Blogging Dream Team

21 02 2011

Everybody needs somebody who says, ‘I believe in you.

 

Better still – get an entire group to believe in you and you cannot fail!

 

You’ll feel stronger and more capable. You’ll be far more ambitious. You’ll leap over hurdles. You’ll laugh off disappointments. You’ll risk more and try harder. And, you’ll celebrate your successes with people who are happy for you to succeed. – Anonymous.

Having someone truly believe in you is a beautiful experience. Someone who is there to help heal your wounds when things don’t always go exactly to plan and will help lift you back up, dust you down and get you back on track.

A few years ago I started a rather ambitious project and I knew that I needed a team of supporters to help me to succeed. I indentified the areas in which I needed the most help and guidance before approaching the right people in each of these areas to explain my mission and to ask for their support.

In a few weeks, I had assembled my ‘Dream Team’, all of whom were committed to helping facilitate my success. They each had unique qualities to bring to the project and most importantly, they all believed in me!

It was the most amazingly experience and taught me a great deal about the power of working in co-operation with others in pursuit of a common goal. Our experience and abilities complemented each other perfectly and the blend was just the right mix to ensure our success.

 

Most importantly, before I could expect others to believe in me…I had to first believe in myself. Without this self-belief, the project would have been doomed to failure from the outset, instead of becoming the huge success that it was.

Over the past couple of months we have attracted a wonderful group of fellow bloggers who are as committed to our success as they are to their own.

We have recognised something special in each other and we are generous in our encouragement of each other. With this belief we have in each other’s ability, we are practically guaranteed to succeed in our blogging challenges.

Bring on the Blogging Dream Team!

Day 52 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I will be celebrating the amazing spirit of the blogging community and the power of shared success.

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Writing from the Heart

18 02 2011

Why do we blogand who exactly are we blogging for?

Do we write just to get something off our chestor do we write with our perceived audience in mind?

Are we looking to attract a large number of followersor do we just say whatever is on our mind – regardless of whether anyone wants to read what we have to say?

Does it matter if we stick to our original blog ‘theme’or is it an evolving process through which our ‘theme’ develops as our blog unfolds?

 Perhaps I should begin this post by answering some of the above questions with my own thoughts on this subject.

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I began writing this blog as a way of sharing my 50th birthday celebrations with my friends and family in the mistaken belief that they were possibly the only people who would take the time to read my posts.

After all, why would anyone else be interested in the random thoughts of an (almost) 50 year old!

 

As things have worked out, hardly any of my close friends and family have read more than a just few posts (apart from my loyal friend Liz – bless you) and until a few short weeks ago my current readers were strangers to me.

Now of course, they have become my lovely Blogging Buddies and these dear friends have brought so much unexpected joy, laughter and inspiration to the whole blogging experience.

So does this mean that I now write with my new friends in mind? I do try not to do this, but as I write I can’t help but wonder what my new friends will think of this latest post. So yes, in some ways, I suppose I am beginning to write with my ‘audience’ in mind.

I do write to get things off my chest, hence my constant references to my on-going battle of keeping up my blogging commitments and my dilemma over whether to switch to a weekly post instead of a daily one to lessen some of the pressure.

I have resisted this so far as I would feel that I had let myself down after promising to commit to doing this for the entire 365 days (which feels like a lifetime at this present moment in time!)

It wasn’t my original intention to create loads of followers; although I have to confess that I’ve loved watching the visitor stats slowly begin to climb and it was a truly amazing experience to see them shoot through the roof after being ‘Freshly Pressed’ a couple of weeks ago!

It was as a result of the positive feedback I had been receiving, combined with the numbers of visitors that I decided to add a page to my blog called ‘Dancing with Dystonia’ to help raise awareness of this little known and incurable condition that affects so many people throughout the world.

If by doing this, I can help one other person to recognise this condition…or to find the support they need…then this entire blogging process has been worth the commitment.

As for sticking to a ‘theme’, the only constant throughout my posts is my daily ‘reason for celebration’. Otherwise, I have used different formats with – or without – quotations or poems…and I have written about whatever is on my mind at the time.

Ultimately, we have to be true to ourselves and by…

 Writing from the heart…we will reach to the heart.

We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. If we share with caring, lightheartedness, and love, we will create abundance and joy for each other. And then this moment will have been worthwhile.
Deepak Chopra

 

Day 49 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I am going to celebrate by taking a leaf out of Deepak’s book and enjoy every precious and transient moment.





40 Days and 40 Nights

9 02 2011

It’s been 40 Days…and 40 (Very Long) Nights!…

 

…since I began writing this blog – and I thought this would be a good moment to stop and reflect on my journey thus far.

