Welcome to My Brand Spanking New Website!December 1, 2015
I thought this day would never come. I’ve been muddling around for a few years now, wanting/needing an updated website. Things were getting glitchy behind the scenes, but more importantly, I wanted a website that accurately represented me. And of course, one that was pleasing to the eye. Welcome to my brand spanking new website!
I have always cringed at the question that Americans seem obsessed with – “What do you do?”
Some people appear to have this figured out – “I’m a doctor, I’m a lawyer, I’m an exotic dancer, etc.” But for many of us, pinning it down to one thing (or even two or three) is impossible. Just because I became a holistic health practitioner doesn’t mean I’m no longer an artist. And being a Nature Lover might not qualify as an occupation, but it’s a pretty darn important part of my life and who I am right now.
I raised this question a few weeks ago to poet and wise man, Mark Nepo, someone I’ve come to admire greatly. I consider him a teacher to my soul right now.
Mark said that he never asks that question anymore. Instead, he asks, “What are you doing these days?” Isn’t that so much better than “What do you do?”
I got good at fudging my answer person-to-person, but when you have a website, it takes on a life of its own. There’s no getting away from the dreaded big question.
You’re faced with asking it yourself.
So, what do I do?
Well, it’s funny that the things that feed my soul the most right now are writing, taking pictures, and being in Nature. But there’s still this part of me that would never call myself a writer or a photographer. And being in Nature? Who says that when asked “What do you do?”
I can say with confidence “I’m an artist” because I’ve felt like one my entire life. It’s a big part of who I am. The fact that I have a BFA certainly doesn’t matter, although probably deep down inside that somewhat trivial degree gives my ego permission to label myself as such.
And so, I lumped writing and photography under Artist on my website. The list was just getting too long and nevertheless, they’re all creative endeavors.
I love doing family photo shoots. But when someone approaches me I always say, “I’m not a professional photographer – I’m an artist who loves taking pictures.”
I know I have a good eye, but I just want to be in the mystery of it, seeing abstraction in Nature, catching a subject off-guard, rather than fussing with f-stops and such. My stubborn brain seems to shut down when I try to force it to look at the camera settings. Truth be told, I love my iPhone photos just as much.
You’ll be able to see examples of my work in the new Gallery section.
So, although the reason for my website began as a holistic health resource when it came time to revamp it, I knew that it needed to be all inclusive. It needed to reflect an artist, a healer, and a Nature-lover.
When someone pointed out to me that by offering energy healing and Ayurvedic services on a broader scale, since I’ve spent the last six years of my life studying, then I could help share my healing senses with many. I am now fully committed to extending my services as a healer and entirely humbled and grateful. After all, aren’t we all healers?
I have been the quintessential student for many years. Maybe more like a few decades. When my energy healing teacher told us we were all meant to be teachers, I choked, “Me? A teacher? At my age?”
The other day I came across a quote by Maya Angelou that was short but powerful.
“Learn, then teach.”
In the end, what’s the point of all of this learning if I don’t share it with others? It has become my service to the world, and I feel blessed to love what I do.
Someone in my family recently asked me how I could share such personal things about myself on my blog. I was mulling this over, thinking indeed how strange it is that I’ve opened up to the world at this point in my life.
“I don’t need or want any attention” used to be my mantra. I was (and still am) happy being the worker bee, staying in the background. Hiding.
The day after that question, a friend serendipitously shared this article by Jon Pavlovitz, “Thank You for Bleeding – A Love Letter to Writers”
“Most writers don’t write because they must have something to say, but because they have something that they must say. To be silent would be to be disobedient. It is not a choice made, but a burden carried, a calling embraced.” – Jon Pavlovitz
My lifetime animal spirit guide is the turtle. I’ve always felt an affinity for this ancient creature. Safe in my introverted shell, I would poke my head in and out – to be in the world, and then retreat again.
When I opened “The Book of Awakening” (my daily source of inspiration), on the morning I started writing this post, the entry seemed curious, as it appeared to have been written for me. How did Mark Nepo know what I was pondering?
“As humans we are relentlessly in cycle. The mind builds a shell to protect its turtle-spirit, but the shell muffles the spirit, till outgrowing the shell we devise ways to break it. We build the shell, then tear it down. We build it thinner. We tear it down. Yet only between constructions are we thoroughly touched. Only between encasements are we punctuated by love… In truth, our aliveness depends on our ability to sustain wonder: to lengthen the moments we are truly uncovered, to be still and quiet till all the elements of the earth and all the secrets of the oceans stir the aspects of life waiting within us.” – Mark Nepo
I’m not saying I’ll never crawl back in my shell, but the joy and sustenance I’ve experienced from opening myself up to the world is too precious to ignore.
I want to say goodbye to my old website and thank everyone who ever visited it. It still amazes me that anyone would end up there!
Thank you to Alissa Ambrose, who helped design and put the old website together. We made a great team until she went and spoiled everything by going back to school, getting a real job (as opposed to working for me) and having a baby. She now works for the Boston Globe as a photo editor for their online publication statnews.com.
I miss your organizational skills and your pumpkin muffins, Alissa, but I’m happy for you. You taught me how to manage my first WordPress site all by myself.
And now, a word of thanks to Phaedra Philippoussis of Pearl Heart Media, creator of my beautiful new website.
I had many starts and stops during this lengthy process of revamping barbarasinclair.com. I just couldn’t seem to focus and envision what exactly I wanted. And then one day after a chance encounter, a computer in crisis, and a conversation about art, healing and Nature, Phaedra took the vision I didn’t even realize I had and within hours, had it mapped out.
I still laugh when I think about the day Phaedra came over and showed me what she had put together. The page opened to an expansive photo I had taken on my trip to Scotland. A quote was embedded in the photo and when I read it, I said, “I love that! Who said it?” And she replied, “You did! It’s from one of your posts.”
I am constantly quoting others, but the thought of using personal words on my website had never occurred to me.
Phaedra had the vision of integrating my love of Nature into the website, using photographs that I have taken over a lifetime. In fact, the site is literally teeming with Nature.
Phaedra even added a Shop, where visitors can buy products that I recommend.
Full Disclosure: Products that I write about or recommend in articles on my website and in my Shop are from companies for which I am an Affiliate. What this means is that if you click through a link to a product and a purchase is made, I receive a small amount from the sale.
I used the products from these companies for years before becoming an Affiliate. It is important to me that the companies I represent are extremely conscious and environmentally-friendly. Most of the items are organic and some are even kosher certified. I take this very seriously when recommending products.
If you do decide to purchase something via this website, I thank you kindly, for it helps to support the maintenance of the site which is my service to you. As they say in Scots Gaelic, “moran taing,” many thanks!
There are still glitches here and there, but letting go of perfectionism has been a big goal of mine this year, so I am releasing my new website to fly with her new wings. I hope she serves you well!
BTW, this is not the Home Page. So, click HERE and have fun exploring!