Heartshine

I recently suffered the loss of my little furry friend and companion with whom I had shared my life for the past 17 years. Needless to say, I was very sad and depressed to have lost my little cat-friend, Sissy. I have had and lost other cats in my life, but she was really someone special and the loss of her left a large hole in my life and in my heart.

I posted about my loss on Twitter as a simple expression of my grief. What I received back from people on Twitter – all virtual strangers who I will probably never have the privilege of meeting face-to-face in the “real world,” was nothing short of life and heart changing.

My Twitter friend, @SimonDevon75 sent me the following beautiful piece of prose that broke my heart all over again, while at the same time healing that broken heart:

What moves through us is a silence, a quiet sadness, a longing for one more day, one more word, one more touch, we may not understand why you left this earth so soon, or why you left before we were ready to say good-bye, but little by little, we begin to remember not just that you died, but that you lived. And that your life gave us memories too beautiful to forget.

Another Tweeter whom I have come to know over the past year, @Kilanalu, also sent me her love and support even though she, herself, had just suffered the loss of her brother.

This morning, I had a beautiful and life-changing exchange with a few other Twitter friends, some that I have known for awhile and some that I just met this morning through this exchange. My friends, @Atomic_Honey & @Atomic_Twlrbee, along with new friends, @Ravenval & @Marousia shared their special “garden” with me and introduced me to the word/concept of “Heartshine.”

Heartshine, to me, represents the wonderful and warm feeling that occurs in one’s heart when the outpouring of love from others is shared and received in one’s own heart. That is certainly the feeling that I experienced this morning. Sometimes, especially at times of loss, we can feel like life has lost its meaning and/or specialness. My experience of “Heartshine” this morning has given me a renewed sense of what life is really all about. In the end, the only thing that really matters is love – and love can only be expressed and experienced when there are others to share it with.

Thank you so much, my beautiful friends. I truly love you all.

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Why I Love Follow Fridays on Twitter

Twitter Follow Friday #FF hashtag

Occasionally, I will see some criticism of the common practice of using the #FF, or “Follow Friday” hashtag on Twitter followed by a list of people that the Tweeter is encouraging others to follow. The main complaint about this practice is that it clutters up one’s Twitter timeline with basically useless and uninteresting content. This is not an entirely unfounded complaint as any Twitter user will see when perusing their timeline on any given Friday. However, I have looked past the “clutter” to the original intent and purpose of the Follow Friday tradition on Twitter and have come to love all of the little hashtags and lists of Twitter “handles.” Following are the main reasons why I have come to love Follow Fridays on Twitter:

  1. Sometimes, I have a really busy week and don’t get onto Twitter that often, if at all. This makes me feel a little guilty because I have neglected my Twitter friends. However, because #FF has become such a tradition, I NEVER miss it. This gives me an opportunity to let my followers and followees know that I am thinking about them even though I haven’t participated with them on Twitter for a few days.
  2. Another reason that I love Follow Fridays on Twitter is that the people that I follow and who follow me have some really interesting things to share and I really do want others to follow them so that others can enjoy the same benefits and interactions that I enjoy.
  3. Finally, I love Follow Fridays most of all, because, instead of seeing the hashtag clutter, I see other potential interesting people to follow. If someone that I enjoy following is suggesting that I follow these other Tweeters, I want to check them out to find out if I too would enjoy following them. In this way, I have connected with even more interesting and wonderful people on Twitter.

So, if you are annoyed by all of the Follow Friday hashtags on Twitter, or if you are wondering what it is all about, check them out. Follow some new people and suggest great people for others to follow. Join the community spirit and find out what Twitter is really all about!

Social Media is The New Punk Rock

Richard Darell, otherwise known as @Minervity on Twitter, sent out a tweet a couple of minutes ago linking to an article on bitrebels.com. As I often do, I clicked over and read the article which was talking about how to define social media – the conclusion being that social media could be summed up thusly: Social Media = Listen & Respond. “Okay,” I thought to myself, “sounds good.” As I looked down the page, I saw that a link to the following YouTube video was provided along with the article:

After watching the video, my lackadaisical “ok, sounds good” became an enthusiastic “Yes! That’s it!” Just as the Punk Rock movement stressed an independent DIY attitude and the idea that being heard was more important than the media or the message used, social media provides the ways and means for all of us to express ourselves and to be heard. Social media is NOT a marketing tool – it is a Social Movement. Listen and Respond.