Trick? or Treat?
Firstly, I want to thank Chaitanya Haram from the blog A Journey to the Greyish Soul for nominating me for Liebster award. Full Disclosure, I should note that I was nominated last year by Char at Breakfast with Words (link is below) and I never properly thanked her for that – so a much belated and much deserved Thank You to Char as well.
To be completely honest, I have mixed feelings about this ‘award.’ On the one hand, I think it’s a wonderful idea. In case you are not familiar with the Liebster award, the sentiment behind it comes from a good place. The idea is to spread awareness and knowledge of lesser known blogs / blogs with lower readership so that those blogs can get more exposure. As such, depending on which source you check (and probably based on people’s feelings about the subject), either no one ‘wins’ the award or to be nominated is to win.
I am flattered and honored that, in the year and a half that I’ve had this blog, two people have found my blog worthy of nomination. At 88 followers, I could certainly use the exposure 🙂 . On the other hand, here is a synopsis of the rules (with my editorial comments);
- Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog (ok, easy and natural enough. Check!)
- Answer their 11 interview questions (ok, that sounds fun. Check! – see below)
- Come up with 11 questions of your own to ask (ok, more fun. Check! See below)
- Nominate 11 new blogs with less than 200 followers (wait – 11? Less than 200 followers? This just became a research project)
- Notify them using social media that you have nominated them (see above)
I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to respond. To be completely raw and honest, the first time I was nominated last year it caused some amount of posting paralysis because I wanted to show my gratitude and participate, but the simple fact is that I don’t have eleven blogs on hand that have less than 200 followers to nominate. I’ve done some research and many blogs don’t list their followers – the ones that do are often well above the Liebster requirements (I confess, I have wondered if that’s partly a strategy to stave off future Liebster awards 🙂 )
Around this time I began to feel guilty – it didn’t feel right that I’m scavenging around for blogs with less than the requisite number of followers just so I can nominate them for a Liebster award (not saying that anyone else has done this, just that this started to be what I was doing). It seemed like I had two choices, either break the chain or follow the Liebster rules and spend hours searching out blogs that meet the requirements for my nomination list. As a result I stopped posting for awhile .
Well… This time I’m going to take a different route. I’m going to pull a Trickster move and say ‘to heck with the rules.’ I don’t have to choose between the two.
First – I’m going to link to and post about the blogs I follow, regardless of readership, because I enjoy them and maybe you haven’t found them yet… and, at heart, isn’t that what this award is really about? There is no expectation that these bloggers follow the Liebster rules – this is simply my way of saying ‘Thank you’ for being there for me to read 🙂
Second – I’ve posted my interview questions below – if you want to answer them (regardless of readership) and post blogs you love to read (doesn’t have to be any particular number, just an open sharing), add a comment to this post. Anyone who wants to participate (either based on the traditional rules or using this alternate idea) add your comment to this post. I will do a new post the weekend of June 21st with a little explanation and post links to the blogs of commenters who want the exposure and want to answer questions and bring awareness to some of their favorite blogs. I am happy to bring more awareness to blogs and bloggers, regardless of how many followers you already have. 🙂
So – first up – here are some blogs that I love – in no particular order;
- Cristian Mihai – Cristian is a published author and writes about writing, inspiration, and all the other things that bubble up from the soul. Most of you found this blog via a re-blog on Cristian’s blog, in case you aren’t familiar with it though, his blog is well worth checking out.
- Breakfast with Words – I always appreciate the raw honesty with which Char writes
- Dhamma Footsteps – Wonderful and insightful travel blog
- Shift – a beautiful blog about teaching and life
- Jessica Davidson – a thoughtful blog about writing, spirituality, and life
Next, Here are my questions for those who are interested;
- What is the ‘mission’ of your blog? (ex; self-reflection? Writing Practice? Building a community? Sharing knowledge? Etc.)
- What is one thing you wish people said about / knew about you?
- What is one thing someone has said about you that you think is unfair or untrue?
- What is your comfort activity / comfort food (ie, what do you turn to when you are hurt/ sad / angry / stressed)?
- What do you do to recharge?
- What makes you feel uncomfortable in life? (ex: pointed interview questions J, witnessing unkindness, going with the flow – even when you don’t want to, etc.)
- Who is / was your greatest teacher and why? (it’s okay if you put Jesus, but it would be nice if you thought a little harder – I promise you Jesus won’t be offended if you’ve had other teachers :).)
- What has been your most meaningful dream (meaning real, night dream – not like ‘goals’) and how has it impacted your life?
- Describe an event or something that you read that made you question your own understanding of reality.
- What do you find yourself ruminating on most often lately?
- What question do you wish I had asked you – and how would you answer it?
See below for my answers to the Liebster questions posed to me;
Thanks to Chaitanya Haram for providing such fun questions to answer! (Once I got out of the downward spiral above, I started enjoying the experience a lot more) 🙂 See below for my answers to the questions;
- If you were to star in a movie, what type of protagonist would you play?
