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

Posts tagged ‘opportunities’

Triggering Old Memories and Unspent Grief

Memories and Grief Dug Up From the Past

https://www.flickr.com/photos/60740813@N04/34504735502/in/photolist-Uz4MJN-7H8hqz-r2covS-8wbGLH-8wcEVv-8weaum-8wcFMc-r2c6ww-r2iYrg-qmL3eU-8w9Dpr-r2jtjr-riJFWH-8wcT7A-8wcK8r-8wbRuV-8wcj84-8wanQx-8waPPT-8w9c4V-8w97ek-r2j3iV-riCAji-8w8skp-r2cTQq-8wfuwo-8waMUv-8wfDJJ-8wdgXY-qZq9cM-8wd2u3-8wfVzw-8wbq15-8w8bJP-8w9Wdc-8wcQdR-riF3r5-riJvW2-8wbTSq-r2cNH1-8wc6wN-r2d6wG-8wcM6o-r2jiHn-8wdexo-riJBiz-8bQ1eC-8wfeYo-riJJHV-8w9YqrWhile reading a manuscript about childhood loss, I was thrown back in time to the day my dad told us his mother was dying of lung cancer. It was the first and only time I saw my dad cry, and even now, just thinking about it unnerves me.

Yet as a child, I followed my parents’ lead when it came to emotional issues, not only because it was all I knew, but because I was often ridiculed for being overly sensitive. Though I was already 12 at the time, I’d  had a few hard lessons about publicly expressing my emotions. I’d continue to experience humiliation from many directions until I learned to switch that part of me off (not the best solution, but all I had for a long time). The little I knew about losing someone I loved was enough to color my first experience with grieving.

So when I started reading about how a child’s grief is different from that of an adult, it threw me back to when my grandmother died. I realized I never grieved her passing. We visited her a few times before she passed, and I think I went to her funeral. But after that, she was just gone. We didn’t talk about her or think about her any more after that—until Dad took his life after being diagnosed with the same disease that killed his mother.

Emotions Buried, Memories Skewed

Even so, it’s taken me years of writing therapy, reading books about other peoples’ suicide experiences, and finally, a book about childhood loss to shake loose the feelings and emotions I buried so long ago.

The first thing I discovered was my faulty memory. In my mind I lost my grandmother when I was 10, but in reality (and after a Google search for her obituary) I discovered I was 12. Researching the date actually helps to put things in perspective as the year she died, 1968, was a pretty eventful one all the way around.

That was the year I was walking about 2 miles to attend a Junior High School that was out of my district. I’d leave the house early to make the 45 minute walk most days rather than having my mother drive me. I remember walking alone and enjoying the solitude. In those days, no one thought twice about a young girl walking alone on a city street. By the time my daughters were born, we were diligent about teaching our kids to travel in groups. Were the weirdos and creeps always there, or has life and disconnection made them more common?

I don’t remember what I thought about on those long walks to school. I don’t even remember having any friends, though I’m sure I interacted with someone during my school days. I do remember bottling up my emotions until they’d come out in a flood at inconvenient moments. It opened me up to the cruelty of Junior High School kids (the worst of all if you ask me) and likely caused me to recede further into myself.

The Festering Cesspool of Unexpressed Emotions

https://www.flickr.com/photos/anieto2k/8156999698/in/photolist-dqNKPQ-8xXrZz-a2tqF7-ecib3q-aR5rxR-23UMduh-aWLsg4-aQ6X3p-dTTc5c-dcyQ5m-b1FLUp-drS8ZF-bsmN5R-nNhBzE-6ssEeg-9jEcfZ-aVXtzx-j6LK2o-aNpZyT-dCTfD3-dvswdt-b3pgdi-dtXu4B-6LJawW-8CFHEg-8aL7Jf-hDdmuC-anA578-cPoDxo-9qmjuQ-dtXueV-qsdJSm-dqq1i2-2cGG4pp-dqq1sP-hp14Hw-cbnjHE-7bv7xs-chavXC-7uLgNT-8E3GL9-ar7X3y-aai6ME-nt1LXG-gZvg1N-S1DgTf-8kUop7-6532HD-exeWcJ-di6ynQMixed in with those emotions were probably the things I couldn’t express about losing my grandmother. My dad’s example wouldn’t allow it. After her death, I don’t remember any pictures of her around the house except in my parents’ wedding picture which I didn’t see until years later. Her name wasn’t spoken. We didn’t even go visit my grandfather. He visited us once with a cousin he’d married so he wouldn’t be alone. It wasn’t long after my grandmother’s death, and she asked us to call her “Grandma”. My sister and I ran up the stairs to our rooms in tears.

Again, my memory is unclear as a search revealed the marriage didn’t take place until 1971, 3 years after my grandmother’s death. Our grief was clearly lying dormant awaiting an opportunity to be expressed openly—an opportunity which never came.

Other memories of 1968 include horrific migraines (a legacy from my grandmother and father) which had me throwing up in trash cans while waiting for my mother to pick me up from school. But it wasn’t an entirely bad year. It was also the year we moved to Westlake Village after spending the better part of the year traveling back and forth so my dad could do the electrical in our new house himself. He’d made a deal with the builder to reduce the price and allow him to do what he wanted. We ended up with upgraded appliances and far more lighting than the typical tract house enjoyed in those days. We also ended up with avocado green and harvest gold EVERYTHING!

