Thoughts From The Wilderness – Here Kitty

In response to prompt over at a great site Aroused – calmkate, Kate was looking for pictures or creative writing on Friday Fun – Furry

This is the kitten that Lynn and I flew with to eastern Canada in the summer. Our daughter purchased the kitten(a purebred Russian Himalayan – or something like that) back here in Ontario. Between purchasing the kitten and airfare for both of us – this is one EXPENSIVE CAT!

Cute though!

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Thoughts From The Wilderness – Advice From A Waterfall

Not long ago, I went on at some length about these “Advice From A ……” quotes and imagines.

Although many of them I have found or seen online aren’t tools I might run too, the essence of the messages contained in them, I think is useful as a helpful or wise reminder for a variety of instances and situations.

One key reminder to all of us is that often we need to step back from living every once in a while and look at a much bigger picture of life. Life is more than the chaos and swirling dust-devils that often fill our 24/7 and 365 days a year existence.

Although more can be said on “the bigger picture of life look at things“, there is some excellent advice on living life through the lens of viewing a waterfall.

Advice from a Waterfall

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Let your cares fall away

How often do we keep lugging the same issues and concerns around with us? Well, in fact, it’s most of the time.

The sad thing is, that many of our cares, issues and concerns are so minor in nature that in the big scheme of life, they don’t amount to more than a hill of beans.

Stop making insignificant stuff – significant. Such as waste of emotional and mental energy.

Unfortunately, we do tend to “major on the minor.”

Let your cares fall away.

Roar with excitement

Life is the world’s largest buffet table. Everything is available, just simply toddle on up to the bar and pick whatever floats your boat. Having the opportunity to eat at the world’s largest buffet, should fill all of us with excitement. All we need to do is simply fill our plates and eat.

In other words, life is meant to be enjoyed and most importantly, it is meant to be experienced.

Try something new today; expand your comfort zone a bit. All that life has to offer; all of the different experiences that are out there should cause you to roar with excitement.

No roar; no growth.

Roar with excitement.

Go with the flow

Stop planning everything life within an inch of its “life.” Sometimes you just got to “go with the flow.”

Of course, some things in life do need significant planning and attention to detail. Everyone gets that. But there are times or times will pop up when all the planning in the world you’ve done hits a roadblock of some description.

One way to look at it is, “going with the flow” and “trusting your intuition” go well together in the same sentence. Sometimes, you just have to let life happen and come as it may.

Go with the flow.

Make a splash!

We all want our life to have had meaning and an impact at the end of it all. A meaningful life is a basic human condition or need that we all have.

If you’ve ever been around water, you know that when something hits the water, it makes a splash. Some splashes are big; others are not so big. Regardless, a splash is a splash – no matter what.

In the middle of a battle, it is hard to know if you’re winning the war.

Life is like that in many respects. Often it is hard to tell if you’re making a splash that counts for something. At times, only you can tell if you’re making a splash or how big your splash might be.

Make a splash in your family; help out/volunteer and make a splash in your community.

Don’t let your life simply be a ripple on the water. Make it count – and make it count large.

Make a splash.

Stay active

Waterfalls are active and vibrant as they roar and tumble over a rocky ledge someplace in the great outdoors. They have this movement and life to them that captivates most of us to stand and observe them with awe.

A waterfall that didn’t flow or wasn’t active would be pretty boring. Really, it wouldn’t be much of a waterfall if that was the case.

There is more than enough research out there on the benefits of staying active. We tend to think physically, but there are just as many emotional and mental benefits of staying active as well. Whether we like it or not, we’re physical, emotional and mental creatures. A such, we need to stay active and exercise each one of those parts to the best of our ability.

Stay active.

Create your own music

Waterfalls create a certain sound as the water crashes and hits the bottom. A waterfall does not sound like a bird chirping. Nor does it sound like a duck. A waterfall creates its own music in order to sound like a waterfall should.

Simply said, “march to your own drummer.”

Don’t be someone else. Marching to someone else’s music, simply makes you a copycat with the potential of not even being able to keep time and march correctly.

You need to be who you were meant to be. So, go out and figure that out. Create your own music and march to your own drummer. Be you!

Create your own music.

