I’ve been struggling for a long time with the whole online presence thing and I notice very time I begin to stick my little head out from my shell, something comes up to remind me why I prefer not to be “out there.” In spite of this, I made a commitment to keep a blog about my vertigo and living with vertigo.
The truth is, I haven’t done what I thought I would do with that blog. It is factual and mostly impersonal. In other words, it was emotionally safe. Then a few weeks ago while the board members of the Wellness & Writing Connections organization were talking, I started thinking more deeply about the mission statement.
Wellness & Writing Connections provides a forum for the exchange of information about research, theory, practices and resources among people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. The resulting interdisciplinary synergy supports individuals who write toward wholeness, affirming that an intentional practice of creating and composing in words and images contributes to physical, mental, and spiritual health.Notice the last part: physical, mental, and spiritual health. Here is where I was lingering, thinking about what each of these things means to me.
In a way, one could argue that this blog, the one in which this post is appearing, is mostly about my intellectual experience what with the book reviews dominating. (Albeit, one could argue that the movie choices negate any hint of intellect whatsoever but let’s pretend my film choices are as interesting as my book choices.) There are occasional posts about family or, recently, Christmas trees.
But it doesn’t meet any of those three standards of our mission: physical, mental, spiritual. So let’s break this down a bit.
I have vertigo and am committed to writing about having vertigo, what this means in my life, etc. However, when I think of physical, I don’t think about “meaning” so much as the “gross matter” of being; in other words, I think about my body. I have a body blog in which I had hoped I would track my amazing discipline and weight loss success. Last year did not see success. In fact, if the goal was to lose weight (and it was) then what my blog showed was the exact opposite. Ouch!
I still saw some success there. My tenacity. My commitment. I didn’t gain a pound or five or ten and just shrug it off. I sat down and tried to figure out why. I renewed my commitment to exercising, looked at other ways of losing weight, modified my diet, continued hoping, striving, researching. And in 2011 there will be a renewed commitment to updating that blog regularly with an added component which I hope will make it more interesting to read and relevant to the reader.
Here is where I think I may be making some more changes. I am considering moving all my reviews to a separate blog. The title of this blog is Satia’s Journal and I just don’t think that an endless series of reviews qualifies as journaling. And if I do that, what will happen here, in this blog?
Therein lies the crux of my dilemma because it goes against my locking myself in a shell. So I am meditating on these things, the mission statement and my less than stellar past blogging experiences. If I recognize that the other blog is mostly intellectual, an academic approach to writing and its benefits, and I move my reviews for other people’s writing to a different blog then that leaves this blog for . . . . what?
Yes, a small voice said, “What about your spiritual life?”
What about it? I am at a very distinct cross-roads with my spiritual path, so much so that I don’t know if one could be more diverse and even disparate. I have always protected my spirituality in my online presence, assuming that anyone who was determined to know what I believed could get some sense of my spiritual growth from looking at my reading choices. Yes, I realize that there is some conflict between one book in relation to another. That is where I am spiritually–conflicted.
You know how sometimes you’ll be wondering “Should I or shouldn’t I?” and something or someone will come along and, without saying so, give you a resounding “Yes” or “No”?
That happened to me. I had just finished reading Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life and I was considering how lovely it would be to explore compassion more fully, to dig into the idea of loving-kindness as taught in Buddhism, to meditate more fully on Quan Yin and Karuna, and maybe, just maybe, sharing some of these things in my blog, in this blog.
Then my mother and I talked yesterday, sharing about our perfectly lovely holidays and about the approaching new year. She said she was sending me (and two of her friends) a book by Sharon Salzberg about loving kindness because this is something she wants to focus upon in the coming year and she thought that by enlisting others into reading the book along with her there would be an accountability.
Of course I could feel the confirmation of my own thoughts on dedicating 2011 to more than just reading women’s books and how synchronicity works in surprising and lovely (loving) ways. Then she said it:
“And I thought this would give you something to journal about.”
So there you go. I don’t need a piano to fall on me to get the point. If I am meditating on something in my heart and then a rather random convergence occurs and before I know it I am swept away. Or, let’s be honest, it all falls flat. Others will resonate and affirm what I am thinking and jump into the pool with me only to jump back out, dry off, and walk away, leaving me alone, swimming aimlessly, trying to make sense of how I ended up here, of all places.
Like here, in this blog, writing about blogging. How the hell did I end up here?
Well, that’s another story for another day. In the meantime, we are here now and with 2011 just around the corner, now is as good a time as any to say that there are changes coming and I am going to try to share more deeply some of the things that are pressing on my heart. The reviews will be moved to a new blog and I will be updating my body blog with information about vertigo. The Reiki related content will remain here because that will probably be tied in with my meditation practice and other spiritual experiences. However, it may shift over to the body blog. We’ll see. And my thoughts on writing and wellness, which I have not been putting into words very often lately, will begin showing up in my wellbeing blog. There will be some confluence, no doubt and I would be surprised if some of what I write in one blog doesn’t inform the content of another.
The three branches of health mentioned in the mission statement (physical, mental, spiritual) is a good basis of “what” I am focusing upon and the various blogs allow space for each without flooding one blog with too many posts. If you want to know how I’m doing with my weight loss, if you want to encourage me by holding me accountable or sharing your own day-to-day (or week-to-week) experiences with exercise and food, etc., then you can read that blog and if you are curious about what I’m reading you can follow the review blog.
As I said, I’ll likely have some confluence, times of cross-posting or referring one post to another. It is my intention that I will post a monthly summary of all blog posts here, perhaps on a separate page. I would like to commit to that but I tend to forget things. (Now that I’ve put it into writing, however, I will be less likely to forget and I invite you to send me a reminder.) If I can remember to post summaries, it won’t be necessary to follow all the blogs. You can pick and choose. Want to know more about the latest research on writing, how narrative medicine and poetry therapy are being used to help heal, and about vertigo? Then read this blog. Want to commiserate on body issues, talk about menopause and self-image, curious to know how I live with vertigo and struggle to lose weight? Read this blog. Want to know what it is I recently read and what my thoughts are about this endless pile of books I have at hand or just want to see what I’ve been seeing lately? Read this blog.
I’ve a feeling that all of this will result in something else altogether. More poetry. More creative writing. What home will this writing find? I’d rather not create a separate blog. It’s possible I’ll add a page somewhere in this blog or another, where I share rough drafts or works in progress, to be rotated regularly. Depending on the speed with which I write, this could be a monthly cycle or only a seasonal one. Or it might be bi-weekly. I just know from past experience that when I begin to explore things more deeply, other things are stirred, that one thing leads to another.
I know I am not along in this, that 2011 holds a great deal of promise for us all. Change is inevitable and, for me and my blogging, there are many changes coming. I hope to see you there or here or both.
If nothing else, I think I can honestly say that you won’t have to face more blog posts that are this long in the new year. But I won’t promise.