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

Posts tagged ‘relationships’

Dream Given Guidance

Dream About Change

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-jk3BYpI’ve learned to pay attention to my dreams, especially when they’re particularly vivid and a section remains in my mind long after waking. Sometimes they’re precognitive, telling me of something yet to appear. Other times they’re telling me to get in touch with someone who is having a tough time. Often they provide guidance, though it’s usually in a form that forces me to ferret out the actual message.

Recently I dreamt of driving down a narrow, winding road in a vintage sports car (think 60’s Camaro or Firebird). All around me, cars were crashing into each other or flipping end over end above me. Somehow, I’d either get to a spot and pass by before a crash happened or I’d stop in the nick of time. I was in a kind of safe bubble amidst chaos.

In the last few weeks, I’ve spent more time alone, and been somewhat disengaged from the frenzy of the people I’d been running with dance-wise. I’ve found my own rhythm, going out when and where I wanted to rather than following the pack. In truth, I enjoyed the sense of belonging but only for a little while. I’m not really a pack animal and enjoy my peopling in smaller groups. I’ve even been known to isolate in the middle of a crowded dance floor on more than one occasion.

Alone but not Lonely

This dream that stuck in my head for hours was a not-so-subtle reminder to appreciate my personal “cone of silence” that sets me apart so I can do the things I want and need to do for my writing and my business. I was guided to an activity and a lifestyle which often requires solitude for a reason.

I learned how to isolate in the midst of chaos because my purpose requires time spent alone in order to manifest. It’s not that I’m anti-social. I enjoy my social time. I just don’t need as much of it as the people I was running with for the last few months.

But I had to find my balance again. It got lost in the whirlwind of gatherings until I pulled back like a turtle into her shell. The dream told me I have my alone time any time I want it. I need to determine the right amount of together time now while achieving the goals I’ve set one task at a time.

A Not-so-Subtle Push to Be True to My Dreams

It also showed me that in some ways, I was being pushed out of the social scene because I follow someone else’s lead only when it’s what I want to do. At the moment, my old “pack” has a self-appointed leader and her efforts to push me out have been less-than-subtle, though from where I sit, rather amusing as well. Mixed signals and garbled directions in the dream highlighted the efforts of someone who was trying to delay or prevent my arrival at some sort of gathering.

The problem is, while I seldom choose to be a leader, I’m rarely a follower either; and then, only because I want to join in, and choose to let someone else make the plans. This isn’t the first time someone wanted me gone because I refused to play by their rules. What they don’t realize most of the time is I’m oblivious. I don’t even realize there are rules in place, or if I do, I don’t see how they apply to me.

A Time for New Choices

In some ways, I feel I should explain my withdrawal to a couple of people. But in the dream, I trusted my own guidance, even if it wasn’t entirely reliable (the car had a hand-held GPS I stuck insecurely in a cup holder in the steering wheel), and offered no explanations.

Each of us makes choices every day; from moment to moment. One of those choices is whether we’ll lead or follow. While some are following, and I’m going my own way, those are choices. Our roads may take different directions for awhile, I’ve watched too long to miss how they come together again at some point, maybe to travel side by side for a few miles before separating again.

If the dream offers any guidance, it’s saying it’s time for me to head off on my own for awhile. I have some thinks to re-think, writing to do, and plans to re-evaluate. The components of an active social life aren’t conducive to the large blocks of solitude I need right now in order to reassess my direction. The roads I must travel aren’t clearly defined. Some don’t even make sense right now; to me, much less to the outside world.

Exclusion is Often A Universal Head Slap

It’s taken me a long time to learn being excluded from something is often the best thing for me. It means I’ve lost sight of my purpose, and the Universe is giving me a swift kick in the rear so I’ll remember what’s important. I also know someone who expends a lot of effort trying to control their circle will eventually kick the current members out when they find someone more appealing and malleable. They’re no different than someone who cheats on their spouse. They may take up with someone new, but eventually, they’ll cheat on that one too.

