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

Posts tagged ‘Universal head slaps’

Allowing For “Not OK” Time

Allowing for Feelings

I’m sitting at my desk playing solitaire and listening to old songs after my first tri-fecta of dancing in a long time. Scrappy Doo recently vacated my lap, and Dylan has gone off in search of a late night snack. I should be on top of the world, but strangely, I’m not.

It actually started last night while I was at the newly opened BL Dancehall and Saloon, our temporary dance home until Borderline can be brought up to code and remodeled; a task which we’re told could take 2 years, or maybe more. With the music blasting, and my feet itching to join my friends on the dance floor, I grabbed my water bottle and wandered off to a booth on the patio where I could huddle into a corner, hidden from view and be by myself to work through a wash of overwhelming sadness that came from out of nowhere.

I asked myself several times if the sadness was mine or belonged to someone else, but didn’t get a clear answer. I finally wandered back inside and tried to bury the sadness beneath the joy I find while dancing, but my friend Lisa admitted to feeling sad herself. I tried to convince myself the sadness I was feeling belonged to her, but my gut knew better.

There Isn’t Always a Reason

Perhaps it was overwhelm from being among people 3 nights in a row. Perhaps it was a of an awful helicopter crash the next morning (though I doubt it. I seldom have tragic premonitions, and definitely not about strangers). Eventually, I figured a good night’s sleep would wash the sadness away. It did, but only temporarily.

Strange dreams filled my night. While not unusual, they were vivid enough to remain in my mind, and ended up filling my Morning Pages. That should have been the end of it. But by the time the sun went down, the sadness was back, worse than before, despite spending the day alone, and missing the first dance workshop in our new home. Despite getting 4 loads of laundry done and my bed stripped and remade.

Reading a self-help book didn’t help. Watching a sappy Hallmark movie seemed to make it worse instead of better. Listening to my Simon and Garfunkel Pandora station exacerbated it even more as it perversely played songs that triggered memories or thoughts which were anything but cheerful. I felt like I needed a good cry, but couldn’t think of a single good reason for needing one.

Humans Sometimes Feel Sad

There was a time I’d have berated myself and demanded I find my cheerful, sunny outlook and stop feeling sorry for myself. But what I’m feeling isn’t self-pity. It’s plainly and simply, sadness. My sadness isn’t for anyone. It isn’t because of anything. It just is. I feel stuck, but I’m not sure where or why I’m stuck. Nothing is really wrong, and nothing is not right either. It makes no sense.

I’ve learned there are times I’ll be sad like this for no apparent reason. It is part of being human and having lived a few decades. Few people get through 4 or 5 decades without some kind of loss whether it’s death, breakup, divorce, or some kind of tragedy that shakes you down to the soles of your feet.

I’m halfway through my sixth decade, and I’ve had my share of heartache and trauma. I’ve developed coping skills and mechanisms, and in the last couple of decades, I’ve cracked myself open and released some of the ones which were doing me more harm than good. I suspect there are still a few buried even more deeply which I’ve yet to exhume and exorcise.

Being sad for no apparent reason is part of the process. Sometimes I just have to be sad and not try to analyze it (though for me that’s a tall order). I have to accept the sadness and let it run its course, doing my best to get things done while it makes me shy away from human contact at a time when I probably need it more than ever. Old habits die hard, and I am still reluctant to expose others to me when I’m no fun to be around. I still believe when I’m sad I’m a buzz kill, and make people uncomfortable. So I isolate.

A Time for Mindless Tasks

The day wasn’t a total loss, or to be honest, a loss at all. I got my clothes and bedding washed Created with Canvaand put away, a blog post finished and another written, a few more pages in a new Julia Cameron book read, and I meditated. I even spent some time doing a brain dump in hopes it would help me find causality—to no avail. Perhaps I’m not supposed to know why; I’m just supposed to accept a part of my cycle that isn’t entirely pleasant to experience, but must be lived through anyway.

But songs like “Desperado”, “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “I Am A Rock”, and even “Country Roads” have me staring t the computer screens with my mind drifting down paths I try really hard to avoid, forgetting my own exhortations about having to feel the feels.

