Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Change, Grow, Expand

Hope and Fear in Blogging and Life

Change, Grow, Expand

The one year anniversary of Always Well Within flew by on April 4th.  I didn’t blog about it.  At the time, I didn’t have anything noteworthy or provocative to say.

After all, it’s just a blog – a dreamlike stream of words melting into a growing archive that will eventually be lost in time and space.

And, I’m not a super blogger like Leo Babauta, Penelope Trunk, Daniella LaPorte, or Gretchen Rubin.  I don’t even have their focus, verve, sass, or energy, respectively speaking.  And – no offense – I don’t want to be them either.

You don’t have to be a celebrity blogger to create positive change in this world.  Every drop of positive action adds to the great ocean of change.  Even touching just one person’s life, you’ve made a difference in the world.

Blogging Can Really Mess with Your Head

So I’m late with the anniversary, but I finally figured out something to say.

Have you noticed how blogging can really mess with your head? Oh, the hope and fear about the numbers, getting it right, being good enough, and being well received!  Blogging easily becomes a wild emotional roller coaster ride.  Your true purpose can easily get shoved to the side.

If you’ve ever had this experience, you are not alone.  Chris Guillebeau from the popular blog The Art of Non-Conformity recounts his own emotional ups and downs:

“I derive too much emotional validation from the daily state of my network. When lots of people are subscribing, the comments are up, and the links are rolling in, I feel great. When the numbers are down, I feel bad. I haven’t found a way to solve this yet — if you’ve been there and moved past it, feel free to send me your magic solution.” – 279 Days to Overnight Success by Chris Guillebeau

He also confessed the panic he felt every time he pushed the publish button in his revealing article Blogging and Insecurity at ProBlogger.

Aren’t hope and fear the real enemies in blogging and in life?

In the Buddhist tradition, they are elaborated into 8 Worldly Concerns, which go like this:

“Hope for gain, fear of loss

Hope for pleasure, fear of pain

Hope for praise, fear of criticism or blame

Hope for fame, fear of infamy”

They are the usual preoccupations that dominate most of our activities when we don’t embrace a spiritual perspective on life.  I’m sure you will agree that they bring nothing but suffering and strife.  Like Chris, don’t you wonder how to get free?

Of course, I’m subject to the 8 Worldly Concerns just like everyone else.  They came for a long visit a few months ago.

I was a quiet blogger for the first six months. But, once I joined twitter, I was besieged by links to articles with hot tips on better blogging.  That’s when the temptation and danger began.  “Maybe there’s something I could do better!  Maybe I’m not doing it right!” Ironically, there seem to be more articles on how to blog than any other topic in the blogosphere.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with learning how to blog well.  But beware of the trap of taking it too far.

So I too went through my phase of obsessing about getting it right, being noticed, and being liked.  I was fully entangled in those 8 Worldly Concerns and all the worry and angst that comes right alongside.  But I finally became fed up with the distress and stupidity of it all.

Blogging Is a Mirror Reflecting the Real You

Blogging can be an immensely powerful personal development tool if you are willing to face the lessons it mirrors to you.  For Chris Guillebeau, it was  insecurity.  Whereas, Zeenat Syal found her lifelong habit of stress magically disappearing through sharing and caring at Positive Provocations.

These are my important lessons from the first year:

1.  Learning to Set Limits and Focus

I’m naturally ambitious, it must be my Leo rising sign.  I could easily blog day and night, but blogging isn’t my only or even my first priority in life.  When I became stressed and over-committed, I had to stop and take back the reins.  It was time to re-order my life priorities and put blogging in its proper place.

2.  Softening My Attachments

I was alarmed by the speed at which friends come and go in the blogosphere.  I’ve met some incredible bloggers and found myself becoming attached to their presence.  It was unnerving for me when their priorities changed and they moved away from the blogosphere.  For some unknown reason, this touched a very deep and sad place within me.  In time, I’ve been able to let go of the sadness and something has healed and transformed for me.

3. Reducing Hope and Fear

While I can’t say I’m entirely free of the 8 Worldy Concerns in blogging or in life, by recognizing and facing the demons, they have far less of a stronghold on me.  I’m determined to stay with my true purpose and fore go the emotional roller coaster ride in the coming year.

Only 3 lessons in all, but they have been strong ones for me.

Blogging for a Change

I find an anniversary the ideal time to revisit my higher motivation and bringing it fully alive.

Why am I blogging?  For positive change!

“My aspiration is help others find true happiness and freedom. My vision is a more harmonious world.”

There are many reasons for blogging.  I’m certainly not saying change is the only important one.  But since it’s my vision,  I’m taking a moment to recommit to infusing each blog post with meaning, purpose, and kindness of heart.

To stay true to my purpose, I’m delighted to have the support of the new Community for Changemakers created by Raam Dev called ChangeBlogger  It’s a wonderful place where change-minded people can gather for conversation, stimulation, exploration, and support.  If change is your focus, please check it out.