A part of me wants to point out what’s going on to those involved, but to what purpose? The best case would have others see me as a whiner; the worst, as bad mouthing a perfectly lovely person with false accusations. Instead, I’ll follow the advice in the Power Path School’s October forecast regarding relationships:

If your role is one of being rejected or not finding love or not feeling supported, then rewriting that script will give you a new role of a character that is much loved, highly successful and supported at every step. What does that do to the other roles? They are no longer the villains in your life that victimize you, but people who love and support you. So, this will change your relationships with those around you. You will need to start seeing them as having different roles and the more you see them in their new roles, the more they will actually manifest those new roles in your rewritten story.

Not everyone will accept their new role in my script, any more than I’ve accepted the role created for me in theirs. It only means we’re not in each other’s next chapter, but have somewhere else we need to be. My rewrite might cause a few completely new characters to appear. Who knows? My stories and characters tend to write themselves most of the time. I don’t see that changing any time soon. Who and what I need will be there when I need them, or they need me.

Finding the Gratitude in Change

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for dreams that force me to think and re-think.
  2. I’m grateful for opportunities to flip my script.
  3. I’m grateful for people who make me feel unwelcome so I can go on to bigger and better things.
  4. I’m grateful for inspiration that comes from unexpected places.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; inspiration, motivation, challenges, love, friendship, joy, solitude, productivity, projects, peace, harmony, balance, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

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

Progress is Progress, No Matter How Small

Switching Things Up is Progress

September 11th came and went this year as it always does, along with the memories, the feelings, both repressed and expressed, and the knee jerk reactions. But then again, it wasn’t really the same at all.

In years past, when September 11th came along, I disconnected from social media and crawled deep into my self-imposed cave for 24 hours or more. Apparently, this is the year things were meant to change.

In the first place, it fell on a Wednesday which is a day I usually spend going to the gym and running errands. Sure, I could have moved things around, and probably would have in the past. This year, I didn’t feel it was important enough, so I got out of the house, perhaps a little later than planned, and soldiered on.

Losing Myself in a Crowd

I knew I wasn’t up for the more intimate group of dancers who meet at a friend’s house once a week but instead of slothing it in front of the TV, I got up, got dressed, and went to a larger venue where I figured I’d just blend into the scenery. Wearing uncharacteristic all black, I joined my friends on the dance floor, hiding in the middle, only to be called out by the DJ who’s known me for too long, but didn’t read my “I’m hiding” message in my black shirt and shorts.

The one thing I didn’t do was pretend I was fine. I also stopped saying it was the anniversary of my dad’s “death” in the generic sense. Instead, I said “it’s the 16th anniversary of my dad’s suicide”.

What I didn’t expect was so many have become used to me talking openly about suicide, that it didn’t shock so much as let people know I was feeling vulnerable. No one pushed or tried to be overly solicitous, but it was clear they were all there for me if I needed them. What an amazing and unexpected revelation!

Acknowledging and Releasing Old Pain

Slowly but surely, I’m revisiting and releasing old hurts, letting go of old baggage, and learning a lesson I missed growing up: how to be a friend, and attract my true tribe. Despite events of the last few months which are causing my ever-expanding tribe to gather in smaller pieces at a variety of venues, the emotional and energetic bonds we share are growing stronger. It’s clear to me now, time and circumstances don’t weaken bonds if they’re formed on the right foundation.

It’s become especially apparent as I revisit the rift with my blood family. It may be that “blood is thicker than water” but some blood is diluted by unseen factors. My family showed me unequivocably that they aren’t able to be there for me in times of trauma or strife. It isn’t a reflection on them as human beings. It’s simply the way it is. I’ve learned to not only expect but respect the dynamic—or lack thereof.

I was born into a family, but I see now, I was only there temporarily. It was a brief stopping point while I gathered a few of the tools and a lot of the traumas which would help me become the person I was meant to be. It’s been a long, slow process (I had to get past the desperation to be loved and accepted first), but I can see now it was a necessary step in my soul’s evolution.

Lessons Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Sometimes, I learn what to do and how I deserve to be treated from my various experiences. Other times, I learn what not to do and how I do not deserve to be treated. I’ve had many bosses who’ve shown me the wrong way to run a department or treat employees, just as I’ve had a few who showed me the right way.

