Returning to Imperfection
Warning: This blog post will be quite different. If one of these things is not like the others, I'm spoiling the surprise: This one is it. And it doesn't include a single picture.
I have no plans for this one, no deeper messages, no images that spurred a story. Usually, that means I don't write. And therein lies the problem, and the reason for this rambling post.
Over the years of blogging, I learned many things about the craft. I started out just sharing personal stories, assuming only my mom and a few friends I'd enthuastically contacted would be reading. (Hi mom!)
Over the months, and back when Google Friend Connect was still in use, I'd get giddy when I saw an unknown face pop up who started following my little blog. I became obsessed. The first year, I remember telling my husband that my goal was to, "get 10 followers by Christmas". (I succeeded. Primarily by persuading him to become one of them.)
As I started getting a bit more serious about blogging, even being fancy and changing templates every now and then, the posts that I shared started to be a bit less personal and a bit more informational. I'm honored to say that I've never taken my honest perspectives out of anything that I've written - just that the posts themselves became less about what I'd done with the kids that day and more about parenting in general.
I'll shorten the story a bit for you: When I decided that this whole online writing / blogging thing was something to which I wanted to commit, suddenly I felt the need to get serious. You know that type of serious - buckle down, no giggling, do-it-whether-you-want-to-or-not type serious.
I read and took classes on how to write online, how to best use social media for promoting, how to make money blogging, how to format a post, the best titles to use for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), keywords and tags, when and how often to post, how to make it about THEM, not you, how to promote without seeming promote-y, even what size and type of font to use to best reflect your message.
I learned all of that stuff, then imposed my own guidelines: I had to write things that were applicable to BeingBreath (or then, LifeUnity). I wanted there to be a message of sorts, something that the reader could take away and use in their own life instead of just learning about mine. I wanted each post to feel real, honest, and inspirational. (At that point, it probably would have added no more stress if I just said, "and I need each post to cause immediate enlightenment." )
To be fair, I did learn a lot of valuable rules. But as you've heard, rules are meant to be broken. I just forgot that last part.
So over the past several months, you might have noticed the schedule of blogging being a bit wonky.
My inner turmoil has been reflected on the screen. Sometimes, I'm in the groove. Three to five posts a week, all with fantastic photos, moving messages, and catchy titles. Those rules are my BFF. Sometimes, no post for two weeks. Some posts are short and poetic, some more long and rambling. (Case-in-point.)
Every time, there has been a debate before hitting "publish". All of those rules that I learned swarm around in my head. Is the title interesting enough, yet honest to what I wrote? Is the post too long - will I lose people in the first paragraph? Did I say what I meant to say when I started out writing it....or did I get lost in there somewhere? Did I spark enlightenment? (*sigh*)
Writing became more and more of a chore. Not only did I not feel confident in the manner in which I was sharing my stories, I started to lose touch with the stories themselves. Every picture and practice was shared on Facebook... it didn't seem "good enough" for the sacred space that this website had become.
Today, with this post, I'm re-entering this sacred space. I'm bringing my turquoise paint, a huge paint brush, and wearing nothing but an oversized paint shirt. I'm reclaiming this blog.
It's going to look messy. The posts will sometimes make sense and sometimes...well, you'll just have to squint your eyes and make the words look like little barn animals to get some enjoyment out of it.
I miss writing freely, expressing myself without concern of whether it is written beautifully or timed appropriately or sparking enlightenment.
So much of what I had to break through is that this isn't about me. All of these rules I clung to (and created) WERE about me. They were about my own fears of needing approval. Lining the canyons of "Seriousness" were the slopes of Right-ness. Everything had to be done correctly, or it wasn't worth doing. Ah, dear ego, how confused are thee.
This world is a messy place. We are a delightfuly messy people. Being Breath is about becoming aware of that, not judging it, and living steeped in it as we practice remembering our true, beautiful, creative, and good nature.
So welcome back to Being Breath. Be prepared for a bit of mess, a bit of chaos, misplaced and misspelled words, and plenty of drips of wax and splatters of paint.
Goodness, I breathe easier just thinking about that.
(And here I find myself, fingers hovering over the keyboard, waiting for that "perfect ending phrase" to come to mind. You know what? Screw it.)