Now feels like the right time to take a look at some of the lessons I’ve learnt; insights I’ve shared; pay tribute to the friendships I’ve made and to recognise the highlights of the of the past couple of months.

I’ve learnt that it is okay to ‘stand up and stand out’. To be myself and let others decide whether they want to hear what I have to say.

I’ve learnt that is okay to no longer hide behind other’s opinions and views of the world – and that my opinion also counts.

I’ve learnt to reconnect with myself and my own world – and I am beginning to understand myself better than I have ever done before.

I’ve learnt that it is possible to be heard in a noisy, overcrowded world and that by remaining true to myself, others will stop and linger awhile – to connect and sometimes leave a comment – before moving on to share their thoughts with others on the same path.

I’ve learnt that I can be totally focused and that I’m more resilient than I realised.

I’ve learnt that if I want something badly enough…and it is the right thing for me to do…heaven and earth…will move to ensure that I am heading in the right direction.

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Last week I was at the point of throwing in the towel when my post – Blog Baby – was Freshly Pressed. This amazing recognition of my writing and the excitement of seeing my ‘views’ shoot through the roof…helped to renew my enthusiasm and gave me the boost I needed to keep going.

Another highlight was participating in a TV programme for ITV called ‘May the Best House Win’ which was broadcast last month. It was quite an eye opener to see myself in this way and what I saw…was not what I see when I look in the mirror!

Plans for my new business, Naked Dragon, are coming together slowly and beautifully. I believe that I was being asked…for some as yet unknown reason…to slow down; let things take their own course and to give the business the space it needed to come together in its own good time.

Going ‘public’ with my Dystonia was a huge leap of faith. Talking about my condition between friends and family is totally different to actually ‘putting it out there’ and I almost changed my mind a dozen times before I decided to ‘face the fear…and do it anyway’ by pressing the ‘Publish’ button!

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The Greatest Gift…and one that was totally unexpected when I began this journey…are the friendships that I have made through this wonderful blogging community. You all know who you are and I know that I am very blessed to have attracted you into my life …for however long we choose to walk this road together.

“People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime” Author Unknown

(I will publish this poem – a favourite of mine – in tomorrow’s post)

 Day 40 (and 40 Nights!) – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I am going to celebrate by scheduling the above poem for my next post and take some time out to step back and enjoy the achievement of making it to this significant milestone.





Feed Me!

8 02 2011

The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company – pets we allow into our solitude.  ~ Robert Brault

Someone recently described taking on the responsibility of a blog as being like caring for a pet…as once you commit…your pet will require constant feeding.

At the time, I didn’t quite understand what they meant. Now I know…

A Blog is for Life – not just for Christmas!’

My Pet Blog has been so well fed and has grown so quickly…she has attracted lots of little friends to come and play with her.

I love my Pet Blog …and I love my fellow bloggers and supporters.

My pet has led me out to play with so many lovely people that I have run out of hours to spend with all my new friends…and this appears to be a recurring theme for many bloggers over the past few weeks.

We are all delighted with our new friends and want to continue to support each other – whilst managing to keep our lives in balance.

Insomnia seems to developing rapidly within our blogging community and we need to find this balance quickly – before we all burn out and have little left to offer each other.

They are days when my hands are shaking so badly and my eyesight becomes so weak (due to the Dystonia symptoms) that I struggle to keep on top of my blogging commitments…let alone find time to develop my new business…or to research latest developments in treatments for my condition.

I want to do my best by everyone…and sometimes I feel as though I’m failing miserably!

I want my Pet Blog to have a long and healthy life. And I want to maintain the quality of my writing…and my support of my fellow bloggers.

Something has to give…or I’ll be walking around like a zombie by the end of the month!

I need to cut down on the volume of WordPress emails (mainly replies to comments) flooding into my inbox at the rate of 200-300 a day…and focus on reading my buddies blogs, replying to comments on my blog and creating my own posts.

Having taken on board some of the suggestions made by my Blogging Buddies…
 Papa Joe, Classy Rose & Quidmont

I’ve decided that I am going to do the following:- 

  1. Post my blog on a daily basis 

  2. Read everyone else’s blogs (daily whenever possible) 

  3. Either leave a comment on other posts – or  just press the ‘like’ button so you will know that I’ve stopped by to say ‘hi’ 

  4. No longer press the ‘follow up comments’ button 

If anyone has any further thoughts/ideas as to how we can make our commitments more manageable thereby giving us more time to focus on the fun elements of writing and supporting each other…I love to hear them!

