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

Posts tagged ‘positivity’

Positive Affirmations and Being Not OK Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

Using Affirmations to Uplift, Not Mask

silenceI tend to share what some might consider an excessive number of positive affirmations, and inspirational posts. It doesn’t mean everything in my own life is hunky dory all the time. It means I share them because most of the time, I need to be uplifted as much as anyone else out there. I need constant reminders to keep putting one foot in front of the other even if I do so more slowly on some days than others.

I also need to be supported when I’m not feeling very OK. For most of my life, letting it be known that I wasn’t always holding it together perfectly was not only proscribed, but dangerous. To have friends who will now ask me if everything’s OK, simply because I shared certain posts is one of the biggest blessings in my life.

As a strong proponent of mental health awareness, I’m especially conscious about the highs, lows, and in-betweens that form the pattern of my mental state. I’ve learned to accept there will be days when it’s all I can do to perform the bare minimum of my daily tasks, and others when I’m my happy, over-achieving self. The truth is, most days fall somewhere in the middle, and that’s as it should be.

Changing Perspective

Granted, what constituted my bare minimum 20 years ago compared to now is a completely Created with Canvadifferent animal. Certainly, my actual responsibilities have decreased. I no longer have children to care for, nor do I leave the house to go work in someone else’s office 5 days a week. I’m also not the angry, frustrated, self-sabotaging woman who repeatedly failed at anything that would have improved my own circumstances. The most profound change I’ve made came in the last 5 years or so. I learned to commit to myself, for no other reason than I deserved it.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to value myself enough to honor those commitments, be they professional, physical, mental, or emotional. I suspect a lot of it had to do with early conditioning when I was never enough for my mom. She set expectations I eventually deemed impossible. Unfortunately, when I gave up on trying to please her or find success in any of her expectations, I essentially gave up on any I might have had for myself too.

I think for awhile, I’d allowed her to set my bar for me, relinquishing any responsibility for my own life. Her code was so powerfully embedded in my psyche, I didn’t realize I could rewire it if I wanted to. I ended up going through the next 20 years or so believing I was destined to be mediocre. Whether it was the way I looked, the jobs I landed, the relationships I attracted, or what constituted friendships, I led a life of settling. I believed I wasn’t worthy of anything better, much less following my own passions and believing in my own talents and skills.

Looking At Myself Through A Different Lens, I had friends who complimented me on my intelligence, my wisdom, and my ability to quickly learn and remember line dances, but in most cases, I was quick to dismiss their words, saying I was no better than anyone else, or pointing to someone who was better than me. What I didn’t realize at the time was people get tired of being dismissed. I didn’t even notice when the compliments stopped coming, and often, when friends who might have been supportive drifted away.

When I finally took the leap and left a job and the work I’d come to, if not hate, at least lose interest in, I drifted for a couple of years. I lackadaisically kept up my blog, started a website, and signed up for courses in a few different areas. Nothing stuck, and I couldn’t find anything to hold my interest. Instead, I read books, watched TV, took naps, and eventually, started going to the gym regularly. When I found I’d started many things, including 3 novels and a memoir, but completed nothing, I knew I had to take a hard look at who and what I was, and where I wanted my life to go.

The initial picture wasn’t pretty, forged from years of self-criticism, and under-achieving. I knew deep down I had lots of potential, but I always seemed to find a way to stop well before I reached any kind of positive conclusion. Yet the roadblocks and obstacles that did the most damage were ones of my own creation. I realized I had to start changing my own story before I could take charge of my own destiny; a responsibility I hadn’t even realized I’d relinquished to someone who was, by then, long dead.

It began when I watched “The Secret” for the first time, and made a pact with a friend to help each other remove negative self-talk from our conversations. I’d like to say I’ve learned to remove it completely, but that’s a level of perfection I’ve yet to achieve, though not for lack of trying.

Putting Myself First

As time went on, I knew I had to make major changes career-wise, as I’d dug myself a hole I wasn’t even sure I wanted to climb out of any more. In truth, I was bored; with my life, with a long series of dead-end jobs with increasing responsibility but no recognition, and with the way I looked. To be honest, there was a long period of time when I didn’t even bother to put forth the effort.