Opportunities to Start Anew

1968, the year I turned 13 brought a lot of changes into my life. I made new friends who https://www.flickr.com/photos/162733867@N08/29086322568/in/photolist-Ljg1m9-8b3Bcq-8dftDn-8mKHGw-kNJinr-7G5qTG-qqkYQy-8diVHq-icq54s-7G1vvv-8wSgbU-icquZX-7G5rPh-icquE8-icqcvj-dumDWG-c2Bg2L-9tJW5E-c2BjJY-dug3Ya-6CY1c7-F2Dn7m-6RgcKS-oTJEvg-myPgtn-5JppCu-b8Mizx-6zQ5G6-8mKTLQ-7KP9jG-dumDnj-8mGTPt-ryq1RH-sve5aR-7KK6Ec-4JjASd-9ATqPS-7KKbkz-8mGXFk-8mL5Ld-7RZ28J-4Jfkoc-8dfkdv-8mGyHH-8mGJdK-8afnPD-6Lg64e-biSy3F-pihYMh-8sRJY6shared my interests and didn’t want to beat me up (a major flaw in my previous neighborhood). We all had to ride the bus to school as there was only one Middle School in the district at the time and it was a freeway ride away. We had teachers who weren’t beaten down by an excessively large school district who actually made learning fun and interesting.

Still, I managed to attract the bullies who did their best to embarrass me at every opportunity. Hard as I tried, my overly sensitive nature and all the emotions I wasn’t allowed to express at home refused to stay bottled up and controlled. I had yet to replace tears with anger, though I practiced at home. My mother and I were already pushing each others’ buttons on a regular basis.

I also got to indulge in a pleasure I still find today with my writing. I had an extraordinary English teacher who gave me many opportunities to flex my creative muscles and introduced me to collaboration.

Learning to Grieve, but Only in Private

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-jk3BYpThe year my grandmother died was filled with a lot of highs and lows. I learned more about keeping to myself and not letting anyone see the shy, frightened child inside. But I never learned to grieve. Not for my grandmother, not for my other grandparents when their time came, and not for my parents. The only ones I’ve been able to openly and unashamedly grieve for are all the cats I’ve loved and lost over the years.

Each time, I grieve alone, in the safety of my home, spilling tears on the comforting backs of the ones who are still here letting me love them unreservedly. And maybe that’s how I’ve learned to grieve. It’s a whole lot better than holding things in and allowing them to fester.

Today I have friends who are more than willing to help me get over the rough spots, whether it’s grieving or anything else. They talk unashamedly about expressing their emotions (both the men and the women) and aren’t afraid to turn to each other when their own strength needs shoring up.

Though I’m always there for them, and especially sensitive to someone else’s needs, I still find it hard to be honest and open about my own feelings—my own struggles. Old habits die hard but I’m trying to stop saying I’m fine when I’m not. Even that is a huge step for a girl who comes from a family who discouraged expressing your feelings. For a girl who was beaten up, picked on, and humiliated by peers who took pleasure in seeing her cry.

Accepting Ourselves Fully and Completely

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jobber1/36197048070/in/photolist-X9BkiG-6zNVTx-9WcJ3G-dSakbx-dSammr-9TBa8u-6ezpVp-4BqdWY-VXtGBZ-rmenXX-qCVBCH-ebSPFY-on6uCz-7jht6-n98ro-VTXW6M-a1XWoX-aEZ3ZC-GAd7om-aETqXe-5YRvvk-dSfWbY-KEWxyD-7N2mv7-s8WVRA-97x2ND-9FZG7n-kv3uih-7dAKBM-Usjf3C-emcpAz-3EXMtA-U3SSPP-gQb96B-6QtXTY-o36uJj-iwvCcv-54dBjc-opbQb3-7NxyBo-7G7U6q-cS6eML-9FXQcH-ojrwjj-SUbPcQ-7MNAUc-Ee2qD-jZRnbY-a355px-cS691NIt’s a legacy I inadvertently passed on to my daughters. One struggled with the same issues I did, the other became hard and cold. It’s a legacy which has to stop, if not with me, with the daughter who’s as overly sensitive as me. She needs to know it’s OK to openly grieve, whether it’s a friend, a grandparent, or a beloved pet. She and her own children need to know it’s OK to be human.

As humans, anger is the easiest emotion to express. Too often, we use it indiscriminately to mask softer emotions like grief, worry, and insecurity. Unfortunately, being angry all the time as a mechanism for protecting our softer selves tends to make us appear hard and cold. If carried on too long, we start to become the persona we’ve assumed.

We need to accept and own our emotions fearlessly. They are as much a part of us as fear, and deserve to be expressed. Those who try to use them against us are simply not our people. It might take awhile to find those who accept our whole package, emotions and all, allowing us to express those emotions in a healthy manner. We may stumble a few times, and get hurt many more.

Finding those who do accept our complete selves are the rainbow we find at the end of a long storm that seems to thrive on our misery and discomfort. But when we find them, when we’re finally allowed to be and express our true selves, both happy and sad, the trip through that storm ceases to matter. Only the end of the journey will remain in our hearts and memories. And I finally found my soft place to land.

