It’s been a year now since I began this blog and man it has flown by! I can remember telling myself at the start of this journey, that it would be a year full of changes — And I wasn’t wrong. One of the most profound changes for me, came through this process of blogging.

I was Netflixing a stand-up comedy special of one of my favorite comedians the other night, and he said something that made me slink down under the covers, face hidden in embarrassment. He opened a joke with, “Man, I f**king hate bloggers,” the crowd laughed and I instantly felt like the inside joke. Now in my fictional world, I know that if I were to ever meet this dude, we could laugh and talk about things that mean something, maybe even be good friends. But because I am blogger, that dream may be forever tainted. Well that and the fact that I will probably never be allowed within 500 feet of him… But I digress. He explained why he felt the way that he did and it made sense. For some folks, blogging is just a tool to get juicy gossip out into the ether without actually having to make eye contact with anyone while doing it.  We’ve all seen the articles of a blogger ripping a new one of some celebrity or influential person. It’s cringe-worthy, I get it. But for many of us out here in the blogosphere, we are mostly just wanting to share our lives and ideals with the rest of the world. I guess a few bad apples can ruin it for the bunch, sometimes.

I began this blog as a way to get my thoughts out constructively instead of destructively. As far back as memory serves, I have existed in observing every nuance of life around me. I saw this trip into blogging as sort of like a memory dump. I get it all out and walk away feeling much lighter. What I never realized is that all writers share this commonality with each other —  Observers harnessing the gift of total recall. And frankly, I have hated it for most of my life. There are some things that you just don’t want to remember! Like those times where you’ve said or done something so stupid that even you are embarrassed to know yourself? Or the times when something has hurt you so much that you’d rather forget it ever happened all together? I didn’t connect the dots though, of how this ability greatly contributed to my writing, until most recently. In a moment of frustration I asked the Universe why I could remember every little thing that has happened in my life with such clarity and how in the hell I could stop it. Then I was reminded of the place inside that drives me to write and the areas in me that have shored up because of writing. Needless to say, I immediately had to check myself for wanting to throw this part of me out with the trash. For creative individuals all together, each thing that we see in a day becomes art. A story never told, music not yet written, the painting that covers the blank canvas or a poem to fill that empty space on a page. And through the progression of re-creating what we observe and absorb, we find resolve within it. It teaches us about ourselves.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned through this year of blogging through life, is in realizing that most people don’t really care what you have to say and far fewer actually listen. The biggest source of conflict these days seems to come from simply sharing a difference of opinion. Something that we collectively as a society used to be able to do. It took me a while to understand that I can only receive from someone as much as their level of perception allows for. It’s a simple truth that applies to virtually every encounter. When we feel that we aren’t being understood, we get defensive and with that defense comes an offense. The yin and the yang. But when we come to acknowledge that every person’s viewpoint is subjective based on their own level of perception, it then becomes easier to see where the gap in understanding is, and bridge that gap.

Which lead me to thinking about what a crazy time in America it has been, lately. I do believe that most of us feel as if we have to choose a political side. Screw that, we feel as if our side has already been chosen for us, based solely on a few opinions. Kind of like the comedian that I mentioned earlier, who hated all bloggers based on the shameless opinions and total shredding from one in particular. Politically, if we aren’t rallying with one group then we’re automatically lumped in with the opposite group. It creates this wedge between all of us that honestly shouldn’t be there. Most of us just want to live a happy and peaceful life, but because the political tension is so impenetrable, we feel almost forced to either stay completely silent about what we believe; OR pick up a picket sign and start rioting. Personally, I know that I have never felt so cautious with expressing my own opinions as much as I do right now, in the current climate. In a nation where freedom is supposed to be its foundation, many of us feel free only to agree and nothing else. Backed into the proverbial corner of choosing who to stand for and who to stand against, all while watching what you stand to lose dangling in front of you — If you pick the wrong stance. Make sense? Definitely a disappointing time it has been for humanity in that right.  

Several nights ago as I was thinking about this, in my mind I saw an ant farm. All of the ants working together to create their colony, with each ant having a significant role to play in the equation. Some build the shelter, others go out and forage for food to bring back to the colony – All of which they share in, together. You don’t see ants at each other’s throats or a few rogue ones, going into rages and destroying the entire colony. They each need each other. I think that we are the only species that is constantly looking for a reason to fight and stay divided, when we need each other just as much. We make the effort to provoke and poke, to shut off from listening and close down from caring about anyone else – All because we feel that our view point is under attack. Everything that we do that further divides us, takes effort. Instinctively, our nature is to love, help, care, and to be thoughtful. As we are seeing now with Hurricane Harvey, when times are dire – That is what comes about, organically.

