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Posts tagged ‘NaNoWriMo’

10 Things I’ve Learned by Meditating

There’s More to a Meditation than Meets the Eye

I’ve included meditation in my daily routine for several years now. I try to do an hour a day, sitting quietly in my living room, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes, I meditate on the dance floor. Others, I meditate while doing my morning stretches. I have even been known to meditate while grocery shopping.

It doesn’t really matter where you meditate or what you’re doing. The trick is to just quiet your mind and allow. Of course, when people hear “quiet your mind” they think you mean turn your brain off. We all know that’s impossible. What it means is to let the thoughts flow without analyzing or judging. In short, you just allow.

I get a lot of ideas from my meditations including both the title and main idea for my latest NaNoWriMo. But I realized today it’s much more than that, So without further ado, here are the 10 things (or should I say 10 of the things) I’ve learned by meditating.

  1. It’s the perfect place to work on forgiving yourself.
  2.  There is no wrong way to meditate.
  3.  A To Do list isn’t just to keep track of tasks I need to do. It’s also a way to show myself how much I actually accomplish even on days I consider lazy.
  4.  You can never have too many accountability partners.
  5.  If you don’t understand a message you receive while meditating, it will come again in a different way and will continue to do so until you get the message and act on it.
  6.  You can change your entire attitude by meditating.
  7.  For cats, meditation is a group sport.
  8.  No matter how frustrating your day might be, meditation will help put things back in perspective.
  9.  You can’t beat yourself up while meditating.
  10.  If you receive a message during meditation which shows you rearranging furniture, don’t ignore it. You won’t be able to settle down, sleep or even enjoy a movie until you do.
Meditation for your Health

Even if I’m pressed for time, I’ve learned to take as little as five minutes out and just breathe. The overall reduction in stress is huge, and even more so if performed with a purring cat on your lap. Reducing stress in any way you can improves your physical, mental, emotional and energetic health. I’m heartily in agreement with those who say it should be taught in our schools. Maybe someday it will be.


My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the message I received today to swap my sofa and love seat and move the cat tree.
2. I am grateful for a week which, while not as productive as I’d like, saw me getting back on track with my To Do list, MyFitnessPal and my accountability buddy. It also saw me becoming part of a mastermind group who enjoy writing about Alternative health and just plain healthy eating.
3. I am grateful that Patches is being good about taking her meds though I try not to let myself think about how lousy she must be feeling to be so calm.
4. I am grateful for a full and interesting life where new ideas and challenges come up often. I’m reinventing myself almost every week and someday I’ll even know who I am.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, health, well-being, peace, harmony, calm in the midst of a storm, inspiration, motivation, hope, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

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September 8, 2015 Going Where the Energy Guides Me

“What Goes Up Must Come Down. Spinning Wheel Got to go ’round”

For the last couple of days, I’ve been guided, directed or simply inspired to get things out of the way. I don’t mean shuffle them to another place (my favorite method of cleaning), but to actually clear the way, make room and give myself space to make progress. On Monday, that meant getting a plumber in to unclog my kitchen sink while I vacuumed, mopped and emptied sandboxes. In the midst of my cleaning, my vacuum cleaner stopped sucking so I started fiddling with the hose to try to find the blockage.

I finally resorted to running water through the floor attachment and was rewarded for my efforts by a gigantic wad of cat fur which had gotten lodged in the middle of said attachment.

But that wasn’t the end of my suckless woes. Something had also lodged itself inside the inflexible portion of the hose. Once again, I inserted the garden hose into the vacuum cleaner hose and added water. Again, I was rewarded by a giant clump of something nasty, this time, less pretty than mere cat fur. But water and a screwdriver finally cleared the obstruction and I was on my way to clean floors (though, thanks to my darling furballs, it didn’t last very long. My bathroom alone had to be re-swept twice more before I retired for the evening.)

Meanwhile, a wonderful plumber who had been referred by members of a locally-oriented Facebook group was not only clearing the obstruction in my sink, but took the time to explain how I could fix it myself next time, and all without charging a premium for working on a holiday!

Today found me completing my household chores before heading out to run my weekly errands, augmented by a few more as a result of my daughter’s impending birthday.

The Energizer Bunny’s Got Nothin’ on Me

You’d think that after four hours of shlepping through near-100-degree heat I’d have been ready for a long nap and a tall, cool drink. So did I, but as it turns out, what was I thinking? It was all I could do to settle long enough to do a 50 minute meditation before I was, once again, bouncing off the walls.

Feeling like I’d been connected to an electrical transformer, I took care of a couple more chores, then sat down to watch a little TV (and believe me, these days, “little” is the operative word). As has been my wont these days, boredom settled in very quickly and I only stayed put because my lap was occupied by some sadly neglected furballs.