The turning point came when I realized if I didn’t commit to myself, first and foremost, I wasn’t going to break decades-old patterns. I knew, at least vaguely where I wanted to go, and who I wanted to be. I didn’t have details, and have learned since, I don’t need to. The picture in my head and a passionate desire to be present in that picture are enough to start putting things in place.

Things like:

  • Scheduling regular, consistent blog posts
  • Mapping out steps to complete my current WIP’s
  • Doing regular Facebook Live Videos
  • Posting or sharing positive affirmations and quotes
  • Showing up every day with my face washed, teeth brushed, hair combed, and wearing something other than what I slept in (which means I’m putting a bra on every day)
  • Maintaining my physical fitness
  • Meditating regularly
  • Planning and preparing healthy meals, that require little to no daily preparation. This includes:
    • Making a large enough salad to last for 3 or 4 meals
    • Preparing batch meals that can be frozen in single servings
    • Taking advantage of seasonal produce to make things like gazpacho and fruit salad
  • Self-education

Adjusting Expectations’ve also learned there are times when I’ll slip a bit on due dates, and beating myself up about it won’t help me get back on track. I need down time, and there are times I’ll need it more than others. I have to honor those cycles, and recognize when they end, I’ll come back stronger, clearer, more confident, and more committed than ever.

So I share something positive on Facebook every day (usually several somethings) but recognize we all have “those” days. I encourage myself and others to respect our own cycles, and to honor our own boundaries and needs. It took me a long time to realize the only expectations I needed to meet were my own, and a bit longer to figure out what those were. I had to disentangle myself from all the things I’d been taught to believe by people who, in their own minds only wanted what was best for me. Unfortunately, their vision was extremely limited, and defined by what they, themselves had been taught to believe.

Always Something to Be Grateful For

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful I finally learned to commit to myself.
  2. I’m grateful for the people who’ve come into my life at just the right time to help me learn, and sometimes unlearn what I need to know to move forward.
  3. I’m grateful for the successes I’ve had in the last few years which support the choices and decisions I finally made for me, and only me.
  4. I’m grateful for inspiration which never really deserts me any more, if it ever did. Learning to tap into it at will has been one of my greatest lessons and achievements.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, inspiration, commitment, motivation, friendship, support, joy, peace, health, 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

Honoring My Cycles

Cycles Up and Cycles Down

Everyone has cycles whether they admit it or not. I know I have mine. They range from mild and barely noticeable to a white-knuckler of a roller coaster ride—and everything in between. Sometimes they take me into the depths of despair where it seems everything in my life is blowing up in my face…sometimes literally. Yet once it’s over, I can look back and see how everything came together in either a massive high or a cesspool of despair. Nowadays, I’m also able to recognize the point where everything begins to turn around and express gratitude that I made it through another bout of depression and misery.

Recently, I had a bunch of things blow up in my face at the same time: false friendships, both of my computers, several seemingly great opportunities with clients, and even my fairly successful management of diet and exercise. For four days, I was left out, disconnected, and frustrated. I didn’t make the connection until I was most of the way out of the abyss.

By then, I’d taken care of much-needed household chores, resumed the walking routine that high winds, a nagging headache and disinterest had temporarily stalled. I had a couple of achievements under my belt, my blogs up-to-date again, and the numbers on the scale were heading back in the right direction. Only then could I see past the clouds of misery with which I’d covered my eyes to the fact that I’d attracted all of the events to myself.

Matching My Energy Both Positive and Negative

The further I fell into denial and negativity, the more things around me tried to match my—and the more the shit hit my personal fan. Even Dylan, the cat who chose me was moving more slowly, and seemed to be feeling his years more. When his energy returned and he started exerting his sovereignty over the other cats while ensuring I adhered to my regular schedule, it really hit home how much I affect this household and everything in it. 

