Thursday, December 3, 2009

the kindness of strangers

Today I need to write about gratitude. I've started this post several times, trying to get the right angle or intro and realize it doesn't need one. Gratitude, in itself, is plenty. Actually, it's far more than plenty, but you know what I mean. I am constantly blown away right now by the graciousness of strangers, the energy and enthusiasm and support I've gotten. The helping hands extended. The brainstorming generated. The time and thoughtfulness expended on my behalf, so often from people I don't know, or at least don't know in the traditional let's-get-to-know-each-other-over-a-cup-of-coffee way.

Every person who reads this blog, every comment that's made, everyone who follows—thank you so much for being interested enough to pay attention.

The people who follow me on twitter, who make me laugh, make me cringe, make me think about things I don't want to think about, should be thinking about, think about too much, thank you. I have found pure souls, true hearts, goofiness when I need it, snarky attitudes that crack me up. I've watched a FLOW musical develop, ideas about empowering like-minded woman come to fruition, complete strangers become support systems for each other.

There are people out there who believe in FLOW so whole-heartedly, its message of openness and education, of questioning what we've taken for granted about our bodies for too long. Who are thrilled to embrace its challenging messages mixed with thoughtfulness. Thank you.

There are remarkable people making connections, contacting contacts, sharing information for no other reason than to support. Karma. Good, great, positive, soul-nourishing karma. A complete and welcome contrast to much of putting FLOW together. I worked with people who didn't think I was a good enough writer to make this book happen, who were horrified (or terrified, I'm never quite sure which it was), when hearing about my work process. I spent month upon month writing into a black void, not knowing if my thoughts, words, work was any good. And was accused of doing nothing but creating drama, of being difficult and egotistical and someone no one would ever work with again. Or would want to help.

By the end I was so beaten down I'd completely lost my mojo (thanks for that perfect term to @lissarankin). Completely spent, thoroughly burnt out, I didn't believe in the book, or myself, anymore. And so I'm even more grateful, now, for every single moment, every comment, every word, every mention, every thought and action sent out in my direction.

This path is crazy. To bare your soul, to work on something until you're completely depleted, to fight so hard every step of the way, with people you'd assume were on your side . . . and then to get to this place of sharing and compassion. Discovering kindred souls, surprising support, people wanted to get onboard and fight this battle with me.

Thank you doesn't cover it.


Catharine said...

What a beautiful post! I understand exactly what you mean. Among all the craziness in the world, there is kindness. I, too, am grateful for all of the people out there (many on Twitter and otherwise complete strangers) who have extended a hand when and offered honest concern and connection during times that I have felt smothered by a cloud of isolation and despair.

Jeremy said...

Glad to hear how good you're feeling about the whole thing now. The appreciation and support of others can truly be life changing.

Brenda said...

How beautiful! And what an amazing journey!

Amy Oscar said...

This is Law of Attraction. When you radiate such giving, such openness into the world, it comes back to you in remarkable ways, often amplified many times over. Generosity is who you are, even though you may be too depleted to even make dinner right now. It shines through your every tweet, every blog post. Keep being true to that core, that radiant being that's beginning to peek out. This is only the beginning.
PS I think I know you well enough to know that you will read this and think, "Oh... well, she really doesn't know me." If you did that, read on:
I read people for a living. As a magazine editor/interviewer I have to size people up pretty quickly. As a Spiritual Counselor, I have to read energy. Yours is gorgeous and clear and honest. Im done praising you now. See if you can let that in. :)

theComplex said...

Great post! As someone that's pretty much grown up on the internet, I've seen the good, bad and ugly! But I come back (not just because of possible addiction) but because of what I get from learning and sharing with others!

Carrie said...

Great post Elissa. I can relate. Congratulations on your book and following your passions! and Gratitude is an extraordinary energy to be in. Best.

lisa said...

I've met wonderful YOU and wonderful people through you. It's a great posse, and I'm so happy to be included in part of it.