Watching Patterns Change Before my Eyes

Lately, my analytical brain has been screaming for attention to the point where I’ve reverted to playing games which require strategy, math and analytical skills to complete. I sit and play the games until my analytical side tires, then work on my writing. My current project a fairly ruthless edit/revision of the first NaNoWriMo novel I wrote, and my goal is to complete this pass before November 1 so I can, once again, immerse myself in the annual 50,000-words-in-a-month writing frenzy my daughter got me into nearly 2 years ago.

I’d like to say progress is smooth, but frankly, I edit, I put it aside, I pick it up the next day and re-edit. Some days, I’ll get through an entire chapter and others, I’m lucky to manage the re-edit and half or even a quarter of a chapter before my mind shuts down. Fortunately, it’s taking longer and longer to reach that point, though progress is not exactly getting better. Where I could only manage an hour at first, I find myself glued to the computer for 2 hours or so these days. I see a desk littered with Power Bar wrappers and Werther’s in my future if this continues.

An Explanation for this Insanity

I may have finally received an explanation for this craziness that’s driving me. A former teacher posted a comment about the energy being wild, then followed it up with a post about the Solar eclipse which is set to coincide with this week’s new moon. Being fairly sensitive to solar and lunar events, I’m starting to see why I feel so out of control. Even my sleep pattern has worsened. Rarely am I able to get to sleep before 3 or 4 in the morning, and a couple of my cats must be as disturbed as I am, since they are still restless and disruptive when I’m trying to go to sleep. Scrappy Doo has been locked in a spare bedroom so many times in the last couple of weeks that, last night, when I went to lock him in again, he was standing with his nose in the corner of my guest room. Apparently, he realized he needed a time out!

If you’re anything like me and have been unaccountably productive, especially when it involves clearing space or cleaning, you, too might be especially sensitive to the astral activity this week. I’m going to keep my crystals close and spend extra time trying (and that is the operative word right now) to meditate. Even those morning stretches can help, especially when you do them before you actually get your day started. My cats are growing accustomed, though not willingly, to waiting for breakfast while I stretch out on the floor with my Miracle Ball, breathing and stretching before I do their bidding and move to the front of the house where the cat food and dishes must surely be clamoring to be filled.49a1d-tower-card16

I thought to wind this up with my gratitudes, but as I started to do my usual review, a vision of the Chariot popped into my head. But before I could even get the image inserted here, I was drawn to the Tower Card. 61285-chariot

In my experience, things always happen for a reason, and the fact that I was first drawn to a card which indicates rapid movement only to have it overridden by a card which indicates rapid change accompanied by a ripping asunder of old ways and ideas, I can only wonder what the Universe has in store for me this time, while fastening my safety harness and getting ready for a wild and bumpy ride. Trying to hold onto anything or nail things down would be an exercise in futility so I won’t even try, but I also know that whatever I’m forced to release this time will only be in my own best interests. The reality is, what I believe is valuable and worth keeping right now may just be the first thing that’s ripped out of my hands, and once I’ve had time to process, I’ll realize it was time.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I accomplished so much cleaning and organizing in the last two days.
2. I am grateful that the back problems which plagued my in July and August have pretty much disappeared, leaving me with a valuable habit; stretching in the morning as soon as I get up.
3. I am grateful for a weekend of celebration with my daughter and son-in-law as we celebrate the end of her 28th year in her current human form.
4. I am grateful for a strong, healthy body which continues to allow me to be independent. I am also grateful for the chores and other tasks I need to do every month as they help keep that body healthy and strong.
5. I am grateful for all of the progress I’ve made on my book in the last couple of weeks and look forward to many more productive sessions.
6. I am grateful for abundance: health, happiness, harmony, motivation, inspiration, energy, love, joy, celebrations, peace, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I’d appreciate your taking a moment to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

November 29, 2014 Back in the Saddle Again! #shericonaway

It’s been a long and crazy month, but as the dust clears, it’s time to get back to my routines.

I’d forgotten quite how intense NaNoWriMo can be, but add in a week long visit with my daughter and grand puppy for Thanksgiving, and my typically quiet lifestyle bore a strong resemblance to the chaotic one I left behind a year ago. Needless to say, things like regular gym visits and blog posts were the ones who paid the price, but well-established tasks get back on track quickly.

My annual turkey soup making is stretching out longer than expected, so the gym visits will wait another day or two, but blogging is easy. It just requires sitting down in front of the computer and letting the mind run amok.

What happened to the soup, you ask? Well!

Last Christmas, my daughter decided that the pot I’d been using to make the turkey stock and subsequent stew-like soup was woefully inadequate, so she set out to find me something more suitable. She proudly presented me with an enormous pot which was actually designed for making tamales. Sans the rack, it did very nicely for an all night turkey carcass cooking…except for one thing. I decided to leave the lid on the pot, so even though I didn’t fill it anywhere close to the top, the result was a massive amount of stock, far more than necessary for my mega pot of soup this year.

