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Posts tagged ‘messages’

Attitude: The Ultimate Motivator

Analyzing My Attitude

As I recently embarked on a new version of my lifelong weight management journey (courtesy of Julia Cameron’s “Writing to Diet”), I tend to think about it more than usual. Being the analytical sort, I take it apart and put it back together in various configurations. In one scenario, I look at how others treat their less-than-perfect bodies. Let’s be honest, here. I’ve never met a woman who couldn’t find something she didn’t like about her body!

Still and all, I find those who are more successful focus more on changing one thing, and it has nothing to do with food or exercise.

Re-assessing the Messages I Send Myself

You’ve probably seen a lot of meme’s and posts lately dealing with how people to the messages they receive. Whether you tell a child she’s smart or dumb, she’ll more often than not meet your expectations.

Humans like you and me grow up on the outside, but there’s a part of us which will always be that child who’s easily influenced by expectations; both internal and external. When we tell ourselves things like:

You’re a mess. You need to clean up your act.


You’ll never lose the weight you need to. You’re a fatty who can’t control her eating.


You gained back 3 ounces. Might as well go scarf that gallon of ice cream. You’re a failure.

In one sense, you’re ripping away at your own self-confidence, and in another, you’re giving yourself permission to keep failing—to keep disappointing the most important person in your life—YOU!

Self-Improvement is the Ultimate Goal

One of the requirements for the new self-improvement program I’ve embarked upon (and yes, I see it as self-improvement rather than weight loss) is to take a 20-minute walk every day. As it happens, I’ve been trying to get into the habit of walking daily for months without success. Somehow, though, when Ms. Cameron wrote about it and offered examples from students who’d followed her plan successfully, I came up with my own plan to make it work.

I know myself well, so getting dressed and out the door had to be a first-thing-in-the-morning task, or it would get put off the way my gym workouts were until I created a plan. If you’ve been following me for the last year or so, you know I’ve been incredibly successful at meeting my 3-day-a-week gym goal, because I assigned myself specific days with their own specific workout. (Monday; legs, Wednesday; chest and triceps, Friday; back and biceps).

As a result, I’m stronger, leaner, and have more energy. I also know it’s not enough, because I wasn’t sticking to my healthier diet so my weight was going up and down like a yo-yo. I’d like to believe at least half of the poundage I reacquired is muscle mass, but who am I kidding? Indeed, a part of it might be, but my clothes were fitting tighter again, and contrary to popular belief, they did not shrink in the wash!

Motivation According to Plan

In order to make the daily walk work with my schedule, I had to put it after writing morning pages and feeding the cats (tasks I can’t move around any more than I already have!), and before coffee and my usual yogurt and blueberries breakfast. Trust me, when coffee is the reward for getting my sneakers on and heading out the door to walk for a mere 20 minutes, little if anything gets between me and that walk!

Now, I could tell you I motivate myself by looking at the too-high numbers on the scale or the ample figure in the mirror and berating myself, but not only would I be lying, I’d be doing you a gross disservice. The truth is, I look at the numbers on the scale and, even when they go back up a bit, I look at my excel spreadsheet and see how many pounds I’ve released over time rather than what I regained over a day or two. It reminds me how much I’m capable of, and that there will always be setbacks.

Positive Reinforcement

I also look myself in the mirror and notice the positive changes. I tell myself how proud I am of those changes, and the effort I made and continue to make. I recognize the effort and forgive the imperfections.

Sure, I’ve changed my eating habits a lot. I eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and less sugar and flour. I try to track every bite that passes my lips, though with more success some days than others. The question remains, how was I able to turn a life of sloth and often depression into one where the weight is coming off, albeit slowly, and my energy is increasing, not so slowly.

The answer is really a single word: Attitude. Changing my attitude and appreciating my smallest wins turned everything around, and gave me the drive and desire to add new things like daily walks to my routine. Attitude makes me stand straighter and taller, suck in my belly without having to remind myself, and make better food choices.

Ask Not “What Can I Eat?” But “Am I Really Hungry Now?”

It’s taught me to ask myself when my stomach growls at 10 PM if I’m truly hungry, and if so, will a small slice of bell pepper be as effective (if not more so) in silencing the dragons than some sweet or salty snack (for the record, the answer is always yes these days).

