Feeling thankful

As so many of us do I’ve been reflecting on thankfulness and gratitude in honor of Thanksgiving.  Lately that always includes an especially strong feeling of appreciation for the friends I’ve made through this blog.

As I’ve pondered insights about being ahead of the curve in much of my thinking I’ve realized the great gift the Universe offered in nudging me to this blog and to finding others who are out there in the advance guard on compassion and peace and love.  I don’t know if some of you felt as much like you were out there alone and offering messages which fell on deaf ears but I sure did and having this group has meant the world to me.

So thanks my blogging pals, you add community and warmth to my life every day.

Something’s Calling?

Barbara Franken of Me, My Magnificent Self has invited a third round of posts on Awakening Experiences which will be made into another e-book. This entry is perhaps more about the next stage of my journey than awakening, but I see it as describing another step forward in awareness.

As indicated in my last post I’ve been sporadically contemplating “What’s next?”. The question crops up periodically as I’ve been tired of this healing thing for a long time and ready to move forward. But to what?

It’s not that I hang around constantly fretting over the future. But this whole journey started as a way for me to learn not only to live a happier life but to find a career path that felt like me after a lifetime of trying to please everyone else. I rarely liked the choices made for others and I’d lost any sense of who I was and what I wanted to do. So I do have an interest in moving forward.

I’ve joked many times, if I’d realized at the beginning the journey would lead me into so many deep hollows and twisty byways I probably wouldn’t have started. Along the way, the spiritual tools my early mentors handed me wound up adding spirituality to the journey; I admit it was not part of my original quest. The spiritual side leaves me aware there’s a flow and life is easier when you connect with it. And I keep getting glimpses — “knowing”– or flashes of insight about where the current is heading, so I’m trying to interpret and understand.

Called to Teach?

Early on writing felt like my calling and I spent a long time working on unlocking my inner writer. Something I did easily and naturally as a child and teenager eluded me. While I pursued the idea of writing fiction, various prescient teachers intertwined with insightful flashes of my own to suggest a different path.

In the mid-90’s, several of my spiritual teachers started dogging me about how they knew I’m a leader and here to teach. A couple of them bugged me periodically about getting out there and teaching. I could sense the core of truth in their reading of me but also had no idea what to teach nor, as it turned out, how to teach 🙂

Eventually I decided that maybe teaching through my writing answered the calling, got help creating a web site and started posting “Tips for the Spiritual Journey”. Which was fun to write but led nowhere, to no audience…

Called to Journey for Peace

Moving ahead to the mid -aughts, a friend with awesome right listening skills gently probed with ever more deepening questions until I realized I felt called to work for peace. Some time later my “Journey to Peace” class was formulated. I’d also been trying to teach some right speech classes.

Many of the people who took the classes said they got a lot out of it but I rarely drew more than 1-3 at a time. It took several years to learn enough about the rhythm and flow of teaching to structure the classes with a good mix of lecture and practice. But the classes were costing me more often than they made any money and I was reaching so few people it seemed pointless.*

In the meantime I’d developed my movement classes — which began purely as an aid to my own muscle issues — and taught yoga and my own movement stuff to the same pitiful results. The efforts reached a point where almost simultaneously the unwinding muscles in my head reached a debilitating pinnacle and I threw in the towel on teaching classes.

Somewhere in the midst of that, I wound up guided to start this blog and thought perhaps it was my teaching path. And then when I collected a crowd of lovely folks who already know what I’m teaching but didn’t seem to reach anyone else, I gave up thinking of the blog as the conduit for teaching.

Ahead of the curve

Several years ago I had a breakthrough three-hour session with local healer Osunnike. One of the most profound moments I didn’t completely understand at the time, except that it was key and I’ve kept coming back to it.

In my memory she actually stopped for a moment when she picked up on this piece but it may have just felt so important to me that I ceased noticing her ongoing healing. Suddenly she started telling me she could see how far ahead of the curve I am on a lot of things and how hard it is for me to be trying to get it out there when most people don’t understand my message. She sensed great loneliness and sadness that few were understanding what I could see clearly. And she told me the day was coming when people would be ready to hear me.

At the time I was working on getting my movement classes out there and feeling this area wasn’t ready for it, so I asked if that was what she meant. She said it was only a part of it; there were many ways in which my teaching at the time was ahead of general understanding. I wasn’t sure I understood, partly because calling myself “ahead of the curve” sounded arrogant or beyond where I could see myself at the time.

When I wrote about the experience I didn’t say much about that piece of it because I needed time to let it sink in and to understand it better. Lately, as the muscles blocking my third eye have been opening, I’m getting more flashes of “knowing” and moments of sudden insight.

Among the insights I’ve been sensing: (1) the bigger part of what Osunnike meant referred to my efforts on what it takes to move toward peace; and (2) my writing here about peace and some of the things I’ve been trying to say about women in my women’s issues series will soon be understood and this long spell of feeling like an unheard failure will be over.