But it gets better. In an effort to get the soup cooled so I could skim the fat, I put the four containers of broth into my freezer. By the time I went to bed last night, the fat had not yet risen to the top, so I left it there over night. This morning, I removed four frozen solid containers of stock from the freezer and put them on my kitchen counter to defrost. They are still sitting there, nearly twelve hours later, and are still half frozen! Needless to say, the rest of the ingredients were not added to the soup today, but I have great hope for tomorrow!

In all fairness, I owe myself a quiet day after spending several hours completing the last 5000 words of the challenge yesterday. (I was smarter this year and spread it out over the day, while also having 3000 fewer words to complete as well). I managed to finish and still be in bed by about 1:30, which is a good thing as the cats were rather excited by my being up an hour earlier than normal due to Thanksgiving night exhaustion, so they decided I needed a repeat performance. If there was ever any question about who trains who, I think the question has been answered.

In the interest of keeping this short and sweet, let me just say that you can once again look forward to daily posts, though there’s no guarantee as to the content. As always, I’ll do my best to be entertaining.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for a peaceful, enjoyable Thanksgiving with both my blood and adopted kids.
2. I am grateful for the silence after a week with a house guest, however quiet and respectful she was.
3. I am grateful to be able to get back to my routine.
4. I am grateful for the excess of turkey stock as it will make some delicious dishes over the course of the next few months.
5. I am grateful that I completed another 50,000 word challenge, though the real work has just begun!
6. I am grateful for abundance: drive, commitment, imagination, motivation, routines, work, play, love, joy, peace, happiness, harmony, health and prosperity.

Namaste

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

November 23, 2014 My poor blog is withering from neglect. #shericonaway

My name is Sheri and it’s been four days since I’ve blogged.

What can I say? It’s been a crazy week. My daughter arrived on Thursday night, I got my new iPhone on Friday, only to fight with it for several hours before realizing I’d gotten an 8GB phone which barely holds the operating system and the apps. Spent most of Saturday fussing with AT&T (who ultimately proved to be quite accommodating) and getting a different phone. To top it off, the winds knocked the power out for several hours today, but as we’d planned to go see MockingJay anyway, it worked out ok. Oh, and of course, the power outage meant another call to AT&T to get my TV back online.

The joys of technology. But tonight, all is right with my world. The electronics are functioning, my desk is covered in cats, I’m on the downhill side of the novel writing challenge, and it’s not even midnight!

What better time to renew my relationship with my poor, neglected blog? Also neglected temporarily due to phone issues and other minor calamities, was my gym routine. I only got in two workouts this week and no pilates, but will rectify that in the next few days. I’m ready to get back to healthy eating and sufficient exercise!

Funny how missing parts of a routine that makes you feel so good really puts a hitch in your gitalong. I feel slow and logey right now because I’ve eaten too much starch and not enough veggies. The only saving grace is that I’m consuming vast quantities of water in the process, and have been doing very little snacking between meals. Focus on the positives, right?

I’ve gotten into several conversations lately about the pros and cons of recognizing the darkness in our lives. The pervading opinion seems to be that we need to embrace the darkness of our souls as well as the light because the darkness is what brings us balance and provides us with the lessons to actually strive for the light. There are also elements in the darkness without which the light would simply have no meaning. No matter how hard we try, we simply cannot remain positive every minute of every day. We are offered challenges which drag us down, but as with my recent experience with AT & T, it isn’t so much the challenge as how we handle it.

Once again, I discovered that if I continue to treat people kindly and respectfully no matter how irritated I am, things will eventually turn in my favor. In this case, I came out with everything I wanted and maybe even a little more. At the point where I was becoming more frustrated, I took a mental step back, told myself to relax and that everything would work out fine. It was only a few minutes later that the manager offered me a solution I had not expected, but for which I am very grateful.

So as I continue to work on avoiding getting stressed out over the current level of my income, I have built a little reminder into my brain. When I start getting wound up in the “don’t haves” I remind myself that I truly do have everything I need and that anything which contradicts that is merely a temporary illusion. The opportunity I seek is just around the corner. I simply need to keep my faith high and strong, and continue to work towards my goals.

The point where things seem darkest is the point at which our faith in ourselves and our own propensity for success becomes an incredibly powerful force.

It’s as if we are being tested, in the manner of Job, to see if we can hold our course no matter what our senses might be telling us. But unlike Job, we aren’t going to get slammed against the rocks time and time again. Our faith and our confidence in ourselves will reap positive results, and will do so each and every time!

