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1. Another day, another opportunity for a fresh start, to begin again.

2. “Where I’ve Been” blog posts. I can’t wait to try this.

3. The Pressure, a poem by Tara Sophia Mohr: Oh how I know this pressure, and want to discover what it might be like without it.

4. Gratitude Practice. Spending some time, every day, thinking about what you are grateful for, writing about it, or even saying “thank you” directly or publicly, is a path to contentment and joy. Here’s a freebie intended to help, “3 good things that happened today,” shared by way of a Scoutie Girl post, “art to inspire: the power of positivity.”

5. Slow down your writing from Kaspa at Writing Our Way Home. This is some really great advice, not just for writing Small Stones, but for writing practice in general.

6. Hannah Marcotti shared a list of some really good stuff to read, Beautiful faces. Magical Places. My favorite quote is from the post on Find Your Balance (because if you’ve been reading this blog for long, you know I struggle with finding balance):

When I say balance, I’m not saying, “Be like me.”
I’m saying, “Be more like you.”

7. I knew there was a reason I have been in love with Ray Bradbury’s work most of my life. His love of reading and writing is my own. He says:

Books are smart and brilliant and wise. Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.

8. How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love by Maria Popova. This is a really great list! And the blog where I found this post and the Ray Bradbury video, Brain Pickings, is really great too.

9. how to be original by Justine Musk. She is on fire lately. This post is all about the four qualities of a compelling creative voice.

10. 40 Days of Silence, a free ecourse from Erica Staab. I signed up for this and have been getting the daily emails. They are short but powerful, such good reminders! My favorite from this last week was a quote from an interview with John O’Donohue, (a really wonderful Irish poet, he wrote some of my favorite poems), which said “To return back into ourselves, there are three things needed”: stillness, silence, and solitude, and he explained why each was so essential.

11. A Blessing For One Who Is Exhausted, a post by Erica Staab and a poem by John O’Donohue. I couldn’t stop crying when I read this, both Erica’s words and the poem. Erica said:

Tears sprang to my eyes as I thought how often we think we have the “wrong” answer. How often we are stuck in the thought that we should be anywhere else but where we are. How often we think that we are handling our grief, our children, our jobs, our friendships in the “wrong” way. And sometimes yes, things need to change, but more often than not it is only because we haven’t given ourselves the compassion and more objective look that we give to others.

12. Brene’ Brown’s latest TED talk, “Listening to Shame.

13. If you never saw Brene’ Brown’s first TED talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” I highly recommend it. Judy Clement Wall wrote a post today on a Human Thing, “What I know,” about that first talk’s impact on her. While her details are different, I had the same experience of that first video. It changed my life, helped save my life, in about a million different ways. Judy said:

It changed everything for me. Not that day, or that week, or that month, but over the course of the almost-year since I watched it. It was the beginning of deep down, gut-wrenching honesty, first with myself and then with my husband. It was the beginning of true fearlessness, of love like a religion, of faith.

Amen.

14. The wreck and the raw of post retreat. Dear reader, I am in the thick of this. I went to the Boulder Shambhala Center this weekend (along with about 340 others, and 1500 who joined us in a live, online broadcast) and received a new practice from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche that broke my heart wide open, which always leaves me completely exhausted, but in this really beautiful way, feeling everything that it means to be alive–the good, the bad, and the ugly. So today, I am attempting to take John O’Donohue’s advice from A Blessing For One Who Is Exhausted and be excessively gentle with myself.