Five Safe Spaces on the Web
What did we do before the internet? It’s one of those things that has entered our lives and we can’t even imagine what we did without it. It has given us access to information we never thought possible - with just a few keystrokes. The internet can connect us. Or, the internet can divide us. It can readily show us how we are like those in other places and spaces, and at other times help us to appreciate our uniqueness and idiosyncrasies.
For all the great things the internet has brought into our lives, we would be remiss not to note some of the darkness that has found another spotlight here. When one can google how to make a pipe bomb or the most efficient way to dismember a body, I mean - what can you say?
During the time that we do spend in cyberspace (as OUTSIDE of cyberspace) , it’s important to protect and nourish our hearts, minds, souls, and spirits.
When I’m looking for a safe place on the net where I know I can read content that lifts me up, motivates me to live an inspired life, and give me some nourishing mind food for thought, there are 5 websites that are my go to spaces.
DailyOM - According to the website, “DailyOM features a universal approach to holistic living for the mind, body, and spirit and supports people who want to live a conscious lifestyle.
DailyOM was founded in 2004 by Madisyn Taylor and Scott Blum, and was born out of their desire to bring the world together by offering messages of consciousness and awareness to people of all walks of life.” And for me, that’s exactly what it does. There are various sections on the page like inspiration and horoscopes. Clicking the categories tab, you can browse the offerings on DailyOM by topic. Categories include spirituality, self improvement, and manifesting money among others. For each category both inspirational articles and online courses are listed. Here’s one great ting about the articles on DailyOM - they are relatively short and easy to read but provide a lot of thought provoking content. Many of the courses are on a pay what you like basis with three choices ranging from $15 to $50. I have enrolled in one of the courses before and was very pleased with the content and outcomes. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter while you’re on the site. I get great articles delivered to my mailbox regularly.
2. Thought Catalog - Thought Catalog “serves as a platform for emerging and seasoned writers to voice their thoughts and to flourish creatively. Thought Catalog was founded in 2010, and its original mission still stands today: to empower creative people by helping them realize their artistic visions on their own terms.” I think that one of the reasons I really like this site is because various writers contribute to the content and express their views in very creative and often blunt terms. Many of the articles here pull no punches. They make it plain. No sugar-coating. That’s another one of the things I appreciate about this site. There are a plethora of articles on Thought Catalog that are listed under the following categories: creepy, astrology, self-improvement, psychology, romance, and books. NOTE!! I know I’m listing this as a “safe space”. With that being said, I know how to protect my spirit whether the space is safe or not. I don’t venture into the creepy section. I’m good with whatever is there remaining a mystery. For the record, what I usually do is scan the home page for titles that intrigue me OR roam under the self-improvement or psychology sections. I’ve read many thought provoking and motivating articles on Thought Catalog.
3. elephant journal - Like Thought Catalog, elephant journal has community-driven content. They are dedicated to sharing “the good life… yoga, organics, sustainability, conscious consumerism, enlightened education, the contemplative arts, adventure, bicycling, family…everything. But mostly it’s about this present moment, right here, right now, and how we can best be of benefit, and have a good time doing so.” Articles are categorized as green, wellness, family, food, non new-agey spirituality, enlightened society, funny, wow, talk show, and yoga. Besides just reading articles that appeal to me from the homepage, the sections I gravitate to are the wellness, spirituality, and enlightened society sections. The articles are easy to read and digest while being concisely written.
4. Mindful -Mindful is both a website and a magazine. As you may imagine, they are “dedicated to inspiring, guiding, and connecting anyone who wants to explore mindfulness—to enjoy better health, more caring relationships, and a compassionate society.” The website is divided into sections like meditation, science, health, and voices. Since Mindful is a nonprofit organization there is also an area for you to give a donation. If you don’t know much about mindfulness and/or meditation, there is a getting started section that will break everything down for you. From definitions to directions, everything is spelled out in very simple to comprehend, step-by-step, language. Articles cover a wide range of topics - from mindfulness in your relationships, to kids and meditation, to scientific research in the area of mindfulness and meditation. There are also podcasts to check out and guided meditations for specific issues. While there is plenty of content articles that non-subscribers can read, those who receive the magazine bi-monthly have access to expanded content. Items that are only for magazine subscribers are noted with a blue key.
5. Shine - You may have already heard of Shine. Its been voted one of the best self-care apps for quite a while now. I have the app downloaded on my phone - and I love it! The good news is that the content available on the Shine website is just as amazing as what you get via the app. Simply stated, the purpose of Shine is to “make it easier for you to take care of yourself.” The concept creators goals were “to elevate important conversations around living intentionally and being your best self.” Admirable, right? The real magic of the site is found under the “get advice” tab. From there you can find the categories chill, grow, hustle and play - each of which contains practical and useful tips and information related to each topic. As a big supporter of self-care, I have found many great ideas and tips via Shine. If you decide decide to sign up for the sign up for Shine through the website or download the app and join there, each morning you will receive a motivational text message each day at a time you designate. Mine comes at 7 AM. It’s a great way to get the day started on a positive note.
The internet is many things. Besides being a multipurpose tool, it can be a place full content that is no good for our psyche, spirits, or mental well being. Knowing where to go for a digital pep talk can help you navigate the world wide web without getting caught up in places you can’t easily shake off. It’s comforting to know there are some go to sites where you can know that you will be safe - mind, body, and soul.
Do you have a favorite digital safe space? Be sure to share it in the comments!