What to Expect When You’re… Reading Left Brain Buddha

A funny thing happened when I started blogging.

I thought I couldn’t be funny.

I mean, my blog is called Left Brain Buddha.

Those are some serious words. And I wanted to be taken seriously. And when I think of the Buddha, I envision this:

Vegas Buddha

He looks pretty serious.

But isn’t the Buddha also this?

Ah, yes, the smiling Buddha!

Ah, yes, the laughing Buddha!
{photo credit: Rammy Storm via photopin cc}

Some of my most popular posts are the funny ones. Like this post about the moments of parenting that make me really want to use the F-word. Or my most recent post about my glamorous mom fashion.

LBB BadgeBut I still get nervous when I publish something that’s mainly funny and frivolous. Will people who “liked” my blog because I write about meditation and mindfulness and Buddhism be put off by a post about me in my sweatpants? Will people who follow me because I write about motherhood be offended that I sometimes drop an F-bomb? Will people think I’m being too flippant about the things that matter most in life? Am I still being “mindful and thought-full”?

{Have I ever mentioned that I tend to over-analyze things?}

I’m comforted by the words of my education professor, who once told us, “Jesus couldn’t reach them all, what makes you think you can?”

In a few months, I will have been blogging for one year. In that time, I have gained many followers and lost a few. I’ve had lots of wonderful comments from amazing supporters, and a few not-so-nice comments from meanies people who help me practice compassion.

I can’t be everything to all people. So let me tell you what I will be. Let me share with you what you can expect when you’re reading Left Brain Buddha.

Here’s an excerpt from the mission statement I wrote when I started this blog. This is what I envisioned my site would be, and what it would do for my readers and for me:

My blog is an informative, reflective, and encouraging site for analytical, “left-brain” thinkers who love the life of the mind, and also strive to live and parent mindfully and intentionally.

My blog stimulates the intellect by exploring the extraordinary and awe-inspiring ideas and insights found in literature and the world’s wisdom traditions. I refine my own life practice by contemplating and exploring how this knowledge can be integrated into our bustling and thought-filled lives.

I provide encouragement, humor, and support for parents {mothers} through honestly sharing my personal adventures in mindful living and parenting, portraying the challenges and illuminating the riches of mindfulness and motherhood.

This blog holds me accountable for my own meditation, mindful living and parenting practices.  I want to write, to engage my mind, and connect with others.  I want to learn, read, write, share, and inform!

I want my blog to be…

Informative. Funny. Deep. Honest. Encouraging.

I hope by coming here you find inspiration, wisdom, and humor as we tame {and sometimes indulge} our overly-rational monkey minds.

You’ll find me writing about the following, because they all inform my mindfulness and parenting practices {listed in reverse alphabetical order}:

  • parenting and motherhood
  • mindfulness and meditation
  • mental health and self-care
  • feminism
  • Eastern spirituality/Buddhism/secular humanism/atheism
  • books and reading
  • and the parts of all of the above that just make me laugh

Because laughter is good! Smiling is good! We can’t be serious and rational and left-brain all the time!

Have you heard of the studies where they have people put a pencil in their mouth while they read a story? One group holds the pencil with the eraser portion between their teeth, which simulates a frown. The other group holds the pencil lengthwise between their teeth, which creates a smile. The “smiling” group, though they are not even aware they are smiling, actually like the story better and find it funnier.

Smiling makes us happier.

The hard parts of life are sometimes better when we can just laugh about them. Because sometimes that’s all we can do.

minnesota-cancelled

Even with the BigImportantHuge things. Probably most importantly with those things.

We can be Mindful and Thought-full and Smile-ful and Joyful.

Sometimes we need the contemplative Buddha, and sometimes we need the laughing Buddha.

three buddhasLuckily I’ve got all these guys on my desk to inspire me.

*****

This post is part of the Finish the Sentence Friday linkup. Today’s sentence is “A funny thing happened on the way to…” You can read more posts by clicking the image below!