Immerse yourself in nature

For the most part, waterfalls are found naturally where? In nature.

There has been much research done and written in regard to why it is so important to spend time in nature. I read recently, that even time spent in an urban park for a few hours sitting on a bench has tremendous overall benefits.

Much of the research shows and concludes, that spending two hours a week soaking up nature — be it woodland, park or beach — gives a positive boost to health and wellbeing, both mentally and physically.

As a society, we have never before spent so much of our time indoors. And never has there such a time or such a desperate need as the present to reverse that trend.

Immerse yourself in nature.

There you have it. Some real-life advice from a waterfall that you can take to the bank.

Go out today or this weekend and find yourself a waterfall. Once you get there, simply sit, listen, absorb and just be.

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Jones Falls and Inglis Falls – Valentine’s Day Adventure

Valentine’s Day has come and gone for another year. And this year, that special day coincided with a day off for me which added to being a bonus all around.

Oh, before we continue on here, this isn’t a post on Valentine’s Day. Although at some point we could do one – maybe.

Having said that though, we did spend our Valentine’s Day on the road to Owen Sound in Grey County and specifically Jones Falls and Inglis Falls.

Since the beginning of January, we haven’t been out, perhaps as much as either Lynn or I might have liked. There hasn’t been any particular reason as to why other than simply life and other stuff seemed to pop up from time to time.

Leaving the “old homestead” about 8:30am, we stopped at a local coffee shop in a village south of us, picking up coffee and bagel breakfast sandwiches, before continuing west towards Owen Sound.

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We arrived at Jones Falls around 11:00am and were blessed with temperatures that had risen from a minus 21 degrees C(when we had left home), to now a balmy minus 12 degrees C.

Now, where did I put my shorts and tee-shirt?

Unfortunately, in the rush to get out there door of the “old homestead”, Lynn forget the one camera lens she wanted to use in order to capture the essence and fury of the waterfalls. Undaunted, she managed to capture enough pictures with other lenses which give a good sense of the wintery environment.

The top of Jones Falls.

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At the bottom.

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After leaving Jones Falls we drove over to Inglis Falls located just south of the city.

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I also put together a 2 or 3-minute video clip of our day. Not my best video work, but it does the trick!

Seeing as it was late afternoon and the temperature was starting to drop down again, we left Inglis Falls and headed back into Owen Sound for a late lunch/early dinner, before starting the trek home.

Our day ended up being what for us was the perfect Valentine’s Day. Outdoors on an adventure with the one you love, doesn’t get any better in our minds.

We hope your Valentine’s Day was special, regardless of how you celebrated it.

If you get the opportunity, head on out to the Owen Sound and Grey County areas. There is plenty to do and take in for the entire family. Great places to hike; tons of things to see and visit; fabulous restaurants to fill your tummy; plus wonderful and quaint inns, hotels or B&B’s if you feel like making a weekend out of it.

Here are a couple of links to help in the planning. Now, get to it.

Owen Sound Tourism

Bruce Grey Simcoe Tourism

Grey County Tourism

Thanks for visiting.

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Watching Your Step Along Life’s Journey To Avoid Mistakes

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Much has been written over the years and the odd piece by yours truly on foraging one’s own path through life.

In addition, and on the opposite side of the coin, there has been just as much written and published on the merits of following a path or direction in life that has been laid down by others trudging along before us. And again, I’ve scribbled the odd bit myself on this topic.

The above picture was taken along a boardwalk in the Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve located near Gravenhurst, ON.

The Torrance Barrens Conservation Area was designated as the world’s first permanent Dark Sky Reserve. It comprises about 4,700-acres of Crown land of mostly bedrock and wetlands, with trees and bushes that are stunted in height. Because of these unique features, it means that star-gazers have an unimpeded spectacular 360-degree view of the night sky, unhampered by light pollution.

In addition to all of that neat stuff, Torrance Barrens also doubles as an exceptional hiking and mountain biking area, with 3 well-marked trails for public use.

Through the extensive hiking trail system, there are a number of boardwalks that cross wet and/or sensitive bog areas. Unfortunately, during our last few times hiking there, the boardwalks have fallen into disrepair. As such, they require needed much maintenance and repair to make them safe and usable once again.

