2018 blog stats

Every year since 2010, I’ve written a post summarizing the year on this blog. Here are the highlights for 2018.

My posts from years past about healing my injured sacroiliac joints have gotten a lot of comments in 2018 from people who are also suffering, and that has brought the most gratification this year, to know that documenting my healing journey offers hope to others.

To summarize that journey, I saw many practitioners in various bodywork modalities for a couple of decades before finding one who truly understood what it would take to heal the injury. I followed her advice, and it worked. My final post, Sacroiliac joint healed!, published in 2017, includes links to all my previous posts on the topic.

In 2018, I had 94,239 visitors and 127,235 views. This is down a bit from 2017, even though I wrote more posts in 2018. I’m attributing the downturn in visitors and views to social media burnout.

Social media has been a fun new toy — and more people are seeking balance in their lives. I’m actually fine with it, as I’m seeking balance too. Writing fewer posts but having them be more germane to how we can live better lives works for me. Plus, I’m a bodyworker and wellness advocate by trade. Less text neck, eye strain, forward head posture, and sitting are better for your health. I want you to be healthy!

I wrote 32 blog posts in 2018, totaling 16,319 words, averaging 510 words per post, a bit shorter than I typically have written.

Of the posts I wrote this year, these have gotten the most views (listed newest to oldest):

The most-read post in 2018 was one first posted back in January 2014, How to drink water with lemon and preserve your tooth enamel. It’s gotten the most comments of any post I’ve ever written. Believe it or not, almost 5 years after it was first published, 40,960 people read that post in 2018. I hope they/you are preserving their/your tooth enamel!

At the end of 2018, I have 292 followers on WordPress, 92 on email, and 605 on social media. Thank you!

The most popular day and hour for reading my blog is Sunday at 2 pm.

And now (drum roll), where are readers from? Well, it looks like this:

  • all of North America except Greenland
  • all of South America except for one tiny country north of Brazil (French Guiana)
  • all of Europe except Svalbard islands
  • all of Asia except Iran, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan
  • most of Africa except Western Sahara, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Chad, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia
  • I imagine there are some tiny island nations that don’t appear on the map with no readers

As always, it astounds me how connected the world is now because of the internet.

One of my intentions for 2019 is to improve my writing. I’d like to write a monthly post but have each be more interesting, compelling, and shareable.

Thank you so much for reading!

In remembrance of Gabrielle Roth: freedom is our holy work

One of the significant teachers in my life died yesterday, and I’ve struggled with writing about it. I find myself getting too heady, and yet this loss is actually so profound that when I took a nap yesterday, I dreamed I was balancing upside down on my head on a dance floor, surrounded by lively, active children.

When I woke, I could feel the pressure on the crown of my head.

Headstand is definitely about changing perspective.

I stumbled into ecstatic dance 18 years ago, first encountering the 5 rhythms of Gabrielle Roth and Sweat Your Prayers after I left church as something I could no longer take part in with integrity.

I found a tribe, a practice, and a way of experiencing myself and the world as energy.

I’m not sure, but I suspect that the latter is the change in perspective that I’m integrating with this shock of loss and review of Gabrielle’s influence on my life, that it’s all just energy all the time, and it’s always changing, always dancing. The best I can ever do is to be centered, grounded, embodied, and ready to meet it. What’s solid is awareness.

I’ve had issues and struggles at times with that tribe, practice, and worldview, and they have deeply shaped me. I keep coming back.

Here’s what ecstatic dance is to me: being free, feeling joy, being embodied, clearing, cleansing, breathing, sweating, extending myself, being aware, taking care of my body, pushing to my edge and beyond, being in the moment, sharing, delighting, inquiring, discovering, connecting, having compassion, being inspired, seeing, allowing, playing, surrendering, breaking myself open, feeling what comes up, being danced, letting go, grieving, dancing with other versions of me, dancing with the entire room including the space, letting life and everything flow through me, being totally and completely alive, being fully present, blowing all the blocks out of my energy channels.

I feel so grateful to have found this and that I am able to do this.

Thank you, Gabrielle Roth, for your life’s work. Thank you, dancing tribe.

Here’s Gabrielle in her own words.

I became a mapmaker for others to follow, but not in my footsteps, in their own. Many of us are looking for a beat, something solid and rooted where we can take refuge and begin to explore the fluidity of being alive, to investigate why we often feel stuck, numb, spaced-out, tense, inert, and unable to stand up or sit down or unscramble the screens that reflect our collective insanity.

The question I ask myself and everyone else is, “Do you have the discipline to be a free spirit?” Can we be free of all that binds and bends us into a shape of consciousness that has nothing to do with who we are from moment to moment, from breath to breath?

Dance is the fastest, most direct route to the truth — not some big truth that belongs to everybody, but the get down and personal kind, the what’s-happening-in-me-right-now kind of truth. We dance to reclaim our brilliant ability to disappear in something bigger, something safe, a space without a critic or a judge or an analyst.

Altucher on oxytocin and polyvagal theory, with humor

10 Unusual Ways to Release Oxytocin Into Your Life Altucher Confidential.

I love this guy. He’s so real. I can only wish I was as good a writer as James Altucher.

He tells about being caught shoplifting as a kid, his disgust for going to the bathroom, cortisol, stress, the vagus nerve, a photo of a woman’s tattoo of “Fight or Flight”, and oxytocin.

