a healthy relationship with me is not only closed but sealed over. My wall-building skills, while dormant for the last few years are still alive and well when the need arises.

Allowing Feelings of Loss

I won’t lie to you. I feel loss. I feel an emptiness where I once had a sweet, loving child. Maybe there’s even a little anger there, but it won’t live long. It’s soothed over by acceptance. She has a right to choose her own life and the people in it just as I do. Not everyone we choose will choose us. That’s life.

I look at my bulletin board now, and see other things that will come down in the weeks to come. It’s a time to purge what no longer works for me, and memories of someone who doesn’t want me in her life is one of those things that needs to go. The energy holds me back and might even block someone who’s waiting on the sidelines until I’m ready to welcome them in. Cutting a door in another spot is a lot easier than walling one up. But first I have to seal up all the cracks in the old one.

It’s funny though. As I type the words that fill this page, I’m not feeling a whole lot of anything. Maybe relief that I don’t have to keep propping that door open. Or that I don’t have to walk on eggshells if and when she contacts me. I’ve blocked the only means she’s used lately, and she’s living in another state now, rather than a mile or so away. I think I can safely say she won’t be getting in touch in the foreseeable future.

Feelings Need to Be Felt, Then Let Go

I’m not completely blind though. I experienced similar feelings of relief when my mom took her life. I’d no longer have to hear from her or deal with her criticisms. Granted, I had no choice in the matter, or any way to re-open that door. I doubt I would have as I only gained perspective decades later when I could write about it and her without her influence—at least not directly.

Like my mom, Jenni will always be in my heart. Unlike my mom, the box that holds Jenni and her memories will be locked from the outside, and buried in the file cabinets of stuff I no longer access. I still have to feel those feelings and release them, but the contents of those file cabinets are allowed out little by little, unlike the things I’m ready and able to see the lesson they taught me. If there’s a lesson in losing a child’s love and respect, I’m not ready to see what it is. I honestly don’t know if I ever will be.

So I stash away the memories, both physical and mental. If I reach a point where I am ready to see what they came to teach me, I’ll pull them out. If the Universe deems me ready, I’ll pull them out too, but a lot less willingly. I don’t have so many of those events these days, and I don’t miss them. The ones I enter into unwillingly invariably cause more pain and disruption in my life than I want or believe I need.

I guess the lesson here is we don’t get to choose our lessons. They’re given to us for a reason, even if we don’t understand the reason until decades later…if at all.

Grateful for the Experiences and the Lessons

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for the lessons, be they willing or unwilling.
  2. I’m grateful for the few years I had with my daughter Jenni. For awhile, she was both a joy and a trial. She made me laugh, she made me cry, and she made me scream with frustration; sometimes all at the same time.
  3. I’m grateful for my daughter Heather who may not always see eye to eye with me, but who teaches me so much about living a life of compassion and love.
  4. I’m grateful for friends who understand what it means to lose a living child.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, compassion, acceptance, forgiveness, peace, health, harmony, justice, freedom, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Learning to Feed the Positive Vibes

Positive Lessons I Learned From “The King and I”

Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect
And whistle a happy tune, So no one will suspect I’m afraid.
The result of this deception, Is very strange to tell
For when I fool the people I fear I fool myself as well!
And ev’ry single time, The happiness in the tune
Convinces me that I’m not afraid.  — I Whistle a Happy Tune

I’m not always positive or upbeat. Life kicks me around my fair share. But I’ve learned to keep a positive attitude even through the wildest storms. Unlike what today seems like another lifetime ago, I don’t mask my feelings. I feel them, acknowledge them, love them, then try to let the bad stuff go. The positive affirmations I share here and on social media aren’t meant to cover anything up, but to remind myself where I might currently be is only temporary. As long as I focus on the lesson rather than wallowing in the pain, I know I’ll navigate the current hazards and reach the other side only slightly the worse for wear.

It wasn’t always this way. The lessons I share today came at great cost. In learning them, I had to let go of the person I thought I was in order to become the one I was meant to be. There were times I was certain it wasn’t worth the pain.

Whether it was by choice or by design, I pushed through anyway, and today, I’m grateful I did. Not only have I gained an amazing group of friends who have essentially replaced the family which was one of the casualties of my emergence, I’ve found the child within, giving her the love and appreciation I withheld for decades. We are both richer for it.

Breaking Old Molds: Painful but Rewarding

I come from a long line of women who nurture their misery like it’s something to be cherished The Tower from the Spiral Tarotand protected. Some even raised it to deity status, so in my defense, I didn’t know better. But as I got older and interacted with people from other families; other backgrounds, I had plenty of opportunity to learn. It was my choice to remain in the dark hole I mistook for the warmth and comfort of the family womb. In truth, it was only a comfort as long as I followed their rules and lived my life within those confines.

Those rules proved to be structured in direct opposition to my own wants, needs, and talents. It was an untenable situation I’d either have to leave, or give up on the person I needed to be and the child who was crying desperately for release. In the end, I gave in to the child and gave up the family into which I’d never fit anyway.

I’d like to say it was a clean break and I’ve never looked back. That’s only partially true. I opened the door 20 years in when they offered me a chance to return to the family fold. It didn’t take long for me to figure out the price was higher than I was willing to pay. Just as I’d outgrown the friends I had 20-30 years ago, I’d outgrown most of my blood relations too. It’s no reflection on any of them. We simply don’t fit any more. We’re pieces of entirely different puzzles now. In many ways, we probably always were.

Accept, Acknowledge, Release

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-RNnFfMThese days, I acknowledge pieces of my past as they come up for review. I know there are feelings I still need to feel before they can be released and forgiven. There’s only one way through that storm, and it’s straight through. Fortunately, it does get easier, and most of the feelings I’m called upon to feel are less painful; less intense than the ones when I first tore down the walls.

At least they feel that way. Maybe I’ve just learned they can no longer really hurt me, or I’ve gotten stronger. In the process of becoming my true self, I’ve learned a lot of things. One is resilience. What might have broken me before is often no more than a small scratch or surface wound now; easily healed and quickly forgotten. The walls I once thought protected me actually bound me to the pain longer than necessary. Without the walls, what I don’t want or need dissipates more quickly.

Once the positive attitude was entirely an act. A way to convince people to leave me alone so my wounds could heal unimpeded. But like Anna in “The King and I”, after awhile, what I feigned became true, not because the world changed, but because I believed it with all my heart, and made it real.

A lot of folks these days are trying to discredit the “fake it ’til you make it” point of view. For them, I suppose it’s not the right approach, but it worked quite well for me with one qualification. You can only fake it for a short time. Eventually, you have to either have made it so, or revisit your expectations and revised them to fit who and what you truly are deep down inside.

Flipping the Script While Staying True to My Calling

I’ve revised and restructured many things in the last decade or so, but one thing remains constant. I am a writer. It’s what I was meant to be, and what I will ultimately excel at. No matter how many times I’m knocked down, discouraged, or criticized, it remains my singular focus. Even when I go months writing nothing but blog posts and morning pages, I’m still a writer. I’m still writing.

The fact that I’m writing constantly is evidence enough I am living my story; walking my talk. I’ll admit, the last year or so I’ve gotten into a bit of a rut, though the amount of words I’ve pounded out might belie that observation. I’ve neglected my memoir and more, my fiction writing. I think I needed to get some kind of structure with writing of any kind before I could get back on that horse. But with blog posts always 3 weeks or more ahead, Medium posts scheduled a month or better in advance, and chapters of “Sasha’s Journey” going up on ChapterBuzz with some regularity, I’m ready to up my game.