Even though the boardwalks were built by generous volunteers to guide and somewhat protect us and more so to protect the sensitive wetlands, not watching where you’re going and with one wrong misstep, a serious injury could easily be the result.

In many respects, life is much the same.

Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 7.51.58 AMWhether we’ve been trudging along foraging our own path or we’ve chosen to follow a path that was blazed by others who have gone before us it doesn’t really matter. Watching where we’re going can help us in identifying and avoiding pitfalls and potential hazards long before we could potentially fall headlong into them. Not watching or paying attention generally equates out to BIG MISTAKES.

Being aware of your surroundings or watching where you are going in life, at least gives us a fighting chance to avoid making the mistakes that others have made before us.

In the picture above, if Lynn wasn’t paying close attention to where she was putting her feet, she may have ended up like the person or persons before her who broke through the rotted boards. Not a nice way to finish a day hiking.

mistakeThe whole concept of watching where you are going and learning from the mistakes of others or learning from history seems to come to mind here.

It’s useful to remember that if we don’t take this rather over-used concept, yet however simple and effective one where do we end up?

One doesn’t need to be a “rocket scientist” to see that learning from the mistakes of others or from mistakes generated through history can save us from setbacks, heartache and strife regardless of the situation we’re in. Whether it’s in our own business environments; the world of medical and scientific research or in our own personal lives and relationships it makes no big difference.

Of course mistakes and missteps are going to happen, mostly due to the fact we’re human and making mistakes and taking missteps is somehow part of our DNA and genetic makeup for some stupid reason.

mistakes3In the end, we can choose to learn from the mistakes that others have made and from the missteps that have befallen those before us.

Or on the other hand, we can choose to charge ahead to recreate those mistakes and missteps and if we’re lucky we can make some brand-new exciting ones along the way, that people in the future(maybe even tomorrow) will talk about and create memes with.

History is there and recorded for a reason. We might as well take the opportunity to learn from it before we head off and do something we wish we hadn’t. Because if we don’t, history has a way of returning and biting us squarely in the ass.

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—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Less Is More or How Choosing Items For A Backcountry Trip Can Lead Us To A Simpler Life.

The “Outdoor Adventure Show” in Toronto is only a few days away for those of us “pushing at the bit” for all things outdoors. Many who attend are looking for the latest, greatest and newest products and gear which might be all of those things and more, but also gear that doesn’t weigh very much.

Weight is one critical issue when tackling outdoor pursuits. Going hand in hand with less weight is being able to survive or at least be comfortable with less stuff.

Less gear; less weight.

There is an old adage in the outdoor gear market. It goes something along the lines of – “there is no limit to how much you can spend on gear.” Just when you think you’ve bought all you’ll ever need, some company releases Version 4.0 of some piece that you just now MUST HAVE. Often there is never enough money for the stuff you think you may need.

When it comes to adventuring in the wilds of nature, it is either you or someone you’re with who has to carry all that stuff. A good thing to remember before heading out is that ” less is more.”

The same general approach can apply to our life as well – “less is more.” And the “less is more” approach usually leads us to an exustence that overall becomes more much simple and enjoyable with less stuff.

Seems simple enough.

From February 2019

“Less is more” is a great rule of thumb or strong suggestion recorded in many well-worn and read backcountry canoe or hiking manuals on dusty shelves in basements or found in the often-overlooked hidden corners in an outfitter’s store.

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Weight is one of the more important factors to consider when travelling and adventuring in the backcountry. Whether it be a canoe trip through the wilds of Algonquin Park or backpacking for multiple days along the Lake Superior Coastal Trail in northern Ontario. Weight is paramount.

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Weight is critical!

Given that weight is very critical, choosing what items to pack or those things that get left can an arduous and difficult task. Thankfully, these days backpacking and canoe tripping equipment is very lightweight and packs up quite small. Nevertheless, each item weighs something and those “somethings” can eventually add up to 50, 60 or 70 pounds of weight.