Gratitude Heals Our Wounds

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for friends who accept me as I am, and instead of running away when I’m barely holding on, offer me lifelines.
  2. I’m grateful for for the many cats who’ve traveled through this lifetime who’ve allowed me to be who I am, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  3. I’m grateful for storms because there are rainbows at the end.
  4. I’m grateful for the many layers I’ve uncovered as I travel the roads this lifelong journey leads me on.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance: love, friendship, joy and sorrow, storms and rainbows, all the cats I’ve loved, and those I’ve yet to meet and love, dancing, peace, health, 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

Intention and Inspiration

The Universe Gives Inspiration

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ceb291/279546797/in/photolist-qGKwn-dsq663-DhMiLN-q2YT9A-8U2RDM-aDXL6p-aDXU5n-2baeKXq-8M44HJ-hzeerF-p2jdDa-aN3xDe-aGdmFB-21pHSi2-2a4dmRb-Zkr86N-dAKzhx-aiW1rL-aCeMLr-aNpbWi-aDP3QU-aN3HY2-ZooWsE-dAZZ7r-Gu5v5M-7fm3tL-aEGFKg-qpiuys-DhbHPh-2bJ9goC-aq74Go-aDWZhj-dHbCzP-aNpnVr-anVoV9-41FjRz-41F7Jg-21kJg5y-d9Ukkg-aDXTbi-2eekMDo-Gtq4vM-7fhahR-21qv3Bt-aE2K4y-7fEHog-9ZnqzB-Zktkp1-21qvaPV-hs4J8GI started writing this post at 11:11 which is the number for synchronicity, when things seem to fall together almost effortlessly. I had a day like that yesterday when I set an intention to see opportunities. I need to remember to set that intention every day, perhaps a big note on the wall.

I read a post on Facebook about how the world matches our expectations. So if we expect to have a rough day, chances are we will. If we expect to incur more debt, we’ll do that as well. But if we expect to see opportunities, guess what? We’ll see opportunities. So I set my intention one morning to see opportunities, then left the house to go to the gym and run errands.

Setting An Intention To Notice Opportunities

What happened was nothing short of miraculous. In fact, opportunities came ever before I set the intention. I woke to a message from an old acquaintance who’d read my post on Medium and liked it so much, she invited me to be a guest on her podcast.

When I got to the gym it was pretty empty and I got everything I needed to do my workout. Then, I drove to Costco where I found the perfect parking spot. Not only that, I found a perfect rug for my bathroom at a great price, and when I got to the check stands, I was in line behind a man with a large piece of furniture, and while he was being checked out, the check stand next to him opened and the cashier called me over.

As if that wasn’t enough, I had managed to just beat the rush at Trader Joe’s so I walked right up to a cashier and checked out. Seeing so many opportunities put me in an extraordinary mood, so I found myself smiling and sharing my joy with everyone I encountered. By the time I lay my head on my pillow, I’d accomplished everything I’d set out to do, and maybe even more.

Creating the Right Habits For Personal Power

I’ve decided to make myself reminders to look for opportunities every day as I’ve already proven it’s powerful stuff. Sure, I’ve known it for awhile, but I don’t always exercise my own personal power. Having reminders posted on walls and my vision board help. I have one I see when I wake up every morning. Sometimes it registers, and sometimes, I don’t even stop to pay attention. I realize now, I need to become more aware of the thoughts and sayings on the vision board on the wall beside my bed.

I find myself sharing positive affirmations for everyone else nowadays. I subscribe to sites like Positively Positive, Tiny Buddha, and Contagious Optimism. How many of us do that? Share for others, but don’t think about ourselves? I have a whole slew of inspirational graphics in my media queue which find their way into my posts over and over again. I realize I don’t always internalize them for myself though. I’m so busy trying to uplift and inspire others, I forget to uplift and inspire myself. Today, I’m making a change. I will uplift and inspire myself first.

Putting Ourselves First: Selfless, Not Selfish

This may sound selfish, but my experiences with simply intending to see opportunities would https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/23800751269/in/photolist-yra2iG-DU6XM-r2jkSH-riCwfg-Cgc59v-25ZjvpP-Esa7bs-r2dktE-riCRw2-r2d16w-r2cjid-riFdFJ-r2jiQX-riJKAr-rgrJ5N-rgrymj-riJtfk-rgrtto-qmXTaB-qmXTUx-r2dc7j-riFiwf-r2cN57-rgrAKs-qmKZtd-qmKx5b-riCoxT-rgrkmb-r2bRy1-r2bSiC-rgrjHC-qmKN63-r2iWTr-qZqbLz-Jmhu1f-riJk4R-riJgvD-JNiQ5F-6fCa3j-TSPptN-R2stHj-FBknvd-yBNSqL-JNjenn-JixL6D-rgrBXC-riJFkc-riJtrT-qmKAfu-riF5aLbelie the selfish factor. When I’m feeling positive and uplifted, I pass that feeling on to others; not just by sharing a graphic, but by being the Joy. As easy as it is to be brought down by someone who radiates gloom and doom, it’s even easier to be uplifted by someone who’s happy, smiling, and at peace with their world. Heaven knows my vibration goes up when I see someone wearing a broad smile and exuding pure joy.