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Sarah Rudell Beach

Sarah is a writer, teacher, and mother. At Left Brain Buddha, she writes about her journey to live and parent mindfully, joyfully, and thought-fully in her left-brain analytical life. When not working, she enjoys dancing, reading, and hanging out with her little Buddhas.
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Comments

  1. You are so right laughter is sometimes all we need and truly will help. My grandfather always used to say that it was better to laugh then cry. So, to me I truly would rather smile and laugh anyway of the week. By the way, I am happy to follow you and your blog. Congrats on blogging almost a year, too :)
    Janine Huldie recently posted…A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to..Writing This ArticleMy Profile

  2. Ok. Seriously I think we have the same concerns. I started my blog because Tucker did not fall into the millions of autism blogs, and I wanted to connect with those moms. The moms who are stuck in the in-between, with severe speech delays and everything that we have, here. And I get that. I get the connections (sometimes, too much because I do not know the answers). And one day, I posted something dumb about my dog, and people loved it. And then I posted something epically hilarious and nobody read it. And then and then and then. Here’s the big thing, Sarah. Just write. Do NOT pay attention to the stats (I don’t even check mine any longer although I used to hourly). Just write. Because in the end? Who the f$ck is this blog for? For the them that you don’t even know? It’s for you. Your kids. That’s my advice but I realize I’m doomish and expect to die tomorrow (I am also 45 with a 4 yo).

    • Sarah Rudell Beach says:

      Thanks, Kristi. I know, I shouldn’t think about the stats… but they’re right there and they’re so beautifully analytical…. it’s hard not to look. :)

  3. Also this was gorgeously written. As always.

  4. I was stuck for quite a while on the fact you have a mission statement for your blog. I’m always impressed by people who put thought into things and don’t just fly by the seat of their pants. :)
    Laughing is an important part of life. It helps us get through difficult experiences and move on to better days. Don’t be afraid to be funny. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
    christine recently posted…Eddie Bauer Puffy Coat. A Love StoryMy Profile

    • Sarah Rudell Beach says:

      Thanks, Christine. I took a blogging e-course and that was one of the first things – defining what our blog is and what our vision is…

  5. For the record, I think you’re hysterical. And I love it :)
    Tressie Davis recently posted…Jeremy Hodges – 005 of 100 Neighbors in 2014My Profile

  6. I love the idea of a blog mission statement. Very cool. I think my blog has gone through some transitions, so people have been with me for the long haul and some have moved on to greener pastures. I wish I could have a schedule and offer a bit of this and that on certain days to make everything happy but then blogging wouldn’t be fun anymore huh? That’s a neat study about the smiling, I’d never heard that.
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted…“A funny thing happened on the way to…”My Profile

    • Sarah Rudell Beach says:

      Yes, I think we all go through transitions, especially as we are starting out and finding our voice. I tried having a schedule at first and now I like that I haven’t boxed myself in that way.

  7. I love that you shared this with us, Sarah! I need to think my blog’s mission and what my vision for it is, given my goals as a writer. And I totally get the humor thing too. I didn’t think in a million years that I would ever intentionally try to be funny. But sometimes humor just feels right. It feels right to let your readers in on another aspect of yourself.
    Jessica Smock recently posted…An Angry Rant to Winter (and to Dry Skin, Wind Chill, Illness, and Cabin Fever…)My Profile

    • Sarah Rudell Beach says:

      Thanks Jessica. I feel this post was as much for me as for my readers in terms of processing what I do and why I do it. I can’t imagine not having a guiding vision for my blog. But then, that’s how my mind works!

  8. I think it is great that you can be left-brain buddah minded person and still retain a sense of humor and reserve the right to drop the f bomb. It’s what makes you real and keeps you centered.

    As far as those meanies or the ones that abandoned you, you are better off without them. Cause if they can’t take reality, well that’s not really what you are about
    Kerri recently posted…A funny thingMy Profile

    • Sarah Rudell Beach says:

      So true, Kerri. I don’t know why I get so nervous about this stuff. Maybe it’s the teacher in me feeling like I have to stick to the rules of the assignment of something!

  9. Let me just tell you, first of all, that I am impressed with the fact that you have a mission statement for your blog! That is very cool!
    I, too, am an over-analyzer and I’ve tried really hard to stop. At least when it comes to my blog. I post what I post and people read or they don’t. I haven’t had meanies yet, but I’m sure my day will come!
    I love your blog. I think you’re very, very funny. I love your take on life. And, honestly, I’m relieved to have you drop the F-bomb every once in a while. It assures me you’re human and I am not alone.
    Sandy Ramsey recently posted…A Funny Thing Happened and A Memory Was MadeMy Profile

    • Sarah Rudell Beach says:

      Thanks for such kind words, Sandy! There haven’t been very many meanies – mainly when I have posted elsewhere. And I think it is important to share our personal and real sides with our readers. We want to know the person we’re reading about!