I want to do another NaNoWriMo, but more, I want to finish everything I’ve started, and actually publish something. I know that means focusing on things like building a platform, and learning how to publish and market my work. I feel, after all the roads I’ve traveled; all the words I’ve written, it’s well past time to point my trusty charger in that direction. Just typing those words makes me feel inspired, empowered, and energized, which tells me I’ve finally found the right mental state for my higher aspirations. It’s been a long time coming, and in a lot of ways, I’ve faked myself right into what I always wanted to be when I grew up.

My positive attitude may not be a constant thing, even today (but then, whose is?). It is, however, very real, and comes from the depths of my no longer frozen heart. May it inspire others to let loose the chains of their own checkered past and follow their dreams.

With Gratitude Every Step of the Way

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for the family who raised me to recognize I didn’t belong, and to the family who has adopted me because I do.
  2. I’m grateful for the gift of writing. It’s gotten me through some of the worst times in my life, and helps me fully appreciate the best ones.
  3. I’m grateful for friendships that have become family; people who accept the weird, moody, quirky, hermity person I am without reservation.
  4. I’m grateful for dancing. It’s brought me my tribe, given me an outlet, and is a healthy passion.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, cats to love, electricity, running water, ample healthy food, family by choice, music, peace, harmony, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Revisiting Intentions to Focus My Efforts

Disconnecting to Re-Set Intentions

Over the last few weeks, I’ve taken the opportunity to disconnect more frequently than I had in the past. I don’t know if it’s a need for more solitude, or simply a desire to focus more on my writing and less on outside distractions like social media, text messages, and TV. For all my talk, I hadn’t taken advantage of the DND function on my phone as frequently as I might, nor avoided being passively entertained for long periods of time.

I re-visited something I’d temporarily forgotten: the more I have on my plate, the more focused I become on tackling the tasks before me. More importantly, I reduced the amount of time spent interacting with people frivolously, and turned interactions into something which were more likely to benefit me both personally and professionally. To me, that part is huge.

It’s not that I don’t jump on Facebook and share inspirational quotes and posts, or the occasional pun or joke any more. I’ve started focusing my time more so it’s not an all-day affair, and instead, open a blog page and start typing even if I have nothing to say.

Constantly Improving Habits

In a conversation with a fellow writer who assumed I was having trouble writing, I explained my issue isn’t finding something to say. It’s sitting down in front of the computer with my fingers on the keys. If I sit here long enough, and pound out enough words from deep in the bowels of my subconscious, a topic will always form itself, and in so doing, will dump a thousand words or more onto the screen before I know it. Which makes the last couple of years without another NaNoWriMo pretty disturbing. It wasn’t that I lacked the ability or even the tenacity to see the project through. I lacked enough on my plate to motivate me to do more.

In the last year or two, I’ve made significant changes which proved to myself I could stay as busy as I wanted to. I only needed to set an intention for more ideas, motivation, and client work, and it would all manifest.

I know that sounds oversimplified, but I’ve proven it time and again on little things. When I start ignoring my alarm and sleeping too late, I re-set my intention to wake up by 8. The intention is enough so I don’t even need the alarm screaming in my ear. I wake up when I want to, ready to get up and start my day. When I want to write more and screw around less, I set an intention, and revisit my Trello board.

Is It Time for Time Blocks?

Granted, I’m still having trouble working in time blocks like some people do. My mind has trouble wrapping itself around the idea of doing X from 9 to 10, Y from 10:15 to 12:15, and so on. Yet I’m toying with the idea now. Putting myself on a tighter schedule will ultimately make it easier to:

  • Finish the re-write of  Rebuilding After Suicide
  • Thoroughly research publishing options
  • Finish editing and uploading Sasha’s Journey to ChapterBuzz
  • Finish and implement the lessons from LeadsLab
  • Map out my work schedule for the next 12 months to include blocks for client work, research, and personal projects.
  • Spend time reading and commenting on authors I’m following

I find if I start listing things out like what you see above, it gets me into the right frame of mind to start making time for the projects that somehow keep getting pushed to the back burner under “stuff I want to do regularly at some point”. Have you noticed when you do it that way that “some point” never quite comes into view? It is truly the albatross of procrastinators.

Progress Has Been Slow, But Steady

I had a boss years ago whose favorite phrase was “shit or get off the pot”. As I look at the progress I’ve made since I quit my day job 6 years ago, there’s a very definite pattern. The first couple of years, I futzed around, trying this course and that, but giving up, probably too soon in some cases. All of those courses are languishing in my DropBox account, some of them, still unopened.

I spent another year lackadaisically working on the 3 NaNo’s I managed to finish. One of them actually got to the re-write stage a couple of times. In the meantime, I joined a writers’ critique group, but ultimately realized it wasn’t the right one for me. I’ve yet to find another. To be honest, I haven’t even tried.

The last couple of years have seen the greatest changes; mentally, physically, and emotionally. I’ve written a great deal more, and with a higher degree of consistency. I’ve completed a couple of projects and gone on to re-write them. I’ve also attended a writer’s conference, and had my first dubiously helpful experience with an editor. And I’ve learned not to take my meat suit for granted.

Stronger in Mind, Body, Spirit, and Productivity

Overall, I’ve seen huge progress. Physically, I’m stronger and healthier. Mentally, I’m more focused. My writing is starting to gain more traction. I attribute a lot of that to publishing on Medium, and ultimately being invited to write for a publication called “The Startup”. I’ve connected with other writers and found not only great information for making changes myself, but an audience that’s beginning to expand as well. Writers do support other writers, but you have to show you’re willing to give as well as take.

Which is the primary reason I’m setting an intention to establish regular blocks of time to read and comment on the work of others. Not only is it a great way to learn from the successes and failures of others and avoid making the same ones (heaven knows there are plenty of others I can make), but it’s a way to connect with a community of like-minded folks who can and will help me wade through reams of material when I’m trying to figure out the best way to jump into the publishing pool.

Recognizing What’s Most Important

As I reflect back upon the lessons I’ve already learned since I left Corporate America to become a full-time writer, I’d boil it down to three main ones:

  1. Write every single day whether you want to or not; whether you think you have anything to say or not.
  2. Build a community and interact with them regularly and consistently.
  3. Make time for self-care. If mind or body fail, making the first two work will be nearly impossible.

Everything else follows from these three. Everything I’ve accomplished in the last couple of years is related in some way. I’ve managed a certain level of consistency with #1, if only by writing my morning pages almost every day. #3 has been, to my surprise, the easiest to manage, though every so often I have a week where I let myself slide. Nevertheless, I am always back to full throttle the following week.

The hardest thing for me has been consistency in building and maintaining a community, but like the others, the more I exercise that muscle, the easier it gets. As it gets easier, consistency will become automatic as well. With improved consistency, I expect to see another upsurge in my successes as well. It is the natural progression I’ve seen in everything I do.

Always Finding Things To Be Grateful For, No Matter What

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned in the last 6 years, and look forward to many more.
  2. I am grateful for friendships I’ve made both on- and off-line.
  3. I am grateful for the love, kindness, and compassion which are constantly building in my life, and for the lessons I’ve learned in both giving and receiving.
  4. I am grateful for personal evolution. I am not the woman I was 5 years ago, much less, 10 or 20. She served her purpose, but she’s gone now.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, joy, inspiration, motivation, new skills, stronger old skills, mentors and mentees, healthy mind, body, and spirit, compassion, peace, balance, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Overcoming My Reluctance to Pause

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-jk3BYpWhile working out at the gym (where I seem to do some of my best thinking and get a lot of ideas for blog posts lately) the song “In Between Dances” by Pam Tillis came on Pandora and touched a nerve or three. I jotted it down in my “Notes” app for future reference, then promptly forgot about it (which is why I put it there in the first place). When my electronic memory brought it back to my attention, I knew it would make for an interesting blog post, so here it is. Or more accurately, let’s see where my mind takes it. Her words in the chorus particularly touched a nerve for me:

I’m only in between dances
Sitting it out for a while

I realized being “in between dances” is a lot like hitting the pause button which I’ve done a lot in the last couple of decades. I hit pause while I figured out who I did and didn’t want to be. I took a break from dating (which ended up lasting longer than I’d intended) while I fixed a lot of my broken parts. Most notably, I paused my career and turned my life upside down figuring out where I wanted to go next, after realizing where I was headed was not acceptable any more.