Near the time of these insights, I spoke to fellow blogger Linda, of litebeing chronicles and she mentioned my writings on peace. She told me she follows lots of blogs on spiritual topics but nowhere else did she see a discussion of peace quite like mine. And she encouraged me to writing about it. It dovetailed with my growing sense of being “out there” in what I’m saying. But I could also see if I keep on writing then when people are ready to hear this, a big body of work will already be there for them.

All of this has me contemplating the blog again and ruminating on peace and what we can do from here. I’m seeing this as fulfilling the teaching path so many mentors foresaw long ago. And connecting Osunnike’s insights to the “leader” part of their insights. The threads of teaching and writing joining the thread of thinking ahead of the curve…

Right now I’m just still moving through the last stage of the healing journey. Impatient, obviously 🙂 But I like the sense of direction as I flow toward the next phase. Maybe the exact place I’ve been meant to head all along?


*A few students have told me the class affected them deeply and continues to be an impact so I also reflect on the possibility those few were the only ones I was meant to teach at the time…

November blogging so far

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In case the title didn’t tip it off, yup, this is totally a filler post.  Even set it up ahead of time and had to come back to put the links in.  But, hey, it counts right?

The first posts for NanoPoblano/NaBloPoMo went up on the other blogs.

For Scribblings, there’s a Share Your World challenge and then a Weekly Photo Challenge post.

On the Wizard101 blog I whined about how long and tiresome the upper level worlds are…  If you don’t play the game I’m sure it’ll be riveting anyway

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NaBloPoMo/NanoPoblano time again

Okay, we’ve hit that time once more.  November.  The month of crazy writing challenges, whether it’s 50,000 words of a novel or blogging every day or churning out poetry…  Every time I thought about the blogging challenge in October I put off making a decision (I gave up on the novel one several years ago and I don’t write poetry).

When I saw the posts this last week about signing up to be part of Ra’s NanoPoblano group again, I hesitated.  But I finally decided to jump in for the third time.  Or at least start the month with that intention 😕

Same as the last two years, I’m saying I’ll post on at least one of the three blogs every day.  There will probably be more on the other two than here.  The Scribblings blog is where I post some easy challenges, recipes, and photo posts, all of which are simpler to churn out on a regular basis.  And on the Wizard101 blog I try to post at least a couple a week since it’s the primary platform for selling my guide to the game.

Some days I’ll probably post links here to the pieces I’ve done on the other blogs.  I’m kind of a night owl, so sometimes the post for the day will go up before midnight on the night before, sometimes after.  In other words this will be a drifting and floating month, with posts popping up on different blogs and the date for each may or may not be on the day for which the post is intended.  Got all that 🙂 ???

Whew.  Opening day, done.  Okay, here we go…….

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Five Years!

English: Independence Day fireworks, San Diego.

July 4  fireworks, San Diego. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Got the notice yesterday from WordPress informing me I’ve been blogging for FIVE years!  Somehow I’m always mentally subtracting a year or two so each time the number of the anniversary comes as a surprise.

I’ve been connected to some of you for nearly that whole time.  And many of you for a large portion of it.  And I’ve so treasured these friendships and the wisdom you share in your posts and in your comments on mine.

Thanks so much everybody!

Updates and musings…

The Holistic Approach of Alternative Medicine ...

The Holistic Approach of Alternative Medicine symbolized by the aura of man. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several weeks have now passed since I decided to take a blogging break while contemplating how to go forward.  I’ve wound up in another round of unwinding, not sleeping and being too dazed to accomplish much so I’ve reached no firm conclusions.

But I am really clear that I’m glad I eliminated a bunch of blog subscriptions and have been pretty cavalier about which blogs I do and don’t read.  It’s been a huge relief to spend so much less time on slogging through blogs.

As far as my faves, you’ve probably not noticed much difference because I still read and like and comment on your lovely blogs. There a lot of folks I follow who are rarely getting a look from me.  Generally means (1) they don’t ever interact with me in a way that lets me know they’re engaged and/or (2) they sometimes have great posts but aren’t consistently interesting to me and/or (3)  what I can see on the Reader hasn’t grabbed my attention enough to get me to read more.  Saving all that time has felt SO freeing!

I haven’t been writing as much, more because of the debilitating muscle/sleep issues than any intent to not be writing.  The good news on the muscle front is that I’ve hit another one of those new levels of open that feels wondrous — who knew a face could feel this good?  Not done yet though.  Based on what I feel so far, it must feel amazing to have a completely relaxed face.

I have been working a bit, on the Wizard game blog, at spacing out publishing when I work on several ideas at once and I’m liking the way that keeps things going over time.  It takes some pressure off of the no-ideas times if I’ve spread out the scheduling of posts in the moments when I’m full of topics and words.  So I am committed to playing with that.