  10. I can definitely relate to this, since both my blogs are loosely about spirituality, mindfulness and the like and which both have at times had frivolous posts. I’ve read somewhere that the most healing and spiritual thing you can do is laugh, but humour can be so subjective that sometimes people have thought I’m being serious when I’m not. I love what your professor said about Jesus – definitely worth remembering.
    Yvonne recently posted…Black Parrot Days: when writing won’t comeMy Profile

    • Sarah Rudell Beach says:

      Yes, that was over 16 years ago and I still remember it. And laughing is great medicine, but you’re right, it doesn’t always get interpreted the right way, which is what makes me nervous…

  11. “People who help me practice compassion” -I need to remember that one.
    that cynking feeling recently posted…Ponies, expressMy Profile

  12. Smileful! Ha…you created a new word and I’m stealing it! :-DD I can’t believe you’ve had meanies, I mean people who help you practice compassion, through here. It’s sad when people have to behave that way because you know they must be a mess inside. For the record I don’t like having to read curse words, but I sure drop them sometimes, like when I burn myself. Funny how I don’t like reading them or hearing them but they can fly out of my mouth in an instant. I blame my mother.

    • Sarah Rudell Beach says:

      LOL, Holly. At least when I use curse words I insert #$%#$%$ cuz I don’t like seeing the full word either. But verbally, that’s a whole different story!

  13. “People who help me practice compassion” – that’s awesome! :-) I love that you have a mission statement for your blog. I have one in my head, but have never written it down. I agree that laughter is often the only option. I have come to the conclusion that I am inherently un-funny, but I often say that my hubby has taught me how to loosen up (a little) and how to laugh at life sometimes.
    Lisa @ The Golden Spoons recently posted…FTSF and AAF – Round 2My Profile

    • Sarah Rudell Beach says:

      Writing it down was such a big help and let me process what I was intending to do with my blog. It’s been a great guide! And your writing makes me smile :)

  14. Mindful(l) living is hilarious. Have you ever met or seen any great spiritual teachers? They laugh all the time. At seemingly nothing.

    Rock on with your bad blog, sister!

    Warmly,
    Alice
    Alice Risemberg ~ Reiki Pulse recently posted…Isn’t Reiki a Bit Out There?My Profile

  15. I’m impressed with the mission too!

    My own blog is all over the place. I think that’s okay. It’s good to see different sides of a person. Also, I relate to not feeling funny. I never feel I’m funny, but some friend insist I am. Obviously, I love these friends. ;)
    Nina recently posted…Obsessing About Nonsense and a Jew Who ConvertsMy Profile

  16. Yes!!! I love this! I too worry when I rapidly change gears from serious stories about motherhood and myths and guilt and then write inappropriate things inside digital pregnancy test screens. I worry that people won’t understand who I am. But you’ve really laid things out here so beautifully. You do funny SO well, it would be ridiculous if you stopped. Also, you’ve inspired me: I want to write a mission sentence!
    Stephanie @ Mommy, for Real. recently posted…Are You Mocking Me? Why Digital Pregnancy Tests SuckMy Profile

    • Sarah Rudell Beach says:

      Thanks, Stephanie. I don’t think I could blog without a vision statement. And I loved your post with the pregnancy tests…

  17. And yet, and yet, and YET your blog is also completely wonderful for the right-brain skitterminded types, who occasionally like to indulge in deep thinking and the absorbtion of knowledge that someone ELSE researched.

    I would never EVER have a mission statement for my blog, because I would feel too hemmed in by it, but I so admire that you have one, and that you’ve made it at once quite specific, but also with SO much nuance and timbre to cover all of the in-betweens.

    Your little colourful peaced-out Buddhas are awesome :D
    Considerer recently posted…7 Quick Takes #61 x FTSFMy Profile

  18. I love this reflection on the value of laughter. I went through this, though kind of the opposite, last year. I thought if I wasn’t funny, people wouldn’t read anymore. I decided it was better to be true to myself and my writing than trying to please this invisible critic (who was mostly me).
    Natalie DeYoung recently posted…A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Work TodayMy Profile

  19. I love this and can so relate. For me it was the exact opposite. I started out as a funny blog and then I got serious and I was so apologetic in my first serious post and warned, and invited back and blah blah blah, so I completely understand. Here’s the thing, though, you ask yourself in this post whether the readers who were here for the “serious” would return. I’m sure they will. I don’t think there is anyone who will turn down a laugh. Especially from someone they’ve come to know and respect as a writer. I’m so glad you do funny. xo
    Katia recently posted…The Blogging CasualtiesMy Profile

  20. I love a good “well rounded” blog…one that makes me think, one that makes me laugh, one that offers me an escape from reality, and one that makes me smile. I only recently discovered yours, but I’d say, from the few that I’ve read, you’re meeting your mission statement goal. Keep writing. You do it beautifully.
    Mandi recently posted…I’m So Fly – I’m OG Baby Like Grape KoolaidMy Profile

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