Posts Tagged ‘blog’

ok, I admit it. I have been flirting with the idea of giving up La Marguerite blog altogether. Life and the need for action have been catching up with me, and taken away much of the energy I used to put into this blog and other places. I have also started to be a lot more discriminant about what I blog about. No more rehash of current events, or venting. No more sharing for the sake of sharing. Instead, only fresh, constructive thinking allowed.

This confession does not go without a mixed bag of feelings attached. Guilt, for ‘abandoning’ the people who got used to reading me daily. Unease from transitioning from one identity to another – avid blogger to passionate entrepreneur. And also, relief from being truly myself, and in touch with the reality of the moment.

My sense is, I am discovering the fluid nature of blogging. A blog is a living thing, with a rhythm of its own. One blog vanishes, soon to reincarnate into a new form, or on another topic. Once La Marguerite on WordPress, now La Marguerite on Twitter, and sometimes The Huffington Post. With a lot more to come, that I can’t share yet publicly.

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Do you want people to find you in the green blogosphere? Here, for you, is a list I compiled of the top 100 green related keywords in online searches, using Wordtracker, a new awesome website:

  1. global warming
  2. water
  3. earth
  4. nature
  5. solar energy
  6. polar bears
  7. recycling
  8. pollution
  9. green
  10. solar power
  11. endangered species
  12. air pollution
  13. water pollution
  14. solar panels
  15. electric cars
  16. wind energy
  17. climate change
  18. tankless water heater
  19. wind power
  20. recycle
  21. geothermal energy
  22. hybrid cars
  23. waste management
  24. deforestation
  25. tankless water heaters
  26. al gore
  27. planet earth
  28. epa
  29. greenhouse effect
  30. environment
  31. effects of global warming
  32. planet
  33. solar
  34. science news
  35. fossil fuels
  36. oil prices
  37. cause of global warming
  38. wildlife
  39. natural resources
  40. sustainability
  41. solar cells
  42. alternative energy
  43. water heaters
  44. green guy
  45. mother earth news
  46. solar panel
  47. earth day
  48. bottled water
  49. climate map
  50. carbon dioxide
  51. climate graphs
  52. human nature
  53. what is global warming
  54. water conservation
  55. thermal energy
  56. free energy
  57. ocean pollution
  58. renewable energy
  59. endangered species list
  60. price of oil
  61. ecology
  62. popular science
  63. organic
  64. peak oil
  65. going green
  66. fuel cells
  67. kyoto protocol
  68. causes of global warming
  69. electronic waste
  70. solar powered cars
  71. land pollution
  72. composting
  73. energy star
  74. an inconvenient truth
  75. department of energy
  76. hybrid vehicles
  77. environmental issues
  78. solar water heater
  79. recycling facts
  80. greenhouse gases
  81. global warming facts
  82. compost
  83. organic food
  84. green building
  85. consequences of global warming
  86. science magazine
  87. solar cell
  88. mother earth
  89. go green
  90. genetically modified food
  91. solar dryer
  92. earth science dictionary
  93. national wildlife federation
  94. earth science
  95. noise pollution
  96. carbon footprint
  97. energy conservation
  98. hybrid car
  99. conservation
  100. photovoltaic

It is always interesting to confront one’s idea of most popular keywords, with the reality from web analytics . . .

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Al Gore won the Nobel Peace prize, and I am besides myself. I just started crying. As weird as it may seems, I feel an emotional connection to the man. After all, he is the single reason why I  started this blog. Not a small feat, given that two years ago, I could care less about the environment. I remember not wanting to go to his “An Inconvenient Truth” presentation at Stanford University. It was the end of the year, in 2005. Prad’s ex wife had organized it, and I only went because I ‘had to’. In the space of two hours, I became a ‘born again’ environmentalist. I came out of the Stanford Auditorium, swearing to myself, that  I was going to do something, to become a small part of the solution to this monumental problem.