That’s not to say I don’t still go barreling into the next adventure with my flags flying, confident I’ll land on my feet. I’ve learned from experience to stop my mad rush once in awhile, look around, get my bearings, and take a few readings before dashing off, either in the same direction, or more often than not, with a few corrections in my coordinates.

Playing it Safe May Avoid the Slow Downs

I suppose if I took the easy route and never stepped out on the limb upon which I forever seem to be standing, I wouldn’t need to sit out a dance every now and then. I’d also still either be doing a job I’d come to hate, or going from job to job where I’d find the same work, the same toxic environment, and the same unhappy people living for Fridays and holidays. That’s one thing I’ve put on a permanent pause. I discovered rather late in life I deserve better than that.

Sure, I’ve taken some risks, some of which sent me scurrying into my turtle shell a few times along the way. But unlike the endless stream of dead end jobs, when I ventured out again, I made a few course corrections, and dove fearlessly into the next adventure.

As I get older, the pauses might be more frequent. It might take me longer to figure out what I need to change and more importantly, what I need to keep. I sit out more dances than I used to, but often, it’s because I’ve learned to be more open with people and actually enjoy their company now and want to spend time getting to know them; know their stories instead of constantly doing something or going somewhere. Granted, the company I keep is of my own choosing, and not forced on me by whoever signs my paycheck.

What Other People Don’t See

Created with CanvaTo the outside world, it might appear I’m living a life of fits and starts. Nothing could be further from the truth. I may not count my progress in miles or millions of dollars. Instead, I count it in experiences; people I get to know on a deeper level; places I might not have gone had I done what I “should have” instead of what inspired me; lessons I’ve learned because I allowed myself to stumble and fall. It isn’t a direct route to anywhere. I’m on a journey with a destination that continually evolves, and no set schedule. I get to stop along the way or skip over some things entirely, as the mood strikes me, or as I’m inspired.

When I pause, quite often I’m following a new trail or learning about something that tickled my fancy. Heaven knows I’ve gotten lost in the wilds of Google because I found something I wanted to learn more about. I do avoid Pinterest though after losing several hours chasing something I never found. I haven’t gotten the hang of navigating that labyrinth, and I’ve learned I don’t have the patience to add it to my repertoire.

Still, I’m not a drifter. I have dreams and goals. The places I go, the people I talk to, and the research I do is a means to an end. But so are the side roads and detours I take. I believe if I’m given an opportunity to go somewhere unexpected, it’s because it holds an experience I need to have, and lessons I need to learn before I achieve my goals. There’s a nugget of knowledge which I won’t find if I stick to the straight and narrow. I’ve found so many already both by pausing to observe, and by following a path that wasn’t on my road map.

Falling Short, But That’s OK

Looking back at the most recent schedule I set, I see many places where I’ve fallen short. The reasons are varied. In some cases, I honestly didn’t apply myself, but went off on tangents which neither taught me anything new nor accomplished an alternate goal. Getting lost in Hallmark movie hell is one of those tangents. Lately though, I’m looking at where I’m at and stopping just short of beating myself up over what I haven’t yet accomplished.

One lesson I’ve learned while sitting out dances is whatever I did or didn’t do a day or a hundred before today can’t be changed. Spending time berating myself for doing too little is wasting time I can do something about. Why would any rational person make that choice? Yet I did for a very long time. I hope I’ve finally learned to pause mid-castigation to realize there are much better uses for that space of time—like focusing on how the things I have accomplished gave me the tools I need to start moving forward again.

One of those tools is to hit pause when a blog post isn’t flowing naturally without excessive strain on my brain. At those times, nothing I write will look like it’s worth publishing. I’ve regressed into my inner critic and deem every word I write “garbage”. So I walk away.

Knowing When to Move on to Something New

I have enough of a variety in the projects on my Trello boards to move onto something else until the moment passes and the words begin to flow again (read: I get out of my own way). It’s no different than the choice of getting sucked into a no-win argument, or saying, as I try hard to to these days: “I know you and I don’t agree on this, and I neither want nor need to convince you of the validity of my position.” I try to step away before either of us gets wound up and emotional, though sometimes I still stay longer than I should, especially when it’s someone I care deeply about. In the end, emotions might be high for a little while, but we haven’t reached the point where we’re truly angry or worse; feelings get hurt.

After years of drama, both mine and other people’s, I choose to disengage as early as possible. If it means doing something mindless like watching Hallmark movies, or reading a sappy romance novel, so be it. Sitting out the dance doesn’t need to be overtly productive. There are times shutting down and accomplishing nothing visible or measurable accomplishes something much more important. It keeps me from going off on a tangent that will take me so far off course it takes days or weeks to find my way back. I’ve retraced my steps too many times in the last 60 years to want to repeat that exercise in futility, thankyouverymuch.

Finding Endless Gratitude In My Crazy, Unique Life

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful I’ve learned there’s a time and a place to “sit this one out”.
  2. I’m grateful for a life which allows me to shut down when I’m running myself in circles instead of trying to push through to please someone else.
  3. I’m grateful for solitude. Sometimes I need to disconnect from the world so I can find my way back to myself. I no longer see it as selfish.
  4. I’m grateful for a schedule that’s aggressive, but still allows me flexibility. I may not get completely caught up in the foreseeable future, but I can always adjust the schedule to something less overwhelming.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, opportunities, inspiration, motivation, teachers, lessons, challenges, course corrections, the new and the old and comfortable, a life where shoes are necessary sometimes, health, peace, harmony, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Life is Better When I Take Time to Pause

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-jk3BYpWhile working out at the gym (where I seem to do some of my best thinking and get a lot of ideas for blog posts lately) the song “In Between Dances” by Pam Tillis came on Pandora and touched a nerve or three. I jotted it down in my “Notes” app for future reference, then promptly forgot about it (which is why I put it there in the first place). When my electronic memory brought it back to my attention, I knew it would make for an interesting blog post, so here it is. Or more accurately, let’s see where my mind takes it. Her words in the chorus particularly touched a nerve for me:

I’m only in between dances
Sitting it out for a while

I realized being “in between dances” is a lot like hitting the pause button which I’ve done a lot in the last couple of decades. I hit pause while I figured out who I did and didn’t want to be. I took a break from dating (which ended up lasting longer than I’d intended) while I fixed a lot of my broken parts. Most notably, I paused my career and turned my life upside down figuring out where I wanted to go next, after realizing where I was headed was not acceptable any more.

That’s not to say I don’t still go barreling into the next adventure with my flags flying, confident I’ll land on my feet. I’ve learned from experience to stop my mad rush once in awhile, look around, get my bearings, and take a few readings before dashing off, either in the same direction, or more often than not, with a few corrections in my coordinates.

Playing it Safe May Avoid the Slow Downs

I suppose if I took the easy route and never stepped out on the limb upon which I forever seem to be standing, I wouldn’t need to sit out a dance every now and then. I’d also still either be doing a job I’d come to hate, or going from job to job where I’d find the same work, the same toxic environment, and the same unhappy people living for Fridays and holidays. That’s one thing I’ve put on a permanent pause. I discovered rather late in life I deserve better than that.