There’s another photo of a foot with the chemical formula for oxytocin tattooed on it.

Then he lists 10 ways to increase your oxytocin levels.

One of the ways happens to be shooting guns. I don’t think that one would work for me. Loud sudden noises like gunshots make me really jumpy. That’s cortisol, not oxytocin. Maybe that’s a guy thing?

I would replace that one with getting a massage. I notice that with almost everyone, receiving massage decreases their cortisol. I can tell from feeling their energy before and after, gauged by how they move and their voices.

For others, especially those who are accustomed to regular massage, an hour or so of good bodywork vastly increases their oxytocin. They are all soft and mellow and receptive and happy afterwards.

I would also add rocking a sleeping baby, but you might have had to nurse your own baby first to get that feeling.

The rest of Altucher’s recommendations for increasing oxytocin work. Even using Facebook! And I especially like his strategy for dating.

I will tell you my pre-date secret. In the brief period when I was single in between separation and re-marriage I had a technique before every date. I would watch either Michael Cera doing comedy or Louis CK doing standup. This would get me laughing, make my oxytocin hormones go on fire, and then I’d go right into the date, with all my sex hormones raging. Plus. I would be temporarily funnier, with a half-life of about two hours. I knew after four hours I would be boring again so the date would have to be over by then. I do this before talks also.

50,000 views! Thanks, readers!

Sometime during the night, when July 3 was turning into July 4, my blog passed 50,000 views. I like milestones, and this one is pretty major! The fireworks tonight will have a little extra meaning for me because I am celebrating.

Who knew, when I started? It’s like relationships. No matter what promises are made, you don’t know if they’ll last until they do. There have been times when I’ve thought I had nothing to write about, and then something came up that I wanted to share. Early on, I had some connectivity problems and didn’t post for a couple of weeks, but since then, it’s rare for me not to post at least twice a week.

Since my last milestone posting in April, I’ve met with a psychic who told me that I’ve been a writer for many lifetimes, and that in one lifetime, I was a man who wrote with a quill pen.

I hope what I wrote was interesting, well-written, and effective. (Don’t you know I wish I knew the name of that previous self so I could look up his/my writings???)

Here’s a graphic from my WordPress dashboard displaying the views by month:

You can see how slow it was for the first year, 2010, when I averaged 11 views a day. It started taking off in 2011, and 2012 has been great, so far averaging 125 views per day.

I guess this really tells what it takes to be successful at blogging—that it takes time and consistent posting to build a following. The success is on my terms, too.

The most popular post of all time is an update on my Spartan trailer, which is off the wellness/aliveness topic. Search engines bring viewers interested in Spartan trailers here. Some may even stick around for the wellness stuff!

I wish I knew which posts were most popular with subscribers and regular readers, whom I believe are more interested in trauma recovery, health, wellness, and wisdom.

And okay, I am an eclectic blogger.

Subscribers and readers, what would you like to see more of? 

WordPress began showing views by country in February 2012. Here’s an image of the top 10 countries for viewers since then:

You can see that over 10,000 of the 50,000 views have occurred since late February, by Americans. That’s pretty amazing!

The bottom of the list is equally impressive. It’s amazing to realize that I’ve had viewers from distant countries like Liberia, Fiji, the Faroe Islands, New Caledonia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and Zimbabwe.

I don’t even know where New Caledonia is. Wikipedia tells me it’s a French archipelago east of Australia in Melanesia.

The Faroe Islands are Danish Islands halfway between Norway and Iceland.

Hello and welcome. The Internet really does make the world smaller.

There is no master plan for this blog, except to post what interests me. As I build my massage practice and continue to investigate the keys to wellness, including new discoveries about the ways to be healthy, I’m sure I will blog more on those topics.

I love hearing from you via comments, likes, and shares.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by here, and I especially thank those of you devoted enough to subscribe. You really make it worth my while.

Asking for what you need, seeking work, and Integrative Chakra Breathwork

On day 8 of the 21-day gratitude challenge, I am grateful for two dear friends who have asked me for love and support because they need it now.

I don’t know why, and I don’t need to know why. They will share when they’re ready. That’s beside the point.

These friends are people whom I’ve asked for support from when I’ve needed it, because they have an abundance of love for people.

I feel deeply honored that they can ask me when they need it, and that I have it to give. Blessings on you both, and may angels wrap their soft wings around you, carrying you in love, as I do.

***

I am grateful for my skills and abilities to make myself useful. Today, I will be asking for what I need in terms of a temporary/contract job. I do technical writing, editing, training, and a whole slew of other things.

Please ping me if you hear about anything. I’m also updating my LinkedIn profile. Please feel welcome to link to me if you like!

***

Today I’m grateful that I attended an Integrative Chakra Breathwork session last night. This is the creation of Ed Buresh, whom I just met in person last night, and it is a journey through the chakras with sound, breath, and movement.

Ed created the sound, which is marvelous: a heartbeat, a swirsh, and a tone for each chakra based on the earth’s vibrational frequency. I went into a deep theta trance during the 6th chakra and emerged as the sound was receding. It felt like I was working something out that was mostly unconscious.

I plan to return for more sessions.

(Another friend was teasing me about going to this, saying that “integrative chakra breathwork” hit all the New Age buzz words! Not quite. If you add “channel” and “angels” and “purple” and “bio-energetic”, then you’d be pretty close! That angel photo just makes this post complete, does it not?)