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

Posts tagged ‘meditation’

The Eternal Dilemma: Procrastination or Self-Care?

Procrastination is its Own Excuse a few days of being highly motivated and knocking out blog posts, chapters, and a few household tasks, I feel like I’ve hit a wall. I could point to the various changes in my world that are stressing me out, but that feels like excuses rather than reasons.

I could say it’s the recent full moon, or a solar wind, a coronal hole, or geomagnetic storm. Again, it feels like I’m looking for reasons to ignore the real problem which is firmly lodged in my own energy.

And yet the cats have been fighting more lately, and demanding more of my attention. Dylan lays on my chest for every meditation which has never been a spot he liked before. He follows me around the house, and except for a few hours in the morning, rarely leaves my side.

The obvious answer is they’re reading tension from me, and responding to how it affects them. Still, I have to wonder if what’s unsettling me is also unsettling them; that I’m not imagining a definite alteration in the energies surrounding us.

Using Guided Meditation to Find Focus

I started using the Stargate Experience Academy meditations again and among other things, I’m feeling calmer. When I do sit down at the computer to work, I’m more focused. Getting there is the real problem. I look at my Trello board and see I’m slightly behind on one project but ahead of schedule on my blog posts. Although I’m trying to maintain my original 4 week lead time I’d set as a goal, I get there, then slip back a few days. It’s not yet consistent.

I’ve also lost the walking habit I’d had for 6 months or so. Once the weather got crazy windy, or cold, or rainy, I used it as an excuse to start my day without the walk. Now that I’m dealing with swollen toes on one foot, I have another excuse to be lazy. I can tell you one thing. I do NOT like giving in to all these excuses.

Sure, you can say the obvious: “Then do something about it!” but if you’re one who procrastinates, you know it’s not that simple. Like it or not, I have to get to the root of the problem, or my procrastination tree will, like the kudzu vines in New Orleans, take over my life and allow nothing else to thrive.

Even the Big Names Must Struggle at Times

I wonder if I was a big name like Nora Roberts or Brenda Novak if I’d find it so hard to keep moving on to the next project, or finish the ones I have? Would a fan base like theirs drive me to finish one novel and dive right into another without taking more than a breath in between? Or do they have days like I do where dragging myself into my desk chair to write one more chapter or work on rewriting others seems like an insurmountable task?

In all fairness, they’ve put a ton of effort into building their fan bases, and even more in writing the number of books that grace library and bookstore shelves with their names on the cover. They’ve learned by doing the amount of effort it takes to be successful, and that it’s not an effort you stop making once you are successful. In all likelihood, when they were where I am now (though admittedly, much younger) they worked their craft like the full-time job it truly is.

I’d like to say I put in at least 40 hours a week writing, but even now, when I’m putting in more time than ever (except during NaNoWriMo) I can’t honestly say I am. I write for 30-45 minutes every morning. It isn’t anything that will ever be ready for public consumption, but I’ve gotten ideas for blog posts and book chapters from the exercise. In fact, that’s what it is. It’s like the spirals we used to draw when learning to write cursive. We got used to the motion and exercised the muscles first.

Exercising the Writing Muscle

Morning Pages is my daily writing warmup. I do it every day and have only missed a handful of in the flowdays in the 3-4 years I’ve been following the habit. There are days I point to my Morning Pages saying: “I wrote today. See?” But if it was the only writing I did that day, I don’t really feel that good about it. I still feel like I’ve let myself down.

In fact, recognizing how seldom I took myself seriously or honored commitments to myself was what got me to where I am today: 3-4 weeks ahead on blog posts, all Medium posts scheduled about half a month ahead, a month and a half away from having all 55 chapters of “Sasha’s Journey” revised and uploaded to ChapterBuzz, and 4 chapters of “Rebuilding After Suicide” rewritten.

Still, I beat myself up for the days when I get nothing done. Or no writing, anyway. I think part of the problem is I’ve become so accustomed to fighting procrastination, that it’s a spectre I expect to always be there, and always require battling before I can get on with what I want and need to do.

Ignoring the Voices, Both Internal and External

I also know when I ignore all the voices, all the excuses, all the temptations which try to drag my attention away from scheduled tasks and simply put my fingers on the keyboard, amazing things happen. Words flow, ideas form, and pretty soon, there’s a thousand words or more. I look back 30 minutes or an hour to when I was bemoaning my lack of motivation, and laugh at the person I let myself become, if only for a couple of hours.

Once upon a time, I was a mother, a wife, a student, and an employee. There were never enough hours to be everything to everyone. I took time out to take care of me, and took a lot of flack for it from people I used to call “friend”. In their eyes, I wasn’t allowed to take time out for myself until everyone and everything else had been seen to. That’s how they lived their lives, and like a religion, thought it was the only way to live. But none of them were happy.