Did I cause my computers to die? Maybe not directly, but I wasn’t giving them a healthy environment in which to operate. Was I affecting Dylan’s health? Without a doubt, and boy, will I be more aware of that one in the future! Fortunately, he’s a very wise cat, and gave him plenty of time to rest and recover from my toxic outflow. Now that I’m back to normal, he’s at my side nearly all day, and joins me on my pillow much earlier in the morning. Poor guy needed a break from the human he loves the most.

I’d like to say I can completely control these periodic downswings, but I believe even they serve a purpose. Sometimes I get caught up in outside influences and lose sight of what’s important to me and mine. Then I get to experience a kind of cosmic shakeup that might only affect my own world directly. Unfortunately, it bleeds off onto the people closest to me as well. I’m not happy with myself when that happens, and often tend to do some self-flagellation in a mistaken attempt to atone for my sins. It usually has the opposite effect, causing others to worry or even slide into their own pit of despair. 

Impacting My World and Beyond

It’s a not-so-subtle reminder I don’t operate in a vacuum, and when I allow myself to pile misdeeds on my own head, I impact those around me too. It’s not merely my crabbiness either. There was a time I could comfortably isolate and it wouldn’t affect anyone else…or so I believed. Whether it was entirely true is a subject for another day. These days, I’ve made myself too visible with inspirational messages, gratitude, and excessive content. When I disappear for a day, it’s no big deal. But when it stretches out to 3 or 4, and when the content I do offer is sad and woebegone, it begins to have an effect, and it ain’t a pretty one.

I’ve been known to drag one of these downward spirals out by allowing guilt to engulf me. No one does a better job of beating me up than me, myself, and I. If anyone knows my hot buttons, it’s those voices inside me who are happy to cite a laundry list of reasons I’m not good enough, or a complete disappointment.

Shutting the Negative Voices Down

There was a time I’d let those voices win, but a combination of supportive friends (led by my amazing daughter, Heather), a deep-seated stubbornness, and elaborate visions of what and where the future me will be, the voices eventually get shut down, and even punished for trying to throw a monkey wrench in my hard-earned progress.

I’m learning the cycles will happen, like it or not. They’re there for a reason; sometimes to humble me a bit, sometimes, because I need a break, but most often because I’ve headed down a path that isn’t serving me well. At those times, the downward cycle stops me in my tracks for a little while so I can’t wander further off track. When life resumes, I’m back on the road that leads to my goals and dreams, and have shed some more baggage that’s weighing me down or misdirecting me.

This time around, I shed some false friends and a couple of computers. The friends, I can easily do without, but I’m sure going to miss my laptop! Able or not, I had to replace the desktop quickly, as it is my livelihood, and often, my link to the outside world as well. With any luck, the added expense will inspire me to work harder at promoting myself, writing great content, and connecting with people. As someone I respect recently pointed out, the person I need to love and connect with most is myself. I guess I lost sight of that for a little while. A nice sledgehammer to the head courtesy of the Universe certainly cured me of that oversight!

A Gratitude a Day…

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for my cycles; the ups, the downs, and the side trips.
  2. I am grateful for my daughter who knows me too well, and understands my cycles from her own personal experiences.
  3. I am grateful for friends who know when to take me at face value, and when to dig deeper.
  4. I am grateful for forward progress. It doesn’t always come in nice, tidy steps. In fact, most of the time it doesn’t. But a quick glance behind me is enough to recognize how far I’ve truly come.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, progress, inspiration, motivation, uplifting thoughts and words, joy, writing, gratitude, peace, health, balance, prosperity, and philanthropy.

Love and Light


About the Author

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

Showing Yourself Gratitude: Who Knew?

Start Your Gratitude List With You

There’s a lot of hoopla and hype about gratitude these days, and for good reason. You’re grateful for things that make you happy, so focusing on gratitude means you’re putting your attention on things that make you happy. The more you focus on things that make you happy, the less you notice the ones that don’t.

It follows that as you’re busy focusing on things that make you happy, you begin to see only the ones that make you happy, and pretty soon, you see more of them. You can call it Laws of Attraction, or simply a shift in perspective. Either way, you start hard-wiring yourself for happiness and positivity.

