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Posts tagged ‘Power of Now’

When Times Are Tough, Take Time to Simply Be

Taking the Time to Live in the Now; to Be

Sitting at the gym on a break between sets, knowing I had a rough week ahead of me I realized what I truly needed was to stop and just be in the moment. And in that moment, I recognized I was strong; I was healthy; I was loved. And you know what? Sometimes that’s all we really need to focus on. Sure, there were other machines and sets ahead. And cleaning, and writing… but none of that was in the current moment. I couldn’t do anything about those things in the current moment—in the “Now”.

I bought Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” several years ago. The first time I started to read it, I couldn’t get into it, and eventually put it back on my shelf to read another time. The second time I picked it up, it had, quite literally cracked me on the head by falling off the shelf. By then, I was ready to read it, and got something out of it. Still, there was more to glean from between its covers, and I read it a second time. Something tells me I’m ready now for round 3.

I know on a conscious level I can only change the moment I’m in. I cannot change the past. It’s done and gone. I cannot change the future. It’s not here yet. No matter how much I may be struggling in my day-to-day life; no matter how many times I’ve fallen down; no matter what challenges I know I have to face tomorrow, the only moment I’m guaranteed is the one I’m in.

Causing My Own Mental Clutter

All too often, I lose sight of the moment I’m in while making lists or plans, fretting over getting https://www.flickr.com/photos/anieto2k/8156999698/in/photolist-dqNKPQ-8xXrZz-a2tqF7-ecib3q-aR5rxR-23UMduh-aWLsg4-aQ6X3p-dTTc5c-dcyQ5m-b1FLUp-drS8ZF-bsmN5R-nNhBzE-6ssEeg-9jEcfZ-aVXtzx-j6LK2o-aNpZyT-dCTfD3-dvswdt-b3pgdi-dtXu4B-6LJawW-8CFHEg-8aL7Jf-hDdmuC-anA578-cPoDxo-9qmjuQ-dtXueV-qsdJSm-dqq1i2-2cGG4pp-dqq1sP-hp14Hw-cbnjHE-7bv7xs-chavXC-7uLgNT-8E3GL9-ar7X3y-aai6ME-nt1LXG-gZvg1N-S1DgTf-8kUop7-6532HD-exeWcJ-di6ynQthe house thoroughly cleaned before my daughter arrives, or Thanksgiving gets here. I’ll focus on the next machine at the gym when I still have a set or two to finish on the machine I’m on, worrying someone will get there before me and I’ll have to change up my routine. That’s when I drag myself back to the moment and remind myself none of it matters.

Somehow, I’ll get the house clean, even if the kids have to help me. If the next machine isn’t available, there’s a gym full of weights and machines I can use instead. If I client I’ve been talking to is sitting on the fence, or decides to take another path, there’s really nothing I can do to change it, nor do I want to try to talk someone into anything. If we’re not a good fit, we’re both better off finding someone who fits us to a “T” than settling for less-than-perfect.

Over time, I’ve tried a lot of things, taken a lot of courses, and listened to a lot of people. It took me a lot of trial and error before I learned to trust my gut. If what they were saying made sense and felt good, I’d hang around. If not, I’d take what I could from the experience and move on. These days, I’m able to make that assessment more quickly and get out of the ones that don’t feel right before I’ve invested too much of my most valuable commodity; time.

Feeling Pressured by My Own Expectations

Even as I sit here, a week behind on my blog writing (which, by the way, still puts me at 2 weeks ahead and a little more), I have to remind myself to be kinder and gentler to me. If I’m not getting things done according to my own expectations, there’s an underlying reason. Still, in the current moment, it doesn’t matter that I need to get at least 2 more posts written by Wednesday in addition to this one, or that I have a full week ahead of me, so I’d like to write a total of 5 in the next 2 days. I can only get this one written, and even then, it may take more than the next few bits of Now in order to accomplish it.

I’ve gotten pretty good about not beating myself up over failing to meet deadlines I set for rewrites of “Rebuilding After Suicide” or posting chapters of “Sasha’s Journey” on ChapterBuzz. I was pretty proud of myself when I achieved a long-desired goal of having 3 weeks worth of blog posts written, formatted and scheduled, so it irks me to slip. Never mind the crash of both my PC and laptop last month, and my 2 days without internet last week. I still try to take it all on as my sole responsibility, and worse, my failure to measure up.

I look up at the shelf full of self-help and motivational books right above my monitors and they remind me that self-flagellation is neither effective nor warranted. I do the best I can, even if my best is sitting in front of the TV watching Hallmark movies. My subconscious knows it’s what I need even if my inner critic thinks it’s a waste of time and energy.

I Get to Choose Whether or Not to Listen to My Inner Critic

Today, I’m focusing on reminding that critic to STFU. I know what I need. I know what’s best for Created with Canvame in this moment. Nothing and no one can guide me better than my kindest self who keeps whispering: “The only time you have is now. Use it wisely.”

Whether I get 3 posts written tonight or only this one, I feel confident I’m doing my very best with each moment. The posts will get written. The house will get cleaned. My books will get finished and published when the time is right. Forcing a fish to swim upstream isn’t going to make him go where he’s not meant to go. Forcing myself out of my flow won’t get anything done faster, and certainly not better. Sometimes, I have to live through a few more things before a task can be completed. Pieces are still missing, and forcing myself to complete it before it’s time means it won’t really be finished at all.

It took me 10 years to finish the draft for “Rebuilding After Suicide”, during which I changed the title at least 4 times. If I’d finished it sooner, I’d have left out important discoveries I made about myself, and my healing journey. It may take me a few more to revise it as I’m still making new discoveries. I continue to heal the wounds I re-open with those discoveries. Some will become an integral part of the book, and some will not. Meanwhile, I’ve given myself permission (with a little push from my daughter) to give my attention and effort to “Sasha’s Journey”, my very first NaNoWriMo that’s been sitting in the bowels of my cloud storage for a couple of years now.

Sometimes you have to put one dream on hold to realize another. Knowing when it’s time to do that takes listening to the inner voice who wants the very best for you. I’m choosing to turn up the volume on that voice right now.

Putting Gratitude First

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for side trips.
  2. I’m grateful for changes in direction.
  3. I’m grateful for reminders to stay in the moment.
  4. I’m grateful for people and books who have given me incredible guidance and clarity in the last few years.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; courage, love, friendship, hope, lessons, challenges, highs and lows, joy and sadness, family by choice rather than blood, peace, health, harmony, 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

Living in the Moment: The Power of Being

I Read, Therefore, I Am

This post was written to compliment an earlier Facebook Live video which can be found here.

As a lifelong, avid reader, I am constantly expanding my horizons through books I both seek out intentionally and those which get my attention in any way they can. Those crafty little devils have been known to confront me by facing cover forward instead of spine out on a bookstore shelf, but the more aggressive little buggers have even been known to drop fortuitously upon my unsuspecting skull. While acquiring knowledge through osmosis would be an interesting trick, my experiences must, for now, still involve moving my eyes across a page or screen.

I’ve traveled to many far-off places, both real and imaginary. I’ve learned new skills and learned of others I want to pursue. All between the pages of a book.

That is not to say that I don’t leave my own four walls and actually experience things first-hand. But quite often my interest is initially piqued by something I’ve read.

Expanding My Horizons One Book at a Time

While my personal library is a long ways from the meticulous organization of those found in most cities, schools and universities, I’ve made an effort in the last couple of years to isolate a few like-minded tomes. At the moment, that means one shelf devoted entirely to books on writing and related subjects. I also have a shelf filled with books on self-help and spiritual matters. The latter leaves things wide open as it encompasses everything from Tarot and Kabbalah to Spirituality, Laws of Attraction, and natural healing.