Busy People Take Time for Self-Care

Yet here I am now, begrudging myself a few hours of down time because it means I’m not writing 8 hours a day, or keeping an immaculate house (which won’t happen in my life time unless I indulge in a live-in housekeeper). Where has all this unnecessary guilt come from? It wasn’t long ago, I was thrilled to have 2 weeks worth of blog posts scheduled. When I reached 3 and was consistent, I was ecstatic. Now I’m teetering on the edge of 4 and maintaining at least 2 other projects as well, and I’m unhappy??? WTH!

While it’s true a busy person will often make time for one more task, having done it at one time or another, I know it comes at a cost. Something gets pushed aside, and usually it’s something for myself. These days I indulge myself, sometimes to extreme. But I fail to give myself credit for what I’m getting done too. I think it’s time I focused less on the hours I procrastinate (and maybe I’m germinating ideas in those hours), and more on the number of words I’ve written, the interactions I’m having with people both virtually and live, and the ground I’ve covered without realizing where I used to be is many miles behind me now.

I need to remind myself life is too short to miss out on the simple pleasures like naps, reading, and sitting on the sofa cuddling the cats.

With Overwhelming Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for the Universal head slaps that remind me I’m being too hard on myself.
  2. I’m grateful for all I’ve accomplished, and all I’ve yet to accomplish. When I put it all in the same place, even I have to admit it’s pretty impressive.
  3. I’m grateful for the roads I’ve yet to travel, but which I’m drawing closer to every day.
  4. I’m grateful I’m learning to push the fear aside and dive headlong into whatever makes the words flow.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; opportunities, joy, friendship, dancing, health, humor, conviction, community, support, happiness, inspiration, balance, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light


About the Author

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

January 5, 2015 It’s humbling to realize that our pets do far more for us than we see.

Today I noticed that my meditation began with a “cat scan”…and it wasn’t the first time!

As I settled in for my (almost) daily meditation today, one of my latest additions to the family, Scrappy Doo, took up his usual place on top of me, but he didn’t just jump up and plop down. First he stood on my lap and it appeared that he was trying to sense something. Suddenly, I realized what he was doing was scanning me to determine where he needed to lay down and purr. Now, there’s no question of the healing properties of a cat’s purr, but this got me to thinking.

A couple of days ago, he waited until I had completely settled before jumping up. This time, he went straight for my right shoulder which had been giving me trouble, settled himself down on it and began a very unusual, two-toned purr I’d never heard before. It alternated between a high frequency and a low one. When I finished my meditation, I realized that my shoulder felt a lot better!

Today, Scrappy settled himself on my lower abdomen which, initially seemed odd as I hadn’t noticed any discomfort. But shortly after he settled down, my stomach started gurgling and churning, though there was no pain or discomfort, just noise. When I came out of my meditation, Scrappy was stretched out full length between my legs with his head nearly resting on my feet, and my stomach was no longer gurgling.

It’s long been known that our pets have therapeutic properties.

Many pet parents have experienced the calming qualities of their pets or their tendency to get closer when we’re sad, tired, lonely or ill. Articles have been written about the healing properties of a cat’s purr for everything from healing of bones to lowering of blood sugar and blood pressure. But this is the first time I’ve actually been aware of a cat scanning me to see where he was needed!

I believe this phenomenon went unnoticed because the majority of the time, he just climbs up on my lap and curls up somewhere, purrs for awhile and goes to sleep. He clearly knows when I need to be scanned and when everything is fine. The only thing which makes sense to me is that before he jumps into my lap, he takes a reading on my energy field to determine whether his services will be needed. The rest of the time, it’s likely he restocks his own energy with that which I’m exuding during my meditations.

What we have here is a symbiotic synergy.

Today’s epiphany has given me cause to reevaluate the relationships I have with each of my cats. Just as each has their own personality, each has a completely different relationship with me. Dylan is definitely my heart. He watches over me and is the most likely to be on my desk while I’m working. Munchkin, the Princess is kind of a night owl like me and will often be sitting on my shoulder purring while I’m working into the wee hours of the morning. Toby, my Moose loves to drape his enormous body across my lap, successfully halting anything else I might be trying to do until such time as his attention meter is full again.

The launching of my website has been delayed, primarily for want of a topic. I think the search is over.

I had been bouncing a lot of ideas around, but none had really felt right to me. I had everything from cats to healthy living, to leaps of faith and the list goes on. I think I was just trying to find something a little less ordinary which would be of interest to other people, and I think I’ve found my topic. I’m going to do some thinking and a lot of research, but watch for the launch of in the near future!

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for epiphanies.
2. I am grateful for my healing cats and my regular, radiation-free cat-scans.
3. I am grateful for a productive day of problem solving, paperwork finishing, idea generating, writing and studying.
4. I am grateful for my ability to focus once I get started on a project, which even saw me getting a lot done today without closing social media or email or putting my phone on “do not disturb” (except during my meditation!)
5. I am grateful for abundance: healing, ideas, concentration, accomplishments, love, friendship, health, peace, harmony and prosperity. (I’m seeing checks with many zeroes in my meditations these days!)