Interestingly, it’s from a marketing group I’m in that I’m learning everything in life is about relationships. Even as a writer, I can’t operate in a vacuum. Not only do I get a lot of my topics from interacting with other people, I couldn’t grow my business without clients, and clients are always going to be other people.

Each step I take in dealing with my emotional traumas surrounding my parents’ suicides takes me further into the real issues surrounding my inability to form strong, lasting, functional relationships.

Relationship Building for Love or Money

I’m beginning to see my earliest lessons in relationship building came from my parents and blood family. I learned to hide my true self in what was ultimately a fruitless effort to fit in; to belong. It wasn’t until I endured the ultimate rebuff, and recognized it as such that I realized I was going about belonging in the wrong way. I’ve recently discovered positive indifference is an important factor, not only in whether or not I get a contract, but in establishing relationships too.

That doesn’t mean I go into social situations, guns a-blazing, acting like a jerk. Instead, it means spending time watching the interactions, observing the social protocol, and assessing how it makes me feel.

If it’s an environment where I feel comfortable engaging as my true self, I’ll probably stick around. If I feel like I have to stuff myself into an uncomfortable configuration, I’ll likely say a polite goodbye and move on. I don’t need to belong somewhere enough to pretend to be someone I’m not. 

The Epiphany of Authenticity

Learning there were people and places which would accept me as I am, and not Created with Canvaexpect me to be something I’m not shocked the hell out of me. It turned a lifetime of failed relationships upside down. It never occurred to me I was going about it wrong, trying to make people like me by being what I thought they expected. Instead of gaining the acceptance I craved, I came off needy, desperate, phony, and unapproachable.

People typically want to interact with others who are at least somewhat open and honest. Desperation is typically a turnoff, except perhaps to those who thrive on using other people. Thus, opening up, not only about my parents’ suicides, but about my own broken parts has catapulted me into both social and business environments which, at last accept me for who I am, and actually appreciate that crazy, messy person for her honesty.

Still Sharing Selectively But for the Right Reasons

https://www.flickr.com/photos/erix/66519749/in/photolist-6SW1e-VTKUdm-M1eYnL-242z7nc-oqkg1j-proThx-fsTWuh-6k2FkX-o4wR24-y6Zwr-KfMCGq-SFv9cS-8hfbmZ-bfs4it-SkpXJ5-fTkgBF-SRG43L-oaSpyU-6LELFf-8sY2Wq-65Q84A-4uhkK6-4CwKmQ-21jdqXp-ry5GpM-RHagrR-s7emTJ-b8moxH-pgqTW-GmKEPY-7h7g9p-6tuV9R-r3UHnJ-9kePpX-b1DnC2-9Gv9Kj-RFjn7k-6tuPQR-2b4oHPW-nxaMN8-Kez8E-6tuN7i-dUaLfP-6nXEKq-TiiQCx-nXxmkn-hCDNRa-CFeyn-2YRhRS-9BUEVIt doesn’t mean I “bleed” all over everyone. I’m still selective about what and with whom I share, aside from my writing. I’ve recently discovered I can share more here because it’s still safe. I’m not subject to acceptance or rejection. I don’t feel someone’s distaste or disgust. If they don’t like what I’ve written, they typically won’t read any more, and that’s perfectly fine with me. I’m probably not writing for them anyway.

Those who come back; who read my posts regularly, and often tell me so are the ones I write for. They want to see the parts of me I’m still working on fixing; the imperfect parts I’ve come to accept and even appreciate; the successes when I overcome past traumas and conditioning. Why? Because they’ve been through their own share of crap. They deserve applause for their successes too. Most of all, they deserve to keep the messy, gooey parts they want to keep. And so do you!