Much of the process to lightweight packing, in essence, comes down to three elements:

  1. what is absolutely necessary to take?
  2. would be nice, but not critical
  3. get rid of the rest

As much as, preparing for an extended backpacking adventure or canoe trip spanning a week is an exercise of choosing equipment and planning, it is also this. A mindset that says, “I don’t need all kinds of stuff. All I need is just a few simple items. Happiness and contentment are not found within the trappings of wealth and things that will weigh me down. It’s found with fewer things; less clutter; a simple approach to life. Just the necessities.”

It is this deep-seated mindset or even conscious decision that leads us to a less cluttered and simpler approach to our times spent in the outdoors.

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Nature and the outdoors can teach us wonderful things and provides us with an abundance of wisdom that is universally transferrable to life.

One of the most important lessons it gives us is making a commitment to a simpler life(remember weight is critical) is one of the surest ways to happiness and peace.

There are plenty of those throughout the world who make a fine living out of extolling the virtues that life, happiness and fulfillment are only achieved through the accumulation of stuff. When at the end of all days, they say the winners were the ones with the biggest pile of stuff.

Conversely, nature and the outdoors are teaching us that really you don’t need all this “stuff” to be content. Some shelter over your head, a few clothes to wear and food in your tummy and life is good. Isn’t that the base story of any backcountry trip report? You had shelter, clothes and you ate – the perfect trip!

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The beauty of what Mother Nature is enlightening us on is that the foundation for happiness and serenity is sourced from within ourselves, not based on something external. It is an “art of wealth” that is eternally sustainable. Why? The infrastructure or support for it is not based on the accumulation of tangible “stuff”, but the intangible – the stuff that is found within our soul; within us.

Nature is telling us if you want happiness do this:

  1. pack what is absolutely necessary to have
  2. look at what would be nice to have, but not critical
  3. get rid of the rest
  4. focus on Items 1 and 3

There is much to learn from a canoe trip or backpacking adventure. Most of us head outdoors to enjoy a simpler environment provided by time spent in nature. To escape the craziness that we’re surrounded by on a day-to-day basis.

Mother Nature is also telling us to quit this hypocritical stance. You say you want a simpler life, but you do nothing to get anywhere near close to achieving even an ounce of it. She is screaming at us to step back to see a bigger picture.

You want a simpler life? Yes or no?

She’s got a lesson to leave you with whose value will rise above the weight you choose to carry on your back.

Remember – weight is critical.

Thanks for reading.

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – A Storm Checklist For Living – Five Tips

In my area of Canada, that being north-central Ontario, we’ve been pretty blessed this winter in terms of storm blasts and bad weather. Now, having even thought that and worse, allowing such a thought to be typed out, we’ll likely wake up tomorrow morning and find three feet of heavily drifted snow on the ground.

You see, this is what happened to Newfoundland in eastern Canada in mid-January. They thought, “Hey we’re having a pretty decent winter so far don’t ya think?” and then got this massive dumping of snow over the course of one day. Mother Nature sure has a way of balancing out the score in the end.

Be careful what your thoughts are – you may end up with exactly what you didn’t wish for or could even imagine.

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A couple of weeks ago, Lynn and I happened to find ourselves in Collingwood and took a quick side-detour to Sunset Point Park on a blustery and windy afternoon.

It was windy and cold enough to keep us in the car while in the parking lot at the park.

In no uncertain terms, Georgian Bay was having a stormy and messy time of it. Much of the surrounding trees, ground and anything that happened to be reasonably close by was covered by a thick layer of ice.

Now having said that, there are often times and even during the winter, when Georgian Bay can be calm and almost mirror-like in appearance. Other times like this day, not so much. A stormy tempest was brewing in a teapot.

But realistically none of this bad weather stuff is unexpected.

One doesn’t need to be a meteorologist to figure out it is winter in our area of the world and with that comes the potential for lots of snow over the winter months; high winds; and obviously the potential for storms of one description or another to pop up on a fairly frequent basis.

Life is exactly the same.

In as much as you pray and hope that things throughout your life sail along smoothly, much like a sunny and warm weekend afternoon, you and I both know that isn’t necessarily the case. We don’t go throughout our life from birth to death with it all “sunshine, unicorns and lollipops.”

Storms and bad weather in our lives are going to occur. Often those storms can be somewhat minor and inconvenient like a brief summer shower at a family picnic. Other times it might be like the “snow bomb” that hit Newfoundland a few weeks ago.