- This is an interesting question because we’ve seen some new levels of moral complexity in our television and movies. There used to be a time when we could, maybe, relate to Indiana Jones and see a clear ‘good guy’ and ‘bad guy’ – but there seems to be much more resonance now with complex and nuanced characters. I think that’s a wonderful development because we are complex and nuanced beings… so that is the type of “protagonist” I would want to be.
- Out of nowhere you are given superpowers, which of the following would you choose? Super strength / Super intelligence / Immortality
- This seems like a trick question. Let’s start with Immortality – does this mean bodily immortality? I already believe the soul is immortal, no super powers required :). I don’t think I’d want to be stuck in this body forever, though… I mean, it’s a nice body, I like it, but forever is a long time. Super intelligence – I’d have to ask what this means also. Is this ‘mind chatter’ type of intelligence or the kind of deep, deep knowing that comes from the place of ‘not-thinking’? Also, I think intelligence is a tricky thing – it can be very subjective, based on what other people think. Not always, of course, there are people who have dragged the rest of society with them eventually… but usually they get burned at the stake in their current lifetime. That leaves me with Super strength –so I pick this one, choosing to interpret it as internal strength. I would want to have the inner super-strength to face whatever comes with compassion, love, understanding, and grace.
- On one fine day you, out of nowhere, get 10 million dollars. What would be the first thing you would do?
- First thing? Probably faint. In terms of what I would do with the money, though, I’m an incredibly practical person – so I’d keep at least a million of it (post-tax) to set up my daughters’ college / vocational fund so they can pursue their dreams. With the rest of that one-million my husband and I could quit our current jobs and try to pursue our dream careers (I am already working towards that without the million dollars, honestly, more to come on that in future posts). I’d probably take another 1-2 million to divvy out among family members as seems appropriate (difficult to really say since I don’t really have the money). I would probably donate the rest of it to a charity – likely focusing on one that helps groups in the inner city build gardens where they can grow their own food as I feel like that has benefits on so many levels – developing a real connection to the land, having a sense of community ownership, and growing healthy foods to feed bodies and minds. Growing Power in Milwaukee (and Chicago) comes to mind.
- What is your source of inspiration for writing / blogging?
- Whatever comes.
- Consider yourself to be the immortal Wolverine. What job would you do Forever?
- Honestly, nothing. I am tempted to say “Spiritual Development Work” except that the other day I was thinking about the Dali Lama, doing that life after life after life – and I thought, I hope that guy gets to take a lifetime off now and then. I hope he gets to have a lifetime that features a couple of kids and a loving spouse / family and a regular job and live in a regular space, you know? An eternity only doing spiritual work – that doesn’t sound like a reward, it sounds like punishment (no offense meant to the Dali Lama). Maybe there are two Lamas and they switch off – that would be the smart way to do it, I think. Forever is a long time to do one thing.
- What is your future goal of blogging? What more do you want to achieve?
- I want wider readership, I would be lying if I pretended that I didn’t care about that at all. However, I’m interested in how this part of my journey is unfolding. I have things clamoring inside of me to be written and then I do and then they’re quiet. So I’m interested to see what happens when there’s no more clamoring, what new place opens up. I’m really loving and enjoying being here, but also excited about what happens next.
- How do you think your life journey is? Black / White / Shades of both? Greyish?
- This question actually recalls a song I’m really loving right now called Spectrum / Say My Name by Florence and the Machine. I’m specifically thinking of the lines, “Say my name, and every color illuminates / we are shining, and we’ll never be afraid again.” – of course in my mind this isn’t necessarily my name, but speaks to connection with the higher self / soul, the universe / divine and everything in between. So my journey is that – a spectrum – with every color of the rainbow.
- What is your all-time favorite movie?
- Hands down, I Heart Huckabees, nothing better captures the simultaneous joy and ridiculousness that is walking the Spiritual Path.
- Runners up –
- Stranger Than Fiction which is lovely and fun and reminds us how flexible “reality” can be.
- Shawshank Redemption for capturing the poignant and darkly beautiful side of life.
- What is your passion?
- Life! (and love… the many faces and aspects of love)
- You are given a chance to change one aspect of your life. Which particular shortcoming would you change?
- I don’t know that I mentally can ‘pick’ what I would change – it’s more like, an unhelpful pattern surfaces and I realize I should work on it. One that I’ve already worked on is trusting myself, one that I’m currently working on is my ability to receive, and the one that looks like it’s lining up next (although it may be connected with receiving, difficult to say right now) is this deep pattern of feeling unwanted – even from birth. I’ll probably write posts about all three (although the first will be embedded in a post about Tarot that is 70% done and will be coming soon).
- If you were given a chance to write your own novel. What type of genre would you like to write in?
- I actually wrote 150 pages of a novel in 2007, it was sort of Alice in Wonderland meets Dante’s Inferno – which makes it sound way cooler than it was. I abandoned that project as I wasn’t happy with how it was coming together. I may pick it back up again and re-work it. We’ll just have to see how things unfold.