Happy to Be Grateful

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for friends who “get” me, and who love me because of my imperfections.
  2. I’m grateful for the small bits of progress. Put them all together, and I’ve come a lot farther than I realized.
  3. I’m grateful for my current work environment. I work without the need to please anyone but myself and my chosen clients, without distraction other than my own monkey mind, and with the co-workers who suit me best; my furry family.
  4. I’m grateful for the support I’m getting as I learn to be more myself and less a facade.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, friendship, support, laughter, dancing, kitty love, perspective, ambition, guidance, peace, harmony, balance, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

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

When Your Vibration is in the Cellar: Baby Steps Are Key

When Life Kicks You to the Curb

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 last month has been trying on pretty much every level; mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially. You name it, and I’ve taken a hit directly or indirectly. I’ve shed buckets of tears, though primarily in the privacy of my own home with the cats my only comfort.

That isn’t to say friends haven’t reached out, because they have—in huge and unanticipated ways. Some tell me I’ve been there for them, yet I can’t see it from my vantage point, any more than I’ve recognized, when a man was interested (not that it’s happened lately anyway. I travel in a world that tends to be weighted in favor of men).

The Games People Play

It makes me wonder where else I’ve had tunnel vision, oblivious to what’s right in front of my face. I suspect my long, unsatisfying foray into the Corporate world is one. I never learned to play the games, and found myself cast as the unwitting bad guy, or even buffoon on far too many occasions. Granted, some of that was because I didn’t allow myself to connect with co-workers or staff. But most of it was because I never learned the rules for office politics. Frankly, I never wanted to. I don’t like politics in general, and have always believed they don’t belong in an office.

It seems a bit ironic really. People go to work for a company, contributing to the company’s success, yet believe they need to go to extremes to assure their own success. How much personal success can you really claim when the ultimate recipient is owners or stockholders. You get what they’re willing to give you, and nothing more.

The Rocky, Peril-Infused Road to Success

Yes, the road to personal success is difficult and fraught with peril more often than not. In the end, both https://www.flickr.com/photos/nhoulihan/4038592452/in/photolist-79SQQm-TfUffd-pgu9hJ-qfYXYE-pDVWDB-6UQgZM-KFog6C-TFYhqd-29TMHM-fP6i28-j73ZT5-atsnGd-C4HxXs-5eRdT5-YoKVff-24PBcMS-28G1ckh-AqrzL-haocsM-o1RCfj-4iigfF-6hbQxG-TCfZem-qVx4n8-U63bC7-dCTxQg-amkKyF-eiY1qF-Ct5hqm-hSGXpV-BcaCh-8c2bVB-27RWaS2-eQjYy1-cJWTgw-ehKQWJ-AJSt63-ay4RXc-cxa1zW-UFe9Vq-aC3EP1-pkL1fr-ehKSrs-qxMMJj-bvMGyV-VG1fkR-ay4Sgv-aDNaMx-aE1tNY-h7171rthe successes and failures are your own. You get to keep the lessons for the failures without having someone else’s castigation added to the mix. When you fall on your face, it’s only you who has to get up, dust yourself off, look at what didn’t work, and try again with the new insight you’ve gained.

At the moment, I feel like I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded, but I have no one to blame but myself. I’ve succeeded at a few things, though, and am proud of those successes. Those, too are on me alone.

From the failures I’ve learned to reach out and ask for help because I don’t know everything about everything. There are areas where my experience and talent is decidedly lacking. Those areas give me the opportunity to network and develop new relationships.

The successes teach me what I have to offer to others; where I can offer to help them with their own gaps in experience. But most of all, they teach me more about connecting.

Creeping Slowly Out of My Hermit’s Hut

https://www.flickr.com/photos/binnyva/14856573264/in/photolist-oCPPCU-8f1nit-kNH87E-8rNdoG-6KCefX-9Bgqr6-Yi8x7C-XC2S6P-56Q2W-Vh4pvh-32EGJ7-M1eaS-ptvU3v-9Awj7L-wKmp31-8AvCj7-7bqtC-a5fJwH-kNFH9k-9G6tXM-24uVDRG-dDd9qu-Kwohct-Urtf8U-YDnn4J-6omdkQ-Dsesvd-puLasy-24vk2io-ktRkX-bbbDnP-pGjrym-4BEGNG-5jHBoS-5uRazj-9G9pbW-HcTbbD-a5ixA3-289TB1G-a5fHdv-i6HTk-4nHJbV-92qx88-smAuU2-WRJBho-7fLn3G-QENbeM-XS7dj9-kdP5rm-7f3qBEI’ve used the excuse: “I’m a writer and an introvert. I’m better off working alone” far too many times. I recognize it’s an excuse to be a hermit. Even more, I’m learning I don’t want to be a hermit all the time. I want to be around people and be part of a community. I want to let people see that I succeed sometimes and fail others, just like them. Besides, being a perpetual hermit is extremely unhealthy. Far too many psychopaths live in that world. I’d rather not be looked at through the same glass as someone whose moral compass hasn’t pointed to true North in a very long time, if ever.

