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Recently, while revamping this website, i took a little hiatus from blogging and found myself playing on facebook quite a bit. it began slowly (as most pseudo-addictions do). a status here... a photo album there..... ONCE in awhile MAYBE a "check-in. after a time, i found that i was writing less and less in my bedside journal, and had instead been using my timeline as just that. a daily account of my journey. an archive of my adventures. i shared my thoughts, my feelings, my gratitude, and sometimes, even my vulnerabilities (in the form of music lyrics or movie quotes of course). It didn't take long for me to enjoy what i came to think of as "living out LOUD". being emotionally available, on-line and off, is always a risk. and.... it's challenging at first.... but like most challenges i've experienced, it culminates with a kind of exhilaration.... in being heard, and understood. i learned that people were participating in my journey, and encouraged to open up about their own. i learned that these human experiences we all share, are universal. in this new digital age, we have the power to reach thousands of people with our words and with our lives. and they reach back with theirs. it is truly extraordinary to have this kind of interactive experience. and it elevates us to want to be our best selves. to touch peoples' lives, even in the smallest way. we want to make a difference, however we can.... and social media gives us a pathway.
through this whirlwind romance with facebook (and Pinterest, but one social networking obsession at a time) i began to deeply enjoy reading about the experiences of my 1,000+ friends. I came to truly care about their lives. I know many people have a love-hate relationship with facebook. a Rhett and Scarlett type tug-of-war with the incomprehensible pull of this phenomenon. They would argue that "no one can have a thousand real friends", and of course..... that's true. Some of my "friends" are people who found me at Equinox, or by doing my dvds, or seeing me on television. Some found me because my classes inspired them to change their lives, or stay on track with their sobriety. Many of them i've never met in person. but... they all have beautiful stories to tell. and triumphs to share. they all have wins and losses... ups and downs. and more importantly, they all have something else.... something that has real power behind it. they have the strength and openness to share a part of themselves. a willingness to contribute to the human experience. and i LOVE that.
we all want to be heard. plain & simple. we want to share. and as much as i get inspiration and wisdom from Buddha and Rumi...... i also find it in my "friend" Steve whose practice in class shaved 22 minutes off his L.A. marathon time. and Rebecca... a teenage girl in the UK who used my ballet dvd to recover from a debilitating equestrian injury and literally 'get back on the horse'. Everyday people whose stories i would never have known if i had limited my world to those whom others would deem my "real friends". The world is expanding by the second. and so is our circle of friends. The people who pepper my news feed every morning with their wit & wisdom are the people with whom i've come to share my early morning coffee, and the 15 minutes of quiet between classes. They help me pass the time in line at trader joes, and they're quick with inspiration when i need a mid-day pick me up. i look forward to hearing their stories, and sharing their journeys. and through their inspiration.... i've learned to expand my definition of the word "friend".
social networking. i'm a fan.