I was recently listening to Your Heart's Prayer: Following the Thread of Desire into a Deeper Life, a recording of an inspiring talk given by Oriah Mountain Dreamer shortly after she wrote The Dance, the sequel to The Invitation. In another instance of the priming effects of having recently finished Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers, by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, I can see all kinds of connections between the benefits of blogging extolled by Robert and Shel and the practice of unfolding that Oriah espouses.
What if becoming who and what we truly are happens not through striving and
trying but by recognizing and receiving the people and places and practises
that offer us the warmth of encouragement we need to unfold?
Yesterday, I blogged about blogs as the ideal platform for sharing love; today I want to say a little more about blogs as the ideal platform through which to receive love ... or, as Oriah might put it, for receiving the warmth of encouragement we need to unfold.
Robert and Shel emphasize the importance of transparency and authenticity in developing an effective blogging practice, encouraging bloggers to be real; Oriah expresses this same sentiment as a process of unfolding, or becoming "who you already are in your essential nature". I believe that my own blogging practice has helped me to be more real, to unfold, to risk expressing -- and thereby accepting, if not [yet] fully embracing -- who I really am.
Naked Conversations includes many examples that demonstrate how the blogosphere responds well to passion, openness and vulnerability, and not so well to blandness, facades and disingenuousness. I have received incredible warmth of encouragement from the blogosphere through comments and emails on posts where I've been willing to risk new depths of vulnerability, perhaps best illustrated in my series of blog posts on my wife's cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery. I have been inspired to continue unfolding more indirectly through reading (and commenting on) blogs by others who are modeling the kind of passion, openness and vulnerability I want to cultivate in my own life (and blog), e.g., Dan Oestreich and Kathy Sierra.
Part of being open and vulnerable is being willing to make mistakes (publicly). Robert and Shel talk about typographical and grammatical errors as providing evidence for the authenticity of blogs, contrasting them to carefully crafted and edited press releases. Oriah talks about perfectionism as the enemy of wholeness, as it represents a resistance to seeing and deeply appreciating yourself and the world as they are right now. So, as part of my practice, I'm going to skip doing a spell check on this post, and I'm going to release my obsessive desire to go back (and forth) to review what I've already written, to help ensure coherence ... and finally, I'm even going to let go of the temptation to say "sorry" to any potential readers, and instead be unapologetically me.
I do, however, want to mention one more connection between Naked Conversations and Your Heart's Prayer (well, actually, The Dance). Oriah talks about how our desire to control is the normal human response to fear, and that the only way to become free of that fear is to recognize my inherent belonging -- to those around me, to the world, to that which is greater than myself. Robert and Shel talk about FUD -- fear, uncertainty and doubt -- as the biggest [perceived] barriers to those who are considering blogging, and many of the FUDs revolve around issues of control ... which, I would argue, reflect a clinging to notions of separateness or "us vs. them", whether "them" is employees, customers, the press, the blogosphere, or the world in general. The sooner that individuals, businesses, governments and other organizations recognize and acknowledge that we're all part of one world, the better off we'll be, and I see blogging as an effective channel for moving in that direction ... for following the thread of desire into a deeper life.