Day 1951 – Day 1970
I wish you the most wonderful year ahead and I hope that you had a delightful holiday.
My holiday was made more delightful by my decision to dive head first into the ocean of YouTube. I have been toying with the idea of podcasting but missed the obvious: starting a YouTube channel on Ten Thousand Days of Gratitude. I am a smart woman but sometimes I can be a really dumb blonde. Since I moved back to North America, I have missed the bounty of Freeview that a UK TV License provides and so I’ve been watching BBC documentaries and clips from my favourite UK comedians on YouTube. When I had to suddenly change my diet, I turned to YouTube for cooking channels. Needed to learn how to build a box cradle for a painting I’d done on a wood panel? YouTube. How to grow my first garden? YouTube. How to get over heartache? YouTube.
You may be beginning to sense a theme here. I had to be hit over the head with it, before I did.
I’m grateful to the creator Amanda Bealle at the Fundamental Home for demonstrating that ordinary folks can create channels that draw an audience, and to creator Frank James for planting the seed of starting my own channel through his secondary channel the College of Tuber Studies. Amanda has been supportive of my efforts so far, and Frank James’ excitement over YouTubing has given me the confidence to throw Ten Thousand Days of Gratitude‘s hat in the ring – at least as a Beta test. I realize that I spend at least as much of my leisure time on YouTube as I do reading material posted on the internet. It seems only reasonable that I expand to a YouTube channel as another outlet for reaching people and possibly inspiring them to begin their own journey of grateful living.
I’m not certain why I didn’t think of it till a few weeks ago, but I think it may have something to do with my reluctance to see myself on film. I studied at the T Schreiber acting school in New York so ‘performing’ is nothing new to me. However, I simply refused to study acting for the camera. I hated how I appeared on film. I hate being in photographs and I hate being photographed. My voice? Does anyone like the sound of their own voice? Having trained as a yoga and meditation teacher, I have a special knack for putting people to sleep.
Wow. Now, isn’t that an interesting opportunity for growth?
I’ve been frustrated with my post-surgical recovery or more specifically, with the rate of my recovery. To keep me from becoming negative, in the autumn, I replaced my recovery updates on Facebook with the daily gratitude posts that formed my first year of writing about the practice. When, a few weeks ago, I decided to launch a channel on YouTube, I migrated my 3 Things practice to the channel. How much work could it be, to speak to a camera and say the 3 things, instead of writing them?
HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA
What I forgot was that I often write my posts in my pyjamas, with bedhead and no makeup. I didn’t realize how challenging it would be to turn the camera on myself and record that process, warts, pyjamas, bedhead and all.
I have body positivity issues that have become really clear, in just the first week of filming. I like to say I have a face for radio and a voice for print. My self-deprecating humour barely disguises my desire for image management.
I suppose one way to manage this insecurity and self-loathing would be to lose weight, keep my hair perfectly coiffed, have plastic surgery to hide the signs of ageing, and go back for more speech therapy to minimize my speech impediment. I could spend time and money and mental energy making myself into the ‘acceptable’ YouTube influencer image (if I even had the raw materials of genetics to pull that off), or, I could just focus on the why of what I do.
I write about my journey and now I’m making video content about my journey because I fundamentally believe that gratitude is a gateway to spiritual, mental, emotional and even physical wellbeing. Wellbeing doesn’t come from focusing on how to be more acceptable on camera and it isn’t about being a beautiful influencer. It’s about accepting oneself in all one’s aspects and letting that beautiful person shine.
I’m grateful for the awareness of this issue that even a week of filming has afforded me, and for the kindness and love I am able to give myself as I begin to let go of the conditioning of self-loathing and body shame that I’ve carried with me, all these years.
And, I’m grateful that it is my nature to dive into new ventures and fly by the seat of my pants. A month ago, I had no inkling I’d be creating YouTube content about Gratitude. I hope a month from now, I will have learned basic online video editing, gotten my DSLR set up for filming and purchased a mic that will be suitable for this type of blogging. I don’t know that I will have the stamina to v-log every day for the next 20 years, but for January, I will do a daily gratitude post, and if only one person is positively impacted and their wellbeing improved by my videos, my work will have had meaning and purpose; even if I am the only one whose wellbeing improves in the process. I trust that if I do the work, with diligence, to the best of my ability and with sincerity, the people who need it, will find it.
Welcome to Ten Thousand Days of Gratitude on YouTube.
For what are you most grateful, today?