Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Year of Blogging

by Miki Kashtan

Today is exactly the anniversary of starting this blog. I looked at the first piece I wrote, and have been reflecting for a few days on this past year through the lens of writing the blog. What stands out to me is that writing this blog marked the beginning of an amazing journey of freedom and finding room for myself in this world.

The very act of writing a blog has been liberating. I remember even when I started the blog I was still struggling with wondering why anyone would want to read my thoughts. Over the course of the year I have felt bolder and bolder in terms of what I am willing to say. I have shared openly about myself and my inner world over the course of this year. I have ventured into controversial topics. And I have allowed my passion and my vision to show. I am holding back less and less, perhaps not at all any longer. This has been a profound experience for me.

On top of that twice this year I have been asked by people I greatly respect to do just this: let go of holding back. One was an invitation to write down all of my dreams, all the projects I long to carry out, the concrete steps I believe can move us towards the vision I hold with such fervor in my heart. I was invited to say it exactly like it was, without holding back, toning down, or censoring in any way. It was very easy for me to come up with the list, because generating ideas has always been easy for me. I was surprised by how hard it was to describe each of them. Many of them brought up fear that I would be judged as naïve or megalomaniac. I had to call on all my being to commit all the words to screen without editing. And now I am only weeks away from publicizing this list and inviting support to make at least some of them happen.

The second invitation was to write a book. My instructions were very stringent: to write a book that has my entire message to the world, including the prophetic vision, the challenge and invitation to look and see where we are, the vision of what’s possible, the concrete practices that I believe support movement towards that vision, the struggles I’ve had in living with this vision and with being who I am. In short: everything. This particular invitation has unleashed more power and joy for me than anything else I can remember this year and for many years. I have been flowing with this invitation, and I anticipate being done with a draft of this book probably by end of April or May. I have almost been in an altered state working on this book, writing, looking for what I have written over the years, putting what I have been thinking about for years into digestible (hopefully) chunks of information. I have found enormous joy in this process, and I feel happier than in such a long time I no longer even remember.

This year has also been a year of gratitude. For most of this year I have maintained a daily practice of gratitude at the end of the day. You may find out about it in the 2nd piece I posted that first day of the blog. I had read reports from research that said that even after three months of just a weekly group practice of sharing gratitude as compared to sharing annoyances, there were differences between the two groups in various measures including physical health! So I know gratitude was powerful. I just didn’t know how much doing more than a year of daily practice would shift my inner landscape. I can’t imagine that this practice isn’t, also, part of what brought me to this place of experiencing joy and satisfaction to such a degree. I have integrated this practice sufficiently to where I am now looking for another daily practice, and am experimenting with a few. Ahh, it’s so sweet for me to think to myself that of course I will keep you posted about this, in a very literally sense.

The third thing that happened this year, which I don’t see as related to this blog and yet is so central to the transformation that’s happened in me, is that I have taken many steps this year to line up what I do with my clearest vision and goals, and to review and reconfigure my commitments. I weeded, expanded, modified, shifted focus, reframed. The result is another part of my current joy – knowing that I am truly and actively looking forward to everything that’s on my calendar now in terms of sharing NVC.

What a rich year!

In conclusion, two things. First, sitting here wondering what I might be able to do or say that would encourage you, the person reading this, to break loose and show up in full, to take the risks, to bring your tender heart and full soul and mind too to everything you do. I want this for all of us, I want this for the possible future of our species. Will you join me?

The second is the sense of mystery. This piece, in addition to closing year one, is also opening up year two of my blog. What will this year bring? So much unfolding, both personally, in terms of my work and calling, and in the world. Far from all good, on any of these levels. I want to trust myself to be the person I want to be in response to all of it. That is, ultimately, my favorite form of freedom.