Regardless if they are minor or major, storms are going to arrive on your doorstep. So then, what can we do?

Five tips for “weathering storms” in life

Check the schedule

In other words, expect storms and challenges in life to show up.

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We all know this fact or at least should know that this is one of many stark realities of life – bad stuff or storms are going to happen. The ironic thing is we can often go through exceedingly long periods in our lives when things are clicking along just fine. No troubles, no storms, no strife. Life is good.

Although the “no troubles, no storms, no strife” reality of existence is a good one, it does tend to lull us into a false sense of “no troubles, no storms, no strife.” In other words, our memories or our knowledge that “bad stuff or storms are going to happen” gets sucked into some “black-hole galaxy” that all is “sunshine, unicorns and lollipops.”

If you’ve had a long stretch of “no troubles, no storms and no strife” or perhaps it’s more of “sunshine, unicorns and lollipops”, there is a huge potential that your memory at this point is failing you big time. Remember, crap happens to all of us and it may happen to you about ten minutes after reading this.

Expect storms and challenges to show up.

Take responsibility

How many of us want to run and hide under the covers when a thunderstorm is coming? When it comes to storms in our lives, we often resort to the same approach. We run and want to avoid them at all costs. Especially if the storm or difficulty was one we created all on our own.

A healthier and better approach is to develop skill(s) in taking responsibility. One problem though is that “responsibility” is often linked together with self-blame or self-pity.

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However, for our purposes here, think of “responsibility” as being able to respond to the given situation you may find yourself in. Being able to respond given the storm we find ourselves in or in this case “take responsibility of” helps to keep us out of the mud-sucking hole of self-pity, blaming others or of feeling like we’re a victim in this.

A “being able to respond to” mindset really helps to put us on a course to find effective long term answers to guide us through these challenging episodes when they occur.

Take responsibility.

We all need a friend

Ever notice on Facebook or other social media platforms, that getting “hundreds or even thousands” of friends can be pretty easy. Hell, you don’t even really have to try very hard.

I find this to be especially the case if one posts a ton about how good things seem to be going in life. Lots of positive “gifs and memes” posted on a daily basis about life and how for you it is“sunshine, unicorns and lollipops.” Understandably it’s easy and not very hard emotionally to post the good stuff; the “clean laundry” in our life so to speak.

On the other hand, no one really wants to post the “dirty laundry” or difficult situations they may be facing. Oh, some do and mostly they get back quaint platitudes and quotes that don’t really help them but do make the person who sent them feel really good and special.

No wonder people don’t reach out when times get tough.

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But, you don’t need fake FB friends or fake social media friends when storms in life hit.

What you do need is just one friend or person that you can lean on. As difficult and or hard as it might be, often leaning on a friend can be a real help in weathering whatever storm you find yourself in. When difficult times hit, often your “so-called FB friends” will scatter like cockroaches in the kitchen when the light is flicked on in. But who cares, they’re fake anyway.

Remember, just one friend who will answer the call and stand with you during this time.

Lean on a friend.

Welcome it

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Although it may be something we don’t want to hear, difficult challenges often end up building character and helping us to grow in ways we never thought possible.

In retrospection, isn’t it those moments of adversity that we’ve gone through and kicked the crap out of that we take pride in; learned from; and have grown from?

It may be a strange approach, but don’t shy away from storms. Successfully navigating through a storm will often show that you are far more capable of tackling life and new challenges, more than you ever imagined.

Welcome it.

Celebrate your successes

There is a good chance that right this very moment as you’re reading this, you’ve been through a storm or difficult period in your life at some point in the past. And you made it through whatever that stormy period was.

Celebrate that success. Why?  Because you’ve handled and conquered challenges in the past, there is no reason why you can’t do the same thing again.

Even if the success wasn’t birthed out of some difficult storm you faced, celebrate it anyway.

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Our lives are made up of far more success stories that were not born out of challenges or storms, but that were just simply born. We need to continually remind ourselves(or at least I need to) that life isn’t all composed of storms and bad weather.