I would also like to take a moment to express my gratitude to the bloggers that extended their kindness to me when I first began blogging:  timethief, Annabel Candy, Zeenat Syal, Raam Dev, Jonathan Wells, Steven Aitchison, and Tess Marshall.  Of course, there have been many others along the way.  I hope you will visit my blog list and meet them too.

Reflection:  The 8 Worldly Concerns

As you might guess, the reflection this week are those pesky 8 Worldly Concerns:

“Hope for gain, fear of loss

Hope for pleasure, fear of pain

Hope for praise, fear of criticism or blame

Hope for fame, fear of infamy”

Has insecurity touched your blogging path?  Are any of the 8 Worldy Concerns particularly challenging for you in blogging or life?  Have you managed to temper these demons?  How did you succeed?

Image:  © Sue Alexander at Inspired Type

If you liked this article, please share the link by using the share button below.  And, I would love to hear from you in the comments.  Thanks so much for your support!  Sandra


Are You Afraid of Stillness and Space? Part 2


Worried, Nervous or Stuck? Release Yourself with the Wind


  1. Those concerns do dog me in life pretty consistently. I have to work to improve my focus and to maintain proper perspective. I think I just got lucky concerning blogging. I have always seen it as writing, and just as an exercise to do to get better at writing. I enjoy hearing from people, and their comments tell me about what works and what doesn’t. But I don’t do social networking via computer. The author/reader relationship is fulfilling and intimate enough. I think you are a very special conduit, Sandra. You funnel wisdom from many sources and pre-qualify them. That saves me a lot of time, and I appreciate it.

    • Mike,

      I’m glad you’ve never fallen into the blogging traps. I love the depth of your writing, the mind, heart, and soul behind your blog. That itself seems to be a magnet for readers on your blog. I appreciate what you’ve said about the author/reader relationship being so fulfilling and intimate. I’ve discovered that it’s very important aspect of blogging for me.

      “Conduit” is a perfect word to describe my blog. I’ve been lucky to have received so many wisdom teachings and my wish is to pass some sense of this stream of wisdom along here. Thanks for your appreciation.

  2. You are wonderful, Sandra, to be blogging for change. We need more bloggers interested in greater goals than marketing! I definitely fall for the insecurity you talk about, especially in the beginning. Now that I’ve learned the ropes a bit more and have deepened my online connections, I am not as insecure, and am more focused on my message. I try to express my perspective as clearly and authentically as possible, and I try not to be swayed by marketers. It’s tough, to be honest, as the quest for more readers never really goes away. But I find that authenticity is still the best path to take.

    • Lynn,

      If there is one message I could pass on to other bloggers, it’s what you’ve said here, “…authenticity is still the best path to take.” I’ve enjoyed seeing your evolution as a blogger. You have a unique, practical, smart, and profound voice.

      The quest for more readers seems to be a natural part of being a ChangeBlogger. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that at all. It’s positive to want to touch other people’s lives. For me, it’s just a question of keeping it in perspective and not getting all wound up about it.

      I’m so glad you are part of my world.

  3. Sandra, congratulations for your blog anniversary and many thanks for this post. I can relate to what you went through when you started reading all the tips to become a better blogger…and the attachment to statistics, number of comments, and so on.
    As Lynn says, authenticity is the best path to take, regardless of how popular what you write could make you.
    “Every drop of positive action adds to the great ocean of change. Even touching just one person’s life, you’ve made a difference in the world.” I totally agree 🙂

    • Thank you, Cristina. It seems almost every blogger goes through the stage of wanting to get it right. It’s a tremendous learning process on a personal level.

      I appreciate all the beauty you bring into this world!

  4. Edith

    Congratulations on the 1 year anniversary of your blog Sandra! That’s some achievement! 😉
    You have raised some pretty interesting questions about the nature of blogging, as well as the nature of those who follow and read your blog. It is the latter which has caught my attention. I’m not a blogger, though have thought about it, but know that I have neither the time nor the energy to keep on doing it. Trying to write on a regular basis is hard enough, but staying true to all ones readers is a huge investment of time, effort and energy, none of which seem to infiltrate my world !! 🙂
    No, what makes me wonder is the ease with which a reader/follower like moi can breeze in and out of blogs, reading them as and when we feel drawn to do so (or when the opportunity presents itself!) It is too easy to sign on to be a member/follower of a blog and avoid the promise of committemnt and inner stability of purpose required. It is such a simple thing to turn on the computer and simply surf wherever the current wave takes one. Blogs and distractions go hand in hand.
    And yet, a blog like yours has so much to offer in terms of content – reflections, musings, referrals to resources and sources of information. You offer an amazing service to those who read your words.
    As always the conundrum seems to be summed up in the word “committment”. Not yours, but mine!