I’ve learned to recognize when my sunny disposition has gone astray. Signs like negativity, judgemental-ism, excessive self-criticism, and even lousy eating habits show me clearly when my mood has taken a trip to the dark side. The years I spent wallowing in self-pity, angry at the world, and in an undiagnosed state of depression come back to haunt me. Yet they also scare me into making changes, reaching out to friends, or getting out of the house whether I want to or not.

Changing Perspective

So far this week, I’ve gone to the gym after first talking myself out of going, spent an evening dancing Created with Canvaafter trying to convince myself I shouldn’t share my sad state with others, and reached a saturation point with Hallmark movies. The last one, alone has pushed me a little ways out of my funk to get a few things done I’d been avoiding for ages. I’d convinced myself once again that I wasn’t worthy, lacked the necessary experience, and didn’t want to do those things anyway.

Sometimes, it’s a matter of perspective. We look at the things we accomplish as nothing special. We convince ourselves out accomplishments are no better than anyone else’s. We deny our part in making the world a better place. Or we minimize our contributions by treating them as commonplace acts performed by everyone.

Showing Up

There’s a time and a place to call “bullshit” on ourselves. I found mine when a friend knocked on my door on a cold, rainy night with a container of split pea soup. Her simple act reminded me how much my own simple acts mean to others. I realized it isn’t so much the what as it is the doing in the first place. Showing up is often the greatest gift of all, both for the giver and the receiver.

Over the years, I learned the climb from abject depression to joy is a long one, and isn’t accomplished in gigantic leaps while yanking on your bootstraps. It’s accomplished one step at a time, and often one backwards for every two forward. It’s easier to take 100 baby steps than it is sometimes to take one giant leap. In the time we gear ourselves up to take that giant leap, we could have already been there by putting one foot in front of the other, testing the ground with each step, and asking for help over the tougher spots.

Raising My Vibration A Baby Step at a Time

I may be in a bad place personally, financially, even professionally at the moment. I’m trying to get out of it, but my vibration is in the toilet. With each baby step I take; each proffered hand I accept, I leave the darkness a little further behind. The darkness is no longer the friend it once deceived me into believing. Instead, I reach towards the sunshine, the light of friendship, love, caring, and sharing.

The friends who show they care in so many ways are making the baby steps bigger by reinforcing the ground I walk on. I still have a long way to go, but knowing I don’t have to go there alone keeps me putting one foot in front of the other a lot more easily and readily these days.

A Heart Filled With Gratitude Vibrates on a Higher Level

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for friends who have made the effort to get to know the real me.
  2. I am grateful for changes in perspective.
  3. I am grateful for baby steps.
  4. I am grateful for clear, sunny days when the wind finally dies down.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; emotional, spiritual, mental, health, connection, inspiration, love, motivation, opportunities, challenges, 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.

Keeping Hope Alive

Hope Will Always Spring Eternal

This week I was reminded of the power of hope. So many times in my life when things looked bleak, a tiny spark of hope kept me putting one foot in front of the other. So many times, my efforts seemed futile, but a single glimmer, a slim possibility of success kept me soldiering on.

Many have written about the power of hope, and likely just as many have trashed the concept. Yet, how many achievements would not have occurred? How many obstacles would not have been overcome were it not for hope?

It’s interesting to me that both love and hope are often called blind. Yet, what are they but taking gigantic leaps of faith that all will turn out for the best? How often do we enter into either one with no idea of the outcome, and nothing but trust in ourselves, in circumstances, and even in someone else that the end result will be amazing?

