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Nothing

Photo on 1-27-13 at 5.27 PMI skipped posting last week.  I didn’t have a particularly good reason.  I just didn’t feel like it.  Oh, there was a topic I considered, took some notes down.  I just didn’t want to do it.  Didn’t want to take pictures or dig out old photos.  Didn’t want to be esoteric or write another woe is me post.  Just didn’t want to.

Some of my blogger friends take sabbaticals from their blogs.  They may be gone for a few days or a few weeks depending on how the mood strikes them.  I’d like to think it was a sabbatical, but I’m not sure that’s true.

I think it was a temper tantrum.  That doesn’t sound very “spiritually evolved” does it?  I guess we all have our moments.

I felt like a pouty kid most of last week.  I made chocolate chip cookies. (Well, they didn’t exactly turn out like cookies but the chocolate chip cookie roll-ups I ended up with were tasty all the same.)  I may have eaten the entire batch over the course of the last week all by myself.

I didn’t take a total break from writing.  I posted a review or two on LisaSpiralReads.   I commented on a few blogs.  I wrote feedback on a ritual.  I did my morning pages.  I just didn’t write my blog.  My pouting can’t be considered a bid for attention since there is no one here but me and Orion and I didn’t expect him to notice.  And with blogging it’s writing that gets comments, not not writing!

I didn’t exactly do nothing.  Over the course of the week I’ve seen 3 doctors (two of mine one of Orion’s), managed to get the laundry through the wash, dealt with Orion getting his antibiotics back at his day program, talked through an Imbolc ritual, held a class, done some meditation work, played cards with friends and gotten dinner on the table every night.   I also spent a lot of the time being a zombie in front of the tv or playing video games.Photo on 1-27-13 at 5.29 PM

Like most temper tantrums by the time I got to the end of it I began to think this was harder on me than writing the blog would have been.  Maybe it was.  Still, sometimes I just need a good pout.  At least I don’t feel like I need a vacation from my vacation.

I can’t say I’m rested and rejuvenated, but I am ready to face the world again.  So today a blog about Nothing.

Do you ever find yourself taking an unscheduled time out?  Have a temper tantrum?  Pout just for the sake of pouting?

Resolution

Happy New Year!  firework 1

I’m not a big believer in New Years resolutions.  I tend to either be willing to do something, or not, and no amount of resolving is going to help.  New Years has never been a great holiday for me anyway.  The impact towards promoting a new resolution leaves a lot to be desired.

The spiritual “push” to start something new in my life seems to be more seasonal.  Maybe it’s the lunar cycle that helps me with resolutions.  Maybe I am just so encultured to the academic calendar that I am moved to start things in September rather than January.  Maybe I think starting something new moving into the coldest, darkest, most miserable weather season of the year is setting myself up for failure.

This New Years we will be with the family having Christmas.  It was the best date for all of us to get together.  We’ve been challenged to bring a dish with the secret ingredient of egg nog.  I’m supposed to work with my niece and come up with a side dish.  Karina, the pastry chef, was of course given dessert (and the most difficult partner).  Orion isn’t going to eat anything with egg nog in it so he’s off the hook.   I’ll let you know how it turns out.100_3846

I’m really avoiding the issue here, which is resolutions.  Objections aside I have made myself a challenge for the year 2013.  I’ve started a new blog.

Don’t fret, I’ll continue to post this one.  The new blog is a challenge for me personally.  It’s supposed to make me think about my writing in a different way.    I’m calling it LisaSpiralReads.

I am a reader.  I’ve always read, a lot!  The blog is a challenge, not to read 50 books in a year.  I do that most years without even trying.  The blog is to write 50 book reviews in a year!

So if you’re a reader, or just interested enough to see how much crazy stuff I read, consider following the new blog.  I won’t post on a schedule.  I’ll just post as I go.  I may only review the things I like, or I may buck up and try a review of something that doesn’t really turn my fancy.   I’m not going to rate books.  I can’t even manage to rate my pain levels!  But I will let you know if something appeals to me, if I recommend it, and why.100_4153

In the meantime, thanks for checking in.     Best wishes for a fabulous New Year!

Anniversary

I posted my first blog on July 26 2011.  That makes this the one year anniversary week for the blog!  Yea!!!   I haven’t acquired thousands of rapt followers, a long list of blogging awards or international acclaim.  But then, that isn’t why I started blogging in the first place.