I’m challenging myself to be the joy every day. To bring sunshine even when the sky is grey and weeping. There are plenty who proliferate sadness and lack these days, and though some may attribute it to circumstances, we all have the ability to raise our own vibration by refusing to wallow in those things we believe to be out of our control. Maybe they are, and maybe they’re not, but whining and complaining about our lack; our miserable circumstances only attracts more of the same.

Positively Positive

My life isn’t perfect. It never has been. There have been times when I believed things were going better than other times. Yet in reality, they were going as well as I expected, no more, no less. When I worked in a job I hated and spent a lot of time complaining about it, things didn’t get better. If anything, they got worse. When I believed people treated me differently because I was a single parent, they accommodated me by doing just that.

This may sound pretty pie in the sky to many. However, I’ve learned no matter how bad things look from the outside, we can find at least a glimmer of light to hang onto until the storm passes. We can find something in our lives which radiates positivity and hope. I know from personal experience as long as I hang onto that glimmer, for dear life if necessary, things do get better.

Things are going fairly well right now. I have my health, I’m strong, independent, capable, and have the most amazing group of friends ever. I stay active, though admittedly, I could move more, and I never run out of ideas for my writing.

I have a phenomenal coach who has gotten me over the hump of my memoir re-write. I’ve found a supportive community who will help me get my first book published. Sure, there are things I might lack right now, but I know the lack is temporary and in fact, may simply be a breathing space before my life gets back on the roller coaster it’s ridden for decades, and the wild ride continues. As long as I focus on the things I have while accepting what may seem to be a temporary lack, I know the moment will pass and I’ll soon be back on track.

Inspiring Ourselves to Inspire Others

Let’s give ourselves a few minutes a day to recognize and appreciate all the things we have. 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-RNnFfMMaybe write a list or start a daily practice. I had one awhile back which has fallen into disuse, but I think needs to be reinstated. At the end of each day, I’ll write down five to ten things I accomplished that day. Not only does it focus my attention on what I have, but like gratitude, pulls my attention away from what I lack, or what may not have worked out so well that day.

Who’s with me on this? Are you ready to break through your blocks and start thriving? It really does start, not just with attitude, but with believing in yourself and all you have.

Letting Gratitude Pave Our Way

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for opportunities which seem to be falling from the sky like rain lately.
  2. I am grateful for examples I’m seeing of both the right and wrong way to attract and exude joy.
  3. I am grateful for practices I’ve used and discarded in the past which I know elevated my vibration and brought me closer to joy and bliss simply by taking a few moments a day to express my gratitude.
  4. I am grateful for friends who share their own inspirational messages which uplift me. It reminds me I need to uplift myself first, then go out and spread the joy wherever I can.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; joy, love, opportunities, friendship, comfort, my solitary work space, kitty love, rainy days and sunny ones, purrs, affection, hugs, dancing, 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

Healing Through Laughter

Finding New Ways to Heal

Created with CanvaAfter spending an evening with friends playing a rather raucous game of Mexican Train, it occurred to me, especially in light of recent events in our neck of the woods, that we all need more laughter. I didn’t even mind being a last-minute addition to the party. The company was warm and loving, and the banter kept us all laughing and playing along. I left feeling warm, loved, and most of all, uplifted.

Of late, I’ve been feeling especially worn out, fatigued, drained, and even short of breath. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with handling the emotional trauma both within and around me. Some gatherings seem to be more of a chore to stay positive and upbeat, and I can see how others around me are forcing more than allowing. I feel it as a drain on my own energy, and haven’t been good about protecting my own space. I want to help those around me, but realize I’ve let my own resources run down.

The answer is more time spent just being, and finding humor in the little things. Laughter, after all is the greatest healer.

Continued Support From Our Community

For my extended family, dancing has been our happy place, with some of us, for decades. We are still dancing and hugging and sharing, but deep down inside, we all feel it; it’s not the same. Our home is unavailable and we’re, as one woman put it, always the visiting team. Some wonderful people have opened doors and arms to us, and we’re extremely grateful to them for their generosity. But as the weeks stretch to months, the feeling is unanimous. We want to go home.

It still remains to be seen, if, when, and even where that might happen. In the meantime, a couple of clubs have been opened up to accommodate two of our regular nights. The Sunland Winery, which welcomed us in December is on our schedule once a month (though many of us wish it were more). Road trips to more distant venues are planned and well-attended. Larger and larger groups are making time to go to a smaller local club to line dance and even get in a little two-stepping and West Coast Swing.

Small, Intimate Gatherings Speed the Healing

But I think the ones which help the most are the smaller, more intimate gatherings which seem to be gaining in popularity. They’re times when we seem to allow ourselves to feel whatever we’re feeling, express our hopes, doubts, and concerns, and care about each other unreservedly.

They’re nights filled with laughter and good humor. With listening to each others’ struggles and offering support. Even a few light-hearted matchmaking attempts are starting to surface. It all expresses the love and caring of a family that’s been torn asunder by tragedy, but refuses to be kept down.