But with all the time and effort you put into gratitude, what do you show appreciation for most of the time? If you’re like me, it’s probably things outside yourself; a beautiful day, a great parking spot, a safe drive to work, beautiful flowers in your garden. How often do you look in the mirror and say “I’m grateful for me?”

Your Are the Most Important Person in Your Life

Yet, who or what is more important and deserving of your gratitude? Why don’t take a deep breath and say “thank you for my lungs”? What stops you from pausing to listen to the steady beat in your chest and say “thank you for the heart keeping a steady rhythm inside me”?

If focusing on things that make you grateful attracts more happiness-inducing stuff, wouldn’t showing appreciation for our health attract more health? How about things like losing weight, or increasing your strength? Wouldn’t those things benefit from a little gratitude and positive energy too?

So many of my friends complain they can’t lose weight. They talk about how they lose a couple of pounds but it always comes back. How about if instead, on the days when the numbers on the scale decrease, you say “thank you for the pound I’ve released”. On the days when it goes the other way, either say nothing, or find some aspect to be grateful for anyway. I, for one am going to give it a try, and will share my progress over the next month or so. What do I have to lose, except those pounds which are slowing me down anyway?

Rerouting the Complain Train’s not stop there. What else do you typically complain about? Not enough money? Too little work? Too much work? Increasing costs? Unfair treatment? How can you flip those so you’re showing appreciation instead of complaining?

How about:

I’m grateful I have enough money to pay my rent/mortgage.

I’m grateful I have some free time to do things for myself.

I’m grateful I have plenty of work as it makes the day go quickly. I have enough money for a vacation or maybe a massage.

I’m grateful I have options when my cost of living goes up.

I’m grateful for people who show me how I don’t deserve to be treated, and I’m grateful I can walk away from them and towards my friends who treat me right.

How Can You Flip Your Own Life?

These are a few examples, but with a little effort, you can find your own, as long as you focus on your own assets and qualities. When push comes to shove, who is your strongest advocate? Your greatest asset? The one person you can count on no matter what? Yet who is also the last person you think to thank?

Your heart allows you to live, pumping blood through your system to feed all your cells. Your lungs bring air into your lungs, oxygenating your blood and keeping you from suffocating. Your legs lift you from a chair, get you out of bed, help you run, skip, or dance. Your arms let you give and receive hugs.

But if you’re like me, it never occurs to you to thank your body, your mind, or yourself for the qualities and abilities that allow you to enjoy all the outside things making you happy.

Years ago I had a mantra I’d use in the morning to get my day started on the right foot. I’d look in the mirror and say: You’re beautiful, sexy, sassy, and delicious. It always brought a smile to my face which meant, no matter what happened during the day, I at least began with a smile.

Instead of a goofy mantra, let’s start the day with a deeply personal gratitude. I can use things like:

I’m grateful for my brain which never lacks for ideas when I sit down to write.

I’m grateful for my legs which carry me across a dance floor as often as I like.

I’m grateful for my heart. In fact, I LOVE my heart for pumping blood through my body, but also for being the source and repository for love.. 

I’m grateful for my hands with which I type the words my brain sends, but with which I also pet my cats, or touch a friend.

Gratitude Equals Love

To me, gratitude is another way of saying “I love you” I don’t know anyone who couldn’t use more love, and though what we get from others is marvelous, what you give to yourself is both limitless and powerful. You can change your mood with gratitude, uplifting when you were despondent. Imagine how much higher you’d fly if the gratitude you expressed was for yourself, your body, your mind, your actions, your—Presence!

So next time you feel compelled to express gratitude, start your list with things you’re grateful for that come from within. And when you’ve done so for a week, a month, maybe more, come back and share how it impacted your life. After all, success stories always inspire others.

Where Do You Need Help?

None of us has to walk our path alone. Where are you struggling to keep it all together? Maybe all you need is a sounding board? Perhaps, just a listening ear? Or would you like to take a task or two off your plate? Is it content creation, or perhaps it’s getting your books in order and creating a budget. If this sounds familiar and you’re ready to streamline your life, ask for help instead of trying to do it all, CONTACT ME and let’s talk!

