Listen to this post:
This is a brand-new venture. Well, not really. It’s brand-new to you. But for me it began over four years ago. Maybe it was five? Or if I’m honest, it probably began the day I started meditating seriously. So that’s eleven years ago.
Who really cares? Aren’t we all just looking for experiences that usher us deeper into ourselves? To feel better more of the time and to stop chasing temporal, stimulatory fixes? To feel anchored in an unmoored world?
I was advised by professionals that for you to want to read this blog, I need to explain it you. I need to tell why you want to read it. To sell it to you. I’m supposed to tell you what I am going to tell you and how it will improve your life.
But after years of working in politics and communications, I found these techniques rarely helped people or lived up to their promise. They sound aspirational, yet they assume an audience cannot self-direct or know what’s good. And in a world where we’re all viewed as demographics to be tracked by AI to market products to, I don’t want to treat people that way. I’d rather you rediscover the joy of looking for something that makes you think and feel, and then think about what you’re feeling.
The professionals also suggest adding lists to my posts. Because people love lists! Not only do people love lists, publishers love lists. Oh, and I’m not to forget to include key search words, words that SEO will pick up, ensuring that more of you, more of the time, will land on these words, my words. I trust wholeheartedly that if we’re to find each other, for good cause, we will!
I’ve been wrestling with these imperative, prescriptive professional inputs for years. They’ve stopped me more times than I can count. Every time I set aside the sterile commands of the thousands of people who know how this should all work and begin to rediscover my joy through writing, somebody new inevitably pops up to tell me that the only way blogs work is if I follow The Standards.
Standards aren’t for everyone. Each of you has your own experience, your own life you’re creating and inhabiting. I don’t believe any of you are excited about being treated as though you only like, do, or connect with some set of predetermined standards. Standards were invented and measured for businesses to feign certainty and to try to mold you into a desirous consumer of whatever it is they’re selling.
I write what I’m inspired to write about. I write for exploration and a community of human beings who are noticing real meaning in everyday existence—not from commercial or political motivation that often divides us from ourselves and from one another.
These musings are not meant to save your life, or fix you, or tell you how to do anything. They’re often about what I do, how I’ve experienced something, and how I’ve chosen to change or live fully even in the face of uncertainty—which is most of life.
They might reach into my distant past from time to time, touch upon a political theme, or explore an artistic expression. They’ll celebrate individuals not doing all the above business recommendations in order to get noticed, but real people doing real things that do not promote competition, fear, and exceptionalism. People who inspire others through their courage to think for themselves and live authentic, purposeful lives.
I write to highlight and mine the quiet places within ourselves and the normal things we all need to do to sustain life—ours and the lives we touch. I want to point out the incredible places we each find ourselves in every day, that we wake up alive again, facing decisions and making choices—often unglamorous choices that are highly consequential and can be life-changing.
This brand-new venture of Musings, it turns out, is the oldest venture. It’s the venture of being alive. It’s trusting that we all have value and an innate instinct for what we need and what we don’t. The meaning of my musings is to encourage you to have your own, to enjoy periods of self-reflection. Their meaning lies in the venture of valuing my inner voice and sharing that with others.
I don’t expect you to agree with me. You don’t even need to find meaning in it. You certainly don’t need a search engine to define what you’re looking for in life. If there’s any driving intention behind this blog, it’s this:
Your inner voice is your teacher.
May the expression of mine empower yours.
Photo by Michelle Smith-Lewis