As I type this, I’m thinking about scheduling a night of my own, and of course, my mind flips over to the menu. (I do love to cook for friends). At a recent event, the fare was simple but delicious; a chicken and noodle casserole, garlic bread, salad, and garlic sauteed green beans. I particularly liked the idea of something in a pan, and my mind turned to lasagna.

The recipe I use typically takes a couple of days as the sauce has to be made first, but it’s been a long time since I made it, and wouldn’t typically make a pan just for me. It’s a great excuse to do something I love for the people I love, and to host an evening of laughter and companionship. Thought becomes things, and by the time this publishes, the event will have been scheduled, come, and gone. The details and the laughs will likely prove fodder for another post.

Sometimes, You Just Have to Make the Effort

I’m trying hard to get out more, even if it’s to places I’m not especially fond of. It’s really not about the venue right now, but about the people and of course, the dancing. I’m finding I don’t even mind standing on the sidelines, listening to the music, chatting with the people nearby, and only dancing a couple of dances. I just need to be out being, doing, living.

Still, there are days when I need to stay inside with my cats, away from people and the energy they emit. I’m still tiring easily, and I know part of it is my screwed up dance schedule. But some of it could simply be what we all struggle with: letting go of what no longer serves us.

Sometimes, You Have to Let Go

We had a beautiful lunar eclipse with January’s full moon. It left me thinking about what I need to release (after a night of crazy, disturbing dreams). I guess I should be grateful the night was overcast so the moon didn’t keep me awake half the night. Typically, with the full moon, I have to turn and sleep with my head at the foot of the bed because the brightness shines through my window and makes my eyes pop back open every few minutes.

With regard to current circumstances, here are a few things I can release which are getting in the way of my happiness:

  • Dependence on a specific place to dance to be happy just dancing
  • Unwillingness to go out on nights which weren’t my regular dance nights
  • Excessive concern over inviting people into my less-than-perfect home
  • Resistance to cleaning
  • Laziness in general

It may not seem like a lot to many, but they are things I know stand in my way. There are plenty of other things I need to release regarding my writing and my business, but that’s not the reason for this post, so I’ll leave it for another (and heaven knows, I need ideas for February now that January is “in the can”, to borrow a line from old movie speak).

Making the Most of Our Opportunities

Releasing anything which keeps us from finding joy in laughter, companionship, intimate and not-so-intimate gatherings, and even embracing change are essential when we’re dealing with circumstances beyond our control. We need to accept that we can’t return to what we know, at least for the moment, and do our best to create new spaces, new activities in which to find the joy, laughter, and exercise we currently lack.

I’m grateful for two of the dance instructors who’ve opened their homes to us in the last couple of months. Without them, we’d have had many more dance-less weeks in those immediately following the shooting at Borderline. They’ve kept us together in mind, body, and spirit at a time when we all needed it most.

We’ve celebrated many occasions inside the walls of Borderline; birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, births; and those memories won’t fade away. But when we put it all together, we’ve created a family who is strong and resilient, and will find ways to stay together, not only for the short time we’re scattered to the winds, but for the long haul as well. We have so much more laughter, joy, hugs, and dancing to give and do. And maybe we needed to get shaken out of those four walls to discover how much we truly have? (though it sure could have happened in a less horrific way!)

Facing Each Day With Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the family which is finding new and unique ways to stay together.
  2. I am grateful for the friendships I’ve formed which fill me rather than draining me.
  3. I am grateful I’ve learned that being myself is far more attractive than trying to be someone I think people would like.
  4. I am grateful for all the people who are keeping the love, laughter, and dancing going during a truly difficult time.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; joy, laughter, dancing, loving, health, harmony, peace, inspiration, motivation, energy, synergy, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Painting Goals in Broad Strokes

Synchronicity and Broad Strokes

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

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

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

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

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

Find a Goal and Break it Down

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

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

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

Focus on Accomplishments

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

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

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

Commit First, Ask Questions Later

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

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

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

Using the Laws of Attraction

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

Vision + Passion + Action = Manifestation

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

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

Choosing Our Opportunities Wisely

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

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

Sometimes We Have to Get Out of Our Own Way

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

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

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

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

Throwing in a Little Gratitude to Grease the Wheels

My gratitudes today are:

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

Love and Light

 

About the Author

 

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for ghostwriting to help your business grow and thrive. Her specialties are finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

Hidden Demons of Self-Sabotage

Removing the Tendency to Self-Sabotage

Most of us are guilty of self-sabotaging behavior at one time or another. It’s human nature to try to protect the position we’re in from the unknown. Whether we’re waiting for feedback on our writing or a proposal, a new job or client, or even a budding friendship or romance, we often find ourselves self-sabotaging without even realizing it.

Too often, we try to fend off disappointment by convincing ourselves beforehand that we’re somehow unworthy, under-qualified, unlovable, or harboring other such mucky, ugly-feeling thoughts. To that I say, in the immortal words of Tim Conway: “STOP THAT!”

You are worthy. You are lovable. You are qualified. You are perfect just the way you are. The fact that something you’re waiting for either doesn’t come through, or is delayed has nothing to do with you! There are a million and seven reasons why you don’t get picked, or in all too many cases, wait longer than you anticipated. Shake it off. Go for a walk. Clean the house. Go to the gym. Immerse yourself in something you love. Do whatever it takes to shove those negative thoughts back into the void where they came from, and out of your head.