This shelf in particular has been extremely life-changing. The books here have allowed me to find my own version of Spirituality which needs only work for me. It has been vital in my quest to be kinder and more compassionate, and in the process of both healing from my parents’ suicides and showing me how to use what I’ve learned to help others.

The latest book in my perpetual journey was Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose”.  Of the many books I’ve read even recently, this was the first which had me nodding over each page, wearing that “aha!” glow on my face. Many times, I’d read a few pages, then set the book down so I could think about what I’d read. Many times, I read the same passage over several times to make sure I gleaned everything I could from the words on the page.

If pressed, I’d have to admit reading the book was a spiritual journey for me, and one I wouldn’t have been ready for  a year ago. The book came into my hands at exactly the right moment.

A New Perspective on the Often Reviled Ego

From Mr. Tolle, I learned a completely different meaning of “ego”, and one which resonates more fully within me. My ego isn’t a single entity as I’ve come to believe, but all of the voices inside me which get in the way of simply Being. It’s the list-makers, the forward planners, the memorializers, criticizers, and more. In short, they are all of the voices which keep me from living in the Now.

Those voices are always either rushing me into the next 50 moments, or they are lingering in the past, holding on to things which may have helped form the me in the Now, but which are no more. The only moment I have the slightest amount of control over is this very one, the one I’m in as I type these words. I can no more change the next moment right now as I can any of the moments which are already gone.

Though I won’t always succeed, I’m working on making my Now the very best it can be. That means silencing the memorializers; cutting the critics off at the pass; telling the dreamers to let the dreams be without worrying about timelines, and most of all, telling the list makers to put it on the calendar and then let it go.

Because the memories will always be there. The chores will never stop mounting. The dreams can’t be stopped. But worrying about them can. We can live in each moment, even if that moment is taking something off our To Do list. We can embrace the miracle that is our body floating in an energetic sea of endless possibilities. And when we get up and do, it will be because, like the book telling me to open its cover and fall into its depths, it is the exact right moment to be in that moment of doing.

Being: The Ultimate Self-Indulgence

There is a special kind of freedom which goes along with giving ourselves permission to live each moment by itself without interference from all the moments past or yet to materialize. I believe we move towards our dreams that much faster and with less resistance when we allow the journey to move at its own pace. Our journeys are no less delicate than the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly. We, too can damage our wings if we try to rush the process.

So how do we know whether we’re going at the right pace or trying to force things? We trust in our feelings. If the process feels smooth and comfortable, we’re allowing things to unfold in the proper time. If we feel stressed, angry, uncomfortable, or otherwise resistant, it’s because we’re trying to go somewhere we’re not yet ready to go.

Now, when I feel the need to just pause, reflect, listen, or simply be, I honor that request because this moment won’t come back again. I allow myself the opportunity to treasure each moment like a single drop of rain dripping down my window, or a single grain of sand I find on the shore. Separate and unique, yet also an integral part of the whole. Just like you and me.

True Being Makes Us Grateful for Each Moment

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the moments.
  2. I am grateful for the things I learn when I’m just still.
  3. I am grateful for the times of solitude which are a perfect counterpoint to the moments of frenetic activity. Each in its own time.
  4. I am grateful for celebrations of life, of love, of birth, and even of death. Each in its own time.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; joy, celebration, Being, peace, harmony, love, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

August 9, 2015 Books, Books and More Books

Getting Lost Between the Pages, or Losing the Pages

I have what I would consider an impressive collection of books. booksSo many, in fact, that I don’t even know what I have sometimes. My shelves are overflowing despite the fact that many are stacked 2 and 3 deep and 2 high. My daughter took a lot of her books when she moved into her own place, including both sets of encyclopedias, yet still, my shelves runneth over. bookshelves-cornerBecause of my propensity towards obtaining more and more books, I have, on occasion, purchased duplicates. Which brings me to my next sub-topic.

