Confession: it’s been almost 2 months since I’ve written a “real” post. Yes, I’ve spent a good chunk of that time soaking up the last days of my apprenticeship with Hilary and working on a few exciting new projects, but there’s also a nagging feeling that’s been keeping me away.
In truth, I’ve spent a lot of that time mulling over the blogging industry, the metaphysical community, and where I fit into them. I’m tired of the perfectly polished photos and cliche advice that dominate so much of the conversation, and I’m craving vulnerability. So, I’ll start.
These are the secrets other bloggers don’t want you to know. Listen closely.
Those styled pictures look nothing like their real life.
Elegance is like pornography: “I know it when I see it.” I have a deep and abiding obsession with good design, but creating it doesn’t come easily. Still, when Jacquelyn Tierney started her #MAGICMAKERMAY Instagram challenge I thought I’d try my hand at replicating some of the gorgeous shots I’d seen on my feed. Within a few days, it was abundantly clear that was easier said than done. One photo might take a half and hour, setting up the white foamboard amid my messy living room and styling the items I’d collected from throughout the house.
I love my home, but it’s far from perfectly curated. One day, when I saw a sparkling beam of sunlight streaming in through the kitchen window, I felt disappointed. How could I capture and share that light when there was a stack of dirty dishes in the sink? By the time I washed them, the sun would have moved on.
What did I do? I took the picture anyways. Here’s the caption:
“In reality, our kitchens don't look like an Anthropologie catalog. There are dishes to be done and messes to be cleaned. There are also a million lovely things those pictures miss, like the piece of Spanish moss from my beloved Charleston that sits on the windowsill, the bottle of Dom a dear friend gave us as a wedding gift, or the antique vase I got on a trip to visit my grandmother who's long since passed away…It's not always pretty, but it is beautiful.”
They have a day job (or a rich partner).
Let me preface this by saying that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having someone else support you, financially or otherwise, in your creative endeavors; however, there’s something disconcerting about receiving income from other sources and presenting yourself a self-made business guru. If scientists and other professionals are expected to declare their conflicts of interest, shouldn’t we be held to the same standard of excellence?
There’s a pervasive myth that if you “quit your day job”, the powers that be will come to your aid and allow you to manifest the money you need to survive. While I’ve seen magic happen (and it does happen), it’s not that simple. I’ve seen just as many people make stupid decisions based on this advice, and I worry that this lack of transparency is what’s caused the myth to become so rampant. It’s alluring, certainly more so than the idea that you’ll have to work your ass off and save your pennies for years before you make the leap.
When you’re transparent about what part your online business plays in your life, you build trust within the community and allow people to appreciate your accomplishments for what they are. Theresa Reed does an amazing job at this. So does Esmé Wang. There are plenty of people out there who walk their talk, but on the whole, we could be doing much better.
They have no idea what they're doing.
Here’s the thing: none of us do. The fact that anyone can do this is at once the industry’s greatest strength and most complicated weakness. Blogging and e-commerce are incredibly fast-paced industries that are evolving and changing faster than other bloggers and business owners can write list posts on how to keep up, and as a result, it takes an incredible amount of discernment to sort through the bullshit. Luckily, it’s also easier than ever for experts to share their gifts of knowledge with the world (and get paid for it).
So, what’s a mystic to do? Take everything with a grain of salt. Build your online relationships slowly and carefully. Finally (and perhaps most importantly), listen to your intuition. You already know the answers.
Phew. It feels good to get that off my chest. Even with all that said, I still love this shit. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have written two books, connected with a vibrant community, and met some of the most incredible teachers and soul sisters here (and in person). To say it’s been worth it is a wild understatement, which is why I’m going even deeper with The Midheaven in the last half of 2015.
Here’s what I’m going to be up to:
I wanted to wait to tell you, but I don’t think I can stand it anymore! I’m working with my soul twin, Jacquelyn Tierney, to give The Midheaven a complete visual makeover. She’s the Chanel of web design, and I can’t wait.
I’m pairing up with another magic maker to bring you something amazing in star-studded style (hint!). It’s been in the works for a few months now, and it just keeps getting better and better.
I have a super secret new astrology offering in beta right now that I can’t wait to reveal later this year. I’ts going to be magical (hint hint!). Mark your calendars for November.
Finally, the lineup for the rest of this year’s Cosmic Chat interviews is going to blow your mind. I’m totally humbled by everyone’s generosity and you’re going to fall in love with their stories.
This summer is going to be HOT!
Until then, I’ll leave you with this prayer from Briana Saussy:
“May you have a heart that knows the right way to go with wisdom and discernment.”