    • Edith,

      You’ve raised many good points too! This one especially resonates for me > “Blogs and distractions go hand in hand.” As you know, meditation and contemplation are near and dear to my heart. I always try to remember that and not get lost in the tempting distractions of the blogosphere. It’s another challenge in mindfulness!

      The way we can easily surf the internet and imbibe just about anything can indeed raise the question of what it is exactly that we are committed to.

      Thanks for adding these great questions to the conversation.

  5. Wow, a year went by so fast – congratulations on passing your anniversary, Sandra. I’m sure the next one will go just as fast 🙂

    I totally agree that blogging can screw around with your head – and your confidence, and your writing, and your finances and your time… 🙂 But, as you can attest, it’s also given a lot back. Here’s to another great year for you 🙂

    • Karen,

      I had to smile when I read your list of ways that blogging can screw with your head. You’ve clearly encountered your own lessons along the way! Yes, I agree wholeheartedly that blogging gives a lot back. Thanks for your good wishes! It’s wonderful to be connected to you.

  6. Congrats on the one year anniversary. Boy, you have really made an impact in one year. Your blog does provide useful, wise, inspirational info which is accomplishing your goal, I think.

    Blogging, for me, does not screw with my mind. I do feel a little bit of the panic you mention when I hit the publish button. I find comfort in the thought that the edit button works quickly and reliably, thank goodness.

    Thankfully, I do not have to make any money off of my blog which helps to keep me authentic. I do not even know my stats and don’t want to. However, I always want more distribution and followers.

    I think the biggest fallacy in blogging for me is that it I find it all too easy to assume that whatever I am saying is what others are going to find meaningful, inspirational, or important and the disappointment an elation that goes along with that. I write for myself, but I think this is always a goal in the back of my mind.

    It always surprises me to find out that I am and that I am not these things- all at the same time to different people. I find this the real challenge. You really make yourself vulnerable in this way when you blog. It is a good lesson in remaining centered and balanced regardless of the feedback or the number of readers and comments.

    • Debbie,

      I love your healthy attitude about blogging and your clarity of vision.

      One point in particular that resonates for me is what you’ve said about making yourself “vulnerable” when you blog. I find that too. At the same time, as you suggest, there’s positivity and power in this vulnerability if it’s a lesson in remaining centered and balanced.

      Yes, that is an interesting fallacy ~ the assumption that whatever we write will be meaningful to others. My most popular articles are often the one’s I least expect to be so well received. Sometimes, it’s a big surprise!

      I enjoy your blog tremendously and am so glad you are writing so lucidly about the best brain possible. It really touches almost every aspect of our life.

  7. Very interesting post and came at such a timely moment. I will be blogging a year at the end of May and I have been struggling with some of these same things myself. My reasons for blogging have changed somewhat thru the months, and now I am at a point where I am trying to make some decisions as to the future of my blogging in general. This post has been helpful, thank you very much!

    • Hi Bernice,

      So many questions come up related to blogging when you are trying to live the balanced life, the whole purpose of your blog. I know you have been through many evolutions too and have learned so much in the process. I’m glad this post has been helpful to you. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Hi Sandra,

    Congratulations on your anniversary! Your blog has helped so much on my journey into blogging, so a great big Thank You! for everything you share with us. You have a beautiful, clear and meaningful voice that always manages to connect… how perfect that you are growing with renewed purpose.

    ChangeBlogger looks fantastic, I’m definitely joining! And thank you for using my design in this post — I love seeing it illustrate this inspiring message. :~D


    • Hi Sue,

      I’m so happy to have connected with you and your blog so early on. It’s a pleasure to be a part of spreading good thoughts by using your gorgeous illustrations! Thanks for your sweet words. It’s meaningful to know that my blog has helped you in your blogging journey. Thanks for radiating all those positive thoughts and beauty into the world.

  9. Happy First Anniversary, Sandra! This is a terrific post and the topic is one that my husband and I were discussing yesterday, especially the part about getting caught up in the blog-growth game. I definitely started out from an insecure place and experienced hopes that I, too, could be a “big” blogger (I’m a Leo rising, too). Then something funny happened. I tried this approach and that, found myself liking some things and balking horribly at others, but kept writing and writing what I really wanted to write. Now I’ve got a lot of subscribers and a clearer path of what I want to do with the blog and my non-blog writing. It won’t monetize in the same way as pro-bloggers advise, and that’s just fine, because it suits me a lot better. It enables me to step back from the Worldly Concerns a little!

    I’ve been enjoying your search for the perfect look for your blog. This is one easier to read than the one with the dark background, although I thought the dark background was soothing and elegant. Regardless, you’ve been on my RSS feed (I’m old-fashioned, I guess) for months now, always surviving my periodic feed cull and I like what you have to say and the way you say it. Onwards and upwards!

