September 4, 2015

In Response to “We’ve Had a Really Bad Week” (Original Article posted by Waylon Lewis).

elephant staff team

Some of you may have read the recently released Editor’s Letter, “We’ve Had a Really Bad Week” posted by elephant journal’s founder and CEO, Waylon Lewis.

This write-up addressed a number of issues. A new editor had recently left their position, the decision had been made to cut some annoying ads—which in turn also cut some income to the publication—and reader numbers had taken a massive hit in the last few weeks.

Waylon was pictured with a sad look on his face holding an umbrella; but as a columnist for elephant journal, I smiled and said, “Yes!”

Why, you ask?

Because most of this screams integrity.

Well, maybe not losing readers, but I know that will bounce back.

After all, I see what an impact this publication has on its readers, and I personally hear from them on a regular basis about how their lives and perspectives have been positively changed as a result of what elephant journal does and will continue to do.

I, of course, do not know the specifics of what happened with the editor, but they likely made a difficult decision that they felt was right for them.

The cutting of the ads could not have been an easy decision either. While I know that money and income are needed to compensate both the editors and the top writers every month, sending out mindful messages without sometimes toxic ads is a huge step in improving the reputation of elephant journal and what I believe to be the pure intentions of both its editors and writers.

Writing for elephant journal has truly been a gift.

I can relate to these decisions on a much smaller scale, of course.

I recently let go of a corporate position that came with a rather impressive salary to better maintain my integrity, balance and character. I lost a lot of money because of what I truly love and what feel called to do. I needed to check in with myself about who I am, what my intentions are, and how I can best contribute to this world of ours via my own thoughts, words, and actions.

We know what most of our cultures are like. Blockbuster movies are a dime a dozen, as are most of the popular music hits, as well as other forms of “sell-well” art and media that claim to hold a stake in our world.

But they sometimes lack heart, and they sometimes lack the depth for which so many us are extremely thirsty.

Some of the pieces I see online more closely resemble fast food than they do a nourishing, personal message from a writer.

While I am not saying that quality writing does not exist elsewhere, it has become my impression that elephant journal‘s intentions regarding this mission really are pure. And whether you’re a new reader to this publication or someone who has subscribed for years, I suggest that you set your own intentions.

We have a choice when it comes to what we take in—whether it’s food or whether it’s information. After all, none of us have a lot of time these days, so being intentional about these things can be make a huge impact on our health, our moods and our lives on so many levels.

Intentionality takes both awareness and integrity, and integrity is best maintained by living via our intentions.

We all are just doing our best—as decision makers in our careers, as writers and readers and in life in general. And the best that we can ever possibly do is to be true to what our integrity calls upon us to do.

So, with that, I commend you—Waylon Lewis, as well as every single elephant journal reader, writer and editor—for being a part of this intentional community of people.

We are just people who have strived and will continue to strive to do our best and to bring forth the best versions of ourselves. Even though this collective is scattered all over this big world, I know with certainty that we will strive to continue to connect to one another through mindful and heartfelt words.


Author: Katie Vessel

Editor: Caroline Beaton (Thank you, Katie, for your encouraging words!)

Image: elephant journal 


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