I speak of Universal head slaps on occasion. Those times when I’ve failed to get the message, so to speak, and the Universe gives me a painful nudge. I just wish I knew what I’d missed; what feels I’d failed to feel in my typical oblivious fashion. What clues did I miss that are now coming back to drag me into the pits of despair with no valid reason for going there?

I can only trust the answers will come when I stop poking at the wound I can’t see; stop chasing the dream that, like a butterfly, flits further from my reach the more I pursue it. Sometimes, the best answer is to let go and allow whatever it is to rise to the surface when it’s good and ready. I only wish I was the patient sort.

A Little Gratitude Never Hurts

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned which allow me to let the feelings come, even when it means being patient; another lesson I’m still trying to master.
  2. I am grateful for regular dance nights, and time with friends.
  3. I am grateful for a social life that means I rarely spend more than a day or two alone.
  4. I am grateful for Trello which helps me schedule not only the work I want to do, but the self-care as well.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, motivation, inspiration, self-care, 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

Dream Given Guidance

Dream About Change’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

Trusting Our Processes, Trusting Ourselves

Trusting Begins With Turning Off the “Can’ts”

I recently embarked upon a 30-day marketing challenge created and mentored by Jessa Hargrove in her #Heartfelt Business Village on Facebook. Why? Because I finally reached the point where I was tired of telling myself the enormous lie, “I’m not good at marketing”. I realized it isn’t so much I’m not inherently good at it. I simply need to develop the tools and learn the process. Little did I know, the learning process would kick me out of my safe little nest of oblivion with no excuses or remorse on part of the wearers of the boot planted none-too-gently in my butt.

Jessa already has me doing things I swore to the mountaintops I’d never do: starting a Facebook group (you can find it at Putting Your Whole Heart Forward). Creating a 3-day boot camp which I’ll present through Facebook Live. But even more, getting super serious about what I truly want to do, and how I’m getting there. The crazy thing is, I’m not going there kicking and screaming!

Reaching Our Potential isn’t a Smooth, Easy Road

Sure, I had a meltdown the day the assignment to create a group was published. But as often happens, I sat down to meditate, and the perfect idea came to me, full-blown and ready to launch. Thankfully my mentor and friend Linda Clay (who also introduced me to Jessa), of #Heartfelt Business Making was there to listen to me rant out what was really bothering me; the fear and the challenge of actually keeping people engaged and interested, before the fog cleared and I was able to see how much I could do for others with a well-run group to support my purpose and USP, #MakeVulnerableBeautiful.

Every single one of us has enormous potential. What differentiates us from the Ruth Ginsbergs, Bill Gates’, Steve Jobs’, and my personal favorite, J.K. Rowlings versus the average shmos slogging through life with their dreams stuffed securely in a shoebox under their beds is whether or not we trust in ourselves enough to shut the dissenting voices down and just go for it.

Trusting Ourselves to Get Up When Leaps Become Falls

Making our dreams happen takes an enormous leap of faith, a huge amount of trust that we can and will pick ourselves up when (not if) we fall. We have to trust the failures are nothing more than a lesson in what doesn’t work, and doesn’t mean we have failed; just that the process we were using wasn’t up to the challenge and needs to be re-worked.

Sure, not everything has to be trial-and-error. We have a certain amount of road before us that’s been paved by others who did the trial-and-error process for us. It’s when we leave the paved road and embark on our own unique path that our stumbles may become more frequent; trust in ourselves is tested more harshly. It’s when we have to tighten the straps on our backpack or parachute, raise our head high, and most of all, shove those pesky fears into the afore-mentioned shoe box so they won’t hinder our progress.

The Best and Brightest Get Nowhere Without Guts and Persistence

There isn’t a single person out there who’s made a real success of their lives (and by that, I mean doing something which helps others rather than simply fattening their bank account) who hasn’t had their share of failures. Some of those failures have been not only spectacular but available for public consumption. Yet they got past those failures and the associated embarrassment, took the lesson, left the pain, and came out on the other side better for the experience in so many ways.

