A few weeks back my inbox was pinged with a sweet message from Shauna. She had recently stopped contributing regularly to GMG and I was still in the process of transitioning the content. What originally started as a collaborative blog combining Shauna’s passion for healthy eating, my passion for spiritual exploration, and our mutual love of yoga has now been given a much more dialed theme.
Now, Mondays and Wednesdays you’ll find me reflecting on my experiences in an effort to forge a path for the seeker—the modern mindful woman who is just looking to bring more awareness to her days.
But you already know this, I established this over a month ago and the relationship you and I (reader to writer) have built is getting on quite nicely, if I do say so myself. (Though this is a 2-way street, so comment any feedback or content you wish to see below.)
So back to that inbox. What Shauna had sent me was a link to an article written about Amanda Chantal Bacon, the of-the-moment-mogul behind the massively successful wellness brand, Moon Juice. The article blew my mind. (That’s not an exaggeration—immediately upon finishing the last sentence I sent it to everyone from my husband to my mom to my best friend. I just totally dug it.)
The piece was well-written and the author’s reflection on the world of wellness was the most insightful observation I’ve seen put into words. She combined cynicism and adoration in an honest way that illuminated my own thoughts on the world of wellness before I could fully define them on my own.
Though the entire article is an excellent read for anyone connected to wellness (teacher or consumer or both),one concept mentioned in the piece stuck out to me.
Lifestyle Guru – or how I understood it, a term used to describe the act of marketing your life so that you can profit off of it.
I read the term (that above definition is mine, not the authors,) my palms started to sweat and my stomach got butterflies. Why did it get to me so much? Well for one thing, it sounded a bit dark. And for another thing, I do that—and also see several people a day do it too.
We are bloggers, writers, sharers.
We think things, we write them, we take pictures of them, and then we share them with others in hopes that it resonates and it gets shared again, and again. We do it because we care about what we are sharing and who we are sharing it with; and we also do it because there is a chance we could make money doing it. And so does that make us “bad”? Does that make Bacon or the ultimate lifestyle guru, Gwyneth Paltrow, “bad”? Short answer: no. Long answer, no—but we have to be thoughtful about how we share and our intention behind our words and pictures.
When I see so many people, myself included, sharing their thoughts I can’t help but have a few comments about it. Sharing it’s fun, I agree. But, “inspiring others through your own life,” dang that shits complicated.
The flip side to “profiting off of sharing your life” is that, we as humans are interested in other humans. We like to see other people’s experiences—they warn us, teach us, inspire us. The point of sharing is to learn about yourself and give other’s the space to do the same. Whether your sharing life advice or tips on how to make the perfect smoothie. It’s the same format as any support group—but blogging and social media sharing is life support in its deepest and most superficial forms and it’s done from a screen.
I actually believe that Paltrow and Bacon and their cohorts are authentically communicating, they just aren’t sharing all of it. Nor do I want them to. Because their shiny-pretty-selves are what inspire us, get us thinking, get us contemplating those shiny-pretty parts of ourselves.
If you are a sharer on social media, only you can decide what feels authentic to you. For me, I haven’t quite figured out those shiny-pretty parts of myself out fully. So until then, you get the rough cut and I’m cool with it. Because thougt it might be Bacon’s mission to connect to the pretty in you, it’s my mission to connect to gritty part of life in hopes that maybe I learn something from it and that maybe you can, too.