I listen to friends complaining about the way they look, or some flaw nobody notices but them. That was once me, and while I focused on the flaws and the failures, my progress was limited if not negative. I had to learn to love myself as I am, at any given moment.

Seeing Myself Through Less Critical Eyes

That doesn’t mean I have to stay in the place I spent so much time beating myself up over. It simply means that each stage of my progress is good and praise-worthy. Wherever I find myself is better than someplace I was at some point in the past.

The changes might not be visible to anyone else, but like everyone, I have laser vision when it comes to myself. I know the frame I live in once carried 20 or 30 more pounds, and that those pounds were pure fat. I know I’m starting to see collarbones I haven’t seen in decades, and silly as it may sound, it makes me dance with joy. Does anyone else notice the faint hint of bone at my neckline? Doubtful. But what anyone else sees has nothing to do with my attitude towards myself—unless I let it.

The Only Opinion That Matters is Mine

If you ask me, the biggest mistake you can make is to allow anyone else to influence your attitude towards yourself. I did for a very long time, and am working on fixing the damage it did.

I’ve also learned no matter how much I’ve shored up my attitude, people and things can still shake it. Still, it’s up to me to remind myself of one of my favorite quotes:

What other people think of me is none of my business.

Whether you’re struggling with your weight, building a business, reaching a goal, or simply giving yourself permission to succeed, I’ve learned it will continue to be a struggle until you can tell yourself with complete confidence that you deserve to succeed at whatever you want to do. The rest is just logistics.

Supporting Myself With an Attitude of Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful I’ve learned to love myself as I am, and not some pie-in-the-sky image of perfection.
  2. I’m grateful I’ve learned to set new goals, and to find a way to achieve them instead of talking myself out of trying.
  3. I’m grateful for new adventures.
  4. I’m grateful for dreams fulfilled. It means I get to dream new dreams.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; joy, love, self-confidence, attitude, friendship, inspiration, motivation, new experiences, peace, health, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light


About the Author

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

Dream a Little Dream

Messages in Our Dreams am blessed (though sometimes it seems like a curse) with extremely vivid, memorable dreams. Often I’ll wake in the middle of the night to exclaim “WTF!” when a dream is particularly uncomfortable in its details.

There are times my dreams have been precognitive, right down to where people were standing, what they were wearing, and what they said. Others, they’re of someone I haven’t seen in a long time, even years, and make me reconnect, if only to make sure they’re OK. In one case, I dreamed a man’s wife had died only to learn, when I finally had the nerve to reach out, that he’d lost her six months prior.

They’re not limited to my nighttime slumbers either. Often, the most vivid and insightful will occur during my daily meditations. Recently, I dreamed about a friend moving things from a smaller freezer into a room-sized one. In the process, he moved the contents of my own freezer as well. In order to find my various single-serving meals, I was forced to learn his system of organization. As it turns out, he arranged things in chronological order (I always date my containers) from newest on the left, to oldest on the right. As I went through the containers on the right, I found several dated 2002 and 2003. I realized they were long past their expiration date, and pulled the containers to dispose of the contents.

Knowing When to Pay Attention and Act

When I woke, the question foremost in my mind was “what do I need to release that I’ve been carrying around since 2002 and 2003?” As I thought back, those were the years before and when my dad took his life after learning he had Stage IV lung cancer. I was also struggling to keep my own life and that of my 15-, then 16-year-old daughters together. My relationship with my dad was strained because he’d grown crankier. I didn’t realize it at the time, but his health was getting worse. Being immersed in family patterns, he kept it to himself.

Those were also years when I wasn’t dancing because my daughters’ activities conflicted with dance nights. I was working the latest in a long string of jobs I hated, and had long since broken off the last relationship I would have for decades—in fact up to and including now. I was cranky, miserable, angry, and feeling abused by the female contingent of band parents. I tended to keep company with the men, hauling equipment and setting up props rather than subject myself to the cattiness of the women, or my ineptitude with hair braiding and uniform inspecting. Clearly, there’s a reason I’d stuff those things to the back of my freezer and forget them.