    • Meg,

      I’m so glad you found your way through the blogging forest by intuitively writing precisely what you really wanted to write. You have a special and unique voice. I love the different flavors you bring to your writing. In the end, as you suggest, I think we each need to find what suits us just fine!

      I enjoy experimenting with new blog designs. Thanks for your feedback. There was so much I liked about the Vostok theme with the black background, but it doesn’t really fit with the topic of my blog and, as you point out, white is easier to read. The temptation at the moment is going toward more simplicity. We’ll see what evolves in time!

      Thanks for your appreciation and good thoughts!

  10. Dear Sandra,
    Happy first blogging anniversary. I love your blog and though I do not comment frequently I read and reread your articles several days of the week.
    Long may you blog. 🙂

    • Thank you, timethief. And thanks for all the support you’ve given me on my blogging journey! It’s meaningful to know that my articles resonate for you. All the best!

  11. Hi Sandra,
    Thanks for the link love. I’ve enjoyed our conversations and getting to know you through blogging. I’ve struggled on and off with everything you mention both on and off line. Because I love the life I’ve created for myself I never stay unhappy for very long. I’m a normally intense person who has to remember to lighten up. I find it interesting that this follows your posts on stillness and space. Freakin’ out about blogging doesn’t allow for either. Happy Birthday my friend! xoxo

    • Tess,

      I love this approach to happiness > “Because I love the life I’ve created for myself I never stay unhappy for very long.” That’s the way to go!

      Yep, I’m more into stillness and space than freakin’ out about blogging. 🙂

      Thank you for all your love and support on my blogging and life journey. It’s a joy to know you.

  12. Sandra,
    Thank you so much for posting this article. It has provided me with some food for thought and I have returned to share my thoughts with you and your readers.

    I’m sure you will agree that change comes from within. Pondering this led me to ask exactly whose change you are blogging for. Your own? Or are you attached to the purpose of blogging to change others?

    I have six years of blogging experience. Five of those years have been blogging in the non-monetized blogging tips niche. Four of those years have been blogging in my personal blog which turned four yesterday.

    In my blogging tips my aim is to provide useful information to both beginners and to those who wish to improve their blogging skills. My guest authors and I blog on the themes of becoming a better blogger, building a better blog, and effective blog promotion. So “yes” my underlying intent is to prompt change as I share information in the hope that others will use it to impriove their blogging skills.

    In my personal blog I blog about conscious libing, living the simple life and what I do to improve my quality of my life. My aim is to achieve personal growth and well-being through increased awareness and through overcoming challenges. In that blog share what I did and continue to do to welcome, to adapt to, and/or to cope with, and/or to initiate change within myself and my life.

    I do agree that “every drop of positive action adds to the great ocean of change.  Even
    touching just one person’s life, you’ve made a difference in the world.” What that sentiment reflects is the truth which is we are all agents of change and that compels me to reflect on my life purpose and on humility.

    My life purpose is to live consciously and courageously in the now moment, to resonate with love and compassion, and to leave this world in peace. In the context of attachment as a Buddhist (Theravada) I am considering some questions.

    Is it possible that attaching to titles like “change-maker” or “agent of change” or membership in “community of change-makers” will feed egocentricity?

    One of the definitions of egocentric thinking means one has the tendency to perceive, understand and interpret the world in terms of the self. Therefore, one tends to believe everyone sees what they see/believe (or that what they see/believe, in some way, exceeds what others see). The degree of egocentricity manifested hinges on the degree of emotion we invest. In fact, egocentricity is only the foundation assuming “we feel” confident about an area, or “we feel” proud or passionate, etc. as well as reflecting the degree of conviction and unwillingness to yield our attachments as discussion branches out. Egocentricity leads us to seek out and attach to like-minded others while distancing from those who aren’t on the same page and singing from the same songbook.

    I’m struggling every day to detect, correct and conquer my own egocentric thoughts, words and actions, so I can make a direct contribution to peace and harmony in my own life and in the world.

    If I view myself as an official “agent for change” or as an official “change maker” and if I join a nona fide “community of change-makers” then will that attachment distract me from humbly treading the pathway alone, listening to the perspectives of others who are not like-minded, and becoming the change I want to see in others?

    I’m still mulling these questions over and thanking you as I do. May your second blogging year be even more fulfilling than your first one.

    Love and peace by with you always,

    • timethief,

      These are wonderful reflections. I’m very grateful that you have taken the time to share them with us. I feel that contemplation is extremely important to our evolution on all levels, but especially as spiritual beings. I’m inspired by your willingness to investigate.

      To answer your question, I am blogging for my own change, to support others in their change, and to bring about change in the world. Am I attached to the purpose of blogging to change others? If I am honest, I can only say that sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not. I’m not a realized being so of course there is some attachment and ego mixed in to all that I do.