Sure, I’ve taken some risks, some of which sent me scurrying into my turtle shell a few times along the way. But unlike the endless stream of dead end jobs, when I ventured out again, I made a few course corrections, and dove fearlessly into the next adventure.

As I get older, the pauses might be more frequent. It might take me longer to figure out what I need to change and more importantly, what I need to keep. I sit out more dances than I used to, but often, it’s because I’ve learned to be more open with people and actually enjoy their company now and want to spend time getting to know them; know their stories instead of constantly doing something or going somewhere. Granted, the company I keep is of my own choosing, and not forced on me by whoever signs my paycheck.

What Other People Don’t See

Created with CanvaTo the outside world, it might appear I’m living a life of fits and starts. Nothing could be further from the truth. I may not count my progress in miles or millions of dollars. Instead, I count it in experiences; people I get to know on a deeper level; places I might not have gone had I done what I “should have” instead of what inspired me; lessons I’ve learned because I allowed myself to stumble and fall. It isn’t a direct route to anywhere. I’m on a journey with a destination that continually evolves, and no set schedule. I get to stop along the way or skip over some things entirely, as the mood strikes me, or as I’m inspired.

When I pause, quite often I’m following a new trail or learning about something that tickled my fancy. Heaven knows I’ve gotten lost in the wilds of Google because I found something I wanted to learn more about. I do avoid Pinterest though after losing several hours chasing something I never found. I haven’t gotten the hang of navigating that labyrinth, and I’ve learned I don’t have the patience to add it to my repertoire.

Still, I’m not a drifter. I have dreams and goals. The places I go, the people I talk to, and the research I do is a means to an end. But so are the side roads and detours I take. I believe if I’m given an opportunity to go somewhere unexpected, it’s because it holds an experience I need to have, and lessons I need to learn before I achieve my goals. There’s a nugget of knowledge which I won’t find if I stick to the straight and narrow. I’ve found so many already both by pausing to observe, and by following a path that wasn’t on my road map.

Falling Short, But That’s OK

Looking back at the most recent schedule I set, I see many places where I’ve fallen short. The reasons are varied. In some cases, I honestly didn’t apply myself, but went off on tangents which neither taught me anything new nor accomplished an alternate goal. Getting lost in Hallmark movie hell is one of those tangents. Lately though, I’m looking at where I’m at and stopping just short of beating myself up over what I haven’t yet accomplished.

One lesson I’ve learned while sitting out dances is whatever I did or didn’t do a day or a hundred before today can’t be changed. Spending time berating myself for doing too little is wasting time I can do something about. Why would any rational person make that choice? Yet I did for a very long time. I hope I’ve finally learned to pause mid-castigation to realize there are much better uses for that space of time—like focusing on how the things I have accomplished gave me the tools I need to start moving forward again.

One of those tools is to hit pause when a blog post isn’t flowing naturally without excessive strain on my brain. At those times, nothing I write will look like it’s worth publishing. I’ve regressed into my inner critic and deem every word I write “garbage”. So I walk away.

Knowing When to Move on to Something New

I have enough of a variety in the projects on my Trello boards to move onto something else until the moment passes and the words begin to flow again (read: I get out of my own way). It’s no different than the choice of getting sucked into a no-win argument, or saying, as I try hard to to these days: “I know you and I don’t agree on this, and I neither want nor need to convince you of the validity of my position.” I try to step away before either of us gets wound up and emotional, though sometimes I still stay longer than I should, especially when it’s someone I care deeply about. In the end, emotions might be high for a little while, but we haven’t reached the point where we’re truly angry or worse; feelings get hurt.

After years of drama, both mine and other people’s, I choose to disengage as early as possible. If it means doing something mindless like watching Hallmark movies, or reading a sappy romance novel, so be it. Sitting out the dance doesn’t need to be overtly productive. There are times shutting down and accomplishing nothing visible or measurable accomplishes something much more important. It keeps me from going off on a tangent that will take me so far off course it takes days or weeks to find my way back. I’ve retraced my steps too many times in the last 60 years to want to repeat that exercise in futility, thankyouverymuch.

Finding Endless Gratitude In My Crazy, Unique Life

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful I’ve learned there’s a time and a place to “sit this one out”.
  2. I’m grateful for a life which allows me to shut down when I’m running myself in circles instead of trying to push through to please someone else.
  3. I’m grateful for solitude. Sometimes I need to disconnect from the world so I can find my way back to myself. I no longer see it as selfish.
  4. I’m grateful for a schedule that’s aggressive, but still allows me flexibility. I may not get completely caught up in the foreseeable future, but I can always adjust the schedule to something less overwhelming.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, opportunities, inspiration, motivation, teachers, lessons, challenges, course corrections, the new and the old and comfortable, a life where shoes are necessary sometimes, health, peace, harmony, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Life is Better When I Take Time to Pause

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-jk3BYpWhile working out at the gym (where I seem to do some of my best thinking and get a lot of ideas for blog posts lately) the song “In Between Dances” by Pam Tillis came on Pandora and touched a nerve or three. I jotted it down in my “Notes” app for future reference, then promptly forgot about it (which is why I put it there in the first place). When my electronic memory brought it back to my attention, I knew it would make for an interesting blog post, so here it is. Or more accurately, let’s see where my mind takes it. Her words in the chorus particularly touched a nerve for me:

I’m only in between dances
Sitting it out for a while

I realized being “in between dances” is a lot like hitting the pause button which I’ve done a lot in the last couple of decades. I hit pause while I figured out who I did and didn’t want to be. I took a break from dating (which ended up lasting longer than I’d intended) while I fixed a lot of my broken parts. Most notably, I paused my career and turned my life upside down figuring out where I wanted to go next, after realizing where I was headed was not acceptable any more.

That’s not to say I don’t still go barreling into the next adventure with my flags flying, confident I’ll land on my feet. I’ve learned from experience to stop my mad rush once in awhile, look around, get my bearings, and take a few readings before dashing off, either in the same direction, or more often than not, with a few corrections in my coordinates.

Playing it Safe May Avoid the Slow Downs

I suppose if I took the easy route and never stepped out on the limb upon which I forever seem to be standing, I wouldn’t need to sit out a dance every now and then. I’d also still either be doing a job I’d come to hate, or going from job to job where I’d find the same work, the same toxic environment, and the same unhappy people living for Fridays and holidays. That’s one thing I’ve put on a permanent pause. I discovered rather late in life I deserve better than that.

Sure, I’ve taken some risks, some of which sent me scurrying into my turtle shell a few times along the way. But unlike the endless stream of dead end jobs, when I ventured out again, I made a few course corrections, and dove fearlessly into the next adventure.

As I get older, the pauses might be more frequent. It might take me longer to figure out what I need to change and more importantly, what I need to keep. I sit out more dances than I used to, but often, it’s because I’ve learned to be more open with people and actually enjoy their company now and want to spend time getting to know them; know their stories instead of constantly doing something or going somewhere. Granted, the company I keep is of my own choosing, and not forced on me by whoever signs my paycheck.

What Other People Don’t See

Created with CanvaTo the outside world, it might appear I’m living a life of fits and starts. Nothing could be further from the truth. I may not count my progress in miles or millions of dollars. Instead, I count it in experiences; people I get to know on a deeper level; places I might not have gone had I done what I “should have” instead of what inspired me; lessons I’ve learned because I allowed myself to stumble and fall. It isn’t a direct route to anywhere. I’m on a journey with a destination that continually evolves, and no set schedule. I get to stop along the way or skip over some things entirely, as the mood strikes me, or as I’m inspired.

