Tag Archive for: blog

How does blogging, journaling, writing and connecting online help to increase your happiness?

That is this week’s “Getting Happy” question from BlogHer’s Life Well Lived Series.  Here is the main post at their site.

When I started this blog nearly six years ago, it was at the prompting of a writing teacher who was just beginning to discover the wonders of instant feedback via comments from her readers.  The group of us that took the weekend-long workshop each went home, signed on to a blogging site and hit the ground running.  For someone who had yet to be published, it was a thrill to see my words in writing in a public space and even more exciting to hear what others had to say about my writing and my thoughts.  

More than 500 blog posts later, I’ve developed the courage to hone my writing skills and submit my work to online publications and traditional publishing houses thanks to the comments of many loyal readers.  Three of the original participants in that workshop are still blogging and commenting on my blog and I think we have all learned a lot about how to express ourselves, create conversation, and, more than anything, despite the fact that we live scattered throughout the United States, we have created solid bonds with each other. We support not only each other’s writing efforts, but prop each other up in times of difficulty with parenting or illness and celebrate each other’s successes in life.  

I have found that connecting with others through my blog, Facebook, or other online communities, I am able to share details of my life in real time with a group of people who are like-minded.  Rather than calling one trusted friend at a time, I can avail myself of a myriad of perspectives simultaneously and often get information I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.  I have found out about new places to submit my work and have gotten published online several times.  I have also been able to offer advice and tips to others who might be stuck in familiar positions.  While I can’t wrap my arms around these women in person or pour a golden stream of champagne into a glass someone is holding, I can certainly offer virtual love and support and cheerlead from afar and I’ve learned that simply knowing someone is in your corner is often enough to keep you going until your partner gets home and wraps their arms around you.  

There is something magical about feeling connected to others, feeling understood, feeling like you’re part of something bigger and, while it certainly isn’t a substitute for personal, close-up relationships, my online communities are as real to me as those friendships I have with my neighbors.  Knowing that my voice is being heard and validated by others is vitally important to my well-being and has sustained my enthusiasm for this solitary endeavor known as writing.  

Head on over and enter the sweepstakes if you haven’t before.  

Close your eyes. Think of a time when you felt loved. Describe it. Does it feel warm and sunny? Bright yellow? Or exciting and fireworks-on-the-4th-of-July? Does it feel peaceful and calm and restful and solid? Brand new and rocket-to-the-moon?

Now think of a time when you were consumed by hatred. Can you feel the closing-in happening? The colors darkening? The expansive becoming small, focused, pivotal and driven?
Whatever your experiences of these two emotions, I’m betting they have marked differences. I’m betting they elicit vastly unique sets of feelings in your physical body, and it bears some exploration to decipher them. Hatred can feel powerful and single-minded and those things are intoxicating. Love is more nebulous and hard to pin down and exists in so many different forms.
Maybe that’s why it wins. Hate is an easy target that is easily defined. Love can come at it from all sides with so many different tactics and, while it doesn’t feel as strong or invincible as hatred, maybe that’s part of its secret. Make no mistake: love beats hate.
Today is the second “Love Beats Hate” blogging event. Want to know more? Just go to Facebook and type in “Love Beats Hate” in the search field.
Been tagged by another blogger whose blog I discovered a few months ago. I love her insights in parenting as well as just plain living and I never fail to feel gratitude when I read her posts. You can find her here.
According to the rules of the game, I’m supposed to write down seven things about myself and pass this along, so if you haven’t read some of these other blogs I like, I hope you discover the things about them that I love.
But first things first:
  1. Since my father died, I seem to have added his particular passion for the Oregon Ducks football team to mine and am completely, irrevocably rabid about watching their games every Saturday afternoon during football season.
  2. I harbor secret fantasies of being on American Idol. Not because I want to be on television, but because I can actually sing and I never had the cojones to do anything about it when I was young enough to show off.
  3. The only thing keeping me from going to culinary school and becoming a chef is the hours of the job. I don’t want to work weekends or evenings.
  4. I have spent so much of my life multitasking that I often wonder whether I have rendered myself ADHD because when I have the luxury of concentrating on just one thing at a time, I often lose my way in the task.
  5. I would love to travel around the world and immerse myself in other cultures, hiking and hanging out at bars with the locals.
  6. My favorite place on the planet is the Oregon Coast.
  7. If it weren’t for the litter boxes and shredded furniture, I would have half a dozen cats.
Okay, now that I’ve sufficiently frightened you with my oddities, the bloggers I’d like to introduce you to are:
Visit and enjoy!