Blessed Be

September 19, 2014 Where does the day go???

I came home at about 8:30. I blinked, and here it is, midnight!

They say that time flies when you’re having fun, but today, I worked most of the day, and NOT on writing! Today was an accounting kind of day. In fact, if I think about it, I spent more time on accounting this week than normal! Sure, I needed to step back from the writing and wrap my head around the next thing I need to do, so I guess the Universe did its usual thing and “helped”! But I’m making myself a solemn promise that the weekend will be devoted to writing or pursuits associated with writing! It also doesn’t hurt that the accounting pays right now.

Admittedly, I spent part of the day playing a game on the computer, another part watching a couple of Castle re-runs, and a few minutes diving into one of the books I’d downloaded to my iPad. But accounting work was definitely the deal of the day. So here it is, after midnight, my blog post isn’t done yet and I have chores to finish before I sleep.

The days are getting shorter, I tell you!

You go to the market to buy some ice cream and are happy to see that the price hasn’t changed. That is, until you pick up what used to be a half gallon, and guess what? It isn’t any more! They made it smaller so they could keep the price the same, while making us believe we were getting a deal! Well, I believe it’s the same with time. Someone in the vast cosmos out there has tweaked time so a second is just a little shorter than it used to be. Shorter seconds mean shorter minutes which mean shorter hours which mean shorter days…well, I think you get the picture. I see no other reasonable explanation for how quickly time passes! When I get to the club where I dance around 6:00, I dance a couple of dances, blink twice, and three hours have passed! No wonder we rush around like decapitated poultry! We’re trying to fit 24 hours worth of stuff into 22 3/4 hours! If the time lords keep shaving our seconds, tomorrow will start before today has half a chance to finish!

This is when the power to stop time would come in very handy!

Say you have twelve absolutely essential items on your To Do list. You look at the time and you thought it was 3:00 PM on Monday, giving you plenty of time to finish. Instead, you discover it’s noon on Tuesday and you’ve already lost almost 24 hours! Now what? You pull out your handy dandy time freezer ray, and zap yourself a few hours in which to catch up! In the process, you pull a fast one on the Time Lords because the time they stole is being returned, nanosecond by nanosecond! Their theft is a devious way to make us believe we’re too busy to notice how they’re robbing us blind! Less time means we’re constantly in a rush, just to do the things we need to, much less, grab a few hours for the lost art of pleasure! Even the ones like me who no longer punch a time clock are behind the eight ball half the time.

I have certain things I’ve tasked myself with every day: Meditation, one card tarot reading, answering email, doing some kind of writing, even if it’s just blogging, and a few other things which, individually and collectively take time. Despite the fact that I’m finding myself getting up earlier and earlier, I still find I’m running short of time, or rushing through one thing or another just to get it all in. The anal accountant in me decided to move my To Do list from Word to Excel so I could actually track things like time, word count and completion rates. This week, alone, I’m finding that my blog posts are getting a bit shorter and my meditations are as well.

Sure, I took care of some things which I’d put off and am getting better organized–working smarter, not harder, but why should I have to keep restructuring my time and my work load because someone is stealing my minutes, a fraction of a second at a time? It is simply preposterous that nobody in the world has caught on to this devious plot to make us think we have more time than we do! I want my full half gallon of ice cream, thankyouverymuch! And do not tell me that it will cost me more for the same thing! But seriously, am I the only one who notices that time is shorter? Has the rest of the world been blissfully brain washed?

There is a silver lining in this time stealing cloud. If everyone else is oblivious, I can develop my time freezing device without any outside interference or competition. Could you just see it if fifty people were trying to find ways to freeze time? Eventually, we’d be running into ourselves, assuming all of those theories about not being able to be in the same place as yourself without fouling up the space-time continuum aren’t true. I could just see everyone standing on a hill top, time freezing devices of every shape and color clutched tightly in our clenched fists as we argue over whose turn it is to freeze time now! At some point, we’d all have to just stop and stare at each other in confusion. “What day did we stop time? How long was it stopped? What day is it now and did you remember to pick up a loaf of bread and some milk?”

But the world as we see it today is already crazy enough.

I suppose, for the sake of humanity, I will have to lock my time freezing ray safely away, and, join those who, like the lemmings, accept things at face value. I shall increase the pace on my hamster wheel and pretend I don’t know that time is crashing down on us before our very eyes!

