Building a Better Blog (for Beginners)

As a beginning blogger, I’m a feeling a in a little over my head. Where do you even start when you’re just getting started?

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What am I even blogging about? I’ve got this sense that I should pick a few areas of personal interest and go from there, right? But is this a personal blog? Professional? Combination? I’m gonna start with the third option while I’m still getting my blog legs.
I’ve got so many interests, so many ways to spin a happy life and rich career, that why not try a few topics out and see what sticks? For me and for you. And who are you anyway dear reader? Have we met? How did you find me?

 

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Embracing Happiness

I’m a person who spends a great deal of time in her head. I dwell on fictional scenarios, thinking and rethinking until whatever it is that is racing through my mind seems inevitable. There is just no other possible outcome and as I wind my mind, my whole mind can shift. This is both good and bad. On one hand it has allowed me to be a really creative thinker at work, and to anticipate solutions to problems and push-back that hasn’t yet arisen, so I can meet challenges with positive a spin and solution in hand. However, my racing thoughts and fictions also have a tendency to control my mood and attitude, fueling insecurities and fears. Meditation has been helping, particularly with the later.

My meditation exploration began just a few months ago, with a four-week Vipassana meditation class at work. I had been trying to do some deep self-work this year anyway, and I figured meditation would be a good way to try and inject a little calmness into my life. I didn’t have huge expectations or anything.

We practiced different meditation techniques, walking, seated, yoga poses, etc. I really enjoyed the walking meditation. But it was Metta Meditation that made a real connection. With all this self-work that I’m doing, what I’ve realized is that I really need to start with some compassion for myself. I need to quiet my mind and allow myself to love myself. To stop denying happiness today in favor of happiness at some point in the future. And to allow my best self to guide my life.

Here is what is guiding my practice at the moment:

Lovingkindness, by Sharon Salzburg

What the Buddha Taught, by Walpola Rahula

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Looking for Beauty

I’m a good sleeper, usually I get a solid 9 hours or so of sleep a night. But this week I’ve been unable to quiet my mind at night. Perhaps it is because B is at a conference across the country this week and not here to tuck me in. But I think it is actually because I’m getting ready for a big change in my life, and while I’m still not sure exactly what it will be, I’m excited.

I’m looking for (and finding) beauty every day.

ImageI’m also working to identify and perfect a few of my soap recipes. This one, an olive, coconut, sweet almond, and palm bar, might be promising. I may even need to find soap testers soon.

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Patience patience patience…and spend time doing what you love.

Blogs will not be built in a day. Okay, perhaps they will, but I’ll still need time and dedication to getting this up and going the way I envision it.

I’ve started getting emails from Jonathan Mead and Paid to Exist. It is an amazing concept really, that you can leave behind all the constraints that exist in the 9 to 5 world and instead cultivate an authentic life following your dreams, interests, and heart…and be, well, paid to exist. I haven’t committed yet to the program; it is scary, and I’m not sure if I’m ready to supplant all my 9 to 5 goals with something more encompassing. But I’m a sucker for self improvement plans (at least learning/reading about them), and looking for the next step. There are so many things that I do well, those natural talents that I enjoy doing well…how can I do more of that? THIS is what I’m asking myself these days.

From the Paid to Exist Compass:

  • What does the best day ever look like to you?
  • What do you want to be remembered for when you are gone?
  • What would work you’d never want to stop pursuing look and feel like?
  • What fuels you, keeps you focused and lights your heart on fire?

ptown 001

In the meantime, here is a list of things that make me happy:
cooking
reading
taking care of my plants
long drives
spending time with my girlfriends
being alone
tidying
being at the beach
wine trails in the finger lakes
skiing
snowshoeing
soap making
theatre
adventures with my husband
playing hostess
inspiring others

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The True Path…probably a lot like the Middle Path

This blog is an opportunity for me to start to live life on my terms. I am in my mid 30s and feeling like this past year I’ve been looking for the next step in my life. I’ve just turned 36…a lucky year Imagein the Jewish tradition, and this year I’m going to focus on my goal to live a happy life, to do things that make me happy everyday, to pursue a career in line with my strengths and talents, to enjoy my hobbies, to be a better partner, and to be a friend to my body.

 

Here is my mantra:

May I be at peace.

May I be happy

May I be a friend to my body.

May I live my life with lovingkindness.

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Is it really possible to achieve my dream?

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