August 23, 2014

Finding My Swans

I’ve been writing the blog for just over two-years now and it has taken me this long to find other blogs and bloggers who are like me (or is it more accurate to say who I am like?). Maybe I just wasn’t refined enough in my Google searches (and, truth be told, I wasn’t even LOOKING at first), but I have felt all alone out here writing about life and how to live well and what that may mean or look like. Maybe I was meant to secure my own voice before being exposed to others, I don’t know, but my beliefs about how the universe works support this kind of thinking: A sort of “when-I-am-ready-the-teacher-will-appear” kind of thing.

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My blog has been ear marked as an “art” blog—working artist on the High Road to Taos, blah, blah, blah… But when I looked into other art blogs, I found they were almost entirely about openings at galleries and museums, or simply about a given artist’s process. That wasn’t me.

Nor was I slick. I didn’t have a gimmick, or a Cooking Network show, or any glitz and glamor whatsoever. I just wanted to tell my story, the best way I knew how, in the hope that what I have done and am doing might resonate with some of you; might contribute to growth, yours or mine.

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I don’t remember how I first bumped into Danielle LaPorte (daniellelaporte.com), but she was my first glimmer that I am not all alone out here. She is witty and gutsy and certainly has a way with words that is not mine (how I wish it was), but we are reaching for the same audience I believe and we are writing about the same subject. We are each talking to people about living their potential, pursuing their dreams, going for it (whatever “it” happens to mean to each individual). Her site has been referred to as, “The best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality.” I have to say I agree. She’s also included in Forbes’s “Top 100 Websites for Women.” I found a “sister” in her wonderful book, “The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide for Creating Success on Your Own Terms,” Random House/Crown. I absolutely adore what she’s doing and, rather than be intimidated by her personal style of brilliance, she INSPIRES me! The very best kind of sister to have, I gotta say.

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Next I found Leo Babauta’s zenhabits.net whose tagline is, “…breathe.” I love that. Leo writes many articles for zenhabits and also publishes pieces by others—always something having to do with living well. He’s about as polar-opposite to Danielle LaPorte as one can be and yet they are speaking the same language, just using different words.

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The order of discovery gets fairly jumbled early on I’m afraid, but I believe I next discovered meanttobehappy.com (fondly referred to as M2bH), written by Ken Wert. His tagline, “Discovering joy… one day at a time,” is supplemented with a sort of mission statement: “Live with Purpose, Act with Character, Think with Clarity, Grow with Courage.” I love these clever phrases that define a site for the reader and really want to come up with one for High Road Artist. Any ideas?

But I digress. Of M2bH Ken says, “My purpose here is to inspire you to live a richer life of greater purpose and meaning, of mind-blowing possibility and deeper, more soul-satisfying happiness than you ever dreamed was possible.” Yep. Couldn’t say it any better. Perfect in fact.

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Next, at least in terms of importance to me, is rowdykittens.com (go small, think big and be happy). Tammy Strobel, the creator of the blog, just published the book, “You Can Buy Happiness (and its Cheap) How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too.” I love what she and her husband have done. They’ve scaled WAY down and are living simply in a tiny house on wheels. But the most valuable part of her blog for me is that once a week she posts a list of her favorites for the week—books, articles, photos and links. And THIS is where I found the other important blogs I’m now following. THANK YOU TAMMY!

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So here are the others, in no particular order:

Sandra Pawula’s alwayswellwithin.com (Simple Wisdom For A Happy Life).

Courtney Carver’s bemorewithless.com (Life on purpose).

Gretchen Rubin’s happiness-project.com (My Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life).

Kate Swoboda’s yourcourageouslife.com (Practice simple, ordinary courage to live an awe-inspiring life).

Kristin Noelle’s kristinnoelle.com, Trust Tending, (nourishing Life beyond fear).

Jenn Gibson’s rootsofshe.com (Be heard. Be seen. Belong).

Jen Lee’s lifeunfoldsblog.com (Because there are no blueprints for journeys like ours), specifically her “Emerging Icons” series.

Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodeus’s theminimalists.com (Happiness + Growth + Contribution = Success).

Raam Dev’s raamdev.com (Who are we without each other? Nothing more than walking sacks of water).

These are the people I invite into my email every day. I share coffee with them and get shored up.

Long ago, on October 29, 2010, in fact, I wrote a post titled “Where do You Belong?” (see previous post Where do You Belong?) Drawing from Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s wonderful telling of the Ugly Duckling fairytale, I wrote about exile, about not belonging, about seeking what we belong to. And that is what I am finally finding in the blogosphere: I am finding where I belong, where I fit. I am finding my people, “my swans”—a group of bloggers who are writing about life and the many varied possibilities of living it well. In the comfort of their words, I settle into a kind of blogger’s homeland—a place, until recently, I didn’t know existed.

Love to you all,
Jeane


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