Learning to Expand Our Own Reality

I’m not telling you to fill your head with fairy tales and nothing but happily-ever-afters (though doing so without getting too deep into the hows, whens, whys, and wherefores isn’t a bad thing either). I’m saying every time one of those negative thoughts starts to creep in, you fill the spot it’s trying to occupy with something better, something that will lift you up rather than dragging you down. If you can’t find anything yourself, call one of your favorite cheerleaders. Even hermits like me have more than we realize!

By now you may be wondering why this topic came to the top of my list of blog ideas. Like you, I have my moments when that scared little girl who lives deep inside wants to ensure she’s not disappointed yet again if the Universe decides not to grant her dearest wish. That’s when I grab the jaded, world-weary adult by the throat and say “Really? Are you going to let her get away with this? After all the times our disappointments turned into triumphs? When every disappointment turned out to be a blessing in disguise? When you know full well passion and positivity bring what we want and need every…single…time???”

My inner adult spends a lot of time daydreaming and doing her best to live in the moment, but there are times she’s hopelessly out to lunch and lets the child within take the wheel for a little too long. The adult has learned that though life may not always seem fair, things always turn out the way they’re supposed to, and get there more quickly if we don’t turn into a whiny 5-year-old while we’re waiting for most of the ducks to stop wandering around aimlessly and line up in at least a semblance of a straight line. (I have learned to never expect perfection before I move forward. I’d still be sitting on my arse doing nothing, and would certainly not have 5 books in various stages of publication readiness if I didn’t move until everything was perfectly aligned.)

Let’s Get Physical

The best way to get the adult’s attention these days is to do something physical: lace up my sneakers and hit the gym, clean the house (an adventure in itself when my ADD joins the mix), rake leaves. Anything to get my mind out of my head and into my body for a while. Focusing on something physical still allows my mind to wander, but now it’s not wallowing, or fretting, or expecting the worst. Instead, it’s seeing something accomplished or, as it did today, finding I needed to sit and write some thoughts that came up when Nelly Negative stopped getting her way.

Coming up with a blog topic is a win all across the board for me, since I’ve committed to a completely manageable two posts per week. So far, I’ve managed to write and pre-schedule posts about 5 times out of 8 as a result of my mental re-directions. Invariably. changing the direction my thoughts want to take brings up a talking/writing point. I get the first few paragraphs written (or the first 1000 words or so), then get back to whatever I was doing that took me out of the “woe is me” mindset.

Don’t Let the Prospect of Change Dull Your Sparkle

As I’ve mentioned an a few other occasions, change is scary, and our inner child will fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo unless we assure her the change will bring some new adventure which, while exciting and a bit scary, will be the most fun ever. Of course, if we want to convince said child, we must first believe it ourselves, and not allow ourselves to be derailed by those flickers of doubt swimming at the edge of our consciousness.

While listening to a video today, the speaker said something I found very profound. He said “I’m not asking you to believe, because that lets in doubt. I’m asking you to be open to the possibility.” I never thought of it that way before. More often, I’d do my best to at least suspend disbelief, if not try twisting my mind until it believed what it might not be able to see, feel, or touch. By simply being open to the possibility, we remove action from the mix, and become a receptor. We no longer unconsciously throw up blocks because we’re not actively involved in allowing or disallowing a concept to take root and grow.

Being Open to Possibilities

As you go through your day, bombarded with opportunities to change how you think or feel about the world around you, I encourage you to take a few moments to simply be open to whatever thoughts, ideas, and opportunities arise. Release the need to judge them worthy or not, viable or not. Look at them impassively, and be open to the possibilities. You’ll gently and easily absorb the ones that cause a little glimmer of interest or feel like bottled potential. You won’t feel the need to fight with yourself or consider all sides of the matter, ad infinitum, ad nauseum until the opportunity passes. Sure, it would make your inner whiner happy that another scary change was averted, but what about your conscious self? Don’t they deserve a little adventure in their lives?

As I write that, a question pops into my head: “When is a rut not a rut?” and the answer comes loud and clear. “Never! A rut is always a rut. No magic ever happens there.”

The comfort zone is the biggest and most tenacious rut we fall victim to. I use the word “victim” intentionally, because the comfort zone is the biggest block to progress, to a happy and fulfilled life we’ll ever run into. It does its best to thwart ideas which lead to those scary leaps of faith and trying something new without any guarantee of a positive outcome. Yet nothing worth having is without an element of risk. Even as a child, we took those risks and most of us have lived to talk about it.

We crossed streets alone, without the benefit of Mom or Dad’s hand. We learned to ride a bicycle or roller skate. As teenagers, we learned to drive a car. And the list goes on. If you were to sit down and write down all the things you do today which were once scary and foreign, you’d be amazed at how often you took a chance on the unknown. So why stop now?

Taking a Moment for Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for all of the opportunities to step out of comfort and into magic.
  2. I’m grateful for the ability to either calm or silence my inner child and her misgivings.
  3. I’m grateful for opportunities that make my stomach drop 10 stories, and my mind soar with the possibilities.
  4. I’m grateful for the scary moments when I have to tell myself whatever happens will be exactly what I need, even if it’s not exactly what I thought I wanted.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; opportunities, lessons, challenges, friendships, roller coaster rides, riding the crests and the troughs, love, joy, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. Her specialties are finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook at Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

Choosing Your Lessons and Teachers With Care

Is Money the Only Object?

