gaping void art blogger

Freedom is Blogging In Your Underwear! Well, mostly I put actual clothes on (lest the passers by stare too much) but yeah, this is one principle I can really go for. Freedom is so high up on my list of values – and it isn’t only Mel Gibson who agrees with me. Hugh MacLeod (of Gaping Void fame) has written a new book all about freedom and the internets and I just couldn’t resist this invitation in his newsletter>  “This week, in honor of the sentiment behind the book, I’d love for you to share your story of how blogging or the Internet has given you freedom.”

It’s a family thing

See, the Internet totally changed my life. I met my husband because his web company needed a small biz marketer. At the time, that is what I did for a living. Ten years on, the husband’s biz is still going strong, we’re happier than we’ve ever been – and  we have become completely and radically transformed.

We got married in France at the end of a 12-week long house swap marathon, arranged entirely via the Internet (and during which we were still able to run the business). That trip opened us up to a whole new freedom.

We began to expand into a set of philosophies that pretty much form our core values as they stand today – the common thread of which is freedom. These are the bits that I hold dear and close to my heart;

  • freedom from creative block : Inspiration abounds on the web, doesn’t it? I find it enormously easy to ignore all the crap and the negative BS that happens online, just the same as that which goes on anywhere humans are allowed to congregate. Instead, I only need to turn my attention to something like my Instagram stream to instantly fill me up with love and goodness and creativity and hope and so much good stuff that I can’t help but breathe more deeply, give daily gratitude and create good shit. The (mostly women) I meet there are such mind-blowingly beautiful souls, they are healing the world with their every action.
  • freedom from despair : My mum was diagnosed with incurable cancer last year. But we’re managing to get through it. One of the most beautiful things to happen is that women from across the globe (most of whom I have never met and don’t know her or me from Eve) have showered her with love and hope, gifts and poems, photographs and flowers, books and trinkets, inspiration and kindness. So much that she now understands she has a valid place in this world here and now – and a future that’s worthwhile. This was organised exclusively on the Internet via the #secretloveproject. I’m still gobsmacked by it all.
  • freedom from the wrong job : I wasn’t fulfilling my potential as the best version of me whilst I was a marketing professional. It took me quite a few years and quite a few biz ideas before I adopted this version of me, (Hugh, look away now) the ‘artist’. The Internet allowed me that opportunity with lots of access to lots of stuff, including cheap and risk-free biz set-up,  a route to market and an expansive network of cheerleaders* *see below.
  • freedom from rubbish pals : I’ve met so many wonderful friends on the Internet. Social media platforms have formed the bedrock of my communications with a core set of people with whom I can go deep – and keep at bay when I need to retreat to my introvert safety barrier. They know my hopes and dreams more intimately than friendships spanning 20 years or more, because we don’t let obligation get in the way. Sometimes we even meet up in real life! They help me wear my brave super-hero cape even when I’m at my most vulnerable.
  • freedom from the man : Me and my man, we work only for our selves, only on our terms, and only with people we want to work with (although we do cooperate on projects, I no longer work with him full-time). Looking at most people I know who don’t work on the Internet, that’s mighty unusual.
  • freedom from the education system :  An uncommon choice in our wee Scottish village, the Internet has allowed us to develop our free-range education principles, with plenty of resources to choose from – but perhaps more importantly, access to a community of supportive families who remind us we’re doing a good job. There aren’t any home-ed co-ops in our area, but the teenager is thriving and combining his online and offline world so beautifully, we barely need to intervene. He even has friends IRL (in real life) and activities he conducts, in person, face-to-face! We’re a tight-knit wee unit, healthily inter-dependent, who get to spend every day together if we choose.
  • freedom from the fear/lack economy : We create our own economy and find an abundance online that has more value in its meaning than all the gold in Abu Dhabi. The web is like a form of cosmic consciousness. We give and we take – but it’s usually on the fill what’s empty/empty what’s full principle. There is always enough.

There’s more, I know it – but I think those’ll do for starters don’t you? What about you – will you share your #FreedomIsBlogging story? I’d really love to know it.