Harvey hit in its poetic fashion and people in turn came together for the betterment of each other. It drove home for me that when the chips are down — Love becomes the center. It no longer mattered what side of the political coin anyone was on, instead it became about regard for human life. About love. The selfless sacrifice of leaving work, jumping in your car to haul a boat or supplies, to go rescue people – Is the ultimate act of love. People are without a second thought, choosing to do whatever they can to provide relief for the ones suffering in this very moment. In that, we are witnessing first hand, the power behind love’s purpose. Here we have all stood divided lately, and in this moment of need – that division no longer exists.  

And yet the ones who feed us our information each day along with spoonfuls of cyanide, aren’t talking much at all about the good that is being done. Why is that? Could it be because they benefit when we stay divided? The negative becomes sensationalism that lines their pockets thick, through countless avenues of influence? Maybe they know that keeping us disconnected from each other and reality, in turn keeps us dependent on their every word as though gold. Spinning the positive does the exact opposite! It makes us want to get up from our phones, computers and televisions and explore, expand our minds, get empowered and go do something good in the world that in kind makes life better. It causes us to think independently, for ourselves.

I tested this theory of mine out on social media recently. I’ll preface this by saying, I am not a big fan of “catching up” on people’s lives through one sentence posts or a collage of pictures. I would much rather see posts consisting of long, thought out paragraphs of someone opening up about their life than know that they are eating a cheeseburger. I enjoy conversation, and more often than not, social media just feels like small talk. I wanted to see what my day would be like if I chose to fill my every waking moment with positive messages.  So I followed only the sites, people and groups that I knew posted primarily uplifting, encouraging things. The first day after making that change was extraordinary! Each time that I scrolled through the feed, I saw inspiration slapping me in the face over and over again. One after another. All day long. It was as if my mind was repeatedly being put in check, reminded of old truths, fed wisdom and re-directed toward the positive. At the end of the first day I noticed how much calmer and more content that I felt inside. Five days into it, and I decided that I was never going back to how it was before! Opening up social media and getting hammered with positive messages led to a completely different experience of the day, it was awesome! Making this minor change allowed me to stay focused on the good and my own role to be played in reciprocating and perpetuating love, gratitude and positive intentions for all things. A simple change of mindset, is all that it took to change my daily reality.

In paying close attention to what I allow myself to entertain for one day, I realized two things – One, that we are being inundated with negative, energy-sucking, low vibrational messages from a major percentage of all that we see within a single day. Whether through T.V., social media, news, ads and commercials, websites and newspapers. It is actually pretty staggering once you start paying attention and just solves the mystery of why so many people feel beaten down, frustrated or depressed, halfway through their day. The second thing that I noticed was, that there are a ton of people out in our world spreading the same message of higher consciousness, positive energy and love! Which tells me that we are not only headed as a people towards an awakening of the soul, mind and spirit – But that we are also starving for it. For that shift in consciousness that changes the world that we live in. That awakening can only come from the existence of love at its core. From the focus of energy being shifted toward the positive. Because love incites change, starting at the heart of ones thoughts. Anyone who is content with staying closed minded or carefully wrapped in their bubble of misguided theories, will wind up being that rogue ant having to create their colony alone. 

When I really listen to the world around me, I see us beginning to choose love over all else. People wanting to resolve conflict over instigating it. People peacefully choosing to walk away from negative, self-serving relationships as love starts to demand center stage in their own lives. And people doing a kindness for someone else, over choosing what is more convenient for themselves. This is love in motion. This is what creates the change in the world that we all desperately want to see. And this is what we are experiencing right now — Little by little as we all start to wake from this coma of toxicity.

I know now that the greater purpose of me blogging my way through each step of my own self-discovery, was to see not only myself and the world around me vividly, but also from a different perspective that I had not yet seen. It’s as though up to this point I have been looking at the world from up in a tree and through a camera’s foggy lens. In openly sharing my life with you, it unexpectedly allowed me to move through all that kept my understanding limited and skewed. 

Blogging has been an eye-opening experience that I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of! My hope is that a year from now, I can reflect back with astonishment at how far we have come, TOGETHER, toward a peaceful coexistence. Thank you to all of my readers and skeptics for keeping me on the path of humility and self-improvement — You have made this journey everything that it is! Cheers to the first year of blogging down, and to many more wonderful years to come!!