First off, an apology for how long it has taken me to get organized to give away a blog book, but I think I can finally draw from my blog followers and give one away as a thank you. I have printed books and also pdf digital copies, so the winner can choose which one they would like. If you have been reading regularly, but haven't created a Google account to follow, please do so before Monday, May 16th, when I will do the draw and announce the winner on the 17th.
Thank you for reading, from the bottom of my heart. For something which began as a six week experiment in January 2010, it has completely changed my life. Noticing the small details of life, and paying closer attention to my feelings and experiences, has not only given me the confidence to pursue my writing career with reckless abandon, but it has also changed me completely as a person.
I've been reading through my printed blog book, revisiting posts from more than a year ago, and I'm struck by the thoughts and ideas I was working through, as they are remarkably similar to where I am now. It's almost as if I was forecasting what was coming in experience, by thinking of it philosophically first. An idea is great, but living through it is what changes you permanently. I needed to consider it first, and then walk it out, crying about a zillion tears, and doing the hard work of changing myself from the inside out.
Confidence is important in this life. If we don't believe it, we won't be able to achieve it, but confidence comes when you change the way you view yourself. So much of our lives are unconscious, inaccessible even to ourselves, until we stand up and pay attention to our feelings, for emotions are the key to unlocking our deepest dreams and desires. I didn't have much emotional honesty before this year. I pretended to feel something which I believed was acceptable to others, but I wasn't using my feelings as the radar system they are meant to be.
When I began owning my anger, or joy, or deep sadness, and not burying or re-labeling it to something easier to manage, I began to change. The kind that hurts worse than anything you've ever experienced before (including childbirth, at least for me), because I had to re-learn how to exist in this world without all of my carefully constructed armour protecting me.
Vulnerability is one of the most beautiful gifts we have, but I had kicked mine into the dirt, and tried to distance myself from it. Now I hold it close, and protect it, and look for ways to let it out into the light, for it has opened me up to a whole world of possibilities that I didn't know existed before. Being vulnerable equals being real to me. And between real and pretend there is no choice, because one is like gold and the other like a plastic child's toy, which will never stand the test of time.
Plumbing the deepest depths of my heart in order to write here each day has taken the person I was before and transformed her to someone stronger, and braver, and better able to pursue her dreams without fear. Gratitude is too small of a word to describe how glad I am to have begun this six week experiment, which turned into a seventeen month one, and is still going. I couldn't have done it without the support and feedback from my readers. Hearing from you has built me up when I was feeling torn down, and given me what I needed to carry on when the emotional carnage seemed too much to face.
I'm so grateful. Thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing my blog with others, and for baring your heart to me in your comments and through Facebook, Twitter and e-mail correspondence. You have walked this road with me, and been witnesses to the change that has occurred in me, and is possible for any of us at any time, if we will recognize that we have room to grow and improve. I'll draw for a blog book winner on May 16th and announce the winner on May 17th. Thank you, thank you, thank you.