Day 31: LAST DAY of our January Mindful Writing Challenge!

Butternet squash by miss mengThis butternut squash is the weight of a full-grown Boston Terrier in my arms but wriggles less. I pat it gently ? there’s a hollow sound ? then I smooth away a coat of mud from its flanks.

Pauline Masurel

*

So – our last day. Please post your small stone below.

But don’t just post your small stone. Tell us how you got on! What have you noticed during the month? What’s been challenging? Has the month changed you? What will you do next?

If you’d like to continue your adventures with mindful writing, we have two e-courses (using small stones and other exercises) starting on the 6th of February - Finding Your Way Home with Kaspa or Writing & Spiritual Practice . with Satya. We’d love for you to join us.

We’ve both enjoyed reading all your small stones during the month. It’s also good to know about everyone who’s written in their journals at home. Sharing is good, but the writing is more important, and the noticing is even more important.

Thanks for travelling with us this month. We look forward to next year!

Satya & Kaspa x

*

Butternet squash by miss meng

Comments & replies

100 thoughts on “Day 31: LAST DAY of our January Mindful Writing Challenge!

      1. Daphne Radenhurst

        You may have noticed I wrote this in the middle of the night! I was having a sleepless night. I would just like to say now how much I have enjoyed this month, both writing and reading others’ small stones. It has been interesting to see how, in one of the wettest winters on record, there has been so much diversity and beauty to observe. I am looking forward to reading them more carefully at my leisure.
        Thank you Satya and Kaspa, and thank you all for your lovely writing.
        I have noticed, too, how many of us are cat lovers, though one dog did get a look in.

        Reply
    1. Malek Montag

      Love this! I see so many things here. Painting on silk. Telling of stories. Cloth making. “A spell woven in time”, indeed! :-)

      Reply
      1. Malek Montag

        Thank you, Satya! It’s been great. Loved seeing some of the other Small Stones, and the ‘discipline’ of writing something everyday has be wonderful. I’ve enjoyed finding things out there to write about. :-)

        Reply
    1. Lynds Jennings

      I would like to thank you all for the chance to participate,I couldn’t post a stone each day on here,or indeed comment as much as would like. But you are all inspiring and I have loved reading your stones. I have written small stones almost every day for two and a half years,it’s such a good way to find joy and a positive note in each day.I hope to continue for as long as I can :)

      Reply
  1. Claire

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this challenge – completing 27 small stones throughout January!
    I’ve decided to keep going…
    Thanks, Satya :) x

    I used to walk this path -
    ancient hazel and hawthorn,
    willow and sycamore.
    Now, I retrace my steps
    in rhythm and word.

    Visit here to see a photo of the path: http://anotherdeepday.blogspot.co.uk/

    Reply
  2. Brinda

    **********

    amidst darkness
    and ghostly silence -
    a supermoon takes birth

    in the calligraphy
    of gargantuesque clouds
    a timid sliver of a moon

    a Leo-Aquarius axis
    comes into play
    light and shadow twist

    together a dance
    on a tune to be redefined
    in a team tango

    me versus we
    mine versus ours
    towers fall

    one by one
    cheek to cheek
    daisy petals shine

    **********

    Satya, Kaspa,

    My heart brims with joy and gratitude for this opportunity that you have put together as a platform for sharing with you and everybody else, who have written, shared, commented on this daily practice. I write everyday because the pleasure in neverending and so rewarding as new terrain of awareness dawns with each word, sentence, sequence revealing so many unhealed portions in my heart and for this, I owe to you both, reverence!

    As I knit along the quilt of my self-worth with self-confidence, I persevere with discipline and dedication to pin down more stones and will, hopefully, share with you more gems of “aha” moments that do keep us churning the pot of enlightenment, learning day by day to make our breakthroughs to freedom and kingdom of universal truth, with authenticity, honesty and integrity.together with the last, but not the least, humility!

    Heartfelt thanks & Blessings to You All…

    Brinda

    Reply
  3. Linda

    Morning tea with a friend I haven’t seen for months;
    Catching up on lives lived separately.
    We find the bond remains.
    Sometimes, the time between
    doesn’t matter.