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Clean Up

This is my blog clean up list for today:

  1. Update blogroll
  2. Review all posts, add paragraph subheads when necessary, clean up tags and categories for each
  3. Add categories to home page
  4. Look into adding tag cloud
  5. Rewrite About section

Maybe a bit ambitious for one day. 218 posts are a lot of posts to go through . . .

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Back in April, I started this blog on a whim. I was getting annoyed by all the self righteousness in the green media. And I wanted to offer a counterpoint. My reality as a less than perfect Green Girl Wannabe, who just couldn’t get her act together. There is nothing like political correctness to bring out my rebellious streak. I went a bit overboard at first, and chose to focus solely on the bad stuff, all the things I did not, should have done in the name of a greener planet. What happened next, were some twists and turns, stories, topics, people that I had not anticipated, and turned out to be a lot more interesting than my original scheme. Interesting to me, at least!


There is Green Guru, of course. Green Guru started as Prad, my husband. Very quickly, it became obvious that the name Prad alone did not suffice to capture his authoritative green essence. I can’t even remember when he reached Green Guru status, but from then on, our roles became clear. He is Green Guru, and I am Green Girl Wannabe. Scenes from our domestic life pervades my blog, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.


Another twist has been the gradual opening of my views to include, not just self-deprecating moments, but also, pretty much any daily events that permeate my life, still using the green lens. I used to refer to this blog, as ‘The Daily Sins of a Green Girl Wannabe’. I just renamed it, ‘The Hours of a Green Girl Wannabe’. To make room for all the small acts, the encounters, the random thoughts, the myriad of feelings, the ahah moments, the discoveries, that fill up my busy bee days. La Marguerite is becoming a zen, feminist, philosophical, practical, humble green blog. The place to share all of my reality, as a Green Girl Wannabe.


What’s coming next, is a better blog hopefully. One where my voice can be heard more clearly. One where readers can find more things to take back with them. Like anything worthwhile, it’s going to take a lot of work. I have already started. What motivates me, is the desire to make a difference, and to become a more active node in the world wide green web.

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Blogging is a lot like recycling. Lets say, I notice this great article in the New York Times. I immediately write a post about it. Somebody visits my blog a few days later, and shortly after, I notice they comment on the same article in their own blog.  Sometimes I get credit for noticing first, and I even get comments on my comments. I do the same thing. When I suffer from writer’s block, I visit my favorite blogs, and without fail, always find some interesting post to comment on. Of course, this poses the question of how much original content there actually is in the blogosphere. Even links are a form of recycling.

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I was tired, could not think anymore, after eight hours straight of working on strategy for new startup. Plus I had not slept well the night before. Target was tempting me with its promise of more Dominique Cohen jewelry, and who knows, maybe some Libertine deals on the sales rack. I debated, I remembered my blog talks. Maybe I could swim instead? It required energy and braving the coolness of the water. I went for the easy way instead, a car trip to Target. One hour of mindless shopping left me with one more dress for my closet, on sale and only ten dollars, from Isaac Mizrahi, and a fake pearl bracelet from Dominique Cohen. The fun was more in trying things out. I relieved some of my guilt by proudly declining the clerk’s offer of a plastic bag. The sweet man seemed puzzled that I would not want a bag. I figured I would slip my usual speech about, “These are going straight to my closet, why would I need a bag, better save the environment.” This is middle America, I thought. We’ve got a long way to go. On my way home, I questioned the dress. I bought it because it was such a good deal, but purple and turquoise, I am not so sure . . .

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In the plane, on my way back from Paris, I finally got to read “Eat, Pray, Love“, the book by Elizabeth Gilbert. Charlotte was so enthused by it, that she had been wanting me to read it, for quite some time. Now, I can see why. “Eat, Pray, Love” is not only fun reading, it is also a very thought provoking book. It has made me aware of the lack of active spirituality in my life, and of the connection between the state of one’s spirit and one’s attitudes and behaviors towards the environment.