A small disclaimer here: For those who took any part of this post seriously, please know that most of it was written with my tongue lodged firmly in my cheek. It’s up to you to figure out which parts weren’t. Mwahahahahaha!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I can find the humor in just about anything.
2. I am grateful for the paying work I had this week.
3. I am grateful for all of the people in my life, as I learn something from each and every one of them!
4. I am grateful for productive days, even when what I produce isn’t what I really want to be accomplishing. Each task I undertake has its own value, and as such, makes my life better.
5. I am grateful for abundance: humor, joy, love, silliness, harmony, peace, imagination, fun and prosperity.


August 13, 2014 Back to the Future

The time has come to switch gears

For the last couple of days, largely influenced by current events, I took a walk through those long ago times when I first started this blog; a little older, a little wiser and hopefully, a little more compassionate. But this evening, I feel that it’s time to lighten the mood once again, if only I could find something which would accomplish that miraculous feat. It’s interesting how a single event can open old wounds you didn’t even know had yet to scar over. The Universe makes sure we get these wake-up calls, both to allow us to finish things, once and for all, and to remind us to avoid being complacent. I’ve learned the hard way that complacence leads to one thing, and one thing only; another Universal head slap.

One man’s head slap…

Despite the virtual pain inflicted, not to mention the laugh the Universe gets at my expense, not all head slaps are created equally. Some tell me that it’s time to wake up, get my head out of the sand and make something of myself. Others say it’s time to make a big change, so I need to put on my big girl panties and take the first step so those who are waiting in the wings can actually start to earn their keep. But the toughest one of all is the one that says: “You know that thing you thought you’d finished? That thing you thought you’d worked all the way through until you felt all healed and warm and fuzzy? Well, I’m here to tell you, nay, show you, that you ain’t even CLOSE!”

Finding our own navigational beacon

A fellow in a Facebook Tarot group I belong to posted something in the last few days about directionals and such, but I couldn’t find it so I’m just going to fake it (I realize that’s incredibly novel in this blog!). We all have to find our way. and a message sent to me will not, despite being identical, mean the same to someone else. The last couple of days have made it very clear that most messages are wide open to misinterpretation. However, I have learned, both the hard way (most of the time) and the easy way (on occasions so rare that a triple lightening strike in the same location probably stands better odds) that the best way to truly understand the messages I’m receiving is to turn off the analytical side of my brain for a moment and just listen to the words, or appreciate the visual I’m given. Thus, I realize that the messages of the last couple of days are telling me two things: 1. Finish the novel and get back to work on the Self Help/Memoir and 2. I have a long way to go before I’ve truly healed from certain life experiences. In a lot of ways, the two are intertwined as the process of researching and writing the Self Help book has, and will continue to be incredibly cathartic.

It occurs to me as I pause to let my brain catch up, that I’ve given you false hope for a lighter post tonight. It seems I still have bits and pieces floating about, the flotsam and jetsam I call my thoughts, which have yet to come to rest where I can actually either make use of them or put them away for good.

Be that as it may, I admit that I am a recovering control freak, prone to analyze things into dust, run things into the ground, and otherwise try to force things to happen only as I envision them. But you notice, I said “recovering” and there’s a good reason for that. Quitting my job as I did last December to focus on my first love, which is writing, was the first step in relinquishing control. I told the Universe that I want a career as a writer, as a creative being instead of one who just analyzes other people’s work. I didn’t say how I wanted that career to flesh out, or what direction I wanted to take (though, of course, I did express hope that the novel I began in November might actually see the light of day at some point). Instead, I threw myself on the mercy of the Universe to point me in the direction I needed to go, to give me signs when I needed to make something happen, and to otherwise determine how my intention would materialize. What the Universe gave me in return was dozens of reasons to have Faith in myself even if I don’t have a master plan, numerous signs that I’m on the right path, ideas which flow so fast that many, sadly, get lost in the ether, and head slaps to make sure I’m staying my true path. If you ask me, despite a temporary delay in publishing any of my work, I’m getting the best part of this deal!

My life is freer than it’s ever been. I can do what I did today and drive up the coast to meet a friend for lunch. I can get away to visit my daughter when I feel like it. I can ensure that I meditate every single day, no matter what, though, if you were to ask my cats, they’d insist that I’m simply providing them with a warm place to nap on a fairly regular schedule. But best of all, not only has my stress level shrunk to record lows, I never have to commute again! I’m truly living the dream and don’t, for a second, miss all of the “stuff” or eating out more than in. How many people can truly say that? How many people are loving what they do? This is an incredible gift I’ve given to myself, and I deserve every bit of it! Don’t you?

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for Universal head slaps.
2. I am grateful for a stress free life of doing the things I love.
3. I am grateful for my constant companions; the four footed, pointy eared, feline ones (even one the youngest insists on running across my keyboard when I’m writing!).
4. I am grateful for my hermit days as well as my social days. In other words, I’m grateful for the balance in my life.
5. I am grateful for abundance which is available to all: love, health, joy, harmony, peace, prosperity and balance.


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