Reviewing My Life to See What I Need to Let Go

Like so many times in my life, the dream was telling me I need to pull those old memories out, take the lessons they carried and dispose of the rest for good. But it seems some of those memories are frozen in time, and in order to release them, I need to thaw them first. Many were sorted out while I wrote and re-wrote my memoir, but clearly, there are a couple which still need to be thawed, sorted, and released.

Life throws us a lot of curve balls, and many involve going back over our old shit and letting go of the knee-jerk reactions we developed along with the unpleasant memories. At the moment, a friend is trying to convince me to jump back into the dating pool, and meeting with years worth of resistance in the process.

I’ve been disenchanted with online dating for a variety of reasons. And frankly, I don’t need a man in my life at this point. I have male friends with whom I dance and socialize. Sure, it’s never one-on-one and many are married or in long-term relationships. Some of the single ones are too young, and one is too old. My biggest show stopper is my requirement that he likes to dance, and specifically Country dancing. Unfortunately, the field is limited. The medium attracts not only more single women, but a lot of married ones whose husbands don’t dance. I guess in a lot of ways I’ve reconciled myself to being alone for the rest of my life, and convinced myself I’m OK with that.

To Relationship or Not To Relationship: Is It Worth It This Late In My Game?

To make my sordid mess even murkier, my last two relationships were about as dysfunctional as gets, and left me less than enamored of the whole male-female relationship stuff. Granted, I was a mess myself and had no business being in a relationship until I did the work to fix at least the worst of my broken parts; a task I didn’t even begin to tackle until at least 2000. So I was still sifting through the rubble by 2003 and had yet to start rebuilding on a more solid foundation.

Nevertheless, I have to belief there were things I unearthed, then stuffed right back down again due to a combination of circumstances, events, and lack of desire to deal with the pain. But like all good things, they’ve come back to haunt me, even if I’ve failed to identify exactly what it is I’m supposed to work through this time. I say this only because I know myself, and have a long history of stuffing things away instead of dealing with them, when to do so would be easier and less painful than letting them stew and fester until they came back around whether I liked it or not.

The Resume Tells Its Own Story

As I often do when trying to remember where my life was at a certain point, I look back at my resume. Yet there’s a significant gap between 1999 and 2004. In a way, this is telling, as clearly my career was going nowhere during those years. I believe I spent several months temping at Countrywide, but I also spent the end of 2003 and several months of 2004 running around getting Dad’s estate settled. It was also one of the times I tried and failed to get my consulting business off the ground. Perhaps I’m meant to revisit this time to look at what didn’t work so I can learn from my failures and finally find the success I’ve been seeking for years, but until now, with the wrong end of my talents and expertise.

Still and all, I’ve learned to listen to my dreams and ask questions of myself until the answers start to come. Questions like:

  • What am I meant to revisit?
  • What lessons do I need to take with me?
  • Which pain do I need to release?
  • Why am I being asked to revisit this time/event right now?
  • How will dealing with this now help me in the future?

As I work towards my goal of writing 5 blog posts in the next week as well as other tasks assigned by my coach to get me off my butt, I’ll do what I’ve learned works best. I’ll allow the words which flow from my fingers when I get out of my own way to give me the answers I seek. I’ll allow the dreams to tell me where to step next. Ultimately, I’ll work through my latest set of challenges and find my road a little easier, at least for a day or so.

Answering Your Messages

How do you know when it’s time to revisit past events, travails, and even failures? What do you do about it? How do you release what no longer serves you, especially the things you stashed away in hopes they’d disappear on their own? I’d love to hear what works for you.

Gratitude: The Ultimate Fixer

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for my vivid dreams.
  2. I am grateful for friends I can bounce things off of when my own resources fail to yield the desired results.
  3. I am grateful for my coach, Linda Clay who doesn’t give up on me when I fail to accomplish the tasks she’s set, but instead helps me understand why I’m procrastinating instead of diving in feet first.
  4. I am grateful for the completion of my latest edit of “Life Torn Asunder” and look forward (not without a certain amount of trepidation) to the next step in my journey towards publication.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; life, love, work, words flowing freely, ideas, inspiration, motivation, dreams, goals, steps, progress, friendship, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light


About the Author

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

How Do You Re-focus When Intentions Go Awry?

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

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

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

Those Negative Voices Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Show Gratitude for the Wins, Both Large and Small

My gratitudes today are:

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

Love and Light


About the Author

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

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