    Reply
  4. Linda

    Satya, thank you for the pleasure I derive from looking for and recording Small Stones.
    I did the January collection two years ago and found it wonderful for seeing the small things around me that I usually take for granted – or don’t notice. As a result of doing that exercise, I am much more aware in my daily life of what is there now – in nature, in people, in spirit.
    I didn’t manage to do a small stone every day this month – I fell short by 5, but it has been good for me once again. I hope to record small stones every day from now on when I can.
    Thank you again for the stimulus to action. Blessings.

    Reply
    1. Satya Robyn Post author

      rather than falling short by 5, see it as writing 26 that you wouldn’t have written… that’s pretty good going. very happy to hear that it’s affected your ability to be aware. keep writing _/\_

      Reply
  5. Nicole

    This morning started in the gloom of mist…
    Later on, as I looked up from my computer
    The sun had dressed the trees with brightness
    The days are getting longer
    No need to turn on the lights
    My inward ‘me’ feels happy as can be !

    This month was a real challange for me.
    It is not in my current language, I get out of this house
    Once a week for about an hour…
    Had visitors about 4 times in the month
    When I reached 25 days I thought I was out of the game
    But I went on and did find some things to say☺
    It was a journey that taught me alot.
    Some of you managed to make me share glimpses of your lives through their words
    (when I could understand fully !)
    Thank you !
    But now I need a rest ! ☺
    (I missed out one day : 11th of january)

    Reply
  6. Mari Sexton

    Seagulls swoop and spin
    Air gymnasts stretching their wings
    In morning work-out

    Thank you both for organising this and to all other contributors – I’ve very much enjoyed reading the different stones. I must admit to a strong sense of satisfaction and pride in managing to write every day. Some days have been a struggle but on others I have managed to write several.

    All in all it has been a very positive and encouraging experience which hopefully will give me the confidence to persevere and develop a daily writing habit.

    Reply
    1. Susan Sleepwriter

      It is quite a lovely feeling to get to the end of each day with a lovely observed moment, written in a way that allows me to share it with others so they can almost feel it too. I love the discipline of the challenge. Thank you.

      Reply
  7. Dorothee

    small stone by small stone
    January took a slightly
    different shape
    *
    Satya + Kaspa: Thanks for turning cold January into a beautiful month of noticing and sharing mindful moments. and thanks to everyone for sharing their stones! such a good start into the new year.

    Reply
  8. Lizzie Carver

    Under the hedge, flash of yellow-gold beak.
    Blackbird hunting in the shadows.

    This month has been a great pleasure and a very good discipline! I have tried to keep my own “voice”, only reading others’ (wonderful!) contributions after posting my own, and am regularly blown away by the beauty and power shared here. I love that there is no “wrong” way. See you next time and I will keep noticing till then… Lx

    Reply
  9. JulesPaige

    a renga:
    lasting impressions?
    *
    no skeletons now
    news story spreads the foul play
    without all the facts
    *
    piracy may get one ‘time’
    ‘the horse’ becomes ‘a jackass’
    *
    today bold print – caught
    who counts and tallies the cost
    for those who stand by?
    *
    ©JP/davh

    Writing small stones is a practice I began with the very first mindful writing challenge – and is probably one of the few things I do with consistency and for self enjoyment. Stop, look, record. write something small to remember any and everything. My writing reflects what I see and feel, perhaps others can empathize?

    Thank you to all who participated, it has been a pleasure to read, relate and be inspired.

    Reply
  10. Andree

    This has been a great experience. Lately I had gotten out of the habit of journalling and with so much time spent in social media, I had stopped writing just for myself. Paying attention to my life, my environment, my feelings — MY MOMENT! — without focusing on a broad audience. I feel that this exercise has been a great writing and mindfulness detox for me. It was also wonderful to see all the great poets in our midst, and to read about the small pleasures they encounter every day.

    Thank you for organizing this great event.

    Reply
  11. Maaike Klaster

    Here’s a butterfly for you that came to me this morning
    in thought, in spirit, and as a drawing,
    eating from a pomegranate- fruit of the underworld -
    in the same room where, as a child, i once put pink
    rose petals in a jar of water to see if i could make
    myself a lovely smelling rosewaterperfume. After a few
    days it turned sour, because it was missing alcohol, but
    that’s okay: i can still remember the scent of the roses,
    both the sweet and the sour.

