“Be certain that in the religion of Love there are no believers and unbelievers. LOVE embraces all.” ~Rumi

As someone who’s spent her entire career in Australia as a marketer, it would be silly of me to miss an opportunity to write about love on Valentine’s Day. Who better to borrow the words from than Rumi, the true lover, who talks about ecstatic love in his poetry. His love of life before the days of MDMA is one of wonder and awe to me. He was the initiator of the tradition of whirling dervishes and by spinning around, one can feel oneness in a sort of drunken exuberance. However, I doubt he spent his entire life whirling around. By all accounts, he was a person and not an electron or a celestial body up in the sky.

So where did all the love in him come from? There is a hint that first one must rid himself of the bounds of the ego, internal blocks within, to find love which is abundant in the universe.

The quote below comes not from Rumi but the film “American Beauty”, uttered by a weirdo rejected by his peers for he only speaks the truth.

“It was one of those days when it’s a minute away from snowing and there’s this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. Right? And this bag was just dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. That’s the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video’s a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember… I need to remember… Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can’t take it, and my heart is just going to cave in.”

So for me, this blog, capturing emotions in writing is a way to remember and to form a searchable database of memories for myself, my family and my closest friends and community.

One of the first things I did before getting into the discipline of writing an article a week was to define my values. The inner work showed me that above all, I’m seeking to connect.

But connect with who?

In my case, to get in touch with my own emotions, family, from whom I was estranged many years, and to develop meaningful relationships in my community on the Lower North Shore (Lane Cove). I’m also looking to redeem myself for doing work that I didn’t find particularly meaningful, ignoring my true desire to write in a way that inspires others to express themselves so we create richer experiences together, that someday will lead to people valuing this creative work enough to support it with monetary currency.

How does one choose readers who are on their way of becoming strong voices as writers and creators themselves?

I think the only way to achieve a following of people who will voice their opinions is to know them intimately and make them feel safe that you’re someone who listens, tries to understand and will not judge. Once this level of trust is established then like magic, comments will start sprinkling into my YouTube channel, e-mails will come about my posts and the people in my community will all become family who, through reading my work, will know exactly what’s on my mind and when we sit down for coffee, the conversations will have that depth I’d been craving for a long time.

Some say “go big or go home” and I say “go deep or go home”.

Through this level of personal intimacy with readers, I’m hoping that all the downsides of fame that Tim Ferriss described in his “11 Reasons Not to Become Famous” will be addressed.

Yes, there are people in my community with mental health issues, who don’t love themselves, who have fragile egos, who are angry and want to attack, but I see them as all disowned parts of my own psyche.

“Many of the faults you see in others, dear reader, are largely your own nature reflected in them.” ~ Rumi

All of us live in glass houses in a sense and so who are we to cast stones? It would be foolish to deny how much of our mental and physical health is a delicate balancing act that can get out of control without meticulous self-care, love, understanding and support of those within our community.

So in conclusion, Desiderata (many things desired) by Max Ehrmann speaks to my highest intention and may it give shape to my writing career.

GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.