As human beings, one of our worst failings is a desire for instant gratification. We give up too quickly if we don’t see the desired results almost instantaneously. That is a lesson I needed to learn and have, as a result, trained myself to focus on the small gains. The small gains do happen relatively quickly, but here’s the real secret. The small gains also begin to add up quickly until you look back for a second and realize just how far you’ve come without even realizing it.

And so, I will continue to hold that faith that my goals, wishes and dreams are, even now, coming true in a host of small ways which, before I realize it, will be the next big thing.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful to be getting a whole week with my daughter and grand puppy.
2. I am grateful for all of the small victories.
3. I am grateful for the opportunity to get back to my healthy habits.
4. I am grateful for the family and friends who will share our Thanksgiving, both directly and indirectly.
5. I am grateful for the amazing things I’ve learned, accomplished and received this year.
6. I am grateful for abundance: blessings, gratitude, friendship, accomplishments, inspiration, perseverance, harmony, happiness, joy, love, peace and prosperity.

Namaste

November 17, 2014 Changes made and more coming. #shericonaway

Making changes brings even more opportunity for change.

As you know, if you’ve read my last couple of posts, I found it necessary to change the time of day for writing my blog posts to accommodate the crazy mental place I go at night while working on the latest NaNoWriMo challenge. So far, it’s actually working out well, so well, in fact, that I am writing a more prolific blog and feeling less stressed while working on my book because the two no longer conflict. Whether this change will become permanent remains to be seen but for now, it’s working.

In the spirit of that change, I revisited my daily practice of doing a one Tarot card reading. That, too, has evolved over the last few months. I started doing a second reading from Doreen Virtue’s Angel Therapy Oracle cards and tying the two together. Then I began noting the card I cut when I replaced the Tarot card in the deck to see if it added anything to the message I received from the single card.3f968-spiritualshelf

But over the last couple of days, I was inspired to make yet another change. Right above my computer monitor is what I call my “Spiritual Shelf” upon which sits my collection of Tarot and Oracle cards, the Laws of Attraction series of books, The Secret book and video and several other books related to spiritual practices.

Looking up at this shelf on a daily basis, it occurred to me that it was time I actually used some of those Tarot decks I’ve been collecting instead of just allowing their boxes to collect dust upon my shelf. And so, my next adventure began.

About three weeks ago, I began using the Wizard’s Tarot instead of my tried and true Spiral Tarot. About a week ago, I added the Steam Punk tarot to my reading repertoire, and finally, I added Pagan Cats. Fast forward to yesterday when it hit me that I’m no longer “feeling” the easy, breezy, the Universe is always in your favor flavor of the Angel Oracle cards. (nothing against Doreen Virtue, but her cards just don’t look at the darker side of our souls which, to me, is a very necessary part of our being. Without it, there is no balance.) Instead, I replaced the second card reading with my original and oh-so-comfortable Spiral Tarot.

As it had been close to a month since I’d read from the Spiral deck, I was caught by surprise when I got them in my hands and they felt like an old, familiar friend. Familiar as they were, however, I found that I had trouble shuffling them. I don’t know if it’s because they are a different size, shape and texture from the other three decks I’ve been using or if the deck was just telling me I needed to make an adjustment within myself to using it alongside other decks, but the only way I can describe it is that it was familiar, yet it didn’t quite fit.

Today, it was much easier to work with, so I can only assume that, cat-like, it was giving me a little bit of crap for ignoring it.

Trading Pilates for housework. Oh, joy!

After receiving a message from my Pilates partner that she wouldn’t be able to make it to class today, I realized that with my shoulder still giving me trouble (though nothing that a nice massage with energy work wouldn’t fix!), and a list of chores I want to finish before my daughter arrives on Friday for Thanksgiving week, I would be better served to use my energy to dump and clean sandboxes and vacuum and scrub floors. Heaven knows, I’ll expend sufficient energy in those pursuits to replace at least three Pilates classes! But thanks to the frequent visits to the gym, including those Pilates classes, I actually have the energy now! Funny how that works.

As my readings today really highlighted flexibility as well as staying on task, I believe I’m heeding the advice of the cards admirably. I also feel very strongly that the wherewithal to indulge in that energy work/massage will manifest itself very soon! I just hope my massage therapist has not converted her practice completely to energy work just yet! I really need those magic hands!

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for my willingness and even excitement about making changes.
2. I am grateful for the way things are falling into place with each little change I make.
3. I am grateful for a week with my daughter and grand puppy.
4. I am grateful that my son-in-law is safe, if overworked right now. I know that by his efforts he will achieve his goals.
5. I am grateful for abundance: change, time, opportunity, imagination, motivation, energy, forgiveness, acceptance, joy, love, friendship, inspiration, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Namaste

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

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