That’s what I’m looking at now. I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’ve even given up on myself at times. More importantly, I’ve learned. I’ve learned I was always there for others but never for myself. I’ve learned to take the business ethics and commitment I gave to a long series of uncaring bosses and corporations and use it for myself and the causes and purposes I now have to pursue.

Trusting Our Dreams Are Attainable

If I’ve left the comfort and security of a regular paycheck behind to flounder for a few years on my own, I now trust it’s part of the process I needed to experience to discover what’s truly important to me. I needed to learn how far I would actually go to realize those dreams, and how unwilling I was to let them go. They might have  moldered in a closet someplace for a few years until I got tired of moving them around while looking for something else; a purpose, maybe. Eventually I had to pull them out, look at them, try them on to see if they still fit, determine where alterations were needed, and get on with it.

The funny thing about our deepest most heartfelt dreams is they never truly go away. They haunt us in dreams, or perhaps nightmares. They pop up in a memory. We get signs from the Universe it’s time to wake up and pay attention. The more we see them around, the harder it gets to ignore them, and we either take action or go quietly mad. I’ve done both, and believe me, action beats madness (except the creative, actionable kind) hands down.

Accepting Help, Knowing the Delivery System Can Be Brutal at Times

But hang on when you do start paying attention, as the Universe gets rather wicked when it finally has your attention. The Universal head slaps come hard and fast, and trust me on this, you don’t ignore or forget a virtual sledgehammer to the side of your head. At times, you may even feel like you’ll be flung into the air without a net or parachute without time to prepare or try to hold on.

These days, my sledgehammers have names. Linda Clay. Jessa Hargrove. Not to mention my daughter and a few of the friends who’ve been around to watch this process unfold, and who are kind enough to keep their “I told you so’s” to themselves, but believe me, I can hear you thinking them (and you know who you are!).

The people who support us in getting past the fears, excuses, and wallowing aren’t necessarily gentle, because it’s not what we need. They support us like steel girders encased in concrete, but they don’t let us get away with anything which thwarts our forward progress; our achievement of those dreams that have our eyes blazing with an internal fire, intense as the sun, and equally unquenchable. They know, often from experience the journey isn’t for the weak of heart, so gentleness won’t give us the strength we need to walk through our own personal fires and emerge relatively unscathed on the other side, tough as tempered steel.

Dream Fulfillment is Only the Beginning

When we do reach the other side we know one journey may have ended, but somewhere along the way, another one began, and we won’t have time to rest or reflect before we have to pick up our newly stocked virtual backpack and take up the next challenge. It’s a funny thing about dreams. As soon as we get close, we add more pieces; they become more grandiose. Once we take the first major steps, we don’t really want the journey to end, so we keep adding destinations. Why not? Life should be an adventure. We were not born to sit back and watch it pass us by on the screens of our TV’s or computers.

For me, the dream began with the desire to be a writer. My genre was the broad field of Fantasy. Since I stopped denying my dream, I’ve finished the first draft of a memoir I couldn’t not write. I’ve drafted 3 fantasy novels and revised one so far. And I’ve resurrected a children’s story I wrote for my daughters 26 years ago.

I’ve learned writing is only part of my dream, and even that is only for now. I want to make a difference in the world and eventually get my introverted self up onto a stage and share what I learned while writing that memoir. Let’s be clear. I want to change the world. Don’t you?

Fueling the Dreams With Copious Helpings of Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the encouragers, the mentors, the butt-kickers, and those who have always been there for me, even when my eyes were tightly shut.
  2. I am grateful for the flow of ideas which come simply by writing 3 pages longhand every morning, aka my Morning Pages.
  3. I am grateful for the people who are coming forward to support me in the latest iteration of my journey. I’m humbled, and honored to have them joining my journey.
  4. I am grateful for the friendships which are blossoming now that I’ve left the cold, dubious sanctuary of my own space and time. In some ways, I wish I’d known the value of a community sooner, and in others, I realize I appreciate it more for having lived differently for so long.
  5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, encouragement, mentors, family, dancing, joy, writing, sharing, purpose, baby steps, giant leaps of faith, influencers, living well, peace, health, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light


About the Author

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

January 18, 2015 What is decluttering, really? Expanding my scope and simplifying my life.