Hopefully, my new disciplined approach will help to ease things up a little and will create more time for me to take better care of my other projects.

I want to spend more time focusing on raising awareness of Dystonia…with a view to ultimately discovering a natural treatment to help suffers of this debilitating condition.

I will be working with different therapists over the coming year and will share my success stories via my blog.

Otherwise, I promise to be back on track…and back on subject…as of tomorrow’s post!

My new business Naked Dragon will revolve around my favourite subject of Inspiration – and will focus on supporting writers, authors & speakers with an inspiring message to share with the world – to get their message out there to a greater audience.

The new website is currently under construction and I hope this will be ready to launch by late spring.

If you are interested in being kept informed of future developments, please send an email to: julie@nakeddragon.co.uk – with ‘please subscribe’ in the subject line and I will put you on my mailing list.

Day 39 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I celebrate what has been an amazing blogging journey to date. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful people.

Thank you all…for your loveyour support…and your encouragement.





To Thy Own Self Be True

4 02 2011

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best – night and day – to make you somebody else; means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight. 
~ e.e. cummings 1955

When we are alone…it is easy to be true to our self.

But holding onto our sense of self within a relationship – without getting lost – is a different matter entirely.

It is so easy to say “just be yourself” – and yet it is one of life’s greatest challenges to actually be so.

For most of my life I’ve tried to fit other’s peoples expectations of who I thought they wanted me to be.

With a huge insecurity and a need to be ‘liked’…I would wear the appropriate mask to fit each occasion.

I courted other people’s good opinion in a vain attempt to validate my existence by suppressing my own needs to meet another’s.

I allowed myself to become a victim…so that I could blame the other…when one bullying relationship after another crashed and burned.

I learnt to dance to so many different tunes…I could have created my own solo dance troupe!

Deep down, I knew I was a long way from being true to myself.

I knew something had to change, but I didn’t know what…or how.

I had become an accomplished chameleon, changing colours with such frequency; I no longer knew who I was.

 

I understood that a certain amount of compromise in a relationship was to be expected; but there is a huge difference between compromise and selling one’s soul to please another.

Consciously – or subconsciously – many of us play games with each other in order to get what we want.

We are the victim…or the abuser – or we flit between the two.

We recognise the pattern in other people and fail to see it in ourselves.

We hide our true light in an attempt to be accepted…or to fit within someone else’s definition of who they think we are.

Living our personal truth is a real challenge as it often means having to let go of those on whom we’ve become co-dependant.

And the thought of letting go can be a scarier prospect than staying put…so we remain stuck in destructive relationships that rob us of who we truly are.

Stepping into our personal power takes a lot of courage as it requires a huge leap of faith to choose to walk our path alone.

And as I walk slowly back towards myself, I begin to stand straighter and walk tall as my old way of being fades to grey and I begin to see myself in glorious Technicolor.

Like a long lost friend…I am returning home to myself…where I belong.

Day 35 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I will celebrate by welcoming myself back home…I’ve missed you babe!





Freshly Pressed!!!

2 02 2011

I am just SO EXCITED about being featured in today’s Freshly Pressed! 

A couple of hours ago I noticed that my stats had suddenly taken off like a rocket.

I couldn’t work out what was going on until it occurred to me to check out Freshly Pressed

…and there was my ‘Blog Baby’

…featured on the front page of WordPress

…after only one month of Blogging!

AMAZING!!!

 Life doesn’t get much better than this!

What a wonderful reward for all the sleepless nights and the personal sacrifices that have been made in order to honour my commitment to the Postaday2011 Challenge.

I would like to say ‘WELCOME AND THANK YOU’ to everyone who has visited my blog for the first time today. I am delighted that you have taken the time to stop by to say ‘Hello’…I promise I will respond to all your comments very soon,

I’d also like to say a BIG THANKYOU to WordPress for choosing to feature me. It is such an honour and I am truly amazed to have made it to the front page. Thank you for making this a highlight of my ‘Special Year of Celebration’.

Most of all I want to say a very HEARTFELT THANKYOU to all my Blogging Buddies and my Loyal Supporters (you know who you are!) – for keeping me on track whenever my resolve has begun to crack.

Finally, I want to say a ‘SPECIAL THANK YOU’ to my beautiful daughter Abi, for introducing me to WordPress and the wonderful world of Blogging. You have no idea of what you’ve started here my darling. I LOVE YOU xxx

 A Special Celebration

Tonight I am going to celebrate by raising a glass (or two) to everyone who has supported me on my journey to date For your love, your encouragement and your belief in me – Thank You All xxx