My Year in the Blogosphere

Sometimes, people ask me if my BLOG makes a lot of money. When I am finished laughing, I explain to them that since launching GroundingUp last year, I’ve published 61 posts, and have had thousands of readers from all over the world (I see you Swaziland). Then, I like to disappoint them with the news that this BLOG has made exactly $0.00.

Fortunately, financial gain was not the founding principle of this BLOG. Yes, there are BLOGs out there designed specifically to generate online advertising revenue or drive a social media following, but this is not that kind of BLOG.

So what is it?

The insurance industry executive in me often demands to know what the business case looks like for this Internet property. It wants to talk about content strategies, click-through, and content marketing plans. That voice wants to know who in the hell is responsible for Quality Control around here and just what our ROI looks like.

And, until recently, I haven’t had an answer.

But, a few weeks ago, I attended a Q&A session with the comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Buried in the typical list of audience-generated questions about Jerry’s creative process was a question about his view on failure. And to this he said,

“So what, you told a joke, it bombed, move on, so what?”–Jerry Seinfeld.

I was immediately struck by two things about this statement.

1–Holy shit, Jerry Seinfeld is a yogi

Jerry Seinfeld is famously aloof. Even before he had “Fuck You” money, he was often considered detached and oblivious to situations around him. And yogis are all about detachment, or aparigraha.

In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty . . . in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning. And in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe.–The Law Of Detachment, The Chopra Center

2–It’s okay to have an aimless BLOG about nothing in particular.

Seinfeld ran for 9 seasons and often received criticism and praise for the simple fact that it wasn’t really about anything. That didn’t make it any less amazing.

It’s extremely difficult to find clear headspace for a creative endeavor when you are frantically trying to nurture a family and a career; where the stakes are so high you can’t risk even a moment of detachment.

But here, it really can just be about creativity, trying something out, and letting people see an authentic version of me–with typos and grammar mistakes. Here, there are no stakes. It’s going to be fine if site traffic is down for the month of July or if I never find a viable way to monetize this content. And maybe, all this will ever be is yet another sketchy corner of the Internet.

To that I say, so what?

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com

Yoga’s Guide to Gifting

It’s the Holiday Season, so the Internet is cranking out the 2016 Yoga Gift Guides with lists of mats, clothing, and anything bearing the word namaste including but not limited to, wall art, wine glasses, and throw pillows.

I find the yoga gift guides ironic because gift giving is actually extremely “unyogalike”.  We Western yogis are into gift giving; however, our ancient Hindu friends recommended that we refrain from exchanging gifts for any reason.

They believed that the act of giving a gift often bound or obligated the recipient to some future action, expectation, or reciprocation. Gifting disturbs the neutrality of a situation or a relationship–and yogis are all about neutrality and equanimity.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely have a Christmas List and I have yoga stuff on that list; this is just one of those times when I have trouble reconciling my yoga practice, which is 90% physical exercise and 10% spiritual inquiry, with my Christian practice which is, 90% Midwestern Lutheran and 10% Northern California Liberal Democrat.

For a technical read on what Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras has to say about gift giving, I will give you this:

The five yamas, a fundamental component of Ashtanga Yoga, are considered codes of restraint, abstinence, and self-regulation, and involve our relationship with our external environment.

Aparigraha is the fifth Yama and the one raining on your holiday gift giving parade. It basically says that we should not give gifts and that we should not possess anything beyond what we need for our daily bodily existence. I’ll go out on a limb and assume that your gift list doesn’t include anything that is absolutely necessary to sustain life.

Resource: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 2:30 and 2:39

Luckily, I’m a German Lutheran and my people basically invented Christmas as we know it today. So, you are welcome for the ideas about the Christmas tree being INSIDE the house, stocking stuffers, and gingerbread.

And the 90 percent of me that is Lutheran has prepared a yoga gift guide for anyone with a new age Western Yogi on their shopping list.

Förliche Weihnachtenchten and Namaste!

YOGA GIFT GUIDE 2016

Manduka GO Play Yoga Mat Bag

manduka-bag

Jade Fusion XW Yoga Mat (5/16″ x 28″ Wide x 71″ Long)

purplemidnight_xwf_new_grande

Yoga Crow Mens Swerve Shorts w/Odor-Resistant Inner Liner

yogacrow-shorts

Yoga Joes

yoga-joes

Himalayan Singing Bowls

no-this-one

Yoga Mat Bag Red Flowers Handmade

mat-bag

Personalised Premium Notebook Journal Diary

journal

Namaste Wine Glass with Namaste Gift with Bag

wine-glass

Monogrammed Yoga Towel

hand-towels

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com.