Finding Lost Treasures

Many times, I will purchase a book, read a couple of chapters and find I’m not able to get into the book, at least at the moment. I’ll put it aside, often with a page marked with a sticky note or receipt as if, when I pick it up again, I’ll start where I left off instead of at the beginning.

A couple of days ago, I spotted one such book on what I’ve dubbed my Spiritual Shelf. It contains books on Tarot, all of my decks, Angel Oracle cards, books on Kabbalah, and various books on laws of attraction and the like. At one point, it also included some of my books on healing but when I rearranged my shelves to open one up for my growing collection of books on writing, some of the healing books ended up there as the Spiritual shelf was exploding.

But I digress. Looking up at the shelf which sits right above my monitor, I spotted Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now shining like the proverbial beacon at the back of the shelf, laying across my kabbalah collection. It was one of those books I’d bought on someone’s recommendation, read a chapter or so and just couldn’t get into it. But that was then and this is now. I removed the Starbuck’s receipt from the last page I’d read and started at the beginning…and could not put it down! Suddenly, this book I struggled with the first time around was resonating so strongly that I just had to devour the words as our local coyotes would devour an unattended chihuahua.

Not only did I consume the words, but the exercises just worked, resonated, blossomed inside me. Out of curiosity, I checked the date on my ‘bookmark’. It seems I’d purchased a venti latte to drink with my book on September 22, 2010, nearly 5 years ago! It isn’t as if the book has been hidden away, either. I’ve arranged and rearranged the shelf it was on numerous times in just the last year.

To Every Book, There is a Time, a Season and a Reason

I’m sure I’m not the only bibliophile who purchases books she doesn’t read for years. I’ve learned that I have to be in a certain mindset to read different kinds of books. Sometimes, I want something really deep and insightful, others, something light, easy and fun. Still other times, I want something suspenseful and filled with plot twists and edge-of-your-seat moments where I can’t read the words fast enough. There are also times when I want to lose myself again in one of my old favorites, which is why my collection grows. I don’t give my books away because I know that I will want to read many of them again someday, or share it with a friend who shares my taste (or one of them as I have so many).

There are authors I’ve read over a dozen times like Potok, Heinlein, McCaffery, Lackey and Roberts, and others who were just a phase and whose books I actually gave away like Danielle Steele and all of the Harlequin Romance novellas. I know just where to go depending on the kind of reading I want to do, though sometimes, it requires digging through my collection to find what I want.

That, in itself is an adventure. Many is the time I’ve found something I forgot I had and stopped searching for the book I originally wanted to sit and read a long-forgotten tale. I’ve tried to put all of my favorites in the front of the shelves where they are easily accessible, but to be honest, I just have too many favorites. I’ve threatened to catalogue my collection many times, but then I look up at the shelves and gasp in dismay. Just the idea of taking all of them down to see what I have is more overwhelming than facing a cluttered house worthy of a hoarder.

Allowing Old Ways to Reign

So I comfort myself that between my bookshelves and the ones I have on Kindle, I’m not likely to run out of reading material any time soon, yet still, I buy more. I can’t help myself. It’s a passion and and obsession, but one I don’t choose to cure. When the world gets too annoying or my writing is stuck or I just want to take a trip to someplace new, my books will take me there, even when my own imagination flounders.

Do you have a collection you wouldn’t part with? Do you add to it despite the fact that you already overflow the allotted space? What is it that makes your heart sing and your mind happy?

My gratitudes are:
1. I am grateful that my obsession is one that builds rather than destroys my mind.
2. I am grateful for new discoveries of old purchases.
3. I am grateful for the time to stop, listen and read.
4. I am grateful that my life has a balance of mental and physical energies.
5. I am grateful for abundance: books, love, friendship, dancing, brains, mental acuity, energy, meaningful work, generosity, kindness, compassion, peace, harmony, health, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

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

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