I come into contact with a lot of coaches these days. Many of them are true artists at their craft and need no justifications to do their job and do it well. But there are others who write long, impassioned Facebook posts about how they justify raising their rates, even, in one case tripling them because, in their words, they only want to work with people who are “…willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.” Unfortunately, these words conjure up a long-ago visit to an EST event where non-members were herded into a separate room after getting a taste of what they could expect from membership in this exclusive cross-section of society. A man stood before us speaking as convincingly as he could, saying that the program was worth anything we had to do to come up with the $200 fee (a lot of money for a college student in the early ’70’s). He lost me when he said “sell your car or your stereo or whatever you have to because you really have to be part of this.”

When anyone tells me I have to be willing to do whatever it takes to buy their program or services I am, as a result of the EST experience extremely dubious. Why? Because the mere fact that they are pushing their services and associated high price tag in this manner tells me it’s all about the money and not about what’s best for me. They are loyal to one thing only; the pursuit of the mighty buck.

Even worse are the ones who tell me to listen to them and do what they say without argument. Excuse me? You’re telling me to simply trust you and your advice because you say so? Without proof of its efficacy for anyone else, much less, me specifically? This approach usually leads to my distrust of anything else that ever comes out of their mouth. I’m a born skeptic and a critical thinker. The combination doesn’t do well with autocracy on any level. In fact, I’m more likely to poke fun at its use, poking crater-sized holes in any argument launched on those terms.

Setting the Right Parameters

I know I need to hire a coach or probably several to help me ascend beyond my current limitations. I also know that I have my own priorities, and nothing anyone else can tell me will change them until I’m ready to change them myself. When the time comes, the coaches I choose will be those who are in it for the satisfaction of helping others achieve their goals and release their blocks first. That those services come with a higher price tag is simply a testament to their success with others like me and a finite number of hours with which to work with their clients.

As an Empath, it’s hard (though not impossible) to convince me of a compassionate and loyal heart where none exists. That being said, there will be times, and have been in the past when I seek expertise from someone who, for all intents and purposes is truly in it for the money; who couldn’t care less whether I succeed or fail aside from how it might impact their own credibility. Yet they have achieved amazing success with their own lives, and have learned a thing or two about how it’s done. I don’t expect every expert I consult to have my best interests at heart. It’s up to me to weigh the pros and cons of doing business with them and decide whether I can tune out what doesn’t resonate to benefit from what does. It is not a perfect world, and sometimes, our most useful and long-lasting lessons come directly from our interaction with the imperfections. They often speak to an imperfection in ourselves which needs to be addressed and molded into something better.

Other times, as I’ve told my daughter many times, I learn as much about what not to do from people as I do what to do and why. Closing your mind to anyone who is not on the same wave-length cuts out at least 50% of the opportunities you have to learn and grow. I’m not willing to slow my own progress just because I don’t adore all of the teachers with whom I’m presented. They key is twofold: recognizing the opportunities and understanding where an emotional attachment is necessary and where it is not. Only then can we be open to learning and growing on all levels instead of living in perpetual myopia.

Gratitude. It Brings Us Exactly What We Need.

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the epiphanies which came to my more open mind yesterday.
  2. I am grateful to be able to release old paradigms which long-ago stopped serving any real purpose.
  3. I am grateful to friends who are helping me see myself differently.
  4. I am grateful for the people who are being put in my path right now as teachers, guides, and new friends.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; lessons, love, challenges, harmony, peace, kindness, compassion, courage, beauty, friendship, honesty, loyalty, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

Check out Wells Baum’s interpretation of today’s Daily Prompt.

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. She believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. She specializes in finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also check out her Facebook page at Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author.

Finding a Tribe That Suits Our Personality

Your Tribe Reflects the Comfort Level You Exude

There are people who seem to get along with everyone. They ruffle no feathers, make no one feel uncomfortable. In short, they blend in. They’re not exactly chameleons because they don’t change their behavior to suit the people they’re with. Instead, they’re like comfort food. Simple, pleasant, familiar.

I am not one of those people. I go through periods where every word out of my mouth, every action I take is guaranteed to piss someone off. There’s really nothing I can do about it except walk away. When I find myself in the midst of people who turn their nose up at my escargot and pate de foie gras personality, the more I try to smooth things over, the worse things tend to get. I’m still learning this.

Recognize When You’re in the Wrong Crowd

When you’re pissing people off for no apparent reason, it’s often best to stop thinking about it and walk away.  Someone else’s reaction isn’t your responsibility. They have their own stuff and it’s not up to us to fix it. Yet all too often, we let ourselves take responsibility for those reactions. We blame ourselves for saying something that offended when in truth, it probably didn’t matter what we said or how we said it. They were already uncomfortable with us and looking for an excuse to react.

There comes a time when we need to stop analyzing who we’re affecting, stop trying to fix what isn’t even broken, and just be in the moment. We need to accept that we are not everyone’s comfort food. Most of all, we are wonderful, interesting, and utterly delightful in our crazy, non-conforming, eclectic way, and we just need to find the tribe that not only appreciates our eccentricities, but expands them with their own unique and mind-bending qualities.