When I pause, quite often I’m following a new trail or learning about something that tickled my fancy. Heaven knows I’ve gotten lost in the wilds of Google because I found something I wanted to learn more about. I do avoid Pinterest though after losing several hours chasing something I never found. I haven’t gotten the hang of navigating that labyrinth, and I’ve learned I don’t have the patience to add it to my repertoire.

Still, I’m not a drifter. I have dreams and goals. The places I go, the people I talk to, and the research I do is a means to an end. But so are the side roads and detours I take. I believe if I’m given an opportunity to go somewhere unexpected, it’s because it holds an experience I need to have, and lessons I need to learn before I achieve my goals. There’s a nugget of knowledge which I won’t find if I stick to the straight and narrow. I’ve found so many already both by pausing to observe, and by following a path that wasn’t on my road map.

Falling Short, But That’s OK

Looking back at the most recent schedule I set, I see many places where I’ve fallen short. The reasons are varied. In some cases, I honestly didn’t apply myself, but went off on tangents which neither taught me anything new nor accomplished an alternate goal. Getting lost in Hallmark movie hell is one of those tangents. Lately though, I’m looking at where I’m at and stopping just short of beating myself up over what I haven’t yet accomplished.

One lesson I’ve learned while sitting out dances is whatever I did or didn’t do a day or a hundred before today can’t be changed. Spending time berating myself for doing too little is wasting time I can do something about. Why would any rational person make that choice? Yet I did for a very long time. I hope I’ve finally learned to pause mid-castigation to realize there are much better uses for that space of time—like focusing on how the things I have accomplished gave me the tools I need to start moving forward again.

One of those tools is to hit pause when a blog post isn’t flowing naturally without excessive strain on my brain. At those times, nothing I write will look like it’s worth publishing. I’ve regressed into my inner critic and deem every word I write “garbage”. So I walk away.

Knowing When to Move on to Something New

I have enough of a variety in the projects on my Trello boards to move onto something else until the moment passes and the words begin to flow again (read: I get out of my own way). It’s no different than the choice of getting sucked into a no-win argument, or saying, as I try hard to to these days: “I know you and I don’t agree on this, and I neither want nor need to convince you of the validity of my position.” I try to step away before either of us gets wound up and emotional, though sometimes I still stay longer than I should, especially when it’s someone I care deeply about. In the end, emotions might be high for a little while, but we haven’t reached the point where we’re truly angry or worse; feelings get hurt.

After years of drama, both mine and other people’s, I choose to disengage as early as possible. If it means doing something mindless like watching Hallmark movies, or reading a sappy romance novel, so be it. Sitting out the dance doesn’t need to be overtly productive. There are times shutting down and accomplishing nothing visible or measurable accomplishes something much more important. It keeps me from going off on a tangent that will take me so far off course it takes days or weeks to find my way back. I’ve retraced my steps too many times in the last 60 years to want to repeat that exercise in futility, thankyouverymuch.

Finding Endless Gratitude In My Crazy, Unique Life

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful I’ve learned there’s a time and a place to “sit this one out”.
  2. I’m grateful for a life which allows me to shut down when I’m running myself in circles instead of trying to push through to please someone else.
  3. I’m grateful for solitude. Sometimes I need to disconnect from the world so I can find my way back to myself. I no longer see it as selfish.
  4. I’m grateful for a schedule that’s aggressive, but still allows me flexibility. I may not get completely caught up in the foreseeable future, but I can always adjust the schedule to something less overwhelming.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, opportunities, inspiration, motivation, teachers, lessons, challenges, course corrections, the new and the old and comfortable, a life where shoes are necessary sometimes, health, peace, harmony, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Life is Better When I Take Time to Pause

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-jk3BYpWhile working out at the gym (where I seem to do some of my best thinking and get a lot of ideas for blog posts lately) the song “In Between Dances” by Pam Tillis came on Pandora and touched a nerve or three. I jotted it down in my “Notes” app for future reference, then promptly forgot about it (which is why I put it there in the first place). When my electronic memory brought it back to my attention, I knew it would make for an interesting blog post, so here it is. Or more accurately, let’s see where my mind takes it. Her words in the chorus particularly touched a nerve for me:

I’m only in between dances
Sitting it out for a while

I realized being “in between dances” is a lot like hitting the pause button which I’ve done a lot in the last couple of decades. I hit pause while I figured out who I did and didn’t want to be. I took a break from dating (which ended up lasting longer than I’d intended) while I fixed a lot of my broken parts. Most notably, I paused my career and turned my life upside down figuring out where I wanted to go next, after realizing where I was headed was not acceptable any more.

That’s not to say I don’t still go barreling into the next adventure with my flags flying, confident I’ll land on my feet. I’ve learned from experience to stop my mad rush once in awhile, look around, get my bearings, and take a few readings before dashing off, either in the same direction, or more often than not, with a few corrections in my coordinates.

Playing it Safe May Avoid the Slow Downs

I suppose if I took the easy route and never stepped out on the limb upon which I forever seem to be standing, I wouldn’t need to sit out a dance every now and then. I’d also still either be doing a job I’d come to hate, or going from job to job where I’d find the same work, the same toxic environment, and the same unhappy people living for Fridays and holidays. That’s one thing I’ve put on a permanent pause. I discovered rather late in life I deserve better than that.

Sure, I’ve taken some risks, some of which sent me scurrying into my turtle shell a few times along the way. But unlike the endless stream of dead end jobs, when I ventured out again, I made a few course corrections, and dove fearlessly into the next adventure.

As I get older, the pauses might be more frequent. It might take me longer to figure out what I need to change and more importantly, what I need to keep. I sit out more dances than I used to, but often, it’s because I’ve learned to be more open with people and actually enjoy their company now and want to spend time getting to know them; know their stories instead of constantly doing something or going somewhere. Granted, the company I keep is of my own choosing, and not forced on me by whoever signs my paycheck.

What Other People Don’t See

Created with CanvaTo the outside world, it might appear I’m living a life of fits and starts. Nothing could be further from the truth. I may not count my progress in miles or millions of dollars. Instead, I count it in experiences; people I get to know on a deeper level; places I might not have gone had I done what I “should have” instead of what inspired me; lessons I’ve learned because I allowed myself to stumble and fall. It isn’t a direct route to anywhere. I’m on a journey with a destination that continually evolves, and no set schedule. I get to stop along the way or skip over some things entirely, as the mood strikes me, or as I’m inspired.

When I pause, quite often I’m following a new trail or learning about something that tickled my fancy. Heaven knows I’ve gotten lost in the wilds of Google because I found something I wanted to learn more about. I do avoid Pinterest though after losing several hours chasing something I never found. I haven’t gotten the hang of navigating that labyrinth, and I’ve learned I don’t have the patience to add it to my repertoire.

Still, I’m not a drifter. I have dreams and goals. The places I go, the people I talk to, and the research I do is a means to an end. But so are the side roads and detours I take. I believe if I’m given an opportunity to go somewhere unexpected, it’s because it holds an experience I need to have, and lessons I need to learn before I achieve my goals. There’s a nugget of knowledge which I won’t find if I stick to the straight and narrow. I’ve found so many already both by pausing to observe, and by following a path that wasn’t on my road map.

Falling Short, But That’s OK

Looking back at the most recent schedule I set, I see many places where I’ve fallen short. The reasons are varied. In some cases, I honestly didn’t apply myself, but went off on tangents which neither taught me anything new nor accomplished an alternate goal. Getting lost in Hallmark movie hell is one of those tangents. Lately though, I’m looking at where I’m at and stopping just short of beating myself up over what I haven’t yet accomplished.