      In my tradition, ego is defined as “grasping to a self”, to the delusory notion of “I”. So, whether I am attached or not attached in any moment all depends on whether I am grasping on to the self or whether I am acting out of a space that is free of this attachment. And, as I said above, it seems to me that there is a spectrum: at one end is complete self-centeredness and at the other is complete selflessness and freedom from attachment or liberation.

      I don’t think aspiration and attachment are the same. Bodhisattvas (compassionate warriors) make an aspiration to return to this realm again and again until all beings are free of suffering and gain enlightenment. They are the ultimate changemakers in my eyes. Are they attached? Until they are fully realized, yes there will be some degree of ego and attachment, but it will be lessening and lessening as they continue to practice and walk the spiritual path.

      There’s also a difference between grasping onto self and having a healthy sense of self. Buddhism is the middle way between the two extremes of nihilism and eternalism. Buddhism isn’t say that we don’t exist, only that we don’t exist in the way we think we do. Great teachers like the Dalai Lama have a healthy sense of self from a conventional perspective, but at the same time they recognize that the self doesn’t inherently exist from an absolute perspective. They don’t have a problem with aspirations and getting things done.

      Reducing our self-cherishing and egocentricity is an essential part of the spiriutal path. I’m inspired by your commitment to this end. As you point out so well, there are many layers and levels of egocentricity. I think you are making a good point that there can be a danger of increasing egocentricity when we identify too strongly with a label like “changemaker” or any label for that matter.

      But I don’t think that being a part of a community of changemakers by definition makes one more egocentric or necessarily means one is closed to other perspectives. To function in this world, we need support and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with connecting with like minded people. Of course, as you suggest, there is a danger of putting on blinders and cutting yourself off from other perspectives when you identify with a group, but it’s a question of how much awareness you bring to the table. In Buddhism, there is “sangha” – the community of practitioners – to guide and support us along the way. It’s a challenging world and I think almost all of us need support.

      It is easy to get distracted from walking the path. Being part of any community can be a distraction or it can be a support. I’m curious that you seem to find it essential to walk the path alone. We’re all different and I don’t think there is one right way. However, I don’t think it’s either necessary or required to walk the path alone. There may be times when we choose to be alone to deepen our practice, in retreat, for example. And ultimately it comes done to me and my own mind, which is alone in one way. But I feel it can also be beneficial to be part of a community of support.

      This is just my thinking and it’s possible I have it wrong.

      You’ve raised many excellent questions here. So much, I think boils down to how conscious we are in our engagements. Thanks for sharing these important insights.

      • Hi Sandra,
        This is to let you know I read what you had to say and I’m now reflecting on it.

        I live in a remote location. Some weeks I don’t see anyone else at all aside from my husband. I rarely see more than 1 or 2 people per week, except in the summer months. There are no teachers or sanga where I live and that was what I meant by “alone”. However, in the wider sense I do realize I’m not really alone. I’m so grateful for all the wonderful people I have met in the online changemakers’ community — wonderful people like you.

        You have said: “It’s a challenging world and I think almost all of us need support. … To function in this world, we need support and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with connecting with like minded people.”

        I agree . Up to now I have simply shared my own life in my blog & what I do to improve it. Now I’m considering what further contributions I could make.

        Thank so much for being such a good friend.

        Love and peace,

        • timethief – You raised some very good questions in your comment and I’m very glad you did. The opportunity for solitude is a rare gift – although it can also be challenging too. It’s far too easy to get distracted. I think it’s very important to question what will distract us and what will reinforce our ego. Spiritual materialism is always a danger and it never hurts to guard against falling into that trap.

          I understand more clearly what you mean by “alone” now. I think you are very smart to be wary of too many distractions. For myself, I am just happy that there is a community of bloggers focused on change, where I can go when I have a difficult challenge or feel the need for support.

          Your contribution via your blogs has been immense. You give so much on your blogs; there’s no question you are blogger focused on change although you might not like to identify with a particular label. And that’s OK too.

          I’m grateful for all the support you’ve given me in the last year. Thank you too!

  13. Staying in the moment alleviates most of the fears of life ~ since they stem from revisiting the past or worrying about the future.

    As far as blogging, I have one rule . . . Enjoy the Journey.

    When we are absolutely determined to enjoy what we do, we win. No matter what happens, we win.

  14. Congratulations on one year, Sandra. I am glad you and I are blogging friends. I find your blogs inspiring and meaningful.

    I will hit one year of blogging in late June. It is hard to believe all has flown bye so quickly. One decision I made when I started was to run no ads. If there is no money involved I figured I wouldn’t become obsessed with constantly trying all the “tricks” to maximize income. So far, that approach has worked. Since blogging is a creative outlet and not my income source I don’t spend more than a few hours a day in front of the keyboard. I stopped following all the Twitter links since 99% were not helpful to me. they wasted my time, and destroyed my focus.