As individuals, we can, unfortunately, end up at some point in life, where we see the glass as only and always half empty. The reality is the freakin’ glass is also half full.

Whether the success was a result of riding out some storm in life or just simply a success that fell into our laps – celebrate them all.

Celebrate your successes.

Five simple tips for weathering the storms in life.

  • Check the schedule(expect stuff to happen)
  • Take responsibility(respond to the situation – don’t run and hide)
  • We all need a friend(lean on someone to help)
  • Welcome it(storms and challenges help us to grow)
  • Celebrate(you made it through before and you’ll do it again – celebrate that)

What are some tips that you can share with others to help make it through the storms in life that we know we are going to face?

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Blogging Insights – “Do You Have A Niche?”

In the blogging world the word “niche” or “what is your blog’s niche?” gets thrown around like baseballs during batting practice or warm-ups before the actual game.

But, what does the phrase “what is your blog’s niche?” mean?

A quick Google search provided this response(of many possible ones).

A niche is – in simple terms – the general topic matter that you write about. It’s the passion or main theme of your blog. When you have a niche, all your posts revolve around that main theme, and that’s essentially all you talk about.

insightsThe next installment(Number 17) in Dr. Tanya’s Blogging Insights Series is Blogging Insight #18 – “Do You Have A Niche?”

There has been much written and much to be written in the future about “niches and niche blogging.”

From what I’ve discerned, much of this debate focuses on several aspects, such as:

  • niches – yes or no?
  • whether a blogger really needs to have a niche that their blog fits it?
  • if so, what should that niche be?
  • can a blog fit nicely into several niches?

Dr. Tanya poses a few questions to help us along the “niche path.”

Questions:

Do you have a niche for your blog?

If so, tell us more about it. (ignore the rest of the questions).

Have you ever thought of niche-ing down and why?

If you chose just one as your niche, how much would you miss writing about the others?

Here are my unqualified responses.

Do you have a niche for your blog?

Yes; no; maybe.

I guess in the past, I may have thought about where my blog(“justabitfurther”) might fit within the entire blogosphere, but when that happens, I go and lie down until the thought passes.

nicheIt has become obvious to me, that at the beginning for many “just in the starting gate newbie bloggers,” far too much emphasis gets placed on a lot of stuff that just doesn’t matter, including “now that you’ve signed up to blog, what is your niche; damn it – you need to have a niche!”

All of it may matter at some point along their blogging journey, but how many of us simply started to blog because you had something to say and desperately hoped that at least one person out in the world would listen?

If so, tell us more about it

Okay. What you you like me to say then?

If I had to say what, if any “niche(s) my blog fit into, I might say:

  • outdoor adventures
  • personal development
  • motivational thoughts
  • inspirational ideas
  • nature and outdoors
  • hiking

At this stage of “justabitfurther’s” evolution, we don’t necessarily fit into one specific niche.

And I’m okay with that.

Have you ever thought of niche-ing down and why?

nicheI don’t know what “niching down” means.

But, “Mr/Ms. Google” did give me this answer:

Niching down means having a clear focus on who your ideal target customer(audience) is and aligning your marketing(blogging) to match.

Seeing as “niching down” is a totally new concept to me, I haven’t given it any thought.

All of us are at different points along the “blogosphere curve.” In fact, we might be travelling along entirely different curves altogether.

niche2The point is, blogging is a journey that takes time and part of the trip is the motivation for the journey in the first place.

Your blog may start as one thing, but over time it may change, grow and ultimately mature into something else. And part of that journey and maturation may very well be narrowing down from a large and wide blogging area(s) at the beginning to something much more specific further along the way.

People(bloggers) have to go through that process at their own speed.

If you chose just one as your niche, how much would you miss writing about the others?

Simply said, it would be like losing an old friend.

It does seem like I’m rambling on like “a broken record”, but each of us is on our own “blogosphere – blogging journey” that only we can travel and ultimately finish and finish on our own terms.

If at the end of the day, you or I never “niche down”  or even figure out “what niche our blog fits into” or even “if we need a niche in the first place”, does it really matter? If we’re happy, satisfied and contented with our blog and it brings us great pleasure, enjoyment and fulfillment, does the rest of this stuff even matter?

I don’t think it matters at all.

