Tag Archives: Blogging

Reverb 14 and December Reflections

smileselfieThis morning I put the finishing touches on the Self-Compassion Saturday ebook. If you’ve been keeping score, that project ended one year ago. The ebook is something I’ve been planning to get done for a long time, had promised. I kept setting the intention, a goal, committing to a specific finish date, and that would pass and it still wouldn’t be done. First I thought I’d get it done that first Winter Break, but I was so worn out from the year before and we were getting ready for a new puppy so I decided to take it easy on myself. Then I thought it would be complete before we left for summer vacation, but with a new puppy and me starting yoga teacher training, there was just too much going on. Then I thought I’d finish it before I went back to work in the fall, but the puppy and the training were still so much harder than I’d imagined. Then I decided for sure I’d get it done by the end of the year, trying not to cringe that it would be a whole year later, so late. All of it was a great exercise in self-compassion — I would fail, not beat myself up for it, and begin again.

But in this case done was more like almost done. As I wrapped it up this morning, I realized I would have to go to my CSU office to convert the file to a PDF, and there certainly will be issues with the conversion that I’ll have to address before it’s done, done. Then there’s emailing it to the women involved, and announcing and putting it up on the blog. There are still things to do, but it feels good to be finally this close.

Part of the hold up was that there was another book that wanted to be written. Because it’s about my self-compassion journey, I couldn’t figure out if it was part of this ebook. I kept getting the two confused. In my bewildered state, I couldn’t find my way in, figure out how to start. On retreat with Susan Piver recently, I finally came to some understanding. I wrote the opening of that other book and realized what it was, what it wanted to say, that it was its own thing, another beast altogether. In that way, I was released, able to focus on the ebook without distractions. Plus I had the time off work, the space in my schedule.

Vacation is a difficult place for me. Vacation means time away from my CSU work but not much time away from working, from doing. It’s the time when there is room in my days to be able to focus on all the other things that normally have to wait, get overlooked or ignored. That’s everything from working on a book to cleaning out my closets to taking the occasional nap. For example, I signed up for an online dog training class this summer, and even though it was only five weeks long, we were given access to the materials for six months. That time is almost up, and my plan was to go through them over Winter Break, to collect the information I wanted to save and apply it, spend some extra time working with Sam and Ringo. The desire to do so is tangled up with guilt over the money I spent and have thus far “wasted,” and shame about how “untrained” my dogs are.

vacationcouchingIn the last few days, I’ve been considering the fact that I might need to just let the whole thing go, to give myself a break. It might be time to admit that the expectation I could have perfectly trained dogs by the end of a two week break, along with everything else I did and was planning to do, is a tad unrealistic. I can’t do everything. That might seem obvious, but I struggle with accepting it.

I got an annual blogging report from WordPress yesterday. Apparently I started off 2014 by blogging 34 days straight. I’m ending the year by doing almost the same thing, having blogged almost every day in December, sometimes posting twice. Today is the second to last day for Reverb 14 and December Reflections. I’ve done most of the prompts for both, blogging and posting pictures to Instagram, but when I read the prompts for today, I just couldn’t find the energy I needed to make the effort. This voice in me said “I don’t wanna, do I have to?” and was followed by the glorious realization: no, if I don’t want to, I don’t have to.

So there.

It’s My 3rd Blogiversary!

Way back in the beginning

Way back in the beginning

Three years ago today, I wrote my first blog post. I titled it “Beginning,” and talked about a fortune from a cookie that is still, three years later, taped to my computer monitor: “Begin…the rest is easy.” In that first post, I talked about the difficulty of starting, the sadness I felt about how long I’d been stuck, and how it was that I finally woke up — stopped waiting for something to happen and happened.

So much has changed in three years. Dexter got cancer and died, some really painful and pretty awful family stuff happened (things I haven’t shared here because they aren’t my stories to tell), we got Sam and then we got Ringo (my echo dogs), my job at CSU continued to change shape, I went into therapy for my disordered eating, I traveled, I essentially did a second Master’s degree with a curriculum of my own making (ecourses, videos, lectures, books, workshops, and retreats), I found my voice, I found my tribe, I shared my writing in other spaces as well as here, I became a certified yoga teacher, and I got really clear about what I want, what I have to offer.

Just yesterday was a really good example of how different my life is now, three years later. I spent the morning meditating and writing, an interview I did with Andrea Scher for her Morning Mantras class went live (we talked about “No mud, no lotus”), I finished a project at CSU that my department chair said was “one of the most stunning things I have seen,” telling me “I think you’re a genius,” and an open love letter I wrote to Cheryl Strayed that I’d posted…well, she read it and tweeted me about it.

cherylstrayedtweet

Blogging has given me so much. As I’ve put in the effort, focus, and time, it has returned to me:

  • A tribe of like-minded people making similar efforts and supporting mine, connection and community
  • Kind and gentle readers
  • My own voice — clarity about my truth, a direct relationship with my experience, a way to work with my story
  • Confidence, as Susan Piver describes it, “the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment”
  • The opportunity to share my work in other spaces
  • A public place to practice, which provides accountability and acceptance

Three years has always been a magic number for me. Any time I make a shift, a transition, a move, a change, I know that it will take me three years to get comfortable with it, to settle in. This has always been true for me. The same is so with blogging. I’m comfortable and confident now. I feel like I know what I’m doing, and I can do it with relative ease — I’ve got this.

When I think a little bit ahead, I see a clear path. I don’t mean there are no obstacles, but rather I know where I’m going, feel like I can find where I am on the map, have the right equipment and supplies and support necessary to reach my goal. My most immediate intentions are to finish my Self-Compassion Saturday ebook, begin the real work of putting together the other book I’ve been carrying around, make other offerings, (such as ecourses, in person workshops, classes, and retreats), settling even deeper into my practices, taking the first steps towards becoming a meditation instructor and possibly a coach, and continuing to heal in the places where I’m suffering or stuck. And always, always continuing to blog about my efforts to transform, to rehab my life, to ease suffering in myself and the world.

I’m so grateful to you, kind and gentle reader. Whether you are new here or have been with me the whole three years, your loving witness to my story means so much to me. I adore you.