    Reply
    1. Mari Sexton

      I did the same! It didn’t turn sour but very brown and earthy in smell. Although my roses might have been yellow as that’s the colour of my first rosebush.

      Reply
  12. Maaike Klaster

    Thank you for the challenge!
    I’ve fallen off the wagon twice, but made up for it by writing much more than just one small stone a day. ;)

    Reply
  13. Andrea

    This has helped me stay into the habit of sitting down every day and exploring, playing with the observations I’ve made as a result of knowing I needed to write a small stone every day. I’ve been enjoying this quiet sitting down time, exploring and playing with language more than ever because of this challenge.

    Reply
  14. R.G. Rader

    IN BETWEEN

    End like the
    beginning,
    a chatter chorus of sparrows
    greets me this morning,
    this final day of the first month:
    only 334 days until Christmas
    and

    all

    that

    comes

    in-

    between

    Reply
  15. Pookie

    While the outdoor plants have been saturated
    this winter, the sound

    of a

    crisp

    leaf

    landing

    on the

    wooden

    floor

    reminds me that
    indoors the dry warmth is desiccating.

    Dear Satya and Kaspa, thank you for the challenge.
    I have looked forward each day to reading the small stones of others. Many have been like pearls of wisdom to me, others poignant, funny or artistically observant of objects, nature and the senses, and the personal challenges faced with courage are so humbling. Each one has taught me a little appreciation of the world and many of the writers could be kindred spirits! I have found being mindful has made me more self-aware, as well as more closely observant. I may continue! Good wishes to you both

    Reply
  16. Karen Schorno

    Observations on 31 Jan 2014
    sound = pinging on hard surfaces
    surface = irregular shape
    hard, wet, cold
    arrival = sky to ground, direct with coverage

    new word to describe = Slickery

    Thank you for giving us a 31 day challenge for january 2014
    I did not find it difficult to write or post everyday because it has been a part of my practice with the facebook group. I did miss feedback that I receive on facebook and the ability to use photography with my words to tell my story…

    Reply
  17. Angela

    the last day of the writing challenge. during January I noticed more than I normally would have done and expressed it, sometimes internally,sometimes talking outloud and sometimes writing a small stone. I want to continue.

    today for the first time I went to a beach which is deserted even in the summer so today it was completely empty. little waves with white tips plop onto the sand. the trees surrounding the little bay are green and vibrant – I love trees. across the bigger bay, little boats with white sails make their way around the point and I imagine how it would be to sail in one of those boats – without my fear of water. LIBERATING.

    Reply
  18. Andrea

    Since it is January, I obviously did not just observe this, but I was remembering walking through my old neighborhood in the fall:

    White linen ghosts rise with October’s chilly breath.

    Thank you again for providing this challenge.

    Reply
  19. De Jackson

    The Gall of Stones

    Jan. 30

    They get in your shoe, roll
    under your skin, nagging
    little pebbles knocking a
    -round and waiting to be
    spread over garden. Smooth
    their edges in ink, unsharp
    -en some shard with pink
    eraser dust and blow it
    to breeze. In the giant
    forest picture of things,
    these tiny things find their
    wings – and stay.

    Jan. 31

    Un
    -cobbled, she searches for
    one last
    (worry)
                     worthy stone, embraces
    graying shroud of sky, a comfort
    -or spread over her wide wild world.
    Wander loose under all this patchy
    slate, collect these fragments as
    you may; they shine, even in
    the absence of light.

    .

    Reply
  20. Hajra

    I can’t believe that its 31st January today!! the month has certainly flown by…

    When I first read the definition of small stones, I happily realized that I have been writing small stones for years!! Some of them I have written down in a journal, others are just stored somewhere in my mind….

    It’s a lovely activity, as it makes you so aware of your surroundings, your feelings and thoughts. This challenge was a really nice experience, as one looked forward to sharing something everyday. Congratulations to all those who managed to share 31 small stones [which includes myself :) ], as well as to those who didn’t, because they at least took the initiative to be part of this.

    Keep writing everyone!!! and I hope to see everyone here next year as well!