Learning to think outside my cluttered box.

Today was a new adventure. I ventured into my LinkedIn account and started looking at the companies and groups I’ve been following. ACK! I’d spent the last year reinventing myself as a writer, yet over half of my LinkedIn groups were still about Finance, Accounting, Contract Management and Government Contracting. Time for a purge! If I want to be seen as the writer I am, I need to stop hanging with the counters of beans, even virtually.

Between the cracked pipe joint and subsequent re-flooding of the garage when I discovered, albeit belatedly, that the plumber had neglected to put the drain hose from the washing machine back into the laundry sink, the floor is now squeaky clean and much of the debris has been swept away. Even the kitchen floor, with its own share of the broken pipe flooding is rather the better for the experience. All of this flowing water made me realize that there is still much that I need to wash out of my life; much that needs a good purge, or maybe just a flush. (love these water references!)

I’ve discovered that our physical clutter is simply a physical representation of how we sit energetically.

There are times it would be nice to be able to just pull a plug and flush away all of the crap in our lives. We could let all of the unwanted detritus we accumulate through day to day living just spin down the drain and into some cosmic recycling plant. All of the emotional baggage we just can’t seem to part with; all of the hopes and dreams we never manifested and, in fact, found weren’t what we truly wanted; all of those crazy thoughts which fill up our brain but serve no purpose other than to take up space and make it difficult to retrieve the important things quickly. Those are the things we gather close to us and reflect in our outer environment.

Sure, cleaning up the outside is important, and it is not my intention to belittle the process. But just as the Universe steps in when we need to fix something in our lives, it can also do so subtly (or what it might consider subtly, given its inclination for head slaps!) by moving things around in our physical lives. If we pay attention, we’ll understand that this is a sign that we need to do some energetic and emotional house cleaning as well.

The last week or so has brought me a variety of reminders. I got flooded floors. I got a grumbly stomach which may or may not approve of what I’ve been eating. I’ve gotten days in a row when I needed to get up and moving more quickly than has been my usual. I even got some work I wasn’t expecting. But it all served to accomplish one thing. I need to get things out of the way before the real floodgates open. I need to get any bookwork that’s still hanging finished in the early part of this week (accounting stuff, that is) as I’m going to need the rest of the week to focus on what is truly important these days: writing and revising.

I’ve also committed to reviewing someone else’s children’s book and cleaning up mine for her review. Then, there’s the writers’ group I joined.  I need to clean up a chapter or two from “Sasha’s Journey” so I can submit that for critique! And if that wasn’t enough, I figured out a new angle for my book on suicide, and it, too, is clamoring for attention. Yet, today, I had a leisurely breakfast and finished up laundry. Not much more than that. OK, so I’m getting this post done early as I expect my creative brain to go gangbusters on my latest book tonight. Yes, I’m clearing the way in grand fashion. That can only mean one thing.

The Universe is gearing up to kick my butt into next September.

I can see it coming. I know what I have to do. The excitement is building in the pit of my belly. A launching is coming and I’m the vehicle. Yee Haw!

The good news is, I won’t be riding this monster wave alone. Rumor has it I’ll be in good company so I hope you’re doing your own clearing and have a very strong seat belt ready to fasten. Disney has yet to develop a ride that will compare to the one we’re about to take. When things finally slow down enough for us to catch our breath, we will have accomplished some wondrous deeds, indeed.

Guess there’s nothing left but to leave you with tonight’s gratitudes.
1. I am grateful for Universal head slaps and butt kicks.
2. I am grateful for the increased space in my head and home as I continue to organize and purge.
3. I am grateful for new opportunities which I might never have even considered without the aforementioned head slaps.
4. I am grateful for new friends, new people with new ideas, and new experiences.
5. I am grateful for abundance; clearing, cleaning, organizing, creating space, loving, writing, teaching sharing, encouraging, harmony, peace, friendship, health, inspiration and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

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