The Birth of a Community

In order for any of this to make any sense at all, you’re going to need a little back story.  It really all starts with a television program that was on the air about ten years ago.  It wasn’t a hit show, it wasn’t critically acclaimed, but what it did do was introduce me to some of the most wonderful people I have ever known.

The first season this show was on the air, I quickly became enamored of it, and turned to the new toy in my house, the internet, to find other people who also liked this show.  I did, and it was quite possibly the smartest thing I’ve ever done.  I “met,” online, a group of people who have become an integral part of my life.  We’ve been there for each other through marriages and divorces, births and deaths and everything else that goes along with life.  Some of us have met in person, some are just a name on a computer screen, but all of us are friends.

One day, one of those friends posted in her blog that she was fed up with always being negative and she was going to try to post one positive thought a day in her journal.  I thought this was a fantastic idea and decided to take it one step further and I created a blog community called Think Positive 30 – Thirty Positive Thoughts in 30 Days, so that we, and anybody who wished to join us, could post our daily positive thoughts.  I had read somewhere that it took 21 days to change a habit, and I thought that if we did this for 30 days, we’d not only change the habit of negative thinking, but get a good start at reinforcing the new habit of positive thinking. 

It was great – several people joined and started posting their positive thoughts, and I’d post positive comments back to them.  Then, something really great happened – other people started leaving supportive positive comments on other peoples posts.  It was amazing.  I seriously couldn’t imagine anything better happening.  Boy was I wrong.  The blog site I use, LiveJournal made Think Positive 30 a feature community.  This meant everyone who signed on to LiveJournal saw a blurb about the community.  Membership exploded, it was simply amazing.  In one weekend, our membership climbed to over 1000 people.  People were posting positive thoughts and leaving positive comments on other people’s posts.  To say I was excited by this turn of events is the understatement of the century.

But it was also incredibly overwhelming.  Here I was, trying to think positive – to be happy and promote a positive attitude and I felt so overwhelmed.  I did the worst possible thing ever. I backed off from the community, and I quickly found myself sinking back into my negative way of thinking.  I learned, the hard way, that negative thinking is so much easier than positive thinking.  I don’t know why that is, and I don’t know if it’s true for everybody, but I do know that it’s true for me. 

So I started posting in the LiveJournal community once more and reading and replying to people’s positive thoughts.  It saddened me to see how much the activity had decreased in my absence, but instead of focusing on that, I decided to focus on positives.  There were people posting.  People  were sharing their positive thoughts and looking to make their own lives more positive. 

I formulated a plan and decided to start in what to many would appear to be a round about way.  I had read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, and watched the DVD and loved it, and the message it sent.  I was also very much taken by one of the contributors to the book, Mike Dooley, and his website  Mike offers this incredible mailing list on his website calles Notes from the Universe.  If you sign up, you receive these incredible notes delivered to your inbox that are guaranteed to make you smile, and get you to think. 

There it was, a good way to find out if people were interested in hearing what I had to say.   I put up a website, with a brief description of the concept and what I was trying to do.  I also invited people to sign up for my own mailing list which would allow them to receive a positive thought in their inbox.  I was amazed and astounded when people began to sign up.  So I had my answer.  People were interested in what I had to say.  Now there was only one thing left to do, sit down and write.