    And as small stones is writing about moments that we have experienced and then described, I would like to share a poem on moments that I once wrote:

    There are moments in Life,
    That you want to hold on to;
    When you wish time would stand still,
    But time keeps running on until;
    Those moments are gone forever,
    And all you are left with are memories;
    Which you play over and over again,
    As they bring you some joy and some pain;
    They are a treasure that is yours,
    To keep for a lifetime;
    That remain embedded in your mind,
    So you can never put them behind

    Reply
  21. Joan

    #smallstones 31

    It was dark and gloomy day

    and inside my mind did shiver,

    I felt a ghostly goosebump

    that surely made me quiver.

    Today is just such a day and while I am safe and warm inside, it does stir the imagination. Thahk you for this opportunity to stay focused and to be consistent in bringing forth these pearls of wisdom, these smallstones.

    Reply
  22. Paul L. White

    Midst whirr and blur of winter’s days,
    A January now is past.
    And I bestir in great Amaze
    That She has run and fled so fast!
    *
    I still remember, way back then,
    As Boy in northern land of snow–
    We spent this month in Mother’s ken
    Of fanning Christmas After-Glow.
    *
    We’d use our toys with radiant joys
    While “new” was how they still could feel.
    As I recall, my memory ploys
    To bring it back–that great Appeal!

    Reply
  23. Dave Conley

    Must beat the rush hour traffic
    Get the last parking spot
    Day whirls round the circle of life
    Illness, maybe a transplant, recovery
    For some this will be their final journey
    Driven home by relentless rain
    Multi coloured rainbow rises above
    Paving the way to heaven

    Finding stones in such a dark wet January has been a real challenge at times, but even when my stones have been a little small or unpolished others have found some real gems.
    I am grateful for this opportunity & will continue to look for small stones.
    In my search for small stones I realised that I rarely if ever notice something different about people I associate with. As well as looking for stones I will look for something different about somebody on my daily search.

    Reply
  24. Allison Shapiro

    Last Day of January:
    New Moon, vast Empty Sky
    Abundant Potential
    Emerging into actuality
    Grounded, exuberantly high!

    Reply
  25. Hajra

    My small stone for the day (last one)

    One can sleep contentedly at night
    If to the best of one’s ability
    One has achieved all the goals set about for the day
    The big one’s…
    The small one’s…
    And you look forward to the next day…

    Reply
  26. Pamela Niles

    Over seven billion humans
    exist now in this world
    every split second
    one enters
    one exits
    each one a student
    wading through illusions
    and blessings,
    this life offers
    each one a teacher
    needing understanding
    each one a spirit
    deserving compassion,
    desiring love.
    We are one
    sangha of beings.
    Namaste.

    Thank you, Satya and Kaspa, for giving us the opportunity this month to explore mindfulness, insight, and how we can be present and creative in every moment. It’s been a great pleasure to come here each day and read the individual stones, these stones that illuminate the unique creative spark of their writers. And thank you, everyone, for sharing your hearts and minds here. Sending love and blessings to each and every one of you.

    Reply
  27. Mary-Jane Grandinetti

    And on the 150th day the plumber said, “Let there be water,” and there was water. And the plumber saw the water was good. And the plumber said “Let the water run from the bathroom sink.” And it was so. And the plumber separated the check from our checkbook. And on the 150th day, the bathroom was finished.
    Hallelujah!

    Reply
  28. John S Oliver

    Clever Hiding Places

    Barren winter branches expose clever hiding places.
    The remains of bird nests of last spring are obvious without the cover of leaves.

    Reply
  29. Gary Hewitt

    The last one, this has been fun :) Until the next adieu!

    Panthers sit by the guard’s feet
    Disinterested but resigned
    Except for the 10th
    For this cat refuses to prefer.

    Reply
  30. Helen Lewis

    I place a stone
    on top of the cairn
    breathless but content.

    *

    Dear Satya and Kaspa, thank you very much for organising another month of mindful writing. I’ve been inspired by reading other people’s small stones.

