Feedback: Help Me Help Your Pursuit

dogwood flower, The New Pursuit, deep living, simple living, deep ecologyHi Everyone,

Instead of the usual Monday Meditation, I wanted to write to you today to ask for your feedback.

The New Pursuit has been up and running for about four months now. I have been absolutely humbled by the response from all of you. From the dialog we are creating through comments to the amount of sharing through social media tools, the fact that you find value in this content gives me so much inspiration.

But I am a firm believer in good old fashion honest feedback. Such periodic check-ins can do wonders for helping to keep the course.

So, since I am headed out this morning for a few days of camping with my family (a FULL digital detox experience), I wanted to ask if you could take a moment and provide a bit of that feedback. There are no special forms or surveys to fill out. All you have to do is leave a comment. (If you get this post via email or reader, simply click on the post title and you should be taken to the site. If not, click here.)

Some of the questions I’m curious about include:

  • What types of posts do you like most? Like the least?
  • Has the frequency of posts been OK?
  • Do you find value in the meditations each Monday?
  • The bi-weekly Deep Living Digest series has been out there for a little while. What do you think?
  • What types of things would you like to see more of? What subjects would you like explore in more depth?
  • As you travel this path of living deeply, how can I help you through worthwhile content?
  • Is there anything more you would like to know about me or my experiences?

Believe me, I won’t be offended by anything you say, so please be as honest as possible. I only want to make The New Pursuit better for everyone.

With much gratitude,

(P.S.: While I think that sharing your thoughts in public can help others, if you rather that your comments not been seen by everyone, you can also email them to me at gerlachbill at yahoo dot com. Thanks.)

5 Responses to “Feedback: Help Me Help Your Pursuit”
  1. ginger says:

    Hi Bill,
    I find in general your emails (whether read or not!) is a great weekly reminder to breathe.
    As far as constructive comments … I feel they are too long. A bit too “if you do this, then this will happen.” … I personally prefer reading an inspirational piece that lets me interpret it versus an explanation.
    All for now. Wishing you and your family a wonderful few days of camping. I am looking at a wonderfully cool blue sky. Enjoy : )

  2. Hi Bill,

    I am really struggling to think of any constructive comments to make. I think you are doing just fine they way you are. I haven’t read this blog since the beginning, so maybe this is clearer to others than me, but I am not sure if you are coming at miniminalism/simplicity because of environmental concerns (you mention reconnecting with nature and eco stuff) or spiritual practices (mindlfulness is a rather buddhism term I think). If I read through you about pages/start here page you outline quite a few goals and interest areas, and seem to be hitting them, but I would like to see your MAIN reason, the umbrella reason under which the other strands fall, clearer. Does this make sense at all? Eg. Maybe you are an extreme greenie which is why you are intersted in simplicity, gardening, connecting with nature etc. Or Maybe you are a buddhist monk and as part of your spiritual practice you believe in simplicity, loving nature, connecting with people etc.

    I hope that helps. And I do really love the images you use!

  3. Lynn Fang says:

    Hi Bill, I like your Monday meditations, though perhaps you can do them biweekly (every other week), to mix things up a bit. I also haven’t been following your blog since the beginning, but so far I like the nature-based message behind your site. It really resonates with me personally, but perhaps is more confusing for others who came here via simplicity/minimalism/personal development blogs.

    It would probably help to include stories of any personal transformation – how you discovered deep ecology/deep living, and what persuaded you to this path. Or, teach us about it. What positive changes have occurred? How did a shift in perspective transform your life? [in order to show that it can for others, or to provide another voice to support the movement] What did it take for you to get there? etc etc.

    At first glance of your About page, it seems your site is devoted to discussing new ways of living, particularly focused on life/perspective based on nature. Perhaps you could hone in your message more succinctly. As practice, I tried finding my “one burning question”, from a post. That helped shape the direction of my blog further.

    What sort of changes are you making in your personal life? I know from your recent posts you’ve been TV-free and try to live green. Is there anything else you are working on now? An issue that bothers you that you think deserves attention? The oil spill, vegetarianism, toxic industrial practices, etc. You mention gardening, perhaps you could show us pictures of your garden or what meals were made with garden ingredients.

    I think that’s a lot for now… Hope it helps! I like the layout and images, I hope asking a bunch of questions was okay. Have a great time camping!

  4. Bill Gerlach says:

    Ginger + Gwynneth + Lynn // Wow, thank you SO much for your awesome feedback. What a great way to come back from a few days of Digital Detox and camping. Your questions are really hitting home and I have to imagine that if you are raising them, others are wondering them as well.

    I admit, the crux of The New Pursuit is an amalgamation of sorts based on my experiences. I am attempting to piece several broad elements (Life, Nature and Being) together in perhaps a new way because I believe them to be catalysts for one another. Individuals who are pursuing life improvement (e.g., through minimalism or simplicity) are developing a heightened awareness of what is important to them. This begets (whether consciously or not) the development of a new sense of being — both individually and at the collective human level. And it is because of this transformation — this growing awareness of the joys and inter-relatedness of life — that I believe can lead to a new connection with and respect for Nature (or the Earth). And it is THAT step forward that I believe holds the key to redefining the long-term viability for our species and the planet as a whole.

    Put all of this together and you get what I call ‘Deep Living’ — an umbrella term, yes, but one that has appeal no matter your angle (personal development, spiritual development, environmentalism, etc.). I believe that there is a fundamental shift underway in humanity’s relationship with each other and the life giving essence of this planet. I believe we are redefining ourselves as ‘eco-beings’ — a term that I plan to explore more in depth with time.

    All of this feedback (and critical questioning!) has me sketching out a new series for the blog. Kind of a New Pursuit 101 where I can begin to talk through these elements more, how I arrived here and how others can begin to take steps in this direction. With so many more subscribers (all of whom I am deeply honored to have reading my work), it makes sense to take a step back and level set. I will plan to have the first post in this new series out this weekend.

    And to Lynn: You have me spinning on what my One Burning Question is. I am going to ponder that some more.

    Again, thanks to all. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. It is so great to have connected with you! Be well.

  5. Sandra Lee says:

    Hi Bill, I am completely new here, so I can’t offer much in the way of helpful feedback on the past fours months.

    What I can offer is this:

    1. I like the theme you use. It is simple, but elegant.
    2. Like you, I write on several different topics. I re-wrote my about page several times to be clear about my different focuses and how they fit together. In my case, it is personal development, health, the environment, and spiritual transformation. I see them as intimately interconnected. At the moment, I’ve defined the underlying theme as “wellness in body, mind, and spirit”…although that doesn’t fully include the environment. The main point is simply that you might want to clearly define the 3 or 4 topics that you write about and define an underlying thread that ties them together. That might make it clearer for your readers. You could look at my “about” page to see my attempt at doing this. I actually list my three main topic areas and then give the underlying theme. Chris Guillebeau does something similar on his about page, probably far more effectively than me:
    3. I was really touch by the last part of your blog that talks about being a parent and wanting to create a better
    world for your children, plus working and raising a family. That really moved me – however that might fit.

    Hope this helps one way or the other. All the best to you.