I can’t express enough how grateful I am to have a daily writing practice, a time to reflect on what I’m currently tossing and turning over in my life or a fond memory, a life lesson, that had such an impact on my journey. There have been days where my schedule and commitments moves and shifts the time where I can actually sit down and write. Sometimes I find that solitude early in the morning before there is movement and light, other times I use it as a time to settle down after a long day, to help ease the mind before sleep. But no matter when I write, its there, this daily practice I’ve embraced for 42 days now. Well, 43 if you count the first blog, an introduction to the project.
And as my mind already begins to make plans for the next 21 days, a time to reflect on spring cleaning and cleanses, I can’t help but notice a quiet disturbance that is scratchy at the edge of my daily writing. The writing, the time of reflection, is quite nice. I love the solitude and silence of writing, a moment where things slow down so you can delve inwards to find the right words to portray your thoughts. But I’ve found myself, on several occasions, making this more about writing for the public then writing for myself. Let me explain.
I’m flattered and honestly a bit humbled by the comments and feedback I’m getting from friends and family. When you write for years in journals and notebooks, sharing the sacred words only with yourself, there is a bit of intimidation when you put it out there in the world. Will I be mocked? Will close friends just smile and nod, blankness in their eyes and expression, when they respond to your writing? But then you do it, you just trust, and you try to let go of caring what others think but secretly knowing that you do care just a bit. So I’m pleasantly surprised and quite grateful for the comments and support I’ve been receiving. And yet, I often feel myself pressured to write, not for myself as a practice, as a way to giving to myself every day, but a daily pressure to share and be out there, to be heard and noticed.
This month in our Yoga Teacher Training circle we discussed social media and a few members of our tribe are experimenting with removing themselves from this world we call “social” only to find how much more social life is when we aren’t spending so much time hoping someone “like”d us that day. And how much more content life is when you aren’t comparing your day to the days of others, only to get disappointed that while you thought a brisk walk in the woods on a cool spring day was great your colleague posts a picture of them sipping pina coladas in Barbados. So when I write, and I have this really important moment of solitude, I start to feel my fingers move to the rhythm of the keyboard and the sound that I feel must be shared rather than what I want to say to myself. At times my daily practice becomes what I want others to hear, or what I think I should share, and not about what I need to express and let go. Then I spend the time posting, copying, reposting, sharing, and hours and hours of looking back online to see if there are comments or likes.
I know. I sound like I’m griping over something I created. And I guess in a way, I am. And I don’t want this to be misconstrued as being unappreciative of the support I’ve received. Quite the contrary. I’m happy that what I’ve written and shared resonates with so many and I hope as I continue to write, that is the case. But knowing that I’m a people pleasing, care-taking, need-to-be-liked kind of person, I need to rethink this daily practice. And so here it is. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be writing every day, for 21-days, on spring cleaning, cleansing, and detoxing the mind, body, spirit and our surroundings. But I’m not going to post it on my website every day nor on Facebook or Twitter. I will write for myself. And then at the end of the week, I’ll summarize my personal writings that I have written for myself in a more public format and share through these various venues. Who knows, from time to time I could post more often but until I shift this experience into being more for me then for everyone else, I need redefine this daily practice.
Keep tuning in, and I’ll keep sharing. I appreciate your understanding while I embrace a little more of an inward retreat. Be well and I’ll see you at the end of the week.