Showing a Little Gratitude for Me!

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the woman I’ve become from the challenges I’ve overcome and the lessons I’ve learned.
  2. I’m grateful for my motivation which compels me to keep trying even when all indications say I should quit.
  3. I’m grateful for my heart; for the life blood it pumps, and for it’s capacity for love and compassion, not only for others, but for myself.
  4. I’m grateful for positvity. It took awhile to learn, but I’ve come to appreciate how much easier it’s become the more I practice.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; friendship, love, joy, energy, compassion, inspiration, opportunities, health, strength, peace, harmony, connections, support, community, philanthropy, and prosperity for all.

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 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 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. 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

Winning the Weight Loss Cha Cha

Creating New Set-Points

I’ve been playing Winning the Game of Weight Loss for about 12 weeks now, including the 11 day challenge which got me started. In that time, I’ve lost about 12 pounds and to the casual observer, there’s no change. That used to bother me, but I’ve finally figured it out. Today, I was giving myself compliments as I walked around with my head held high and my smaller clothes fitting quite nicely.

It’s been anything but a smooth path and, in fact, it has been a series of “two steps forward, one step back” days. All in all, I’ve released about 12 pounds of fat so far which, if you’re doing the math is a mere pound a week.

But I’ve gained so much more in the process. Today, when I slipped on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt I hadn’t been able to wear since 2012, you’d have thought I was some hot 20-year-old about to go strut her stuff on a beach only slightly less blisteringly hot than my neighborhood, rather than the overweight 60-something I really am. As I walked from store to store doing my errands, I felt like that hot 20-year-old. And here’s why.

  • There wasn’t a single pain anywhere in my body.
  • No matter how fast or far I walked, I didn’t get winded.
  • My lungs expanded and contracted without having to fight the layer of fat which used to get in the way.
  • I could feel my body adjusting to the lower weight, and knew it would continue to adjust its set point downward.
  • I’m loving the change in my diet. No, really.
  • I love cooking up a batch of vegetables or trying a new recipe for chicken or fish.
  • I love taking the sugar and processed foods out of my diet.
  • I even love drinking my coffee black again.
Adjusting My Mindset

It took me awhile to realize that the body’s normal set point can readjust to a lower weight, but I have to be patient while it re-calibrates. We don’t notice when it adjusts to a higher set-point because we’re usually not watching as we just get bigger and bigger until we reach the “Oh my god! What have I done to myself!” stage. At the rate I’m going, it will take more than a year for me to reach that magical place called “My Ideal Weight”, but this time, I’m doing something I never managed before. I’m changing my habits in a way that feels good to me. I’m not missing the pre-packaged meals because I keep my freezer filled with ones I make myself. I’m not missing sugar. I have a little now and then and that’s enough.

I was never a soda drinker and, thankfully, have always kept a glass of water handy day and night, though I’ll admit I’m going through those 5-gallon bottles more quickly lately. I eat bread occasionally as well as rice and potatoes. I just eat more lean protein, fruits, and veggies.

Better still, I find myself leafing through my collection of cookbooks looking for healthy new ways to prepare my basic ingredients. With the recipes as with labels, I am rather militant about using things which don’t contain added sugar. I get plenty from fruit and from the honey I put in my yogurt or tea once in awhile.

Yesterday, I vacuumed the whole house and mopped about half the floors. When I finished, I didn’t feel the slightest fatigue. In fact, I felt great for having exercised so much. The cats are going to have to get used to the sound of the vacuum cleaner on a more regular basis!

Baby Steps Become Giant Leaps Forward

As if I didn’t have enough wonderful, exciting changes going on, I’ve also given up TV. Oh, I still watch the occasional movie on Netflix or Hulu, but I’ve had no desire to plant my butt on the couch for hours and be mindlessly entertained. Instead, the sofa has become my reading nook. This single change has had a huge impact on my life!

  • I go to bed earlier.
  • I sleep better.
  • I get more done around the house.
  • I move more than ever in the evenings.
  • My mind is constantly creating because it’s no longer being spoon-fed stories.

