Did I get ya? Relax Facebook fans of My Zen Brain. That was just a little thought experiment I ran just now to see if an incendiary title would finally crack the code of bringing more Twitter users to this site. I’ll check my Stats at the end of the day to see if it worked.
Honestly, though, I did come to a realization the other day that I’d like to share. I converted the WordPress title, theme and layout because I wanted to keep the Facebookers who already followed the last iteration of this blog over to the new one, but I also wanted to get versed in how to attract Twitter users to my page to build up traffic.
So far, bupkus. I think the most Twitterites who’ve checked out this page in one day is, like, two.
But I also came to another realization that I needed to stress to myself for why I may not have as much traffic on this blog as I ultimately want to achieve. Hell, honestly, I haven’t even gotten close to the amounts of traffic from all origins I want and, after thinking long and hard about it, it’s pretty apparent why.
The title My Zen Brain isn’t very conducive to click bait for a few reasons.
- Zen Buddhism isn’t exactly the first or even fourth path of “worship” in this country or even in my home town. There’s precisely two Buddhist sanghas in my burg and I guesstimate the number of houses of worship for Catholics, Christians, Jews and Muslims to be at least in the hundreds. Zen just isn’t where it’s at right now, though it’s a damn sight more popular than it was just ten years ago. But despite the title, My Zen Brain isn’t about Buddhism really. It’s about meditation and the litany of benefits of adopting a regular meditation practice into your day. You can Google the relevant research on this but I can assure you as a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor that meditation has saved my bacon more than a few times from certain demise.
- Traumatic Brain Injury. The is one of two other focuses of My Zen Brain that I hoped would bring more people to this site. Untold numbers of people (actually, it’s probably told. Again, Google Traumatic Brain Injury and you will be treated to a host of literature pertaining to just how jacked up your uncle Mike or cousin Sarah and friend Barthalamew is now that he/she has sustained one or more TBI’s. It truly is an invisible factor in many of the lives of people who, I guarantee, you come into contact with everyday. Physical disabilities, mental impairments, emotional deficiencies, the list goes on and on and one of the main points of this blog is to bring awareness to why your uncle Mike tore off the refrigerator door for no apparent reason or your cousin Sarah goes home and has fits of uncontrollable weeping for no discernible reason or your friend Barthalamew is working as a janitor despite his Ph.D. All of these are close to my heart because I’ve done them or some variation on their themes sometime in the last 14 years. Sustaining a TBI leads to a jacked-up condition that messes with the 3 pound blob of gray matter between our ears and I hoped My Zen Brain would at least provide some insight into what goes on in the head of a survivor.
- Sobriety. This is the one that I thought would be attractive to social media because of the picture you saw when you clicked on this link. What could be more indicative of a recovery meeting than a Styrofoam cup of coffee and a crumpled dollar bill? Again, I think perhaps the people who would click on the link see My Zen Brain and think it’s some New Age hoy-paloy certainly not relevant to their journey in sobriety. But this is where the Third Step of AA swoops in like Superman. “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Bill W. inserted t that in the Third Step because he explicitly didn’t want to alienate anybody who didn’t believe in the Judeo-Christian God and I talk about sobriety in terms of Buddhism, but I’m also in the middle of a series of commentaries on the Bible of all things! I’m not offering this as a mockery of the Bible (well, okay, there might be a little poking of bears, but not much) but rather a humorous and, I hope at least kind of insightful, interpretation of a 2000 year old book. If you take your faith in the Judeo-Christian God so seriously that you take offense at a middle-aged guy in the 21st century inpterpreting the Bible in a way so irreverent that you want to smash things, I get it. But, at least for now, this is a personal experience blog. It won’t stay that way as I hope to offer a more professional environment for My Zen Brain not-too-distant future and I’m going to offer links to the books and meditation pillows and other products I believe in. And yes, I will be running ads eventually because, as a sober Zen Buddhist Traumatic Brain Injury survivor, the avenues are pretty limited on how I can open up new sources of income.
Anyway, My Zen Brain isn’t for most people if you take it at face value alone. But I’ve been doing research on the brain and Buddhism and sobriety for a few years and I just hope people will give it a chance and maybe, just maybe, open their minds (and frankly, their sphincter) just enough to allow for the fact that I’m offering you insight into how someone who experiences these three things strives to view this reality.
My Zen Brain isn’t for everyone. Not by a long shot. But you might get something here you might not get elsewhere. Keep an open mind. Not to toot my own horn, but I have, I hope at least, a kernel or two of wisdom to pass along to you.
Just my 2 cents.