I’m still figuring out what this blog is “about.” I started it as a venue to hash out ideas for my book in progress, Feng Shui Animal House: Raking Sand in the Midst of the Chaos. I like my book title, but I’m not sure how marketable all that imagery will be to the masses. I’m not going to worry about that right now.
To be honest, the blog has elbowed its way ahead of the book on my priority list for the time being. But when people hear that I blog and ask, “What’s it about?” I still have a hard time spitting out a concise sound bite.
Many Layers of the Message
When I look at the list of blog topics that has accumulated on my home page over the past four and a half months, I pose the “what’s it about” question to myself.
- Is the blog about how to develop healthy habits?
- Is it about how to nurture your mind, body, and soul?
- Is it about mindfulness?
- Is it about spiritual transformation?
- Is it about Feng Shui?
- And what about that whole “Animal House” thing? Is that about the craziness of life with pets (like recently spending a small fortune at the vet last weekend to treat our injured bunny, to whom I’ll be administering injections, drops, and wound crème for the next 14 days) or is it about the male teenage energy that pervades my house, brought up yet another notch recently with our new (and wonderful) Australian exchange student?
The blog has touched on all of these areas since its inception, reflecting the various paths inspiration has led me down along the way. The question is whether I can mold those pieces into a cohesive book. I think I can, but not if I force it prematurely. I need a good handle on that sound bite if the book is going to make any sense.
For the time being, it feels right to try to remain agile and experimental, rather than trying to fit into one niche. So many areas have yet to be mined. For example, I still haven’t figured out how to write about my kids comfortably. The pseudonym system I tried as a means to protect their privacy feels like I’m making things up (and I learned a long time ago that I’m not wired to write fiction). Using their real names doesn’t feel fully comfortable either, so I’ll need to figure that one out.
Summarizing the Big Issues
Life for all of us is a process of order and chaos. Chaos comes in many forms–career, kids, or, in my case, cancer. Your chaos list will look completely different from mine. The point is, life is never easy all the time. We shouldn’t expect it to be.
The question is how to keep raking the sand of that zen garden even while life is stirring up the chaos. How do we learn to be present enough to pull the positives, the life lessons, from each item on our chaos list? Because the longer it takes to learn the lesson, the more teaching moments the universe will send our way.
Make it easy on yourself. Accept what is, but not in a victim or martyr kind of way. Clear your head, quiet your mind, take action where you can (and there is often a lot of action we can take) and let go of the rest. What you’re left with is an inner sense of calm, contentment, and light-hearted joy.
It doesn’t mean you never get mad (I was relieved to hear the Dalai Lama tell an audience that even he gets mad sometimes). But the anger can’t get the footing it once had. It doesn’t take over completely, which allows you to walk away from it more easily (often a literal strategy for me as a parent).
I guess that’s what the blog is about. How do we learn to be present enough to keep raking the sand even as we’re dodging flying objects? Still not quite a sound bite, but we (the blog and I) are moving in the right direction.
As always, I’d love to hear from you, whether it’s here in the comments, on Facebook, Twitter, or via email. Are you raking sand in the midst of the chaos?