I definitely plan to keep J2P Monday going. I’m teetering about Collective Prayer Sunday…  I also want to start an ongoing series of posts about my long healing journey, including observations about western medicine vs. alternative medicine, combined with a general look at the relationship between physical and spiritual healing.  Don’t much like having a particular day on which I’m committed to posting, so they’ll just appear sporadically.

So, at the end of the first week of the new year that’s my story.  And I’m sticking to it.  At least until another moment brings another story 🙂

What’s my blogging goal?

london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/08/bloggi...

london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/08/blogging-from-ori… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I’ve contemplated my future in blogging, I’ve found myself wondering what it is I want out of it.  I’ve realized that some of my early goals are not going to come to pass–were probably not even part of the reason I was called to blog–and it’s time to let them go.  And that the process has led me to several outcomes I cherish.

REFINING AND DEEPENING MY JOURNEY

Every time I stop to reflect on my latest insights or to put my beliefs and my journey into words, I deepen my own understanding of this spiritual journey.  Every time I choose where to put my focus as I write a post, I support my intention to be peace, to be healthy and whole.

Because of the blog, I constantly examine my journey and my beliefs, looking for words of wisdom to share.  Now, I’m pretty deeply into self-examination so some of that would happen anyway.  But there’s an extra something that happens as part of choosing to write about my thoughts and share my insights.  It keeps me more mindful and aware.

For instance, as I’ve written my series of posts about using the ho’oponopono prayer*, I’ve become far more conscious of the many times and ways every day I can use it to heal myself and everything I see as a problem in the world.  I started with awareness of the prayer but only sporadically remembered to use it and I now say it many times a day.

FINDING A VOICE

I’d been writing “insights” and putting them up on a web site for some time before blogs were even a thing and eventually wove them into a book that’s still sitting here.  Although a recent re-read/edit of the book showed it to be better than I remembered, in general I felt like the insights I posted were stilted and pedantic.

Before I started blogging, shorter and pithier little essays started forming in my head regularly.  Exploring that in meditation I was told to start a blog.  I barely knew what a blog was but I researched, found WordPress and voila.

As I wrote these pieces I kept an eye on length and have maintained an intention to be succinct and keep it brief, though the average length has grown from my original attempt at 300-400 words.  Over time my writing style became more conversational and less formal and I found myself liking the things I wrote much better than I liked those older pieces.

I suspect that finding my voice as a writer was a big piece of the inner nudge to start a blog.

COMMUNITY: LOVE REACHING AROUND THE WORLD

The biggest unexpected surprise of blogging has been the great community of blogging friends I’ve found.  Every day I spend an hour or two absorbed in the deep journeys and thoughts of spiritual bloggers around the world and every day I feel the energy of our love and peace reaching out to enfold the earth.

I’ve gotten to meet a couple of bloggers and hope to meet many more.  The bloggers with whom I regularly interact inspire me, teach me, lead me to explore every day.  It’s hard to express how greatly I value what I receive from being part of this community.

WHAT IT’S NOT DOING

Since I’d finished my book not that long before I started blogging, my mind decided I’d been led to this in order to create my “platform” so I could show agents and publishers my big following and get the book launched.  The blog has certainly grown, but very slowly and I’ve finally realized that spiritual blogging is unlikely to provide me the kind of numbers I’d need to convince the publishing industry I can produce sales.

Over these years I’ve noticed that generally (by no means in all cases), spiritual blogs with big numbers tend to have an established name attached, whether of an institution (say, Tricycle) or a person (i.e. Wayne Dyer).  Unlike mainstream blogging, where great travel photos, parenting advice, recipes or snarkiness can “go viral” and draw big numbers, the spiritual journey of an unknown (i.e. not famous) person is unlikely to draw tens of thousands of followers.

I’ve tried to participate in popular “challenges” and events like NaBloPoMo, etc. but I’ve found that generally my blog doesn’t turn out to be the cup of tea for the mainstream bloggers who are the majority I encounter.  And I often have trouble bending prompts to fit the topic of spiritual journey (Sreejit is a big exception with his prompts that invite deep exploration — thanks so much!) as they’re generally not designed for inner searching or metaphysical thinking. I put in a lot of time and energy to participate and rarely grow my numbers by enough to justify it.

While musing about blogging I suddenly realized it’s time to let go of “platform building” as a goal.  The benefits of blogging have not been about the numbers but about the inner growth, the writing practice and the wonderful friends I’ve made.  By letting go of the underlying desire to see my stats going up, I think I can let go of a lot of time put in on activities I don’t especially like and just participate for the deeper, more valuable gifts I receive.


*For a post with versions of the prayer see here.  You can also click the Journey2Peace link at the top of the page and find many posts in recent months exploring this topic.