The Job of Your Life with Karen Schaffer

Get out of your rut and find your passion

All Quiet on the Eastern Front: Blogger Returns from Cave

Posted by Karen on April 20, 2010

Hello all…

Well, obviously, after the Olympics I fell off the face of my blog.

Really, the blogger in me retreated into a cave and hasn’t wanted to come out until now. It’s been nearly a year that I’ve been writing this blog. It started as a way to experiment – what I originally called “the secret garden” – as I developed tone, style, content and direction with no pressure. I didn’t intend to actively seek to draw any attention to it, and yet I found myself, throughout the year, taking small actions here and there that were more consistent with making it known. It’s been a mixed message for both the blog and me.

So where did I go? New Year, new posts, full of verve and fire. I had my energy up and on a roll…and then I stopped. Nothing dramatic. I just stopped.

Has that ever happened to you? You’re all fired up about something and it seems really full of energy and power and life and light…and then it STOPS.

It took a little while to get the threads of what happened inside myself that put the brakes on so hard. In the last few years I’ve learned that when something happens, when you get stopped on something, there’s usually some various threads of thought and circumstance that get bound up together in a tight knot, so tight that it’s hard to see what the problem is, even though the one thing is clear is that the knot – or something – is blocking progress forward.

In my case, I had this sudden feeling like a) I’d gotten way too serious on this blog and somehow that isn’t me (even though it’s part of me) and b) that I was career, career, career all day long with no room, no spaciousness for other thoughts or interests  coupled with the fact that c) I was getting spun out with too much social media (Facebook Fan Page? Twitter? Linkedin? Link them all? Who am I?) and as a result d) I was starting to lose touch with what I was doing this all for…my purpose in committing to write this blog in the first place.

No more “secret garden”. I’d somehow put the pressure on without even realizing it.

On top of all that, a new and tantalizing project came over my horizon. It beckoned with a different goals, different topic, different yet meaningful mission. It is definitely not a career-exploration/counselling project, but still very much me. It has opened up new potential pathways I hadn’t considered before and found myself excited to consider. Did I want to continue with careers? (A question I’ve been asking for the last 15 years btw, at regular intervals).

And as a result, all these strands of emotion, confusion and distraction threaded together in a big ole knot. In the meantime, I avoided this blog like I might avoid someone who made me uncomfortable. Didn’t really examine the discomfort…but didn’t stop by and chat either. 

You know, I still haven’t sorted it all out. But I did feel like it was the kind of thing that readers of a blog (supposedly) on career exploration might find interesting. Because this is me, exploring what it is I want to take on in my spare time. I don’t have a huge amount of spare time and one of the big things I learned in the month of March (the AWOL month) is that I need and DESIRE to be focused on something. And I have lots of interests and ideas.

However, spread too thin, nothing gets enough energy to move forward with power.

So in the cave I went.

I had to go quiet to listen to that part of me. And I had to wait as long as it took to get some clarity. One of the suprising decisions that came out of this quiet was that I stopped teaching the yoga classes I’d just started teaching again. A story for another day, but an example of a surprising (for me!) decision that came out of sitting with what was happening in my life.

I want to report that I’m still sitting with things. I’m still working out what this blog is about and what it is to me, versus the perceived pressure from every blog expert on the Net who says authoritatively you have to write consistently to build an audience. (Is that what I’m doing this for? To build an audience? Truthfully, I don’t know). However self-trust tells me I can’t write just to write, in my very own case, I need to feel out what this is about for me. I also need to stay in touch with the blog because it might be just the place to work this out.

I’ve been inspired by my friend Karina’s blog which you can find here – I love this post  – called “Label Whore” – because Karina (with all the funny I feel like I’m missing these days) really gets to the heart of what it is to integrate the self in what you do everyday for work. It’s challenging. We don’t like to hang out with that confusion for too long.

So…here I am…I’ll be back…I may change…I may not. And that’s how we progress. If you want to share your own stories or insights on dealing with confusion around what you’re supposed to be doing or how you’re exploring what to focus your life on, please feel welcome to share through comments. I know I could use some fresh insights and I’m sure other people could too.

With much appreciation to y’all for giving me some space,

Karen (aka the Schaffe)

p.s. If you read Karina’s post, know that I’ve known her simply as “Karina” for years and know all her secret and not-so-secret powers, which are many and impressive. So glad we’re going to get them all in one place!

3 Responses to “All Quiet on the Eastern Front: Blogger Returns from Cave”

  1. Caryn said

    Hi Karen,

    This is one of the best posts I’ve read in a while. Honest, transparent, real. Thank you for letting us learn from your experience.

    I, too, am going through another phase of exploration – allowing myself to make my business more real. I’ve learned that I can’t rush this process – that it is about sitting with the feelings, paying attention, doing things that make me feel good, and not giving a d*** what anybody else thinks. At the very moment that I stop caring where it is all going to lead, something cool happens and the path becomes clear. Works every time 🙂

    Thanks again…


  2. Karen,

    Thank you for helping me feel better about my own blog MIA periods 🙂 I have also found that when I’m questioning whether this is really what I want to be discussing, how I should be best spending my time, is my blog at all useful to anyone (and if not, why am I writing it?),whatever the questions may be, I haven’t been able to even face drafing a posting. I love that you are going to use your blog as a vehicle for exploring some of what you are thinking about.

    Sometimes I worry that the advice givers encourage too strongly developing that one “personal brand” so that everyone has this one clear business identity (so for example, all blog posts need to fit one theme), but that in reality, many people are always evolving, so your business/work identity also needs to evolve. But somehow that natural evolution seems abnormal, instead of normal. And online, with blogs, LinkedIn profiles etc, somehow we can feel “trapped” in our last, rather than our coming, identity.

    Looking forward to your coming blog postings as you explore your focus.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: