Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels
Or find the audio wherever you get your podcasts.
I am definitely planning to make this website prettier! But I was suddenly in a rush to resurrect it after putting it on hold back in April 2021, and I’ve decided to build it as I go. I am trying to do it without page builders this time (spoiled by Elementor Pro!) to achieve Google’s benchmarks for speed, so it may look a bit clumsy as I get it to where I want it. Meanwhile, this is a rundown of what I’ve been up to in 2021 leading up to the launch of this new phase.
The Waking Up BLOG
I started my last blog, Waking Up, in December 2020 and then placed it on indefinite hiatus in April 2021 when workstation fatigue finally caught up with me. The impetus for the blog drew heavily on Seth Godin’s The Practice. Responding to his prompts, I had commited to writing and posting on a weekly schedule within constrained project parameters: post a first draft OR a final draft OR a podcast five days a week, and spend no more than 1 hour per day! I did it to create a practice, a habit, and to force myself to just publish and keep moving rather than polishing and agonizing over the details. If I wrote a rough draft … I had to post it! In rough draft form! Lord, that was hard, but it forced me to get over some of my heavy perfectionism.
Recording audio for the posts was an early addition. I enjoy listening more than reading most days, so it was for people like me more than anything else. Most but not all of the posts have audio. I have, however, I deleted the embeds from the written posts. This happened recently, after I listened back to them, cringed, and hit delete! (This is a bad habit of mine.) Fortunately, the podcast is still available on Spotify and most podcast outlets except for Apple under the name “Waking Up” (links below).
The written blog has been archived.
Waking Up Podcast
Listening back through the archive made we want to edit and make changes. That 1 hour max restriction was good for me but left some rough edges to polish. More importantly, I’m inspired anew, partly courtesy a very thought-provoking interview with the daughter of one of my heroes, Richard Tarnas. In Becca Tarnas’ interview from 2016, “Talking Tolkein and Jung,” on the Rune Soup podcast, while she was still working on her doctoral dissertation (at CIIS, my alma mater) on the space of enchanted imagination shared by both Tolkein’s and Jung’s Red Books, I found both answers to my confusions, and the courage and inspiration to rededicate myself to the work that’s been trying to claw its way out of me for decades! The self-doubt has been particularly heavy of late as I’ve struggled with workstation fatigue.
Becca highlighted some of Tolkein’s own hindrances (a meandering attention seemingly fueled by self-doubt and overthinking), in a way that felt so reassuring. In fact, she pointed out that The Lord of the Rings might never have been written and published were it not for C. S. Lewis, who sat with Tolkein for hours and hours over the years, encouraging him on like a beacon of elegiac enthusiasm.
Most of all, I found a way to understand Aran, my other-dimensional Teacher, who plays a role in both The Waking Up blog and my whole process here. He will have a much more prominent role moving forward.
A Little More Free (Podcast)
My nearly yearlong forray into unscripted long format podcasting with a family friend, from February to December 2021, was a lot of fun, and also mortifying to look back at (thus I’ve taken down all the episodes except the interviews and a couple special episodes – See? This is a habit of mine. Working on it). If you’re interested, you can get kind of an overview of our podcast and the guest roster by listening to the last episode, Episode 34 – The Last Episode.
*STARSHINE* ASTROLOGICAL PLANNER
We launched a monthly astrological planner as a companion to the podcast. We planned to build it into a gorgeous printed planner by first developing a free digital planner, but I ended up overextending myself. I was doing most of the heavy lifting, and my back was giving out, so I ended the monthly planner. But I am continuing to publish some materials, such as the outline of the upcoming Venus Cycle (which starts January 8, 2022!). I have also left up the past planners and other materials I created. Those are available for free without any newsletter signup at this link:
During the podcast, we learned a lot about producing creative audio and video media. I have a Shure SM7B microphone! I’m still working on the full setup, but have just discovered the amazingness of Sweetwater who I think will be able to help me finish the setup for this phase. They reached out to me personally after I bit the bullet and bought a set of headphones for monitoring my audio interface and offered to help with anything! I haven’t learned how to use sophisticated editing tools, though I feel lucky that my beginner software (Movavi) is pretty good. I am dying to learn how to work with EQ and other audio technical engineering in the New Year.
Building Our Small House
I wrote a series of articles on building our small house, which are located on the Blog at The Workshop, Floyd VA (our side business that’s very quiet right now). They include audio, like the Waking Up blog does. Like so many of my projects, this one is far from finished. Hopefully I can get it done in 2022.
- Building A Small House for Less than $100,000
- Into the Thicket, Building Our Small House Part 2
- Breaking Ground, Building Our Small House Part 3
There’s also a story on that site that I love about why I fell in love with trees: Why We Do What We Do. Maybe I’ll record audio for that next! One last thing I’m proud of is The Workshop’s mission: “Live simply. Leave a light footprint on the earth. Cherish beauty. Make by hand what we can. Protect nature, and especially protect the trees. Love our neighbors. Laugh a lot. Keep learning. Live long and prosper.” God, that makes me happy!