Category: Life online
You are allowed to unfollow the people who make you feel bad,
the ones who curate their lives like interior design magazines,
whose day never seems to be filled with the
dirty dishes of your reality.
You are allowed to unfollow the old school friend
who’s busy repopulating the world
while you wonder if you’ll ever find love again and
listen to the sound of your ovaries going mouldy.
You are allowed to ignore the quick-fix merchants who
offer ten reasons why your life doesn’t work
and then tell you how to fix it
if you buy their program today! Click here!
You are allowed to unsubscribe from the emails that
clutter your inbox. To ignore the teleseminars
and free trainings and video secrets and offerings
that never seem to teach you anything new.
You are allowed to boycott the blogs that trigger
the shit out of you. You know the ones.
Instead, you are allowed to sink back into your
own wise counsel. To make the space for your own
desires and dreams to dance and delight,
no longer distracted by the comparisons and competitions.
You are allowed to be still.
To be quiet.
To just be.
* wrote this for me… thought you might appreciate it too.
I sometimes forget how vulnerable blogging can make us feel; I’ve been doing it for so long it’s become a muscle I guess I take for granted. As I watch my current Blogging from the Heart group take flight with their own blogs and sharings, I’m reminded that it can be scary to put our thoughts and feelings into words for others to read. That we get choked up with perfectionism and wonder who we think we are to do something so daring. We want others to like our words and for connections to grow. We’re hungry to be seen just as we’re shy when people see us.
I still get nervous about certain posts. This post I wrote earlier in the year was raw and straight out of my disappointed heart, and it took a lot of courage to leave it online when all i wanted to do was take it down the next morning. I still remember the posts from the past that were turning points in my healing. And there are plenty of others that no longer exist on this blog, deigned not good enough and deleted out of space and time.
I tell my BFTH peeps that a blog is a constant work-in-progress, a space that’s never finished. How often do we get to create a place that’s just for us, an online home we can change and evolve as we ourselves change and evolve. Last week I showed them screengrabs* of older versions of my blog so they could see how it has developed over the years — and, frankly, to reassure them that we all start somewhere. I’ve loved every incarnation of this space, and if i’m honest I sometimes miss the simplicity of my first Blogger blog. Blogging felt simpler back then — I had absolutely no expectations for it. I wrote my feelings out onto my computer and put them online. It was such a release, such a joy to be able to get it out while I was still reeling from my bereavement. And then people came and said hello – the community feel was like it is today but on a much smaller scale. There were no ecourses, no advertising, no Facebook, no Twitter. Flickr was the new kid on the block and figuring out how to upload a new banner onto my blog remains one of my greatest tech achievements :)
So as I looked at my old blog designs last week I felt such tenderness for the beginning blogger I was. The links in the sidebars reminded me of the blogs I used to visit (some of them I still do; others no longer exist) and the people who have come in and out of my online world. But most of all, I remembered what it felt like to be sitting at my desk with a cigarette in my hand and those first blog posts pouring out of me. It feels like a lifetime ago, and yet, as I make my plans to move back to London nearly eight years after I left, it could have been yesterday.
Time doesn’t really have any meaning any more. I think when we write a blog we’re really making a time machine for ourselves.
Ink on my fingers, April 2006 – view full sized here
Ink on my fingers, August 2006 – view full sized here
Ink on my fingers, November 2009 – view full sized here
*hat tip to Kelly Rae for finding this fantastic site
My friend Andrea launched her gorgeous new site, Superhero Life, today and to celebrate she put the call out asking us a question:
What’s your superpower?
There are many things I feel i’m pretty good at, but the one trait that seems to be infused through everything I do is… truth-telling.
I had a few moments when I was writing the book when I worried that I was sharing too much. When I wrote about the stuff I wasn’t proud of — failed friendships, family difficulties — or embarassed by — anecdotes about my body were particularly hard to share — I wondered if I was going to regret being so open, laying it all out for public consumption. I have absolutely no idea why I share the way i do — it just feels very natural to do it. As I wrote about recently, i don’t share everything, but truthfulness comes up in my work again and again.
You want to talk about grief? I’ll tell you everything I felt and experienced. PMS? Easy peasy. Why being single for eight years is actually rather hard? Bring it on. That I rarely shave my legs? Done.
One of the most challenging side-effects of our 24/7 access to others on the internet is how easy it is to think that “everyone else” has a perfect life. We can curate our lives in social media, showing the bestest shiny parts and editing out all the less-than-stellar moments. Who hasn’t scrolled through their Facebook feed and thought shit, everyone else’s lives are so awesome and mine is so boring. I only have to glance at my Twitter feed on the wrong day to feel like an absolute failure. <—- truth.
Sometimes I have to unfollow people on Instagram because their photos/lives are so photogenic and fabulous I end up feeling crap about my little single existence. <—- more truth.
But then I also know that others may look at my Instagram feed and think it’s all rainbows and unicorns over here in Conwayland. It’s not. Some days are really great. Some days just plain suck. You know — a normal life :) On the sucky days I tend not to post any images to Instagram, or post anything to social media at all. Maybe that’s letting the side down, somehow, I don’t know. I just try to get the balance right between being truthful and moaning.
So yeah… truth-telling. Lately I’ve been feeling the urge to do even more of it here on this blog.
But I won’t be posting photos of my unshaved legs on Instagram. <—- the truth to end all truths.
What’s your superpower?
On this day, six years ago, I sat at my computer and wrote my very first blog post. I remember doing it so clearly. It was a time in my life when I was still smoking, still drinking too much wine, still grieving. It’s one of the best things I have ever done for myself. It started all of this…
For the last six weeks I’ve been teaching Blogging from the Heart, and as I’ve encouraged my wonderful students to share more and more of themselves on their blogs, I’ve been feeling the urge to do the same. That was how I started on April 12th 2006 with a basic Blogger blog and the desire to share. So much of my healing work has happened in this space, sharing my thoughts and feelings as I figured out how to navigate a world that had changed beyond all recognition. And i remember thinking how much “easier” life would be once I’d “moved through” my grief, not knowing that that was just the beginning. That’s why I bang on about unravelling being a lifelong thing we do — peeling back the layers, growing new ones, enriching our understanding of ourselves and our lives. There is always more to learn and experience. New loves to find, old loves to kiss goodbye. Discoveries to be made alone and in relationship with others. The past to excavate. The future to manifest.
It’s the fourth month of the year and I’m discovering if you put a request out to the universe you will get opportunities to test exactly how brave you really are. Things will happen to prepare you for what’s coming down the line. There’s some strange kind of magic happening that first started back when Noah was born. I can feel it around me and it’s uncomfortable at times, but I also know I asked for this. For growth and change. For forward movement. For more.
I’ve been released from my cocoon and now I’m ready for the next adventure. I’m going out every morning to walk round the park, coming home sweaty to lift weights and do stretches. I’m driving better and more confidently with every lesson — I don’t even recogise myself these days. I feel like a tween, stuck in that in-between stage of the before and after, knowing I am about to fly and impatient for my wings to dry.
I keep telling myself it’s all to play for, and then I look for where I left my invisible crown. Damn thing keeps falling off.
Thank you for accompanying me on this ride for the last six years. This space means more to me than I can put into words.