Years back, I went through a period of intense spiritual seeking, that left me wanting and disillusioned. As much as I yearned for a reconciliation with the Catholic Church of my youth, there was no way my rational mind could reconcile with the tenets of the Catholic faith. Sufism, Tibetan buddhism, and last, Vipassana meditation, held me for a while, but not long enough to convince me. In the end, I declared myself an agnostic, and learned to become suspicious of anything with a spiritual label. Science and the Jungian model of the Self became the two pillars that sustained me in times of doubt. To this day, I am still religious about recording my dreams, and I use them as the rudder for how to conduct my life. I am finding, that is not enough to still my mind, and free it from the tyranny of my negative thoughts, those recurring thoughts responsible for most of my unhappiness. I know them all too well:


I don’t have enough


I worry I could end up destitute


If I accumulate enough material things, I will be safe


I am separate from the rest of the universe


I might as well get the most I can


I love all that gives me pleasure


I hate all that takes away from my pleasure


I am terrified of death


I worry about all the things that could go wrong


I am out of love


In the end, I am most concerned with myself and my most immediate family


These are just examples of the thoughts that keep me angry, afraid, wanting, and unable to see my needs in the context of the needs of the greater whole. Thoughts like those, are the ones that make me at war with my green conscience. I am reminded of Amanda‘s comment a few weeks ago:


The fundamental solution . . . is to remove the shopping urge, the desire to have more “things”. As you’ve probably come to realize, the satisfaction brought by material things is short lived. Once you “own” the thing you’ve longed for, you enjoy it a great deal for a period of time, then its thrill fades, and then you have to go on another mission to find the next “thing” to fill that excitement hole. The vicious cycle goes on and on.


The whole society encourages this consumer pattern and we in the middle don’t feel anything wrong about this habit but blindly follow it. You, on the other hand, woke up one day and realized that this is not right but feel powerless against the trend.


Actually, I was like that before. I loved high-tech toys, expensive fashion items, and cool outdoor gears. And it was impossible to press down my shopping urge; I just gotta have them or I couldn’t go on function normally. I didn’t like my shopping habit at all, but there was so little I could do about it.


But all this changed late last year, when I started searching for the meaning of life and eventually became a Buddhist. I have no intention of persuading anyone to become a Buddhist (I found that it was very unpleasant when people pushed me to join their religions), but there is a lot of wisdom in Buddha’s teachings that everyone can benefit and apply in everyday life, including killing off this irritating shopping mania silently. It wasn’t even my plan to stop having this material desire, but somehow it’s just gone. Poof. Now I look at catalogs, window displays, or the real things on co-workers, my mind is calm and I don’t feel envy or jealous at all. I don’t have to press down the shopping urge, because there is none. It’s all very strange and hard to explain, but the end result has been marvelous. )


There is more to green than meets the eyes. In the absence of external controls such as rules, regulations, and taxes, one is left to fall back on one’s own internal controls, basically one’s ability to truly love others and the planet. Writing this blog is taking me to places I did not anticipate, such as the need to pay more attention to the life of the spirit.

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‘The key for me in this project was the recognition that what was really changing was my consciousness. And that is huge’. My friend Cass wrote this to me, last week, about her green blog project (http://seacat.wordpress.com). I have to agree with her. The simple act of reflecting and writing about one’s daily actions has tremendous transforming powers. I did not see any change at first. I kept on writing, and behaving as if I did not know any better. Until a few weeks ago. I could not help but notice, there was a new voice inside, moving me to not just pay attention, but to also act. I started to remember to take the green bags with me, and to bring them into the store. I could no longer leave my computer on. I turn the water off when I brush my teeth, instead of letting it run. Small acts.

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Why bother with a green blog? My earlier enthusiasm is waning. And so is my sense of urgency for the whole green problem. Too wrapped up in my own world, I lose sight of CO2 and all those other bad gases. I find it hard to sustain my awareness for things that I cannot see or feel. Here in beautiful California, life is good and nature has not snapped back yet, except for an occasional outburst of heat in the middle of winter. I feel guilty. I imagine all the green do gooders reading this blog and pointing fingers of contempt for my lack of conscience. And yet, this is my truth, and I am convinced there is some gold in there. What if part of the answer lied in the honest acknowledgement of one’s reality. Global warming is a man made problem, said the latest report. Man made starts with the person.

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