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

Posts tagged ‘paths’

Overcoming My Reluctance to Pause

https://www.flickr.com/photos/prestonrhea/5236270625/in/photolist-8YHfQ2-4X1dP6-P58XGS-dmtrwi-2pMKC-nC1YD-QxGsf-q4rWqa-8HeDZc-o8pVg-8mXR4g-o7nP7c-8jQqTQ-bPxsQc-dJusGN-78jLU7-98LY1P-dYGYNq-cgtYSu-cgu1F7-7rMJ9R-6z6KQA-6VuMG-6Jfxqk-4bbwMg-dmtxds-9Rf6xQ-v8gDMa-9PqETD-4MsUzv-ptUKap-a2BfLR-4UtU1B-4UtSun-5dBS8k-7eGxtr-7nUbqa-7nUbW8-fBZ3S4-5M1h3P-8DYirc-8E2uBh-6r2V98-7oFgff-7oBon2-7oBpbn-7oBoG6-7oFfRo-vPhUL-jk3BYpWhile working out at the gym (where I seem to do some of my best thinking and get a lot of ideas for blog posts lately) the song “In Between Dances” by Pam Tillis came on Pandora and touched a nerve or three. I jotted it down in my “Notes” app for future reference, then promptly forgot about it (which is why I put it there in the first place). When my electronic memory brought it back to my attention, I knew it would make for an interesting blog post, so here it is. Or more accurately, let’s see where my mind takes it. Her words in the chorus particularly touched a nerve for me:

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

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

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

Playing it Safe May Avoid the Slow Downs

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

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

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

What Other People Don’t See

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

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

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

Falling Short, But That’s OK

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

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

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

Knowing When to Move on to Something New

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

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

Finding Endless Gratitude In My Crazy, Unique Life

My gratitudes today are:

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

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Life is Better When I Take Time to Pause

https://www.flickr.com/photos/prestonrhea/5236270625/in/photolist-8YHfQ2-4X1dP6-P58XGS-dmtrwi-2pMKC-nC1YD-QxGsf-q4rWqa-8HeDZc-o8pVg-8mXR4g-o7nP7c-8jQqTQ-bPxsQc-dJusGN-78jLU7-98LY1P-dYGYNq-cgtYSu-cgu1F7-7rMJ9R-6z6KQA-6VuMG-6Jfxqk-4bbwMg-dmtxds-9Rf6xQ-v8gDMa-9PqETD-4MsUzv-ptUKap-a2BfLR-4UtU1B-4UtSun-5dBS8k-7eGxtr-7nUbqa-7nUbW8-fBZ3S4-5M1h3P-8DYirc-8E2uBh-6r2V98-7oFgff-7oBon2-7oBpbn-7oBoG6-7oFfRo-vPhUL-jk3BYpWhile working out at the gym (where I seem to do some of my best thinking and get a lot of ideas for blog posts lately) the song “In Between Dances” by Pam Tillis came on Pandora and touched a nerve or three. I jotted it down in my “Notes” app for future reference, then promptly forgot about it (which is why I put it there in the first place). When my electronic memory brought it back to my attention, I knew it would make for an interesting blog post, so here it is. Or more accurately, let’s see where my mind takes it. Her words in the chorus particularly touched a nerve for me:

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

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

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

Playing it Safe May Avoid the Slow Downs

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

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

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

What Other People Don’t See

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

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

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

Falling Short, But That’s OK

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

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

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

Knowing When to Move on to Something New

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

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

Finding Endless Gratitude In My Crazy, Unique Life

My gratitudes today are:

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

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Life is Better When I Take Time to Pause

https://www.flickr.com/photos/prestonrhea/5236270625/in/photolist-8YHfQ2-4X1dP6-P58XGS-dmtrwi-2pMKC-nC1YD-QxGsf-q4rWqa-8HeDZc-o8pVg-8mXR4g-o7nP7c-8jQqTQ-bPxsQc-dJusGN-78jLU7-98LY1P-dYGYNq-cgtYSu-cgu1F7-7rMJ9R-6z6KQA-6VuMG-6Jfxqk-4bbwMg-dmtxds-9Rf6xQ-v8gDMa-9PqETD-4MsUzv-ptUKap-a2BfLR-4UtU1B-4UtSun-5dBS8k-7eGxtr-7nUbqa-7nUbW8-fBZ3S4-5M1h3P-8DYirc-8E2uBh-6r2V98-7oFgff-7oBon2-7oBpbn-7oBoG6-7oFfRo-vPhUL-jk3BYpWhile working out at the gym (where I seem to do some of my best thinking and get a lot of ideas for blog posts lately) the song “In Between Dances” by Pam Tillis came on Pandora and touched a nerve or three. I jotted it down in my “Notes” app for future reference, then promptly forgot about it (which is why I put it there in the first place). When my electronic memory brought it back to my attention, I knew it would make for an interesting blog post, so here it is. Or more accurately, let’s see where my mind takes it. Her words in the chorus particularly touched a nerve for me:

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

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

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

Playing it Safe May Avoid the Slow Downs

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

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

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

What Other People Don’t See

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

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

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

Falling Short, But That’s OK

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

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

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

Knowing When to Move on to Something New

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

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

Finding Endless Gratitude In My Crazy, Unique Life

My gratitudes today are:

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

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Life is Better When I Take Time to Pause

https://www.flickr.com/photos/prestonrhea/5236270625/in/photolist-8YHfQ2-4X1dP6-P58XGS-dmtrwi-2pMKC-nC1YD-QxGsf-q4rWqa-8HeDZc-o8pVg-8mXR4g-o7nP7c-8jQqTQ-bPxsQc-dJusGN-78jLU7-98LY1P-dYGYNq-cgtYSu-cgu1F7-7rMJ9R-6z6KQA-6VuMG-6Jfxqk-4bbwMg-dmtxds-9Rf6xQ-v8gDMa-9PqETD-4MsUzv-ptUKap-a2BfLR-4UtU1B-4UtSun-5dBS8k-7eGxtr-7nUbqa-7nUbW8-fBZ3S4-5M1h3P-8DYirc-8E2uBh-6r2V98-7oFgff-7oBon2-7oBpbn-7oBoG6-7oFfRo-vPhUL-jk3BYpWhile working out at the gym (where I seem to do some of my best thinking and get a lot of ideas for blog posts lately) the song “In Between Dances” by Pam Tillis came on Pandora and touched a nerve or three. I jotted it down in my “Notes” app for future reference, then promptly forgot about it (which is why I put it there in the first place). When my electronic memory brought it back to my attention, I knew it would make for an interesting blog post, so here it is. Or more accurately, let’s see where my mind takes it. Her words in the chorus particularly touched a nerve for me:

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

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

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

Playing it Safe May Avoid the Slow Downs

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

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

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

What Other People Don’t See

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

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

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

Falling Short, But That’s OK

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

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

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

Knowing When to Move on to Something New

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

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

Finding Endless Gratitude In My Crazy, Unique Life

My gratitudes today are:

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

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

Life is Better When I Take Time to Pause

https://www.flickr.com/photos/prestonrhea/5236270625/in/photolist-8YHfQ2-4X1dP6-P58XGS-dmtrwi-2pMKC-nC1YD-QxGsf-q4rWqa-8HeDZc-o8pVg-8mXR4g-o7nP7c-8jQqTQ-bPxsQc-dJusGN-78jLU7-98LY1P-dYGYNq-cgtYSu-cgu1F7-7rMJ9R-6z6KQA-6VuMG-6Jfxqk-4bbwMg-dmtxds-9Rf6xQ-v8gDMa-9PqETD-4MsUzv-ptUKap-a2BfLR-4UtU1B-4UtSun-5dBS8k-7eGxtr-7nUbqa-7nUbW8-fBZ3S4-5M1h3P-8DYirc-8E2uBh-6r2V98-7oFgff-7oBon2-7oBpbn-7oBoG6-7oFfRo-vPhUL-jk3BYpWhile working out at the gym (where I seem to do some of my best thinking and get a lot of ideas for blog posts lately) the song “In Between Dances” by Pam Tillis came on Pandora and touched a nerve or three. I jotted it down in my “Notes” app for future reference, then promptly forgot about it (which is why I put it there in the first place). When my electronic memory brought it back to my attention, I knew it would make for an interesting blog post, so here it is. Or more accurately, let’s see where my mind takes it. Her words in the chorus particularly touched a nerve for me:

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

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

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

Playing it Safe May Avoid the Slow Downs

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

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

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

What Other People Don’t See

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

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

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

Falling Short, But That’s OK

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

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

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

Knowing When to Move on to Something New

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

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

Finding Endless Gratitude In My Crazy, Unique Life

My gratitudes today are:

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

Love and Light

 

About the Author

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

February 27, 2015 Obsession

I often wonder: Is it human to obsess over something in our lives?

Do you do it? Do you obsess over something in your life? It could by your job or one you want; your weight or your appearance; your choices; your relationships…or lack thereof; your children, human or otherwise; it’s almost anything you spend too much time thinking about and which often paralyzes your actions and turns your stomach into a churning knot.

For me, it has always been about a man to whom I was attracted or with whom I was involved. In fact, it got so bad and my choices were usually so personally destructive that I finally just stopped putting myself out there or looking at anyone with more than causal interest over ten years ago. For the record, I don’t recommend such a drastic solution to whatever your obsession might be. It is a bandaid solution at best, and in the end, it cures nothing. Because, you see, once again, I find myself obsessing over someone who, in true obsessive fashion, I’ve convinced myself is completely unsuitable; but convincing myself that he’s unsuitable does not now, nor has it ever stopped my obsessing. It also doesn’t put me in a mental and emotional place where I might actually find a healthy relationship should I choose to do so.

