Some months ago, WordPress notified me that a new facility had been created, which would enable the owners of blogs like my own (Premium and Business themes) to add a payment button to our websites. At first I decided to ‘file’ that information, feeling that my technological muscles had been sufficiently challenged and that I was not quite ready to learn yet another new skill … the practical and life lessons having been ‘fast and furiously’ presenting themselves over considerable time.
This week, fresh inspiration pinged into my consciousness and I decided to accept that it was time to seek financial contributions towards the time and the effort that is put into all of my written and other work, starting with my blog. To be perfectly honest, this has taken some justification on my part and a fair amount of mental gymnastics ensued, before I could bring myself to make the leap into this new form of unknown – “e commerce” comes with faces that I am yet to make the acquaintance of, in most guises.
As a fairly profuse Writer, I have been employing writing as an outlet and an aid, a form of expression, a teaching tool, a mentoring medium, as well as a means to come back from the brink of despair and exhaustion, after suffering complete nervous breakdown in early 2006. Writing serves many other purposes as well, not least as a type of practice for the written word that I hope to transform into published book(s) soon. There is a story behind this and the story is a long one, it has been confusing and it has taken time to understand. Nowadays I find that any story is more authentically real when it is shared, not kept silent, and able to help others in the integrity and expressing of it … which is why I write as I do. Writing the blog started with a request from others to get my writing ‘out there’, and so I set off to learn to climb the blogging ropes. I am still learning.
In August 2009, three years after crumbling personally in all sorts of ways, after losing all my confidence, as a result of finding the ‘earth’ constantly moving beneath me, after selling the home we had lived in, putting my much-loved natural products business in Australia ‘to bed’ in order to travel abroad to spend time with family, enduring a range of environments in which to keep our family sane while we moved from place to place without a solid arrangement, we landed in the location where we have been living for close on nine years now. It has been one hell of a ride in many respects, and has meant that I have not been able to go out into the world to concentrate on other things, financially or otherwise. The flip side to the physical and other constraints that I have experienced over the past eleven years, is that out of all of it my writing has been the one constant and my strength has grown exponentially, along with a very strong resolve to ‘return’. I have had to relearn many things, including how to drive, and to speak calmly, in full sentences, without biting my tongue (literally) or simply losing my nerve.
About seven years ago, on the healing journey, I began to tiptoe into the world of social media, keeping communication strictly between my family and friends, at first. I was very shy, taking fairly ‘blind’ steps, with little confidence at speaking in public to anyone about anything any more, had little energy and found that even telephone conversation left me mentally and physically fatigued. It was a horrible place to operate from, and took a huge amount of willpower for me to mentor, guide, model and parent my children, in the process of all that I was going through and while ‘doing life’ to the extreme. The journey has continued, it gets a little easier at times and in some respects. Along the way I have grown back into more of the self that I was created to be, the self who existed many years before that breakdown of 2006. Slowly I have been regaining a semblance of the life that I had known as far back as 1985 – but thus far, only in some ways. Much has been lost and much has to be and has had to be started again, from scratch … one ought never to count experience as loss, and therefore I count it all as gain.
Over the seven years since tiptoeing onto the technologically social world, I have written vast numbers of words in a range of places and have found ways to ‘walk again’ and to speak through the written word. My ‘voice’ has been found and I have been heard commenting on a range of subjects, most frequently speaking out about leadership, authenticity in every area of life, and caring for our natural world and the environment that we each depend upon. None of this is new to me, but suddenly became an urgent cry, after finding myself living slap-bang in the middle of farmers’ chemically-treated fields in 2009.
The shock of discovery that we had bought a home in Britain which was located in a danger zone was brutal, cruel and ironic – all rolled into one. However, I could not change a thing about it. I had no time to do anything other than write, no energy to do more than that either … and so I listened to the inner prompt to put something about the environment into a more widely available arena, and set up a Facebook page called Towards Greener Borders. It became my ‘voluntary contribution’ to society, my ‘community service’ to the world, working tirelessly at disseminating information and sharing experience or educational prompts about caring for one another and for our precious earth … all the time, fearing for the health and safety of my children, our home, our food, our air, water and all the rest that constitutes our family’s life. Towards Greener Borders now has a Twitter presence too, and may in due course become a registered charity, if I feel led (and helped by others) to take it further than the written entity that it currently is. It continues to ‘serve’ the community around the world, for whom I set it up, gently and voluntarily.
Every person on the planet needs to give, to receive, to earn a living in one way or another, and I have been as generous as I have been able to be, giving of my time, energy and resources, giving in all directions, without much compensation, security, or financial return. Economically, life has been biting hard and relentlessly, and I must now take responsibility to change the flow of the tide in that area. As with anyone who loves people, has compassion, and lives each day as a leader on the earth, I give freely and willingly, without seeking return. However, there are life demands that I am unable to meet without considerably upping my resource stream and focusing on ‘manning up’ my income myself. It is time to monetise seriously, more carefully manage how I steward my life, even though that has been the approach all along … it needs refinement now. We each must do this, for it is only in loving and valuing ourselves that we are in a position to do that for others. My tank is running very low, has been for many years, and it is time to top it up or I shall, again, burn out. That is not an option any more …
And so I come to the point of this story and this exercise, which is to introduce a donation facility to The Holly Tree Tales. If you would like to make a donation, £5 or any other amount, in recognition of the value of my writing and towards the maintenance of this website (which has annual fees in order to keep it advertisement free and of my own design), I would be most grateful. I shall be tithing ten percent of all ‘income’ received, to keep the energy moving in a positive direction and to maintain correct stewardship of resource … that is where I believe blessings are, and every seed planted will thus have a chance at least to grow and to sustain the increase of good fruit.
Having decided to step courageously into the e-commerce world, this week I learnt another new skill, by opening a PayPal account for the first time. This is now set up to create flow. Please feel free to make your donation here, but please know that there is no obligation to do so and no one is under any duress to contribute at all! This is merely a request, for your …
In order to assist with the maintenance of The Holly Tree Tales blog and to support the writing here, please feel free to donate ANY amount of your choice. With sincere thanks. ♥
In strength, and hope, and trust,
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