Trust is an Action Word

Long ago, I put my trust in the Universe. It’s not that I stand around waiting for everything I want to land in my lap. Instead, I believe I will achieve my heart’s desires, and that in many cases, the results will be wonderful beyond my most outlandish imaginings. But I trust that opportunities to achieve those desires will appear when I’m ready for them, and it’s up to me to not only be alert and recognize them, but to also put in the effort to make the next opportunity manifest.

Some days, it’s difficult to continue to keep that spark of hope alive. Some days, the darkness creeps in and frankly, scares the crap out of me. But every time things are at their darkest, I get a flash of insight, or an image of things to come, reminding me that as long as I keep hope alive in my heart, I will somehow find a way to keep moving forward, to keep my head above the rising water of despair.

Sometimes, You Just Have to Let Go

Over the years, I’ve seen many things come and go; friendships, a marriage, relationships, jobs, lifestyles…but the endings have one thing in common. Every single one left me open to something far better. Granted, some of those better things took years to actually show up, and often I wandered down a lot of dead-end roads on the way there. But the Universe hasn’t let me down. Not once.

These days, I’m really being pressed to keep the hope alive, to remind myself that what I’m experiencing is part of a greater plan. It’s not always easy. I’ve pared my life down until I live more leanly than I have since the days of a handful of cashews and a glass of wine for dinner. Yet I’m more at peace than I ever was.

I’m able to start my day on my own terms, reading, writing, and exercising 3 times a week. My stories are being told, one page at a time. My circle of friends is growing and includes many who are teaching me more about being a patient and compassionate human being. And I have plenty of days when I have only the companionship of my cats which is a good thing. They are my peace when I’ve had too much humanity.

Taking Time to Get to Know Myself

In the 3 years or so that I’ve withdrawn from the day-to-day routine of the working class, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I know that I need a lot of time to decompress from contact with humanity, even when the energy is compatible with mine. I know I’m more effective when some of my life is conducted on a schedule even though I go nuts when I’m always at someone else’s beck and call. I’ve even learned how to put myself on a schedule which works for me and allows time for creativity, physical activity,  and mental clarity but still allows some flexibility when life takes a hard right turn.

However, if I’ve learned one thing about hope, it’s that you need to infuse it with at least a modicum of common sense. If someone says “the house is burning and you have to get out now”, you don’t plant yourself on the floor and hope somehow it’ll burn all around you and leave you unharmed.

The same is true for those pesky interpersonal relationships I’ve been avoiding for so long. When the signs, signals, and even words are telling you it’s not going to happen, you have to trust that too. All too often I’ve turned a deaf ear on the words and ultimately made a fool out of myself. This goes for the red flags too. Ignore them at your peril. My personal favorites are men who are too charming, and those who drink excessively. Call me hypersensitive, but if it takes a guy more than one beer to relax and enjoy dancing with the ladies, he’s someone I’d do well to avoid beyond the superficiality of an occasional dance partner.

Taking a Step Back to See Where Hope is Still Viable

When it comes to life and career, I can honestly say I’m not seeing red flags at this point, nor do I believe I’m ignoring any signs or signals telling me to turn back or get the hell out of this place I’m in. Instead, I’m getting some wonderful insight from many directions, a lot of encouragement to keep scribbling, and the same strong feeling I had 3 years ago that this is the direction my life needs to take. And of course, I’m getting the occasional nudge which leads to posts like this. And no small percentage of posts like this are finding their way in one form or another into Forgotten Victims.

Writing here has become my brain dump, my sounding board and my practice space. I put words together in different ways, eventually finding the combinations which feel most comfortable to me.

Remembering Always to be Grateful

Tonight’s gratitudes are:

  1. I am grateful for this outlet. Brain dumps are being elevated by sending them here.
  2. I am grateful for the choices I’ve made and the ones I’ve yet to make.
  3. I am grateful for the continuing inspiration triggered by diet, exercise, and an ever-expanding circle of friends and acquaintances.
  4. I am grateful for my time alone. It makes me appreciate the time spent with other people.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; friendship, love, inspiration, motivation, healthy habits, joy, hope, peace, harmony, prosperity, and philanthropy.