    Blogging remains a joy. My goal is to never let it dominate my life or become a chore instead of a pleasure.

  15. Bob,

    I love this: “My goal is to never let it dominate my life or become a chore instead of a pleasure.” I really inspired by your clarity. I think you’ve made several wise choices and I appreciate that you are sharing them. Good point on those twitter links. 🙂 I no longer follow people who are focus on marketing and blogging except for a few exceptional ones.

    I’m glad we are blogging friends too. I enjoy your blog immensely!

  16. I had/have the same concerns with blogging.
    You gave a good perspective on it! Thanks for sharing
    Congrats on 1year of blogging may you have many more that are happy!

  17. Happy anniversary, Sandra! You’ve truly widened my perspective in the time I’ve been reading your blog (a year ago, I would not have been caught dead reading a blog that had anything to do with self help or spirituality), and appreciate your graciousness and kindness in all that you do.

    I still blog for myself, mouthing off on whatever topics I happen to be fired up about, but I’m starting to see where the insecurity part comes in — the heartfelt post that gets hardly any comments, the drops and spikes in traffic, the weird ways in which Google directs traffic (someone searched for embalming equipment and found my blog)…yes, I’m certainly starting to get an inkling of all that. But I blog because I have something to say, not because I want to get bucket loads of traffic, and as long as I stick to that, I don’t think it can mess too much with my head.

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks for your kind words. I enjoy your unique spirit so much.

      I think you have a great approach to blogging. Yes, all those things you mention can really start to tickle your head, but I don’t think they will ever get to you. You have a good perspective and your feet on the ground.

  18. Remarkable blog, Tess.

    I remember Abram’s quote from ‘Chariot’s of Fire’: “I have just 10 seconds to justify my existence.” I also remember Rocky saying “I gotta go the distance…I just don’t want to be a bum.”

    For me these are non-examples for writing publicly/citizen journalism. In my weakest moments, I am writing for approbation or acclaim–justification. In my finest moments, I am enjoying enchantment and engagement and want to speak symphonies into the void–like John Coltrane in “A Love Supreme.” Work because it’s good. Writing because it’s like soul-digging (Heaney).

    I’m glad to be part of changebloggers w/you Tess. I think there is a certain “fear and trembling” that comes with time blogging. You see the stats go up and down, and realize it wasn’t about that anyway. You can play the game, learn to run the hustle…but in the end, it’s about people, avocational work/play, and joy.

    Keep being Tess!

    • Mark,

      I love this > “Writing because it’s like soul-digging.” That’s precisely what I find too. You’re right, time does bring perspective. Blogging can be like a game or it can be done authentically. Wise words!

  19. Hi Sandra..

    Thanks for stop by my blog…..glad to see you. You´re a great person with many positive visions. we need them in a world that not is so nice always..Always well within. I do read your blog very often and also to see your changes with CSS..Lots of smiles from English is not that nice ….

    • So nice to “see” you Kojiki! I love the beauty of your blog. Thanks for stopping by and your kind words. Yes, we do need positive visions and my aspiration is to be a part of creating them. 🙂 I’ve learned a little more CSS since the early days! Be well!

  20. Please Sandra, never underestimate the enormous value of your unique contribution. We all benefit from your wisdom and perspective. In plain English, our rock and I am so glad that you are here! You are a truly valued member of the circle, hopefully for many more years to come. Congratulations on your first year!

    • Thanks, Jonathan! I’ve been drawn to your blog because you are genuine. I really appreciate the way you extended your kindness to me early in my journey. I agree with you wholeheartedly > we all have a unique contribution to make and there is endless space in the blogosphere!

  21. Hi Sandra,
    Congrats on your anniversary. I love your blog and am glad I found it. Sometimes the big, well known blogs can be a turn off for me. It seems after awhile they start to focus on self-promotion rather than content. I believe that everyone has an obligation to contribute something positive to the world. Like you, I choose blogging to be one of my positive outlets. It’s a great feeling to know you are doing something right & you Sandra are doing everything right. Thanks for all you do and contribute!

    • Greetings Dandy!

      This is a philosophy I respect > “I believe that everyone has an obligation to contribute something positive to the world.” Your whole being emanates an aura of positivity. It’s so wonderful to “know” you. Blogging is a great avenue for expressing the positive.

  22. I can totally relate to this post. I just recently wrote a post about not caring about the numbers & just wanting to be genuine & connect with others. I think it’s so critical to keep your purpose for blogging in the forefront of your mind. If it is to monetize, that’s fine – but if it’s not & you’re getting sucked in – it’s so important to keep reminding yourself. Otherwise, like many other possible situations in life, you’ll reflect on it later & realise what you lost. Yourself.

    Beautiful article.