    I’ve found the practice to be a four-fold challenge. First, there was the challenge of paying proper attention. Then, once I’d made a mental note of which things that day had jolted me into wakefulness, came the challenge of choosing which of them to write about. Next I had the challenge of working out what it was I wanted to say. Finally there was the challenge of choosing the words I wanted to use to say it. On most days I struggled with one or more of these challenges. On a few days, like today, I struggled with all of them. I’ve managed to write a small stone every day this month, although some of them are a bit ‘cheaty’, because the writing isn’t really observational.

    Reply
  31. larry p

    Just settling down for a nap
    when the phone rings.
    “Leave it”, I’m ordered.
    So I do, physically at least.
    My disturbed mind won’t leave it:
    “what if it is important?”—
    as if that ever happens these days.
    For another hour or so,
    I struggle to get back to napping,
    but the requisite calm is gone.
    Later, of course, I learn
    it was nothing important.

    Reply
  32. Sharon Black

    The last stone skims the water,
    bounces from quayside to middle of the canal
    then sinks, leaving thirty-one
    circles in its wake.

    Thank-you for having me. I was up against a wall last month, this one-stone-a-day project has been hugely enjoyable and has got my writing kick-stated again. Thanks, Satya & Kaspa.

    Reply
  33. Nina

    Writing small stones throughout January has made me aware of how much more I need to see. It meant I was present in the moment more. I was inspired and didn’t struggle for a stone ever (no pressure to be complete) – I did however fall behind on posting and wish I had more time to read.

    31st

    I see a small bird,
    a wren, a sparrow, a thrush?
    It eats berries off the bush and makes it way
    up the garden path.

    Reply
  34. Kathy Nguyen

    I’d forgotten
    how deep I’d traveled
    through these rolling clouds
    just now my face streaked
    with dried tears
    for this new horse year

    Reply
  35. Elizabeth Burns

    A chilly wind blew in.
    Its about time you got here,
    we’ve been waiting…
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    In such a busy busy world, finding small stones is such a lovely way to pause and take in the wonder of the moment…thank you

    Reply
  36. Keli Tomlin

    A little late but my final small stone on 31st was:

    Snowdrops stand in a line
    A choir of school children, hunched and weaving
    Making their way through their new, spring song.

    A full two weeks worth are posted over at: walkthewheel.wordpress.com

    Reply
  37. Hannah Gosselin

    Hello Satya and Kaspa!!

    I’ve been along for the journey all month…this is my third year!! Thank you!

    I decided this time to visit each day for the link address to add to my page and I really enjoyed the featured small stones each day. It was neat to find some serendipity sometimes in where I was in my little world and where the journey led the featured poet for that particular day.

    This year I placed all my stones on a page with an introduction and links to each posted small stone.

    I’ll post it here in case anyone is interested in browsing.

    http://wordrustling.wordpress.com/the-river-jan-2012/mindful-writing-challenge-january-2014/

    Again, thank you so much for hosting this intentional small stone writing practice. I enjoyed it very much.

    Reply
  38. Kay Walker

    I am not afraid.
    I am almost there.
    I linger a little longer, my dear.
    So lovely to love you; to be with you.
    I will be on my way soon enough.
    Let me gaze at you one more time.
    You are beautiful, my lady.
    Be well, my love, and know I will be with you.
    Goodbye, my love,
    Look for me in our dreams.

    He slipped away on a breath and a half.

    Reply
  39. Claire Maycock

    Once again I have relished the reminder to pause each day and examine the beauty of a single moment.

    I just published my final (haiku) stones on my blog, with those from the second half of the month being written during a trip to Australia – so I have a split seasons collection this year.

    Are you planning to pull together a compilation this time round?

    Thank you, and blessings
    Claire. x

    Reply
  40. SM Jenkin

    In their wedding best
    they stand for the photo,
    before the brown brickwork
    of some wall. They are quite
    dwarfed by the photo frame,
    pear, peach, apple
    pomegranate twined and full.
    I close my eyes like my grandfather
    in photographs; beneath the
    dust I see my grandmother’s eyes
    shut, too.

    Reply
  41. Satya Robyn Post author

    So wonderful and gratifying to read all these comments. I’m so glad you’ve all made it this far! I hope small stones, mindful writing or paying attention will stick around in some way, and that you all continue to feel the benefits. Here’s to us!

    Reply
  

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