This post is the conclusion of The Soul of Blogging (Essence). It also summarizes the talk I just gave last May 26 at the iBlog8: The 8th Philippine Blogging Summit held at the Malcolm Theater, College of Law, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City.
To many who aspire to blog, blogging seems a bit daunting. We often assume that we have to be technically knowledgeable by increasing traffic, marketing the blog, following a trend and getting many readers. Many bloggers do these to make their blogs a lucrative venture. Although this is a commonplace, it is never a common story. I started blogging not so much about earning money, but on sharing myself. I am motivated more of what compels me inside to blog and share my insights to the world. I am among many bloggers who intend to voice out their thoughts, initiate conversations, and transform others and oneself. I believe that this is the soul that expresses through blogging.
Even though the word soul is dense with so much religious and superstitious notions, I still chose it to refer to what is inside of us. It perfectly represents our internal processes – thoughts, emotions, imaginations, feelings – realities that remain invisible, intangible, immeasurable, inexplicable, indestructible and infinite. The soul is the quality unfolding in our ability and passion to blog. It is the same soul that sparked the creativity and generosity of many people in history who shared their ideas and stories that have changed our world.
Blogging is solid and physical. We have all the techniques and technologies to make it work. On the contrary, the soul is so fluid and nonphysical. It is how we perceive, intuit and experience the world around and inside of us. We use blogging to express ourselves, but it is the soul that makes it possible. For some of us, to put blogging and soul together in one topic is almost an oxymoron. However, in all things in the universe, opposites always complement. We only need to find what will bridge the gap. There are 3 points to describe the soul of blogging: Inspiration, Insight and Intention.
Inspiration. I have heard stories of people who once fell in love with someone and wrote countless poems and love letters. They felt good and wonderful because there was someone who inspired them. This usual notion of inspiration is something outside. But the soul tells a different story. In + spiritus means to breathe within. Our breath is something naturally inherent in us and synonymous to life itself. Almost all world’s religions refer to the breath as an ineffable essence that brings life to everything. As we breathe, we give life. The same principle applies to what, why and how we blog. We can always breathe life to what we always yearn, the inner bliss that needs our attention and energy, the one that makes us free and true and joyful. In turn, we can breathe life to anything lifeless. We can inspire what has been neglected, denied and ignored in our society and humanity, and there we can begin to make them seen and heard through our blogging.
Insight. We have our own creative moments whenever we find new ideas and solutions to our problems. These are our insights based on what we have read, watched, heard from differet media, or advises given by our loved ones, friends and co-workers. We become more certain if we can see and try these insights as suggested. But the soul sees in a radical way. In + gesiht means to see within, and developing this capacity is meaningful not just for our blogging but also for our growth as human beings. By seeing what is inside of us, we become aware of who we are. We enable ourselves to reflect our existence upon others and the world, and see through their eyes their inner joys and sorrows. We would eventually know what to blog based on how we respond to the source and calling within us. It makes our blogging more significant.
Intention. We think of intention as a hidden agenda. We doubt others of their real intention, since all of us bear the same secretive tendency. In terms of business, we usually intend to sell, earn or ask favors. It should always be a rule that whatever we provide for others must be reciprocated. But again, as opposed to the soul, intention is different. In + tendere means to stretch within. Related to the word tendon, we are familiar what we usually stretch in our bodies: our hands and feet. In blogging, intention is a symbolic stretch. The soul encourages us to stretch our hands to give, create, serve and reach out others. As we do this, we can also stretch our feet to walk an extra mile, to begin our journeys, and to find our paths. We act on accomplishing our unlimited capacities and interact with the rest of the world. We can always use our blogs to help others and ourselves grow in all aspects of our lives.
Psyche is the old Greek for the word soul. It also means butterfly. Butterfly is a perennial symbol of transformation and metamorphosis. It crawls, sleeps and then flies. The soul, therefore, achieves the same process. It is only possible if we live the paradox that we can bring about in our blogging: look what is inside if you want to think out of the box. The words of Oriah Mountain Dreamer in her poem The Invitation essentially captures the message of the soul of blogging: “It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing./ It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive…/ I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.” Everyone of us can achieve this possibility, because we can always awaken in us this soul of blogging.
Thanks to Ms. Janette Toral and the iBlog8 team for welcoming me as one of their speakers for iBlog8. I am thankful to all of my fellow speakers, especially to Wendell Cagape, Marcelle Fabie and Jeoff Salas. Thanks also to my friends Maru de Castro and Ishilta Casi. I am also grateful for my fellow bloggers I met at the summit: Lawrence Chan, RJ Naguit, Axl Guinto, Jann Medina, Marin Santiago, Tina Siugan, Pete Rahon, Nica Mandigma, Valerie Deveza, Jasmin Cruz, Hannah Buenavente, JR Quiambao and Jane Gonzales.