“On a soul level, we want to work, we want to create, we want to be productive and serve others and share our gifts with the world.” ~ Marianne Williamson, The Law of Divine Compensation
A friend of mine complimented my gratitude skills. Well, I work at it.
Lately, I’ve had to work harder. In fact, I’ve been feeling the need to work harder at everything.
I have to work hard to build my blog, my brand and my platform so I can land an agent, so I can get a life-changing book contract, so I can do what I love—write and ideally get paid, in order to continue doing what I love.
I’ve been taking classes on blogging and taking on blogging challenges (#bloglikecrazy).
Today, when I went to check my blog and read others to see if they’re worthy of following, I landed on this TedX video: Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard?
In it, Jon Jandai talks about going to Bangkok to get an education to build a house and chase fashion and… We all know the story. We’re living the chase.
I love his idea of going to a tiny town and living a happy life without the chase, but my American mind doesn’t want to buy it.
Isn’t it weird that simplicity seems impossible, but following the dogma of those who are following the formula of those who’ve found the holy grail of sweet success seems the only logical path?
So, I watched another TedX video (of course): A rich life with less stuff.
It reminded me in 2011 (when my marriage fell apart and our house was repossessed), I moved to a 500-square-foot apartment and taught writing as a community faculty member at a college. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, community faculty means paid at poverty level. Unless you teach at five different colleges, drive all over town and also teach online, which many instructors do.
I didn’t. I taught at two schools, three or four classes. I barely got by financially.
Still, it was one of my happiest chapters—an imposed minimalist life where the only thing I chased was poetry in sidewalks.
Could I go back to that? Is having less the key to more joy? I’m not sure.
As I watched the video, the concept consumed me.
Immediately after, I realized I don’t have time to go minimal because I’ve got to get the maximum number of blog followers. I’ve got to write more blog posts than I’ve ever written. They must be better quality. And, I need to figure out what gift I can give for free (part of the formula) to those who follow me so I don’t sound like I’m begging.
Yes, in the center of my bottomless writer’s heart is the craving to grab the masses’ attention so I have a platform to stand on when I ask agents to represent my book and they can say to publishers: “See, Alice in Authorland has thousands of readers.”
This is the system. I’m a writer. I’m all-in. So, I’ll continue taking on the challenges, learning the industry, and marketing my writing.
However, at the end of the video, one of the minimalists says, “When you add value to people’s lives, they’re pretty eager to share.”
I intend to adopt this minimalist mentality: less materialism is more and value spreads by those it serves.
Recently, a widower told me what I write is what he’s feeling, but is unable to express. He says my words give him comfort. That’s everything to me.
I only know him because I wrote about my grief. I wasn’t trying to gain followers or meet a challenge. I was writing my truth.
The connections are what matter. We’d love for thousands to subscribe to our tribes.
But first, may we be of benefit.
We have a destination: success. We get lost along the way. We fall into the chase and start summoning gratitude rather than letting it arise organically.
We don’t have to be, have and do everything—just our thing, authentically.
Regardless, with little or much, with thousands of readers or the handful who reach out to say they’re touched, I feel fortunate to do this work.
In the midst of the chase, let’s not forget our love of the game.
We’re here! There’s space for all of us and a way of balancing our desires for more while simultaneously acknowledging our current abundance and blessings.
I love things evolving naturally, but being heard within the internet cacophony isn’t as easy as smiling at strangers. So, I began chasing success.
Now, I invite it by being fully present with what I’m doing and loving it once again.
If my words touch you, please share. Thank you. I’m grateful.