Nor does it stop the flutter in my stomach when the gentleman in question happens to be in my vicinity, although, to my credit, I’ve learned from experience that I can and will behave normally should we actually have contact. I also no longer invent scenarios where all is wonderful and rosy between us. The one thing I’ve learned in my extended period of monkdom (assuming monks are non-gender specific) is that I don’t need to feed my obsession.

My admiration goes out to those who are able to swim in the sea and avoid the undertow

On the relatively few occasions when I’m actually among other humans in areas where there are friends, strangers and everything in between, I find my attention caught by the women who can move comfortably from man to man, chatting easily and making whoever they are with the center of their attention, even if it is only for the space of a dance. Even though, to me, it might be clear that a woman is on the lookout for that someone special, they seem to enjoy the process of the search. How do they learn to do that, or is it just an innate talent? Even worse, for me is the realization that there was a time that I was far more comfortable in the company of the male of the species, but at that time, I was also oblivious to any attraction they might have felt as I was quite happy just being “one of the guys”.

I supposed I’m still that person as long as I don’t feel that pull of attraction myself. I don’t know how to read the signs so I’m never certain that attraction is returned. Instead of putting out feelers (assuming I even knew how) I assume the worst and come up with all sorts of reasons why I couldn’t be attractive to the man in question. Yes, in spite of all of the work I’ve done, and the progress I’ve made into loving myself unconditionally, I still have one area in which I’ve yet to overcome my insecurities.

As I near my 60th birthday, which my daughter is taking great joy in reminding me, and see the many years I’ve traveled alone, save for my furry family, I wonder if this is simply the path I came here to follow. I have to wonder if my true purpose, like a writer’s life, is meant to be a solo flight. But then I think again and wonder if it is just that my own self-defense system fails to recognize the ones who attract me with their minds rather than their physical appearance and charisma? The truth is, I’ve been single or essentially single for nearly a quarter of a century and, to be perfectly honest, I’ve settled into this lifestyle I carved out for myself. To find a connection with someone which is powerful enough to overcome so many years of having it my way is going to require something extraordinary. Is there even a possibility such a thing exists? Or that I will recognize it? I suspect that it will take one of the Universe’s biggest and best head slaps just to get my attention. (am I just asking for it now?)

Common sense says that the first step towards curing an addiction (or in this case, compulsive obsession) is to recognize that you have a problem.

If I define this obsession as a simple self-defense mechanism to protect my heart from hurt, is it really a problem, or am I making more of it than necessary? If I acknowledge that it is a problem, does that mean I will ultimately find a cure, assuming a cure is to be found? Or could the real issue be that I’ve learned to love myself so much that I no longer see any reason to share me with anyone else?

Admittedly, I’ve learned to smile genuinely rather than gag when I see couples looking at each other with all of their love spilling out of their eyes. I am genuinely happy for my friends who have warm, loving relationships. But when I picture myself, I see that beautiful 13 acre property overlooking the beach and I have already determined what will go in each of the rooms and which rooms are scheduled to be remodeled to better suit my needs…yes MY needs. Which brings me back to my original question. Aside from the short time in which I was part of a couple and ultimately conceived my daughters, did I choose to ultimately walk my path in this lifetime alone? Is this simply an opportunity for my Spirit to feel completely independent? Are the defense mechanisms I’ve developed simply there to keep me focused on my true purpose?

And what about you? Is there something you continue to obsess about without really understanding how to get past it, or, in truth, why you even need to? Though I walk my road alone, it is always nice to hear that some of the things which challenge me are shared by others and, in fact, I’m not as alone as it might seem.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for introspection.
2. I am grateful for the weeks when I’m busy cooking and refilling my freezer. Not only will I have weeks when I don’t need to cook, but my grocery bills drop dramatically for awhile.
3. I am grateful for long cooking sessions. Chopping and preparing are wonderful times to think about life or work through a rough spot in a manuscript or simply drift along on a lovely cloud of joy.
4. I am grateful for a weekend of sharing the kitchen with my daughter and having my grandpuppy come looking for attention while I’m working in my office.
5. I am grateful for a mind which questions, folds, spindles and mutilates every thought or weird dream which finds its way into the twisty, windy, darkness which connects my mind, my soul and my purpose.
6. I am grateful for abundance: questions, answers, oddities, blessings, challenges, lessons, love, joy, happiness, health, harmony, peace and prosperity.

Blessed Be

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my website at http://www.shericonaway.com which contains a link to this blog and my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created both page and website 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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