It’s officially been 2 YEARS since I started Cultivated Wellbeing (CWB), and I have to say, it’s been SUCH a fun ride. I’ve enjoyed pretty-much every minute of the journey so far, and I’m looking ahead at what’s to come in all aspects of my life — personal, professional physical, psychological (well, I guess I’m only looking forward to things that start with a “p”).
A pretty cool side-effect of having a blog in the style of CWB is that it sort of doubles as a virtual scrapbook, chronicling the adventures in the aspects of my life that I’m most eager to write about: those in the kitchen, the great outdoors, the garden, and inside my mind. This project started out as an expression of all the ways I wanted to create and feel personally fulfilled, and over the course of the last two years, I’ve whittled away some of the hobby-style aspects of the blog and focused more deeply on the activities I think would be most useful for others — the lessons I’ve learned and discoveries I’ve made along the way that might benefit someone else.
Over the course of the last two years, I’ve forged relationships with other bloggers through workshops, conferences (like BlogHer), and on the interwebs. These relationships have taught me how to make genuine connections through blogging, how to reach more readers, how to use social media as best I can to get my message out, and ultimately how to create better content for you to read.
Oh yeah, and before your very eyes, I cleared 20 years of acne in two weeks with traditionally prepared bone broth. That was a big one. 🙂
In the garden
Over the past two years, I’ve built out my garden (even won a competition!) and seen both successes and failures in the front and back yard. I learned that slugs love to get drunk and that peppers and tomatoes prefer the front yard over the back.
I’ve discovered that succulents prefer less sunlight than I thought they did, and that food won’t grow under the shade of a redwood tree.
Above all else, I’ve learned that organic gardening is a humbling endeavor, and that what worked one year might not work the next. In the garden, you will always be surprised (maybe not always pleasantly), and you will inevitably find powdery mildew, aphids, and leaf miners. I’ve learned that nature rules, and there are plenty of variables you can’t control — a lesson that applies on many fronts of life. No matter what you do, or how long you’ve been at it (for me, not all that long), you will always learn something in the garden. I started gardening because I wanted to cultivate my own food, but I’ve ended up cultivating a lot more than that.
In the kitchen
The CWB kitchen has turned out some pretty fantastic flavors over the last two years, if I might say so myself! Of course, there have been some flops too, which you’ve probably seen if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook. My sad cauliflower pizza crust that crumbled on the plate, the chewiest turkey necks known to man, burning things, under-boiling Dungeness crab … the list goes on and on.
But the gems are in there too! I’m planning to dedicate a whole post to recipe highlights of 2015 at the end of this year, but for now, suffice it to say that if you want to get a bunch of winners all in one package (or three), consider downloading my eBooks! And here are some teasers just because I can’t help myself:
The amount of character that has been built entirely out of the perils of climbing and being in the elements could fill a whole book. Granted, we got our van this year, which was HUGE for cold weather camping, but in the end, it’s the adventuring that’s paved the way to a more contemplative and deliberate me.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Sometimes there’s crying. I’d say that on multi-pitch climbs, there might even often be crying. But I never regret the push. I never regret getting to see the view at the top, struggling with a move I don’t think I can do and then finally pushing through it. Climbing forces you to be in the moment — right there, nowhere else.
It’s not the kind of sport that allows you to check out and move forward mindlessly — there is no multitasking in climbing. You have to be completely in it. And that element of singular focus can really be a challenge for me sometimes. I’m juggling a lot right now in my professional life, and it’s often difficult to turn it off at the day’s end. Climbing forces you to clear your mind and solve the problem in front of you. And all the while you get to be in some of the most beautiful places on earth.
Ok, so I’ve spent this whole post telling you all the great things life has brought in the last 2 years. Sorry if it was over the top. But the point of this post was to encapsulate this moment in time — this two year mark where I look back to see where I was, look in the mirror to see where I am, and look ahead to see where I’m going. And I’m doing all three things with the utmost gratitude and humility.
This work is fun, but it’s a commitment to making tiny little steps forward. There aren’t a ton of overnight blogging success stories, but sometimes it’s hard to resist comparing myself to others, and wondering if there’s something more I could be doing to get to the next level. A little sense of competition never hurt anyone, but that urge to compare can be intoxicating — and toxic. A lesson I’ve learned across everything I’m doing: in blogging, in business, in gardening, cooking, lifting, and ESPECIALLY climbing, is that nothing good comes from comparing myself to other people. All I can do is see where I was, see where I am, and see where I’m going.
I won’t spoil everything I have in my bag of goodies, but there are some exciting things in the works at CWB. In this third year of the blog, I plan to launch some exciting new offerings, write another eBook (more to come on that!), and who knows? maybe there will be some new developments in the CWB kitchen that are worth writing home about!
Until then, THANK YOU for your support over the last two years (or whenever you started reading)! Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter, for replying to my emails, for taking my surveys and answering my questions, for participating in the comments section, for watching my YouTube channel, and for following me on social. The CWB community is amazing, and as we move into this third year, I plan to call on you more and more to ask for your input as I build the next phase of this project.