One lesson I’ve learned while sitting out dances is whatever I did or didn’t do a day or a hundred before today can’t be changed. Spending time berating myself for doing too little is wasting time I can do something about. Why would any rational person make that choice? Yet I did for a very long time. I hope I’ve finally learned to pause mid-castigation to realize there are much better uses for that space of time—like focusing on how the things I have accomplished gave me the tools I need to start moving forward again.

One of those tools is to hit pause when a blog post isn’t flowing naturally without excessive strain on my brain. At those times, nothing I write will look like it’s worth publishing. I’ve regressed into my inner critic and deem every word I write “garbage”. So I walk away.

Knowing When to Move on to Something New

I have enough of a variety in the projects on my Trello boards to move onto something else until the moment passes and the words begin to flow again (read: I get out of my own way). It’s no different than the choice of getting sucked into a no-win argument, or saying, as I try hard to to these days: “I know you and I don’t agree on this, and I neither want nor need to convince you of the validity of my position.” I try to step away before either of us gets wound up and emotional, though sometimes I still stay longer than I should, especially when it’s someone I care deeply about. In the end, emotions might be high for a little while, but we haven’t reached the point where we’re truly angry or worse; feelings get hurt.

After years of drama, both mine and other people’s, I choose to disengage as early as possible. If it means doing something mindless like watching Hallmark movies, or reading a sappy romance novel, so be it. Sitting out the dance doesn’t need to be overtly productive. There are times shutting down and accomplishing nothing visible or measurable accomplishes something much more important. It keeps me from going off on a tangent that will take me so far off course it takes days or weeks to find my way back. I’ve retraced my steps too many times in the last 60 years to want to repeat that exercise in futility, thankyouverymuch.

Finding Endless Gratitude In My Crazy, Unique Life

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful I’ve learned there’s a time and a place to “sit this one out”.
  2. I’m grateful for a life which allows me to shut down when I’m running myself in circles instead of trying to push through to please someone else.
  3. I’m grateful for solitude. Sometimes I need to disconnect from the world so I can find my way back to myself. I no longer see it as selfish.
  4. I’m grateful for a schedule that’s aggressive, but still allows me flexibility. I may not get completely caught up in the foreseeable future, but I can always adjust the schedule to something less overwhelming.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, opportunities, inspiration, motivation, teachers, lessons, challenges, course corrections, the new and the old and comfortable, a life where shoes are necessary sometimes, health, peace, harmony, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Life is Better When I Take Time to Pause

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-jk3BYpWhile working out at the gym (where I seem to do some of my best thinking and get a lot of ideas for blog posts lately) the song “In Between Dances” by Pam Tillis came on Pandora and touched a nerve or three. I jotted it down in my “Notes” app for future reference, then promptly forgot about it (which is why I put it there in the first place). When my electronic memory brought it back to my attention, I knew it would make for an interesting blog post, so here it is. Or more accurately, let’s see where my mind takes it. Her words in the chorus particularly touched a nerve for me:

I’m only in between dances
Sitting it out for a while

I realized being “in between dances” is a lot like hitting the pause button which I’ve done a lot in the last couple of decades. I hit pause while I figured out who I did and didn’t want to be. I took a break from dating (which ended up lasting longer than I’d intended) while I fixed a lot of my broken parts. Most notably, I paused my career and turned my life upside down figuring out where I wanted to go next, after realizing where I was headed was not acceptable any more.

That’s not to say I don’t still go barreling into the next adventure with my flags flying, confident I’ll land on my feet. I’ve learned from experience to stop my mad rush once in awhile, look around, get my bearings, and take a few readings before dashing off, either in the same direction, or more often than not, with a few corrections in my coordinates.

Playing it Safe May Avoid the Slow Downs

I suppose if I took the easy route and never stepped out on the limb upon which I forever seem to be standing, I wouldn’t need to sit out a dance every now and then. I’d also still either be doing a job I’d come to hate, or going from job to job where I’d find the same work, the same toxic environment, and the same unhappy people living for Fridays and holidays. That’s one thing I’ve put on a permanent pause. I discovered rather late in life I deserve better than that.

Sure, I’ve taken some risks, some of which sent me scurrying into my turtle shell a few times along the way. But unlike the endless stream of dead end jobs, when I ventured out again, I made a few course corrections, and dove fearlessly into the next adventure.

As I get older, the pauses might be more frequent. It might take me longer to figure out what I need to change and more importantly, what I need to keep. I sit out more dances than I used to, but often, it’s because I’ve learned to be more open with people and actually enjoy their company now and want to spend time getting to know them; know their stories instead of constantly doing something or going somewhere. Granted, the company I keep is of my own choosing, and not forced on me by whoever signs my paycheck.

What Other People Don’t See

Created with CanvaTo the outside world, it might appear I’m living a life of fits and starts. Nothing could be further from the truth. I may not count my progress in miles or millions of dollars. Instead, I count it in experiences; people I get to know on a deeper level; places I might not have gone had I done what I “should have” instead of what inspired me; lessons I’ve learned because I allowed myself to stumble and fall. It isn’t a direct route to anywhere. I’m on a journey with a destination that continually evolves, and no set schedule. I get to stop along the way or skip over some things entirely, as the mood strikes me, or as I’m inspired.

When I pause, quite often I’m following a new trail or learning about something that tickled my fancy. Heaven knows I’ve gotten lost in the wilds of Google because I found something I wanted to learn more about. I do avoid Pinterest though after losing several hours chasing something I never found. I haven’t gotten the hang of navigating that labyrinth, and I’ve learned I don’t have the patience to add it to my repertoire.

Still, I’m not a drifter. I have dreams and goals. The places I go, the people I talk to, and the research I do is a means to an end. But so are the side roads and detours I take. I believe if I’m given an opportunity to go somewhere unexpected, it’s because it holds an experience I need to have, and lessons I need to learn before I achieve my goals. There’s a nugget of knowledge which I won’t find if I stick to the straight and narrow. I’ve found so many already both by pausing to observe, and by following a path that wasn’t on my road map.

Falling Short, But That’s OK

Looking back at the most recent schedule I set, I see many places where I’ve fallen short. The reasons are varied. In some cases, I honestly didn’t apply myself, but went off on tangents which neither taught me anything new nor accomplished an alternate goal. Getting lost in Hallmark movie hell is one of those tangents. Lately though, I’m looking at where I’m at and stopping just short of beating myself up over what I haven’t yet accomplished.

One lesson I’ve learned while sitting out dances is whatever I did or didn’t do a day or a hundred before today can’t be changed. Spending time berating myself for doing too little is wasting time I can do something about. Why would any rational person make that choice? Yet I did for a very long time. I hope I’ve finally learned to pause mid-castigation to realize there are much better uses for that space of time—like focusing on how the things I have accomplished gave me the tools I need to start moving forward again.

One of those tools is to hit pause when a blog post isn’t flowing naturally without excessive strain on my brain. At those times, nothing I write will look like it’s worth publishing. I’ve regressed into my inner critic and deem every word I write “garbage”. So I walk away.

Knowing When to Move on to Something New

I have enough of a variety in the projects on my Trello boards to move onto something else until the moment passes and the words begin to flow again (read: I get out of my own way). It’s no different than the choice of getting sucked into a no-win argument, or saying, as I try hard to to these days: “I know you and I don’t agree on this, and I neither want nor need to convince you of the validity of my position.” I try to step away before either of us gets wound up and emotional, though sometimes I still stay longer than I should, especially when it’s someone I care deeply about. In the end, emotions might be high for a little while, but we haven’t reached the point where we’re truly angry or worse; feelings get hurt.

After years of drama, both mine and other people’s, I choose to disengage as early as possible. If it means doing something mindless like watching Hallmark movies, or reading a sappy romance novel, so be it. Sitting out the dance doesn’t need to be overtly productive. There are times shutting down and accomplishing nothing visible or measurable accomplishes something much more important. It keeps me from going off on a tangent that will take me so far off course it takes days or weeks to find my way back. I’ve retraced my steps too many times in the last 60 years to want to repeat that exercise in futility, thankyouverymuch.

Finding Endless Gratitude In My Crazy, Unique Life

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful I’ve learned there’s a time and a place to “sit this one out”.
  2. I’m grateful for a life which allows me to shut down when I’m running myself in circles instead of trying to push through to please someone else.
  3. I’m grateful for solitude. Sometimes I need to disconnect from the world so I can find my way back to myself. I no longer see it as selfish.
  4. I’m grateful for a schedule that’s aggressive, but still allows me flexibility. I may not get completely caught up in the foreseeable future, but I can always adjust the schedule to something less overwhelming.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, opportunities, inspiration, motivation, teachers, lessons, challenges, course corrections, the new and the old and comfortable, a life where shoes are necessary sometimes, health, peace, harmony, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Demons for My Overall Good

Recognizing Demons Are For My Own Good

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jslee/420574961/in/photolist-Dayhr-DaxXz-PH2XRJ-DaxBQ-6wyJCM-Q7Qs-Q7Q7-DaxQs-DaxK6-M5tZS-2etGoi-DaxLj-DayoW-cdfuY-DaxYZ-GRrsjX-Day3S-DZPnx-M5tYf-DaxuR-DaxHd-DaxAv-oPay9M-4VPXSt-56635o-DaxYn-DaxCk-Day1i-71dpo5-Day2u-Y62h-57R1nL-Day9y-6MtkU6-pHSVQ1-DaxqA-Days4-72V4qY-4P9zGm-Dayoh-7M8fgp-ptyCqq-Day4P-DaxRF-oP7HE7-DaxSB-DaxUT-Dayj8-5HDdsX-pttx4xI have my share of demons. They’ve grown out of the lessons I’ve learned and the mistakes I made learning them, my insecurities, and the times I’ve been hurt or slapped down. My mind has magnified some of them so they take on a life of their own when I’m at my weakest. Others are presented to me in technicolor glory when I think I least need to see them. But clearly I’m wrong as I always survive the visit; a little stronger and wiser for the experience.

Sometimes my demons are situational. I’m dumped ass first into a story I have to find my way out of using what I’ve learned previously. It’s a way of testing whether I learned the lesson well enough or I need another spin around the merry-go-round. Typically they come without any long-lasting emotional trauma.

Then there are the demons in human form. They sneak up on me, catching me when my guard is down. They earn my trust under false pretenses and embark on their own sinister game to see how much damage they can do before I figure out the game and pull out of something I can never hope to win. The odds are intentionally stacked against me, not out of malice as much as a test of my awareness and resilience.

A Warning Would be Nice

It would be nice if the demons in human form came with some kind of warning; glowing red https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewmalone/2356413140/in/photolist-4AeewL-6ES3HA-VTd8P4-nXu85b-fzrS-ens7vC-5BeQL3-8ifuyk-pgu9hJ-9EjD99-WHSruQ-r9V4K1-bBptXU-oqGeq-58LxP-2gzW3S-fZx1ks-6ygo9B-5fQRwQ-cjdHDU-HaMQT-WxzyMz-eq7mdU-95UpbT-bYJXfd-4DMyEY-Tw5biF-8Dz2hm-Y1X5Mj-aEbAo-8cNsDh-Jh2VKF-22caxb5-N1Mzup-239JLXf-4nFd7o-6PrJ3Z-6WVShD-btbGoZ-ACUz-poZLWt-PvoDB-4oMwEC-jkU8qf-Qyf4bn-5QyTmd-6sThN9-n9hV6-gfvMZg-aYTgq4eyes, or maybe a cauldron of putrid slime. Instead, they look like normal people; someone you could trust to treat you right and never pull the rug out from under your feet just when you’ve begun to take for granted you’re on stable ground.

So what have I learned this time? Beware of people who accuse others of narcissism. Some have learned to use it as a smokescreen. As their stories about other people lean more and more toward them being the victim, or someone else mistreating them, look at the whole picture. Who is getting attention? Is it the person they’ve accused, or themselves? Are they hiding in a corner, or a flame surrounded by moths? What happens when one of their moths finds a new flame to follow, or simply wanders off on its own?

For most of us, losing touch with someone is something we take in stride. Life pushes us in different directions; towards some, away from others. It isn’t personal. It’s simply the ebb and flow of life’s tide. Beware those who take it as a personal affront, effecting punishment with either abuse or neglect; or worse, weaving stories in which you’re the latest villain.

Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea

It took me awhile, but I’ve finally learned there will always be people who decide to dislike me; some at first glance, and others after we hit some kind of snag in the fabric of our friendship. I know I’m an acquired taste, and no longer take it personally. Most people, including me sometimes make negative comments about others. I’m not proud of it, nor do I deny my own culpability. It’s neither right nor kind, and is one of those qualities I’m still working on.

Unfortunately, like most people, I’m also influenced to some degree by what the people I like and trust tell me. Like it or not, other people’s actions are colored by the stories I’m told, and not always fairly. Thus, I accept that some people are going to reject me based on what they, themselves have heard. I have to believe in some regard those demons I mentioned are doing me a favor. By making me their villain, they’re ensuring I don’t stumble into the path of more of their ilk. I only have to fight off a single zombie instead of an entire flock of flying monkeys.

This time around I’ve taken several stumbling steps backwards and set some new boundaries along the way. I’m putting more trust in my ability to shield out toxicity, and discovering a resiliency I wasn’t aware I’d developed. I’m finding much of that resiliency from the support of the people I’ve allowed into my world, and who’ve allowed me into theirs. I’ve learned following a runaway train might be exciting at first, but will invariably lead to a choice between jumping off and risking a few cuts and bruises, or flying into the abyss with the rest of the revelers when the whole thing goes down in flames.

Won’t Get Fooled Again…Or Will I?

As I try to avoid beating myself up over misinterpreting the message I saw clearly in the eyes, https://www.flickr.com/photos/moonjazz/4322051067/in/photolist-7zVDcR-5HMRtL-WXwZ4x-5HwZ1W-W8gjMg-cmRixy-6QT7w5-644Ln2-aqnYV4-t3u4Vo-a3fPm8-96X9E-661V8k-7imNtn-dyL2X1-pqPPxB-8ZBwzC-6aTwUf-8X7nVL-98Xpyp-91GcS5-8QFSZ3-8QCL54-8QCLjR-fD8pbT-fke9kC-8rt4if-6eLvkB-2fF3nDE-8QFRwq-8VvhHg-39jdZK-fjZ1WZ-fjZ1nc-fjZ1JR-6jPBns-TCH7H7-dKE42n-GhN8P-21yUcgH-d5ogN-616Soq-7L5RSL-fjZ1PX-94tRCT-fjZ1AB-fke9Qh-SZrAL7-5ZFHzH-jSKjmJ“Smiling Faces” by The Temptations runs on an endless loop in my head. Though the pain I saw in those eyes was real (after all, people do hurtful things to others because of their own pain), I allowed myself to overlook the blame attached to the pain which in hindsight was blatantly obvious in every instance. I allowed myself to be blinded to the repeating pattern, and their innocence in every single story because I wanted to believe in goodness and kindness.

Yet as I look back while dusting myself off and getting ready to jump back into whatever life brings me next time, I find the resentment and hurt fading quickly. I’m grateful for the innocence and naivete I’ve retained despite being stomped on over and over for trusting too quickly and believing there’s good in everyone…even demons. Perhaps there’ll be a time when I’ll get to help one find that goodness and release some of the pain they’ve been carrying around, ignorant to their option to put it down. Something in me insists I keep trying and giving the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.

I’m also grateful for the opportunity to see how quickly I rebounded. Each experience makes me stronger and more resilient. Yet it isn’t making me cynical. In a recent post on Facebook, I wrote:

I will help all I can, but I’ve learned you can’t help someone who does not want to be helped. You can only walk away and save yourself from absorbing their pain.

Still, I leave a piece of myself behind with each person I have to walk away from. I’ll always wish I could have done more, though I understand for them it was neither the right time, nor place. They came into my life for a reason, and we parted ways when that reason had been fulfilled—for both of us.

Something to be Grateful For, No Matter What Cards Life Deals

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful I haven’t allowed life’s lessons to take away my trust, my naivete, or my innocence.
  2. I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve survived and the strength I’ve found with each new challenge.
  3. I’m grateful for the supportive friends I’ve attracted. There was a time I didn’t feel I deserved them, and even now, I’m marvel at all the wonderful people in my life.
  4. I’m grateful for resilience and boundaries. Both have carried me through more than I realize.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, joy, strength, support, community, opportunities, manifestations, motivation, inspiration, 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

Changing Seasons and Letting Go

Some Seasons End Quietly, Others Harshly

Created with CanvaPeriodically the Universe sends me a reminder that people come into my life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Sometimes the reminder is gentle as the touch of a feather, while others, it’s a sledgehammer blow to my head.

My latest reminder was the sledgehammer. A series of events had caused me to join a social circle which was not only more active physically, but leaned towards a lot more nights out. It was all well and fine for awhile. I enjoyed going new places and trying different things. But the time came when I needed more quiet time in the comfort of my own home; that the commotion of so many people 4 and 5 nights a week along with my other activities was starting to take it’s toll. 

Instead of recognizing my own needs, I clung to what clearly didn’t fit any more like a lifeline—until that lifeline was severed for me. Needless to say, I fell rather painfully, if virtually on a delicate part of my anatomy. Fortunately, I had a few days and nights of peace and quiet to take a good, hard look at what happened, and to realize I was in a much better place.

Feeling the Feels

One thing I’ve learned from the life lessons I’ve lived is I still have to feel the feelings, and https://www.flickr.com/photos/rkramer62/14408695072/in/photolist-nXfk47-boRM3Y-gLQV6A-7doLzt-pxtazy-fTJNc-pzVZrR-okksBn-bqtiEe-dr1gyZ-b9vxxe-8GNAoC-gLzbZG-damKHJ-7s27dt-CcHHY-o8LekG-rA9NxG-qL4cja-5mxBJk-93xbFt-onA753-76sTY4-bK457V-7zzgeM-7zuCwU-8LUCuH-D9zJJ-doFURv-66BKVv-9GvN8B-q9uw7p-7Gh2sC-5iJYhN-9TKuQx-zMz4S-8VcyBZ-q4VX62-bBfuLa-8M3d4F-q4Uume-5RfibE-mcddtc-cJv1Co-amyxyn-7Ph1TH-d3tMtd-8oPghC-5Jc9SB-n9x4Rnexperience the pain before I can put it aside and move on. It was only when I was reading the Power Path School’s Full Moon Update that it began to make sense. The first paragraph put it all into perspective, and told me what my next move had to be:

This full moon is an active one with the potential to support a final letting go of some sticky attachment that has been plaguing you. This takes courage and aggression in the right direction. Use the aggressive quality of this full moon to take that courageous action and to release some pattern, habit, person, job, routine, attitude, belief, identity, history, object, resentment, resistance, anger, shame, or disappointment. If it is ready to be released, the emotional pain will not last long in the wake of a tremendous freedom of thought, creativity and inspiration as you look forward. You may need to take some personal alone time to process a big release as the people around you may be just as attached to your attachments as you are. It is best not to take things personally as the reactions of others are probably projections of their own resistance.

I’d been resisting releasing people and patterns that no longer served me. These words gave me the strength to finally hit “delete”. The relief I felt once the deed was done made me see letting go was exactly what I needed to do.

Remembering it isn’t Personal

It also made me see everything that led up to my decision hadn’t been personal, though heaven knows there were times it felt like it! The people I ultimately released didn’t set out to mistreat me. They were merely operating from their own needs and perspective. That doesn’t mean I’ll be going out of my way to interact with them in the future, but I can be civil knowing we’ll always have our own perspectives about what changed and why we parted ways.

Ultimately, it simply boils down to the fact the reason or season we’d come into each others’ lives had come to an end. Nobody did anything wrong. No apologies or explanations are needed. It was time for each of us to move on in a different direction. I might, at times miss some of the fun times they showed me, but I won’t miss the drama or the frenzy. I function better when I can get off the roller coaster whenever I need to, and not make any ripples by doing so.

I don’t need to dance every dance, or be the center of attention. In fact, there are times I want to sit on the sidelines unnoticed, taking in the people; the sounds, the sights; without being disturbed. I like being able to fade into the wallpaper and absorb the energy from a distance for a little while. Not that I spend all my time observing. I participate regularly too, but on my own terms. I’d lost sight of that for awhile, and was running on someone else’s needs instead of my own. The sledgehammer, though painful, was necessary to bring me back to awareness of myself and my own rhythm.

Taking Time Out to Replenish

I realized as I started getting back into my own patterns and energies I’d worn myself out tryinghttps://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-jk3BYp to keep up with a rhythm that ran contrary to mine. I’m going to bed earlier right now, and sleeping more deeply as my body and mind replenish themselves. This is my rest period after a long, eventful holiday.

Each experience I have with leaving my own pace and following someone else’s teaches me something new. Sometimes, I slow myself down to match someone else’s gait, and others, I push myself into overdrive like I did this time. Either way, it ultimately exhausts me and I have to take a week or two of slower than normal to build everything back up again.

Unresolved health issues haven’t helped. My frustration at another in a long list of non-answers saps my energy too. It’s hard to feign joy and excitement when I’m frustrated and worried. In truth, I was starting to get irritated at little things. Eventually, I’d have walked away on my own as the little things became all encompassing annoyances. Making a clean break now will hopefully minimize any hurt feelings or resentment later.

Learning From Every Experience

Overall, I appreciate the experience, both of high activity and frenzy, and of letting go and moving on. Both have taught me a few more things about being a more social creature. I continue to learn as I step further out of my introverted shell, and for the most part, I’m enjoying the lessons and the results. I’m learning I don’t have to plod along at the same pace all the time. A little shaking up is good for me, and gets me out of old, comfortable ruts. That alone is worth the pain and frustration which can be part and parcel of the lessons and new experiences.

Above all, I know my comfort zone outlived its usefulness long ago. It’s time to try new things. Not all will be a fit, but I won’t really know until I try.

Letting Gratitude Heal the Wounds

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for experiences that take me outside my comfort zone.
  2. I’m grateful for reminders when it’s time to leave people, places, or things. I don’t always let go gracefully, but ultimately, I do let go.
  3. I’m grateful for opportunities to stretch myself beyond where I’d willing go without encouragement.
  4. I’m grateful for down time to refresh and rejuvenate before embarking on my next adventure.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, joy, friendship, opportunities, new, inspiration, motivation, health, harmony, peace, balance, 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

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