Today is my birthday. But if you’re one of my 1200+ Facebook friends, you already know that, because Facebook broadcasts the news. And I love it! My 8 Facebook birthdays to date have been among my favorites, in part thanks to Facebook.
But the cynics in the crowd will grumble and complain that the cornucopia of well-wishes that pile up on our profile pages on a Facebook birthday are just one more example of the shallow connections fostered on social media, because really, how could any of us truly know all of those “friends”, or even the dozens who post birthday wishes to our profile pages.
Well, sure. But then there’s this.
- It really is fun to log onto Facebook and read dozens of birthday wishes, even if I haven’t actually met every well-wisher in the bunch. (Really, I’d like to.)
- Lots of those greetings actually are from people I deeply love and care about. And lots are from people I care about but rarely see, so it’s a treat to hear from them. And lots are from people I’d love to get to know more. So thank you…every one.
- And even better–on the 364 days that are NOT my birthday–FB reminds me that at least 3 or 4 of my FB friends are having their birthdays. And I get the opportunity to send some birthday love their way. And that feels good, because I know I’ll help add to their Facebook-Birthday glow.
And it could be even better:
What if in addition to reminding us each day that several of our friends are having birthdays, FB reminded us each day that there are several people among our friends who we should APPRECIATE each day!
Facebook could send out daily “Thank-A-Friend” suggestions using some random algorithm–just as they now do when they suggest people we might want to add as FB Friends, or FB groups we might like to join.
But why wait? In the meantime, we could just do it ourselves. Decide today to choose three people from your Facebook Friends list and post a message on their page saying why you appreciate them.
If the people lead, maybe Facebook will follow.
July 7, 1965
Let’s get the Facebook love flowing. Share this post on your timeline, and tag three friends you appreciate, and tell them why.
Image via Wikipedia
The Solstice (12/22/11 this year) marks the longest night of the year … but it doesn’t have to be the loneliest. What if on this dark night, you could dream with over 500 other people around the globe … all from the comfort of your own bed?
That’s what our group, “350 Dreamers” does on a regular basis. We dream together for global healing by setting an intention to dedicate our dreams to the good of our planet. And that’s what we’ll be doing on Thursday night, 12/22.
Join 350 Dreamers (we’re now more than 500 dreamers from around the globe!) and dream with us for global healing.
It’s easy. Whether you remember your dreams regularly or you haven’t really paid attention to them until now, you can still join us. To learn how, click here. And join us on Facebook so we can notify you of upcoming group dreams for Global Healing.
I look forward to dreaming with you.
To get views of the season from other Corner View bloggers around the world, start here.
Image by Lady-bug via Flickr
What is the antidote to loneliness?
No, the answer to loneliness doesn’t involve going to a party, hopping onto Facebook or taking a trip to the mall. The antidote to loneliness is solitude.
Solitude is more than simply being alone. True solitude involves getting still and quiet with yourself. This is a difficult skill to learn, especially in a society that increasingly values noise, constant movement, and quick connections through social media.
To learn true solitude takes practice. In my personal and professional work I teach people the art of listening to the self through dreamwork, writing and mindfulness.
When you learn to be still and quiet you discover something extraordinary. You are truly and deeply connected … to everyone and everything.
To build solitude into your life:
- Begin and end each day with a few moments of internal reflection. Start slowing down an hour before bedtime. When you close your eyes to enter sleep practice meditative breathing by inhaling slowly to the count of four, retaining your breath for a count of four, exhaling slowly for a count of four, retaining the breath for a count of four, etc. In the morning when you wake, lie in bed quietly for a few moments and reflect on your dreams and sleep before beginning your day.
- Take 20 minutes a day to spend time alone. Unplug the phone, turn off the computer, and avoid any distractions. Be in nature if you can, or sit quietly in mindful meditation.
- Learn Proprioceptive Writing. This is a ritualized form of writing that offers a simple and profound system for learning solitude and deeply knowing the self.
“It is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it” –Rainer Maria Rilke
To visit more Corner View blogs from around the globe. Start here.
To learn more about how dreamwork, mindfulness and writing can help you discover the deep pleasures of solitude, contact me.