Many years ago I found myself quite lost. Adrift in the sea of confusion that was my twenties. When we meditate, when we do yoga, when we do anything to heal our mind, body and spirit connection, miracles can happen.
The modern mystic is alive in everyone.
It is anyone who is looking for the magical in the mundane; anyone trying to carve peace out of chaos or a little solitude from our interactive, overly “updated” lives; anyone who has simply sighed and said, “When can I just BE?”
You have escaped the cage. Your wings are stretched out. Now, fly.
I had been feeling caged. So very caged for quite some time. But no more. This year, year 40 of my life, marks the the beginning of a new journey. Inward, upward and outward. I won’t be stopped.
My word this year was Open. As in, I am Open. Open heart, open mind, open to ideas, abundance, blessings… ridicule, judgement, criticism? Being open is a tall order. Keeping an open mind and heart is not always easy for sensitive types like me. Sometimes I wonder, why did I sign up for this? Why the big quest? Why couldn’t I just be one of those people who gets up, goes to work at the office and then comes home and watches Grey’s Anatomy on the couch, or whatever. Do people still watch Grey’s Anatomy?
I think if I am to progress on this journey, and I am on a journey, then I must be Open and take risks. Most of the time when I am brave enough to do this people will come to me and say they thought they were the only ones who felt this way. Being open means making connections. But being empathic, I have to connect carefully. I have finally learned (finally!) that I am prone to accidentally sucking up other people’s emotions and negative vibrations. I can now hear what you have to say, share my thoughts and feelings in a way I hope leaves you relieved, happy, at peace or inspired, and then after parting ways, merrily go on with my life. Without having to lie down afterward. Without getting a “people hangover”.
Usually I like to keep myself at an even keel. I try to stay calm, be zen, not overreact. The problem is this is NOT my natural state of being. I am sensitive and emotional creature prone to, shall we say, meltdowns here and there. It sucks sometimes, crying in supermarkets when choosing birthday cards, or having giggle attacks during the childrens’ school assemblies at inappropriate moments. I can’t help it. I just FEEL a lot.
My friend’s son is in high school and considering becoming a writer. She asked me my thoughts on this as we waited for our daughters to finish basketball practice.
The question of whether or not to become a writer is a complicated one not easily answered over lukewarm tea sipped from commuter mugs in the atrium of a community centre. This is because I think being a writer is something you just are. If you are a writer, you can’t not be one. Whether or not you find a way to make it your profession is one thing, but not writing is quite another.
I flashed back to my own 17-year-old self. A moderate insomniac, voracious reader, hopeless romantic and obsessive writer. I would fill notebooks, journals, reams of looseleaf, several of those diaries with little gold locks and keys and in some cases, napkins or scraps of paper. I had to write because I couldn’t not write. I was miserable if I didn’t write everyday. If only I could have bottled some of that creative gusto to crack open now that I am a mildly frazzled, constantly distracted, perpetually sleepy working mother of two.
This just in: A writer and a blogger are NOT the same thing. At all.
If you’ve never blogged before, you probably assume you just bang out a cute little post using your creative writing skills, hit the “Post” button and call it a day, right? Wrong! Writing is quite possibly the smallest part of the blogging process. Oh dear! For a writer who actually loves writing this is not good news. Writers want to write, not concern themselves with platforms, hashtags, SEOs, advertising, affiliates, categories, Facebook, Pinterestable and Instagrammable images, tweeting and the list goes on and on and on in the most exhausting fashion.
Bloggers seem to lament the writing process, calling their work “content”, complaining about how time consuming it is to generate it. I’ve seen countless articles on how to generate content faster, how to make your blog posts as short and sweet as possible, even articles on how to how-to. The writing is somewhat of an inconvenience for them, one more thing to get through before they sit before their Dashboards- the blinking inner workings of their blog- full of things called Jetpacks and plug-ins and widgets- stretch their fingers like a concert pianist and get to the posting, tweeting, pinning and instagramming, re-tweeting, re-posting, following, liking, sharing and commenting. This is the part bloggers relish, where they truly shine, and the part where the writers just want to check out, take a nap, pour a drink and get serious about procrastinating. Writers be like, Really?
Writers, like myself, want to lose themselves in the writing. They are daydreamers and romantics and dilly-dalliers. And I say this with the tenderest love and deepest respect because I am that. We don’t think staring out the window or at a freshly-cut bloom on our desks while waiting for the muse is a waste of time. We can’t and won’t rush our words. Each word is important; each word matters. We are artists and words are our medium. We lose ourselves in an imaginary world we created, diving down and only coming up for air to reheat our tea or pick up our kids from school in somewhat of a daze. Is it 2:30 already??
I do want to write and grow and make connections through what I’ve written. Unfortunately, for this little writer, this is where blogging and social media become super important. I’ve been blogging for a while, but I’ve been doing it all wrong, apparently. I have a few social media accounts. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, but none of them are connected or synched or Hoot-Suited. They are all just randomly floating around out there in the cyberverse. No one knows who I am as a writer or a blogger. But if I want to do the kind of writing I like to do, which is like spinning a spiritual spider web of love and support for women, then I am going to have to put myself out there using those tools.
And so it seems, to write, we must blog, and to blog we must learn all the technical stuff and embrace social media. On the upside the whole thing is making the act of sitting down to work on my novel seem like a real treat. It’s pure writing! Just sit down with the notebook or laptop and write.
And while I am learning more about these tools and techniques, I will also be learning more about blogging itself, how to take this thing to the next level and branding myself. Shudder.
This will be the summer of social media for me. Learning about it, experimenting with it, and finally unveiling a plan I have yet to concoct for my online presence. I’m trying really hard not to grimace or cry. I’m going to be brave and not quit. (Oh, how I sometimes want to quit!)
Look for me! I’ll probably be the one accidentally posting my boudoir photographs instead of my buddha photographs. ♥