It’s a courageous, scary and possibly bonkers thing to do, writing a blog that other people are probably going to read, when it’s about personal things. I’m talking really personal things too – feelings, emotions, beliefs, values, about everything from getting a parking ticket to having my heart broken.
My blog started out a bit more like a journal than anything else, I suppose. A diary about my experiences on the journey of life, as naff as it sounds, as I continue to valiantly tackle the challenge of being a “believer” in things of a spiritual and positive psychology kind, while living a noisy, busy, sometimes chaotic, often very un-spiritual late-twenties London life.
This combination has proved testing on many occasions.
For example, how do we remain Zen-like, serene and full of loving-kindness for our fellows, when our fellows happen to be angry, stressed out commuters shoving each other to the point of almost-suffocation on the Central Line at 8am? How does Facebook fit into the positive philosophy of not comparing my insides to other people’s outsides? How do I include the traffic warden who fined me £80 for returning to my car 30 seconds after my ticket expired on my evening gratitude list? And how, dear God, do I learn to “forgive and let go” of all those goddamn ex-boyfriends and terrible dates?
To these, and similar questions, I have attempted to figure out my own, slightly quirky answers. And after I had written a few such musings, I thought I would share them with a couple of girlfriends who might find them entertaining. They did – they found them entertaining and also funny and inspiring and hopeful. This was nice to hear and made me think that perhaps a few more people might enjoy them, and then a few more, and then maybe all my Facebook friends and Twitter followers, and so it goes on.
Sometimes, the inspiration for my posts comes from a thought, a feeling or a perspective I’ve had about what’s going on in my life that I like or feel proud of – a new moment of awareness or an evolution in my understanding of myself and my growth. Other times, I feel inspired by uplifting or moving quotes that I come across within my ever-expanding reading list, and want to write about how this author’s thought ties into my own, current experience. And still other times, it’s after something hugely irritating, sad or funny has happened in my world that I feel the urge to sit down and write about it with a positive, spiritual slant.
What’s most important for me is that, while there is undoubtedly a spiritual undertone to the ideas in my blog, it doesn’t come across as too “worthy” or preachy. I, personally, find spirituality, growth and self-development immensely joyful and fun, and I this is what I am hoping to communicate in my blog. I also, purposefully, don’t feel the need to ever go into detail about what my beliefs actually are or what denomination they belong to. For me, that’s not what spirituality is about anyway – to me it’s just a desire to or interest in growing ourselves to be the most loving, happy human beings we can be, and whether we believe in the power of God or a nice cup of tea is really no one else’s business.
One thing that’s for sure is I love writing this blog. It helps me to feel grounded, focused and peaceful , and gives me a greater perspective on the small things that sometimes feel overwhelming. And perhaps in this age of information overload, especially for those of us living a hectic city life, that’s exactly what we need a little more of.
Nikki Allen is a writer, editor, trainee psychotherapist, amateur pianist and enthusiastic Yogi. She studied languages at university before becoming a food and drink journalist and eventually taking the leap to go freelance in 2010, a decision she has (almost) never regretted as it has allowed her to pursue her dreams of becoming a therapist and writing her blog, www.spiritualistinthecity.blogspot.com. Nikki writes for a variety of print and online magazines on topics ranging from shopping to spirituality, and examples of her work can be seen at www.nicoletteallen.co.uk.