My first post was under 400 words.  (I average somewhere in the 500 range.)  It’s a very optimistic little ditty about Spirituality and daily living.  Well this blog has certainly been that, and much more.  I think what I envisioned a year ago was some sort of little weekly sermonette on very grand topics of spirituality and spiritual practice.  I’m SO glad that’s NOT what this has become.

Instead this blog has been an exercise in opening.  I’ve had to learn to express myself in an honest and sometimes very vulnerable way.  Hopefully doing that while still being (at least marginally) entertaining and readable.

In the last year I’ve covered a huge range of topics from very personal to political (in the sense of civil rights) and thrown a good chunk of Spirituality in there to boot.  I’ve blogged about the things that have touched my heart.   This hasn’t been a journal in any sense, but it has been an exercise in focusing on where I am in the moment.  Occasionally it’s even been a plug for the work I’m doing with writing a book and presenting workshops on Spiritual practice.

What I’ve found it that you can develop real friendships on the internet.  I’ve found that I feel incredibly supported by my friends who follow my blog and especially by those who write encouraging comments.  I have found that some of the hardest things to share are the most important.  I’ve found that speaking from the heart is the only way to truly have an impact on others.

So on the anniversary of my blog I will write another very short little post.  This time rather than visions of grander I offer my humble thank you.  Thank you, to all my dear and treasured readers for finding and following my journey.  May we all continue to grow and thrive in all our endeavors in the coming year.

Blessed Be.

Trolls

I realize that the more I write the more likely I am to attract trolls.  You know, those gruff insulting comments that really don’t have anything to do with what you’ve actually posted.  The kind of comments that promote a world view or an agenda that is so opposite of the point you want to make that you wonder why (or if) they even bothered to actually read the post.

Trying to be cute, but still a troll

I don’t mind “allowing” commentary that’s critical when it is thoughtful, to the point and not loaded with derogatory, demeaning or threatening remarks.  I have let through several comments that question my intention or direction.  I pretty much let anyone who has commented continue to do so without a filter, but reserve the right to screen new posters.  I filter, but pretty lightly.   I do have a much heavier “filter” on older posts than I might on current ones.

I find it incredible when someone who has never posted suddenly sends a “how could you be so horrible” comment about a blog post that’s over a month old.  What did they do?  Go scanning through all the posts looking for something to get pissed about?  Not worth my time and energy and not worth adding, at that late date, to the commentary.  Although I do recognize new readers will sometimes look through back posts, especially if something catches their eye, the conversation has mostly moved on.  On the other hand I always appreciate someone commenting just to let me know they’ve looked and what they thought.  I read all the comments.

I do appreciate WordPress for their spam screen.  They do a pretty good job of cutting out the viagra ads and the please send money contingent.  Occasionally though I still find a reasonable comment in my spam file.  Somebody who clearly read the post and is maybe not quite as glib, or as accurate a typist, as they might like to be.  Not everything that looks like a troll is a troll.

I try not to be a troll myself when I post on other people’s blogs.  My dear internet  friends and fellow bloggers, the ones I read regularly, don’t deserve trolls any more than I think I do.  But I know that sometimes when I zip off a comment before coffee or on the run I can be a little careless with my phrasing.  A comment that I think is just a funny tease could be offensive.  I can be a little short and seem judgmental.  I can mean to cheer someone on and instead come off critical and negative.

Luckily those bloggers I read and comment on regularly have enough sense to ask, “What did you actually mean by that?”  The advantage of regular reading and commenting is that you do get a feel for where the other person is coming from.  It makes it easier to allow for the possibility of a misunderstanding.  My blogging comrades have heard enough from me to guess that I probably didn’t mean to be gruff.

It’s harder with that first comment to spot where the controversy originated.  Is it in the mind of the poster, or is it how I’m reading the comment?  Did the poster misread the blog or is there really something there in that nasty comment that is worth examining?  As welcome as the praise and encouragement may be it is often the critiques that we learn from.

The blog is such a varied and personal media that it really doesn’t warrant directed and demeaning criticism.  Someone can have a different point of view.  There should be room for discussion and expansion.  But when someone is writing about “this is the way I see and experience the world” there really isn’t anything to argue about.  What they write is the way they see and experience the world.  It might be different than the way I see it, which makes for an interesting line of comments, but where is the argument?  Can’t we both be right given our perspectives?  Can we at least have a discussion rather than reverting to being trolls?

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