I admit, this isn’t all a result of playing Winning the Game of Weight Loss. Winning the Game of Money has also effected some of the changes. I’m dreaming bigger dreams, setting goals and making plans. I’m even sticking to some of them! Because the major component of my dreams involves writing, I am naturally writing more. Sure, most of it is articles and blog posts for myself or other people, but the words are getting on the page. In the meantime, I’ve drawn within 13 pages of finishing the edit I’ve been working on, and come up with a really cool plot twist for last year’s yet-to-be completed Nano. In fact, I’ve agreed to join my fellow Inklings in the July challenge so I can finally finish it.

Of course, that means getting that last 13 pages knocked out this week! So I’ll bring this post to a rather abrupt end in order to make that happen.

So Much to be Grateful For

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the things that motivate me to achieve my dreams.
2. I am grateful for the changes I’ve been making in my life lately…even the things I’ve given up.
3. I am grateful for the quantity of writing I’m doing lately.
4. I am grateful for new opportunities in my social life.
5. I am grateful for abundance; love, life, friendship, inspiration, dreams, motivation, challenges, new directions, peace, harmoney, health, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

October 16, 2014 Perspective: Don’t be afraid to shine your light. #shericonaway #blogboost

In just a few hours, perspective can change.

This afternoon, I began to write a post about my dysfunctional family which has not enjoyed the loving, close relationships so many post about on Facebook. But now, a few hours later, after an unusually short night of dancing, I realize that I don’t want to write about that at all. The truth is, we all have some sort of skeleton in our family closet. So what? Because it isn’t where you come from, what advantages you had or didn’t, whether or not someone cherished you as you deserve to be cherished. No! It’s about what you do with what you have that’s important.

Too many people out there, from every, single generation alive, blame their parents for what they did not become, or for what they do not have. These people would have more luck selling me the Brooklyn Bridge or beachfront property in Arizona. Statistically speaking, our parents only influence our behavior and personality until the age of about ten, after which we are more strongly influenced by our peers, our teachers and a host of other people we interface with every day.

Put forth the effort or go home. This is a no whining zone!

If we want to achieve anything in life, we have to put forth the effort ourselves (I’m also speaking to myself here, as I have not achieved what I’d hoped to so far this year, but it is from my own lack of sufficient effort, and no other reason). People are rarely born into a life where someone takes their hand and leads them down the path of a successful life, however one might define it. If they did, we’d never be able to sustain it because we wouldn’t have learned how to achieve it in the first place!

The School of Hard Knocks is where we learn lessons that stay with us because of the hard knocks we received. There’s nothing like a painful lesson to keep it in our minds for awhile. Remember what you were doing the first time you burned yourself or cut yourself with a sharp knife. How willing were you to repeat that lesson?

It’s the same with lessons which are painful on a less tangible level. If they hurt, we naturally resist repeating something which was painful. Yes, I realize there are some folks for whom pain isn’t a reliable deterrent, but I’m addressing the majority of folks right now. How many people who are badly hurt emotionally in a relationship will resist getting involved until they learn that it’s not the relationship but the type of person they chose?

So I am not going to write a post about how I wasn’t close to my mom or my sister because it falls into that broad category called “So What?”. They didn’t choose the path I followed. I did. The successes, the lessons, the failures (which are really just lessons in disguise)…they’re all mine. Having nobody to blame also means that there’s nobody to steal your glory!

Live it! Own it! Be it!

Every one of us is an amazing person. Some of us just hide it better than others. We must never be afraid to allow our light to shine. You never know when it might brighten a dark road for someone who really needs it!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for attitude adjustments which brighten my perspective.
2. I am grateful for friends who chase away my dark shadows with their sunny dispositions.
3. I am grateful for knowing when to walk away and think something through more carefully.
4. I am grateful for the excessive amounts of positive energy flowing through me.
5. I am grateful for days when I think I’ve accomplished nothing, until I look back and see that I was moving so fast, the whole thing just blurred.
6. I am grateful for abundance: Love, health, positivity, energy, friendship, motivation, inspiration, vitality and prosperity.


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