My Seat-of-the Pants Lifestyle

When I made the decision to launch my latest adventure, I did so without a plan. I know that sounds crazy to those who need a lot of structure in their lives. But for those who enjoy change and even a few surprises, leaving things to chance is essential to our mental health and growth. Yet, it isn’t truly leaving things to chance. It’s more a matter of focusing on the broad strokes; setting an intention about where you want to head next without mapping out the hows. Then, you just heighten your awareness of signs and opportunities along the way, knowing they’re the baby steps you need to achieve the grand design which launched the adventure. To the outside world, it may appear you’re living in the moment, and to a large degree you are. What’s more important is letting others worry about their own stuff while living in your own moment.

As I live in my moments, I am learning that some things have to manifest before others. The order, however, is not engraved in stone. Right now, I see the steps to my path as:

  1. Building my writing and accounting business.
  2. Paying off bills.
  3. Getting the repairs and maintenance on my house finished before other dreams begin to manifest.

Beyond that, I don’t need to know. This is more than enough to keep me busy watching for opportunities and acting on them. Once I’ve completed what I see as phases, the next ones will become clear. Linda Clay of Capture Your Passion talks about creating a treasure map with the big, red X being your goal. A lot of the space between where you are now and that red X will be uncharted territory, as it should be. Along the way, there will be wrong turns and some backtracking. There will be steps which move you ahead quickly and some rocky roads which take more time and ingenuity to navigate. The key, for us non-conforming bohemians is to allow each new step to unfold. We must also accept that not everyone can function without a plan and withhold our judgement and the sharing of our opinion on the matter.

Creating Your Own Treasure Map

I have friends who need every detail mapped out ahead of time, whether it’s a vacation or a life. I don’t understand how they can live such predictable lives, but then, they don’t understand how I can fly by the seat of my pants. The important thing is understanding each of us has our place in this giant scheme called humanity.

Just as there are plotters and pantsers in the writing world, the same types exist in the real world too. (If you haven’t figured it out already, I am definitely a pantser).

What does your treasure map look like? Do you have all of the details filled in ahead of time or is it more of a rough draft, waiting for the Universe to expose the next surprise in your journey? How does that make you feel? Comfortable? Complacent? Excited? Anxious? There are no wrong answers. Your journey has to feel right to you, but it still has to stretch that comfort zone, or it’s simply a rut.

Embracing the Unknown: It’s Not for Everyone.

My pot of gold is an estate overlooking the beach with fruit trees, no neighbors, and cabins for artists’ retreats. There’s a lot of unknown terrain between here and there. I could be scared to death of the unknown, and at times, I do feel a little shaky. But for the most part, I’m excited to see how the next chapter of my life will unfold. I just need to remember to stay out of my own way, and getting out of my own way means not being bogged down by other people’s stuff.

Conformists like being around people who fit a set of comfortable rules and parameters. They aren’t comfortable with the rule-breakers and the ground-shakers. That’s not to say they’re boring. Many have their crazy, silly side or even a creative bent or two. Yet they still color within the lines at the end of the day.

Non-conformists are a more eclectic group who find too much sameness smothering. They accept people because of their eccentricities. The rules are meant to be broken, challenged, and pushed. They themselves, however, may not be. Don’t try pushing a nonconformist into a strict box where rules are meant to be honored and behavior follows unwritten guidelines. It may not be a recipe for disaster, but you could get an interesting fireworks show when they burst free of your artificially created enclosure and show off their true rainbow of colors.

The Oil and Water of Personalities

I’m learning people who like living in a structured environment are uncomfortable to me, and vice versa. We’re oil and water to each other. They’re also the ones who will most likely take what I say or do as offensive at some point. Part of my journey is learning to navigate past those people without creating much of a ripple. Avoiding them really isn’t an option as they’re intricately woven into the fabric of my world. Besides, everyone who touches my life brings me something of value, whether we’re similar or different. Sometimes the different ones offer something unexpected and surprisingly useful.

Likes attract likes, even when those likes are people who thrive on diversity and change. But change means different things to different people. Some like moving every few years, others love to travel. Still others find change in things other than their physical location. We all need a point of stability though. My stability happens to be in relatively few location changes.

Finding the Tribe That Accepts You, Warts and All

In the end, we have to find the tribe which loves us as a complete packages, supports our path, and shakes us up every now and then. Like everything else in life, it may require we try a lot of people on, discarding some and keeping others. I love the statement that people come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime because the path we follow is, whether we like it or not, affected to some degree by the people in our lives. Very few of them will stick with us through all of our changes and evolutions. Most will show up, help us make some necessary changes, and move on. In the process, we change their lives a little too.

Expressing Gratitude, No Matter What Our Journey

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for my ever-evolving tribe.
  2. I am grateful for the people who teach me lessons even when those lessons are painful ones.
  3. I am grateful for the opportunities which are coming my way. They advance me along the path towards my big, red X.
  4. I am grateful for my increasing work load and look forward to the day I can say my schedule is full.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, opportunities, tribes, lessons, challenges, gems, rough stones, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

Watch the Facebook Live Here!

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. She believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: