Backward Bending and Forward Thinking

I quick trigger finger published this post in rough draft form. So, if you read this post before I fix it, please use red pen on your screen for errors. Thanks

Urdhva-Dhanurasana

Urdhva-Dhanurasana

 Looking Back

I began this blog when I decided solo writing was for me. Then, I chickened out for 3 months because I couldn’t think of a perfect first post without someone telling me what to write. I put so much pressure on myself that I couldn’t write a thing and I was deeply regretting my decision to write on my own.

It’s funny because I had no illusions that just because I wrote something, anyone would read it. I wasn’t exactly new to this, but blogging without a safety net was a bit too much.

Fortunately, I got over my fear of writing crap and have been churning it out ever since. And a few people have stopped by to say hello, which has meant more to me than I can express. To think that on occasion, I manage to write something that connects with someone else expands this Grinchy heart 2 sizes and more.

So, without further ado, I give you:

My 4 Most Read Posts of 2011 (I don’t know why, either)

  • Breastfeeding Flavors: Thoughts on triandem breastfeeding and the differences between my sons’ relationship to breastfeeding
  • A Letter to *Those* Parents: My first foray into CarNatPar. A Madlibs letter that you could use to talk to anyone who parents differently than you might.
  • Kid-Dyed Silk Scarfs: One of my few homeschool/crafty posts. It’s a great project and only slightly jarring with the rest of my blog topics as they’ve evolved.
  • An Empowering Unassisted Stillbirth: It was scary to share this one because I was afraid no one would understand the raw beauty in such a horrific event. The private emails sent to me in response helped me understand that I’m not alone in this experience.

My Top 5 Commenters of 2011 (Please stop by their blogs and give them your comment love)

My 4 Most Read Guest Writers of 2011 (These I understand. They’re really good)

My 4 Personal Favorite Posts of 2011 (These were fun write, and sometimes cathartic)

  • Flipping off Your Kids: I never finished this series on gentle discipline because I felt like I might err into giving advice. I may pick this up again in 2012, though.
  • Yama Niyama and the Red Pajama Mama, Part 2: Anytime I get some inspiration and write a post in 30 minutes that I enjoyed reading again after, it makes it to this list. This is one that got away from me and ended up being 2 posts. The first part is hosted on NPN, as you’ll see if you read it. I wish writing were always this easy and fun.
  • Making Compassion My Hoe: On judgment and compassion. This one generated some serious hate comments that I chose not to publish. I may revisit this issue since it obviously hit a major nerve. Also, has been stolen by content thieves twice. Perhaps, I should have created another list for the top 4 posts stolen?
  • Top 5 Ways to Avoid Being Mindful for the Holidays: Yup, entropy is inevitable but I’ll argue mindfulness is like a spoonful of sugar to help the inevitable decline. This post advocates for the high fructose corn syrup spoonful, of course.

My 4 Favorite Guest Posts of 2011 (Proof that even great bloggers have occasional lapses in judgment)

  • Just Not On The Same Page at Becoming Crunchy. One of my rare posts about relationship with your partner and handling the strain of parenting.
  • Insane-Making Mother Manifesto at Child of the Nature Isle Blog. This was one that had been sitting around forever waiting to be written and was done in 30 minutes once I finally focused. It’s on perfection and expectations that we place upon ourselves. Perhaps, also on how to get free of them.
  • Halloween Freedom of Choice at Hobo Mama. I wrote this and wasn’t brave enough to post it on my own blog. Fortunately, Lauren was up for it. A little Nazis on Halloween. Nothing too controversial, right?
  • After The World Stopped Turning at Motherhood Unadorned. I originally published this anonymously at Raising My Boychick. But, Cristi’s own bravery in sharing her battles inspired me to share this story publicly. On what happens when life goes on after losing a child.

My 4 Least Favorite Posts of 2011 (These make me cringe. I’d rather you click on the guest writers’ posts, please)

Uttanasana

Uttanasana

Going Forward

One of the things I learned this year is that blogging is more enjoyable for me when I’m collaborating with others on projects. I’d like to do more of this in 2012. I’m looking forward to both the firm and tentative projects I’m working on with other bloggers in the coming year.

I admit to adoring blog carnivals. Someone gets to tell a whole bunch of writers what to write about and everyone comes up with something unique. I find reading what other people wrote fascinating. I always think about things in new ways thanks to the other perspectives. And I love being challenged in that way. 2012 will see more blog carnivals for me, both participating and hosting.

I enjoy writing guest posts for other people’s blogs. It’s an honor whenever I’m asked or when someone says yes to my inquiry. It doesn’t bother me in the least when someone passes on my words, either. I’ve even been fortunate enough to have some of the thoughtful bloggers give me some critiques that I found valuable. I may have learned more from those than from anything else this year.

I’m excited about some projects I have in mind for 2012. A few other bloggers and I have started talking about joint projects and carnivals and, of course, I hope to continue with Mindful Mama, Letters to Littles, Birth Reflections, and Spank Out Day this year. One of my other projects is an eBook that is well underway and I hope to share with you in first half of 2012, depending on how much time I can devote to it. I was looking forward to a blog redesign, but that is in flux since the money I set aside for that may go to laptop and/or cell phone repairs/replacements.

I’m also hoping to find time to get my homeschool blog in shape and ready to publish this year. I’ve written little here about our homeschooling because I want to put it on that blog. I’ve been saying that for 6 months, but never find the time to do it. The second blog may bite the dust completely as I focus on these other projects.

I want to continue connecting with other bloggers. I am truly grateful for all of the words I’ve read by others this year (upcoming post about that) and, if the hopes I have for my own blog fall to the side a bit, as they inevitably will at points during the year, I’ll still keep reading deeply and giving good comment love.

Most of all, I want to say thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for sharing a little of yourselves.

Namaste,

The Dirty, Dirty Hippy Mama

Image Credits: Jules Mitchell, Yoga Journal

8 thoughts on “Backward Bending and Forward Thinking

  1. How do you do it?!!!! It’s wonderful and I got to check out some cool posts I might not have seen.
    I love how your mind organizes things and am forever amazed at your ability to actually express it.
    I can’t wait for the e-book!! I will read anything you write.
    I plan to actually get in the carnivals this year.
    Fun times!!

  2. One of my favorite parts of 2011 has been getting to know you! 😀

    Sounds like an awesome year is coming up – and I hope you’ll guest post again for BC (anytime you want to mama!). Love you!!

  3. I have really enjoyed following along with you this year and am truly looking forward to learning from you in the year to come, here and through the various projects you decide to take on. You are wise, thoughtful, and kind, and I feel fortunate to know you, even never having met in person. I’m honored to be one of your most frequent commenters – do I win the prize for wordiest? 😉 They’re always so stinkin’ long, as you really do make me think and each comment was a reflection of that. I’m pleasantly surprised that mine was one of your most read guest posts, too. That makes my day! xo

  4. Happy New Year! Glad to read all the reflections and the looking forward thoughts. I do hope you get around to the homeschool blog though, I would love to read your thoughts on the subject.

  5. What a beautiful post to wrap up the year. I am so honoured that your guest post for Child of the Nature Isle was one of your favourites. It was very popular on my blog too and I am grateful for your contribution and the support you gave me to set up my guest post series. I wish you a wonderful 2012 and am very much looking forward to your blog on homeschooling – I need your inspiration! Onelove.

    (I just wrote a comment before this one but it got lost somehow so if this is a duplicate ignore it!)

I love comments and try to reply to each one. I look forward to connecting with you. Namaste

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