My Social Media Half-Year Honours List 2014

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How has the first half of 2014 been for you? Who has made a real difference to your year? Who has helped you this year, whether by what they do, what they say, or just by being there/being themselves?

It’s scarcely credible, but 2014 is nearly half gone.

To date, 2014 has been rather an intense year for me. Reminiscent at times of that immortal classic film Groundhog Day. At other times just plain unsettling and all-up-in-the-air. It struck me the other day that a number of fantastic people I first met via social media have made a major, positive difference for me.

I want to celebrate these outstanding personages here. I also want to share a taste of the great advice and sustaining words they’ve offered (where this was done via public forum), in the hope that other people might derive equal benefit from them.

My Social Media Half-Year Honour List 2014
Preambles done, here’s My Social Media Half-Year Honour List for 2014 (in alphabetical order):

  • Heather Bussing. Serendipity. Via a remarkable Facebook conversation back in March (detailed here: ‘My every incarceration’: From Iggy Pop to Buddhism in one wonderful misreading), Heather pointed me to a truly remarkable book by Pema Chödrön, entitled When Things Fall Apart. It is almost frightening how much this was the book I needed to read at that moment. Heather is a deeply wise, deeply generous soul. I’ve known her via social media a good while (and even had the good fortune to meet her fleetingly in 2012), and always delight in her witty, insightful words. For a flavour of Heather’s insights, please read this remarkable post : How To Get Through A Hard Day
  • Charlie Duff, Tash Stallard and Ailsa Suttie. I’ve grouped these three wonderful, F.I.E.R.C.E. and funny women together simply because it was my privilege to spend a hugely enjoyable and very, very funny evening chatting and laughing with them in London back in April. Thank you, my friends.
  • Kate Griffiths-Lambeth. I said to Ailsa Suttie earlier this year that Kate is perhaps the closest person to an angel that any of us are ever likely to meet. Kate has time for everyone, judges no-one, and is generous with her wisdom and support. Here are some beautiful words from a post she wrote last year: “Life is so short, but it offers an amazing journey, it would be a shame not to appreciate and enjoy each precious step.”
  • Raksha Khilosia. Raksha is really coming into her own as a thoughtful and affecting blogger. She is a truly natural writer, with an enviably light, flowing and clear style that conceals a wealth of insight. Her writing just works. So I was absolutely stunned when she told me that her posts are generally written on a smartphone whilst commuting on the Tube! Please do read her lovely post on introversion and the first and second posts in her new series on mindfulness.
  • Sarah Miller. Painful as it is to type such words of cliché, I often think the phrase “wise beyond her years” could have been coined for Sarah. Based in Adelaide, I’ve never met Sarah in person, and may never have the good fortune to do so. But I feel privileged to call her a friend. These two sentences from her most recent post give much food for thought: “ "I have never looked at a plant that has survived an Adelaide summer and thought, ‘if only it had pushed itself harder.’ I don’t know why I keep looking in the mirror and saying the same thing to myself." 
  • Neil Morrison. Neil is full of good advice simply stated (Regard this tweet, for example), fiercely independent in his opinions, and just about always right. Disagree with him all you want, but do listen to him.
  • Rick and Mervyn Dinnen. Privilege to know these two gents, to sup ale with them and watch the pointed fingers fly as the world is set to rights in the sharpest manner possible. Respect. Oh, and I believe HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes are also due to the right hon’able Mr Dinnen today (Saturday 28 June 2014), too!
  • The HRD. Languishing as she or he is in Hell, sadly missed and deeply mysterious blogger The HRD will likely never know the impact and ongoing influence (well, on me at any rate) of one of his or her musings from 2011. The wonderfully titled How To Achieve Shit is full of truly essential advice on how to get through a painfully protracted personal project. All 10 steps outlined here are deeply wise. But steps 3, 9 and 10 ("Embrace failure, "Communicate your arse off” and “Remember your dream,” respectively) are particularly worth bearing in mind.

Fancy following these amazing folks on Twitter? Here’s My Social Media Half-Years Honours List: The Twitter List!

I love that at the start of this year, I couldn’t ever have predicted what would happen, or the real life and social media interactions that have bubbled up and been so invaluable.

Here’s to the second half of 2014 being at least as eventful and as challenging. I can’t wait to see what it brings.

Who has made a real difference to your year? Please celebrate them and take the time to let them know what they mean to you.

Bonus bit:
If you know anything about me, you know I love music. Here are two Youtube videos of the pieces of music that have meant the most to me this year. No shame if they are not your cup of coffee, of course!

Dominik Omega + The Arcitype: Game Of Thrones Hip Hop Remix. In a word: Rousing.

Talking Heads: Remain In Light. Where has this record been all my life? Born under punches.

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