As always, a huge thanks to Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) for her neverending work on this “Blogging Insights Series” and looking at the necessity of niches and do we as bloggers need to find where our blog fits into all of this.

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Sharing Tips On Blogging? – Yes, No, Maybe?

insightsThere are many bloggers out in the “old blogosphere”, that freely and openly share their knowledge and tips in regards to how the blogging world operates and how to survive, thrive and be successful in it.

The next installment(Number 17) in Dr. Tanya’s Blogging Insights Series is Blogging Insight #17 – Sharing and Caring, “Do bloggers share all their tips or trade-secrets and should they?”

It goes without saying, that if bloggers don’t want to share very specific details or tips, that most would at least give some level of advice or direction to help solve a problem or issue that a blogger may be having. I truly hope that this would be the case and for the most part, I think it is.

She has asked a two-part question and I’ll try to answer it that way.

Do bloggers share all their tips or trade-secrets?

The blogging world in many respects can be thought of, much like a large family or community. When people invest in the community where they live(invest in others), then everybody benefits. Blogging is no different.

For the most part, the bloggers I’ve come across who blog extensively in the “blogging tips and secrets niche”, do share their knowledge and tips freely. I find often that their post will contain links to other posts they may have done in regard to a particular issue or links to another blogger’s site or relevant post.

tipsLooking back, I’m not sure if I’ve ever asked a specific blogging related question to someone. I think I’ve commented back and forth with other bloggers regarding a blogging topic or issue, and always come out of the discussion with much more knowledge than at the beginning of it.

For anyone starting out in the blogging world or even if you’ve been around for a few years, most bloggers that have crossed my path, are more than willing to help out and answer questions you may have.

Should they share their tips and trade-secrets?

The short answer is an overwhelming – yes!

However, one question that might come up is at what point might bloggers stop sharing all of their tips and tricks and start charging for their expertise?

tips2Many of the topics presented within this “Blogging Insights Series” contain within them one exceedingly important yet underlying question, “The Why?”

What is the reason a person blogs in the first place or continues to blog as the years go by?

If at some point a particular blogger feels they have gained enough experience and expertise in regards to becoming successful as a blogger and see blogging as their full-time career, they may make the decision to charge for their services.

It could be an e-book for purchase on how to become successful in the blogging world; access to exclusive on-line blogging courses they may have developed; or personal consultation with clients or some other service that they can monetize and charge for.

Regardless, of whether bloggers share knowledge freely; don’t share at all, or charge for their expertise doesn’t really matter in the big scheme of things. It’s been my experience at this stage in my own blogging journey that simply asking a blogging related question will result in getting more answers to it then you’ll know what to do with.

In addition, there are scores YouTube videos on blogging related issues, as well as a simple Google search on a specific blogging related topic that will again yield enough material to keep you occupied for a week.

The blogosphere is a very open and giving environment from where I sit. Often all one has to do is “ask and it will be given.” Most bloggers will share what they can and are more than willing to help others to get a leg up as well.

As always, a huge thanks to Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) for her neverending work on this “Blogging Insights Series” and specifically looking at sharing blogging tips and knowledge.

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Five Reasons Why An “Attitude of Gratitude” Is A Good Thing

Life at times often has unique ways of bringing situations or things to the forefront of our consciousness.

Not sure though that is one of those situations. It might be and if it was, there wasn’t any huge revelation that befell me while banging away at the keys on my Mac this morning. Nevertheless, being grateful or having an “attitude of gratitude” is certainly an exercise we all need to keep working at each and every day we wake up.

It becomes very easy for many to slip into the neverending cycle of self-pity and negative focus on our own situations. Being grateful and having and cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” is a lesson that at times I, like many, have failed to get a good grip on.

From May 2019

I have on a few occasions gone on at length about cliches and how over the millennia, they’ve become “overused and betray a lack of original thought.” Reflecting back, it is now apparent I have a definite affinity to keep spewing them out on a fairly regular basis.

Perhaps all of this comes back to the fact, they are often great fodder for a blog post or two.

Given that assumption, today’s cliche is the oldie, nevertheless well used especially around Thanksgiving, that being “An Attitude of Gratitude.”

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Source: Google Images

Now, not to pick on the Thanksgiving holiday tradition, but gratitude often floats to the surface with any force and regularity only during this particular three-day celebration.

In between the feasting and fall walks in the woods over the traditional Thanksgiving long weekend(in Canada, Thanksgiving weekend covers a Saturday, Sunday and holiday Monday), we may take a few brief moments to ponder the things we’re thankful for whether they be family, friends, health and alike.

However, notice the “we may take a few brief moments…….” part.

I’m making a huge assumption that many people do take time over that three day holiday to “give thanks.” Or at least at some point between the eating, drinking and fall treks through the forest and visits to the local pumpkin patch to ponder the whole “gratitude” thing.

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For many, unfortunately, the Thanksgiving holiday long weekend is simply that – a holiday and nothing more than three consecutive days off.

Nevertheless, having a structured holiday, that at least in theory leads us down a road to express thanksgiving and gratitude is a wonderful thing. Even if it is only once a year.

However, once a year is simply not enough.

There is a stack of dry research someplace, that goes on at length as to the social, mental and physical benefits of cultivating gratitude as an ongoing skill.

Nevertheless, gratitude is all about feeling and expressing thanks. Thanks for all that we have received. For all that we have, regardless of how much or how little that may be. And thanks for things that have not happened to us, like poor health as an example.

Gratitude is the opposite of being discontented.

It can be a difficult exercise depending on the circumstances, and often we only discover it after time has passed and usually during a period of retrospection. But, there is always something to be grateful for, no matter how negative or desperate things may seem.

Thus, developing an “attitude of gratitude” begins to change our perspective on life.

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It can start to toss in the garbage bin many, if not most, of those daily frustrations that often garner most of our attention, but in reality, are simply the “small stuff.”  Those hindrances, circumstances or things that cause rise to feelings of anger, resentment, impatience, judging negatively.

Gratitude and developing an attitude of it helps to dilute self-pity and self-centeredness. While at the same time, working to increase feelings of our own well-being and that the world doesn’t necessarily revolve around us. That we belong to something much bigger and are intertwined and connected to others in our sphere of existence, as well with the world as a whole.

Five Reasons to Develop an “Attitude of Gratitude”

  • Gratitude Promotes Contentment – working diligently to cultivate gratitude has been proven to be one of the most trustworthy methods for increasing peace and satisfaction in life. Our moods begin to improve due to the fact that gratitude “buffs up” feelings of pleasure, joy, enthusiasm, as well as other positive emotions. When the positive increases, feelings of anxiety and depression are often reduced. It seems like a win-win situation.
  • Gratitude Improves Our Physical Self – there are numerous studies that suggest an “attitude of gratitude” helps to keep us healthier. It has been shown to help lower blood pressure; bolster our immune system; reduce many symptoms of illness and thus make us less focussed on those aches and pains that often show up, but are really not that troubling in our day to day lives.
  • Gratitude Improves Sleep – those who are grateful often get more sleep at night. It has been shown that they spend less time awake before falling asleep, thus waking up in the morning feeling more rested.
  • Gratitude Builds Better Relationships – having that attitude of gratitude makes us feel closer to friends and most importantly to those that we love the most, our family. When people express gratitude for those around them, the relationships we have are significantly more satisfying.
  • Gratitude Inspires “Paying It Forward” – those who are grateful tend to be those who are more helpful, warmhearted and often more open to sharing their gifts whether they be emotional or material. All of these qualities tend to spill over on to those around them.

Without a doubt, “an attitude of gratitude” is a well-worn and overused cliche, to say the least.

But that doesn’t deflect from or dimish the definition and purpose of cultivating an attitude that oozes gratitude.

In fact, when we start down that road to developing and enhancing gratitude within our own lives, we benefit and those around benefit immensely as well.

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Ultimately, we win and in the process, others find themselves in the winner’s circle right beside us.

And in a world that often demands that there be “winners and losers”, perhaps this is one simple way to begin knocking that “view of life” on its ass.

A couple of questions:

  • How do you practice “an attitude of gratitude?”
  • Is it something that comes automatically or do you need to be thinking “attitude of gratitude?”

Thanks for stopping by!

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —