I’m Pressing Pause On Social Media

Dearests,

I’ve decided to continue my social media hiatus – it feels too good and right for me not to.

I wanted to share my reasons why + what that will look like.

I’ve been online for such a long time – blogging since 2004, social media since 2007, with not much of a break (if at all in there).

It used to be a source of ginormous joy and creativity and connection for me.

The last few years, it shifted for me however. I started feeling saddened and defensive from the level of outrage and vitriol thrown around when someone misunderstands or disagrees with you. We would never speak that way in real life to someone’s face, and yet it’s all too easy to type it out to an apparently imaginary figure. I’ve lost too many hours of sleep putting out the latest internet fire because someone has wished to speak in ways which damage others.

I also have an increasingly un-fun relationship with the fame part. I never set out to become famous, I just wanted to share my work and help as many people as possible. I’ve noticed however that as my “personal fame” grew, so did people’s projections about me, what they wanted from me and how they saw me as a human (i.e. increasingly less human the more famous I got). It used to be that just the people who loved my work knew me. Now some people just know me because of the numbers of other people knowing my work. It feels wonky and odd and skew-iff when I’m either hated precisely because so many people know me or when I’m lauded for the same. It feels strange when I am treated more viciously and abusively because my work is known by many.

My skin has become thicker over the years from the attacks, it is easier to shrug it off as yet another projection. And yet, it also makes me feel more jaded, less light of heart, less willing to share from the vulnerable places. And honestly, it still hurts. I’ve tried to do good work and help people, and share the abundance I’ve received along to do even more good work with charities.

Of course it sucks when people are so eager to throw shit, so willing to dispel everything they know about you from a long history of doing good work, to project and name-call and attack. I’d tell you what I’ve been called over the years, and even worse for me personally, the things that have been said about my dear (and private) husband. You would gasp and you would laugh and you would say “How on earth could someone say that?”

But they have. And it adds to that etchings of scars, and I want to coil myself tighter, protect that tender heart of mine, protect those I love the most, those who never chose to have a wife or mother who happens to write books that a lot of people know in a time of wild west social media.

For me, it’s always about the work. It’s always about the work. It’s always about the work.
The work of creating and sharing. Making art and writing, sharing what I know. Nothing more, nothing less.

I’ve been so grateful for the abundance I’ve received in my life. Grateful for the hours my family and I could spend together because of it, excited by the support we could provide to wonderful charities doing good work because of that.

For me, it’s always about the work. It’s always about the work. It’s always about the work.
The work of creating and sharing. Making art and writing, sharing what I know. Nothing more, nothing less.

Taking a month off social media meant many things:

It meant I could take a break from feeling constantly on call.
It meant my shoulders could lower for a bit, no longer feeling tense, ready for the next attack.
It meant I could stop formulating every moment into a social media post and just tuck it into the pocket of my own presence instead.

It meant realigning to my priorities to all that is true for me:

First and foremost, I’m a soul, incarnated in the world, on my own journey. Secondly, I’m a mama and wife. Thirdly I’m a creative being. And far, far down that list of priorities, I am a business owner and entrepreneur.

A month off social media meant that when I created space in my life, something new came into fill it, as it always does.

And that thing that happened came as a wee bit of a surprise, and has also been one of the best things that has ever happened to me and my sweet family: we began homeschooling.

It’s been better than I ever could have believed possible, and healed so many pieces of me, and this, this right here, this is what I’ve always wanted to be.

Afternoons reading Story of the World and Fantastic Mr Fox on a blanket in the backyard, the autumn leaves golden, our resident Crimson Rosellas listening in from nearby branches. Art projects, and excursions, and homeschooling on a rock overlooking a great valley. Sunset walks up into the hills to look for wombats and rabbits. Nestling beside each other as Starry proudly reads me her very first book. A gift, all of this over and over again.

My kids are growing up.

That’s the surprising reality of my eldest turning 7. For so long, I’ve been counting down the years until it would be easier. And the elders would say: The years go by too fast! They grow up far too quick! And I would be sleep-deprived and lost in Toddler Land and too ridden with Post Natal Depression than to groan and inwardly think: Not fast enough.

But now suddenly I see it, and I see how true it all is, and I’m over 30% of the way there with Starry, and in another seven years, she’ll be 14, and it’s going too fast and I miss their baby faces and their toddler faces. And I’ve worked hard the last couple of years, and I’ve felt like I’ve been too focussed on that, and not on them, and I don’t want to miss a moment longer. And if you ever asked me to choose between this or that it would always be: them, them, them.

So to choose between social media and my inner sanctum, Facebook and my family, it is an easy decision. Of course I don’t HAVE to choose between them, many people do it, and do it well. I’ve done it for a long time. And it might be right again for me in the future. But right now, it’s not right for me.

A month of social media hiatus passed by, and there was no calling to return. It’s too good for it to end.

And so it won’t be.

And I thought about what all that meant, and what I’d like to do next.

Here’s the thing: I’ve worked hard for a long ass time to build my businesses. I’m not giving them up by any means. I’m just changing the parameters of how I wish to share and create.

I’m aching to do something different than hastily write Instagram posts and a zillion quote images.

And the joy of having built my business for such a long time… I don’t actually have to hustle anymore. I don’t HAVE to be on social media to earn coin. I can just continue with my work behind the scenes and be joyfully paid by that. I can afford to experiment, and find a path that is healthy and good and true for me once again.

So here’s what I’m doing next:

I’m continuing to pause the Workbook Facebook group and my Facebook page. Instagram and Twitter will be paused as well. These are all additional free services outside of my core business that I provide that cost me time, heart energy and staffing costs.

Will they be reopened in the future? I’m not sure. Maybe, if and when I feel called to it. It has to feel right and good and true for me.

I understand that this may cause sadness or grief for you. For that, I am sorry. And I also know that it is sacred and important work for me to hold the energy of that space, and if I am not called to continuing that currently in a strong and presence-filled way, it is not healthy to allow it to continue. Otherwise the energy will become distorted and wonky, and will not hold true to its original intention. (And no, I am not called to having moderators take over instead. After 15+ years of online community management, I know just how important it is to uphold the energy of an online space, and it’s not something I can allocate out.)

So if I am not called to it, I must trust in the words of my mentor Hiro Boga: “A no from your soul is a yes to other people’s souls.” I hope and pray that with this new space cleared in your life, it will be filled by something even better and more aligned for you.

THE ONLY PLACE I WILL BE SHARING PUBLICLY:

The only way you will be able to hear from me publicly is through my love letter mailing list.

If you haven’t already, you can sign up for that here.

I’ll be sharing my stories and photos and musings there. No set schedule, not often.

Will I be blogging? I really don’t know. Again, my love letter mailing list is where I’ll be concentrating my public sharing for now.

Specifics, Clarifications + Boundaries:

  • I will still be running + being involved in my paid Academy mastermind Facebook group and essential oils group.
  • If you have strong feelings about this decision, please watch this.
  • Nope, you do not need to email me with your complaints and crankiness. They’ll be filed under Nope, my kids are more important.
  • If you email my staff asking about things that have already been answered in this post, they will just be sending you the link to read it properly. So please read and understand before asking.

I’m grateful for the magic and connection of the social medias over the years.

But for now, the golden leaves of autumn await, as do my children, waiting to make art and learn about dinosaurs together.

There is a big, beautiful world out there to be loved.

And I’m ready for great swallows of solace of quiet and time beneath the sky again. Filling up my pockets with gladness. Sharing the acorns and magic when they overflow.

Big love,