    • Thanks for sharing your own reflections with us. You have a beautiful website and naturally I agree with the sentiments in this post! We can help each other with these occasional reminders to be true to our selves and our higher purpose! It’s nice to “connect with you.” Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate it very much.

  23. Sandra,
    I find that this space you have created, it is one that helps me to reach a deeper and more meaningful place within me. And for that, I am deeply grateful for the care you put into creating this space.

    And one year – so, so wonderful. And it is, because your words always feel so pure and real – words spoken from your heart.

    Has insecurity touched me in my blogging world? Definitely. And it still does, although it’s becoming less and less. When I let this become a comparison game, insecurities come up. When I listen to my heart, and move focus away form how I compare to someone else, or some other project…I am at a much better place…

    • Lance,

      You are such an inspiration to me as someone who listens and follows their heart. I know none of us are able to do this perfectly perhaps, but you are a guide beckoning to us to follow along with you on the path of the genuine heart. Thanks for your kind words and friendship. It’s an honor to know you.

  24. Congratulations Sandra having such a profound impact on so many in such a short period of time. You are wonderful in my book. I’m trying to remember how I came to your blog and I simply can’t. I think it was just meant to be. Each time I stop by I gain new insight and support from you and your readers. I certainly have many of the insecurities you speak of but I try very hard to not let any of it mess with me. The 8 Worldly Concerns are always present-I just try to breathe through them.

    • Lori,

      You are a source of inspiration and wisdom in my eyes. Of course, we’re human and we are subject to these 8 Worldly Concerns. Yours is the best approach: “try to breathe through them.” I think the first step is simply being aware…then anything is possible.

      I’m so glad to have connected with you and I guess it was just meant to be! Thanks for your appreciative words.

  25. Wow, this is like coming to the feast table after everyone has already eaten! What a powerful post and excellent comments/responses. I was at a Shambhala meditation training all weekend, so I wasn’t keeping up. See, now I’m all stressed and disappointed that I didn’t get in on this discussion earlier! Blogging can make us crazy!

    Your observation about the plethora of blogs about blogging was fascinating. It made me think about all the books I’ve read about meditation. If I had actually meditated for all the time I’ve spent reading about meditation, I would be enlightened several times over!

    And the celebrity allure. I got caught up in that, too, for awhile, not having it, just wanting it. Not the money aspect of it. Like Bob said, I’m not doing this for income. But I do enjoy the other rewards of recognition and positive feedback. It’s so easy to get sucked into the ego side of this venture. I just discovered the stats feature on Blogger (I’m know–I’m slow), and now I look at it all the time. Hard not to play to your audience.

    If we can manage to keep our focus on living our lives instead of blogging about living, I think we’ll all do okay.

    • Galen,

      I’m so thrilled that you’ve had a chance to do a weekend at Shambhala Meditation training. That’s hard core in the best possible way. I hope you write about it on your blog.

      I love your genuine, upbeat spirit. It’s only human to want validation and feedback. The best approach like Laurie says is to breathe through it and have a sense of humor about it all! You have that kind of playful, honest spirit, which I always enjoy. But like you point out, it’s simply good not to get sucked in and lost in it all.

      I’m so glad I’m walking the blogging and spiritual path with you!

  26. Hi Sandra,
    I wonder if it is a phase (excessive attachment or unreasonable emotional involvement) that we all go through in blogging and also in other areas of our live. Is there an analogy to relationships and how they change over time. I know that my perspective about blogging is becoming healthier and more saner over time and my expectations are becoming much more realistic.

    • I think you are right, Riley, that it’s a stage we all go through. I’m happy to hear that your perspective on blogging is becoming healthier, saner, and more realistic over time. I’m all for a peaceful and insightful approach to blogging! Thanks for your thoughts.

  27. I might have missed the feast (see earlier comment), but I got dessert. Coming to this discussion late allowed me to see all the interesting comments. I just had a lot of fun visiting some blogs that are new to me, thanks to the comments on this post. I’ve been in a pretty closed universe lately, reading the same blogs (because they’re great, like yours!), but not really making any effort to meet some new folks.

    Today I had the perfect opportunity because I should be grading papers, the last set of papers I have to grade before I retire. But the comments were just too alluring, so I spent the time instead exploring. Now what does that say about getting too crazy about blogs?! Don’t tell me. Okay, back to grading….

  28. Hi Galen,

    I’m happy you are making some new connections via my blog. The people and bloggers who comment here rock!

    Congratulations on edging so close to retirement. That’s a big transition in life. Can you imagine being liberated from grading papers indefinitely?

  29. Well This is interesting. In May I will have had my first year of blogging as well. Yes the 8 worldly concerns bug me quite a bit. While much in the wide world has changed. I find that my life and blog seem much the same.

    The pair that get me is hope to make a difference and fear that I will be just as isolated and alone in the blogsphere as I am in the physical world.

