Monday, June 24, 2013

Naked Blogging - An introduction

I love writing. For me, writing is akin to breathing. It's just a natural part of my day to day existence and without it I am like a sad goldfish flopping on a dry surface gasping for water that I can't get to because I have fins instead of fingers. That was a really dramatic simile, but you get the idea.

I write for a lot of reasons - self expression, self exploration, self sustainment. I keep a journal for my most private of private things, this blog for thoughts and musings, and I write books as an outlet for my imagination and all the awesome, fun characters I have been making up since I was a kid. Writing is natural for me.

But writing this story has been one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. This is my third attempt at starting it in the blog, the fifth 'draft' of it I've done on a computer and probably the tenth time I've written about it in general.

"But what, exactly, is 'it' that you are agonising about writing?" you may be asking. I mean, you probably aren't asking that because that's very specific wording, but something along those lines is running through you head - and I'm getting to it - I promise. I'm just building some tension here and I want you to have some more background first.

Early in 2012 I was twigged onto a great blog by The Bloggess AKA Jenny Lawson. She actually has several blogs, columns and regular article contributions throughout the interweb, as well as a fabulous book. I was told she was funny and interesting and that I could learn a lot from her.

I took a toodle over to her site and yes, she is funny (or at least I find her funny, you may not, but that's the glorious thing about life - we're all really different) and her entries definitely hold my interest. I am also learning a lot from her posts, mostly about how odd she is, but also about being honest and how much people appreciate that. Jenny has an anxiety disorder and suffers from depression but she lives an amazing life and she makes people laugh.

I know how annoying it can be when people are super honest. It can be socially awkward - like if someone starts talking about their colonoscopy within the first ten minutes of meeting you. It can also be super tiresome - like when someone's facebook status updates are always along the lines of 'I'm wasting away in a wasteland of miserable because I'm the miserable mayor of miserable town'.

My opinion is that people don't love you for all the miserable crap you've been through. I've never heard anyone say, "I love So-and-So because they always have some sad tale of ultra woe!' - I'm sure there ARE people who do say this and quite frankly they can all flock together, but I digress.

What makes a person interesting, wonderful and delightful is how they made it through the crap. I look up to and admire Pema Chodron because she shares the wisdom she gained from the experiences she's had. Eckhart Tolle is adored for the same reasons. So was Gandhi, so is Byron Katie, so is Nelson Mandella. They've been there, done that and rather than whinging about life being unfair they've shared how life is what you choose to make it, not in-spite of the challenging bits but because of what we learn and how we grow from the challenging bits.

But here lies my dilemma. The value of your experience and what you have learned is often measured by what you have gone through. As a young person, the credit of your wisdom is difficult to prove because it's assumed that a) if you've had fewer experiences then b) you have less wisdom. By that reasoning, when you get to be in your sixties and seventies you should be pretty sage and wise because you've had so many experiences to learn from.

Well, I think that's crap. I think there are plenty of people who might live to one hundred and not have a bloody clue. I also think there are people who, by the age of ten, have some incredible insights. You can have the same experience over and over and over, but until you learn the lesson that experience is trying to teach you, you won't be any wiser. 

So this is why this entry is important to me because it's about how my experience has shaped a lot of my choices, beliefs and ideas. It's why I chose to write my book, 'Wise at Any Age' - a handbook for cultivating wisdom (which you can buy now!)

I want to help creative people tap into and express their creativity. I want help people get over their procrastination. I want to help people stop making excuses and start making beautiful, amazing contributions to the world. The best way to help people in these ways is to share my story; my wonderful, beautiful, messed up, occasionally confusing, but very valuable story, and continue living a fantastic life - lead by example and all that biz-niz.

The Bloggess calls it 'Naked Blogging'. The idea is, if you know where someone is coming from then the value of their experience is that much more obvious. I can't really argue with that. As with the aforementioned Famous-People-Who-Have-Survived-Adveristy-And-Are-Better-For-It, knowing that we can be totally awesome not in spite of our experiences, but because of our experiences, is extremely powerful.

So I'm going to take the plunge and do a Naked Blog. A blog about why I came to write 'Wise at Any Age' and why I believe in helping people realise their own potential. That being said, this particular entry has gone on long enough. Thank you for getting this far.

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