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!

September 26, 2015 You Never Want to Hear Your Own Words From Someone Else’s Mouth

Oft-Uttered Words Hit Pierced My Heart

Tonight I was chatting with a couple of girl friends while waiting for the next line dance set when one of them made a comment which froze my blood in my veins, not because it was frightening or heinous, but because it was one I’d oft-repeated myself. Hearing it from her made me realize just how ludicrous the statement was. Not only that, I realized that I’m in good company in sharing the utterly false belief she voiced.

The words she spoke were Oh, I don’t attract anyone. If I had a nickel or even a penny for every time I’d made that ridiculous and utterly false statement, I’d be a very wealthy woman. It brought home to me the fact that there must be far too many women who blame their singleness on their own inability to attract someone when the reality is something completely different.

Many years after the fact, I learned on more than one occasion that someone was indeed interested/attracted to me but I just didn’t understand the signs. Because I’m not expecting anyone to be attracted to me, I’m completely oblivious when they are. Though I’m sure none of them went to great lengths to try and let me know how they felt, assuming I understood the rules of the game and would respond appropriately if I shared their interest, it bothers me that others besides myself have such a false assessment of their own situations.

This particular friend is attractive, smart, independent (I know, that one can sometimes be the kiss of death, but frankly, I have no patience for women who need a man more than life itself!), happy, friendly and altogether delightful. There is no reason on earth why she shouldn’t be attracting all manner of the male of the species…except for that one, single self-defeating statement.

As single women, especially those of us on the north side of 50, we’ve often spent a number of years raising kids, growing our careers and, in many cases caring for aging parents. We don’t have time for the sophomoric games we probably weren’t even interested in when were were 20-somethings. Those of us who don’t find it necessary to actively seek a mate enjoy the company of friends, have interests which take us outside the home, and wonder of wonders, are comfortable in our own company as well.

That does not mean we wouldn’t enjoy the attention and maybe even return it under the right circumstances. But as we have been managing our own lives for so long, we often don’t know the subtle signs that say “Hey, cutie, I’m interested in you. Can you give me a sign so I know whether it’s safe to approach you?” You might have to actually walk over and introduce yourself or ask for a dance. Most of us have learned not to crush a man by declining an invitation unless we have a really good reason like we’re about to leave or someone already asked or we’ve been on the dance floor for 30 minutes straight and just need a break. In the last case, we’ll usually make it clear that if they ask later, we’d love to dance with them. (and in my experience, most, if not all of them do come back).

Yes, the number of single men who have learned to dance at least a passable two-step is about 5 times less than what is necessary to keep us on the dance floor as much as we’d like. Even worse, we have to compete with the married and attached women who come without their husbands or boyfriends. Line dancing has definitely saved us from life as a wall flower. And yet, couples have met dancing. Some have dated and eventually married. Others have decided that they weren’t compatible after all. Either way, connections do occur, despite the dearth of men who dance. (that was a not-so-subtle hint, by the way).

To wrap this all up in a nice, neat package, I just want to say that as women, we need to lose the notion that just because we’re unattached it is because we don’t attract anyone. Take that statement and strike it from your repertoire before the Universe thinks it’s what you want and grants your wish.

Revising the Mantra

I’m giving all of the single women out there a new mantra. This is good for any of you, regardless of age.
“I am a beautiful, intelligent, interesting, talented woman. I want to attract the few who will understand, respect and appreciate the unique and wonderful individual I am.”

Or you can use my abbreviated version: “I’m beautiful, sexy, sassy and delicious.” Look yourself in the mirror and say one or both of these mantras every day. You might find the results surprising.


1. I am grateful for my friends who show me where I need to work on myself.
2. I am grateful for my crit group who gave me a great deal to think about today.
3. I am grateful for a better attitude and approach to my writing.
4. I am grateful for weeks which are more productive and full of variety and change.
5. I am grateful for abundance: lessons, changes, love, friendship, joy, productivity, dancing, connections, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you 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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