    I seem to see silence reflected on the waters of internet space.
    The loneliness like a lone tree in a sea of grass.
    Knowing that millions of people surf the internet waves made me hopeful that others would see me and appreciate me as I am.
    Yet the roaring silence and immensity is still there.
    Echoes of my childhood.

    Ok i’ll stop with babbling you most likely get the drift.

  30. Hi Sandra,
    Congrats on the one year anniversary. In my eyes you’re a super blogger. 🙂 It’s all about content and you deliver good content every time with no gimmicks, long lists, or blogging formulas. You speak from the heart. What else can we ask from a super blogger? 🙂
    Loving blessings, my friend!

    • Andrea,

      You are so sweet and supportive! That’s exactly my aim – good content straight from the heart. Thanks for your kindness and positivity.

  31. I truly enjoyed reading this post as I struggle to find balance and purpose in my blogging. I will blog weekly for months and then other areas of life become a priority for a time and I come back to blogging a few months later. Usually when this happens I find a small voice inside is telling me that I’m not doing it right, or that I need to commit myself to my blog. Another louder voice assures me that taking care of me is my first priority, and taking care of my family is second. I lived a happy life before blogging, I lived a happy life while blogging, and I will live a happy life after blogging, too.

    I have professional goals related to my blog, and I practice being mindful in my actions and not tracking my progress towards my goal, if I ever reach it at all. On some level I accept that I can and will do my best to be purposeful in my activity and let go of the result. Growth, success and any achievements I reach are the result of doing what I can, not what I can’t. Today I accept myself as I am, and celebrate!

  32. Chrysta,

    I agree – taking care of yourself and your family are the first priorities. It seems almost all of us encounter these blogging challenges, but you have a terrific perspective. You’re right, doing too much will just burst us apart and won’t lead to an enjoyable stress. I appreciate your focus on being purposeful and accepting yourself. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  33. You point out some great things here. Some things I’ve been dealing with myself too. I put too much focus on the status of my blog’s health – and translate that to the status of my own health for the day. When there’s less action online, I tend to be more down. And vice versa. It shouldn’t be that way, in my opinion.

    I’m striving to be a happier person – and take more time for myself and family first. To be with them more often, and to live a rich, fulfilling life.

    It’s difficult, but certainly manageable.

  34. Hi Christian,

    I hear you! This is a challenge many of us face. It seems like you have a good awareness of the challenge and a good goal set for yourself to be both a happier person and spend more time with you family. With you clarity, I’m sure this will come to pass. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective.

  35. Sandra it’s like you read my mind. Blogging is all those things and more. The great fear and joy of blogging. My blog was started to help change the world one day at a time and some days it all overwhelms me. I wonder if anyone is even reading or tweeting or FB liking. Perspective – thank you. That was a gift.

    • My pleasure Jacqueline. I’m so inspired by your blog and your purpose. I wish you great success without any overwhelm!

  36. You’ve accomplished a ton in one year. Well done! As far as feeling overwhelmed and consumed with blogging, I’m so glad you shared what Chris said. I have had moments where I feel depressed and question what I did wrong, and then my mood shifts when people are “nice,” and comment, and then I tell myself, “Sonia, you’re not a kid. You’re a grown woman, why are you acting this way?” I do love connecting with people from around the world. I also know it’s easy to spend too many hours in front of the computer. Thanks for letting us know we all feel the same, whether or not we admit to it.

    • Sonia,

      I thought that was such an honest quote from Chris Guillebeau. And it really goes to show you that we all go through these ups and downs. I’m so excited about your TV appearance. You really do have guts! Bravo.

  37. you have hit the bulls eye with your amazing post Sandra
    i was just telling a friend yesterday (what a coincidence) attachment makes us weak, when we decide to let go we become strong

    • Farouk, Thanks for highlight the danger of attachment. Letting go has been in the forefront of mind too!

  38. A wonderful post providing renewed perspective, thank you, Sandra – and congats on your first blogging anniversary!

  39. Enjoyed reading this and the subsequent conversation between you and time thief, as you both explore some of the paradoxes of blogging together. I think blogging has changed me, hopefully for the better on the inside, though my finger joints and neck would argue the point. Central equilibrium is something that I try to dance towards down the path that is no path. I am not very good at it, being a monster of ego, can but keep trying . Best wishes and thanks for this post. It read like one from the heart!

    • Joanna, Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad to hear of the positive changes blogging has brought forth for you. I think blogging is a great exercise in personal development. Ego will pop up no matter what we’re doing and dancing down the path that is no path is a perfect way to skirt around her. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate them so much.

  40. Thx for this article and thanks for your open words. I can fully relate to the fear and self-doubt some bloggers have. Good to know that I’m not the only one! Guess I just started my journey… Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Micahela,

      It always helps to know we are not alone! Good luck on your blogging journey. It’s a wonderful way to learn about ourselves. Thanks for your comment.

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